His direct object is the establishment of an absolute Tyranny
July 5, 2018 9:19 AM   Subscribe

A day after the 242nd anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, the former American colonies of the British Empire now see its executive branch headed by a figure reminiscent of the king they overthrew. And the British aren't looking forward to his approaching visit, either.

To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. Trump has recently:

• obstructed the Administration of Justice (Pruitt Directly Asked Trump to Replace Sessions with Him—CNN; A Statement by the President—@realDonaldTrump via @RealPressSecBot)

• made Judges dependent on his Will alone (How Trump Will Make His Supreme Court Pick—Axios; Trump’s Supreme Court Pageant Could Come Down to Looks—NYMag)

• erected a multitude of New Offices (Behind Trump’s Plan to Overhaul the Government—NYTimes; President Trump Touts Space Force at Military Independence Day Picnic—Breitbart [Archive.is])

• affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power (Trump Warns NATO Allies to Spend More on Defense, or Else—NYTimes; Planning for Trump’s Military Parade Finally Begins—NY Post)

• combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution (Senate Panel Agrees With Intel Community That Putin Was Trying To Help Trump—CNN; Trump Plans One-On-One Meeting With Putin—CNN; Is Trump Handing Putin a Victory in Syria?—Washington Post)

• cut off our Trade with all parts of the world (The US-China Trade War Is about to Get Real—CNN Money; EU Says Trump Car Tariffs 'Will Put a Tax on the US people'—Guardian; Trump Says He Won’t Sign Any NAFTA Deal Until After Midterms—Washington Post; Trump: WTO Needs to Change Ways or US Will Do 'Something'—AP)

• transported us beyond Seas (Thousands Across U.S. Join 'Keep Families Together' March to Protest Family Separation—NBC News; New Trump Admin Order For Separated Parents: Leave U.S. With Kids Or Without Them—NBC News)

• excited domestic insurrections amongst us (Maxine Waters Receives 'Very Serious' Death Threat On Same Day As Capital Gazette Shootings—the Independent UK; He is a Member of a Violent White Supremacist Group; So Why is He Working for a Defense Contractor with a Security Clearance?—PBS)

Today is the 532nd day of the Trump administration (Trump has spent 165 of them at a Trump property and 122 at a Trump golf club).

Hat tip to kirkaracha for the theme of this FPP.

Please consider MeFi chat for hot-takes and live-blogging breaking news, the current MetaTalk venting thread for catharsis and sympathizing, and funding the site if you're able. Also, for the sake of the ever-helpful mods, please keep in mind the MetaTalk on expectations about U.S. political discussion on MetaFilter.
posted by Doktor Zed (2599 comments total) 171 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Lord Mayor of Sheffield is especially not looking forward to his visit, as per this tweet.
posted by Dysk at 9:25 AM on July 5 [26 favorites]


Let us also not forget to enjoy the annual tweeting of the declaration by npr and the wild-eyed frothing responses from magamorons who don't know what it is and only know that it makes them ANGEREY.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:30 AM on July 5 [44 favorites]


Seriously, Britain, it won't hurt this citizen of the US' feelings if you just tell Air Force One there's no where to land the plane.
posted by Atreides at 9:31 AM on July 5 [14 favorites]


In light of Trump's UK visit, may be worthwhile viewing the 2011 scathing documentary about his Scottish golf course, "You've Been Trumped."
Trailer.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:32 AM on July 5 [6 favorites]


Probably a stupid question but.. why isn't putting children in cages and camps separate from their parents (with the girls possibly sold or god knows what) not a human rights violation? When will trump and his ilk get sent to the hague?
posted by driedmango at 9:33 AM on July 5 [45 favorites]


The Lord Mayor of Sheffield is especially not looking forward to his visit, as per this tweet.

Is "wasteman" a britishism for "garbage human" or am i right in thinking that sanitation workers are being unfairly slandered in the comparison to trump (after all Gargabemen/women/sanitation workers do really useful things in society while trump is a cancerous wart on our ass).
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:35 AM on July 5 [2 favorites]


A "wasteman" is equivalent to "man-child," and is derived from the habit of wasting one's time. It's not related to waste management.
posted by explosion at 9:38 AM on July 5 [57 favorites]


Very much appreciate this Declaration of Independence- focused post. It really is illuminating, seeing it all laid out like this.
posted by corb at 9:39 AM on July 5 [28 favorites]


CNBC. No separated immigrant children reunited with parents yet as deadline looms: Trump health chief Alex Azar

He said HHS is working "overtime" to confirm that the people who purportedly are parents of those children actually are their parents, and is also checking to see if any parents have a background that make them dangerous to receive a child.


"We're doing the best we can: nothing."
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:40 AM on July 5 [28 favorites]


"We're doing the best we can do: nothing."

Instead - and ominously - they're looking at how to strip citizenship from naturalized Americans.

