The Constitutional Crisis is here. It's been here.
June 4, 2018 1:51 PM   Subscribe

 
Reminder that it's super easy to use Resistbot to contact your representatives and send them a quick note to support impeachment and call for Trump to resign in disgrace.
posted by odinsdream at 2:01 PM on June 4 [33 favorites]


Sean Illing, Vox: President Trump says he can pardon himself. I asked 15 experts if that's legal.
“The fact that we're even talking about it is a measure of how far we've fallen under Trump."
My takeaway: it's more than just the pardon itself, it's how everyone reacts. It doesn't absolve or block anything, and certainly not everything.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:03 PM on June 4 [43 favorites]


Oh man, if the bar was lowered any further by Trump, it would be underground. This might be the most insane thing I have ever heard a president say.

To that end, here is my latest Trump, kind of an adult version of the children in Village of the Damned, because that's what he is.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 2:03 PM on June 4 [17 favorites]


[y'all please for the love you bear me in your hearts lets not jump straight to a bunch of noisy riffing right out of the gate on this]
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:06 PM on June 4 [84 favorites]


President Trump says he can pardon himself. I asked 15 experts if that's legal.

It’s worth noting that to my knowledge, even medieval kings have never attempted to claim that their power to pardon extended to themselves.
posted by corb at 2:06 PM on June 4 [71 favorites]


From the Vox article:

All the experts agreed about one other fact: Even if Trump does pardon himself, that would not shield him from impeachment hearings. And most believe if he did make a move like this, it would be both an admission of guilt and a potential constitutional crisis.

If a self-pardon doesn't shield him from impeachment, then the only thing standing in the way will be almost every elected Republican.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:07 PM on June 4 [99 favorites]


As for Trump pardoning himself, I think even he knows that's beyond the pale. Even as low a conman sleaze as he is at his core, even Trump wouldn't do it. This is a master troll to keep people talking about Trump. That's all he cares about: being in the limelight, always.

Of course, using superlatives like "always" or "never" about politics, and especially Trump, is basically folly at this point...
posted by zardoz at 2:08 PM on June 4 [3 favorites]


A court in Maine ordered the state to submit a plan to expand Medicaid in accordance with the Nov 2017 ballot initiative [source tweet; opinion]
posted by melissasaurus at 2:12 PM on June 4 [18 favorites]


Also, from the tail end of the last thread, so folks might not have seen it, OR Senator Jeff Merkley tried to enter a blacked out Wal-Mart where a private company is reportedly keeping dozens to hundreds of immigrant children who have been removed from their parents. The facility refused entry and called the cops.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 2:16 PM on June 4 [91 favorites]


At this point (and not that it would ever happen at this point in time) I think we need an amendment to the Constitution clarifying pardon power -
• The president cannot pardon his or her self
• The president cannot pardon anyone of crimes they have not been convicted of
• The president can not pardon anyone who was convicted of a crime if the crime was related to, or uncovered by, an investigation of potential presidential crimes
• The president cannot pardon anyone who was convicted during his or her term in office
• No pardons can be announced or issued until five years have passed after conviction

The last two would be able to be overridden by a two-thirds majority of Congress, to provide a mechanism to pardon someone who was egregiously wronged by an unfair conviction. The others prevent the president from, obviously, a self pardon, but also from offering people like Cohen or Flynn a "get out of jail free" card.
posted by azpenguin at 2:17 PM on June 4 [33 favorites]


The president cannot pardon anyone, ever. I can live with that.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 2:20 PM on June 4 [42 favorites]


Pardoning is an insane power for the president (or anyone) to have, anyway.
posted by dng at 2:21 PM on June 4 [17 favorites]


Well, if Trump can not pardon himself, he has President Pence for the fall back option.

In more ways than one.

Talk about your horns of a styracosaurus dilemma.
posted by y2karl at 2:22 PM on June 4 [3 favorites]


How about the president has to take on responsibility and punishment for the crimes of anyone they pardon.
posted by dilaudid at 2:22 PM on June 4 [4 favorites]


Pls delete if egregious derail but honestly is there a time in human history wherein the corruption in a government went SO QUICKLY from the (not terribly unusual in western democracies) levels it was prior to Trump to the (open and blatant, widespread, aggressive, unashamed, giddy) levels it is currently? Even post soviet nations took at least a decade if not longer, no?
posted by poffin boffin at 2:22 PM on June 4 [71 favorites]


Um, Turkmenbashi ?
posted by y2karl at 2:27 PM on June 4 [14 favorites]


Trump's moving fast on corrupting his position because if Democrats win the House and Senate, he'll be impeached. If the Dems don't gain that control, he'll at least have a harder time looting the country and pushing through stooges into agencies and judicial positions, and then he could well be voted out in 2020. And if he gets another four years, he still has a limited time-span by which to maximize his personal gains, because once he's out of office, his clout is greatly diminished - for example, he won't be able to inform his former advisers of decisions he'll make the next day, to allow them to cash out their stocks.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:31 PM on June 4 [12 favorites]


Reposting from the previous thread, because I think it's important:
Where do you protest in the US to shut everything down? How does everyone get there? The answers are "you can't" and "they don't".

posted by Justinian at 2:19 PM on June 4 [+] [!]


I think you just need a critical mass in each major city. It doesn't take many people to clog streets and shut down regular order if they're coordinated and sufficient in number. They don't all have to be in the same place at the same time. Ten cars "stalled" across a freeway can shut it down. If 10% of employees walk out, it's difficult to keep going. If 500 people clog the steps of the state capitol building, no one gets in or out. Even easier are things like not buying anything except in emergencies for a week. I assure you, the businesses will feel it. Immediately.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:31 PM on June 4 [22 favorites]


wherein the corruption in a government went SO QUICKLY
May I introduce you to Silvio.
posted by Harry Caul at 2:31 PM on June 4 [20 favorites]


I'm shaking my head over this headline dichotomy Google News just presented me:
California's GOP is collapsing. Is that a sign for Republicans nationwide? (NBC)

California’s primary election could reshape November — and Democrats are panicking (WaPo)
¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by zakur at 2:37 PM on June 4 [58 favorites]


President Trump says he can pardon himself. I asked 15 experts if that's legal.

The answer is, it's legal if he gets away with it.

Republican Congresscritters have already shown they favor party over country. If Trump does pardon himself, he may very well get away with it.
posted by zarq at 2:37 PM on June 4 [17 favorites]


How important is Congressional seniority in the greater scheme of things? Lots of Progressives are running this year and may supplant senior Democrats. Will the loss of seniority be a problem?
posted by zarq at 2:39 PM on June 4


I feel like a boiling frog. Honestly y'all. I still have that deep part of my brain that watches all of this from a detached perspective and oh won't it be rich when he and his cronies go down. It will make for great television. Then I start to question my faith in the strength of our Constitutional architecture and freak the heck out.
posted by pipoquinha at 2:43 PM on June 4 [97 favorites]


From Haley Byrd on twitter just now: "I asked Ted Cruz if he agrees with Trump that the president can pardon himself. Cruz is silent for eighteen (18!) seconds before telling reporters its not a constitutional area he's studied."

As they say Lordy! I cant wait for the tape of that one.

In other Having-a-Harvard-Law-Degree-magna-cum-laude-doesn't-make-you-an-astute-legal-scholar news, the guy tweeted this about Masterpiece Cakeshop this morning:

Today’s Supreme Court decision upholding a Colorado baker’s constitutional right to live according to his faith is a major victory for religious liberty. The fact that the decision was 7-2 (not a narrow 5-4) underscores that govt should NEVER discriminate against religious faith.

which is interesting because:
a. that wasn't the courts holding
b. there is not actually any "narrowness" distinction between 7-2 and 5-4 decisions, he's just (intentionally, we must assume) parroting mainstream conservative framing that this wasn't a close decision that didn't punt on the question of whether religious folks can just ignore laws they say don't apply to themselves
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 2:45 PM on June 4 [15 favorites]


I think you just need a critical mass in each major city. It doesn't take many people to clog streets and shut down regular order if they're coordinated and sufficient in number. They don't all have to be in the same place at the same time.

Mathematically- and programmatically-inclined among you, please do...something with this. There’s got to be someone here who can do an analysis of what it would likely take to shut down major cities for a day, a week, a month. I feel like it would be helpful to have a hypothetical plan and a sense of scale, or a target goal. Helps to combat the learned helplessness reaction if it seems doable.
posted by schadenfrau at 2:48 PM on June 4 [13 favorites]


Thinking about the Ford pardoning of Nixon, the pardon covered (I believe) crimes that may have been committed. The pardon spared the nation of a drawn out trial of an ex-president. It also denied the nation a trial for the ex-president.

This is a possible option for Trump, of course. He can resign and then receive a pardon from President Pence. There are certain benefits and drawbacks of this plan.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 2:49 PM on June 4 [8 favorites]




what it would likely take to shut down major cities for a day, a week, a month.

U.S. history is loaded with examples of democratic power.

posted by Harry Caul at 2:53 PM on June 4 [11 favorites]


HHS sent a really weird statement about Sen. Merkeley's effort to visit a government facility for children:
United States Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), along with five other individuals, attempted to enter an unaccompanied alien children’s (UAC) shelter unannounced and broadcast live via social media last night in Texas. Thankfully for the safety, security and dignity of the children being cared for there, they were denied access. The Department of Health and Human Services takes the legal mandate to care for these children seriously. No one who arrives unannounced at one of our shelters demanding access to the children in our care will be permitted, even those claiming to be U.S. Senators. Senator Merkley should respect the UAC program and engage in the appropriate processes, as many of his colleagues have done before him, to visit ORR facilities. We would welcome him to engage in that process so that he may visit the facility to make headway on this important issue, rather than just headlines.
And @ChadPergram: DHS on not allowing Merkley to visit children separated from parents by ICE: At 2pm on a Friday, the Senator asked to visit a secure DHS facility over the weekend where children are present..his presented obvious and serious privacy concerns – not to mention disrupting operations

While I'd agree that livestreaming where children are present is a potential problem, "oh gosh it's 2pm on a Friday there's nothing we can do" is idiotic, and "even those claiming to be U.S. Senators" is just insulting.
posted by zachlipton at 2:54 PM on June 4 [71 favorites]


How important is Congressional seniority in the greater scheme of things? Lots of Progressives are running this year and may supplant senior Democrats. Will the loss of seniority be a problem?

Seniority is important in two ways:

1) Within the party, seniority is power. The longer you've been around, the better position you're in to get a chairmanship on a committee or subcommittee, not to mention the possibility of grabbing the brass ring and going for a chamber-wide leadership position. If a bunch of senior representatives from the same state all lose or retire, then the newbies won't have as much clout on their committees, and suddenly there's a lot less influence being wielded to further that state's particular interests in Congress.

2) Experience matters. When long-tentured legislators leave, they take institutional memory with them. Enough of a brain drain could create a break on how Congress does its job as a whole. Of course, given its track record that may not be a bad thing.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:54 PM on June 4 [8 favorites]


I'd seen a few anecdotal reports of this, but here's one that's more fleshed out. Texas Monthly, Robert Moore, Border Agents Are Using a New Weapon Against Asylum Seekers
As the temperature reached 105 degrees, three Guatemalans made their way north Saturday on the Paso del Norte Bridge linking El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, seeking to claim asylum in the United States. On previous attempts over the past day, they had been met at the long bridge’s apex by Customs and Border Protection agents—a highly unusual tactic—who asked them for identification and told them they couldn’t proceed to the port of entry because the holding cells were at capacity.

This time, the three migrants—a badly sunburned woman, her baby, and a 16-year-old girl who was not related to them—were accompanied by two representatives of Annunciation House, an El Paso organization that has helped migrants and refugees for more than four decades. Once again, they were stopped by two CBP agents, asked for documents, and told they would not be allowed to go further into the United States because of capacity issues. So began a tense standoff Saturday that marks an escalation in U.S. tactics to keep immigrants out of the country—including those legally entitled to enter and seek asylum—and relieve crowded immigration facilities that officials say are filled beyond capacity.

“I know you’re not at capacity. I know that’s what you’ve been instructed to say,” said Ruben Garcia, a 72-year-old who was inspired by Mother Teresa to found Annunciation House in 1976. He has a good handle on how many people are being detained at the bridges, because Immigration and Customs Enforcement eventually releases many of them to Annunciation House. Taylor Levy, a recent law school graduate who is working with Annunciation House, told the agents they were legally required to let the Guatemalans make their asylum claim because they are already several steps inside the country, a boundary that exists at the bridge’s apex.

The two CBP agents, whose nametags identified them as Armendariz and Avila, politely but firmly held their ground. Garcia asked to speak to a supervisor, and they made the call. Before the supervisor arrived, another agent came up to the group. His nametag was obscured by a tactical vest and a semiautomatic rifle.

The agents said they had been assigned to check IDs as people cross the boundary line, a highly unusual effort coming at a time when President Trump is expressing increasing frustration that his administration cannot control the nation’s borders—a key campaign promise of his. IDs are usually required a couple hundred yards further north, and well into U.S. soil, at the port of entry, where people make citizenship and customs declarations—and apply for asylum. And while the agents at the top of the bridge said they were checking the identification of all people walking across the bridge, Levy noted that the agents weren’t checking many IDs other than those of people with the dark skin and threadbare clothing that is typical of many Central American migrants.
Stationing agents at the border to turn back people claiming asylum or sending back those who ahev already crossed the line is immoral and illegal.
posted by zachlipton at 3:00 PM on June 4 [116 favorites]


Cohen search warrant update: @KatiePhang: #MichaelCohen Special Master findings: only 14 out of 12,543 pages of hard copy materials are Privileged and/or Partially Privileged. Out of 291,770 items from 2 phones & an iPad, only 148 items are Privileged and/or Partially Privileged.

Going to go out on a limb here and say this guy was not doing much actual lawyering.
posted by zachlipton at 3:02 PM on June 4 [68 favorites]


Out of 291,770 items from 2 phones & an iPad

if you're having a rough day at work, remember that the Special Master just had to look through all the porn on Michael Cohen's camera roll
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:08 PM on June 4 [66 favorites]


Senator asked to visit a secure DHS facility over the weekend where children are present..his presented obvious and serious privacy concerns – not to mention disrupting operations

For what it's worth, a few immigration attorneys I know have been talking about this on FB, and appear to think that it was laughable that he thought he'd gain entry in the first place. They are routinely denied entry for reasons like:

- Wearing a gray sweater and jeans (too similar to inmate's uniform)
- Wearing an underwire bra
- Wearing a non-underwire bra that's not supportive enough
- Claiming to be council and not having a bar card (because your state doesn't issue bar cards).
- The guard is having a bad day and doesn't feel like allowing an attorney visit.

They also appear to be of the opinion that an unplanned visit by someone with media in tow is not best practice for child welfare.
posted by god hates math at 3:09 PM on June 4 [30 favorites]


...only 14 out of 12,543 pages of hard copy materials are Privileged and/or Partially Privileged.

Not to throw cold water on this, but the Special Master’s report says out 639 items (consisting of 12,543 pages), 14 items are privileged, not pages. There’s no breakdown as to how many pages are in each item, so a mere couple of privileged items could account for thousands of pages.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:11 PM on June 4 [11 favorites]


I think Merkley's visit was pure theatre and intended to be exactly that. It's not clear at this point what anyone can do, so some folks are in "try everything" mode.

That story from the Paso del Norte bridge is heartbreaking and enraging.
posted by allthinky at 3:13 PM on June 4 [28 favorites]


For what it's worth, a few immigration attorneys I know have been talking about this on FB, and appear to think that it was laughable that he thought he'd gain entry in the first place.

Jerry Nadler and Nydia Velasquez, two NYC congresspeople, successfully entered CPB detention at JFK and returned with freed detainees in the immediate wake of the first muslim ban in Jan 2017. His odds weren't high but he wasn't totally without reason for thinking "Im one of 100 senators and this is my business" would open doors for him.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 3:15 PM on June 4 [41 favorites]


They also appear to be of the opinion that an unplanned visit by someone with media in tow is not best practice for child welfare.

I agree on that point. However, this attempt was about two things - (a) highlighting the issue of children being separated from their parents and then disappearing/being held in who knows what kind of conditions and (b) boosting the public profile of someone running for office.

I don't give too many craps about (b); I do care about (a) and that's maybe the bigger thing for people to keep focused on here, instead of indulging the snidely dismissive part of human nature that the internet seems to bring out in spades in everyone. Performative cruelty is rampant enough; I'm all for some performative empathy.
posted by nubs at 3:19 PM on June 4 [35 favorites]


zarq: Lots of Progressives are running this year and may supplant senior Democrats. Will the loss of seniority be a problem?

Are there really that many serious primary challenges? My understanding was that the big shift was in people running against normally-uncontested Republican seats, not that elder Democrats were in trouble.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 3:21 PM on June 4 [1 favorite]


So, in the previous thread, the brief mention of that disastrous Supreme Court ruling regarding Masterpiece Cake Shop... I know that theoretically it's a narrow ruling, but I'm with odinsdream here.

It's hard to not look at this without some level of emotion, because being a member of the marginalized group makes it extraordinarily difficult to do so. This sort of "reasonable" decision that just kicks the can down the road provides cover for a lot of erosion of rights that have barely been won, if at all.

The thing that makes it worse is that the rights of marginalized folk are usually viewed as a sort of "canary in the coal mine" type of thing, and I feel like what a lot of people kinda gloss over is that the canaries are trapped inside a cage and suffocating to death in agony... which allows everyone else, if they're paying attention, to leave.

But the canary is still dead.
posted by anem0ne at 3:21 PM on June 4 [74 favorites]


It shouldn't be surprising that the experts are split, but what I found fascinating is that there were some who said 'Yes, he can", others who said "It's a gray area", and still others who said "What a horrible idea/constitutional crisis time/that would be stupid", but I didn't see one who straight up said "No, he can't do that".

Amusing thought - suppose Trump does decide to pardon himself. A pardon implies an admission of guilt. The rest of the government freaks out and the courts get involved and the SCOTUS decides, no, a President can not pardon himself.

Does the admission of guilt still stand or is that invalidated by the fact that the pardon couldn't have been given in the first place?
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 3:32 PM on June 4 [5 favorites]


> They also appear to be of the opinion that an unplanned visit by someone with media in tow is not best practice for child welfare.

Hmm, well I hate to be one to recommend to twitter users that they check the actual facts before posting, but if you do take the time to watch the actual video in question, you find out that #1. He had been contacting the actual agency in question to arrange a visit for some time with no response at all and #2. He was very aware that taking cameras inside to film children etc was going to be a no-go and was not planning to do that.

Also, working in a somewhat adjacent field, if a sitting U.S. Senator called to say he'd be visiting in 2 hours or tomorrow or next weekend or whatever, the response would be, "Yes, we'd be happy to see you any time" and absolutely not "F.U. Jackass!" while calling the cops.

Yes, it's "disruptive" or whatever but it's also appropriate oversight.
posted by flug at 3:40 PM on June 4 [178 favorites]


OP: "Many people are saying this is already a Constitutional Crisis. ... Others say Trump is speaking from a position of weakness."

Why is this presented as a mutually-exclusive proposition? It seems to me pretty clear that *both* are true, and also fundamentally inter-related.

Almost *every* facet of the current administration, both in whole and in individual parts, represents a constitutional crisis, because our Constitution was never set up to deal with such an unprecedented, continual breach of the entire construct of how governance is supposed to be done.

At the same time, his endless excesses and violations make him perhaps the weakest president ever imagined under this system, protected only by the thinnest veneer of support from easily the most corrupt political party America has ever dealt with, and lashing out dangerously for that very reason.
posted by mystyk at 3:44 PM on June 4 [14 favorites]


Mathematically- and programmatically-inclined among you, please do...something with this. There’s got to be someone here who can do an analysis of what it would likely take to shut down major cities for a day, a week, a month.

Possibly 3.5% of us?
posted by greermahoney at 3:44 PM on June 4 [12 favorites]


 Tom Barnes, The Independent: "Muslim prisoners 'fed ham sandwiches by guards' after breaking Ramadan fast"
In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday, CAIR claimed two practising Muslim prisoners at the jail were being “starved”, as corrections officers were offering them pork-based meals as they observed the holy month. 

The suit demanded a “balanced nutritional diet” for the inmates, policy changes and compensatory and punitive damages, the group said.

It claimed those observing Ramadan receive bagged meals each evening after sunset that provided between 500 and 1,100 calories a day, arguing the men should be receiving 2,600 to 2,800 calories a day under federal health guidelines.
posted by OnceUponATime at 3:47 PM on June 4 [59 favorites]


Why is this presented as a mutually-exclusive proposition?

Don't read too much into the framing of the opening post...I collected some current links in like 10mins.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:47 PM on June 4 [4 favorites]


From Haley Byrd on twitter just now: "I asked Ted Cruz if he agrees with Trump that the president can pardon himself. Cruz is silent for eighteen (18!) seconds before telling reporters its not a constitutional area he's studied."

As they say Lordy! I cant wait for the tape of that one.


And here's the update from Haley Byrd @ byrdinator. After a dead silence, without even an "um" or an "er", the best Cruz can come up with is "That is not a constitutional issue I've studied, so I will withhold judgement at this point."

Profiles in congressional courage! Texas MeFites can of course check in to ask if he's had a chance to study the Constitution yet or if he's still withholding judgement. (Please let us know what you hear!)
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:49 PM on June 4 [21 favorites]


It shouldn't be surprising that the experts are split, but what I found fascinating is that there were some who said 'Yes, he can", others who said "It's a gray area", and still others who said "What a horrible idea/constitutional crisis time/that would be stupid", but I didn't see one who straight up said "No, he can't do that".

The thing is, it all boils down to "Well, he can try." Of course the President can pardon himself. He can declare himself Emperor too. What actually happens when he tries either of these insane tactics boils down to how Congress and the courts respond. It's theoretically possible that Trump could say "I'm Emperor of America now, the Consititution is abolished, bow before me." and everyone wrings their hands and grumbles, but well, the Constitution is abolished so guess we have to bow down now.

The things he's gotten away with already are because the checks and balances against Presidential power have been left intentionally unemployed. You can hope that eventually Trump will do something so egregious, or Mueller's report will be sufficiently damning, that Republicans in congress are forced to act. You can hope that Democrats can win enough power in November that the checks and balances will be employed. You can hope that the American people themselves will rise up and put an end to all this if no one else will.

You can hope.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 3:49 PM on June 4 [64 favorites]


As Talking Points Memo notes, Cohen and Trump have not finished making privilege claims, and the Special Taint Master has not finished adjudicating them. Rulings that items are not privileged can also be appealed. We can't make any definitive judgements from the situation so far.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:15 PM on June 4 [4 favorites]


@RapSheet: Donald Trump issues a statement saying neither the #Eagles, nor team representatives, are welcome at the White House tomorrow for their Super Bowl visit. Unreal.

The statement is batshit:
*Statement by the President *

The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow. They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country. The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better. These fans are still invited to the White House to be part of a different type of ceremonyone that will honor our great country, pay tribute to the heroes who fight to protect it, and loudly and proudly play the National Anthem. I will be there at 3:00 p.m. with the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus to celebrate America.
Really the least of the issues here, but why does it say "Statement by the President" and then talk about himself in the third person?

NFL owners are idiots for thinking appeasement with the anthem policy was ever going to work.
posted by zachlipton at 4:18 PM on June 4 [138 favorites]


The President's lawyers claimed in a secret memo that he's immune from subpoena

How can it be a "secret" memo if the Trump legal team released it to the New York Times?

And Trump tweeted accusing Mueller of leaking the memo. The New York Times knows very well who they got the memo from, and if Trump is slandering Mueller, then that should be the headline story on the front page. Instead, the New York Times is covering for Trump to protect their access. Trump and the Times are in a dysfunctional relationship to scam the public. Cancel your subscription.
posted by JackFlash at 4:20 PM on June 4 [52 favorites]


It's Never Lurgi: Amusing thought - suppose Trump does decide to pardon himself. A pardon implies an admission of guilt. The rest of the government freaks out and the courts get involved and the SCOTUS decides, no, a President can not pardon himself.

Does the admission of guilt still stand or is that invalidated by the fact that the pardon couldn't have been given in the first place?


As far as I can tell, the "admission of guilt" thing, though often repeated in these threads, is simply uncertain, rather like the legitimacy of self-pardons. There is precedent for both sides of the question, and it's possible the most commonly cited case on the subject is just misinterpreted by one side (or the other).

I suppose it's almost more of a philosophical than legal question, if the actual punishment and criminal records have been rendered moot by the pardon anyway. But it's weird to suppose that, e.g, posthumous pardons impugn the recipients with guilt, since that would undo the entire point of those.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 4:21 PM on June 4 [4 favorites]


Excuse me mods, I know this is noise, but I hail from Philly and I would like to scream in Trump's face the following:

We're from Philadelphia fucking Philadelphia you don't like us we don't care.
posted by angrycat at 4:21 PM on June 4 [77 favorites]


@ddale8:
4:41 PM: Why won’t the media talk about the economy?
6:59 PM: Here is an extremely bizarre statement about a football team

This is particularly nuts since a portion of the team, including the head coach, were slated to attend. I guess they're uninvited?
posted by zachlipton at 4:25 PM on June 4 [22 favorites]


IIUC, once you pardon someone, they are no longer protected by the 5th amendment on matters related to the pardon; so subpeonas and testimony become 'tell all or get indicted for contempt of court.' (perhaps setting off a chain of self-pardons...)

And while I imagine that a pardon would help with the legal branch, the legislative branch would still be free to impeach for 'high crimes.'
posted by kaibutsu at 4:26 PM on June 4 [3 favorites]


The New York Times knows very well who they got the memo from, and if Trump is slandering Mueller, then that should be the headline story on the front page. Instead, the New York Times is covering for Trump to protect their access.

Not that I have a lot of energy for defending the NYT, but it's at least conceivable to me that the source was someone involved with the investigation, or otherwise not part of Trump's administration or defense, in which case the NYT may be trying to preserve access to/protect *someone*, but not the guilty-as-hell presidential administration.

What's the case that this is unlikely?
posted by wildblueyonder at 4:33 PM on June 4 [2 favorites]


Tom Barnes, The Independent: "Muslim prisoners 'fed ham sandwiches by guards' after breaking Ramadan fast"

In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday, CAIR claimed two practising Muslim prisoners at the jail were being “starved”, as corrections officers were offering them pork-based meals as they observed the holy month.


Compare to the special snowflakes who got SCOTUS to say they didn't have to bake a cake for gays. There are religious rights, and then there are religious rights. Totally different things.
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:41 PM on June 4 [123 favorites]


Not that I have a lot of energy for defending the NYT, but it's at least conceivable to me that the source was someone involved with the investigation...
What's the case that this is unlikely?

posted by wildblueyonder at 4:33 PM on June 4 [+] [!]


I assumed that, because Trump tweeted about it long before it was published, it came from his camp in a weak attempt to make the investigations, which has been notably leakless, look leaky. My prior being so strong, it would take a lot of data to move it to "Mueller's team did it."
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:44 PM on June 4 [3 favorites]


it's at least conceivable to me that the source was someone involved with the investigation

You are welcome to go right on believing that if it helps you sleep at night. But the Mueller team has not leaked once in the last year and a half. On the other hand, we have multiple instances of Trump complaining about leaks that it turns out that he himself leaked -- to the New York Times.

Trump, his family and team departed for Camp David on Friday for a confab. Saturday, the NYT releases the memo, and within minutes Guiliani is on the air extolling the wonderful virtues that that memo and the next day appearing on every Sunday news program.

This isn't the first time. This is right out of the Trump playbook. They get to dominate a few news cycles talking about Trump's extraordinary executive powers and with a little side helping of Mueller slander. Trump is a veteran of reality TV. He knows how this game is played.
posted by JackFlash at 4:48 PM on June 4 [52 favorites]


I'm looking forward to filling in the little circle next to Joe Donnelly's name along with every other Democrat on my ballot and feeding it into the scantron machine. Calling and faxing my representatives is important, but it feels like yelling into the void.

They can't ignore my vote. At least not yet. That's the hope I cling to.
posted by double block and bleed at 5:04 PM on June 4 [8 favorites]


May I introduce you to Silvio.

oh lord how did i forget about this buffoon, thank u
posted by poffin boffin at 5:09 PM on June 4 [3 favorites]




> As far as I can tell, the "admission of guilt" thing, though often repeated in these threads, is simply uncertain

Yes, Eugene Volokh in the Washington Post analyzes the situation pretty well.

I would go beyond 'uncertain' to say the in many cases pardons are obviously intended to clear the record of people who were wrongly convicted and such. In those cases they are the most expedient way to deal with a wrongful conviction. In such cases, the wrongfulness is usually made clear in the pardon declaration and nobody claims accepting this type of pardon is an admission of guilt.

On a closely related topic: The reason there is discussion of "can the President pardon him/herself" is that the constitutional authority to pardon is, per the language of the Constitution itself, pretty absolute and unrestricted. The language itself gives only one exception: "except in Cases of Impeachment" and this Justia discussion of the text gives only a couple of other exceptions:
  • No pardon by anticipation - ie, you have to wait until the crime has been committed before issuing the pardon. You are not required to wait until indictment, conviction, sentencing, etc. But you can pardon past crimes only, not prospective future crimes.
  • No pardon of civil contempt charges. Criminal contempt can be pardoned, but not civil contempt.
The remedy for self-pardon is very clearly intended to be impeachment--thus the Constitution's specific exclusion of pardon in the impeachment process.

A pardon is not per se an admission of guilt, but in the particular context of a President pardoning himself, it will be hard to read it any other way. (Though expect Trump and his minions to try hard--"We just need to clear the air of these completely unfounded allegations so that we can move forward with the business of governing blar-blar-blar".)

But a Congress interested in defending its role in the balance of powers would only spend a bit of time ascertaining that the crime for which the president has pardoned him/herself is indeed a high crime and/or misdemeanor and then once that was established, would move directly to conviction as the pardon itself would be evidence the crime was indeed committed.

Pardoning oneself could also be seen as a separate high crime or misdemeanor, as could pre-emptively pardoning one's associates in order to protect oneself.

Of course, all this presupposes some degree of independence and oversight responsibility by the Congress, so at this moment in history, all bets are off.
posted by flug at 5:20 PM on June 4 [11 favorites]


Melania sighting, at the gold star families reception.

(the clone jokes have already been done on Twitter, thank you for your restraint)
posted by zachlipton at 5:28 PM on June 4 [5 favorites]




They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country.

Cue a photo of Trump standing for the national anthem without his hand on his heart.
And Ted Cruz looking like he's reaching for his revolver.
And Jesus Christ, "Mr." "President," button up your fucking suit jacket when you're standing up.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:37 PM on June 4 [17 favorites]


Uh. @kyledcheney: Mueller moves to rescind Manafort’s release conditions over alleged witness tampering (h/t @joshgerstein)

Here's the full court filing

posted by zachlipton at 5:44 PM on June 4 [47 favorites]


Some highlights:
Following the public disclosure of the February 23 Superseding Indictment, Manafort and Person A—who is a longtime associate of Manafort’s—repeatedly contacted Persons D1 and D2 in an effort to secure materially false testimony concerning the activities of the Hapsburg group. Neither Person D1 nor D2 had had any recent contact with Manafort or Person A. But after the Superseding Indictment was publicly disclosed, Manafort called Person D1 on Persons D1’s cellular phone. Person D1 sought to avoid Manafort, so Person D1 ended the call.

The day after the Superseding Indictment was made public, Manafort also sent Person D1 a text message on an encrypted application, stating “This is paul.” Domin Decl. ¶ 14. 3 Two days later, on February 26, 2018, Manafort used the same encrypted application to send Person D1 a news article describing the Superseding Indictment’s allegations concerning the Hapsburg group,which included the statement that “two European politicians were secretly paid around €2 million by Manafort in order to ‘take positions favorable to Ukraine, including by lobbying in the United States.’” One minute after sending the news article, Manafort wrote: “We should talk. I have made clear that they worked in Europe.” Domin Decl. ¶ 15. Toll records for one of Manafort’s phones indicate that Manafort had a short call with Person D1 on February 24, 2018, and that Manafort attempted to call Person D1 again on February 25 and 27, 2018. Id. ¶ 14. As noted in Special Agent Domin’s declaration, Person D1 has told the government that he understood Manafort’s outreach to be an effort to “suborn perjury,” because Person D1 knew
that the Hapsburg group worked in the United States—not just Europe.
...
Person D2 further stated his opinion that Manafort and Person A’s outreach to him and Person D1 was an effort to get them to relay a message to the Hapsburg group: if the members of the Hapsburg group were contacted by anyone, they should say that their lobbying and public relations work was exclusively in Europe—a representation that would be contrary to Person D’s knowledge that the Hapsburg group worked in both Europe and the United States.
There were repeated messages over multiple communication channels trying to get this message across.

Manafort is not a very bright guy. Question is, why was it worth the risk for him to try to cover this up?
posted by zachlipton at 5:48 PM on June 4 [50 favorites]


Metafilter: My prior being so strong, it would take a lot of data to move it
posted by Death and Gravity at 5:49 PM on June 4 [10 favorites]


It’s going to be fun when SCOTUS decides, 5-4, that Trump really can pardon himself, with Gorsuch sealing Trump’s victory and making him invulnerable to prosecution.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 5:51 PM on June 4 [15 favorites]


Details on why the Eagles made their decision to send a smaller contingent, leading to Trump pulling the plug on the visit. Some people were headed to the airport when Trump called it off, and fewer than 10 people from the Eagles organization were going to attend.

They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country.

That's what Trump says, not what the Eagles said.
[Malcolm] Jenkins, neither pugnacious nor unafraid in expressing his dissatisfaction with President Trump, said back in February that a visit to the White House “wouldn’t be worth his time.” DE Chris Long, a more active and less filtered participant in the national dialogue and on social media, addressed the topic on Pardon My Take even before the Super Bowl victory, saying:
“My son grows up, and I believe the legacy of our president is going to be what it is, I don’t want him to say, ‘Hey dad, why’d you go [to the White House] when you knew the right thing was to not go.”
posted by kirkaracha at 5:54 PM on June 4 [70 favorites]


It’s going to be fun when SCOTUS decides, 5-4, that Trump really can pardon himself, with Gorsuch sealing Trump’s victory and making him invulnerable to prosecution.

My over-under on the SC ruling on this would be 8-1 against Trump, and taking 9-0 would only pay like 1/2
posted by Justinian at 5:56 PM on June 4 [5 favorites]


Manafort is not a very bright guy. Question is, why was it worth the risk for him to try to cover this up?

He. Has. Children.
posted by ocschwar at 5:57 PM on June 4 [2 favorites]


Manafort also sent Person D1 a text message on an encrypted application

Either Person D1 is cooperating and turning over Signal messages from Manafort, or Mueller has some SERIOUS NSA Tailored Access level technical support.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:00 PM on June 4 [6 favorites]


If the president pardons himself and remains un-impeached, you don't have a constitutional crisis, you have a democracy crisis.
posted by Bovine Love at 6:01 PM on June 4 [75 favorites]


It’s going to be fun when SCOTUS decides, 5-4, that Trump really can pardon himself, with Gorsuch sealing Trump’s victory and making him invulnerable to prosecution.

At no point in the past could I have possibly imagined the number of times I would, in 2018, wonder to myself "what would Scalia make of all this" but here we are.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:03 PM on June 4 [23 favorites]


My over-under on the SC ruling on this would be 8-1 against Trump, and taking 9-0 would only pay like 1/2


Eh, you never know with Thomas.

Anyway, this is all scary as hell.
posted by skewed at 6:11 PM on June 4 [3 favorites]


He. Has. Children.

Sure, but this is just idiotic. He's sending messages from his own phone to potential witnesses the day after he's indicted for running an unregistered lobbying scheme to try to get people to say they never lobbied the US, when there were meetings with members of Congress, US op-eds, etc... that say otherwise.

For context, the "Hapsburg Group" is a group of former European politicians who Manafort paid to perform unregistered lobbying for Yanukovych's party, apparently including former Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer.

Manafort's communications took place after he was indicted, had a lawyer, and was on bail. It's just monumentally stupid that he would personally contact anyone involved in the case.

Either Person D1 is cooperating and turning over Signal messages from Manafort

It's clear that Person D1 did cooperate with law enforcement, because they told the government what they thought Manafort was trying to communicate. The filing also kind of glosses over the encryption bit somewhat, saying they retrieved them from Manafort's iCloud account after a court-authorized search. It's not clear how this came to happen exactly if the messages were actually encrypted, but it's also clear that they got everything from Person D1 and Person D2 in May too.

More docs: the FBI agent's declaration, which lays out pretty much everything here in a few readable pages.
posted by zachlipton at 6:15 PM on June 4 [15 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Big Supreme Court ruling for Baker just out!

The Supreme Court drops opinions around 10am. This tweet was sent at 9:10pm.

@chrislhayes: This makes me think he literally only gets all of his information about everything in the world from watching TV.
posted by zachlipton at 6:17 PM on June 4 [49 favorites]


Either Person D1 is cooperating and turning over Signal messages from Manafort, or Mueller has some SERIOUS NSA Tailored Access level technical support.

I mean, it's definitely the former, since that person is described as having told Mueller "that he understood Manafort’s outreach to be an effort to “suborn perjury,”", and if I were going to the feds with that sort of thing, I'd show them the texts.

I think Constitutional lawyers are iffy on the "can he pardon himself" thing because there is no case law on it, there's no clear text in the Constitution that says he can or can't, and so you don't have much text with which to predict SCOTUS's decision. Medieval kings never had to pardon themselves, because they were the law, and couldn't commit crimes more or less by definition. This is Trump's argument about obstruction- that all prosecutory powers come from the person of the President, and he can't obstruct himself.

I don't know what Manafort is thinking either. If he's hoping for a pardon, why commit witness tampering? If he's not, then it's even riskier. I don't get it. Also, "The Hapsburg Group" is just a beautiful name for a secret illuminati group that, if I were on the jury, would vote to convict on the name alone.
posted by BungaDunga at 6:25 PM on June 4 [22 favorites]


Maybe he panicked.
posted by zarq at 6:27 PM on June 4 [7 favorites]


It’s going to be fun when SCOTUS decides, 5-4, that Trump really can pardon himself, with Gorsuch sealing Trump’s victory and making him invulnerable to prosecution.
My over-under on the SC ruling on this would be 8-1 against Trump, and taking 9-0 would only pay like 1/2
posted by Justinian


Yeah, I don't see any chance that SCOTUS will allow their power of one of the three branches of gov diminished at all. I am not sure how they will justify it and I don't think there will be any case law that they can fall back on, but I think they will say something along the lines of, "Clearly, the founders wanted a separation of powers with checks and balances to be paramount and the executive branch to [either be] the weakest of the branches [or] no more powerful than the other two branches. Self-pardon is never mentioned and legislated against as the founders clearly knew that this would allow EITHER the legislative branch OR the judicial branch to stop this clear violation of the separation of powers. Similarly, it was never legislated what should occur if the Sun rose in the west and set in the east one day. It was an idea so completely ludicrous as to not have been considered."

Their actual argument won't matter. There is no way they are giving up that power.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:38 PM on June 4 [6 favorites]


Lock him up!

Guess we know what got Trump so hot and bothered this morning.
posted by Sublimity at 6:40 PM on June 4 [2 favorites]


You might wonder why Trump would leak a memo in which he admits to Mueller that the statement Trump Jr. released a year ago about the Tower meeting was a lie and was dictated by Donald Sr.

Keep in mind that this memo that the NYT released Saturday was sent by Trump to Mueller back in January. So Mueller has known for at least six months that the Trump story was a lie. Yet you haven't heard a word about it until now.

Why would Trump admit the lie to Mueller in January? Because Hope Hicks was interviewed by Mueller in late December. She was one of only four people present on the Trump plane when the false cover story about the Trump Tower meeting was crafted. She was the one who transcribed Trump's statement. And she spilled the beans to Mueller in her interview.

So after Hicks reported what Mueller was asking her about, Trump had no choice but to fess up to the deception in his January memo to Mueller or else set himself up for perjury.

So Mueller has known the real story for the last six months and he hasn't leaked. Trump has still been lying to the public about the Trump Tower meeting for the last six months even though his lawyers had sent a memo to Mueller telling the truth. Mueller has known that Trump has been lying to the public for many months and still he hasn't leaked.

But Trump knowing that the real story has to get out eventually chose to leak his own memo -- and bury it in a bunch of obfuscation about pardons and subpoenas. And it worked. Most of the headlines are about the pardons and subpoenas, not the lying about the Trump Tower meeting.

And the NYT has cooperated in this charade by refusing to identify the leaker, even after Trump slandered Mueller blaming him for the leak. The NYT is a collaborator.
posted by JackFlash at 6:43 PM on June 4 [145 favorites]


Popehat: I can hear Manafort and his lawyers.
Lawyers: WE TOLD YOU NOT TO TALK TO ANYONE
Manafort: BUT IT WAS IN COOODE, WITH AN AAAAAAPPPP
Lawyers: Yeah, you're going to need to increase your fee deposit
Manafort: How much?
Lawyers: Write zeroes asshole. We'll tell you when to stop.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:56 PM on June 4 [66 favorites]


Muslim prisoners 'fed ham sandwiches by guards' after breaking Ramadan fast

This kind of stupid cruelty just makes me unreasonably angry.

Melania sighting

She was always there. The single set of footsteps are where she carried you.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:07 PM on June 4 [9 favorites]




VoteVets
We support those @Eagles who did not feel right attending, and apologize to those players and coaches, who wanted to attend, that Donald Trump is a whining toddler.

As vets, we fought for the right to #TakeAKnee to protest injustice.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:10 PM on June 4 [101 favorites]


Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney took his chance to tee off on Trump over the Eagles disinvite:
“The Eagles call the birthplace of our democracy home, so it’s no surprise that this team embodies everything that makes our country and our city great. Their athletic accomplishments on the field led to an historic victory this year. Fans all across the country rallied behind them because we like to root for the underdog and we feel joy when we see the underdogs finally win. I’m equally proud of the Eagles’ activism off the field. These are players who stand up for the causes they believe in and who contribute in meaningful ways to their community. They represent the diversity of our nation—a nation in which we are free to express our opinions.

“Disinviting them from the White House only proves that our President is not a true patriot, but a fragile egomaniac obsessed with crowd size and afraid of the embarrassment of throwing a party to which no one wants to attend.

“City Hall is always open for a celebration.”
posted by gladly at 7:23 PM on June 4 [176 favorites]


Well, played, Mr. Mayor.

Ooh, is Trump gonna punk out of Mandatory Patriotism Day tomorrow, or be shown up by a several-times-larger crowd at Philadelphia City Hall?

Also, cancelling the Eagles appearance is an insult to the people who might have been planning to attend tomorrow because they are bigger Eagles fans than National Anthem fans.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:34 PM on June 4 [3 favorites]


Melania sighting, at the gold star families reception.

That may not have been definitive to some but this should be:

@FLOTUS Tonight @POTUS & I were honored to pay tribute to our fallen heroes. Thank you to the Gold Star families that joined us in celebration & remembrance.

That's unquestionably Melania sitting next to Trump.
posted by scalefree at 7:36 PM on June 4 [1 favorite]


Dear god, the Manafort call logs are a thing of beauty. Just an astounding level of dumbassery.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:37 PM on June 4 [14 favorites]


Remember those 2016 days when we were all into Tim Kaine dad jokes before remembering we didn't like his politics?

@timkaine: This might surprise some people but I think this is the most polite White House in history. They’re always saying “pardon me.”

Sometimes it's nice to look back on a simpler time.
posted by zachlipton at 7:38 PM on June 4 [70 favorites]


Ooh, is Trump gonna punk out of Mandatory Patriotism Day tomorrow, or be shown up by a several-times-larger crowd at Philadelphia City Hall?


The Mayor's Chief of Staff.

Jane Slusser
Our party was bigger than yours #FlyEaglesFly

PIC OF TRUMP'S INAUGURATION COMPARED TO PHILLY'S SUPER BOWL PARADE/CELEBRATION
posted by chris24 at 7:40 PM on June 4 [67 favorites]


InTheYear2017: "Are there really that many serious primary challenges? My understanding was that the big shift was in people running against normally-uncontested Republican seats, not that elder Democrats were in trouble."

13 states have held primaries so far (less a few runoffs to be completed); no House Democrat has yet lost a primary.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:44 PM on June 4 [5 favorites]


Greg Proops on “Whose Line Is it Anyway?” tonight introduced two nicknames I had not previously heard:

Orange Julius Caesar
Mango Mussolini
posted by flarbuse at 7:47 PM on June 4 [14 favorites]


ELECTION RESULT

Dem HOLD in Connecticut House 4:
Concepcion [D] 64.6%
Inacio [D] 28.7%
Nelson [R] 5.0%
Margin changes compared to previous races (combining Dem candidate results):

vs 2016 presidential result margin: Dem improvement of about 9 points.
vs 2016 HD-04 result margin: Dem improvement of about 14 points.

Dem lead in the Connecticut House is extended to 80-71.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:52 PM on June 4 [21 favorites]


zachlipton: @realDonaldTrump: Big Supreme Court ruling for Baker just out!

So it's one thing when he's like "I love the Military! No Collusion! I am brimming with Innocence!", but Baker is a common surname so capitalizing it is spectacularly confusing. On Wikipedia I easily found at least five American court cases that start with "Baker v" and hence could be abbreviated Baker, of which three made it to the Supreme Court and another two involved gay rights (all unrelated Bakers as far as I know).
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:54 PM on June 4 [12 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: The Philadelphia Eagles Football Team was invited to the White House. Unfortunately, only a small number of players decided to come, and we canceled the event. Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!

@ZackBlatt: Fun fact that an alarming number of people don’t seem to understand: Nobody on the #Eagles even kneeled during the national anthem last year.

The NFL owners are idiots, but I repeat myself. They come up with an idiotic policy to try to appease Trump in the hope everyone shuts up and they continue to profit off their cash cow, and that was all for nothing, since now he's hinting he'll attack anyone who doesn't stand on the field and participate in the ceremony the way he wants it done.
posted by zachlipton at 8:04 PM on June 4 [58 favorites]


Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish: "2) Experience matters. When long-tentured legislators leave, they take institutional memory with them. Enough of a brain drain could create a break on how Congress does its job as a whole. Of course, given its track record that may not be a bad thing."

On the other hand I'm sure most everyone who has worked for a large institution has experienced waiting for someone who has carved out an authoritative niche for themselves to retire so that necessary changes can be made drama free. "hew *wipes brow*, Bob finally retired and now we can use cold boots instead of taping those 25KV connections!"
posted by Mitheral at 8:04 PM on June 4 [2 favorites]




zachlipton: "now he's hinting he'll attack anyone who doesn't stand on the field and participate in the ceremony the way he wants it done."

The Cheeto has not only rhetoric but also a large amount of direct leverage over the league because the Armed Forces shovel millions of dollars in money and services in kind to the league every year.
posted by Mitheral at 8:13 PM on June 4 [4 favorites]


CNN, Giuliani on shifting Trump Tower story: 'It was a mistake. I swear to God.'
Rudy Giuliani denied Monday that the disclosure by Donald Trump's attorneys that the President dictated a crucial statement on the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting -- a reversal from past denials -- constituted a lie, instead claiming it was a routine mistake.

"It was a mistake," Giulani, a lawyer for Trump in the Russia investigation, said on CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time" Monday. "I swear to God, it was a mistake."
We'll just let the transition to our next story do the commentary here: WaPo, Ashley Parker, In the Trump administration, the truth comes out after vigorous denials, chronicling some of the many times when the White House denies something repeatedly before they admit it.

Greg Sargent, Secret memo to Mueller actually reveals weakness of Trump’s position. It's up there in the FPP (thanks T.D. Strange!), but it finishes the flow of these three stories and is well worth reading if you missed it. Admitting you've been repeatedly lying in public is normally the sort of thing you only do if you're backed in a corner and the alternative is worse. That they've done just that means there need to be a whole lot more questions about what happened and why they spent so long lying about it.
posted by zachlipton at 8:26 PM on June 4 [21 favorites]


Manafort needs to become a word itself, like santorum, or bork. manafort: verb. To commit fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, treason, and/or other crimes in a damaging yet amateurish and bungeling way. Exp:" My cousin ran for state senate, but it turned out his campaign manager manaforted the whole thing, so no dice. He almost went to jail!"

See also racketeering, securities fraud, and general scumbaggery.

I've had a visceral dislike of Manafort from the first moment I saw him.
posted by vrakatar at 8:30 PM on June 4 [10 favorites]


Some previews for tomorrow's many, many primaries:

* DKE

* Vox (IA, CA)

* 538 (AL, MS, NJ)

* Taniel races of interest

Remember that CA results (unless something is a total blowout) won't be finalized for several days, at best, maybe as long as two weeks or so. Late mail votes can move totals by several percentage points.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:32 PM on June 4 [9 favorites]


WaPo, Josh Dawsey and Wesley Lowery, Trump disinvites Philadelphia Eagles from White House visit, citing national anthem dispute. Yes yes, we know that. But there are some details in here that go much deeper than him being upset at the low number of RSVPs and speak to serious abuses of power that I fear will be lost in the noise now that Trump falsely framed this as having to do with the anthem:
A senior administration official said the Eagles promised to have about 70 people there last week. By Monday, the team said only 10 to 12 people might come, this person said, creating a meager celebration. Trump deemed the smaller crowd unsatisfactory, aides said.
...
When some players continued to kneel during the anthem, Trump told White House officials they should punish the NFL as part of a GOP-tax plan. Some aides even began researching how to punish the lucrative league, which receives a valuable exemption, and ideas trickled over to Capitol Hill. A White House spokeswoman declined to comment. Another White House official noted that Trump’s ideas were never implemented and described his orders more as venting.
...
Trump grew angry in April 2017 when Tom Brady said he planned to skip the White House visit with the New England Patriots, huddling angrily with aides and even calling Patriots owner Robert Kraft. One former senior administration official described a chaotic scene unfolding over the heartland of America, as Trump flew back from an event in Wisconsin. Some aides feared Trump was going to cancel the celebration, even though he maintains a close friendship with Kraft.

We know he threatened to use the tax code to punish the league, because he tweeted about it. The news that aides took actions to see how they could carry that out is new. Combine that Trump's meetings with the Postmaster General where he attempted to use the government to punish Amazon, and the pattern is quite clear. And there are lots of witnesses to this abuse of power. Staffers worked on the plans, postal officials were brought in, all with the clear intent of political retaliation. And of course, he just tweeted it out. That this isn't already the subject of hearings is shameful.
posted by zachlipton at 8:36 PM on June 4 [87 favorites]


Oh, and George Papadopoulos' wife is on Fox News straight-up begging for a pardon: "I trust and hope and ask to President Trump to pardon him."

Normal people are expected to fill out a form and have their application carefully reviewed by the Pardon Attorney, but this seems much more efficient.
posted by zachlipton at 8:40 PM on June 4 [28 favorites]


We’re definitely going to talk about Puerto Rico, right? A nervous nation inquires. (Alexandra Petri, WaPo)
America, America: After the government of Puerto Rico released its staggering official mortality figures from Hurricane Maria, showing at least 1,400 dead, following a Harvard study that estimated that anywhere from 800 to more than 8,000 people had perished in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, millions of Americans timidly stared at their televisions and waited for the inevitable and brutal reckoning.

“I was nervous about turning on my TV last week,” said Ethel, 46, “because I knew that the biggest national scandal would be the thousands of Americans who had died as a result of Hurricane Maria.” Ethel added that she had eventually turned the TV on, once, to check the weather, but instead Roseanne Barr was on the screen, which she assumed was just a quick break from a stream of debate, soul-searching and fact-finding by a grieving nation.

“I personally,” Dave, 51, who sits at a diner every day in the middle of the country waiting for reporters to come ask him what he thinks of President Trump, said, “believe it is important that if a woman who is on television says something racist or controversial, we discuss that thoroughly first, because that could be very distracting when we are trying as a nation to figure out what went wrong in Puerto Rico and to hold our leaders accountable. So it is good that we got that out of the way, I guess. Anyway, I’m ready now.”
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:46 PM on June 4 [56 favorites]


Turns out there is a Justice Department opinion on whether or not the president can pardon himself. It dates back to the Nixon era and is an unequivocal no:
Under the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case, the President cannot pardon himself.
It is hard to believe that, were this brought to the Supreme Court for adjudication, that they would not grab onto this as sufficient justification to maintain the judiciary's balance of power WRT to the executive.

There are two maneuvers the opinion suggests could work around the problem of "no one may be a judge in his own case": #1. The president could temporarily step aside under the 25th amendment, the VP could step into his place temporarily and execute the pardon, then the president could either resume the presidency or resign. #2. Congress could issue a legislative pardon.

I'm so much looking forward to seeing one and/or all of these scenarios playing themselves out sometime over the next 18 months or so . . .
posted by flug at 8:46 PM on June 4 [16 favorites]


The president could temporarily step aside under the 25th amendment, the VP could step into his place temporarily and execute the pardon, then the president could either resume the presidency or resign.

If we're analyzing this fanfic it should at least be noted that the Cabinet would also have to be on board to pull this off. Not just hte VP. Secondly, if he's going to resign the 25th amendment is unnecessary. The VP would take over and issue pardons immediately. Like with Nixon.
posted by Justinian at 9:07 PM on June 4


zachlipton: Oh, and George Papadopoulos' wife is on Fox News straight-up begging for a pardon: "I trust and hope and ask to President Trump to pardon him."

Wow, she strategically styled herself to look like Ivanka, didn't she?
posted by bluecore at 9:08 PM on June 4 [8 favorites]


@RVAwonk:
Does anyone else wonder if Mueller's team let Paul Manafort out on bail in the first place just so they could monitor him and see if his actions revealed other co-conspirators/additional crimes? Because I wonder that all the time.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:25 PM on June 4 [66 favorites]


Gotta post this on here for the New Yorkers, because this woman is significantly more inspiring than I thought -
Cynthia Nixon on the Daily Show. All of the women who have been running are what give me hope that the pendulum can swing back the other way from authoritarianism. I am so happy to see so many intelligent, heartfelt, and wise women running for public office.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 9:32 PM on June 4 [26 favorites]


Why Florida Democrats can’t count on the so-called ‘black vote’

Note: author Sharon Austin is promoting her book The Caribbeanization of Black Politics in America.
posted by XMLicious at 10:08 PM on June 4


What's interesting to me about Mueller's request re: Manafort is the dates on those contacts. Manafort pulled this shit in February, and Mueller is only requesting a move now? That leaves me inclined to believe Mueller's team was more than happy to leave Manafort out for the purposes of surveillance. The question, of course, is why they filed to rescind his release now. Has the trail dried up? Did Manafort get a clue and stop doing sketchy shit? Has the surveillance team caught wind of plans for Manafort to flee somehow? That's the curious part.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:03 PM on June 4 [11 favorites]


Giuliani on shifting Trump Tower story: 'It was a mistake. I swear to God.'

Wait, we now know that Trump admitted the true story to Mueller back in January with a memo to legally cover his ass with regard to perjury and obstruction after being outed by Hope Hicks. But Trump continued to push the same old lie to the public for the last six months, safe in the knowledge that Mueller wouldn't leak and contradict him.

That's not a mistake. That's pure contempt for the public.
posted by JackFlash at 11:06 PM on June 4 [33 favorites]


What's interesting to me about Mueller's request re: Manafort is the dates on those contacts. Manafort pulled this shit in February, and Mueller is only requesting a move now?

regarding the timing. Past few days we've been kicking around "Can the President pardon himself", and here's Mueller's team going, "Can Trump pardon himself? Don't really care right now, but we are revoking Manafort's bail and tossing Trump's campaign manager in jail until the trial due to the probable cause of obstruction charges."

Motion p.16: obstruction of justice ha[d] been a traditional ground for pretrial detention by the courts

Your move Rudy.
posted by mikelieman at 11:22 PM on June 4 [10 favorites]


flarbuse

Greg Proops on “Whose Line Is it Anyway?” tonight introduced two nicknames I had not previously heard:

Orange Julius Caesar
Mango Mussolini


My favourite so far is Manchurian Rage Mango.

Not that amusing names make me feel any better about the situation. This is some scary shit. :(
posted by Pouteria at 11:26 PM on June 4 [6 favorites]


Manafort pulled this shit in February, and Mueller is only requesting a move now? That leaves me inclined to believe Mueller's team was more than happy to leave Manafort out for the purposes of surveillance.

That's what I thought too, but the FBI agent's declaration says (footnote 1) that "Persons D1 and D2 provided the content of the text messages described below in May 2018." It's not clear when exactly Mueller's team knew enough of this—they could have waited to interview Persons D1 and D2 to avoid tipping people off, but it's not obvious they had all the information they needed back in February.

Another interesting wrinkle here is that there's a missing link here between Manafort and Person A (presumably Konstantin Kilimnik). Manafort made 8 contacts with Person D1, followed by Person A making 9 contacts with Person D2 and 1 with person D1. Nothing in the filings makes any mention of any communications between Manafort and Person A, and given the context of the messages, it's a conspicuous absence: they obviously must have communicated somehow. I have no clue whether that's leading up to something bigger, but it sure seems like it. Kilimnik is all wrapped up in collusion. If you want the link between the current criminal charges for Manafort's past misdeeds and the Russia investigation, I suspect it runs through here.
posted by zachlipton at 11:27 PM on June 4 [13 favorites]


"Pardon Me: The Constitutional Case Against Presidential Self-Pardons," Brian C. Kalt, Yale Law Review, January 1997.

