Thanks for nothing
November 19, 2017 8:35 AM   Subscribe

Day 303: it's turkey time, and Republicans are putting tax and spending cuts on the table, which many are finding an unpalatable centrepiece. CBO estimates suggest that poor Americans' gooses in particular will be cooked if the bill passes, with households earning under $50,000 increasingly worse off. Republican senators have stated, on the record, that major donors will not be inviting them back for a second helping of support if the tax cut bill fails. The House bill has been served but the Senate bill is still in the oven, and preparing it will involve two opposed groups coming together with a shared purpose, and also some way of massaging the figures so they won't increase the deficit. [This is a catch-all US politics thread; Roy Moore talk goes here]

The bill cuts corporate tax to 20% while plugging a few flagrant loopholes (such as the Section 199 tax break for manufacturing, that in practice is exceptionally broad), and collapses income tax brackets down from 7 to 4. Because it's easier (read: possible) to pass the bill if it can be massaged to be revenue neutral, the individual tax cuts expire and a bunch of services are permanently cut, so most Americans end up being worse off overall, the very poorest in particular. (Trump, however, does very well from this emolument.) In addition, the individual mandate (aka the thing in Obamacare that keeps the insurance pools stable) will be junked if it passes.
Also going on in US politics: fallout from Al Franken's 2006 USO tour where sexual harassment was tolerated (and photographed) continues, Doug Jones has pulled even with sexual predator Roy Moore in the polls, turning what was seen as a cakewalk for Moore into a real chance for a Democrat win in one of the least Democrat-friendly states in the country, the media noticed that Donald Trump Jr. has inadvertently suggested that Jared Kushner gave false testimony, and House Democrats have introduced a bill to impeach President Trump (just to remind people that there are Democrats who'd like to impeach Trump).

@ashleyfeinberg: only three more days until we find out how trump’s gonna manage to make the turkey pardon about race war
posted by Merus (2638 comments total) 110 users marked this as a favorite
 
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus and a go-between for congressional Republicans and the White House, said he was confident Trump had their back this time.

“He gave me his word,” Meadows said.
posted by box at 8:45 AM on November 19 [7 favorites]


The start of a thread! The tax cut bill has actually made my Trump-loving old high school classmates on Facebook unhappy.
posted by acrasis at 8:45 AM on November 19 [52 favorites]




I feel horrible for everyone about to get fucked over by this Republican congress and President.

OK, not everyone. There's gonna be millions of people fucked over who well and truly deserve it because they looked racism, misogyny, and parasitism in the face and FUCKING VOTED FOR IT.
posted by tclark at 8:48 AM on November 19 [31 favorites]


The 'problem' with calling for his impeachment now is that (and here it would be good to have an insight into the Mueller team) there's likely a couple smoking cannons on the way- which will make the call for impeachment inevitable.
And I know a guy who's got this bridge... sigh...
posted by From Bklyn at 8:48 AM on November 19 [1 favorite]


I'd love some better resources for people wanting to stop the tax cut bill, too.
posted by Merus at 8:49 AM on November 19 [2 favorites]


The tax cut bill has actually made my Trump-loving old high school classmates on Facebook unhappy.

I know it is not a very good thing when every time I hear about some old, white person in the reddest of states being rallied around because they might have to forgo critical medications, or are facing utter ruin and death, only then to have my empathy put on hold for a moment, wondering if they were a Trump voter. But I do it anyway.
posted by tclark at 8:54 AM on November 19 [16 favorites]


I'm okay with calling for impeachment, even if it's a stunt. But impeachment is a trial in the Senate stage, not just a vote. They call witnesses. I'm not super-familiar with the process but I can't see why Mueller couldn't be a witness for the prosecution. This kind of situation is what impeachment was designed for.
posted by Merus at 9:01 AM on November 19 [4 favorites]


I feel horrible for everyone about to get fucked over by this Republican congress and President.

eventually, the tax bill's going to come due and the truth will not be hidden from the gop's supporters - they will be outraged and their wrath will be truly scary to behold

the republicans are playing with fire and don't realize it yet
posted by pyramid termite at 9:01 AM on November 19 [4 favorites]


CBO estimates suggest that poor Americans' gooses in particular will be cooked if the bill passes, with households earning under $50,000 increasingly worse off.


So I suppose the word on the GOP street is, the CBO is partisan and doesn't count the trillions in magic economic growth that will be forthcoming?
posted by thelonius at 9:01 AM on November 19 [3 favorites]


eventually, the tax bill's going to come due and the truth will not be hidden from the gop's supporters - they will be outraged and their wrath will be truly scary to behold

the republicans are playing with fire and don't realize it yet

As long as minorities and an intellectual class exist, the GOP base will not blame the party for anything done to them.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:06 AM on November 19 [122 favorites]


My sympathies to MeFites who are obliged to attend family Thanksgiving dinner with vocal relatives who have extreme/right-wing/extreme right-wing views, and have to listen to "justifications" for the tax bill or the current potus.
posted by Wordshore at 9:07 AM on November 19 [41 favorites]


eventually, the tax bill's going to come due and the truth will not be hidden from the gop's supporters - they will be outraged and their wrath will be truly scary to behold

That depends. If Trump gets Scalia #2, #3, and possibly #4 on to the SCOTUS (Think Kennedy, Notorious R.B.G., Breyer) they'll get Roe v. Wade overturned and it won't matter how much the middle class get taxed. Bonus points if they get enough willing justices to overturn Lawrence and Obergefell.
posted by Talez at 9:07 AM on November 19 [8 favorites]


Hell, they might figure out that Loving v. Virginia gets scrapped because they believe the Warren court took the 14th amendment too far. After all, Virginia's Racial Integrity Act of 1924 banned both black and white people alike from marrying outside their race.
posted by Talez at 9:09 AM on November 19 [5 favorites]


you just don't understand - the supreme court is just a sideshow compared to the yearly tax bill - no one's going to be able to line up a scapegoat for the gop raising taxes

there comes a point where people aren't going to be fooled anymore - they might want all sorts of evil, regressive things but they want them CHEAP with no increase in taxes
posted by pyramid termite at 9:13 AM on November 19 [3 favorites]


Trump and politics didn’t come up last year when we went home to Trumptown, CA and I expect we’re all gonna bite our tongues while gnawing on turkey bones this year, too.

I hope.
posted by notyou at 9:15 AM on November 19 [1 favorite]


there comes a point where people aren't going to be fooled anymore

Has there ever?
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:16 AM on November 19 [76 favorites]


there comes a point where people aren't going to be fooled anymore

Has there ever?
Pete Townshend would like a word.
posted by jferg at 9:21 AM on November 19 [27 favorites]


which many are finding an unpalatable centerpiece.

Ivanka has a helpful suggestion for that (assuming that you're going for the Eldritch Horror theme this year)
posted by octothorpe at 9:21 AM on November 19 [37 favorites]


fallout from Al Franken's 1996 USO tour

It was a 2006 USO tour. Can a mod correct this in the post?
posted by jedicus at 9:27 AM on November 19 [6 favorites]


Re tax cuts, the way the sunset on this works, republicans will be able to blame democrats if they don't vote to extend them. This was masterful in its fuckery.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:31 AM on November 19 [4 favorites]


For all those of you talking to your senators about the tax bill, here's another reason why you should be against it: legislation opening ANWR to drilling (Murkowski’s plan) just passed committee and will be tucked into the bill.

This will accompany the largest ever land lease energy sale in the BLM's history, 10 million acres to the west of the Refuge in the Petroleum Reserve (announced in October).

NPR link
Washington Post link
posted by barchan at 9:33 AM on November 19 [18 favorites]


there comes a point where people aren't going to be fooled anymore

Has there ever?


Kansas?
posted by chris24 at 9:33 AM on November 19 [17 favorites]


[Fixed the date and nixed a little unnecessary language from the Roy Moore thread pointer.]
posted by cortex at 9:34 AM on November 19 [8 favorites]


I appreciate the turkey theming of this post.

Also, I feel like it’s important to remind everyone that Puerto Rico is still a horrorshow.
posted by corb at 9:38 AM on November 19 [98 favorites]


Flying home tomorrow to spend 8 days with family in Trumpland. Starting to get anxious about the inevitable fights. What's the right ratio of turkey to whiskey to ensure a proper food coma?
posted by downtohisturtles at 9:46 AM on November 19 [3 favorites]


Ivanka has a helpful suggestion for that

i never thought i'd live to see the thanksgiving where sandra lee's semi-homemade sheer tablescape weirdness was outdone
2017, you continue to... amaze? horrify? whatever it is, you sure do continue to do it
posted by halation at 9:47 AM on November 19 [3 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?
posted by zachlipton at 9:49 AM on November 19 [117 favorites]


I know that were I to have gotten three people out of jail, and one of their fathers didn't show me sufficient gratitude, I would definitely want those people back in jail. I would also publicize the father's name to untold millions of insane people.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:53 AM on November 19 [43 favorites]


Unaccepting? UNACCEPTING??
posted by Myeral at 9:55 AM on November 19 [11 favorites]




I do not anticipate any conversation about Trump of politics at Thanksgiving. It’s typically not a thing. However, if it does come up, I will not be biting my tongue or trying to play nice. If someone wants the last word so bad that they’re gonna be willing to ruin the holiday over it, then it’s on. The right wingers have been rewarded so richly for being brutish, domineering, selfish and evil. I was done playing nice on November 8, 2016.
posted by azpenguin at 9:56 AM on November 19 [113 favorites]


- He thinks shoplifting is a big deal and deserves years in Chinese jail.

- He keeps saying he's the best at big deals.
posted by adept256 at 9:57 AM on November 19 [6 favorites]


What's the right ratio of turkey to whiskey to ensure a proper food coma?

One bite per bottle.

My wife and I are spending thanksgiving with the liberal pastor who married us, instead of my parents and brother and sister-in-law and her father. This is because they are all Trump boosters (and in the father’s points of disfavor openly racist and probably ready to insult my wife) and murder on a holiday is not really good.
posted by mephron at 9:58 AM on November 19 [21 favorites]


@ashleyfeinberg: only three more days until we find out how trump’s gonna manage to make the turkey pardon about race war

I bet Junior's going to look cute in his turkey costume.
posted by adept256 at 9:59 AM on November 19 [9 favorites]


Me 5 minutes ago: There's a new POTUS thread. I'll check it out

Me now: What the fuck with that Thanksgiving table shit? And then... Another... Fucking... Tweet! sob
posted by Myeral at 9:59 AM on November 19 [4 favorites]


Re: Franken, I'd like to call attention to a thought-provoking exchange toward the end of the last thread.

bongo_x:
Christ.

Someone has now posted this video of Tweeden sneaking up behind and rubbing and grabbing a guy on stage at a USO show.
ctmf:
Is the whole country seven years old? "Oh yeah well look what SHE did"? That's a defense now?

Pater Aletheias:
“Look what she did!” is not a defense, but “the 2006 USO tour was marked by frequent ribald humor including performers grinding against and groping each other, and Tweeden was just as involved with those behaviors as anyone, so the photo of Franken miming groping her should be interpreted in that context” is a defense.

From my POV, this is the weakest possible sexual harassment case I can imagine. You have a kiss that each person, 11 years later, remembers differently and a picture of pretend-groping in the context of a ribald USO tour where that behavior was common and had also been exhibited by the alleged victim. It’s not nothing, but on the continuum of sexual crimes it’s so close to nothing that you can’t tell the difference if you are standing where Moore or Trump are.

If this were any moment in time other than fall 2017, I’d say it’s ridiculous to expect an otherwise beloved and effective senator to resign because of one joke that crossed the line during a tour of line-crossing jokes. What rankles me is that it is the fall of 2017 and I’m concerned that if we try to be sensible about Franken, it’ll give the GOP rhetorical ammunition to keep harboring and defending rapists and child molestors. Therefore, much as it annoys me, I’m on side “Franken has to take one for the team.” And then, once we have established the Franken rule—“even the weakest possible harassment case means you leave politics”—we go after Moore and Trump and their ilk as loudly as possible.
T. D. Strange:
Again, the problem with this "rule" is it will only apply to Democrats. It's akin to unilateral disarmament. Because Republicans Just Do Not Give A Fuck. While we drive out our own Senators over weak cases that no employment lawyer would take up outside of the US Senate, and establish the principal than any allegation is enough to end the career of any Democratic politician, they will stand by their child rapists to the death and weaponize the new standard with James O'keefe style "accusations" to drive Democrats out of flippable seats.

It's been really disheartening to see the blanket calls for resignation here and throughout the left leaning internet going on for days and days. The Senate has a process, Franken has agreed that the ethics process should be used, even the victim has forgiven him, stop digging. Stop the circular firing squad. Let the process work.
So, throughout the weekend, and before I saw that video, I had been ruminating on this Daily Beast piece from Erin Gloria Ryan, particularly her discussion of a second person who's invoking #metoo allegations against Al Franken:
On the heels of Tweeden’s disturbing allegations, however, another woman came forward claiming that she too had been “stalked and harassed” by Franken. Melanie Morgan teased her accusation with a Tweet, and then directed curious readers to her website. On her website, she described how Franken called her more than once because he disagreed with how she was discussing a policy issue on the radio.
Let me stop here to note that Ryan doesn't include a link to Morgan's discussion of what happened to her. The most I can find about it is from a wingnut media outlet that I'd rather not drive clicks to. Quoting the relevant portion:
“I made a statement about the budget numbers, Franken challenged me, I challenged him back. It was about spending priorities, actually just a mundane discussion. But he obsessed over it.”

After the show, Morgan said Franken wouldn’t leave her alone, insisting on continuing the argument.

“He approached me backstage, angrily called me out on those numbers and insisted he would prove he was right. He wouldn’t leave me alone, he kept following me. As a woman, his presence and proximity to me felt very threatening and intimindating.

“I didn’t realize his creepy behavior after the show meant it would continue in the days to come.

“He approached Carol, the show’s producer and demanded my home phone number, which was a clear violation of network protocol. I had thought that was the end of the story and was shocked when he started calling my home, badgering me repeatedly.

“I became fearful and called Carol to complain and asked her to tell him to back off. But he made another call after that. I thought that he might end up stalking me at my home in Northern California, it was that bad.

“By the third phone call I was outraged and terrified, as he is really disturbed,” Morgan recounted.

Morgan said Franken finally left her alone, but only after she pushed back and threatened “to call the police and make a report that he was harassing me.”

To this day, she says she is haunted by it: “I never forgot that experience and it informed me of his lack of character and obsessive personality. I believe every word Leann wrote.”
On the one hand, I think Ryan's summary of Morgan's accusations leaves out enough detail that it could be considered misleading. On the other hand, while arguing with someone and then calling them on multiple occasions to continue the argument is certainly harassment, it seems like it's in a different category from what Franken did to Tweeden. Still unacceptable from a US Senator, but, unless there are details Morgan is leaving out, not seeming to rise to the level of sexual harassment. Ryan makes this point well:
Even giving Morgan the extremely generous benefit of the doubt, it’s hard to pretend what she alleges Franken did is the same thing as what Tweeden’s picture shows Franken actually doing. Nor is what Tweeden’s picture shows, horrible as it is, the same as what somebody like Roger Ailes or Bill Clinton did.

Which gets to a problem. Right now, the court of public opinion is faced with the awkward task of assigning degrees of severity to sexual misconduct, because, while they all cause harm, they don’t all cause the same amount of harm and thus don’t merit the same punishment. Furthermore, punishment varies by the power the offender wields. A senator, for example, should have a much higher moral threshold than, say, a comedian. Writing in The New Yorker this week, Masha Gessen treads lightly in making this point, warning that the #MeToo moment could devolve into “sex panic” if we’re not careful. “The distinctions between rape and coercion are meaningful, in the way it is meaningful to distinguish between, say, murder and battery,” Gessen writes.

One’s political ideology or past advocacy doesn’t mean it’s impossible for a person to be victimized by somebody with opposing ideology. But if what she’s written is all she’s got, Morgan’s account reeks of naked political opportunism, of weaponizing victimhood in a way that is so morally bankrupt that it threatens to derail the entire #MeToo conversation for selfish political ends.

(I suppose it also bears mentioning here that while Fox News’ primetime lineup was going up in flames thanks to decades of sexual misconduct coming to light, Morgan was leading the charge to protect men like Bill O’Reilly—who has settled tens of millions of dollars worth of sexual harassment lawsuits during his career—from being fired for what Morgan called “dubious” reasons.)
Now, I don't think that Morgan's efforts to protect O'Reilly should have any bearing on how we should assess allegations that she was harassed by Franken, but given that she isn't alleging any specific sexual behavior on Franken's part, and given what we know about the things O'Reilly did, for which he paid out millions of dollars in settlements, it does seem to me that Morgan wants her political enemies to be held to much higher standards than her political allies, even if it means that the sexual assault victims of her political allies aren't to be trusted, while her allegations of harassment from Franken should be taken as seriously as we're taking Tweeden's, even though it seems categorically different.

Ryan continues:
Writing with almost creepy prescience at Crooked.com this week, Brian Beutler warned against the coming Breitbart-style weaponization of the “Believe Women” movement. “Unfolding against the backdrop of the post-Weinstein revolution, the Moore scandal exposes the conservative propaganda machine in the ugliest and most discrediting possible fashion,” Beutler writes. “But these cultural changes are all but destined to collide with one another in the opposite direction, in a way that exploits both the beneficence of the ‘believe women’ campaign, and the even-handedness of the mainstream media. It is a collision we as a political culture are not equipped to handle, the consequences of which are almost too awful to contemplate.”

That’s why Weinstein fallout could go up in smoke in a second. Because enough people believe that women are all liars, that one liar will fuck it up for all of us.

This Roy Moore Old Testament-Original Sin-Women Are Liars mindset is the worldview that needs to change in order for women to truly have access to the same opportunities that men have. But its opposite—the notion that women must be believed without any evidence whatsoever—will lead the worst among us to exploit the proof loophole and wreak as much damage as they can before their lies are discovered and skewered. At that point, the loophole irreversibly closes. And if that happens, we’re stuck in Roy Moore’s world, where men are the arbiters of morality and if women aren’t lying, they must have been asking for it.
I've been sitting on that Daily Beast link for a few days trying to decide whether to post it here, because I think there's a fine line between litigating the details of a harassing exchange in which no sexual behavior is alleged and blaming a victim who may honestly have felt intimidated by Franken's "presence and proximity." But in light of the comment exchange in the last thread, I do think it's worth continuing that conversation, because the idea of #metoo being weaponized by people who have never cared about women being harassed until Al Franken was doing it is a disturbing thought, particularly given how well the right has shown themselves to be at manufacturing this sort of propaganda a-la James O'Keefe.

I still think we need to operate from a default position of believing accusers, but it seems unavoidable that this will be exploited by opportunists who were staunch defenders of their own harassers and abusers. I find myself agreeing with T. D. Strange that "unilateral disarmament" isn't wise, but that I don't want to go so far in the other direction that I might begin doubting any new stories that came along just because they might be driven by right-wing propagandists. The next allegations might not have clear photo evidence or an accuser who accepts the apology and doesn't demand a resignation. How do we balance the need to believe accusers while acknowledging the political reality of this credulousness being exploited for political ends?
posted by tonycpsu at 10:09 AM on November 19 [131 favorites]


It is interesting to me how the Rs talk about how these tax cuts for corporations and the rich will cause them to become suddenly benevolent and give their workers raises and start reinvesting (all of which have been shown to be untrue back when Reagan and then Bush touted that story). But Ds aren't talking about all the benefits to corporations and wealthy receive from the taxes we all pay. Corporations don't exist in a bubble they benefit from our taxes paying for Transportation, infrastructure, education, police, fire, etc., etc. Corporations like Walmart get richer and richer by letting taxpayers pick up the bill for their employees' healthcare and food! because they don't pay enough/don't give employees enough hours to be eligible for corporate benefits so employees qualify for Medicare/cade and SNAP. Why aren't they talking about saving tax dollars by forcing the corporations to give health benefits to all employees? To pay a true living wage? And if they don't want to do that, then the Corporations should be taxed more, not less to cover it.

Our roads, schools, electrical grid, bridges, etc., etc., etc. are falling apart. Dump was all about making investing in infrastructure during his campaign--where is it?
posted by agatha_magatha at 10:15 AM on November 19 [32 favorites]


Our roads, schools, electrical grid, bridges, etc., etc., etc. are falling apart. Dump was all about making investing in infrastructure during his campaign--where is it?

First, add to that the Child Health Insurance Program is still offline.

Second, where's my fucking job in Construction IT building this fucking wall he promised?
posted by mikelieman at 10:23 AM on November 19 [5 favorites]


>>there comes a point where people aren't going to be fooled anymore

>Has there ever?

Kansas?


Kansas. 2016.

The United States. 1932, 2006 & 2008.

Our problem isn't that people aren't able to see what's happening. Our problem is that people, mostly white people, have no memory. They'll vote out the people who screwed them over when the chain of blame is clear. But, 2 years later, 4 years later, they'll vote Republicans back in because they don't remember how bad it was. Or they think it will be different this time.

However, when the trauma is great enough, even white people will remember for a while. The Democrats rode the coattails of FDR & the Great Depression for decades. This might be the silver lining of Trump, assuming we survive all of this.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 10:23 AM on November 19 [10 favorites]


"He kept calling to talk about the budget" is . . . the weirdest kind of sexual(?) harassment?
posted by petebest at 10:46 AM on November 19 [29 favorites]


Ivanka has a helpful suggestion for that

That tweet provoked some good responses though, that had me laughing out loud for quite a while yesterday. For example
posted by nubs at 10:50 AM on November 19 [5 favorites]


[With the approach of the for-some-very-stressful Thanksgiving holiday, I'll remind anyone who is just feeling like they need to vent anxiety etc. that there's still an open Fucking Fuck! MetaTalk that's probably a better home for that than this thread.]
posted by cortex at 11:02 AM on November 19 [25 favorites]


Nevermind Russia, the destruction of the Affordable Care Act, or the corporate tax scam the House is trying to foist on the American people. If LaVar Ball can figure out a way to make a buck out of fighting with Trump he will be the one to bring the entire administration down.

I swear to Christ, I'll buy a $500 pair of BigBallerBrand shoes if that happens.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 11:18 AM on November 19 [11 favorites]


He kept calling to talk about the budget" is . . . the weirdest kind of sexual(?) harassment?

Honestly, stalking a woman to the point of getting her home phone number from the producer and calling her repeatedly at home definitely sounds harassing and intimidating to me, and whether it was sexual or not, the threat is definitely gendered. Just like it doesn’t matter whether the sleep-groping was for his sexual gratification or not, it’s still misogynistic.

I think the real problem is - these things aren’t actually small things, they just seem like small things because the toxic load of men’s bad behavior is so huge. But it’s long past time for all of it to be purged.

And people, especially women, can go along with a misogynistic society because they don’t have any further options. Just because someone defended a harasser in the past doesn’t mean we should assume they are making up harassment.
posted by corb at 11:37 AM on November 19 [38 favorites]


The part of the GOP tax bill that will destroy higher education

The Republicans Know Nothings have declared war on the future.
posted by homunculus at 11:38 AM on November 19 [18 favorites]


In 2001 the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation analyzed the propose Bush Tax cuts and concluded that it would not only pay for itself, it would completely eliminate the national debt by 2010:

http://www.heritage.org/taxes/report/the-economic-impact-president-bushs-tax-relief-plan

Assuming that the national debt has been completely paid off by now (I've been super busy with stuff and haven't had a chance to check) we should just trust that this tax plan will do whatever conservatives promise it will.
posted by justkevin at 11:39 AM on November 19 [75 favorites]


The Republicans Know Nothings have declared war on the future.

Naw, that was Ronerald "Spend the kids' pension on guns" Raygun. These wankers are just posing with trophy corpses for their masters. Ruinous, of course, but - no zazz.
posted by petebest at 11:43 AM on November 19 [2 favorites]


It's going to be interesting in the Senate. Franken will have more to admit -- he's been a powerful figure in the entertainment industry since 1975, and it's pretty unlikely he suddenly started start behaving crudely to women in 2006. Moore will keep denying misconduct, and he'll be elected next month. Expelling them both would seem to be a high bar, but it's hard to see the Senate Republicans letting Franken stay if they throw out (or refuse to seat) Moore.
posted by MattD at 11:48 AM on November 19 [2 favorites]


Can we talk about that utterly insane (Republican!) presidential tweet about regretting freeing American citizens from communist captivity?
posted by Barack Spinoza at 11:54 AM on November 19 [68 favorites]


I kindof doubt the thing where he couldn't let go of the budget argument was gendered, and I bet it's not the only instance of Al Franken not wanting to let go of an Air America debate when he thought he detected a guest weaseling the numbers. He shouldn't have kept on with it, but I doubt he treated men any differently when they tried to wriggle out of an argument. He was like a terrier when he sniffed a lie. That's why he was great in hearings. He now must turn that relentless Franken nose for bullshit on his own prevarication.

As for the video, there is a vast gulf of difference between a theatrical onstage "kiss" performed by two people in character and the rehearsal kiss, when they were alone and being themselves. Her onstage "grope" and the mimed grope on the plane while the other "performer" was asleep are worlds apart. Al Franken was not playing a character. He was, I was heartbroken to have to admit to myself, being himself. Al Franken surely understands the difference between stage and backstage; he was a professional audience-delighter for years. The naked malice in it, the ganging up, the awful fratparty hawhaw, she's asleep and can't defend herself. No. No. No. It is intolerable, and he has to go.
posted by Don Pepino at 11:55 AM on November 19 [27 favorites]


Can we talk about that utterly insane (Republican!) presidential tweet about regretting freeing American citizens from communist captivity?

My nevertrump Twitter list is 🔥 right now and also they’ve noticed that the people referred to are black especially that mention of “LaVar”.
posted by Talez at 12:04 PM on November 19 [4 favorites]


Germany supplants US as the country with the best global reputation

"Hans... are we the baddies good guys?"
posted by Hairy Lobster at 12:06 PM on November 19 [28 favorites]


I still think we need to operate from a default position of believing accusers, but it seems unavoidable that this will be exploited by opportunists who were staunch defenders of their own harassers and abusers. I find myself agreeing with T. D. Strange

I think the default position is going to have to be "believe accusers unless there is a good reason not to, and partisanship is not a good reason." That means believe Tweeding while taking things like the photo in context but looking at the Blumenthal accusation quite skeptically given it's not even clear the accuser even exists as a real person.

We can be sympathetic and supportive without being idiots.
posted by Justinian at 12:07 PM on November 19 [17 favorites]


Sorry, I misspelled Tweeden.
posted by Justinian at 12:13 PM on November 19 [1 favorite]


Can we talk about that utterly insane (Republican!) presidential tweet about regretting freeing American citizens from communist captivity?

Don't forget that his reason for regretting it was because of insufficient approval from a family member. Wanting to punish people for the actions of their family members is an established pattern for him. He wishes he could institute a North Korean Three Generations of Punishment policy.

While it might seem counterintuitive that Trump would go out of his way to get them out of jail in the first place (seeing as he hates black athletes) it's really a win-win for him. If they don't all praise him, he gets to bully them and satisfy his racism via Twitter. If they all thank and praise him, he gets an ego-stroke. If they all thank and praise him but one of their family members doesn't, he gets the ego stroke AND gets to complain about black people, an act that pleases both himself and his base. In any case it's more pleasure chemicals secreted into the brain of an insane and declining asshole, and that's the only thing that counts now.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:14 PM on November 19 [34 favorites]


"Hans... are we the baddies good guys?"

Time elapsed from the liberation of Auschwitz/Nuremberg Trials to now: approximately one human lifespan.
posted by acb at 12:14 PM on November 19 [18 favorites]


Motion to make a Franken thread so as to keep the Mega thread focused on #MEGA
posted by petebest at 12:18 PM on November 19 [23 favorites]


So, Franken thread or Frankenthread then?

(And I second that motion.)
posted by acb at 12:19 PM on November 19 [3 favorites]


#MEGA

Make Ephebophilia Great Again? We already have a Roy Moore thread.
posted by Talez at 12:21 PM on November 19 [11 favorites]


the idea of #metoo being weaponized by people who have never cared about women being harassed until Al Franken was doing it is a disturbing thought,

I knew that at some point the backlash against women speaking out was going to happen, because men with any sort of power hate to be called to account. And I think we're starting to see the form is going to take.

On the Republican side we have the old - fashioned forms of the Roy Moore defense (girls are temptresses) and the Pence Rule (lock women out of the halls of power). On the left, it's going to be a somewhat more sophisticated "This is a plot by Breitbart." approach to tackle the "what about the mens" question.

Either way we'll have allegedly liberal, feminist men saying "Oh sure believe women, but not THIS lying whore." All done to make sure the misogynistic status quo doesn't change.
posted by happyroach at 12:24 PM on November 19 [33 favorites]


The graduate students in my department are terrified of this tax bill. It's not exaggerating to say that it could destroy us financially and wreck the careers we've worked so hard for. We're at a loss for what to do; walkouts are planned, but it's not like "graduate students" are a huge constituency.

The House Just Voted to Bankrupt Graduate Students (NYT)

There is a good chance that this tax bill will include our tuition waivers as "income." This is money that we never see - but it means that we might have to pay taxes on it anyway. One of the students in my department calculated that out of her $23,000 living stipend, she could end up owing close to $9,000 of that in taxes.

It's absurd. It's evil. If it's not a calculated move to destroy graduate education and make the lives of "liberal" academics miserable, it does a very good job of pretending to be one.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 12:25 PM on November 19 [139 favorites]


The part of the GOP tax bill that will destroy higher education

Perfectly reasonable - some gimlet-eyed conservative economist simply figured out that propective grad students and prospective school teachers help society more by buying private jets than they do by discovering new pharmaceuticals or making sure their first-graders all have pencils and snowsuits.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:26 PM on November 19 [6 favorites]


> We can be sympathetic and supportive without being idiots.

That sounds great on a bumper sticker, but the allegations aren't going to break own on neat lines like "a photo and a credible account vs. some random tweets that turn out to be fabricated" as in the Blumenthal case.

Being sympathetic and supportive is a no-brainer -- we do that no matter what. My concern, and the one expressed in the piece I linked to, is about the cases that are sure to come, where a political movement that has perpetually downplayed sexual harassment and assault suddenly decides that it's a great way to target their political enemies, and to do so with stories that are either significantly embellished or fabricated.

I stand by my original statement that Franken needs to step down, and that no single politician is indispensable when there are credible accounts of them being an asshole -- sexually or otherwise.. But we all know where this is going. The right will stop at nothing to target their enemies. It's not as simple as "unless there is a good reason not to", or to remove partisanship from the equation, because some of the allegations themselves will exist only to create a partisan advantage, and we won't be in a position to know the details. I hadn't imagined this would happen, but as the Ryan piece shows, it already is.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:36 PM on November 19 [8 favorites]


On the left, it's going to be a somewhat more sophisticated "This is a plot by Breitbart." approach to tackle the "what about the mens" question.

This was discussed at some length in the last general politics discussion, and without rehashing all of that, the attempt by the right to subvert and weaponize "believe the women" is a real thing. And it's aimed by undercutting the fight against sexual abuse and harassment as much as at hurting Democrats.

What we need is a new standard that applies to both parties and makes it difficult or impossible for men to sweep allegations under the rug by denying everything and waiting for Trump to change the leading news story to his newest outrage, so they can ride it out.

That's why I think using this moment to establish a rule of full Ethics Committee investigation of all allegations is the right move. Republicans have called for that with Franken, so great, let's chisel this in stone for everyone going forward. The full investigation gives a mechanism for weeding out spurious allegations and gives lots of time and a forum for further allegations against the perpetrator to come out.
posted by msalt at 12:38 PM on November 19 [54 favorites]


Like Justinian in the last thread, I wondered if, technically, the Senate could even take any action against a member of their club for something that took before he or she became a senator. According to the Senate’s official page on censure/expulsion, the only time this has happened – in 1893, with North Dakota Democrat William Roach, “After extensive deliberation, the Senate took no action, assuming that it lacked jurisdiction over members’ behavior before their election to the Senate. The alleged embezzlement had occurred 13 years earlier.”

Interestingly, in light of madamjujujive’s thoughtful suggestion that the people of Minnesota should be the ones to decide about Franken, in 1808, after the Senate failed (by one vote) to expel Republican John Smith for treason, the people back home in Ohio told him to get out, and he left the Senate two weeks later.

p.s. The Senate only has kicked out 15 members over the years, 14 of them for being supporters of the Confederacy during the Civil War. (Others have resigned, instead, when they were asked to leave.) Everybody censured or expelled so far has been male.
posted by LeLiLo at 12:55 PM on November 19 [3 favorites]


The Senate only has kicked out 15 members over the years, 14 of them for being supporters of the Confederacy during the Civil War.

So you're saying there's precedent to get rid of a bunch of Republicans.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:58 PM on November 19 [50 favorites]


I just found this anti-fascist film from 1947: Don't be a sucker. I was looking for something similar I saw on a FPP years ago, maybe someone remembers what that was? The video I recall was more of a classroom lecture.

People in 1947 knew that fascism could happen in America, and knowing how bad it could be, made educational films called DON'T BE A SUCKER to warn people not to fall for this crap. And here we are, seventy years later, we stopped reminding people to not be suckers.

It's chilling, everything in that video is just as applicable today. It's got 320,000 views. Beer pong vids get more. We needed this last year and we had it all along. It's ancient now though, the generation that saw that when it was fresh is long gone. All those sacrifices have passed from living memory and the lessons aren't being taught anymore. We're going to learn the hard way all over again.

It's interesting to watch, but depressing as hell, so consider that your content warning.
posted by adept256 at 1:08 PM on November 19 [62 favorites]


There have been 1,971 individuals who have served in the US Senate. Of those, 50 have been women.

Just in case anyone else wants to know how rare expulsions and/or women are in the Senate.

I guess that, statistically, another 80 or so women need to serve before a woman is due to be kicked out.
posted by VTX at 1:08 PM on November 19 [12 favorites]


The more I think about it, the more I think that Senator Franken calling for an ethics investigation is much better than him just resigning.

It's almost certain there will be more accusations against more members of Congress in the next year or two. When that happens, what do we want to happen next - and what is actually likely? It seems very UNLIKELY to me that many members would simply resign; it seems unlikely to me that many of them would even admit what happened, even with photographic evidence.

If we establish a norm that accusations of sexual harassment or any other kind of misconduct should be met with a thorough ethics investigation, followed by consequences when merited, I think that sends a much better message to everyone than simply hoping that individuals will do the right thing and choose to step down. (And in other states, where resigning would not mean a party-friendly governor appoints a party-friendly replacement, a resignation could open up a seat to a worse candidate.)

I know the current Republican members of Congress are ignoring every norm that inconveniences them. I know we can't expect that accusations against a Republican congressmember would be met with a thorough ethics investigation. But if we set a precedent, set a standard, we can say this: accusations should be taken seriously by the whole body. Ethics are important. Conduct has consequences. It's not up to the accused to decide the consequences; it's up to society. And when the double-standards, hypocritical Republicans initiate enthusiastic investigations against Democrats but not against Republicans, everyone will be able to see what they're doing. And I know that kind of double-standard misbehavior doesn't matter to everyone - there are a lot of people who are happy for Republicans to act horribly if it makes Democrats suffer - but there are also a LOT of people who DO care, who actually get offended by unfairness.

I also know that investigations of sexual harassment and assault have usually been brutal for the women speaking out. I truly, fully understand how devasting that has been and is for the women involved. I would hope that an ethics investigation would be a little less prone to that, given that it's not an adversarial trial, and given the current atmosphere, where people are beginning to understand what happens to women when they talk about what's happened.

We want to say, as a society: we take this very seriously, and we want there to be consequences. How do we best do that?

How do we want to respond to the next dozen accusations against elected officials? What do we want to happen? Instead of trial by media, and consequences decided by the accused, I think a full, public investigation is the best way to show that we take these accusations, and this behavior, very seriously, and I think Franken's call for an investigation into his own conduct points the way for us to demand this for accusations against Republicans, too.
posted by kristi at 1:09 PM on November 19 [75 favorites]


No, go on, this is my credulous face:
Eyeing detailed peace plan, Trump team could invest years in effort
Senior Trump administration officials are working tirelessly on an airtight diplomatic structure that, once revealed, will demonstrate just how serious they are about negotiating a comprehensive peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. But if you ask them, they are not working against a clock.

Deadlines are not a part of President Donald Trump's peace effort, led by Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, and Jason Greenblatt, the US special representative for international negotiations. These two refuse to bind themselves in timetables as they prepare what they describe as an "architecture" for their upcoming initiative.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:11 PM on November 19 [4 favorites]


Like Justinian in the last thread, I wondered if, technically, the Senate could even take any action against a member of their club for something that took before he or she became a senator.

That's a fair point. Is there a provision for just being too morally reprehensible to belong in the Senate? What about other ethics investigations that have resulted in penalties less than censure? Wikipedia tells me that William Langer was tried for corruption and moral turpitude while governor of North Dakota. Expulsion failed 52-30 but obviously it went to trial. Spiro Agnew was also forced to resign over actions before he became VP.

Here's the thing though: if you insist on a full investigation for all sexual allegations, that will include the member testifying to his peers. And if he denies the allegations, which are found to be credible, he can be expelled or otherwise punished for that lying. So at a minimum a standard of thorough investigation would make it much harder to just deny everything, which at this point is the Republican's default move.
posted by msalt at 1:20 PM on November 19 [9 favorites]


I'm fine with the idea of an ethics investigation, but do you think that Congress can pull one off that isn't a complete shitshow?

As a constituent I e-mailed Franken and asked him to step down. He muddies the waters and allows Republicans to blindly pretend everyone does it and go about their business. Everyone doesn't do it. It's not okay.
posted by graventy at 1:23 PM on November 19 [6 favorites]


Anything Congress does will obviously be a shitshow. We must at least demand the correct shitshows.
posted by phearlez at 1:33 PM on November 19 [12 favorites]


Ivanka has a helpful suggestion for that (assuming that you're going for the Eldritch Horror theme this year)

Those look like antlers sticking out of it? Ugh.

Best response to that tweet.
posted by zarq at 1:41 PM on November 19 [23 favorites]


Slate: Another Obstruction Angle
Was Trump intentionally trying to block the investigation into Flynn’s Turkey ties?

The Turkey thing sounds more plausible to me than the idea that all of Trump's actions are explained by kompromat. Russian blackmail totally might have been at the heart of his campaign, but so far the explanation for everything he's done has cone down to short-term interests, like anger, greed, or hatred. If his own staffers can't make him to stick to a coherent narrative then I don't expect his hypothetical Russian handlers could, either.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:45 PM on November 19 [6 favorites]


Like Justinian in the last thread, I wondered if, technically, the Senate could even take any action against a member of their club for something that took before he or she became a senator.

Yes. The only requirement is the concurrence of 2/3 of the membership.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 1:50 PM on November 19 [2 favorites]


As I said in the last thread, I expect to see a bunch of ridiculous sexual harassment charges from the Right. Purposely ridiculous. I suspect the point is not to take down Al Franken, the goal is discrediting sexual harassment accusations. It's a win-win for them.
posted by bongo_x at 1:51 PM on November 19 [34 favorites]


I agree about what's coming from the right but IMO it's not a win-win for them if we can transform those charges into an ongoing public discussion of Trump's sexual assault history.
posted by Lyme Drop at 2:05 PM on November 19 [6 favorites]


Part of the issue around discussing these particular sexual assault and harassment allegations is that they will always devolve into a partisan issue, because although the Democrats are willing to engage with conservative members of their own party and Republicans in good faith (because they see the 'us' in 'us and them' thinking to be all of us) the Republicans will always bring this back to an issue of partisan politics because their very worldview depends on that partisan divide (that divide being the line between 'us' and 'them' in their case).

I am glad he is submitting to an Ethics investigation, but like the above shitshow comment, I don't think much will come of it. I hope he either resigns, and a woman is appointed to his place, or he stays to fight against the machinations of the 1% until 2020, at which point I see no way forward for him in politics with this allegation (and the others that are sure to follow).
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 2:14 PM on November 19 [3 favorites]


not to abuse the edit window: The most disappointing outcome for me will be if he continues and tries for reelection in 2020. That will indicate to me that these allegations are not taken seriously by the voting public and that we haven't come as far as we say we have when it comes to equality for women.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 2:15 PM on November 19 [8 favorites]


Germany supplants US as the country with the best global reputation

Canada 4th.

Finishing just out of the medals. A Canadian tradition.
posted by srboisvert at 2:45 PM on November 19 [36 favorites]


I just found this anti-fascist film from 1947: Don't be a sucker.

I was thinking of daring my formerly-reasonable Trump-supporting family members to try and watch that video all the way through. I doubt they could.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:59 PM on November 19 [15 favorites]


@realdonaldtrump:
Sen. Jeff Flake(y), who is unelectable in the Great State of Arizona (quit race, anemic polls) was caught (purposely) on “mike” saying bad things about your favorite President. He’ll be a NO on tax cuts because his political career anyway is “toast.”
1) "your favorite president"
2) "Flake(y)" !!
3) note that he ridiculously threaded this tweet with his earlier, entirely unrelated tweet.
posted by lalex at 3:35 PM on November 19 [23 favorites]


And don't forget "mike". He really is quite dumb.
posted by vac2003 at 3:38 PM on November 19 [6 favorites]


MetaFilter: "mike," "toast"

Also, I'm pretty sure Sen. Flake hasn't announced any opposition to the tax bill. So I don't really see the point in attacking him now, seeing as that only has the possibility to make things worse.
posted by zachlipton at 3:39 PM on November 19 [5 favorites]


Trump would much rather have Flake become another enemy of MAGA rather than have to actually sign and be responsible for an actual piece of legislation.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:40 PM on November 19 [5 favorites]


Flakey toast is for breakfast tomorrow.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 3:40 PM on November 19 [2 favorites]


maybe he doesn't quite get how threading works, or somehow got his tweets out of order? because now he's back to LaVar
then again, maybe it's a tweetstorm about INGRATITUDE
whoever was supposed to be on twitter duty is definitely gonna get Yelled At
posted by halation at 3:40 PM on November 19 [2 favorites]




And trump is now grumpy that the father of one of the UCLA basketball players arrested in China isn't kissing his ring.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:41 PM on November 19 [1 favorite]


@realDonaldTrump
Shoplifting is a very big deal in China, as it should be (5-10 years in jail), but not to father LaVar. Should have gotten his son out during my next trip to China instead. China told them why they were released. Very ungrateful!

---

Shoplifting should be 5-10 years but voters should decide on child molestation.
posted by chris24 at 3:42 PM on November 19 [78 favorites]


ungrateful

Also, ungrateful is the new uppity.
posted by chris24 at 3:43 PM on November 19 [87 favorites]


He really doesn't understand that he's not King of America.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:43 PM on November 19 [23 favorites]


The graduate students in my department are terrified of this tax bill. It's not exaggerating to say that it could destroy us financially and wreck the careers we've worked so hard for. We're at a loss for what to do; walkouts are planned, but it's not like "graduate students" are a huge constituency.

Indeed, yet there are more graduate teaching assistants (125,000) than there are coal miners (83,000) in the United States.
posted by standardasparagus at 3:45 PM on November 19 [128 favorites]


He really doesn't understand that he's not King of America.

@abfrancois
At this point this is beating a dead horse but the president demanding a private citizen publicly display gratitude for the president having discharged a government function is undemocratic. This is really not a liberal versus conservative issue. We are citizens, not subjects.

---

@Comey (yes, that Comey)
“A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.” Arnold H. Glasow(1905-1998)
posted by chris24 at 3:46 PM on November 19 [126 favorites]


Was Trump intentionally trying to block the investigation into Flynn’s Turkey ties?

I know... this year's customary turkey pardon won't involve a flightless bird but instead Erdogan's hired thugs or someone.
posted by acb at 3:49 PM on November 19 [10 favorites]


Indeed, yet there are more graduate teaching assistants (125,000) than there are coal miners (83,000) in the United States.

And, without them, R1 universities would grind to a screeching halt in about an hour. How is it that they don't have the lobbying muscle to get this cut out of the tax bill? The top 20 richest universities have half a trillion dollars in endowments combined. You'd think they could defend their interests in Congress.
posted by dis_integration at 3:51 PM on November 19 [31 favorites]


My interpretation of the let-em-rot tweet? Something very bad is about to break.

Yeah, about that... WaPo, Ashley Parker and Carol D. Leonnig, ‘A long winter’: White House aides divided over scope, risks of Russia probe:
But the reassurances from Cobb and others — which seem at least partially aimed at keeping the president calm and focused on governing — are viewed by others as naive.

“The president says, ‘This is all just an annoyance. I did nothing,’ ” said one person close to the administration. “He is somewhat arrogant about it. But this investigation is a classic Gambino-style roll-up. You have to anticipate this roll-up will reach everyone in this administration.”
...
Witnesses questioned by Mueller’s team warn that investigators are asking about other foreign contacts and meetings that have not yet become public, and to expect a series of new revelations. Investigators are especially focused on foreign officials’ contacts with Michael Flynn, a campaign adviser and later Trump’s national security adviser, witnesses said.
...
“When the staff gather in the morning at the White House now, they jokingly say: ‘Good morning. Are you wired?’ ” one person close to the administration said.
posted by zachlipton at 3:51 PM on November 19 [37 favorites]


My interpretation of the let-em-rot tweet? Something very bad is about to break.

He also tends to go after Clinton when he's stressed about Russia and he did this yesterday.

@realDonaldTrump
Crooked Hillary Clinton is the worst (and biggest) loser of all time. She just can’t stop, which is so good for the Republican Party. Hillary, get on with your life and give it another try in three years!
posted by chris24 at 3:54 PM on November 19 [3 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!

I spent a good minute trying to figure out if Trump was pro or anti-shoplifting here. It sounds like he's saying shoplifting is no big deal, hence the decision to bring them back, but the father was angry and didn't accept the casual treatment of shoplifting.?..

I guess that's why he had to completely re-word it in another tweet:

@realDonaldTrump
Shoplifting is a very big deal in China, as it should be (5-10 years in jail), but not to father LaVar. Should have gotten his son out during my next trip to China instead. China told them why they were released. Very ungrateful!


Such a horrible communicator. But then again I guess the main thing he's trying to communicate is just the dogwhistle anyways, so kudos on remembering to include both "basketball" and "LaVar."
posted by p3t3 at 3:56 PM on November 19 [5 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
Shoplifting is a very big deal in China


Wait, I thought he loved making very big deals in China.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:56 PM on November 19 [7 favorites]


Sorry, Mr. Trump, but the Big Deal of the Day was behind Door #3. Let's see what Monty Mueller has behind your choice, Door#2!
posted by delfin at 4:01 PM on November 19 [4 favorites]


And, without them, R1 universities would grind to a screeching halt in about an hour. How is it that they don't have the lobbying muscle to get this cut out of the tax bill?

There's usually laws about government entities like state universities directly lobbying the government. They hire lobbyists though, so there's some way around it I guess. But lobbying muscle here means money donated to GOP members, right? Between the liberal faculty and union representation, there's not a lot of money sitting around earmarked for republicans. And I figure this tax policy largely falls under a 'defund the left' strategy.

The top 20 richest universities have half a trillion dollars in endowments combined. You'd think they could defend their interests in Congress.

IIRC, many of the top universities by endowment can afford to stop charging undergraduate tuition, and grad students are generally paid (hence the topic of taxation). Plus, the Ivy's often have exemptions on overhead expense limits that give them a leg up should costs suddenly rise. I figure those specific universities would fare better than average if tax policy changed. It's the flagship state unis that are likely most boned here.
posted by pwnguin at 4:05 PM on November 19 [6 favorites]



My interpretation of the let-em-rot tweet? Something very bad is about to break.

He also tends to go after Clinton when he's stressed about Russia and he did this yesterday.


I sincerely hope this is the case, but it's possible he's just cranky about whatever and he's needing a heavier and heavier hit on his Twitter shittiness to get any sort of rush out of it.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:08 PM on November 19 [5 favorites]


New from Politico:

The Hidden History of Trump’s First Trip to Moscow: In 1987, a young real estate developer traveled to the Soviet Union. The KGB almost certainly made the trip happen
Trump's first visit to Soviet Moscow in 1987 looks, with hindsight, to be part of a pattern. The dossier by the former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele asserts that the Kremlin had been cultivating Trump for “at least five years” before his stunning victory in the 2016 US presidential election. This would take us back to around 2011 or 2012.

In fact, the Soviet Union was interested in him too, three decades earlier. The top level of the Soviet diplomatic service arranged his 1987 Moscow visit. With assistance from the KGB. It took place while Kryuchkov was seeking to improve the KGB's operational techniques in one particular and sensitive area. The spy chief wanted KGB staff abroad to recruit more Americans.
posted by chris24 at 4:09 PM on November 19 [47 favorites]


Flake's response yesterday to the hot "mike" story.

@JeffFlake
No news here. I've been saying this to anyone who will listen
posted by chris24 at 4:13 PM on November 19 [61 favorites]


The top level of the Soviet diplomatic service arranged his 1987 Moscow visit. With assistance from the KGB.

If and/or when he begins tweeting entirely in broken, misspelled Russian Cyrillic, I expect the reactions to be exactly the same.

LEFT: WTF
RIGHT: LOL SUK IT US
MEDIA: AIN'T THAT PECULIAR
posted by petebest at 4:16 PM on November 19 [16 favorites]


Let's see what Monty Mueller has behind your choice, Door#2!

why it's you, donnie
posted by pyramid termite at 4:17 PM on November 19 [1 favorite]


@realDonaldTrump: Big-game trophy decision will be announced next week but will be very hard pressed to change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of Elephants or any other animal.

There's a good argument to be made here that all this nonsense has more to do with concerns that they goofed and lifted the ban without following the regulatory process required under the Administrative Procedure Act rather than any actual change of heart.
posted by zachlipton at 4:21 PM on November 19 [10 favorites]


AL.com's legal counsel smacking down Roy Moore's lawsuit threats.

And the epically harsh,
"We are confident that litigation would not only demonstrate that AL.com exercised the utmost diligence and employed high journalistic standards in reporting these stories, but would also reveal other important information about your clients"
"Fuck off or we will bury you in the press by what we find in discovery"
posted by Talez at 4:22 PM on November 19 [97 favorites]


What was the bad thing Jeff Flake said about Lincoln?
posted by Going To Maine at 4:23 PM on November 19 [8 favorites]


Sarah Kendzior's been pointing out Trump's long history with Russia back to the 80s since last year
posted by fluttering hellfire at 4:23 PM on November 19 [8 favorites]


the truth will not be hidden from the gop's supporters - they will be outraged and their wrath will be truly scary to behold

and their rallying cry will ring throughout the land

JAIL HER
JAIL HER
posted by flabdablet at 4:25 PM on November 19 [10 favorites]


Podcast review. I gave the new podcast from Crooked Media (Pod save America guys) a try: Majority 54. I strongly recommend this first episode. The host, Jason Kander has a great speaking voice and has a strong background in politics. He interviewed Bruce Franks, the first rapper to be elected to the MO state house. Franks lives in Ferguson and was there for the protests. Franks is charismatic as hell and has a lot of passion for improving his community.

The podcast ends with ideas on how to counter the typical Right wing responses to BLM. The title of the show stands for the % of the vote that was anti-Trump and how we, the 54%, can respond to Trump voters. I really liked this part of the show.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:26 PM on November 19 [27 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Big-game trophy decision will be announced next week but will be very hard pressed to change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of Elephants or any other animal.

What's the horror show? The shooting of elephants or the rules prohibiting the importation of big-game trophies? Also wtf. Trump is such a messy bitch. Retweeting people praising him but then hinting that he's going to reverse course again. A MESSY BITCH THAT LOVES DRAMA IS PRESIDENT.
posted by dis_integration at 4:28 PM on November 19 [8 favorites]


There's a good argument to be made here that all this nonsense has more to do with concerns that they goofed and lifted the [elephant trophy] ban without following the regulatory process required under the Administrative Procedure Act rather than any actual change of heart.

My bet is he's just really pissed off at his sons right now.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:29 PM on November 19 [4 favorites]


In 1987, a young real estate developer traveled to the Soviet Union.

41 is young? Woohoo!

And an assessment of personality. For example: “Are pride, arrogance, egoism, ambition or vanity among subject’s natural characteristics?”

So the KGB basically based their archetypal target on Trump then?
posted by elsietheeel at 4:30 PM on November 19 [15 favorites]


Bruce Franks Jr is great. He is on the ground all the time for his constituents.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 4:30 PM on November 19 [3 favorites]


More evidence to compete everywhere.

@WinWithJMC (pollster)
ALTERNATE LOUISIANA ELECTION HISTORY: Orleans Parish cast an unprecedented 22% of the statewide vote last night. In 2014 Senate runoff, only 8% of the vote was from Orleans. Had it been 22%, Mary Landrieu would have been re-elected by 8500 votes.


@PoliticsWolf
Retweeted John Couvillon
Dems got 44% in Louisiana treasurer’s race despite totally unheralded nominee. This is why Dems should strongly contest every race they can
posted by chris24 at 4:31 PM on November 19 [43 favorites]


Bruce Franks Jr is great. He is on the ground all the time for his constituents.

Yeah I can't stress enough how great the podcast interview is. Franks needs to go national is what I'm saying. He is very empathetic and non-combative so it sounds like he is building bridges and getting some of the conservative members to come around to his ideas.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:41 PM on November 19 [2 favorites]


This is why Dems should strongly contest every race they can

One of many reasons, yes, which also include you can't govern if you don't fucking run anyone! Am I a political genius for cracking this ancient Sphinxian riddle?!

I still think there's a good malpractice case to be made against the former Dem leadership.*

*(Narrator: There isn't)
posted by petebest at 4:42 PM on November 19 [5 favorites]


In fact, the Soviet Union was interested in him too, three decades earlier. The top level of the Soviet diplomatic service arranged his 1987 Moscow visit. With assistance from the KGB. It took place while Kryuchkov was seeking to improve the KGB's operational techniques in one particular and sensitive area. The spy chief wanted KGB staff abroad to recruit more Americans.

The pee-tape is an actual tape
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:43 PM on November 19 [19 favorites]


My translation of the higher education part of the tax plan:

HEY COLLEGE TOWNS FUCK OFF AND DIE
posted by Caxton1476 at 4:48 PM on November 19 [15 favorites]


>HEY COLLEGE TOWNS FUCK OFF AND DIE
posted by Caxton1476


The irony is, many of these towns are super conservative aside from the liberal bastion that is the campus. These towns also depend on the college for revenue, as many of the economies of these small, rural towns has dried up since manufacturing has moved to other parts of the world.

There is no way this tax plan won't immediately be felt in the MAGAsphere. How did the Freedom Caucus think this toxic hairball they hocked up is going to go anywhere?
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 4:51 PM on November 19 [7 favorites]


The hotel was linked to the glass-and-concrete Intourist complex next door and was— in effect—under KGB control. The Lenin suite would have been bugged.

You know that Trump, even the arguably sharper Trump of 30 years ago, wouldn't have even considered that his room would be under surveillance.
posted by elsietheeel at 4:53 PM on November 19 [5 favorites]


Oh, for those of us who thought Alabama was a lock for Doug Jones, your typical Alabama Republican.
posted by Talez at 4:54 PM on November 19 [33 favorites]


There is no way this tax plan won't immediately be felt in the MAGAsphere. How did the Freedom Caucus think this toxic hairball they hocked up is going to go anywhere?

Uhhhh.... If the MAGAsphere could correctly attribute effects to their proper causes we wouldn't be in this mess.
posted by Talez at 4:55 PM on November 19 [46 favorites]


HEY COLLEGE TOWNS FUCK OFF AND DIE

My memories of living in a college town are of local residents constantly complaining about grad students being ingrates who didn't appreciate the generous incomes they earned from the university (in the form of tuition waivers), looking to exempt students from local labor laws, and supporting any measure that discouraged students from voting where they lived. So...
posted by Ralston McTodd at 4:55 PM on November 19 [10 favorites]


These towns also depend on the college for revenue, as many of the economies of these small, rural towns has dried up since manufacturing has moved to other parts of the world.

Perhaps they can repurpose the college land for private prisons? Those generate revenue as well, and don't produce liberalism.
posted by acb at 4:57 PM on November 19 [5 favorites]


It's anything but a lock for Jones and I sincerely hope no one is making the mistake of underestimating Republican party loyalty in a deep red state. Jones is going to have to run a stealth campaign while Moore goes loud. If Jones wins it'll be by a hair.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:58 PM on November 19 [6 favorites]


Perhaps they can repurpose the college land for private prisons? Those generate revenue as well, and don't produce liberalism.