I fully expect this to eventually be deployed against political opponents if they are successful.
posted by ryanshepard at 9:43 AM on July 5 [54 favorites]


Political Wire: Li Jiang, who owns a flag-making company in China, told NPR that he’s been contracted to manufacture flags for President Trump’s 2020 election bid.
posted by Gelatin at 9:45 AM on July 5 [11 favorites]


Political Wire: Li Jiang, who owns a flag-making company in China, told NPR that he’s been contracted to manufacture flags for President Trump’s 2020 election bid.

A perfect metaphor for this entire administration.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 9:47 AM on July 5 [43 favorites]


@LisaDNews: NEW - THE SMALLEST KIDS.At last an answer. HHS says about 100 children under the age of 5, in its custody right now, were separated from parents.
posted by zachlipton at 9:47 AM on July 5 [13 favorites]


Is "wasteman" a britishism for "garbage human"

Yes.
posted by Dysk at 9:47 AM on July 5 [3 favorites]


This tweet regarding Trump's reading and writing habits and accompanying response is pretty hilarious.
posted by TedW at 9:49 AM on July 5 [41 favorites]


(We traditionally call sanitation workers binmen here)
posted by Dysk at 9:51 AM on July 5 [6 favorites]


Hanitty blames Maxine Waters for the newspaper shooting. Of course he does. I'd say what an absolute asshole he is, but I'm sure there are several book length papers on the subject already.
posted by triage_lazarus at 9:52 AM on July 5 [2 favorites]


Is "wasteman" a britishism for "garbage human" or am i right in thinking that sanitation workers are being unfairly slandered in the comparison to trump (after all Gargabemen/women/sanitation workers do really useful things in society while trump is a cancerous wart on our ass).

The old British slang for a sanitation worker is "dustman," as in one who empties the dustbins. A wasteman is merely a waste of oxygen.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:52 AM on July 5 [9 favorites]


Political Wire: Li Jiang, who owns a flag-making company in China, told NPR that he’s been contracted to manufacture flags for President Trump’s 2020 election bid.
Do they expect to get paid?
posted by MtDewd at 9:55 AM on July 5 [4 favorites]



Political Wire: Li Jiang, who owns a flag-making company in China, told NPR that he’s been contracted to manufacture flags for President Trump’s 2020 election bid.

A perfect metaphor for this entire administration.


The "lol American flags are manufactured in China!" stories always get written anytime a "USA decides it's bad to purchase Chinese products." situation arises.
posted by sideshow at 9:55 AM on July 5 [1 favorite]


Just saw on MSNBC that the White House is formally announcing its hire of Bill Shine as deputy chief of staff for communications, and also adviser to the president. Because "LOL nothing matters" is the Constitution now.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:05 AM on July 5 [3 favorites]


The "lol American flags are manufactured in China!" stories always get written anytime a "USA decides it's bad to purchase Chinese products." situation arises.

It's not about "lol China" though. It's about how Trump purports to be on the side of the American worker, how he purports to be about America First™ and the second he can save a buck he throws all that under the bus. It's like how the heartland bemoans the death of American manufacturing and want those jobs back but will hoard up $2 t-shirts and $300 60-inch 4K displays at Walmart at the first opportunity.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 10:06 AM on July 5 [34 favorites]


It's extraordinary that the president of the United States could hire someone like this,” said one senior Fox News executive. “This is someone who is highly knowledgeable of women being cycled through for horrible and degrading behavior by someone who was an absolute monster.”
posted by zachlipton at 10:07 AM on July 5 [47 favorites]


DSA meeting update:

As mentioned in the last thread, I went to the NYC DSA subchapter debate on whether or not to endorse Cynthia Nixon for Governor.

There were 68 people there. I counted 12 women.

For the debate itself, we were split into 7 groups, each with a facilitator, who then reported back all of our group Pros and Cons to the entire meeting. This process seemed to involve some filtering. (Several of the arguments I made did not make it to the group presentation stage, in particular the argument that a Cynthia Nixon endorsement, combined with AOC and Julia Salazar's campaign, might make the organization more friendly to women, and noting that there seemed to be a dramatic gender disparity.) We then broke back into our original groups to rebut the Pros and Cons etc etc.

I've been trying to figure out how best to present this, so I think I'll just state what my experience was. My group had two women in our group of 8-10 (we lost two dudes halfway through); myself and the facilitator, who seemed to feel somewhat constrained by her role, based on her disclosures.

The most popular arguments in this little group seemed to be "she doesn't identify as a socialist," "we wouldn't own her the way we own Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez," "she's a celebrity," "anyone who understands history couldn't support her" (from a college student), "I don't want to support the Democratic Party" (in the same breath with which they valorized Bernie's candidacy), "we're not an electoral organization" (again this seems...inconsistent?), and then any number of rationalizations for "I don't like her" that turned out to be, at best, ill-informed on her actual statements and policies. I was the only person who brought up the impending repeal of Roe v. Wade and Cuomo's role in making sure NYS doesn't have state level abortion access legislation. Only two people brought up her actual policies, all of which are priorities for the DSA. There were at least three people in our little group -- all men -- who explicitly made the argument that "principles" were more important than "politics," in response to the argument that "this is a current emergency." They also all favored sitting things out, except where Bernie was concerned.