One interesting and relevant case he discusses is Special Prosecutor Lawrence Walsh investigating Iran-Contra. In the waning days of the George HW Bush administration in 1992, Bush pardoned everyone under investigation except himself. This effectively ended the investigation. Apparently he did contemplate pardoning himself, but didn't do so in the end.

"I think President Bush will always have to answer for his pardons," [Walsh] said. "I think that was the most unjustifiable act. There was no public purpose served by that."
posted by flug at 11:56 PM on June 4 [10 favorites]


List of Presidential Pardons

Makes a pretty good case by itself for abolishing pardons.
posted by benzenedream at 12:25 AM on June 5 [8 favorites]


Trump's argument from the beginning has been that the law simply doesn't apply to rich people. Remember when the Times analyzed a portion of his taxes, and found he was abusing a loophole in a manner that was likely illegal? Whatever happened with that? Nothing.

And if you read between the lines, it sounds like the Russian operatives were begging Trump's circle throughout to please at least try and hide what they were doing. No, it's not in your interests to talk with Putin directly. No, we're not explaining what we want and giving you Clinton dirt in the same meeting.

And now we're seriously at the point where he's arguing that the law simply doesn't apply to him at all, and being told it may take years to sort out whether or not it does. This country is broken.
posted by xammerboy at 3:10 AM on June 5 [35 favorites]


If there is an ultimate benefit for making it through 'The Trump Years' it will be a mass realization that "this country is broken" and has been for a very long time before The Donald arose to show us just how badly. If "he's arguing that the law simply doesn't apply to him at all" it's because he has always believed it doesn't, because he belongs to a class for whom it never really has. His ego drove him into the role of a "celebrity billionaire" and made him believe he was the King of Everything long before he officially sought out the gig. It's an often-accurate cliche that you have to hit the bottom before you can rise again, and Donald Trump is America's rock bottom.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:48 AM on June 5 [36 favorites]


And my previous comment was not intended to be an optimistic "everything's going to work out fine". In fact, I'd say we're looking at a coin flip whether the result of Trump will be (a) an American Revival better than this nation has ever seen before or (b) an American Dystopia beyond what the better scifi authors have imagined... (with a small chance of the coin landing on its edge and returning to whatever we had going before)
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:44 AM on June 5 [8 favorites]


Donald Trump is America's rock bottom.

TTTCS.

The gladhandlers and grifters are obvious this time, and we're still apparently powerless to do more than howl into the void. It's been remarked, but god forbid we end up with a competent monomaniacal authoritarian next (assuming there is a "next").

[on preview I now see your disclaimer]
posted by aspersioncast at 4:45 AM on June 5 [15 favorites]


List of Presidential Pardons

Makes a pretty good case by itself for abolishing pardons.


Number of African-American people pardoned for Underground-Railroad-related offenses: 1
Number of people pardoned for conspiring to assassinate Lincoln: 3
posted by box at 4:47 AM on June 5 [70 favorites]


If we're analyzing this fanfic it should at least be noted that the Cabinet would also have to be on board to pull this off. Not just hte VP.

You're thinking of section 4 of the 25th amendment. But section 3 allows the VP to assume the powers of the presidency without the help of the cabinet (but with the consent of the president). And unlike section 4, section 3 has actually been invoked in the past.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:50 AM on June 5 [3 favorites]


Was for the hundredth time considering the casting for an All The Not-My-President’s Men film. I hit the usuals (Jeremy Renner as Manafort, Michael Gross as Mike Flynn, Molly Shannon as Haberman) when it hit me that casting Deep Throat is going to end up as a spoiler because it would be the same actor playing 45.
Stupid stupid Watergate indeed.
posted by Harry Caul at 5:00 AM on June 5 [4 favorites]


Makes a pretty good case by itself for abolishing pardons.

Whole lot of terrible people on that list including a lot of Watergate and Iran/Contra folk. Jimmy Carter commuted G. Gordon Liddy's sentence? What the hell?
posted by octothorpe at 5:07 AM on June 5 [3 favorites]


Also, working in a somewhat adjacent field, if a sitting U.S. Senator called to say he'd be visiting in 2 hours or tomorrow or next weekend or whatever, the response would be, "Yes, we'd be happy to see you any time" and absolutely not "F.U. Jackass!" while calling the cops.

Presuming you have nothing to hide, of course. The Senator sure made it look like the facility has something to hide, and given that the Trump administration deserves no benefit of the doubt at all, they likely do.

Which, as I said in the previous thread, hopefully means that facility and its six-figure CEO will soon be looking at heavy duty habeus corpus proceedings, not to mention kidnapping charges.
posted by Gelatin at 5:15 AM on June 5 [7 favorites]


12 hours after witness tampering added to Manafort's charges, he's admitting he wanted an Attorney General who would kill the Russia probe.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:20 AM on June 5 [28 favorites]


12 hours after witness tampering added to Manafort's charges, he's admitting he wanted an Attorney General who would kill the Russia probe.

At this point, I'm so frustrated with the ongoing stupid, I just want Mueller to Indict Donald J. Trump on the obstruction charges, and let the courts figure out all these damned hypotheticals.

Damnit. We are all trapped inside Schroinger's Government, waiting for the wave-form to collapse!
posted by mikelieman at 5:24 AM on June 5 [24 favorites]


If there is an ultimate benefit for making it through 'The Trump Years' it will be a mass realization that "this country is broken" and has been for a very long time before The Donald arose to show us just how badly. If "he's arguing that the law simply doesn't apply to him at all" it's because he has always believed it doesn't, because he belongs to a class for whom it never really has. His ego drove him into the role of a "celebrity billionaire" and made him believe he was the King of Everything long before he officially sought out the gig. It's an often-accurate cliche that you have to hit the bottom before you can rise again, and Donald Trump is America's rock bottom.

I'd really like to believe this but as a Canadian I have to remind you the crazy story of Crack addict mayor Rob Ford and how Ontario is now on the verge of possibly electing his brother as premier of Ontario. There is always more stupid.
posted by srboisvert at 5:24 AM on June 5 [35 favorites]


Oh, and George Papadopoulos' wife is on Fox News straight-up begging for a pardon: "I trust and hope and ask to President Trump to pardon him."


It'll be interesting to see what happens with this. A pardon here might send a different message than what Cheeto is looking for: cooperate with Mueller and still get pardoned.
posted by duoshao at 5:25 AM on June 5 [3 favorites]


Vox: America’s allies should respond to steel tariffs with targeted sanctions on the Trump Organization

Macleans: Trade Sanctions against America Won't Work. Sanctioning Trump Himself Might. (cited in the vox article and maybe came up in the last megathread):
I propose that instead of taxing the import of American serviettes, we tax Trump. In the spirit of the Magnitsky Act, Canada and the western allies come together to collectively pressure the only pain point that matters to this President: his family and their assets. This could take the form of special taxation on their current operations, freezing of assets, or even sanctions against senior staff. Canada could add a tax to Trump properties equal to any tariff unilaterally imposed by Washington. The European Union could revoke any travel visas for senior staff in the Trump organization. And the United Kingdom could temporarily close his golf course.

Arguably, the legislation to do so already exists. Canada’s Special Economic Measures Act and the Foreign Corrupt Officials Act permit us to sanction public officials who are “complicit in ordering, controlling or otherwise directing acts of corruption”. In the case of Trump, we already have several open examples of this and the various ongoing criminal investigations (of his own government) are expected to produce many more.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:35 AM on June 5 [141 favorites]


Manafort is not a very bright guy. Question is, why was it worth the risk for him to try to cover this up?

Well, someone* that knows him pretty well did once say about him that he has no moral or legal compass. Seems accurate right about now.

He. Has. Children.

*Oh right it was his own daughter who said that, among other things
posted by robotdevil at 5:36 AM on June 5 [23 favorites]


Oh, and George Papadopoulos' wife is on Fox News straight-up begging for a pardon: "I trust and hope and ask to President Trump to pardon him."

She might've wanted to wait until her husband was sentenced.

Josh Marshall
Presumably a defendent awaiting sentencing on a plea bargain is not legally responsible for what their spouse says on tv. But the upshot of what Papadopoulos wife said on Tucker tonight is that her husband isn’t guilty of anything and faced bogus charges.
2/ Acceptnce of responsibility is a key part of a plea bargain. So very curious how this plays into his sentencing or whether they’re going to want to have a talk with him and ask what is up.
posted by chris24 at 5:37 AM on June 5 [9 favorites]


Slate: The NFL Anthem Policy Violates Several State Constitutions
Consider California—home of the Los Angeles Chargers, the Los Angeles Rams, the San Francisco 49ers, and for now at least, the Oakland Raiders. Unlike the First Amendment’s negative limit on state action, the California Constitution’s free speech clause affirmatively begins, “Every person may freely speak.” Forty years ago, the California Supreme Court interpreted this language to do what the U.S. Supreme Court would not do: Prevent the owners of a private shopping mall from kicking out protesters. Even the cautious U.S. Supreme Court enthusiastically affirmed this decision. It recognized that every state has the “sovereign right to adopt in its own Constitution individual liberties more expansive than those conferred by the Federal Constitution.”

In other words, the state-action doctrine is a feature of the U.S. Constitution, not all constitutions. And where the U.S. Constitution doesn’t apply—like in shopping malls and perhaps football stadiums—state constitutions are often the highest law of the land.

Today, many states have followed California’s lead in interpreting their own free speech clauses to prohibit private organizations from fining protesters. When the New York Jets and New York Giants open their doors in the New Jersey meadowlands this fall, they will be two of several teams playing in a state whose constitution guarantees free speech against “unreasonably restrictive or oppressive conduct on the part of private entities.” The New Jersey Supreme Court first announced this interpretation shortly before holding that Princeton University violated the state’s constitution when it fined an activist who wanted to protest on its private campus.

The constitutions in the home states of the Broncos, Eagles, Patriots, Seahawks, and Steelers similarly protect protesters from private restrictions. Although the supreme courts of these states generally tolerate reasonable rules to minimize the disruptions that protests can create, they generally strike down rules imposed to protect against a disruption unlikely to happen, to limit the content of a protest, or to avoid the backlash against an unpopular viewpoint.

Thanks to transcripts of NFL owners’ meetings and depositions taken in Colin Kaepernick’s collusion case against the league, there is no doubt that the NFL’s policy wasn’t adopted to minimize disruptive behavior. Rather, the purpose of the policy is to restrict the political content of players’ protests merely out of fear of how fans—or the president—will respond. In this context, the NFL’s policy likely violates several state constitutions. The unconstitutionality of the policy therefore doesn’t depend on state action.
---

And of course, Trump tweeted again this morning that staying in locker rooms was unacceptable to him. So the owners caved for nothing. He'll still be attacking them. Because he needs a culture war to distract. And he's a racist asshole.
posted by chris24 at 5:41 AM on June 5 [79 favorites]


I am enjoying this thing where everybody I agree with politically is also praising the Eagles, at least.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:45 AM on June 5 [29 favorites]


It’s going to be fun when SCOTUS decides, 5-4, that Trump really can pardon himself, with Gorsuch sealing Trump’s victory and making him invulnerable to prosecution.

SCOTUS can't do anything about state charges, and Mueller tightening the screws on Manafort suggests, once again, that he knows what he's doing, which would include digging up loads and loads of potential criminal charges under New York State law.
posted by Gelatin at 5:47 AM on June 5 [4 favorites]


Can someone who understands Constitutional law better than me explain the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruling?

Because I'm very confused, not just by the supposed "liberal" Justices joining in support of the bigot, but by the ruling's seemingly contradictory claims.

Kennedy wrote that LGBT people shouldn't be subject to discrimination or the humiliation of being turned away when they seek goods and services. But then he ruled in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop essentially hanging out a "Straights Only" sign.

It looks sort of like he was making a tone argument? That he thought the decision by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was correct, LGBT people shouldn't be subject to discrimination, but that since he thought the Civil Rights Commission said something he thought was mean about religion he had to punish the gay couple to teach the Commission a lesson? Is that it? That doesn't seem like it.

If the ruling had been simply that discrimination against LGBT people was ok as long as it was cloaked in religious talk I'd disagree strongly, but I'd at least comprehend what was decided. But that doesn't seem to be what the decision was so I'm very confused.

Was it really just a tone argument? That seems awfully unlikely for a Supreme Court decision, but Kennedy spent a lot of space talking about the hurt feelings of religious people when facts about past uses of religion to justify oppression were brought up.

Follow up historic question: were there similar cases in the wake of Loving involving people invoking sincerely held religious belief that marriage was only between people of the same race?
posted by sotonohito at 5:53 AM on June 5 [7 favorites]


Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney: Disinviting them from the White House only proves that our President is not a true patriot, but a fragile egomaniac obsessed with crowd size and afraid of the embarrassment of throwing a party to which no one wants to attend.

Too late.

(NYT: "Crowd Scientists Say Women’s March in Washington Had 3 Times as Many People as Trump’s Inauguration")
posted by Gelatin at 5:57 AM on June 5 [4 favorites]


Greg Sargent, Secret memo to Mueller actually reveals weakness of Trump’s position. It's up there in the FPP (thanks T.D. Strange!), but it finishes the flow of these three stories and is well worth reading if you missed it. Admitting you've been repeatedly lying in public is normally the sort of thing you only do if you're backed in a corner and the alternative is worse. That they've done just that means there need to be a whole lot more questions about what happened and why they spent so long lying about it.

Years ago, my high school journalism teacher told his class something that the current political press would do well to learn -- when the person you're interviewing lies to you, that's your story.

Tallies of the number of times Trump has lied, or fact-check debunking of specific statements, are of definite but limited value. But they leave unsaid why Trump and his people might lie, which can be many reasons, but one obvious possibility is "because the truth doesn't make them look good."

As such, we see a tacit admission by the media that reality does, indeed, have a liberal bias.
posted by Gelatin at 6:19 AM on June 5 [18 favorites]


Can someone who understands Constitutional law better than me explain the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruling?

Basically they punted the real question and told the Colorado comission to make a new decision without the language of "animus" towards the religious claim. They're free to come to the same conclusion again, as long as they're nicer about it to the bigot.

Opinion analysis: Court rules (narrowly) for baker in same-sex-wedding-cake case [Updated]

Was it really just a tone argument? That seems awfully unlikely for a Supreme Court decision, but Kennedy spent a lot of space talking about the hurt feelings of religious people when facts about past uses of religion to justify oppression were brought up.

Yes. That's sort of Kennedy's whole deal. He likes polite discrimination and high minded unjust outcomes. Except on the rare occasion he writes a sweeping decision like Obergefell and makes you wonder why the fuck we only see that Anthony Kennedy once every couple years.

The worst form of judicial minimalism — Masterpiece Cakeshop deserved a full vindication for its claims of religious liberty and free speech
A “view” from the courtroom: Justice Kennedy’s Master-pièce de résistance
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:26 AM on June 5 [18 favorites]


sotonohito: It looks sort of like he was making a tone argument? That he thought the decision by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was correct, LGBT people shouldn't be subject to discrimination, but that since he thought the Civil Rights Commission said something he thought was mean about religion he had to punish the gay couple to teach the Commission a lesson? Is that it? That doesn't seem like it.

I think it's best to see the outcome as a ruling about a court case, not about an act of discrimination or a law against those. No side was declared "correct" in the issue of whether anti-discrimination laws necessarily conflict with first-amendment religious rights.

Consider Miranda v Arizona, which centered on a man accused of kidnapping and rape, and made a ruling in his favor (saying that his confession was not valid evidence because he hadn't been read his rights, thus giving the rights the name "Miranda"). The result of the decision wasn't that Americans have a Constitutional right to commit those horrific acts (although that's exactly how "law-and-order" conservatives viewed it), not was it about whether or not he was guilty/innocent of those acts.

My understanding (I AM NOT A LAWYER) is that this was similar; they determined that the case was prosecuted badly because (in their view) the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was overtly hostile to the defendant's faith, and that this hostility meant they couldn't be neutral arbiters, in the sense that justice is supposed to be blind. That's it. So there was no intention to "punish the gay people" any more than the Miranda decision was meant to punish Lois Ann Jameson (supposing Ernesto Miranda was in fact her attacker, which I have absolutely no idea).

It would be nice if they could have added a ruling on the Colorado law itself, but they didn't (maybe because it really would have been stepping outside their lane to do so, and maybe because they often prefer not to commit that far on controversial issues).
posted by InTheYear2017 at 6:27 AM on June 5 [14 favorites]


Can someone who understands Constitutional law better than me explain the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruling? ...

Kennedy wrote that LGBT people shouldn't be subject to discrimination or the humiliation of being turned away when they seek goods and services. But then he ruled in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop essentially hanging out a "Straights Only" sign.


They didn't rule in favor of the bakery excluding people based on sexual orientation, but rather held that the bakery's 'trial' was unfair due to religious bias of the 'judges.' So, the bakery is basically getting a new trial; the commission could still find them in violation of the anti-discrimination law and then the case would work its way up again on the merits of the religion-as-permission-to-discriminate issue. Ginsburg and Sotomayor disagreed with this outcome and would have ruled in favor of Colorado and there would be no new trial.

The reporting on this case has been spectacularly bad, casting it as a win on the merits -- which is was not -- this lazy reporting will contribute to increased violence toward and exclusion of LGBT people, particularly in states that don't have laws like Colorado's. The baker didn't win so much as he hasn't lost yet.
posted by melissasaurus at 6:28 AM on June 5 [93 favorites]


12 hours after witness tampering added to Manafort's charges, he's admitting he wanted an Attorney General who would kill the Russia probe.

At one point in Thomas Friedman's book The Lexus and the Olive Tree, he discusses former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. In '97, during the Asian financial crisis, Mohamad kept accusing George Soros and Jews of deliberately devaluing Malaysia's currency, the ringgit. The book's focus is on the effects of globalization, at a time when social media didn't exist yet.

Anyway, globalization was spreading and Mohamad's rants became news in a number of Western countries, often because it was reported by financial media. Here's the NY Times -- a more mainstream source:
"But he did not stop there. The next day, addressing a rally of predominantly Muslim villagers, he suggested that Malaysia's troubles might be the result of a Jewish ''agenda'' to weaken the economy of this country of about 20 million people.

''We may suspect that they have an agenda, but we do not want to accuse,'' Dr. Mahathir, who has made anti-Jewish statements in the past, was quoted as saying by the official Bernama news agency. ''And incidentally we are Muslims, and the Jews are not happy to see the Muslims progress. The Jews robbed the Palestinians of everything, but in Malaysia they could not do so, hence they do this, depress the ringgit.''
In the book, Friedman speculates that the Prime Minister's advisors probably had to go to him at one point and say, "Look, you accused the Jews on Monday. The ringgit fell in value. Then on Tuesday you accused George Soros. The ringgit fell again. On Wednesday, you were back to accusing the Jews. The ringgit keeps falling! Today is Thursday. You accused George Soros and Jewish bankers of trying to trigger a recession. The ringgit is in freefall. Prime Minister? SHUT UP!"

By contrast, something similar has never happened here. Trump's advisors can't force him to shut up and there's nothing that would compel him to do so on his own. The career politicians he's surrounded himself with (including Giuliani) won't do it. For his own self-preservation (or theirs) more than anything else, you'd think they'd try. In any reasonable timeline, the things he says publicly would be political suicide. The racism. Sexism. Angry rants. Lies. Hyperbole. Bizarre conspiracy theories and childish admissions of guilt. Far less inflammatory statements have torpedoed other people's political careers over the years and Trump seems to have made enough of them for ten lifetimes. But while his inability to control his id (and mouth) should be his fatal flaw, somehow it's not happening. If anything, his advisors and the GOP are enabling him. Hell, it seems as if he gets more popular the crazier, sleazier, stupider, dictatorial and more bigoted he gets.

I've never believed for a moment that Mueller would be the one to save the Republic from Trump. Even if he tries, there are too many people in his own party who would rather destroy the country than release power.

The longer this goes on, the more I wonder what it will take to change things.
posted by zarq at 6:29 AM on June 5 [44 favorites]


"held that the bakery's 'trial' was unfair due to religious bias of the 'judges.' "

Another analogy might be if your local zoning code had a rule about large gathering spaces and adequate parking/traffic impacts. That's going to affect some schools, movie theaters, etc., but the main thing it's going to impact is religious gathering spaces, especially since they tend to buy marginal land spaces and try to do it on the cheap. (Whereas a developer putting up a movie theater will be willing to pay for traffic reconfiguration and/or buy an already-appropriate parcel with adequate parking/traffic access.)

So a very common outcome for local zoning boards is that a local religious congregation applies and the zoning board says, "I'm sorry, but with your meeting times, size of congregation, and frequency of meetings, that parcel can't support an adequate parking lot and the entrance area would need major traffic reconfiguration -- extra lights, specialized cycles -- and we still would expect major traffic jams there, so we're denying a permit to build a religious building there." And religious congregations often grumble and complain they're being discriminated against, but the zoning board can hold up their traffic study and their other zoning decisions and say, "look, we're just not going to make people sit through six light cycles on an arterial road four times a week."

So let's say a local Muslim group wants to build a mosque on this parcel, and when the zoning board deliberates on it, one guy on the board says, "har har har, I sure am glad our zoning code lets us keep those Mohammedans out of our town! Good thing they can't find adequate parking!" That idiot has made it impossible to tell if the zoning board denied the request because of legitimate concerns about parking and traffic, or if they've denied it because they're bigots discriminating against a particular religion (/religion in general).

SCOTUS is saying that the behavior of the Civil Rights Commission makes it impossible to tell if they neutrally applied the law or if they used the law to forward their anti-religious animus. Having dealt with a lot of administrative law things over the years, professionalism in the administrative hearing board/officer is absolutely crucial to those systems functioning and I don't disagree with SCOTUS's finding here that the CRC's decision is undermined by their lack of professionalism in this case. However, like Kagan and Sotomayor, I think they could have also ruled on the merits. I assume they didn't because either they think Colorado can fix the problem on re-do and SCOTUS can avoid addressing the underlying issue, or they know it'll come back and they're hoping to punt until Trump is out of office. Roberts, for all he's a cultural warrior himself, does seem fairly aware that the country is balancing on a cultural war knife edge and he's tried to avoid his court making too many decisions that come down decisively on one side or the other.; in the present political climate, making rulings on "culture war" issues serves to undermine the Court's authority, because half the country thinks it's illegitimate no matter what it decides. I don't think punting and punting and punting is a great way to handle that, but it's not the worst way either, so.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:56 AM on June 5 [118 favorites]


zarq: But while his inability to control his id (and mouth) should be his fatal flaw, somehow it's not happening. If anything, his advisors and the GOP are enabling him. Hell, it seems as if he gets more popular the crazier, sleazier, stupider, dictatorial and more bigoted he gets.

Insight from Alexandra Erin:

Nobody outside Trump's highly compressed (i.e., small and dense) base actually believes Trump is doing a better job than any of those other presidents, nor that he's better for the country or the party.

If he were doing a better job... they'd be more critical of him. Because they'd feel free to criticize him. They'd know that they could do it without upsetting his (and thus, their) power base.

Early on in his regime, I was worried that Trump would create or take advantage of a disaster to harness the "Rally 'Round The Flag" effect.

What I am realizing is: Trump is the disaster.

Trump is so awful, so dangerous, so disastrous and destructive that he has put the party and the country into a crisis.

And in a crisis, you back the leader.

posted by InTheYear2017 at 6:59 AM on June 5 [34 favorites]


Axios: Putin brags of close Trump relationship

"Indeed, Donald Trump and I have, firstly, met more than once at various international venues and secondly, we regularly talk over the phone."

Regularly, eh?

Interviewer: "These so-called troll factories are owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin – you know him very well, he is referred to as “Putin’s chef”, since he caters for all your guests. Is it good that a person who maintains such close relations with the Russian leadership is managing troll factories?

Putin: "You have just said that Mr Prigozhin is referred to as “Putin’s chef”. Indeed, he runs a restaurant business, it is his job; he is a restaurant keeper in St Petersburg. But now let me ask you: do you really think that a person who is in the restaurant business, even if this person has some hacking opportunities and owns a private firm engaged in this activity – I do not even know what he does – could use it to sway elections in the United States or a European country? Could it be that the media and political standards in the countries of the consolidated West have been driven down to such a low level that a Russian restaurant keeper can sway voters in a European country or the United States? Isn’t it ridiculous?"


It's similarly ridiculous that lil' old chef Prigozhin would attack US forces with Russian mercenaries leading to the killing of hundreds of Russians, but here we are. Noteworthy also that he doesn't deny swaying the election, just that it reveals the rottenness of America. On that I agree.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:04 AM on June 5 [25 favorites]


One of the things that keeps tumbling through my head regarding the children in the Walmart/Detention center is-- do they ever see sunlight?
posted by Static Vagabond at 7:05 AM on June 5 [35 favorites]


One of the things that keeps tumbling through my head regarding the children in the Walmart/Detention center is-- do they ever see sunlight?

The question we should be asking is how do we make sure they ever see sunlight again.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:09 AM on June 5 [27 favorites]


"Indeed, Donald Trump and I have, firstly, met more than once at various international venues and secondly, we regularly talk over the phone."

Worst part about it is, it doesn't even matter if it's true! Trump loves talking about how much he talks to Putin, and now Putin is talking up their relationship, it almost doesn't matter if they do or don't actually talk.

Incidentally- I think, if I had to, I would say that the original sin of the Trump "administration" was his refusal to divest his business. Even if you believed he was an angel and could not be influenced by his business ties while in office, any public-minded president would have divested, because it would be in the best interests of the country. Period. It doesn't matter whether Trump is collecting emoluments- the appearance that he could be degrades our politics and our democracy. Weighing his personal wealth on one hand and the interests of the country on the other should not be a contest. But Trump decided, hey, he doesn't have to divest, so he won't.

The question isn't "is he or isn't he technically receiving emoluments", it's "does he care if it looks like he is", and the answer is no, he doesn't.
posted by BungaDunga at 7:13 AM on June 5 [16 favorites]


Family of Stoneman Douglas student advocate David Hogg 'swatted' at home

Just the attempted murder-by-cop of the family of a teenage gun-control advocate. This is, as they say, America.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:15 AM on June 5 [124 favorites]


The CEO of the non-profit (Southwest Key Programs) running the detention facility Sen. Merkley tried to visit is raking-in over $770K.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:17 AM on June 5 [11 favorites]


Just the attempted murder-by-cop of the family of a teenage gun-control advocate. This is, as they say, America.

The collective silence of gun owners that try and tell us they're reasonable while simultaneously joking about stuff like "truck control," hectoring us to respect gun culture, and whining about elitism is complicity, full stop.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:23 AM on June 5 [30 favorites]


I think we’ve basically reached the point where they are pro-shooter now, and attacking the rest of us for being mean to the shooters with the culture wars playbook, and consequently about an inch away from being openly pro-mass shooting.
posted by Artw at 7:40 AM on June 5 [39 favorites]


Shouldn't swatting just come with a 5 prison sentence with no parole? There's no reason for anyone to ever do this. It's way beyond a reasonable "youthful indiscretion" and signifies a person who's not ready to be in society.
posted by freecellwizard at 7:44 AM on June 5 [61 favorites]


Shouldn't swatting just come with a 5 prison sentence with no parole?

At a minimum, there ARE laws about filing false reports that should be invoked.
posted by mikelieman at 7:48 AM on June 5 [17 favorites]


Although the supreme courts of these states generally tolerate reasonable rules to minimize the disruptions that protests can create, they generally strike down rules imposed to protect against a disruption unlikely to happen, to limit the content of a protest, or to avoid the backlash against an unpopular viewpoint.

Thanks to transcripts of NFL owners’ meetings and depositions taken in Colin Kaepernick’s collusion case against the league, there is no doubt that the NFL’s policy wasn’t adopted to minimize disruptive behavior. Rather, the purpose of the policy is to restrict the political content of players’ protests merely out of fear of how fans—or the president—will respond.


While this above is talking about state constitutions, this is basically always the balance you should be on the lookout for when talking about first amendment restrictions: time and place, and content neutral. For limitations to stand this is the bar they have to meet. It's why you can have restrictions on protest assemblies in government buildings, for example, despite them unquestionably being government property where the public is allowed. When you see those odious "free speech zones" that shuttle folks far past reasonable positioning for making public stinks, that's how they survive: by being ostensibly neutral about the content of the speech. If you never let people parade down main street then you don't have to let Illinois nazis parade down main street either. If you never put religious markers on the court lawn then you don't have to let Church of Satan do it. But if you open the door a crack to let someone in you have to let them all in.

I bang this drum because it's so topical in a number of ways. Not just about when the Supremes let speech restrictions survive, but also because of how this intent signaling bites other restrictions in the ass. As Eyebrows talked about above, whether the "restriction," as ridiculous as it is to call it an imposition for a business to take money to do what they're there to do, on the cake baker was actually neutral with regards to the baker's "speech" intents. Whether the travel ban is actually neutral with regards to religion.

It's also topical with regards to how a sane society would approach the 2nd amendment. The 1st isn't absolute, it just has to be even-handed in making restrictions for safety. Even Scalia, in Heller, couldn't pretend some restrictions couldn't be made. The fact that we don't have those restrictions is all about political will and I'm actually feeling glimmers of hope that the current motivated crowd and public opinion shift will let us acknowledge that "shall not be infringed" is not some magic twist on "make no law" that means the former is inviolate but the latter can be partially ignored.
posted by phearlez at 7:50 AM on June 5 [4 favorites]


At a minimum, there ARE laws about filing false reports that should be invoked.

Seems to me it could be charged as a terrorist act, especially when directed at a political figure like Hogg.

ACLU:
Section 802 of the USA PATRIOT Act (Pub. L. No. 107-52) expanded the definition of terrorism to cover "domestic," as opposed to international, terrorism. A person engages in domestic terrorism if they do an act "dangerous to human life" that is a violation of the criminal laws of a state or the United States, if the act appears to be intended to: (i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping. Additionally, the acts have to occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States and if they do not, may be regarded as international terrorism.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:05 AM on June 5 [22 favorites]


Statement By Attorney General Barbara Underwood On President Trump's Pardon Of Dinesh D'Souza

In part:
"Lawmakers must act now to close New York’s double jeopardy loophole and ensure that anyone who evades federal justice by virtue of a politically expedient pardon can be held accountable if they violate New York law.”
As much as people keep saying a federal pardon doesn't intrinsically preclude state-level charges, specific state laws in NY might actually preclude state-level charges. But state laws can be changed:
In April, the Attorney General’s office sent a letter to state lawmakers urging them to close a loophole in New York’s double jeopardy law. Closing the loophole would ensure that individuals who broke New York law could not evade accountability for any state crimes as a result of a strategically-timed pardon by the president. The letter is available here. The legislation, which was introduced last month by Assemblymember Lentol and Senator Kaminsky, can be found here.
As the earlier AG letter noted,
The problem arises under Article 40 of the Criminal Procedure Law. Under that law, jeopardy attaches when a defendant pleads guilty, or, if the defendant proceeds to a jury trial, the moment the jury is sworn. If any of those steps occur in a federal prosecution, then a subsequent prosecution for state crimes “based upon the same act or criminal transaction” cannot proceed, unless an exception applies. New York’s law provides exceptions when a court nullifies a prior criminal proceeding (such as when an appeals court vacates a conviction), or even when a federal court overturns a federal conviction because the prosecution failed to establish an element of the crime that is not an element of the New York crime. But there is no parallel exception for when the President effectively nullifies a federal criminal prosecution via pardon
If you live in NY, the pending legislation would be a great topic to bring up with your state rep.
posted by cjelli at 8:12 AM on June 5 [27 favorites]


Ted Cruz extruded a large and sloppy pile of tweets last night in an effort to explain his 18-second silence when asked if the president can pardon himself. In short, his answer has shifted from "[18 second pause]...I don't know" to "I don't know, also fuck you."

Some dishonest journalists have attacked me for "taking 18 seconds" to answer -- without acknowledging that I was walking through the Capitol, late to a meeting, and simply ignoring a question that a reporter had called out at me (as senators do every single day in the Capitol). When reporters chased me down the hall, and another asked the question again, I chose to answer.

Ever the victim, pursued by slavering reporterbeasts. Don't let 'em get you down, Ted.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:34 AM on June 5 [33 favorites]


Another appalling angle to the attempted swatting is that Hogg and his family are currently in DC receiving an award for his gun control activism named after a man assassinated with a gun, being presented by that man's widow. The message this sends is crystal clear.

This is America, indeed.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:34 AM on June 5 [25 favorites]


Charlottesville Hate Marcher Elected by Republican Party

They make no attempt to filter this shit and in fact select for it.
posted by Artw at 8:46 AM on June 5 [37 favorites]


The Atlantic has a good background on Paul Manafort:

Paul Manafort Loses His Cool

Edit to add: good background on the Hapsberg group
posted by Twain Device at 8:51 AM on June 5 [9 favorites]


I think we’ve basically reached the point where they are pro-shooter now, and attacking the rest of us for being mean to the shooters with the culture wars playbook, and consequently about an inch away from being openly pro-mass shooting.

Why not? They're already far past the point where mass shooting after mass shooting after mass shooting after mass shooting (and not even counting those that aren't "mass" enough to make the national news) isn't enough for them to deny that they are perfectly willing to accept the shedding of innocent blood as the price of, and justification for, their talismans of magical thinking.

A gun in the house is much more likely to be used against the owner or a loved one than a criminal, yet the gun lobby has promoted a tribal fetish that it's about "protection." From whom, one might wonder. Except one probably doesn't have to wonder.
posted by Gelatin at 8:58 AM on June 5 [9 favorites]


Now that Trump has killed the Iran nuclear deal, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is taking the gloves off. He sent out a series of inflammatory tweets on Sunday, one of which included a 27 year old self-quote re-affirming his pro-genocide position that Israel is a “malignant cancerous tumor” in the region that has to be "removed and eradicated."

@khamenei_ir: "Our stance against Israel is the same stance we have always taken. #Israel is a malignant cancerous tumor in the West Asian region that has to be removed and eradicated: it is possible and it will happen. 7/31/91 #GreatReturnMarch"

Israel responded with a gif from the movie "Mean Girls."

Khamenei then gave a speech yesterday marking the 29th anniversary of the death of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, announcing that he has "ordered Iran’s atomic energy agency to be prepared to upgrade our (uranium) enrichment capacity.” More from Reuters:
....Khamenei insisted on resisting U.S. pressure and again warned of a harsh response if Iran came under attack.

“Tehran will attack 10 times more if attacked by enemies ... The enemies don’t want an independent Iran in the region ... We will continue our support for oppressed nations,” Khamenei said.

Shi’ite Muslim Iran backs President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war, Shi’ite militias in Iraq, Houthi rebels in Yemen’s conflict and Lebanon’s heavily armed Hezbollah movement.

Khamenei also said Iran had no intention of curbing its influence in the Middle East as demanded by the Western powers and urged Arab youth to stand up to U.S. pressure.

“Young Arabs, you should take action and the initiative to control your own future ... Some regional countries act like their own people’s enemies,” he said.

posted by zarq at 9:00 AM on June 5 [7 favorites]


They make no attempt to filter this shit and in fact select for it.

To be fair I've known a number of people who have run unopposed for Democratic Precinct Committee Person, not sure this is an endorsement of the state party.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:00 AM on June 5 [7 favorites]


Another interesting wrinkle here is that there's a missing link here between Manafort and Person A (presumably Konstantin Kilimnik). Manafort made 8 contacts with Person D1, followed by Person A making 9 contacts with Person D2 and 1 with person D1.

Wouldn’t it be more likely that Person A - the “long time associate of Manafort” - is Rick Gates? We know he’s cooperating with Mueller.
posted by msalt at 9:14 AM on June 5 [2 favorites]


To be fair I've known a number of people who have run unopposed for Democratic Precinct Committee Person

Yeah, most PCO seats are not even filled, it’s likely he saw one was open and just jumped in before the deadline while people had no idea.
posted by corb at 9:15 AM on June 5 [1 favorite]


From that Slate NFL article linked above:
Forty years ago, the California Supreme Court interpreted this language to do what the U.S. Supreme Court would not do: Prevent the owners of a private shopping mall from kicking out protesters....

The New Jersey Supreme Court first announced this interpretation shortly before holding that Princeton University violated the state’s constitution when it fined an activist who wanted to protest on its private campus.
In neither of those cases, however, was the protester in question an employee of the private organization which sought to restrict speech on their property, which likely makes a difference.

If an employer were not allowed to restrict employees' speech on the job, then not only do you throw out the NFL policy, but also every standard NDA which an employee signs as part of their employment contract if they're privy to information which the company considers confidential. And James Damore (previously) would have a case against Google as a result of being fired for his speech.

Don't get me wrong, I think the NFL policy is reprehensible, but that article has not convinced me that it violates any state free speech clauses, as the article fails to cite any cases which would prohibit an employer from restricting employees' speech while on the job.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:16 AM on June 5 [3 favorites]


Just wait: Huckabee Sanders runs risk of being swept up in the Trump probe if she keep lying for him (CNN)
posted by growabrain at 9:24 AM on June 5 [41 favorites]


Slate: The NFL Anthem Policy Violates Several State Constitutions

Consider California—home of the Los Angeles Chargers, the Los Angeles Rams, the San Francisco 49ers, and for now at least, the Oakland Raiders. Unlike the First Amendment’s negative limit on state action, the California Constitution’s free speech clause affirmatively begins, “Every person may freely speak.” Forty years ago, the California Supreme Court interpreted this language to do what the U.S. Supreme Court would not do: Prevent the owners of a private shopping mall from kicking out protesters. Even the cautious U.S. Supreme Court enthusiastically affirmed this decision. It recognized that every state has the “sovereign right to adopt in its own Constitution individual liberties more expansive than those conferred by the Federal Constitution.”


Soldier Field in Chicago is not even privately owned. It is owned by the Chicago Park District. I've felt for a while that there should be much more pressure on the NFL on their public subsidy weaknesses particularly now that so much of professional sports has moved off of free broadcast TV to exclusive sports channels. It is much less of a public good these days as they are no longer honoring their half of the deal. They receive incredible subsidies because they ostensibly are "for the area" but these days with ticket prices in the thousands for playoffs, a focus on corporate boxes and the death of baseball's Bleacher Bum seats plus multi-thousand dollar cable plans for TV viewing increasingly leave the masses on the outside looking in. We don't even get our circuses anymore.
posted by srboisvert at 9:36 AM on June 5 [35 favorites]


Artw: Charlottesville Hate Marcher Elected by Republican Party

For anyone experiencing déjà vu, this is a different person from Arthur Jones, the neo-nazi who won an unopposed Republican primary in Illinois.

To its credit, in both instances, the party has denounced the candidate. (I was actually surprised they would disavow James Allsup, the Charlottesville marcher, since his white nationalism is almost subtle enough to fit Trumpian territory, but I guess they don't consider him a very fine person.)

DevilsAdvocate: Don't get me wrong, I think the NFL policy is reprehensible, but that article has not convinced me that it violates any state free speech clauses, as the article fails to cite any cases which would prohibit an employer from restricting employees' speech while on the job.

Yeah, I understand why this isn't usually how it's argued, but I'm willing to say flat out that the NFL policy is reprehensible primarily because police murdering black people is reprehensible, and while the principle of free expression is important, it's secondary in this instance. If this had all started with white players making a white-power hand gesture, then as far as I'm concerned the NFL could (within the bounds of contract law) establish new rules prohibiting that (although it probably would remain inappropriate for the government to shift its weight on the issue -- I'm not tossing the First Amendment out).
posted by InTheYear2017 at 9:40 AM on June 5 [4 favorites]


Tehran will attack 10 times more if attacked by enemies

That line feels familiar somehow...
posted by contraption at 9:41 AM on June 5 [4 favorites]


Superb catch by Adam Weinstein, via Twitter:

"presidential pardon power is not a constitutional area ted cruz has studied, with the exception of his 50-page article on 'the obama administration’s unprecedented lawlessness' in last april’s harvard journal of law and public policy"

LOL
posted by kelborel at 9:41 AM on June 5 [160 favorites]


Oh man. That's a great catch.
posted by zarq at 9:45 AM on June 5 [8 favorites]


Betsy DeVos: School safety commission won't focus on guns

“That is not part of the commission's charge, per se.”
posted by Artw at 9:59 AM on June 5 [15 favorites]


In fairness, it turns out the focus of the article was on Obama's alleged failure to take care that the laws be faithfully executed under Article II, sec 3 of the Constitution, and it only glancingly addresses the pardon power. See 38 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 63 (Winter, 2015).

However, it remains a sick burn and I do not retract my LOL.
posted by kelborel at 10:00 AM on June 5 [28 favorites]




We’re definitely going to talk about Puerto Rico, right? A nervous nation inquires. (Alexandra Petri, WaPo)

Sunday's All Things Considered on Sunday, June 3 was 90% Puerto Rico, 10% Virgin Islands. Much was on how the islands are preparing for the next storms, but there were also the human interest stories.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:03 AM on June 5 [18 favorites]


So Iran is playing out exactly the same as North Korea (and to a certain extent, Iraq and Syria), down to many of the same names being involved. Who could have seen this coming?

I mean, besides literally everyone involved in the regulatory process, the majority of the US diplomatic corps, experts in the intersection of nuclear warfare and geopolitics, anyone who paid attention to how the GOP has handled nuclear diplomacy since 9/11, and of course crazy (chicken)hawks worldwide that have been working very hard to bring us to this point.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:13 AM on June 5 [5 favorites]


Pruitt Scandal Update: WaPo - Scott Pruitt enlisted an EPA aide to help his wife find a job — at Chick-fil-A
Three months after Scott Pruitt was sworn in as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, his executive scheduler emailed Dan Cathy, chairman and president of the fast food company Chick-fil-A, with an unusual request: Would Cathy meet with Pruitt to discuss “a potential business opportunity”?

A call was arranged, then canceled, and Pruitt eventually spoke with someone from the company’s legal department. Only then did he reveal the “opportunity” on his mind was a job for his wife, Marlyn.

“The subject of that phone call was an expression of interest in his wife becoming a Chick-fil-A franchisee,” company representative Carrie Kurlander told The Washington Post via email.

Marlyn Pruitt never opened a restaurant. “Administrator Pruitt’s wife started, but did not complete, the Chick-fil-A franchisee application,” Kurlander said. But the revelation that Pruitt used his official position and EPA staff to try to line up work for his wife appears to open a new chapter in the ongoing saga of his questionable spending and management decisions, which so far have spawned a dozen federal probes.
...
Federal ethics laws bar public officials from using their position or staff for private gain.
Some interesting details in the article, including a second alleged case of Pruitt using his office to secure a job for his wife, after the Chick-fi-A franchise fell through.

If anything ends up dooming Pruitt, my bet would be that it will be because his graft seems to be low-level and therefore also pervasive -- while some Trump staffers are getting waivers to collect millions in 'consulting' fees, hiding in plain sight, Pruitt is busy getting discounted room stays and mildly expensive pens and who knows what else.
posted by cjelli at 10:22 AM on June 5 [42 favorites]


Political Wire quotes Republican Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa calling Pruitt “about as swampy as you get."
Said Ernst: “He is about as swampy as you get here in Washington, D.C., and if the president wants to drain the swamp, he needs to take a look at his own cabinet.”
posted by Gelatin at 10:28 AM on June 5 [19 favorites]


Another fun detail is that this isn't the same aide who Pruitt had house-hunting and mattress-shopping for him -- it's her sister. Nepotism isn't just for Cabinet secretaries anymore!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:29 AM on June 5 [17 favorites]


Scott Pruitt's crimes are so small and penny ante that I'm convinced he lacks both imagination and cash.
posted by notyou at 10:31 AM on June 5 [14 favorites]


Context on Ernst (and fellow Iowa GOP senator Charles Grassley being if anything even harsher): Pruitt has been siding with oil companies rather than farm interests in the endless fights over how to enforce the Renewable Fuel Standard, which is the law that requires blending gasoline with (largely corn-based) ethanol and other biofuels. EPA is putting together a short-term RFS reform plan that could come out as soon as today and by all reports the farm groups that drive Iowa politics are going to haaaaaaaaate it.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:32 AM on June 5 [17 favorites]


Judge: Trump can be deposed in Summer Zervos lawsuit
A judge ruled Tuesday that President Donald Trump can be deposed in a defamation lawsuit brought last year by Summer Zervos, a former contestant on "The Apprentice” who says Trump kissed and groped her after she appeared on the show.

Zervos is one of more than a dozen women who have accused Trump of unwanted sexual contact. The president has vehemently denied all of the women’s claims, which he called “100 percent fabricated,” and he retweeted a tweet describing Zervos’s claim as a “hoax.” Zervos filed a defamation claim against Trump in January 2017 over those denials.
...
Trump could still avoid a deposition, though. His lawyers have appealed to New York's highest court in hopes of avoiding it.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:32 AM on June 5 [43 favorites]


In a somewhat-expected move that's still a blatantly partisan violation of norms and Senate comity, McConnell has (it's now being reported) cancelled most of the planned August Senate recess (excepting the first week of August), citing "historic obstruction" from Democrats (Merrick Garland might quibble with that characterization) but actually because, it is widely understood, because it will prevent incumbent Democrats (who outnumber incumbent Republicans up for reëlection) from campaigning effectively heading into the midterm elections.

Another take might be that McConnell wants a few more weeks to slam through judicial nominations; it's probably not just one thing.

In conclusion, McConnell is terrible, and if you're in a state with a Democratic Senator up for reëlection in a competitive district they could use your support.
posted by cjelli at 10:35 AM on June 5 [55 favorites]


And why exactly does his wife need help from her husband's connections opening a fast food franchise? She's not capable of doing it herself?
posted by Melismata at 10:38 AM on June 5 [6 favorites]


Have we discussed the sketchiness of George Papadopoulos' wife Simona Mangiante? Josh Marshall just posted a TPM subscribers-only piece about her called "What The F Is Going On Here?" A snippet:
The upshot is that I talked to some very knowledgable people and from what I can tell it’s basically an open secret that no one thinks Simona Mangiante is Italian. Everyone thinks she’s Russian – press, law enforcement, basically everyone. But ‘think’ isn’t proof. I confirmed on good authority, for instance, that she travels on an Italian passport. It seems like her claim isn’t easily disproven. Even she says that no one seems to believe she’s Italian, but she is. WTF?

All of this might be just a weird curiosity if not for how the two met, or reportedly met. Simona Mangiante worked for Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious Maltese academic, who is reportedly a Russian agent and was the one who told Papadopoulos about the “dirt” Russia had on Hillary Clinton. Maybe that’s just a coincidence. But it raises some obvious questions and questions that become more pressing if Mangiante is somehow a Russian who is masquerading as an Italian national.
posted by Lyme Drop at 10:39 AM on June 5 [33 favorites]


Pruitt has been siding with oil companies rather than farm interests in the endless fights over how to enforce the Renewable Fuel Standard...EPA is putting together a short-term RFS reform plan that could come out as soon as today and by all reports the farm groups that drive Iowa politics are going to haaaaaaaaate it.

Additional context for why Pruitt might be taking this particular stand: Carl Icahn, former Trump advisor, has a substantial financial stake in how the EPA handles the RFS, which is substantially why he's a former advisor:
The Environmental Protection Agency has granted a financial hardship waiver to an oil refinery owned by billionaire and former Donald Trump advisor Carl Icahn, according to reports. Reuters reported that the move will allow Icahn’s Oklahoma facility to avoid tens of millions of dollars in costs related to the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. Icahn stepped down from his position as special regulatory adviser to Trump last August after lawmakers cited potential ethical problems in his dual role as an adviser and an investor. The billionaire is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for his role in influencing biofuels policy while serving as Trump’s adviser. “This one’s going to be hard for [Scott] Pruitt to explain,” Brooke Coleman, head of the Advanced Biofuels Business Council industry group, said in an email Friday, referring to the under-fire EPA administrator. The refinery was denied exemptions by former President Barack Obama’s administration, federal filings showed.
posted by cjelli at 10:41 AM on June 5 [10 favorites]


A call was arranged, then canceled, and Pruitt eventually spoke with someone from the company’s legal department

Hey, at least one company paid some attention to its bribery/graft policies! That's a win for today!
posted by The_Vegetables at 10:41 AM on June 5 [17 favorites]


I wonder what would happen if Democrats representing vulnerable seats simply refused to go along with McConnell's shenanigans and didn't show up.

It doesn't look like Democrats could deny Republicans a quorum, although speaking of "historic obstruction," they could, and should, request a quorum call every day and not allow McConnell to proceed with a presumed quorum, as well as refusing to provide the unanimous consent on which the Senate relies for anything at all, even a vote to break for lunch.
posted by Gelatin at 10:41 AM on June 5 [41 favorites]


But the revelation that Pruitt used his official position and EPA staff to try to line up work for his wife

I'm flabbergasted (yes, I am) at the characterization of this as "line up work for his wife" and "find a job - at Chick-fil-A."

He wasn't helping her get a job. He was using his official position to get the company to sell her a franchise. A typical fast food chain franchise costs upwards of $2 million to start up. But Chick-fil-A does a different arrangement, where the franchisee puts up only $10,000 and the company then pays for all start up costs, including real estate, construction, equipment. For that $10,000 investment, the franchise owner then generally takes home six figures - personally - from each franchise.

In short, being a Chick-fil-A franchise owner is a very, very sweet gig and one that's difficult to get, where having the head of the EPA throw his weight at the company to pressure it to sell you the franchise is a big, corrupt deal.
posted by The World Famous at 10:44 AM on June 5 [122 favorites]


Not to downplay Icahn's shadiness, but it could also just be that in the two decades since Pruitt first won public office his lips have remained firmly and continuously affixed to the oil industry's collective butt.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:44 AM on June 5 [1 favorite]


Simona Mangiante worked for Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious Maltese academic, who is reportedly a Russian agent and was the one who told Papadopoulos about the “dirt” Russia had on Hillary Clinton.

Since Mifsud hasn't been seen since last Halloween there's some dispute about whether that "is" should be a "was."
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:45 AM on June 5 [13 favorites]


I wonder what would happen if Democrats representing vulnerable seats simply refused to go along with McConnell's shenanigans and didn't show up.

He'd probably use the opportunity to spring another Kill Your Constituents Act with a simple-majority vote.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:49 AM on June 5 [5 favorites]


And why exactly does his wife need help from her husband's connections opening a fast food franchise?

Sadly I have firsthand experience, I worked there for 6 years in highschool and college and watched several people still in my contacts get their own stores. I have family that still work there. Chick-fil-a is actually really selective about who they offer franchises, you have to really love Jesus and really buy into their whole cult-like mentality. I don't have current figures or anything, but most of their franchises go to internal candidates that have worked their way up for years, going to corporate leadership trainings, doing national openings, volunteering at their creepy camp, etc. If you haven't been in their system, it's not easy to get a Chick-fil-a restaurant.

Also they fucking print money. I'm not sure anyone understands just how profitable a freestanding Chick-fil-a store is, they routinely gross 2-3+ million annually, which is several times more than most competition. They have people that literally sell their existing franchises with other brands to come work as assistant managers in hopes of getting a Chick-fil-a store.

All of that makes Pruitt trying to leverage his wife into one without going through the usual channels look MORE corrupt.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:51 AM on June 5 [93 favorites]


h/t Sarah Kendzior, Rep. Don Byer on Twitter:
Since we raised the issue of SF-86 omissions by Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, reasons for concern about their suitability for security clearances have grown. Yet somehow both were granted clearances on the same day last month. We are demanding answers from the White House.

14 months ago @tedlieu @RepJerryNadler @RepRaskin @PeterWelch and I pointed out problems with Kushner's clearance forms - including omitted meetings with the Russian Ambassador - to the FBI, and asked that his clearance be revoked. 2/

As the revelations about Kushner's indiscretions grew, including the bombshell that he tried to set up a secret communication with the Kremlin, the calls for pulling his security clearance grew also. 3/

Jared Kushner's SF-86 omissions raised questions about similar omissions on the security clearance forms submitted by his wife and fellow White House adviser, Ivanka Trump. We put those questions directly to the White House. They never responded. 4/

It emerged that a federal investigation into Ivanka Trump for real estate fraud was dropped under strange circumstances. Trump and Kushner were also fined by the Office of Government Ethics because their ethics filings had big errors in the value of their jointly-held assets. 5/

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump also were revealed to have avoided public scrutiny by conducting official business using a private email server.
None of these issues stopped them from being granted clearances. We are asking the White House to explain why that is. 6/

Media reports citing sources close to Jared Kushner suggested that Kushner was cleared by "career" officials, without explanation. But the FBI told us that adjudications of security clearances for White House EOP staff are made by the White House. 7/

The SECRET Act, recently passed unanimously by Congress in the wake of the Rob Porter scandal, requires the White House to explain its security clearance process to Congress. We want them to explain how Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were granted security clearances. 8/8
posted by Dashy at 10:54 AM on June 5 [100 favorites]


Peter Beinart has an excellent analysis in the Atlantic of the history of US sanctions and their consequences. The essay examines Iran and how it has been and is likely to be affected in the future by sanctions.

"How Sanctions Feed Authoritarianism: Past experience shows that economic pressure does change societies—but it mostly facilitates hardliners. Iran’s regime may be next.":
In 2003, American leaders fantasized about a liberal, democratic, non-expansionist Iraq only to find that America’s own sanctions policies had helped destroy that dream. Now another Republican administration—led by some of the same foreign-policy officials—is spinning similar visions about Iran. The Iranians most invested in that vision warn that America’s policies are making it impossible. And the Trump administration either doesn’t know or doesn’t care.

posted by zarq at 10:58 AM on June 5 [7 favorites]


Dinesh D’Souza did a CNN interview, and this is the guy the President has seen fit to pardon:
Pointing out that D’Souza said that Trump pardoned him so he could be a voice for his principles, Camerota brought up his old tweets with “racist overtones,” including one in which he called Obama’s father “a philandering, inebriated African socialist.”

“I’m confused, what are the principles that you are hoping to be able to talk about now and spread?” Camerota asked.

“Obama’s father was a philandering, inebriated African socialist as a matter of fact,” D’Souza replied.

“Are you anti-philandering?” Camerota shot back.

After a pause, D’Souza protested, “look I’m not talking about this.”

Camerota again pressed the commentator if he was anti-philandering, but D’Souza refused to take the bait.

“I am trying to figure out what your principles are and they seem confusing,” Camerota said. “Because you are a supporter of the president and the idea that you would go after President Obama’s father for philandering and for being vulgar, that strikes some as hypocritical.”

“Why aren’t you speaking out about President Trump’s philandering?” she asked. “Why aren’t you speaking about out about his vulgarity?”

After a painful choke, D’Souza said his problem with Obama’s father was not his philandering, and that his remark was “not a sleazy attack on an individual.”

Camerota countered that D’Souza’s remark about Obama being from the “ghetto” was a “sleazy attack on an individual.”

D’Souza explained that Obama’s use of a selfie stick in the Oval Office was “degrading.”
posted by zachlipton at 11:07 AM on June 5 [140 favorites]


Have we discussed the sketchiness of George Papadopoulos' wife Simona Mangiante?

According to this article their relationship blossomed from "a flirtation that began on LinkedIn."

WTF? Who does this? This vexes me. I'm terribly vexed.
posted by zakur at 11:07 AM on June 5 [77 favorites]


RealClearPolitics has a transcript up of an interview by conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt and AG Sessions. It ends:
HH: Mr. Attorney General, are you a grandfather?

JS: Yes, I am.

HH: Can you imagine your grandchildren separated from your children for a period of 72 hours or even longer in a dormitory with up to, the deputy secretary told me, 1,000 other children and the impact on them of that?

JS: Hugh, you can’t, the United States can’t be a total guarantor that every parent who comes to the country unlawfully with a child is guaranteed that they won’t be, is guaranteed that they will be able to have their hand on that child the entire time. That’s just not the way it works.

posted by zarq at 11:09 AM on June 5 [29 favorites]


According to this article their relationship blossomed from "a flirtation that began on LinkedIn."

So people really are just acting out hackneyed movie plots? Because this really looks like ‘Russia uses attractive female spy to woo and marry young political professional they found online, as possible vector for surreptitious approach to U.S. presidential campaign’. Poor Papadopoulos, catfished into betraying his country, our national security compromised because he can’t get a date IRL and turned to LinkedIn instead....
posted by LooseFilter at 11:17 AM on June 5 [32 favorites]


This is your regular reminder that applying for asylum is a legal process. It is not entering the country unlawfully.
posted by Gelatin at 11:18 AM on June 5 [129 favorites]


Gizmodo, FCC Emails Show Agency Spread Lies to Bolster Dubious DDoS Attack Claims. In which the FCC's comment system can't keep up with John Oliver levels of traffic (I cannot believe that's an actual phrase), so they lie and say there's been a series of DDoS attacks rather than admit they can't handle the load, even claiming that the same thing happened in 2014 and former chair Tom Wheeler covered it up.