0.7% of the population are already in jail. If you want any more and you're going to need to bring Draco back from the dead to write the laws.
posted by Talez at 4:59 PM on November 19 [2 favorites]


How did the Freedom Caucus think this toxic hairball they hocked Koched up is going to go anywhere?

Delicious Koch money is all that matters, as stated plainly and openly by Lindsey Graham. The bill itself is just a few CNAP papers copy/pasted in by a couple of high interns. I mean, they're as surprised and concerned as anybody about this, but. Whaty'gonna do?
posted by petebest at 5:01 PM on November 19 [3 favorites]


I'm sure Trump could whip up an executive order that declares a few more things illegal.

MANDATORY JAIL TIME FOR WALKING AND CHEWING GUM AT THE SAME TIME
posted by flabdablet at 5:01 PM on November 19 [1 favorite]


0.7% of the population are already in jail. If you want any more and you're going to need to bring Draco back from the dead to write the laws.

Narrator (from CinemaSins): Why would you even say that? *ding*
posted by loquacious at 5:02 PM on November 19 [2 favorites]


your typical Alabama Republican.

Pretty much. The pro-forced birth worldview frames the dilemma as Roy Moore's pedophilia only hurt some limited number of young girls, while abortion is a "holocaust" and thousands more "babies" will die if they don't make it illegal. I'm sure that person will very prayerfully vote for the child molester without any real hesitation, because every single embryo deserves the chance to, idk, grow up and get sexually abused by a public figure I guess.
posted by Ornate Rocksnail at 5:10 PM on November 19 [79 favorites]


Plus the nonzero percentage of pro-forced-birthers who are also of the right religious leanings to see nothing wrong with using the food court for other kinds of courtin'.
posted by delfin at 5:15 PM on November 19 [1 favorite]


Plus pro-lifers are only concerned with life until birth.
posted by rhizome at 5:25 PM on November 19 [11 favorites]


Honestly, a lot of "pro-lifers" don't even seem to be concerned with life until birth. They don't want to provide women with the necessary care to prevent miscarriages and infant mortality, for instance. They're concerned with limiting women's autonomy. They would have a very different policy agenda if they were concerned about the life of fetuses, let alone the life of anyone already born.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:34 PM on November 19 [114 favorites]


I've been thinking on Franken since my last comment in the last thread and have come to the opinion that I do not want him to resign, although I reserve the right to change my opinion if additional charges surface. I want him to go through the ethics probe and see what comes of it. I think the probe and any subsequent events should then determine if he should resign or choose to run again when his term is up.

As others have said, we can't rely on the arbitrary nature of self-determined punishment. Honorable people will be more likely to resign; dishonorable people will deny, fight and attack. There has to be a process for there to be any fairness.

The ethics probe could indeed be a shit show, or perhaps it won't be. Given the almost certainty that there are other congressional men walking on eggshells in this unique #MeToo moment, congressional women today have perhaps greater leverage than ever to be a force in determining how an ethics probe goes and what the tone is. It might be a watershed that would set a pattern for the future because this surely will not be the last harassment charge we see.

From my perspective - and I know others feel differently - this whole Franken incident is disappointing but unsurprising to me. I've been expecting some SNL-related shoes to drop and was pleasantly surprised that none had. Those bad old drug-fueled days were wild and in no way measure up to today's enlightened standards. But since he entered political life, I've thought Franken has had a good record as a serious and dedicated senator. I've perceived him to be a good ally to women and, although I can't know for sure, have felt he's basically a good person with admirable values . So that photo was a shock and a deep disappointment.

He fucked up, no doubt. But to me, it is not of the scale or gravity for immediate disqualification for public service. He apologized and the apology was accepted. I am troubled that media portrays him alongside a child predator like Moore and a serial abuser like Trump or Weinstein, as if the offenses are of equal gravity.

I realize others think differently, I feel I'm a bit at odds with most opinions here. My opinion is informed by my own life experience, which being on the older side of things, includes an unfortunate number of my own #MeToo events as well as numerous instances of work discrimination. But today, some of my best male allies and friends are men whose behavior ranged from offensive to oblivious 10 or 20 years ago. I believe that well meaning people have the capacity to learn, to self-correct and to change. I think Franken has that potential, but I remain watchfully alert.

One of the most powerful life lessons I've gleaned in a situation where a truly aggrieved people had a chance for change was what Nelson Mandela did when he came to power. He certainly would have been within his rights to exclude former tormentors from his government, but he chose a path of inclusivity. That's been a good lesson for me because, at heart, I have quite a propensity to bear grudges and look for vengeance. Based on his lesson, I favor a reconciliation approach to many past wrongs, exclusive of criminal offenses. I realize that some women and men who have suffered more deeply than I may not agree. (Plus, the analogy is a bit giddy on my part, women have yet to assume any real position of power. )

Overall, I'm heartened by this unique moment we find ourselves in, a real opportunity to see meaningful change for women. Despite the heavy litany of terrible wrongs, despite the disappointment I feel in learning horrible things about people I had liked, it's a healthy airing and a silver lining in these dark times. I hope we can make the most of it.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:42 PM on November 19 [117 favorites]


They're concerned with limiting women's autonomy.
...which is the natural intersection between "anti-abortion" and "molestation-tolerant".
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:51 PM on November 19 [22 favorites]


When LaVar Ball is more restrained than you...

@MikeDelMoro (ABC)
I read the President's tweets to LaVar Ball just now over the phone & he questioned why the President wasn't focused on more important things.
- Ball said he wasn't inclined to get into a back-and-forth with the President's tweets, but said: “Did he go visit them in jail? Did you go visit them in jail? If you went to visit them in jail then I would say, ‘thank you’"
posted by chris24 at 5:52 PM on November 19 [23 favorites]


4th place is actually Canadian silver. (Bronze is Canadian gold.)
posted by sixswitch at 6:00 PM on November 19 [5 favorites]


It is extremely cool that the president of the USA is picking fights with LaVar Ball
posted by edeezy at 6:07 PM on November 19 [3 favorites]


Can we go back to talking about Chester Arthur?
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:12 PM on November 19 [9 favorites]


0.7% of the population are already in jail. If you want any more and you're going to need to bring Draco back from the dead to write the laws.

Has anyone seen Sessions's long form birth certificate?
posted by ocschwar at 6:23 PM on November 19 [1 favorite]


I feel you, Ellen in Alabama. Too tough to decide. Best to just sit this one out.
posted by Rykey at 6:25 PM on November 19 [6 favorites]


A politician resigning is like a plea bargain. People who are really guilty get off easier, people who are innocent suffer, and people who are pushed into it never have a chance to defend themselves. We need less resigning and more recall votes.

I mean, does anyone really think that we are better off today having had Nixon resign vs removed? I'm sure it was easier at the time, but damn, if we don't want a democracy there are a million people lining up to be king.
posted by BeeDo at 6:32 PM on November 19 [3 favorites]


I'm almost crying with laughter over Ellen in Alabama. When Democrats are in power, there are fewer abortions. If your goal is to reduce abortions, you need to elect Democrats. That's pretty much it.
posted by xyzzy at 6:33 PM on November 19 [50 favorites]


To be clear: Roy Moore should be in prison if half the accusations are true.
posted by BeeDo at 6:33 PM on November 19 [6 favorites]


Oh, what do we have here...

ABC: Special Counsel sends wide-ranging request for documents to Justice Department
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating whether President Donald Trump sought to obstruct a federal inquiry into connections between his presidential campaign and Russian operatives has now directed the Justice Department to turn over a broad array of documents, ABC News has learned.

In particular, Mueller's investigators are keen to obtain emails related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the earlier decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter, according to a source who has not seen the specific request but was told about it.

Issued within the past month, the directive marks the special counsel's first records request to the Justice Department, and it means Mueller is now demanding documents from the department overseeing his investigation.
posted by chris24 at 6:37 PM on November 19 [86 favorites]


Oh yes!

MOAR MULR PLS!
posted by darkstar at 6:47 PM on November 19 [9 favorites]


Mueller's gotta have his taxes by now. Can't wait for that to come out.
posted by downtohisturtles at 6:52 PM on November 19 [7 favorites]


From our favorite former federal prosecutor:

@renato_mariotti
1/ Mueller has asked the Justice Department for documents relating to the firing of Comey and the recusal of Sessions.
2/ As @abcnews correctly concludes, this is further evidence that Mueller is investigating whether Trump obstructed justice when he fired James Comey.
3/ The request for documents relating to Sessions’ recusal is interesting. Earlier reports indicated that Trump exploded when he found out about his recusal. That could be evidence of his state of mind because it is a highly unusual reaction to a recusal decision.
4/ Mueller is looking for communications between the White House and the DOJ about the recusal, which could reveal further evidence of Trump’s intent. Proving that Trump had “corrupt” intent when he fired Comey is the big hurdle that Mueller must clear.
5/ This adds to the already overwhelming evidence that Trump IS under investigation, despite White House claims to the contrary. Journalists should not print their assertion that Trump isn’t under investigation without providing this context, which highly suggests otherwise.
6/ Subjects of federal criminal investigations are typically not notified that they’re under investigation. /end
posted by chris24 at 7:10 PM on November 19 [68 favorites]


We're at a loss for what to do; walkouts are planned, but it's not like "graduate students" are a huge constituency.

Via a friend at University of Maryland: Tuition Waiver Tax Action Coordination - Google doc compiling information about actions planned for the coming weeks at NYU, Harvard, Georgetown, University of Oregon and other schools.
posted by ryanshepard at 7:12 PM on November 19 [10 favorites]


sixswitch: "4th place is actually Canadian silver. (Bronze is Canadian gold.)"

Hey, we beat the US (who weren't just supplanted by Germany but fell to sixth) and we all know that the only thing that matters.

I've got to admit a couple years ago we Canadians we starting to feel a bit of anxiousness because so much of our self worth is tied up with being better than America. Not only did we have Harper in power here but you guys had Obama. And you were moving forward on immigration reform, were within shouting distance of implementing if not single payer and least universal healthcare and you were making in roads on legalizing gay marriage and pot. Plus you were about to elect the most qualified candidate for president probably ever and they weren't an old white guy.

But now I just got to say thanks for taking the pressure off. And plan your summer vacation for post Canada Day 2018; it's going to be really mellow around here for a while.
posted by Mitheral at 7:14 PM on November 19 [18 favorites]


Okay, at this point we know (as does Mueller) that:

1. Trump fired Comey because he was concerned about the Russia probe. We know it because, in addition to all of the circumstantial evidence for it, Trump himself actually said so on national television.

and

2. Mueller is actively pursuing documentation around this very act.


At this point, regardless of where the Russia probe itself ends up, how does the above not end up with an Obstruction charge?
posted by darkstar at 7:16 PM on November 19 [8 favorites]


The Nadsat dictionary has “horrorshow” derived from хорошо, so he’s saying killing elephants is awesome, but not great for conservation.
posted by um at 7:17 PM on November 19 [20 favorites]


So these requests come out after he's returned from Asia with Hope Hicks, who was a. on the plane when they had the mystery meeting before Comey's firing and b. interviewed by Mueller this week. Sounds like someone is spilling some tea.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:17 PM on November 19 [5 favorites]


Mueller's gotta have his taxes by now.

My impression is that the IRS locks this stuff down, so I imagine he'll wait to have iron-clad justification. I mean, given the context, it's probably the last thing he'll need, and besides why get caught up in all the little warrens and threads that are undoubtedly running through Trump's tax strategies and stay focussed on the stuff you've been commissioned for and will likely lead to the same places. Muller doesn't need to be sidetracked by "Trump deducted three cases of Red Vines in 2011? WTF is that about?"
posted by rhizome at 7:18 PM on November 19


IIRC it was reported weeks ago that Mueller and his team have been working with the top tax investigators it the treasury for a while.
posted by VTX at 7:21 PM on November 19 [4 favorites]


At this point, regardless of where the Russia probe itself ends up, how does the above not end up with an Obstruction charge?

I personally think we'll get the whole enchilada; obstruction, money laundering and evidence of collusion. Obstruction, as you said is seemingly obvious. Money laundering seems very probable. And with collusion, there's just too much smoke, too many small fires, and too many lies about the smoke and fire for there not to be a blaze somewhere. Plus you've never gone wrong assuming the worst about Trump & Co.

The issue is whether a Republican congress does anything about it.
posted by chris24 at 7:22 PM on November 19 [35 favorites]


IIRC it was reported weeks ago that Mueller and his team have been working with the top tax investigators it the treasury for a while.

My assumption is that these are people who know what leads to tax crimes, not so much that they'd be used to backtrack from his returns and double-checking Trump's numbers like glorified auditors. They know a lot about symptoms of the disease, so to speak.
posted by rhizome at 7:26 PM on November 19 [3 favorites]


Fortune 9/26/17: IRS Gives Trump Staff Financials to Mueller's Russia Investigation
The IRS has given Special Counsel Robert Mueller financial information for members of the Trump presidential campaign and administration. The documents may include tax returns and supporting information such as real estate or banking records, reports CNN.

The disclosure of the IRS’s cooperation with the special counsel investigation comes after it was recently revealed that Mueller’s investigators have locked in on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who has extensive financial ties to Russia, and even allegedly offered to privately brief a friend of Putin’s in July 2016.

It’s not clear exactly whose records the special counsel was given, reports CNN, which notes that IRS Criminal Investigation agents have been working alongside the FBI on a Manafort probe since before the election. They are also sharing information on former Trump administration national security advisor Michael Flynn with Mueller’s team. Flynn’s finances have raised suspicions after it was revealed he received money from Russian interests before the campaign.

CNN also notes that the special counsel investigators may have requested President Trump’s tax returns, but if they did the request would have likely needed to be signed off on by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Normally that approval would be the responsibility of the attorney general, but Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the investigation over the role he played in the 2016 presidential election.
posted by chris24 at 7:30 PM on November 19 [33 favorites]


As I said in the last thread, I expect to see a bunch of ridiculous sexual harassment charges from the Right. Purposely ridiculous.

You forgot to include: "I'M JUST SAYIN'."

Of course the allegations are going to be "ridiculous sexual harassment charges". Because that's what harassers have said about sexual harassment for decades. The difference is that for one brief moment, people believed women. At least until it was discovered to be inconvenient to the wrong people. Then it's back to the same old "you can't believe these women".

Note that none of the major sexual harassment and assault cases like. Weinstein or Hills involved official investigations. The ones that did, such as Cosby and Ghomeshi, resulted in not guilty verdicts. Asking for a Senate investigation might as well be saying "I want my guy declared innocent."

But by all means let's go for those senate investigation committees, because the number one thing we need when an old white guy is accused of sexual harassment is a group of old white vuys to look at the evidence, then nod sagely and say "Harrumph. There's nothing to this story. Harrumph Harrumph."

Because the tendency to treat women as less than human is bipartisan.
posted by happyroach at 8:40 PM on November 19 [14 favorites]


Oh we just got played like a damn fiddle. First the Clinton stuff gets dredged up to prime the pump, then Roger Stone tweets about the Franken stuff 12 hours before it dropped to gin up the wingers so they could distract from Roy Moore and cut off any momentum we had against the tax bill by getting us to squabble.

I don't know what the answer is. I can think of ruthless shit that might work, but doing that makes us no better than the shitheads who throw people under the bus because they mean it. These discussions need to happen, but care must be taken to avoid falling into traps that lead us to work into their hands even as it seems like we're doing the right thing.

We must find a way to have the reckoning we need without enabling the deniers.
posted by wierdo at 8:42 PM on November 19 [18 favorites]


After Roy Moore threatens to sue AL.com, the publisher puts him on notice to preserve all documents for their countersuit

"After his lawyers threatened to sue AL.com for their rigorous reporting of the multiply sourced allegations of his sexual assaults on very young girls, AL.com's lawyers informed Moore's counsel to expect a Rule 11 motion to censure them for their frivolous threats, and put Moore and his lawyers on notice that they "must now preserve all materials, documents, writings, recordings, statements, notes, letters, journals, diaries, calendars, emails, photographs, videos, computers, cell phones, electronic data and all other information that is or could remotely be relevant in any manner to any of the claims that [Moore's lawyers] have made."
posted by madamjujujive at 8:44 PM on November 19 [78 favorites]


Normally that approval would be the responsibility of the attorney general, but Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the investigation over the role he played in the 2016 presidential election.

Sometimes I get little reminders that I'm only adjacent to the darkest timeline, you know?
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 8:47 PM on November 19 [4 favorites]


Re: how Republicans see abortion - I remember hearing about pro-life people in my country whose approach was that the best way to stop abortions was to give the women looking for abortions a better option. That's not a view I necessarily agree with, but it's one I can respect.

American pro-life people aren't like that. Firstly, I recall somewhere from a quarter to a half of all fertilised eggs never bond with the uterine wall and get flushed out in the menstrual fluid. This is a tremendous 'loss of life', and it wouldn't be hard to get liberals on board with improving the reliability of fertilisation. But that never seems to be an issue.

So, okay, what do they do to give pregnant women better options so abortion is less necessary? Not a lot! Support for working pregnant women or a robust adoption network aren't legislative goals either. So what is the actual goal of the pro-life movement if it's not to reduce abortions?

The only conclusion I can come to is that demonising abortion is the goal, and the reasoning is back-fitted to support it. Abortions are, of course, particularly helpful for poor women, who are acceptable targets. This fits with the timing: abortion only became an issue for evangelicals and fundamentalists in the 70s, and it took several years for the switch to take effect. The late 60s and early 70s, of course, were a devastating blow to evangelical morality as the country firmly rejected their position on civil rights, and then their guy in the White House, Richard Nixon, ended up being a criminal. I strongly suspect that the pro-life position in America is primarily there so evangelicals feel self-righteous again.
posted by Merus at 8:54 PM on November 19 [26 favorites]


Small bright spot: Democrat Allison Ikley-Freeman defeated Republican Brian O’Hara for a seat on Oklahoma's state senate. She won by 31 votes. She's only the third openly gay person to be elected to the Oklahoma legislature, and she brings the D side of the senate to 8 (with 39 Republicans).

No unflippable seats. Every vote matters.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 9:01 PM on November 19 [92 favorites]


I strongly suspect that the pro-life position in America is primarily there so evangelicals feel self-righteous again.

the purpose of the antichoice agenda in the US is to actively harm women. that's it, that's the whole thing.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:13 PM on November 19 [48 favorites]


[2015 claims of sexual harassment against computer programmers are at best tangential to this thread.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:23 PM on November 19 [4 favorites]


The only conclusion I can come to is that demonising abortion is the goal

So close and yet so far. If white Christian Republican men could abort children they didn’t want to raise, abortions would not only be legal, they would be celebrated like sports victories.

The point isn’t to demonize abortion. The point is to demonize women who have sex, with or without consent, whether or not birthing the ensuing embryo is good for her or not. You do know that a good part of the US is so ass-backwards that if a woman’s life is in danger during childbirth, doctors ask a man whether to save her life or that of the fetus? An unborn boy is worth more than a grown woman in this culture.
posted by SakuraK at 9:25 PM on November 19 [46 favorites]


Contraception is the absolute best way to prevent abortions. Antichoice groups oppose contraception because it "rewards bad behavior." They also consistently vote against programs that help pregnant women, babies and children access health care, food and shelter. Therefore they are really about punishing women having sex, not about preventing abortions or "saving babies." They don't give a fuck about babies. Babies are useful clubs for beating women with, full stop.

Anyhoo, we had a Reproductive Justice Sunday at my church today and took up a collection for the Texas Equal Access fund for women seeking abortions, and last night I went to a PP fundraiser, so I can tell you that a lot of women are paying attention. Our shitty shitty Lege is going to keep trying to turn us into handmaidens but we're not going to stop fighting.
posted by emjaybee at 9:29 PM on November 19 [37 favorites]




Talez: "Oh, for those of us who thought Alabama was a lock for Doug Jones, your typical Alabama Republican."

You certainly are reading a very different Metafilter than I do. On the one I read, opinions range all the way from "Moore is guaranteed to win it" to "Jones has a 1 chance in a billion of winning."
posted by Chrysostom at 9:49 PM on November 19 [1 favorite]


Our opinions run the gamut from A to B.
posted by Justinian at 9:52 PM on November 19 [6 favorites]


Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick: "Can we go back to talking about Chester Arthur?"

Franklin Pierce is interesting, too!
posted by Chrysostom at 9:53 PM on November 19 [5 favorites]


Axios:
Members of Congress with histories of mistreating women should be extremely nervous. Major outlets, including CNN, are dedicating substantial newsroom resources to investigating sexual harassment allegations against numerous lawmakers. A Republican source told me he’s gotten calls from well-known D.C. reporters who are gathering stories about sleazy members.
I find it interesting that, unless i missed something, no GOP Senator has called for Franken to resign. Surely it can't be because many of them have something of their own to hide.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:59 PM on November 19 [21 favorites]


Steve Mnuchin is an idiot: “I didn't realize that the pictures were public and going on the Internet and viral,” Mnuchin said on Fox News’ Sunday. (here's the interview transcript)

Why did he think a photographer from the Associated Press, along with several TV cameras, were present at his photo op if he didn't think the pictures would be public? Can it really be November of 2017 and he has no basic conception of how the media functions?
posted by zachlipton at 10:06 PM on November 19 [60 favorites]


Do They Really Believe Abortion Is Murder?
...the leaders of the abortion criminalization movement have consistently put their political weight behind policies which make little or no sense if they genuinely think that abortion is identical to child murder. And those same leaders routinely endorse policies that make a lot of sense if their goal is to punish women who have sex.

To be fair, this is never phrased as “punishing” women by pro-lifers; what I’ve heard again and again from pro-lifers is that women should be made to “take responsibility for their actions” (by “actions,” they mean having sex), or that abortion is wrong because it lets women “avoid the consequences.”

So what motivates pro-lifers: the belief that women should be forced to face consequences for having sex, or the belief that abortion is exactly like child murder? Let's review.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:09 PM on November 19 [32 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** PA-18 special -- The Democrats picked their candidate to fill the Tim Murphy seat today (the GOP had picked a conservative state rep last week). They went Conor Lamb, a Marine vet and former federal prosecutor, who also has the pluses of being from a local political family and Catholic (both big in the Pgh area). Lamb is generally seen as the strongest candidate.

** 2018 House:
-- DecisionDesk has moved Democrats into the lead for House control for the first time, giving them a 51% chance of retaking.

-- Dems see anger over the GOP tax bill as key in winning suburbs.
** Odds & ends:
-- New Orleans elected their first female mayor over the weekend. LaToya Cantrell is seen as the more progressive candidate, and has pledged to push criminal justice reform as mayor.

-- The FEC is moving towards requiring disclaimers on political ads on social media.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:18 PM on November 19 [42 favorites]


Can it really be November of 2017 and he has no basic conception of how the media functions?
No, it's because it's November of 2017 and as a Republican he knows that trolling both winds up the opposition and appeals to his base.
posted by Pinback at 10:45 PM on November 19 [4 favorites]




She's ba-ack...Woman with 'F__k Trump' sticker adds new one: 'F__k Troy Nehls'.

She's only out on bail but still.
posted by scalefree at 11:50 PM on November 19 [55 favorites]


Remember, kids: the First Amendment is there to protect Nazis, not to protect you.
posted by flabdablet at 3:38 AM on November 20 [17 favorites]


Meanwhile, here's an update on a lesser figure from the Trump campaign:

Newsweek—Trump Campaign Coordinator and 'Family Values' Republican Pleads Guilty To Child Sex Trafficking, Faces Life In Prison: "Ralph Shortey, former Oklahoma state senator and a county campaign coordinator for President Donald Trump’s campaign last year, will plead guilty to a child sex trafficking offense for soliciting sex from a 17-year-old boy in March."

Shortey's most notable legislative accomplishment was a bill to ban the manufacture or sale of food that contained aborted human fetuses. (previously)

The best people, all the way down.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:49 AM on November 20 [58 favorites]


Call me crazy – go ahead, you probably wouldn't be wrong – but today I feel like this.
posted by perspicio at 3:52 AM on November 20 [1 favorite]


(I know. Crazy. Just let me have my moment.)
posted by perspicio at 3:58 AM on November 20 [1 favorite]


Ralph Shortey... charges included:
"Engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church"
Is that just an Oklahoma thing? Like it's apparently illegal to have an ice-cream cone in your back pocket in Alabama? States of disgrace: strange American laws – in pictures (Grauniad)
posted by Mister Bijou at 4:36 AM on November 20 [3 favorites]


Considering the history of some churches that's probably a pretty reasonable law even if prostitution was otherwise legal.
posted by Mitheral at 4:45 AM on November 20 [3 favorites]


There's lots of states that have laws re: behavior near churches. To name just one, here in Mississippi, the penalties for sale of marijuana are much harsher if the sale takes place within 1,500 feet of a church.
posted by thebrokedown at 4:48 AM on November 20 [1 favorite]


Discouraging prostitution near buildings where children are coming in and out seems worthwhile to me.
posted by EarBucket at 4:59 AM on November 20 [1 favorite]


Plus you were about to elect the most qualified candidate for president probably ever and they weren't an old white guy.

But now I just got to say thanks for taking the pressure off. And plan your summer vacation for post Canada Day 2018; it's going to be really mellow around here for a while.


Ah get stuffed ye kind, well-kept, financially responsible bastards. An gie us a coffee crisp as well eh.
posted by petebest at 5:18 AM on November 20 [3 favorites]


[A few deleted. Let's please drop the extended derail about laws regarding specific illegal actions near churches. Thanks.]
posted by taz at 5:42 AM on November 20 [2 favorites]




I think most people here know that before he had to divest his business ties, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was involved in the entertainment industry. I think many people here also know that Brett Ratner is right up there with Harvey Weinstein as a known sexual predictor. I'm posting this because I'm not sure how many people know that until last June, Steve Mnuchin was Brett Ratner 's business partner:

Hollywood scandal reaches business partner of Trump’s Treasury Secretary (Kevin G. Hall And David Goldstein, McClatchy)
Mnuchin until June co-owned RatPac-Dune Entertainment, a film financing company that launched a partnership in 2013 with Warner Brothers to bankroll up to 75 films. Mnuchin himself was partnered with filmmaker Brett Ratner and Australian billionaire James Packer. [...]

The explosive allegations against Ratner don’t mention his friend and business partner Mnuchin, who was a key part of the $450 million Warner Brothers deal.

A Treasury spokeswoman, in a statement to McClatchy late Wednesday, said Mnuchin had no knowledge of his partner’s alleged improprieties.

“Mr. Ratner was an investor in RatPac-Dune Entertainment, and Secretary Mnuchin was the Managing Partner. Beyond having read allegations in the press, Secretary Mnuchin is unaware of any misconduct by Mr. Ratner,” said the statement.
In light of the new allegations about Brett Ratner and Russell Simmons, I think Mr. Mnuchin should be hounded with questions before being allowed to get a single word in about Trump's agenda.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:00 AM on November 20 [40 favorites]


New Franken allegations, this time from 2010. At this point I think it's clear that he should resign. Even beyond a tactical level (Dem governor picking the replacement, with a strong chance of retaining in 2018), I think the cost of protecting Franken -- the potential damage to the force propelling recriminations against those in power who have sexually harassed and assaulted men and women -- is much too high.
posted by miltthetank at 6:33 AM on November 20 [8 favorites]


If you tax the rich, they won't leave: US data contradicts millionaires' threats
Migration is a young person’s game, and moving overwhelmingly occurs when people are starting their careers. By the time people hit their early forties, PhDs, college grads and high school drop-outs all show the same low rate of migration. Typically, millionaires are society’s highly educated at an advanced career stage. They are typically the late-career working rich: established professionals in management, finance, consulting, medicine, law and similar fields. And they have low migration because they are both socially and economically embedded in place. ...

This shows a kind of unexpected genius behind taxes on the very highest incomes. A tax on million-dollar income serves as an intergenerational transfer, since those who pay it are the late-career working rich: socially and economically embedded in the place.

posted by T.D. Strange at 6:34 AM on November 20 [49 favorites]


Per the CNN article, the new Franken allegation is from Lindsay Menz. She told multiple people at the time that Franken grabbed her butt, AND posted about it on Facebook in a comment that is still up. This is a well documented allegation.

And he was already a senator then.
posted by medusa at 6:52 AM on November 20 [19 favorites]


> "If Jesus Christ gets down off the cross and told me Trump is with Russia, I would tell him, 'Hold on a second. I need to check with the President if it's true.'"

When I clicked the link, I had no fucking idea it was missing the [real] tag. Honestly.
posted by klarck at 6:54 AM on November 20 [10 favorites]


"I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected."

'I'm sorry that you got your feelings hurt' is not a valid apology.
posted by elsietheeel at 6:55 AM on November 20 [22 favorites]


To be clear: Roy Moore should be in prison if half the accusations are true.

Moore won't resign unless Franken does.

So at this point, we have acknowledged sexual predators, and for Moore that indeed rises to criminality, proudly representing the people. That is the status quo, and seems that it will stay so.

This is America in 2017: assaulting women is maybe something to talk about, but not much more than that.

The real reason for this, of course, is Trump. This is all a proxy debate about having elected a proud assaulter-in-chief. You can't talk about whether Moore or Franken should go without reaching back a whole year (yes, I know, so many Scaramuccis) and demanding that Trump should go. And since that didn't happen and won't happen - it's what, number 23 on the list of reasons Trump should go? but in turn that hasn't happened and won't happen because Republican Unity - we live in a world where women can be assaulted without paying any kind of penalty. A headline or two, but -- things stay as they are.

This is the status quo that I live in in 2017: women are confirmed as second class. Do what you want. Because Trump.

Fucking 2017.
posted by Dashy at 6:56 AM on November 20 [15 favorites]


Requesting a link to separate Franken thread, s'il vous plaît.
posted by petebest at 6:57 AM on November 20 [13 favorites]


Moore won't resign unless Franken does.
posted by petebest at 6:59 AM on November 20 [41 favorites]


Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday said he takes it as a compliment that some people suggested that he and his wife looked like villains from a "James Bond" movie when they posed with newly printed currency.

Called it.
posted by octothorpe at 7:01 AM on November 20 [25 favorites]


guillotine futures way up this morning
posted by entropicamericana at 7:03 AM on November 20 [31 favorites]


Requesting a link to separate Franken thread, s'il vous plaît.

[I'm gonna suggest instead that we try just not talking more about Franken until there's something new and substantial to talk about. There's been a bunch of conversation about him and that situation in this and the previous catch-all thread, and not much has happened since; a new thread to duplicate that conversation seems unnecessary and continuing to duplicate/rehash it in here seems likewise. This is a line of thinking that applies more broadly than to just the Franken thing and this may be something for further MetaTalk discussion soon, but in any case, yes: I think the solution to endless retreading of this fairly static Franken situation filling up the thread can just be to drop it for now and let the thread be quiet if things are relatively slow out there at the moment.]
posted by cortex at 7:11 AM on November 20 [12 favorites]


Serious but stupid question: Why isn't Roy Moore being charged with crimes?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:13 AM on November 20 [7 favorites]


Requesting a link to separate Franken thread, s'il vous plaît.

Yes. It should be its own topic now. I understand the importance to US politics but it is more than just politics and deserves the broader and deeper conversations. Though I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds the surrounding discussions difficult and stressful. I'd like to be able to choose though and not feel like I have to give up on following all the other political goings on which has been happening.

Doesn't mean that it shouldn't be mentioned here. The separate thread on Moore is an example of what I'm suggesting.
posted by Jalliah at 7:13 AM on November 20


If you tax the rich, they won't leave: US data contradicts millionaires' threats

This, in light of things like Sarah Huckabee-Sanders' weird threat via parable, kills me. How is "I'm taking my prosperity and leaving" not screamed as a talking point as super-unpatriotic at every turn?

"These millionaires claim to support the troops—but then threaten to defund them by not paying taxes on their wealth."

"These wealthy folks love America so much, they're threatening to leave it if they have to pay for the privilege of living here."

"Apparently being patriotic means loving the flag—but not wanting to pay your share to the country it stands for."

"Maybe those kneeling NFL players could get some respect if they threaten to stop paying their taxes. It works for these wealthy Republicans."

If I can think of these off the top of my head, lying in bed in my pajamas here, I am certain smarter, more influential people can think of better ones. TALKING POINTS! GO!!!
posted by Rykey at 7:14 AM on November 20 [78 favorites]


this fairly static Franken situation

Not static. New groping allegation, this morning. Can we or can we not discuss it here?
posted by zarq at 7:15 AM on November 20 [11 favorites]


I had the same question as zarq.
posted by medusa at 7:16 AM on November 20 [3 favorites]


This morning I had to stop off at an auto parts store where FOX was playing. They had a panel discussing Roy Moore's history of sexually assaulting children, they called it pedophilia, and not a single person on the panel had anything good to say about Moore.

But the Governor of Alabama is voting for him anyway.
posted by sotonohito at 7:18 AM on November 20 [9 favorites]


I'm asking not just because the situation isn't static, but because the alleged incident took place while he was a Senator. This changes the situation somewhat -- Franken was not an elected official in 2006 when the Tweeden photo was taken. But he was in 2010.
posted by zarq at 7:18 AM on November 20 [4 favorites]


[The allegation has been noted. If you have anything new to say beyond 1) I am disappointed in Franken 2) men are terrible 3) he should resign 4) he should not resign 5) right-wing media is terrible 6) we have to be better than Republicans 7) no we don't that's unilateral disarmament, you may say it, otherwise retreading the same seven points for another 400 comments is a no.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:21 AM on November 20 [64 favorites]


> Serious but stupid question: Why isn't Roy Moore being charged with crimes?

Statue of limitations mostly. The most serious allegations happened pre-1985, when the statute of limitations was only three years.
posted by papercrane at 7:22 AM on November 20 [6 favorites]


> "If Jesus Christ gets down off the cross and told me Trump is with Russia, I would tell him, 'Hold on a second. I need to check with the President if it's true.'"

I’m adding this to my list of things ostensible Christians have said since Trump started running for President that are waaaaaay more blasphemous than anything my atheist ass could come up with.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:24 AM on November 20 [72 favorites]


Serious but stupid question: Why isn't Roy Moore being charged with crimes?

.....I thought he was?

Way upthread someone spoke about how the middle class would be screwed over and that "their wrath would be scary to behold". I honestly would not be surprised if there were a similar reaction if Roy Moore gets elected.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:33 AM on November 20 [2 favorites]


Thank you, Eyebrows.

I do think this new allegation changes things. The Senate Ethics Committee has conducted two investigations in recent years that led to Senators resigning for sexual impropriety. Both were elected officials when the incidents took place.

John Ensign had an affair with a former campaign aide in 2007 while he was a Senator, then was accused of finding work for the husband of the woman he had slept with. He resigned after investigations were launched by the FBI, the DOJ and the FEC.

Bob Packwood was accused of serial sexual harassment 25 years ago and resigned in disgrace. 40 women came forward. He'd also kept a daily diary, where he boasted of his activities. Worth noting that William Safire defended him endlessly at the time in the NY Times, saying the accusations were politically motivated and calling them "pure McCarthyism."
posted by zarq at 7:35 AM on November 20 [20 favorites]


we live in a world where women can be assaulted without paying any kind of penalty.

We have been for a long time. Not to beat a dead horse, but truly, this is not news to most women. I think it has a lot to do with why some women go full victim-blamer/Republican (denial) or just don't vote (despair).

The fact that men have actually lost their jobs/faced any kind of public opprobation is new, but I'm sure I'm not the only woman who wonders when the media will lose interest, it will blow over and the status quo will reassert itself. It's a logical thing for us to wonder. We've been living this reality for a long time and you can only get your hopes dashed so many times.

The upside of this is that we've been fighting the odds for so long that even if nothing more happens, those of us committed to changing this shit will simply shrug and keep going. Because otherwise nothing will ever change.
posted by emjaybee at 7:35 AM on November 20 [30 favorites]


Not static. New groping allegation, this morning. Can we or can we not discuss it here?

One thing we should not do is hold a debate about a Franken thread here. If there needs to be a debate, the place for it is MeTa.
posted by scalefree at 7:40 AM on November 20 [8 favorites]


NYT's Glenn Thrush has been suspended over multiple sexual harassment allegations.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:51 AM on November 20 [28 favorites]


Thrush's response to the screenshots is infuriating, if predictable:
“I don’t lure anybody ever,” he wrote, according to screenshots provided by Padró Ocasio. “I got drunk because I got some shitty health news. And I am acutely aware of the hurdles that young women face in this business and have spent the better part of 20 years advocating for women journalists.”
"Harassment? But I'm an ally!" Do these guys have a script that they're all passing around for the worst possible way to respond to these things?
posted by tonycpsu at 7:55 AM on November 20 [26 favorites]


I am shocked that someone who constantly treated innocent to minor acts by a woman as being as bad or worse than the most monstrous by a man has issues with women.
posted by chris24 at 7:57 AM on November 20 [27 favorites]


This Vox article goes into detail with the allegations. He forced himself on women then bad-mouthed them to male colleagues at work. Nauseating. He needs to go.
posted by aiglet at 7:58 AM on November 20 [15 favorites]


An ally, with notably rare exceptions.
posted by rhizome at 8:03 AM on November 20 [4 favorites]


Senator Amy Klobuchar will now sponsor an upcoming bill that aims to help survivors of sexual assault. The bill was written and would have been championed by Senator Franken.

Abby Honold was a student at the University of Minnesota in 2014 when she was raped by fellow student Daniel Drill-Mellum, who had once interned for Franken. She spoke to Franken after the the Minneapolis Police Department refused to charge Drill-Mellum. Franken worked with his aides to draft legislation that would create grants for law enforcement personnel to train them to work with survivors of sexual assault.

When news of the recent allegations broke, Ms. Honold sought out a different Senator to help get the bill passed.
posted by zarq at 8:06 AM on November 20 [31 favorites]


The bill was written and would have been championed by Senator Franken.

They can still name it after him
posted by beerperson at 8:15 AM on November 20 [17 favorites]






One more comment from Stephen Wolf on Twitter, "Wrongly assigning voters to the incorrect district could be grounds for voiding this election & ordering a new one depending on particulars of Virginia state law"

and now I'll stop Twitter bombing
posted by slipthought at 8:30 AM on November 20


Related to the Alabama election, though not Moore himself (edited for readability):

@Taniel:
This resolution to an Alabama story is a huge relief — but not before Secretary of State [John Merrill] got the voter intimidating-fraud headlines he wanted. A quick recap.
  • Act I: this year, the AL legislature passed a ban on voters crossing over to vote in one primary, & then other party's runoff.
  • Act II: Merrill made a list of 700 ppl who he said engaged in "crossover voting" (1st election law applied). He wanted them prosecuted for felonies, up to 10 years in prison.
  • Act III: Probate county judges pushed back. Many insisted the list was just wrong.
  • Act IV (new): Probate judges did confirm 140 crossover voters—but in no case did they recommend prosecution, *provisionally* ending situation.
What we're left with: Headlines labeling voting acts felonies & threatening people with 10 years in jail, Merrill insisting he'll be vigilant in future. Voter intimidation playbook. Especially concerning as AL has a complex election calendar, & distinction between primary rounds & general election may not be crystal-clear. But left to press to include disclaimers like this mid-article. This is part of a pattern of suppressive tactics that Merrill has pursued, so something to keep close eye on—[and] not just until [AL Senate election] is resolved.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:35 AM on November 20 [16 favorites]


"This is a major screwup by election administrators in Virginia, & it may have swung the race once the recount is over. If Dems won this contest, it'd cost the GOP their 51-49 majority"

This is how they are actually stealing the elections - by tiny and semi-plausible 'accidents'. It's why voting is important - the margins have to be big enough to not be susceptible to this kind of tinkering.
posted by winna at 8:36 AM on November 20 [82 favorites]


And it kinda fits with gerrymandering and such, right? Make elections as complicated as possible so as to save room for manipulation.
posted by rhizome at 8:42 AM on November 20 [11 favorites]


Article on another of Trump's white dude judicial picks that just "happens" to be a bigot who loves him some voter suppression: After the INDY’s Report About Judicial Nominee Thomas Farr Misleading a Senate Committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein Wants Answers
Farr, sixty-three, was picked by Trump to become a federal district judge in the Eastern District of North Carolina this year. In Farr's response to questions from Feinstein, he said he had didn't learn in advance of the more than one hundred thousand postcards the late Senator Jesse Helms's U.S. Senate campaign sent to primarily to African-American voters in 1990, insinuating that they would be arrested if they voted. In his role as campaign counsel, Farr said, his first knowledge came in a complaint about the cards from the federal Department of Justice.

The Judiciary Committee voted along partisan lines in October to send Farr's nomination to the full Senate, but no time has been set for a vote.

The Helms campaign was working feverishly in October 1990 to defeat former Charlotte mayor Harvey Gantt, an African American. (This was the campaign that produced the notoriously racist “Hands” ad.) Farr has long said he had no role in sending the postcards. But a former Department of Justice prosecutor repeated to the INDY this week what he had told this reporter in 2009—that Farr knew about the postcards well in advance of the mailing, which implies that he misled the Senate committee about his involvement.

Farr has not responded to requests for comment from the INDY. But Raleigh political consultant Carter Wrenn, a Farr colleague from Helms campaigns in the eighties and nineties, has taken responsibility for the mailers and insisted that Farr wasn’t involved.

In more recent years, Farr has also defended North Carolina Republicans’ racial gerrymandering and voter ID efforts, which has aroused the ire of civil rights groups.
BTW this is yet another example of the "moderates" Flake and Sasse giving the thumbs-up to lifetime appointments for the most awful people Trump sends their way, regardless of their constant mewling about how horrible he is.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:44 AM on November 20 [42 favorites]


This is how they are actually stealing the elections - by tiny and semi-plausible 'accidents'. It's why voting is important - the margins have to be big enough to not be susceptible to this kind of tinkering.

This is in Fredericksburg. Fredericksburg's elections are formally nonpartisan but, per the FEC, all three members of the electoral board are Democratic donors.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:50 AM on November 20 [3 favorites]


Yes, but the districts were drawn by the overwhelmingly (at the time) GOP legislature.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:52 AM on November 20 [3 favorites]


This adds to the already overwhelming evidence that Trump IS under investigation, despite White House claims to the contrary. Journalists should not print their assertion that Trump isn’t under investigation without providing this context, which highly suggests otherwise.

I have no earthly idea why every time Trump says "no collusion" reporters don't fire back with "I noticed you're not denying obstruction of justice."
posted by Room 641-A at 8:54 AM on November 20 [12 favorites]


Trump voter panelist: "If Jesus Christ gets down off the cross and told me Trump is with Russia, I would tell him, 'Hold on a second. I need to check with the President if it's true.'"

But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. Matthew 10:33.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:54 AM on November 20 [44 favorites]


Greg Sargent at WaPo has a piece out: How Democrats hope to make Trump pay for his awful tax plan
Democrats are set to go up on the air with a seven-figure TV ad buy targeting House Republicans in multiple districts with a lot of working-class whites — as well as in districts with more college-educated whites, I’ve learned. The animating idea is that the GOP tax proposals — which will be featured in the ads — are likely to prove toxic among both those constituencies, and particularly among those working-class whites who switched from Barack Obama to Trump. [...]

The goal of the ads will be to hit two messages. The first is that the GOP changes to the tax code themselves would be enormously regressive, showering most of their benefits on the wealthy while giving crumbs to working- and middle-class Americans or even raising their taxes. The second is that these tax cuts would necessitate big cuts to the safety net later — the ad references $25 billion in Medicare cuts that could be triggered by the GOP plan’s deficit busting — further compounding the GOP agenda’s regressiveness down the line.
This sounds...smart? And competent? I'm shocked.
posted by lalex at 9:01 AM on November 20 [70 favorites]


lalex: This sounds...smart? And competent? I'm shocked.

If they only had time to tie in hits to higher education, maybe include a cameo from Fred Vautour, a janitor at Boston College whose work there put his five children through college at that institution, just ahead of the GOP tax plan would make that wholly unfeasible for him and others like him.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:14 AM on November 20 [15 favorites]


lol Buzzfeed: Sources: McMaster Mocked Trump’s Intelligence In a Private Dinner
Over a July dinner with Oracle CEO Safra Catz — who has been mentioned as a candidate for several potential administration jobs — McMaster bluntly trashed his boss, said the sources, four of whom told BuzzFeed News they heard about the exchange directly from Catz. The top national security official dismissed the president variously as an “idiot” and a “dope” with the intelligence of a “kindergartner,” the sources said.

A sixth source who was not familiar with the details of the dinner told BuzzFeed News that McMaster had made similarly derogatory comments about Trump’s intelligence to him in private, including that the president lacked the necessary brainpower to understand the matters before the National Security Council.
posted by lalex at 9:15 AM on November 20 [60 favorites]



I guess we're going to see some public McMaster "I love Trump he's the best' thing soon.
posted by Jalliah at 9:20 AM on November 20 [17 favorites]


McMeatloaf
posted by tonycpsu at 9:20 AM on November 20 [14 favorites]


took place on July 18 at the Washington, D.C. restaurant Tosca

How... dramatic.
posted by Molesome at 9:20 AM on November 20 [10 favorites]




McMeatloaf

Worse punishment: McRib!
posted by wenestvedt at 9:25 AM on November 20


Steve Mnuchin is an idiot: “I didn't realize that the pictures were public and going on the Internet and viral,” Mnuchin said on Fox News’ Sunday. (here's the interview transcript)

Why did he think a photographer from the Associated Press, along with several TV cameras, were present at his photo op if he didn't think the pictures would be public? Can it really be November of 2017 and he has no basic conception of how the media functions?


I know it can be hard to parse when these buffoons are not being stupid because so many of them are incompetent richies who have failed upwards all their lives, but sometimes they use this perception for their dog whistles. This is absolutely one of those cases.

Mnuchin and his wife are long-time glory hounds and well aware of the meaning when people take pictures. Maybe they're so self-absorbed that they spend most of their day having forgotten how much of the planet completely fucking loathes them and thus are unable to think "how might this reflect badly on me?" while things are happening.

But the public nature of those pictures? They knew full well. When they say shit like this about "on the internet and viral" that's all about signaling boo hiss evil reporter scum helping the libbies crap on us to their team. That's not surprise or ignorance, it's just part of the daily warfare on an informed public.
posted by phearlez at 9:25 AM on November 20 [60 favorites]


Is there any evidence North Korea has assassinated anyone other than their own defectors and citizens in the last 20 years?
posted by zarq at 9:27 AM on November 20 [1 favorite]


Is Trump's NASA Nominee Ready to Tackle Climate Change? (Eric Niiler for Wired, Nov. 20, 2017)
SCIENCE AND THE people who study it have taken a pretty big beating during the first year of the Trump administration. Trump has appointed climate science skeptics and outright deniers to head the Environmental Protection Agency (Scott Pruitt), the Department of Energy (Rick Perry), and the Council on Environmental Quality (Kathleen Hartnett). Trump’s nominee to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—the nation’s lead agency on both short-term weather and long-term climate forecasting—is a businessman who hasn't uttered a single public statement on climate change (it's Barry Myers, CEO of AccuWeather, a private weather forecasting company, who could be the second non-scientist to head NOAA, and probably the first who could personally benefit from direct access to weather data -- ED). And Trump still hasn't picked a White House science advisor, someone Republican and Democratic presidents have called on to respond to everything from killer hurricanes to tropical disease outbreaks.

Next up on the list of appointments comes NASA.... Maybe a glass half-full is better than none at all. At least that’s how some observers in Washington see the nomination of Jim Bridenstine, an Oklahoma congressman and Trump’s pick to head NASA.

After coming to Washington as a first-term House member in 2013, Bridenstine took to the House floor to demand that President Obama apologize to his Oklahoma constituents for spending more money on climate research than tornado warning systems. He also claimed that global temperature changes “correlate to sun output and global ocean cycles.”

It’s that kind of outlook that worried Rachel Licker, a climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, as she was waiting in line for a seat at Bridenstine’s confirmation hearing on November 1 before the Senate Commerce Committee. Like some on Capitol Hill, she left the hearing a bit puzzled. “He did say that he agrees with the statement that 97 percent of scientists agree that climate change is real and is causing devastating problems in the US,” Licker said. “That said, he missed an opportunity to confirm that human activity is the primary cause.”

During his testimony, Bridenstine said that as NASA administrator, he would keep Earth science under NASA, rather than moving it to another agency. That’s something that Trump officials have been pushing for during the transition.

At the November 1 hearing, Bridenstine said that he accepts that humans are a cause of climate change, but would not say that they are the primary cause. In the current political climate in Washington, that may be a start, according to Tony Busalacchi, a former NASA ocean and atmospheric scientist who is now president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, a non-profit consortium of 100 colleges and universities that funds training and research in earth science. UCAR also manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., with sponsorship from the National Science Foundation.

Busalacchi, who has twice testified before Bridenstine's House Subcommittee on Space, says he’s had two phone calls with Bridenstine since his nomination became public September 1. “He told me he regrets his [2013 House floor] statement in the past, and that he believes CO2 is a greenhouse gas and is contributing to climate change and man is contributing to climate change,” Busalacchi says.
...
“I believe Jim Bridenstine will be one of the greatest NASA administrators ever,” said Richards, who worked with the Oklahoman on space issues before Congress. “I’ve seen his passion and capability to make a difference, his love of space, his patriotism for the country, his technical command of concepts.” Richards also notes that Bridenstine has two qualities that nearly all previous NASA administrators have lacked: youth and political experience. Bridenstine is only 42 and he understands how to deal with members of Congress who hold NASA's pursestrings.

One NASA historian agrees. “The political skill is number one,” says Harry Lambright, professor of political science and public administration at Syracuse University, “in dealing with Congress and the president and all the political actors.”
Shockingly, one of the few not-awful picks. Perhaps it's to balance out the fact that he still hasn't picked a Science Advisor, a position that has been in place since World War II. Oh, but he has a faith council, sort of carrying forward efforts started by GWB, continued and expanded (positively and inclusively) by Obama, but now narrowed to a handful of evangelical Christians (list of who backed him as a candidate - I don't care enough to dig up who's still officially behind him), who still backed him as the President who said there were "good people" on both sides at the Charlottesville neo-Nazi rally.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:29 AM on November 20 [11 favorites]


I have no earthly idea why every time Trump says "no collusion" reporters don't fire back with "I noticed you're not denying obstruction of justice."

They might fire back, but nothing gets printed or aired without Jeff Zucker and Les Moonvees' implied say-so. Trump is great for the news business. The grosser, more incompetent, more fascist the better.
posted by petebest at 9:30 AM on November 20 [1 favorite]


Who here hates Glenn? Raise your hand if you hate Glenn.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 9:35 AM on November 20 [24 favorites]


Is there any evidence North Korea has assassinated anyone other than their own defectors and citizens in the last 20 years?

Between the long series of kidnappings, production and and distribution of methamphetamines, the arms trafficking, and moneymaking business in illegal and endangered wildlife products, maybe they deserve to go back on the list (or not!).
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:36 AM on November 20 [7 favorites]


They might fire back, but nothing gets printed or aired without Jeff Zucker and Les Moonvees' implied say-so. Trump is great for the news business. The grosser, more incompetent, more fascist the better.

There are literally hundreds of news media outlets not owned by Moonves and Zucker.

Pushing back against him is also great for the news business, by stirring and perpetuating controversy. Occam's Razor: reporters are still unsure how to handle an unhinged chaos-magnet President who revels in openly questioning their integrity. They are clearly overwhelmed by the need to defend their integrity while covering the incessant flood of bullshit and crises from Trump and his administration.

Also, let's see how fast Moonves and Zucker do their about face if an impeachment trial begins. That would surely net them fabulous ratings and readers.
posted by zarq at 9:38 AM on November 20 [7 favorites]


@NewDay: Trump voter panelist: "If Jesus Christ gets down off the cross and told me Trump is with Russia, I would tell him, 'Hold on a second. I need to check with the President if it's true.'"

People will go to ridiculous lengths not to admit or accept that they've been suckered. Did Nixon's spiral downwards inspire this degree of dead-ender death cultism?
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:42 AM on November 20 [4 favorites]


While announcing the decision, the US president said it "should of happened a long time ago".

Snort. The BBC didn't have to quote him, but I love that they did.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:44 AM on November 20 [30 favorites]


Did Nixon's spiral downwards inspire this degree of dead-ender death cultism?

I was not alive at the time, but my recollection from other people's comments in past threads is yes, it did. It took a couple years post-Watergate until resignation, and even then a not insubstantial percentage (37%?) did not want him to step down.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:46 AM on November 20 [5 favorites]


Between the long series of kidnappings, production and and distribution of methamphetamines, the arms trafficking, and moneymaking business in illegal and endangered wildlife products, maybe they deserve to go back on the list

If that's the deciding list I think kinda we do too. :/
posted by phearlez at 9:48 AM on November 20 [1 favorite]


While announcing the decision, the US president said it "should of happened a long time ago".

SHOULD HAVE

It's "SHOULD HAVE." Not "SHOULD OF."

I dunno if I'm supposed to be angry with the President or the BBC or both.
posted by notyou at 9:50 AM on November 20 [15 favorites]


Snort. The BBC didn't have to quote him, but I love that they did.

I only wish that they had included a (sic).
posted by jedicus at 9:52 AM on November 20 [33 favorites]


Did he type "should of?" If he said "should've" and the BBC typed "should of," then they just have bad ears for American blatherstyles and think he's "dropping his haitches" or whatever is the lowclass speechcrime they do over there. If he typed it, then haaaaaaaaaahaaaaaa!
posted by Don Pepino at 9:59 AM on November 20 [8 favorites]


Stan Collender: GOP Tax Bill Is The End Of All Economic Sanity In Washington
If it's enacted, the GOP tax cut now working its way through Congress will be the start of a decades-long economic policy disaster unlike any other that has occurred in American history.

There's no economic justification whatsoever for a tax cut at this time. U.S. GDP is growing, unemployment is close to 4 percent (below what is commonly considered "full employment"), corporate profits are at record levels and stock markets are soaring. It makes no sense to add any federal government-induced stimulus to all this private sector-caused economic activity, let alone a tax cut as big as this one.

This is actually the ideal time for Washington to be doing the opposite. But by damning the economic torpedoes and moving full-speed ahead, House and Senate Republicans and the Trump White House are setting up the U.S. for the modern-day analog of the inflation-producing guns-and-butter economic policy of the Vietnam era. The GOP tax bill will increase the federal deficit by $2 trillion or more over the next decade (the official estimates of $1.5 trillion hide the real amount with a witches brew of gimmicks and outright lies) that, unless all the rules have changed, is virtually certain to result in inflation and much higher interest rates than would otherwise occur.
[...]
In other words, if the GOP tax bill is enacted, Congress and the president this year will give up almost all ability to deal with the U.S. economy for at least a decade even when, as almost certainly will happen, there's a downturn. No one else will be able to fulfill this role.

That's almost a textbook definition of economic insanity.
@chrislhayes: This is a feature not a bug since it creates the conditions for brutal austerity down the road.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:00 AM on November 20 [78 favorites]


Did he type "should of?"

It was a verbal drop in as he read the statement & he actually said "shoulda", twice.
posted by scalefree at 10:05 AM on November 20 [2 favorites]


Re: Trump's grammar and North Korea, it appears the BBC is quoting Trump's oral announcement, viewable at CNN. Trump says neither "should have" or "should of", but rather, "shoulda".
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:07 AM on November 20 [3 favorites]


Mike Lofgren, BillMoyers.com: Republican Experts/For The GOP, Incompetence is a Feature, Not a Flaw

Embodied by notables like Newt Gingrich:
It has been said that Newt Gingrich is “a dumb person’s idea of a smart person.” Who coined that phrase is a matter of scholarly dispute, but there is broad agreement that the sentiment is applicable. I will go further and say this characteristic of Newt’s is not just a personal foible; it establishes a model for Republican politicians and operatives since his time in Congress.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:09 AM on November 20 [14 favorites]


Trump voter panelist: "If Jesus Christ gets down off the cross and told me Trump is with Russia, I would tell him, 'Hold on a second. I need to check with the President if it's true.'"

It's sentiments like this expressed by supposed Christians that should really get the Hal Lindsey types in a tizzy about imminent Signs of the Apocalypse and The Coming of the Antichrist, except they're all too busy kneeling to lick the boots of the wealthy, immoral, Christ-denying personality cult leader who very recently rose to overnight prominence to become one of the most powerful people in the world.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:14 AM on November 20 [21 favorites]


The fact that Trump said "shoulda" and the BBC quoted him as saying "should of" says to me that the Beeb has engaged in a delightfully subtle bit of roasting. *chef fingertips kiss*
posted by elsietheeel at 10:14 AM on November 20 [11 favorites]


(BTW, my open tab says "Thanks for nothing/Metafilter" and will until we move to the next thread... )
posted by Sophie1 at 10:17 AM on November 20 [4 favorites]


@chrislhayes: This is a feature not a bug since it creates the conditions for brutal austerity down the road.