Hmmm. Ok. But then the facilitators stood up to present their group's arguments. 5/7 used some variation on "we wouldn't have enough power over her" or "we wouldn't be able to control her." These are direct quotes. I wrote them down at the time. "Power" and "control" came up repeatedly. When we broke back into our groups, I said, "That was incredibly creepy, and it was not language that anyone would use about a male candidate. It's also not something that ever happens, ever, so what the fuck?" The only person to agree with me in our little group was the female facilitator.

I honestly...cannot describe how weird that was. Writing it down doesn't seem to do it justice. But after like the fourth dude to get up and earnestly talk about needing to control a woman candidate for Governor, the hair on the back of my neck was standing up. There was something about the repetition and the total lack of awareness that was genuinely disturbing, especially since it seemed to originate organically in all these different groups. None of these people thought twice about that sentiment. Nothing about it seemed unusual to them, such that they stood up and repeated it, earnestly, many times.

In general the focus for most people seemed to be on, for lack of a better phrase, ideological purity. They certainly dwarfed practical considerations. I do not know if this would have been the case with a male candidate with the same policy positions. They also seemed to believe that they "owned" AOC, even though according to the woman who actually worked on the ground the NYC DSA was only responsible for 20% of AOC's ground game.

It wasn't a great first experience. There is a feminist working group. I plan to ask them many questions.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:08 AM on July 5 [252 favorites]


News from Hel:

Finnish media remains excited about the impending summit between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump in Helsinki, with Helsingin Sanomat publishing no fewer than four articles on preparations for the meeting.

They include news that Finland is considering extra checks on travellers from the Schengen area around the summit, the relatively chilled attitude of local police (who say it's 'business as usual'), and the story as reported by Yle on Wednesday that there will be at least four protests during the summit.

In addition, the opening of media accreditation brought the admission from the authorities that Finlandia Hall will be the media centre for the summit, with more than a thousand journalists expected to arrive in the Finnish capital for the occasion.
via
posted by infini at 10:10 AM on July 5 [1 favorite]


You've Been Trumped was followed up by You've Been Trumped Too. That poor woman didn't have running water for over 6 years.
posted by brujita at 10:11 AM on July 5 [4 favorites]


> Li Jiang, who owns a flag-making company in China, told NPR that he’s been contracted to manufacture flags for President Trump’s 2020 election bid.
Do they expect to get paid?


They expect to get paid in business opportunities and reduced tariffs, not cash. Trump doesn't pay for anything with his own money if he can avoid it.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:12 AM on July 5 [5 favorites]


shadenfrau: holy fuck that's horrifying. I'm a DSA member myself, because I want to support whatever can drag the Overton window to the left and force D candidates to recognize socialist-leaning electorate positions, but I'm also extremely dissatisfied with the way the organization is running things related to: empowering and platforming women and PoC, supporting antifascist direct action efforts, and avoiding falling into the same trap the Democratic party finds itself in now, constantly focused internally on "optics" bullshit.
posted by odinsdream at 10:19 AM on July 5 [37 favorites]


I honestly...cannot describe how weird that was. Writing it down doesn't seem to do it justice. But after like the fourth dude to get up and earnestly talk about needing to control a woman candidate for Governor, the hair on the back of my neck was standing up. There was something about the repetition and the total lack of awareness that was genuinely disturbing, especially since it seemed to originate organically in all these different groups. None of these people thought twice about that sentiment. Nothing about it seemed unusual to them, such that they stood up and repeated it, earnestly, many times.

Ugh. That sure is phony tough-talkin' marxist-bro-y, and I hope that you can totally shine in the feminist caucus and be part of a big change.

Have they mentioned to AOC that the DSA "owns" her? I sure hope they don't, because if that starts getting bruited about, she'll really be pushed to distance herself from them.

Also, frankly, "will we 'own' this candidate and be able to control them like some kind of McCarthyite fantasy, if not let's not bother" is not actual crafty strategizing.
posted by Frowner at 10:20 AM on July 5 [44 favorites]


Very much appreciate this Declaration of Independence- focused post. It really is illuminating, seeing it all laid out like this.

Thank you. With my brain melting in this record-setting heat wave—Thanks to Trump, U.S. Will Not Meet Paris Climate Goals (Atlantic)—I don't think I did the topic justice, though. For instance, I couldn't decide if Sessions's recision of two dozen DoJ guidelines counted as "refused his Assent to Laws" or not. I do think that his rescinding the guidelines over the "Audit of Compliance Monitoring Systems" was underreported when it fits in with the Trump administration's general aversion to documenting their in-house vandalism.