Michael Krigsman, a ZDNet columnist, went as far as encouraging the FCC to complain to his boss about his own colleague, who wrote a story about the FCC's refusal to provide any proof of an attack.
posted by zachlipton at 11:18 AM on June 5 [19 favorites]


That said, I wonder if they are cracking down so hard on people who immigrate with young children because they see the DACA endgame not working out in their favor? That young people who grew up knowing only the United States as their home may gain a pathway to citizenship despite the efforts of Trump and hardline Republicans?
posted by Gelatin at 11:20 AM on June 5 [6 favorites]


Are there really that many serious primary challenges? My understanding was that the big shift was in people running against normally-uncontested Republican seats, not that elder Democrats were in trouble.

Many more Republican incumbents are being primaried. But some key Dems are being primaried as well. From Jan: 10 Democratic Primaries To Watch In 2018 and from Feb: Progressives storm Democratic primaries
posted by zarq at 11:23 AM on June 5


But Chick-fil-A does a different arrangement, where the franchisee puts up only $10,000 and the company then pays for all start up costs, including real estate, construction, equipment. For that $10,000 investment, the franchise owner then generally takes home six figures - personally - from each franchise.

Wow, that is REALLY messed up. The whole reason for companies to go with a franchise model over a corporate model is that they give up some control over the individual store operations but can dump a lot of the risk off to the franchisee.

The whole point of a franchise is that you can setup a successful business model but then don't have to buy some or all of the stuff it takes to get a new location up and running. Most of the risk falls on the franchisee but it's offset by whatever corporate support they give (some, like McDonalds, provide kind of a lot others basically just let you slap their name on the building).

I don't know that I'd call what Chick-Fil-A does a franchise model and I'd be curious to hear about how much independence from their corporate overlords franchisees really have once they've gotten their store up and running though that discussion probably isn't really relevant to the thread.
posted by VTX at 11:23 AM on June 5 [3 favorites]


According to this article their relationship blossomed from "a flirtation that began on LinkedIn."
WTF? Who does this? This vexes me. I'm terribly vexed.

In a nutshell, men with no boundaries, who don't see any problem using a tool designed exclusively for professional networking opportunities as a way to pick up women. Why yes I have met people like this, and it is not a character flaw limited to their online dating appetites, why do you ask?

The fact that he fell directly into the Russians' honeypot while being a loathsome man with no personal/professional boundaries is just further proof that the writers ran out of ideas eighteen months ago, and are just phoning it in while the royalty checks continue to clear.
posted by Mayor West at 11:25 AM on June 5 [37 favorites]


Meeting on LinkedIn? Yuk. When I go on LinkedIn, I'm looking for interview proposals, not date proposals! (Or MLM proposals; TBH I don't know what is worse!) I have to wonder if that was a catfish. And I'm not a conspiracy theorist!

Gelatin: That said, I wonder if they are cracking down so hard on people who immigrate with young children because they see the DACA endgame not working out in their favor? That young people who grew up knowing only the United States as their home may gain a pathway to citizenship despite the efforts of Trump and hardline Republicans?

Aaaannnnd, many, if not most, of these young people grow up to be Democrats. The Republicans are catering hard to older, richer, white people, which is a losing game unless they start disenfranchising voters left and right. The numbers are not in the R's favor, so they need to cheat.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 11:27 AM on June 5 [7 favorites]


Hugh, you can’t, the United States can’t be a total guarantor that every parent who comes to the country unlawfully with a child is guaranteed that they won’t be, is guaranteed that they will be able to have their hand on that child the entire time. That’s just not the way it works.

Sessions is manifestly incapable not only of empathizing with the parents, but also cannot for a moment consider the children as human beings with human requirements for well-being. In his mind the children go to Kelly's-Or-Whatever and that's that, sins of the fathers, you know. The egregious diminishing of the actual atrocity here, with "taking children away and making them disappear indefinitely into defunct wal-marts" transmuted into "these illegals are bitching about not being able to literally have constant physical contact with their whelps" is a window into the sociopathy of Jeff and the rest.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:27 AM on June 5 [45 favorites]


By the way, note the interesting pivot Sessions makes mid comment:

JS: Hugh, you can’t, the United States can’t be a total guarantor that every parent who comes to the country unlawfully with a child is guaranteed that they won’t be, is guaranteed that they will be able to have their hand on that child the entire time. That’s just not the way it works.

It's almost as if he was about to say that the United States couldn't guarantee that the children of immigrants won't be shipped off to concentration camps, when it certainly could. And note also that he dishonestly rephrases Hewitt's scenario of "separated from your children for a period of 72 hours or even longer in a dormitory with up to ... 1,000 other children" to "have your hand on that child the entire time." Reprehensible, even from someone considered by his fellow Senators as too racist to be confirmed as a Federal judge.
posted by Gelatin at 11:30 AM on June 5 [24 favorites]


Some Minnesota Elections Brou-ha-ha:

Congressperson Keith Ellison (MN-5) has announced his candidacy to be the Attorney General of Minnesota. (twitter link to announcement) He will not be endorsing a candidate for the MN-5 congressional seat that he is vacating. However, MN-5, which includes Minneapolis and a few nearby 'burbs, has been a very blue district since the 1960's.

The DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) Party has endorsed Erin Murphy (and running mate Erin Maye Quade) for Governor. Current MN Attorney General Lori Swanson (and running mate current MN-8 Congressperson Rick Nolan) and current MN-2 Congressperson Tim Walz will force a DFL primary in August. Everybody's got an opinion about the importance of the DFL endorsement and whether or not forcing a primary is a good thing, but it will happen.

The GOP has endorsed Jeff Johnson, but the elephant in the room (ha) is that Tim Pawlenty has decided to skip the convention and go straight to the primary to get his old job back. He was governor from '04-'11 and since then has run for president and has been working as a lobbyist for Wall Street on Capitol Hill.
posted by Elly Vortex at 11:32 AM on June 5 [10 favorites]




Aaaannnnd, many, if not most, of these young people grow up to be Democrats. The Republicans are catering hard to older, richer, white people, which is a losing game unless they start disenfranchising voters left and right. The numbers are not in the R's favor, so they need to cheat.

I'll point out that as late as the election of 2000, Republicans considered the Latino vote absolutely gettable -- George W. Bush presented himself as speaking Spanish, and his party had not yet written off that demographic at all. Much opinion was spouted about the social conservatism of many Latinos, for example, to which Republicans could presumably appeal. But even he could not get an immigration bill past his own party, for whom the word "amnesty" has been weaponized into meaning anything less than mass deportation in chains, to say nothing an increasing embrace of overt racism. After that, it's small wonder Republican strategist consider the demographic lost, and so -- as they so frequently need to do, given the unpopularity of their agenda -- need to cheat.
posted by Gelatin at 11:36 AM on June 5 [13 favorites]


WaPo, Trump fixates on pardons, could soon give reprieve to 63-year-old woman after meeting with Kim Kardashian
President Trump is privately telling aides that he is strongly considering pardoning Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old woman serving a life sentence, after meeting with Kim Kardashian to discuss her case, as he becomes increasingly fixated on his ability to issue pardons.

The pardon for Johnson could come as early as Tuesday, and the paperwork was being finalized Tuesday morning, according to a person familiar with the discussions. Trump’s aides and associates see Kardashian’s celebrity imprimatur as crucial and alluring to the president.

But the potential pardon of Johnson has caused consternation in the West Wing, with top advisers — including chief of staff John F. Kelly and White House counsel Donald McGahn — disturbed by the process, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

Kelly has reviewed Johnson’s background and her 1996 conviction — she was sentenced to life in prison on drug possession and money laundering charges — and is not convinced she deserves a pardon, an administration official said. And McGahn has also argued against the possible pardon as an unnecessary action by the president, a second official said.
...
Trump has recently become intensely focused on his ability to grant pardons, asking his lawyers to compile a list of candidates. A White House official this week said Trump is “obsessed” with pardons, describing them as the president’s new “favorite thing” to talk about. He may sign a dozen or more in the next two months, this person added.
...
The White House is also now weighing whether to grant a presidential pardon to two ranchers from eastern Oregon, Dwight and Steven Hammond, whose 2016 imprisonment on arson charges inspired the 41 day-armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Ranching and farming groups, as well as some militia adherents, have pushed for clemency to send a signal that federal officials won’t engage in overreach out West.
He's reportedly asking his friends who else he should pardon too. I'm inclined to think Johnson deserves a pardon, as do thousands of other people who don't have celebrities to champion their cause personally to the President. But it's also clear that he's come to realize that pardons are one of the few things that actually work like how he thought all presidenting works: you order something and, poof, they're letting someone out of prison. And as he realizes the obvious connection between that power and the investigation that's swallowing up everyone he touches, he's just going to be even more obsessed with it.

And it's distressing that the reporting here doesn't emphasize the lack of process. There is a pardon process in this country, with guidelines and application forms and review by lawyers. And the people using that process deserve a chance, even if they aren't close to one of Trump's friends.
posted by zachlipton at 11:38 AM on June 5 [47 favorites]


I don't know how many of you listened to The Weeds but this week they talked about this child separation atrocity and apparently the subtextual belief among the whackadoos now running the country is that most of the families coming to the border are not real families. They think they're all traffickers and the kids aren't their own kids. So as far as they are concerned, they aren't separating families, they're breaking up criminal conspiracies that include children.

Or at least, this is apparently what they tell themselves so they can sleep at night.
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:40 AM on June 5 [32 favorites]


Aaaannnnd, many, if not most, of these young people grow up to be Democrats. The Republicans are catering hard to older, richer, white people, which is a losing game unless they start disenfranchising voters left and right. The numbers are not in the R's favor, so they need to cheat.

Most of the people coming over that border are socially conservative; the only reason they wouldn’t vote Republican is that the Republicans are, you know, genocidal towards them. If the Republicans stopped being that way...??? That apparently the only Republican ever to understand this is George W. Bush speaks volumes about the brainpower in the GOP.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:42 AM on June 5 [21 favorites]


(To say nothing of simple human compassion.)
posted by Sys Rq at 11:44 AM on June 5 [5 favorites]


Some Minnesota Elections Brou-ha-ha

Gotta be honest, I'm baffled and a little bit repelled by a lot of aspects of the Rolling Clusterfuck of Minnesota Democratic Politics right now. Walz sidestepping the endorsement was kind of gross but I guess understandable from an "insatiable hunger to win" perspective. Swanson hopping into the gov race like she did was even grosser, and I guess more insatiable. I don't understand Ellison's move at all; if we're in an existential fight for the future of the republic, as he's been saying, I just don't get leaving a position with a fairly high national profile to become a state-level elected official. And the clown car of filings to replace him in MN-5 (just the clown car of filings in general; Mike Hatch is back?) is just dispiriting.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 11:45 AM on June 5 [7 favorites]


Does Trump think that if he pardons a bunch of people, him pardoning himself or other Russiagate conspirators will get lost in the shuffle?

Though in truth, I don't doubt that with few actual legislative achievements and his agenda on permanent hold in Congress, the more-or-less unilateral nature of the pardon power appeals to him. (Of course it isn't unilateral; there's a process, which of course he's abusing.)

Still, I am reminded of the scene in Schindler's List when the eponymous hero tries to talk monstrous commandant Goeth into being more merciful by describing the power inherent in pardoning someone. And it's notable that whatever temporary feelings of mercy Schindler may have kindled didn't last very long before Goeth was back to his bloodthirsty ways.
posted by Gelatin at 11:47 AM on June 5


@ewstephe: "I'm an honest person" - @PressSec on whether her August comments about the Air Force One statement were accurate

She still has no comment on why she said Trump didn't dictate the Don Jr. statement when the legal team says he did.

She now says "my credibility is probably higher than the medias" and "I think if you spent a little more time trying to report the news instead of tearing me down," you'd do a better job.
posted by zachlipton at 11:49 AM on June 5 [18 favorites]


another day another shambolic WH press briefing.

Chris Geidner tweeting: Press Sec refuses to answer questins about her own Aug 2017 statement about Don Jrs Trump Tower meeting statement and the presidents role in creating Don Jrs statement

"you said something from the podium, was it accurate or not?" @jdawsey1 asks.

Again, Press Sec will not answer.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 11:49 AM on June 5 [25 favorites]


(Of course it isn't unilateral; there's a process, which of course he's abusing.)

He's obviously abusing the pardon power, but he's not really abusing the process, exactly. The process is there to help the President make just decisions. Since he doesn't believe in process, he finds it superfluous. The process is not not proscribed by law or Constitution. It was set up by the Executive, and it can just as easily be ignored by it. Arguably, there could be a better process than there was! But he's just taking a dump all over it. Which, you know, is bad. But the underlying actual pardon power is very close to unilateral.
posted by BungaDunga at 11:53 AM on June 5 [7 favorites]


She now says "my credibility is probably higher than the medias" and "I think if you spent a little more time trying to report the news instead of tearing me down," you'd do a better job.

"Probably"?! Way to hedge your bet there, Sanders.

Notice also how she pretends that her dishonesty isn't a major obstacle to reporting the news, though she fully intends it to be.

I think Harry Truman had a relevant observation regarding the ambient temperature of the food preparation area.
posted by Gelatin at 11:53 AM on June 5 [4 favorites]


I don't know how many of you listened to The Weeds but this week they talked about this child separation atrocity and apparently the subtextual belief among the whackadoos now running the country is that most of the families coming to the border are not real families. They think they're all traffickers and the kids aren't their own kids. So as far as they are concerned, they aren't separating families, they're breaking up criminal conspiracies that include children.

I've written about this at some length before, but I challenge one of these walking piles of dog excrement to come to the (heavily Hispanic, largely first-generation) school where my wife is principal, and explain that no, the parents these kids love and are terrified to lose are actually vicious human traffickers and all-around bad dudes, and we have to get them out of here before they commit further atrocities like getting their GEDs or finding a job with earlier hours so they can go to their kids' dance recital.

I relish not only the thought of seeing one of them twisting in the wind when their genocidal madness meets tangible reality, but also at the thought that these kids have seen some shit, and will let fly with both barrels in a way I can't do justice here.
posted by Mayor West at 11:57 AM on June 5 [20 favorites]


She now says "my credibility is probably higher than the medias" and "I think if you spent a little more time trying to report the news instead of tearing me down," you'd do a better job.

When your heart's on fire,
You must realize, smoke gets in your eyes.
posted by jaduncan at 11:58 AM on June 5 [7 favorites]


Dara Lind, with the latest on immigration, Trump keeps making it harder for people to seek asylum legally
Is there still a “right way” to seek asylum in the US?

The Trump administration’s tactics at the border — both the ones it’s announced and bragged about officially and the ones that lawyers, advocates, and journalists have witnessed — add up to a picture that makes it hard to say, for sure, that someone with a legitimate need for humanitarian protection will be able to enter the US safely.

If an asylum seeker enters the US illegally, she’ll be referred for prosecution and put in jail. Her children will be taken from her with a promise of reunification once she’s served her sentence — a promise whose fulfillment is up to the already overwhelmed Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is struggling to house and keep track of the immigrant children it already has.

But if an asylum seeker tries to enter the US legally, at a port of entry, she may not fare any better. Some asylum seekers have been separated from their children at ports of entry, though advocates don’t believe it’s happening systematically. The Trump administration has promised to prosecute anyone who submits a “fraudulent” asylum claim — and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made it clear that he suspects many, if not most, asylum claims are fraudulent.

She may not be allowed to enter legally at all. She might be turned back one or more times, told there’s no room for her today. She might be told there’s no room for her at this port of entry at all, or that the US isn’t taking refugees anymore, or that she’s not allowed to apply for asylum unless she registers with the Mexican government first. She might be blocked from setting foot on US soil, depriving her of even the nominal right to claim asylum in the US.
posted by zachlipton at 11:58 AM on June 5 [15 favorites]


> gun owners that try and tell us they're reasonable while simultaneously joking about stuff like "truck control,"

Just for anyone not up on this, the typical argument of the gun supporter who brings this up is something like: "If that psychopath had...driven a truck into that crowd and killed 100 people would we be talking about truck control?"

And the answer of course a resounding YES, WE DO and WE ARE!

Trucks, cars, etc are indeed extremely useful tools but they are also, simultaneously very dangerous--killing over a million and serious injuring over 20 million people annually puts traffic injuries and fatalities as among the leading causes of disability and premature death globally.

And so in fact every country in the world takes serious steps towards "truck control" including registration, licensing, training, insurance requirements, many law regulating use, etc etc etc. Some of the fatalities are intentional, most are unintentional. It doesn't matter--we take reasonable steps to reduce both types.

And in fact, many reasonable people across the world think we should take "dangerous vehicle control" to the next level and do what we need to in order to actually eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries.

And why not? Why would we not work to eliminate unnecessary fatalities and injuries, especially if we can do so while retaining almost all of the usefulness of the underlying technology?

> A gun in the house is much more likely to be used against the owner or a loved one than a criminal, yet the gun lobby has promoted a tribal fetish that it's about "protection."

It's interesting to see the fantasy of the hero gunman riding in to kill the bad guy and save the day playing out in the real world situation of the poor Stoneman Douglas resource officer. He is getting all the blame--both from himself and others--for not being the hero good guy with a gun that everyone--again, including the resource officer himself--dreams of.

He's being judged not against the norm of regular human behavior, or even well-trained law enforcement officer behavior, but against some kind of impossible myth we've created about how these situations should play out if armed and trained people are (semi) nearby.

(FWIW if you read the article linked above, it is clear that by the time the officer received the radio call of "possible firecrackers," traveled across campus to reach the area where the firecrackers were reported, heard a couple of possible shots whose origin was impossible to determine, and called in the report of the shots (or was it firecrackers? he wasn't sure at the time) and to shut down the school, 11 victims were already dead. He spent two minutes trying to size up the situation and figure out where the shots were coming from and by that time all the remaining victims were dead. Even if he had immediately rushed somewhere, it was very unclear where the 'somewhere' should have been, and the chance of him encountering the shooter even if he had been rushing around randomly in that two-minute period are pretty much nil.

In short this was a typical 'combat' type situation where information is extremely ambiguous and everything is playing out very quickly over a very short time frame. Given time, information, and communication you could eventually figure it out but you don't have any of the three.

Yet, we expect superhuman knowledge, perception, and response. And we respond with dripping bucketloads of blame when it is not forthcoming as expected.)
posted by flug at 11:59 AM on June 5 [78 favorites]


I relish not only the thought of seeing one of them twisting in the wind when their genocidal madness meets tangible reality, but also at the thought that these kids have seen some shit, and will let fly with both barrels in a way I can't do justice here.

i mean, i don't think they will twist in the wind. these conservatives will see that, and at best make an exception for the one or two kids they like and still want to ethnically cleanse the rest.

they hate and they love to hate.
posted by anem0ne at 12:02 PM on June 5 [6 favorites]


@jbendery: Q: So Trump supports a cake baker's right to free speech, but not an NFL player's right?
Sarah Sanders: "The president doesn't think this is an issue simply of free speech. He thinks it's about respecting the men & women of our military, it's about respecting our natl anthem."

That's a fascinating definition of free speech where the President gets to decide what counts as speech.

Anyway, he's now explaining why everyone should stand for the anthem, reading a bunch of words he's clearly never seen before.
posted by zachlipton at 12:04 PM on June 5 [42 favorites]


She now says "my credibility is probably higher than the medias" and "I think if you spent a little more time trying to report the news instead of tearing me down," you'd do a better job.

Every moment they spend sitting in that room with her proves her right. There's zero reason for any respectable media outlet to still be wasting time at these briefings, especially if they're not going to simply repeat the last question she won't answer until she does. When she lies, they should only ask the same question until she ends the briefing or changes her answer. Allowing her to move on and then reprinting her lies is collaboration.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:05 PM on June 5 [44 favorites]


Sarah Sanders: "The president doesn't think this is an issue simply of free speech. He thinks it's about respecting the men & women of our military, it's about respecting our natl anthem."

That's a fascinating definition of free speech where the President gets to decide what counts as speech.


Not only that, but the national anthem is a song honoring our nation, not just the military. It has nothing to do with honoring the military at all, and if Trump thinks so, he's dangerously wrongheaded and someone should tell Sanders so and shame on her for suggesting it.
posted by Gelatin at 12:08 PM on June 5 [33 favorites]


But it's also clear that he's come to realize that pardons are one of the few things that actually work like how he thought all presidenting works: you order something and, poof, they're letting someone out of prison.

Relatedly: have we seen fewer Executive Orders issued recently? Those have a similarly alluring "THIS IS MY PRESIDENTIAL COMMAND MAKE IT SO" quality but I suspect he's become quite disillusioned with how many of them immediately get tied up in court challenges.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:08 PM on June 5 [10 favorites]


This is kind of amazing. These people were hoping to see their favorite football team, and instead they got a four minute speech in which Trump spoke for dead soldiers and delivered patriotic platitudes and then they got their fill of Sousa marches while Trump wandered around shaking some hands. Trump stayed maybe 10 minutes before wandering off back to the White House sometime in the middle of The Stars and Stripes Forever.

What is even happening?
posted by zachlipton at 12:11 PM on June 5 [25 favorites]


Not only that, but the national anthem is a song honoring our nation, not just the military. It has nothing to do with honoring the military at all, and if Trump thinks so, he's dangerously wrongheaded and someone should tell Sanders so and shame on her for suggesting it.

Sure it is. It’s about how much they sucked at defending Baltimore during the War of 1812.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:14 PM on June 5 [23 favorites]


The anthem thing is so dumb but also really sinister. I've struggled quite a bit over what to do when it played at my univ's last two commencements, but this latest set of decrees from a fucking despot to rise in keeping with his tyrannical fake blather about "respect" has made it crystal clear that I need to stay seated or take a knee from now on. However everybody else chooses to express themselves is fine, but all Americans of good conscience should think long and hard about what they want to endorse and enable here.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:16 PM on June 5 [56 favorites]


>She now says "my credibility is probably higher than the medias" and "I think if you spent a little more time trying to report the news instead of tearing me down," you'd do a better job.

Every moment they spend sitting in that room with her proves her right. There's zero reason for any respectable media outlet to still be wasting time at these briefings... Allowing her to move on and then reprinting her lies is collaboration.


That's a bit hyperbolic. Printing 'the press secretary lied and here is her lie' is collaboration? Posing her questions that prompt her to lie is collaboration? Where do you go from there?

She's lying because credible media outlets are there and are posing real questions. If credible media outlets weren't there posing real questions, there would still be press briefings, they'd just be filled with non-credible news outlets tossing softball questions. Would that really be better? Ultimately, I don't think these press briefings are terribly useful, but that's the White House's fault, not that of the media.

Not everything is 100% either exactly the right kind of tactical approach OR ELSE COLLABORATION. The press could do this better, sure. Doing things less than perfectly isn't collaboration, and calling this collaboration muddies the waters of what is or isn't actual collaboration.
posted by cjelli at 12:18 PM on June 5 [23 favorites]


German politicians call on US to withdraw ambassador
Richard Grenell under fire for saying he’ll seek to ’empower’ anti-establishment parties across Europe.
The US ambassador to Germany was on Tuesday accused of attempting to act as a rival to Angela Merkel after it emerged he had invited the Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz to a meeting during his visit to Berlin next week.
Meanwhile he has recently met with Netanyahu.
posted by adamvasco at 12:20 PM on June 5 [32 favorites]


Dispatches from the Hooray for America celebration on the lawn:

"I’ve asked 6 of the “fans” at the White House who was the @Eagles quarterback during the super bowl. Not ONE person knew." - Tim Furlong, NBC

"Breaking: Reporters on the South Lawn have confirmed the @realDonaldTrump was heckled and booed when he came out to celebrate America." - April D. Ryan



lol
posted by marshmallow peep at 12:20 PM on June 5 [87 favorites]


Meanwhile he has recently met with Netanyahu.

I'm curious to know why you included this.
posted by zarq at 12:27 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


@AP_Politics: Government says Medicare will become insolvent in 2026, three years earlier than expected, Social Security to follow in 2034.

Al Gore tried to tell us, but everyone was too busy mocking his debate performance to listen to his plan to fix it. And then we've done fuck all since then.
posted by zachlipton at 12:27 PM on June 5 [32 favorites]


I hardly ever find myself (white dude with a healthy invisible knapsack) at events where the national anthem is played beforehand, but I ran a 5k for colorectal cancer awareness a few months ago and they had to play the national anthem before the start. 30 seconds in, I looked around and just took a knee. Join me, white people.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:28 PM on June 5 [63 favorites]


I'm curious to know why you included this.

Is it common for an ambassador to hold meetings with heads of state outside their portfolio?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:29 PM on June 5 [6 favorites]


"Breaking: Reporters on the South Lawn have confirmed the @realDonaldTrump was heckled and booed when he came out to celebrate America." - April D. Ryan

@NoahGrayCNN: This is not true. There was a protester who shouted at Trump and was booed.

And here's Trump forgetting the words to God Bless America.

I can't believe he didn't last 10 minutes at his stupid patriotic ceremony.
posted by zachlipton at 12:30 PM on June 5 [31 favorites]




Is it okay to talk about Melania Trump's disappearance yet? The Washington Post thinks so.
posted by rikschell at 12:34 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


I looked around and just took a knee. Join me, white people.

Looks like this guy at the White House followed your advice, as captured by a Sweedish TV reporter. Bravo!
posted by zachlipton at 12:34 PM on June 5 [28 favorites]


It has nothing to do with honoring the military at all, and if Trump thinks so, he's dangerously wrongheaded and someone should tell Sanders so and shame on her for suggesting it.

Can we please, please, please not do this thing where Trump and his horcruxes get to define issues by coming down on one side or the other of them?

The National Anthem has significant meaning to the military, military members, and veterans who go to war with that flag on their shoulder, and whose coffin is covered by that flag when they die. They are not the only people it is significant to, but it doesn't mean that members of the military do not have deep (and often complicated) feelings about the anthem and the flag, or that many civilians do not stand for the flag as a part of honoring the military for whom the flag is so deeply entwined with the lives they often give in their nation's service.

And yes, I do find people sitting for the anthem that has so much meaning disrespectful. But the national anthem controversy is not and should never be 'is it respectful or not to stand for the flag'. The point of the national anthem controversy is that respect for the flag is not truly respect if you're not going to honor the principles and nation that raised it. So yeah, I would like everyone to stand for the flag in my perfect world, but also standing for the flag means standing for people's right to do things that I find disrespectful because goddammit we are a free country and better men than me died to make it so. And if you're standing for the flag but refusing to stand up for people who break your hearts by disrespecting it, that is what's wrong. Not saying that honoring the flag honors the military.
posted by corb at 12:34 PM on June 5 [25 favorites]


April Ryans tweet is half true (which is more than you can say for most of what Sarah Sanders says): Trump WAS heckled, then the heckler was booed.

Im also curious about the phrasing "forgetting the words" to God Bless America or as Deadspin put it "unable to remember words" - is there any compelling reason to believe he ever knew them? in that Deadspin tweet which is a close up on his face during the song the only fucking words he knows are "to the praries" and "god bless America"
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:34 PM on June 5 [4 favorites]


And here's Trump forgetting the words to God Bless America.
I can't believe he didn't last 10 minutes at his stupid patriotic ceremony.


As delicious as this may be, it's God Bless America, not the National Anthem. I honestly doubt too many people can get more than four lines in before getting lost.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:39 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


I don't think it's really unreasonable to expect that the guy who threw a fit because not enough football players wanted to come to his party and demanded people appear before him to sing patriotic songs know the words to some patriotic songs, at least the two being sung at his event.
posted by zachlipton at 12:46 PM on June 5 [75 favorites]


> German politicians call on US to withdraw ambassador - Richard Grenell under fire for saying he’ll seek to ’empower’ anti-establishment parties across Europe.

Interesting . . . one of my Republican friends here in Missouri, formerly a very high profile office-holder at the state level, recently tweeted a series of links to news stories talking about the rise of far-right parties across Europe.

Maybe I'm mis-reading, but my sense was that it was a bit of boosterism, and "Look how awesome right-wing politics like ours are doing across the world. Trump is really lighting a far under our kind of people at home and abroad!"

But if you actually bother the read the articles--we're talking about far-right extremist, racist parties here. Nationalist, white nationalist, anti-immigrant, neo-facist. That's our spectrum.

Not the right-most 50% of the general population--the rightmost 5-10% who would quite literally burn things down if they could.

And just to be clear: When Grenell says he'll "’empower’ anti-establishment parties across Europe" that's exactly the type of parties he is talking about.

That's who we're jumping in bed with now?
posted by flug at 12:47 PM on June 5 [18 favorites]


I looked around and just took a knee. Join me, white people.

Looks like this guy at the White House followed your advice, as captured by a Sweedish TV reporter. Bravo!


I also really appreciated this followup tweet by Kim Kelly.
posted by Existential Dread at 12:53 PM on June 5 [33 favorites]


How a Ragtag Group of Socialist Filmmakers Produced One of the Most Viral Campaign Ads of 2018 ( Via BB)
posted by growabrain at 12:54 PM on June 5 [5 favorites]


Some interesting context from the New Republic on Ellison's decision to leave Congress and run for AG.
posted by Existential Dread at 12:58 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


[Couple deleted; let's call it good on this "does he know the words"/"how does this public appearance showcase yet again that he sucks in all the ways we know he sucks", theme. We know. If there's nothing going on, we can just pause and have the thread be quiet for a bit, and people can go look at something else -- e.g. 1, 2, 3.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:59 PM on June 5 [5 favorites]


flug: And just to be clear: When Grenell says he'll "’empower’ anti-establishment parties across Europe" that's exactly the type of parties he is talking about.

Yup. Angela Merkel, Malcolm Turnbull, Theresa May, and Emmanuel Macron have each received Trump's ire at various times, and are all nominally right-of-center in their own countries' politics (excepting Macron if we only measure in terms of their most recent electoral opponents, but I don't). On first principles he should get along with all of them, especially Turnbull and May. But instead, which sort of world leaders haven't gotten a tongue lashing? The ones extreme enough to be totalitarian, e.g Duterte, Erdogan, and of course Putin.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 12:59 PM on June 5 [13 favorites]


Is it common for an ambassador to hold meetings with heads of state outside their portfolio?

Not common, no. I mean, does it happen? Sure.

But this was apparently a brief "courtesy" meeting at the airport that turned into a quick handshake, so it's not like it's particularly earthshaking.
posted by zarq at 1:01 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


> The National Anthem has significant meaning to the military, military members, and veterans who go to war with that flag on their shoulder, and whose coffin is covered by that flag when they die.

Unless I missed something, this sentence illustrates the problem perfectly. It begins by mentioning about the meaning of the national anthem, then jumps straight over to "that flag." What does "that" in "that flag" refer to, if not the national anthem?

The national anthem is not the flag, and while your error may just be a coincidence, whether intentional or not this is EXACTLY what Kap critics do to denigrate him and the protests in general.
posted by rhizome at 1:06 PM on June 5 [48 favorites]


Yeah there's a weird conflation of the anthem with the pledge of allegiance and it's not great.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:09 PM on June 5 [27 favorites]


I agree with rhizome's point that the national anthem is not the flag, but "The Star Spangled Banner" is about that flag that the military wears, etc.
posted by emelenjr at 1:10 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


the phlegmatic king: "Gotta be honest, I'm baffled and a little bit repelled by a lot of aspects of the Rolling Clusterfuck of Minnesota Democratic Politics right now. "

No kidding, I've started and given up on writing something several times. Everything is going crazy town.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:15 PM on June 5 [5 favorites]


The Star-Spangled Banner is about the flag the same way the flag is about freedom: as a symbol and not the thing itself.

The history of people fighting over the proper deference to symbols is not a pretty one.
posted by rhizome at 1:15 PM on June 5 [23 favorites]


"The Star Spangled Banner" is about that flag that the military wears, etc.

The military wears a lot of things. We don't stand up and sing songs about the Universal Camouflage Pattern.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:15 PM on June 5 [45 favorites]


I don’t stand for the flag or the anthem because I’m a Christian and I think it’s idolatrous. I kneel and say the Apostles’ Creed quietly—or louder if someone gives me crap about it. Now that it’s a statement against Trump, that’s just a nice bonus.
posted by EarBucket at 1:15 PM on June 5 [30 favorites]


After another press briefing in which @PressSec dodges questions about the reliability of Trump's various public statements, a reporter shouts one final question as Sanders retreats from the podium (34:40): "What color is the sky in the President's world?"
posted by Chrysostom at 1:22 PM on June 5 [76 favorites]


And really, either way I'm not particularly jazzed about the expectations of deference and support for a tool of violent imperialism.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:24 PM on June 5 [43 favorites]


And of course, the inclusion of "God Bless America" in the first place is perfectly dissonant. Kevin Baron:
Trump now singing God Bless America, written by Ирвинг Берлин, an immigrant Russian Jew also known as Israel Beilin, and later known as Irving Berlin. He arrived at age 5 with his parents, fleeing the pogroms.

Luckily, border control didn't separate him from his parents.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:34 PM on June 5 [108 favorites]


I don’t stand for the flag or the anthem because this country is a colonialist imperialist backwater and nationalist fascism should be widely condemned as the evil that it is, wherever it shows up. This includes attempting to glorify the nation as in Homeland Security, flag worship, city on a shining hill, and other such complete bullshit.
posted by odinsdream at 1:37 PM on June 5 [41 favorites]


The history of people fighting over the proper deference to symbols is not a pretty one.

Enforced deference is the best kind of deference.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:39 PM on June 5 [4 favorites]


We don't stand up and sing songs about the Universal Camouflage Pattern.

Well, we do, but you can't see us.
posted by banshee at 1:42 PM on June 5 [149 favorites]


We don’t *actually* have to honor our military, nor demonstrate deference to them. I don’t care if the flag has significant meaning to military members. They are entitled to determine the significance that the flag has to them, but so do I. It has a significant meaning to me too, concerning the principles this country is supposed to stand for, and if I decide to signal that I disagree with the direction this country is going and make a demonstration of one, then I am doing exactly what I should be doing as a citizen of the US. The military and its supporters absolutely do not and have no right to expect to dictate to me how I should behave in regard to the flag because of their choice in vocation. The First Amendment expressly gives me the right to freely criticize the government.

And quite frankly I don’t think either the Pledge of Allegience or standing for the flag should be a thing. It’s weird. We shouldn’t be pledging allegience to any symbol or nation or government, specifically because when a government goes off the rails, pressure from citizens to “respect the flag” and other jingoistic claptrap makes it that much harder to remove problematic leaders and reverse direction. We should be able to evolve as a nation and not turn our flag and Constitution into unchangeable sacred symbols that can never be criticized or further amended.
posted by Autumnheart at 1:43 PM on June 5 [160 favorites]


respect for the flag is not truly respect if you're not going to honor the principles and nation that raised it

The principle that must be honored is that people can do whatever the hell they want to do the anthem is playing. Stand. Sit. Take a leak. Check email. The principle is freedom and liberty. And performative anything is disrespectful to THAT.
posted by mikelieman at 1:46 PM on June 5 [27 favorites]


zarq: "Many more Republican incumbents are being primaried. But some key Dems are being primaried as well. From Jan: 10 Democratic Primaries To Watch In 2018 and from Feb: Progressives storm Democratic primaries"

Your original question was, "How important is Congressional seniority in the greater scheme of things? Lots of Progressives are running this year and may supplant senior Democrats. Will the loss of seniority be a problem?"

I think the seniority question was answered already - it's important to a given *constituency*, but not necessarily to the party overall, because you get x number of seats on committees regardless. But I want to push back on the premise of lots of progressives may primary out current Dems with lots of tenure, because I don't that that's accurate.

Looking at the articles you linked - of the seats mentioned as 10 primaries to watch, eight were either not Congress, were open seats, or were a GOP-held seat. One was for a House seat in IL (this attempt failed), one is Diane Feinstein (this is very likely to fail). The Politico article does mention some actual examples - the two failed attempts in IL, and six between MA and NY. That's not that many, honestly.

Sorry if this comes off as pedantic. But I think what's clearly happening is lots of progressives are running this year, but relatively few of them are doing so to primary out sitting Congressional Dems. And most of those attempts probably will not succeed, mainly because it's a hard thing to do-only one GOP House member has lost in the primary so far. So any concern re: seniority is misplaced, I think.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:49 PM on June 5 [5 favorites]


Gotta be honest, I'm baffled and a little bit repelled by a lot of aspects of the Rolling Clusterfuck of Minnesota Democratic Politics right now.

I'm going to give Keith Ellison a pass on this one -- he started out as a civil rights attorney and having him as MN AG, an office that has a fair bit of prosecutorial autonomy, could result in real change. Congressman Ellison has a louder microphone but Attorney General Ellison has more power.

Regardless I don't think we'd be in the middle of a DFL version of Carrol's Caucus Race had current AG Lori Swanson not withdrawn from the AG ballot in favor of running for Governor.

Late breaking to the clusterfuck is that State Rep Ilhan Omar just jumped into the race. If she wins she'd be both the first Muslim woman and the first Somali-American in congress.
posted by nathan_teske at 1:49 PM on June 5 [23 favorites]


How about we do a switcheroo and force people to honor and respect immigrant children and store all the fucking flags in abandoned wal-marts with blackened windows?
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:50 PM on June 5 [137 favorites]


Regardless I don't think we'd be in the middle of a DFL version of Carrol's Caucus Race had current AG Lori Swanson not withdrawn from the AG ballot in favor of running for Governor.

Didn't she already kind of declare once and then drop out of the race? I remember people voting for her at my precinct caucus because they weren't listening when it was announced she was not in the race after all. She gets my biggest side-eye, followed by Tim Walz who was pretty clear in advance that he was going to do that.

I wouldn't put forth the effort to side eye Tim "I never won a majority of the vote for governor" Pawlenty.

The Erin-Erin ticket is very exciting to me but it does worry me that they have no outstate representation.
posted by Emmy Rae at 1:56 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


Every moment they spend sitting in that room with her proves her right. There's zero reason for any respectable media outlet to still be wasting time at these briefings, especially if they're not going to simply repeat the last question she won't answer until she does. When she lies, they should only ask the same question until she ends the briefing or changes her answer. Allowing her to move on and then reprinting her lies is collaboration.

I think today I saw Jim Accosta saying two things to this that made sense, although, yes, the press should do better:

1. SS's non-answers or lies or whateverthefuck are in themselves revealing
2. Reporters have so many questions on different topics that there is a strong motive to not follow up on the reporter to whom Sanders lied. So, think about it; you have a question about NK and SS just said some bullshit about the National Anthem. Do you abandon your North Korea question and yell you lie?

I did appreciate the question of the color of the sky in Trump's world, though. More of this.
posted by angrycat at 1:58 PM on June 5 [11 favorites]


More primary previews for tonight:

* 538: SD, NM, IA, MT
* 538: California
* Vox

Also:

* Nate Cohn: CA primary results tend to be pretty predictive of the national environment

* Special elections trend has been basically flat, once you adjust for partisan lean of the district
posted by Chrysostom at 1:58 PM on June 5 [7 favorites]


So, think about it; you have a question about NK and SS just said some bullshit about the National Anthem. Do you abandon your North Korea question and yell you lie?

Yes?

I mean, what's the point of you even being in the room if you know every word coming out of her mouth is a bald-faced lie? Either stop coming to the briefings, or use your position to make a public statement that the executive branch is lying to the public every day of the damned week. Anything less is collusion with the bastards.
posted by Mayor West at 2:02 PM on June 5 [19 favorites]


Thanks you, corb, for sharing that. I DO care what veterans think, and even if you don't, it's political suicide for Democrats to disrespect the sacrifice of the troops. The anthem and in particular the flag ARE real symbols of that sacrifice, which is of course why (draft dodger) Trump is trying to hijack them. He wants nothing more than to equate protesting him with protesting the troops. BUT this all misses the bigger point:

Kneeling is a gesture of respect. People kneel before their king, their god, the woman they want to marry. It’s also how football players honor the injured (as in the character and ideals of our nation). It has always been a respectful gesture.
posted by msalt at 2:03 PM on June 5 [25 favorites]


I'm not sure what military ya'll were in but my 6 years my significant feelings regarding The Star Spangled Banner amount to:

1) "Fuck, shit, I can't believe I got caught outside during Morning Colors again."
2) "Where is the nearest flag? The boat, maybe?"
3) "Nope, that guy is facing toward the speakers, I'll just be like him."
4) "Man, this song is long."
5) "Why am I the only person that knows you're supposed to drop your salute at the last note, then stay at attention until carry on sounds."

Now, my time in the military thankfully didn't involve flag-draped coffins and tearful widows, and as it happens none of my uniforms actually featured any little flags, so maybe I didn't get the Full Patriotic Experience. In any case, all of you have my blessing as a honorably discharged veteran to stand or kneel or pick you nose during the national anthem. I, and the sailors still standing the watches I stood, sacrificed so that you can live your life the way you want to, including opting out of mandatory displays of patriotism.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 2:04 PM on June 5 [148 favorites]


Luckily, border control didn't separate him from his parents.

Horrifyingly enough, they would have at least separated little Israel Berlin from his father if not his mother.

At Ellis Island, he and his siblings would have been separated from his father to undergo a barrage of tests. That was standard procedure at the time -- men were separated from women and children. Berlin's wikipedia page notes that he was kept "in a pen with his brother and five sisters until immigration officials declared them fit to be allowed into the city." There's more about the process here.
posted by zarq at 2:05 PM on June 5 [25 favorites]


I've been wondering about Trump and the looming subpoenas in various cases.

Obviously he will refuse and go to court to to try and stop the subpoenas.

But what happens if he loses in court but refuses to show up anyway?

If I refused to show up for a subpoena the court would send cops or court officers by to arrest me and compel me to show up. I rather doubt the Secret Service would let anyone arrest a sitting President.

It seems unlikely that the Republicans in Congress, and especially those in the Senate, would impeach and remove Trump for refusing to show up when subpoenaed by a court for a sexual harassment case.

Is that the end of it then? Could Trump simply refuse to show up if he lost the challenges to his subpoenas and get away with it?

Increasingly it does seem as if we in the USA have set things up so that a sitting President is basically immune to all laws as long as that President is willing to simply stonewall and defy the law and Congress won't impeach. Is that basically the situation or have I overlooked something?

I'm largely asking because it seems that some of the stuff being said by non-White House Republicans could be seen as trial balloons for apathetically going along with letting Trump refuse to obey a subpoena. I'm doubtful that many/any Republican voters would object too strenuously to a Senator who failed to impeach Trump for failing to appear when subpoenaed.
posted by sotonohito at 2:05 PM on June 5 [9 favorites]


In a free country you can not only disagree with your country but you also don’t have any obligation to be respectful about it. If your country is embodied by the flag or some song by all means disrespect away on both. That is freedom, right?
posted by Bovine Love at 2:09 PM on June 5 [16 favorites]


The founders of the United States were wary of having standing army; Elbridge Gerry* called a standing army "the bane of liberty" and compared it to an erection:
A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure.
* Yep, the "gerrymandering" Gerry.

The US has had a small military for most of its history; a large force has only been the norm since the late 1940s.

Hero-worshiping the military has been on the rise since 9/11:
Who is a hero? In today’s America, it is someone who chooses a military career, puts on a uniform, and prepares for war. Placing soldiers and veterans on this kind of pedestal is a relatively new phenomenon. Past generations of Americans saw soldiers as ordinary human beings. They were like the rest of us: big and small, smart and dumb, capable of good and bad choices. Now we pretend they are demi-gods.
...
One reason Americans have come to view soldiers as our only protectors is that we have accepted the idea that our country is under permanent threat from fanatics who want to kill us and destroy our way of life. Yet we also felt this way at the height of the Cold War, and we did not fetishize soldiers then the way we do now.
...
Our communities are full of everyday heroes. These are the nurses, schoolteachers, addiction counsellors, community organizers, social workers, coaches, probation officers, and other civilians who struggle to keep Americans from slipping toward despair, sickness, or violence. They guide people away from hopelessness and toward productive lives. Society collapses without these people. Yet we rarely give them the chance to acknowledge the gratitude of cheering multitudes. That honor is reserved for those whose individual merit may be limited to their choice — perhaps motivated by a variety of factors — to put on a uniform.
...
Even worse, it distracts attention away from the scandalous way we treat our veterans. Cheering for them in public and saluting them in cliché-ridden speeches is a way to disguise the fact that our society callously discards many of them. Shocking rates of unemployment, mental illness, homelessness, addiction, and suicide among our veterans constitute a national disgrace. It is far easier, however, to spend a few seconds applauding a smiling soldier than to contemplate a troubled veteran left behind by an uncaring country.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:15 PM on June 5 [79 favorites]


Is that the end of it then? Could Trump simply refuse to show up if he lost the challenges to his subpoenas and get away with it?

Vox asked a bunch of legal experts a while back whether Trump could ignore a subpoena from the Special Counsel. Here are their answers.
posted by zarq at 2:18 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]




it's political suicide for Democrats to disrespect the sacrifice of the troops.

Why is it political suicide for Democrats, but not the Republican President of the United States?
posted by zarq at 2:24 PM on June 5 [65 favorites]


Who is a hero? In today’s America, it is someone who chooses a military career, puts on a uniform, and prepares for war.

(From this opinion piece by Stephen Kinzer)
posted by Jpfed at 2:26 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


It begins by mentioning about the meaning of the national anthem, then jumps straight over to "that flag." What does "that" in "that flag" refer to, if not the national anthem?

The national anthem is not the flag, and while your error may just be a coincidence, whether intentional or not this is EXACTLY what Kap critics do to denigrate him and the protests in general.


So, while I'm super familiar with a lot of ceremonies about the flag and the National Anthem, I suck at sports and am not very familiar with football games. It has been my assumption, upon hearing that the National Anthem is played at football games, that it is played in the same way that it is played/sung at other civic/military ceremonies, etc - when the flag has entered/been placed/raised/etc. Is this not the case? Is there no flag at football stadiums when they play the National Anthem?
posted by corb at 2:27 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


Why is it political suicide for Democrats, but not the Republican President of the United States?

Because, like everything else, Republicans/Conservatives preach and require values for others that they have no intent of holding themselves to.
posted by anem0ne at 2:31 PM on June 5 [32 favorites]


The status of the flag at sporting events varies. Sometimes there is an actual physical flag on the field. Sometimes there is a virtual flag displayed on the jumbotron. Sometimes there's a tiny flag on a flagpost outside the stadium that nobody can really see. Dunno if there is never one, though.
posted by zug at 2:31 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


I think today I saw Jim Accosta saying two things to this that made sense, although, yes, the press should do better:

1. SS's non-answers or lies or whateverthefuck are in themselves revealing
2. Reporters have so many questions on different topics that there is a strong motive to not follow up on the reporter to whom Sanders lied. So, think about it; you have a question about NK and SS just said some bullshit about the National Anthem. Do you abandon your North Korea question and yell you lie?


Somewhere way back in Clusterfuck 2016, I think (so about 6000 years ago, subjective time), I read an article that was trying to grapple with the fact that the press was having to cover a lying liar who lies, and how to do that. And one of the reporters interviewed in the article said something to the effect of - "yes, we know this person is lying. The lies are obvious. So we don't call them out on it, because the lies are so obvious that everyone understands it; we don't need to point it out."

And it made me realize that for reporters, just like any other profession, the stuff you deal with day in and day out becomes something you assume everyone else knows just as well as you do. And that assumption is wrong, and they need to put context into what they are reporting, so that it is clear that people are lying. But that runs into the other problem, which is that no one has the time or the space to do that any more; it's a constant stream of news tidbits without the needed context. And the problem with it all is that the media can say "Trump claimed X", but without the needed context, by just reporting it, it lends it credibility.

And I don't know what the answer is. I feel like we're living in the first major war of the information age, and we're losing, and we don't even know enough to know that we're in it, much less fight it.
posted by nubs at 2:32 PM on June 5 [34 favorites]


Is there no flag at football stadiums when they play the National Anthem?

Oh, there is; the question is why?

Because the Pentagon pays millions of dollars to the NFL, MLB, etc for these jingoistic ceremonies.

I don't think anyone should be compelled to any sort of display of nationalism because the Pentagon paid the owner of a football team for the display.
posted by Existential Dread at 2:32 PM on June 5 [57 favorites]


Here’s a vet who has been on hold for hours waiting for the VA today, in case honoring the troops means keeping our promises to them rather than muddling through God Bless America in front of random non-Eagles fans.
posted by zachlipton at 2:35 PM on June 5 [31 favorites]


From this opinion piece by Stephen Kinzer
Dammit, forgot to link. Thanks, Jpfed!

posted by kirkaracha at 2:35 PM on June 5


And it made me realize that for reporters, just like any other profession, the stuff you deal with day in and day out becomes something you assume everyone else knows just as well as you do. And that assumption is wrong, and they need to put context into what they are reporting, so that it is clear that people are lying.

(This is one instance of the problem of reporters implicitly assuming vastly more knowledge on the part of their readership than they actually have.)
posted by Jpfed at 2:39 PM on June 5 [9 favorites]


Because the Pentagon pays millions of dollars to the NFL, MLB, etc for these jingoistic ceremonies.

DING DING DING

All this mawkish hand-wringing about the anthem is over the military attempting to insinuate themselves into civilian culture to further bloodshed. Not out of any sense of duty to honor soldiers, mind you, but rather out of a highly cynical urge to convince (or even coerce) the civilian population into falling behind the Heinlein-esque "service guarantees citizenship" fuckery that conservatives have been cultivating over the years.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:47 PM on June 5 [38 favorites]


The military and its supporters absolutely do not and have no right to expect to dictate to me how I should behave in regard to the flag because of their choice in vocation. The First Amendment expressly gives me the right to freely criticize the government.

And Trump least of anyone does not have the right to use the honor of veterans and service members to criticize those who take a knee as an act of protest over deadly racist violence. He does not have the right to turn the flag of my country into a weapon of racism. His doing so, to say nothing of his desire to suppress protest, dishonors the flag and the anthem far more than taking a knee ever could.
posted by Gelatin at 2:48 PM on June 5 [15 favorites]


We sing the national anthem at ball games because it's traditional. In fact, we've been singing the Star Spangled Banner at baseball games since the 1918 World Series. Over a dozen years before it was adopted as our national anthem. During wartime, it becomes symbolically more important to civilians. During peaceful times, somewhat less so.

The tradition has spread far beyond games played at the professional level. Go to any high school and college football, baseball, basketball, soccer or lacrosse game and the audience will probably be asked to rise and sing along to the national anthem. We live in a very nationalistic country. Much more nationalistic (and frankly jingoistic) than many other democracies.
posted by zarq at 2:48 PM on June 5 [18 favorites]


In seconds, we faked our way into a political campaign, got unsecured voter data -- Data analytics firm says this is normal: "It's the way that campaigns are run." (Cyrus Farivar for Ars Technica, May 5, 2018)
The Republican who shared this Web address to Ars did so out of concern that his party was lax when it came to digital security. He told us that he would prefer a system in which volunteers, at a minimum, have to confirm an email address and not have such unfettered access to voter data that could be used by non-Republicans to cause mischief.
...
Ira Rubenstein is an attorney and legal fellow at New York University who has written extensively on this issue. He told Ars that the free sharing of such voter data is not new, but it is troubling.
...
The Republican Party of California, and its contractor, a Southern California firm named Political Data Inc., told Ars that this online tool is fully within such laws that allow for sharing of voter data for political purposes.

"It's the way that campaigns are run," Paul Mitchell, a PDI vice president, told Ars. He also noted that his company had anti-scraping measures in place to prevent automated searches, but the company declined to specify in detail.

Mitchell compared such campaign tools to paper files of decades past and said that any campaign office would provide an online and/or texting method similar to this one as a way to reach out to voters. However, spiriting away large quantities of analog data that is not connected to the Internet would be far more difficult.

Plus, volunteers, he said, don't typically share such data or use it for non-campaigning purposes.
...
Fabian Valdez, the California GOP's digital director, has given trainings on PDI's software. He told Ars that there was nothing in this data that was "proprietary."

"So in terms of data security, one could see it as: 'I have access to all this voter data,' but it's not voter data that you couldn't get access to. There's no real concern on our end. If a Dem were to jump into our [volunteer] list, there's no concern that they're going to rip off our data, as they would have access to the same data."

Valdez added that he was unaware of "any abuse of this data."
posted by filthy light thief at 2:49 PM on June 5 [10 favorites]


Because the Pentagon pays millions of dollars to the NFL, MLB, etc for these jingoistic ceremonies.

Those events aren't specifically about singing the national anthem. They're events, displays and ceremonies that may or may not happen before or after the anthem is sung.

The anthem would be sung anyway, regardless of whether a military-related event was staged. It's not as if local little league games where the anthem is played are being subsidized by the freakin' Pentagon.
posted by zarq at 2:52 PM on June 5 [5 favorites]


So, think about it; you have a question about NK and SS just said some bullshit about the National Anthem. Do you abandon your North Korea question and yell you lie?

What's the point of asking the question if you can't trust her to at least give a semblance of a truthful answer?

Spin is one thing, but the job of the press is to keep politicians honest by showing that there are consequences if they dissemble. One consequence could be reporters asking pointing out when politicians give a non-answer or lie. If there are no negative consequences, they aren't going to stop. Why should they -- respect for truth, justice and the American way?
posted by Gelatin at 2:52 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


Formerly-Esteemed Law Professor Alan Dershowitz: “The President wasn’t wrong when he said I want loyalty from my Attorney General. It’s the constitution that’s wrong for allowing that kind of a division to occur.”

This is true if you start from the legal axiom that Donald Trump is infallible.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:55 PM on June 5 [15 favorites]


Without footage of any Eagles players kneeling in protest, Fox runs with footage of players kneeling in prayer. Fox News apologizes for implying Eagles players were kneeling in protest. They were praying. (WaPo)
posted by peeedro at 2:57 PM on June 5 [23 favorites]


Does no one see that it is crazy to force someone to salute a flag that stands for freedom? Is it respectable to compel respect? Doesn't real respect have to be, by definition, freely given?

None of which is to say I find taking a knee disrespectful. I've always seen it as signifying the feeling the country is not living up to its historic ideals. If you love something, you need to speak up when you see it being taken away.
posted by xammerboy at 3:01 PM on June 5 [56 favorites]


Trump Picks Fight With The Eagles, Philadelphia Takes It From There (NPR, June 5, 2018)
Christopher Wallace, the executive producer of FOX News @ Night with Shannon Bream, said the network erred during a broadcast Monday night when it used footage of Eagles players kneeling during a segment about the cancellation, implying that the players had taken a knee during the anthem last season — an act that players on other NFL teams have said is meant to protest police violence and racial inequality. The players were apparently praying.

Wallace said in a statement released by Fox News on Tuesday that "To clarify, no members of the team knelt in protest during the national anthem throughout regular or post-season last year. We apologize for the error."

Wallace's apology came hours after Eagles tight end Zach Ertz quoted a Fox News tweet to say via Twitter, "This can't be serious.... Praying before games with my teammates, well before the anthem, is being used for your propaganda?! Just sad, I feel like you guys should have to be better than this."

Fox News has since deleted that original tweet.
It's The Biggest Primary Day Of the 2018 Midterms: Here's What To Watch For (NPR, June 5, 2018)
Welcome to 2018's Super Tuesday.

Voters head to the polls in eight states today to pick nominees for Senate seats, governor, and several key congressional races that could decide control of the House of Representatives this fall.

Mississippi, Alabama, Iowa, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota all vote today. But, with good reason, most of the national focus is on California.

Democrats see their path to the House majority running through the two dozen districts that sent a Republican to Congress in 2016, but voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Seven of these districts are in California, with the highest concentration in the longtime Republican outpost of Orange County.

Sensing a Democratic surge, Republican incumbents Ed Royce and Darrell Issa retired, raising Democratic hopes even higher in those races.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:02 PM on June 5 [6 favorites]


And I don't know what the answer is. I feel like we're living in the first major war of the information age, and we're losing, and we don't even know enough to know that we're in it, much less fight it.

No, these are the death throes of too-big-too-fail information organizations. (Hi Sony Music!). The first major war of the information age was lost thirty-some-odd years ago. They say if you lean in close to an old console television, you can still hear the metaphorical record scratch.

On rewatch (that's "Morning in America", kids), there sure are a lot of flags in that ad. Noted perjurer Michael Deaver (hey, look, perjury! Everything old is new again) spins a little everytime that video gets a like.

Philosophical question: Reagan and Trump go horseback riding. Which happens first: (a) Trump falls off the horse, or (b) Reagan says, "Well . . . "
posted by petebest at 3:09 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


And why exactly does his wife need help from her husband's connections opening a fast food franchise? She's not capable of doing it herself?

As aside: no, she probably isn't capable of doing it herself, and "Wife of Head of EPA" probably isn't enough either.

My brother-in-law has been on both sides of this for McDonalds (20+ years in McD corporate culminating in being in charge of 600+ stores, and now owner of 12 or so stores), and it's incredibly hard. Part of his job was shepherding through franchisee applications and most of time they were not successful. I remember one instance of a 50+ year operator (at the time that was practically at McD's founding) having an extremely difficult time getting a franchisee for his son. It was ultimately successful, but only because these people had been in the McDonalds family since the Kennedy Administration.

The only reason my bro-in-law was able to get stores is because there was a period where McD was selling off distressed corp owned stores, and he had worked besides the people deciding who could purchase the stores or a quarter century.