Exactly. They're paying off the donors and setting up the conditions to kill Social Security, privatize Medicare, blah blah blah.
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:18 AM on November 20 [17 favorites]


But man, purposely tanking the economy to do that stuff . . . that's a new low.
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:19 AM on November 20 [13 favorites]


Stan Collender: GOP Tax Bill Is The End Of All Economic Sanity In Washington
The $1 trillion a year budget deficit will not be the result of cyclical changes that will be reversed when the economy improves. These will be permanent structural deficit increases.

The tax hikes that will be needed to resolve the structural imbalance between federal spending and revenues will be impossible for political reasons.
That's about it in a nutshell. If the Democrats try to fix it the GOP can just run tax and spend liberal ads until the cows come home no matter how much the base run in 2018.
posted by Talez at 10:20 AM on November 20 [12 favorites]




David Frum, TheAtlantic: Republicans Are Throwing Away Their Shot at Tax Reform
Congressional Republicans well appreciate the unpopularity of what they are doing. That’s why they are short-circuiting the traditional legislative process, bypassing hearings and other opportunities for public comment. The more the public knows, the more jeopardized their plan becomes. Since the Great Recession, the GOP has grown both more extreme in its goals and more radical in its methods. Apocalyptically pessimistic in its view of America’s future, it seems determined to seize for its donors and core constituencies as much as it can, as fast as it can, as ruthlessly as it can. It will then take advantage of the U.S. political system’s notorious antimajoritarian bias in favor of the status quo to defend the grab over the coming years and decades. Repeal and replace failed. The new slogan is: Rush, grab, entrench, and defend.
...
An opportunity to achieve a sensible improvement by broad consensus is being flung away in favor of accumulating special favors for “special” people. If it succeeds, it will not last. And it probably will not succeed. The differences between the House and the Senate are real; settling them will take time.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:27 AM on November 20 [18 favorites]


zombieflanders: "Yes, but the districts were drawn by the overwhelmingly (at the time) GOP legislature."

Yes, but the failure to implement them properly at the local level is laid at the feet of the local board of elections.

I am 100% in agreement that voter suppression is a an ugly thing, and is clearly being used as a tool by the Republican party. But not every screw up is a fiendish plan. Sometimes it's just people making mistakes.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:34 AM on November 20 [7 favorites]




lalex: "This sounds...smart? And competent? I'm shocked."

Sargent goes on to comment on Twitter:
Key point:

Democrats hope the GOP tax plan resolves the argument among Dems over whether to prioritize college educated or working class whites.

The tax plan gives them a way to target both, because everyone hates it
posted by Chrysostom at 10:37 AM on November 20 [10 favorites]


Has anyone posted this GQ article on the Rand Paul assault? Short version: the neighbor is very meticulous about his yard; Paul is not very sensitive to the neighbor's yard-related sensitivities; both men are kind of jerks.

Remind me to be grateful for my somewhat-odd-but-apparently-harmless next-door neighbors.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:40 AM on November 20 [2 favorites]


[Pro-tip on posting links: if you want to see if it's been posted before, paste it in the MetaFilter site search; remember to strip the link to its bare form, removing any follow tracking parts. To check and see if YouTube videos were posted before, search for the video ID only.]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:43 AM on November 20 [31 favorites]


For all their blatantly conservative take on what they propose and promote, the Heritage Foundation has a helpful chart with differences between the House and Senate bill, as well as comparisons to the current regulations, and what the Heritage Foundation supports. Posted Nov. 17, 2017, written by Adam Michel.

If you don't want to give them clicks, The Motley Fool has more limited summary of current vs House vs Senate, with more comparisons in narrative form instead of in a table. Posted Nov. 17, 2017, written by Matthew Frankel.

CNBC has a series of tables, comparing current thresholds vs proposed, in separate tables for House and Senate bills. Posted Nov. 17, 2017, written by Darla Mercado.

Bloomberg has a good comparison table, but only comparing House and Senate, describing what each would do to the current regulations, instead of having a 3rd column for current regs. Published: November 9, 2017. Updated: November 20, 2017.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:52 AM on November 20 [7 favorites]


Democrats hope the GOP tax plan resolves the argument among Dems over whether to prioritize college educated or working class whites.

It is to laugh

And cry

And drink, I guess
posted by schadenfrau at 10:57 AM on November 20 [24 favorites]


To quote myself from facebook where someone posted that GQ link:
"Also at issue, according to Goodwin, is Paul's tendency to mow outward at the edge of his property, spraying his clippings into Boucher's yard. Boucher, he said, has asked Paul to instead mow inward when near the boundary line"

I didn't think there was a libertarian way to mow a lawn but I stand corrected.
Externalities? Repercussions for others? Don't care even if a trivial effort on my part would solve the problem.
posted by phearlez at 10:59 AM on November 20 [44 favorites]


Update on Karen Fonseca, the Texas woman with the 'Fuck Trump' truck decal who was arrested after her story went viral: Woman with ‘Fuck Trump’ truck decal adds sheriff’s name after being arrested
Fonseca posted an updated picture of her truck to her Facebook page Sunday night. The message now reads in full: YEAH… FUCK TRUMP AND FUCK YOU FOR VOTING FOR HIM. FUCK TROY NEHLS AND FUCK YOU FOR VOTING FOR HIM.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:04 AM on November 20 [72 favorites]


Obama wishes Biden a happy birthday. :heart_eyes:
posted by lalex at 11:06 AM on November 20 [21 favorites]


Another great bit from the GQ piece:
Of course, as a libertarian icon, Rand Paul would, one would think, be outraged by any attempt to make a federal case out of a matter that does not appear to warrant the attention of federal prosecutors. But as the man at the bar at the Bowling Green Hyatt said, after seven years in Washington, "Rand's learned how to be a politician."
Of course, it's not just him, that's basically modern libertarianism (especially the American strains) in a nutshell.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:06 AM on November 20 [5 favorites]


Quote:
"Stan Collender: GOP Tax Bill Is The End Of All Economic Sanity In Washington
*snip*
posted by zombieflanders at 10:00 AM on November 20
"

I am so confused by this bill, and the press coverage of it. Last week, on NPR Planet Money, they were discussing how the market was down that day on fears that the Tax Bill wouldn't pass, and there was zero mention on how this bill is completely dishonest and potentially disastrous. If this is how NPR is discussing this issue, what the heck is the rest of the US media doing?

I have read many articles on the web, from the Economist to NYTimes and WashPost, all of them calling this bill a flat-out lie. But, on the flip side, I have not heard anyone on TV or the radio call out this bill, and I listen mostly to BBC, CBC and NPR (where you'd think they wouldn't shy away from calling this bill out).

Seriously, what is the media doing? How can something so blatantly false can still be debated at face value?
posted by Vindaloo at 11:09 AM on November 20 [7 favorites]


If there's one thing NPR has demonstrated, it's that they are completely incapable of dealing with the idea that any politician is dealing in bad faith or is outright lying. They've fallen so far into horse-race centrism that their political coverage is basically useless. CBC and BBC I would expect to be better about these things, as they aren't dependent on political patronage in the US.

I've completely stopped listening to NPR because of this failing, and have moved completely over to podcasts. I'd be interested to understand how many people are doing the same thing.
posted by Existential Dread at 11:17 AM on November 20 [81 favorites]


You're definitely not alone, Existential Dread. Their election converage last year was the last straw for me. I got tired of yelling at the radio every morning.
posted by rp at 11:21 AM on November 20 [16 favorites]


Not alone, Existential Dread. I don't necessarily agree with the 'why' part of your comment (I don't disagree either, I just haven't considered it) but I most certainly cannot listen to NPR anymore. Podcasts for life.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:26 AM on November 20 [6 favorites]


> Is there any evidence North Korea has assassinated anyone other than their own defectors and citizens in the last 20 years?

Yes.

In January 2016, Otto Warmbier, an American citizen, was arrested by the DPRK while touring North Korea. He was sentenced to 15 years hard labor for the alleged crime of attempting to steal a banner. Less than a year and a half after beginning his sentence, he was medevac'ed to the US in a coma with extensive loss of brain tissue. He died less than a week later.

After their son's death, Otto Warmbier's parents appeared on Fox&Friends and called on North Korea to be listed as a state sponsor of terror.
posted by Westringia F. at 11:28 AM on November 20 [1 favorite]




npr turned to rancid poo sometime in the aughts and somehow it keeps getting worse
(and steve inskeep is the worst of the worst)
posted by entropicamericana at 11:30 AM on November 20 [17 favorites]


You're definitely not alone, Existential Dread. Their election converage last year was the last straw for me. I got tired of yelling at the radio every morning.

This was precisely the time and reason I stopped listening to NPR forever also.
posted by demonic winged headgear at 11:30 AM on November 20 [10 favorites]


DC Rumor Mill says House Rs are planning to get rid of the debt ceiling, or at least make it increase automatically with each new spending bill.

This is the same party that shut down the government over the debt ceiling when Obama was in power.

Getting rid of the debt ceiling would be good policy but the hypocrisy is astounding. Plus I'm sure they'd want to put it back when a Democrat is in power.
posted by Justinian at 11:36 AM on November 20 [47 favorites]


I still really enjoy a bunch of NPR-related shows and podcasts (It's Been a Minute; Wait Wait Don't Tell Me; Pop Culture Happy Hour), but the big anchor shows like Morning Edition and All Things Considered are sadly neutered when it comes to national political news. When they get into the weeds on specific stories they can still be pretty good, but they're so afraid of being called out on the national stage for political bias that they've just hobbled themselves.

It's really sad.
posted by suelac at 11:37 AM on November 20 [19 favorites]


i just started listening to sports talk radio instead. loo loo laah sports sports sports what news?
posted by localhuman at 11:38 AM on November 20 [2 favorites]


Getting rid of the debt ceiling would be good policy but the hypocrisy is astounding.

In this environment, just getting some good policy is a huge win.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:39 AM on November 20 [2 favorites]


Vindaloo: Last week, on NPR Planet Money, they were discussing how the market was down that day on fears that the Tax Bill wouldn't pass, and there was zero mention on how this bill is completely dishonest and potentially disastrous. If this is how NPR is discussing this issue, what the heck is the rest of the US media doing?

Planet Money is only one point of coverage on NPR. Here's a story from today that calls out the plan for increasing debt, benefits for individuals and families having a sunset unlike the cuts for corporations (though it's repeating GOP talking points without direct rebuttals); the impact of taxing school endowments was covered on Nov. 19; impacts to grad students under the House bill was a focus piece on Nov. 14; and in coverage of the House passing their bill, noted that the Senate bill includes a provision to zero out the individual mandate penalty, one of the pillars of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. And Why You Shouldn't Count On The Promised $4,000 'Raise' From GOP Tax Plan, rebutting the promise by Sarah Huckabee Sanders and others that the tax plan is a magical thing for all.

In short, not what I'd consider perfect coverage of the issue, but definitely not reiterating GOP talking points alone. And personally, it works to fill me in on national and international news in my commute pattern, so I'm still tuning in, even though I do a fair bit of shouting at the radio. But to be fair to NPR, not all of it's at the NPR personnel, much is also aimed at the GOP bullshitters, with some "FUCK YEAH!" when NPR does rebut talking points spouted by a conservative guest.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:59 AM on November 20 [7 favorites]


This GQ article on Rand Paul’s NeighborFight is a thing of beauty- down to the length of grass each mows their lawn to! It is truly the only bright spot in politics now.
posted by corb at 12:03 PM on November 20 [3 favorites]


If there's one thing NPR has demonstrated, it's that they are completely incapable of dealing with the idea that any politician is dealing in bad faith or is outright lying. They've fallen so far into horse-race centrism that their political coverage is basically useless. CBC and BBC I would expect to be better about these things, as they aren't dependent on political patronage in the US.

I used to have CBC radio on all.the.time. I slept with the radio on. Those days are gone because the hourly news breaks and evening newscast are often really slipshod about American politics.
posted by maudlin at 12:05 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


Hey Secretary Tillerson is doing the first bit of the press briefing today. I guess they woke him up from his nap.
posted by Justinian at 12:07 PM on November 20


I hate Tillerson's hairdo.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:09 PM on November 20


You're definitely not alone, Existential Dread. Their election coverage last year was the last straw for me. I got tired of yelling at the radio every morning.

Count me in, I stopped sometime last October and never looked back.

i just started listening to sports talk radio instead. loo loo laah sports sports sports what news?

Again, same here, and my year with Mike and Mike was overall pretty good. Too bad they're gone now too.
posted by CheeseLouise at 12:15 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


npr news is dead to me. also, charlie rose fellating friedman every six weeks.
posted by j_curiouser at 12:19 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


Trump voter panelist: "If Jesus Christ gets down off the cross and told me Trump is with Russia, I would tell him, 'Hold on a second. I need to check with the President if it's true.'"

But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. Matthew 10:33.


If this follows true to pattern this guy will turn out to be a political operative and not the 'man on the street' he is presented to be.

In which case Jesus's denunciation would probably be overkill.
posted by srboisvert at 12:20 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


You're definitely not alone, Existential Dread. Their election coverage last year was the last straw for me. I got tired of yelling at the radio every morning.

Count me in, I stopped sometime last October and never looked back.


Ditto. Crooked Media is my podcast destination of choice. I'll never tire of hearing them constantly point out the utter moral cravenness of Paul Ryan.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:21 PM on November 20 [22 favorites]


Sam Ronan, who ran for DNC Chair as a progressive and has a small left-wing following, announces he is switching parties to Republican.

This is blissfully stupid on so many levels. Ronan's argument is, essentially, "let's have progressives infiltrate and change BOTH parties" without realizing that you really can't sneak into a party by announcing your strategy ahead of time or that changing a party requires a critical mass of people large enough to be a significant minority in the party you're supposedly infiltrating. He's doing this in the Ohio 1st, which has gone for Steve Chabot - a bog-standard shitty Republican spear-carrier, noteworthy in no real way - in every election in the past 24 years other than the 2008 Obama wave election, which resulted in a Democrat holding the seat for two years, and since then the district has calcified and Chabot's been winning by much larger margins than he ever has before.

It's just dumb and self-flattering.
posted by mightygodking at 12:23 PM on November 20 [9 favorites]


You're definitely not alone, Existential Dread. Their election coverage last year was the last straw for me. I got tired of yelling at the radio every morning.

Right after that first really ugly and insulting "press conference" Trump gave, I was driving my girlfriend home from work and I heard Mara Liasson say parts of it were "charming." I snapped & shouted at my stereo loudly enough to really worry my girlfriend, and therefore myself, because that's really unlike me. I realized this was something that had built up over a long time--specifically over NPR. I stopped listening for a long time & I'm still not really listening much.

Some individual programs are good. Marketplace is fairly reasonable, at least; you can hear Kai Ryssdal's side-eye in his voice, but not a lot of direct call-outs. On Twitter, he's a little more openly salty about this regime.

I'll give NPR credit on how it's managing the impact of the #metoo exposures of its own people. But as for national politics NPR is much like the NYT: they completely, inexcusably lost the plot of the election last year and despite all the horrors that have followed they don't show any signs of having engaged in an ounce of introspection on the whole thing.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:24 PM on November 20 [16 favorites]


At her press conference, Sarah Sanders is requiring journalists to name some things they're thankful for before she responds to them. [real]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:25 PM on November 20 [26 favorites]


It's just dumb and self-flattering.

The Chapo! It’s coming from inside the Trap House!
posted by Barack Spinoza at 12:26 PM on November 20 [5 favorites]


At her press conference, Sarah Sanders is requiring journalists to name some things they're thankful for before she responds to them. [real]

Please tell me one of them has said "the rule of law" or "Robert Mueller."
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:26 PM on November 20 [95 favorites]


Sanders is missing her dream job as the elementary school teacher / church lady of every child's nightmares.
posted by maudlin at 12:26 PM on November 20 [63 favorites]


> States of disgrace: strange American laws – in pictures

In Minnesota a person may not cross state lines with a bird atop his head.


From my cold, dead scalp!
posted by homunculus at 12:27 PM on November 20 [11 favorites]


Cecilia Vega of ABC said she's thankful for the First Amendment, which judging by the audible response of other journalists was regarded as an ice burn
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:30 PM on November 20 [134 favorites]


Sanders is on a real fuckin' weird Dolores Umbridge headtrip.
posted by palomar at 12:31 PM on November 20 [98 favorites]


At her press conference, Sarah Sanders is requiring journalists to name some things they're thankful for before she responds to them. [real]

Wait, what? Piece of evidence #2,630 that none of these people even remotely know how this whole thing works.
posted by Melismata at 12:33 PM on November 20 [5 favorites]


If anyone else hates Twitter threads but wants that detailed strategy for fighting the Grad Student Tax that would cripple higher ed, I made it into a PDF that I'd be happy to send anyone. MeMail me.

TL/DR: DON'T do street protests, that will backfire. Call these senators if you are a resident of or student in their states. (Also, write letters to editor) Why? They're on the Senate Finance Committee and will decide which bits get cut or added in reconciliation.

Utah - Sen. Hatch - (801) 524-4380
Iowa - Sen. Grassley - (515) 288-1145
Idaho - Sen. Crapo - (208) 334-1776
Kansas - Sen. Roberts - (913) 451-9343
Wyoming - Sen. Enzi - (307) 772-2477
Texas - Sen. Cornyn - (512) 469-6034
South Dakota - Sen. Thune - (605) 334-9596
North Carolina - Sen. Burr - (800) 685-8916
Georgia - Sen. Isakson - (770) 661-0999
Ohio - Sen. Portman - (614) 469-6774
Pennsylvania - Sen. Toomey - (717) 782-3951
Nevada - Sen. Heller - (702) 388-6605
South Carolina - Sen. Scott - (803) 771-6112
Lousiana - Sen. Cassidy - (225) 929-7711
posted by msalt at 12:35 PM on November 20 [8 favorites]


Ugh god. John Gizzi is thankful for pestering his wife for marriage.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 12:38 PM on November 20


Please tell me one of them has said "the rule of law" or "Robert Mueller."

"New York State's Attorney General."
"US Intelligence Agencies."
"The Espionage Act of 1917"
"The 25th Amendment."
"The RICO Act"

fake, but still hopeful
posted by leotrotsky at 12:39 PM on November 20 [10 favorites]


The Chapo! It’s coming from inside the Trap House!

lol c'mon, whatever you think of CTH, they very clearly loathe Republicans and conservatism in general, and as far as I can recall, they haven't advocated for socialists to take over the Republican Party. That said, Ronan's an opportunistic prick.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:40 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


[real], leontrotsky? I hope hope?
posted by Melismata at 12:41 PM on November 20


Josh Rogin: "I'm thankful that awkward briefing is over."
posted by slipthought at 12:41 PM on November 20 [7 favorites]


Patrick Caldwell, MotherJones: This Is Just How Badly Scott Walker Has Decimated Public Schools in Wisconsin - "A new study highlights the dire teacher shortage created by Walker’s anti-union law."
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:42 PM on November 20 [27 favorites]


Call these senators if you are a resident of or student in their states.

has anyone pointed out to these idiot senators that universities are generally THE BIGGEST OR SECOND-BIGGEST EMPLOYERS IN THEIR DANG STATE, or at least top-five
the sole exception appears to be louisiana, so i guess cassidy gets a pass, but COME ON
posted by halation at 12:42 PM on November 20 [6 favorites]


Sanders claims that when the President said he should have left the basketball players in Chinese prison, he was issuing a "rhetorical response", so that's a new item for the glossary alongside "alternative fact" and "truthful hyperbole"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:42 PM on November 20 [23 favorites]


Caitlin Johnstone asked her readers what they thought were the most underreported stories about the awful things the Trump administration has been doing.
posted by adamvasco at 12:42 PM on November 20 [3 favorites]


has anyone pointed out to these idiot senators that universities are generally THE BIGGEST OR SECOND-BIGGEST EMPLOYERS IN THEIR DANG STATE, or at least top-five

...and the spin-offs from science and engineering are often the #1 source of start-ups in the state.

There's layers of stupid here, but channeling money from future entrepreneurs and small businesses to heirs who. contribute. nothing. is just jaw-dropping.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:51 PM on November 20 [42 favorites]


Caitlin Johnstone asked her readers what they thought were the most underreported stories about the awful things the Trump administration has been doing.

Kind of odd not to include the second half of the title: "Going Under-Reported Amid Russia Hysteria." Johnstone's main purpose is to attack neoliberalism and "Russia Hysteria," with criticism of Trump and his administration as a secondary or tertiary motive. Case in point, the last paragraph:

The US president is not as powerful as the mainstream narrative would have us believe, but the executive branch is a part of the overall power structure, and should be analyzed accordingly. We should all be able to take as realistic a look at Trump as we did Obama, or as we would have with Hillary Clinton had she won. There is certainly plenty to criticize.

Her argument is that Trump might be worth criticizing as much as Obama and Clinton were because he's actually a pawn of the people who happen to be Putin's worst enemies. Also she's a Pizzagate promoter.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:55 PM on November 20 [42 favorites]




[Comment removed; if you're wanting to share something that's several pages long, please link and if needed excerpt instead of tossing the whole thing into the thread.]
posted by cortex at 1:00 PM on November 20 [6 favorites]


Caitlin Johnstone is a total troll. She starts her linked article stating "Trump’s demagoguery, rudeness and ridiculous North Korean brinkmanship all play well on TV — his continuation and expansion of the evils of his corporatist predecessors, not so much" Then she lists "10 Trump Administration Atrocities" of which 7-8 are absolute reversals of Obama/Clinton policies. NOT expansion, reversal. She a liar who has a proud future with the post-Trump FoxNews.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:01 PM on November 20 [25 favorites]


Joe Mayes, Bloomberg: Ex-Fox News Employee Says She Was Blocked From Investigating Trump-Russia Ties

“Fox didn’t let me go to Moscow to dig into Trump’s Russian connections, even when I offered to pay my own way.”
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:03 PM on November 20 [16 favorites]


the CNN folks on my Twitter are saying to stand by for news.

*starts typing <blockq*
posted by lalex at 1:03 PM on November 20 [11 favorites]


Please tell me one of them has said "the rule of law" or "Robert Mueller."

Cecilia Vega said the First Amendment.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:03 PM on November 20 [9 favorites]


oh, it's just the Time Warner/AT&T Justice Dep't lawsuit news. Stand down!
posted by lalex at 1:04 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


> Cecilia Vega said the First Amendment.

And I think that was April Ryan in the background saying "what part of it, though?" which is a nice touch.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:05 PM on November 20 [17 favorites]


has anyone pointed out to these idiot senators that universities are generally THE BIGGEST OR SECOND-BIGGEST EMPLOYERS IN THEIR DANG STATE...

You mean like healthcare/ pharma are huge industries everywhere so let's be sure to destroy health insurance/ Medicare/Medicaid for 10s of millions of people so they can't afford doctors and diagnostics and therapies and surgeries and prescription meds, and fewer people are using those services, thus decimating healthcare jobs (as well as destroying the would-be patients' lives)?
posted by NorthernLite at 1:06 PM on November 20 [4 favorites]


Well, the the Time Warner/AT&T Justice Dep't suit is big news for CNN...
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:07 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


the CNN folks on my Twitter are saying to stand by for news.

Calm down, it's going to be about the DOJ suing to block the ATT-Time Warner merger. Which may or may not be about Trump hating CNN, but if it is, the result will be Trump's anger accidently causing a smart policy decision.

No Bra'er Trump, please don't punish us by actually enforcing antitrust laws! Whatever will we do! (Psst...Obama NEVER enforced antitrust laws, you could BEAT HIM SO HARD ON ANTITRUST!)
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:08 PM on November 20 [9 favorites]


All signs point to the DOJ withdrawing their objection if CNN is sold to the parent company of Fox News, which seems like the opposite of enforcing anti-trust law; it seems like creating an anti-trust violation of a horizontal merger beyond anything present in the proposed vertical merger. All in order to stifle politically uncomfortable journalism.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:11 PM on November 20 [25 favorites]


So my House Rep is a tea party Republican loser, totally in the Trump tank, and he's been loudly promoting the Tax bill. But his district is almost entirely universities, including two cities completely reliant on the colleges. So a few days later he posted that obviously there needed to be changes to the House version to protect student loans and grad students. So he apparently got some serious push-back on this because he never admits he might be wrong.
posted by threeturtles at 1:13 PM on November 20 [21 favorites]


@NewDay: Trump voter panelist: "If Jesus Christ gets down off the cross and told me Trump is with Russia, I would tell him, 'Hold on a second. I need to check with the President if it's true.'"

People will go to ridiculous lengths not to admit or accept that they've been suckered. Did Nixon's spiral downwards inspire this degree of dead-ender death cultism?


ok but what did Jesus ever do for christians tho
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:13 PM on November 20 [16 favorites]


If I were a reporter, it would be so tempting to open a question with a "thanks" to president Trump, and then just lay on the thickest possible sarcasm. "President Trump is the sun and the moon and the stars, he is the reason I get up in the morning, he once saved my family from an avalanche with a well-placed golf stroke," (turning around, going from speaking to full-on shouting) "Thank you, Mr President, none of us are worthy of breathing the air you breathe." Trump himself would absolutely refuse to believe he was being made fun of. Even if one added "Please Mr President don't let my children spend five years in Chinese prison" to the end of it.

But then again, just saying that would probably accelerate the dissolution of our republic, because what is real or fake any more? So... meh.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 1:13 PM on November 20 [6 favorites]


the CNN folks on my Twitter are saying to stand by for news.

Calm down, it's going to be about the DOJ suing to block the ATT-Time Warner merger.


Or not.

@justinjm1 (national editor, Daily Beast)
standby for Trump-Russia news
posted by chris24 at 1:13 PM on November 20 [3 favorites]


I don't think anyone who's not a shareholder thinks the merger is a great idea with respect to antitrust, but Trump has really taken a giant shit in the pool muddied the waters here with his ongoing vendetta against CNN. And meanwhile the pro-Trump Sinclair/Tribune merger will sail right through? At least discovery will be interesting, I guess.
posted by lalex at 1:14 PM on November 20


Massachusetts Set To Approve Law Protecting Access To Birth Control (Samantha Raphelson for NPR, November 20, 2017)
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker was expected to sign legislation on Monday that would cement in state law the Obama-era mandate for free birth control regardless of changes in federal policy or future repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

The bill quickly sailed through the state legislature earlier this month, after President Trump signed an executive order in October allowing any company or nonprofit organization to opt out of providing coverage due to a religious or moral objection.

The Massachusetts law will go into effect immediately after it is signed, though insurance companies have six months to implement the changes, Carey Goldberg, editor of WBUR's CommonHealth blog, tells Here & Now's Robin Young.
Yes, more states routing around the obstruction of the Trump administration, and making progress at the state level.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:16 PM on November 20 [46 favorites]


> @justinjm1 (national editor, Daily Beast): standby for Trump-Russia news

How can you do this to me? I was not planning on obsessively refreshing my tabs for the next hour, but now ...
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:17 PM on November 20 [4 favorites]


All the signs point to the DOJ withdrawing their objection if CNN is sold to the parent company of Fox News, which seems like the opposite of enforcing anti-trust law; it seems like creating an anti-trust violation of a horizontal merger beyond anything present in the proposed vertical merger. All in order to stifle politically uncomfortable journalism.

Maybe? The DOJ gave ATT the choice of selling either CNN or DirectTV, that complicates the "Trump is attacking CNN" angle pretty significantly I think.

And meanwhile the pro-Trump Sinclair/Tribune merger will sail right through?

This is the much bigger issue from a competition and political standpoint. Love to see a DOJ suit here too, and since it won't happen maybe the CNN angle is real after all. This is the problem with the President spouting off about specific companies, we can't know the DOJ's motives are transparent or based on actually enforcing the law, because Trump is treating the DOJ like his personal law firm.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:18 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


standby for Trump-Russia news

Do I hear wedding bells?
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:18 PM on November 20 [19 favorites]


When the President calls a media organization an “enemy of the state” for committing journalism, he loses the assumption of moral benevolence when attempting to block their merger; especially if he hints that everything could be fixed if his political enemy was sold to his political friend.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:19 PM on November 20 [16 favorites]


The justinjm1 tweet seems to have been ticktocking this. Does anyone have thoughts on the significance?
posted by prefpara at 1:19 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


chris24: standby for Trump-Russia news

Roman Beniaminov, a Low-Profile Real Estate Exec Turned Pop Star Manager, Knew About Russia’s ‘Dirt’ on Hillary -- Investigators now may have another person to talk to about that infamous Trump Tower meeting (Betsy Woodruff for The Daily Beast, Nov. 20, 2017)
Days before the infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016, a low-profile real estate figure with ties to powerful Russians alerted a meeting participant that the topic of “dirt” on Hillary Clinton could come up, The Daily Beast has learned.

That figure, Roman Beniaminov, didn’t attend the meeting himself. But he had close ties to several figures in and around it, including Emin Agalarov, the Azeri-Russian pop star who helped set up that Trump Tower confab and whose father is an ally of Vladimir Putin.
...
In all of the discussion about the infamous Trump Tower meeting, Beniaminov’s name has rarely, if ever, come up. So his alleged role in informing Kaveladze about the plans suggests he may be yet another important player who could have relevant information for the various, ongoing investigations.

Beniaminov could not be reached for comment.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:19 PM on November 20 [5 favorites]


Caitlin Johnstone asked her readers what they thought were the most underreported stories about the awful things the Trump administration has been doing.

Caitlin Johnstone wants to be Louise Mensch when she grows up.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:19 PM on November 20 [7 favorites]


Maybe the sale of DirecTV was selected as an unfeasible alternate option in order to provide plausible deniability. [secures tinfoil hat]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:20 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


I bet it's just the CNN thing despite justinjm1's tweet. Don't hold your breath guys.
posted by Justinian at 1:20 PM on November 20


What flavor is the frosting, Justinian?
posted by notyou at 1:22 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


The justinjm1 tweet seems to have been ticktocking this. Does anyone have thoughts on the significance?

Another person who might have information on potential for Team Trump to be colluding with Russia to utilize hacked emails in Trump's campaign against Clinton. Not a big boom a this time, IMO, but it may be another piece to further solidify the ever-growing story of Trump's connections with Russia.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:23 PM on November 20


yaaaaawn to everything everywhere; I'm really gonna need a bigger fix another indictment before Thanksgiving
posted by lalex at 1:23 PM on November 20 [26 favorites]


A new study highlights the dire teacher shortage created by Walker’s anti-union law.

As much as I don't disagree with the premise, that non-zero-based graph in the middle is super irritating how they blew up the feature they wanted to show both horizontally and vertically so it went from extreme high to extreme low. It's a ~20% change, that shouldn't need a scare graph.
posted by ctmf at 1:25 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


dear universe, i am planning to get neck-deep in a vat of spinach artichoke dip on wednesday evening, please provide me with delicious headlines as an amuse-bouche, thanks in advance
posted by palomar at 1:25 PM on November 20 [14 favorites]


I don't need another indictment before Thanksgiving as much as I need another "Indictments Coming Monday" headline right before Thanksgiving. Because I'd really like the thought of the entire regime spending their holiday sweating over their dinners.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:26 PM on November 20 [73 favorites]


> Beniaminov could not be reached for comment.

Guesses as to why? Taking a spa day in Moscow? Busy taking a dirt nap? Enjoying a Polonium breakfast?
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:26 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


The justinjm1 tweet seems to have been ticktocking this. Does anyone have thoughts on the significance?

Kaveladze's lawyer went on the record saying one of the purposes of the meeting was trading "dirt" on Clinton. It helps establish the quid pro quo and collusive nature of the Don Jr. "adoption" meeting. And gives Mueller more people to investigate and talk to.
posted by chris24 at 1:27 PM on November 20 [4 favorites]


Because I'd really like the thought of the entire regime spending their holiday sweating over their dinners.

not to mention watching our Trump-supporter relatives sweat over their Thanksgiving dinners, which I would definitely not extremely enjoy
posted by lalex at 1:28 PM on November 20 [7 favorites]


as much as I need another "Indictments Coming Monday" headline right before Thanksgiving. Because I'd really like the thought of the entire regime spending their holiday sweating over their dinners.

Well, except for the fact that it would be tortuous for us Mefites.
posted by Melismata at 1:28 PM on November 20


yaaaaawn to everything everywhere; I'm really gonna need a bigger fix another indictment before Thanksgiving

Would also settle for footage of Jared walking face first into a glass door
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:28 PM on November 20 [53 favorites]


Would also settle for footage of Jared walking face first into a glass door

While drinking a latte that explodes comically all over his face and shirt
posted by Existential Dread at 1:31 PM on November 20 [14 favorites]



not to mention watching our Trump-supporter relatives sweat over their Thanksgiving dinners, which I would definitely not extremely enjoy


Whoa, I have a sister?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 1:33 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


cortex: "[Comment removed; if you're wanting to share something that's several pages long, please link and if needed excerpt instead of tossing the whole thing into the thread.]"

In the name of the most holy and individual Trinity: Be it known to all, and every one whom it may concern, or to whom in any manner it may belong, That for many Years past, Discords and Civil Divisions being stir’d up in the Roman Empire, which increas’d to such a degree, that not only all Germany, but also the neighbouring Kingdoms, and France particularly, have been involv’d in the Disorders of a long and cruel War [1/573]
posted by Chrysostom at 1:34 PM on November 20 [61 favorites]


would you folks settle for a collection of merlin mann's "my father" tweets
posted by entropicamericana at 1:35 PM on November 20 [7 favorites]


chris24:"
Kaveladze's lawyer went on the record saying one of the purposes of the meeting was trading "dirt" on Clinton. It helps establish the quid pro quo and collusive nature of the Don Jr. "adoption" meeting. And gives Mueller more people to investigate and talk to.
"

That's how these things work. The big stories and events are rare, most of it is painstaking adding of small links to the chain, small bricks in the wall.

Mueller, by all outside testimony, is very careful, and very good at this. He is not going to leave any possible plausible out to disbelieve him.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:39 PM on November 20 [10 favorites]


Fonseca posted an updated picture of her truck to her Facebook page Sunday night. The message now reads in full: YEAH… FUCK TRUMP AND FUCK YOU FOR VOTING FOR HIM. FUCK TROY NEHLS AND FUCK YOU FOR VOTING FOR HIM.

Not all heroes wear capes.
posted by emjaybee at 1:40 PM on November 20 [49 favorites]


@NewDay: Trump voter panelist: "If Jesus Christ gets down off the cross and told me Trump is with Russia, I would tell him, 'Hold on a second. I need to check with the President if it's true.'"

For Trump is your God now, Trump voter panelist.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:41 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


I don't need another indictment before Thanksgiving as much as I need another "Indictments Coming Monday" headline right before Thanksgiving.

If the writers were just, a bunch of WH bozos would get arrested/indicted while Trump is pardoning a turkey.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:45 PM on November 20 [6 favorites]


I hope that Turkey is sufficiently lavish in his or her praise of Donald Trump or he's gonna get mad and chop its head off post-pardon.
posted by Justinian at 1:46 PM on November 20 [10 favorites]


Gorka has a worthy challenger for the title of Dragon Of Budapest.

Matthew Mosk, ABC: Carter Page held high-level meetings with Hungarian officials in Budapest
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:52 PM on November 20 [23 favorites]


Page was in Budapest?!? Russian intelligence's launching pad for spies to Europe?
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:01 PM on November 20 [6 favorites]


You and I remember Budapest very differently.
posted by orrnyereg at 2:03 PM on November 20 [39 favorites]


Waiting for Trump/Russia news is like playing Tetris on a very slow computer.
And I loth Tetris. Especially the Russian music it plays.
Give us a little news mister special prosecutor, please.
posted by Gadgetenvy at 2:04 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


I just hope this ends with Gorka and Page in a desperate and grappling duel while their raft drifts inexorably toward a waterfall somewhere in the Carpathian peaks
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:05 PM on November 20 [55 favorites]


At her press conference, Sarah Sanders is requiring journalists to name some things they're thankful for before she responds to them.

Preznit giv me turkee.
posted by octobersurprise at 2:06 PM on November 20 [17 favorites]


You and I remember Budapest

How you tore your dress? What a mess.
posted by ctmf at 2:08 PM on November 20 [8 favorites]


> Preznit giv me turkee.

Is it Atrios/Eschaton flashbacks I'm having? Nostalgia for the competence of the government during Bush II is a ... weird emotion.
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:09 PM on November 20 [7 favorites]


I know a MetaTalk is discussing this kinda thing as we speak, but Charlie Rose is the latest on the harassment list (Washington Post, by Irin Carmon and Amy Brittain). I don't think it warrants a full FPP, but it seems important.
posted by lauranesson at 2:09 PM on November 20


I don't need another indictment before Thanksgiving as much as I need another "Indictments Coming Monday" headline right before Thanksgiving. Because I'd really like the thought of the entire regime spending their holiday sweating over their dinners.

From your fingers to G-d's monitor. Amen!
posted by mikelieman at 2:11 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


You and I remember Budapest very differently.

Hah!
posted by phearlez at 2:11 PM on November 20 [13 favorites]


Sam Ronan, who ran for DNC Chair as a progressive and has a small left-wing following, announces he is switching parties to Republican.

This is stupid and discrediting. However, I do think that legitimately centrist Republicans (and Independents willing to re-register) should primary all Trumpist Republicans, for two reasons:

1) get whatever platform you can to push back against the cultish propaganda and, e.g., criticize Roy Moore;

2) you might get lucky and be the last person standing against someone in a bad scandal. In bright red states, that's a better path to flipping a seat than a Democrat who would probably lose to any replacement candidate.

(Ahem, CORB)
posted by msalt at 2:19 PM on November 20 [6 favorites]


On the one hand, I hate Jonathan Chait.

On the other hand, what is that kids on Tumblr say these days? If it makes you chuckle out loud, you have to reblog it?
A source close to the administration tells the [Washington] Post that Mueller is running “a classic Gambino-style roll-up” that “will reach everyone in this administration.” When you read histories of the more successful presidential administrations in American history, a phrase you don’t usually come across is “Gambino-style roll-up.”
Chait on the Washington Post article ‘A long winter’: White House aides divided over scope, risks of Russia probe by Ashley Parker and Carol Loennig.
posted by joyceanmachine at 2:20 PM on November 20 [11 favorites]


RedOrGreen: "> Preznit giv me turkee.

Is it Atrios/Eschaton flashbacks I'm having? Nostalgia for the competence of the government during Bush II is a ... weird emotion.
"

That was so long ago and yet the press hasn't gotten any better since then, still more interested in preserving access than printing the truth.
posted by octothorpe at 2:20 PM on November 20 [8 favorites]


I feel like Carter Page's Budapest trip was like beat for beat the same as the Russian embassy scenes in Burn After Reading.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:24 PM on November 20 [11 favorites]


I know a MetaTalk is discussing this kinda thing as we speak, but Charlie Rose is the latest on the harassment list (Washington Post, by Irin Carmon and Amy Brittain).

Wow. I can't say I've been that surprised by the charges that have come up so far, but that one surprises me.
posted by bongo_x at 2:28 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


The Republican War on College
Republican tax and budget policies could impoverish public colleges, punish low-income graduate students, and raise the effective price of student debt—all to make it cheaper for large businesses to invest in nonhuman technology.

A post-human workforce is not an inevitability. But in the future that the GOP is constructing, in which machines are cheap and higher education is expensive, companies will see it as an awfully tempting option.

posted by T.D. Strange at 2:32 PM on November 20 [8 favorites]


I wonder how these men of God square their position on Moore with Mark 8:36.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Or with the temptation in the Wilderness. I don't remember Jesus being all like "Sure, Satan is a bad guy and it's not a great thing if he offers me power but think of the Supreme Court I could assemble and the taxes I could cut?" None of this makes any sense.
posted by Justinian at 2:33 PM on November 20 [14 favorites]


This, in light of things like Sarah Huckabee-Sanders' weird threat via parable, kills me. How is "I'm taking my prosperity and leaving" not screamed as a talking point as super-unpatriotic at every turn?

For the same reason that when confronted with not having paid his fair share of income tax in a presidential debate, Donald Trump simply said, "That makes me smart." And won the presidency shortly thereafter.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 2:35 PM on November 20 [13 favorites]


I wonder how these men of God square their position on Moore with Mark 8:36.

My assumption is that they're not actual men of God, just grifters that figured out religion is a good way to scam the rubes.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:39 PM on November 20 [18 favorites]


but that one surprises me

CBS This Morning could be retitled CBS Workplace Flirting or CBS Innuendo Party (+ Some News).
posted by elsietheeel at 2:46 PM on November 20 [9 favorites]


Advice from an ex-lobbyist on how to kill the "Graduate student tax"

It hurt me more than I was expecting to read that one of his tips was to focus on the representatives of certain states "that GOP members of the Senate Finance committee represent," because he treats it as a given that some version of this monstrosity will pass, and you need to focus on removing this line-item from reconciliation.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 2:48 PM on November 20 [3 favorites]


Can we pull Robin MacNeil and Jim Lehrer out of retirement?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:52 PM on November 20 [3 favorites]


According to Yashar Ali, who's been great on breaking and covering these sexual harassment stories, it's about to get a lot worse for Charlie Rose since there's a second outlet that's about to release a similar story on him, presumably with different/additional accusers/accusations.
posted by chris24 at 2:52 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Last Week Tonight put some CBS This Morning clips together a few months ago. (YouTube link)
posted by lauranesson at 2:54 PM on November 20 [9 favorites]




ABC: Carter Page held high-level meetings with Hungarian officials in Budapest

The Budapest "bridge" is the bridge of Trump's collusion with Russia. (Oohhh. I wondered what bridge I was too uncultured to recognize). Noted here previously, but the real interesting tag is a one Mr J.D. Gordon, visiting "six times".

JD is chief aide to a Racist Elf who, you may not recall, has no idea whatever about a "Russia" or any "discussions". Particularly if they may be retroactively commanded to be forgotten by His Wigness, though they not be at this time.

Going down, Jefferson?
posted by petebest at 2:55 PM on November 20 [23 favorites]


Don't fall for Johnson's bullshit. Dude will vote how his donors tell him to vote.
posted by Justinian at 3:00 PM on November 20 [12 favorites]


So what motivates pro-lifers: the belief that women should be forced to face consequences for having sex, or the belief that abortion is exactly like child murder? Let's review.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:09 PM on November 19 [25 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


I've been known to taunt "prolifers" with the epithet "slut-haters" and asking why they don't require women to wear vaginal discharge filters 24/7 so the precious gifts of life can be caught and given a proper Christian naming and burial. To tell you the truth, I believe that the vast majority of the anti-abortion crew are slut-haters in some form, although most of them aren't doing the slut-hating consciously. It's more built into the deep background of their thinking. It evidences itself both in those who are willing to grant exceptions for rape and health/life of the woman and in those who somehow think that God will protect the virtuous. If you dig hard enough, it always comes down to blame of the pregnant woman and to her "responsibility." The idea that every cell of every human being's body is potential life creates such cognitive dissonance that they can only dismiss that idea as ridiculous, never confronting its implications for their ideology.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:04 PM on November 20 [10 favorites]


"Can we pull Robin MacNeil and Jim Lehrer out of retirement?"
Oh, God, please no, I couldn't take it if I found out anything terrible about them. Let's pull Gwen Ifill back from the beyond.
posted by Don Pepino at 3:05 PM on November 20 [10 favorites]


Don't fall for Johnson's bullshit. Dude will vote how his donors tell him to vote.

Yea there's a 0% chance he'd ever vote against the Kochs on anything. He's the dumbest Senator in the Senate, I just assume he learned about "regular order" for the first time from John McCain and now he's going around saying it a lot because it gets him on TV.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:06 PM on November 20 [8 favorites]


Huh TIL w/r/t Robin MacNeil On November 22, 1963, MacNeil was covering President John F. Kennedy's visit to Dallas for NBC News. After shots rang out in Dealey Plaza, MacNeil, who was with the presidential motorcade, followed crowds running onto the Grassy Knoll (he appears in a photo taken just moments after the assassination). He then headed towards the nearest building and encountered a man leaving the Texas School Book Depository. He asked the man where the nearest telephone was and the man pointed and went on his way. MacNeil later learned the man he encountered at about 12:33 p.m. CST might have been Lee Harvey Oswald.
posted by petebest at 3:09 PM on November 20 [8 favorites]


In my opinion the only possibilities for NO votes on the tax bill in the Senate are Collins and Murkowski on policy, McCain on process, and Flake and Corker because they hate the Cheetomonster plus a bit of deficit hawking from Corker. Some of these are more likely than others.
posted by Justinian at 3:11 PM on November 20 [10 favorites]


It's only notable in that Johnson isn't usually given to make the slightest effort to appear that he cares about people. (I resistbot him frequently nevertheless.) There may have been some slight alteration in the breeze, but the jet stream is still as strong as ever where he's concerned.
posted by dhartung at 3:27 PM on November 20


Blunt's not flippable. He's a true believer. Meanwhile, McCaskill is spending Thanksgiving break giving town halls.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 3:27 PM on November 20 [3 favorites]




"Can we pull Robin MacNeil and Jim Lehrer out of retirement?"
Oh, God, please no, I couldn't take it if I found out anything terrible about them. Let's pull Gwen Ifill back from the beyond.


Tamron Hall still exists and definitely deserves better than the raw deal she got from NBC. Somebody should give her all of Charlie Rose's old spots and then we can watch NBC weep bitter tears of regret and shame.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 3:33 PM on November 20 [10 favorites]


In sports news: The president recently met with the University of Maryland men's lacrosse team at the White House [via Twitter]. Despite seeming evidence to the contrary, the same face has apparently not been copied and pasted onto twenty separate bodies in the photo. (One has to assume, however, that all of those bros wearing red ties were doing so as part of a coordinated effort to showcase their #MAGA support.)
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:33 PM on November 20 [5 favorites]


Blame Trump for making America great again.
posted by marycatherine at 3:36 PM on November 20


Trump shutting down his charity, the Donald J. Trump Foundation. Hmm...
posted by chainlinkspiral at 3:43 PM on November 20 [11 favorites]




Despite seeming evidence to the contrary, the same face has apparently not been copied and pasted onto twenty separate bodies in the photo.

Uh.
posted by leotrotsky at 3:47 PM on November 20


Tamron Hall still exists and definitely deserves better than the raw deal she got from NBC. Somebody should give her all of Charlie Rose's old spots and then we can watch NBC weep bitter tears of regret and shame.

Not to mention Rachel Harris-Perry.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:51 PM on November 20 [7 favorites]




Not to mention Rachel Harris-Perry.

I think you mean Melissa Harris-Perry.
posted by homunculus at 4:01 PM on November 20 [7 favorites]


DC people should all gather in front of the white House and serenade Trump with a little Fats Domino and I Hear You Knocking.

I think you mean Melissa Harris-Perry.

I did this when I googled to check if it was Harris-Perry or Perry-Harris. I probably know someone with that name.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:09 PM on November 20


would enjoy a Melissa Harris-Perry and Rachel Maddow supergroup tho
posted by lalex at 4:11 PM on November 20 [6 favorites]


The shower trick again? Do these guys all subscribe to the same newsletter?
posted by HotToddy at 4:12 PM on November 20 [7 favorites]


I just hope Trump's turkey-pardoning ceremony goes as well as his bald eagle interactions.
posted by WordCannon at 4:23 PM on November 20 [6 favorites]


Jeanine Pirro ticketed for speeding at 119 MPH

"I believe in the rule of law, and I will pay the consequences." Pirro, a former judge, said in a statement provided by Fox News. Continued Pirro, "Gonna write me up for 125. Post my face, wanted dead or alive. Take my license, all that jive. I can't drive 55!"
posted by kirkaracha at 4:28 PM on November 20 [5 favorites]


Politico, FCC to seek total repeal of net neutrality rules, sources say
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will reveal plans to his fellow commissioners on Tuesday to fully dismantle the agency's Obama-era net neutrality regulations, people familiar with the plans said, in a major victory for the telecom industry in the long-running policy debate.

Trump-appointed Pai’s plan would scrap the agency’s core net neutrality rules, which prohibit internet service providers like Comcast or Verizon from blocking or slowing web traffic or negotiating paid deals with websites for “fast lanes” to consumers. The FCC will vote on the change in December.
posted by zachlipton at 4:47 PM on November 20 [19 favorites]


[A few comments deleted; sorry, this isn't going to be a catch-all for Charlie Rose, sexual harassment,separating the art and the artist, etc. Those links can go in old open thread on harassers for the moment, I think someone's about to post another thread on this too.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:48 PM on November 20 [3 favorites]


We’re gonna be fighting for net neutrality until the end of time, aren’t we?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:02 PM on November 20 [13 favorites]


We’re gonna be fighting for net neutrality until the end of time, aren’t we?

On the plus side, Metafilter will be fun to read at 300 baud one-character-on-screen-per-second speed. Like reading ticker-tape in the old-timey days.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:04 PM on November 20 [9 favorites]


’re gonna be fighting for net neutrality until the end of time, aren’t we?

Yes. They're going to try to grab the land unless there is a law preventing them from doing so, which is why industry players are lobbying to roll back guidelines and fighting every whiff of actual legislation.
posted by rhizome at 5:04 PM on November 20 [12 favorites]


We’re gonna be fighting for net neutrality until the end of time, aren’t we?

Nah, only until the power goes out.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:06 PM on November 20 [18 favorites]


The fuckers in the GOP have never seen a golden goose they didn't want to torture and slaughter.

If they can kill net neutrality they will. And they'll wonder why all the best jobs go somewhere else.
posted by anem0ne at 5:09 PM on November 20 [18 favorites]


For those who want to be connected to their representatives and given talking points about this latest round of FCC nonsense, battleforthenet.com already has their system up and running. They'll call you and your Congresscritter and provide you with a script.
posted by WidgetAlley at 5:10 PM on November 20 [6 favorites]


I'm connecting via hotel wifi and in order to watch Netflix I have to connect, sign in to their crap web portal per device, then connect to a VPN I pay for separately so I can reach sites other than the big popular ones, then load Netflix. Then I have to redo that every 20 minutes when they deauth my connection. Or, I can pay $5 a day and *maybe* that wouldn't happen? I'm not gonna try and find out. This is what the rest of the ISPs are gonna start doing.
posted by odinsdream at 5:17 PM on November 20 [6 favorites]


(One has to assume, however, that all of those bros wearing red ties were doing so as part of a coordinated effort to showcase their #MAGA support.)

Well, to be fair, red is the main color for Univ. of Maryland sports, and is in all their home uniforms. But there is a possible MAGA connection, as UnderArmor has a huge deal on Maryland's sports program and UnderArmor CEO Kevin Plank is a big Trumper -- though he publicly distanced himself when it started looking not-so-good. But I'd bet he's still privately on TeamTrump.

(sorry for the brief derail. I took some grad classes at Maryland and wife is an alum.)
posted by martin q blank at 5:33 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


We’re gonna be fighting for net neutrality until the end of time, aren’t we?

We're going to be fighting for that and every other thing we value: healthcare, women's rights, education, national parks, clean air & water, yadda yadda. These fuckers will never stop trying to take things away.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:38 PM on November 20 [54 favorites]


Funny thing about that hotel WiFi. I bet you're staying at a chain hotel. The property owner/manager probably despises the system as much as you do.

The franchise contracts began having specific provisions about Internet access around 2000. Provisions that are written in such a way as to ensure that one of a select few vendors (which require substantial ongoing fees) is used. It's technically possible for an individual property to roll their own system that meets the requirements, but final approval is left up to the franchisor. Said approval will never be granted, though, because the vendors apparently provide kickbacks to the brands. I would be unsurprised to learn that the vendors are owned by executives or their friends at one or more of the large hotel brands, but that is pure speculation.

Thus, you are stuck with shit not because it's what anybody thinks you want, but because it makes some already rich people that much richer while silently driving up your hotel bill.
posted by wierdo at 5:46 PM on November 20 [21 favorites]


Nearly all of the American economy comes down to rent seeking, and nearly all of our politics comes down to those same rent seekers buying our government to seek more rent.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:50 PM on November 20 [71 favorites]



People will go to ridiculous lengths not to admit or accept that they've been suckered. Did Nixon's spiral downwards inspire this degree of dead-ender death cultism?

I have only one data point here: my mother. She was a die-hard William F. Buckley fan and Nixon supporter. I vividly remember her watching the Watergate Hearings and arguing with the television screen. Her basic point was: Nixon was *fine* on Foreign policy! Why did people have to dwell on domestic policy? [Later I read William Shawcross's "Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon and the destruction of Cambodia" and was startled by how wrong she was] In 1977 we watched the David Frost/Nixon interviews together and while by that time she saw that mistakes had been made, she still thought "Only Nixon could go to China". Things improved for her when Reagan became president.

(Sigh.) If she were alive today, we'd probably be chatting happily about how great it was that Nixon banned biological warfare research.
posted by acrasis at 5:53 PM on November 20 [4 favorites]




@realDonaldTrump: Marshawn Lynch of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders stands for the Mexican Anthem and sits down to boos for our National Anthem. Great disrespect! Next time NFL should suspend him for remainder of season. Attendance and ratings way down.
3:25 AM · Nov 20, 2017


1. Motherfucker go back to bed.

2. I'm so tired of him scolding people, POC and women especially.
posted by elsietheeel at 6:14 PM on November 20 [56 favorites]


3. Quit live tweeting Fox & Friends. (Tweet came 18 minutes after F&F had a segment on Lynch.)

4. Attendance is not down. It’s slightly higher than last year.
posted by chris24 at 6:20 PM on November 20 [20 favorites]


Dear Haitians,

Please fuck off back home and die.

Regards,
Donald J. Trump

It's like they figure out the most cruel option every fucking time.
posted by Talez at 6:24 PM on November 20 [16 favorites]


5. 50 more tweets and he can disappear to be replaced by a tweeter markov bot as our president
posted by pyramid termite at 6:25 PM on November 20 [4 favorites]


Jeanine Pirro ticketed for speeding at 119 MPH

"I believe in the rule of law, and I will pay the consequences."


If you get ticketed at 120 damn mph on a public road marked 65, the consequences should be a week in jail
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:27 PM on November 20 [34 favorites]


Court: President Trump's order restricting grants to "sanctuary cities" is "unconstitutional on its face." Issues permanent injunction.

The opinion rejecting Trump's "sanctuary cities" draws heavily on the Supreme Court's ruling that DC couldn't force states to expand Medicaid.

posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:28 PM on November 20 [21 favorites]


Speaking of livetweeting Fox and Friends...

@Under President Trump unemployment rate will drop below 4%. Analysts predict economic boom for 2018! @foxandfriends and @Varneyco
3:55 AM · Nov 20, 2017


Uhhh...aren't analysts predicting that a recession is about to hit? I'm certainly contributing to the increased credit defaults!

Also stop talking about yourself in the third person.
posted by elsietheeel at 6:29 PM on November 20 [5 favorites]


> The opinion rejecting Trump's "sanctuary cities" draws heavily on the Supreme Court's ruling that DC couldn't force states to expand Medicaid.

Wait, didn't Scalia caveat that opinion with "Only for use in the present circumstance, no precedent set, nyah nyah nyah"? Or was that just for Bush v Gore?
posted by RedOrGreen at 6:30 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


6. Momma Lynch don’t play.

@MommaLynch24
what NFL team do Trump own ? oh yeah they wouldnt let him have one ,!! LMAO
posted by chris24 at 6:34 PM on November 20 [75 favorites]


Dear Haitians,

Please fuck off,
except for those who come to work for my West Palm Beach resort -DJT, essentially
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:37 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


Put simply, what Google and Facebook have built is a pair of amazingly sophisticated, computer-driven engines for extracting users’ personal information and data trails, refining them for sale to advertisers in high-speed data-trading auctions that are entirely unregulated and opaque to everyone except the companies themselves.

Yep. Why, though? Where my E2E encrypted social @? (Note: Yay!)
posted by petebest at 6:49 PM on November 20


The Nationalist’s Delusion “Yet it was not just Trump’s supporters who were in denial about what they were voting for, but Americans across the political spectrum, who, as had been the case with Duke’s rise, searched desperately for any alternative explanation—outsourcing, anti-Washington anger, economic anxiety—other than the one staring them in the face.”
posted by The Whelk at 7:02 PM on November 20 [14 favorites]


BuzzFeed, Paul McLeod and Lissandra Villa, She Said That A Powerful Congressman Harassed Her. Here’s Why You Didn’t Hear Her Story.
Michigan Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat and the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 with a former employee who alleged she was fired because she would not “succumb to [his] sexual advances.”