P.S. Is anyone interested in composing a DSA FPP for the Blue so people can participate in an in-depth discussion about it? Cheers,
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:24 AM on July 5 [16 favorites]


I joined the Twin Cities DSA yesterday mostly because I want to help pull MN politics to the left as the looming election here has me worried. Seriously, the thought of another Pawlenty term gives me nightmares. I have always identified as a socialist mostly because I grew up in Europe and saw what works and doesn't work under a couple of those systems. I don't care about Bernie, I'm all about the future.
posted by misterpatrick at 10:25 AM on July 5 [8 favorites]


NGL, there was a lot more crying than usual during last night's screening of 1776.

P.S. Why is autocorrect trying to change "1776" to "1775?!?"
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:25 AM on July 5 [9 favorites]


There was also the guy who suggested that we offer her a conditional endorsement, "if she publicly identifies as a socialist." He seemed nice. He listened when I talked, and was friendly. But he also did not see why it was weird, counterproductive, and problematic to demand that the only credible lefty but female candidate for Governor bend the knee to the a party with 40,000 members nationwide.

There were four people in my little group who seemed to care at all about strategy -- me, the facilitator, a knowledgeable and nice academic dude, and the nice guy who nevertheless wanted the conditional endorsement. Everyone else...not so much.

Honestly, if this is representative of the DSA, AOC probably should distance herself from them. It does seem like the best way to change it is to flood the place with women, but that becomes sort of a chicken and the egg problem.

My biggest concern at this point is that the DSA is culturally resistant to seeing that they have a problem, and that the problem is them. Without that, it doesn't get fixed. And even then it will require a lot of emotional labor at a time when we're all exhausted. So that's...not great.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:29 AM on July 5 [69 favorites]


That all sounds very discouraging schadenfrau. Maybe it's a problem with that specific chapter? Does anyone else have better experiences to report? I am now depressed.
posted by Justinian at 10:31 AM on July 5 [12 favorites]


Daily Beast, Inside the Online Campaign to Whitewash the History of Donald Trump’s Russian Business Associates
A mystery client has been paying bloggers in India and Indonesia to write articles distancing President Donald Trump from the legal travails of a mob-linked former business associate.

Spokespeople for online reputation management companies in the two countries confirmed that they had been paid to write articles attempting to whitewash Trump’s ties to Felix Sater, a Russian-born businessman who, with former Russian trade minister Tevfik Arif, collaborated with the Trump Organization on numerous real estate deals from New York to the former Soviet Union.

The campaign appears designed to influence Google search results pertaining to Trump’s relationship with Sater, Arif, and the Bayrock Group, a New York real estate firm that collaborated with Trump on a series of real estate deals, and recruited Russian investors for potential Trump deals in Moscow.
posted by zachlipton at 10:32 AM on July 5 [27 favorites]


There weren't as many ahem, problems in the Working Families Party about endorsing Cynthia Nixon.
posted by Harry Caul at 10:34 AM on July 5 [10 favorites]


It's not about "lol China" though. It's about how Trump purports to be on the side of the American worker, how he purports to be about America First™ and the second he can save a buck he throws all that under the bus.

The second paragraph of these stories always contains a sentence along the lines of "Mr/Rep/Senator So-and-So implored everyone to buy American, but ironically American flags are made in China...". The whole reason these articles get written is your "he says he believes one thing, but Chinese American flags prove the other" is the entire reason these articles have been trotted out for the last 3-4 decades.
posted by sideshow at 10:34 AM on July 5


@johnmyers: Just in: California's main "sanctuary" law, limiting local law enforcement help on immigration issues, upheld by federal judge. Law allowing access to detention centers also upheld. Law fining employers who give workplace access gets partial rebuke.

DOJ [mostly] loses again. Here's the court order, US v. California.
posted by zachlipton at 10:35 AM on July 5 [29 favorites]


The NYC DSA is now at something around 3500 members, over 400 added in the week after AOC's win (if I'm remembering correctly).

I can understand how this is depressing, but it's...I mean it's not great, and it's worse than I was expecting based on accounts here on the blue. But it's also just what happens when you have a group with that kind of gender disparity. I don't think it would be super surprising for many women.

The solution is more women. If we're being honest, what I am most apprehensive about is engaging with the women who have been active in that environment. My experience has been -- and this is not going to be a popular characterization, but I'm kind of past caring -- is that these women are often a political subspecies of The Cool Girl. The type to make the Hillary jokes first, you know? in terms of emotional labor and overall grief, those are the encounters I dread the most.