And from what my bro-in-law told me about Chick-Fil-A (he briefly explored non-McD franchise opportunities because it appeared McD was forcing him to stay corporate since he was more valuable there), they are even pickier for vetting as their stores print money even faster than McD. So yeah, not surprising a US Cabinet member reached out to try (and apparently fail at) getting his wife a franchise.
posted by sideshow at 3:10 PM on June 5 [11 favorites]


Of course, this is exactly what Samuel Johnson was referring to when he said that patriotism was the last refuge of the scoundrel.

Though calling Trump a scoundrel suggests he has infinitely more decency than is actually the case.
posted by Grangousier at 3:28 PM on June 5 [5 favorites]


The US has had a small military for most of its history; a large force has only been the norm since the late 1940s.

Hero-worshiping the military has been on the rise since 9/11.

posted by kirkaracha at 4:15 PM on June 5 [23 favorites +] [!]


Maybe a little late here (it's tough keeping up with the threads), but this has been bugging me since I was riding to a Scout meeting with my Dad when GWB announced his ultimatum in 2003. Enough that I put down two podcasts hammering away at it, if I can add my voice to kirkaracha's and Kinzer's.
posted by TheProfessor at 3:33 PM on June 5 [4 favorites]


It’s unsurprising that people are up in arms about athletes’ show of respect for the national anthem, but only because it’s taking place in a country that considers it perfectly normal for six-year-olds to swear an oath of loyalty before starting school each morning.
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:34 PM on June 5 [55 favorites]


All you need to know about Trump's hallow flag waving is whether he disinvites the all-white Washington Capitols when they win the Stanley Cup (behind die-hard Putin fan Alexander Ovechkin). Spoiler: he won't.

This isn't about flags or anthems or respect for the military, and Trump's treatment of the NBA and NFL athletes vs MLB and NHL is all the proof anyone needs.

As with everything Trump, it's about stirring up racial animus and riling up the white base into a racist froth. That's it. It's not more complicated.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:40 PM on June 5 [20 favorites]


My six-year-old's school says the Pledge of Allegiance on Monday mornings. I sometimes stay for their morning ceremony and when they say the Pledge I stay seated and silent. I really dislike the idea of mandatory loyalty oaths; I mean even the title "Pledge of Allegiance" sounds profoundly un-American.

(I don't like the Johnny-come-lately "under god" part, either.)
posted by kirkaracha at 3:43 PM on June 5 [42 favorites]


Apparently the Capitols do have one black player. What a position he's going to be in.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:50 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


Hm, this is fishy: on the advertising on another page I was looking at, it's a half cut off page advertising Villaraigosa for governor, but it's showing Trump's head.

HMMMMMMMMMM.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:52 PM on June 5


@seungminkim: “Kelly Sadler is no longer employed within the Executive Office of the President.” – @RajShah45

Well, um, ok then. Is she still employed by the government?
posted by zachlipton at 3:57 PM on June 5 [9 favorites]


Hero-worshiping the military has been on the rise since 9/11.

I would say more that there has been a switch since 9/11 from honoring genuine heroes - such as Medal of Honor awardees - to a more generalized heroism for 'the military', which may be part of trying to lure people into an all-volunteer force. In my more cynical moments, I think this is because Medal of Honor awardees, when recognized for the heroism they embodied, can also say inconvenient things about, for example, their treatment after service, while the bulk of the military can't say anything inconvenient with one voice. But it is indisputable the Medal of Honor has been awarded far less since 9/11 than in the wars previous to that.[Daily Beast]

For example, the Vietnam War had 3 million soldier-participants, and awarded 246 Medals of Honor - 92 of them to living persons. 2.5 million servicemembers, by contrast, were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and .... they were awarded 10 Medals of Honor, only 3 to living persons, even though many people's Silver Star citations sound like movie scripts.
posted by corb at 4:00 PM on June 5 [14 favorites]


Well, um, ok then. Is she still employed by the government?

Maybe?
The White House had been strategizing an exit for Sadler for the last two weeks, a senior administration official said. There had been a discussion about relocating her to another agency or department outside of the White House, and it remains unclear if she is going somewhere else or leaving the administration entirely.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:00 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


I mean even the title "Pledge of Allegiance" sounds profoundly un-American.

Just wait till the Orange Duce mandates a return to the original Bellamy Salute!

And the Pledge is not Un-American. This is America. The hoods are off.
posted by Celsius1414 at 4:02 PM on June 5 [7 favorites]


Why is it political suicide for Democrats, but not the Republican President of the United States?

It has, and it should more than it does. If you remember back to July 2016, Trump was hurt severely by attacking Kizer and Ghazala Khan, the Pakistanti-born Gold Star parents of a deceased serviceman. Trump figured that their brown skin would make it OK, and it didn't.

I think constantly attacking Trump for disrespecting troops, for ducking service, and for describing avoiding VD as his own personal Vietnam is a great thing to do. It's not going to make him resign tomorrow, but it wears away at him. Don't let him keep changing the subject.
posted by msalt at 4:07 PM on June 5 [17 favorites]


WaPo, Mueller was investigating Trump adviser as unregistered agent of Israel, his wife says
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III last summer threatened to charge George Papadopoulos, a former campaign adviser to President Trump, with acting as an unregistered agent of Israel, Papadopoulos’s wife said Tuesday.

Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos, an Italian lawyer who married Papadapoulos in March, said the special prosecutor’s office claimed to have evidence that Papadopoulos had worked on behalf of Israel without registering as a foreign agent while he was serving as an energy consultant before he joined the Trump campaign.
...
“I know he doesn’t have anything to do with Russia,” she said in an interview. “We know he was under scrutiny because of his ties to Israel, not his ties to Russia. So what’s this about?”
...
Simona Papadopoulos’s assertion that Mueller threatened her husband with another charge, first reported by the Daily Caller, came as she conducted a series of media interviews this week in which she argued that her husband never conspired with Russia to assist Trump’s campaign.

Her tone represents a shift since January, when she told The Washington Post that Papadopoulos would be remembered like John Dean, the former White House counsel who pleaded guilty to his role in the Watergate coverup and then became a key witness against other aides to President Richard Nixon.

“There’s a lot to come,” she said then. “He was the first one to break a hole on all of this.”

But on Tuesday, Simona Papadopoulos said her earlier comments were misinterpreted. She said she and her husband have reassessed his role after learning that his contacts with London professor Joseph Mifsud led the FBI to opened a counterintelligence investigation into possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia. And Papadopoulos was also upset to learn that a Cambridge professor who hired him to write an energy paper in the fall of 2016 was a source for the FBI, she said.

“George took responsibility for lying to the FBI and cooperated with the government. Cooperating doesn’t mean following an agenda,” she said. “Cooperating doesn’t mean against the president .... It means cooperating with the truth.”

Now, she said she believes her husband deserves a pardon from Trump, who has asserted recently that he has the power even to pardon himself.

Papadopoulos is “a victim, honestly,” she said. “He made a mistake. He pleaded guilty for that mistake. It would make sense for the president to pardon him.”
Like Josh Marshall, I have no earthly idea what's going on with Simona Papadopoulos, but none of it makes the slightest bit of sense.
posted by zachlipton at 4:17 PM on June 5 [17 favorites]


Because the Pentagon pays millions of dollars to the NFL, MLB, etc for these jingoistic ceremonies.

That was largely stopped after the program was revealed in 2015; in fact, the NFL returned $700,000 to the league. Maybe completely stopped; I haven't been able to find confirmation one way or the other.

TPM reported that "Pentagon higher-ups have issued guidance banning sports marketing contracts for some of these “paid patriotism” activities, including national anthem performances." But they don't spell out what "some of these" means.

Interestingly, the military didn't start this program until 2011, two years after players started coming out for all games, and it ramped it up as it ended a similar program sponsoring Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s NASCAR team because their analytics didn't show any marketing benefit from the $100 million over 4 years that Earnhardt got. (The NFL got $6.7 million from 2013-2015.)
posted by msalt at 4:18 PM on June 5 [9 favorites]


East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94: Formerly-Esteemed Law Professor Alan Dershowitz: “The President wasn’t wrong when he said I want loyalty from my Attorney General. It’s the constitution that’s wrong for allowing that kind of a division to occur.”

This is true if you start from the legal axiom that Donald Trump is infallible.


Dershowitz engages in a lot of sycophancy, and I'm sure he knew how his words sounded out of context. But the clip is worth watching because his main point is actually sensible. It really is a failure point of the Constitution that the same person is both the cabinet-level head of the executive-branch Justice Department and the Top Law Person of the whole country. It can create a conflict, and Dershowitz points to other countries (both parliamentarian, I think) that he believes solve the problem by having two people with distinct roles (though I have no idea if that works in practice as well as in principle).

So he wasn't exactly calling Trump infallible and almighty, the way Giuliani has been. The problem is when he suggests it's "not wrong" for the president to expect loyalty under the circumstances. That's because, on a purely ethical level, the national good should totally override the good of a single branch — the president ought to take one for the team, here (even as the government itself should have been structured so such sacrifice was never necessary). To say otherwise is like saying that a reporter who moonlights as a sales rep is "not wrong" to talk up their product on-air. Or like saying it's acceptable, even positively good, for companies to prioritize shareholder value over the values of employees or customers, which… oh, right.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 4:20 PM on June 5 [4 favorites]


Apparently the Capitols do have one black player. What a position he's going to be in.

He's Canadian. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by art.bikes at 4:22 PM on June 5 [14 favorites]


If you remember back to July 2016, Trump was hurt severely by attacking Kizer and Ghazala Khan, the Pakistanti-born Gold Star parents of a deceased serviceman.

I remember the media saying he was hurt severely. I don't actually see any evidence it hurt him in the long or even medium run. It just fell down the memory hole like everything else.
posted by Justinian at 4:22 PM on June 5 [63 favorites]


Trump's poll numbers dropped, he was criticized by people of all parties, and he defensively rushed out statements and strategems to evade or dodge responsibility. What hurts him long run? That's an epistemological quandary. But I for one am convinced that allowing him to change the subject as he so clearly wanted to helped Trump.
posted by msalt at 4:25 PM on June 5 [7 favorites]


It really is a failure point of the Constitution that the same person is both the cabinet-level head of the executive-branch Justice Department and the Top Law Person of the whole country.

I don't necessarily think it is a failure. The President's power over the Attorney General is that he can fire the Attorney General without cause. It is not necessary for the Attorney General to owe loyalty to the President for this power to be effective. The Attorney General should have loyalty only to the Constitution, and should the President ask him to choose between loyalty to the Constitution or loyalty to the President, he should resign.

Indeed, Congress wields a similar ability to terminate an Attorney General through the impeachment process, but no-one would claim that the Attorney General owes loyalty to the Congress.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:26 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


There's something potentially odd going on with Herbert Lee, who is running as a Democrat in CA-39. It seems like there's a bunch of reasons to think he's acting as a spoiler to purposefully split the Democratic vote, or at least his campaign has a bunch of strange ties to far-right Chinese Americans in the area.
posted by zachlipton at 4:27 PM on June 5 [10 favorites]


Dershowitz Is a far right warhawk with a particular interest in setting fires in the Middle East, I am pretty sure he means what he says as regards Trump and is against anything that gets in the way of the conflicts he desires.
posted by Artw at 4:29 PM on June 5 [4 favorites]


It may have something to do with this story reported about 8 months ago about Michael Flynn:

Papadopoulos Spoke In Israel With CEO Of Company Tied To Flynn Scandal Figure:
The former Trump campaign adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to investigators examining Russia’s role in the 2016 election spoke at a conference in Israel last year with the CEO of an Israeli energy company with ties to a Turkish businessman who has been subpoenaed as part of a separate investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

posted by zarq at 4:30 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


Fortune: Donald Trump Jr.'s 'Defense of Daddy' Book Is Getting a Cold Shoulder From Publishers

Several major publishers have reportedly passed on a planned book by Donald Trump Jr., citing concern that he may face legal charges related to the Mueller investigation of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election. [...] [H]e is getting some pushback from major publishers,” Charles Gasparino, a Fox Business senior correspondent, said on the network. “They’re questioning him about the Mueller probe. They’re worried that he might be charged. Put all that together and people are backing off this thing.”

If it's what you say, I love it
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:31 PM on June 5 [54 favorites]


The Federal oath of office is a loyalty oath to the constitution alone. In a conflict between constitution and president, it is very clear where the the loyalty of anyone working on behalf of the Federal government should lie.
posted by Zalzidrax at 4:36 PM on June 5 [31 favorites]


For what it's worth, we tried requiring Congressional okay to remove high-ranking executive officials, but it was eventually found unconstitutional.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:41 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]




I'm always happy to vote for Adam Schiff but doing so today gave me an added bit of joy as a giant fuck you to Trump and all his cronies. Go Schiffy.
posted by Justinian at 4:51 PM on June 5 [21 favorites]


538 primary liveblog.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:57 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


Gerard Baker out.
posted by Melismata at 5:05 PM on June 5


South Dakota state lawmaker: Businesses should be allowed to 'turn away people of color'

And let's not forget Rand Paul flirting with saying he wouldn't have voted for the Civil Rights Act because it shouldn't apply to private institutions.
posted by XMLicious at 5:08 PM on June 5 [15 favorites]


Gerard Baker was the editor of the Wall Street Journal, if you didn't recognize the name.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:10 PM on June 5 [11 favorites]


If you remember back to July 2016, Trump was hurt severely by attacking Kizer and Ghazala Khan

lol trump hasn't been hurt severely by anything in his entire life, and his base applauded that attack.
posted by poffin boffin at 5:13 PM on June 5 [42 favorites]


Hmm...

Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Gerry Baker is stepping down from his post to become editor-at-large, News Corp announced Tuesday afternoon. Baker will be replaced by Matt Murray, the paper's current executive editor.

No idea of that means a change from their policy of being uniformly awful.

Baker served as editor-in-chief for just over five years, and was previously deputy editor. In his new role, Baker will now write a column and host the paper's conferences. He will also now host a Wall Street Journal-branded news and interview show on Fox Business Network, which shares an owner with the Journal, Rupert Murdoch.

Okay, so he was basically fired but it’s conservative fired so he gets a column and TV show, suction cup to Trumps backside very much still in place.
posted by Artw at 5:18 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


Yeah but that’s one less asshole controlling a major media outlet.
posted by Melismata at 5:25 PM on June 5


That might be making some assumptions about this Matt Murray.
posted by Artw at 5:27 PM on June 5 [7 favorites]


NJ Senate - Bob Menendez significantly underperforming at this point, up only 57-43 (16% in).

In a different environment, he'd be in serious trouble in the general.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:54 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


Aiming at Trump strongholds, Mexico hits back with trade tariffs:
Mexico's retaliatory list, published in the government's official gazette, included a 20 percent tariff on U.S. pork legs and shoulders, apples and potatoes and 20 to 25 percent duties on types of cheeses and bourbon.

A net importer of U.S. steel, Mexico is also putting 25 percent duties on a range of American steel products.

Mexico’s trade negotiators designed the list, in part, to include products exported by top Republican leaders’ states, including Indiana, where Vice President Mike Pence was formerly governor, according to a trade source familiar with the matter. Bourbon-producing Kentucky is the home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican.
posted by peeedro at 6:02 PM on June 5 [24 favorites]


NJ-02 Dem - Looks like conservative state Sen Jeff Van Drew handily wins here, by about 35 points. Van Drew is seen as the strongest contender for the Dems. District went Trump 51-46, but race is seen as Tossup to Lean Dem.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:12 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


he wouldn't have voted for the Civil Rights Act because it shouldn't apply to private institutions.

Note that when the South was forcibly desegregated, all the white folk that could moved their kids from public schools into private institutions. Investigating the private academies was one of Hillary's first gigs.
posted by sebastienbailard at 6:13 PM on June 5 [28 favorites]


LA County left nearly 120K voters off the rolls (2.3% of registered voters, though turnout is looking pretty abysmal). Those impacted are being encouraged to cast provisional ballots.

What a mess. Going to slow down vote counting too.
posted by zachlipton at 6:21 PM on June 5 [8 favorites]


South Dakota state lawmaker: Businesses should be allowed to 'turn away people of color'

Maybe it's the corpse reviver but I can't tell whether this is parody, the Onion, or sincere.

2018 you have broken my brain.
posted by Dashy at 6:26 PM on June 5 [6 favorites]


(Disclaimer: self-link)
I found this California voter's guide/handmade zine at my volunteer job today. It is a fed up exhausted cartoon delight.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:26 PM on June 5 [13 favorites]


An NSC contractor was arrested at a White House checkpoint on a warrant for attempted murder. I don't really know why you'd show up for work at the White House if you're wanted for attempted murder, or why the police waited for him to come to work instead of looking for him, but here we are.
posted by zachlipton at 6:27 PM on June 5 [33 favorites]


What a mess. Going to slow down vote counting too.

CA counts mail-in votes postmarked Election Day, so there's automatically a significant delay.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:32 PM on June 5 [4 favorites]


NJ Sen - AP calls for Menendez, looks like it will be in the neighborhood of 60-40, which is quite weak over pretty token opposition.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:36 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


NJ-11 - Mikie Sherill wins handily with 74%. 49-48 Trump district, former seat of longtime rep Frelinghuysen. District is Tossup to Leans Dem.

Very tight primary on the GOP side still.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:41 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


Good special election result. 23 point swing to Ds.

Dave Weigel (WaPo)
Democrats have gained #SD17 in Missouri, their 42nd red-to-blue flip since January 2017. Trump won the seat by 4 points; @replaurenarthur won by 19.
posted by chris24 at 6:47 PM on June 5 [48 favorites]


ELECTION RESULT

Dem GAIN in Missouri Senate 17:
Arthur [D] 59.6%
Corlew [R] 40.3%
Margin changes compared to previous races:

vs 2016 presidential result margin: Dem improvement of about 24 points.
vs 2016 SD-17 result margin: Dem improvement of about 42 points.

GOP lead in the Iowa Senate is reduced to 24-10.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:51 PM on June 5 [34 favorites]


godammit, chris24
posted by Chrysostom at 6:51 PM on June 5 [30 favorites]


GOP lead in the Iowa Senate is reduced to 24-10.
I think this is Missouri senate, not Iowa. I don't think there are any Iowa senate seats being decided today.

However, it is the primary in Iowa, and Democratic turnout seems to be very high. I think this is an indicator of enthusiasm. We'll see if it holds up, but I'm hopeful.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:55 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


Zuckerberg, round II:

Howard Schultz on presidential speculation: 'Let's see what happens'

Why the Starbucks guy should not be President

I mean, he's a smart guy, he'd probably be good at it, better than the current trashfire of course, and obviously he's all "Republicans and Democrats are equally bad" which is going to make him a darling of wonky centrist Dems, but hasn't a fucking hope of winning since...
A) he's basically a living avatar of late capitalism at a time when late capitalism has entered its faliure mode of Trumps and Brexits.
B) lot of people just hate Starbucks of course, including the nutters who obsess over red cups on the right. Good luck winning them over with your "business accumen", it;s not actually anything they care about.

Worst case, he enters the Dem primary and somehow wins, despite the fact that half the party is going to hate him, then tanks worse than Hillary.

Slightly more likely worst case: Ill fated 3rd party campaign somehow peeling off enough votes to swing things to Trump.

Actually Plausible worst case: Enters Dem primary, becomes divisive figure, doesn't actually win but still manages to fuck things up anyway by being such a lightning rod.

Of course there's a fair chance he just wants to dabble in local politics and it won't be America as a whole's problem for a while.
posted by Artw at 6:57 PM on June 5 [5 favorites]


Yes, Missouri SD-17.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:58 PM on June 5


My bad Chrysostom. :)

In other news, Trump is on a multi-tweet rant of batshit stuff literally straight from r/conspiracy on Reddit.
posted by chris24 at 7:00 PM on June 5 [16 favorites]


I was just wondering, what does it do to say, a five year old to spend a month in an internment camp, separated from anybody they know, likely not interacting with either adults or peers in the way a five year old should? Seriously. For a five year old, that's a long damn time. What does that do to them?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:01 PM on June 5 [59 favorites]


In other news, Trump is on a multi-tweet rant of batshit stuff literally straight from r/conspiracy on Reddit.

On the plus side, he didn't quite think through how he structured the rant, leaving this individual tweet for future historians to use as an example of "THERE IS ALWAYS A TWEET"


@realDonaldTrump
...This is a level of criminality beyond the pale. This is such a grave abuse of power and authority, it’s like nothing else we’ve seen in our history. This makes the Nixon Watergate burglary look like keystone cop stuff
posted by chris24 at 7:09 PM on June 5 [25 favorites]


Why the Starbucks guy should not be President

Worse, he's a Third Way, Fix the Debt guy which translated means cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Nope, nope, nope. That's not what Democrats need for a president.
posted by JackFlash at 7:10 PM on June 5 [29 favorites]


Today is the first election in California with same-day voter registration, and it seems to be working fairly well here.

On the other hand, this election has officially jumped the shark, with Harry Winkler left off the voter rolls in LA.
posted by zachlipton at 7:14 PM on June 5 [27 favorites]


I was just wondering, what does it do to say, a five year old to spend a month in an internment camp, separated from anybody they know [...]

I hope we find out, because when governments round people up it's usually to conceal their existence and their wellbeing from the public. It would very much be open to the government to keep these children confined for years while stymieing writs of habeus corpus by concealing their names and their location. I understand that ICE has already done this with other people accused of being unlawful immigrants. The government might even move these children to somewhere that they can claim is outside the protection of the Bill of Rights, such as a US base leased from another country, and we'd never know what's happening to them. Once again, this isn't fanciful: this is what the US has already done with other prisoners, specifically to avoid those prisoners exercising their constitutional and other human rights.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:15 PM on June 5 [29 favorites]


Good downballot news:
Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin, who was found to have "personally pocketed more than $750,000 worth of funds allocated to feed inmates in the county jail he oversees," lost his re-election bid in the GOP primary tonight in Alabama.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:17 PM on June 5 [42 favorites]


Remember that Alabama sheriff that pocketed $750K worth of the money that was supposed to go to feed the prisoners at the jail he runs? He lost his primary.

Still going to be a GOP office one way or another, but he's out.
posted by zachlipton at 7:18 PM on June 5 [16 favorites]


And then you say, "godammit, Chrysostom"
posted by Chrysostom at 7:20 PM on June 5 [66 favorites]


And then you say, "godammit, Chrysostom"

What like out loud or
posted by petebest at 7:26 PM on June 5 [27 favorites]


It's just good journalistic practice to have two sources for everything...
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:27 PM on June 5 [34 favorites]


1. Rand Paul’s rejection of key provisions of the ADA were reason enough to disqualify him from any public office. Yet here he is enjoying his second term as a US Senator.

2. Um...how is said Alabama sheriff not in prison for embezzlement?

3. You do not drop The Fonz from the voting rolls.


These are not the Happy Days I was promised.
posted by darkstar at 7:29 PM on June 5 [14 favorites]


I was just wondering, what does it do to say, a five year old to spend a month in an internment camp, separated from anybody they know.

Nothing good, and the chronic stress is especially damaging. Here's a little general info about effects of caretaker deprivation on young children, with links to a few more items. The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement last year opposing family separation.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:32 PM on June 5 [14 favorites]


Harry Winkler?
posted by Bovine Love at 7:33 PM on June 5 [6 favorites]


Harry Winkler?

Jeff Goldman's cousin.
posted by Marticus at 7:35 PM on June 5 [31 favorites]


NM-02: Xochitl Torres Small wins Dem nomination handily. District went 50-40 Trump, but Dems are excited about this one. Particularly because it looks like the GOP is about to nominate state Rep Yvette Herrell, widely considered to be about the most right-wing person in NM politics.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:35 PM on June 5 [5 favorites]


2. Um...how is said Alabama sheriff not in prison for embezzlement?

Alabama has a weird old law where the sheriff is personally responsible for feeding inmates and gets funds for that purpose, to the extent that the sheriff personally owns the trays and utensils. This has been going on for years (in one 2009 case, the sheriff fed prisoners a truckload of old corndogs while pocketing the leftover cash) and the sheriffs insist it's all perfectly legal. Seems like something the legislature could fix, given that it's been repeatedly abused time after time. Almost like it's setup for graft and mistreatment of prisoners on purpose or something.

Harry Winkler?

Oops. Henry, of course. Also known as the Fonz. Or Barry Zuckerkorn. I hope they checked to see if he was listed under those names.

And then you say, "godammit, Chrysostom"

I mean, I just flagged the duplicate for a mod, but I appreciate the instructions to curse you.
posted by zachlipton at 7:37 PM on June 5 [17 favorites]


An NSC contractor was arrested at a White House checkpoint on a warrant for attempted murder. I don't really know why you'd show up for work at the White House if you're wanted for attempted murder, or why the police waited for him to come to work instead of looking for him, but here we are.
posted by zachlipton


Well his boss campaigned on getting away with it and is sitting in the WH himself right now with out being arrested, so there is precedent?

(One could even argue he is actually responsible for a death on 5th st like he said he would do, but I find that to be a bridge too far.)
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 7:45 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


McConnell has (it's now being reported) cancelled most of the planned August Senate recess

Yeah it screws the Dems & that's unfortunate. But you know who else it screws? Trump. Given all his talk against Sessions people've been eyeing the August recess as a window of opportunity for him to fire him & make a recess appointment to replace him without needing Congressional approval. Congress doesn't recess, no recess appointment, Advise & Consent, Trump can't do whatever the hell he wants whenever he wants without taking anybody else into consideration. McConnell just hit the narcissist in the nuts.
posted by scalefree at 7:46 PM on June 5 [11 favorites]


Shaping up as another strong night for women, looks like at least seven Dem nominees will be women.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:47 PM on June 5 [30 favorites]


So we're not saying anything about the latest Tweets where Trump basically is the conspiracy toting, crazy, racist uncle at Thanksgiving, right? Like as a society we're going to collectively ignore it and wheel him over to the psych hospital while he's screaming how he's the President of the United States and the nurse is all condescendingly "of course you are dearie" while they prepare the straight jacket, right?
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 7:53 PM on June 5 [20 favorites]


Discussion about the flag, the military, the anthem, and how to show proper respect or not to all are completely sidestepping the glaringly obvious fact that Trump is a giant fucking racist. He’s shitting himself because a black dude got out of line, his followers are shitting themselves because a black dude got out of line, and all of this handwaving jingoistic bullshit is a cover for fucking racists.

I’m sure that Trump and his fans are also flagwaving fascist clowns, as well as being giant fucking racists. But don’t lose sight of the racism. Aggrieved whites in America don’t want black people to fucking exist. They don’t want immigrants to exist. They don’t want Muslims to exist. They don’t want spanish speaking people of any kind to exist.

If they can’t stop them from existing then they’ll do the next best thing which is to terrorize and silence them. They are virulent, blatant white supremacists. Their language and actions are a prelude to the violent oppression of POC. This all started because a black dude took a knee to protest the indiscriminate destruction of black bodies by the police. So you have to demand his silence because silence is complicity and white supremacists always try to make POC complicit in their own oppression.

Tldr:
All you Black folks, you must go
All you Mexicans, you must go
And all you poor folks, you must go
Muslims and gays
Boy, we hate your ways
So all you bad folks, you must go
posted by supercrayon at 7:55 PM on June 5 [50 favorites]


On the other hand, this election has officially jumped the shark, with Harry (sic) Winkler left off the voter rolls in LA.

Holy shit it really is Fonzie. They totally vote-blocked The Fonz! This is so not okay! I mean, not groovy. Not hip. Y'know.

Beeeeeeeeeee
posted by petebest at 7:55 PM on June 5 [10 favorites]




I apologize if this counts as noise, but one little happy change that I've noticed this year: I'm subscribed to the subreddit /r/voting, whose ostensible purpose is to get into theoretical arguments about the merits of different voting systems. IRV is not monotonic! and all that. But the way reddit works, non-subscribers can just browse to whatever subreddit sounds right and post stuff, and because of that /r/voting is transforming into people helping each other figure out how they can register or vote in their new state, when's such-and-such primary, etc.
posted by Jpfed at 7:58 PM on June 5 [19 favorites]


Also, the U.N. Human Rights Office spoke out against the Trump administration family separation policy today:
The use of immigration detention and family separation as a deterrent runs counter to human rights standards and principles. The child’s best interest should always come first, including over migration management objectives or other administrative concerns. It is therefore of great concern that in the US migration control appears to have been prioritised over the effective care and protection of migrant children.

The US should immediately halt this practice of separating families and stop criminalizing what should at most be an administrative offence – that of irregular entry or stay in the US.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:00 PM on June 5 [43 favorites]


California is closed! Now only 10-20 days to get final results!
posted by Chrysostom at 8:05 PM on June 5 [11 favorites]


ArbitraryAndCapricious: "However, it is the primary in Iowa, and Democratic turnout seems to be very high. I think this is an indicator of enthusiasm. We'll see if it holds up, but I'm hopeful."

Looks like yes.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:09 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


The AP has called the Republican primary in Alabama’s 5th Congressional District for Mel Brooks.

Mr. Brooks was heard lamenting, "How could this happen? I was so careful. I picked the wrong district, the wrong campaign manager, the wrong message. Where did I go right?"

*shuffles papers* So sorry, the Republican primary in Alabama’s 5th Congressional District has been called for Mo Brooks. I regret the error.
posted by duffell at 8:10 PM on June 5 [33 favorites]


Early indications are that Dems are looking pretty good to avoid top two lockout in CA-39 and CA-49, CA-48 too close to tell right now.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:18 PM on June 5 [5 favorites]


CA-10 is looking real dicey, though, and that wasn't even on my radar.
posted by Justinian at 8:21 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


Well, as the real Mel (not Mo) Brooks would say...
(no, it's nothing from Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein or The Producers)
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:23 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


I'm used to Trump's tweets, and even his flag ceremony somehow didn't seem as off the wall as it obviously was, but it's the Pruitt Chick-fil-A story that has me completely broken.

This isn't spending beyond the guidelines or unnecessary travel or conflicts of interest. This is just straight up using his position, and government personnel, to attempt to secure a lucrative private business deal for his family. It shouldn't take more than 15 minutes to investigate, and he should have been gone within an hour. That he still has a job is the most blatant sign yet that the government is for sale, that there are no consequences to using your position for profit, even if it doesn't benefit the man at the top.

And that should be obvious by now, but the sheer audacity of the inaction on this one is crushing. They haven't been entirely without shame when it gets bad enough: Price, Shulkin, a bunch of withdrawn nominations. But this is just so bad, and it's just another day of "oh Scott's back on his bullshit again."
posted by zachlipton at 8:24 PM on June 5 [84 favorites]


Yeah, nerve-wracking. The later ballots do tend to be a bit more D-favoring, but we'll just have to wait and see.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:26 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


The prognosticators over on 538 are now reading tea leaves based on like 0.2% of returns in California elections, which means it's time for me to stop obsessing over this piddling stuff and go the fuck to sleep. We're not likely to know much more anytime soon given how California's votes are tallied (which is to say, over the course of several days).
posted by duffell at 8:27 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


AP calls it for Feinstein, to zero surprise. Second place TBD.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:30 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


I know you were all waiting on tenterhooks but Dianne Feinstein has squeaked it out and will be the senior Senator from California come November.
posted by Justinian at 8:31 PM on June 5 [4 favorites]


Iowa Primary tea-leaves: our turnout was about twice what we expected for a primary. We run parallel closed primaries, so voters have to pick a party affiliation, and that broke about 3 to 1 in favor of people voting in the Republican primary vs the Democratic primary for our county.

A shocking number of people don't seem to have any clue what a Primary election is *for*, but it sure seems like the uninformed masses are *aware* of politics right now, and that's driving turnout. The midterms are going to be off the hook bonkers from a turnout perspective.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 8:37 PM on June 5 [5 favorites]


CA-49 seems in good shape. CA-48... less so. Pray for CA-48!
posted by Justinian at 8:39 PM on June 5


So why didn't anybody serious put up a challenge against Menendez? McCormick, with no name recognition and I don't think that much of a campaign, ended up with around 38% of the Democratic vote.

I mean, it's New Jersey, so that helps Menendez a lot, but clearly an awful lot of voters wanted better, and I can't say I blame them.
posted by zachlipton at 8:42 PM on June 5 [4 favorites]


Because the parties are still extremely strong in New Jersey, and they didn't want a challenger. Which is aggravating, to say the least.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:43 PM on June 5 [5 favorites]


NM-01: Debra Haaland has won the Dem nom with about 39%. It's a very blue district, so she's virtually assured election - she'll be the first Native American woman rep ever.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:46 PM on June 5 [52 favorites]


"NM-01: Debra Haaland has won the Dem nom with about 39%. It's a very blue district, so she's virtually assured electiong - she'll be the first Native American woman rep ever."

Oh, gosh, my in-laws are in her district and they ADORE her. SO EXCITE! Really pleased!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:50 PM on June 5 [21 favorites]


Wow, Menendez sounds corrupt as shit. Small beans in the Trump era, but still.
posted by Artw at 8:52 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


One interesting thing about CA-48 is that Rohrabacher is a 30-year veteran who can't crack 30% of the vote in a Clinton +2 district. He is down to crazification factor levels of support. I really hope we didn't screw this up. Anyone have any Scott Baugh thoughts?

Bonus news:

El Diario, Ecuatoriano hace delivery de pizza en Brooklyn y cae en manos de ‘La Migra’. Spanish language reports (and an NYC Councilman) a man delivering pizzas to Fort Hamilton (General Lee Avenue, of course) in Brooklyn was questioned by military police, detained, and handed over to ICE. His family says the military personnel kept the pizzas that were in his car too.

Slate, Many of the “Eagles Fans” at Trump’s Patriotism Rally Looked Suspiciously Like White House and Congressional Interns
posted by zachlipton at 8:53 PM on June 5 [43 favorites]


CA-gov: As expected, Newsom handily in front. However, Villaraigosa looks to have seriously faded to 4th place, meaning no GOP lockout of the top two. Newsom is almost certain to win the general, but GOP lockout probably would have suppressed GOP votes in downballot races in November.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:56 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


@LATSeema: WAIT: Viillaraigosa's campaign just said they are asking LA County to keep vote centera open until Friday bc of the more than 118K voters whose names were missing from the rolls at polling places.

I don't think you can really do that, but it certainly points to a certain sense of desperation for Villaraigosa. Note that LA hasn't returned many votes yet, so he's got a lot more votes due one way or another.
posted by zachlipton at 8:59 PM on June 5


I'm seeing people online (I know, I know) being very ragey at the Democratic Party and the DCCC over the problems in California. What the hell? This is happening because you people wanted to take power away from the DCCC. You didn't want the Party telling you who to nominate! This is what you get! THIS IS WHAT YOU GET.

"How dare the Democrats not stop us from deliberately fucking up royally" is what I'm getting from people.
posted by Justinian at 9:02 PM on June 5 [43 favorites]


Anyone have any more sources on the guy detained at the military base? I can’t tell from the article whether he was stopped by the gate guards and asked for multiple IDs because of the level of security and his possessions were retained by base security, or whether some joes ordered pizza and when the guy got to the door, they forcibly held him and called ICE while eating the pizzas he brought.
posted by corb at 9:09 PM on June 5 [4 favorites]


MT-Sen: As expected, it's a fight between Russ Fagg and Matt Rosendale. Good news for Rosendale: Fagg is trailing him in most of the state other than his home district. Bad news for Rosendale: Said home district happens to be Yellowstone County, home of Billings - the largest city in Montana, which basically makes it our political Golden Snitch.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:10 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


A week ago The Intercept published “Hidden Horrors of ‘Zero Tolerance’ — Mass Trials and Children Taken From Their Parents” by Debbie Nathan, with a photo of one of the mass trials. On Sunday Nathan was interviewed by the Houston Chronicle, then this morning she appeared on Democracy Now! (full show .mp4, alt link, .torrent) with audio taken at a trial she attended, which I'm now noticing is also embedded in the original Intercept article. (Also here's an article at the World Socialist Web Site, who are apparently Troskyites?)

Several of the sources note that mass trials of undocumented immigrants, specifically, began during the Bush admin, continued through Obama, and have become more recent under Trump.

I've spent about an hour looking for more information on mass trials in general and the conditions under which they happen, in the U.S. or internationally—particularly an explanation of how this counts as due process—but I'm stymied. They seem to have occurred throughout U.S. history and on some occasions decisions made at mass trials are invalidated by higher courts; and U.S. news media talks all the time about mass trials that occur overseas. But there doesn't even seem to be a Wikipedia article on the topic.

Through HathiTrust and the Internet Archive, and refined Google searches, I've found legal discussions that usually find fault in passing with a specific trial, but again no general discussion of mass trials.

So... does someone with better google-fu than me feel like taking a crack at it? (Or has this already been discussed? I Ctrl-F'ed in this thread and the previous uspolitics thread and was surprised to not find the photo mentioned, but maybe I'm picking the wrong keywords.)
posted by XMLicious at 9:13 PM on June 5 [9 favorites]


Maybe learn the fucking words to "God Bless America" and the National Anthem before you try to show off how patriotic you are. Dumb motherfucker.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:13 PM on June 5 [16 favorites]


But this was apparently a brief "courtesy" meeting at the airport that turned into a quick handshake, so it's not like it's particularly earthshaking.

It is actually pretty bizarre to travel to the airport to pay a courtesy visit to the head of another government, when you're the US ambassador to Germany, and taken in context with his other unprofessional and undiplomatic behaviour, there's no reason to extend Grenell the benefit of the doubt.

Courtesy visits from an ambassador are almost always to the head of state or head of government or minister or whatever of their host country. There are some exceptions that mainly occur at a different level, when important people are travelling (generally things where it would be rude not to pop in and say hi while you're in the neighbourhood, e.g. the head of a UN agency on mission might briefly visit a country ambassador) but this isn't one of those times, as the ambassador wasn't travelling - Netanyahu didn't pay the visit to Grenell, and nor should he have. So yes, to my mind it was a breach of protocol.

Source: used to arrange diplomatic courtesy visits.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 9:13 PM on June 5 [54 favorites]


Oy, CA-48 voter here and the problem here has been that Kierstead locked up the CA Dem party endorsement, which gave him the official party endorsement on the first page of the ballot guide. Meanwhile, another Dem, Rouda locked up all the other endorsements: DCCC, indivisible, the endorsements of the several candidates who dropped out, etc.

At the moment, Kierstead’s front page endorsement is propelling him the second spot behind Rohrabacher, but Rouda is pulling a close fourth — and a shitload of Dem votes. Third place ATM is another Republican.

What a cluster.
posted by notyou at 9:21 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


"On first principles he should get along with all of them, especially Turnbull and May..."

This is from a while back, but it seems to me that Tr*mp is quite definitely following the despicable example of Australia's policies, fully endorsed by Turnbull and enacted by our very own talking potato, Peter Dutton, regarding separation of refugees and the increasingly inhumane treatment of them (in our case, in offshore detention facilities).
posted by h00py at 9:24 PM on June 5 [6 favorites]


CA gov - Decision Desk calling 2nd place for Republican Cox.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:24 PM on June 5


Newsom is very happy with that result. Governor of California is a sweet gig. And who knows what can happen in 2024 or 2028.
posted by Justinian at 9:25 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


Another interesting race to watch tonight is the recall election in Santa Clara County for Judge Persky over the Brock Turner sentencing. The recall is currently leading 59/41.
posted by zachlipton at 9:26 PM on June 5 [26 favorites]


CA-10 looking better now that San Joaquin has started counting. Wasserman thinks a Dem lockout looks unlikely there, and I suspect the initial fears were a quirk of the reporting process.

Local news is calling it: Judge Persky has been recalled.

Here in San Francisco, we might know who the mayor is sometime next week (we use a ranked choice voting system, and this is the first time it might decide the mayor's race).
posted by zachlipton at 9:35 PM on June 5 [18 favorites]




@daveweigel:
Now that NJ is done voting:

- Rs with less than $100k in the bank are the nominees in #NJ02 and #NJ05, likely taking them off the board.

- In #N07 and #NJ11, GOP districts since before Reagan was president, Democrats out-voted Republicans.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:42 PM on June 5 [15 favorites]


Not an exaggeration, this is really quite breathtaking in its obstruction of the Rule of Law.

@Susan_Hennessey This is an astonishing chart from @WSJ showing current DOJ vacancies. https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-administration-sidelines-effort-to-appoint-justice-department-no-3-1528208396
posted by scalefree at 9:45 PM on June 5 [11 favorites]


I have no idea what things even mean, but here goes:

There's a legal blogger I follow called David Schraub. He has an ongoing series of Things People Blame the Jews For (e.g., the weather, Turkish taxis, etc.) In the latest one, Volume XLV: Electing Trump (and Making Russia Pay For It), he links to someone called John Schindler writing for an outfit called The Observer, who breathlessly asks
“What if the real secret of the Trump campaign isn’t that it’s a Kremlin operation, rather an Israeli operation masquerading as a Russian one?”

The online journal didn't look familiar to me, so I looked up its editorial board – the editor is Joseph Meyer, which rang a very vague bell. Long story short, The Observer is owned by Jared Kusher, Meyer is his brother-in-law, what the hell is even going on any more.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:46 PM on June 5 [45 favorites]


People I don't want to alarm anyone but there's another orb and this time Netanyahu and Macron are touching it
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:49 PM on June 5 [33 favorites]


scalefree's link to that DOJ vacancies story is a WSJ paywalled article, but if you have WSJ access, the link is actually https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-administration-sidelines-effort-to-appoint-justice-department-no-3-1528208396.
posted by kristi at 9:53 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


Democracy Journal, Middle America Reboots Democracy
At the current pace, it seems likely that the pop-up leaders and grassroots groups of 2017 will, by 2019, have repopulated the local layer of the Democratic Party in much of the country. National media misperceptions to the contrary, this will not look like a far-left reinvention of Tea Partiers or a continuation of Bernie 2016. It will look like retired librarians rolling their eyes at the present state of affairs, and then taking charge. And it will happen first and foremost in the suburbs, those middle-class, Middle-American spaces that grew up alongside a generation—the Baby Boomers—whose last act of generational transformation may just have arrived.

This change will come smoothly and cooperatively in some places and through conflict and displacement in others. The change will move farthest and fastest outside of the metropolitan cores where local Democratic Party patronage structures still persist. Purple suburbs, mid-size cities, big towns in red regions—these are the unexpected epicenters of the quake underway. The cumulative result will be local Democratic Party leadership across much of America that is slightly more progressive and much more female than it was, although not much more socio-economically diverse. Everywhere, the renovated party locals will be passionate about procedural democracy: determined to fight gerrymandering, regulate campaign activities and finance, and expand and guarantee voting rights for all.

For those wondering who is going to rebuild the foundations of U.S. democracy— assuming the national guardrails survive—the answer across much of the U.S. heartland seems clear. The foundation rebuilders in many communities across most states are newly mobilized and interconnected grassroots groups, led for the most part by Middle America’s mothers and grandmothers. They see the work to be done and are well into accomplishing it.
posted by zachlipton at 9:53 PM on June 5 [84 favorites]


@Redistrict: BREAKING: hearing word of a possible tabulation error in Orange Co. that could be costing Harley Rouda (D) ~2,000 votes in #CA48. If confirmed, we'd have a very tight race for 2nd between Keirstead (D), Baugh (R) & Rouda (D).

Jaw clenching intensifies.
posted by zachlipton at 9:57 PM on June 5 [4 favorites]


he links to someone called John Schindler

We've covered Schindler before. He's a legit ex-spook, NSA analyst & Naval War College professor who turned wacky. Here's a decent if not completely up-to-date writeup on him in the Atlantic: How Surveillance-State Insiders Try to Discredit NSA Critics.
posted by scalefree at 10:00 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


About New Mexico's CD1 and Dem Deb Haaland -- I live in the district. Some people say it's blue, but it's really purple. The GOP has held the seat often.

I have been volunteering for Deb. She is warm and classy.
posted by maurreen at 10:01 PM on June 5 [14 favorites]


@Susan_Hennessey This is an astonishing chart from @WSJ showing current DOJ vacancies.

The WaPo has a story on the depth of dysfunction between Trump and Sessions that has this quote:
One person who knows Sessions, though, said the attorney general probably thinks “he’s the only person standing between the president and the complete destruction of the Justice Department.”
Which is a scary thought.
posted by peeedro at 10:08 PM on June 5 [13 favorites]


Wow, that Middle America Reboots Democracy article that zachlipton posted above is fantastic.

I want to quote a bunch of it but I'd basically just be copy-and-pasting the whole article. Just this one teaser, then:
Pennsylvania Together has identified more than 60 candidates who ran for local or municipal office in this state with new local groups’ support in November 2017. Most were first-time candidates; more than half were women; four out of five won. That last fact is all the more striking because the candidates were often running in places presumed to be so heavily Republican that Democrats hadn’t fielded campaigns there in recent memory. In Chester County, a large exurban and rural county west of Philadelphia, Democratic candidates swept row offices that Republicans had carried with an average 17-point margin of victory in 2015. School boards and township councils that had not had Democratic members in decades now do: sometimes, in the majority.
Go read it. It's great.

Thanks, zachlipton!
posted by kristi at 10:13 PM on June 5 [28 favorites]


AL Chief Justice - Roy Moore ally Tom Parker has won the GOP nom, ousting incumbent Lyn Stuart. Parker will face Bob Vance, who actually came pretty close to defeating Moore himself in this same race in 2012.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:13 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


John Schindler is part of the Louise Mensch League of Extraordinary Frauds
posted by Yowser at 10:24 PM on June 5 [6 favorites]


@Redistrict: Projection: state Sen. Kevin de Leon (D) advances to November election vs. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) in #CASEN. Republicans locked out.

Good. Given Feinstein's performance tonight (and de León's paltry showing), I don't have much hope for November here, but this at least has a chance of getting some real issues raised and keeps the pressure on Feinstein.
posted by zachlipton at 10:32 PM on June 5 [26 favorites]


Looks like GOP is locked out of Lt. Gov as well, fwiw.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:32 PM on June 5 [11 favorites]


MT Senate - AP calls GOP nom for state auditor Matt Rosendale. Rosendale was Tester's preferred opponent - he's originally from Maryland, and carpetbagging can be a pretty potent issue in Montana.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:43 PM on June 5 [7 favorites]


Since this Eagles thing has become an issue and people are discussing the Stanley Cup winning team White House visit: when Boston last won the Cup, they were invited by President Obama to visit. Goalie Tim Thomas, a very Right-Wing person, publicly refused to attend. It raised a bit of fuss [article by someone who thinks Thomas was wrong but probably also thinks NFL players should kneel.] So now, for the President to reverse things and disinvite is weird.
[And re: earlier comment about Black players in the NHL, the Capitals also have Ryan Reaves, who, like Pelly-Smith, is Canadian-born. The NHL has players from a lot of countries. Bellemare, who plays for Las Vegas, was born in France. He is black. But nobody fills out a form that says what colour they are, so... why is a team visit to the White House worth so much talk while there is not a peep about no generic drugs at a more reasonable cost or just how is that trade war going anyway or does Iran have a bomb yet and how would you know..? It's because Trump sets the agenda of distraction and I just contributed and I am sort of sorry.]
posted by CCBC at 10:44 PM on June 5 [8 favorites]


GOP lockout probably would have suppressed GOP votes in downballot races in November.

I'm not sure Cox on the ballot will do a ton for GOP turnout, but what will is an upcoming CA ballot measure in November to repeal last year's gas tax increase. We're the state that once recalled a governor in large part because he tripled the vehicle license fee. There's going to be a lot of noise about the gas tax to get Republicans to vote.
posted by zachlipton at 10:47 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


MT Senate - AP calls GOP nom for state auditor Matt Rosendale. Rosendale was Tester's preferred opponent - he's originally from Maryland, and carpetbagging can be a pretty potent issue in Montana.

Yeah, Fagg was close enough to Rosendale that the Club for Growth was running a pretty strong anti-Fagg campaign here. It seemed like every other YouTube ad was their ad about how Fagg cut 45 years off a DV case.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:49 PM on June 5




Also there was a successful recall of Dem Newman in CA SD-29 over a vote for the gas tax. This (at least until the election) removes the Democratic supermajority in the state Senate, which is needed for tax increases.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:00 PM on June 5 [4 favorites]


Ars Technica:
Hoax emergency call sends SWAT team to home of gun-control activist
Swatter targeted Parkland survivor David Hogg; luckily, he wasn't home.


Judge orders EPA to disclose any science backing up Pruitt’s climate claims
EPA will have to comply with an information request by July.
And finally, possibly related to un petit cadeau's link...
In seconds, we faked our way into a political campaign, got unsecured voter data
Data analytics firm says this is normal: "It's the way that campaigns are run."
[...]we were sent a lengthy public URL (beginning with http://phonebank.the-pdi.com) designed for Republican volunteers in a Southern California recall campaign. The URL allowed us to access active Republican voter data, including names, addresses, phone numbers, ages, genders, and party affiliations.

We accessed this information without agreeing to any terms of use or stipulating that we were, in fact, Republican volunteers. The website had no meaningful security controls whatsoever.

[...]

The Republican who shared this Web address with Ars did so out of concern that his party was lax when it comes to digital security. [...] The website did not even attempt to confirm our alleged email address.

[...]

The Republican Party of California and its contractor, a Southern California firm named Political Data Inc., told Ars that this online tool is fully compliant with the laws that allow for sharing of voter data for political purposes.
posted by XMLicious at 11:00 PM on June 5 [5 favorites]


Downballot good news: Two progressive challengers in New Mexico state House races appear to have defeated conservative Dem incumbents. No GOP candidates in these districts, either.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:04 PM on June 5 [21 favorites]


Downballot good news: In CA AD-76, which has been GOP-held for years, it looks like the top two slots will be Dems.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:12 PM on June 5 [25 favorites]


The jobs not done until there isn't a single Republican officeholder left in the state. But that's a good start.
posted by Justinian at 11:17 PM on June 5 [23 favorites]


Have we mentioned Zach Wahls yet? He just won his Iowa State Senate primary through Run for Something. This was his campaign announcement: "Remember that young man from Iowa who spoke to the Iowa legislature a few years ago about growing up with two moms? Hi. That was me — and today, I'm announcing my campaign to join the Iowa legislature."

I don't know a lot about him (and welcome insight from those who do), but twitter is jazzed and Matt Fuller, who spends his time talking to Congress for a living, describes him as "smarter and more politically gifted than 99% of Congress."
posted by zachlipton at 11:25 PM on June 5 [42 favorites]


In today's News of the Crazypants (even by 2018 standards):
NBC's Ben Collins: We have an active, real-life QAnon-based standoff in Tucson, where complete dipshits believe an abandoned homeless camp is a pedophile ring.

Thank you again, Infowars!

JJ McNab of Forbes.com: There's a one-sided standoff shaping up in Tucson, Arizona. A group called Veterans on Patrol, headed up by a guy who has never served in the military, found an abandoned homeless camp.

In a fit of Pizzagate-conspiracy-theory-level research, the group has announced that this was actual a super secret sex camp where countless little children have been tortured and killed.

When local cops took a look at the abandoned camp and shrugged, the non-veteran leader climbed a local tower and issued his demands for the govt to bring in cadaver dogs to look for dead kids or else he wouldn't come down from the tower. He came down that night.

This is the third time this guy has climbed a tower looking for attention. He did it in 2015.

So far, it's just a bunch of people, some militia demanding attention. The only reason this could actually turn into a standoff is because this is happening on privately-owned land and they are trespassing.

If the local PD is smart, they will ignore them and let boredom and the blazing hot Arizona summer sun do its thing.

The conspiracy theory floating around this abandoned camp involves George Soros, a cement company, a local mayor whose last names is (da da da) Rothschild, the QAnon hoax, secret underground tunnels, John McCain, rape trees, and so on.
And it goes on in that stupid and even stupider by the minute vein, since instead of ignoring these loons, the cops actually humored them by bringing out a cadaver dog, for no reason. Then ICE got involved and said "nothing to see here, folks," so obviously they, too, are Deep State or whatever. Other militia dolts are arriving in response to a Facebook alert requesting supplies and reinforcements. Oy vey.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:28 PM on June 5 [48 favorites]


@JeffMerkley: My visit to the McAllen processing center was a harrowing experience. Children were in cages. People were distraught. Kids were ripped from their parents’ arms. It’s unconscionable that we are treating them this way.

Here's the full segment from Chris Hayes' show.
posted by zachlipton at 11:34 PM on June 5 [37 favorites]


> Dem GAIN in Missouri Senate 17:

Arthur [D] 59.6%
Corlew [R] 40.3%

Margin changes compared to previous races:

vs 2016 presidential result margin: Dem improvement of about 24 points.
vs 2016 SD-17 result margin: Dem improvement of about 42 points.


Kevin Corlew was a pretty strong R candidate for this district. He is a moderate Republican (good for thise district), came out against the Greitens shenanigans quite early (also good), has a great record of moderate leadership in Jefferson City (good, but does not always translate to votes), and has won House elections, some pretty handily, in a House district that covers a portion of the Senate district.

I don't know how he fares as a campaigner or a fundraiser. But overall he is a moderately strong to very strong R candidate for this district and it has got to be discouraging for Missouri Republicans that he was not within 5-10 points anyway.

The Greitens fiasco playing out within the past week clearly impacted this race. If Greitens had waited to resign until a week before the upcoming November elections we might have seen Ds up 20 points across Missouri in that election.

But given that L'affaire Greitens will have greatly faded from the public consciousness by November, I'd say Missouri Ds will be doing great in November if they can manage to pull out +5% to +10% overall vs recent elections.

That would be enough to cut the R's current veto-proof majority in both House & Senate but not nearly enough to give Ds a majority in either chamber (I've mentioned many times here that the districting setup gives Rs a very strong structural advantage in the state legislature).

Still, it would be an interesting and substantive change here if the legislature were to make a strong move towards parity--say 55/45 or even 60/40 would be vastly different and better than the current 70/30 split in both chambers.

BTW the Clean Missouri proposal will be on the November ballot and i predict it will win handily. It could help significantly to even up the odds for Democrats in Missouri starting in 2020. We'll see.
posted by flug at 11:34 PM on June 5 [15 favorites]


NBC's Ben Collins: We have an active, real-life QAnon-based standoff in Tucson, where complete dipshits believe an abandoned homeless camp is a pedophile ring.

And it will surprise no one that Roseanne Barr, president of the QAnon fanclub, is spreading this Tucson nonsense.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:36 PM on June 5 [15 favorites]


@Redistrict: Breaking: Scott Baugh (R) now looking likely to come in 4th place in #CA48. Race for 2nd likely coming down to Hans Keirstead (D) & Harley Rouda (D).

@Redistrict: Dems currently pulling 50.6% of primary votes in #CA49 (and likely to go higher in late counting), a pretty good omen of their fall chances for a pickup there.

JCPL slowly starts to soothe.
posted by zachlipton at 11:42 PM on June 5 [10 favorites]


The day Trump leaves office I think I might go into a coma from the lack of adrenaline and cortisol rushing through my veins.
posted by Justinian at 11:45 PM on June 5 [65 favorites]


The day Trump leaves office I’m going to party all year.
posted by gucci mane at 11:50 PM on June 5 [35 favorites]


With 93% reporting Rouda and Kierstead are separated by approximately 100 votes in the contest to see who gets to go up against Rohrabacher (R - Moscow) come November!
posted by Justinian at 12:27 AM on June 6 [4 favorites]


NM-01: Debra Haaland has won the Dem nom with about 39%. It's a very blue district, so she's virtually assured election - she'll be the first Native American woman rep ever.

Haaland supports defunding ICE. So good on many levels.
posted by chris24 at 12:29 AM on June 6 [21 favorites]


CCBC: " The NHL has players from a lot of countries."

Well sort of. The NHL currently has players from only 17 countries. 46% of players are Canadian. Of the 17 countries 4 only have a single representative and 9 fail to post double digits. 82.7% of players come from just 3 countries (Canada, US, Sweden)
posted by Mitheral at 12:38 AM on June 6 [3 favorites]


@JeffMerkley: My visit to the McAllen processing center was a harrowing experience. Children were in cages. People were distraught. Kids were ripped from their parents’ arms. It’s unconscionable that we are treating them this way.

I was looking for information about the McAllen processing center and ran across this video from the interior of the U.S. Border Patrol station. It was filmed in 2014 because of concerns over the conditions there. Mylar blankets, concrete floor, and very crowded conditions. A central processing facility for unaccompanied kids was opened in the same year to help with overflow from the station. In a warehouse. With cages. Some of this cruelty isn't new. The new part is the reprehensible separation of kids from their parents. The preceding years of caged "processing" of children are also reprehensible.

I'm not trying to minimize what's happening at the right border now. It's undoubtedly getting worse under Trump. But what were we doing in 2014? Probably thinking America was doing fine under Obama. None of this is fine.
posted by Mister Cheese at 12:41 AM on June 6 [65 favorites]


The conspiracy theory floating around this abandoned camp involves George Soros, a cement company, a local mayor whose last names is (da da da) Rothschild, the QAnon hoax, secret underground tunnels, John McCain, rape trees, and so on.