Documents from the complaint obtained by BuzzFeed News include four signed affidavits, three of which are notarized, from former staff members who allege that Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the powerful House Judiciary Committee, repeatedly made sexual advances to female staff that included requests for sexual favors, contacting and transporting other women with whom they believed Conyers was having affairs, caressing their hands sexually, and rubbing their legs and backs in public. Four people involved with the case verified the documents are authentic.

And the documents also reveal the secret mechanism by which Congress has kept an unknown number of sexual harassment allegations secret: A grinding, closely held process that left the alleged victim feeling, she told BuzzFeed News, that she had no option other than to stay quiet and accept a settlement offered to her.
Congress's process for addressing sexual harassment reports is incredibly problematic and complex; Rep. Speier has introduced legislation to reform it.
posted by zachlipton at 7:14 PM on November 20 [19 favorites]


And the documents also reveal the secret mechanism by which Congress has kept an unknown number of sexual harassment allegations secret: A grinding, closely held process that left the alleged victim feeling, she told BuzzFeed News, that she had no option other than to stay quiet and accept a settlement offered to her.

Sooner or later one of these women harassed in Congress is going to haul off and deck one of these guys in self-defense. Seems like that avenue stands a better chance of exposing his crimes and forcing some sort of resolution of his behavior than the current "reporting" process.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 7:28 PM on November 20 [5 favorites]


Sooner or later one of these women harassed in Congress is going to haul off and deck one of these guys in self-defense. Seems like that avenue stands a better chance of exposing his crimes and forcing some sort of resolution of his behavior than the current "reporting" process.

I'm going to go right ahead and predict that if that happened we would hear a whole lot about disrupting the decorum of Congress and how the woman should have handled it better and we can't believe a violent woman, she's clearly hysterical and oh the poor poor congressman.
posted by mcduff at 7:32 PM on November 20 [27 favorites]


Oh, we'll totally hear that, yes. The odds of that reaction being enough to make it go away aren't what they were before 2017.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 7:36 PM on November 20 [5 favorites]


Surely it's not a coincidence that both Conyers and Franken are Democrats. I think the Republicans are sending a message.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:41 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


(Conyers is one of the most liberal members of the House; he introduced a House Medicare For All bill before Bernie introduced his Senate version)
posted by Jpfed at 7:42 PM on November 20 [3 favorites]


For what it's worth, Rep. Speier said last week that she knows of two members who "have engaged in sexual harassment," one Democrat and one Republican. We don't know if Rep. Conyers is the Democrat she was talking about or not.
posted by zachlipton at 7:45 PM on November 20


There must be at least dozens of members who have engaged in sexual harassment, and I find it hard to believe that Rep. Spiers only knows of two.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:49 PM on November 20 [3 favorites]


lol Buzzfeed: Sources: McMaster Mocked Trump’s Intelligence In a Private Dinner

Josh Marshall connected some dots here: guess where Ezra Cohen-Watnick ended up after McMaster finally got him fired from the NSC? Oracle. Was this story his revenge?
posted by zachlipton at 7:52 PM on November 20 [5 favorites]


Surely it's not a coincidence that both Conyers and Franken are Democrats.
The documents were first provided to BuzzFeed News by Mike Cernovich, the men's rights figure turned pro-Trump media activist who propagated a number of false conspiracy theories including the “Pizzagate” conspiracy. Cernovich said he gave the documents to BuzzFeed News for vetting and further reporting, and because he said if he published them himself, Democrats and congressional leaders would “try to discredit the story by attacking the messenger.” He provided them without conditions. BuzzFeed News independently confirmed the authenticity of the documents with four people directly involved with the case, including the accuser.
So yes, the allegations against Conyers were helped along. That doesn't make them any less serious. That doesn't make Conyers any less bad for doing this.
posted by indubitable at 7:59 PM on November 20 [11 favorites]


I am glad this is coming to light. I also think that having these kinds of documents leaked to Cernovich is downright dangerous for this country.
posted by zachlipton at 8:02 PM on November 20 [25 favorites]


All 435 seats in the house are up in 2018. I'm really liking the Brand New Congress idea more and more.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:04 PM on November 20 [15 favorites]


Am I bad for hoping some left leaning types "help along" some of the allegations against scummy Republicans? I mean, I know that makes me bad but I can't help it.
posted by Justinian at 8:07 PM on November 20 [4 favorites]


Cernovich's involvement just means what we speculated might happen, alt-right weaponization of #metoo against Democratic MoCs, is already in progress. That means more are on the way.

That said: what the fuck do they think is going to happen here? Democrats will think 'oh no, we better back off on Moore'? Because that's never going to happen. I for one would rather burn down the whole thing and start over with a #brandnewcongress than let any of these fuckers slide out of fear of backlash.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 8:07 PM on November 20 [49 favorites]


Josh Marshall connected some dots here: guess where Ezra Cohen-Watnick ended up after McMaster finally got him fired from the NSC? Oracle. Was this story his revenge?

If someone caused me to land a job at Oracle, I'd be angry too.
posted by ocschwar at 8:10 PM on November 20 [17 favorites]


I think a part of me has been team burn the whole thing down for a while. My frontal lobe is holding me back with stupid stuff like, logic and reason and restraint. But lizard brain would love to see just mass resignations for the creepy stuff and trials for the criminal stuff, and the huge scramble on the part of both parties as men started to be held accountable. As not great as the fact that its a right-wing troll giving us half the goods, lizard brain is slowly winning the fight today.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:11 PM on November 20


That said: what the fuck do they think is going to happen here? Democrats will think 'oh no, we better back off on Moore'?

No what they think will happen is that stories about Dems will dilute the press coverage about Moore and make him seem less bad to republican voters in Alabama. "Well, everyone does it." They are counting on false equivalencies between sexually harassing adults (which is terrible, don't get me wrong) and sexually assualting children. And they are hoping to discourage and divide the left for the 2018 elections.
posted by mcduff at 8:17 PM on November 20 [32 favorites]


All 435 seats in the house are up in 2018. I'm really liking the Brand New Congress idea more and more.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:04 PM on November 20 [2 favorites +] [!]


We should elect only women until the historical average is 50%. Only then should we consider electing men. /half-joking
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:23 PM on November 20 [16 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** AL Senate special -- McConnell apparently thinks a write-in GOP candidate is no longer a viable option. [Daily Caller - not going to link them]

** 2018 House:
-- Nate Cohn: Dems' chance of flipping the House will depend if the results are more like 2017's special elections, or more like New Jersey/Virginia.

-- Vice starts a series on House races with seats that are Dem top targets.
** 2018 Senate:
-- Menendez is likely pretty safe as a re-elect in NJ, despite his ethical problems. GOP can't find anyone to run into a buzzsaw, and on the Dem side, power brokers are lined up behind him. Still probably a good idea for a progressive to try and primary him, though. [538]

-- Former Mike Lee chief of staff Boyd Matheson has said he won't run for the Orrin Hatch seat, if open. This looks to be clearing the decks for a Romney bid.
** Odds & ends:
-- Dems made substantial gains below the radar in New Jersey on Election Day, gaining 93 elected officials on the municipal level, and flipping 13 towns to Dem control.

-- Looks like an effort to get a constitutional amendment in Michigan to set up a non-partisan redistricting process is likely successful, as they have submitted way over the required number of signatures to get on the ballot.

-- Another MI initiative to legalize marijuana has also submitted signatures and looks like a good chance of making the ballot.

-- DKE: There is A LOT of sexual harrassment/assault in state legislatures.

-- Dems should control the New York Senate, but a group of assholes conservative Dems have formed a breakaway group called the Independent Democratic Caucus that supports the GOP for organizational purposes. Sen. Schumer is now calling for them to cut the crap, joining Sen Gillibrand, and the entire NY Dem House membership. Progressives are also trying to primary the IDCs, but this can be tricky in the quid pro quo atmosphere of NY state politics.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:26 PM on November 20 [33 favorites]


All 435 seats in the house are up in 2018. I'm really liking the Brand New Congress idea more and more.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:04 PM on November 20 [2 favorites +] [!]

We should elect only women until the historical average is 50%. Only then should we consider electing men. /half-joking


Well, I agree, and I'm not joking at all.

also:
"[W]hen I’m sometimes asked when will there be enough [women on the supreme court]? And I say ‘When there are nine.’ People are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that." -- Ruth Bader Ginsburg
posted by gaspode at 8:27 PM on November 20 [129 favorites]


This looks to be clearing the decks for a Romney bid.

I for one can't wait to welcome Mitt to the ranks of NeverTrumpers with Grave Concerns that vote with Trump 99.98% of the time including for lifetime appointments of 36 year old judges who have never been to trial like Ben Sasse and Jeff Flake did except that one time Collins and Murkowski stood firm and John McCain wanted regular order so he could make a speech before he forgot about that again.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:30 PM on November 20 [18 favorites]


We should elect only women until the historical average is 50%. Only then should we consider electing men. /half-joking

I'm totally cool with that, so long as men get 41 seats in the Senate. /fully-joking
posted by wierdo at 8:39 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


We should elect only women until the historical average is 50%. Only then should we consider electing men. /half-joking

Also agreed, also not joking. It's a bit of a chicken-and-egg thing though, isn't it? This snake pit is full of venomous snakes, so let's elect only women and one by one, we'll replace each of those serpents with a non-venomous woman legislator, and pretty soon there'll be no more snakes and we can go back to calling it a Congress.

It's a brave woman who'll run for office in this environment to begin with, I guess is my point, and while we need a whole lot more of them, we maybe should focus just as hard or harder on dragging some more of these fucking snakes out of there first before we expect more women to wholeheartedly embrace serving in the snake pit. Many have signed on already and more are signing on now of course, because we've got some really fucking brave and resilient women in this country, but we might consider doing more to help them than just egg them on from the sidelines. Working with our reps to throw out Conyers and Franken, and ensuring that Roy Moore remains unelected and unelectable to anything beyond membership in his local HOA, will be a good start.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 8:40 PM on November 20 [8 favorites]


Well, I'm off to drift to sleep imagining a Congress and Supreme Court and White House and sundry state and local governments entirely populated by (preferably non-awful) women, which officially makes this the least nightmarish bedtime of 2017, so far.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:47 PM on November 20 [3 favorites]


12/16 Democratic pickups in the VA House of Delegates were women and 16,000 women reached out to Emily's List about running. Seems like a good start.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:50 PM on November 20 [23 favorites]


@mrsmaris: "Journalists who framed narrative of Hillary Clinton as corrupt, inauthentic, flawed?

Glenn Thrush (Politico/NYT)
Mark Halperin (Game Change, Circus)
Hamilton Fish/Leon Wieseltier (New Republic)
Sam Kriss (Vice)
Jordan Chariton (TYT)

ALL facings sexual harassment allegations.🤔"
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:51 PM on November 20 [146 favorites]


well what do you know. It looks like it *was* misogyny the drove them! BARF
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:54 PM on November 20 [30 favorites]


Looks like an effort to get a constitutional amendment in Michigan to set up a non-partisan redistricting process is likely successful, as they have submitted way over the required number of signatures to get on the ballot.

-- Another MI initiative to legalize marijuana has also submitted signatures and looks like a good chance of making the ballot.

posted by Chrysostom
I signed the redistricting petition!
I was not offered the marijuana one. :(
I will vote for it if it makes the ballot, though.:)
posted by Gadgetenvy at 8:54 PM on November 20 [5 favorites]


Francis Wilkinson, Bloomberg: GOP Surrenders Cherished IRS Scandal at Last
The IRS scandal came to a pathetic, whimpering conclusion earlier this month. For half a decade the scandal had kept delinquent members of Congress occupied and served up reliable programming to Fox News and other conservative media. But when Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen walked out of his office on Nov. 9, of his own volition, on schedule, his fine reputation intact, the whole greasy production quietly expired.

When President Barack Obama appointed Koskinen in 2013, the Republicans had been swinging at the IRS for some time. A band of House Republicans later attempted to impeach Koskinen, claiming various misdeeds. But it was a late-inning stunt, a too-obvious effort to extend a scandal that had served so many so well for so long.

Shortly before Koskinen left office, the Treasury Department Inspector General for Tax Administration released the (presumably) final report on the scandal. Like a previous Inspector General report, it tried to soothe Republican feelings – the IRS really, really should’ve handled things differently -- while utterly refuting Republican charges about what had transpired.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:03 PM on November 20 [17 favorites]


The Michigan redistricting initiative is an exciting one. A reasonable guess is D +2 in the House, and probably taking control of the state House and Senate.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:08 PM on November 20 [10 favorites]


Bruce Bartlett, Guardian: Republican tax cuts will hurt Americans. And Democrats will pay the price
I think many Democrats and independent political observers are puzzled by the intensity with which Republicans are pursuing their tax cut. It’s not politically popular and may well lead to the party’s defeat in next year’s congressional elections. So why do it?

The answer is that Republicans are pushing the tax cut at breakneck speed precisely because they know they are probably going to lose next year and in 2020 as well. The tax cut, once enacted, however, will bind the hands of Democrats for years to come, forcing them to essentially follow a Republican agenda of deficit reduction and prevent any action on a positive Democratic program. The result will be a steady erosion of support for Democrats that will put Republicans back in power within a few election cycles.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:14 PM on November 20 [19 favorites]


Or they could repeal the tax cuts on a party line vote, exactly like Republicans would.

Except that would require discipline and competence.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:20 PM on November 20 [17 favorites]


Say what you will about historic Democratic ill discipline, but Schumer’s been running a tight ship, that’s for sure. He’s kept the Dem caucus a lot more in line than I expected. Without his leadership, and the cohesiveness of the Dems, TrumpCare might have passed earlier this year.

It helps, of course, that Trump and the GOP have been so monstrous of late. Still, may the Dems continue to be so effective!
posted by darkstar at 9:26 PM on November 20 [11 favorites]


It helps, of course, that Trump and the GOP have been so monstrous of late. Still, may the Dems continue to be so effective!

It's really, really easy to oppose this Republican Congress. Listen to Claire McCaskill's interview on Pod Save America today where she endorsed that a bipartisan tax cut bill (which would still undoubtedly be heavily tilted towards the rich and megacorporations) could've gotten 70 votes.

The marginal Democrats in the Senate right now are pissed off that they're being shut out of the legislative process. They're less upset about the merits, and still as reluctant as ever to defend truly progressive goals. If Republicans were willing to throw even the tiniest bit of neoliberal cover, we'd be seeing mass defections. There's about 30-32 actual liberals in the Senate, and the rest of the Democratic caucus will always be looking for every excuse to vote with the Republicans. The only reason that they're not right now is because the Republicans have given them literally not one single excuse. The moment that changes is the moment we lose 8-12 ostensible Democrats.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:49 PM on November 20 [19 favorites]


I signed the redistricting petition!
I was not offered the marijuana one. :(


I am told this is bad marijuana etiquette.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:54 PM on November 20 [44 favorites]


The Dems might even be able to pull off a politically popular repeal of the Republican tax cuts by increasing taxes on the wealthy and removing the shitty tax burdens the Republicans put on everyone else to pay for the corporate handouts. But we'll need to push them to do so.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:02 PM on November 20 [6 favorites]


Johnny Wallflower: Bruce Bartlett, Guardian: The answer is that Republicans are pushing the tax cut at breakneck speed precisely because they know they are probably going to lose next year and in 2020 as well. The tax cut, once enacted, however, will bind the hands of Democrats for years to come, forcing them to essentially follow a Republican agenda of deficit reduction and prevent any action on a positive Democratic program.

T.D. Strange: Or they could repeal the tax cuts on a party line vote, exactly like Republicans would.

Is it possible that the bill is inherently easier to pass than repeal? I don't know the exact details, but as I understand it, the bill is only filibuster-proof if it's roughly deficit-neutral. Plus there are various components that phase in and out at different times. Might those effects combine to make something that would require a more substantial majority to undo than the slim majority that could pass it?

jason_steakums: The Dems might even be able to pull off a politically popular repeal of the Republican tax cuts by increasing taxes on the wealthy and removing the shitty tax burdens the Republicans put on everyone else to pay for the corporate handouts. But we'll need to push them to do so.

Now I'm curious if there's any poll that gives a solid idea how many Americans truly see themselves as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 10:02 PM on November 20 [3 favorites]


The Byrd Rule only applies to legislation that would increase the deficit, or increase spending, outside of a 10 year window. So anything that raises revenue but does not increase spending, or at least not increase spending more than revenue, could be passed under reconciliation. Thus, anything passed under reconciliation can be repealed by the same reconciliation rules.

But it'd be a novel idea to use reconciliation to actually raise revenue and, you know, spend it on shit normal people actually like.

Maybe someone should tell the Democrats.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:08 PM on November 20 [7 favorites]


Kansas voted to increase taxes this year. It's absolutely doable but the Democrats need to be making their case like yesterday and not hemming and hawing. I understand that the politicians and pundits have been conditioned (and have conditioned us and themselves) to think that it's bad politics to push for tax increases but it's not sustainable to just try to eke out what little government we can under repeated Republican cuts and that can't change without standing up and talking about it. Maybe send these folks out to be the point people? They make a damn good argument.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:28 PM on November 20 [9 favorites]


Politico, Watchdog says Homeland Security bottling up travel ban report, Agency 'violated two court orders' reining in early Trump immigration move, IG contends.

In which the DHS Inspector General finished a report on the first travel ban rollout in October, but DHS is blocking the release of the report, per a letter to Congress. The report includes conclusions that DHS continued to instruct airlines not to board denied passengers after a court order blocked the travel ban, and that the administration gave Customs and Border Protection no notice on implementing the ban, causing massive uncertainty as to basic aspects of the policy.
Records obtained by POLITICO through an ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit underscore concerns by DHS personnel that there was no clear guidance about how to interpret the first order.

"We got a memo from the White House saying one thing and now the Press Secretary said another," a senior CBP official wrote to an American Airlines executive in a Feb. 1 email explaining why the agency just abruptly withdrew guidance sent to major international air carriers.
posted by zachlipton at 10:39 PM on November 20 [17 favorites]


This is the kind of thing that happens when you start staffing your State Dept. They turn on you & accuse you of enabling war crimes. Can't have that. Exclusive - State Dept. revolt: Tillerson accused of violating U.S. law on child soldiers.
posted by scalefree at 10:59 PM on November 20 [53 favorites]


"We got a memo from the White House saying one thing and now the Press Secretary said another," a senior CBP official wrote to an American Airlines executive in a Feb. 1 email explaining why the agency just abruptly withdrew guidance sent to major international air carriers.

If only there was some process to approve organization changes to operational procedures and distribute the revised orders to the staff, in a way that authenticated them as official policy?
posted by mikelieman at 11:50 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


Surprising no one, pastor who supports Roy Moore turns out to be a garbage human.
posted by PenDevil at 12:07 AM on November 21 [17 favorites]


Cernovich's involvement just means what we speculated might happen, alt-right weaponization of #metoo against Democratic MoCs, is already in progress. That means more are on the way.

Cernovich is a coward, so if he’s pushing this narrative it means that Republicans are deeply confident that they can win on the “Rape Is OK if You’re a Republican” platform. Cernovich was an originalist in the hate campaign that drove a bunch of women in tech off of the Internet a few years ago but he hasn’t been willing to take the spotlight until now. I wonder what has changed?
posted by SakuraK at 12:21 AM on November 21 [7 favorites]


I just used the phrase "Trump Crime Family" in a sentence elsewhere. Going forward, I'm going to be using "Trump Crime Family" all the time.

As in, "Whether it's Mueller's obstruction/conspiracy/money laundering/election crimes charges, or Schniederman's self-dealing, money laundering charges, the whole Trump Crime Family is going down."
posted by mikelieman at 12:44 AM on November 21 [27 favorites]


I am glad this is coming to light. I also think that having these kinds of documents leaked to Cernovich is downright dangerous for this country.

I'm sure the people who effected access to internal Democrat documents and dropped said docs in Cernovich's lap want only the best for this country and for liberal democracy everywhere.
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:26 AM on November 21 [8 favorites]


Late to the Franken game, having been kept off politics threads for a few days by a foul cold. Sorry if what follows is all just poor reheats.

Franken's only proper response is that "I was a sexist asshole."

If I were ever to find myself in his position, I think my public statement would have to read along these lines:

"I apologize without qualification to Ms. Tweeden for having forced an unwanted kiss upon her backstage, for having groped her in her sleep on the plane, and for waiting until now to acknowledge having done those things and apologize for them. I am deeply sorry for what I did and wish now that I had never done it.

"I acted like a sexist asshole. I was old enough to know better. I knew that what I was about to do was an abuse of power and chose to do it anyway. Associating with people who would consider such behaviour acceptable cannot excuse it now and did not excuse it then.

"Nor can discounting the point of view of the person I abused. The widely publicized photograph appears to show me groping Ms. Tweeden in her sleep, and she quite reasonably took it as evidence that I had done so; that's how she saw it, so that's what it means to her. Any claim that it was 'only an air grope' or 'only a prank for the laughs' cannot change the fact that in posing for that photo I assumed not only a right to reduce her from a person worthy of respect to an inanimate prop for a cheap gag, but the rightness of spreading a depiction of her so reduced.

"Looking back, I have trouble forgiving myself for acting that way. But the truth is that forgiveness for low acts like those is not mine to give, nor that of any ethics committee. If there is to be forgiveness it can come only from those that my actions have hurt, and it is something neither I nor my supporters have a right to expect or to ask for. But if there is anything I can do now to make amends, I promise to do that.

"I also apologize without qualification to those who supported me in my pursuit of public office. I have let you all down, and I am sorry. You deserve to be represented by somebody with better judgement, and I am therefore resigning my Senate position as of today.

"I have been hugely impressed by the courage of those who are coming forward in increasing numbers to disclose past abuses at the hands of powerful people. This is a trend whose end result can only be good for our country, and I call upon my fellow members of Congress to give careful consideration to their own personal histories in the light of that trend and act as their consciences dictate.

"The truth will out. The truth should out. And the sooner it does, the better for all concerned."

The idea that anyone accused must go, even if the accusations are false and even if they have been drummed up by Bannonites, gives republicans too much power to damn people who might do some good. Plus, if it was met with that level of success a couple of times, it wouldn't be long before they would be trying to pull it on a mass scale to the extent that there wouldn't be a democratic party if a change in response wasn't implemented.

This difficulty disappears as soon as you realize that each accused person actually knows whether they did what they're being accused of or not. From which the following policy emerges:

If they did what they're accused of, or did something that could reasonably be construed as what they're accused of by their putative victim: fall on sword immediately, for the good of the country.

If they didn't: fight tooth and nail to prove it, for the good of the country.

And there should be no mercy at all in the court of public opinion for those who take the tooth and nail option and are subsequently shown to be liars.

If this policy were generally accepted within a political party, the rational strategic response would be to run candidates whose chance of actually having sexually assaulted another person is as low as possible given budgetary constraints on vetting. And if that means more women end up elected, that's no bad thing and won't even have a chance to get bad until the demographic balance in Congress is as out of whack as it already is.

Al Franken was a good senator

Weiner was pretty good at his job as well in many ways.

They've made whatever contribution they're going to make, at this point. They've done the good they're going to do. Time for somebody else to step up and do the rest.

The idea that Republicans would be less likely to adopt such a policy than Democrats should not matter a whit. If the Democratic Party became generally understood to be the one less likely to support predatory abusers and could maintain a well deserved reputation in that regard for at least a few decades, this could only be to the Party's advantage. And as Her Emails clearly demonstrate, even a 2% advantage is enough in a 49:51 election.
posted by flabdablet at 3:16 AM on November 21 [20 favorites]


The Dems might even be able to pull off a politically popular repeal of the Republican tax cuts by increasing taxes on the wealthy and removing the shitty tax burdens the Republicans put on everyone else to pay for the corporate handouts. But we'll need to push them to do so.

The problem, as witnessed in the 2016 election, is that Republicans are more than happy to paint a raising of taxes on the wealthy as a raising of taxes on everybody.
posted by Talez at 3:22 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]


-- Dems should control the New York Senate, but a group of assholes conservative Dems have formed a breakaway group called the Independent Democratic Caucus that supports the GOP for organizational purposes. Sen. Schumer is now calling for them to cut the crap, joining Sen Gillibrand, and the entire NY Dem House membership. Progressives are also trying to primary the IDCs, but this can be tricky in the quid pro quo atmosphere of NY state politics.


I believe the IDC is the more progressive group of Dems trying to pull the state legislature to the left by supporting abortion rights, universal healthcare for NYS, DREAM ACT, etc. as described here

Still results in a circular firing squad in the legislature tho.
posted by newpotato at 3:49 AM on November 21


I wasn't offered the marijuana one.

I renewed my driver's license on Sept. 29 in Lansing, and there was a person collecting signatures on a whole bunch of initiatives outside the Secretary of State. Facebook post:
Signing petitions outside the Secretary of State:

Frail-looking elderly white woman leaning on cane (she and her companion have a 48912 zip code and are possibly a lesbian couple): "And what's this one for?"

Canvasser: "It's to change the marijuana laws in Michigan to have the same regulations as alcohol."

Fabulous crone: "Hell, yeah."

I look up from where I'm signing a petition to end lifetime benefits for former state legislators, and say to her, "I'd high-five you but I'm pretty sure it would knock one or both of us over."

She laughs and then tells us about her daughter who died of cancer and got tremendous pain relief from marijuana. Yep.
posted by Orlop at 3:55 AM on November 21 [54 favorites]


For comprehensive NY IDC coverage, google "ny daily news idc ken lovett"
posted by mikelieman at 4:39 AM on November 21


Maybe Franken should resign, but wait until after this while tax thing is done as far as I’m concerned. If he steps down now, the path to passing that bill gets much, much easier and a lot of people will be hurt by it. A lot. I’m not happy having to stake this position. But the republicans would do this 100% of the time and they’re getting very close to accomplishing their biggest goals. Raise taxes on the poor and working people, give the richest a fat, fat tax cut, get Medicaod and Medicare, destroy the higher education system... I feel dirty wanting him to stay but I feel sick thinking about how many people will get hurt by this bill.
posted by azpenguin at 4:50 AM on November 21 [7 favorites]


Cernovich's involvement just means what we speculated might happen, alt-right weaponization of #metoo against Democratic MoCs, is already in progress. That means more are on the way.

I disagree, you can't call revelation of actual wrongdoing "weaponization". If you want to point to Cernovich's weaponization of sex crime allegations, a good place to start is the smear he helped engineer against Matt Taibbi and Mark Ames, which is completely fabricated.
posted by indubitable at 5:04 AM on November 21 [6 favorites]


TBH I've heard about Ames being a creep for years. Elsewhere and on the Blue. Also have heard that Taibbi is a creep to on twitter. Are those fabrications?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 5:13 AM on November 21 [6 favorites]


Whaa? I admit I stopped paying attention after reading the expose on Taibbi, but I thought he'd basically verified it?
posted by Dashy at 5:13 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Or they could repeal the tax cuts on a party line vote, exactly like Republicans would

The reason a straight party line vote won't work is that the president still needs to sign it.
posted by xigxag at 5:28 AM on November 21


Taibbi is slime and whether you believe that what he wrote in the memoir is true or fictionalized satire, that he thought it was funny is about as indicting.

Jezebel: Writers Matt Taibbi and Mark Ames Serviced No One But Themselves With Their 'Satire'

Chicago Reader: Twenty years ago, in Moscow, Matt Taibbi was a misogynist asshole—and possibly worse

Reuters: U.S. journalist faces sexual harassment furor over memoir
posted by chris24 at 5:33 AM on November 21 [18 favorites]


If [Franken] steps down now, the path to passing that bill gets much, much easier

I keep seeing people say this, but I don't understand the thinking. How does Franken not being there get the Republicans closer to the 50 votes they need to pass the bill?
posted by EarBucket at 5:42 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]


If that Matt Taibbi thing is true, it's very instructive. The author says that he interviewed the majority of the eXile staff, including six women among whom were the two pseudonymously referenced in the really creepy passages. All say that the book was fiction, there was no harassment, the oral sex under the table thing never happened, etc. The author also talks about how the book in question is hard to find and most people have not read it, only selected passages, so there is no context involved, and he talks about a variety of threatening communications from Cernovich, borked links and weird stuff.

I think that if this is true, it's quite possible that, eg, Matt Taibbi has been creepy enough to women that the accusation seems very plausible - that is, he really is a creep - but that he has not actually done what is claimed, and that the claims are constructed by the right out of suspicious but not actually damning material.

On the one hand, the eXile (which I read online, actually, back in the day) was super gross. A man who thought that stuff was funny was super disgusting man.

At the same time, it's important whether it's true or not, because we are trying to figure out what real consequences for people should be, and a bunch of "you wrote this and it was incredibly gross and offensive fiction, so we're going to treat it as if you actually did those things" is going to muddy the waters.

Also - and I hate to say this because I hated it at the time - a lot of late 90s new-cool-media was really disgusting and horrible. If you read fanzines or small press music mags or any kind of "underground" stuff that wasn't riot grrrl, this stuff was par for the course. That doesn't make me think better of Taibbi, because no one forced him to be a misogynist. But to me it does suggest how something could seem like normal satirical writing in the moment, even though now we see it for what it is.

If this is true, it is really important, because it shows us what we can expect in the present moment - accusations against people who are not obviously innocent, who may even be kind of creepy, and who are chosen because they are plausible as accused. This could actually be pretty destructive. I don't think we can underestimate the right on this, because they don't have any interest in establishing the truth, they only want their side to win, and at the moment there is no mechanism accessible to the left to investigate and refute false claims.

In this sense, I think Franken's "let's have an investigation" thing is actually a good idea, even though I am more and more grossed out by him, because the only bulwark against the right is going to be setting some standards about what requires resignations and firings. The bar need not be especially high - there just needs to be a bar. "Everyone should be fired if they say sexually explicit things to co-workers" or whatever standard seems best - it's not the standard itself but the fact of the standard.

Because Cernovich says something does not mean it's false, but it means that it could be false, or it could be intentionally misleading. This is a very, very difficult situation because we're not just dealing with rapist and harasser men, we're dealing with a bunch of right wing operatives who want to screw up our process to their own advantage.
posted by Frowner at 5:42 AM on November 21 [49 favorites]


[Is the Matt Taibbi stuff more sexual assault/harassment charges? Because we're really, really trying to have this thread remain news about POTUS, WH, current politics news and updates. There's a thread for discussion of sexual abuse allegations etc., and further discussion of Franken that isn't directly related to political stuff right now should go there, too.]
posted by taz at 5:44 AM on November 21 [7 favorites]


The eXile was to VICE what MONDO 2000 was to WIRED. It was the Athens to their Rome, in other words.
posted by acb at 5:45 AM on November 21 [4 favorites]


I keep seeing people say this, but I don't understand the thinking. How does Franken not being there get the Republicans closer to the 50 votes they need to pass the bill?

They don’t need 50. They need a simple majority. (If I’m wrong then by all means correct this. But I’ve not seen anything about a 50 vote requirement.) One less no vote means a majority is that much easier.
posted by azpenguin at 5:53 AM on November 21


They need a simple majority.

With 99 senators that’s still 50 votes. You need 50-49.
posted by Talez at 6:00 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]


And the Minnesota governor could appoint a replacement very quickly.

I've realized this morning that I’m especially mad at Al Franken not just because I liked and admired him but because his entire persona as a politician was about *seriousness.* The promise he was made about dropping the clownishness of his comedian persona for serious, dedicated public service. Well, he didn’t, and now I never want to hear from him again. The sooner he is out of office the better as far as I'm concerned. I'm fine with him staying as a NO for any near-term crucial votes but as soon as there's an opportunity, jettison him.
posted by gerryblog at 6:05 AM on November 21 [6 favorites]


Exclusive - State Dept. revolt: Tillerson accused of violating U.S. law on child soldiers.

Lessee, that's two countries currently committing genocide that the U.S. is publicly rewarding. Who'll be next?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:05 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Couldn't they have a replacement lined up to swear in as soon as he resigns? I was not under the impression that his resignation would not necessarily leave an unfilled seat.
posted by solotoro at 6:06 AM on November 21




Danny Vinik and Andrew Restuccia: Leading Trump Census pick causes alarm
The Trump administration is leaning toward naming Thomas Brunell, a Texas professor with no government experience, to the top operational job at the U.S. Census Bureau, according to two people who have been briefed on the Bureau’s plans.

Brunell, a political science professor, has testified more than half a dozen times on behalf of Republican efforts to redraw congressional districts, and is the author of a 2008 book titled “Redistricting and Representation: Why Competitive Elections Are Bad for America.”

The choice would mark the administration’s first major effort to shape the 2020 Census, the nationwide count that determines which states lose and gain electoral votes and seats in the House of Representatives.

The fate of the Census under Trump has been closely watched by voting-rights advocates worried that the administration — which has already made unsupported claims about voter fraud — might nudge it in directions that over- or under-count some Americans. Subtle bureaucratic choices in the wording and administration of the Census can have huge consequences for who is counted, and how it shifts American voting districts.

The pick would break with the long-standing precedent of choosing a nonpolitical government official as deputy director of the U.S. Census Bureau. The job has typically been held by a career civil servant with a background in statistics. It does not require Senate confirmation, so Congress would have no power to block the hire.
@brianbeutler: .@JeffFlake @BenSasse @SenJohnMcCain @SenBobCorker could make clear that installing this guy into a decision-making role at Census will come with consequences. Will they? (No.)
posted by zombieflanders at 6:08 AM on November 21 [61 favorites]


Abbas's spokesman: The PA has decided to suspend its ties with the US, following the Trump administration's intention to close off the PLO's office in DC.

What's to stop the US from just adding them to the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism in retaliation?
posted by acb at 6:16 AM on November 21


The US would have to recognize them as a state first.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:20 AM on November 21 [12 favorites]


"Why Competitive Elections Are Bad" is like A+ Sinister Titling right there.
posted by angrycat at 6:30 AM on November 21 [52 favorites]


Argh! I used ResistBot to ask my Republican Senators to not support the Tax Bill, and received this response from Lamar Alexander this morning:
You don’t need to be an accountant to know that our tax code is too complicated, takes too many dollars away from Tennesseans and makes it harder to create good-paying jobs.
...
This Senate Finance Committee bill is good for Tennesseans’ family incomes. Its middle class tax cuts will leave more money in the pockets of Tennesseans. Tax cuts for job creators will grow the economy and cause employers to raise wages in order to compete for employees. I look forward to continuing to work with President Trump, Chairman Hatch, and my colleagues in the House and Senate to help create a simpler and fairer pro-growth tax system.
So... you want to raise my (and other middle-income people's) taxes so that "job creators" will create jobs (ps, there's no evidence this even happens) so that our money trickles back down to us?? While removing deductions for teachers and graduate students and possibly taxing the endowment of one of the largest employers in my city (so that Betsy DeVos has more money)? I. Just. Argh!!

I will actively support and campaign for any Democrat or Democratic Socialist who runs against this man.
posted by Is It Over Yet? at 6:35 AM on November 21 [39 favorites]


With 99 senators that’s still 50 votes. You need 50-49.

Nah, you need 49 + Pence. With 100 senators you need 50 + Pence.
posted by dis_integration at 6:46 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]


This was about Franken stepping down, right? So right now they need 50+Pence and after they would need just the 50.
posted by Slackermagee at 6:47 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Nah, you need 49 + Pence. With 100 senators you need 50 + Pence.
The vice president only casts a tie-breaking vote in the case of a tie. Otherwise he doesn't vote.

It's true that with one fewer senator on the D side the Rs can pass legislation without Pence's vote, but Pence is virtually guaranteed to OK this legislation if his vote is called for. The temporary absence of a single Democratic senator would not significantly change the balance of power in this case. (on edit: unless a Republican senator is also absent: say McCain is incapacitated by his cancer or one of the "I have concerns" crowd decides to abstain. Which I maintain is unlikely to happen in this case but is at least conceivable.)
posted by Nerd of the North at 6:50 AM on November 21 [6 favorites]


Pence only gets a vote if there's a tie. There's no 49+ Pence. Unless I guess Franken steps down, someone else abstains, and the rest of the vote is 49-49.
posted by solotoro at 6:51 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Because few things scare me more than the prospect of the Trump administration long-term fucking with elections and the census, I started looking at Brunell more closely. For those who are equally curious, here are some observations:

1. His most recent publication is titled Has the Voting Rights Act Outlived its Usefulness? In a Word, “No.” I am familiar with one of the co-authors, and she regularly provides expert testimony on behalf of plaintiffs seeking to vindicate their voting rights in the face of discrimination. This suggests that Brunell is, at a minimum, a mixed bag, and holds at least some views that are a consistent with what we would want from someone in the position to which he may be appointed. To spell it out, he's working with an advocate for minority voting rights to put his name on a paper that trumpets that the Voting Rights Act is necessary to ensure that minority candidates can win office - this is a good thing given the concern that he might abuse power to tinker with how minorities are counted.

2. His ideasabout drawing uncompetitive districts is discussed in this article: Rethinking Redistricting: How Drawing Uncompetitive Districts Eliminates Gerrymanders,
Enhances Representation, and Improves Attitudes toward Congress
. I think it's easy to have a knee-jerk reaction to the title, ditto his book on the same subject, but stepping back, remember that there is a difference between a competitive map and a competitive district. Imagine a state that is divided into two districts - you could draw them so that in both, the election is extremely competitive and they are each a toss-up, or you could "pack" both, creating two maximally safe districts, one for each of the major parties. There are definitely arguments to be made about the pros and cons of both approaches, and I personally prefer the former, but there's a difference between suggesting that the latter approach may be better or have strong arguments for it that we don't typically think of, and taking the position that the state as a whole should be districted in such a way that one of the two parties has an advantage (classic gerrymandering). In other words, I think it's overreading to say that his ideas about packing districts are as worrying as a full-throated defense of gerrymandering.

3. The most pertinent thing I found is an article that he wrote about the 2000 census: Using Statistical Sampling to Estimate the U. S. Population: The Methodological and Political Debate over Census 2000. I am not able to access the full article, but right there on page 1 is this statement: "In the 1990 Census, the estimated net undercount for whites was 0.7%. Blacks and Hispanics, however, were missed at significantly higher rates: 4.4 and 5.0%, respectively. And an estimated 12% of American Indians living on reservations went uncounted nationwide. This disparity is one of the central problems with the decennial census."

I can't claim to be an expert either on districting, statistical sampling, election law, or Brunell. But based on the above, my tentative view is that (without abandoning my inherent skepticism of any candidate supported by Trump or Republicans for an elections-related position) this may not yet be the moment when the sky is falling.
posted by prefpara at 6:59 AM on November 21 [55 favorites]


Republicans do not believe in democracy. They do not intend to ever give up power, and do not intend to ever face fair elections again.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:02 AM on November 21 [19 favorites]


So... you want to raise my (and other middle-income people's) taxes so that "job creators" will create jobs (ps, there's no evidence this even happens)

It's infuriating that they are making the same promises and predictions as they did for the Bush tax cuts. Literally the opposite of everything they said is what actually happened. We have the tape of the predictions, and we have the real world results that show they were either completely wrong (or lying). And yet the same people are making the same arguments, and they don't even try to explain why this time is different and the results will be the opposite as last time.
posted by diogenes at 7:11 AM on November 21 [13 favorites]


Franken names a GOP Senator who has credible allegations against them, they both resign at the same time to maintain parity. In a better world than this...
posted by mikelieman at 7:13 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]


Abbas's spokesman: The PA has decided to suspend its ties with the US, following the Trump administration's intention to close off the PLO's office in DC.

To be clear, the Palestinian Authority has decided to freeze working communications with American officials. They have not severed diplomatic relations.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered a halt to all contacts with the U.S. after it threatened to close his authority’s mission in Washington, and won’t allow the issue to be used as leverage in any Middle East peace talks, a senior Palestinian official said.

Abbas’s office sent a note to government departments and embassies stating that “any meeting with an American official is banned regardless of the reason until they back down and treat us fairly,” Azzam Al-Ahmad, a member of the Palestinian Authority administration, said late on Monday. The suspension of contacts doesn’t amount to severing diplomatic relations, he said.
Why the office was closed. Additional context.
posted by zarq at 7:13 AM on November 21 [4 favorites]


Big Money As Private Immigrant Jails Boom (John Burnett for NPR, Nov. 21, 2017)
The Trump administration wants to expand its network of immigrant jails. In recent months, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has called for five new detention facilities to be built and operated by private prison corporations across the country. Critics are alarmed at the rising fortunes of an industry that had fallen out of favor with the previous administration.

The Joe Corley Detention Facility is a sprawling complex surrounded by shiny concertina wire located in Conroe, Texas — about an hour north of Houston.

ICE spends more than $2 billion a year on immigrant detention through private jails like this one.
That's a fourfer! 1) proudly deplorable (xenophobic) policies that 2) run counter to Obama era policies and 3) put more public funds in the pockets of major private companies, while 4) impacting the national budget for other, more beneficial expenditures. For example, with $2 billion, you can fund the National Endowment for the Arts for the past fourteen years and still have some money left over!
posted by filthy light thief at 7:17 AM on November 21 [37 favorites]


For those who want to be connected to their representatives and given talking points about this latest round of FCC nonsense, battleforthenet.com already has their system up and running. They'll call you and your Congresscritter and provide you with a script.

Coincidentally, I used Battle for the Net and made it through the whole phone list. Today, faxing the FCC is on the agenda, but that's for the Net Neutrality thread.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:20 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]


As Trump re-lists North Korea as a state sponsor of terror, Tillerson tries to clarify a "branding problem" and downplay Trump's inflammatory rhetoric (my summary of the following)
Tillerson, speaking to reporters at yesterday’s White House briefing, said that while he still holds out hope for a diplomatic solution to North Korea’s efforts to build a nuclear arsenal, he is on the same page as Trump, who has frequently tweeted — at times at Tillerson himself — that he believes the only action Kim understands is force.

“I call it the peaceful pressure campaign. The president calls it the maximum pressure campaign,” Tillerson said. “So there’s no confusion: they’re one in the same.”
(Kimberly Atkins for Boston Herald, Nov. 21, 2017)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:24 AM on November 21 [4 favorites]


We have the tape of the predictions, and we have the real world results that show they were either completely wrong (or lying). And yet the same people are making the same arguments, and they don't even try to explain why this time is different and the results will be the opposite as last time.

I think they know they don't have to try to explain anything, because if the populace had political memories that long, they would've never gotten as far as they already have. Hope I'm wrong this time around, but for decades now, shiny "TAXES! JESUS! TERRORISTS!" maneuvers—especially with a mammoth media spin machine behind them—beat reasoned appeals to boring shit like data and (even recent) history at the polls every time.
posted by Rykey at 7:32 AM on November 21 [4 favorites]


That's a fourfer! 1) proudly deplorable (xenophobic) policies that 2) run counter to Obama era policies and 3) put more public funds in the pockets of major private companies, while 4) impacting the national budget for other, more beneficial expenditures.

Yeah, hi. Immigrant here. We pay for the jails through the user pays immigration system. The jail costs will be passed on as higher fees for USCIS services like AoS, renewal of green cards, and citizenship filing fees.
posted by Talez at 7:35 AM on November 21 [15 favorites]


I'll echo prefpara that despite popular assumptions, "competitiveness" is not always to be maximized. If the second-most popular party is broadly less popular across the country (say with 40% support versus 50% for the bigger party), it doesn't automatically deserve a 50% shot at each district for the sake of competition. (It also doesn't deserve to lose every district in a 50-40 race; representative democracy is mathematically thorny.)

Brunell likes the idea of maximizing individual voter satisfaction with their rep. One problem I see is that no matter how well-liked that one rep is, she still has just one vote in the House. (William Simon U'Ren, who helped push for the Constitutional amendment to elect senators directly, had a different idea about that but that's another story.) A district packed with like-minded voters may feel represented while wasting most of its votes.

OK, but what if you pack every district so that its voters love its rep? (Brunell writes "However, if all districts are packed then the real problem... above is solved.") Great! But that's like "optimizing" elections by just declaring that the voters settle on a majority-approved candidate. Voters tend not to live in equally homogeneous geographic zones; cities are much more liberal than rural areas are conservative. (I have my own ideas for a very different approach to this issue, but that's also tangential.) Instead of enabling more of itself, packing naturally brings about cracking, which would mean superficially competitive districts with considerably less-popular (though typically re-elected) reps, exactly what Brunell wants to avoid.

He does seem thoughtful in his writing, but glancing through his paper (which I think is different from the one whose title everyone is talking about?), I don't see him addressing that problem so much as assuming it away. And this could be dangerous if someone else willfully misinterprets him to think "maximizing uncompetitive districts" is ideal, hence packing where possible but leaving the remaining territory highly cracked.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:36 AM on November 21 [7 favorites]


The Saudis managed to convince most of the Arab League to label Lebanon's Hezbollah a terrorist organization on Sunday. The US already labels them as a terrorist group, even though Hezbollah is one of the major political parties in Lebanon. Lebanon is defending Hezbollah by pointing at "decades of Israeli aggression."

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron met with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Paris over the weekend. The Prime Minister resigned his position on November 4 while in Riyadh -- a move that many have speculated was coerced by the Saudis. Hariri's two children remain in Saudi Arabia.
Macron discussed "ways to stabilise the region and establish peace" in phone calls to Trump, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, a presidential statement said Saturday.
In case anyone is wondering where the United States stands on these events, we're allied with the Saudis and Hezbollah is backed by Iran. But who the hell knows about Lebanon itself. Back in July, Trump made headlines by announcing that Lebanon was "on the front lines" in the fight against Hezbollah terrorism. (It obviously isn't.)
posted by zarq at 7:37 AM on November 21 [5 favorites]


To avoid abusing the Edit function, I should add that I was extremely heartened and encouraged by the gains non-Rs made across the country in the elections earlier this month, so I welcome any change to the short-memory trend that might be emerging. I was just addressing why Republicans might feel like they don't need to justify their screwy agenda within a historical context.

Come to think of it, if the Republicans don't care to point out how the Bush tax cuts failed to meet their stated objectives, maybe another group of people might find it useful to do so...
posted by Rykey at 7:38 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]




Didn't this idea come up before--where the Cernoviches and Roger Stones model after Russian (?) attacks on political opponents by making these kinds of allegations, and specifically with planting child porn and other reprehensible stuff on them? How, as technology advances and the discourse breaks down, we can expect to see the weaponization of various sex offenses against Democrats. Is this a thing in Russia, or am I thinking of something else?

Anyway, I'm freaked out about this and also furious.
posted by witchen at 7:49 AM on November 21 [7 favorites]


Longtime Michigan Rep. John Conyers denies sexual harassment settlements, says he knows nothing of claims.

Even if technically true somehow (e.g. that staff or attorneys handled the entire process and shielded Conyers from knowledge of it), that somehow seems even worse. "I can't be bothered to take an interest in sexual harassment claims against me. I have people for that!"
posted by jedicus at 7:50 AM on November 21 [5 favorites]


The Trump tax plan is much worse than you thought
This shows that in certain respects, the plan actually gets more regressive over time. The tax cuts for the four lower-income quintiles basically shrivel up and disappear by 2027, with the two lowest quintiles ultimately seeing either a tax hike or no change, while the middle and fourth see the tax cut dwindle away to almost nothing. By contrast, in 2027, the top one percent sees an average tax cut of more than $30,000, and the top 0.1 percent sees an average tax cut of more than $200,000 — more than double what it was in 2019, and a good deal more than it was in 2025.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:50 AM on November 21 [16 favorites]


Boston Globe: DOJ reportedly investigating Harvard over admissions. Am so conflicted about this; Harvard is my asshole neighbor.
posted by Melismata at 7:51 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]


FWIW a rebuttal to the rebuttal re: Brunell, here's Michael McDonald from electproject.org, who has argued redistricting cases opposite him:
Interestingly, there are two redistricting cases that Brunell has left off his CV. In both of them, his counsel removed him as an expert. In the Florida congressional litigation, Brunell's expert report for the legislature showed the legislature did not need to pack the 5th congressional district to elect an Afr-Am candidate of choice. He was dropped after filing his report[.] In the Virginia litigation, where I was an expert for the plaintiffs, Brunell was dropped by the legislature because he was suddenly unavailable after I filed a blistering rebuttal report to what I thought was a shoddy report. Virginia's legislature needed to find a replacement expert, so they turned to the consultant who drew the congressional and House of Delegates maps. He testified that he drew districts for both maps in a manner that was in violation of the 14th Amendment. Thanks Brunell! I don't know why Brunell left these cases off his CV, where we was retained as an expert. But I suppose essentially being fired from your job might not look good.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:53 AM on November 21 [11 favorites]


What Happened to the 16 Women Who Accused Trump of Sexual Misconduct
Some have argued that there would be no #MeToo moment if Donald Trump had not been elected, even after being accused of various forms of misconduct, from groping to rape. But in recent weeks several of Trump’s accusers have said that while they’re happy sexual harassment is being discussed more openly, they’re still dismayed that their own stories seem to have had little impact. Some have continued speaking out, hoping that away from the chaos of the election, people might be more ready to listen to their accounts. A defamation suit filed by Summer Zervos, one of the accusers, has also opened up the possibility that they’ll get their day in court.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:56 AM on November 21 [42 favorites]


Fortune, Kimberly Clausing, Commentary: How the GOP’s Tax Plan Puts Other Countries Before America
Do these Republican tax bills put America first? Hardly. On the contrary, they provide a huge windfall to company shareholders, who will benefit from lower tax rates and an easier way to shift both profits and activities offshore. The bills also provide an additional massive windfall to shareholders through special very low rates (5% or 10% in the Senate, 7% or 14% in the House) on income that has already been shifted to tax havens in the past. There is simply no economic rationale for a windfall to shareholders based on their prior tax avoidance, and there is no economic evidence that such windfalls promote U.S. investment or job creation.

In the end, over 10 years, the international provisions of both the House and Senate bills lose revenue, if we set aside the revenue from the one-time tax on prior profit shifting (which is really a tax break). Once the dust clears, the House bill cuts corporate taxes by over $750 billion over 10 years, whereas the Senate cuts corporate taxes by more than $680 billion. These bills both fail to address the large revenue losses from profit shifting, and they lower corporate tax revenues substantially, despite the fact the United States already collects relatively little revenue from the corporate tax.

Beyond these considerations, the vast majority of the tax cuts in the bills go to those at the top of the income distribution, while risking health insurance for those less well-off. If this is an “America first” tax policy, I think we know which Americans Trump is putting first.
The arguments about moving to a territorial tax system are valid ones, but it's hard to see how this tax bill doesn't wind up giving companies significant incentives to move jobs out of the country.

Here's the full AP story:
Conyers, who answered the door at his Detroit home Tuesday morning, says he knows nothing about any claims of inappropriate touching and learned of the story just hours earlier.

Referring to allegations of sexual harassment and assault being made against politicians and others, the veteran lawmaker says he’s “been looking at these things with amazement.”
If he's telling the truth, and it would be really weird to be lying here, can Congress's system really be so broken that the accused harasser has no idea that cases involving him are being settled out of his own office's budget? I think it could be.
posted by zachlipton at 7:59 AM on November 21 [24 favorites]


I'm by no means saying Brunell is a good guy about whom we should have no concerns. But he's also appeared as an expert in cases where his testimony supported the argument that minority voters were being disenfranchised (e.g., testifying that he saw evidence of racially polarized voting). I know this is a sign of how low the bar has fallen, but unlike others adjacent to Trump, he is not a Nazi.
posted by prefpara at 7:59 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]


If he's telling the truth, and it would be really weird to be lying here, can Congress's system really be so broken that the accused harasser has no idea that cases involving him are being settled out of his own office's budget? I think it could be.

Is there any possibility the whole thing was faked to set him up?
posted by scalefree at 8:02 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Republicans do not believe in democracy. They do not intend to ever give up power, and do not intend to ever face fair elections again.

...because they know their agenda is unpopular. Which is another thing I'd like the so-called "liberal media," which still seems to think we're in the conservative ascendancy of the Reagan era, to get thru their thick skulls.
posted by Gelatin at 8:02 AM on November 21 [13 favorites]


the so-called "liberal media," which still seems to think we're supports the interests of its corporate owners as strongly as it ever did in the conservative ascendancy of the Reagan era

Chomskyed that for you.
posted by flabdablet at 8:13 AM on November 21 [12 favorites]


> Is there any possibility the whole thing was faked to set him up?

It's a possibility, but the simpler explanation is either Conyers is lying, or his staff has been shielding him. As much as I would love that this is a conspiracy, that seems unlikely, and as a rule, I try and avoid believing conspiracy theories.

Still, it's nice to fantasize about Cernovich being charged as some sort of co-conspirator in committing fraud to try and discredit a political enemy of his.
posted by papercrane at 8:14 AM on November 21 [8 favorites]


Is there any possibility the whole thing was faked to set him up?

Buzzfeed double-checked and has direct quotes from the women who filed claims against Conyers. Unless Cernovich hired actors to pretend to be former Conyers staffers, I don't see how it's possible.
posted by suelac at 8:17 AM on November 21 [14 favorites]


If he's telling the truth, and it would be really weird to be lying here

It would be completely, boringly normal for him to be lying here, in this particular way, if it were true. almost every major case I can remember has started this way, with the perpetrator flatly and brazenly denying absolutely all of it. She claims I groped her on the planet Earth? I've never even BEEN to Earth! it's a thing.

Republicans plotting to discredit decent politicians certainly happens, though not nearly as often as seemingly nice men harassing women, so I would be happy to believe it's a fabrication if it turns out to be the case. but saying that he's never heard of any of these accusations before and what exactly is a woman, or a staffer, can he get a definition in writing to look over with his lawyers? is suggestive of nothing.

& the reason it's not at all weird to lie this way is because it works! nobody would deny everything unless they were really innocent, it just wouldn't make sense! well, if a blanket denial immediately convinces some people that something weird is going on, of course it makes perfect sense to issue one.
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:25 AM on November 21 [42 favorites]


InTheYear2017 I'll echo prefpara that despite popular assumptions, "competitiveness" is not always to be maximized. If the second-most popular party is broadly less popular across the country (say with 40% support versus 50% for the bigger party), it doesn't automatically deserve a 50% shot at each district for the sake of competition. (It also doesn't deserve to lose every district in a 50-40 race; representative democracy is mathematically thorny.)

One way to help resolve the problem, and dramatically reduce the mathematically thorny aspects, is to abandon geographic representation or at least curtail it so that only part of the government is representing geographic zones.

If we do proportional voting, so that the party which wins 60% of the vote gets 60% of the representatives and the party that gets 40% of the vote gets 40% of the representatives then things make a great deal more sense. Rather than futzing around with redistricting the parties would have to actually court voters and align to what their voters want.

It'd also help eliminate the problem of geographic regions which have a low population density being over or under represented by the way our representatives are assigned. Rhode Island, for example has a population **just barely** large enough to get two reps so they get 528,149 people per Representative which is good for them. Montana, on the opposite extreme, has a population almost the same as Rhode Island but is **just barely** under the population to get two reps, so they have 1,032,949 people per Representative, which is not fair at all.

We could also increase the size of the House, which makes districts a bit easier to draw fairly, or abandon "competitiveness" entirely and draw districts algorithmically and shuffle up the algorithm every election so that there's never any fixed advantage towards any party, but really any attempt to preserve geographic representation seems to me to be a futile effort.

The very nature of geographic representation makes fair and just representation next to impossible.

There's so very much more important about me than my zip code, having my representation in government tied to nothing but my zip code makes no sense at all.
posted by sotonohito at 8:30 AM on November 21 [9 favorites]


Now I'm curious if there's any poll that gives a solid idea how many Americans truly see themselves as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 10:02 PM on November 20 [3 favorites +] [!]