I'm hoping I'm wrong. My facilitator seemed pretty cool, if also somewhat resigned. I'm going to try to meet her for coffee.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:37 AM on July 5 [59 favorites]


I've gotten the go-ahead from the admins of the little-used (and maybe little-known?) PoliticsFilter Slack to set up a DSAFilter channel. I'll look through the last few politics threads to send specific invitations to recent inductees, but I'd say anybody interested should feel free to follow the invitation link from my link. I'm hoping this will be a good way for us to swap organizing ideas, gripe/strategize about our own local chapters, and offer unaffiliated-but-interested mefites a peek into the DSA-verse.
posted by contraption at 10:37 AM on July 5 [7 favorites]


Is it possible to use Slack without, y'know, joining Slack?
posted by adamgreenfield at 10:40 AM on July 5 [2 favorites]




Schumer apparently had a call with Trump where he encouraged him to nominate Merrick Garland, for the sake of unifying the nation. [real]
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 10:43 AM on July 5 [59 favorites]




adamgreenfield: you do have to register an account tied to your email address. Are you avoiding the use of Slack for political reasons, or just wanting to avoid login bloat?
posted by contraption at 10:46 AM on July 5 [1 favorite]


Schumer apparently had a call with Trump where he encouraged him to nominate Merrick Garland, for the sake of unifying the nation. [real]

Chuck Schumer, via Matt Bors: "we have a real shot after the 100 years of darkness"
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:47 AM on July 5 [11 favorites]


> The Lord Mayor of Sheffield is especially not looking forward to his visit, as per this tweet.

Holy shit, I assumed he was just some colourful local capital-C Character, but no...he's the real, actual Mayor. I hope he's as amazing as this tweet and the accompanying story make him sound.

Also, Brit slang is the best slang and I'm going to start using "wasteman."
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:47 AM on July 5 [13 favorites]


My biggest concern at this point is that the DSA is culturally resistant to seeing that they have a problem, and that the problem is them. Without that, it doesn't get fixed. And even then it will require a lot of emotional labor at a time when we're all exhausted. So that's...not great.

Yeah. I'm willing to stick with DSA because I think once they get past Bernie (and BernieBro's), they'll be something really special. But I also know that's going to take a fuckton of work on my part and I just....ugh.

(I didn't have that exact experience with my local DSA chapter, but a similar one that left a very nasty taste in my mouth. I am...not sure I'm looking forward to Seattle DSA, but this is a fight I'm willing to put time and energy into.)
posted by kalimac at 10:48 AM on July 5 [7 favorites]


I'm in the UK but used to talk with people from the US back in the day when the internet was young and the term "pantywaste" was a popular euphemism among them. I assume it's changed from that, but means the same thing.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 10:49 AM on July 5


*twitch*

One of my arguments for endorsing Nixon is that if the DSA’s ground game in NYC — where Zephyr Teachout was and Nixon now is weakest (apparently!) — can help bring Nixon up from 26% to 45% or something, that is the kind of big fucking deal that can scare the shit out of Chuck Schumer and every other NYS politician. And pull them all leftward.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:50 AM on July 5 [40 favorites]


Schumer apparently had a call with Trump where he encouraged him to nominate Merrick Garland, for the sake of unifying the nation. [real]

I've already seen some "can you believe these Democrats?" style takes on this bit of news. As others have pointed out in previous threads, the options available to Democrats to stop or change Trump's nominations are extremely limited. One way to have an effect is to talk to their more right-leaning party members and their Republican colleagues and try to convince them not to vote for a conservative activist judge. The other way is to try to convince Trump not to nominate such a judge. I'm not sure why anyone would be against someone trying to go for one of the above options, even if the chances of success are extraordinarily low. Besides, Trump has shown in the past that he can change his mind and reverse his position on a whim and often just does whatever the last person to talk to him tells him to do.

(edited to make complete sentences)
posted by runcibleshaw at 10:51 AM on July 5 [24 favorites]


driedmango Probably a stupid question but.. why isn't putting children in cages and camps separate from their parents (with the girls possibly sold or god knows what) not a human rights violation? When will trump and his ilk get sent to the hague?

Not a stupid question, just one with a depressing answer.

The simple answer is that of course it's a human rights violation, but the only possible penalty is to impeach Trump, and that is never going to happen.

The question about the Hague has an even worse answer: Never and under no circumstances.

The USA actually has a law, the "American Service-Members Protection Act" which mandates the USA invade the Hague to liberate any US official or soldier who is brought up on charges at the International Criminal Court.

The first step in getting Trump formally charged with crimes against humanity at the Hague would be repealing that law, which is also never going to happen. The US is apparently terrified of the ICC (perhaps justifiably so).
posted by sotonohito at 10:51 AM on July 5 [62 favorites]


That's a really shitty-sounding experience, schadenfrau, and I hope the chapter gets their shit together.
posted by contraption at 10:52 AM on July 5 [5 favorites]


It’s my birthday today. For my wish, I’d like all the children let out of the cages, please.
posted by EarBucket at 10:53 AM on July 5 [58 favorites]


Holy shit, I assumed he was just some colourful local capital-C Character, but no...he's the real, actual Mayor.

Magid Magid is awesome, but fwiw the Lord Mayor is not the actual mayor. It's a ceremonial role awarded to a different person each year.
posted by theodolite at 10:54 AM on July 5 [10 favorites]


It wasn't a great first experience. There is a feminist working group. I plan to ask them many questions.