"This club has everything..."
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:42 AM on June 6 [50 favorites]


John Couvillon
2018 PRIMARY TURNOUT (EXCLUDING CALIFORNIA): Democratic turnout up 69% from 2014, Republican turnout up 4%.
posted by chris24 at 12:44 AM on June 6 [55 favorites]


Wasserman: #CA49 Projection: Mike Levin (D) advances to November election vs. Diane Harkey (R). Both parties avert shutout. @CookPolitical rating will move from Toss Up to Lean D.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:45 AM on June 6 [6 favorites]


@Redistrict: Worth noting that Josh Harder (D)'s lead over Ted Howze (R) for 2nd slot in #CA10 continues to shrink slightly w/ E-Day counting. Too soon to say with certainty that Dems have avoided a shutout here:
Jeff Denham (R): 22,272
Josh Harder (D): 9,014
Ted Howze (R): 8,406

*drinking intensifies*
posted by zachlipton at 12:47 AM on June 6 [5 favorites]


CNN: On Wednesday, President Donald Trump's White House will host its first iftar. "Many American Muslims are skeptical, if not scornful, about breaking bread with Trump, citing the President's rhetoric and actions towards Muslims and other religious and racial minorities."
posted by zarq at 12:49 AM on June 6 [17 favorites]


GOP lockout probably would have suppressed GOP votes in downballot races in November.
---
I'm not sure Cox on the ballot will do a ton for GOP turnout


Dave Weigel (WaPo)
The national take on Newsom-Cox is that this will boost R turnout. The CA Dem take: This frees up *tens of millions* of dollars and labor GOTV for other races, which would have otherwise been spent fighting Villaraigosa.
posted by chris24 at 12:53 AM on June 6 [11 favorites]


With 99.8% counted Rouda is ahead of Kierstead by 70 votes! I hope they don't get into some weird internecine recount bullshit.
posted by Justinian at 1:07 AM on June 6 [2 favorites]


CNN: On Wednesday, President Donald Trump's White House will host its first iftar. "Many American Muslims are skeptical, if not scornful, about breaking bread with Trump, citing the President's rhetoric and actions towards Muslims and other religious and racial minorities."

Across the street in Lafayette Park, a "not Trump's Iftar" will be held. Welcome to all, Muslims, non-Muslims, nonbelievers of all stripes.
posted by duffell at 3:03 AM on June 6 [34 favorites]


What if the real secret of the Trump campaign isn’t that it’s a Kremlin operation, rather an Israeli operation masquerading as a Russian one?
...
Long story short, The Observer is owned by Jared Kusher, Meyer is his brother-in-law, what the hell is even going on any more.

What with all the end-of-times nuttiness with the Pence crowd I imagine Israel's involvement would be considered a feature, not a bug, by Tangerine Scheme's base.

In other words, "ok, there really was collusion but don't worry it wasn't the Russians. Donny was just helping to speed up the second coming. We've already filled out the forms to have him canonized as St. Yuge the Orange."
posted by duoshao at 4:53 AM on June 6 [4 favorites]


Was CA-10 even on the radar for a Dem lockout? There's still 6 Dem candidates in that race? The top 2 primary system is an abomination, California has to fix this.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:55 AM on June 6 [3 favorites]


Hoax emergency call sends SWAT team to home of gun-control activist
Swatter targeted Parkland survivor David Hogg; luckily, he wasn't home.


OK so I thought the police had access to all kinds of intel... so before sending lethal force based on one bogus tip, why not get tapping the phones, get a helicopter over the site with listening gear, etc?

It is like keystone cops. Don't the SWAT teams feel like schmucks when they get played like this?
posted by Meatbomb at 5:09 AM on June 6 [4 favorites]


CNN: Republicans, however, had a good night in California, because their leading candidate for Governor, John Cox, made it on the November ballot where he will face off against Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who easily finished first.


So not getting totally shutout of statewide races equals a good night?
posted by octothorpe at 5:15 AM on June 6 [15 favorites]


Here in my county, Contra Costa, we have three Democratic Representatives - McNerney (District 9), DeSaulnier (District 11), and Swalwell (District 15), who are pretty much cruising to victory. No excitement here! I didn't need an Ambien to sleep or anything.

DeSaulnier is my Rep, and he's in the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and he's great, so I was happy to vote for him. No holding my nose, hooray!
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 5:19 AM on June 6 [6 favorites]


OK so I thought the police had access to all kinds of intel... so before sending lethal force based on one bogus tip, why not get tapping the phones, get a helicopter over the site with listening gear, etc?

Local departments typically don't have the resources to afford stuff like this, and phone taps usually require judicial oversight, which makes them useless in an emergency. Plus, why would you waste a perfectly good opportunity to dress up in SWAT gear and play COPS for the afternoon?
posted by Rykey at 5:33 AM on June 6 [17 favorites]


Courtesy visits from an ambassador are almost always to the head of state or head of government or minister or whatever of their host country. There are some exceptions that mainly occur at a different level, when important people are travelling (generally things where it would be rude not to pop in and say hi while you're in the neighbourhood, e.g. the head of a UN agency on mission might briefly visit a country ambassador) but this isn't one of those times, as the ambassador wasn't travelling - Netanyahu didn't pay the visit to Grenell, and nor should he have. So yes, to my mind it was a breach of protocol.

Interesting! Glad to learn something new. Thank you for explaining!

So how would this normally have been handled? I assume then that the request by Grenell should not have been made. Would Netanyahu and/or his team have declined to meet with him? Could there be any downside to that? (e.g., is there any possibility that might have been seen as a snub?)

I'm curious as to why the request by Grenell would have been allowed.
posted by zarq at 5:38 AM on June 6 [3 favorites]


I know it's upthread now but for corb or anyone wondering, here's a (small) update on Pablo Villavicencio, the man detained by military police and turned over to ICE while trying to deliver a pizza at Fort Hamilton. Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and City Council Member Justin Brannan are trying to find out what happened at the base and what's currently happening to Villavicencio; there's a press briefing scheduled for 11 this morning.
posted by halation at 5:42 AM on June 6 [19 favorites]


Roy Moore's wife, Kayla Moore, loses bid for state Republican Executive Committee

Well, there goes her family's chance for revenge.

"Thank you to all who voted for me today! Congratulations to Mrs. Lasseter," Kayla Moore posted on Facebook Tuesday night. "Sorry I couldn't post sooner but I have had a difficult time trying to find it as we are out of town. Thank you all again!"
She sounds competent.

Roy Moore's former campaign manager, Rich Hobson, was also defeated yesterday. He was trying to unseat Representative Martha Roby (R-Ala.)
posted by zarq at 5:49 AM on June 6 [7 favorites]


Although Roby didn't actually win, because the Alabama primary system requires a majority of votes for the nomination. She's in a runoff with Bobby Bright, a former Democratic rep who switched parties, and most coverage of the race has linked Roby's poor performance (for an incumbent) to the fact that she un-endorsed Trump after the Access Hollywood tape came out.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:04 AM on June 6 [3 favorites]


People I don't want to alarm anyone but there's another orb and this time Netanyahu and Macron are touching it

What is Varys doing there, this isn't good
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:22 AM on June 6 [18 favorites]


Helicopter mounted listening gear is like a microscope attached to a strobe light.

It's hilarious that people still put full blame on the person calling the police, never holding police departments accountable for procedures and training that get innocent people killed.

In my industry we have a risk model, where the benefits of caution are weighed against the cost of not acting. And the results are measured and verified. What sort of risk model says that hundreds of citizens killed is an acceptable price for the benefits of aggressive military style policing? What even are those supposed benefits? Are any outcomes improved by SWAT tactics?
posted by idiopath at 6:31 AM on June 6 [36 favorites]


And it will happen first and foremost in the suburbs, those middle-class, Middle-American spaces that grew up alongside a generation—the Baby Boomers—whose last act of generational transformation may just have arrived.

Co-authored by Theda Skocpol, Professor of Sociology, Harvard, b. 1947.

The Boomers are not going to save us from the future they've created.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:33 AM on June 6 [12 favorites]


Helicopter mounted listening gear is like a microscope attached to a strobe light.

It's probably not using a condenser mic, yeah? Maybe a gyro-stabilized laser mic?

The problem with this sort of thing doesn't go away just because its crappy and not that useful to The Man from a practical standpoint. Scalia is gone, but the 4th Am. jurisprudence he left behind basically says that cops can use invasive technology to conduct searches at a distance without a warrant only when the technology becomes commonplace such that it's no longer within a persons normal expectation of privacy.

These inch-a-mile erosions matter.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:37 AM on June 6 [5 favorites]


NPR reporting report: Steve Inskeep interviewed the chair of the CA Democratic party this morning. He spent a long time setting up a question about how much danger the Dems were in yesterday. CA guy interrupted him to criticize that framing and get to the point - they're on the ballot. Then Steve pivoted instantly from "aren't there too many Dems?" to "does anyone even want to vote for these Dems?" which CA guy also shut down. He allowed none of Steve's nonsense.

I cackled through the whole thing and occasionally yelled "Fuck you, Steve!" I recommend. Very cathartic.
posted by Emmy Rae at 6:38 AM on June 6 [79 favorites]


How about this framing Steve? Rs dying in SoCal.

Dave Weigel (WaPo)
Combined GOP vote in #CA48:

2014 primary: 67.1%
2018 primary: 53.0%

In #CA49:

2014 primary: 61.4%
2018 primary: 48.5%

Some stuff left to count, but the Dem SoCal gains that started in 2016 seem to have continued.
posted by chris24 at 6:44 AM on June 6 [27 favorites]


In my industry we have a risk model, where the benefits of caution are weighed against the cost of not acting. And the results are measured and verified. What sort of risk model says that hundreds of citizens killed is an acceptable price for the benefits of aggressive military style policing? What even are those supposed benefits? Are any outcomes improved by SWAT tactics?

Oh, I see, risk to life, not risk to personal wealth.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:46 AM on June 6 [2 favorites]


I heard that NPR too, and the Dem consultant was glorious. Inskeep wanted so much to go with the hackneyed "Dems in Disarray" narrative, and the Democrat was having none of it. He make the party look good, and more, used the opportunity to point out that Californians are rejecting Republicans even in famously conservative Orange County.
posted by Gelatin at 6:53 AM on June 6 [42 favorites]


Dem Senator Joe Manchin: ‘Im Open to Supporting’ Trump in 2020

“I’m with him sometimes more than other Republican senators are with him,” said Manchin. “Washington Democrats are making it more difficult for me to be a West Virginia Democrat.”
posted by Artw at 6:55 AM on June 6 [9 favorites]


Ben Strauss, Politico: ‘It’s the Least Political Thing a President Does’
Presidents going back to Calvin Coolidge have hosted championship teams at the White House. Some wonder if the tradition is on its last legs with Donald Trump.
Marc J. Spears, ESPN: LeBron James, Stephen Curry agree that next NBA champs won't visit White House (autoplaying video)
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:00 AM on June 6 [19 favorites]


Artw: Dem Senator Joe Manchin: ‘Im Open to Supporting’ Trump in 2020

Infuriating, but also enlightening, as evidence of the extent to which senators really do listen to and follow their constituents. Trump got a higher share of the vote in West Virginia, 68.5%, than any other state.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:04 AM on June 6 [10 favorites]


Meanwhile in "Lets blow everything up" territory: - Steve Bannon is on a far-right mission to radicalise Europe. He’s leading a Trumpian onslaught to undermine European democracy itself.
Then there is Michael Pack: the Bannon ally Trump wants for government broadcast job.
Trump wants Pack to lead the Broadcasting Board of Governors – but will it turn Voice Of America into a propaganda tool? (when wasn´t it?)
Trump has told reporters that he no longer speaks to his former campaign chief Steve Bannon. Which of course means he does.
posted by adamvasco at 7:06 AM on June 6 [6 favorites]


Guardian: Cambridge Analytica director 'met Assange to discuss US election'

A Cambridge Analytica director apparently visited Julian Assange in February last year and told friends it was to discuss what happened during the US election, the Guardian has learned. Brittany Kaiser, a director at the firm until earlier this year, also claimed to have channelled cryptocurrency payments and donations to WikiLeaks. This information has been passed to congressional and parliamentary inquiries in the UK and US.

Seems perfectly normal.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:07 AM on June 6 [18 favorites]


Ha ha, fuck you Steve. And speaking of having to walk back the "Democrats In Disarray" narrative, Ralph Northam is getting high approval numbers so far. Remember the howling and Chicken Little-ing that boring ol' Ralph Northam was sure to either lose, or do a dismal job if he was elected? Now, with a Medicaid expansion happening, the "Dems in Disarray why didn't we elect Perriello" crowd needs to eat their words.

And I'm heartened by all the women running for office and winning nominations!

Democracy journal article: This goes to show the importance of local politics. The way to get a blue state where you can have nice things is to elect Democrats to local offices. We in Cali have seen how our quality of life improves when we have Democrats in charge. (I'm going to miss Jerry Brown! Like whoa!) This improves our bench for nationwide office as well.

P.S. Ageism isn't cool. We wouldn't let other -isms slide so can we not with the age bashing? There are and always have been plenty of "Boomer" Democrats and SJWs.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 7:09 AM on June 6 [27 favorites]


Rosie M. Banks: the "Dems in Disarray why didn't we elect Perriello" crowd needs to eat their words.

Let them bake cake.
posted by Too-Ticky at 7:13 AM on June 6 [21 favorites]


With regards to the Medicaid expansion in Virginia, I have seen reference to (but not much in-depth discussion of) the fact that the expansion includes a work requirement and that that requirement may subsequently be thrown out. Does anyone have more information on this?
posted by C'est la D.C. at 7:17 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]


> Wow, that Middle America Reboots Democracy article that zachlipton posted above is fantastic.

If we keep reiterating this sentiment and posting a different excerpt of the article, we could have the entire text quoted in this thread. Seriously, it's a great article.
The protagonists of the trends we report on are mainly college-educated suburban white women. We tell their stories not because college-educated white women are the most Democratic slice of the electorate (they aren’t) or because they are the most progressive voices within the Democratic Party (they aren’t) or because they have a special claim to lead the left moving forward (they don’t: nor do they pretend to). Rather, what we report here is that it is among these college-educated, middle-aged women in the suburbs that political practices have most changed under Trump. If your question is how the panorama of political possibility has shifted since November 2016, your story needs to begin here.
posted by RedOrGreen at 7:23 AM on June 6 [18 favorites]


We wouldn't let other -isms slide so can we not with the age bashing? There are and always have been plenty of "Boomer" Democrats and SJWs.

There are plenty of Boomer everyone and everything. That goes without saying. So what?

Not every element of generational politics amounts to "ageism." We don't silence people on stratification by gender or race because gender and race can have "isms" attached to them. And we don't excuse people from those discussions because they are liberal otherwise. Boomers didn't want to be silenced on generational politics in the '60s, did they? That was kinda the brand.

TFA specifically pointed up the Boomer's conventionally-recognized transformational role in society (largely self-recognition, but we can leave that) and suggests we should all be looking to Boomers to do it one last time. Well, I think it's far more likely Boomers will continue to defund the future in favor of getting by in the present as they have been doing since the '80s.

On the other hand, for lots of Boomers (who are not Harvard profs) there may not be much of a choice -- WaPo: A crucial Medicare trust fund will run out three years earlier than predicted, new report says. It's too much to expect of any generation to literally vote to put themslves in an early grave over more bailouts.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:26 AM on June 6 [6 favorites]


Dem Senator Joe Manchin: ‘Im Open to Supporting’ Trump in 2020

“I’m with him sometimes more than other Republican senators are with him,” said Manchin. “Washington Democrats are making it more difficult for me to be a West Virginia Democrat.”


OMFG can we not do Manchin the Fake Dem for the bazillionth time? The dude sucks but he still votes with the Dem caucus by several percentage points more than the most lefty R and about 40% more often than his fellow WV senator. He can //** redacted obscene act w/ Trump **// on a daily basis for all I care so long as he remains a bulwark against at least some of the R's awful agenda. Let him say all the bullshit he wants as long as he keeps that seat against another Capito

From https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/congress-trump-score/

Trump score
How often Capito votes in line with Trump's position: 95.8%
How often Manchin votes in line with Trump's position: 61.6%
posted by phearlez at 7:28 AM on June 6 [43 favorites]


I am so glad I am am not alone in my hatred of Steve Inskeep's bullshit. He is the avatar of bad interviews.
posted by benzenedream at 7:35 AM on June 6 [18 favorites]


Absolutely. Hell, we’re just fortunate Manchin is officially a Dem for purposes of control of the Senate. As far as that goes, even if he voted with Trump as often as Capito (and he doesn’t), given that West Virginia is such a conservative State, I’d still consider it a net gain that he caucuses with the Dems.

I’d love to swap out half a dozen more Rs in super conservative states for Manchin clones.
posted by darkstar at 7:36 AM on June 6 [12 favorites]


It's too much to expect of any generation to literally vote to put themslves in an early grave over more bailouts.

They will because of Fox News. My dad worked for the VA and receives army retirement health benefits and still thinks government health care is bad and the private market can do it better because of Fox News.
posted by Fleebnork at 7:37 AM on June 6 [28 favorites]


WaPo: A crucial Medicare trust fund will run out three years earlier than predicted, new report says. . . .
Dismantling through privatization has long (40 years now) been an active libertarian and rich-class project. Here's an interview with Nancy MacLean, whose excellent book Democracy in Chains, details the political background and recent history of this project. It notably included the long range 'Social Security is Failing!' propaganda campaign started a few decades ago.
"The libertarian notion that they’re somehow re-creating the vision of the Founders is thus a total fantasy. What the libertarians would create is, in fact, an utterly unsustainable society, government and environment. They would say that their cause is “liberty,” and they say things like, “we are advancing pro-growth policies and limited government, putting more tax dollars in your pocket.” Who’s going to disagree with bromides like that?

But when you find out they’re using your energies to build momentum to privatize Social Security and Medicare, undermine our public education system, and make it impossible for the government to ensure clean air and water or action on climate change, then you start to get a different picture of what this is all about."
posted by Harry Caul at 7:37 AM on June 6 [13 favorites]


Fantastically accurate and incisive profile of Trump and his base by David Roth of Deadspin: The NFL Is Too Dumb To Realize That Donald Trump Is Never Going To Stop With This Shit
He’s a man who only knows how to do a couple of things, but one of those things is to find a bruise and then push and push on it. He does that very well. . . .

[H]e is not listening or learning or changing, because those are not things he does. He is pushing and pushing and pushing at this issue because that is what he does, and because he is nothing without something to push against. There is no compromise to make. Trump wants to become the world, to erase and expunge everything from it that is not him or about him. A generation of the worst and most hard-hearted people that this country has ever produced are lined up outside the church he has opened, and they are willing to leave everything outside in order to gain entry. It’s the only way in. It’s the only way there will be enough room. . . .

[The Trump voting] population tends to have just about the racial and class characteristics that you’d expect, but at a fundamental level what binds it together is the belief that you and your personal comfort are the most important thing in the world; the politics that follow from this are callous and cruel in the most casual and checked-out way imaginable. It is a worldview that allows for unimaginable suffering and injustice precisely because it refuses even to imagine that suffering and injustice or the people broken under it. It greets every inconvenience or perceived slight against the individual with a foot-stamping demand to speak to a manager, and everything else with a shrug, or at most with some half-reasoned hand-waving in the direction of justification before changing the subject back to what really matters, the only person in this universe who is actually real—the man in the armchair, feeling it all.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:43 AM on June 6 [97 favorites]


we’re just fortunate Manchin is officially a Dem for purposes of control of the Senate.

One of the reason why it's worth keeping track of his statements, because I absolutely would not count that chicken. the second he matters he's going to flip or extract Republican policies by threatening to flip.
posted by Artw at 7:45 AM on June 6 [15 favorites]


I'm definitely wary of that, but at the same time Manchin has had opportunities to ratfuck the Dems since 2016 and declined -- he was rock-solid on healthcare, and has reportedly turned down Cabinet offers at least twice.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:58 AM on June 6 [12 favorites]


It greets every inconvenience or perceived slight against the individual with a foot-stamping demand to speak to a manager, and everything else with a shrug, or at most with some half-reasoned hand-waving in the direction of justification before changing the subject back to what really matters, the only person in this universe who is actually real—the man in the armchair, feeling it all.

Narcissist Nation.
posted by notyou at 7:58 AM on June 6 [8 favorites]


WSJ: Kim Jong Un Begged for Summit ‘on His Hands and Knees,’ Giuliani Says

“They also said they were going to go to nuclear war with us, they were going to defeat us in a nuclear war,” Mr. Giuliani said. “We said we’re not going to have a summit under those circumstances.” After Mr. Trump canceled the meeting, Mr. Giuliani said: “Well, Kim Jong Un got back on his hands and knees and begged for it, which is exactly the position you want to put him in.”

...Rudy?
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:59 AM on June 6 [31 favorites]


Snuffleupagus, while it may be true that not every element of generational politics is “ageism”, your being snarky about the age of one of TFA’s authors felt pretty ageist to me FWIW. Will note that the beginning of the article stressed the importance of women ages 30 to 60 so clearly not a baby boomer only thing even in TFA. Was there a gratuitous shout out to boomers? Sure. Now you’ve made your gratuitous response. Can we please stop acting as though characterizing any given cohort of millions of people is useful? Just because the mainstream media does it constantly does not mean we have to follow that terrible example.
posted by Bella Donna at 8:03 AM on June 6 [16 favorites]


C'est la D.C.: "With regards to the Medicaid expansion in Virginia, I have seen reference to (but not much in-depth discussion of) the fact that the expansion includes a work requirement and that that requirement may subsequently be thrown out. Does anyone have more information on this?"

It definitely includes work requirements, haven't seen anything about that being removed. That was pretty much the price to pay to get a few GOP defections. Dems have a good chance of taking both houses in 2019, so hopefully we can get those removed.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:05 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]


T.D. Strange: "Was CA-10 even on the radar for a Dem lockout?"

It got mentioned as an outside chance, but definitely was not on most people's radar.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:06 AM on June 6 [2 favorites]


This is stupid and not news but I would like to share Kellyanne Conway accidentally calling Trump "The Commander of Cheese."
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:08 AM on June 6 [44 favorites]


Now you’ve made your gratuitous response

It's not gratuitous, we have real problems with divergent interests along generational lines despite common politics. How do you save Medicare and do any kind of student loan forgiveness? Or, for that matter, save the current programs that have already been curtailed?

But I agree we aren't going to much headway on all that through some extended sidebar here and I don't mean to derail the thread.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:10 AM on June 6 [7 favorites]




Darkstar: Absolutely. Hell, we’re just fortunate Manchin is officially a Dem for purposes of control of the Senate. As far as that goes, even if he voted with Trump as often as Capito (and he doesn’t), given that West Virginia is such a conservative State, I’d still consider it a net gain that he caucuses with the Dems.

I’d love to swap out half a dozen more Rs in super conservative states for Manchin clones.


I agree - the Senate is the place where we're going to have to really compromise our precious, progressive principles the most. Because we get two Senators for an entire state, we're kind of stuck with ConservaDems in many places like West Virginia. Hell, even in California, Dianne Feinstein is cruising to a nomination and probably a re-election, because 1) we do have plenty of moderate Dems, even here, and 2) lots of people who might otherwise be De Léon voters don't want to toss out a veteran Senator, especially in these "interesting" times.

So, we have to do our best with what we have. As long as the more conservative Democrats are not actual turncoats in the Lieberman mold, or Jim Justice (West VA governor, who switched from D to R at a Trump rally grrrrrr) I think we can deal. Let's just elect those progressives and Socialists at the local and Representative level when we can!
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:13 AM on June 6 [8 favorites]


Steve Benen: Trump administration struggles with undiplomatic diplomats (emphasis in original)
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert on Tuesday cited the D-Day invasion during an answer about the current state of US-German relations.

“We have a very strong relationship with the government of Germany,” Nauert said. “Looking back in the history books, today is the 71st anniversary of the speech that announced the Marshall Plan. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the D-Day invasion. We obviously have a very long history with the government of Germany, and we have a strong relationship with the government of Germany.”
I imagine being the State Department spokesperson in this administration is difficult, and so I try to be sympathetic toward Nauert, a former Fox News personality, who is obviously in a tough job.

But, c’mon.

It’s not enough that the Trump administration dispatched a notorious Internet troll to be the U.S. ambassador in Berlin; the State Department found it necessary to point to D-Day as an example of our relationship with Germany?

In case anyone – say, Heather Nauert, for example – has forgotten, the D-Day invasion was part our campaign to liberate France from Nazi occupation. Or put another way, on D-Day, Germans weren’t our allies.

Has the United States enjoyed a long relationship with Germany? Yes. Does D-Day serve as a helpful representation of that relationship? No.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:14 AM on June 6 [71 favorites]


he was rock-solid on healthcare

Depends on whose healthcare we're talking about. Manchin voted against repealing the ACA (as well as against Trump's tax bill) but also voted with Republicans for a radical ban on abortion in January.
posted by zarq at 8:18 AM on June 6 [11 favorites]


Fair, I should have said "on the ACA."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:19 AM on June 6 [8 favorites]


so I try to be sympathetic toward Nauert, a former Fox News personality, who is obviously in a tough job

Maybe she should have let someone qualified for the job take it instead. It's hard to be more complicit in the dumbing-down of politics than taking a political job you can't do.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:19 AM on June 6 [11 favorites]


WSJ: Kim Jong Un Begged for Summit ‘on His Hands and Knees,’ Giuliani Says

Only the best people? I literally can't imagine worse people sometimes. The president's lawyer, so clearly thrilled to be back on the inside, just spouting dangerous nonsense. More Rudy failing:

Giuliani: Mueller’s team is trying ‘very hard to frame’ Trump

Their rhetoric is accelerating--have they directly used the word 'frame' before?
posted by cudzoo at 8:20 AM on June 6 [23 favorites]


Yes, there are work requirements in Virginia, but that is because Republicans have a senate majority. It was a close call as it was and a years long project. Terry McAuliffe was unsuccessful in many attempts but it looks like Northam will finally get it done.

The work requirements are detestable but at least 400,000 people will now be getting nearly free healthcare. Virginia has long had one of the most restrictive Medicaid systems. If you were not a single parent with a child you got absolutely nothing, no matter how poor or homeless. This expansion is a big step in the right direction.

Work requirements are not allowed by Obamacare law. But Trump appointee Seema Verma is issuing waivers to Republican states in defiance of the law. It remains to be seen if there will be a court challenge in any of those states.

This is another case where elections have consequences. The winner gets to decide how the laws are enforced.
posted by JackFlash at 8:20 AM on June 6 [15 favorites]


Fair, I should have said "on the ACA."

*nod* I want to be clear that I'm not trying to play gotcha. His vote for that damned bill may very well have been the will of his constituents, (he's waffled on questions about abortion in the past,) but because of it I don't think of him as a Democrat or an ally.
posted by zarq at 8:21 AM on June 6 [2 favorites]


It's absolutely incredible that these QAnon Pizzagate Commando-LARPing jackholes down in Tuscon are grasping at straws to invent yet another super-sekrit child sex cult, while there's evidence of an actual conspiracy by an enormously shady NGO hiding hundreds of children in former Wal Marts, etc., and doing who-knows-what to them.

As if we needed more evidence that we aren't living in a shared reality. Where are the John Ringo-reading, testosterone-jacking, coal-rolling neckbeards who are so worried about the children? Over there protecting fictitious white children from an imaginary threat with their big manly guntrucks.
posted by aspersioncast at 8:21 AM on June 6 [83 favorites]


The alt-right/internet weirdo obsession with child molestation has always, blatantly been a get out of criticism free card with a side order of projection. They found the one thing that everyone can agree is 100% evil so that if anyone goes, "Now wait a minute..." they can go "CHILD SEX RING!!!!!" and we're all supposed to be like, "Oh, okay, carry on." People who don't live on the internet I guess might be fooled, but anyone who has been online prior to 2015 already knows that 4chan has always been synonymous with creepy pedo shit. Those same people suddenly seeing pedos around every corner is fucking rich. (Protip: They don't actually see pedos around every corner. They're trolling everyone.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:30 AM on June 6 [59 favorites]


Rust Moranis: Roy Moore's wife, Kayla Moore, loses bid for state Republican Executive Committee

(sad antisemitic trombone)


Surely this could be played on a shofar?
posted by wenestvedt at 8:30 AM on June 6 [33 favorites]


So many alt-right weirdos involved are in custody cases I’m wondering if that plays a part in it.
posted by Artw at 8:33 AM on June 6 [10 favorites]


The Tucson nutball live youtube feed has exactly the same atmosphere as the Malheur Refuge stream in the terminal stages of the occupation, except this time there's no occupied Federal compound. Instead it's just crazy armed people in the desert surrounding a small pile of homeless people's garbage. I suppose it's better this way.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:33 AM on June 6 [22 favorites]


When (as many have put it) the comments section becomes the president, that results in an identity crisis, nicely summarized by The Onion: Man With 20 Rifles Can’t Remember If His Goal To Start Or Stop Violent Overthrow Of Government
posted by InTheYear2017 at 8:37 AM on June 6 [60 favorites]


So many alt-right weirdos involved are in custody cases I’m wondering if that plays a part in it.

I mean if we're going to go down that road, being religious and opposed to abortion and working class probably has a high correlation with being in family court.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:38 AM on June 6 [5 favorites]


The alt-right/internet weirdo obsession with child molestation has always, blatantly been a get out of criticism free card with a side order of projection. They found the one thing that everyone can agree is 100% evil so that if anyone goes, "Now wait a minute..." they can go "CHILD SEX RING!!!!!" and we're all supposed to be like, "Oh, okay, carry on."

In fact, this is the point: accusing their ideological enemies of child rape and murder means they're the good guys, and thus don't have to prove it by showing compassion or improving the world in any way, and can drown out the little voice in their head that looks at their fellow travellers and says 'are we the baddies?'

The Satanic Panic of the 90s was the same thing.
posted by Merus at 8:39 AM on June 6 [65 favorites]


Scaramucci on CNN:
“You’re like everybody else now in the media,” Scaramucci said, mimicking members of the media: “‘Oh, the President’s a liar. The President’s a liar.’”

“When you lie, why shouldn’t you be called a liar?” Cuomo asked.

“Because there’s different styles of communication,” Scaramucci said.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:39 AM on June 6 [50 favorites]


The guy who once told a reporter on the record that, "I'm not Steve Bannon, I'm not trying to suck my own cock" is arguing the merits of tone.
posted by zarq at 8:43 AM on June 6 [75 favorites]


In fact, this is the point: accusing their ideological enemies of child rape and murder means they're the good guys, and thus don't have to prove it by showing compassion or improving the world in any way, and can drown out the little voice in their head that looks at their fellow travellers and says 'are we the baddies?'

Very well said.

See also, all the people who freak out about Katie Steinle whenever the detention of asylum-seekers is brought up. Like any of these people would have given two single shits about Katie Steinle or her family if she'd been murdered in actual cold blood by an ex, or accidentally killed by a white person in any capacity. But they're just sooooo concernnnned about this one death if this one white woman, it they seem to think it makes them and their motivations unimpeachable.

It's concern trolling of such a deep level, they're concern trolling themselves.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:44 AM on June 6 [43 favorites]


They don't actually see pedos around every corner. They're trolling everyone

I think that’s the optimistic scenario. There aren’t very many reasons to be obsessed with pedophilia and child rape rings. Some of them are tragic, but most of them are horrifying.

Really hoping this is the one element of the right wing playbook that doesn’t turn out to be pure projection, but it’s pretty much the last of my hope.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:44 AM on June 6 [18 favorites]


Really hoping this is the one element of the right wing playbook that doesn’t turn out to be pure projection, but it’s pretty much the last of my hope.

Oh, there's a well documented history of Republicans and child-rape.

Consider the civil case Doe v. Trump and Epstein, where one of the witnesses was the person who recruited Doe for Epstein's child sex parties when she literally got off the bus in NYC. The preponderance of evidence in that case shows that Donald J. Trump raped a 13 year old girl in 1994.

And the RNC nominated him for president. So child rape isn't a showstopper for the party at large.

Oh, btw, the same time that Trump's Fixer Michael Cohen was paying other women for their silence, Doe chose to voluntarily withdraw the lawsuit.
posted by mikelieman at 8:51 AM on June 6 [36 favorites]


I seem to recall Sandusky and Paterno both having connections to the PA GOP.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:51 AM on June 6 [10 favorites]


Plus the whole Roy Moore thing where evangelical Christianity basically outed itself as being pro-paedophilia.

The ones that started off as channers absolutly would have been involves in all kinds of shady edgelord shit to do with CP or pretending to have CP, and Chan’s being chans may have been exposed to an amount of it.

Not sure how much the fundies and the channers cross over with angry-guy-with-a-gun-in-a-desert whackjobs though.
posted by Artw at 8:54 AM on June 6 [7 favorites]


It's Blood Libel for the internet age.
posted by thebrokedown at 8:55 AM on June 6 [4 favorites]


In response to Amnesty International's report the US-led coalition's strikes to take Raqqa from ISIS included "potential war crimes", Pentagon: ‘No one will ever know’ how many civilians U.S. has killed in fight against ISIS (WaPo):
U.S. Army Col. Thomas Veale, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, said that despite the U.S. military’s best efforts to assess civilian casualties, no one will ever know exactly how many civilians U.S. strikes have killed since the fight began in 2014.  

“As far as how do we know how many civilians were killed, I am just being honest, no one will ever know,” Veale said in a briefing at the Pentagon by video link from Baghdad. “Anyone who claims they will know is lying, and there’s no possible way.”
Any civilian casualty count is now fake news.
posted by peeedro at 8:58 AM on June 6 [8 favorites]


So many alt-right weirdos involved are in custody cases I’m wondering if that plays a part in it.

I think there’s a ton of young men that have been promised a ticket to an adoring wife and children, who neither have the financial resources or emotional capacity to make that a worthwhile deal for someone, and when their marriage collapses they think they just got a “bad one”, and so they are very resentful for being “financially penalized” for getting a “bad draw”. Then they think that the reason they can’t get another adoring wife and child is because of the consequences from the first one, rather than this is not a model which works and if it was they couldn’t make it.
posted by corb at 9:01 AM on June 6 [34 favorites]


ACLU files suit over citizenship question on census, bringing total of suits over the issue to five.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:02 AM on June 6 [23 favorites]


They don't actually see pedos around every corner. They're trolling everyone.

You're dead-on with most of this, but I don't think this last bit is entirely true; it implies some sort of self-awareness that is very blatantly lacking.

It might be the case for a lot of Channers and T_Ders, for whom there's clearly a Venn diagram overlap with these sovereign citizen / minuteman militia types (which already seem contradictory, but there you go). But I think there's probably as much overlap with the guys you used to run into at the gas station in Rachel, NV with eight-foot telescopic lenses, trying to get pics of the aliens at Area 51.

I think some of these dudes really do see pedos around every corner, because they actually are obsessed, and are operating in an echo-chamber of shitty weird cognitive dissonance that pretty much makes them immune to belief disconfirmation.
posted by aspersioncast at 9:04 AM on June 6 [10 favorites]


The child sex ring stuff is also straight out of the Russian FSB/KGB playbook. One of their favorite tactics [NYT link] is to plant child porn on critics and then arrest them over it. We may yet see Trumps FBI (or maybe ICE) doing the same thing here, the Qanon/Pizzagate stuff is setting the stage for it.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:04 AM on June 6 [44 favorites]


Updates on an actual pizzagate: Villavicencio did have valid NY State ID on his person when he was detained at Fort Hamilton, and had previously delivered pizza to the base without incident using that same ID. Apparently this time they asked him for "proof of citizenship" in addition to his ID, though it's unclear what they meant by that or how he was meant to provide it. (Obtaining valid NY State ID does not require proof of US citizenship and non-citizens can hold valid state ID and drivers' licenses in NY.)

He is still being held and his family have been informed that he is scheduled to be deported next week. His wife and his two young children are US citizens.
posted by halation at 9:13 AM on June 6 [40 favorites]


Uh that article posted by T. D. Strange is pretty terrifying.
In the case of Mr. Bukovsky and the others involving pornography stored — or planted — on the computers of Kremlin critics, the high degree of deniability offered by the shadows of cyberspace has left the accused struggling to salvage their reputations.

“To use a technical term, you are completely screwed,” said Jeffrey Carr, the head of Taia Global, an American cybersecurity company, and the author of a book on cyberwarfare. “If something like this is sponsored by the Russian government, or any government or anyone with sufficient skill, you are not going to be successful. It is terrible.”
...
The idea that Europeans and Russian opponents of the Kremlin are sexual deviants with a taste for pedophilia is a strange but recurring theme in Russian propaganda.
I am really not looking forward to this.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:14 AM on June 6 [21 favorites]


Ian Millhiser: The Christian Right’s bizarre plan to destroy civil rights laws by trolling (CW: drawing of an aborted fetus)
Neil Gorsuch, who occupies the seat that Senate Republicans held open for a year until Donald Trump could fill it, called for a radical reinterpretation of what it means to discriminate on the basis of faith. Sure, Phillips would have baked the exact same cake for an opposite-sex couple, but Gorsuch believes that civil rights laws must bow to the “religious significance” Phillips’ “faith may attach to” two identical cakes.

Phillips “alone was entitled to define the nature of his religious commitments,” and “those commitments, as defined by the faithful adherent, not a bureaucrat or judge, are entitled to protection under the First Amendment.”

Gorsuch, in other words, would allow religious objectors to claim the full protection of the First Amendment whenever their actions were motivated by their religious faith, even if they were treated no differently than a secular person who behaved identically. States would be required to bring the full weight of the law down upon religiously motivated trolls like the ones who were kicked out of that Seattle coffee shop, or else they could lose the ability to enforce civil rights laws protecting LGBTQ people.

Indeed, Gorsuch’s proposed rule could render much of American law simply unworkable. Could a state enforce traffic laws against a religious driver who was speeding because he didn’t want to be late to church? Or, for that matter, would Gorsuch overrule the Supreme Court’s decision in Tony & Susan Alamo Foundation v. Secretary of Labor, which held that employers with religious objections to a federal labor law still must pay their workers the minimum wage?

As the late Justice Antonin Scalia warned in Employment Division v. Smith, “to make an individual’s obligation to obey such a law contingent upon the law’s coincidence with his religious beliefs,” except when the law survives an extraordinary level of constitutional scrutiny, would permit such an individual to “become a law unto himself.” That outcome “contradicts both constitutional tradition and common sense.”

And yet, that’s exactly what Gorsuch appears ready to do. And, if Trump gets to place someone else on the Supreme Court, it is likely that Gorsuch will have the votes to do it. It will be a great day for trolls.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:16 AM on June 6 [33 favorites]


Hobby Detectives: Americans have been riveted in recent months to every new detail coming out of the ongoing investigation into possible collusion by the Trump campaign. An army of amateur investigators has managed to uncover new developments in the case. Who are they and what drives them?
posted by adamvasco at 9:19 AM on June 6 [8 favorites]


State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert on Tuesday cited the D-Day invasion during an answer about the current state of US-German relations.

"Don't mention the war! I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it all right."
posted by schoolgirl report at 9:21 AM on June 6 [25 favorites]




Trump is signing the VA MISSION Act today. It's another one of these bills that involve spending money on things that have bipartisan support, so it passed overwhelmingly... but the bill doesn't provide any source of funding. Naturally there is a bipartisan proposal to fund the bill, which is currently being condemned by the Trump administration, who would rather fund it by cutting things that Democrats consider essential.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:27 AM on June 6 [8 favorites]


I'll be damned. Trump followed Kim Kardashian's advice and commuted Alice Johnson's sentence.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:35 AM on June 6 [8 favorites]


Probably because she was Kanye's wife, but hey, any port in a storm for something.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:37 AM on June 6 [4 favorites]


Oh boy, here we go, and THANK YOU FOR THIS DELIGHTFUL GIFT, UNIVERSE! --

Buzzfeed: Ivanka Trump Was In Contact With A Russian Who Offered A Trump-Putin Meeting
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:41 AM on June 6 [78 favorites]


Gorsuch, in other words, would allow religious objectors to claim the full protection of the First Amendment whenever their actions were motivated by their religious faith, even if they were treated no differently than a secular person who behaved identically.

Time for the Satanic Temple to get much, much more active. Also time for devout medical professionals who offer reproductive services to ignore all the gag rules and laws restricting clinic activity - providing health services is part of their religious beliefs.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 9:45 AM on June 6 [72 favorites]


The contacts reveal that even as her father was campaigning to become president of the United States, Ivanka Trump connected Michael Cohen with a Russian who offered to arrange a meeting with one of America’s adversaries — in order to help close a business deal that could have made the Trump family millions.

These interactions also shed new light on Cohen, the president’s former personal lawyer and fixer, who is under criminal investigation and who played a key role in many of Donald Trump’s biggest deals — including the audacious effort to build Europe’s tallest tower in the Russian capital.


And that explains a whole lot more about why Trump went utterly bananas when Cohen's records were seized and why he was tweeting about "beautiful young lives ruined" recently.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:49 AM on June 6 [33 favorites]


So when can pacifists stop paying taxes because funding the US military is against their beliefs?
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:49 AM on June 6 [67 favorites]


Giuliani: Mueller’s team is trying ‘very hard to frame’ Trump

Their rhetoric is accelerating--have they directly used the word 'frame' before?


Yet another interesting concession by Trump's PR team, in that Giuliani's statement is an admission that the evidence in the public domain does indeed make Trump look guilty.
posted by Gelatin at 9:57 AM on June 6 [13 favorites]




In fact, this is the point: accusing their ideological enemies of child rape and murder means they're the good guys, and thus don't have to prove it by showing compassion or improving the world in any way, and can drown out the little voice in their head that looks at their fellow travellers and says 'are we the baddies?'

The left evangelical blogger Slacktivist has suggested that a similar motivation is behind the religious right taking up the cause of abortion. Saddled with the guilt of being on the wring side of the civil rights movement, opposing abortion, they believe, means they are against killing babies, so they must be the good guys.
posted by Gelatin at 10:04 AM on June 6 [22 favorites]


So many alt-right weirdos involved are in custody cases I’m wondering if that plays a part in it.

Never forget that the MRA movement had its roots in gatherings of men aggrieved over custody cases that didn’t break their way. This was one of the rank misogynist seeds or kernels that later waves of PUA, redpiller, incel and MGTOW activity agglomerated around.
posted by adamgreenfield at 10:09 AM on June 6 [56 favorites]


I'd be delighted to see any evidence at all that the average white conservative evangelical in the US has anything even remotely approaching guilt or regret on having been on the wrong side of the civil rights movement.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:11 AM on June 6 [47 favorites]


Yet another interesting concession by Trump's PR team, in that Giuliani's statement is an admission that the evidence in the public domain does indeed make Trump look guilty.

Team Trump Kicking Up New Fuss Over Emails Given To Mueller

Yet another line of an attack that screams guilty. All they've got is obfuscation and procedural challenges.
posted by cudzoo at 10:11 AM on June 6 [5 favorites]


I'd be delighted to see any evidence at all that the average white conservative evangelical in the US has anything even remotely approaching guilt or regret on having been on the wrong side of the civil rights movement.

One time, we were playing Apples to Apples, and somebody played "Rosa Parks" for "Courageous". My aunt, who was the judge, said something like, "She's not courageous; she's the woman who started all this trouble." Quite an eye-opener.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 10:21 AM on June 6 [53 favorites]


Well, it's not exactly guilt on the part of evangelicals, but there was definitely a lot of annoyance and fear. THE NOT-SO-LOFTY ORIGINS OF THE EVANGELICAL PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT

"[W]hat galvanized the Christian community was not abortion, school prayer, or the ERA [Equal Rights Amendment]. I am living witness to that because I was trying to get those people interested in those issues and I utterly failed. What changed their minds was Jimmy Carter’s intervention against the Christian schools, trying to deny them tax-exempt status on the basis of so-called de facto segregation."
posted by Harry Caul at 10:22 AM on June 6 [27 favorites]


Rust Moranis: Guardian: Cambridge Analytica director 'met Assange to discuss US election'

Just wanted to quote this in more detail, because it seems big and I don't want it to get lost in the daily shitstorm:

Kaiser [the CA director] is also alleged to have said that she had funnelled money to WikiLeaks in the form of cryptocurrency. She called the organisation her “favourite charity”. The reports passed to investigators say that money was given to her by third parties in the form of “gifts and payments”.

So: she served as a cut-out. Recall that Nix, CA's CEO, was soliciting Assange for Clinton's emails.
posted by cudzoo at 10:22 AM on June 6 [18 favorites]


The media really need to start pushing the idea, "well, if he's innocent, he's got nothing to fear from an investigation. He should just ignore it and do his job. What's he afraid they're going to find?"

And use the word "fear," not "he's got nothing to worry about."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:24 AM on June 6 [26 favorites]


>> Sure it is. It’s about how much they sucked at defending Baltimore during the War of 1812.

Speaking of which...
posted by AndrewInDC at 10:25 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]


Definitely Not Sean Spicer: So we're not saying anything about the latest Tweets where Trump basically is the conspiracy toting, crazy, racist uncle at Thanksgiving, right? Like as a society we're going to collectively ignore it and wheel him over to the psych hospital while he's screaming how he's the President of the United States and the nurse is all condescendingly "of course you are dearie" while they prepare the straight jacket, right?

Well, yes and no -- I'm expecting he'll get some mental care treatment in prison, like 10 out of 11 psychiatric patients housed by the government ("Here’s what this crisis looks like from the inside—a series of lost lives and a few rare victories—as reported by a prisoner-journalist" -- John. J. Lennon, a contributing writer at The Marshall Project, via Esquire)

Of course, maybe Kushner (and Karsdashian) will succeed in efforts for prison reform before then.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:27 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]




Philip Roth’s 2004 warning about demagogues is more relevant than ever
In 2004, Philip Roth published The Plot Against America, a work of alternative historical fiction imagining a world where Charles Lindbergh drove Franklin D. Roosevelt from office. As we mourn Roth’s passing, it is worth remembering his warning.

Roth’s Lindbergh sweeps to the presidency on, literally, an “America First!” ticket. He takes over a fractured Republican Party and campaigns against the advice of consultants and politicians, flying his own plane around the country, offering plainspoken denunciations of interventionism and identity politics.

“We cannot blame them for looking out for what they believe to be their own interests, but we must also look out for ours,” says Roth’s Lindbergh of the Jews. “We cannot allow the natural passions and prejudices of other peoples to lead our country to destruction.”

This, throughout The Plot Against America, is Lindbergh’s message: that America is being taken advantage of, that it has lost sight of its own needs amid the clamoring of its interest groups, that its diversity has become a weakness, that the world will only respect us if we elect a leader whose steel they fear.

The crowds roar in response. “Lindbergh can deal with Hitler, they said, Hitler respects him because he’s Lindbergh. Mussolini and Hirohito respect him because he’s Lindbergh.” The echoes of Republicans cheering Trump’s aggression and brazenness as a foreign policy unto itself ring loudly.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:38 AM on June 6 [39 favorites]


Besides, their fact-checking isn’t all that great.
Historians note the British attack on Washington was in retaliation for the American attack on York, Ontario, in territory that eventually became Canada, which was then a British colony.
”York, Ontario” presumably refers to York, Upper Canada — before Canada “eventually became Canada,” the year was 1790 — which you may know as Toronto, Ontario.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:40 AM on June 6 [7 favorites]


Renee Graham, Boston Globe: Trumpjugend wear their MAGA hats on trips to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.
posted by adamg at 10:51 AM on June 6 [12 favorites]


T.D Strange, the eight times claimed in the article isn't "almost as much" as the reported almost daily contacts with Hannity.
posted by LarsC at 10:51 AM on June 6 [7 favorites]


I saw a teen in a fucking MAGA hat at the NMAAHC in October 2016. Only bad part of the whole visit.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 10:58 AM on June 6 [4 favorites]


Over at Mother Jones, Kevin Drum lays out A Very Brief Timeline of That Trump Tower Meeting, which is old news to everyone in the thread, but still worth looking at for its bald delineation of ... Collusion? Treason? Obstruction of justice? All of the above?

The same day that the NYT calls Trump for comment about the meeting, Trump meets in private - totally in private - with Putin, and the day after that, he dictates Don Jr.'s infamous statement about "adoptions". And then they hunker down to lie relentlessly about it.

If it weren't 2018, this would be a 5-alarm scandal with "Impeachment Watch" headlines everywhere.
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:01 AM on June 6 [44 favorites]


@Acosta: SCOOP: When Trudeau pressed Trump on national security justification for tariffs on Canada Trump responded: “didn’t you guys burn down the WH?” That was Britain during the War of 1812

The War of 1812 is trending on Twitter.
posted by zarq at 11:01 AM on June 6 [8 favorites]


Jim Bridenstine, current NASA administrator and former former three-term Republican congressman from Oklahoma, now says he believes that climate change is actually a real thing and that humans are responsible for it. He had publicly rejected current climate science as recently as 2016.
posted by anastasiav at 11:08 AM on June 6 [37 favorites]


I work right next to the National Mall. These teenage MAGA chuds are all over the place, and they're proud of doing it. "Trumpjugend" is a 100% accurate descriptor.

And no, I'm not interested in anyone lecturing me on how "they're just children" or similar attempts to handwave this shit away. They're old enough to know what it means in a city that has such a central part in African American history, let alone a museum dedicated to it.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:09 AM on June 6 [70 favorites]


South Dakota state lawmaker: Businesses should be allowed to 'turn away people of color'

posted by Artw at 4:48 PM on June 5 [18 favorites +] [!]


Well, they can, but they have to claim it's for religious reasons...
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:11 AM on June 6


Bringing to light another possible GOP split and Trump self-goal, regarding the 2018 elections: Congressional Republicans Push Back On Trump Administration's Trade Policies, in which Bob Corker (who only votes with Trump 84.5 percent of the time, down from 86% back in Oct. 2017) boldly states
I've always expressed my disagreement when it's occurred. This one is one that we can deal with legislatively. And I also know that the vast majority of our caucus would agree with this.
And some other GOP folks kind of half-heartedly mutter a sound that might indicate agreement.
Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley hasn't signed on to Corker's plan, but he says he worries that tariffs and Trump's threat to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement will harm farmers in particular.

CHUCK GRASSLEY: And from the standpoint of agriculture, what can happen if the president fails - yes I'm very nervous myself. And in 12 town meetings last week in northwest Iowa, that's what I constantly heard.
Iowa's not counted in 538's look at "what if tariffs cost Trump the farm vote," a feature piece back in April 2018.
In particular, there are three states that Trump won by narrow margins in which a mass farmer defection could prove pivotal: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. In each of these states, the number of farmers1 far exceeds the president’s margin of victory in 2016. If all three states saw significant ag defection, a Democratic challenger could pick up a total of 46 Electoral College votes — enough to tip the balance even if Trump performs up to his 2016 standards in every other state in the union.
1 According to data from the 2012 Census of Agriculture published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We’re using the USDA definition of “farm operator.”
posted by filthy light thief at 11:11 AM on June 6 [3 favorites]


I work right next to the National Mall. These teenage MAGA chuds are all over the place, and they're proud of doing it. "Trumpjugend" is a 100% accurate descriptor.
^ This ties very nicely in with several scenes from Roth's Plot Against America, mentioned earlier. Yikes.
posted by Harry Caul at 11:11 AM on June 6 [6 favorites]


These teenage MAGA chuds are all over the place, and they're proud of doing it.

Trolling will be the formative political experience of a whole segment of the younger generation. Such civic effluent will take decades to pump out of the country's social water table.
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:13 AM on June 6 [36 favorites]


zombieflanders: They're old enough to know what it means in a city that has such a central part in African American history, let alone a museum dedicated to it.

They're trolling IRL, just like the young cowboy-dressed man I saw in the Austin airport, sporting a conspicuously large confederate flag belt buckle with his shirt tucked behind the buckle to further accentuate it.


Trolling will be the formative political experience of a whole segment of the younger generation. Such civic effluent will take decades to pump out of the country's social water table.

Disinfecting the youth, particularly as they grow up to be not youth, will be hard work, but work worth doing. Gaining "points" by pissing off people you see as your opponents is a terrible form of democracy. Unfortunately, pieces like the article/interview by McKay Coppins in The Atlantic titled "Stephen Miller: Trump's Right-Hand Troll" seem more likely to bolster Stephen's clones and copycats, who pretend that negging is an appropriate way to show off your superior intellect.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:22 AM on June 6 [6 favorites]


Trolling will be the formative political experience of a whole segment of the younger generation.

The conventional wisdom is that millennials are much more liberal than previous generations. While true in aggregate, this is a slight oversimplification; the averages are pulled WAY up by millennial women. Millennial men have only an 8 percent lean towards Democrats.
posted by Jpfed at 11:26 AM on June 6 [45 favorites]


Vox: Tuesday was another historic night for women candidates
posted by Chrysostom at 11:26 AM on June 6 [13 favorites]


filthy light thief quoting Senator Corker: I've always expressed my disagreement when it's occurred. This one is one that we can deal with legislatively.

Of course, he's wrong because all his "disagreements" can be dealt with legislatively, even if the legislation doesn't address Trump directly and is instead about the minimum wage or whatever else he takes "principled" opposition to. Consistently caucusing with Democrats remains a credible, powerful threat that doesn't jeopardize anything important, or even put his (non-existent) re-election at risk. Heck, if that's too much for him, he could at least abstain from everything until the Senate shows more resistance.

But regardless it's a good thing that tariffs are naturally gonna prompt a fair amount of Republican discord.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 11:28 AM on June 6 [3 favorites]




The Boomers are not going to save us from the future they've created.

It's strange to me that all the blame goes to the Boomers. What happened to Gen X? I had high hopes for my generation. It's high time we took a hard look at ourselves and accepted that we didn't turn out as we may have wanted. Frankly, I don't think we would come out very well from a direct comparison with Boomers, especially in our political choices and social values.
posted by xammerboy at 11:32 AM on June 6 [10 favorites]


Haven't millennials aged out of the 'Trumpjugend' demographic?
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:32 AM on June 6 [4 favorites]


What happened to Gen X?

A big dip in birthrate.
posted by Artw at 11:33 AM on June 6 [32 favorites]


It's strange to me that all the blame goes to the Boomers. What happened to Gen X?

Gen X has always had a strong cynical side where everyone is out for themselves. That said, every generation, including the ones before the Boomers, shares some of the blame and responsibility.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:33 AM on June 6 [4 favorites]


It's strange to me that all the blame goes to the Boomers. What happened to Gen X? I had high hopes for my generation. It's high time we took a hard look at ourselves and accepted that we didn't turn out as we may have wanted.

I mean, you're not wrong. But there literally aren't enough Gen-Xers to make a dent in the Boomer vote.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 11:34 AM on June 6 [30 favorites]


@JessicaASmith8 [video]: I asked Scott Pruitt a quick question about the reports he tried to help his wife become a Chick-fil-A franchisee. "With great change comes, I think, opposition...I love, she loves [Chick-fil-A]"

This is an amazing must watch 35 seconds of video, in which he both admits it and just kinds of babbles on incoherently while recording an ad for Chick-fil-A.

@RamCNN: Trump went around table at FEMA, praising members of his cabinet individually. Except for Sessions, who got, "Thank you Jeff, thank you very much." (via @NoahGrayCNN)
posted by zachlipton at 11:34 AM on June 6 [20 favorites]


Well, I'm GenX, and when the leading edge of us were old enough to vote for the first time, who did we vote for? Ronald Reagan! In droves! And even with Millennials, the much-vaunted Hope Of The Democratic Future, male millennials - especially white male millennials - are not overwhelmingly liberal, as Jpfed's link points out.

Generation-bashing isn't going to get us anywhere, and, frankly, it offends people like me who have no plans to grow old, mean, and Fox-y in a bad way.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 11:41 AM on June 6 [13 favorites]


[Enough on the generalities about which generation is the bad one, what about the kids these days etc. - let's stick to actual events and updates. ]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:41 AM on June 6 [21 favorites]


Meanwhile, in Gallatin County, Montana, the GOP primary for County Clerk and Recorder/Surveyor is a dead tie at 4,965-4,965.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:42 AM on June 6 [11 favorites]


NBC, Stormy Daniels suit: My old lawyer was a 'puppet' for Trump, Cohen
Stormy Daniels says in a new lawsuit that her former attorney betrayed her and became a "puppet" for President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer while still representing her.

The filing in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday alleges that Trump attorney Michael Cohen "hatched a plan" and "colluded" with Beverly Hills lawyer Keith Davidson to get the adult film actress to go on Fox News a few months ago and falsely deny she had an affair with Trump more than a decade ago. Cohen even referred to Davidson as "pal" in one text cited in the complaint.

The lawsuit against Davidson and Cohen also claims that Trump was aware the two attorneys were communicating and coordinating for his benefit — unbeknownst to Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford.
Attached to the complaint is a set of text messages between Cohen and Davidson (where did Avanatti get these?), including the time Cohen had her scheduled to go on Hannity in January of this year until "the wise men all believe the story is dying and odn't think it's smart for her to do any interviews." Also in March, Cohen texts: "With flotus. GIve me a minute."
posted by zachlipton at 11:45 AM on June 6 [37 favorites]


Something in the air with right wing newspaper editorships?
Paul Dacre to step down as Daily Mail editor in November
posted by Artw at 11:51 AM on June 6 [6 favorites]


Maybe he wants to be a paperback writer.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:52 AM on June 6 [30 favorites]


Breaking down that Guardian article: Cambridge Analytica was hired by the Trump campaign, as well as the Leave.EU campaign. Cambridge Analytica solicited stolen Clinton emails from WikiLeaks. Then-CEO of Cambridge Analytica Alexander "Skeevy" Nix lied to the UK Parliament by saying “We have no relationship with WikiLeaks. We have never spoken to anyone at WikiLeaks. We have never done any business with WikiLeaks. We have no relationship with them, period.”