Can't find a link right now, but many years ago I read a NYT poll of Americans that showed 20-some percent believed they were in the top 5% of income and another 20-some percent believed they would be some day. This is the GOP base.
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:40 AM on November 21 [12 favorites]


Some AT&T/CNN analysis from the WaPo's James Hohmann, Seven reasons to be suspicious of the DOJ lawsuit to stop AT&T from buying CNN
THE BIG IDEA: President Trump and his political appointees at the Justice Department insist that the federal government’s lawsuit Monday to block AT&T from acquiring Time Warner is not retribution for CNN’s coverage of the White House. But there are good reasons to be dubious of their denials.
1. In every other area, the Trump administration is bending over backward to boost big business.
2. The head of the antitrust division has changed his view on the issue to match the president’s.
3. The administration’s denials are full of lawyerly language that leaves wiggle room.
4. Trump has repeatedly demonstrated that he does not respect the independence of the Justice Department. Why would he prize the autonomy of the antitrust division any more than he did the FBI?
5. There are no precedents for this kind of lawsuit succeeding.
6. The president has made no secret of his deep personal disdain for CNN.
7. White House officials have previously hinted that Trump might wade into the antitrust process.
That is a cut-n-paste job, each of these points are further supported in the article.
posted by peeedro at 8:43 AM on November 21 [19 favorites]


in 2027, the top one percent sees an average tax cut of more than $30,000, and the top 0.1 percent sees an average tax cut of more than $200,000

This is so infuriating. My income over the past two years amounts to less than $30,000. But to someone in the one percent? $30,000 is nothing. I have a family member who isn't quite a one percenter (more like three or five) and they misplaced a two million dollar check. I could live like a king on the interest from that.

Fucking selfish assholes. In my luxury automated gay space communist dreams, universal basic income comes with a side of universal maximum income.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:54 AM on November 21 [84 favorites]


Buzzfeed double-checked and has direct quotes from the women who filed claims against Conyers. Unless Cernovich hired actors to pretend to be former Conyers staffers, I don't see how it's possible.

Just to wrap this up, I got Conyers mixed up with civil right living legend John Dingell. Sorry about that.
posted by scalefree at 9:04 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]


We could also increase the size of the House, which makes districts a bit easier to draw fairly, or abandon "competitiveness" entirely and draw districts algorithmically and shuffle up the algorithm every election so that there's never any fixed advantage towards any party, but really any attempt to preserve geographic representation seems to me to be a futile effort.

sotonohito, I've been very not-criticizing you lately but if you steal my "crank who wants to greatly increase the house size" schtick there's going to be some very large cakes being made.
posted by Talez at 9:26 AM on November 21 [8 favorites]


Geographic representation will kill American Democracy. The Senate is geographic gerrymandering built into the structure of the Constitution. By 2040, about 70% of Americans are expected to live in the 15 largest states, and will have 30 senators representing them. The remaining 30% of Americans will have 70 senators representing them.

In America, land area votes, and it always votes Republican. People matter less with every passing day.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:30 AM on November 21 [100 favorites]


The Senate rules aren't really that complicated. In practice one Democratic senators absence wouldn't make it easier to pass things as 3 Republican NO votes would still scuttle it 50(no)-49)yes). It would mean they could pass stuff with 2 Republican NO votes plus one abstention (49-49, +pence) but that's an unlikely edge case.

But this is mostly irrelevant since Minnesota has a Democratic governor and it would be political malpractice if Dayton does't already have a list of potential replacements drawn up who could be approached within 24 hours.
posted by Justinian at 9:48 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]


Is Ivanka Trump a target of investigation now? It seems inevitable (
Involved in Ivanka's "baby" was a money launderer from Colombia who is currently incarcerated in the U.S., a Ukrainian human trafficker and a Russian investor who was jailed a few years earlier for kidnapping and threatening murder in Israel. Nogueira himself was arrested in Panama on unrelated fraud charges and fled the country; there are still four criminal cases pending over the Trump project. Ivanka apparently claims not to remember the man, although she knew him well enough to make a promotional video with him.

Another notorious Ivanka project was the 2014 Trump Tower Baku in Azerbaijan, which she personally oversaw. This was the project that, according to a recent New Yorker report, was partially funded by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and served as a cash laundromat for the country's government. This was no hands-off arrangement. Ivanka and the company were heavily involved in all the details, from the interior paneling to the landscaping. According to experts, this was unusual for this sort of deal and indicates a level of personal attention that exposed the Trump Organization to serious legal trouble. […]

Several senators have called for an investigation into this project, which was finally shelved after Trump was elected. According to Think Progress, "at some point earlier this year, Ivanka removed all information about the Azerbaijan project from her website, although it remains available via Internet Archive."
But it looks like Ivanka has finally made herself useful: the new Doug Jones and features her "there's a special place in hell" quote about Moore.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:52 AM on November 21 [38 favorites]


it looks like Ivanka has finally made herself useful: the new Doug Jones and features her "there's a special place in hell" quote about Moore.

Well played.
posted by Gelatin at 9:56 AM on November 21 [3 favorites]




Trump is about to pardon a turkey, so this would be the perfect moment for Mueller and the NY Attorney General to reveal indictments for state crimes which the President cannot pardon
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:06 AM on November 21 [15 favorites]


I'm inclined to believe Conyers' accusers, particularly since Buzzfeed vetted everything.

Cernovich being involved doesn't really change matters--were it just him saying it, I'd disbelieve, given that he's been neck-deep in conspiracy shitmongering in the past, but it's not just him.
posted by anem0ne at 10:06 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]


"i'm going to pardon this turkey, unlike that douchebag harry truman"
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:08 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]


Steyer is Just Another Billionaire Who's Angry When Everything Doesn't Go His Way
Tom Steyer is throwing good money after bad: [...]

It pains me that Donald Trump is president, and he certainly deserves impeachment and removal from office. But it's not true that impeachment is what "the overwhelming number of Americans" want. In the poll showing the greatest support for impeachment, an October Public Policy Polling survey, 49% of respondents favored it, while 41% opposed it. That's a plurality, but not a majority, and certainly not an "overwhelming" majority. In an August Harvard/Harris poll, 43% of respondents favored impeachment, while 42% backed no action and 12% backed censure. Also in August, the Public Religion Research Institute found 40% support for impeachment.

So Congress isn't failing to do what the public wants. It's failing to do what not quite half of the public wants. More to the point, it's failing to do what Tom Steyer wants. Steyer is another billionaire who's so used to getting his way on everything that he thinks it's a monstrous injustice when he's rebuffed. He's just like a Koch brother, except on the side of good. I'm sorry he's being rebuffed, but if he were a non-billionaire, he might have a better understanding of disappointment. [...]

And Times Square? Really? I arrived in New York City as a college freshman in 1976, and even by then Times Square had long since ceased to be the symbolic center of America. It gets attention on New Year's Eve, but it's meaningless every other day of the year. It's become a crowded pedestrian mall, and I'm sure I'd visit if I were an out-of-towner on vacation (although no local thinks there's any good reason to go there). It's not America's agora. It's a ridiculous tourist trap. Steyer's ads will be one more bit of sensory overload families from Iowa will see fleetingly on their way to The Lion King.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:11 AM on November 21 [3 favorites]


Trump is about to pardon a turkey, so this would be the perfect moment for Mueller and the NY Attorney General to reveal indictments for state crimes which the President cannot pardon

what do you have against that turkey?
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:11 AM on November 21 [7 favorites]


i believe he was an unregistered agent of turkey
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:13 AM on November 21 [14 favorites]


As God is his witness, he thought it could fly.
posted by delfin at 10:14 AM on November 21 [24 favorites]


From the How is the socialist left is gaining traction: Flu shots and brake lights link posted by The Whelk at 10:00 AM on November 21 [5 favorites +] [!]
Republicans sent around posters with Carter’s face plastered next to Carl Marx.
I believe Carl is the sixth Marx brother.

Good article, though. Extremely grassy grass roots and new seeds germinating. A Democratic Party/DSA coalition could easily take over the state and local governments in many areas and be a winning coalition nationally while pulling the Overton window to the left quite quickly. Watch and learn, Democrats.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:33 AM on November 21 [32 favorites]


How is the socialist left is gaining traction: Flu shots and brake lights

Hey, it worked for Hamas.

Wait, OK, maybe a different analogy, but you get the idea.
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:46 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]


Not a punch in the face but at least it's something, Richard Spencer hosted an event at a Maryland farm. Halfway through, everyone was kicked out [WaPo]:
A weekend conference organized by white nationalist Richard Spencer was shut down after the owners of the Maryland farm he rented discovered he was behind the event.

The think tank that Spencer leads, the National Policy Institute, hosted the conference for about 100 people at Rocklands Farm, a winery and events venue in Montgomery County. Spencer said in an interview that a third-party logistics company contacted Rocklands Farm on behalf of the National Policy Institute this month and didn’t reveal that white nationalists were affiliated with the event when they booked it. The company told the farm’s management only that it was a “corporate” gathering, according to Spencer.

The conference started about 11 a.m. Sunday and was scheduled to continue until 8 p.m. Caterers at Rocklands Farm served brunch, and participants recapped 2017. At about 4 p.m., Spencer said, someone working the event learned that Spencer was there, and management told everyone to leave.
posted by peeedro at 10:47 AM on November 21 [82 favorites]


He's just like a Koch brother, except on the side of good.

I think Steyer is basically a sideshow at this point, but it is fascinating to think about the fact that seemingly the vast, vast majority of the rich or superrich are on the right. Much of the reason we have such bad policy in the USA is because of the rich and superrich dominating everything.

So maybe Tom Steyer should spend his time and money preaching to "his people" and not the rest of us?
posted by cell divide at 10:48 AM on November 21 [8 favorites]


Really hoping "management told everyone to leave" was journalistic shorthand for the owner(s) showing up yelling "NAZI PUNKS FUCK OFF" and blowing an airhorn.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:50 AM on November 21 [52 favorites]


TPM: SNL Female Staff: Franken Never Acted Inappropriately Toward Any Of Us!

Oh, come on. "Your Honor, just look at all these people I didn't murder. How can I have murdered the victim?"
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:53 AM on November 21 [14 favorites]


@pdmcleod: JUST IN: Rep. John Conyers retracts earlier statement to AP, says he was surprised and confused about which allegations. He confirms a settlement but denies the allegations.

That’s...that’s not a good sign.
posted by zachlipton at 10:55 AM on November 21 [37 favorites]


Tom Steyer is throwing good money after bad: [...]
Eh. While it's probably true that Steyer could spend his money in better ways, I'm trying to think of a reason why spending it on ads calling for Trump's impeachment is actually bad. And aside from a general suspicion of political billionaires and a superstitious fear that talking too much about impeachment might jinx it, I'm failing to come up with one. So I'm gonna say that buying impeachment ads is far from the worst way a billionaire can spend his money.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:01 AM on November 21 [18 favorites]


TPM: SNL Female Staff: Franken Never Acted Inappropriately Toward Any Of Us!

It should go without saying, but these are all people who worked on the show decades ago, when Franken was an active writer there—not any of the current members of the SNL staff. Many of the headlines, including from NBC's Twitter feed, failed to make this distinction, which could be misleading.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:02 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that full Conyers statement is a really bad look. "I deny it, and besides, I paid these people to be quiet."
posted by Roommate at 11:02 AM on November 21 [4 favorites]


Oh, THAT woman I groped!
posted by delfin at 11:04 AM on November 21 [22 favorites]


I'll echo prefpara that despite popular assumptions, "competitiveness" is not always to be maximized.

I'll see your "competitiveness is not always to be maximized" and raise you "competitiveness shouldn't even be a factor."

If and when I come to power, I would draw districts by utilizing census tracts to create districts that mostly represent a cohesive community. In other words, I'd try to draw districts around groups of people with the same wants and needs. That way their representatives should, in theory, win their elections by understanding and addressing those needs. The idea is to ensure that whatever representative is elected has the best chance of being the best "fit" for that district.

The nature of our 1st-past-the-goalpost system virtually guarantees that there will only ever be two parties. Set districts up so that they'll tend to give the people that live there the best representation possible and let the parties realign themselves.

The competitiveness of districts would probably have to be addressed before anything could be done just to get it done or to maintain political feasibility or something but I really think that "competitiveness" should be the lowest priority piece of the puzzle.
posted by VTX at 11:10 AM on November 21


someone working the event learned that Spencer was there

Ugh, what a supervisor's nightmare. Employee comes up and says "hey, I know we're already most-way through this and money has been spent and promises made, but... they're nazis and I'm uncomfortable with that."

Sounds like the right thing was done.
posted by ctmf at 11:13 AM on November 21 [14 favorites]


Given the bullshit smears and accusations that Conyers' generation of black leaders went through, I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. Very briefly, mind. Like, they better come up with some better answers in the next 24 hours.
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:13 AM on November 21 [3 favorites]


Another day, another incompetent moron is nominated to destroy another support beam of democracy.

Paul Waldman, WaPo: Trump’s new Census Bureau hire could give the GOP a big boost
I’m 99 percent certain it was not Trump who found Brunell and suggested that he oversee the census. So why would people in the Trump administration seek out someone like Brunell, an academic who focuses on redistricting and has views friendly to Republican efforts to rig the electoral system in ways that make it more likely that they’ll win future elections? Because they can.

This comes at a time when Congress has already been starving the Census Bureau for funds, leaving it behind on the preparations it needs to do for 2020. Republicans are hoping to insert a question on the form asking people about their immigration status, which has never been done before — and which could make people in immigrant communities less likely to fill out the form, given the administration’s broader crackdown on immigrants. That in turn could under-count those communities, which would benefit Republicans when district lines get redrawn in 2021.

Now perhaps Brunell will be a public servant of the highest integrity, will prove to be a capable administrator and will make no decision that winds up boosting Republican electoral fortunes. But if you look through the bios of past directors of the census, you’ll see a bunch of demographers and statisticians, most with extensive government experience, no matter which party the president who appointed them came from (Brunell will actually be the deputy director; the director position is vacant and the administration looks in no particular hurry to fill it). You don’t see much evidence of partisanship, until now.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:21 AM on November 21 [8 favorites]


Hey, Democrats, I have a bold, new, innovative strategy! How about y'all take this opportunity to get rid of all of the groping, raping assholes in the GOP *and* all of the groping, raping assholes in your own party! Plus, I bet they have more of them than you do! Not that it should matter, but, you know... If you're thinking about elections and want to differentiate yourselves in the market, how about running as the party that pushes to get rid of gropers and rapists in Congress!
posted by tonycpsu at 11:22 AM on November 21 [25 favorites]


@axios:
Trump pardons Drumstick and Wishbone, but says he was unable to overturn Obama's 2016 pardons of Tater and Tot
VIDEO

@dandrezner:
Retweeted Axios
It is literally impossible for him to perform even the most ceremonial aspects of his job without being a dick.
posted by chris24 at 11:23 AM on November 21 [70 favorites]


> Given the bullshit smears and accusations that Conyers' generation of black leaders went through

Eh, I think this claim is from 2015? Conyers is a long-tenured member of the House and was influential on some important committees when Democrats controlled Congress, but I have a hard time believing that this has anything to do with his history as a leader in the civil rights movement.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:24 AM on November 21


a twitter account purporting to be TEN_GOP (previously) was apparently taking credit for getting the conyers story to cernovich. they have since been suspended again.
posted by halation at 11:24 AM on November 21 [4 favorites]


tonycpsu, they have an advantage in "expose 'em all". Our voters care; theirs don't. Which is not to say that's not the right thing to do.
posted by ctmf at 11:24 AM on November 21 [11 favorites]


> tonycpsu, they have an advantage in "expose 'em all". Our voters care; theirs don't. Which is not to say that's not the right thing to do.

...which means our voters can be motivated to turn out in greater numbers in response to doing the right thing, no? Politics isn't just about giving people something to vote against -- it can be about giving them something to vote for as well.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:26 AM on November 21 [13 favorites]


Here's the thing, even if the info on Conyers came out because of Evil Republican Machinations, I say kick him out. Burn any Democrat with a history of sexual abuse to the ground.

If the Republicans are hunting around for Democrats with sexual harassment and abuse in their background? That's fine. We shouldn't have those people in our party.

But, and this is important, if they're weaponize this we need to escalate right along with them. PI's hired to find every single Republican with a history of abuse and out them. Maybe I'm deluding myself, but I think it seems likely that there are a **LOT** more Republicans with a long history of sexual harassment and abuse than there are Democrats with a similar history.

And if I'm wrong? If it turns out that there are more predators in the Democratic Party? That's fine too. GET THEM OUT! That's the most important thing. Purge the predators from the party and we'll rebuild stronger without them. If it hurts us in the short term, then it hurts us in the short term and we're better off for it.
posted by sotonohito at 11:28 AM on November 21 [41 favorites]


Politics isn't just about giving people something to vote against -- it can be about giving them something to vote for as well.

NOW you're just talking crazy talk.
posted by Rykey at 11:29 AM on November 21 [7 favorites]


I would draw districts by utilizing census tracts to create districts that mostly represent a cohesive community. In other words, I'd try to draw districts around groups of people with the same wants and needs.

That sounds like those physics problems with zero friction and a spherical cow, though. Number one, whose wants and needs? Which ones?

Number two, in the past, people have used political power to break up communities and create other ones - c.f. eminent domain, highway and road building, "projects" housing, just as an example.

Number three, partly because of that, and partly because of the atomizing effect of modern life, it's awfully hard to find a cohesive community with geographic boundaries nowadays. Ghettoes aren't as well defined as they used to be. Although richer areas sort of are, I guess.

Number four, given all the history we have, I just don't trust anyone to divide up the electorate, no matter what process they're using.

That's why I keep bringing up proportional representation, I guess. I just don't trust any method for dividing the electorate. I'm willing to work with state boundaries and that's about it.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 11:30 AM on November 21 [9 favorites]


The Whelk: How is the socialist left is gaining traction: Flu shots and brake lights
In the month or two before Trump’s election, the Pittsburgh chapter was comprised of just seven people in a group chat on Facebook. A year later, the chapter has 400 members that pack themselves into a union hall in Pittsburgh’s North Side. Aside from brake lights, they’re beginning to train child care providers and gearing up for a campaign against anti-choice pregnancy centers that masquerade as legitimate healthcare clinics.
Fighting for reproductive justice! Fuck yeah Pittsburg DSA!
posted by filthy light thief at 11:30 AM on November 21 [61 favorites]


Preliminary injunction issued in the trans military ban case. The court said the policy won't even pass rational basis. (links to tweets w/ screencaps; no link to opinion yet)
posted by melissasaurus at 11:31 AM on November 21 [43 favorites]


The court said the policy won't even pass rational basis.

Holy shit. Rational basis is the smallest bar to clear in the injunction world. It's very rare for a judge to throw something out for not passing rational basis. The judge is basically calling Trump a transphobic piece of shit in legalese.
posted by Talez at 11:41 AM on November 21 [83 favorites]


if they're weaponize this we need to escalate right along with them. PI's hired to find every single Republican with a history of abuse and out them. Maybe I'm deluding myself, but I think it seems likely that there are a **LOT** more Republicans with a long history of sexual harassment and abuse than there are Democrats with a similar history.

Moore may be a good test case for this. It may turn out, unfortunately, that Republican voters don't actually care if their candidates have histories of sexual harassment or abuse. Certainly it didn't seem to matter with Trump, but even prior to that, a certain level of double-standard has generally been accepted by Republican voters on this topic. Things may be changing in 2017, but I'm not convinced that will change.

(Standard disclaimer: that isn't an argument for keeping Democrats with histories of past bad actions in office, of course.)
posted by halation at 11:42 AM on November 21 [3 favorites]


It may turn out, unfortunately, that Republican voters don't actually care if their candidates have histories of sexual harassment or abuse.

They don't.
posted by anem0ne at 11:53 AM on November 21 [11 favorites]


The impression I'm getting of the DSA (other than learning of it's existence) is that they've gotten so tired of the reflexive "GAH NO SOCIALISM" nonsense that they've decided to stop talking about what their platform and just demonstrating it.

DSA: This is what socialism looks like and it's pretty nice!
posted by VTX at 11:55 AM on November 21 [37 favorites]


It may turn out, unfortunately, that Republican voters don't actually care if their candidates have histories of sexual harassment or abuse.

Or that they do care, and they prefer it.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:57 AM on November 21 [7 favorites]


Or that they do care, and they prefer it.

For them it's either a pervert or more* abortions.

* This is wholly incorrect based on bad assumptions. Far less abortions happen under Democratic leadership and not relying on abstinence only sex education. It's really about punishing women for breaking the rules they had to follow as young women.
posted by Talez at 11:59 AM on November 21 [12 favorites]


NOW you're just talking crazy talk.

Yep. Obama promised so much. He even put the * at the end of the sentence with the fine print being "if you elect more Democratic MoCs".

We got health care. We didn't get much else after we lost 60 votes. Then we lost the house and then we lost both houses.

The problem with promising something happening is you need the votes to make it happen and in this age of hyperpartisanship and constant filibustering, nobody can make any promises. You can only honestly promise that if you vote for X that things won't get worse. Of course nobody believed that because we ALWAYS say that but here we are.
posted by Talez at 12:02 PM on November 21 [6 favorites]


Historically, almost no voters care about THEIR candidate's peccadilloes. It's somewhat of a given that J. Average Male Politician is fifty-fifty to be something of a hound, particularly Southern ones. (I recall a Molly Ivins story about a Texas Lege member who had "Your Cheatin' Heart" played at his funeral.)

Is it right? 'Course not. But that elephant has sat undisturbed in most political rooms forever, as long as it's not flagrant Wilbur Mills-style.

Some would argue that with Cheeto in office, now is not the time for a purge. The counterargument is, of course, then when IS the right time on the schedule?
posted by delfin at 12:05 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


If we consider the fact that sexual harassment, rape, many cases of child sexual abuse, etc. are not about sex and sexual desire but about power and keeping women and other "lesser" people in their place, then, of course many Republicans aren't going to care if their candidate is a pedophile, abuser, or harasser - because it keeps women in their place, using the carrot and stick of hostile and benevolent sexism. Benevolent sexism - chivalry - is given to women who stick to "their place" of home and family, and hostile sexism - abuse - is for women who try to compete in politics.

Sure, Roy Moore is a pedophile, but "nice" girls and "good" women don't have anything to fear! That is the conservative mindset.

As for Democrats, if we want to be the big tent, we have to have our party apparatus welcoming to women (and POC and LGBT people). Women who are afraid of being harassed won't run for office. That's a bug for the Democrats and a feature for the Republicans, except for a few honorary males in the case of the latter.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 12:09 PM on November 21 [33 favorites]


WaPo breaking: Federal judge says Trump administration can’t stop funding sex-reassignment surgery for military members (By Ann E. Marimow)
A second federal judge has halted the Trump administration’s proposed transgender military ban finding that active-duty service members are “already suffering harmful consequences” because of the president’s policy.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:09 PM on November 21 [54 favorites]


Average Male Politician is fifty-fifty to be something of a hound, particularly Southern ones.

I don't actually care or think it's my business if they're cheaters; that's their wives' problem (or not, there are all kinds of marriages and that's not my business either.) If they're using their power to threaten or bully women into cooperating with them against their will, that's a whole other thing.
posted by ctmf at 12:10 PM on November 21 [32 favorites]


Here Are the White House Visitor Records the Trump Administration Didn’t Want You to See [Derek Kravitz, Leora Smith, and Al Shaw; ProPublica]
The Trump White House tried to block public access to visitor logs of five federal offices working directly for the president even though they were subject to public disclosure through the Freedom of Information Act. Property of the People, a Washington-based transparency group, successfully sued the administration to release the data and provided the documents to ProPublica. You can search them below.
posted by melissasaurus at 12:20 PM on November 21 [55 favorites]


[Couple deleted; I get the intent, but let's not use the language/framing that would be used by people we're condemning.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:21 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


It may turn out, unfortunately, that Republican voters don't actually care if their candidates have histories of sexual harassment or abuse. ... (Standard disclaimer: that isn't an argument for keeping Democrats with histories of past bad actions in office, of course.)

It IS an argument for demanding a full investigation by the Ethics Committee into ALL allegations of sexual misconduct regardless of party, however. Democrats can't force scrutiny of individual Republicans despite numerous, credible accusations -- Trump and Clarence Thomas make that clear.

But given Republican's attempts to weaponize allegations against Democrats (and to change the subject away from Moore and Trump to Franken and Conyers), I don't think they can fight against "Yes, let's investigate all of them" nearly so effectively. And it's the right thing to do, anyway.
posted by msalt at 12:31 PM on November 21 [5 favorites]


Wow, that's some good old-fashioned excellent journalism from ProPublica.
posted by lalex at 12:32 PM on November 21 [5 favorites]


Here Are the White House Visitor Records the Trump Administration Didn’t Want You to See

From the site: 230 days of logs, 2,169 redactions (mostly the names of visitors blacked out). I have no point of reference for this sort of thing—is this normal?
posted by Rykey at 12:37 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]


is anything normal anymore?
posted by localhuman at 12:42 PM on November 21 [16 favorites]


Well if a person was to look at every year for the past couple decades and establish an average for number of visitors and percentage of visitors whose names have been blacked out you'd have a "normal" baseline with which to compare. I'd bet the number of visitors doesn't change much besides generally trending upwards. It's the percentage of secret visitors that could possibly be interesting.
posted by Mitheral at 12:50 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


is anything normal anymore?

Absolutely not.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:51 PM on November 21 [5 favorites]


So the LaDavid Johnson story only gets worse, additional remains have been found and identified.
It was not clear if the bone fragments would be buried with Johnson, who was laid to rest on Oct. 1 at a cemetery in Hollywood, Florida. And there also was no immediate response to the grim discovery from Johnson's pregnant widow, Myeshia Johnson.

But Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., a close family friend, said it was a shame she had to find out about it via the news.
This comes after reports that suggest he had been captured alive and executed. What an amazing cascade of fuckups.
posted by peeedro at 12:52 PM on November 21 [29 favorites]


is anything normal anymore?

acid indigestion, apparently
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:53 PM on November 21 [11 favorites]




who's outlived her 106y/o hubby & 2 of her sons

Am I crazy, or is this a weird thing to bring up in such a cheerfully-worded statement?
"Hey, Lillian—congrats on burying a spouse and two children! How do you manage to balance work and grieving for multiple dead family members?"
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:10 PM on November 21 [75 favorites]


I don't actually care or think it's my business if they're cheaters; that's their wives' problem

Nope. As much I think this is true for most people these people are politicians and thus subject to the risk of blackmail.

As the Pestminster scandal* in the UK has shown even political parties themselves will blackmail their own members with the threat of disclosure of sexual improprieties.

*Tory party whips had an internal list of sexual improprieties of other Tories that they used to correl votes. That list leaked. Oopsy!
posted by srboisvert at 1:19 PM on November 21 [6 favorites]


100yr/old Lillian, who's outlived her 106y/o hubby & 2 of her sons, still lives independently! An honor to deliver her @_MealsOnWheels today

My grandma is 94, has buried two husbands and a son, has an iPhone and texts, still lives independently AND drives (a red Chevy HHR with flames on the side), and doesn't need your damn Meals On Wheels because she got $400+ in Starbucks gift cards for her birthday last month. And also because she doesn't eat poultry.

She fucking hates Trump and the Republican Party. Back in 1960 she took the family car to go vote for JFK and then didn't come back before the polls closed, ensuring that my grandfather (her first husband) couldn't go vote for Nixon.

And it's an honor to be her (favorite) grandchild.
posted by elsietheeel at 1:21 PM on November 21 [200 favorites]


Presidents only ever pardon white turkeys.
posted by srboisvert at 1:29 PM on November 21


Just to wrap this up, I got Conyers mixed up with civil right living legend John Dingell. Sorry about that.

You also got longtime reliable center-lefty John Dingell mixed up with civil rights living legend John Lewis but I assure you remembering which of the spent-decades-in-Congress-liberal-guys-named-John is which something that generally requires Wikipedia for the best of us.
posted by mightygodking at 1:30 PM on November 21 [16 favorites]


Bill Kristol on Twitter: The GOP tax bill's bringing out my inner socialist. The sex scandals are bringing out my inner feminist. Donald Trump and Roy Moore are bringing out my inner liberal.
WHAT IS HAPPENING?

posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:32 PM on November 21 [58 favorites]


And what happened then?
Well... in Whoville they say,
That Bill Kristol's small heart
Grew three sizes that day!
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:34 PM on November 21 [71 favorites]


Admitted sexual predator Donald Trump endorses serial child molester Roy Moore for U.S. Senate seat.
“We don’t need a liberal Democrat in that seat,” Trump said as he exited the White House Tuesday. “We don’t need a liberal person in there.”

And Trump defended Moore, who like Trump has faced accusations of sexual harassment and assault from numerous women.

“Roy Moore denies it. That’s all I can say. And by the way, he totally denies it,” Trump said when asked if he believes Moore or the nine women that have accused Moore of inappropriate sexual actions, many of them when they were teens. “And I do have to say, 40 years is a long time.”

posted by T.D. Strange at 1:39 PM on November 21 [38 favorites]


is anything normal anymore?

hellworld is the new normal
posted by entropicamericana at 1:40 PM on November 21 [10 favorites]


40 years is a long time

*incoherent shrieking*

And goddamn BONFIRES on the side of my face.
posted by elsietheeel at 1:42 PM on November 21 [13 favorites]


Admitted sexual predator Donald Trump endorses serial child molester Roy Moore for U.S. Senate seat.

That . . . performance was right up there with the "Fine People in Charlottesville" shtick as great moments in Presidential history.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:44 PM on November 21 [11 favorites]


40 years is a long time

YES THAT IS CORRECT HOW MANY MORE CHILDREN HAS HE MOLESTED IN THOSE 40 YEARS YOU FUCKING SENTIENT SPURT OF RUNNY SHIT
posted by poffin boffin at 1:46 PM on November 21 [65 favorites]


“We don’t need a liberal Democrat in that seat,”

50% of the country should come to terms with the fact that 30% of the country thinks they're worse than violent pedophiles.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:49 PM on November 21 [48 favorites]


[Maybe let's take the Roy Moore stuff over to the Roy Moore thread if folks want to dig in more.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:51 PM on November 21 [5 favorites]


Here's the order in the latest trans military ban case. Of note:
-Trump tweets screencapped
-trans discrimination is gender discrimination (intermediate scrutiny applies)
-but government's actions likely won't even pass rational basis
-normally the court would give some deference to military personnel policies, but not here b/c there's no evidence this was based on any kind of review by military people/DoD/etc. - a presidential tweet is not a sufficient policy-making process.
-statutory claim under 10 USC 1074 dismissed w/out prejudice
posted by melissasaurus at 1:53 PM on November 21 [35 favorites]


The Dollop recently did a two part podcast on Donald Trump's life before he ran for president and hearing it all laid out like that, none of the awful shit that comes out of his mouth is surprising in the least. Like if you wanted to create a cartoon villain whose shtick was being the worst American you'd give them that background.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:54 PM on November 21 [30 favorites]


WHAT IS HAPPENING?

Don't be alarmed. The Overton window always screeches like that when it gets dragged to the right.
posted by flabdablet at 1:55 PM on November 21 [8 favorites]


flabdablet: Don't be alarmed. The Overton window always screeches like that when it gets dragged to the right.

The difficulties of navigating the window's right-hand side were nicely articulated by John Holbo of Crooked Timber back in 2013, and revisited this year with Trump's qualities in mind.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 2:05 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


Also, the nature of a society having total cognitive dissonance with itself is explored well by S.I. Rosenbaum in a short series of tweets discussing the Atlantic article "The Nationalist's Delusion" linked earlier in this thread by The Whelk.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 2:13 PM on November 21 [6 favorites]


NYT, Nicholas Fandos, He’s a Member of Congress. The Kremlin Likes Him so Much It Gave Him a Code Name
For two decades, Representative Dana Rohrabacher has been of value to the Kremlin, so valuable in recent years that the F.B.I. warned him in 2012 that Russia regarded him as an intelligence source worthy of a Kremlin code name.

The following year, the California Republican became even more valuable, assuming the chairmanship of the Foreign Affairs subcommittee that oversees Russia policy. He sailed to re-election again and again, even as he developed ties to Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia.

Then came President Trump.
I do not understand why Kevin McCarthy gets to walk around this earth without constantly being asked about the time he declared he thought Trump and Rohrabacher were on Putin's payroll and, swore everyone present to secrecy about the "joke," and hasn't done a damn thing about it since then. Like shouldn't that be the only thing people should ever ask him about?
posted by zachlipton at 2:15 PM on November 21 [77 favorites]


50% of the country should come to terms with the fact that 30% of the country thinks they're worse than violent pedophiles.


For us LGBT types, this comes as no surprise.
posted by darkstar at 2:16 PM on November 21 [29 favorites]


is anything normal anymore?

SNAFU
posted by kirkaracha at 2:23 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]


SENTIENT

Assumes facts not in evidence.
posted by notsnot at 2:29 PM on November 21 [4 favorites]


Like shouldn't that be the only thing people should ever ask him about?

If people ask questions that are too hardball then he’ll stop responding to questions. Ultimately the people he’s accountable to are his district and they probably won’t give a crap. However, his district in Bakersfield is about to get fucked six ways to Sunday by the tax bill. You’ll probably get a far better response shouting from the rooftops about the massive tax increase for his constituents to pay for billionaire and corporate tax cuts.
posted by Talez at 2:33 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Run this picture alongside some commentary like “laughing his ass off about raising your taxes to pay for billionaire tax cuts” and you’ll probably get the response you’re after rather than pursuing Russia more.
posted by Talez at 2:36 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Dana Rohrabacher has been of value to the Kremlin, so valuable in recent years that the F.B.I. warned him in 2012 that Russia regarded him as an intelligence source worthy of a Kremlin code name.

The code name's not given in the article, but my first guess is "Obvious Russian Agent Dana Rohrabacher"
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:36 PM on November 21 [49 favorites]


Apparently Trump wine is now sold at one of the National Park locations.
posted by lalex at 2:48 PM on November 21 [20 favorites]


If nothing else, Rohrabacher serves as a useful barometer. We'll know that this nightmare is coming to an end when he decamps for Russia.
posted by diogenes at 2:52 PM on November 21 [12 favorites]


BuzzFeed, Paul McLeod, Lissandra Villa, Another Woman Accused Rep. John Conyers Of Sexual Harassment In Court Filings This Year:
Another former staff member to Michigan Rep. John Conyers alleged that she endured persistent sexual harassment by the congressman, according to court documents.

A former scheduler in the congressman’s office, attempted to file a sealed lawsuit against Conyers this February in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia that alleges she suffered unwanted touching “repeatedly and daily” at the hands of the Democrat. She abandoned the lawsuit the next month, after the court denied her motion to seal the complaint.
Vanity Fair, Gabe Sherman, “Kelly Has Clipped his Wings”: Jared Kushner’s Horizons Are Collapsing within the West Wing:
As Kushner’s Russia troubles mount—last Friday the Senate disclosed that he had not turned over e-mails about WikiLeaks, a claim his attorney, Abbe Lowell, denied—insiders are again speculating, as my colleague Emily Jane Fox reported last month, about how long Kushner and Ivanka Trump will remain in Washington. Despite Kushner’s efforts to project confidence about Robert Mueller’s probe, he expressed worry after the indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates about how far the investigation could go. “Do you think they’ll get the president?” Kushner asked a friend, according to a person briefed on the conversation.

According to two Republicans who have spoken with Trump, the president has also been frustrated with Kushner’s political advice, including his encouragement to back losing Alabama G.O.P. candidate Luther Strange and to fire F.B.I. Director James Comey, which Kushner denies. (For what it’s worth, Kushner’s choice of Strange prevented Trump from the embarrassment of inadvertently supporting Roy Moore.) Trump, according to three people who’ve spoken to him, has advocated for Jared and Ivanka to return to New York in part because they are being damaged by negative press. “He keeps pressuring them to go,” one source close to Kushner told me. But as bad as the Russia investigation may be, it’s not clear a New York homecoming would be much better for Kushner, given that his family’s debt-ridden office tower at 666 Fifth Avenue could be headed for bankruptcy.
E&E News (registration walled): Trump wine: Pick some up at Shenandoah gift shop, in which a Shenandoah National Park gift shop is selling Trump Wine. The place is probably run by a private concession (looks like noted assholes Delaware North), so the likely explanation is that they just decided to start selling the stuff, but someone has filed FOIA requests with NPS to understand how this came to be.

And with the Rohrabacher story I just posed, @nycsouthpaw points out a detail weirdly thrown in there, which we already sort of knew, but it's still striking to see:
In April 2016, he was in Moscow, accepting a copy of a “confidential” memo containing accusations against prominent Democratic donors that would, months later, reappear in Trump Tower when a Russian lawyer who had reported those allegations to the Russian government, Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, sat down with Donald Trump Jr. to deliver a similar document.
posted by zachlipton at 2:54 PM on November 21 [25 favorites]


Apparently Trump wine is now sold at one of the National Park locations.

All the NPS concessions are contracted out to independent vendors who have control over what products they sell to the public. The NPS is only the landlord not the operator, so no need for outrage.
posted by peeedro at 2:59 PM on November 21 [5 favorites]


All the NPS concessions are contracted out to independent vendors who have control over what products they sell to the public.

Oh, how interesting! Thanks for fleshing that out!
posted by lalex at 3:01 PM on November 21


I'm not outraged on behalf of nature; I'm outraged on behalf of wine.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:03 PM on November 21 [49 favorites]


For what it’s worth, Kushner’s choice of Strange prevented Trump from the embarrassment of inadvertently supporting Roy Moore

Well, we can drop “inadvertently” now I guess.
posted by nubs at 3:05 PM on November 21 [23 favorites]


Is Trump wine supposed to be any good? I just googled "Robert Parker Trump wine" because my apparently my idea of important oenophiles is stuck in 1992, the year my dad discovered decent wine and every dinner turned into a production.
posted by lalex at 3:07 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Is Trump wine supposed to be any good?

No. No it is not.
posted by lazaruslong at 3:08 PM on November 21 [5 favorites]


FCC will also order states to scrap plans for their own net neutrality laws
Double win for ISPs: No more net neutrality, and state laws will be preempted.
Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica
The Federal Communications Commission also plans to tell state and local governments that they cannot impose local laws regulating broadband service

Pai argued in 2015 that the FCC violated federal administrative procedure rules by reclassifying ISPs as common carriers without providing adequate notice to the public beforehand. But in that case, the FCC did ask the public for input on whether it should impose common carrier regulations in an NPRM months before it voted. In the present case, the FCC did not ask for input on preempting state net neutrality laws at all.

Senior FCC officials also provided some more details on the rollback of federal net neutrality rules. For the most part, all consumer protections in the 2015 net neutrality order are being eliminated. That goes beyond the core net neutrality rules that outlaw blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization.

For example, rules requiring disclosure of hidden fees and data caps will be overturned. The FCC will relinquish its role in evaluating whether ISPs can charge competitors for data cap exemptions and will no longer oversee interconnection disputes that harm Internet service quality. For a longer list of what's being eliminated, check out this previous article from July. As we wrote then, numerous consumer protections rely on the FCC's Title II common carrier authority to regulate broadband providers, and those rules will go away as a consequence of Pai's plan to eliminate the Title II classification.
posted by cybertaur1 at 3:15 PM on November 21 [21 favorites]


apparently my idea of important oenophiles is stuck in 1992

I'm still shocked that Republicans would be willing to elect an alleged oenophile to high office
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:18 PM on November 21 [14 favorites]


It's ok, we don't need the internet anymore. Trump is putting everyone to work in the mines.

Make District 12 Great Again.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:18 PM on November 21 [24 favorites]


The Federal Communications Commission also plans to tell state and local governments that they cannot impose local laws regulating broadband service

HA HA remember when the federal government was the protector of individual rights against the corrupt and/or racist backroom dealings of the corporations and the state governments HAHAHAHAHA
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:18 PM on November 21 [32 favorites]


Senior FCC officials also provided some more details on the rollback of federal net neutrality rules. For the most part, all consumer protections in the 2015 net neutrality order are being eliminated. That goes beyond the core net neutrality rules that outlaw blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization.


Unless I am mistaken, this will have to go through the APA rulemaking process, and thus be subject to both public comment and the possibility of litigation on whether the decision was adequately based on what's in the record.

There's quite a long way from here to there yet, and many chances for EFF and other organizations to weigh in.
posted by suelac at 3:20 PM on November 21 [6 favorites]


Hopeful line from the Washington Post coverage: Congressional Democrats have resisted working with Republicans on a net neutrality bill, saying that Pai's proposal is unlikely to survive an expected court challenge from supporters of the 2015 rules. A Democratic aide said Tuesday that "there might be room for [a] conversation" if Republicans were willing to enshrine the current rules into legislation, but that position is likely to be a nonstarter for GOP critics, who argued that the rules imposed unreasonable costs on businesses.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:22 PM on November 21 [9 favorites]


The NPS is only the landlord not the operator, so no need for outrage.

Yeah...about that.... (older post from the blue....but still maddening...)
posted by inflatablekiwi at 3:23 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


You also got longtime reliable center-lefty John Dingell mixed up with civil rights living legend John Lewis but I assure you remembering which of the spent-decades-in-Congress-liberal-guys-named-John is which something that generally requires Wikipedia for the best of us.

Thanks for the save & I am an idiot.
posted by scalefree at 3:28 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Oh I see it's time to renew my membership with the ACLU.
posted by asteria at 3:36 PM on November 21 [5 favorites]


Hey me too, what a funny coincidence.
posted by contraption at 3:37 PM on November 21 [8 favorites]


WSJ, Special Counsel Mueller Probes Jared Kushner’s Contacts With Foreign Leaders
Robert Mueller’s investigators are asking questions about Jared Kushner’s interactions with foreign leaders during the presidential transition, including his involvement in a dispute at the United Nations in December, in a sign of the expansive nature of the special counsel’s probe of Russia’s meddling in the election, according to people familiar with the matter.

The investigators have asked witnesses questions about the involvement of Mr. Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser, in a controversy over a U.N. resolution passed Dec. 23 that condemned Israel’s construction of settlements in disputed territories, these people said.
The entire story is a long list of Jared's many problems.
posted by zachlipton at 3:49 PM on November 21 [28 favorites]


Does anyone know how the denizens of r/the_donald are taking the latest news regarding net neutrality? I seem to recall earlier when Pai was named FCC chief that there was a few rumblings of dissent in that subreddit because of his previously stated opposition. Are there more rumblings now? Or have they switched over into "actually net neutrality is bad"?
posted by mhum at 3:52 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


CNN just showed a poll; 81% of Democrats said they would not vote for a candidate credibly accused of sexual harassment or assault while only 41% of Republicans said the same. Party of family values.
posted by Justinian at 3:53 PM on November 21 [59 favorites]


The Rude Pundit: The GOP War on College
posted by homunculus at 3:55 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]


Just your regular reminder that Jared Kushner still has security clearance.
posted by lalex at 3:56 PM on November 21 [20 favorites]


Does anyone know how the denizens of r/the_donald are taking the latest news regarding net neutrality?

A lot of the tweets I've seen on this recently have been hinting pretty hard about how this will affect typical users (PORN) on what you download (PORN) at reduced speeds (PORN) or extra cost (PORN). Maybe it will get through (unlike your PORN).
posted by chris24 at 3:57 PM on November 21 [71 favorites]


The entire story is a long list of Jared's many problems.

Someone kickstart this as a children's book.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:58 PM on November 21 [9 favorites]


(PORN)

lolol ok this made my night.
posted by lalex at 3:59 PM on November 21 [9 favorites]


Does anyone know how the denizens of r/the_donald are taking the latest news regarding net neutrality?

I signed up for a weekly e-mail a while back based on a recommendation in one of the previous threads. I was supposed to get a summary of the recent activity on the various right-wing/alt-right internet bubbles but I just realized that I've never gotten one and now I can't find or remember the site.

Anyone know what I'm talking about?
posted by VTX at 4:01 PM on November 21


VTX: "I signed up for a weekly e-mail a while back based on a recommendation in one of the previous threads."

That was possibly Will Sommer's Right Richter tinyletter newsletter.
posted by mhum at 4:04 PM on November 21 [7 favorites]


Preliminary injunction issued in the trans military ban case. The court said the policy won't even pass rational basis. (links to tweets w/ screencaps; no link to opinion yet)

The ban was never meant to survive scrutiny, let alone make it into the body of law. It was, above all things, a stinkbomb to be thrown into the public debate, and as a stinkbomb, it served its purpose admirably, distracting attention from all the other stuff they were trying to get away with, not to mention the mounting allegations.

(See also: Lynton Crosby's “Dead Cat” theory.)
posted by acb at 4:10 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]


Does anyone know how the denizens of r/the_donald are taking the latest news regarding net neutrality?

>>I signed up for a weekly e-mail a while back based on a recommendation in one of the previous threads. I was supposed to get a summary of the recent activity on the various right-wing/alt-right internet bubbles


This is like hiring a service to break into your house every morning and spit in your cornflakes.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:11 PM on November 21 [36 favorites]


Spttr.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:18 PM on November 21 [40 favorites]


I signed up for a weekly e-mail a while back based on a recommendation in one of the previous threads. I was supposed to get a summary of the recent activity on the various right-wing/alt-right internet bubbles but I just realized that I've never gotten one and now I can't find or remember the site.

Anyone know what I'm talking about?


That was definitely Right Richter. Check your junk/spam folder, and if you're using GMail, check the Promotions tab of your inbox. That's where it's being delivered for me.
posted by palomar at 4:19 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Yep, that was it exactly Palomar. Thanks everyone!

It's more like hiring a service to go to the worst Thanksgiving dinner for me and telling me what happened and whether or not I need to change my identity and move.
posted by VTX at 4:25 PM on November 21 [21 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: I am President Trump, and I think women are very special
“Women are very special.” “It’s a very special time.” “A lot of things are coming out.”

This is some form of code or cipher. I do not understand it.

At the same news briefing, President Trump said he does not want to see a “liberal person” in Roy Moore’s seat, in spite of the grotesque and predatory things that women (even Trump voters!) say that Moore has done.

“We don’t need a liberal person in there,” Trump said. It was 40 years ago, he said. We have to listen to Moore, too, he said.

But “it’s a very special time.” It is “good for our society.” It is “good for women.” “Very happy it’s being exposed.”

These are the words to a picture book for children, but the pictures are all wrong. Even the words don’t really go together. Maybe it is a villanelle. Maybe it is a nonsense verse, or an overlong haiku.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:42 PM on November 21 [33 favorites]


Lynton Crosby's “Dead Cat” theory

Ah. I was looking for the language to describe what might be going on with the grad student tution tax and the teaching material tax.
posted by sebastienbailard at 4:47 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


But as bad as the Russia investigation may be, it’s not clear a New York homecoming would be much better for Kushner, given that his family’s debt-ridden office tower at 666 Fifth Avenue could be headed for bankruptcy.

Not to mention they’ve been shunned by their former Democratic Manhattan society clique.

FCC will also order states to scrap plans for their own net neutrality laws

States rights? Anyone? Anyone? Mueller?
posted by Room 641-A at 4:49 PM on November 21 [9 favorites]


Topher Spiro just tweeted "I hate to report Murkowski has flip flopped and now unconditionally supports repeal of the individual mandate. I guess she, and all Republicans, want to own all future damage to the health care system."

This is not good.
posted by mcduff at 4:51 PM on November 21 [31 favorites]


I've thought a non-trivial amount about Jivanka coming back to Manhattan, prolly because I live here, and I can't even imagine. Sometimes you really can't go home again.
posted by lalex at 4:52 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


This is not good.

oh my god.
posted by lalex at 4:53 PM on November 21 [10 favorites]


Does anyone know how the denizens of r/the_donald are taking the latest news regarding net neutrality?

The post today on there about Net Neutrality is just a link to a picture of Robert Byrd kissing Hillary Clinton (it's an /r/the_donald favorite).
posted by dis_integration at 4:58 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Wow, what did Murkowski get for that?
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:59 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Oil, presumably.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:01 PM on November 21 [11 favorites]


Wow, what did Murkowski get for that?

Drilling in ANWR.
posted by chaoticgood at 5:01 PM on November 21 [22 favorites]


>>Wow, what did Murkowski get for that?

>Drilling in ANWR.


Fuck. These people!
Fuck! These people!
Fuck these people!
Fuck! These! People!
(Although it fits in the set, I don't think "Fuck These! People!" works. YMMV.)
posted by mosk at 5:07 PM on November 21 [19 favorites]


"That's a great act. What do you call it?"

"The Moderate Republicans!"
posted by tonycpsu at 5:07 PM on November 21 [74 favorites]


Look at it this way: the jerkbutts that cause and support this system want you to despair, or to be in a constant state of incoherent rage and fear. They draw strength from that. Don’t make it so easy for them. Optimism is their enemy. Find a way to get there.
posted by um at 5:41 PM on November 21 [15 favorites]


I just don't fucking understand how she and the rest of her party can look at the VA governor election where 40% of voters said health care was their top issue, and three quarters of those people voted for the Democrat, and think that now is the time to take an obviously compromised stance in favor of dismantling health care precisely when everyone is going to notice it.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 5:48 PM on November 21 [9 favorites]


Koch brothers millions are a helluva drug.
posted by chris24 at 5:54 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


Murkowski seems to think blood for oil is a good move.
posted by anem0ne at 5:55 PM on November 21 [5 favorites]


I am trying really hard not to despair. Really hard. But, I think we may be reaching a point of no return. Soon, there won't be anything left from which to rebuild.

I've already given up.

If I manage to outlive my parents, my "estate" has been turned over to the nearest DSA. I'm the poorest member of my biological family and thus they don't need whatever meagre funds my pension (should I ever be able to return to state service so I can fully vest) may provide.

And while I know that MeFi frowns on this sort of thing, I really don't see a brighter future here. Society has provented me from going to college, from maintaining a steady job, and from procreating. I'm 40. Anything from here on out is a fucking bonus. Especially in our current political climate.
posted by elsietheeel at 5:55 PM on November 21 [17 favorites]


I just don't fucking understand how she

Alaskans love that Permanent Fund free money.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 5:56 PM on November 21 [5 favorites]


Rep. Joe Barton of Texas is reported to be retiring, joining the stampede for the exits. Rumors are he was helped along by a photo he allegedly sent a woman not his wife. Do not, I repeat, do not google for this photo.
posted by Justinian at 5:57 PM on November 21 [7 favorites]


The twitter thread about it was a string of people saying "What photo?" and then 30 seconds later "OH GOD". Multiple people.
posted by Justinian at 5:58 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


Did they just look up a photo of Joe Barton's face?
posted by anem0ne at 6:00 PM on November 21


I hope it was this photo.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:02 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


Rep. Joe Barton of Texas is reported to be retiring

I am genuinely surprised to hear that Joe Barton is alive. He’s so last timeline.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:04 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


Former Jeb Bush spokesman.

@Timodc
I just donated to a Democrat for the first time in my life if any of yall want to do so as well. Enough is enough.
https://dougjonesforsenate.com
posted by chris24 at 6:05 PM on November 21 [61 favorites]


Do not, I repeat, do not google for this photo.

I did it. Don't do it.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:05 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


For people who are morbidly curious: it's Barton naked and showing his dick from an unflattering angle. He looks like a lot of ~70 year old obese white men would look naked.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:10 PM on November 21 [25 favorites]


Topher Spiro just tweeted "I hate to report Murkowski has flip flopped and now unconditionally supports repeal of the individual mandate. I guess she, and all Republicans, want to own all future damage to the health care system."

Terrible, but maybe, hopefully, praying and I'm an atheist, it's not the end of the road.
Politico: "A spokesperson for Murkowski told POLITICO that the comments should not be construed as support for the tax bill, which does not yet appear to have sufficient support to pass the chamber.

“Senator Murkowski said on Friday that she will be reviewing the work of the Finance Committee over the Thanksgiving holiday and plans to look at the entire package before coming to any conclusion on the legislation," the spokesperson said."
posted by chris24 at 6:11 PM on November 21 [11 favorites]


I'm just so tired. This fight is constant, and we seem to be losing ground every day.

Things looked bad during WWII's Battle of the Bulge too. The allies didn't know that they would eventually win out but they kept fighting and made it happen.

I've kind of stopped worrying about the score. I feel plenty of despair too but the alternative is to give up and I'm not going to give up. So, win or lose I'll keep fighting for as long as I can keep fighting and generally doing the right thing. If the world won't change it's not going to be because I didn't try.
posted by VTX at 6:11 PM on November 21 [44 favorites]


Did Barton resign from the GOP and join the Lemon Party?
posted by delfin at 6:12 PM on November 21 [33 favorites]


I'm just so tired. This fight is constant, and we seem to be losing ground every day.

Nothing is over until we say it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?!
posted by octobersurprise at 6:18 PM on November 21 [29 favorites]


CNN just showed a poll; 81% of Democrats said they would not vote for a candidate credibly accused of sexual harassment or assault while only 41% of Republicans said the same. Party of family values.
posted by Justinian at 3:53 PM on November 21 [24 favorites +] [!]


Couldn't find a link for that and I'd sure love to share it.
posted by Mental Wimp at 6:19 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Straight from the source and in color, Mental Wimp.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:21 PM on November 21 [13 favorites]


Straight from the source and in color, Mental Wimp.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:21 PM on November 21 [3 favorites +] [!]


Thank you! My Google-fu experienced an epic failure.
posted by Mental Wimp at 6:35 PM on November 21


I really thought by now, a year after the election, my shock and anger would have subsided. It's grown, so much more than I could've imagined.
posted by cell divide at 6:35 PM on November 21 [12 favorites]


I do not understand why Kevin McCarthy gets to walk around this earth without constantly being asked about the time he declared he thought Trump and Rohrabacher were on Putin's payroll and, swore everyone present to secrecy about the "joke," and hasn't done a damn thing about it since then

<PEDANTRY>McCarthy told the joke, Ryan swore everyone to secrecy.</PEDANTRY>
posted by Jpfed at 6:38 PM on November 21 [17 favorites]


What I wonder is… did the release of that transcript ever cause any rifts between Rohrabacher and his colleagues? Is he upset with McCarthy or Ryan about it? The fact that it happened and everyone involved seems to have just sort of ~carried on~ is surreal.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 6:43 PM on November 21 [21 favorites]


The fact that it happened and everyone involved seems to have just sort of ~carried on~ is surreal.
posted by InTheYear2017


:|
posted by petebest at 6:47 PM on November 21 [26 favorites]


Great, 'cause I wasn't already despondent enough today:
.@FinalYearFilm trailer: a look at the inner workings of the Obama Administration as they prepare to leave power after 8 years #TheFinalYear
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:52 PM on November 21 [5 favorites]


Tax Returns Identify Dark Money Organization As Source of GOP Supreme Court Attacks
The Wellspring Committee, a Virginia-based nonprofit, donated more than $23 million last year to the Judicial Crisis Network, which spent $7 million on advertisements pushing Republican senators to block President Barack Obama’s court pick, Merrick Garland. After the election, the network spent another $10 million to boost President Donald Trump’s pick, Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Wellspring received more than $32 million in donations last year, with $28.5 million coming from a single, anonymous donor.


One anonymous person bankrolled the theft of a Supreme Court seat. One. Person.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:53 PM on November 21 [171 favorites]


What I wonder is… did the release of that transcript ever cause any rifts between Rohrabacher and his colleagues? Is he upset with McCarthy or Ryan about it? The fact that it happened and everyone involved seems to have just sort of ~carried on~ is surreal.

It's not surreal if they are all complicit, compromised or actively collaborating.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:55 PM on November 21 [5 favorites]


T.D., I will bet a cake that it was a Mercer.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:07 PM on November 21 [14 favorites]


Rohrabacher insists those comments were obviously made in jest, based on the Media blowing his sensible Russia advocacy out of proportion and meanwhile, he and McCarthy have worked well together forever ( depending on your idea of “working well”).
posted by notyou at 7:08 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


T. D. Strange: One anonymous person bankrolled the theft of a Supreme Court seat. One. Person.

So, how do we out this person? I guess we can't, without inside information. But we know which Republican politicians received donations from Wellspring. Can we make that toxic?
posted by Surely This at 7:11 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


T.D., I will bet a cake that it was a Mercer.

Well, you had a fifty-fifty guess, but Wellspring, headed by Ann Corkery, a member of the right wing Opus Dei, was founded by the Koch Brothers. More recently Corkery has been funded by hedge fund manager Paul Singer. Her husband Neil runs the Judicial Crisis Network. So the money trail is from wife's shadow group to husband's shadow group -- great for obfuscation.

Both Wellspring and Judicial Crisis Network are set up as 501(c)(4) organizations that are prohibited from having political activity as their primary focus. Since 501(c)(4) organizations are supposed to be social welfare organizations, they are allowed to keep their donors secret, unlike bonafide political organizations. These shadow money political groups are supposed to be illegal and were the subject of the fabricated IRS/Tea Party scandal.
posted by JackFlash at 7:37 PM on November 21 [66 favorites]


So, how do we out this person? I guess we can't, without inside information.