Maybe you should take your concerns up above the chapter level? IIRC there are people who coordinate various regions and they might want to have a talk to the chapter leadership about things.

In my very short DSA experience it seemed like we had few who were really hanging on to Bernie (even in spring 2017), but certainly a couple of people that I'd have to categorize as unhelpful revolutionary Marxist types; when deciding on priorities for the chapter one of them kept insisting that expropriating a local billionaire should be one of them.
posted by Foosnark at 10:56 AM on July 5 [3 favorites]


Holy shit, I assumed he was just some colourful local capital-C Character, but no...he's the real, actual Mayor. I hope he's as amazing as this tweet and the accompanying story make him sound.

A recent client (now friendly acquaintance) grew up with him. Said he was really cool and deserved the win, when I sent him the message of congrats after the win went big on my twitter TL.
posted by infini at 10:56 AM on July 5 [1 favorite]


White supremacist* with top-level security clearance (Ali Winston and A.C. Thompson, Frontline / ProPublica)

I know, it could be anyone, right? Did anyone guess Ivanka? Okay, well, the article's not about her:

Ultimately, ProPublica and FRONTLINE determined the man in the violent footage was [Michael] Miselis, a 29-year-old pursuing a Ph.D. in UCLA’s aerospace engineering program. Miselis was identified using video footage and social media posts, and reporters confirmed his identity in an encounter with him outside his home. In interviews, a number of California law enforcement officials said Miselis was a member of RAM.

In addition to his scholarly pursuits, Miselis works as a systems engineer for Northrop Grumman, the giant defense contractor with a plant in Redondo Beach, California.

When approached by ProPublica and FRONTLINE in front of his home in Lawndale, a small city south of Los Angeles, Miselis said he “didn’t know anything” about what happened in Charlottesville.

“I think you got the wrong guy,” he said before driving off in his car.

[...] Northrop Grumman did not respond to several requests for comment. However, interviews with current and former Northrop employees, as well as an internal email, make clear the company knows of Miselis’ actions in Charlottesville and involvement with RAM. Miselis informed his superiors about his contact with reporters from ProPublica and FRONTLINE, as is required by any individual who holds a higher-level security clearance, the people said.


Tsk tsk. Giving defense contractors a bad name.

* Just say Nazi.
posted by petebest at 10:57 AM on July 5 [24 favorites]


sotonohito, thank you for answering my question. That is indeed a very very depressing answer.
posted by driedmango at 10:58 AM on July 5 [2 favorites]


Is it possible to use Slack without, y'know, joining Slack?

No, or at least, not the free version. (I think paid versions can have guests.) Using Slack isn't like Yahoochat or AOL chat; each "team" involves a separate account, with potentially a different username and avatar pic, even if they're tied to the same email address. It may be annoying to sign up, but at least it's easy to compartmentalize.


posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:59 AM on July 5 [3 favorites]


schadenfrau, thank you so much for posting your experience. That's really troubling. I'm certain that I want no part of a group interested in "controlling," "owning," "holding power," or whatever over anyone- much less, a woman of color. Whether that's the spirit they intended it in or it was them posturing to feel like self-important mafia dons or little Putins, they HAVE to realize how that sounds. It's toxic as utter fuck and it's a bad look for anyone. I don't want to be associated with it.

Quickly as it came, I'm canceling next month's membership payment. Total membership time of about two hours. I think for most MeFites, it goes without saying, but for the times we live in, it bears repeating: think about the people and groups you identify with. The beliefs you hold are held by other people, and you can associate and organize with them without being a part of their machine.

What's coming may signal a new paradigm in the United States progressive political landscape, and, as with all things new, methods of doing and philosophies that were once open to experimentation quickly become fixed. Habits become precedent. We cannot allow ourselves to compromise our moral ideals and create a new rich white boys club with a different flag. I wouldn't want the people you are describing anywhere within 100 miles of the levers of power. That's the kind of culture they will bring and because they are doing "good work" otherwise, they will be excused for it. "Of course there's no problem here, everyone's happy and liberal!"

I'm not saying let perfect be the enemy of good. We've seen where that got us. If there's no VIABLE third-party leftist candidate and you MUST pick between the capitalist establishment Democrat and the "moderate" conservative, for the love of God, vote Democratic. But don't for a second compromise the fight against sexism, racism, and fascism. We need to have the best interests of humanity in our hearts above all else. I believe in a progressive movement that has the strength and balance to handle both things at once.
posted by Krazor at 10:59 AM on July 5 [20 favorites]


The US is apparently terrified of the ICC (perhaps justifiably so).
On 17 July 1998, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court was adopted by a vote of 120 to 7, with 21 countries abstaining. The seven countries that voted against the treaty were China, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Qatar, the United States, and Yemen
The Rome Statute "established four core international crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression."
posted by kirkaracha at 11:02 AM on July 5 [27 favorites]


Probably a stupid question but.. why isn't putting children in cages and camps separate from their parents (with the girls possibly sold or god knows what) not a human rights violation? When will trump and his ilk get sent to the hague?