In fact, Cambridge Analytica received money from "third-parties" and distributed it to WikiLeaks. Perhaps those third-parties are the campaigns who hired them?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:58 AM on June 6 [15 favorites]


Attached to the complaint is a set of text messages between Cohen and Davidson (where did Avanatti get these?)

Maybe his client demanded her entire file from Davidson, including all his communications with opposing counsel related to the representation.
posted by The World Famous at 12:00 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


Top Aide to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt Resigns. That's Millan Hupp, the staffer who performed tasks such as looking for Pruitt's housing and trying to find him a used Trump Hotel mattress:
According to one top EPA official, the 26-year-old was “tired of being thrown under the bus by Pruitt,” and weary of seeing her name constantly appear in headlines about the agency. Officials began drafting her resignation paperwork on Monday morning, just after portions of her congressional testimony were made public.
But the EPA is a really classy place:
EPA spokesperson Jahan Wilcox, reached by phone, would not comment. He said: “You have a great day, you’re a piece of trash.”
Pruitt, naturally, is famous for not taking out his trash.
posted by zachlipton at 12:04 PM on June 6 [49 favorites]


EPA spokesperson Jahan Wilcox, reached by phone, would not comment. He said: “You have a great day, you’re a piece of trash.”

Once again: That isn't some random person being chased down by the media, 60-Minutes-Reluctant-Interviewee style. That a person the EPA pays taxpayer dollars to deal with the media.
posted by Gelatin at 12:07 PM on June 6 [116 favorites]


Surely that's in reference to the EPA policy document Trash: The Beauty of Nature's Misunderstood Decorations
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:07 PM on June 6 [21 favorites]


I would add that those text messages don't appear particularly damning to me, notwithstanding my strong suspicion that Davidson and Cohen do have a long history of conspiring together to execute fraudulent settlement agreement arrangements going back years.

Calling an opposing counsel "pal" in a text message when you've known them professionally for years is not unusual or damning. And coordinating regarding Clifford's media appearances, though creepy, is consistent with the nature of the relationship between the parties to the agreement (i.e. Cohen's front company and Clifford).

Again, I think the agreement is fraudulent and problematic on multiple grounds. But those text messages don't scream "corruption" to me at all. The admissions made by Broidy are, to me, far better evidence of a longstanding shakedown/fraud conspiracy between Davidson and Cohen, since Broidy directly said that Cohen, who was not his lawyer, approached him to tell him Davidson had reached out to Cohen demanding money from Broidy for an NDA, which is a fairly straightforward example of extortion.
posted by The World Famous at 12:09 PM on June 6 [4 favorites]


Kevin Drum lays out A Very Brief Timeline of That Trump Tower Meeting

It's a good timeline, but it's missing the evolving accounts of who was at the meeting. It took at least three rounds of explanations before we found out the eight people known to have attended the meeting. Wikipedia has a good article.

So, we have multiple lies about how the meeting was set up, what the meeting was supposed to be about, who was at the meeting, when Trump knew about the meeting, and how involved Trump was in writing the phony cover story about the meeting.

On July 13, Corey Lewandowski lied about his and Trump's whereabouts during the meeting, claiming they were at a rally in Florida. There was no rally in Florida; Trump was at Trump Tower during the meeting.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:10 PM on June 6 [14 favorites]


I would add that those text messages don't appear particularly damning to me

Negotiating the details of a client's public appearances with opposing counsel seems pretty bad to me. It's not a smoking gun, but why should Cohen have any say over when and where she speaks?
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:17 PM on June 6 [8 favorites]


Meanwhile, in Gallatin County, Montana, the GOP primary for County Clerk and Recorder/Surveyor is a dead tie at 4,965-4,965.

Voters whose ballots were rejected have the rest of the day to resolve the matter. Must be a busy time for the candidates!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:19 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


It's the "wise men" text that seems the most damning to me. Who was Cohen talking to for PR advice about this? Did they work at the White House?

I think the issue is less the texts, which I agree don't say a ton, and more the coordination in general. Davidson was supposed to be representing Daniels. The suit alleges that Davidson tipped off Cohen that she was going to get a new lawyer and go public, which led Cohen to rush to that sham arbitration to get a gag order. If that's proven, it's pretty damning for Davidson.

It's also just weird that they were working together to put her on TV. Her agreement didn't obligate her to make public appearances to further the scheme. So why was Cohen acting as her booking agent?
posted by zachlipton at 12:20 PM on June 6 [6 favorites]


EPA spokesperson Jahan Wilcox, reached by phone, would not comment. He said: “You have a great day, you’re a piece of trash.”

Oooo, clearly a graduate of the DOCTOR Sebastian Gorka School of Media Etiquette.

Wow, remember Seb? That was like a geologic epoch ago.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:21 PM on June 6 [4 favorites]


@prernaplal: ICE has now released a flyer for parents separated from their children at the border. A flyer. And it's in English.

Filled with egregious abuse of the passive voice, naturally: "if you became separated" like we're talking about a lost child at the zoo. And there are plenty of reports of this system not actually working.
posted by zachlipton at 12:23 PM on June 6 [29 favorites]


Wow, remember Seb? That was like a geologic epoch ago.

The Dragon of Budapest rises from his slumber

Gorka: Hannity and I Are Going to Trump’s North Korea Summit
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:23 PM on June 6 [17 favorites]


@prernaplal: ICE has now released a flyer for parents separated from their children at the border. A flyer. And it's in English.

Filled with egregious abuse of the passive voice, naturally: "if you became separated" like we're talking about a lost child at the zoo. And there are plenty of reports of this system not actually working.


I figured it was an entrapment deal designed to lure desperate undocumented parents to contact ICE and get scooped up.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:30 PM on June 6 [18 favorites]


Negotiating the details of a client's public appearances with opposing counsel seems pretty bad to me. It's not a smoking gun, but why should Cohen have any say over when and where she speaks?

Because he's a party to a non-disclosure agreement that he was threatening to sue under if her public appearances did not adhere to its terms, and negotiation of those details would be consistent with that.

Again, I strongly believe the Davidson/Cohen relationship is a years-long string of fraud and extortion conspiracies, among other things. But these text messages - standing alone - look like fairly ordinary communications between opposing counsel who know each other well, in my experience. I don't know that I've ever called an opposing counsel "pal," but there are many against whom I've litigated enough times that they (not me) use that kind of casual communication and terminology. The fact that a guy I've litigated against in several cases over the years calls me "pal" in a text message isn't evidence against me.
posted by The World Famous at 12:30 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


The Dragon of Budapest rises from his slumber

Gorka: Hannity and I Are Going to Trump’s North Korea Summit


Oh god, it's my fault. I inadvertently Beetlejuiced him with only two mentions. Sorry, everyone.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:32 PM on June 6 [38 favorites]


Gorka: Hannity and I Are Going to Trump’s North Korea Summit

At some point it's just authoritarian summer camp.
posted by jaduncan at 12:38 PM on June 6 [31 favorites]


I predict Trump will have much nicer things to say about Kim Jong-Un than he will about the other leaders at the G7 in a couple days. Which should tell you everything you need to know about that.
posted by Justinian at 12:39 PM on June 6 [18 favorites]


Finally, here's the full Clifford v. Davidson/Cohen complaint (state court, this will be fun).

The complaint includes the bare assertion that "The 'wise men' referred to above included Mr. Trump, with a footnote that explains that Trump denied knowing anything about this, but it's not explained how or why we should believe Trump was part of this discussion.

Also: "After learning of Ms. Clifford's plans through the improper disclosure of confidential information by Mr. Davidson, Mr. Cohen undertook efforts to meet the next day with Mrs. Melania Trump, in order to "get out in front" of the approaching lawsuit and publicity, and convince her that Ms. Clifford was a liar and not to be trusted."

The complaint says that Clifford has requested her entire client file from Davidson five times, including text messages and correspondence relating to her, and Davidson hasn't produced everything.

There are some big holes here, such as why Trump is part of the "wise men," but lordy I hope there are tapes.
posted by zachlipton at 12:44 PM on June 6 [9 favorites]


This one was under the radar, but Vermont's filing deadline has passed, and it looks like only a Democrat has filed for House district Windham 1. It's currently GOP-held, so that's an automatic flip.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:51 PM on June 6 [68 favorites]


The National Law Review has a deep-in-the-weeds discussion of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau leadership chaos. Meanwhile, Allegedly Acting Director Mulvaney has fired all the members of an outside advisory board he is legally required to meet with.

Interesting note: Deputy Director and Aspiring Acting Director Leandra English has never actually met Allegedly Acting Director Mulvaney. They work in different offices.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:53 PM on June 6 [17 favorites]


Man, it's only 4 pm. I'm not sure today has sufficient infrastructure to tolerate the weight of much more schadenfreude.

Uh oh, I hear joists creaking. NYT's Eric Lipton: NEWS: Just told by senior EPA person that Sarah Greenwalt, senior counsel to Pruitt, has also resigned. Asking EPA public affairs for confirmation. Comes after another aide Millian Hupp also resigned today.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:57 PM on June 6 [32 favorites]


Remember that sheriff that pocketed the money meant to feed inmates in Alabama? He lost his primary last night. There is sadly no Democrats running in that race, so his Republican opponent will be sherriff, but maybe he'll be slightly less evil.
posted by emjaybee at 1:00 PM on June 6 [6 favorites]


Washington [state] sues Facebook and Google over failure to disclose political ad spending

Facebook and Google were paid millions for political advertising purposes in Washington but failed for years to publish related information — such as the advertiser’s address — as required by state law, alleges a lawsuit by the state’s attorney general.

Washington law requires that “political campaign and lobbying contributions and expenditures be fully disclosed to the public and that secrecy is to be avoided.”

[...] Earlier this year, Eli Sanders of Seattle’s esteemed biweekly paper The Stranger requested to view the “books of account” from both companies, and another person followed up with an in-person visit; both received unsatisfactory results. They alerted the AG’s office to these investigations in mid-April, and here we are a month and a half later with a pair of remarkably concise lawsuits.

[...] The case likely will not result in significant monetary penalties for the companies in question; even if fines and damages totaled tens of millions it would be a drop in the bucket for the tech giants. But deliberately skirting laws governing political spending and public disclosure is rather a bad look for companies under especial scrutiny for systematic dishonesty — primarily Facebook.


A bad look, indeed. And here we are. Just for fun, Alphabet Inc, Google's parent company, made $3.5 Billion-with-a-B in profit in the first three months of this year. Washington may fine them hundreds of thousands of dollars.
posted by petebest at 1:03 PM on June 6 [25 favorites]


Wait, so the US attendees of the North Korea summit are: Trump, Gorka, Hannity, and Dennis Rodman?

The writers seem to be setting up some kind of four-horsemen-of-the-apocalypse scenario.
posted by baltimoretim at 1:12 PM on June 6 [31 favorites]


Wait, so the US attendees of the North Korea summit are: Trump, Gorka, Hannity, and Dennis Rodman?

It looks like Gorka didn't say he or Hannity are attending the summit, but just that Hannity is traveling there to do news coverage of it, and that Gorka will accompany Hannity to help do news coverage.

Trump and Hannity apparently have nightly pillow talk phone calls anyway, so it probably doesn't really matter if Hannity and Gorka are sharing a suite at the hotel or if Trump calls long distance.
posted by The World Famous at 1:15 PM on June 6 [5 favorites]



Jim Bridenstine, current NASA administrator and former former three-term Republican congressman from Oklahoma, now says he believes that climate change is actually a real thing and that humans are responsible for it. He had publicly rejected current climate science as recently as 2016.


That moment when you realize you are actually surrounded by rocket scientists.
posted by srboisvert at 1:19 PM on June 6 [96 favorites]


Bridenstine is ex-military. He must have at least some residual desire to secure the respect of his subordinates, and in NASA, that means, as he put ut, doing some reading.
posted by ocschwar at 1:26 PM on June 6 [11 favorites]


Also, Bridenstine isn't there to kill climate science; that's Pruitt's job. He's there to sell off our space program.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:28 PM on June 6 [24 favorites]


Finally, here's the full Clifford v. Davidson/Cohen complaint (state court, this will be fun).

Avenatti manages to work in both "collusion" and "puppet" twice each at least in that complaint.
posted by mikelieman at 1:32 PM on June 6 [11 favorites]




Ken Klipperstein thought it would be fun to FOIA Israel's gifts to Trump when he visited last year. There's some of the usual stuff, an old bible, book of psalms, a menorah, a carved wooden Madonna and Child, and wait for it, "mother-of-pearl portrait of POTUS."

I can only imagine the meetings trying to come up with something suitable for his ego before someone said "how about a picture of himself?"
posted by zachlipton at 2:07 PM on June 6 [15 favorites]


This sounds interesting. Lawyer to ex-Trump campaign aide Manafort taps ethics adviser (Reuters):
Marc Garfinkle, a New Jersey ethics attorney, told Reuters that he has been retained by Bruce Baldinger, a longtime lawyer for Manafort also based in New Jersey, as a legal consultant to advise him about “attorney confidentiality and privilege issues that may arise” in the case. He did not elaborate on the details.
(Baldinger is a longtime lawyer for Manafort on real estate dealings, which are under investigation by Mueller, not part of his defense team.)
posted by pjenks at 2:10 PM on June 6 [4 favorites]


lol trump hasn't been hurt severely by anything in his entire life, and his base applauded that attack.

I don't understand the point of this defeatism. Trump has been hurt by lots of things in his life, and the fact that none of them ended his career as a public figure does not contradict that.

It's hard to pin down the precise impact of the Khizr Khan fight, since it took place during the Democratic convention, but several Republicans criticized him (a new development) and by August 2nd Hillary led Trump by 9 points in the polls.

Trump's base will never change, but the less partisan middle decides who wins and was heavily influence by this move. It's never going to one incident that ends Trump's career. It will be blow after blow that reduces him to the crazification factor until a significant chunk of Republicans either get voted out of office, or decide their self-interest lies in impeaching & convicting him.
posted by msalt at 2:10 PM on June 6 [27 favorites]


Mueller Inspecting Witnesses’ Phones

“Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is requesting that witnesses turn in their personal phones to inspect their encrypted messaging programs and potentially view conversations between associates linked to President Trump,” CNBC reports.

“Since as early as April, Mueller’s team has been asking witnesses in the Russia probe to turn over phones for agents to examine private conversations on WhatsApp, Confide, Signal and Dust… Fearing a subpoena, the witnesses have complied with the request and have given over their phones.”

“While it’s unclear what Mueller has discovered, if anything, through this new request, investigators seem to be convinced that the apps could be a key to exposing conversations that weren’t previously disclosed to them.”


u colluding? 😜
posted by petebest at 2:21 PM on June 6 [33 favorites]


new warrant, who dis
posted by The World Famous at 2:23 PM on June 6 [115 favorites]


CNBC breaks the story: Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Team Is Requesting That Witnesses Turn In Their Personal Phones To Inspect Their Encrypted Messaging Programs
Special counsel Robert Mueller's team is requesting that witnesses turn in their personal phones to inspect their encrypted messaging programs and potentially view conversations between associates linked to President Donald Trump, sources told CNBC.

Since as early as April, Mueller's team has been asking witnesses in the Russia probe to turn over phones for agents to examine private conversations on WhatsApp, Confide, Signal and Dust, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Fearing a subpoena, the witnesses have complied with the request and have given over their phones, the sources said.[...]

The revelation that Trump associates are giving Mueller access to their encrypted apps comes as former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is being accused by investigators of tampering with witnesses through the same types of programs.
"Sources" are almost certainly from among other Mueller interviewees who are signalling to Team Trump the range of Mueller's digital investigation. Texting addict Roger Stone can't be feeling too secure right now.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:33 PM on June 6 [25 favorites]


Ken Klipperstein thought it would be fun to FOIA Israel's gifts to Trump when he visited last year. There's some of the usual stuff, an old bible, book of psalms, a menorah, a carved wooden Madonna and Child, and wait for it, "mother-of-pearl portrait of POTUS."

Either he got stiffed or there's another shoe that's going to drop. Where is the Bottle of Sand in Many Colours? Where is the String of Miniature Camels Carved From Olive Wood? I don't even see a Kova Tembel!
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:41 PM on June 6 [11 favorites]


Sounds like things are going great behind the scenes at the National Security Council. You definitely love to hear quotes like, "Our nation is getting hacked left and right, and the senior director responsible for the cybersecurity strategy... is spending his time playing junior ‘Game of Thrones’ inside the NSC."
posted by Copronymus at 2:44 PM on June 6 [21 favorites]


Either he got stiffed or there's another shoe that's going to drop. Where is the Bottle of Sand in Many Colours? Where is the String of Miniature Camels Carved From Olive Wood? I don't even see a Kova Tembel!

No Michal Negrin tchotchke for Melania?
posted by PenDevil at 2:45 PM on June 6


I got a twofer here for you fine folks, equal parts weird & sad. Actually it's a threefer - weird, sad & inappropriate. Trump & Pence are in a Homeland Security meeting with Melania in attendance (there's your inappropriate). For reasons unknown & inexplicable Trump takes his water bottle off the table & sets it on the floor (weird!). Without hesitation Pence follows suit (and sad). I have no idea what this means but now I feel a little like the guy in Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas who wanders into the bathroom & finds them sucking LSD off the one guy's shirt.

Trump in inexplicably decides to put his water bottle of the floor. Pence has no other choice but to follow suit.
posted by scalefree at 3:01 PM on June 6 [46 favorites]


It's probably code for something. Looks like trump takes a napkin and puts it on his crotch right after.
posted by mrgoat at 3:08 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


Loyalty tests.
posted by rhizome at 3:09 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


Melania has a different brand of water than everyone else in the room. She's no dummy.
posted by xammerboy at 3:12 PM on June 6 [4 favorites]


Melania has a different brand of water than everyone else in the room

Trump also has the blue-capped water. Wonder what that means. I eagerly look ahead to to a post-aquakremlinology era.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:15 PM on June 6 [4 favorites]


Trump's bottle is empty, but Pence has a full bottle of water that he just whips off the table and puts on the floor like a complete psychopath.
posted by Don Pepino at 3:21 PM on June 6 [19 favorites]


What's inappropriate about FLOTUS being in a homeland security meeting? Unusual, sure, but if it were any other FLOTUS, I'm not sure we'd bat an eye.

I wonder if the blue caps indicate that those particular bottles are for POTUS and FLOTUS and were probably brought to the meeting by their people. Or maybe they just wanted to have their bottles look special. The Senator I worked for years ago insisted on bottled water from his state, and had it brought in for every meeting just for him and nobody else. People are weird, especially when given ridiculous power.
posted by The World Famous at 3:21 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


(Also, it was never really clear that the water on which he insisted actually was from his state, but the brand name was one that sort of sounded like it probably was, and maybe the company had a connection there? It wasn't a state that screams "delicious water here.")
posted by The World Famous at 3:22 PM on June 6


Downthread discussion of the water bottle maneuver says they were prepping for a photo, because looking like you might drink water like a human fails to project the proper air of authority.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:23 PM on June 6 [7 favorites]


This is how being in an abusive relationship with a narcissist must be. Scrutinizing every move like a lunatic hoping to predict what will happen next. The whole country is gas-lit batshit by now.
posted by thebrokedown at 3:27 PM on June 6 [42 favorites]


What's inappropriate about FLOTUS being in a homeland security meeting?

Lack of a security clearance? Not having a government position with homeland security responsibilities?

Although she does have an Einstein visa.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:30 PM on June 6 [15 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
Thank you to everyone at @FEMA HQ for today’s briefing on preparations for the upcoming hurricane season. Disaster response and recovery is best achieved when it’s federally supported, state managed, and locally executed – this is the successful model we will continue to build.


"I'm pleased to announce that with the progress we've already made, the number of people potentially killed in next year's hurricane season has been reduced by 4,000-6,000."
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:33 PM on June 6 [13 favorites]


Lack of a security clearance? Not having a government position with homeland security responsibilities?

Any reason to believe she was present for a meeting requiring a security clearance? All I see is her at a photo op in a room full of reporters. Moreover, when has having a security clearance ever been an issue for a First Lady? Or having defined responsibilities outside which she is not supposed to attend a meeting or photo op?

Look, I think Melania Trump is complicit and evil, but going to a photo op at Homeland Security is not "inappropriate" for the First Lady.
posted by The World Famous at 3:38 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


‘People don’t realize’: Trump and the historical facts he wants you to know (video compilation)
Trump’s public remarks are filled with dozens of similar comments. They often begin with some variation of the phrase, “Most people don’t know . . .,” and end with a nugget of information that many of those surrounding him — fellow world leaders, diplomats, journalists, politicians or aides — do indeed already know.
...
Trump’s lessons are often accompanied by raised eyebrows, widened eyes and a “gee whiz” look that suggests perhaps the nation is witnessing the president’s education in real time.

Is Trump playing the role of educator in chief, or simply sharing historical facts he’s newly learned? The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:42 PM on June 6 [7 favorites]


Additional votes counted late last night and this morning have moved a Republican into second position in CA08 which if it holds would make that the first (and likely only) district in which a Democratic won't appear on the ballot. Not a disaster since CA08 is an R+10 district. A flip there would have meant the Republicans were down to like 100 seats. Which is impossible.
posted by Justinian at 3:43 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


GOP House candidate: If anyone treated my daughter the way Trump treats women, I’d ‘use my Second Amendment’

“We like President Trump because he says what he says and he means what he says,” Danny Stockstill, a Republican candidate running for a seat in the 1st Congressional District in Tulsa said during a forum Tuesday night, Tulsa World reported. [...] “If my daughter ever dates a man who treated her like he treats women, I’m going to use my Second Amendment. If I ever find out my son has treated women the way he has, I don’t care how old [my son] is, I’m going to come down on him."

I badly want to see this as "Republican candidates are standing up to Trump for being a disgusting monster" but I'm way more convinced by "Threatening to shoot people is so deeply ingrained in GOP rhetoric that their candidates will accidentally do it even to the authoritarian leaders they're loyal to."
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:47 PM on June 6 [33 favorites]


Meanwhile, on the sports page: after Philly.com reported that fewer than ten Philadelphia Eagles players planned to attend the White House event, Ian Rapaport (NFL Network) tweeted that the players included "Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles... and maybe one other player." A Politico White House reporter heard it a little different: "two or three players + owner + MASCOT."

Neither Nick Foles nor Swoop could be reached for comment.
posted by box at 3:48 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]



Last night I had a discussion with a friend about the Canadian tariffs and we speculated on what, if anything at all, would the US/Trump use justify them due to national security concerns. Trump or someone (I lose track) has blah blahed at some point about the need for a strong steel industry for military production purposes. Or at least something close to that. That's the only semi-reasonable sounding reason that we could come up with.

We also figured they might somehow bring up thee ole 'Canada lets in terrorists' canard and twist it somehow to be related. I don't really know how but with this admin who knows.

We made an utterly stupid jokes about them using the War of 1812 and the burning of the White House as a reason. (Yes I know we weren't 'Canada' at the time and it was Britain but when many of us make jokes about Canada defeating the US in the War, that's part of the joke. It's weird humor I know).

So yes. We joked and then today...it became real.

It is so utterly ridculous that I've been having problems processing it as real. It's also one of very few times I have ever felt deep down insulted by something a US official has said or done regarding Canada. It not only disrepectful, to me it also comes from a place of contempt. It is a feeling I'm not used to and don't like at all.

What in the hell is our PM and officials supposed to do with this sort of shit? Even if as some MAGA types are trying to spin as 'Trump making a joke, lighten up' nothing changes in the respect and contempt department. A serious question was asked and we got back gooblygook.

I realize that Trump likely has no real answer because the National Security thing is a BS cover, though I expect someone somewhere is trying to get something sorta okay sounding into the Trump brain so he doesn't talk 1812 again. We may even get a tweet if he finds out about how much he's being made fun of right now.

And just to note, in case it makes it way up to the Trump brain, one type of spin I've seen MAGAs trying to push is that the fact that we know about what Trump said is enough reason for Canada being a big security concern. You see the 'leak' of the call must of come from Canada. Justin told the media. Therefore Canada can't be trusted and is a threat to the US. They just proved it.' ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by Jalliah at 3:54 PM on June 6 [13 favorites]


@ZoeTillman: NEW: DOJ says the government plans to release John Doe, the American suspected of ties to ISIS who has for months been challenging his detention by the US military in Iraq. Plan is to release him in Syria, per filing

Waiting for some analysis here, but that's a pretty huge change from their previous plans to hold him indefinitely without due process.
posted by zachlipton at 4:04 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


President Trump’s fake patriotism (Alexandra Petri, WaPo)
Because reality in 2018 is indistinguishable from ham-handed parody, here is what happened this week.

Only a few of the Super Bowl-winning Philadelphia Eagles were going to show up at the White House to meet the president, so the White House emitted a Very Strongly Worded Statement saying that the Eagles had been disinvited because they were not willing to respect the national anthem. No, the statement said, the president could not bear to see the flag and the troops and this amber grain-waving land so sorely disrespected, so therefore they would be having an afternoon of patriotic singing and troop saluting with no Philadelphia Eagles whatsoever, just regular eagles, if any were available, that fans of the sports franchise (or White House staff) would be free to attend (whichever filled the venue in a lifelike manner first).

And then what happened? If you guessed “they had an afternoon whose only purpose was to showcase the president’s sterling and remarkable patriotism, which was far, far better than any Philadelphia Eagle could hope to have, in which they sang ‘God Bless America’ and President Trump did not seem to remember all the words,” you would be correct.
(Do read the rest—it's quite vicious)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:07 PM on June 6 [30 favorites]


The SF D S A’s guide to organization, AKA, how we won two ballot referendums

(TLDR: the old stuff works. If it worked in the 30s it works now.)
posted by The Whelk at 4:11 PM on June 6 [44 favorites]


The discharge petition to advance an immigration bill in the House is now at 215/218 signatures.

Republicans Look Ready To Force A Vote On Democrats’ DACA Proposal. Ryan will try a last-ditch effort to avoid a discharge petition tomorrow, and failing that, it's likely to get enough signatures from moderate Republicans to put it over the top.

Of course, the likelihood that anything makes it out of the House that can pass the Senate and Trump will sign seems vanishingly small, but here we are.
posted by zachlipton at 4:17 PM on June 6 [6 favorites]


“We like President Trump because he says what he says and he means what he says,” Danny Stockstill, a Republican candidate running for a seat in the 1st Congressional District in Tulsa said during a forum Tuesday night, Tulsa World reported. [...] “If my daughter ever dates a man who treated her like he treats women, I’m going to use my Second Amendment. If I ever find out my son has treated women the way he has, I don’t care how old [my son] is, I’m going to come down on him."

Don't treat my daughter badly or I'll own a gun?

Or does he think the second amendment authorizes shooting people?
posted by srboisvert at 4:20 PM on June 6 [33 favorites]


It’s an abbreviated shibboleth: “Second Amendment [remedies/solutions]” — i.e., killing someone with a gun
posted by Barack Spinoza at 4:24 PM on June 6 [14 favorites]


Donald Trump has still treated women that way. Why doesn't he use his first amendment right now?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:43 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


I give Mr. Stockstill a tiny smidgen of credit for mentioning his son in that unhinged speech; the daughter-purity thing is usually coupled with a double standard of willfully ignoring male offspring's misbehavior.

Jalliah: What in the hell is our PM and officials supposed to do with this sort of shit? Even if as some MAGA types are trying to spin as 'Trump making a joke, lighten up' nothing changes in the respect and contempt department. A serious question was asked and we got back gooblygook.

It's pretty much the only way that bullies and alt-righters use humor, to mask spite and cruelty. It can work because they then act like any objection is an objection to jokes per se, which of course it isn't. Even the same joke can be fine or not based on context. A president wants to winkingly reference 1812? That's fine. A president does so as an answer to a serious question? That's contempt.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 4:48 PM on June 6 [18 favorites]


GOP House candidate: If anyone treated my daughter the way Trump treats women, I’d ‘use my Second Amendment’

Are you just noticing this? Before the election Hillary released several ads of Trump talking about women in his own words and Priorities USA had an ad of women lip syncing to Trump's comments. "Blood coming out of her whatever" and "grab them by the pussy" were before the election, too.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:03 PM on June 6 [4 favorites]


Donald Trump has still treated women that way. Why doesn't he use his first amendment right now?

None of those women are Stockstill's property.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:22 PM on June 6 [15 favorites]


Today's been pretty uneventful, so to liven it up a little, here's a video of Rudy Giuliani having a swingin' dance party. [real]
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:28 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


Buzzfeed: Ivanka Trump Was In Contact With A Russian Who Offered A Trump-Putin Meeting

The update here is amazing:
Ivanka Trump, who now works in her father’s administration, did not respond to questions sent to her personal email, chief of staff, and the White House. A spokesperson for her attorney wrote that Ivanka Trump did not know about the Trump Moscow project “until after a nonbinding letter of intent had been signed, never talked to anyone outside the Organization about the proposal, and, even internally, was only minimally involved. Her only role was limited to reminding Mr. Cohen that, should an actual deal come to fruition (which it did not) the project, like any other with the Trump name, conform with the highest design and architectural standards.”

More than five hours after BuzzFeed News published this story, the spokesperson, Peter Mirijanian, wrote that he "inadvertently" left off part of the statement: "Ms. Trump did not know and never spoke to Dmitry Klokov. She received an unsolicited email from his wife (who she also did not know) and passed it on to Michael Cohen who she understood was working on any possible projects in Russia. She did no more than that."

But interviews suggest that her involvement ran deeper.

In November 2015, Ivanka Trump told Cohen to speak with Klokov, according to the four sources. Cohen had at least one phone conversation with the weightlifter, they said. It is not known what the men discussed over the phone, but they exchanged a string of emails that are now being examined by congressional investigators and federal agents probing Russia’s election meddling.

In one of those emails, Klokov told Cohen that he could arrange a meeting between Donald Trump and Putin to help pave the way for the tower. Later, Cohen sent an email refusing that offer and saying that the Trump Organization already had an agreement in place. He said he was cutting off future communication with Klokov. Copying Ivanka Trump, the Russian responded in a final brusque message, in which he questioned Cohen’s authority to make decisions for the Trump Organization. Frustrated by the exchange, Ivanka Trump questioned Cohen’s refusal to continue communicating with Klokov, according to one of the sources.
So they denied it, then claimed they "inadvertently" left out the bit that actually confirms it, and then BuzzFeed explains that story is a lie too.
posted by zachlipton at 5:31 PM on June 6 [43 favorites]


CNN: Woman's forced labor for Salvadoran guerrillas means she must leave US, court rules

She was kidnapped by Salvadoran guerillas three decades ago, watched her husband be killed and forced to cook and clean for the militants. Now she can't stay in the US — because that was supporting terrorists, a court says.

The main appellate body of the immigration courts issued a divided opinion Wednesday with broad implications, finding that a woman from El Salvador is ineligible for status in the US because her 1990 abduction and forced labor amount to "material support" of a terrorist organization.

posted by Rust Moranis at 5:44 PM on June 6 [68 favorites]


Ralph Peters was on CNN tonight and said nearly the exact words that are the title of this thread. Worth tracking down, links might appear here.
posted by vrakatar at 5:49 PM on June 6


Christina Wilkie, Meet the New York architect who was a key figure in Donald Trump's deals and connections in Eastern Europe

Her tweet really emphasizes how weird this story is: "On April 11, I called Trump’s favorite architect to ask about jobs he did in Eastern Europe that recently drew Mueller’s eye. Within hours, John Fotiadis closed down his 10 yr old architecture firm, deleted his portfolio and left Twitter. He’s still MIA."

He's not exactly MIA; he apparently took a job at an engineering firm, but he shuttered everything and went dark the minute someone asked about his work for Trump. Oh, and he also did work for Rinat Akhmetov, the Ukraine billionaire who hired Manafort.

Also, Giuliani launched into a disgusting attack on Stormy Daniels and her occupation today. I'm not going to quote it here because we don't need that crap in this thread, but it's really gross, and he's the last damn person who should be talking about which women are deserving of respect.
posted by zachlipton at 5:56 PM on June 6 [39 favorites]


She received an unsolicited email from his wife (who she also did not know) and passed it on to Michael Cohen who she understood was working on any possible projects in Russia. She did no more than that."

Ivanka Trump's official spokesperson confirmed on her behalf that, during the campaign, she was aware in her official capacity as an officer of the Trump Organization that Michael Cohen, in his capacity as either Trump's personal attorney or in an official, authorized capacity on behalf of the Trump Organization, "was working on any possible projects in Russia."

Let that sink in.
posted by The World Famous at 5:57 PM on June 6 [39 favorites]


According to the court documents, the woman was kidnapped by the guerrillas in El Salvador and made to do the cooking and cleaning "under threat of death." She was also "forced to witness her husband, a sergeant in the Salvadoran Army, dig his own grave before being killed."
I am close to broken, comparing the idea that a woman who was enslaved by violent armed men is disqualified from remaining in this country on that basis, against the contrasting example of Mr. "No Collusion" and his lifetime of consequence-free graft and corruption. We really do have two disgustingly different standards of justice in play.
posted by Nerd of the North at 6:00 PM on June 6 [111 favorites]


If I were taking Ivanka's deposition to establish that she and others at the Trump Organization knowingly attempted to enter into corrupt and criminal business relationships in connection with the presidential campaign and I asked "During the campaign, did you understand that Michael Cohen was working on possible projects in Russia" and she answered "Yes," I'd consider that an absolute coup.
posted by The World Famous at 6:02 PM on June 6 [17 favorites]


I am close to broken, comparing the idea that a woman who was enslaved by violent armed men is disqualified from remaining in this country on that basis, against the contrasting example of Mr. "No Collusion" and his lifetime of consequence-free graft and corruption. We really do have two disgustingly different standards of justice in play.

Swear an oath on the bones of your foremothers that when we get the GOP out of power we will hold the Democrats' feet to the fire until this system is utterly destroyed. With Clinton, with Obama, far too many of us turned a blind eye or just hoped for the best. We need to elect as many properly left people as we can and then push them to act. Get rid of ICE, instill as much free movement as possible - because if capital can move why can't labor - free everyone who is detained, find and make whole everyone who is still alive who has been deported, start a truth-telling process to name the dead and the oppressors. There's a big work ahead and we need to be ready to back it.

Meanwhile, I strongly urge everyone to search for immigrants' rights groups or legal offices that work on these matters - just google "immigrants rights groups [your state/city/region]" and hook yourself up with some facebook pages or twitter. You can build enough into your social media (or into a dummy account that you use only for political notifications) that you'll start getting alerts for donations, call-ins, protests and whatever else your area has going. I guarantee you that if there is any kind of immigration activity in your area, there will be church groups, support networks and so on somewhere in the region, and you can help them, even if it's only "everybody call in because this guy is being held by ICE". People get illegally held pretty regularly, as far as I can tell, and calling helps get them released.

The case of this poor woman is so grotesque and terrible that it seems paralyzing, but there are still things we can do, and we need to act while there's still room to act.

Honestly, it's vieux jeu to say "stay woke", but lots of us have been asleep for much too long.
posted by Frowner at 6:25 PM on June 6 [106 favorites]


@chrisgeidner: Here's the full text of the resolution passed by the Senate tonight authorizing the Intel Comte to provide DOJ with records relating to a pending leak investigation. Note there is an exception for "matters for which a privilege should be asserted." As others have noted, here's the joint statement from Intel Comte Chair Burr and Vice Chair Warner: "The Committee is cooperating with the [Justice] Department on this matter. Any questions about the investigation should be directed to the Department of Justice.” The Justice Department, however, has not responded to a request for comment about the investigation. I have no inside information on what this is about, but this seems like the most likely possibility I can think of off the top of my head —> [NYT from March: Senate Intelligence Leaders Say House G.O.P. Leaked a Senator’s Texts]

Encouraged as I am by the possibility that Nunes could be in trouble, if that's what this really is, it's a pretty astonishing thing.

Also, Rep. Tom Rooney, a Republican on House Intel, is not having it with the spy business:
"What is the point of saying that there was a spy in the campaign when there was none?" Rooney said in an interview on Wednesday. "You know what I’m saying? It’s like, ‘Lets create this thing to tweet about knowing that it’s not true.’ … Maybe it’s just to create more chaos but it doesn’t really help the case."
posted by zachlipton at 6:25 PM on June 6 [14 favorites]


Guardian: Cambridge Analytica director 'met Assange to discuss US election'

Meanwhile, Cambridge Analytica’s Nix denies withdrawing $8m before collapse—Financial Times (Twitter link).
Alexander Nix, former chief executive of Cambridge Analytica, has hit back at allegations that he withdrew more than $8m from the data company shortly before it collapsed.

The Financial Times on Tuesday reported that Mr Nix was in a stand-off with investors over the alleged withdrawal, according to several people involved in the dispute.

According to the people, the withdrawal came after Mr Nix learned British media was reporting on allegations about his company’s role in a massive leak of Facebook user data in March.

Speaking to the UK parliamentary select committee for digital, culture, media and sport, Mr Nix said: “the allegation made in that article is false, the facts in that article are not correct.” Mr Nix did not respond to multiple requests for comment from the FT on Monday and Tuesday.
Nix further claimed, “After this media storm I have personally invested millions of dollars to meet staff payments, staff salaries and staff bonuses.” So, not embezzlement or bribery, then.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:40 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


Former US attorney says Manafort will likely go to prison Friday

Jail, actually but I'll take it.
posted by msalt at 6:46 PM on June 6 [51 favorites]


CNN: Woman's forced labor for Salvadoran guerrillas means she must leave US, court rules

This is the worst US news I've read in . . days.

Writing for the majority, Board of Immigration Appeals Judge Roger Pauley ruled that "material support" can be virtually anything that is provided to a terrorist organization that supports their overall mission that they would otherwise would need to seek somewhere else.

"In fact, no court has held that the kind of support an alien provides, if related to promoting the goals of a terrorist organization, is exempt from the material support bar, and we discern no basis to import such a limitation," Pauley wrote.

Pauley also concluded there was no exception for support given "under duress" under US law and the actions do not need to be "voluntary."

Dissenting board member and Judge Linda Wendtland blasted the court's interpretation, pointing out the relevant statute lists a number of examples of "material support" like offering safe houses, transportation, funds and other tangible furtherance of their mission.

"I cannot conclude that the menial and incidental tasks that the respondent performed -- as a slave -- for Salvadoran guerrillas, including cooking, cleaning, and washing clothes, are of 'the same class' as the enumerated forms of assistance set forth in the statute,"


The actions. do not need. to be *voluntary*. I forgot these judges are not under the Judiciary.
I think we've found Obama's post-presidential job, whether he knows it or not yet. Someone go wake his ass up.
posted by petebest at 6:53 PM on June 6 [43 favorites]


@ndrew_lawrence (Media Matters) [video]: "Hey remember when Assange DM'd Hannity asking him to reach out on an encrypted app? Tonight Hannity is freaking out about Mueller searching encrypted apps and "advised" all Mueller witnesses to "bash" their phones "into itsy bitsy pieces""

When you watch the clip, he's saying it as a Hillary Clinton thing because she destroyed phones under entirely different circumstances. Anyway, do not destroy evidence because Sean Hannity told you to.
posted by zachlipton at 6:57 PM on June 6 [41 favorites]


@ndrew_lawrence (Media Matters) [video]: "Hey remember when Assange DM'd Hannity asking him to reach out on an encrypted app? Tonight Hannity is freaking out about Mueller searching encrypted apps and "advised" all Mueller witnesses to "bash" their phones "into itsy bitsy pieces""

So, is encouraging or helping people to destroy evidence a crime, like suborning perjury?
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:00 PM on June 6 [34 favorites]


So, is encouraging or helping people to destroy evidence a crime, like suborning perjury?

Particularly since the person encouraging it is a witness if not a person of interest and/or target of the investigation.
posted by The World Famous at 7:02 PM on June 6 [14 favorites]


Nice, just like that "smash your Keurig to own the libs" movement. Of course this has the tasty criminal angle, so maybe Hannity is really telling people to fall on their swords to destroy evidence and take whatever fall opens up before them.
posted by rhizome at 7:04 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


I think we've found Obama's post-presidential job, whether he knows it or not yet. Someone go wake his ass up.

Obama is the all-time Most Valuable President of deportations. 2017 saw fewer removals than 2016.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 7:06 PM on June 6 [6 favorites]


Race ratings updates from Sabato:

* SD gov: Safe R => Likely R
* VT gov: Likely R => Safe R

* NY-18: Safe D => Likely D (this is due to Maloney running for NY AG)

===

Also, preview of Cook NJ and CA House changes from Wasserman:

* NJ-02: Lean D => Likely D
* NJ-11: Toss-up => Lean D

* CA-21: Lean R => Likely R
* CA-49: Toss-up => Lean D
posted by Chrysostom at 7:22 PM on June 6 [11 favorites]


Obama is the all-time Most Valuable President of deportations. 2017 saw fewer removals than 2016.

So he can garner some redemption at the same time. Its win-win.
posted by petebest at 7:23 PM on June 6 [4 favorites]


I won't get into how I know him (or used to know him). But John Fotiadis (Trump's Favorite Architect above) really wanted to be a musician.
posted by kimdog at 7:23 PM on June 6 [10 favorites]


Mystery illness striking diplomats in China afflicts more victims (WaPo):
The State Department is evacuating several Americans from China amid health concerns about mysterious symptoms arising after unusual noises detected by U.S. diplomats and their families working in the consulate in Guangzhou.

After initial screenings by a medical team dispatched last month when the first incident was reported, the State Department has sent “a number” of affected people to the United States for further evaluation, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

The evacuation was the first sign that the unexplained ailments previously known to have afflicted only one U.S. government employee in China has now broadened and threatens to become a full-blown health crisis like the one that affected at least 24 U.S. diplomats and their families in Cuba.
posted by peeedro at 7:23 PM on June 6 [6 favorites]


Politico: Republicans losing patience with scandal-scarred Pruitt

Kennedy - who played a role in pushing Price out of HHS - sounds like he's about done with him.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:28 PM on June 6 [7 favorites]


The actions. do not need. to be *voluntary*.

Well the good news is, now every corporation that any terrorist has ever bought anything from can now be charged with material support to a terrorist organization.

Wait... what's that? I'm being advised through my earpiece that nothing like that will ever happen because this only applies to non-white non-wealthy people.
posted by XMLicious at 7:35 PM on June 6 [45 favorites]


KC Star: Secret deal by gov Greitens had him admitting there was basis for going to trial on felony computer tampering charge.

This sort of undercuts his story that it's all trumped up politically motivated charges.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:39 PM on June 6 [13 favorites]


WaPo, Dawsey, In private FEMA remarks, Trump’s focus strays from hurricanes, in which someone taped the private part of his FEMA meeting and handed it to the Post (Melania? What is she thinking? I think about that tweet daily).
The meeting was supposed to be about hurricane preparedness, as disaster officials gathered at Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters days after the start of the 2018 season.

But President Trump had a lot else on his mind, turning the closed-door discussion into soliloquies on his prowess in negotiating airplane deals, his popularity, the effectiveness of his political endorsements, the Republican Party’s fortunes, the vagaries of Defense Department purchasing guidelines, his dislike of magnetized launch equipment on aircraft carriers, his unending love of coal and his breezy optimism about his planned Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“It’s an interesting journey. It’s called the land of the unknown — who knows? We’ll maybe make a deal. Maybe not. As I say to everybody, are you going to make a deal?” Trump said, according to audio of the FEMA meeting obtained by The Washington Post. “Maybe and maybe not. Who knows?”
...
When Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan began speaking, Trump within 10 seconds moved the conversation to negotiating airplane prices. He said the government was getting ripped off on ships and planes because the “ordering process for the military is so bad. . . . It’s not a competitive bid.”

“We saved $1.6 billion on Air Force One,” he said. “Can you believe it? I got involved in the negotiations. The press refuses to report that, but that’s okay. . . . People were really surprised.”

Military officials have not been able to explain where Trump got such a figure. A Defense Department official told Bloomberg News this year that the department had no information to back up that claim.
...
“I understand a big story is being done in a major newspaper talking about what a great Cabinet this is,” he said, without specifying the outlet. “What a great Cabinet this has turned out to be.”

“Our level of popularity is great,” he added.
So glad we're preparing for hurricane season. That someone leaked this is pretty amazing.

WaPo, Joseph Hagin, point person on Korea summit, plans to leave White House soon. He's a former deputy chief of staff to W, one of the few people around who knew how the White House works, and might want to go to the CIA now.

Politico, House Dems seethe over superdelegates plan
During a two-hour-plus meeting with a group of House Democrats at DNC headquarters, Perez laid out two options under consideration for superdelegates by the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee. There’s a June 30 deadline for any proposed amendments to the DNC charter, which will be voted at during a key August party meeting, right in the middle of election season.

The first proposal – a product of the “Unity Reform Commission” established at the 2016 convention to “revise and reduce” the role of superdelegates - would create three categories of superdelegates. Some superdelegates would be allowed to vote in the first roll-call vote for the presidential nominee, while other would not.

However, Perez warned members that this proposal won’t win enough backing to be adopted at the August DNC session.

The second option, which Perez supports and appears far more likely to be enacted, would allow superdelegates to continue to exist, but they couldn’t vote during the first round of the presidential roll-call vote. However, they could vote during the second round or any subsequent roll call, and they still would be permitted to support any candidate they want.

Perez believes this approach ensures “we have an inclusive party, transparent process, democratic principles, and empowers the grassroots,” said a DNC official.

And that’s what set the House members off, as none of them believes there will be any more than one roll-call vote for the nominee.
The Hill, Dem leaders embrace pay-go, in which Pelosi and Hoyer say they'll follow pay-as-you-go rules if Democrats retake the House. Counterpoint: Democrats Vow to Bring Back Stupid and Harmful Spending Rule if They Win Back the House. Having a semblance of fiscal responsibility when Republicans are trying to destroy the country and there are things worth assuming debt for is exhausting.

WaPo, ‘I can understand about 50 percent of the things you say’: How Congress is struggling to get smart on tech, in which Congress doesn't understand technology, and Democrats want to revive the Office of Technology Assessment.

Politico, Trump seeks to reorganize the federal government. The White House wants to move nutrition programs such as SNAP and the school lunch program out of USDA and into HHS, renaming HHS to add "Welfare" to its name. Oh, and cutting State and USAID. It's a Heritage Foundation scheme; they're very excited that HHS is rolling out work requirements for Medicaid and want that replicated. I can't imagine it has any chance of happening, since it would require Congressional approval, and the committees in charge of overseeing USDA aren't going to vote to reduce their power anytime soon. And this is your regularly scheduled reminder that HHS oversees Medicare and Medicaid, programs that are not welfare.

Daily Beast, Trump Has Floated Golfing With Kim Jong Un if Singapore Summit Goes Well. Given that both Trump and Kim have a history of dubious claims about their golfing abilities and/or integrity on the court, this isn't going to go well. There's an old Rocko's Modern Life episode involving a rigged golf game with unlimited resources that this brings to mind.
posted by zachlipton at 7:40 PM on June 6 [27 favorites]


Oh wait I thought it was done, but it got stupider again. Another mess for Pruitt: Overstaying his White House welcome at lunch
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt loves eating at the White House mess, an exclusive U.S. Navy-run restaurant open only to White House officials, Cabinet members and other dignitaries.

But apparently he liked it too much, and the White House asked him to please eat elsewhere sometimes.

In response to Pruitt's recurring use of the restaurant next to the Situation Room in the basement of the West Wing, a member of the White House’s Cabinet affairs team told agency chiefs of staff in a meeting last year that Cabinet members shouldn't treat the mess as their personal dining hall, according to three people with knowledge of the issue.
...
Pruitt has been known to complain that EPA headquarters has no cafeteria of its own and no private dining quarters, according to multiple sources, who said Pruitt still often heads to the White House for lunch. One source said EPA officials called the White House to explain that Pruitt didn’t have a place to eat at EPA and would like to continue to visit. Pruitt’s EPA office is only a few blocks up Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House.
@ashleyfeinberg: to be fair, he did try to buy his own place to eat lunch
posted by zachlipton at 7:44 PM on June 6 [48 favorites]


The Hill, Dem leaders embrace pay-go, in which Pelosi and Hoyer say they'll follow pay-as-you-go rules if Democrats retake the House. Counterpoint: Democrats Vow to Bring Back Stupid and Harmful Spending Rule if They Win Back the House. Having a semblance of fiscal responsibility when Republicans are trying to destroy the country and there are things worth assuming debt for is exhausting.

I'll take "how are Democrats going to preemptively fuck it up this time" for 1000.

Pay go means there's no Democratic agenda other than debt reduction and austerity.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:46 PM on June 6 [9 favorites]


The Hill, Dem leaders embrace pay-go

God dammit.

Say it with me, once more and with feeling: DEFICITS DONT MATTER
posted by dis_integration at 7:53 PM on June 6 [25 favorites]


I'm all for Pay Go if the pay part comes from hiking taxes on rich folks and cutting the military.

Somehow I doubt that's what they're gonna do.
posted by Justinian at 7:54 PM on June 6 [24 favorites]


Obama is the all-time Most Valuable President of deportations.

This has been covered in these threads before, but the idea that Obama deported more people than anyone else is a misleading view of the situation.
As detailed below, the Obama-era policies represented the culmination of a gradual but consistent effort to narrow its enforcement focus to two key groups: The deportation of criminals and recent unauthorized border crossers.
posted by Jpfed at 7:56 PM on June 6 [29 favorites]


Tonight Hannity is freaking out about Mueller searching encrypted apps and "advised" all Mueller witnesses to "bash" their phones "into itsy bitsy pieces"

What are the odds that Trump's butler finds strange little pieces of phone scattered around his bedroom tomorrow morning.
posted by JackFlash at 8:03 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


PAYGO means there's no Democratic agenda until you can say how you're going to pay for something, or you're able to make the successful argument that it's worth assuming more debt to do it so you waive the rule. Any Democrat with a serious policy proposal should be able to explain how they're going to pay for it or justify deficit spending. The ACA did it, and so should our priorities now.

Sure, it's tempting to point to the Iraq War and the 2017 tax cuts and declare that if Republicans don't need to pay for what they want, we shouldn't either, but it's irresponsible. And you can believe that without being secretly out to cut Social Security or thinking we're Greece, starting deficit panics, and calling for austerity.
posted by zachlipton at 8:05 PM on June 6 [11 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** Primary round-up: Consensus take is that the CA results are indicative of picking up a few seats there, overall fit with model of slight Dem advantage in the overall House. Crosstab, Upshot, DKE.

** 2018 House:
-- UT-04: Dan Jones poll has incumbent GOP Love up 47-43 on Dem challenger McAdams [MOE: +/- 5%]. Same outfit polled this race in Feb, and had Love up 6.

-- Interesting look at NC-09 race from McClatchy.

-- Current 538 generic ballot average: D+6.4 (46.3/39.9)
** 2018 Senate -- VA: Roanoake College poll has Kaine up in the low teens versus any of the three GOP candidates (primary is next Tuesday) [MOE: +/-4.2%].

** Odds & ends -- Reform DA candidates had a rough night in California, a few bright spots, though.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:05 PM on June 6 [14 favorites]


@FullFrontalSamB: Sam addresses the controversy from last week's show.

1:47 video, worth watching.
posted by zachlipton at 8:07 PM on June 6 [23 favorites]


but it's irresponsible.

Not really though. We can spend all we want and it will barely affect inflation. And if that spending is on infrastructure, childcare and job programs, it’s actually an investment that makes us richer in the future. We literally do not need to figure out how to pay for programs. We can just pay for them. It’s the magic of fiat currency, a central banking system and being the richest, most important economy in the world
posted by dis_integration at 8:14 PM on June 6 [21 favorites]


PAYGO is for chumps. Time and time again, Democrats have responsibly instituted PAYGO rules when they control congress and time and time again the Republicans then turn around and bust the PAYGO rules to give tax cuts to the rich when Republicans control congress.

A lot of the quirks in Obamacare that people complain about are due to Democrats rigidly abiding by the PAYGO rules.

Nope, Democrats have been falling for the starve the beast strategy of Republicans for too long. Democrats responsibly come up with half-assed social programs to appease the deficit scolds and then Republicans turn around blow it all up with tax cuts. To hell with PAYGO. Democrats should pass good social programs and let the Republicans worry about the deficits -- starve the tax cuts.
posted by JackFlash at 8:23 PM on June 6 [71 favorites]


We can spend all we want and it will barely affect inflation

That can't be true unless you're using "spend all we want" hyperbolically. Or saying that massively increasing the money supply wouldn't lead to inflation.
posted by Justinian at 8:34 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


...his dislike of magnetized launch equipment on aircraft carriers...

An oldie but a goodie!
posted by notyou at 8:48 PM on June 6 [8 favorites]


Paul Rosenzweig at Lawfareblog looks at the filing on Manafort's alleged attempted witness tampering and finds the evidence thin. Basically he says that the evidence presented could, if fully credited (a bunch of it are people's perceptions), lead one to believe Manafort was attempting witness tampering but that it's not even close to being strong, persuasive evidence that someone with no preconceptions would see as conclusive.

His theory is that the Mueller team is finally starting to feel the pressure and may believe they need to get Manafort to flip tout suite in case the whole thing explodes in a Saturday Night Massacre, so they are pushing this on less complete evidence than on which they have previously relied because of a new sense of urgency. He does leave open the possibility they could present additional evidence at the hearing but he doesn't seem to think that very likely. At least thats the sense I get from the piece.

tl;dr - the evidence against Manafort here is not as strong as Mueller's team usually goes with, so maybe they feel like time is running out on them. There are indeed indications Manafort was trying to do this but the evidence is not particular substantial.
posted by Justinian at 8:51 PM on June 6 [5 favorites]


That can't be true unless you're using "spend all we want" hyperbolically. Or saying that massively increasing the money supply wouldn't lead to inflation.

We’ve been growing the money supply like wild with low interest rates and “quantitative easing “ for years and years and inflation remains low. I suspect that the reason is low wage growth. If public investment ends up driving up wages, perhaps there will be some inflation, but this could be counteracted in a lot of ways. For example single payer health would reduce costs in a huge sector of the economy. But the fact is that we’ve basically been printing money and then setting it on fire for nearly 30 years and we’re still rich as Croesus
posted by dis_integration at 8:53 PM on June 6 [17 favorites]


One addendum to my comment about Manafort. My understanding is that to show Manafort violated his terms of release doesn't require much beyond probable cause so if Mueller's team isn't planning to bring witness tampering charges and only wants to put pressure on him by getting him thrown in the pokey before trial they may not need more than a bunch of suggestive evidence.

But I'm no lawyerologist so I could be missing something.
posted by Justinian at 8:56 PM on June 6 [5 favorites]


That can't be true unless you're using "spend all we want" hyperbolically. Or saying that massively increasing the money supply wouldn't lead to inflation.

You been watching the last decade? The Fed has been trying like mad to flood the economy with money and avoid a deflationary spiral. We had like three major QE events and the M2 has been climbing like crazy.

90% of the money we flooded the market with has gone into the bank accounts of the 1%. That's why we can flood like crazy and not even move the needle.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 8:56 PM on June 6 [19 favorites]


If we can spend 10 trillion on wars and planes that don't work and literally passing out cash to rich fuckers without paying for it, Democrats should point that out and point out that the same 10 trillion could've been spent on free college and free healthcare and bailing out underwater homeowners and and and and

Instead the big idea they learned from 2016 is apparently to revive Simpson-Bowels.

Then they wonder why we want to stop trying.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:08 PM on June 6 [33 favorites]


But I'm no lawyerologist so I could be missing something.

Au contraire, everyone in these threads (and half of Twitter) has become a lawyerologist.

and lawruspex.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:16 PM on June 6 [6 favorites]


Pay-go plus never raising taxes means no major new programs from Democrats ever again, just endless fights over a zero-sum pie. It also means your favorite program -- pre-K, college tuition, universal health, jobs program, etc -- will be relentlessly attacked from the center-left because it is 15% in the red over the first decade. "It's irresponsible to offer life-saving health care if it raises the deficit and/or it shows you are not serious about policy."
posted by chortly at 9:24 PM on June 6 [22 favorites]


The lesson they should have learned is "no one gives one fuck about the deficit, least of all Republicans". That statement by Pelosi is the most demoralizing thing I've read in the last 18 months of the Trump era, above even when Gorsuch was confirmed. They've learned nothing. Literally nothing. It's still the same game to them, one which they're intentionally playing to lose.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:47 PM on June 6 [19 favorites]


Or does he think the second amendment authorizes shooting people?