No, the 990 is linked in that article, but you'd need access to Wellspring's internal documentation to identify any of the 8 individual donations reported. These dark money groups are typically just a couple lawyers or money managers and maybe a couple party people directing the passthrough money flow. Sourcewatch identifies Wellspring as linked to the Koch network, not the Mercers. They were previously involved in defending the Scott Walker recall election, a Koch signature effort.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:38 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


Also, 501c4s don't directly contribute to campaigns, so there's no specific tie to any individual Republican. That's one of the most insidious "features", and forms part of the legal basis for why they're allowed to shield their donors. They're "issue" groups, and not legally allowed to coordinate with specific campaigns, which HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA, sorry I couldn't breathe there for a second. Issues like, I don't know, defund Obamacare! Gorsuch is awesome! What about black on black crime! Like all of our campaign system, its a lot of legal wording that boils down to, bribery is legal as long as you're rich enough. See Stephen Colbert for the full legal treatise, if you need a refresher.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:48 PM on November 21 [11 favorites]


I came across this picture today, and was struck by the truly weird way Trump his holding his wife's hand. Or rather not holding her hand, as he hasn't enclosed Melania's whole hand in his, as is usual for men who hold a female partner's hand. He is, rather, holding some of her fingers, or possibly just her thumb. [Insert tiny hand handholding workaround joke here.]

The other day there was much made of the way DT drank from a water bottle with both hands, and one of my Twitter contacts, who has some neurological issues herself, commented in a series of tweets that she thought it was possibly a sign of neurological issues. And I'm wondering if this could possibly be another such sign, because that hand hold really looks strange. The guy's holding his wife's hand like a toddler who hasn't learned to hold hands yet.
posted by orange swan at 8:28 PM on November 21 [7 favorites]


It looks like they might be heading slightly downhill. He supposedly has a thing with ramps and stairs.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:48 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


That looks like the same kind of move my 80 year old mother-in-law does with us when she's a bit shaky going up or down steps, etc.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:50 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


Armchair diagnoses aside, don't wish too hard for a health issue, 25th amendment based on a legitimate health problem or him keeling over would preclude any possibility of Pence going down with the the Russian investigation. I want him "sound" of mind right up until the Muellerhammer drops.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:04 PM on November 21 [8 favorites]


“Women are very special.” “It’s a very special time.” “A lot of things are coming out.”

This is some form of code or cipher. I do not understand it.


He's trying to emulate empathy but he's a sociopath so he has no frame of reference. Basically he's being a Markov generator, just taking words & phrases he knows people say at times like these & putting them in a blender. The result, as you might expect, is nonsense.
posted by scalefree at 9:22 PM on November 21 [36 favorites]


Empathy is a foreign language to Trump. He literally doesn't understand it. You know those videos of people trying to speak languages they don't know? It's like that.
posted by scalefree at 9:26 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]


“Nobody knew health care reform was so hard women had separate identities and thoughts.”
posted by Burhanistan at 9:28 PM on November 21 [5 favorites]


I want him "sound" of mind right up until the Muellerhammer drops.

Mjüellnir, surely.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:29 PM on November 21 [118 favorites]


How does drilling in ANWR work under the rules of reconciliation?
posted by lumnar at 9:40 PM on November 21


How does drilling in ANWR work under the rules of reconciliation?

Step 2: A Miracle Occurs
posted by mikelieman at 9:47 PM on November 21 [10 favorites]


They came close to doing ANWR drilling under reconciliation in 2005 by stripping basically everything except the bare minimum to allow drilling from the bill.

Drilling has revenue impacts, since the government receives royalties in exchange for the drilling rights. It would come down to how the parliamentarian rules and the specifics of what they put in the bill (and whether they decide to care about the Byrd Rule), but it certainly seems plausible that they can make it work.
posted by zachlipton at 9:58 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


Re Barton, TX-6 went Trump 54-42 (Barton 58-39) and Romney 58-41 (Barton 61-36). If he does retire, it's not impossible to see a Dem winning here, but it's definitely on the outer fringes of possibility.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:59 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


asteria: "Oh I see it's time to renew my membership with the ACLU."

Speaking of which, the ACLU is suing the Phoenix Police Department for not releasing information related to police actions at the Trump protests.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:02 PM on November 21 [10 favorites]


You know those videos of people trying to speak languages they don't know? It's like that.

OK so every Trump interaction with a functional human being is a German trying to say 'squirrel'. Ugh. Why? Why god why?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 10:09 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]


Ronald A. Klain, WaPo: Conservatives have a breathtaking plan for Trump to pack the courts
Conservatives have a new court-packing plan, and in the spirit of the holiday, it’s a turducken of a scheme: a regulatory rollback hidden inside a civil rights reversal stuffed into a Trumpification of the courts. If conservatives get their way, President Trump will add twice as many lifetime members to the federal judiciary in the next 12 months (650) as Barack Obama named in eight years (325). American law will never be the same.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:09 PM on November 21 [43 favorites]


Re Ronald A. Klain, WaPo: Conservatives have a breathtaking plan for Trump to pack the courts – I don't say this often (because I'm agnostic), but my god.
posted by StrawberryPie at 10:50 PM on November 21 [4 favorites]


I hope someone at Mueller HQ prints that and pins it somewhere for everyone to see. Hurry and bring the fucker down, team!
posted by Burhanistan at 11:06 PM on November 21 [6 favorites]


The Toronto Star continuing to doing solid work: Donald Trump just pardoned a turkey named Drumstick. Here’s what goes into the annual Thanksgiving tradition.

A few of their predecessors have hit the ripe old age of 2. Very few domestic turkeys live that long. The vast majority get sent to processing plants when they’re between 14 to 20 weeks old.
posted by porpoise at 11:36 PM on November 21


Come on, Muellergiving!
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:36 PM on November 21


(Not entirely on topic, but also not big enough for it's own FPP and maybe encouraging: yesterday, Denmark had regular local and regional elections, and they were a social democratic/ socialist landslide. In 2000, Denmark was the second Western European country after Austria to give power to the far right racist idiots, and their influence has been immense and depressing for all those years. This year they were pushed back in every single district across the country along with the entire right. We celebrated my youngest's first election in the most socialist district in the country).
posted by mumimor at 1:29 AM on November 22 [89 favorites]


You know, I imagine the pressure Murkowski is under is intense. Maybe I'd detest her for caving even if she straight up said, 'Alaska's getting mad money from ANWR drilling plus I am hoping for another twenty years of Koch money.' But at least that would have done a service. It would have acknowledged the reality of the situation.

But to say that the individual mandate is the problem: that obfuscates the fact that the individual mandate is a crucial piece of the health care market. She claims in her statement that she's always been against the mandate, so I guess she's always been an idiot. Is there not a single rational health policy expert she trusts?

Ugh, watching this country eat itself is so disturbing.
posted by angrycat at 1:47 AM on November 22 [3 favorites]


Is Trump wine supposed to be any good?

It is wine produced in the name of a man who thinks the ideal way to eat steak is well-done with ketchup.

It is the question that answers itself.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:51 AM on November 22 [13 favorites]


C'mon, I'm sure Trump wine is just as delicious as a Trump martini.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:20 AM on November 22 [2 favorites]


White House military personnel removed amid investigation into contacts with foreign women during Trump’s Asia trip [WaPo]:
Three military personnel have been reassigned from their White House jobs amid allegations that they had improper contact with foreign women while traveling with President Trump on his recent trip to Asia, according to officials familiar with the situation.

The service members worked for the White House Communications Agency, a specialized military unit that helps provide the president, vice president, Secret Service and other officials with secure communications.
...
The episode comes after four military personnel on the same White House team faced allegations related to their behavior during a trip to Panama in August with Vice President Pence.
The article recalls the Secret Service involvement in the 2012 Cartagena prostitution incident without mentioning that 12 US armed forces members from the same unit were investigated and disciplined as part of that incident as well.
posted by peeedro at 2:21 AM on November 22 [7 favorites]


Sources: McMaster Mocked Trump’s Intelligence In a Private Dinner

Called it!

posted by PenDevil at 2:23 AM on November 22 [4 favorites]


The only word I can find for this: [real]

@realDonaldTrump

It wasn’t the White House, it wasn’t the State Department, it wasn’t father LaVar’s so-called people on the ground in China that got his son out of a long term prison sentence - IT WAS ME. Too bad! LaVar is just a poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair. Just think..

@realDonaldTrump

...LaVar, you could have spent the next 5 to 10 years during Thanksgiving with your son in China, but no NBA contract to support you. But remember LaVar, shoplifting is NOT a little thing. It’s a really big deal, especially in China. Ungrateful fool!
posted by Crystalinne at 2:44 AM on November 22 [36 favorites]


Wow.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:49 AM on November 22 [17 favorites]


There are few heels in wrestling these days who are good enough to get you to root for other heels just by attacking them. He would truly be a master had he not escaped from his ideal genre into the now nightmarish real world in which we are all now forced to job to him on a daily basis.
posted by bootlegpop at 2:50 AM on November 22 [14 favorites]


I don't know how anyone can read that and not think the 25th Amendment applies.
posted by zachlipton at 2:53 AM on November 22 [40 favorites]


I mean it’s the least of the issues with those tweets, but the son who was in China is not the one who just signed a huge NBA contract.
posted by chris24 at 2:55 AM on November 22 [32 favorites]


Oh, I think we know why Trump mixed the two up.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:00 AM on November 22 [43 favorites]


And if we don't seize this moment to clog our representatives' offices and pound the drums of impeachment relentlessly and deafeningly, then fuck us.

Not fuck them. Fuck us.

tl;dr: fuck us.
posted by perspicio at 3:02 AM on November 22 [3 favorites]


I don't know how anyone can read that and not think the 25th Amendment applies.
posted by zachlipton at 2:53 AM on November 22 [2 favorites +] [!]


This. A thousand times this.
posted by From Bklyn at 3:14 AM on November 22 [1 favorite]


Still going against black athletes and parents.

Donald J. Trump Retweeted
@Realjmannarino
The ungratefulness is something I’ve never seen before. If you get someone’s son out of prison, he should be grateful to you! Period. I don’t care. If Hillary got my kid out of prison, as much as I hate the woman, I’d thank her corrupt ass!

@realDonaldTrump
The NFL is now thinking about a new idea - keeping teams in the Locker Room during the National Anthem next season. That’s almost as bad as kneeling! When will the highly paid Commissioner finally get tough and smart? This issue is killing your league!.....
posted by chris24 at 3:15 AM on November 22 [4 favorites]


But remember LaVar, shoplifting is NOT a little thing. It’s a really big deal, especially in China. Ungrateful fool!

I came this close to replying to him with "Get back to work, you stupid asshole"...but then I remembered what it looks like when he actually tries to be President.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:15 AM on November 22 [3 favorites]


At least Nixon only said shit like this in private.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:20 AM on November 22 [11 favorites]


If we wish to bend the arc of history toward justice, then each transgression should engender greater resistance.

Instead I see attenuation. More outrage, but also more ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Learned helplessness.

Sometimes rebellion can be a real cool hand.
posted by perspicio at 3:22 AM on November 22 [5 favorites]


The NFL is now thinking about a new idea - keeping teams in the Locker Room during the National Anthem next season.

Not a new idea, the NFL did this pre-2009 before they started accepting tons of money from the Defence Dept.
posted by PenDevil at 3:24 AM on November 22 [46 favorites]


@JasonKander:
I don't think @SenTedCruz has fully thought through how ending #NetNeutrality will affect his (ahem) browsing habits.
posted by chris24 at 3:32 AM on November 22 [17 favorites]


The ungratefulness is something I’ve never seen before. If you get someone’s son out of prison, he should be grateful to you!

Compare this to when Bill Clinton went to North Korea in 2009 to secure the release of two Americans held there and all he had to do was sit in a shitty photo-op.
posted by PenDevil at 3:34 AM on November 22


Now Trump's twits are going after LeVar Burton on Twitter because they can't tell the difference between him and Ball. Guess they should have watched more Reading Rainbow as children ...
posted by meowf at 3:59 AM on November 22 [42 favorites]


Please tell me people on the tweety are asking if obstruction of justice is a bigger deal than shoplifting.

I hope the Trump mirror is in effect on that whole, "if somebody helps your son out of prison." [Narrator: Nobody helped.]
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 4:00 AM on November 22 [4 favorites]


Please tell me people on the tweety are asking if obstruction of justice is a bigger deal than shoplifting.

Well, child molestation has certainly come up.

What hasn't come up from Donny is the US military plane that crashed off of Japan with 11 Americans on it. Priorities.
posted by chris24 at 4:01 AM on November 22 [10 favorites]


Keep trying, Donald. If you tweet three or four more crazy things you might knock TRUMP ENDORSES KNOWN PEDOPHILE off the top of the newsfeed.
posted by mmoncur at 4:01 AM on November 22 [5 favorites]


At least LeVar is amused.
posted by meowf at 4:02 AM on November 22 [24 favorites]


In more cheerful news: has anybody paid attention to the state of the Trump Combover in recent weeks? To my eye, it looks like the souffle is collapsing. Wings fall apart; the centre cannot hold.

I quite enjoy pondering the sinking feeling he must surely get from looking in his mirror of a morning and knowing in his heart of hearts that there is a day coming, and coming quite soon, when not even he will be able to maintain the feeble pretence that the Combover was ever fit for purpose.

I'm half expecting an Eyebrow Surge.
posted by flabdablet at 4:05 AM on November 22 [20 favorites]


If you look at pictures of 80's Donald Trump, he had quite a bushy eyebrow thing going that a stylist or makeup person thankfully has talked him out of.
posted by peeedro at 4:09 AM on November 22


In more cheerful news: has anybody paid attention to the state of the Trump Combover in recent weeks?

With all the required travel and those pesky White House visitor logs he can only get his weave touched up when he goes to New York.
posted by PenDevil at 4:10 AM on November 22 [3 favorites]


Surely Mueller wants to ruin trumps turkey day by dropping some indictments or something today?

Maybe they'll drag Eric away from the kiddie table in leg cuffs?
posted by ian1977 at 4:12 AM on November 22 [2 favorites]


Surely Mueller wants to ruin trumps turkey day by dropping some indictments or something today?

Oh, I think LAST NIGHT was good timing to ruin the Kushner's long weekend, as zachlipton pointed out about 13 hours ago...
posted by mikelieman at 4:45 AM on November 22 [1 favorite]


Now Trump's twits are going after LeVar Burton on Twitter because they can't tell the difference between him and Ball.

Welp, today might be the day I finally figure out how to write a Twitter bot so that it'll reply to all of those people with this image.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:53 AM on November 22 [15 favorites]


If Republicans had a tenth of the backbone of their subtweets...

@marcorubio
Do not be friendly with hotheads,nor associate with the wrathful. Proverbs 22:24
posted by chris24 at 5:13 AM on November 22 [7 favorites]


So, Obama's first periodic physical exam as president by the White House Medical Unit was in February of 2010. Can we similarily expect one for Trump in spring next year or how are they usually scheduled? Is anyone in the press asking about that? Could be interesting, given that the pre-election medical evaluation was distinctively Spacemanesque...
posted by ltl at 5:15 AM on November 22 [9 favorites]


In other he-can't-seriously-oh-yes-he-can news: Dude Who Tripled Price of Insulin Nominated to Regulate Price of Insulin.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 5:28 AM on November 22 [36 favorites]


Trump retweeted Laura Ingraham's apparent praise of Charles Manson.

@IngrahamAngle
More Laura Ingraham Retweeted NYT Opinion
“Far right”? You mean “right so far,” as in @realDonaldTrump has been right so far abt how to kick the economy into high gear.

@nytopinion
Charles Manson wasn't the inevitable outgrowth of the Sixties. If anything, he was a harbinger of today's far right. http://nyti.ms/2hN7PMs

posted by Rust Moranis at 5:40 AM on November 22 [5 favorites]


Charles Manson wasn't the inevitable outgrowth of the Sixties. If anything, he was a harbinger of today's far right.

I dunno, my hippy parents dragging me around from commune to commune like an old handbag when I was an infant, getting kicked out for really only wanting to party and not contribute any work, then throwing up their hands and dropping me off at my grandparents covered in ant bites to skip off for more adventures when I wasn't even quite a year old sure seems of a piece with the kind of carelessness and negligence and follow your bliss even if it hurts others mindset some started to adopt in the 60s. Of course, my dad wherever he is and if he's still alive is probably a rabid Trump supporter now. A lot of old hippies broke right wing in the 90s.
posted by saulgoodman at 5:53 AM on November 22 [17 favorites]


“Ungrateful fool”? What, is he cosplaying as Dr. Doom today?
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:55 AM on November 22 [36 favorites]


That Ingraham tweet and Trump retweet is so weird. First, the column doesn’t tie Manson to Trump, just Dylann Roof, Alex Jones, etc. So why Ingraham wanted to link Trump to an insane mass murderer I have no idea. And Trump clearly didn’t even read the article because he gladly associated himself with Manson just because Ingraham said something positive about him. Both are idiots.

Oh, and...

@ThePlumLineGS
Quinnipiac:

Who do you believe is more responsible for the current economy: Obama, or Trump?

Obama 50

Trump 37

(link: https://poll.qu.edu/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2501)
posted by chris24 at 6:02 AM on November 22 [12 favorites]


chris24: Donald J. Trump Retweeted @Realjmannarino: If Hillary got my kid out of prison, as much as I hate the woman, I’d thank her corrupt ass!

I'm guessing that if LaVar Ball sees this, he'll consider saying what came to my mind: "You know what? Thank you, Mr. Trump's corrupt ass."
posted by InTheYear2017 at 6:03 AM on November 22 [15 favorites]


really only wanting to party and not contribute any work

Now there's an upper management attitude if ever I saw one.
posted by flabdablet at 6:05 AM on November 22 [9 favorites]


I assume Ingraham's reaction was mainly inspired by defensiveness over an attack on anything "right-wing".

But the whole effect is rather like Biff proudly announcing he eats shit for breakfast.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 6:08 AM on November 22 [9 favorites]


>The service members worked for the White House Communications Agency, a specialized military unit that helps provide the president, vice president, Secret Service and other officials with secure communications.

This is the "making sure he has access to Twitter" people? That would explain a few things, actually.
posted by petebest at 6:13 AM on November 22 [4 favorites]


But the whole effect is rather like Biff proudly announcing he eats shit for breakfast.

only the best shit
posted by entropicamericana at 6:13 AM on November 22 [1 favorite]


But the whole effect is rather like Biff proudly announcing he eats shit for breakfast.

You mean Shooter McGavin?
posted by Talez at 6:17 AM on November 22 [11 favorites]


If Hillary got my kid out of prison, as much as I hate the woman, I’d thank her corrupt ass!

*Narrator voice* She won't.
posted by solotoro at 6:21 AM on November 22 [20 favorites]


via PoliticalWire, Quote of the Day:

“We had so much shit in our entire technology ecosystem that we couldn’t clean it up. Oh man, those Russians were on us like white on rice. I mean, they were, Joe, they were destroying data, critical data, Joe.

I had a walking list for precinct 89 in Washington, D.C. I know precinct 89, right? And the Russians went in there and corrupted all of our critical data. All of our critical data. So, I no longer trusted this damn list that I’ve had for over 20 years of knowing every frequent voter, every Democratic voter.”

— Donna Brazile, in an interview on Sirius XM, on the extent of the Russian hacking of the DNC’s computer systems.


NO COLLUSION
posted by petebest at 6:27 AM on November 22 [41 favorites]


Talez: You mean Shooter McGavin?

It seems I do. I swear I had a fully-detailed memory of that exchange being in Back to the Future, even hearing the lines in the actors' voices. So I looked up "Shooter McGavin", found the clip, thought "Wow, they stole that from BttF!". Nope, they didn't. Apparently this is my personal Mandela Effect. In my defense, he actors playing McGavin and Biff look similar. But to my shame, apparently I saw at least part of Happy Gilmore once.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 6:32 AM on November 22 [2 favorites]


I think of Biff and eating bowls of shit in most of these Trump threads.
posted by cmfletcher at 6:34 AM on November 22


Of course, my dad wherever he is and if he's still alive is probably a rabid Trump supporter now. A lot of old hippies broke right wing in the 90s.

Well, both combine self-righteousness with an abdication of responsibility, so I can see where there's an overlap.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:41 AM on November 22 [17 favorites]


I think of Biff and eating bowls of shit in most of these Trump threads.

That's about as funny as a screen door on a battleship
posted by museum of fire ants at 6:44 AM on November 22 [3 favorites]


A lot of old hippies broke right wing in the 90s

both combine self-righteousness with an abdication of responsibility

SEE ALSO: rugged individualism; libertarianism; general dickishness
posted by perspicio at 6:54 AM on November 22 [11 favorites]


“We had so much shit in our entire technology ecosystem that we couldn’t clean it up. Oh man, those Russians were on us like white on rice. I mean, they were, Joe, they were destroying data, critical data, Joe.

This is new, right? We know that data and risotto recipes were copied from DNC and DCCC servers, but I don't remember any claims of malicious tampering. Am I remembering wrong, are there other reports of this happening, or is this another episode of shit Donna Brazile says?
posted by peeedro at 6:55 AM on November 22 [9 favorites]


If conservatives get their way, President Trump will add twice as many lifetime members to the federal judiciary in the next 12 months (650) as Barack Obama named in eight years (325). American law will never be the same.

If they do that, you just name 1300 new federal judges under the next Democratic president.

And then pass legislation requiring 2/3 of Senate to create new federal judgeships.

And create a mandatory retirement age of 70 for all federal judges. Including the Supreme Court (that'd open all seats but Sotomayer, Kagan, Roberts, and Gorsuch by the next election).

Then appoint a series of liberal judges in their 40s to every open judgeship, including USSC.

Fire with fire.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:57 AM on November 22 [45 favorites]


I think of Biff and eating bowls of shit in most of these Trump threads.

That's about as funny as a screen door on a battleship


Why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here?
posted by leotrotsky at 6:58 AM on November 22 [2 favorites]


Fire with fire.

You'd have to nuke the filibuster from orbit to do that.
posted by Talez at 6:59 AM on November 22 [3 favorites]


Fire with fire.

You'd have to nuke the filibuster from orbit to do that.


Fine by me. After we create the new states of Puerto Rico, Washington DC, Guam, USVI, and Northern Marianas/American Samoa I'm not too worried about getting under 51 senators in the near future.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:05 AM on November 22 [35 favorites]


So here's a piece by Mark Bauerlein on being a Trumpist during Thanksgiving. It's... illuminating. If you like illuminating bullshit.

Brief summary: Trumpists are the real victims, sympathy is a zero sum game, millenials are irrational voters and not carefully measuring 20 years of failed GOP policies against their own futures. Trump is good because he's bringing back Western Civilization and Literature (I can recall one non-western book from high school, unless he thinks books by slaves, Anne Frank, muckrakers, etc etc don't count as "Western" like Nietzche and Wordsworth).

He thinks that this line "Western civilization slipped from a lineage of reason and talent, free inquiry and unsuppressed creativity, into “Eurocentrism,” one group’s advance at the expense of others, women and people of color." is historically accurate.

He acknowledges that people have pain from experiences that Trump antagonizes but only as a vehicle for Trumpist feelings that were hurt during the Obama years.

The crevasse between reality and Trumpism is widening. Increasingly, I'm unsure if effort should be spent on bringing them back to reality or widening the gap (which any amount of resistance to their alt-reality does) such that even the crazification factor finds itself partially split.
posted by Slackermagee at 7:16 AM on November 22 [13 favorites]


It's really really impressive to see the internet spring into action when Net Neutrality is threatened, calls to contact your representatives and donate to the EFF exploded all over Reddit and social media SO FAST... and I don't want to downplay the importance of Net Neutrality because it's a huge deal but whyyyy can't the internet do stuff like this for like anything else that's important? I mean even EA doing shitty but predictable EA things to a video game has gotten the kind of response from the internet that things like, oh, voting rights for one, could desperately use.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:18 AM on November 22 [17 favorites]


The filibuster was always a miserable piece of anti-democratic crap that was only ever used successfully for vile regressive purposes. It has always and only ever truly existed for the forces of evil, us good guys never do seem to actually get to use it despite the Democrats loudly proclaiming that the filibuster is totally essential for times when they're a majority.

Note that despite the Republicans having a bare majority, like magic, somehow the Democrats can't filibuster jack fucking shit. Somehow the ACA repeal was immune to filibusters. Somehow the Republican tax increase bill is immune to filibusters. Somehow, like magic, every single thing the Republicans want takes only 51 votes, but every single thing the Democrats want takes 60 votes.

Nuke the filibuster. It is a tool only for the enemy, we never do seem to get to use it ourselves. If we could filibuster them like they filibuster us then maybe it'd be worth keeping. But since they get to use it all the time and we never get to use it then it needs to go.

And I'm 100% with leotrotsky. They're packing the courts with an illegitimate, criminal, traitor president? Great, we pack the **SHIT** out of the courts then pass a law to keep the courts from being packed again. I also like a mandatory retirement age for judges.
posted by sotonohito at 7:19 AM on November 22 [36 favorites]


Nuke the filibuster.

I guess the problem here is that while traditionally the filibuster has been used to keep existing bad policies in place, the reason was that the force for change in American politics was classically progressive, while the regressive wing was in favor of the status-quo (i.e., slavery, apartheid, and unregulated markets). But since FDR & even more since LBJ, those in favor of change have been radical right regressives who want to blow up the status quo. Although they're trying their hardest to do so through reconciliation, which can't be filibustered, if we didn't have the filibuster and had a slightly more competent right-wing president, the right would overturn the whole damn world in a hot minute and we'd be in Handmaid's Tale territory before 2019.
posted by dis_integration at 7:26 AM on November 22 [5 favorites]


If I'm not wrong, a mandatory retirement age for federal judges would require a constitutional amendment ("The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour," - Article III). So... good idea, but probably not happening. Packing seems like the only avenue of redress, but seems like the start -- or escalation, I guess -- of an arms race.
posted by Turd Ferguson at 7:32 AM on November 22


Politico Trumpist-at-Thanksgiving article:
Western civilization was dropped as a school subject before they were born

Hi, I have a Masters in Teaching social studies grade 6-12. I assure you, person who says he is a teacher, Western civilization is still a school subject. It's just now not the only thing taught. So you can fuck right off, good sir. Enjoy your mashed potatoes.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:41 AM on November 22 [62 favorites]


Turd Ferguson Packing seems like the only avenue of redress, but seems like the start -- or escalation, I guess -- of an arms race.

Not at all, it is merely fighting back instead of passively accepting the cheating of the Republicans.

Why did Trump get to seat Gorsuch?

Because the Republicans in Congress did a completely unprecedented thing and refused to even consider Obama's appointments, basically voiding his final year as president in order to pack the courts their way.

Why is Trump set to appoint so many utterly incompetent right wing fanatics to the courts?

Because the Republicans in Congress did a completely unprecedented thing and held open judicial positions for close to a decade specifically so that the next Republican president would have a lot of slots to fill.

We did not start this. Fighting back will be ugly and the Republicans will play victim and scream and shout about how horrible and awful we are. But if we don't fight back, if we don't retaliate against their blatant packing of the courts, we might as well just give up and resign ourselves to an eternity of Republican misrule.

Fighting is ugly. Fighting back is ugly. But it is better than the alternative.

dis_integration Although they're trying their hardest to do so through reconciliation, which can't be filibustered, if we didn't have the filibuster and had a slightly more competent right-wing president, the right would overturn the whole damn world in a hot minute and we'd be in Handmaid's Tale territory before 2019.

Can you please point to the horrible Handmaid laws that the Democrats have successfully filibustered? I don't seem to recall any, but perhaps I haven't been paying attention in the right way. You'd think, if the Democrats were saving us via the filibuster they'd be bragging more about it though.

I do know that the Democrats haven't filibustered any of Trump's horrible appointments, while the Republicans seemed to do a damn fine job of shutting down Obama's appointments to the degree that by his third year in office he still didn't have a full staff in the executive offices. How did they do so well while we do so poorly?

If "reconciliation" can get stuff past the filibuster, why did we have to get traitor Joe Lieberman on board with the ACA and get 60 votes?

I'm sure there are reasons for this, but the outcome is always the same: they get to filibuster and shut down absolutely anything we try when we have a majority, but when we have a majority suddenly there's all these procedures and tricks and loopholes that make it impossible for us to shut them down.

Apparently Trump can simply stop the subsidies the ACA mandates on a whim, yet Obama needed 60 votes in the Senate to get anything done.

Do you see why I say nuke the filibuster?

It doesn't work for us.

Sure, sure, all the words about loopholes and reconciliation and whatever. But the outcome is always the same: it works for them, it doesn't work for us. Why would we want to keep it around if we can't use it?
posted by sotonohito at 7:47 AM on November 22 [57 favorites]


soren_lorensen Politico Trumpist-at-Thanksgiving article:
Western civilization was dropped as a school subject before they were born


I'm with you. I've got a teaching certificate, valid to teach all core subjects in Texas for grades 4 through 8, and I know damn well that western civilization is a thing that we teach here.

From the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) requirements, 113.42:
World History Studies is a survey of the history of humankind. Due to the expanse of world history and the time limitations of the school year, the scope of this course should focus on "essential" concepts and skills that can be applied to various eras, events, and people within the standards in subsection (c) of this section. The major emphasis is on the study of significant people, events, and issues from the earliest times to the present. Traditional historical points of reference in world history are identified as students analyze important events and issues in western civilization as well as in civilizations in other parts of the world. Students evaluate the causes and effects of political and economic imperialism and of major political revolutions since the 17th century. Students examine the impact of geographic factors on major historic events and identify the historic origins of contemporary economic systems. Students analyze the process by which constitutional governments evolved as well as the ideas from historic documents that influenced that process. Students trace the historical development of important legal and political concepts. Students examine the history and impact of major religious and philosophical traditions. Students analyze the connections between major developments in science and technology and the growth of industrial economies, and they use the process of historical inquiry to research, interpret, and use multiple sources of evidence.
Emphasis mine.

I also note that the asshole in the linked article managed to see the Republican President's speech in Warsaw as a sort of neutral, in a vacuum, praising of "Western Civilization" rather than a barely veiled racist call to arms that was welcomed by white supremacists worldwide.

Plus of course the entire false victim complex the asshole espoused. It's hardly as if dead white guys are reviled or the big names in Western Civ are spat on and ignored. They just aren't the only people mentioned.

He seems to live in a parallel universe where all white people everywhere are hated and their names have been scoured from the history books until, like the breaking of dawn against the vile hordes of cultural relativist orcs, Trump arrived to single handedly save Western Civilization by mentioning it in Warsaw.
posted by sotonohito at 7:57 AM on November 22 [4 favorites]


OH MY GOD HE'S AN ENGLISH PROFESSOR
Christ, what an asshole. I thought for sure he'd be a Math prof or something, ignorant of what is actually taught in humanities classes. But no, he's English faculty which is its own special kind of justification. He's probably surrounded by a bunch of high octane critical theorists and postmodernists in his department and there's probably a fair amount of high ridiculousness because that's what university English departments do. Like a lot of academics, he doesn't realize that he breathes extremely rarefied air and that all of life is not even remotely like his department meetings and that the liberals he's having Thanksgiving with don't give a shit about Freire and Foucault or probably even Chomsky. (I mean, I'm pretty far left and when I was an English major I thought postmodernism was fucking bonkers, but grokking Derrida isn't really necessary for believing that black men shouldn't be summarily executed by police officers.) His reaction to the annoying colleague who is constantly complaining about all the Pale Males she's required to teach is to blow up our Republic. Well done, sir.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:57 AM on November 22 [29 favorites]


Do you see why I say nuke the filibuster?

It doesn't work for us.


From 1957 to 2017:
* Democrats had a majority in the Senate for 62 years and Republicans had a majority in the Senate for 22 years.
* Democrats had a majority in the House of Representatives for 62 years and Republicans had a majority in the House for 22 years.
* Democrats controlled both the Senate and House for 56 years. (Here's a chart.)

Removing a rule when it inconveniences you and sticking to it when it benefits you is unethical and an abuse of power. Either it's a bad rule that should be removed on its own merits or it's a good one that should stay in place.

But arguing that it's not helping us now so we should eliminate it is not a good argument.
posted by zarq at 7:58 AM on November 22 [8 favorites]


I really think we need to look at South Africa as a model for our future, specifically the Truth and Reconciliation process. We are going to have to break the back of a racist, corrupt system that 30% of the population loves and is in complete denial about. Like the Nixon administration, almost everyone appointed by Trump are the dregs of racist feudalism and will be causing trouble for the next 40 years (e.g. Roger Stone).
posted by benzenedream at 7:59 AM on November 22 [14 favorites]


Removing a rule when it inconveniences you and sticking to it when it benefits you is unethical and an abuse of power. Either it's a bad rule that should be removed on its own merits or it's a good one that should stay in place.

But arguing that it's not helping us now so we should eliminate it is not a good argument.


It's not unethical and an abuse of power when national sovereignty, the social fabric, and human life itself are in the balance. Which they are. "We have to be hypocritical in this specific case in order to survive" is a good argument.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:04 AM on November 22 [17 favorites]


I feel like Mr. English Prof hopes the reader misremembers having attended a high school class literally entitled "Western Civilization", so they can be all angrypants at the PC culture that "dropped" it from the curriculum.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 8:05 AM on November 22 [5 favorites]


But arguing that it's not helping us now so we should eliminate it is not a good argument.

I think that the way that it was used by Southern Democrats to block civil-rights bills combined with how it has messed with us now would be enough to justify tanking it, though. It has mostly been the last refuge of scoundrels.

I feel like Mr. English Prof hopes

He is probably huffy because they made him teach Chinua Achebe AND Dickens or something.
posted by bootlegpop at 8:05 AM on November 22 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I don't think Trump is really the embodiment or defender of western values. With his ostentatious, narcissistic, bully mentality he's more akin to Xerxes than Plato. It's just more pablum the right likes to wrap themselves in to feel intellectually superior to all the "ingrates" who look at them with confused and horrified expressions. He's what the Greeks were trying to warn us about.
posted by lumnar at 8:09 AM on November 22 [5 favorites]


zarq Removing a rule when it inconveniences you and sticking to it when it benefits you is unethical and an abuse of power. Either it's a bad rule that should be removed on its own merits or it's a good one that should stay in place.

Personally I think it's a bad rule.

More important though, a rule that is misapplied, or abused so that only one side gets to use it, is a bad rule in practice even if it's a good rule in theory. The application of rules matters as much as their official, formal, aspect.

Even if the theory behind the filibuster was 100% perfect, the fact that in practice only the Republicans get to use it while when the Democrats want to stop something the Republicans want then somehow the filibuster doesn't apply, makes the filibuster a bad rule.
posted by sotonohito at 8:17 AM on November 22 [9 favorites]


The millennials at the table will go blank (Western civilization was dropped as a school subject before they were born).

That's right. Millennials have no idea what "Western civilization" means. That's the only possible explanation for the careful lack of expression they assume when Uncle Mark starts up about Warsaw again.
posted by Iridic at 8:17 AM on November 22 [32 favorites]


It's not unethical and an abuse of power when national sovereignty, the social fabric, and human life itself are in the balance. Which they are. "We have to be hypocritical in this specific case in order to survive" is a good argument.

It's a perilous one. Throwing out democratic principles in an effort to save a democracy from itself is a dangerous strategy. It sets a precedent in which any legislative action can conceivably be justified through fearmongering and manufactured crises.
posted by zarq at 8:22 AM on November 22 [2 favorites]


feel intellectually superior to all the "ingrates" who look at them with confused and horrified expressions

Last night, I was going through the stuff I brought back from China when I studied abroad there 20 years ago, in preparation for actually storing it so it will last for another 20 years. I have a copy of an old English-language propaganda magazine from 1969 (height of the Cultural Revolution). It's got a lot of really A+ choice Maoist propaganda ("The Afro-Americans are Fighting!" is a house favorite), but flipping through it last night the article that caught my eye was headlined "The Lowly are Most Intelligent! The Elite are Most Ignorant!" (This is a saying by Mao) And I had the thought... I bet I could slightly rewrite this article, post it on Twitter with a #MAGA tag, and let 2017 work its magic. Trumpers would never realize it's Maoist propaganda.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:23 AM on November 22 [57 favorites]


It's a perilous one. Throwing out democratic principles in an effort to save a democracy from itself is a dangerous strategy. It sets a precedent in which any legislative action can conceivably be justified through fearmongering and manufactured crises.

The filibuster is not a democratic principle! It's a procedural trick and inherently undemocratic. It's not part of the US Constitution, was only theoretically possible with a change of Senate rules in 1806, and was never used until 1837. Even then it was rarely used for much of the Senate's first two centuries, only becoming common to repeatedly block civil rights legislation.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:26 AM on November 22 [50 favorites]


It sets a precedent in which any legislative action can conceivably be justified through fearmongering and manufactured crises.

How can one set a precedent for a 400 year status quo?
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:26 AM on November 22 [5 favorites]


the liberals he's having Thanksgiving with don't give a shit about Freire and Foucault or probably even Chomsky.

I'm a liberal white guy English major in academia and I mostly don't give too much of shit about Freire or Foucault and really especially not Chomsky. (Tho an old friend has always really been into Freire. He's an interesting guy; I'll give him that.)

I met Bauerlein once some years ago and I recall him being mostly charming. He's an atheist-turned-Catholic and I suspect that's part of his shtick. Catholic converts always think they're GK Chesterton. However, the worst sentence in that piece is "When Donald Trump stood in that square in Warsaw and unapologetically hailed Western civilization, I felt a 30-year discouragement lift ever so slightly" because Donnie couldn't tell Western Civ from Shinola and Bauerlein's smart enough to know that.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:30 AM on November 22 [12 favorites]


[Folks, in the name of less thread chitchat, let's maybe call it good on the western civilization/"this one jerk academic said" thing.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:34 AM on November 22 [9 favorites]


T.D. Strange's post upthread is good to keep in mind when talking about the filibuster:
Geographic representation will kill American Democracy. The Senate is geographic gerrymandering built into the structure of the Constitution. By 2040, about 70% of Americans are expected to live in the 15 largest states, and will have 30 senators representing them. The remaining 30% of Americans will have 70 senators representing them.
It may become completely irrelevant in our lifetimes anyways. It's not a solution to anything long term.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:39 AM on November 22 [5 favorites]


Guardian: Trump's judicial picks: 'The goal is to end the progressive state'
[...] “The president himself has said that he expects this to be one of his major legacies. He is going to reshape the bench for generations to come,” said Douglas Keith, counsel with the fair courts arm of the Brennan Center for Justice.

“I do think this deserves more attention given the consequence, the significance of what will eventually be a wholesale change among the federal judiciary,” he continued.
I was already so tired, and woke up to this, and now I just want to go back to bed. Wake me up when everything is not terrible and hopeless anymore please.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 8:42 AM on November 22 [15 favorites]


Fire with fire.


Oooo noooo I'm a weak middle-of-the-road liberal who can't bear to govern without the tacit un-opposition of the "traditional" "conservatives". Chuck fucking Todd doesn't think it's goooood. Let's just divide everything 50-50 and look forward instead of back.

WHERE'S THE WAR CRIMES CHARGES AGAINST BUSH, CHENEY, RUMSFELD, AND RICE?! WHERE'S our fucking trillions of dollars??

If Trump changed everything regarding American politics it had damned well better the Democrats' focus on uprooting fucking evil shit. You feelin' it DiFi?! Yet?! godDAMN.
posted by petebest at 8:46 AM on November 22 [9 favorites]


The filibuster is not a democratic principle! It's a procedural trick and inherently undemocratic.

It is. It's a way for those in the minority to inhibit legislation that only benefits the majority. In theory, it should increase representation in legislation by allowing those who are not in power to influence those who are.

In practice it has often worked that way: the filibuster is most often used as a threat, not an act. Leverage to encourage legislative efforts to be cooperative and bipartisan. The current Republican Congress is so afraid of the filibuster and public debate on their proposed legislation that they are using whatever loopholes they can to avoid it. They are literally trying to pass laws secretly, in the dead of night.

In practice it has also worked against fair representation and been used as a tool to disenfranchise populations.

If a rule is used to good effect and bad effect, then the appropriate and ethical thing to do would be to look at whether it gives net benefit or not and why. Saying that it's bad simply because one side is using it against our side is terrible reasoning. Which is what I was responding to upthread.

It's not part of the US Constitution was only theoretically possible with a change of Senate rules in 1806, and was never used until 1837.

This isn't a particularly compelling argument. Many excellent amendments, laws and rules have been put in place since the 1800's.

Even then it was rarely used for much of the Senate's first two centuries, only becoming common to repeatedly block civil rights legislation.

Yes, thank you for proving my point. Argue whether it deserves to exist on its merits, not whether it happens to benefit us now.
posted by zarq at 8:46 AM on November 22 [7 favorites]


Throwing out democratic principles in an effort to save a democracy from itself is a dangerous strategy.

Dems have been doing that for years though, especially popular, charismatic ones like Bill Clinton--he sold out universal public education as an ideal, the general welfare as an ideal, due process and equality under the law for certain classes of drug offenders, etc., etc. It's not so much just the fact that Dems have compromised with Republicans that's the problem, but the fact they bargained away the fundamental axioms of liberal democracy and the public good for short term electoral gains, and then when in power, didn't reinforce or advance them.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:54 AM on November 22 [19 favorites]


It's not so much just the fact that Dems have compromised with Republicans that's the problem, but the fact they bargained away the fundamental axioms of liberal democracy and the public good for short term electoral gains

Reduce this down to "the political classes (all of them) bargained away everything for short term electoral gains", and one has an explanation for the last fifty years of American politics.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:03 AM on November 22 [5 favorites]


I hope we're not forgetting Wendy Davis, who fillibustered in Texas to prevent shit abortion laws from happening. (IIRC, she asked for a back brace among other things.)
posted by Melismata at 9:05 AM on November 22 [40 favorites]


Thank god I'm not the only one who remembers 'The Third Way' bullshit. Still though, Bill Clinton did give me a good joke for the recent fuckery surrounding taxing tuition waivers:

"Republicans want graduate degrees like the Clinton administration wanted abortion: Safe, and Legal, but Rare'
posted by eclectist at 9:07 AM on November 22 [17 favorites]


Oooo noooo I'm a weak middle-of-the-road liberal who can't bear to govern without the tacit un-opposition of the "traditional" "conservatives". Chuck fucking Todd doesn't think it's goooood. Let's just divide everything 50-50 and look forward instead of back.

Come on. I'm a progressive to liberal and even I know that history has shown that left wing without a healthy opposition is just as dangerous as right wing without a healthy opposition.

Sane and principled conservatives have their use. They maintain a healthy amount of skepticism with our grandiose dreams of luxury space communism.

Dems have been doing that for years though, especially popular, charismatic ones like Bill Clinton--he sold out universal public education as an ideal, the general welfare as an ideal, due process and equality under the law for certain classes of drug offenders, etc., etc. It's not so much just the fact that Dems have compromised with Republicans that's the problem, but the fact they bargained away the fundamental axioms of liberal democracy and the public good for short term electoral gains, and then when in power, didn't reinforce or advance them.

Because we totally elected a fanatical progressive nerd with a clue. Oh wait, he got smashed 525-13 in the EC. I mean it's one thing for you to sell out when people want liberal and progressive values but the American people for three elections told us they didn't want more Carter. It wasn't a short term electoral gains, it was coming out of the god damned woods while Republicans destroyed what was left of organized labor and wage growth.
posted by Talez at 9:12 AM on November 22 [9 favorites]


It's what the Dems sold out. Content matters just as much as form. Not all compromises are created equal and we compromised even in cases where the historical arguments had seemingly been resolved and there was enough consensus and popular support for the ideals they didn't have to be abandoned so easily.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:17 AM on November 22 [4 favorites]


sotonohito: "Can you please point to the horrible Handmaid laws that the Democrats have successfully filibustered? I don't seem to recall any, but perhaps I haven't been paying attention in the right way. You'd think, if the Democrats were saving us via the filibuster they'd be bragging more about it though."

Mitch McConnell doesn't bring bills to the floor that he doesn't think he can win - you will recall his extreme surprise at losing ACA repeal on a floor vote. Something that would be filibustered never comes to the light of day.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:28 AM on November 22 [10 favorites]


Sane and principled conservatives have their use.

Ach. There's yer problem.
posted by petebest at 9:38 AM on November 22 [9 favorites]


Sane and principled conservatives have their use.

Yes, but we call them "third way Democrats". Anything to their right fails on either count of "sane" or "principled", as the past thirty to fifty years have shown.
posted by anem0ne at 9:55 AM on November 22 [22 favorites]


Somehow the ACA repeal was immune to filibusters. Somehow the Republican tax increase bill is immune to filibusters

It's not, like, witchcraft... we've discussed in depth reasons why certain provisions are or are not subject to filibuster or passage by reconciliation.
posted by Justinian at 10:08 AM on November 22 [3 favorites]


It's a little bit like witchcraft. Like, 1/17th of a cow going dry or 1/95th of dancing naked in the woods. There is a specification, you know: MIL-D-35076.
posted by BeeDo at 10:12 AM on November 22 [4 favorites]


Wait, that's donuts.

(Actually, so many of those old specs are only online from bad scans of copies of copies, so the OCR has a good chance of turning "switches" into "witches". There are thus several government specifications on the proper use of witches.)
posted by BeeDo at 10:21 AM on November 22 [4 favorites]


T.D. Strange's post upthread is good to keep in mind when talking about the filibuster:
Geographic representation will kill American Democracy. The Senate is geographic gerrymandering built into the structure of the Constitution. By 2040, about 70% of Americans are expected to live in the 15 largest states, and will have 30 senators representing them. The remaining 30% of Americans will have 70 senators representing them.

It may become completely irrelevant in our lifetimes anyways. It's not a solution to anything long term.


Wow, that's insane. The US Government is sitting on top of a massive legitimacy crisis in the near future. The House can be sorted out by decent gerrymandering laws ...but the Presidency and the Senate? The electoral/popular vote disconnect we saw this year is going to become completely ridiculous.

What worse is that the folks who benefit from it will have no interest in resolving it. And the only way to resolve it is via constitutional amendment, which is practically impossible. The only leverage I can imagine populous states exercising is either withholding tax dollars or threatening independence, both of which have (to put it mildly) significant problems to them. That's going to be one hell of a mess.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:26 AM on November 22 [21 favorites]


When I read an explanation of the various House and Senate procedures, each little rule or step always usually often sometimes makes sense on it's own but the system is a whole is so complex and convoluted it may as well be witchcraft.

Some of that is unavoidable, some of it isn't. McConnell uses the complexity of the system to obfusticate what is actually happening so that he can create a narrative where everything is always the Dem's fault.

Simplify the system enough so that one doesn't need to be a Senate/House procedure expert just to figure out what's going on and what is supposed to happen next and then explanations from experts will start to make more sense to the average person and they'll understand a bit more about who is doing what and why they're a jerk for doing it.
posted by VTX at 10:27 AM on November 22 [1 favorite]


The US Government is sitting on top of a massive legitimacy crisis in the near future for the Presidency and the Senate.

I've been screaming about this since the election day 2016 thread. We're in a race between demographic shifts and a legitimacy crisis which fractures the country. Not that the demographic shifts erase the structural problems, but it's less likely to result in a schism if those problems aren't letting a minority elect the President and dominate the Senate over and over again.

Note that the Senate is a problem but since the smallest 10 states are 5D/5R and the largest 10 are 4D/3R/3swing it's not as simple as "small states are Republican!". Though the continued demographic sorting of progressives to coastal states may result in that becoming more and more true.
posted by Justinian at 10:35 AM on November 22 [13 favorites]


Here is my comment from Nov 10 2016 in which a crazed and distraught Justinian compares the US government to South African Apartheid.
posted by Justinian at 10:38 AM on November 22 [9 favorites]


And the only way to resolve it is via constitutional amendment, which is practically impossible.

Which is why the U.S. was able to gain it's independence after petitioning their government in England for it.

I mean, revolution has to be the subtext here. It terrifies me to discuss it as a solution but I do think there is value in talking about it as the assumed solution. As in, "We're going to need to figure out what to do about or there will be a violent revolution and no reasonable person wants that."
posted by VTX at 10:39 AM on November 22 [3 favorites]


You guys need to colonize the red states. I'm not even joking. Some years ago when there was a huge public debate about the depressed areas here in Denmark which were going all yellow (radical racist right), some friends and I began to suggest that those dilapidated areas could well be the new "inner cities". As young people, artists and entrepreneurs get priced out of the cities, the outskirts will become attractive. And it has begun to happen, faster than we thought. The election landslide I mentioned above is clearly indicative of it.
Personally, I'm doing half and half because of my daughters and still voting in the city. But just within the last five years I can see that a community is building in the area of my other home which is definitely making it more attractive for someone like me. And it is one of the districts that has gone overwhelmingly red this year. (Red is for socialism, goddamit, haven't you seen the red flags in those old movies?)
posted by mumimor at 10:41 AM on November 22 [12 favorites]


Hmmm. Seems KellyAnne Conway violated the Hatch act (for the second time) by promoting Roy Moore in front of the White House. Walter Shaub (former director of White House office of Ethics) is filing a complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.
posted by Sophie1 at 10:42 AM on November 22 [37 favorites]


2018 Primary Alert: Sherry Campagna (@sherryforhawaii) has announced that she plans to primary Tulsi Gabbard next year for Hawaii CD-2. She has the support of Shay Chan Hodges, who ran against Gabbard in the primary in 2016. There's a blurb on her Act Blue page:
Sherry is an environmental scientist, small business owner, and mom. She has been an agent for social change her entire adult life, initially as an advocate for racial equality as a Native Hawaiian during her college years then later widening her scope to include women’s rights and class disparities. She is a commissioner with the Hawaii Commission on the Status of Women and the former Hawaii State Chair for the Women's March on Washington.
And a bit more about her in this article: "Campagna hopes to dedicate herself to the continued service of CD2 through economic justice, job creation, prison reform, environmental stewardship, healthcare and equal rights." (Note: many incarcerated people in Hawaii are sent to mainland private prisons, cutting them off from support networks and established counsel.)

If elected, she'll be the first Native Hawaiian woman in Congress.
posted by melissasaurus at 10:44 AM on November 22 [51 favorites]


Sherry Campana (@sherryforhawaii) has announced that she plans to primary Tulsi Gabbard next year for Hawaii CD-2.

What's her position on Syria?
posted by leotrotsky at 10:46 AM on November 22 [4 favorites]


In parallel with this 70%/15 states/30 senators discussion, here's something else that the Republicans are doing to lock in their advantages. You have to admire the sheer level of dedication, the galling shamelessness, that the Republicans have brought to their array of voter suppression efforts.

Kevin Drum, Mother Jones: Thousands of Blacks Are Denied Voting Rights Because They’re Poor

Wait, how can that be? There's an explicit prohibition on poll taxes, so ...?
In nine states, Republican legislators have enacted laws that disenfranchise anyone with outstanding legal fees or court fines. For example, in Alabama more than 100,000 people who owe money — roughly 3 percent of the state’s voting-age population — have been struck from voting rolls. ... Many laws that have a disparate impact on the poor also are likely to have a disparate racial impact because of the strong link between race and wealth in America.
You'd think this would be unconstitutional. But does Justice Gorsuch think it is unconstitutional?

And could *you* come up with $5000 just to get your voting rights restored? Or would you have more pressing needs to worry about?
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:49 AM on November 22 [71 favorites]


You guys need to colonize the red states.

That's a nice thought but not a realistic solution. One, because our democracy is only barely representative anymore - gerrymandering has destroyed that, more or less. And two, the U.S. is 228 times larger than Denmark but only 56 times more people.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:51 AM on November 22 [9 favorites]


I think there's a vicious cycle which prevents many people from colonizing the red states with blue voters - the blue states/counties are, on the whole, more prosperous:
Our observation: The less-than-500 counties that Hillary Clinton carried nationwide encompassed a massive 64 percent of America’s economic activity as measured by total output in 2015. By contrast, the more-than-2,600 counties that Donald Trump won generated just 36 percent of the country’s output—just a little more than one-third of the nation’s economic activity. (Mark Muro and Sifan Liu, Brookings)
Lack of economic opportunity and discrimination against women, LGBT people, and, in majority-white areas, POC, mean that people who can leave, often do. There are those who are committed to family or place who stay no matter what, but people flee to cities and blue states for a reason. It's a lot to ask of people to deal with a salary cut (at best) or chronic underemployment (at worst), xenophobia, bigotry, etc. And this means that the brain drain leaves the left-behind areas even more clannishly red and unwelcoming to anyone who is or feels different. (Not to mention jobless, opioid-ridden, and dysfunctional.)

Not All Red States and Not All Rural Areas/Small Towns, obviously. There are good people everywhere. But people move out to places like Seattle or Austin not just because "haha, eat my dust, suckers!" but because they do not feel welcome in their places of origin.

As Justinian and Leotrotsky have pointed out, this "big sort" is not good for our democracy. Compounded by the fact that many of the blue-staters left behind are precisely the people - well-educated, if not affluent then at least upper-middle-class in mentality - who are used to having things go their way in their day-to-day lives. Among white people, this, I think, has led to complacency in the past - "however bad things get Out There, I'm safe and sound in a blue state, so bad things won't happen to me and my loved ones." But Trump's election has been a giant wake-up call, at least how I see it.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 10:56 AM on November 22 [38 favorites]


And could *you* come up with $5000 just to get your voting rights restored? Or would you have more pressing needs to worry about?

If only there were wealthy ostensibly liberal people who could pay off these folks' outstanding fines. But, nope, gotta fund an impeachment billboard in Times Square.

Does anyone know if there's an organization that is raising funds for this purpose? I know the better option for society is to have these restrictions declared unconstitutional, but what can we do in the meantime?
posted by melissasaurus at 11:02 AM on November 22 [29 favorites]


Fuck hoping some wealthy liberal will save the disenfranchised, how about it shouldn't cost $5000 dollars to have the rights of a citizen!
posted by cmfletcher at 11:05 AM on November 22 [47 favorites]


Every comparison of small/tiny European countries with the US needs to be on the state level. You can't compare Denmark with the entire US, but you can compare it with a state. And most states have large blue populations in the cities.

The development here is really, really new. Just a few years ago it would have been hard to be gay, or an artist or just leftist in our rural areas. But as I experience it, the extreme decline of the "outskirts" has led to a lot of locals rethinking their views. First they were angry and yes, voted for the radical right. But I think what has happened the last few years is that people have tired of the obvious hypocrisy, corruption and blatant lying of the rightists and also they have recognized that the new residents are bringing jobs and life to their areas and that no one has been hurt by them.
posted by mumimor at 11:09 AM on November 22 [5 favorites]


Fuck hoping some wealthy liberal will save the disenfranchised, how about it shouldn't cost $5000 dollars to have the rights of a citizen!

Well sure, but it doesn't detract from melissasaurus's point, and so long as we're forced to live under a rigged, crooked system, I'd be interested in supporting an organization that raised funds for just this cause.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:12 AM on November 22 [5 favorites]


Fuck hoping some wealthy liberal will save the disenfranchised, how about it shouldn't cost $5000 dollars to have the rights of a citizen!

We could if we had another 3% of the voters in some areas. Voting rights are kind of a chicken/egg problem. The votes are there to make sure that everyone can vote if only everyone could vote.
posted by VTX at 11:14 AM on November 22 [3 favorites]


I mean, I know that there's already so much to hate Trump for, but can I add that I'm angry that I now also have to hate him for making me root for LaVar and the rest of the Ball family?
posted by TwoStride at 11:17 AM on November 22 [7 favorites]


A full colonization of red states is impractical, but there's something intriguing about the idea of putting resources and personnel and a long commitment - years! - to have DSA field offices in overlooked and hurting red districts to do outreach and messaging and really work to create change in low level races that then feed candidates into statewide offices and beyond. Set up shop and start with stuff like the free flu shots and brake lights programs they've been doing (tailored to the actual needs of those communities) and work from there, to spread new political ideas that the Republicans won't give them and the Democratic party infrastructure can't/won't really be able to promote in those ways (and the voters there wouldn't trust coming from traditional Dems anyways). Like mission trips for socialism. Change the culture. That's the least painful long term solution, it's a long slog but worth the time and effort.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:17 AM on November 22 [22 favorites]


I don't remember who was asking about an anniversary Womens March, but I got an email this week from our local organizers that they are planning an anniversary event. Our meeting is Dec 1. I don't know if the event is another march (I sure as hell hope so) or what.

You may want to reach out to your local womens march organizers to take their pulse. I'm not seeing anything on the local or national websites about the planning meetings.
posted by yoga at 11:19 AM on November 22 [5 favorites]


And could *you* come up with $5000 just to get your voting rights restored? Or would you have more pressing needs to worry about?

Hey, according to Paul Ryan a typical lower-middle-class voter will save 700 whole dollars per year in taxes, so they cam save for the future!