Along with sotonohito's excellent summary, that'll happen right after a number of prominent Western nations all agree that the cost of doing nothing to stop it is higher than the cost of a furious rage-monkey and his captive Congress declaring those nations enemies of his state and doing everything in their power to harm them economically.

i.e. on the 33rd of some arbitrary month.
posted by delfin at 11:02 AM on July 5 [4 favorites]


Schadenfrau, that sounds pretty bad. There is probably a vicious circle with the bro-ish DSA chapters, where there are far more women than men so it cultivates a misogynist atmosphere, which reduces women's participation, which makes the chapter even more male-heavy...but of course it's on the men, not the women, to make their chapters a more welcoming space. Maybe the solution for now is more feminist working groups?

There were at least three people in our little group -- all men -- who explicitly made the argument that "principles" were more important than "politics," in response to the argument that "this is a current emergency."

I've wondered lately how much yakking on about "ethics" and "principles" are anti-feminist dogwhistles. (Not actual ethics and principles as concepts, but as constant talking points.) After all, GamerGate had "ethics in gaming journalism" as its catchphrase, though we know it wasn't about that at all. I hate feeling that a perfectly decent word has been ruined.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 11:04 AM on July 5 [21 favorites]


Electronic Frontier Foundation on Slack from earlier this year
posted by XMLicious at 11:06 AM on July 5 [5 favorites]


Vox, Dara Lind, The Trump administration just admitted it doesn’t know how many kids are still separated from their parents
With a court-imposed deadline looming for the government to reunite families separated at the US-Mexico border under President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) told reporters on Thursday it doesn’t know exactly how many of the children in its care were separated from parents under the policy.

The administration has a list of nearly 3,000 children who might have been separated. But it is still trying to figure out exactly which ones had parents taken away.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar said on a press call his department is working through each individual case file of the 11,800 “unaccompanied alien children,” who are now in the care of HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), to see which ones were separated from parents at the border by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials.

Most unaccompanied alien minors who are undocumented immigrants happen to be children (mostly teenagers) who came to the US without a parent or guardian. Azar said, however, there were thousands of case files that indicate a child might have been separated from their parents. He was unwilling to give a specific number but said there were “fewer than 3,000” such children.

Azar said his department has not yet reunited any children with their parents in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody, despite the fact that a federal judge last week ruled that all children under the age of 5 must be reunited with their parents by July 14 and all other kids must be reunited by July 26.

The reason, according to Azar, is that HHS needs to spend as much time as possible vetting parents to make sure they are who they say they are and that it would be safe to release a child to them. (For example, Azar said HHS staff have identified two cases of parents with criminal histories that included rape, kidnapping, or cruelty to children.)

But it’s also clear that — despite previous claims from DHS and HHS that they had a plan in place to reunite families — the Trump administration didn’t officially note which families had been split up to begin with, and is now scrambling at the deadline to bring them together.
Chuck E. Cheese's has a better process to reunite kids and parents than the US government. And if you read on, it seems DOJ radically misrepresented the situation to the court.
posted by zachlipton at 11:07 AM on July 5 [49 favorites]


HHS staff have identified two cases of parents with criminal histories that included rape, kidnapping, or cruelty to children.

I've identified thousands in DC alone.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:11 AM on July 5 [13 favorites]


Chuck E. Cheese's has a better process to reunite kids and parents than the US government. And if you read on, it seems DOJ radically misrepresented the situation to the court.

Fuck it. Close DisneyWorld for a week. Send the staff out to collect the kids. They'll get it done.
posted by ocschwar at 11:12 AM on July 5 [60 favorites]


I was listening to some professional mouth user, a conservative, talking about the Ocasio-Cortez upset in the primaries. He was saying that this was like the tea-party split, between moderates and the far-left. The dems could end up with something like the freedom caucus, which would be a disaster. Utter bullshit, of course. It's relies on the common delusion that the dems are just the mirror-universe version of the GOP. What is revealing in this line of reasoning is the implicit acknowledgement that the tea-party, the freedom caucus and factionalism is a disaster for the GOP and they know it.

The danger is that some dems may accept this argument, and move to distance themselves from Super Scary Socialism and make it all come true. Please guys (it will be guys), when you have a rock-star politician like Alexandria on your team, don't push back, lean in.
posted by adept256 at 11:15 AM on July 5 [17 favorites]


But don't for a second compromise the fight against sexism, racism, and fascism

I agree with you, but let me give the counter argument (and probably I should have put this in my original account—I was more focused on not yelling, tbh).

While none of these guys even thought about abortion access until I mentioned it, they all immediately started snapping their fingers. I bet they mostly identify as feminists, and as anti-racists. I bet if you asked them their policy positions, they’d all be the right ones (even if they’d be willing to sacrifice the “identity stuff” for “class consciousness” or whatever).