Have you not seen a 2A zealot? That's absolutely what they believe.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 9:54 PM on June 6 [10 favorites]


And why, if these Democrats think the debt is bad, would they want something like pay-go that keeps it at exactly its current level? Surely they would want to shrink that terrible debt, which means they should be in favor of massive government cuts. Or they think there is some sustainable level, in which case why does it happen to be exactly $21 trillion? Pay-go is not an economic policy -- a true economic policy would claim that a debt of X was optimal (like Reinhart and Rogoff's (stupid) 90% of GDP), and shoot for that. Say what you will for them, at least the Republicans' various positions on this issue are coherent: (1) the debt is terrible so we should massively cut programs (traditional right); (2) 90% is ideal, so let's do some judicious austerity (center-right); (3) debts don't matter, so spend all you want and make cuts out of honest hate (modern right). But pay-go, which declares that whatever the debt happens to be right now is ideal, is either exactly the sort of ignorant status-quo-biased centrism we deride around here, or is duplicitous posturing for other ignorant centrists.
posted by chortly at 10:11 PM on June 6 [15 favorites]


Having read the articles, don't you guys think the most likely explanation for Pelosi and Hoyer's statements are as part of a battle with Trump and the Republicans? Even if Democrats take back the House almost nobody thinks they'll also get the Senate (though Alabama makes it within the realm of the possible) and even if they got both Houses Trump is still President.

So they can't actually pass anything they want to pass. Adopting pay-go is purely symbolic without the Presidency and just another hammer to hit the Republicans with. They can campaign on being the party of fiscal responsibility going into 2020. It costs nothing and could persuade dummies swing voters who don't really know anything except that this sounds good to them.

Now if they maintain pay-go next time they have both Houses of Congress and the Presidency... yeah that's a paddlin'.
posted by Justinian at 11:00 PM on June 6 [20 favorites]


Could be a gambit. North Korea has shown the Executive Branch has a weakness for them.
posted by rhizome at 11:11 PM on June 6


I think that is indeed the correct account of what they think they are doing. But campaign promises matter: even if no one on the left paid any attention while the strategy somehow miraculously persuaded the swing-voters (who must somehow be both policy-ignorant and responsive to minutiae like pay-go), Democrats would still go into 2020 constrained by 3 years of public commitments to pay-go -- not to mention the Democrats who they will persuade to believe in pay-go. The strategy of adopting a centrist platform before an election because you can always renege afterwards is usually counter-productive: it mostly fails to persuade the centrists (who are generally the most oblivious), while publicly committing politicians to centrist policies and persuading some of the left to move center-ward.
posted by chortly at 11:12 PM on June 6 [11 favorites]


Only partially US politics: but I'd recommend the footage of Alexander Nix being called back before the UK Parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee in order "to have a second chance to answer some of the questions" that comprised his previous testimony in February.

NIx: smart - but not nearly to the degree he imagines, supercilious to the bone and compelled to the indignity of having to answer questions (rather than read the statements he pre-prepared) - makes a fascinating witness. For those without 3 hours to spare - here is a short summary of the session.
posted by rongorongo at 11:17 PM on June 6 [5 favorites]


zachlipton: "“We saved $1.6 billion on Air Force One,” he said. “Can you believe it? I got involved in the negotiations. The press refuses to report that, but that’s okay. . . . People were really surprised.”"

As with essentially all Cheeto rants/talking points he's both wrong on the numbers, claiming credit for something that didn't actually happen and mistaken on the lack of press coverage (a google search for "cost of Airforce One" pulls up coverage of the deal from basically every reputable news source and even Fox).

zachlipton: "Daily Beast, Trump Has Floated Golfing With Kim Jong Un if Singapore Summit Goes Well. Given that both Trump and Kim have a history of dubious claims about their golfing abilities and/or integrity on the court, this isn't going to go well. "

Man I think golf is the most boring spectator sport possible and I'd pay several hours salary to watch a mic'd uncut video of that game.
posted by Mitheral at 11:24 PM on June 6 [9 favorites]


The thing is, "responsible economic management" is just code, and it gets misinterpreted by left-leaning parties everywhere.

You and I might think that responsible economic management would have something to do with matching spending to available resources in such a way that conditions for the citizenry improve over time, but to any party whose natural constituency is the moneyed classes, all it means is making sure that the right of the moneyed classes to keep and bear money shall not be infringed.

Here in Australia we saw much the same kind of thing play out. We had a left-leaning Labor Government during the GFC, who responded to it with a bunch of classically Keynesian debt-funded pump priming, including a straight-up gift of $900 to every taxpayer to help prop up the retail sector. As a result, Australia was the only OECD country not to go into recession as a consequence of that crisis.

The response from the Right was to invent the slogan "debt and deficit disaster", which they continued to wheel out at every opportunity in an attempt to justify swingeing spending cuts to the usual suspects (welfare recipients, public broadcaster, universities, hospitals) after subsequently getting their hands back on the levers of power. Apparently they had no choice but to be their usual vicious selves because of the terrible budgetary position those latte sipping elites had left us in before the chickens had come to their senses and voted Colonel Sanders back in again.

But now that they've been in for a good long while, and now that their Treasurer has waved some kind of magic accounting wand that reclassifies some of what used to be counted as debt as not debt, and even though the debt under these clowns is actually stratospheric even compared to their worst scare stories about what Labor would have done had we re-elected them, is paying down debt anything like their priority? Of course not. The most recent budget is all about tax cuts here and tax cuts there and tax cuts everywhere, and it will be no surprise to any of you to learn that those who will benefit the most from all of these cuts are the wealthiest Australians.

They can campaign on being the party of fiscal responsibility going into 2020.

Complete waste of time. Because the moneyed classes also control the organs of public discourse, the public in general will always retain the impression that it's the right-wingers who are actually the more "economically responsible" of the two alternatives on offer. The Dumbs need to campaign on what they will spend on and hammer the Repugs for failing to cover any of that. Where the money is supposed to come from is simply not going to matter, this time around. It's where it's going that people care about, or they wouldn't have been such keen marks for the orange excrescence in the first place.
posted by flabdablet at 11:28 PM on June 6 [29 favorites]


I dunno you guys. I think our ability to take on debt without negative consequences depends on the demand for treasury bonds as low risk investments. But the perception that they are low risk comes from a belief that budgeting will always be carried out in a sustainable way. If we just started literally not caring how much debt we took on, might that not lead to the perception that we couldn't possibly intend to really pay out all the interest we eventually would owe? And a drop in demand for our bonds?

Plus I don't think we are going to be the world reserve currency forever, immune to inflation because people always want to buy dollars. Especially not with Trump at the helm. For a lot of reasons (like us pulling out of the Iran nuclear desl) people are trying to move away from the petrodollar. And generally trying to make their economies less dependent on ours.

Plus I guess "but we are special, we ca n get away with it" just sounds a little too good to be true. At least, to good to be true forever. And I think believing it is true might make it less true, if you see what I mean.
posted by OnceUponATime at 11:45 PM on June 6 [9 favorites]


If Trump has demonstrated anything in terms of political strategy, it's that saying the quiet parts loud frees you from a lot of the go-to criticisms of your opponents and lights up your base like nothing else. What's more, our unmentionable, hinted-at policy strategy, unlike "blame the Mexicans," is a morally and economically sound response to many of the problems we face.

It's past time to start talking openly about taxing the rich. If they wag fingers and chant "tax and spend" we respond "Yes, that's what governance is" and go back to outlining workable plans to salvage our country based on levying new taxes against the people who have hoarded all the wealth.
posted by contraption at 11:49 PM on June 6 [87 favorites]


If we just started literally not caring how much debt we took on, might that not lead to the perception that we couldn't possibly intend to really pay out all the interest we eventually would owe?

Even more to the point, if we did so after having flagrantly displayed to the world that the American system will readily empower and give carte blanche to an argle-bargler who openly campaigned on defaulting on the national debt.
posted by XMLicious at 12:10 AM on June 7 [3 favorites]


If Trump has demonstrated anything in terms of political strategy, it's that saying the quiet parts loud frees you from a lot of the go-to criticisms of your opponents and lights up your base like nothing else.

And in the case of the center-to-left, saying the quiet parts loud, standing for some damn thing, and welcoming bold, practical, plainspoken ideas grows the base because it brings many more young voters on board rather than alienating and disillusioning and frustrating the fuck out of them en masse at the time of life when they are most open, energetic, and resilient.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:19 AM on June 7 [15 favorites]


I dunno you guys. I think our ability to take on debt without negative consequences depends on the demand for treasury bonds as low risk investments.

This is a common misperception. As I understand it, America's ability to deficit spend is not really dependent on finding buyers for treasury bonds, and the danger of the debt is not that people are going to start selling US bonds or refusing to buy them. When you print your own money, the only real constraint is inflation. And the evidence of the last few decades is that inflation is much more affected by other factors than by deficit spending, and in fact huge spending increases (like Republican tax cuts) seem to have little to no discernible effects on inflation. Yes, we could be subject to a global financial attack ("loss of confidence") like Argentina, but no economist thinks that is at all likely to happen any time soon. The arguments against the deficit stand or fall on inflation, and it continues to appear that inflation is both stable, and relatively unaffected by this kind of spending (though this is admittedly a very contentious issue among economists).

In any case, if you don't believe this argument, you need to have a theory (like Reinhart and Rogoff) about what the proper debt level is. But regardless of where you come down, pay-go, which assumes the status quo is ideal, is bunkum. Even if you buy into the (mistaken) metaphor of nation as household, it makes no sense to think that if you are thousands of dollars in debt, the best strategy is to make sure you spend exactly as much as you earn. Pay-go both makes no intrinsic sense, and serves to further Republican framing that deficits trump social services.
posted by chortly at 12:37 AM on June 7 [19 favorites]


Has the Democratic party learned nothing from the special elections and primary races around the country that have shown how hungry voters are for a truly progressive platform? Even if this PAYGO talk is gamesmanship designed to make Republicans look like hypocrites or score points with voters, when have either of those gambits actually worked? Republicans have never cared about being hypocrites, and their voters don't care. And Republicans will always be the fiscally responsible daddy party, even though they're the ones who run up big deficits and squander surpluses.

Nth-dimensional chess is rarely called for in politics, but it's especially uncalled for when your opponent has knocked over the chessboard and taken a steaming shit on it. Stick to simple messages that let people know that you're going to do what it takes to help them, not bank-shot arguments that rely on what you think the public thinks the other party has done wrong. Alternatively, show me an opinion poll where the deficit shows up in the top 10 things that people are upset with Republicans about.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:49 AM on June 7 [37 favorites]


I'll be damned. Trump followed Kim Kardashian's advice and commuted Alice Johnson's sentence.

In order to normalize the other pardons.
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:13 AM on June 7 [15 favorites]


Next Trump should follow her advice on contouring and do something about that raccoon thing around the eyes
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:09 AM on June 7 [25 favorites]


Man I think golf is the most boring spectator sport possible and I'd pay several hours salary to watch a mic'd uncut video of that game.

Given that Trump loves sociopathic dictators almost as much as he loves himself then it's quite possibly going to be lots of reciprocal grooming and 'locker-room talk'. 99.75% chance Trump makes a gag about how he envies Kim, because they won't let him lock his opponents up (and/or kill people trying to cross the border).

If it goes really well Kim could even usurp Putin as most powerful world-leader-by-proxy.
posted by Buntix at 3:35 AM on June 7 [3 favorites]


Has the Democratic party learned nothing from the special elections and primary races around the country that have shown how hungry voters are for a truly progressive platform? Even if this PAYGO talk is gamesmanship designed to make Republicans look like hypocrites or score points with voters, when have either of those gambits actually worked? Republicans have never cared about being hypocrites, and their voters don't care. And Republicans will always be the fiscally responsible daddy party, even though they're the ones who run up big deficits and squander surpluses.

I don't think it's aimed at Republicans, but rather at Democratic-leaning, but not actually very liberal white suburbs and, more, at donors. These aren't visible donors, of course: this about dark money and PAC influence. DCCC endorsements tend to follow money that isn't publicly visible.

This isn't as disempowering of the grassroots as it sounds, however: money doesn't steer the base, and the DCCC can lose to the grassroots at the primary ballot box. The Democratic party is still in the process of realignment, and the New Democrat model is still pretty embedded. Indeed, one lesson of 2016 is that primary voting behavior, not general election voting behavior, is one of the most powerful tools the grassroots have for steering the party. Even if you don't win the primary, you still push the nominee, and over a few cycles, the Party changes. We're seeing this again in the New York gubernatorial contest, for example.

In the wake of the shock of Trump, a lot of things are being reappraised, but the fundraising structure of the Democratic Party's major administrative and financial institutions will be some of the last things to change: they're trailing indicators in that respect, and will be reshaped more by how primaries in the Democratic Party play out in the next few election cycles than anything else. None of this means abandoning work done outside the party apparatus, or even abandoning criticism...of Democratic incumbents between elections. It does mean that a general election, counterintuitively, is just about the worst time to punish a candidate in your own party that you don't like.
posted by kewb at 4:15 AM on June 7 [4 favorites]


For Justinian...

G. Elliott Morris (Crosstab)
The Ipsos/Reuters poll (the one that recently had Republicans up by 6 points) now has Democrats winning the generic ballot by 11 points.


Greg Sargent (WaPo)
New NBC poll: Dems lead generic House ballot by 10 points, 50-40.
Key point: Despite economy, voters still want a check on Trump by a large margin.
Another key finding from the NBC poll: In competitive states and congressional districts, more than 50 percent of voters signal support for a candidate who will act as a check on Trump.

---

Two others came out yesterday, Quinnipiac D+7 and YouGov D+6. The RCP generic ballot average is at D+6.3 and that's without the NBC D+10 added in yet.
posted by chris24 at 4:24 AM on June 7 [15 favorites]


And the 538 average is D+6.4 without the new Ipsos/Reuters and NBC polls added in yet.
posted by chris24 at 4:31 AM on June 7 [9 favorites]


Trump: Texans took boats out to watch Hurricane Harvey.
"Sixteen thousand people, many of them in Texas, for whatever reason that is. People went out in their boats to watch the hurricane...That didn't work out too well."
posted by Thorzdad at 4:42 AM on June 7 [17 favorites]


All taxes come from the 1%. Everybody else gets to keep everything they make.

Is there a compelling reason to think that wouldn't be a wildly popular platform? Banks wouldn't back candidates who espoused it, Fox News would be apoplectic, sure. But á Trump (and even, yes Virginia, there is an AfterTrump) why not? Federal fiscal responsibility is an actual lie to hamper Dems, "Better Jobs" is the most uninspiring thing since chewed-up paper, the gloves are off, burned, and didn't help much anyway - let's go.
posted by petebest at 4:42 AM on June 7 [21 favorites]


One more thought regarding debt and stuff... You know what words keep coming into my head these days? "Socially constructed."

Femininity and masculinity are socially constructed. Race is socially constructed. The value of a dollar is socially constructed. The law is a social construct. The government is a social construct.

These are all things that have reality and force and affect people's lives. If you don't believe the value of a dollar is real then try paying rent with Monopoly money. Try stealing a cop car. Social constructs are very real. But they only continue to be real as long as people believe in them. I'm really struggling with that idea right now... realities that (unlike science) do care whether you believe in them or not.

And I guess these days I am thinking of politics as the work of dismantling and rebuilding social constructs. Work that takes place inside other people's heads. No wonder campaigning is so expensive. Maybe we should spend more! Getting ideas, the raw material of social constructs, into people's brains... that's not easy.

And then when a social concept collapses... you get revolution, or runaway inflation, or a run on the bank, or women's lib, or... just sudden dramatic changes that no one thought possible before they happened.

Social constructs are like the gods in Terry Pratchett's Discworld, whose power comes directly from the strength of their followers' belief. They have real and awesome power... until people stop believing in them. And then all the sudden they are powerless.

(Okay, that became about more than the debt.)
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:43 AM on June 7 [47 favorites]


Thorzdad: Trump: Texans took boats out to watch Hurricane Harvey.

$10 on "Mr President was obviously making a joke".
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:06 AM on June 7 [5 favorites]


I can’t find the thread where I saw Sady Doyle’s latest essay linked, but, uh, it’s terrifying and belongs here, too.

It’s an overview of the birth of a terrorist movement based on male entitlement, misogyny, and racism. And no one’s taking it seriously, even though these fucks are now the Nazi vanguard.

And it’s not just the right wing — Chapo Trap House features, too. Women have been calling out their harassment for a while, and no one cares. And given the incel language for rape and sexual slavery — “sexual redistribution” — I just...

These are terrorists. They’re growing. People need to start listening to women.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:14 AM on June 7 [67 favorites]


Foreign leaders who embraced Trump now feel burned (Politico, via Politicalwire)

Foreign leaders are learning that hand-holding, golf games, military parades and other efforts to personally woo President Donald Trump do not guarantee that Trump won’t burn them on key policy issues.

[...] “Trump is very selfish and I think he views flattery as a one-way street where he gets flattered and then there’s no real reciprocal benefit going back the other direction,” said one former White House official. “If you’re a foreign leader you have to realize if you try to butter up Trump it doesn’t really matter, it’s a one way street.”

To be sure, some world leaders are reaping the benefits of flattery. Saudi Arabia rolled out the red carpet for Trump during his spring 2017 visit and has seen unprecedented support from the U.S. The same largely goes for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

What makes the difference, the former official said, is that those regimes take a transactional approach. Many American allies have relied on appeals to reason, data and shared values.

“If you’re not a despot, you can’t really be transactional,” the former official said.


Reason. "Values". He _understands_ North Korea.
posted by petebest at 5:25 AM on June 7 [26 favorites]


All taxes come from the 1%. Everybody else gets to keep everything they make.

1%? Hell no. Top 5% of income household here. No kids. Tax the hell out of us, we have plenty. For starters, stop capping our social security contributions. It's absolute madness that our SS rate goes DOWN as we make more money.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 5:26 AM on June 7 [89 favorites]


And if you wanted more reason they're focusing on culture war besides being racist fascists...

John Harwood (CNBC)
NBC/WSJ poll: in swing House districts, knowing that a candidate supports Trump tax-cut bill makes voters LESS likely to back the candidate by a margin of 12 percentage points
posted by chris24 at 5:32 AM on June 7 [41 favorites]


This thing about the Texas storm sightseers strikes me as confabulation. Trump's brain: "I remember that there were a bunch of people out in the storm. But why?? I don't know! Well, maybe they were out there...taking a look-see? Ok. I guess maybe. Sounds good. Let's roll with that!" Confabulation isn't a person purposefully lying to you, it's the person's brain trying to make sense of something that escapes them at the moment with what facts they have at hand. It is, of course, a trait of dementia and also does not preclude a person otherwise straight-up lying at times.
posted by thebrokedown at 5:39 AM on June 7 [15 favorites]


“If you’re not a despot, you can’t really be transactional,” the former official said.

Right on time, Trump complains about traveling to Canada ahead of Singapore summit with Kim (WaPo):
In particular, the president said Tuesday to several advisers that he fears attending the Group of Seven summit in rural Charlevoix, Quebec, may not be a good use of his time because he is diametrically opposed on many key issues with his counterparts — and does not want to be lectured by them.

Additionally, Trump has griped periodically both about German Chancellor Angela Merkel — largely because they disagree on many issues and have had an uneasy rapport — as well as British Prime Minister Theresa May, whom he sees as too politically correct, advisers say.

Behind the scenes at the White House, there have been staff-level discussions for several days about whether Trump may pull the plug on the trip and send Vice President Pence in his stead, as he did for an April summit of Latin American leaders in Peru.
posted by peeedro at 5:52 AM on June 7 [3 favorites]


Thorzdad: Trump: Texans took boats out to watch Hurricane Harvey.

$10 on "Mr President was obviously making a joke".


"Does President Trump have any proof that people were watching the hurricane from boats for fun?"
"The President has been very clear on this issue. Next question."
posted by Etrigan at 6:10 AM on June 7 [15 favorites]


Too-Ticky: $10 on "Mr President was obviously making a joke".

thebrokedown: Trump's brain: "I remember that there were a bunch of people out in the storm. But why?? I don't know! Well, maybe they were out there...taking a look-see? Ok. I guess maybe. Sounds good. Let's roll with that!"

You're very close, and I believe the perennially spot-on Trump-interpretor Alexandra Erin has it nailed: it's about the phrase "Coast Guard". I can only imagine that this quote is a result of Donald Trump's limited understanding of what the Coast Guard does, that they're the ones who rescue people who do foolish things in boats and get themselves into trouble. (Which is how his tax bracket interacts with them.)

He knows the picture that results from that understanding doesn't make sense (hence the "for whatever reason") but he doesn't have it in him to ask a clarifying question, read further, or correct his understanding. He just rolls with it. Thousands and thousands of people rescued by the Coast Guard? Must have been a lot of boat parties that got out of hand.

posted by InTheYear2017 at 6:13 AM on June 7 [38 favorites]


Daily Beast, Trump Has Floated Golfing With Kim Jong Un if Singapore Summit Goes Well.

Oh goodie, that'll be 18 holes-in-one for the both of them then.
posted by lydhre at 6:20 AM on June 7 [13 favorites]


Has the Democratic party learned nothing from the special elections and primary races around the country that have shown how hungry voters are for a truly progressive platform?

Hillary Clinton got nearly 3,000,000 more votes running on the most progressive Democratic platform in the history of the United States.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:32 AM on June 7 [72 favorites]


InTheYear2017: He knows the picture that results from that understanding doesn't make sense (hence the "for whatever reason") but he doesn't have it in him to ask a clarifying question, read further, or correct his understanding. He just rolls with it.

Sounds legit, which makes it utterly impossible that Sarah HS will ever say it.
posted by Too-Ticky at 6:44 AM on June 7 [3 favorites]


Has the Democratic party learned nothing from the special elections and primary races around the country that have shown how hungry voters are for a truly progressive platform?

Welcome to the jungle: Centrist Democrats charge through California primaries

Centrist Incumbents Edge Out Rivals in Illinois Primaries

Establishment-Backed Moderate Wins Heated Democratic House Primary In Texas

Former Bernie Sanders Staffer Gets Crushed In Iowa House Primary

With Centrist Democrats' Success, Party's Identity Struggle Gets More Complicated

---

And many of the special election winners - Lamb, Jones, etc, - were more centrists than firebrand leftists.
posted by chris24 at 7:27 AM on June 7 [10 favorites]


Counterpoint: In Georgia, Stacey Evans (white, working to appeal to disaffected middle-class white "moderates") was completely destroyed by Stacey Abrams (black, working to get out the vote among Georgia's disenfranchised minority communities).
posted by hydropsyche at 7:33 AM on June 7 [4 favorites]


Yahoo: Sources: Colin Kaepernick's legal team expected to subpoena President Trump in case against NFL
Kaepernick’s legal team is expected to seek federal subpoenas in the coming weeks to compel testimony from Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and other officials familiar with the president’s agenda on protesting NFL players, sources with knowledge of the quarterback’s collusion case against the NFL told Yahoo Sports.

The aim will be a dive into the administration’s political involvement with the NFL during Kaepernick’s free agency and the league’s handling of player protests, sources said. This after recent disclosures that multiple owners had direct talks with Trump about players kneeling during the national anthem. The content of those conversations between Trump and owners – as well as any forms of pressure directed at the league by the administration – are expected to shape the requests to force the testimony of Trump, Pence and other affiliated officials, sources said.
Trump's been talking trash about professional football for decades, but this time it's a straight-up First Amendment case.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:37 AM on June 7 [70 favorites]


Millennials and retirement: How bad is it?

Politico just tweeted this with the text "Analysis: Millennials should be willing and able to work longer than their parents and grandparents did", and boy did it get peoples backs up.

Like the "you should have half your income in a bank by age 35" of a few weeks back it's not exactly a deliberate attack, it's just cruel because it's a demand for the impossible. That shit is just not sustainable - at some point you run out of hours millennials can put into gig economy jobs without making headway and get you a grim meathook future were everyone dies in poverty.

Or, you know, we have a socialist revolution.
posted by Artw at 7:38 AM on June 7 [74 favorites]


Democratic Party leadership likes...

The stories in the comment you were replying to are about primary results, which are decided by rank and file voters, not "party leadership." This seems like a non-sequitur.

Anyway, there's a lot of diversity in the views of elected Democrats as well as in the views of voters. But it's not all along one axis (economic left vs. economic right) -- it's also in views on race and gender and sexuality, and in how much enforcement power the government should have, and so on. I actually think there is a lot of consensus on ideas like overturning Citizens United if possible, regulating Wall Street, subsidizing health care, and raising the minimum wage. Even "centrist" Democrats mostly want to do those things. The divide, to the extent there is one, is over priorities. Maybe for some people immigration and criminal justice and reproductive rights are more pressing issues... and over tactics... do we try to get what we want be compromising ("caving") or demanding ("bullying")?
posted by OnceUponATime at 7:41 AM on June 7 [4 favorites]


I'm almost beginning to think the American public can't be collectively characterized as anything in particular when it comes to responsiveness to political messaging. Or even that the Democratic Party isn't a hive mind with grand unifying traits besides being left of center. But that's probably silly of me.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:42 AM on June 7 [6 favorites]


When you only have one functioning party it kind of has to be a big fricking tent.
posted by OnceUponATime at 7:42 AM on June 7 [14 favorites]


This whole 'is it a Progressive wave' or 'is it a Centrist hold' in the upcoming midterms isn't a right-wrong, yes-or-no question, and the reason the Centrists are probably going to win out is that we liberals like to rely on the data, on what the journos are saying, rather than on building our own narrative, damn the rest.

Take the Tea Party/radical rightists from 2008 on. They won some House races, a few Senate races, but the majority of the GOP was, of course, what it had always been. But the media played along with those folks, hyping up the power of the 'grass-roots' [astroturfed] Tea Party, creating that narrative for them.

Of course the entire Democratic Party isn't going to get swept out in a Progressive wave in one election. But the way to build that wave for the future (if that's what we in this thread, who as I understand it, control politics left of the GOP, want) is to just write the narrative ourselves. There's no outlet in the US that won't write "Progressives Set to Sweep Midterms" and put out "Progressive Failure in X Primary Should Make Leftists Worried about 2018" the very next day."

(Edited for a missing word)

Build the story and they will come, more or less.
posted by TheProfessor at 7:44 AM on June 7 [16 favorites]


This jungle primary that is a ringing endorsement of centrism, this is the one where everyone was shouting "consolidate your votes on the DCCC pick or the republicans will lock dems out" for about a month, yeah? Well played.
posted by Artw at 7:45 AM on June 7 [10 favorites]


Former US attorney says Manafort will likely go to prison Friday

Jail, actually but I'll take it.


MDC Brooklyn perhaps?


Justinian: One addendum to my comment about Manafort. My understanding is that to show Manafort violated his terms of release doesn't require much beyond probable cause so if Mueller's team isn't planning to bring witness tampering charges and only wants to put pressure on him by getting him thrown in the pokey before trial they may not need more than a bunch of suggestive evidence.

Indeed, my eye was drawn to that in like p.16 of the filing. Probable Cause of OBSTRUCTION charges are enough to land you in detention until trial.

While everyone is arguing about whether Trump can pardon himself, Mueller is throwing Manafort into "jail" because of probable cause of the thing he's investigating Trump for.

If there's any competent legal staff on Trump's payroll, I expect they're shitting themselves. While Trump and Giuliani continue their case for an insanity plea.
posted by mikelieman at 7:45 AM on June 7 [9 favorites]




Millennials and retirement: How bad is it?

"Water and dryness: How bad is it?"
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:47 AM on June 7 [5 favorites]


Like the "you should have half your income in a bank by age 35"

Not half, twice.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 7:49 AM on June 7 [12 favorites]


It's past time to start talking openly about taxing the rich.

I suggest:
000% Inheritance Tax up to 1 Million dollars of assets.
010% up to 2M
025% up to 3M
050% up to 5M
075% up to 7M
090% up to 10M

And 100% Inheritance Tax for everything over 10 Million Dollars
posted by mikelieman at 7:51 AM on June 7 [33 favorites]


Additionally, Trump has griped periodically both about German Chancellor Angela Merkel — largely because they disagree on many issues and have had an uneasy rapport — as well as British Prime Minister Theresa May, whom he sees as too politically correct, advisers say.

oh, I think Trump's problems with them are lot less complicated than 'issues' and being 'politically correct.' anyone want to guess what else it might be? hmmm, what else do Merkel and May have in common?

to quote Browning way out of context: Gr-r-r-r, you swine!

(I find myself thinking that a lot these last 18 months.)
posted by martin q blank at 7:55 AM on June 7 [15 favorites]


This jungle primary that is a ringing endorsement of centrism, this is the one where everyone was shouting "consolidate your votes on the DCCC pick or the republicans will lock dems out" for about a month, yeah?

It wasn’t just California. And I can think of a few reasons actual Democrats (the kind who vote in primaries) maybe wouldn’t trust new firebrands who attack from the left without a history in the party. That well’s been somewhat poisoned.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:55 AM on June 7 [16 favorites]


Probably Schumer's worst characteristic is that he is consistently using President Trump and Republican control of Congress as a handy opportunity to allow through a bunch of things rank-and-file Democrats hate.

FTA:
And he goes on TV sometimes. Most recently, he's been trying to get media attention by loudly blaming the recent moderate spike in gas prices on Trump leaving the Iran deal and rolling back EPA efficiency standards. (While that might be somewhat true, the increase is not that large, and has already fallen considerably from late May.)
I don't know if it's still a thing, but there used to be a saying amongst Hill staffers that the most dangerous place to be in DC is between Chuck Schumer and a TV camera.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:58 AM on June 7 [5 favorites]


Probably Schumer's worst characteristic is that he is consistently using President Trump and Republican control of Congress as a handy opportunity to allow through a bunch of things rank-and-file Democrats hate. (The Week)

Republicans. Control. The. Senate.

Schumer isn't 'using' Trump to 'allow' anything: he's limited by what the minority leader can actually do. I mean, this:
Domestically, Schumer stood aside while quisling centrist Democrats helped pass bank deregulation — increasing the odds of another financial crisis, and eviscerating another milestone Obama accomplishment. Though Schumer voted against it himself, Harry Reid had kept similar legislation bottled up for years, and Schumer is legendary for his deference to Wall Street. It was obvious he let it through on purpose.
Reid was able to block similar legislation because Democrats had control of the Senate. When McConnell blocked all kinds of immigration bills from coming before the Senate? Reid used similar procedural tricks, tricks that Schumer literally cannot use. To blame him for 'allowing through' something that he could not block is a false comparison: these are unalike things.

There are some valid criticisms you could level at Schumer. Should he try harder to pull together a complete party-line opposition to every Trump action? Should he use different rhetoric? Should he cede a bit of media attention and shine more light on the rest of the Senate? Maybe!

But this piece drastically overstates what Schumer can do, and in so doing makes him out -- falsely -- as 'allowing' Trump to do things that Schumer never could have blocked.

McConnell, though, is absolutely allowing Trump to do things that McConnell could easily block, if he so chose.
posted by cjelli at 8:04 AM on June 7 [62 favorites]


D’Alessandro told TPM on Monday that he wouldn’t have been competitive at all against Axne, who had most of the establishment support,

Sanders appeared in a tv ad for D’Alessandro, did robocalls and appeared with him on the campaign trail. As the TPM article notes, Sanders may have been responsible for up to half of the nearly $300K D'Alessandro raised. But while Sanders was clearly influential in terms of helping the candidate raise funds, in the end it wasn't anything close to near enough. The voters chose Axne.

It's funny that D'Alessandro would talk about his lack of party support now. Because his best chance at securing the nomination would have been a runoff. Why? Because he has a lot of friends and political clout in the state party, and probably could have secured the nomination over Axne in a state convention. He might even have been counting on that.

There were supposed to be four Democrats on the ballot, not three. And four candidates would have meant a higher chance that none of them would have gotten the 35% majority required to secure the nomination. If that had happened, the will of the primary voters would have been bypassed in favor of a party-chosen candidate at a convention.

The wrench in the plan: the fourth candidate, Theresa Greenfield, was disqualified from the ballot a few months ago thanks to forged signature shenanigans. So then there were three, and D'Alessandro had to make the best case he could to Iowa's voters.

Cindy Axne was better at it. She certainly was better at offering short personal stories that resonated with voters. (Read her answers to questions 2, 9 and 14 here and compare them to D'Alessandro's. Also look closely at her answer to Question 4, which was a hell of a lot better than his considering his target audience. NAFTA has been good to Iowa farmers. They support it.) Axne also secured the endorsement of Emily's List (yay for an openly pro-choice candidate.)

The truth is, there wasn't that much difference between them on a lot of issues.

It wasn't party endorsements that ended D'Alessandro's candidacy. It was the voting public. And their rejection of him wasn't necessarily a rejection of progressivism, universal health care, a $15 minimum wage or free college tuition, but rather of a candidate who didn't prove on at least a couple of key issues that he understands what matters to his future constituents.
posted by zarq at 8:06 AM on June 7 [22 favorites]


With the Senate: my understanding is that many, many things are done by unanimous consent. Even though the Democrats do not control the Senate, couldn’t they withhold consent as a bargaining tool? Or at least couldn’t one Senator do that?
posted by kerf at 8:13 AM on June 7 [4 favorites]


Another largely unsung Democratic hero to celebrate: The Quiet Rage Of Mazie Hirono (NPR, June 7, 2018)
Mazie Hirono (Senator's website) used to be known as the "good girl" of Hawaii politics.

She was seen as polite, never in-your-face, not a boat-rocker. But now, that view has changed.

As one Hawaii columnist put it, she is a "badass."

"I always was," Hirono said in an interview with NPR. "I just wasn't very noisy about it. I've been a fighter all my life. I just don't look like that."

The Senate's only immigrant takes that fight to President Trump, whom she openly calls "xenophobic" and a "liar." "To call the president a liar, that is not good, but it happens to be the truth," the soft-spoken Hawaii senator told Time recently.

The Democrat also takes that fight to Senate Judiciary Committee, as it weekly considers a tranche of Trump judicial nominees, abandoning longstanding rules that guaranteed significant time to examine each nominee's record. There are lots of big-gun Democrats on the committee, senators who get a lot more attention than Hirono. But she is perhaps the most dogged, albeit polite, questioner.

That doggedness will be even more important this summer because Republican leader Mitch McConnell has just canceled most of the August recess, mainly to push through more Trump judicial nominees before the midterm elections. McConnell's aggressiveness about judges is galling to Hirono.

"The word hypocrisy comes to mind," she said, adding that McConnell just wants to get "more right wing, ideological judges" on to the courts. The Republican-controlled Senate has already confirmed 21 Trump appeals-court appointees, compared to nine Obama appointees when the Democrats controlled the Senate at a comparable time.
...
Her reply was that what she wants are judges who are fair, qualified, and "care about individual and civil rights."

And then, without missing a beat, she added, "If that's considered liberal, as opposed to what I call justice and fairness, as I am wont to say, f*** them!"
We need more like Senator Hirono.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:15 AM on June 7 [104 favorites]


It wasn’t just California. And I can think of a few reasons actual Democrats (the kind who vote in primaries) maybe wouldn’t trust new firebrands who attack from the left without a history in the party. That well’s been somewhat poisoned.

Sorta kinda on that note: a lot of people on my local Indivisible FB group went for Feinstein over Kevin De Leòn not because "we want the centrist" but "we want to keep an experienced Senator, who already handled a big honkin' crisis (the Moscone/Milk assassinations in San Francisco) in office right now, instead of sending a freshman, because of the Trump administration." With Feinstein at least, there was a hard-core incumbency advantage.

And I think that not wanting to risk the blue wave (so we'll hold our noses) is understandable, as well as not wanting to make gambles on newcomers in a time of crisis. You might get a Kamala Harris - or not. With Trump (not to mention McConnell!) in office, risking the "or not" looks dicier to many.

On that note, building up a progressive bench locally is a good idea for all kinds of reasons. Not just "little laboratories of democracy," but because these local folks are the ones who go on to national elections. The progressive wave is new. It's not surprising that those who are ready for Congressional offices are more centrist, because that's who we've had for a long time.

I really, really want a progressive wave and a DSA which is viable nationally and Medicare for all and a new WPA and all that fun democratic socialist stuff. But it's not going to happen all of a sudden. Acting all fatalistic and like it's over is going to do more harm than good. We can leave that to the mainstream media, not to mention good old Steve Inskeep!

Finally, it's possible to have progressives in moderate's clothing. Ralph Northam, Terry McAuliffe, oh hell Kirsten Gillibrand used to be a centrist! Dianne Feinstein is moving leftward! (De León's challenge probably did help, so a leftie challenge isn't in vain!) We absolutely can move the Overton window leftward with who we have. Politicians respond to their consituents! (Ideally. Some are pigheaded. Vote them out.)
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:18 AM on June 7 [42 favorites]


i <3 that you did not include Nice Polite Republican personality steve inskeep among the msm because fuck that guy
posted by entropicamericana at 8:22 AM on June 7 [4 favorites]


I mean the mere existence of primary challenges from the left here in New York is pushing incumbents away from centrism.
posted by The Whelk at 8:27 AM on June 7 [27 favorites]


zachlipton: The discharge petition to advance an immigration bill in the House is now at 215/218 signatures.

Republicans Look Ready To Force A Vote On Democrats’ DACA Proposal. Ryan will try a last-ditch effort to avoid a discharge petition tomorrow, and failing that, it's likely to get enough signatures from moderate Republicans to put it over the top.


Immigration Debate Shines Spotlight On Divided GOP (NPR, June 7, 2018)
The party is divided over two very different approaches on immigration. Conservatives have been agitating for months for a vote on hard-line immigration legislation authored by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va. GOP leaders never brought the bill up for a vote because they say it doesn't have the support to pass the House.

At the same time, frustrated moderate Republicans — many of whom represent the battleground districts that will determine control of the House this November — began working with Democrats last month on a discharge petition to force a vote on the floor.

A discharge petition is a legislative act of rebellion that can overrule party leaders by forcing House votes on a bill if 218 lawmakers sign the petition. The measure is rarely successful because it requires at least some members of the majority party to rebel against their own leaders.

GOP leaders strongly oppose the discharge petition, but signatures keep getting added to it. As of Thursday morning, supporters were just three votes shy of the 218 they need. If today's meeting failed to produce any agreement or progress in ongoing talks, it is likely the petition reaches the 218 threshold this week.

Last month, conservatives voted down a farm bill they support on the floor as a leverage play on immigration to counter the moderates' discharge petition strategy. The farm bill now can't pass until the immigration debate is resolved.
Stellar coordination and deal-making here. Speaking of deal makers: How Artful Is Trump's Dealmaking? (NPR, June 7, 2018)
Several experts in negotiation, however, question whether Trump has what it takes to pull off a historic nuclear deal when he meets next week with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"Although his Art of the Deal sold a lot of copies, I don't think he's a very impressive negotiator," said Robert Mnookin, who directs the Harvard Negotiation Research Project.

Mnookin, who wrote his own book on negotiation called Bargaining with the Devil, says Trump often goes from tough and adversarial one minute to ingratiating the next.

He used to call Kim Jong Un "Little Rocket Man." Now he praises the dictator as "very honorable." The president calls that flexibility. Mnookin says it makes Trump hard to trust.
Ya don't say. But in attempt to figure out what might happen, NPR let Sen. James Risch Spin On The Prospects For The U.S.-North Korea Summit, playing hype man for Trump in both his tanking of the Iran sanctions and his potential for Trump to do something different than prior U.S. presidents. NPR's Rachel Martin pushes back against some of Risch's hype and divisiveness ("as you know, there's a tremendous hate and vitriol against President Trump from the other side in this town ... they criticize everything he does"), even points out that Trump has the same options with "levers for change" as past administrations. And for a good cackle, you can hear Risch say "there's a person in the White House who says what he means" -- and then he says something else.

Also, Risch says there'll be second-tier sanctions against the EU nations, "our friends and allies" who "parade in here every day," because they have to choose between doing business with Iran ("1% of their economy in Europe") and doing business with the US, as if the US is the only one with bargaining power here.

A final NPR link: One Month Later, What's Become Of Melania Trump's 'Be Best' Campaign?
During a launch for the initiative last month in the White House Rose Garden, Trump said she would promote the well-being of children and work to raise awareness about online bullying and the impact of opioids on young people.

"I will also work to shine a spotlight on the people, organizations and programs across the country that are helping children overcome the many issues they are facing as they grow up," Trump said.

But beyond shining a spotlight, it's unclear what the initiative will involve.
...
By way of comparison, in the first month of Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign, she had already visited a handful of schools and youth organizations to promote physical fitness.
Maybe she could visit the detained immigrant children and connect with them?
posted by filthy light thief at 8:33 AM on June 7 [21 favorites]


By way of comparison, in the first month of Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign, she had already visited a handful of schools and youth organizations to promote physical fitness.

You skipped quoting what was probably the most important part of the story.
That may be due in part to the first lady's health; one week after the ceremony, on May 14, the White House said she had undergone a procedure to treat what was described as a benign kidney condition. She was hospitalized for nearly a week and didn't re-emerge in public until this week.

On Wednesday, she joined President Trump at a briefing on the hurricane season, where he said she was doing well.

"She went through a little rough patch, but she's doing great, and we're very proud of her," he said.
I think it's okay to give the woman a little slack about how much she's managed to accomplish after having kidney surgery.
posted by zarq at 8:40 AM on June 7 [6 favorites]


I mean, I seriously expect Melania Trump to accomplish absolutely nothing of consequence the entire time her husband is in office except to show the world what a shitty marriage she has. But the article literally spent three graphs right between the sections you quoted talking about how, one week after the initiative was announced, she was hospitalized and had surgery.
posted by zarq at 8:50 AM on June 7 [4 favorites]




Meanwhile, in Maine....

Our primary is Tuesday. Previously, candidate Max Linn was disqualified from the US Senate race (running for Sen. King's seat) due to quite a lot of dead people signing his petition to get on the ballot. He still appears on the ballot but votes for him won't count.

But that won't stop him. Oh no. He doesn't think the decision of the Maine Secretary of State, and of the Maine Supreme Court is fair. So, he's going to Federal Court. And, he's still campaigning. His Trump-centric lawn signs are popping up everywhere, and he's apparently sending out this charming mailpiece, encouraging Trumpists to vote for him in the primary. (Also, his supporters are putting signs out in New Hampshire, for reasons nobody can explain.)

In summary: Trumpist old white guy thinks rules don't apply to him.

FYI, the Dems are running this unknown guy against King (so basically fielding no candidate). King's main competition from the R's will be Eric Brakey, a two-term Maine Senator from SD 20. Brakey is more of a Libertarian than a true R. Anti-abortion Dem Ben Pollard has also said he's running against King as an independent, but its not clear if he was able to get the signatures needed by June 1st.
posted by anastasiav at 8:53 AM on June 7 [5 favorites]


I want to emphasize the point that zarq makes above. Look at the difference between Axne and D'Alessandro in their candidate questionnaires on this question in particular:
14: What is your personal relationship with firearms?

Axne: Growing up I remember my grandfather, who owned firearms and was a hunter, teaching me to respect the power of guns. As a former administrator at the Department of Natural Resources, I know that Iowans have a long tradition of using guns for hunting, protection, and sport and that most Iowans play by the rules and want strong background checks that keep guns away from unsafe individuals. I will fight for universal background checks and funding to allow the CDC to research gun related violence.

D'Alessandro: I have not developed a personal relationship with a gun or any other inanimate object.
It's pretty stark. To me, Axne's response is subprime sauce given that children are being routinely murdered in schools, but y'know, that aside, it's undoubtedly genuine-sounding. It's empathetic. It tells you something about her personally, reminds you of relevant experience, and shows that she understands and respects her constituency.

The other response is flip, one-line nonsense.
posted by joyceanmachine at 8:54 AM on June 7 [31 favorites]


He's full of conspiracies and grievance this morning. Return of the "Pakistani Mystery Man," inching closer to tweeting about Seth Rich. The demand typical of narcissist authoritarians that they not only be allowed to be abuse power, but be thanked for it. Since these tweets are spaced out over a period of a few hours it's likely that he's not just responding to something on Fox and that something else is bothering him.

Our Justice Department must not let Awan & Debbie Wasserman Schultz off the hook. The Democrat I.T. scandal is a key to much of the corruption we see today. They want to make a “plea deal” to hide what is on their Server. Where is Server? Really bad!

When will people start saying, “thank you, Mr. President, for firing James Comey?”


The Obama Administration is now accused of trying to give Iran secret access to the financial system of the United States. This is totally illegal. Perhaps we could get the 13 Angry Democrats to divert some of their energy to this “matter” (as Comey would call it). Investigate!

posted by Rust Moranis at 8:58 AM on June 7 [3 favorites]


When will people start saying, “thank you, Mr. President, for firing James Comey?”

I'm pretty close! I'm at “fuck you, Mr. President, for firing James Comey.” And so many other things.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:03 AM on June 7 [13 favorites]


D'Alessandro: I have not developed a personal relationship with a gun or any other inanimate object.

Christ, what a contemptuous asshole. Perhaps honing your political skills among the dirtbag left on Twitter is not the best preparation for a political candidate.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:03 AM on June 7 [29 favorites]


I don't think it's flip, I think it's deliberate like all wordlabbedtohell conservative rhetoric. They are all about defining personhood. Corporations and fetuses are people. Guns are not people. Immigrants are not people. Knee-takers are not people. It is possible to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, a fetus, a corporation, and maybe your dad. But not one of the Trumpdefined "animals" and certainly not with an inanimate object. And the singlemost inanimate of all objects, the one with which you least can have a personal relationship, is a gun. The gun is the most unperson inanimate object in the known universe because, famously, guns cannot kill people. This definition of "person," a person is an entity that can kill another person, tests out pretty well: you can definitely get killed by a fetus and you can definitely get killed by a corporation, so those things are both people. Can a gun kill a person? A laughable notion!
posted by Don Pepino at 9:21 AM on June 7 [3 favorites]


The Obama Administration is now accused of trying to give Iran secret access to the financial system of the United States.

In Trump's defense this is [real].
posted by Jpfed at 9:22 AM on June 7 [1 favorite]


BTW, yes, we do need more like Mazie Hirono in Congress, and Filthy Light Thief's comment and Hirono's "quiet rage" made me think: A politician can be a good progressive voice without being a "firebrand." I think the media, in particular, conflates "centrist" with "quiet" or "stodgy" or even "safe pair of hands." And that's not true. Honestly, I wish Americans didn't value charisma so much in their politicians.

FiveThirtyEight provides a chart to show how often Congresspeople vote with Trump. You can find both Senators and Representatives. If you arrange the "Trump score" in ascending order (from least to most) the usual Senators show up - Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand - but also Ed Markey (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) as having low Trump scores (a rough indicator for "progressive"). I don't think I'd know much about these people without Wikipedia and the Internet (and Chrysostom!). They're not attention-grabbers.

My own House Representative, Mark DeSaulnier, is only slightly to the right of Barbara Lee and is in the House Progressive Caucus. A flamboyant, firebrand personality he is not! But he gets the job done! He's a good safe pair of progressive hands and I happily voted for him. (And he haaaaates Scott Pruitt. All Bay Areans are environmentalists at heart - even Republicans! - because we love our beautiful area. Mess with Mt. Diablo and you've got a fight on your hands.)

So I have to wonder how much of this "Centrists Won!" is "Boring People Won!" (Once again, remember Ralph Northam? I can't remember who pointed out that he was really to the left of Tom Perriello on some issues, but his more stodgy personality made people forget that.) Give me all the boring progressives any day over hot-air-blowing "Firebrands" who can't get stuff done.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 9:22 AM on June 7 [32 favorites]


Billions in U.S. solar projects shelved after Trump panel tariff

Not only do you not get the investment of solar projects elsewhere but you also don't get to decide where the investment for solar panel production occurs.

See now if Trump were a smart man he'd offer money to subsidize hi-tech manufacturing in the Appalachians, get some great high paying jobs in there, shore up his base, and lock up PA and OH for 2020 while putting VA back in play. You can do all sorts of things like give payroll tax rebates to employ the long unemployed to make it easier to develop ancillary small business manufacturing industries around these corridors, give out grants to retrain workers with a retraining to job pipeline, and shared equity schemes for developmental capital where the government makes a profit on industry that grows.

But instead he wants to throw a few thousand miners back into the dark.

Trump is not a smart man. I don't say thankfully because I would be fucking overjoyed if Trump did anything like this.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 9:23 AM on June 7 [17 favorites]


A more detailed breakdown of the NBC poll.

- By 48-23, voters are more likely to support a congressional candidate who promises to be a check on Trump. This rises to 52-19 in competitive House districts.

- By 53-31, voters are more likely to support a congressional candidate who has opposed Trump most of the time. This rises to 55-28 in competitive House districts.

- The competitive districts are overwhelmingly held by Republicans, 54 of 59 seats. So even places where Republicans control the seat, big majorities want to check Trump and oppose his policies.

- Democrats enjoy a large enthusiasm gap: 63 percent of them are extremely interested in the midterms, while among Republicans, that number is only 47 percent.
posted by chris24 at 9:26 AM on June 7 [20 favorites]


anastasiav: Jim Bridenstine, current NASA administrator and former former three-term Republican congressman from Oklahoma, now says he believes that climate change is actually a real thing and that humans are responsible for it.

Imma let you finish, but the White House has sought to reduce funding for satellites to observe environmental changes on Earth and eliminate NASA's office of education
... a new survey of 2,541 Americans by Pew Research Center, which aims to represent the views of US adults, finds that these views appear to be out of step with public priorities.

The survey asked respondents about their top priorities for NASA, and the highest support came for "monitor key parts of the Earth's climate system" (63 percent) and "monitor asteroids/objects that could hit the Earth" (62 percent). Sending astronauts to Mars (18 percent), and the Moon (13 percent), lagged far behind as top priorities for respondents.

"We found that to be pretty surprising," said Cary Funk, who led the study. This is partly because a focus on crewed missions has been such a highly visible facet of NASA past exploration program, and because the agency has made a big deal out of sending humans to Mars and, more recently, a human return to the Moon. "The tricky part is that we don’t have this kind of data in the past," she said. "We haven’t asked the public a whole lot about other missions that the agency is engaged in."
(Eric Berger for Ars Technica, June 6, 2018 -- "NASA’s priorities appear to be out of whack with what the public wants")

Speaking of what's good for the public vs what Trump wants: Confirmed: ZTE to reopen after $1 billion fine, new leadership -- Deal follows terms outlined by Donald Trump in a May tweet. (Timothy B. Lee for Ars Technica, June 7, 2018)
For the last month, Chinese smartphone giant ZTE has been largely shut down after the Trump administration banned US firms from selling it technology. But now ZTE has made a deal with the Trump administration allowing it to re-open. Reuters first reported the deal yesterday, and it was confirmed by US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross today.
Reviving ZTE has been a personal focus for President Trump, whose government is in the middle of broader trade negotiations with the Chinese government. Last month, Trump tweeted that he was looking for a way for ZTE to "get back into business, fast" because there were "too many jobs in China lost" from ZTE's shutdown.
According to Ross, the deal includes a $1 billion fine as well as $400 million held in escrow to deter ZTE from further misconduct. ZTE will have 30 days to change its board of directors and executive team.
"We are literally embedding a compliance department of our choosing into the company to monitor it going forward," Ross told CNBC.
The terms of the new deal are similar to the those Trump outlined in a May 25 tweet, saying that ZTE might reopen "with high level security guarantees, change of management and board, [and it] must purchase U.S. parts and pay a $1.3 Billion fine."
Filed under "Too many jobs in China lost" - or under "Thanks for the trademarks" (NYT) after Ivanka won 7 new trademarks in China, or "Sanction-swapping" (CNN, auto-playing video) with the idea that China may loosen agricultural tariffs in Midwest "Trump Country" ahead of midterms. (Too bad they'll still face EU, Canadian and Mexican tariffs.)

Also, this is the worst of despotic hypocrisy - Trump and backers rant about countries doing business with Iran, when one of ZTE's infractions was ... doing business in Iran (Angry Bear blog, which reminds me that another issue with Trump's deal -- that about-face also came a mere 72 hours after the Chinese government agreed to put a half-billion dollars into an Indonesian project that will personally enrich Donald Trump (HuffPo).

There is only one Trump scandal.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:27 AM on June 7 [40 favorites]




Don Pepino: ... I think it's deliberate like all wordlabbedtohell conservative rhetoric....

Huh? I don't have strong feelings about that quote one way or the other, but it's obvious to me that D'Alessandro (a Democrat, right?) is decidedly pro-gun-control and is glibly dismissing gun culture entirely. (Which is why I thought to myself "Maybe that's lousy politics but I kind of want to pump my fist in the air because yeah, the hell with all guns everywhere.")
posted by InTheYear2017 at 9:36 AM on June 7 [7 favorites]


Trump: Many Texans watched Harvey from their boats, requiring Coast Guard rescue
“I didn't see anyone taking the approach that would reflect his comments,” Gonzalez said. "I'll be sure to invite the president to ride out the next hurricane in a jon boat in Galveston Bay the next time one approaches," he added.

No one could explain the president’s comment.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:38 AM on June 7 [20 favorites]


But were any of these Hurricane Boat Parties celebrating the 9/11 attacks?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:40 AM on June 7 [12 favorites]




Alan He (CBS)
Senator Cornyn to @seungminkim on the mounting Pruitt scandals: “I don’t think it looks good but I like what the administrator has been doing from a policy perspective. These all seem like distractions from that and it’s really up to the President not me.”

---

Eh, who cares about corruption and abuse of power as long as you're destroying the planet.
posted by chris24 at 9:50 AM on June 7 [37 favorites]


Politico: Trump and Bolton spurn top-level North Korea planning
National Security Adviser John Bolton has yet to convene a Cabinet-level meeting to discuss President Donald Trump’s upcoming summit with North Korea next week, a striking break from past practice that suggests the Trump White House is largely improvising its approach to the unprecedented nuclear talks.

For decades, top presidential advisers have used a methodical process to hash out national security issues before offering the president a menu of options for key decisions. On an issue like North Korea, that would mean White House Situation Room gatherings of the secretaries of state and defense along with top intelligence officials, the United Nations ambassador, and even the treasury secretary, who oversees economic sanctions.

But since Trump agreed on a whim to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un on March 8, the White House’s summit planning has been unstructured, according to a half-dozen administration officials. Trump himself has driven the preparation almost exclusively on his own, consulting little with his national security team outside of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
'Suggests' no more: Via Twitter, just now - Trump on the North Korea summit: "I don’t think I have to prepare very much. It’s about attitude."

(It's not just about attitude.)
posted by cjelli at 9:50 AM on June 7 [22 favorites]


And the dangers of pool reporting, I guess: here's a fuller quote from Trump where he claims to be both very prepared already and also to not need preparation at all:
"I think I'm very well prepared. I don't think I have to prepare very much. It's about attitude. It's about willingness to get things done."
posted by cjelli at 9:53 AM on June 7 [6 favorites]


“I didn't see anyone taking the approach that would reflect his comments,” Gonzalez said. "I'll be sure to invite the president to ride out the next hurricane in a jon boat in Galveston Bay the next time one approaches," he added.

Given his fear of being on a boat on open water, I suppose he would have to be hog-tied and the other end of the line belayed on a bollard.

And I doubt the Secret Service would let that happen.
posted by Stoneshop at 9:53 AM on June 7 [2 favorites]


Lockdown, lockdown, lock the door
Shut the lights off, say no more
Go behind the desk and hide
Wait until it's safe inside
Lockdown, lockdown, it's all done
Now it's time to have some fun!


Five, six, grab your crucifix...
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:58 AM on June 7 [10 favorites]


I don't think it's flip, I think it's deliberate like all wordlabbedtohell conservative rhetoric. They are all about defining personhood. Corporations and fetuses are people. Guns are not people. Immigrants are not people. Knee-takers are not people. It is possible to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, a fetus, a corporation, and maybe your dad. But not one of the Trumpdefined "animals" and certainly not with an inanimate object. And the singlemost inanimate of all objects, the one with which you least can have a personal relationship, is a gun.

If someone is running for office in Iowa, then they're going to be speaking to both gun owners and gun control advocates. This is an issue that does in fact mean something to voters.

Playing word games makes it seem like a candidate is not taking the issue seriously. Doing so during their chance to communicate their position on the issue with voters all over the state, who may not pay attention to anything else said during the entire campaign is very, very stupid.

If a male candidate is asked, "Where do you stand on aborting children?" and they reply, "Well, I'm certainly not getting one myself any time soon!" that would send a similar message. The question makes an assumption. It's possible to respond to the idea by explaining that one thinks a fetus is not a person or a child and also state that they're pro-choice without sounding like they think the issue is a joke or that the interviewer is an idiot for asking.
posted by zarq at 9:59 AM on June 7 [20 favorites]


@ZoeTillman: NEW: DOJ says the government plans to release John Doe, the American suspected of ties to ISIS who has for months been challenging his detention by the US military in Iraq. Plan is to release him in Syria, per filing

Here's that analysis I was waiting for: The Latest—and Perhaps Last—Twist in Doe v. Mattis
Whatever happens in Doe’s case going forward, the idea that the government could hold an American citizen in military detention for over nine months without even a preliminary judicial ruling as to the legality of that detention is one that we should all find discomfiting.