(Of course, that money will be swallowed and then some by the draconian service cuts Ryan is salivating to put in place.)
posted by Gelatin at 11:20 AM on November 22


The Danish Social Democrats have been doing a "fifty states strategy" this year, except if you compare the scales it would probably be more like a "every single little tiny municipality strategy". It worked already.
posted by mumimor at 11:21 AM on November 22 [3 favorites]


Current NYT headline: "Is It Logical to Fight AT&T Merger, but Kill Net Neutrality?" Hahahahhahahahahahohohohee the NYT still thinks the government has logic hahahhaha*sob*
posted by Melismata at 11:24 AM on November 22 [11 favorites]


Also now is the time for that kind of socialist outreach in red states, the iron is red hot for someone to strike with "a pox on both their houses!" style socialist messaging in these communities. The Republican party is failing to produce helpful policy and they won't trust Dems, give them an out.

Also also, changing the terrain of the battle by changing the culture is maybe the biggest strength of progressives and it needs to be wielded like a weapon. The Democratic party has been waiting for the culture to shift to give them an opening, but the Republicans have long known that you need to create those shifts, we need to be doing that too.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:27 AM on November 22 [23 favorites]


I think there's a vicious cycle which prevents many people from colonizing the red states with blue voters - the blue states/counties are, on the whole, more prosperous

Which is a point Democrats and their surrogates should make in every single media appearance. Republicans relentlessly bash "tax and spend," "job killing regulations," and other hobbyhorses, but Democratic states have those things and prosper, when Kansas tried it the Republican way and it was a disaster. Yet again.
posted by Gelatin at 11:28 AM on November 22 [10 favorites]


WaPo's Phllip Bump documents one more datapoint in the overall pattern of sloth, Trump’s team insists he has a ‘full schedule’ an hour before he goes golfing.

Also, via here, in a University of Chicago survey of 42 top economists, only one believes that the proposed tax bills will lead to substantially higher GDP a decade from now and all of them believe the proposed tax changes will lead to a substantially higher debt-to-GDP ratio a decade from now.
posted by peeedro at 11:33 AM on November 22 [8 favorites]


Justinian It's not, like, witchcraft... we've discussed in depth reasons why certain provisions are or are not subject to filibuster or passage by reconciliation.

No but it is, like, entirely predictable.

Everything the Republicans want, somehow, turns out to fall through a loophole where, like magic, the Democrats can't use the filibuster to stop it.

Yet everything the Democrats want, somehow, turns out to be totally ineligible for those Republican only loopholes that keep us from using the filibuster when we're in the minority.

It doesn't really matter much if it's legitimate procedural weirdness, or witchcraft, or just the Democrats being utterly spineless, or whatever. The outcome is that the filibuster is a tool only available to the Republicans and denied entirely to the Democrats.

Given that outcome, and ignoring the attractive option of hairsplitting in the weeds of Roberts Rules and Senate procedure (no sarcasm, I'm the sort of person who really digs that sort of thing), I think the sensible and reasonable option is simply killing the filibuster.

Its ostensible purpose is not being filled, far from generically putting roadblocks in the way of sweeping change and mandating a degree of bipartisanship it is proving to work very well for preventing progress, and totally ineffective at preventing regress.

Approving the ACA took 60 votes, yet somehow (and, again, it really doesn't matter how) repealing it only took 50.

Given that reality we must end the filibuster.

leotrotsky I'd argue that the US government is already in the midst of a massive legitimacy crisis. We've got a House of Representatives where the majority party got a minority of the votes, President who "won" despite winning a minority of the votes, and the Senate is already at the point where 50% of Senators represent around 30% of the population.

The only thing holding the country together at this point is the hope of a sweeping Democratic victory in 2018 and sheer inertia.

The Federal government, all three branches, is now illegitimate and the people who seized power are exploiting their victory to further their dominance of the House and Judiciary.

A Democratic victory in 2018 and 2020 that doesn't include expanding the Supreme Court and the Federal courts to (effectively) nullify the illegitimate appointments of Trump will be a hollow victory at best, and likely the very last thing the Democrats ever manage to accomplish.

The simple fact is that there people living in the vast, unpopulated, chunks of America who have an unjustly, unfairly, and improperly, outsized political power. Either their wrongly given power will be taken away from them, or the country will fragment. There is no third option.

It won't happen soon, it won't happen in 50 years, but it will happen eventually. The majority will not tolerate being dictated to by a hateful minority forever.
posted by sotonohito at 11:38 AM on November 22 [27 favorites]


There is no way I'm moving to rural Missouri. I'm not even willing to move west of 170.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 11:38 AM on November 22 [7 favorites]


Kevin Drum, Mother Jones: Thousands of Blacks Are Denied Voting Rights Because They’re Poor

Damnit. I really hoped I'd make it thorough the holiday without being driven to incoherent rage. Fuck 2017.

You know, while working the polls, me and the GOP guy at the table were sort of amazed at how there were UNDER 60 PEOPLE registered in our district, and we should both just get in the car and bring them to vote, and really that's a HOUSE PARTY, if he and I want to invite everyone.

I'm going to give him a call right now.
posted by mikelieman at 11:39 AM on November 22 [11 favorites]


Alexandra Petri (@petridishes):
gary cohn: crinkle crinkle hissing sound weird echo
trump: did you just say the words 'crinkle crinkle hissing sound'
cohn: oh no dropped call

posted by christopherious at 11:40 AM on November 22 [16 favorites]


Approving the ACA took 60 votes, yet somehow (and, again, it really doesn't matter how) repealing it only took 50.

This is just not true. Some of the ACA took 60 votes to approve and some took 50 votes and was done with reconciliation. Similarly, some of repealing Obamacare would take 60 votes and some can be done with 50 votes via reconciliation. It's just that knocking out parts of a structure tends to undermine the whole thing even the parts you haven't removed.
posted by Justinian at 11:41 AM on November 22 [7 favorites]


Approving the ACA took 60 votes, yet somehow (and, again, it really doesn't matter how) repealing it only took 50.

I mean, I think I agree with your larger point, but the "it really doesn't matter how" is doing a lot of dismissive work in this statement. Legislative procedure is complicated, but it's not rocket science. It's not "magic" for why ACA needed 60 and the repeal vote only need 50.

I'm generally skeptical of the argument that progressive things don't get done simply due to lack of will.
posted by Think_Long at 11:43 AM on November 22 [3 favorites]


Justinian Right. Like I said, the **RESULT** is that Democrats don't get to effectively filibuster, but Republicans do. The details are a distraction, the outcome is the critical part here.

They get to filibuster effectively. We do not get to filibuster effectively.

That means the filibuster is rigged against us in practice no matter how it looks on paper.
posted by sotonohito at 11:43 AM on November 22 [1 favorite]


Additionally, part of why a bunch of Obamacare wasn't passed with reconciliation was because the Democrats had 60 votes so they just passed it with 60.
posted by Justinian at 11:44 AM on November 22


University of Chicago survey of 42 top economists

A survey which will convince precisely no one, because the 35% of Americans who believe that the GOP tax bill will save them from a nightmare of Obama-Clinton oppression also believe, one, that universities are evil, two, that Chicago is evil, and three, that experts are evil.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 11:46 AM on November 22 [4 favorites]


Alexandra Petri (@petridishes):
gary cohn: crinkle crinkle hissing sound weird echo
trump: did you just say the words 'crinkle crinkle hissing sound'
cohn: oh no dropped call


In case it isn't clear to everyone, Petri is referencing the report that Cohn really did fake a bad connection to get off the phone with Trump.
posted by Justinian at 11:46 AM on November 22 [30 favorites]


In fairness, the University of Chicago is evil.
posted by LarsC at 11:47 AM on November 22 [4 favorites]


Approving the ACA took 60 votes, yet somehow (and, again, it really doesn't matter how) repealing it only took 50.

It's convenient that the part that doesn't matter how is what completely dismantles your underbaked suggestion.

It's not even that complicated: the primary thing that lets something get passed in reconciliation and thereby bypass the filibuster is if it's revenue neutral or positive. There's an argument - one that doesn't just hand-wave away objections - that this tilts it in favor of Republicans since progressive causes are more likely to cost money.

But if you have actually paid attention to how the sausage is being made with the health care repeal efforts you would see it's pretty much certain that if the filibuster was gone and they could have done the ACA repeal effort without having to be revenue neutral then it would have passed. The revenue issue prevented them from doling out as many gimmies for holdout Senators. It's not impossible that enough of a bone for Manchin could have gotten him on board, never mind the R holdouts.

This might not be a big worry if the Republicans were serious about not wanting deficits but they've demonstrated over and over again, most recently with the current tax bill, that they don't care when it's their legislation. So if they could pass some shitshow garbage by throwing a few states a trillion bucks they'd do it.

I'm sorry the vaguely invisible way the filibuster works isn't sexy enough for some people in comparison to a floor vote, but without it the last 10 months would have been even worse.
posted by phearlez at 11:49 AM on November 22 [7 favorites]


University of Chicago economists are evil. That, and the dining halls.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 11:50 AM on November 22 [7 favorites]




WaPo: Rep. Joe Barton apologized Wednesday after an explicit photo of him was posted to an anonymous Twitter account and began to circulate online.

Doesn't seem like retirement's in the cards yet. Boo.

Also, good for a Nelson ha-ha: Trump Organization Will Walk Away From Its Struggling SoHo Hotel in New York
posted by rewil at 11:54 AM on November 22 [10 favorites]


You guys need to colonize the red states.

What do you mean when you say "colonize"? In the spirit of your comment, obviously, you don't mean it in the way that colonialism ended up destroying many native cultures and populations of the Americas, Africa, Oceania, and Asia, all with the mindset of "uplifting" those masses, but that word is, of course, still tainted with that bitter heritage.

So's the US, for that matter, given that it was founded by colonials.

On the other hand, given how backwards a lot of those Trumpists and Red Staters are, in terms of an inability to properly govern themselves without being savagely self-destructive, are we talking about a Blue Stater's Burden?
posted by anem0ne at 11:55 AM on November 22 [2 favorites]


Approving the ACA took 60 votes, yet somehow (and, again, it really doesn't matter how) repealing it only took 50.

Side note: getting to 60 votes required Al Franken being seated as a U.S. Senator in 2009 after a prolonged recount process.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:55 AM on November 22 [1 favorite]


I'm with Sotonohito: When (if?) the Democrats are in power they absolutely need to get rid of the filibuster and similar procedural tricks that prevent things coming to a vote. The idea of placing brakes on the legislative process makes sense, but it assumes a degree of bipartisanship that no longer exists. The Republicans have shown that they win everything by blocking everything until the electoral cycle favors them. It's intolerable. Literally intolerable: you must not tolerate this subversion of your country's legislature.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:55 AM on November 22 [7 favorites]


A survey which will convince precisely no one, because the 35% of Americans who believe that the GOP tax bill will save them from a nightmare of Obama-Clinton oppression also believe, one, that universities are evil, two, that Chicago is evil, and three, that experts are evil.

The irony of it is that the UofC Economics department pretty much came up with a lot of the ideas that the Republicans gleefully misapply.

UChicago itself isn't evil, nor are all of its dining halls, though. Aside from the fact that the University has tried to destroy the world twice and failed both times (Manhattan Project, Chicago School of Economics)...

I figure third time's the charm, and I can't wait to see which department it is.
posted by anem0ne at 11:59 AM on November 22 [7 favorites]


The survey is of academic economists from all over the country, UofC administered the survey but its economists are a minority of respondents. But yeah, typical conservative complaints about ivory towers still stand.
posted by peeedro at 12:02 PM on November 22


Here's a new MeFi post (by The Whelk), linking to research showing that high taxes do not cause the wealthy and "job creators" to flee. Kansas cut taxes,
while California raised them.
Guess which state has the healthy economy?
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 12:09 PM on November 22 [47 favorites]


Obamacare signups continue to be robust.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:18 PM on November 22 [14 favorites]


sotonohito:

Threat of a filibuster is the reason the GOP tax plan hasn't been passed yet.

- The bill must pass with 60 votes to thwart a Democratic filibuster. There are 51 Republicans in the Senate.
- That means 9 Democrats would need to vote for the tax bill. Which isn't happening.
- There's only one other way to avoid a filibuster: If Republicans pass their bill through budget conciliation. This means that they have to be able to prove that the bill will not increase the deficit once ten years has passed. That is the "Byrd rule" requirement.
- The current bill does not conform to the Byrd rule. See: @SethHanlon "Per JCT, the Senate GOP tax bill hikes deficits by $1.5 trillion, with costs exploding toward the end of the window. Not even close to Byrd-worthy."

Eliminate the threat of a filibuster, and all the Republicans would need is the 51 votes they already have to pass the bill and bypass the Byrd rule.

Their current choices are as follows:
1) Risk a filibuster. Risk dozens of Democrats trashing their bill for hours and hours on national television, explaining in fine detail just exactly how it screws over everyone but the super-wealthy. The Democrats could theoretically dominate the news cycle for days.
2) Rewrite / eliminate the Byrd rule. Also risky.
3) Overrule the Senate parliamentarian when she says the tax plan violates the Byrd rule. At which point we all admit that all bets are off and the rule of law no longer applies.

Right now, the threat of a filibuster is the only thing standing between the country and the GOP tax plan. It has been hampering GOP efforts to pass legislation unimpeded. It's why Trump keeps telling Congress to kill the filibuster.

As phearlez notes, the details really do matter.
posted by zarq at 12:19 PM on November 22 [58 favorites]


Guess which state has the healthy economy?

This is one of those things where anecdotal data bites you in the ass. Texas has low taxes and an extremely strong economy which is attracting people. Cutting taxes doesn’t spur on an economy but people will be attracted to strong economies and low taxes.
posted by Talez at 12:23 PM on November 22 [4 favorites]


Actually, the GOP has a fourth option: rewrite their tax plan so it actually conforms to the Byrd rule. Seems unlikely.
posted by zarq at 12:25 PM on November 22 [4 favorites]


Additionally, sotonohito, there's a bit of a tautological argument in your position. "Why haven't we heard about all the terrible Republican policies stopped with the filibuster?" You haven't heard about them because the filibuster means the Republicans never pushed them.
posted by Justinian at 12:25 PM on November 22 [4 favorites]


Two MN state legislators resigning over sexual harassment allegations (Dem Senator and GOP Rep). This will mean special elections to fill these seats. The GOP controls the House by about 20 seats, and the Senate by one seat.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:26 PM on November 22 [5 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: Uncontroversial opinions perfect for the Thanksgiving table
This turkey is delicious!

White supremacists are bad. (Some are of course very fine people.)

These mashed potatoes seem fine. They have a good consistency and are not too lumpy.

Okay, well, can we agree that Nazis at least are bad? Even if some of them have great hair?

This stuffing is excellent.

When it comes to people who should sit in Congress, liberals, as a group, are preferable to those who prey on high schoolers. (Carol, are you kidding me with this?)

In a perfect world, Russia would not intervene in the U.S. election.

OH, BOY, CRANBERRIES!
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:27 PM on November 22 [56 favorites]


zarq; the revenue shortfalls in the out years are small enough under the Senate plan that it seems likely to me that they will find some additional way to raise a bit of revenue and thus pass the Byrd bath.
posted by Justinian at 12:29 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


It's why Trump keeps telling Congress to kill the filibuster.

Well, with Trump being Trump it's more likely because he just doesn't understand the process. BUT the people who do understand the process know that if they could just spend money any way they wanted they'd be a lot freer to make a deal with holdouts. A simple majority vote without
the limits that exist on reconciliation would almost certainly be doable.

zarq; the revenue shortfalls in the out years are small enough under the Senate plan that it seems likely to me that they will find some additional way to raise a bit of revenue and thus pass the Byrd bath.

The hope here is that while it may not be huge money, it's still money that means someone's ox gets gored via an increase or losing a cut and nobody's inclined to be the one.
posted by phearlez at 12:31 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


Justinian: Could be! A billion here, a billion there.....

What's crazy about this to me is that in their place (if i were a soulless Republican eager to line the pockets of the superwealthy and screw over 99% of the country,) I'd just say damn the torpedoes and let the Dems filibuster. What's the worst that could happen? They go back to the drawing board? They'd still be making the attempt.

The longest (is it still the longest?) filibuster in Senate history was Strom Thurmond filibustering against the Civil Rights Act and he failed.

But they're afraid of transparency and a public debate about how cravenly evil they're being. So we have a standoff.
posted by zarq at 12:32 PM on November 22 [3 favorites]


zarq; the revenue shortfalls in the out years are small enough under the Senate plan that it seems likely to me that they will find some additional way to raise a bit of revenue and thus pass the Byrd bath.

They can just have Pence ignore the parliamentarian’s ruling and declare by fiat the plan is revenue neutral.
posted by Talez at 12:33 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


If they were going to pull that kind of chicanery they would have already done so with the ACA repeal.
posted by Justinian at 12:35 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


This is one of those things where anecdotal data bites you in the ass. Texas has low taxes and an extremely strong economy which is attracting people. Cutting taxes doesn’t spur on an economy but people will be attracted to strong economies and low taxes.
posted by Talez at 12:23 PM on November 22 [+] [!]


Texas is 12th overall in average state and local taxes. California is 10th.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:40 PM on November 22 [14 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: Uncontroversial opinions perfect for the Thanksgiving table

James Hamblin covers some of the same territory from a doctor's point of view with his typical millennial irony, Answers to Every Possible Thanksgiving Health Question.
posted by peeedro at 12:40 PM on November 22 [7 favorites]


Texas is 12th overall in average state and local taxes. California is 10th.

This article is about sales taxes specifically, not overall state and local taxes.
posted by eyesontheroad at 12:45 PM on November 22 [2 favorites]


If they were going to pull that kind of chicanery they would have already done so with the ACA repeal.

Except they couldn’t find 50 on the motion to proceed. If it had gone through then those tricks might have had to surface.
posted by Talez at 12:46 PM on November 22


We're getting pretty in the weeds here but the ACA repeal passed the motion to proceed with McCain voting yes. It failed on the skinny repeal amendment which was a substantive vote and not a motion to proceed.
posted by Justinian at 12:49 PM on November 22 [2 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** 2018 House:
-- WP: 2018 may be "Year of The Woman" redux.

-- Charlie Cook: Looks like a wave, all right.
** PA-18 special -- WP: Dems think they have a shot here.

===

A very sincere wish for a happy Thanksgiving from all the staff here at ELECTIONS NEWS. And if you're not celebrating, at least enjoy a quiet day on the political front.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:53 PM on November 22 [77 favorites]


If you think a filibuster requires a Senator to stand up and keep talking then you don't understand the modern filibuster. All it means now is that there's a motion to proceed and that motion requires 60 votes. You do not accomplish a filibuster by taking the stage and refusing to keep it, you filibuster by denying the M2P 41 votes.

Explainer by Vox. "A common misconception is that the stalling tactic has to be a lengthy speech."
posted by phearlez at 1:01 PM on November 22 [4 favorites]




Texas is 12th overall in average state and local taxes. California is 10th.

This article is about sales taxes specifically, not overall state and local taxes.
posted by eyesontheroad at 12:45 PM on November 22 [+] [!]


Yeah, my bad. Here is the overall burden by state. Texas is 46th (7.6%), California is 6th (11.0%).

Your point holds either way: anecdotes are useless. I plotted sales tax and total tax burden against average growth from 2010-2013 (the latest data I could find quickly), and for neither one is there any discernible trend. ND is an outlier because of the Bakken oil fields (~11% growth over four years).
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:13 PM on November 22 [4 favorites]


phearlez, thanks for that. Fascinating. I had no idea.
posted by zarq at 1:26 PM on November 22


The wordplay of the last two sentences of the Petri piece are why she is a national treasure.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 1:33 PM on November 22 [3 favorites]


> In recent years, the GOP has struggled to combat its image as a pack of grumpy old white guys.

This is really stretching my personal definition of “recent.”
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:36 PM on November 22 [6 favorites]


Clyburn: Harassment Claims Against Rep. Conyers ‘Could Be Made Up’ (Matt Shuham, TPM)
Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), the third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, initially said Wednesday afternoon that he supported a “deliberate and thorough” investigation into “very disturbing” allegations of sexual harassment made against Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) by multiple women.

Later that day, he was quoted in the New York Times striking a decidedly different tone.

“You can’t jump to conclusions with these types of things,” Clyburn said. “For all I know, all of this could be made up.”
posted by Room 641-A at 1:40 PM on November 22


> Some years ago when there was a huge public debate about the depressed areas here in Denmark which were going all yellow (radical racist right), some friends and I began to suggest that those dilapidated areas could well be the new "inner cities". As young people, artists and entrepreneurs get priced out of the cities, the outskirts will become attractive. And it has begun to happen, faster than we thought. The election landslide I mentioned above is clearly indicative of it.

> Every comparison of small/tiny European countries with the US needs to be on the state level. You can't compare Denmark with the entire US, but you can compare it with a state. And most states have large blue populations in the cities.

> The Danish Social Democrats have been doing a "fifty states strategy" this year, except if you compare the scales it would probably be more like a "every single little tiny municipality strategy". It worked already.

Something similar has been happening at the state level in the US, at least here in Virginia where I can see it up close. Demographic changes have made a lot of gerrymandered safe Republican districts, based on the 2010 census, much less safe in second half of the decade. In this year's election, Democrats contested a lot of districts that the Party hasn't contested in a long time. This, combined with strong turnout by Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, allowed us to almost flip the lower house of the state legislature this year. (There's a chance we could still do it pending recounts.) There's a good chance we could flip both houses in 2019 when we have our next state legislative elections.

I can't vouch for what's happening in other states. We'll see what happens in 2018.
posted by nangar at 1:41 PM on November 22 [3 favorites]


“You can’t jump to conclusions with these types of things,” Clyburn said. “For all I know, all of this could be made up.”

Noooooo. What is wrong with them?

Maybe you guys are correct and we need a giant purge.
posted by Justinian at 1:44 PM on November 22 [12 favorites]


The Atlantic: Women Exit the Party of Trump

Of all of the horrors of 11/9, the women who voted Trump really were the unkindest cuts.
posted by petebest at 1:45 PM on November 22 [15 favorites]


The Atlantic: Women Exit the Party of Trump

And that was written BEFORE Mr. "Women Are Special" opened his foul gaping maw yesterday in defense of Pedo-Bro.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:49 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


>Approving the ACA took 60 votes, yet somehow (and, again, it really doesn't matter how) repealing it only took 50.

>This is just not true. Some of the ACA took 60 votes to approve and some took 50 votes and was done with reconciliation.


Perhaps you aren't aware but you are pushing widely debunked Republican talking points that the ACA was passed without 60 votes. That is false. 100% of what we know as the ACA was passed with 60 votes: the pre-existing condition rules, the insurance mandate, the subsidies, the ACA exchanges, medical loss ratios, and Medicare expansion. All of that was passed with 60 votes because the Republican filibuster required 60 votes. None of these key items of the ACA could be passed under a reconciliation rule.

Subsequent to the ACA, Democrats then passed a reconciliation bill making some minor changes to the revenue portions of the ACA, which is exactly what a reconciliation bill is intended to do. For example they changed the mandate penalty from $750 to $695, made adjustments to the subsidy tables and some new taxes. These were minor tweaks to revenue and taxes. It had nothing to do with the actual ACA law, which required 60 votes because of the Republican filibuster.

Additionally, part of why a bunch of Obamacare wasn't passed with reconciliation was because the Democrats had 60 votes so they just passed it with 60.

This is just wrong. It wasn't just some of the ACA that wasn't passed with reconciliation. All of it was. Do you really think that Democrats spent over a year groveling to get 60 votes just for the fun of it? They did it because that was the only way to legally pass the provisions of the ACA. That was the big hurdle. The subsequent reconciliation portion was just minor tweaks to revenue -- because that is the only thing you can do with reconciliation. You can't write new health law.

It's also worth pointing out that the ACA was not just revenue neutral. It was revenue positive, reducing deficits by over $100 billion. This was a Democrat decision, despite the fact that with 60 votes they didn't need to make a revenue neutral law.
posted by JackFlash at 2:17 PM on November 22 [55 favorites]


Debbie Dingell of Michigan was on CNN talking about Conyers and potential ethics investigations. She came across terribly. Pelosi has to call the caucus and they need to get on the same fuckin' page about how to respond to these allegations.
posted by Justinian at 2:17 PM on November 22 [13 favorites]


You're misreading me, JackFlash. I was saying that some of what was passed with 60 votes could have been passed with 50 votes under reconciliation, but since they were passing a 60 vote bill for the parts they needed 60 votes for they included the bits they could have done under reconciliation.

Perhaps you aren't aware but you are pushing widely debunked Republican talking points that the ACA was passed without 60 votes. That is false. 100% of what we know as the ACA was passed with 60 votes

I'm fully aware of how the ACA was passed. Your very next paragrah talks about "tweaks" that were passed with reconciliation. You can say that only minor parts of the ACA were affected by reconciliation but you can't say that "this is false" that any of the ACA was affected by reconciliation. That Republicans try to bullshit and compare the process to what they did doesn't mean I don't understand how the ACA was done.
posted by Justinian at 2:21 PM on November 22 [7 favorites]


Additionally, baseless accusations of pushing Republican talking points is rather insulting.
posted by Justinian at 2:24 PM on November 22 [3 favorites]


I really had my hopes up for another Mueller "the indictments are coming soon" announcement before the long weekend, so that we could bask in the panic the Kushners felt over their turkey. I guess the night's not over yet; universe, do you think you could help me out with this one, before I have to deal with Trumpist relatives tomorrow?
posted by Mayor West at 2:31 PM on November 22 [7 favorites]


Threat of a filibuster is the reason the GOP tax plan hasn't been passed yet.

This isn't true. The reason it hasn't passed yet is because they don't yet have the agreement of 51 Republicans. The filibuster has nothing to do with it.

For a budget reconciliation bill Republicans only need 51 votes. Under reconciliation rules, Republicans can pass a deficit bill as long as there are no additional deficits past the 10 year scoring window -- the Byrd rule. The deficits in the first 10 years can be as high as they are willing to stomach. In the current reconciliation bill they agreed amongst themselves on allowing $1.5 trillion in deficits in the first 10 years.

They get around the Byrd rule by phasing out some of the tax breaks for middle class individuals after 10 years but keeping the tax breaks for corporations and the rich. This is the same way the Bush tax cuts got around the Byrd rule, phasing out some tax cuts after 10 years. They only need 51 votes to do this if they can get the numbers to pencil out.

You might say that the filibuster is keeping Republican from passing an even worse tax bill, but the plan all along has been to use reconciliation and 51 votes. That bill will be bad enough.
posted by JackFlash at 2:33 PM on November 22 [2 favorites]


Just wanted to share a little holiday cheer. Yesterday I was riding a Kaiser shuttle to one of its buildings in Oakland when a passenger's phone went off. Fuck Donald Trump. Bitch! boomed Snoop loudly. Everyone in the shuttle burst into laughter. Somebody said, "You know we all want to say it," and we all laughed again. So yeah, it's not a revolution but it felt great to have the obvious acknowledged even among a bunch of strangers.
posted by Bella Donna at 2:33 PM on November 22 [113 favorites]


See?

He is a uniter!
posted by darkstar at 2:37 PM on November 22 [12 favorites]


I really had my hopes up for another Mueller "the indictments are coming soon" announcement before the long weekend, so that we could bask in the panic the Kushners felt over their turkey.

I feel ya, but I'm also OK if the Mueller team knocked off early and played hooky for the afternoon just this once. 'Cause you know they're toiling away like sweaty stevedores loading up the barge of just desserts all the live-long day otherwise. ♫ Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's off to work we go!
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:47 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


Texas has low taxes and an extremely strong economy which is attracting people. Cutting taxes doesn’t spur on an economy but people will be attracted to strong economies and low taxes.

Yes, the widely promoted Texas Economic Miracle, the proof the Right has used to show how low taxes are good for the economy. And to a certain extent, they're right, in that if you have one state with low taxes directly competing with a state that's about the same but with high taxes, businesses are likely to move to the low tax state, at least for a while.

Of course this doesn't apply to the federal government, because there situation of competition is way, way more complicated when you're talking about nations.

Also, the Texas Miracle is Over. Oil prices were funding it, to a great extent, and the drop in those has popped the bubble. Plus our state legislature has gotten more and more insane to the point where they are now completely non-functional hard right whackjobs and everything is falling apart. Why Texas Is No Longer Feeling Miraculous (NYT)
Texas’ woes are interconnected. Rising energy prices allow politicians to take their hands off the legislative wheel. Less attention to smart, controlled growth at the state and local level allowed unchecked sprawl along the coast. And now declining revenues will make it harder for the state to address its very real needs, assuming the Legislature can get its act together. The silver lining to this tale? It finally seems to be dawning on people that low taxes, less regulation and more oil are no substitute for actually governing.
posted by threeturtles at 2:52 PM on November 22 [18 favorites]


A former business associate of Michael Flynn has become a subject of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation for his role in the failure of Flynn's former lobbying firm to disclose its work on behalf of foreign governments, three sources familiar with the investigation told NBC News.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:57 PM on November 22 [18 favorites]


Speaking as a Texan, the Texas Miracle isn't all that miraculous. They're eating the seed corn, and relying on big metro areas that have high local taxes to provide the services that attract the businesses.

Take, for example, my hometown of San Antonio. We just recently passed a tax increase to pay for improvements to city infrastructure, parks, wild areas, bike trails, museums, and so on. The Texas Miracle is happening in places like Dallas and San Antonio and Austin and Houston, not places like White Deer or Pampa or Hereford or Marksville.

As you pointed out, the oil boom is ending, the rural areas never did contribute much to the Texan economy and now they're contributing less. All the economic activity that funds the rural areas, surprise, happens in the urban cores of the state same as everywhere else.

Difference is that unlike in California the state doesn't have a decent tax structure to spread that wealth around so the rural poor in Texas are worse off than the rural poor in California, and now that the oil boom is over the rural poor will be hurting more and more.
posted by sotonohito at 3:01 PM on November 22 [54 favorites]


Mrs. VTX works in an industry where the last three months of the year are crazy busy. She works a lot of extra hours and she works a LOT harder during those hours. One of the ways that we get through it is by viewing it as a team effort. This means that I end up doing a lot more work around the house. I work harder on the non-work stuff so that she can focus on work. We know that we're going to see less of each other and we're okay with that.

And I'm just a supportive husband helping his wife deal with the part of her job that sucks not support her while she works to help save democracy. I think that if Mrs. VTX were on Mueller's team she'd be calling me asking if it's okay that she miss Thanksgiving to keep working while I'd just be thankful that I didn't need to be the one to bring it up.

Resting IS a necessary part of working so they do need downtime just to remain productive but if any of them spend the holiday working, I totally get it and I bet their families do to.
posted by VTX at 3:02 PM on November 22 [3 favorites]


Robert Reich took down the Texas Miracle BS a while back. There's even a video. He talks about how regulation-heavy California is thriving contrary to Republican opinion about how the economy works.
posted by Bella Donna at 3:17 PM on November 22 [9 favorites]


WaPo, Kimberly Kindy, Steve Hendrix and Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Ethics lawyer says Conyers mistreated her during her years on Capitol Hill:
A high-profile Washington lawyer specializing in congressional ethics said Wednesday that Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) harassed and verbally abused her when she worked for him on Capitol Hill in the 1990s and that her repeated appeals for help to congressional leadership were ignored.

“There was nothing I could do to stop it,” Melanie Sloan said in an interview. “Not going to leadership, not going to my boss, not going to a women’s group, not going to a reporter. I was dismissed and told I must be mentally unstable.”
...
In addition to accusations of sexual misconduct, the claims against Conyers included “mistreatment of staff.” Sloan said she did not believe she was sexually harassed by the congressman, but she said his behavior toward her was inappropriate and abusive. She said she was speaking publicly after seeing Conyers dismiss former staff members’ accounts of misconduct.

Sloan said that Conyers routinely yelled at and berated her, often criticizing her appearance. On one occasion, she said, he summoned her to his Rayburn Building office, where she found him in his underwear.
The Democratic Party needs to get its shit together on this yesterday.

McClatchy, Anita Kumar And Ben Wieder, Top Trump staffers failed to file financial reports on their way out the door, in which at least four former staffers never filed their financial disclosure reports as required by law. Worse, Bannon's spokesman says he did file, while the White House says he didn't. The reports could help reveal whether officials complied with ethics requirements (such as whether Bannon ever did sell his Cambridge Analytica stock like he was supposed to) or used their jobs to enrich themselves.

WaPo, Jenna Johnson, On Trump’s Thanksgiving menu: Grievances and calls for gratitude — for him
This Thanksgiving, President Trump doesn’t seem to be thankful for very much — and seems frustrated that Americans aren’t expressing more gratitude for him.
...
Just before Trump formally pardoned the bird, he said: “I feel so good about myself doing this.”
A very sincere wish for a happy Thanksgiving from all the staff here at ELECTIONS NEWS. And if you're not celebrating, at least enjoy a quiet day on the political front.

Likewise, a wonderful and peaceful Thanksgiving from us here at "Zach copies and pastes the news into MetaFilter." I'm thankful for all of you and this community.
posted by zachlipton at 3:25 PM on November 22 [58 favorites]


Per discussion of red state / blue state differences: if a hypothetical Mefite living in Oregon were considering a move to North Carolina, just to pick an example, what rude awakenings might she or he find due to the different political situation?

I realize that marijuana and assisted suicide would be illegal, but am curious about less obvious differences. Just wondering what the federalism bubble might be obscuring.
posted by msalt at 3:29 PM on November 22 [2 favorites]


This is a good dive into all the ramifications of Trump's loose lips.

Exclusive: What Trump Really Told Kislyak After Comey Was Canned (Howard Blum, Vanity Fair)
What further exacerbates Israel’s concerns—“keeps me up at night” was how a government spymaster put it—is that if Trump is handing over Israel’s secrets to the Russians, then he just might as well be delivering them to Iran, Russia’s current regional ally. And it is an expansionist Iran, one Israeli after another was determined to point out in the course of discussions, that is arming Hez­bol­lah with sophisticated rockets and weaponry while at the same time becoming an increasingly visible economic and military presence in Syria.

“Trump betrayed us,” said a senior Israeli military official bluntly, his voice stern with reproach. “And if we can’t trust him, then we’re going to have to do what is necessary on our own if our back is up against the wall with Iran.” Yet while appalled governments are now forced to rethink their tactics in future dealings with a wayward president, there is also the dismaying possibility that a more tangible, and more lethal, consequence has already occurred. “The Russians will undoubtedly try to figure out the source or the method of this information to make sure that it is not also collecting on their activities in Syria—and in trying to do that they could well disrupt the source,” said Michael Morell.
I really had my hopes up for another Mueller "the indictments are coming soon" announcement before the long weekend,

I'm pinning my hopes on the eight days of Muellerkah.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:30 PM on November 22 [22 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
51 Million American to travel this weekend - highest number in twelve years (AAA). Traffic and airports are running very smoothly! @FoxNews


@chrislhayes
Retweeted Donald J. Trump
This is an absolute all-timer. He's literally live-tweeting obligatory holiday travel segments.

@BecketAdams
Retweeted Donald J. Trump
you know who else made the trains run on time …

@OhNoSheTwitnt
Retweeted Donald J. Trump
We now go live to Jim with the weather!
posted by chris24 at 3:33 PM on November 22 [57 favorites]


Per discussion of red state / blue state differences: if a hypothetical Mefite living in Oregon were considering a move to North Carolina, just to pick an example, what rude awakenings might she or he find due to the different political situation?

I realize that marijuana and assisted suicide would be illegal, but am curious about less obvious differences. Just wondering what the federalism bubble might be obscuring.


I've mostly lived in NC most of my life. I've been to two conferences in Portland. My impression is that compared to Oregon:
Our Republicans are super unpleasant and powerful due to the history of white supremacy and the good old boy network being unquestioned/unquestionable by white people. Hypocritical, hateful conservative Christianity is an incredibly powerful and potent force that controls lots of things, especially in small towns. We have a lot fewer white people and a lot more diversity among our middle class and elected officials and politically active folks. As a result of the latter, white progressives are wildly unsuccessful if they do not get involved with and work with black, latinx, native, and immigrant groups that are already there doing the hard work, particularly the black church.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:36 PM on November 22 [32 favorites]


A Democratic victory in 2018 and 2020 that doesn't include expanding the Supreme Court and the Federal courts to (effectively) nullify the illegitimate appointments of Trump will be a hollow victory at best, and likely the very last thing the Democrats ever manage to accomplish.

This is undoubtedly a naive question, but if Trump is ousted as a result of the Mueller investigation, would it not be possible to void his judicial appointments on the grounds that appointments by an illegitimate president are themselves illegitimate? Granted we'd have to manage to pass a bill to do it, but...
posted by rifflesby at 3:47 PM on November 22 [2 favorites]


I realize that marijuana and assisted suicide would be illegal, but am curious about less obvious differences. Just wondering what the federalism bubble might be obscuring.

NB: You'll see bumper stickers in NC that say, "We don't give a damn how you did it up north."
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:54 PM on November 22 [2 favorites]


This is undoubtedly a naive question, but if Trump is ousted as a result of the Mueller investigation, would it not be possible to void his judicial appointments on the grounds that appointments by an illegitimate president are themselves illegitimate? Granted we'd have to manage to pass a bill to do it, but...
posted by rifflesby at 3:47 PM on November 22 [+] [!]


At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I think even now there is sufficient evident to petition the courts to overturn the 2016 presidential election on the grounds that Russian interference and collusion with the Trump campaign invalidate its legitimacy. Why the Democrats or the Clinton campaign staff are not at least trying to do this is beyond me. I recognize that many are skeptical that this would work and note that it is without precedent, but lack of precedence is also an opening for trying this. It would not be the first time a federal court invalidated an election.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:58 PM on November 22 [15 favorites]


Not really any basis for that. They could be impeached for that reason (you don't really need any reason for impeaching), but there's no "fruit of the poison tree" out clause.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:00 PM on November 22 [7 favorites]


...but there's no "fruit of the poison tree" out clause.

But there is an "invalid election" clause
. Regardless of anyone's cocksuredness, whether the courts could roll back the actions of an invalidly elected executive is a matter for the courts to decide, not us.
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:03 PM on November 22 [5 favorites]


Exclusive: What Trump Really Told Kislyak After Comey Was Canned (Howard Blum, Vanity Fair)
Israel—as well as America’s other allies—would rethink its willingness to share raw intelligence, and pretty much the entire Free World was left shaking its collective head in bewilderment as it wondered, not for the first time, what was going on with Trump and Russia. (In fact, Trump’s disturbing choice to hand over highly sensitive intelligence to the Russians is now a focus of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s relationship with Russia, both before and after the election.) In the hand-wringing aftermath, the entire event became, as is so often the case with spy stories, a tale about trust and betrayal.
@brianbeutler (Crooked Media)
One hell of an unsourced parenthetical.

@joshtpm
Retweeted Brian Beutler
Good lord, yes. Blah blah blah and blah (likely to take place after Trump’s upcoming treason indictment) blah blah blah
posted by chris24 at 4:10 PM on November 22 [42 favorites]


I fear Trump is going to prove to be too stupid and incompetent to be pinned for treason. "He's not a traitor, he's just a narcissistic moron."
posted by Justinian at 4:20 PM on November 22 [4 favorites]


I thought it was common knowledge that Trump passed off code-word intelligence to the Russians during that meeting. Something about the Islamic State given to US intelligence by Israel.
posted by xyzzy at 4:44 PM on November 22 [13 favorites]


Mental Wimp: "But there is an "invalid election" clause. Regardless of anyone's cocksuredness, whether the courts could roll back the actions of an invalidly elected executive is a matter for the courts to decide, not us."

I'm aware of that case, not least because you link it all of the time. The question wasn't whether Trump could be removed in the case of verifiable fraud that illegitimated the election - a question that itself has many complexities - but whether all of his actions would thereby be invalidated. If you are aware of any statute or case law in the US that touches on that, I would be most interested. I'm sure not aware of anything, but I am open to learning.

Unless we're going to bar any legal analysis here on the basis of us not being the courts, I think it's okay to state our understanding of the legal situation.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:57 PM on November 22 [3 favorites]


I've mostly lived in NC most of my life. I've been to two conferences in Portland. My impression is that compared to Oregon:
Our Republicans are super unpleasant and powerful due to the history of white supremacy and the good old boy network being unquestioned/unquestionable by white people.


Sadly, it took me a moment to realize you weren't talking about Oregon, which has it's own unique white supremacist legacy. It was illegal to be black in Oregon, even before it became a state. If the face of Oregon liberals is whiter in average complexion, it's largely because the state is still overwhemlingly white, due in no small part to the history of overtly racist policies.
posted by pwnguin at 5:10 PM on November 22 [4 favorites]


It’s profoundly disturbing that the phrase “it’s common knowledge that Trump passed off code-word intelligence to the Russians” just rolls off the tongue. The number of deep outrages vastly exceeds our ability to even remember them all.
posted by zachlipton at 5:10 PM on November 22 [53 favorites]


I thought it was common knowledge that Trump passed off code-word intelligence to the Russians during that meeting. Something about the Islamic State given to US intelligence by Israel.

I think the notable part of that passage is that Trump's actions that day are "a focus of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation". That's not sourced and not many people have claimed to have that that kind of insight into the investigation.

It's notable because it's not concerning foreign lobbying laws or money laundering by campaign underlings, family, or TrumpCo employees, but Trump himself handing intelligence to an adversary, which John Marshall points out, can be considered treason. We've all been jumping up and down calling it treason so it's old hat here; but if that passage is true, Mueller is now developing that legal argument which is a big deal.
posted by peeedro at 5:22 PM on November 22 [17 favorites]


Legal complaint filed over Kellyanne Conway's comments on Roy Moore race (Josh Gerstein, Politico)
A prominent government ethics expert has filed a complaint against White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, alleging that she violated federal law Monday by appearing to oppose Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore's Democratic opponent.

Walter Shaub, who resigned in July as the head of the Office of Government Ethics, said on Twitter on Wednesday that he lodged a complaint claiming that the top aide to President Donald Trump ran afoul of the Hatch Act when she discouraged Alabamans from voting for the Democratic nominee, Doug Jones.

"I have filed a complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which investigates Hatch Act violations," Shaub tweeted
I’ve seen it reported in multiple places that Trump gave her his personal approval to go out with that message.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:22 PM on November 22 [30 favorites]


There is no Hatch Act unless people are punished for violating it.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:31 PM on November 22 [46 favorites]


Genuine question - in a post Net Neutrality world (A New Chaotic Evil world?), is there any reason a service provider couldn't require you to use a browser that they provide/of their choice? Like, you know, make things all AOL style again? Like everyone on Comcast is required to use Netscape Navigator and have their homepage set to Comcast's front page?
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:45 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


What's the statute of limitations on a Hatch Act violation? That's the real question here - will people be held accountable afterward. We missed out with the Bush administration, will this one be any different?
posted by eclectist at 5:46 PM on November 22


would it not be possible to void his judicial appointments on the grounds that appointments by an illegitimate president are themselves illegitimate?

No, not possible - essential. Critical.
posted by petebest at 6:02 PM on November 22 [5 favorites]


Joey Michaels, I would assume that you could still use your own browser, but they would have the option of charging you more for the "support" they would offer for not using their browser.

I don't think that is where the whole net neutrality thing is going. ISPs are looking to charge Netflix, Hulu, et al. to drive them out of business by charging exorbitant prices which will eventually have to be passed on to users who have cut the cable. The cable conveniently owned by ISPs.

I would assume there are a couple of server people at each cable company running some version of *nix or BSD at home who would scream bloody murder and/or just turn off a switch or two at their work if their non-standard browser stopped working. Not to mention, a browser is only one of many ways to use the internet.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:05 PM on November 22 [2 favorites]


Finally, the hour I spent reading up on Packet Radio will start to pay off!
posted by petebest at 6:18 PM on November 22 [2 favorites]


Donald Trump could go on national television, put both hands and his dick on assorted Bibles, and declare that I, Donald Trump, Freely Admit That I Colluded With Russia In The Past Election, Russians Hacked Nine States' Polling Places, They Are Hiding Uranium In My Ass And The Pee Tape Is Real and not only would the election not be overturned, Trump's approval rating among Republicans would remain over 50% and three hosts on Fox would shout that not only should Trump remain as President, it's actually grounds to jail Hillary and deport Sonia Sotomayor.

Barring an absolutely brutal pile of incontrovertible evidence, it would take a miracle to get a Republican Congress to dislodge Trump. Fixing Congress is Step 1. Put "roll back everything Trump did" on the to-do list of the next Democratic President, not on some hypothetical magic judge.
posted by delfin at 6:39 PM on November 22 [40 favorites]


What's the statute of limitations on a Hatch Act violation? That's the real question here - will people be held accountable afterward. We missed out with the Bush administration, will this one be any different?

The conundrum here is how holding this regime's clowns accountable for their lawbreaking after they're out of office will put us in an argument about "going after your political opponents." Yes, the difference here is Hillary Clinton didn't do a damn thing to merit prosecution while the Trump Regime breaks a dozen laws before getting out of bed in the morning, and so it's a false comparison...except it will be a key argument. And it'll work on Democratic politicians. They won't want to do it.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 6:45 PM on November 22 [3 favorites]


Judge rules Seattle income tax illegal, in which even an attempt to ask people taking home over 250k/year (500k/couple) to pay a meager 2.25%, yeah forget it.
posted by ctmf at 6:47 PM on November 22 [12 favorites]


And it'll work on Democratic politicians. They won't want to do it.

Nobody wants to do it because nobody wants their lives dragged into the press as part of a political witch-hunt because even if the premise isn't valid, you can still to incredible damage. I realize that Trump has basically stood on the line with a raised leg stuck out over it while taunting "It's not over the line until my foot is down" but the prospect of politically driven vengeance shouldn't be part of the transfer of power. Nobody wants it.
posted by Talez at 6:53 PM on November 22 [2 favorites]


Oh the Lemon Party Majority Leader Joe Barton apparently threatened to report his pen pal to the Capitol Police if she divulged them. It's not up on WP's main site but it did just hit my feed.
posted by Talez at 7:00 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


Far be it from me to defend Joe Barton, who is a political nightmare and sounds like a complete sleaze, but I actually think that distributing those photos without his consent might fall into the category of revenge porn, which is illegal in some places in the US. And while it's real dumb to send naked photos to your consensual, adult sex partners when you're a family-values-type congressman, it's not a crime. There are lots of reasons that I hope Barton's political career ends, but everything I've heard so far sounds to me like it falls into the category of private (dumb, sleazy) behavior.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:18 PM on November 22 [28 favorites]


It seems I do. I swear I had a fully-detailed memory of that exchange being in Back to the Future, even hearing the lines in the actors' voices. So I looked up "Shooter McGavin", found the clip, thought "Wow, they stole that from BttF!". Nope, they didn't. Apparently this is my personal Mandela Effect. In my defense, he actors playing McGavin and Biff look similar. But to my shame, apparently I saw at least part of Happy Gilmore once.

Biff hates manure.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:23 PM on November 22 [4 favorites]


Donald Trump could go on national television, put both hands and his dick on assorted Bibles, and declare that I, Donald Trump, Freely Admit That I Colluded With Russia In The Past Election, Russians Hacked Nine States' Polling Places, They Are Hiding Uranium In My Ass And The Pee Tape Is Real and not only would the election not be overturned, Trump's approval rating among Republicans would remain over 50% and three hosts on Fox would shout that not only should Trump remain as President, it's actually grounds to jail Hillary and deport Sonia Sotomayor.

Yep. It's the political version of the way certain dudes will never admit their favorite sports team sucks.
posted by Rykey at 7:37 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


Do you guys really think some of the things you are proposing as critical have a chance of happening or is this fanfic? Because the best case realistic scenario, in my opinion, is Trump being removed in favor of Pence and nothing else. The best case optimistic scenario are Trump and Pence both being removed in favor of a never-Trumper compromise Republican. All the court appointments, bills passed (lol so far), etc will stand.
posted by Justinian at 7:44 PM on November 22 [22 favorites]


My reactions, in order, to whenever some someone says ‘the Democrats MUST do this!’
1. Aren’t you the Democrats?
2. ripley_did_iqs_just_drop_sharply.gif
posted by um at 7:51 PM on November 22 [3 favorites]


I think the things being proposed are both critical and unlikely to occur.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:06 PM on November 22 [10 favorites]


If you are aware of any statute or case law in the US that touches on that, I would be most interested.

I believe I used the word "unprecedented" to describe the situation. The suit I describe would create new case law, for better or for worse. There was no case law for Bush v. Gore, IIRC.
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:12 PM on November 22


Nixon deserved to be impeached and only escaped that through resigning and getting pardoned. He legitimately was behind the break-in at Watergate. Even a few Republicans agreed at the time. However, every since then many Republicans have been desperate to catch a Democrat doing something equally dirty and are willing to go to any ends necessary to prosecute and persecute Democrats and defend Republican's, no matter how vile. In the absence of actual crimes, they're happy to invent all manner of ludicrous Democratic crimes (no doubt some percentage of Roy "Judge Keds" Moore's defenders believe that Pizzagate was a real thing). They're willing to go to any dishonest, misleading, unscrupulous length to enact their evil agenda even if it hurts them.

Their radical partisanship and detachment from objective reality combined with their malice and incompetence make therm singular unsuited for government and yet here we are with them in charge. My best case scenario is Trump is a one term president and a portion of the country goes apeshit believing that he was cheated out of a second term by evil Democrats. Then we spend two years being blamed for all the shit the Republicans are doing right now and they ride in on a wave in 2022 and we have to start all over again, like we always do.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:35 PM on November 22 [8 favorites]


Let me end that on a note of hope (with apologies to Beyond the Fringe): I hope this does not happen.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:37 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


"NB: You'll see bumper stickers in NC that say, "We don't give a damn how you did it up north.""

NB that NC has the fastest-growing Latino population in the entire US (smallest Catholic population by percentage -- 3%, less than Alaska! And a smaller cathedral than Alaska! -- and also the fastest-growing Catholic population due to Latino migrants.)

60% of the state's population growth comes from in-migrants. It is the ONLY state with more inbound movers than internal growth for every year in the last decade. (The Yankees are the most popular baseball team in NC, appallingly.) They totally DO give a damn how you did it up north, because a huge percentage of the state is Yankees, and another huge percentage is Mexicans.

If you're not allergic, it's a lovely place to live, and a great place to help flip blue! It's so close! You can flip it in a couple years and feel very accomplished! But people are super-nice, you have lots of super-sophisticated and worldly neighbors (even in fairly small towns), the small towns are very tight-knit in the good way, and fewer people are armed than you'd think.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:24 PM on November 22 [40 favorites]


> The Nationalist’s Delusion “Yet it was not just Trump’s supporters who were in denial about what they were voting for, but Americans across the political spectrum, who, as had been the case with Duke’s rise, searched desperately for any alternative explanation—outsourcing, anti-Washington anger, economic anxiety—other than the one staring them in the face.”

What a Disgrace. This week might have been the low point in an administration full of them.
Never in my lifetime have the politics of the country seemed so removed from the people of the country. Never in my lifetime have the people of the country seemed so removed from its politics. Never in my lifetime have political decisions seemed so removed from their consequences. An election driven by fear and hate and abandoned wrath has produced dangerous chasms into which the entire system may one day fall, and nobody appears to have any idea what to do about it. Adam Serwer’s brilliant piece in The Atlantic is as good an explanation as any about what happened last November, and what may happen as a result.
It was not just Trump’s supporters who were in denial about what they were voting for, but Americans across the political spectrum, who, as had been the case with those who had backed David Duke, searched desperately for any alternative explanation—outsourcing, anti-Washington anger, economic anxiety—to the one staring them in the face. The frequent post-election media expeditions to Trump country to see whether the fever has broken, or whether Trump’s most ardent supporters have changed their minds, are a direct outgrowth of this mistake. These supporters will not change their minds, because this is what they always wanted: a president who embodies the rage they feel toward those they hate and fear, while reassuring them that that rage is nothing to be ashamed of.
You cannot run a democracy on that basis. You perhaps cannot even run a nation, at least not one that doesn't devolve steadily into savagery. These were not unavoidable choices. We made them in the clear light of day. What a poisoned country we have left ourselves.
posted by homunculus at 10:40 PM on November 22 [68 favorites]


I really had my hopes up for another Mueller "the indictments are coming soon" announcement before the long weekend,

This didn't make a big splash, and apparently didn't cross a lot of people's radar but Newsweek ran something y'day that will REALLY fuck up Kushner's holiday weekend.

Will Mueller Indict Kushner? Trump's Son-in-Law ‘Natural’ Target For Russia Probe, Legal Experts Say (autoplay video, but it's worth watching)
posted by mikelieman at 11:20 PM on November 22 [3 favorites]


Not really any basis for that. They could be impeached for that reason (you don't really need any reason for impeaching), but there's no "fruit of the poison tree" out clause.

We've been in uncharted territory for a year now. NONE OF THIS IS NORMAL.

All bets are off. You keep what you can grab. If they can blow off their duty to give advice and consent on a Presidential Nominee to the Supreme Court, well, there's no rule saying a dog CAN'T play basketball!
posted by mikelieman at 11:25 PM on November 22 [23 favorites]


well, there's no rule saying a dog CAN'T play basketball!

Would it have to be grateful?
posted by maxwelton at 12:25 AM on November 23 [3 favorites]


Would it have to be grateful?

Sadly not being adequately grateful ( the new uppity ), is still a showstopper.

Fortunately, dog. Being a dog means they're always grateful.

The dog is the only one who is always happy to see me come home.
posted by mikelieman at 12:46 AM on November 23 [2 favorites]


“Yet it was not just Trump’s supporters who were in denial about what they were voting for, but Americans across the political spectrum, who, as had been the case with Duke’s rise, searched desperately for any alternative explanation—outsourcing, anti-Washington anger, economic anxiety—other than the one staring them in the face.”

To follow up on this, For a year I was hearing from people, even here parroting the "Economic Anxiety" line, as part of an argument that we should reach out to the poor, sad, economically distressed Trump supporters. With the repeated argument that we should stop talking about racism or misogyny, because it just wasn't a factor in the election.

And it's taken a year, a full year of Trump's actions, as well as thorough analysis of Trump voters to put the lie to that notion. To get even some of those people to acknowledge that the true motivating force was white supremacy and misogyny. And I have no doubt in the run up t o2018 and 2020 there's going to be more "Let's understand the economic anxiety of these white folks and give them some hope". When what they want, and what they won't admit they want, is white supremacy.

We have to acknowledge that racism and misogyny are fundamental motivating forces for the majority of white Americans, attitudes that they've been trained to deny. We have to reaize that the fight we thought was over decades ago, is very far from won, and if we don't push bac, we'll lose..
posted by happyroach at 12:51 AM on November 23 [63 favorites]


actually, there's plenty of economic anxiety to go around, not just for white folks - the more it gets swept under the rug, the more neglected people are going to feel - and there is no way you can ignore the problems of trump supporters without ignoring the problems of the non-trump supporters they work with - you can't dismiss them without dismissing the people worst affected by racism and misogyny, because the economy is a fundamental tool of racists and misogynists and a fundamental means of actively recruiting them

you cannot separate economic issues from white supremacy
posted by pyramid termite at 2:21 AM on November 23 [22 favorites]


Here's a tweetstorm about an experience the tweeter, one Bandit Aleatoire, had with a WSJ "we'd like your help with a news story" survey. (I've had one of those pop up; it thought I was an American voter, so I baled before it got too surreal.)

It's quite complicated but not very long and includes screen shots, so rather than repeat the storm here, I'll give my summary.

In short: the survey knew their name and email address, and proceeded to ask questions about net neutrality. The coup de gras was a long paragraph laced with technicalities - did you agree? - with which said Bandit mostly did not, and quite a lot of which they did not understand, and this is how they replied.

At which point, the survey confirmed the email and name again, then told said Bandit that Bandit themselves had written the paragraph.

The very strong implication is that someone is generating fake-but-signed-by-real-people 'public responses' for the net neutrality consultation process. Bandit is very unhappy, but can find no way to protest or dispute what happened.

If true, and I think it has a high probability of being so, this is a new level of domestic cyber-propaganda and will need yet another level of countering - mostly to confirm it is happening, and to raise awareness that it's going on in order to discredit the results. Which will be hard, because this lot don't care how thin a figleaf is, but at least they still feel the need for figleaves.
posted by Devonian at 5:11 AM on November 23 [33 favorites]


Adding to the mounting evidence he's not the brightest bulb on the tree, Trump replied to a tweet accusing him of being racist from Greg Sargent at WaPo by saying MAGA. Or he's admitting he thinks racism makes America great.

@ThePlumLineGS
New post: Trump's rage-tweets about LaVar Ball are part of a pattern.

Trump regularly attacks high-profile African Americans to feed his supporters' belief that the system is rigged for minorities: Trump just rage-tweeted about a prominent African American again


@realDonaldTrump
Replying to @ThePlumLineGS
MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

---

He tweeted MAGA again not in a reply, but hasn't deleted the reply one.
posted by chris24 at 5:41 AM on November 23 [31 favorites]


The very strong implication is that someone is generating fake-but-signed-by-real-people 'public responses' for the net neutrality consultation process.

Fraudulent public responses, driven by false narrative you say? Coordinated computer campaign to change real-world situations with virtual world threat actors eh?

THAT SOUNDS SO FAMILIAR
posted by petebest at 6:07 AM on November 23 [12 favorites]


Trump is now addressing the troops via FaceTime or whatever, and he opened by saying he’s surrounded by press — “better me than you, believe me." Not anything about all the soldiers we've lost this year. Nope. But he did mention the tax cuts.

The interesting part is that they're shooting this over his shoulder, so you can see him reading his notes, and seeing where he's ad-libbing. It's all so fake. Now he's saying hes going to ask the press to leave so they can talk confidentially. "We're set up for that, you know."

I'm sure there will be video, but for now here's a picture of him: 💩
posted by Room 641-A at 6:21 AM on November 23 [13 favorites]


Adding to the mounting evidence he's not the brightest bulb on the tree

He's also just attacked someone who was defending him.
@Realjmannarino: "The ungratefulness is something I’ve never seen before. If you get someone’s son out of prison, he should be grateful to you! Period. I don’t care. If Hillary got my kid out of prison, as much as I hate the woman, I’d thank her corrupt ass!"

[quoting the above] @realDonaldTrump: "Another Crooked Hillary Fan!"
Apparently he'd also quoted Mannarino approvingly the day before.

I guess it's possible Trump meant the reply conversationally and was referring to LaVar Ball: in a world where there was convincing evidence he has object/person persistence and reading comprehension that would even be the obvious, rational explanation.

Of course, this is not that world.
posted by Buntix at 6:32 AM on November 23 [13 favorites]


This is, indeed, a disturbing universe.
posted by petebest at 6:39 AM on November 23 [8 favorites]


Why the Democrats or the Clinton campaign staff are not at least trying to do this is beyond me. I recognize that many are skeptical that this would work and note that it is without precedent, but lack of precedence is also an opening for trying this.

I've been wondering this same thing now. If there was interference in the process and we now know beyond any real room for doubt there was, it should be invalidated and redone with better protections against the interference. It's straightforward. But we don't have any refs to referee the refs, and our current refs don't respect the spirit of our democratic processes and institutions enough to want to preserve them by doing what's necessary. There are no refs in the game that aren't also loyal to one of the teams, to use a sports analogy.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:55 AM on November 23 [2 favorites]


Do you guys really think some of the things you are proposing as critical have a chance of happening or is this fanfic? Because the best case realistic scenario, in my opinion, is Trump being removed in favor of Pence and nothing else. The best case optimistic scenario are Trump and Pence both being removed in favor of a never-Trumper compromise Republican. All the court appointments, bills passed (lol so far), etc will stand.

At the beginning of the 2016 primaries, what chance would you have given of Trump being elected President?

"This is the age of miracles, Doctor. There's nothing more horrifying than a miracle."
posted by leotrotsky at 8:35 AM on November 23 [15 favorites]


Further to the fake FCC consultation responses, it looks like there is indeed a big, ongoing and very mucky business afoot. (WaPo)

tl;dr - lots of obvious evidence of fake submissions by people who've had their identity hijacked, but the FCC is resisting any attempts to investigate this as efforts by partisans.

“This so-called investigation is nothing more than a transparent attempt by a partisan supporter of the Obama Administration’s heavy-handed Internet regulations to gain publicity for himself,” [FCC] spokesman Mark Wigfield said in a statement.

Which, as a statement from a regulatory body, is gobsmacking in itself.

The legals are flying, so who knows where this will end up, but I don't doubt that the Trumpists will be perfectly happy to have public consultation so sullied they just drop it altogether.

This administration is acting in such bad faith that unscrewing the pooch is going to be a long, hard slog.
posted by Devonian at 9:10 AM on November 23 [32 favorites]


He showed up at a Coast Guard station for a Thanksgiving photo op and for a second I imagined being one of those poor Coasties and now I'm not sure I can eat today.

There's a little clip of it on the Coast Guard's Facebook page. I refuse to listen to the audio. What's telling about it is the comments are split between mindless appreciation for "our president" & people complaining about everyone getting political versus the comments from people who know Trump has been absolutely shitty to the Coast Guard in every way that actually matters.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:17 AM on November 23 [4 favorites]


Buzzfeed: Here's What Trump Told The Coast Guard When He Visited Them On Thanksgiving (text)
The Navy, I can tell you, we're ordering ships, with the Air Force i can tell you we're ordering a lot of planes, in particular the F-35 fighter jet, which is like almost like an invisible fighter. I was asking the Air Force guys, I said, how good is this plane? They said, well, sir, you can't see it. I said but in a fight. You know, in a fight, like I watch on the movies. The fight, they're fighting. How good is this? They say, well, it wins every time because the enemy cannot see it. Even if it's right next to them, it can't see it. I said that helps. That's a good thing.
He thinks the F-35 is literally invisible. Like Wonder Woman's plane. For [real].
posted by chris24 at 9:24 AM on November 23 [84 favorites]


This administration is acting in such bad faith that unscrewing the pooch is going to be a long, hard slog.

you know, if you wanted to utterly destroy americans' faith in their government and anything else, tactics like fake opinions in the name of real people would be perfect

they're gambling that people will just give up in disgust

there's two problems - first, that people might rebel instead - and second, and more likely, a crisis will arise and no one will believe it or want to sacrifice for it
posted by pyramid termite at 9:26 AM on November 23 [5 favorites]


Trump accepts an oil painting of himself.

Trump also accepted an oil painting of himself from 90-year-old Bea Doone-Merena, a Boca Raton artist who brought two larger-than-life portraits of the president to the airport. Trump kept a stern-faced likeness of himself in a dark suit and red tie, and he autographed the other painting, which depicted him in a red “Make America Great Again” hat, and gave it back to Doone-Merena.

“He let me kiss him on the cheek. How do you like that?” Doone-Merena said afterward. “It was fabulous.”


With pictures!
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:30 AM on November 23 [1 favorite]


Buzzfeed: Here's What Trump Told The Coast Guard When He Visited Them On Thanksgiving (text)

Go read the whole speech, it's impressively incoherent even for him.
posted by octothorpe at 9:43 AM on November 23 [2 favorites]


oh, my god - it's like getting hit over the head with a baseball bat, only you might recover from a baseball bat
posted by pyramid termite at 9:51 AM on November 23 [4 favorites]


Happy Thanksgiving you magnificent bastards.

Except you, Trump, I hope you are miserable and afraid.
posted by Justinian at 9:57 AM on November 23 [22 favorites]


From the coast guard speech: When we sell to other countries, even if they're allies you never know about an ally. An ally can turn. You're going to find that out.

That's not ominous in the least....
posted by bassooner at 9:57 AM on November 23 [25 favorites]


> Trump then served sandwiches.

I was going to make a crack about how this is the very first thing Trump's done that I cannot find reason to object to, but I'm operating under the assumption that a) they were good sandwiches and b) not Trump Sandwiches (TM), so further information is required.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:07 AM on November 23


I still haven't figured out how people take their boats out into a hurricane. Some day you'll explain it. Jean was just telling me they actually do it to to save their boat in many cases.
Didn’t he own a yacht? Like, it’s not that hard to understand that having your boat slam into the dock in a hurricane would be bad.
posted by zachlipton at 10:08 AM on November 23 [4 favorites]


Didn’t he own a yacht? Like, it’s not that hard to understand that having your boat slam into the dock in a hurricane would be bad.

Own a yacht? Certainly; it's one of those things that rich people are supposed to do. Enjoy the experience of being out on a yacht? Sure, we can assume he's capable of appreciating that simple human pleasure. Actually take the time to understand how yachts operate and what's involved in their care and maintenance? Hell, no.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:19 AM on November 23 [14 favorites]


Didn’t he own a yacht? Like, it’s not that hard to understand that having your boat slam into the dock in a hurricane would be bad.

He did. And then it was repossessed. And he was so scared of weighing anchor he only sailed on it once before it was taken.
In 1991, however, it was Trump's lunch that was eaten by a foreign competitor, when the real estate mogul, in debt to the tune of $900 million, ceded his 281-foot super-yacht Trump Princess over to creditors.

The yacht was then purchased by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz al Saud, mogul and member of the Saudi royal family. He also happens to have a stake in another forsaken Trump property: the Plaza hotel in New York.

The Donald had a strange affinity for the swanky yacht he purchased in 1988 from the Sultan of Brunei for $29 million, which at the time was one of the largest in the world. According to former Trump executive John R. O'Donnell, the real estate mogul sailed on it only once, its maiden voyage from the Azores to the New York harbor.

"It so terrified him when they weighed anchor -- the movement convinced him it was sinking -- that he would never sleep on it," wrote O'Donnell in his book Trumped!. "All the time it was docked at the marina, he went on board only to watch boat races or occasionally to entertainment important customers or business associates."
posted by chris24 at 10:22 AM on November 23 [39 favorites]


And he was so scared of weighing anchor he only sailed on it once before it was taken.

Apparently Trump is not capable of appreciating that simple human pleasure after all. I should have known better before giving him the benefit of the doubt.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:26 AM on November 23 [21 favorites]


Trump then served sandwiches.

I can find an objection to this; it's Thanksgiving...why are they eating fucking sandwiches?
posted by elsietheeel at 10:33 AM on November 23 [17 favorites]


From the coast guard speech: When we sell to other countries, even if they're allies you never know about an ally. An ally can turn. You're going to find that out.

That's not ominous in the least....


Ehhh, I feel like it's not actually ominous, coming from him. He's always spoutin' off like that, (at best) to create a cliffhanger so you'll stay tuned or (at worst) running out the clock by saying words that might sound good together.

And in the thought experiment where I take his words as serious statements, I'd assume he's talking about some bullshit w/r/t trade. Either that, or we're going to war with Mexico.
posted by witchen at 10:33 AM on November 23 [2 favorites]


The Trump yacht plays a part in my crackpot theory why he keeps saying that the Coast Guard brand is going up and up. He owned the yacht in the peak hookers and blow period of his life and in the nation's. Unlike holding a party at a hotel, a yacht can be boarded by the Coast Guard at any time for no reason whatsoever. The Coast Guard doesn't need probable cause to board your craft and search anywhere they please; they will tow you to port, impound your boat, and put you in jail if they find cocaine on board. So I think Trump was told no by his captain or his insurance or his bond company stooge because the Coast Guard wouldn't allow it.

It's a crackpot theory, but it meshes with how everything is personal for Trump and he seems not to have know that the Coast Guard is in the business of rescuing people until now.
posted by peeedro at 10:36 AM on November 23 [11 favorites]


From the coast guard speech: When we sell to other countries, even if they're allies you never know about an ally. An ally can turn. You're going to find that out.

I mean, he's not wrong about the problem with international arms sales. It's just, him saying something correct doesn't actually mean anything. It's like finding a well-formed response in the output from a Turing machine.
posted by Tsuga at 10:36 AM on November 23 [3 favorites]


It was also the yacht that the Queen song Kashoggi's Ship [youtube] was based on.
When it was delivered it had five decks, a disco, a cinema with seats for 12 and 2 double beds, 11 opulent suites, a helipad on top (its funnels are sloped outward to avoid interference with the helicopters), a pool with a water jet on top in front of the heliport, 2 Riva tenders, a crew of 48, a top speed of 20 knots, and cruising speed of 17.5 knots.
posted by Buntix at 10:37 AM on November 23


Happy Thanksgiving!

McClatchy: Exclusive: Manafort flight records show deeper Kremlin ties than previously known
Political guru Paul Manafort took at least 18 trips to Moscow and was in frequent contact with Vladimir Putin’s allies for nearly a decade as a consultant in Russia and Ukraine for oligarchs and pro-Kremlin parties.

Even after the February 2014 fall of Ukraine’s pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych, who won office with the help of a Manafort-engineered image makeover, the American consultant flew to Kiev another 19 times over the next 20 months while working for the smaller, pro-Russian Opposition Bloc party. Manafort went so far as to suggest the party take an anti-NATO stance, an Oppo Bloc architect has said. A key ally of that party leader, oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, was identified by an earlier Ukrainian president as a former Russian intelligence agent, “100 percent.”

It was this background that Manafort brought to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, which he joined in early 2016 and soon led. His web of connections to Russia-loyal potentates is now a focus of federal investigators.

Manafort’s flight records in and out of Ukraine, which McClatchy obtained from a government source in Kiev, and interviews with more than a dozen people familiar with his activities, including current and former government officials, suggest the links between Trump’s former campaign manager and Russia sympathizers run deeper than previously thought.

What’s now known leads some Russia experts to suspect that the Kremlin’s emissaries at times turned Manafort into an asset acting on Russia’s behalf. “You can make a case that all along he ...was either working principally for Moscow, or he was trying to play both sides against each other just to maximize his profits,” said Daniel Fried, a former assistant secretary of state who communicated with Manafort during Yanukovych’s reign in President George W. Bush’s second term.

“He’s at best got a conflict of interest and at worst is really doing Putin’s bidding,” said Fried, now a fellow with the Atlantic Council.

A central question for Justice Department Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller and several congressional committees is whether Manafort, in trying to boost Trump’s underdog campaign, in any way collaborated with Russia's cyber meddling aimed at improving Trump’s electoral prospects.
posted by chris24 at 10:45 AM on November 23 [52 favorites]


It's a Thanksgiving miracle!

This is how the Coast Guard speech started:
It is an honor to be here. I have to tell you, you know. The Coast Guard always respected, but if you're looking at it as a brand, there's no brand that went up more than the Coast Guard with what happened in Texas, and I would say in particular, Texas has been incredible. You saved 16,000 lives. Nobody knows that. 16,000 lives. In fact when I first heard the number, I said, you mean like 600? 500? 16,000 lives in Texas.

So as bad as that hurricane was, and that was bad one. That was a big water job, right? It kept coming in and going back they couldn't get rid of it. They'd never seen it. I guess it was the biggest water dump they've ever seen. But when you've got 16,000
That's how far I got. Then I watched The Infiltrator, starring Bryan Cranston and John Leguizamo. It was good, so thanks, Trump?
posted by Room 641-A at 10:57 AM on November 23 [10 favorites]


I know it's the ex-Coastie in me getting extra enraged, but the only people who have a problem with the Coast Guard's "brand" are polluters, drug smugglers and fucking human traffickers. You can undoubtedly find a few abuses of authority & whatnot in the CG's history, but try comparing that to just about any other law enforcement agency. The Coast Guard is seen more like firefighters than cops. Nobody hates firefighters.

But he wanted to cut the budget and he was blocked by Congress. He wants to ban transgender servicepeople and the head of the Coast Guard immediately stepped up with support for the trans Coasties he knew of -- legal support. He made an ass of himself at the Coast Guard Academy's graduation and nobody pretended otherwise. The fact is when it comes to the Coast Guard, Trump has faceplanted hard at every turn (and I'm very proud).

So the brand thing? Everyone said it was stupid when he said it the first time, but he can't back down. He can't admit he fucked up. Can't let it go. He had a chance to say it again here, so he did.

This asshole is going to flat-out say he colluded with Russia when the pressure is high enough. He'll use some other word but he'll say it and he'll be indignant that anyone thinks there's anything wrong with it.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:37 PM on November 23 [72 favorites]


AND I'LL BET EVERYBODY AT THAT STATION WHO HAD THE DAY OFF HAD TO COME IN TO SMILE AND NOD FOR THAT ASSHOLE.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:39 PM on November 23 [30 favorites]


AND EAT SANDWICHES.

I don't know why this annoys me so much. I love sandwiches. And the Coast Guard.
posted by elsietheeel at 12:50 PM on November 23 [8 favorites]


the only people who have a problem with the Coast Guard's "brand" are polluters, drug smugglers and fucking human traffickers.

Well, having grown up in Miami, for me the CG was always the face of the US's incredibly racist double-standard with regards to Haitian & Cuban refugees. So while I would never hold it against any service member for doing their job, I think I'd say it didn't do the CG "brand" any favors. But obviously this would be a feature for Trump, not a drawback.
posted by phearlez at 12:55 PM on November 23 [6 favorites]


16,000 lives. In fact when I first heard the number, I said, you mean like 600? 500?

"Yes, sir, only thirty times those numbers. What's—? Wait, no, I didn't say it WAS thirty. I said thirty TIMES five or six hundred, the number you said. Thirty TIMES five or six hundred is actually much more, about sixteen THOUSAND, not—oh, fuck it, you know what? I don't care if I did draw the short straw last week, I'm not watching this toddler today. Or any day. You there, Ensign—please shoot me right here, in the temple."
posted by Rykey at 1:03 PM on November 23 [1 favorite]


Basketball dad LaVar Ball, owner of Ball’s Big Baller Brand and father of basketball player LiAngelo Ball and Lakers point guard Lonzo Bal, that LaVar Ball, has reportedly benefited by the equivalent of $17 million of free advertising for Ball’s Big Baller Brand since Trump picked a public feud with Lavar Ball over his son LiAngelo Ball's release after a shoplifting charge in China while LiAngelo Ball was appearing with the UCLA Basketball team, otherwise unconnected with LaVar Ball's Ball’s Big Baller Brand.

Did I mention Ball’s Big Baller Brand yet? Balls.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:07 PM on November 23 [23 favorites]


A Split From Trump Indicates That Flynn Is Moving to Cooperate With Mueller
WASHINGTON — Lawyers for Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, notified the president’s legal team in recent days that they could no longer discuss the special counsel’s investigation, according to four people involved in the case, an indication that Mr. Flynn is cooperating with prosecutors or negotiating such a deal.
Mr. Flynn’s lawyers had been sharing information with Mr. Trump’s lawyers about the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who is examining whether anyone around Mr. Trump was involved in Russian efforts to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

posted by PenDevil at 1:10 PM on November 23 [70 favorites]


This is how the Coast Guard speech started. . . .That's how far I got.

Dang, you missed the part where Trump told the Coasties about how good the stock market record high (that he's personally responsible for) was for their 401ks. [real]
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:30 PM on November 23 [7 favorites]


Metafilter: this is, indeed, a disturbing universe.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 1:39 PM on November 23 [9 favorites]


18 trips to Moscow? That seems... A lot... Especially for some one who seems to really deny knowing Russia is a country?

Seriously tho. That is a lot trips to Russia. Don't you need to apply for a visa? Wouldn't this all be known by security services anyways? You can't just to Russia on a tourist visa can you?
posted by sio42 at 2:14 PM on November 23 [2 favorites]


> A Split From Trump Indicates That Flynn Is Moving to Cooperate With Mueller

Ah. Now it feels like Thanksgiving.
posted by sebastienbailard at 2:14 PM on November 23 [53 favorites]


Why the Democrats or the Clinton campaign staff are not at least trying to do this is beyond me. I recognize that many are skeptical that this would work and note that it is without precedent, but lack of precedence is also an opening for trying this.

This really isn't that difficult to understand: the evidence for any Democratic effort to invalidate the 2016 election would have to appear to be completely impartial and widely accepted outside of the crazed Trump base. It is not, at least not yet.

Most Americans who only observe politics on a casual basis have a very firm idea that winning and losing elections is important, and take a dim view of attacking the electoral process or anything they consider to be sour grapes. The Scott Walker recall election in 2012 is really an excellent example: Walker was polling less popularly in 2012 than he was in 2010, when he narrowly won the governorship, but he improved both his raw vote numbers and his share of the vote in the 2012 recall election because a lot of people believed that the recall election was just Democrats refusing to accept their 2010 loss.

Just as with any charges from Mueller generally, any accusations of 2016 election tampering have to be absolutely ironclad in order to have a chance of success. They are not ironclad yet.
posted by mightygodking at 2:28 PM on November 23 [12 favorites]


A Split From Trump Indicates That Flynn Is Moving to Cooperate With Mueller

Maybe that explains this:

Nov. 17: Trump to Pay His Own Legal Bills, Set Up Fund to Cover Staff
Trump is only considering using is personal funds to pay for the legal bills of current and former White House aides, not people who served exclusively during the campaign. [...]

It’s unclear whether Trump’s offer extends to Michael Flynn, who was fired from his role as Trump’s national security adviser early in the administration.
Nov. 23: Trump won't pay for Mike Flynn's legal bills: Official
President Trump will not be paying for former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn's legal bills, a White House ethics official confirmed to CBS News.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:29 PM on November 23 [11 favorites]


16,000 lives. In fact when I first heard the number, I said, you mean like 600? 500?

Ludicrous. Everyone knows 24 is the highest number.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:34 PM on November 23 [7 favorites]


Josh Marshall: Good Lord, Trump is rage tweeting in the thread of Greg Sargent's thread about Trump's Racist Rage Tweeting. Holy Fuck.
posted by octothorpe at 2:41 PM on November 23 [8 favorites]


That is a lot trips to Russia. Don't you need to apply for a visa? Wouldn't this all be known by security services anyways?

Russia is a country where you can get a multi-year business visa (some places you can get them for up to ten years). I wouldn't call 18 trips a lot for someone with business or policy travel reasons to go there, except that Manafort has tried to downplay his Russian ties.
posted by dhartung at 2:44 PM on November 23 [1 favorite]


Richard Spencer Banned from 26 European countries! Howz that for white, northern European ambition?
posted by Oyéah at 3:03 PM on November 23 [48 favorites]


Exclusive: Manafort flight records show deeper Kremlin ties than previously known
BY PETER STONE AND GREG GORDON
NOVEMBER 27, 2017 05:00 AM


I've seen the future, baby -- it is murder.
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:17 PM on November 23 [9 favorites]


You gotta call the Coast Guard to handle the "big water jobs"
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:19 PM on November 23 [11 favorites]


More than a million pro-repeal Net Neutrality comments to the FCC were likely faked.

Textual analysis of the comments shows a LOT of skullduggery.

Key Findings:
One pro-repeal spam campaign used mail-merge to disguise 1.3 million comments as unique grassroots submissions.

There were likely multiple other campaigns aimed at injecting what may total several million pro-repeal comments into the system.

It’s highly likely that more than 99% of the truly unique comments were in favor of keeping net neutrality.

posted by Devonian at 3:22 PM on November 23 [62 favorites]


"big water job" is also what Trump requests from hookers
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:26 PM on November 23 [18 favorites]


I have no idea why, but the idea of Trump being afraid while on a moving boat makes me laugh harder than anything else so far.
posted by Melismata at 3:42 PM on November 23 [48 favorites]


Getting political on Thanksgiving is... a choice. Flynn news must be bothering him.

@realDonaldTrump:
ObamaCare premiums are going up, up, up, just as I have been predicting for two years. ObamaCare is OWNED by the Democrats, and it is a disaster. But do not worry. Even though the Dems want to Obstruct, we will Repeal & Replace right after Tax Cuts!
posted by chris24 at 3:50 PM on November 23 [3 favorites]


So, it's thanksgiving, and I'm slightly tootled while waiting for Turkey to rest, and I thought I'd share my coast guard story. Because I am thankful for them. When my son was five, he and I got got in a rip tide, on a paddleboard, and pulled into the shipping lanes. It was terrifying. I dislocated my knee, and had fallen off the board, without a life jacket. My five year old wasn't tied to the board, was just holding on. The sun was setting, and the coast was far enough away that people weren't distinguished. A shipping boat called us in to the coast guard, who rescued us, gave the Boy his own coast guard jacket, and set my knee.

So, thanks to the coast guard. Yay team.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 3:51 PM on November 23 [122 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump:
ObamaCare premiums are going up, up, up, just as I have been predicting for two years. ObamaCare is OWNED by the Democrats, and it is a disaster. But do not worry. Even though the Dems want to Obstruct, we will Repeal & Replace right after Tax Cuts!


*sigh*

Poll: 60 percent to blame Trump, GOP for ObamaCare problems
posted by leotrotsky at 4:49 PM on November 23 [35 favorites]


Does he know its Thanksgiving? Should he be rage tweeting awful things on the most American of National Holidays?
posted by Justinian at 5:56 PM on November 23 [2 favorites]


Does he know its Thanksgiving? Should he be rage tweeting awful things on the most American of National Holidays?

Come on, what are the odds Donnie Two Scoops ever been thankful for anything?
posted by leotrotsky at 6:01 PM on November 23 [12 favorites]


He's mad we're not thankful enough of him.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:07 PM on November 23 [9 favorites]


From the coast guard speech: When we sell to other countries, even if they're allies you never know about an ally. An ally can turn. You're going to find that out.

@BillKristol
I was speculating earlier today when I cited Michael Flynn as a possible example of this proposition—but in light of the news about Flynn’s lawyer calling Trump’s, I do wonder if Trump had Flynn on his mind this morning when he said this.
posted by chris24 at 6:12 PM on November 23 [14 favorites]


The Adam Serwer piece linked above is superb.
posted by dmh at 6:19 PM on November 23 [5 favorites]


From Norm Eisen, former US Ambassador to Czech Republic, former White House Ethics Czar under Obama, on Twitter
I negotiated a cooperation deal for a target with Mueller's office when he was US Atty and lemme tell ya, he's not gonna give one to Flynn unless he implicates someone up the ladder. That means Kushner, Don Jr., or Big Daddy. They are all having indigestion tonight.
Gotta say, the frisson of pleasure I felt when I read that was glorious.
posted by vac2003 at 6:32 PM on November 23 [88 favorites]


One of Seth Abramson's epic Twitter threads (75 long plus postcripts) is up; a systematic, well-referenced, knowledgeable, blow-by-blow discussion of how Trump and Putin engaged in quid-pro-quo re Trump Tower Moscow and the 2016 election and how Putin obtained kompromat on Trump. He argues that the media is well behind on this one, and I quote:
"But where we are today is that network/cable TV outlets, news websites, and newspapers are either a) waiting for politicians to issue selective leaks from a deliberately crappy investigation, or b) waiting for crappy leaks from a deliberate and professional FBI investigation."
It's well worth a read. At times funny too:
"I hope you'll consider that conspiracy theories are deeply stupid—but criminal conspiracies are a real thing that people like me work on (as attorneys or investigators) and a particularly dumb criminal conspiracy, like this one, at first looks like mere conspiracy theory."
posted by Peach at 6:38 PM on November 23 [15 favorites]


Meant to link to Twitter thread, sorry:
posted by Peach at 7:34 PM on November 23 [3 favorites]


Abramson is really getting out on a limb there. He's either gonna look prescient or like Louise Mensch's more slow-burning twin.
posted by Justinian at 7:40 PM on November 23 [6 favorites]


Philadelphia's mayor, in a press conference about Trump ending TPS for Haitians and other immigrants, said:

"There is no compassion whatsoever in the White House. I'm just beside myself with sadness because our president is a bully, our president is a punk, and he just doesn't get it. ... I don't know where he was raised, but his family didn't do a good job raising that guy."

Sometimes I just love my city.
posted by mcduff at 7:47 PM on November 23 [92 favorites]


Is there a non-82-tweets-storm version? Because I'm not taking it seriously if Abramson can't be bothered to publish like an actual essay somewhere.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:49 PM on November 23 [7 favorites]


If it's any consolation I'm gonna put my marker down on "Louise Mensch's slow-burning twin", tivalasvegas.
posted by Justinian at 7:55 PM on November 23 [6 favorites]


Is there a non-82-tweets-storm version? Because I'm not taking it seriously if Abramson can't be bothered to publish like an actual essay somewhere.

Here: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/933582030327177216

I agree it'd be more pleasant to read in 560-character chunks.
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:58 PM on November 23 [2 favorites]


This a fever dream of a thread, but Abramson's frenzied earnestness is entertaining.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:11 PM on November 23 [1 favorite]


You know how you do a connect-the-dots puzzle and your brain wants to connect the dots that are closest instead of following the numbers? Abramson just connects the closest dots. He ends up with a bunch of lines. No picture.
posted by perhapses at 8:17 PM on November 23 [6 favorites]


NB that NC has the fastest-growing Latino population in the entire US (smallest Catholic population by percentage -- 3%, less than Alaska! And a smaller cathedral than Alaska! -- and also the fastest-growing Catholic population due to Latino migrants.)

60% of the state's population growth comes from in-migrants. It is the ONLY state with more inbound movers than internal growth for every year in the last decade. (The Yankees are the most popular baseball team in NC, appallingly.) They totally DO give a damn how you did it up north, because a huge percentage of the state is Yankees, and another huge percentage is Mexicans.

If you're not allergic, it's a lovely place to live, and a great place to help flip blue! It's so close! You can flip it in a couple years and feel very accomplished! But people are super-nice, you have lots of super-sophisticated and worldly neighbors (even in fairly small towns), the small towns are very tight-knit in the good way, and fewer people are armed than you'd think.
posted by Eyebrows McGee


Eyebrows, I'm gonna need soooo many cites for this.

North Carolina is great in a lot of ways, sure. But this picture you have painted of a worldly population comprised of immigrants and sophisticated people with not too many guns and what not is....not really true.

Yes, North Carolina had a long stretch of high latino immigration - and for a while was at the top. That's shifted to other states in the south and elsewhere since 2000 though. South Dakota, Maryland, and Arkansas among others have higher growth rates than North Carolina.

I honestly don't know what you're trying to say with the stats on Catholics, but it reads as a selling point for Northerners? It doesn't really matter.. But a third of North Carolinian religious folks are Southern Baptists. That's pretty goddamn problematic for the worldly yankee types your comment seems to be advertising to. I should know, I left there to get away from a lot of them.

Yep, there's a bunch of Yankees fans in North Carolina - but that doesn't really mean anything because mostly no one gives a shit about baseball in North Carolina. They don't even have a major league team. NASCAR is the state sport, and the most popular, followed by college basketball (the ACC conference is life, with Duke and UNC and Wake Forest) and then college football. So saying that a huge percentage is Yankees is kinda meaningless. Also, saying that a huge percentage is Mexican is....just wrong. Only about 9% of the state identifies as hispanic (ranking 11th in the country, which isn't bad I guess?), and that's spread out among more than just Mexico. So I don't know what you mean when you say that.

41.3% of North Carolinians are gun owners, enough to put them in the High category (though not Extremely High) of gun ownership.

Small towns in North Carolina are tight knit, sure, and reliably pretty shitty. Sure, you can camp out in Charlotte, areas of the Research Triangle or Asheville. But the idea that the average small town in North Carolina is some welcoming worldly sophisticated place is....wrong.

Yes, it can be flipped. We did it in 2008, and it's been fairly close in other Presidential elections since. It's a battleground state for sure. But I do need to push back on the picture you've painted there. Even outside crunchy liberal artsy Asheville, the KKK still marches regularly. It's still the South. And it still (mostly) sucks for liberals.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:25 PM on November 23 [32 favorites]


This asshole is going to flat-out say he colluded with Russia when the pressure is high enough. He'll use some other word but he'll say it and he'll be indignant that anyone thinks there's anything wrong with it.

"Did you order the Collusion Red?" "You're goddamn right I did!"

I have no idea why, but the idea of Trump being afraid while on a moving boat makes me laugh harder than anything else so far.

Something tells me he doesn't have a nautical-themed Pashmina Afghan.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:51 PM on November 23 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: more pleasant to read in 560-character chunks.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:51 PM on November 23 [5 favorites]


Just as with any charges from Mueller generally, any accusations of 2016 election tampering have to be absolutely ironclad in order to have a chance of success. They are not ironclad yet.

The thing is, though, even an ironclad legal case with ironclad evidence is not going to mean anything to a lot of Americans. In fact, a certain percentage of trump's fans are just going to double down harder on their beliefs if incontrovertible evidence comes out. Rush Limbaugh will tell them that the CIA doctored that piss tape, that Obama preemptively ordered the NSA to create those fake audio transcripts. A certain percentage of Trumpists will nod ruefully. They'll know that Trump was on their side and he just wanted to do his job, but the CIA and the Beltway insiders were set against him all along.

A certain percentage of Americans has been successfully inoculated against reality. American democracy hinges on how high that percentage rises.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 10:08 PM on November 23 [35 favorites]




Thank all of you ITT for helping me bring receipts for the last... omg i just argued for five hours.

Tequila!
posted by BS Artisan at 11:54 PM on November 23 [12 favorites]


I only had to employ the simultaneous tongue-bite-while-deftly-changing-the-subject thing three times at today’s family get-together. It went much smoother than our Memorial Day dinner.

*lifts a glass to all who weathered family meals with the opposition party today*
posted by darkstar at 12:03 AM on November 24 [22 favorites]


Do you remember a few scaramuccis ago when he complained they weren't grateful enough. I mean the basketball players, they shoplifted something and were stuck in a Chinese prison. By his grace and mercy, they were set free.

This is Trump's thanksgiving. Aren't you glad you're not in prison? Thank me for that.
posted by adept256 at 1:53 AM on November 24 [2 favorites]


We're taking "Ignore crazy, racist grandpa" way too far. He needs to be in a home.
posted by mikelieman at 2:01 AM on November 24 [16 favorites]


Folks, if you're going to one conference this year, make sure it's Student Action Summit 2017.
posted by PenDevil at 4:03 AM on November 24 [3 favorites]


West Palm Beach? Obviously Mar-A-Lago.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:19 AM on November 24 [3 favorites]


Student Action Summit 2017

I do feel sorry for the graphic designer: okay, we’ll set up a grid with first and last na.... *shakes fist at Governor Scott Walker* I also wouldn’t want to be them when Bannon and Gorka call to find out why they’re listed on the bottom row. Aaand I’m also not convinced that someone didn’t mix up Dennis Prager and Hugh Hewitt. In the end, I did not enjoy being a graphic designer.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:43 AM on November 24 [5 favorites]


@PreetBharara
This is interesting news about Michael Flynn. If you're dead to rights, flipping on others and cooperating with the prosecution is the only sane and rational move. Also, prosecutors accept cooperation only if you can provide "substantial assistance." Higher up in the food chain. Stay tuned...
posted by chris24 at 5:19 AM on November 24 [28 favorites]


@JuliusGoat
Trump's rage-tweeting at @ThePlumLineGS's tweet about how Trump rage-tweets is a gorgeous dark gem, a perfectly-constructed oroboros of unfitness. The fun thing about saying "Make America Great Again" is that there is literally no time in our past you can be referencing that wouldn't be more systemically unfair against all people who aren't white men. That's what I like about #MAGA is what a clarifier it is. It *has* to be understood as racist, sexist, ablest, and homophobic. There's no other way to understand it. People of color, LGBT people, disabled people, and allies have no trouble understanding #MAGA for what it is. Meanwhile it will take only a brief stroll through the twitter feed of anybody who uses it favorably to convince you that's how they understand it as well. And in case you didn't get the message they staked their ideology symbolically precisely where you'd think. Defending the perceived heroism of Robert E Lee. There have been, I'm sure, other nations who have raised up men to fight for the cause of human enslavement. You just don't see statues angrily raised in their honor is all.

Donald Trump is personally offended at wealthy black athletes specifically because they so flagrantly refuse to be property when it seems so obviously proper to him that they should. Donald Trump, I've realized, has a well-developed sense of right and wrong. It's just twisted into something both monsterous and identical to that of millions of white Americans. Donald Trump, like many white Americans, finds it very offensive to his sense of right and wrong that black people should fail in their responsibility to be property. Even worse to his sense of right and wrong is that black people, having been allowed to not be property by a benevolent white society, should ever fail to be grateful for this largesse. "Make America Great Again" is a statement of morality, as clear as any creed or slogan ever devised. As clear as "Blood and soil." As clear as "One people, one country, one leader." The person telling you to Make America Great Again is telling you exactly what they think is good and bad. The person ignoring it is telling you they are willing to not care, because they think they will benefit from it. Don't be afraid to offend such a person. Don't fail to defend the people they are clearly informing you they intend to target.

Yesterday I posted a response to one of Trump nonsense tweets. (I know, I know. I'm weak.) Turns out it was about 2 minutes after it had gone up, so it got seen. A lot. The MAGA crowd had some ideas for me. They all involved me and people who think like me effectively not existing. "Leave the country" was popular. "Kill yourself" had traction. Some were just looking forward to a mass destruction. It's what they want. We should believe people who say "Make America Great Again" and we should translate it for them when they say it. So they know we know.
posted by chris24 at 5:41 AM on November 24 [136 favorites]


Renato Mariotti
@renato_mariotti
If his administration gets rid of #NetNeutrality, Trump can tell his supporters to purchase internet service from a provider that blocks your network

His name hasn’t come up in a while, but Mariotti is a good twitter follow. Former federal procescutor who adds nuance to the news stories. Here’s his take on the Flynn news (twitter thread, sorry.) Caveat: he’s running for IL AG so there are some campaign tweets and a handful of fundraising tweets.

Richard W. Painter
@RWPUSA
Not sure why Clinton isn't running for a House seat. Dems could elect her Speaker. Then .....
posted by Room 641-A at 6:23 AM on November 24 [28 favorites]


Oops, that Mariotti tweet was a reply to CNN’s Jim Acosta, hence “your network.”
posted by Room 641-A at 6:38 AM on November 24 [2 favorites]


‘Keep coming at me guys!!!’: Donald Trump Jr. meets Russia scrutiny with defiance

Okay. We will!

There's a buried nugget of terror in an otherwise bland article, though:
Others who know Trump Jr. see grander ambitions. He is “more of a politician than his father,” said Louise Sunshine, a former Trump Organization executive who has known the Trump kids since they were born. “Donald was a businessman . . . but Donald Trump Jr. is making it his business to be a politician.”
We do NOT need this guy to be Dubya #2.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:41 AM on November 24 [11 favorites]


Usual pedantry that the Speaker does not technically have to be an elected House member.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:46 AM on November 24 [9 favorites]


Jr will never be a successful politician. He lives in NYC and is despised as much or more than his father and will never win a NYC or NY state election.

And for national ambitions, he's just as hated without any of the supposed charisma of Sr. If he escapes prison, he'll live off grift, both Trumpian and RWNJ, for the rest of his life.

I hope he dreams of more so they can be crushed.
posted by chris24 at 6:47 AM on November 24 [13 favorites]


Noah Lanard: Republicans Are Sneaking Right-Wing Social Policies Into Their Corporate Tax Cut
Fetuses don’t file 1040s in April, but they still appear in both Republican tax bills. The reason is simple: giving corporations a massive tax cut is great; doing that while advancing the culture war is even better.

“Unborn children” are not the only ones who are singled out in one, or both, of the House and Senate tax bills. Tucked in amid changes to tax rates are provisions that target undocumented immigrants, preachers, and graduate students. It doesn’t take too much familiarity with Republicans’ priorities to guess whether each of those groups wins or loses.

Overall, the provisions are largely incidental to saving or spending money in the Republicans’ $1.5 trillion tax cut, though they do manage to add significant complexity to the tax code. Taken together, the changes show how Republicans are using tax reform to push through long-standing priorities that would be difficult to pass as standalone bills.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:59 AM on November 24 [10 favorites]


but Donald Trump Jr. is making it his business to be a politician.”

He's also making it his business to be a race-car driver, a jedi and an astronaut
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:59 AM on November 24 [20 favorites]


I have off work starting today until next Monday. If Mueller wants to drop any news, I've got loads of spare time to lay around squinting at my phone.
posted by sio42 at 7:25 AM on November 24 [7 favorites]


The Navy, I can tell you, we're ordering ships, with the Air Force i can tell you we're ordering a lot of planes, in particular the F-35 fighter jet, which is like almost like an invisible fighter. I was asking the Air Force guys, I said, how good is this plane? They said, well, sir, you can't see it. I said but in a fight. You know, in a fight, like I watch on the movies. The fight, they're fighting. How good is this? They say, well, it wins every time because the enemy cannot see it. Even if it's right next to them, it can't see it. I said that helps. That's a good thing.
He thinks the F-35 is literally invisible. Like Wonder Woman's plane. For [real].


Interestingly though, Trump accidentally asked a legitimate question about a problematic aspect of the F-35. It is predicted to be a dogfight loser against other state of the art fighters because it is so compromised by its multi-use design. It's expected sub-par performance is ostensibly excused by the belief that it's superior electronics will keep it from ever having to actually dogfight. Which is incredibly optimistic thinking about the evolution of electronic counter-measures by possible opponents.

Between the F-35 and aircraft carrier development the US is putting a lot of treasure into equipping their military with tools that any realistic observer can see will be dangerously obsolete before development is even finished. Unlike the Soviet Union, the Unites States doesn't appear to need a credible superpower enemy to goad them into ridiculous overspends on absurd military tech to the detriment of their non-weapon economy.
posted by srboisvert at 7:40 AM on November 24 [19 favorites]


WaPo, States prepare to shut down children’s health programs if Congress doesn’t act
Officials in nearly a dozen states are preparing to notify families that a crucial health insurance program for low-income children is running out of money for the first time since its creation two decades ago, putting coverage for many at risk by the end of the year.

Congress missed a Sept. 30 deadline to extend funding for CHIP, as the Children’s Health Insurance Program is known. Nearly 9 million youngsters and 370,000 pregnant women nationwide receive care because of it.

Many states have enough money to keep their individual programs afloat for at least a few months, but five could run out in late December if lawmakers do not act. Others will start to exhaust resources the following month.
Keep calling for net neutrality, but please, please call Congress and demand they reauthorize CHIP. Whether we take care of 9 million children or just decide not to for no particular reason is a damn stark portrayal of who we are as a society.
posted by zachlipton at 7:48 AM on November 24 [51 favorites]


I was asking the Air Force guys, I said, how good is this plane? They said, well, sir, you can't see it. I said but in a fight. You know, in a fight, like I watch on the movies.

Top Gun President
posted by zakur at 7:49 AM on November 24 [9 favorites]


Politico: Pressure mounts to unmask Hill harassers - Lawmakers in both parties say members of Congress shouldn't be allowed to use taxpayer money to settle harassment claims without being named.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:21 AM on November 24 [22 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
Will be speaking to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey this morning about bringing peace to the mess that I inherited in the Middle East. I will get it all done, but what a mistake, in lives and dollars (6 trillion), to be there in the first place!


@renato_mariotti
Retweeted Donald J. Trump
Interesting timing, because we heard yesterday that a Turkish agent (Michael Flynn) appears to be cooperating with Mueller.
posted by chris24 at 8:31 AM on November 24 [41 favorites]


Pressure mounts to unmask Hill harassers - Lawmakers in both parties say members of Congress shouldn't be allowed to use taxpayer money to settle harassment claims without being named.

FTFY Lawmakers.
posted by VTX at 8:37 AM on November 24 [12 favorites]


For the first time literally ever, I reported a hate meme spewing Twitter bot (name + seven random numbers, definitely a bot) and they actually put the account in Twitter jail. I feel mad with power! I might spend the rest of my day off on a reporting binge. First stop, @realDonaldTrump.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:03 AM on November 24 [55 favorites]


@jack cries a single tear.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:24 AM on November 24


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: Donald Trump to Americans: Go incorporate yourself
Some weeks I just want to give it all up and become a large corporation.

Being a human has only been a source of pain and inconvenience. I require periodic food and water. After a few days of subsisting entirely on coffee, I start to become nervous and irritable. I cannot stay awake indefinitely. I have to exist in the physical world, which means that I am never the right temperature, and that I sometimes have to stand in lines. I bang my head on low doorways. People yell at me when I walk down the sidewalk.

Corporations exist in the minds and hearts of Americans and, I guess, were the Founders’ truest darlings. They are people, my friend, but without the disadvantages. You cannot prick them. They do not bleed. But if you wrong them, they can revenge. Theirs is an ideal situation, really.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:31 AM on November 24 [32 favorites]


At this point I'm pretty sure Teh Donald isn't aware that people are saying "collusion" and not "Klyushin." So when he denies collusion with the Russians, he's just saying Klyushin wasn't the mastermind.

I suspect every time he says "NO COLLUSION!" it's immediately followed by "Putin," but people think he's just coughing or stuttering, so he gets misquoted every time. No wonder he's so pissed at the media.

It's very clear at this point the run for President was just to get Putin's approval for his now-failed project in Moscow and he didn't expect to win the primary, much less the general. He was probably genuinely shocked and maybe even appalled that the Russians and the operatives they surrounded him with actually pulled it off.

Everything since has just been him doing whatever he thinks will keep himself out of prison and not murdered by Russians after he leaves office (or even while in it..would anyone be surprised if he dropped dead of a heart attack tomorrow given that his diet is shittier than mine, which says something)

He probably is a legitimately an authoritarian, but I'm pretty sure the way over the top act is just to keep the Republicans happy so they'll protect him from the Russia thing and to keep the public looking elsewhere so they don't hear about the evidence piling up.

As far as Abramson's tweet storm goes, most everything was sourced aside from the few points he said news orgs are sitting on, which aren't themselves lynchpins in his hypothesis. He didn't fail to connect the dots. Whoever said that failed to read the linked pieces. He provided dots and referred us to others who had already connected them.

One interesting thing I learned from his links and some of their sources is that while it's apparently true Donnie wasn't participating in the pee play directly, the entire point of the exercise was to watch call girls pissing on the bed Obama had previously slept in. That is sufficiently juvenile and in character that it's quite believable. That said, we haven't heard what's on the other tape from St. Petersburg. Either way, the 2013-2016 reporting make it very clear they are hiding something shady, whether it's directly related to the election or not.

It's just sad for little Trumpy that Putin finally realized what a fuckup he really is and lost his hotel deal because he couldn't keep his fucking mouth shut. At least Putin is still getting the other thing he wanted: chaos, so the Trump family isn't in immediate danger, though probably wishing he had gotten what he expected..a kneecapped Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office.

Trump is dumb enough to go off the rails and bite the hand that's feeding him. If it comes down to prison or doing something Russia really wouldn't like to "prove" he's not in bed with Putin, I can't see Trump picking prison. Hillary would have been a lot more predictable than a cornered Donald Trump.
posted by wierdo at 12:10 PM on November 24 [11 favorites]


NYT: Why Putin’s Foes Deplore U.S. Fixation on Election Meddling
“The Kremlin is of course very proud of this whole Russian interference story. It shows they are not just a group of old K.G.B. guys with no understanding of digital but an almighty force from a James Bond saga,” Mr. Volkov said in a telephone interview. “This image is very bad for us. Putin is not a master geopolitical genius.”

Mr. Volkov and others say they have no doubt that Russia did interfere, at least on the margins, in last year’s presidential election campaign. But they complain that the United States consistently inflates Mr. Putin’s impact and portrays his government as far more unified and effective than it really is, cementing his legacy and making him harder to challenge at home.

Ultimately, they say, Americans are using Russia as a scapegoat to explain the deep political discord in the United States. That has left many westward-leaning Russians, who have long looked to America for their ideals, in bitter disappointment that the United States seems to be mimicking some of their own country’s least appealing traits.

The hunt for a hidden Russian hand behind President Trump’s election victory has caused particular disquiet among liberal-minded Russian journalists.

“The image of Putin’s Russia constructed by Western and, above all, American media outlets over the past 18 months shocks even the most anti-Putin reader in Russia,” Oleg V. Kashin, a journalist critical of the Kremlin, wrote last week in Republic, a Russian news site. He complained that the American media has consistently misconstrued the way Russia works, presenting marginal opportunists and self-interested businessmen with no real link to the Kremlin as state-controlled agents working on orders from Mr. Putin.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:19 PM on November 24 [8 favorites]


there can be idiots all over, no problem
posted by mumimor at 12:26 PM on November 24 [5 favorites]


.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 1:07 PM on November 24


He probably is a legitimately an authoritarian, but I'm pretty sure the way over the top act is just to keep the Republicans happy so they'll protect him from the Russia thing and to keep the public looking elsewhere so they don't hear about the evidence piling up

Trump has been agitating for the State to express contempt for the suffering of minorities since he was baying for the deaths of the Central Park Five.
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:14 PM on November 24 [10 favorites]


Seth Abramson's bona fides.
posted by Peach at 1:20 PM on November 24 [1 favorite]


He's not a complete loon like Mensch and Taylor but that doesn't make him correct. Remember, the more you want something to be true the more skeptically you should look at it. And people really, really want what he says to be true.
posted by Justinian at 1:24 PM on November 24 [8 favorites]


“This image is very bad for us. Putin is not a master geopolitical genius.”

Putin doesn't have to be a master geopolitical genius. He just has to out-wit the Trump Crime Family.
posted by mikelieman at 1:25 PM on November 24 [15 favorites]


The interview on Preet Bharara's podcast with Bill Browder gave some insight into Putin as fundamentally a mobster who is enriching himself; what stood out to me also was Browder's comment that Russia is incredibly bureaucratic and wedded to following procedures. And that Browder, like many, really wanted to do business in Russia. (He also said something like "in terms of its economy, Russia is basically Italy.")

No, Abramson's not a complete loon, nor is he necessarily correct (nor do I want it to be true that Trump colluded with Putin). But there were plenty of things in that tweetstorm that were food for thought.
posted by Peach at 1:30 PM on November 24 [1 favorite]


Outwit the Trump Crime Family is a new boardgame just out in time for Christmas. Ages 3+.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:34 PM on November 24 [38 favorites]


Putin may not be a "genius" geopolitician, but that doesn't mean he isn't utilizing the tools of his state to engage in protracted psychological warfare against other states. When the Ukraine crisis happened there was a massive amount of Russian fake news/propaganda flooding into the country, to the point where they ended up banning Russian news for a bit. There was even a TV show called StopFake that broadcasted numerous lies the Russian media was peddling over there, a significant chunk of it being about persecution against Russians. You can read about it from NPR here. RT consistently posted fake news about Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, something that shouldn't be a "fake news" article, but was.

On top of all this, the dismissal of hacking efforts and espionage amongst members of the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence agents is ridiculous. We know for a fact that Russia hacked not only the DNC, but they got into the RNC as well, they just chose not to release that information. As for espionage, it was multiple European intelligence agencies that gave us the tip-off about Russian intelligence contacts with the Trump campaign back in 2015, not the US intelligence agencies, so it's preposterous to me that the US intel agencies are thrown to the wolves when we weren't even the original ones finding this shit out.

We also haven't gotten the full story yet. I don't think Putin is a geopolitical genius either, but that doesn't make these circumstances less treacherous.
posted by gucci mane at 1:41 PM on November 24 [15 favorites]


Trump getting elected proves that Putin isn’t a genius. Everything would have been much better for everyone if Clinton had won, especially for Putin. She would have been weakened and democratic norms would have been questioned, but not enough to truly investigate. Now everyone is looking at Putin and asking questions and all he has to show for it is Donny two scoops, twittler in chief.
posted by Glibpaxman at 1:51 PM on November 24 [6 favorites]


Ultimately, they say, Americans are using Russia as a scapegoat to explain the deep political discord in the United States.

None of this would have happened without the deep, seething racism and sexism all over the United States. Conversely, the Russian government did interfere. We're in a new Cold War and have been for some time. Unfortunately, fighting it is gonna have to start with the damage done here.

So yeah, the problems are to be found in the US, and yeah, Putin fucked with us. All of these things are true and all of them are serious threats.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:51 PM on November 24 [30 favorites]


Everything would have been much better for everyone if Clinton had won, especially for Putin

I couldn't possibly disagree with this more.
posted by Justinian at 1:56 PM on November 24 [10 favorites]


Marcy Wheeler (@emptywheel): The Dumb Ass Poker Faces in the White House Just Admitted Their Investigation Coincides with Mike Flynn's
Confirming to the press that Flynn pulled out of the joint defense agreement involves confirming that the White House had a joint defense agreement with his lawyers. And that entails confirming that the President is being targeted in matters closely tied to Flynn’s own actions.

Thus far, the crimes Flynn is most publicly being accused of — largely relating to his unreported influence peddling, for both Turkey and Russia — don’t necessarily impact Trump. Given the details that have thus far been made public, those actions could just reflect his own greed, not any overt work with Trump to implement the policies he promised to the Turks he would deliver. Indeed, there’d be little need for Flynn’s lawyers to work with Trump’s if that were the only criminal charges he was facing.

But now several Trump lawyers are on the record saying they viewed themselves as targeted by the same investigation as Flynn is. Which means (unsurprisingly) Trump was probably in the loop on Flynn’s influence peddling. And which also means Flynn’s discussions with Sergei Kislyak about sanctions relief — and his lies about them to the FBI — directly implicate Trump. That’s the stuff that would justify a joint defense agreement, and that’s the stuff the White House just confirmed by confirming the no longer operative joint defense agreement.

In spite of all the claims that Trump isn’t being investigated, Trump’s lawyers have just admitted that they have been treating Flynn’s criminal exposure as related to the President’s own.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 1:57 PM on November 24 [57 favorites]


Donny with the preemptive breakup. "I... am breaking up... with you."

@realDonaldTrump
Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named “Man (Person) of the Year,” like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!
posted by chris24 at 2:54 PM on November 24 [17 favorites]


You know damn well he wasn't going to be named Person of the Year twice in a row. Come on man. Have some dignity.
posted by Justinian at 2:56 PM on November 24 [19 favorites]


Person of the Year is an annual issue of the United States news magazine Time that features and profiles a person, a group, an idea, or an object that "for better or for worse... has done the most to influence the events of the year".

Despite the magazine's frequent statements to the contrary, the designation is often regarded as an honor, and spoken of as an award or prize, simply based on many previous selections of admirable people. However, Time magazine points out that controversial figures such as Adolf Hitler (1938), Joseph Stalin (1939 and 1942), Nikita Khrushchev (1957), and Ayatollah Khomeini (1979) have also been granted the title for their impacts.


It's not necessarily an honor, Donny.
posted by elsietheeel at 3:07 PM on November 24 [11 favorites]


I really want Time Magazine to just reply "No, we didn't." in a tweet.
posted by jferg at 3:26 PM on November 24 [17 favorites]


"Man (Person)". In light of recent events, I guess that parenthetical is a necessary qualifier.
posted by dis_integration at 3:28 PM on November 24 [2 favorites]


Donny has quite the fixation with Time.

2012
@realDonaldTrump
I knew last year that @TIME Magazine lost all credibility when they didn't include me in their Top 100...

2013
@realDonaldTrump
"@PatrickMendezNV: They're going to make you their @TIME person of the year in attempt to silence you. They are not smart enough to do that

@realDonaldTrump
"@PatrickMendezNV: We had a great exchange on Twitter re: you being snubbed for @TIME person of the year,@realDonaldTrump. Time=no guts!

2014
@realDonaldTrump
"@fackinpeter: I don't care what @Time says, @realDonaldTrump is my person of the year"

2015
@realDonaldTrump
I told you @TIME Magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favorite They picked person who is ruining Germany

@realDonaldTrump
Thank you @oreillyfactor for your wonderful editorial as to why I should have been @TIME Magazine's Person of the Year. You should run Time!

---

And this doesn't count the fake Time covers he had hanging in his golf clubs.
posted by chris24 at 3:36 PM on November 24 [21 favorites]


Also Nixon won two years in a row (1971 and 1972) so actually, given their ever increasing number of similarities, I think Trump SHOULD win it this year.
posted by elsietheeel at 4:08 PM on November 24 [5 favorites]


Continually impressed with how his personality truly mirrors that of Mussolini.

Trump has the classic mentality for a dictator: pathologically narcissistic, antisocial personality disorder. It’s only our bureaucracy and a shaky plurality of opposition in Congress that’s preventing him from completely metastasizing.

It’s truly alarming to contemplate.
posted by darkstar at 4:12 PM on November 24 [13 favorites]


Also I think he's very stupid.
posted by Justinian at 4:14 PM on November 24 [42 favorites]


This could be interesting. The CFPB announced one person will be their head, the White House has announced another.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:57 PM on November 24 [12 favorites]


CFPB directorship succession analysis from Georgetown law professor Adam Levitin:
Bottom line: any appointment of Mick Mulvaney ... or Steve Mnuchin ... or anyone by President Trump to be acting CFPB Director would be illegal, and would call into question not only any actions taken by the CFPB, but also actions undertaken by the FDIC and FSOC, as the CFPB Director serves on those boards. If President Trump wants to choose the CFPB Director, there's a straight-forward way of doing it: go through Senate confirmation.
More from the Intercept, There's a hitch in Trump's plan to stick Mick Mulvaney on the CFPB: it's illegal.
posted by peeedro at 5:09 PM on November 24 [