Fourth, and related, it is striking to both of us that the government appears increasingly inclined to avoid those merits—and to prevent the federal courts from weighing in on the merits of Doe’s detention (and the much bigger, and more important, question of whether the 2001 AUMF encompasses the Islamic State, which no court has yet resolved). Whether that’s a reflection of the government’s assessment of its chances of prevailing or not, it is certainly curious. We also continue to find it striking that there is no further talk of a federal prosecution option notwithstanding the strong basis for a material support prosecution that appears on the face of the government’s earlier filings in this case.
posted by zachlipton at 10:00 AM on June 7 [7 favorites]


5-year-old kids are learning to survive school shootings with a nursery rhyme to the tune of 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star'

It may be simply my own emotional reaction that is clouding my judgment but I don't think it's entirely healthy to connect a lullaby whose melody is so ubiquitous (shared with the ABC song) to something potentially traumatic. It is true that songs can be effective mnemonic devices. My hope is that someday, we won't need our children to commit lockdown procedures to memory.
posted by Jpfed at 10:05 AM on June 7 [18 favorites]


Maybe someone else with more knowledge can chime in, but I helped out a stranded boat on Lake Superior a couple years ago and when radioing the Coast Guard was told they only do rescues if lives are in serious danger. They re-route calls to local salvage/rescue companies. Now a hurricane might be considered life-threatening but if there were boats and they were just being stupid I don't think the Coast Guard would respond. At the time we were told that it was a newish policy for the CG.

Also, the number of boaters who are completely unprepared for their one and only motor to stop working is frightening. I rescued a 30 foot fishing boat 10 miles off shore from my freakin' kayak.
posted by misterpatrick at 10:05 AM on June 7 [6 favorites]


Both those answers on guns are garbage TBH. At least the one that isn’t folksy nonsense is shorter.
posted by Artw at 10:09 AM on June 7 [8 favorites]


Paul Ryan: ‘Let’s Make This Clear —There Is No Collusion’

“In all of this, in any of this, there’s been no evidence that there’s any collusion between the Trump campaign and the President and Russia,” he said. “Let’s just make that clear — there is no collusion."

posted by duoshao at 10:12 AM on June 7 [8 favorites]


I hope he gets a cell next to Nunes, at this point he’s just as complicit in obstruction.
posted by Artw at 10:13 AM on June 7 [32 favorites]


It may be simply my own emotional reaction that is clouding my judgment but I don't think it's entirely healthy to connect a lullaby whose melody is so ubiquitous (shared with the ABC song) to something potentially traumatic.

Mark my words: within four years, kids are going to use this song to time washing their hands.
posted by Etrigan at 10:15 AM on June 7 [1 favorite]


Paul Ryan: ‘Let’s Make This Clear —There Is No Collusion’

To be fair to Ryan, this is a subject to be kept in the family.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:16 AM on June 7 [17 favorites]


“In all of this, in any of this, there’s been no evidence that there’s any collusion between the Trump campaign and the President and Russia,” he said. “Let’s just make that clear — there is no collusion."

awwwww. somebody's doing penance for saying there was no FBI spy in the boss's campaign. How cute.
posted by martin q blank at 10:16 AM on June 7 [13 favorites]


Politico, Judge Jeanine still tangoing with Trump over an administration role
Jeanine Pirro has a top-rated Fox News show and a forthcoming book — “Lies, Leakers, and Liberals” — but she still wants to be President Donald Trump’s attorney general.

A former prosecutor and judge, Pirro has repeatedly told Trump’s aides and advisers over the past 18 months that she’s interested in taking over as the nation’s top law enforcement official, according to four people familiar with the conversations.

Trump has dangled the possibility of giving her a top appointment. During a November meeting in the Oval Office, the president raised the possibility of nominating Pirro to a federal judgeship, according to a former administration official, though this person added that Trump was more likely engaging in flattery than seriously considering putting Pirro on the bench.
Haberman has an even stronger version in a tweet: Pirro interviewed to be the DAG. Sessions resisted. When he resisted, Trump advisors told him if he didn't give her a hearing, Trump might end up giving her SCOTUS

Things are so so stupid.
posted by zachlipton at 10:18 AM on June 7 [31 favorites]


Tried calling my senators in WA just now (Murray and Cantwell) about the separation of migrant children from families and putting them in detention centers. Murray's voicemail is full, while with Cantwell I got through to a staffer. This is typical of my experience, as it seems like Murray is the senator in Washington that actually does stuff while Cantwell is seemingly invisible most of the time.

With Cantwell's staffer, I asked where the senator is on this. She said Cantwell is strongly opposed and working with her colleagues to end this and has spoken out about it before. I asked where she'd done that, because there's nothing on her website about it, I've seen nothing in the media, and scrolling through her Twitter account I saw no mention of it there, either. The staffer was taken aback by that but said something about signing onto a letter with others and holding the Trump administration accountable.

I think I got her a little shaken up by pointing out what I wasn't seeing and asking where Cantwell is on this. It's something I'd recommend to anyone calling their reps. Open-ended questions are good, because they usually get you better answers than a yes/no and a nod. Be ready for the canned response and keep pushing if you can make yourself do it. I will fully admit I got choked up talking to her, mostly because I feel pretty helpless sitting at home calling a staffer on the phone, but if you feel helpless, too, I can't recommend strongly enough that you try doing this much, because I feel better for trying.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:20 AM on June 7 [42 favorites]


Things are stupid, but I have to believe that Jeanine Pirro is incapable of being confirmed by the Senate. That's just how I choose to live my life today.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:21 AM on June 7 [25 favorites]


though this person added that Trump was more likely engaging in flattery than seriously considering putting Pirro on the bench.

I believe that they believe Trump was merely engaging in flattery. I also believe that they're wrong to believe that. Trump doesn't actually joke all that much: he deploys 'jokes' to test the boundaries of what people are willing to accept -- eg, his 'joking' about a third term.

I'd like to think that Pirro couldn't be confirmed, but.
posted by cjelli at 10:22 AM on June 7 [18 favorites]


(Also, his supporters are putting signs out in New Hampshire, for reasons nobody can explain.)

Apparently, they didn't realize they had crossed the border. It's not like you cross a river, over a bridge which has a sign that says Entering New Hampshire.

The signs were around a bunch of shopping centers that get a lot of Mainers (no sales tax in NH!) so it's not crazy that the campaign would want to put signs there. It's just not entirely clear if, apart from the not getting the permission from the land owners bit, and the sheer number of signs, if out of state political signs are actually allowed.

(The signs were incredibly confusing when I saw them crop up--our primaries aren't until September, and neither of our senators are up this year.)
posted by damayanti at 10:24 AM on June 7 [4 favorites]


"Shooter, shooter in the halls,
ballistic bullets go through walls
if we all just join the chorus
teacher takes a bullet for us
this is now our life you say
thank you thank you NRA!"
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:26 AM on June 7 [70 favorites]


Paul Ryan: ‘Let’s Make This Clear —There Is No Collusion’

To be fair to Ryan, this is a subject to be kept in the family.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:16 AM on June 7


Here's what irritates continues to irritate me:

The Washington Post itself has reported on Ryan's most recent statements.

They also happen to be the paper that broke the original story about Ryan insisting that this stuff "stays in the family."

Why is it that we mefites remember this & commenters at TPM remember this, but the folks whose job it is to report on these things day to day don't think it's useful to offer direct evidence that the person saying this stuff is lying?

I get that no one wants to call a sitting politician a liar because [insert bullshit objective media argument here].

But at the very least, it seems like one might reference a damning story that directly contradicts the lie statement offered at the moment.
posted by narwhal at 10:27 AM on June 7 [45 favorites]


You know if we’re going to get another Trump Justice I almost hope it’s the worst person imaginable like Pirro. She wouldn’t vote much different than whatever other Gorsuch clone the Federalist Society digs up, but she’s personally even more detestable. I want John Roberts to have to suffer her in conference sessions for the next 30 years. You helped create this reality, fucking enjoy.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:29 AM on June 7 [8 favorites]


Talking Points Memo: The Missouri House committee investigating a host of allegations against former Gov. Eric Greitens on Wednesday dropped its effort to subpoena records from a secretive non-profit founded to support his agenda.

The move likely signals an end to the House committee’s effort to learn more about who funded the group, A New Missouri, which isn’t required to disclose its donors.


Nothing to see here, the bad man is gone, no need to hurt anyone's feelings.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:40 AM on June 7 [16 favorites]


The Washington Post itself has reported on Ryan's most recent statements.

They also happen to be the paper that broke the original story about Ryan insisting that this stuff "stays in the family."


To be fair to the WaPo, they just ran an AP wire story on Ryan's comments. They haven't filed their own story yet, and hopefully it will poke Ryan's remarks full of holes.

That said, the AP should do a proper job of contextualizing them, like, say, "Trump Jr. (Goldstone emails, TT meeting), Papadopoulos (facts recounted in guilty plea), Manafort (correspondence w Kilimnik, debts, working for free), Page (facts elicited in testimony), Smith (Flynn-backed effort to obtain emails from Russia), Roger Stone (public statements)..." (As @nycsouthpaw observes, "Evidence of collusion is like butter at a state fair. It’s everywhere and kinda overwhelming when you think about it all.")
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:45 AM on June 7 [17 favorites]


It may be simply my own emotional reaction that is clouding my judgment but I don't think it's entirely healthy to connect a lullaby whose melody is so ubiquitous (shared with the ABC song) to something potentially traumatic. It is true that songs can be effective mnemonic devices. My hope is that someday, we won't need our children to commit lockdown procedures to memory.

One of the lastest school shootings involved a student at the school who fired into cupboards because he knew that was the lockdown procedure.

Lockdown procedures are not a cure.
posted by srboisvert at 10:53 AM on June 7 [59 favorites]


@Doktor Zed: To be fair to the WaPo, they just ran an AP wire story on Ryan's comments. They haven't filed their own story yet, and hopefully it will poke Ryan's remarks full of holes.

This is true; thanks for pointing it out. I actually followed up on my own irritation & called the WaPo to submit a correction and discovered the same thing: that the feed is piped in directly from the AP without editorial.

I found the report on APNews here & the reporting about Ryan keeping things in the family here.

I used the AP's contact form to submit a similar correction suggestion.

I don't know that this will yield an actual update or not, but it feels better than screaming into the void.. well, it's on a par with screaming into the void.
posted by narwhal at 10:55 AM on June 7 [8 favorites]


The lack of context in general is a real problem. David Corn touched on this in Donald Trump Is Getting Away With the Biggest Scandal in American History
We had spent 15 or so minutes on these important developments, delving into the details—but without referring to the essence of the story. And it hit me: Though it’s clear Trump’s presidency has been hobbled by the Russia scandal, the manner in which this matter plays out in the media has helped Trump.

Almost every day, Trump pushes out a simple (and dishonest) narrative via tweets and public remarks: The Russia investigation is a…well, you know, a witch hunt. Or a hoax. Or fake news. He blasts out the same exclamations daily: Witch hunt, hoax! Hoax, witch hunt! That’s his mantra.
...
The other side—the accurate perspective—isn’t that complicated. In 2016, Vladimir Putin’s regime mounted information warfare against the United States, in part to help Trump become president. While this attack was underway, the Trump crew tried to collude covertly with Moscow, sought to set up a secret communications channel with Putin’s office, and repeatedly denied in public that this assault was happening, providing cover to the Russian operation. Trump and his lieutenants aligned themselves with and assisted a foreign adversary, as it was attacking the United States. The evidence is rock-solid: They committed a profound act of betrayal. That is the scandal.

But how often do you hear or see this fundamental point being made? The media coverage of the Trump-Russia scandal—which has merged with Cohen’s pay-to-play scandal, the Stormy Daniels scandal, and a wider foreign-intervention-in-the-2016-campaign scandal—has yielded a flood of revelations. Yet the news reporting tends to focus on specific components of an unwieldy and ever-expanding story: a Trump Tower meeting between Trump aides and a Kremlin emissary; what special counsel Robert Mueller may or may not be doing; the alleged money-laundering and tax-evasion skullduggery of Paul Manafort; a secret get-together in the Seychelles between former Blackwater owner Erik Prince and a Russian financier; the Kremlin’s clandestine exploitation of social media; Russian hackers penetrating state election systems; Michael Flynn’s shady lobbying activities; Trump’s attempted interference in the investigation; and so much more. It is hard to hold on to all these pieces and place them into one big picture.
...
With his “no collusion” chant, Trump is like an embezzler who yells, “There was no murder”—and asserts that is the only relevant benchmark. Think of what Trump did during the campaign in this fashion: A fellow is standing on a sidewalk in front of a bank. He is told the bank is being robbed. He can see armed men wearing masks in the bank. Yet when people pass by and ask what is happening in the bank, he says, “There is no robbery. Nothing to see. Move along.” Even if this person did not collude with the robbers, he is helping the gang perpetrate a crime. And in Trump’s case, the criminal act was committed for his gain.
We've wound up in this position where the well-proven facts are already damning, yet Republicans have framed the debate so entirely around "collusion" that we spend every day looking for a new smoking gun that literally says "collusion" instead of taking stock of where we are. And absent context, the "no collusion" framing keeps winning out.
posted by zachlipton at 10:57 AM on June 7 [87 favorites]


Today in America: 5-year-old kids are learning to survive school shootings with a nursery rhyme to the tune of 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star'

This scene from Snowpiercer seems unexpectedly relevant.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:58 AM on June 7 [4 favorites]


Let's play everyone's favorite game show: WHEEL-O-PRUITT. We'll just spin the giant wheel here and assemble a mad lib for today's scandal. Here we go.... Pruitt enlisted security detail in picking up dry cleaning, moisturizing lotion
While EPA security agents are required to protect Pruitt at all times — both while he is working and during his off hours — the two individuals said the administrator had asked members of the detail to perform tasks that go beyond their primary function. In one instance, they said, he directed agents to drive him to multiple locations in search of a particular lotion on offer at Ritz-Carlton hotels.

One other occasions, they added, he asked agents to pick up his dry cleaning without him.
"Made government employees drive me around to search for the right rich person lotion" is our winner for today folks.
posted by zachlipton at 11:06 AM on June 7 [57 favorites]


In one instance, they said, he directed agents to drive him to multiple locations in search of a particular lotion on offer at Ritz-Carlton hotels.

This is literally Mike and Ike from the TV show Limitless.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:16 AM on June 7 [4 favorites]


Well . . it's the week before primaries here in VA-10. And the old school GOP machine is coaling and trolling mail boxes across the land. The very first political literature we've received in our new home (blue-ish Winchester) is a glossy 8x11 three fold all about pedophile secrets of Shak Hill, including a picture of him in jorts, and then somehow trying to tie it him being a tool of Pelosi.

"Paid for by Comstock for Congress" (smallest type featured, at bottom of last page.)
posted by Harry Caul at 11:18 AM on June 7


NYT,‘It’s Horrendous’: The Heartache of a Migrant Boy Taken From His Father
Since his arrival in Michigan, family members said, a day has not gone by when the boy has failed to ask in Spanish, “When will I see my papa?”

They tell him the truth. They do not know. No one knows.
...
He refused to shed the clothes he had arrived in, an oversize yellow T-shirt, navy blue sweatpants and a gray fleece pullover likely given to him by the authorities who processed him in Texas.

“For two days, he didn’t shower, he didn’t change his clothes. I literally had to peel the socks off his feet. They were so old and smelly,” Janice said. “I realized that he didn’t want anyone to take anything away from him.”
posted by zachlipton at 11:30 AM on June 7 [38 favorites]


zarq Thing is, yes it was a bad answer (or at least a politically harmful answer, personally I fucking loved it) but it was also an incredibly bad question.

Asking "what is your position on gun legislation" or "what do you think should be done with gun laws" would have been a vastly better question.

When I saw the "what is your personal relationship with firearms" I genuinely thought it was from an NRA questionnaire not a normal one. Look at all the stuff it simply presumes there. It presumes you think its possible to have a personal relationship with firearms. It presumes you have one. It presumes that your presumptive personal relationship with firearms is more important than your thinking on laws about guns.

It's a horribly written and conceived question. Taken in isolation from the political campaign it deserves a flippant, dismissive, and scornful answer because it's so badly formed. It's a bad question and whoever wrote it should feel bad.

Again, obviously in the context of the political campaign the sensible thing to do would be answer the question you want them to have asked and gone into a discussion of your thinking on gun laws. But I can really sympathize with a person who looks at that sort of gun fanatic pandering question and says "eh, fuck this shit." It's not the best answer politically speaking, but knowing absolutely nothing about the candidates other than their answers to that question I like D'Alessandro more than the other person. There's something refreshing about a person who calls out bullshit for what it is instead of pretending it's great stuff that deserves lots of careful consideration.
posted by sotonohito at 11:32 AM on June 7 [20 favorites]


Shak Hill is a republican running against Comstock in the primary. The Comstock team registered shadyshak.com (the creepy candidate) if you want to see their dumb hit piece on him.
posted by peeedro at 11:35 AM on June 7


I have not developed a personal relationship with a gun

is a perfectly legit and honest, if terse, answer to a poorly worded gun control question

or any other inanimate object.

and this is where he veers hard into smarmy ding-dong territory.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:36 AM on June 7 [23 favorites]


it's the week before primaries here in VA-10.

VA-10 also gets the fascinating* Nathan Larson running for state senate, a proud self-declared pedophile with a manifesto stating that women should literally be property and that the only reason to allow non-whites in the US at all is so they can do the "proletariat" jobs that otherwise whites would have to do.

He also says that the only thing feminism does is to put women ahead of "beta males" on the heirarchy - "gammas (aka cucks) and omegas (aka incels) will remain at the bottom." (That is an exact quote.)

*Fascinating in the sense that it's hard to believe that much vile can be shoved in a package that small.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:37 AM on June 7 [7 favorites]


zachlipton: Things are so so stupid.

I see your Pirro DAG and raise you:

John Hudson: "A spokesman for the marijuana cryptocurrency PotCoin confirms that the group is currently in discussions with Dennis Rodman to support his trip to Singapore during President Trump’s talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un"
posted by bluecore at 11:41 AM on June 7 [9 favorites]


As numerous people on Twitter have pointed out, today's Pruitt embarrassment leaves open the question of why he didn't just have them call and see if the lotion was available.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:41 AM on June 7 [14 favorites]


zachlipton: Republicans have framed the debate so entirely around "collusion" that we spend every day looking for a new smoking gun that literally says "collusion" instead of taking stock of where we are. And absent context, the "no collusion" framing keeps winning out.

I don't think it is. All we're seeing in polls is Republicans being (unsurprisingly) unconvinced.

I also don't think there's anything inaccurate, at this point, with saying that collusion very clearly happened. I don't think there's something technically correct about denying it, knowing what we know at this point. When Trump "no collusion", he isn't equivocating, like the man in the joke who says "My dog doesn't bite... but that's not my dog." He's lying, because he colluded, end of story.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 11:41 AM on June 7 [5 favorites]


yet Republicans have framed the debate so entirely around "collusion"

Yes agreed let’s all go with the more accurate “treason”

Literally no one gives a fuck how it was narrowly defined in the constitution by a bunch of dudes who would never be able to conceive of literally anything that happened in 201

We all know what it means

Just call it treason
posted by schadenfrau at 11:42 AM on June 7 [32 favorites]


President Trump: "Maximum pressure is absolutely in effect [on North Korea]. We don't use the term any more because we're going into a friendly negotiation; perhaps after that negotiation I will be using it again."

* headdesk *
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:45 AM on June 7 [23 favorites]


VA-10 also gets the fascinating Nathan Larson running for state senate

The guy's certainly a racist nutjob asshole, but his ceiling is about 1.68% so maybe he's not the most pressing threat.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:46 AM on June 7 [4 favorites]


Asking "what is your position on gun legislation" or "what do you think should be done with gun laws" would have been a vastly better question.

The first rule of political debates are that the questions are meaningless, you're meant to get your talking points out no matter what is asked.
posted by PenDevil at 11:47 AM on June 7 [18 favorites]


John Hudson: "A spokesman for the marijuana cryptocurrency PotCoin confirms that the group is currently in discussions with Dennis Rodman to support his trip to Singapore during President Trump’s talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un"

Not the first time they will have done this.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 11:51 AM on June 7


NYT: Ryan Promises Vote on Immigration Amid G.O.P. Divisions
Hoping to head off narrow legislation to protect young undocumented immigrants, ... Speaker Paul D. Ryan promised Thursday that House Republicans would draft legislation on immigration for a floor vote in the coming weeks, setting up a showdown on one of the thorniest political issues just as the midterm campaign comes into focus.
It's open season on the most cynical, cruel, ridiculous legislative proposals that the Freedom Caucus can dream up to punish people fleeing horrible circumstances or just dreaming of a better life out of the shadows. Because "freedom isn't free", so someone needs to pay the price.
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:07 PM on June 7 [2 favorites]


I am so very tired of these arsehats.
Politico : Trump and Bolton spurn top-level North Korea planning.
The Hill: Bolton has not yet called a top-level meeting on Trump-North Korea summit.
And finally Dear Leader - 'I don't think I have to prepare very much' for Kim summit. (Politico again).
Why don't the Marines just march in and take him away.
posted by adamvasco at 12:07 PM on June 7 [3 favorites]


Again evidence that when Trump says something's good for him, he means only with his base. He truly is - and cares to be - president of only 35% of America.

Kyle Griffin (MSNBC)
NFL players who kneel during the anthem are *not* unpatriotic, voters say 58–35%.

A majority of Repubs say players are unpatriotic. White voters with no college degree are split.

All other party, gender, education, age, racial groups say they're not unpatriotic. @QuinnipiacPoll
posted by chris24 at 12:10 PM on June 7 [21 favorites]


Why don't the Marines just march in and take him away.

Because at least 60% of them love him.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:11 PM on June 7 [9 favorites]


This administration has made me re-think every positive thought I've ever had about people who choose military service.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:15 PM on June 7 [31 favorites]


zarq Thing is, yes it was a bad answer (or at least a politically harmful answer, personally I fucking loved it) but it was also an incredibly bad question.

One of the things I do for a living is media train clients. I teach them to view every interview question as an opportunity to get their message across. It doesn't matter what the question assumes. It doesn't really even matter how it is asked. The client has something to convey to his audience and should at least try. Doing so may very well mean taking a bad question and answering it differently than is expected.

Interviews aren't zero sum games and shouldn't be treated as such.

I gave an example in my previous comment that showed one way the candidate could have answered the question without coming across as arrogant or trying to avoid giving a straight answer. There are a hundred other ways he could have done that.

All interviewers have some innate bias. Many questions will be inherently biased in the way they are positioned. Answering them well doesn't mean you have to accept their framing.

On the other hand, a self-aware candidate may realize that some of the potential future constituents he wants to reach may very well have a "personal relationship with their guns" and there may be some benefit in addressing those people's concerns and fears without making them think you view them all as serial killers. Or that you'll treat them that way once you're in office. Iowa already has limited gun control laws. It also has a few restrictions on licensing and ownership. Any fool trying to win votes from people who use their guns for legitimate purposes (hunting, pest/predator control) could speak about commonsense ways of strengthening those restrictions (and eliminating access to the kinds of guns -- semiautomatic weapons, for one) that aren't needed for those purposes) in ways that make sense for the public good without making it sound like they're trying to ban all guns, everywhere.

There's something refreshing about a person who calls out bullshit for what it is instead of pretending it's great stuff that deserves lots of careful consideration.

And yet he lost.

Ignoring or dismissing the fears of the electorate is one way to make yourself look out of touch and lose an election. Was this the straw the camel couldn't carry? Probably not. But did it help him? I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

Consider the way D'Alessandro missed the mark on the NAFTA question. One segment of Iowan society relies on international trade access to make money from their farms. Another segment (manufacturers and their employees) sees NAFTA as detrimental to their businesses, jobs and income. Everyone who runs for state and federal office in Iowa knows this. It's like Iowa 101.

Those people vote. All of them. They're going to vote to protect their lives and livelihoods. He chose to appeal to one over the other. And that's fine. It's a valid choice to make. But he didn't bother to address that second group at all. That's a missed opportunity. He could have told farmers he understands their needs and will fight for new trade agreements that support everyone in Iowa, including them. Instead, he wrote them off.

Thoughtful candidates win elections by focusing on the needs and concerns of their constituents.
posted by zarq at 12:19 PM on June 7 [36 favorites]


I actually followed up on my own irritation & called the WaPo to submit a correction and discovered the same thing: that the feed is piped in directly from the AP without editorial.

Kudos to you! Hopefully they'll get the message, because it's no different from the way CNN and USAToday are reporting it, with an emphasis on Ryan aligning with the dubious findings of the Nunes-controlled House Intel Committee's hastily compiled report. (I ought to channel my irritation at the state of journalism in a similarly productive way.)

Yes agreed let’s all go with the more accurate “treason”

Please, let's not rehash the US constitutional definition of treason. Besides, Mueller's sticking to the legal charge of "conspiracy", so that should be good enough for us.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:19 PM on June 7 [5 favorites]


This administration has made me re-think every positive thought I've ever had about people who choose military service.

According to the same poll, most officers disapprove and the Navy as a whole disapproves more than it approves. The Coast Guard wasn't included but anecdotally is still less chudified. So I don't think it's fair to judge all people who enter military service equally harshly. Rank-and-file marines, though? Yikes.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:20 PM on June 7 [15 favorites]


Because at least 60% of them love him. /// This administration has made me re-think every positive thought I've ever had about people who choose military service.

Well, 59% of Marines approved in October of last year. Overall the picture is much less favorable. Assuming public 40% approval, only 4% more overall troops approve of him than in the general public and officers are 10% lower in approval than the general public.
The Military Times poll found that 44% of all troops surveyed had a favorable view of the president, compared to 40% who had an unfavorable view.

The views shifted depending on which service members were surveyed, though. While 48% of enlisted troops said they approved of Trump, only 30% of officers held a favorable opinion of the commander-in-chief.

Per the poll, 53% of officers said they had unfavorable views of Trump.

The poll revealed some other divides, as well:

- Men in the military were more likely to support Trump (47%) than women in the military (32%)
- Non-white troops were more to view Trump unfavorably (51%) than white troops (37%)
- The president was the most popular among Marines (59% favorable)
- He was the least popular among among sailors (49% unfavorable)

More than 1,100 active-duty troops were surveyed. The poll was conducted prior to the controversy over how Trump has handled phone calls with Gold Star families, including the widow of one of the soldiers who died during the Niger mission this month.
posted by chris24 at 12:22 PM on June 7 [7 favorites]


Last night's Colbert about the lying Liar-In-Chief and the lying liars who work for him.
posted by growabrain at 12:27 PM on June 7 [6 favorites]




It's good to see Alice Johnson out of prison after Trump unilaterally commuted her sentence. It's like an Emperor agreeing to set free a single condemned gladiator from the Colosseum.

Sadly, the President would probably enjoy that analogy.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:40 PM on June 7 [7 favorites]


Re: the ZTE thing...I thought this was an interesting comment on ZTE and US tech, found in the comments for an ArsTechnica story.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:43 PM on June 7 [6 favorites]


Deray: Remember, Trump has been transparent about using Kim Kardashian’s recent plea re: #AliceMarieJohnson to curry favor with black voters. Trump *does not* care about criminal justice reform or black people, for that matter. Let’s not confuse the right action for a good person.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:50 PM on June 7 [34 favorites]


A system where people get pardons if they're famous/related to someone famous and/or personally know the president sounds great.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:53 PM on June 7 [17 favorites]


How to Tell If the North Korea Talks Are a Success
...if you really want to know if the North Korea talks are successful, there’s a simple way to judge them: Hold President Trump to the standard he set in criticizing the Iran nuclear agreement.
...
According to the president’s Iran logic, North Korea must be forced to dismantle its shorter-range missiles that can reach Japan, as well as its forward-deployed conventional military that threatens South Korea—just as Trump criticized Iran’s “missiles and weapons that threaten its neighbors.” Trump’s agreement with Kim must bring an end to the proliferation of North Korea’s technology and know-how around the world, compel North Korea to eliminate any biological or chemical weapons in its possession, end its acts of terror, and halt criminal activities including cybercrimes, counterfeiting, drug-dealing and any other means now used to generate illegal revenue. Further, Pyongyang should be required to improve its abysmal human rights record by closing its gulags and labor camps. Failure to get North Korea do all of these things means that Trump will have flunked his own test.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:57 PM on June 7 [33 favorites]


Some good (and expected) news: Judge sides with Philly in sanctuary city lawsuit
After less than a year of legal battle, a federal judge has sided with the city of Philadelphia in their lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) over ‘sanctuary city’ restrictions that the latter tried to impose.

The ruling, handed down by U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson Wednesday afternoon, means the federal government will not be able to withhold grant funding solely because of Philly’s immigration policy.
...
Philly has not identified as a sanctuary city, but it has said police are not allowed to ask immigrants about their status in the country.
...
“The Judge has determined that the Attorney General, for multiple reasons, violated the Constitution and unlawfully attached conditions to the City’s 2017 Byrne JAG grant application related to the City’s policies regarding immigrants residing in Philadelphia,” City Solicitor Marcel Pratt said.

Philly Mayor Jim Kenney accused Sessions of using the grant money for “a political shakedown.”

“This is an important moment for all Philadelphians, especially our immigrant community,” Philly Mayor Jim Kenney said in the statement. “It prevents a White House run by a bully from bullying Philadelphia into changing its policies.”
posted by cjelli at 1:05 PM on June 7 [33 favorites]


It's also worth noting how white the military is (like Trump's base), and also the fact that so much of the military is drawn from southern states.

I don't doubt that there is probably more support for him from people in uniform rather than less, but I also don't believe it's overwhelming. More to the point, simply being military vs not isn't going to be the deciding factor here. All those people in uniform and their dependents have backgrounds that influenced them before they signed up.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:15 PM on June 7 [7 favorites]


candidate Max Linn was disqualified from the US Senate race [in Maine] ...He still appears on the ballot but votes for him won't count. ... he's still campaigning... and he's apparently sending out this charming mailpiece, encouraging Trumpists to vote for him in the primary.

Can we find a way to do this in every election -- have some idiot Trumpist on the ballot, actively campaigning for those people and neutering their votes? It's like the sterile mosquitos released to breed.
posted by msalt at 1:18 PM on June 7 [28 favorites]


The river of politics has long since swept past last night's discussion, but since it will surely recur, one last bit on pay-go and debt: a brief essay from 1848 (via Naked Capitalism) describing the previous century of misguided panics about debt. Even 150 years ago, there was enough evidence to conclude:
They erroneously imagined that there was an exact analogy between the case of an individual who is in debt to another individual and the case of a society which is in debt to a part of itself; and this analogy led them into endless mistakes about the effect of the system of funding.
posted by chortly at 1:33 PM on June 7 [16 favorites]


And it’s not just the right wing — Chapo Trap House features, too. Women have been calling out their harassment for a while, and no one cares. And given the incel language for rape and sexual slavery — “sexual redistribution” — I just...

I feel like comparing Chapo to incels is pretty irresponsible. If I'm wrong, please do let me know.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 1:33 PM on June 7 [2 favorites]


FYI we’re still counting votes in CA-48. Rohrabacher still in the lead (and will remain there), but the Dems in 2nd and 3rd have swapped places:

Keirstead: 18,827
Rouda: 18,782

Rouda had a ~70 vote lead when they wrapped up counting on election night.

Keirstead tweeted yesterday that there were still 40k to 50k ballots left to count and to expect more flip flops as this process continues.

(Chrysostom also mentioned this would be the case.)
posted by notyou at 1:33 PM on June 7 [4 favorites]


An architect who helped arrange President Donald Trump’s business deals in eastern Europe abruptly shut down his firm within hours of being contacted by a reporter, deleted his portfolio and Twitter account — and has gone missing.

Architect John Fotiadis designed some of Trump’s luxury developments in former Soviet lands, some of which have fallen under scrutiny by special counsel Robert Mueller, but the former Trump associate suddenly disappeared after he was contacted by CNBC reporter Christina Wilkie
posted by growabrain at 1:35 PM on June 7 [23 favorites]


Sean Spicer gives a useless, almost content-free interview to Rolling Stone
posted by zarq at 1:36 PM on June 7 [2 favorites]


I feel like comparing Chapo to incels is pretty irresponsible. If I'm wrong, please do let me know.

Did you actually RTFA? The comparison arises because women are getting the same sorts of harassment from Chapo dudes. They share patterns. Doyle actually explains it quite well. In the fucking article.

TL;DR: you’re wrong.
posted by schadenfrau at 1:38 PM on June 7 [27 favorites]


Sean Spicer gives a useless, almost content-free interview to Rolling Stone

Saw that and decided not to link it here for exactly that reason.
posted by rhizome at 1:39 PM on June 7 [3 favorites]


I also don’t totally know where to begin with calling the comparisons women make about the harassment they themselves are subjected to “irresponsible,” but it certainly is...something.
posted by schadenfrau at 1:41 PM on June 7 [25 favorites]


Maggie Haberman, NYT:
Yikes. I asked @FLOTUS spokeswoman @StephGrisham45 about Giuliani saying that she believes her husband re Stormy Daniels. Response: “I don't believe Mrs. Trump has ever discussed her thoughts on anything with Mr. Giuliani.”
Meanwhile, John Hudson, WaPo:
Pompeo just said Giuliani doesn’t speak for the Trump administration when it comes to its negotiations with North Korea.
It remains unclear who Giuliani actually does speak for, and who he has spoken to.
posted by cjelli at 1:46 PM on June 7 [37 favorites]


cjelli, thanks for that great link about the federal judge ruling that AG Sessions violated the Constitution and it is not legal for the Department of Justice to bully Philadelphia into cooperating with ICE. (Ooh, it's a 93-page ruling! That's prefaced with Shakespeare quotes and starts out with a reference to the Odyssey!)

I just wanted to remind people that Philly is not the only city to fight back - San Francisco and San Jose won their lawsuit back in April, as well, and there are probably other cities who have filed suits that I'm not aware of.

One lesson I keep learning these past few months is that there are a lot of ways to resist, and it's happening at a lot of levels. It's not all about federal action - cities and states can fight for good, and they - we - can win.
posted by kristi at 1:47 PM on June 7 [31 favorites]


Rock 'em Sock 'em, I can't recall who above linked to this article about the deadly intel movement by Sady Doyle, but it includes this passage:

The podcast’s hosts, to say nothing of their rabid online fanbase, perceived themselves as enemies of the far-right manosphere. Nevertheless, their tactics — and targets — were often disturbingly similar. I’d been a regular punching bag for Chapo throughout 2016 and early 2017, culminating in a graphic death threat being sent to me by a man who was seemingly on friendly terms with Chapo host Felix Biederman.

One of the podcast hosts mocked someone's rape (Twitter thread).

Fans say it's a humour podcast; others say the hosts are dirtbag leftists who are sexist assholes (or worse). I don't listen to it, and after reading about the hosts I don't plan to.
posted by Bella Donna at 1:48 PM on June 7 [10 favorites]


Did you actually RTFA? The comparison arises because women are getting the same sorts of harassment from Chapo dudes. They share patterns. Doyle actually explains it quite well. In the fucking article.

TL;DR: you’re wrong.


I did read it. I was referring much more to your comment than the article. I apologize for not making that more clear. I think the article is very good overall. As to your comment, I do not think that there is much (or any) support for the idea that this is something that is terroristic on both "the left" and the right. I think that there is a specific, highly dangerous terroristic ideology that is embodied by "incels" and similar.

I also think --- depressingly --- that harassment is often gendered and sexist, and that women who are criticized in public (including by Chapo and its fans) are often subjected to sexist harassment.

I think anti-women terroristic movement(s) and gendered harassment of women are both really, really important issues, but that they are different. And I do think that it is irresponsible to imply that there is some kind of organized, targeted leftist-equivalent to incels, or that Chapo is involved in such a movement.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 1:52 PM on June 7 [7 favorites]


It's also worth noting how white the military is (like Trump's base)

The military is 40% POC, basically the same as the US overall.
posted by chris24 at 1:54 PM on June 7 [15 favorites]


"I'm sorry, Mr. Pruitt, but we have to cut you off. Don't you think you've had enough meatloaf?"

Vice: Scott Pruitt was asked to stop eating at the White House

“We love having Mr. Pruitt, but it’s not meant for everyday use,” one source told Politico. Another added that the White House asked Cabinet members to visit the mess only occasionally because there just wasn’t enough space for them to use it every day.

In July 2017, he paid $400 for nine different visits to the mess [...] And he loved a good “chocolate freedom,” a dessert of molten chocolate cake made with imported French chocolate.


What.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:54 PM on June 7 [20 favorites]


The FBI Inspector General report on their actions leading to the 2016 election will be released June 14.

It’s expected to say Comey defied DOJ authority.

Defied to help Trump of course, not for spying or to help Clinton.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:55 PM on June 7 [11 favorites]


And I do think that it is irresponsible to imply that there is some kind of organized, targeted leftist-equivalent to incels, or that Chapo is involved in such a movement.

This is accurate. I listen to Chapo, and they don't do anything even close to this. They're very ironic and snarky in a kind of abrasive way, but they're not pushing any kind of misogynistic ideological program at all. The complaints mentioned in that article and this thread are all shitty and indefensible, but they're also one-off examples of their worst host, Felix Biederman, going too far when making a bad joke on Twitter. Like the show or not (and there are plenty of good reasons not to like it), These guys aren't organizing harassment campaigns or instilling any kind of incel-like ideology in their listeners.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 1:56 PM on June 7


It’s expected to say Comey defied DOJ authority.

To hand Trump the election.

His defiance damaged Clinton and helped Trump right before the election.
posted by chris24 at 1:56 PM on June 7 [20 favorites]


That Philadelphia vs Sessions and ICE ruling has some amazing bits, but the judge saves the best for last, in footnote 19 on the last page:
When deciding a case within the broad topic of immigration, a judge may be tempted to cut a wide swath into many issues about which public debate continues. This opinion purposely sticks to the issues concerning the JAG grants to Philadelphia. However, assuming the accuracy of current estimates that 11 million undocumented aliens are residing in the United States, most of them living peacefully with families, children and good jobs – in contrast to the small number who would qualify as criminal aliens – the complex issues in this case demonstrate the sheer impossibility, as well as great expense, of relying on a policy of “removal” (deportation) of all undocumented aliens. The idea that the judicial process, with the necessary procedures and protections and appellate reviews, can accomplish this task is completely unrealistic. An ICE official in this case testified that many cases take at least several years to resolve, with great expense to the taxpayers and the parties. From a judge’s point of view, Congress needs to act.
posted by kristi at 1:57 PM on June 7 [17 favorites]


>Confabulation isn't a person purposefully lying to you, it's the person's brain trying to make sense of something that escapes them at the moment with what facts they have at hand.

"And that land mass over there is called a 'stick out' because of the way it sticks out into the water."
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:57 PM on June 7 [2 favorites]


It’s expected to say Comey defied DOJ authority.

To hand Trump the election.

Which for some reason will not be mentioned in any of the dozens of Fox News pieces on the subject.
posted by saturday_morning at 1:58 PM on June 7 [4 favorites]


it would be cool to not rush in with the NOTHING TO SEE HERE comments just because a funny podcast might be tied to lefty-originating harassment of women
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:59 PM on June 7 [33 favorites]


The White House menu apparently dates back to the Clinton administration? There's a picture of the Freedom dessert over at Notes from a Messy Kitchen:
....lunch in the Navy Mess Hall, the West Wing’s Private dining room.
...
Since the late 1800’s, Navy Stewards have been utilized to provide food service to the President of the United States. The White House Mess was established in 1951, and continues to be operated by Naval officers. The menu is fairly short and simple, and believe it or not the calorie count was not Mrs. Obama’s doing – it dates back to the Clinton Administration, when the White House Mess revamped the menu to offer more healthy options.

posted by zarq at 2:01 PM on June 7 [5 favorites]


Thanks for the information, Bella Donna. I can see why people dislike them and/or think that they encourage harassment and/or are suspicious of their feminist bona fides.

My issue is that I am very familiar with PUAs, incels, red pill, and similar. Their organized goals and explicit ideologies are very much centered around the violent domination and subjugation of women. That is their whole reason for being. That is their intent and what they talk about all the time. To me, that is very different from the situation with Chapo. In a world in which we are all limited in our resources (time, attention, energy, money, etc.) I think it is worth being careful about flagging people/groups as extremely dangerous if they are not. That does not mean that Chapo is great or whatever; I get why people have issues with them. But incels etc. are so much worse that they're not even the same kind of thing.

Anyway, I'm going to leave it there.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 2:03 PM on June 7 [7 favorites]




It's also worth noting how white the military is

Wut??? Having grown up or lived near a military base most of my life, this contradicts my observed reality.
According to this Pew Research article, "Racial and ethnic minority groups made up 40% of Defense Department active-duty military in 2015." And "In the same year, blacks made up 17% of the DOD active-duty military – somewhat higher than their share of the U.S. population ages 18 to 44 (13%)."

Weirdly, it's almost like the DOD is one of the few major employers to take diversity seriously.
The percentages of enlisted personnel by race are *not* reflected equally in the officers. (Which is all kinds of fucked up, but certainly not unique to DOD).

and on preview... beaten by Chris24 :(
posted by ButteryMales at 2:10 PM on June 7 [7 favorites]


The DOJ IG report on actions taken around the election is expected on June 14th. It's going to be a long complex report covering many factors about which everyone will be angry. Twitter is going to suck.

On a related note, Being extremely online can only bring you pain:
Unsurprisingly, it turns out feverishly commenting “huge mood” on every meme while a chorus of neo-nazis and chemtrail enthusiasts scream into the void isn’t exactly great for your mental health. (Sorry, Twitter.) According to a new study published in the medical journal “Depression and Anxiety” on Thursday, negative interactions online appear to worsen the average person’s depressive symptoms, regardless of whether they are depressed already or not, while positive interactions have little to no effect.
@keithlalexander: Second trial in @realDonaldTrump Inauguration Day rioting trial results in no convictions. All 4 defendants either acquitted or jury was unable to reach unanimous verdict. Judge declares mistrial. Two trials, 9 defendants since December, no convictions in either.

This kind of gets to the central contradiction of the #Resistance law enforcement types, the Witteses and Asha Rangappas and friends. These are good people with good insights. But the core ethos behind them is a constant faith in the good behavior and judgement of the FBI and DOJ. And those, of course, are the same organizations who, and this is not a Trump thing by any means, who are hiding evidence and pushing for collective punishment in the J20 case. It's the same DOJ that's fighting for the travel ban and to separate children from their parents at the border and to cut off funding for sanctuary cities and to allow Trump to block people on Twitter. It's the same DOJ that's run by Jeff Sessions. These are not the institutions that will save us, and I wish those who have dedicated their lives to praising them could stop for a second and see that.
posted by zachlipton at 2:16 PM on June 7 [12 favorites]


Definitely Not Sean Spicer: "For starters, stop capping our social security contributions. It's absolute madness that our SS rate goes DOWN as we make more money."

they do the same here in Canada and ya it's stupid.

paper chromatographologist: "Billions in U.S. solar projects shelved after Trump panel tariff"

That's OK, I'm sure both Canada and Mexico will be willing to sell you all nice tariff free electricity produced by the panels we are installing.

Rust Moranis: "When will people start saying, “thank you, Mr. President, for firing James Comey?”"

Thank you Mr Cheeto for firing Comey which gave us the Mueller rope we will hang your administration with.
posted by Mitheral at 2:19 PM on June 7 [14 favorites]


Judge Roasts Feds for Order Detaining Immigrant Children
“I don’t understand how you could possibly justify what happened to L.V.M.,” U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty told a government attorney at a hearing that stretched for nearly five hours.

Born in El Salvador, L.V.M.’s name is shielded in court documents, and his story is a heartbreaking one. Fleeing gang violence in the country of his birth, the boy and his family found asylum in the United States. He says he never spent a night apart from his mother or had any disciplinary issues until immigration authorities detained him after interpreting a hand gesture he made in his high school hallway as a gang symbol.
...
Austin blamed these delays on the change in command at the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Hours after President Donald Trump named him head of the agency, Scott Lloyd issued a directive requiring his signature for children in the agency’s detention to be released. Lloyd based this decision on unspecified news reports about MS-13 gang activity, including articles based on allegations that were later discredited and dropped.

Unlike the child-welfare specialists previously in charge of resettling children, Lloyd has no formal education, training or expertise in social work.

Judge Crotty appeared disturbed by Lloyd’s impulsive decision-making.

“So far as I can gather, there was no process at all here,” Crotty said.
posted by zachlipton at 2:25 PM on June 7 [57 favorites]


Weirdly, it's almost like the DOD is one of the few major employers to take diversity seriously.

My understanding was always that the poor in our country join the military because of the ability to get college paid for, and other benefits, and often because they have few other opportunities for getting a good job. And POC are much more likely to be poor, so...

It never to me looked like the military was diverse in its hiring out of the desire to do the right thing. But I have no special knowledge of this, and would love to be wrong.
posted by greermahoney at 2:26 PM on June 7 [10 favorites]


As numerous people on Twitter have pointed out, today's Pruitt embarrassment leaves open the question of why he didn't just have them call and see if the lotion was available.

posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:41 AM on June 7 [8 favorites +] [!]


Also, I have some startling news! There's this new-fangled thing called the World Wide Web where you type in some words and it searches for things related to those words. Now, hold on, it gets really science-fictiony here, but stay with me. Some forward-thinking stores have placed what are called "pages" on this so-called Web, so if you were to type in "name of fancy Ritz-Carlton lotion" it would tell you right away which stores carried that fancy stuff. Cool, huh? Maybe Pruitt should be told about it, no?
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:29 PM on June 7 [2 favorites]


Reuters, Exclusive: U.S. immigration authorities sending 1,600 detainees to federal prisons
U.S. authorities are transferring into federal prisons about 1,600 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees, officials told Reuters on Thursday, in the first large-scale use of federal prisons to hold detainees amid a Trump administration crackdown on people entering the country illegally.

An ICE spokeswoman told Reuters five federal prisons will temporarily take in detainees awaiting civil immigration court hearings, including potential asylum seekers, with one prison in Victorville, California, preparing to house 1,000 people.
...
At Victorville, the prison getting the largest number of people, workers are moving about 500 inmates in a medium-security facility to make space, said John Kostelnik, local president for the American Federation of Government Employees Council of Prison Locals union.

“There is so much movement going on,” said Kostelnik. “Everyone is running around like a chicken without their head.”
posted by zachlipton at 2:30 PM on June 7 [12 favorites]


The White House menu apparently dates back to the Clinton administration?

Some of the items seem to. I had some suspicions about a dessert named 'freedom,' and, lo and behold, here's an Atlantic article from 2007:
"[Karl] Rove recommended the "chocolate freedom tart," a French dessert renamed during the Iraq invasion."
I have my doubts about either the Bush or Trump White House serving sandwiches named 'Grant Park' and 'Hyannis Port' (chicken, apples, cranberries, and walnuts--on a croissant) but even Karl Rove knew that you just can't fuck with a French dessert.
posted by box at 2:32 PM on June 7 [2 favorites]


The fact that the lockdown lullaby is on a wall in a school in my beloved Somerville, MA is just breaking my heart further. We moved a couple years ago but that’s where my children would have gone to kindergarten. Holy fuck this fucking country.
posted by lydhre at 2:33 PM on June 7 [21 favorites]


And I do think that it is irresponsible to imply that there is some kind of organized, targeted leftist-equivalent to incels, or that Chapo is involved in such a movement.

So, just your regular old, unorganized, targeted harassment. Got it. Incels are horrific, but the fact that even our own "allies" target women for harassment, and other "allies" will handwave it away is horrific in a different way. I've found the increasingly undeniable misogyny on the left tremendously depressing because I no longer feel like I can count on men that I thought I could count on. Who will stand for women and who will excuse bad men with "good" politics?
posted by Mavri at 2:33 PM on June 7 [60 favorites]


“This is an important moment for all Philadelphians, especially our immigrant community,” Philly Mayor Jim Kenney said in the statement. “It prevents a White House run by a bully from bullying Philadelphia into changing its policies.”

DOJ just put out a news release: "Yesterday the Mayor of Philadelphia was filmed dancing and celebrating a victory for criminal aliens in a federal district court case"

Again, this is the same DOJ that's people think will somehow save us from Trump.
posted by zachlipton at 2:37 PM on June 7 [15 favorites]


Giuliani Casts Doubt On Trump’s Stormy Daniels Affair: ‘Look At His Three Wives’

First off, I don't know that "look at his three wives" is seizing the moral high ground.
"I know Donald Trump. Look at his three wives,” Giuliani said. “Beautiful women, classy women, women of great substance."
Beautiful is subjective, and we'd have to agree on a definition for "great substance" unless he's just asserting they're corporeal. However, I wouldn't necessarily say women who fuck other women's husbands, like two-thirds of Trump's wives and two-thirds of Giuliani's wives did, are "classy."
“You’re going to tell me that being involved in pornography isn’t demeaning to women?
I dunno, ask President Trump and the First Lady, who have both appeared in soft-core porn.

Giuliani defends comments about Stormy Daniels' credibility
If you're involved in a sort of slimy business, (that) says something about you -- says something about how far you'll go to make money.
This I might be able to agree with.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:38 PM on June 7 [34 favorites]


It's like an Emperor agreeing to set free a single condemned gladiator from the Colosseum.

"Give us Barabbas!"
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:40 PM on June 7 [5 favorites]


NYT, The Chemical Industry Scores a Big Win at the E.P.A.
The Trump administration, after heavy lobbying by the chemical industry, is scaling back the way the federal government determines health and safety risks associated with the most dangerous chemicals on the market, documents from the Environmental Protection Agency show.

Under a law passed by Congress during the final year of the Obama administration, the E.P.A. was required for the first time to evaluate hundreds of potentially toxic chemicals and determine if they should face new restrictions, or even be removed from the market. The chemicals include many in everyday use, such as dry-cleaning solvents, paint strippers and substances used in health and beauty products like shampoos and cosmetics.

But as it moves forward reviewing the first batch of 10 chemicals, the E.P.A. has in most cases decided to exclude from its calculations any potential exposure caused by the substances’ presence in the air, the ground or water, according to more than 1,500 pages of documents released last week by the agency.

Instead, the agency will focus on possible harm caused by direct contact with a chemical in the workplace or elsewhere. The approach means that the improper disposal of chemicals — leading to the contamination of drinking water, for instance — will often not be a factor in deciding whether to restrict or ban them.

The approach is a big victory for the chemical industry, which has repeatedly pressed the E.P.A. to narrow the scope of its risk evaluations. Nancy B. Beck, the Trump administration’s appointee to help oversee the E.P.A.’s toxic chemical unit, previously worked as an executive at the American Chemistry Council, one of the industry’s main lobbying groups.
WaPo, The U.S. just had its warmest May in history, blowing past 1934 Dust Bowl record
posted by zachlipton at 2:44 PM on June 7 [28 favorites]


I know Donald Trump. Look at his three wives,” Giuliani said. “Beautiful women, classy women, women of great substance." (Rudy Giuliani)

Can someone please ask Trump, on camera, whether he agrees with Rudy that both Ivana and Marla are classy and "of great substance?"
posted by The World Famous at 2:45 PM on June 7 [5 favorites]


Reuters, Exclusive: U.S. immigration authorities sending 1,600 detainees to federal prisons
Jesus Christ. I guess this is the next phase of ALEC's Truth in Sentencing bills program, get immigrants as quickly as possible into prison labor.
posted by Harry Caul at 2:48 PM on June 7 [4 favorites]


According to CNN, the big Senate classified information scandal right now isn't about the Nunes gang leaking, as we had thought, but the Senate. Justice Department investigating ex-Senate Intel staffer over allegations classified information was disclosed. No real details here other than a "former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer who allegedly disclosed classified information."
posted by zachlipton at 2:51 PM on June 7 [3 favorites]


If you take undocumented migrants and turn them into slaves, that doesn't actually "save American jobs" does it? (and it's evil)
posted by puddledork at 2:51 PM on June 7 [3 favorites]


The military is 40% POC, basically the same as the US overall.

Fair enough. I stand corrected, and to be honest that number makes me feel a little better.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:52 PM on June 7 [5 favorites]


If you take undocumented migrants and turn them into slaves, that doesn't actually "save American jobs" does it? (and it's evil)

We're already there, and have been for some time: Immigration detainees shouldn't be coerced into $1-a-day jobs
posted by zachlipton at 2:55 PM on June 7 [12 favorites]


> U.S. authorities are transferring into federal prisons about 1,600 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees, officials

I omitted one word and read this as "U.S. authorities are transferring into federal prisons about 1,600 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials" and thought to myself, "Whelp, they're off to a good start, then."

If only . . .
posted by flug at 2:57 PM on June 7 [3 favorites]


So we've literally moved "undocumented" people - presumably, all non-white - from internment camps to labor camps, while depriving them of any representation.

At a certain point, the historical similarities start to look less like warnings, and more like a blueprint.
posted by MysticMCJ at 3:00 PM on June 7 [43 favorites]


The goal is always free labor and enlarging the prison state to include everyone.
posted by The Whelk at 3:06 PM on June 7 [36 favorites]


Um so I have a new thing to have nightmares about. There's an ongoing effort by Texas to have the ACA declared unconstitutional now that the individual mandate has been repealed (because if that's gone, there's no tax, and then NFIB v. Sebelius falls apart; this was kind of the worst-case scenario people were warning about when they got rid of the mandate).

Just before the government is set to file its brief, which would normally be defending the law, the career DOJ attorneys filed to withdraw their names from the case.
tl;dr
The Trump administration might decline to defend Obamacare in court, which is very scary to some legal scholars
(though it is not totally without precedent, see DOMA)
as for whether this means the law will actually be overturned, not necessarily, it’s way too soon to say

I should also pull back here and flag that Nick’s biggest concern is that civil line attorneys only pull their names off briefs in extreme circumstances, when they think the arguments are in such bad faith they can’t attach their name to it

“meritless… not ethical"

so it’s not just that the Trump administration is declining to defend the ACA, but that the lawyers involved think the arguments being made to justify that decision are in such bad faith that they refuse to be associated with them
We're still waiting on the brief to know what's actually happening, but this is concerning. It is, as Bagley notes, not unprecedented, but DOJ's refusal to defend the ACA would be a far cry from the refusal to defend DOMA, and it's pretty concerning. DOJ lawyers do not normally pull their names like this.
posted by zachlipton at 3:06 PM on June 7 [19 favorites]


So we've literally moved "undocumented" people - presumably, all non-white - from internment camps to labor camps, while depriving them of any representation.

That's why it's also super-handy to remove their children, because it's much easier to do slave labor without having to tote around a pesky toddler or wipe a seven-year-old's nose the whole time. And the relocation also shores up your specious grounds for separating families in the first place: "Your Honor, the plaintiff can't be so heartless as to suggest that we house these precious babies in federal prisons! That's why we're warehousing them in abandoned Wal-Marts hundreds of miles away! It can't be helped!"
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:07 PM on June 7 [11 favorites]


It never to me looked like the military was diverse in its hiring out of the desire to do the right thing. But I have no special knowledge of this, and would love to be wrong.

Side note, but I work and make recommendations for West Point and they very much desire more qualified African American applicants, and I just received an email from the AA female lieutenant that's visiting states to try to get more to apply. There are a whole lot of reasons why black teenagers have lower rates to join the Army versus the other branches, so that's understandable, but I can absolutely say that one of the key officer programs/service academies would love to have a greater percentage of underrepresented populations. For the last four years, every all-hands brief has had it as one of the key priorities for the institution.

As a side note, no one should join the military to make their way in the world because they were poor (I did though it worked out), but it's absolutely vital that if we do have a military, it should look like the US as a whole (which is why we need more women in it, too).
posted by Lord Chancellor at 3:08 PM on June 7 [16 favorites]


Dave Weigel (WaPo)
Primary vote totals for both parties in #CAGov:

2014: Dem 55.3% GOP 40.0%
2018: Dem 61.3% GOP 38.6%

That's before probably 1.1m more votes are counted. The "maybe there'll be a red wave bc the GOP didn't get locked out of the gov race" take is odd.

---

The late vote is typically heavily D, so the percentage will only get better. And historically, Ds outperform their primary turnout percentage in the general in CA.
posted by chris24 at 3:11 PM on June 7 [8 favorites]


Donald Trump 'tired of Theresa May's school mistress tone’ and may turn down talks with her at G7

Tone policing leading to the acceleration of the breakdown of world order is a good reason not to have elected a misogynist President.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:12 PM on June 7 [74 favorites]


Between May, Trudeau and Macron, helluva week for US-Allies relations.

Emmanuel Macron
The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a 6 country agreement if need be. Because these 6 countries represent values, they represent an economic market which has the weight of history behind it and which is now a true international force
posted by chris24 at 3:13 PM on June 7 [47 favorites]


but it's absolutely vital that if we do have a military, it should look like the US as a whole

Agree, and thank you for the info.
posted by greermahoney at 3:14 PM on June 7 [3 favorites]


From zachlipton's 1600 detainees to be moved into Federal prisons link:
ICE spokeswoman Dani Bennett said, “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is working to meet the demand for additional immigration detention space, both long and short term” due to a surge in illegal border crossings and a U.S. Department of Justice zero-tolerance policy.

“To meet this need, ICE is collaborating with the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), private detention facility operators and local government agencies,” she said in a statement to Reuters.
You'll recall that one of the first things the new administration did was to rescind the Obama-era memo that directed the DOJ to reduce the use of private, for profit prisons: NPR (Feb. 23, 2017) Private Prisons Back In Mix For Federal Inmates As Sessions Rescinds Order.

The Reuters story is pretty thin, but it notes that inmates at the Victorville facility had to be moved to another facility to make room for the incoming immigrant detainees. Maybe that's a private facility?
posted by notyou at 3:17 PM on June 7 [9 favorites]