My point is that these are, for the most part, the most reachable men. They want to be the good guys, but they are not self-aware, and they’re not going to become self-aware on their own. Like yes, that is their responsibility, but it’s generally not how it works in actual life.

And, in addition, the work the DSA is doing is the work we need — community building, mutual aid. This is the stuff we need if we’re going to resist the massive fucking power of the state under GOP control.

Now, I do not know how the DSA thinks it’s going to do these things without women, and it is also not clear to me that the DSA is united in that focus. But it’s still important.

Corb mentioned “entryism” in the last thread. I think it will be easier to invade the DSA with a bunch of politically activated women and change it from within than it will be to run a parallel organization. Splitting resources seems counterproductive, anyway. And just as it’s easier to stage a lefty coup of the Democratic Party and turn it back to something FDR would recognize, I think it may be easier to turn the DSA into what it purports to be.

It does require us to show up and fight the bullshit, though, and it is exhausting. So. I don’t have a good solution for that. I just think it will be more exhausting to start a competing group.

Anyway. I’m going to try to work on these people. I don’t know if I’ll be successful, or how long I’ll have the spoons for it. I do know it will be easier if I have allies.
posted by schadenfrau at 11:17 AM on July 5 [121 favorites]


The danger is that some dems may accept this argument, and move to distance themselves from Super Scary Socialism and make it all come true. Please guys (it will be guys), when you have a rock-star politician like Alexandria on your team, don't push back, lean in.

I'd say there is zero chance of this happening, because of the entrenched, powerful and fundamentally conservative financial interests that Dem leadership like Schumer and Pelosi represent.
posted by ryanshepard at 11:18 AM on July 5 [1 favorite]


The dems could end up with something like the freedom caucus, which would be a disaster.

The Dems had a Freedom Caucus. They were called Blue Dog Democrats. They voted against the ACA and still got their asses kicked out of Congress in the Tea Party wave. Some because the electorate preferred full flavored Racism to Diet Racism and others because they were actually in liberal seats and their voters kicked their asses for it.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 11:20 AM on July 5 [13 favorites]


CNN's Kevin Liptak @Kevinliptakcnn reports on how the Trump administration is setting up expectations for the Helsinki summit:
Why does Trump want to meet Putin one-on-one, without aides? Here's an explanation from a senior administration official:

"This really is a first opportunity for the (them) to sit down, and to begin that very important dialogue, much the way we saw President Reagan do it with Mikhail Gorbachev or Margaret Thatcher and and Mikhail Gorbachev. The President has determined that now is the time for direct communication between himself and President Putin, and that it is in the interest of the United States, in the interest of Russia, in the interest of peace and security around the world, and that's the way he's proceeding." [sic throughout—rough transcript]
Ominous as this is, Putin is clearly no Gorbachev. If anything, the comparison to a world leader who oversaw the disintegration of his country and its global influence fits Trump better.

P.S. If someone could please compose a DSA FPP, that would be a great service to the topic. (I would myself, but obviously I've hit my allotment for today.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:21 AM on July 5 [10 favorites]


Huh? The Blue Dogs were conservative Democrats. They were not at all analogous to the Tea Party or the Freedom Caucus except in terms of being a pain in the ass.

The Democrats have not had an analog to either the Tea Party or the Freedom Caucus — a large minority that pulls the party towards an extreme, rather than the middle — in my lifetime.
posted by schadenfrau at 11:22 AM on July 5 [11 favorites]


@KlasfeldReports The third and final document of declarations (of the recently released batch) in the Trump family separation lawsuit in the Western District of Washington.

165 pages.
posted by scalefree at 11:27 AM on July 5 [8 favorites]


If you're left-wing and in the DC area, please come have a coffee with me on Sunday. Nothing beats face-to-face solidarity.

That all sounds very discouraging schadenfrau. Maybe it's a problem with that specific chapter? Does anyone else have better experiences to report? I am now depressed.

Unfortunately, my experience has been pretty similar to schadenfrau's, and I think it's a problem with the party rather than any specific chapter. The perception that the DSA is for "Bernie Bros," with all the white male centering that that entails, is very accurate and widespread (it's why none of my politically active friends are interested in joining).

On the other hand, I am not ready to give up on the DSA yet. An explicitly progressive organization with a high profile is a great thing. So I dunno.

It keeps ending up that the action I get involved in -- the campaigns I volunteer for, the direct action I think is important, the protests I go to and why I go to them and who I think the audience for them is is, the policy and even values that I think are most essential -- my actual political participation, in other words, is all taking place outside of my association with the DSA rather than in conjunction with it. And my involvement with the DSA therefore gets squeezed out so that I'm barely involved at all. But there's not some other party to fill the void, I just end up seeking out these campaigns on my own, going on my own or with ad hoc groups to these protests, writing my own letters to the governor, etc. In other words, I'm torn. There needs to be a place for real progressives in a supposedly progressive party, but I am (and probably everyone else is) too busy with other political action to spend my time worrying about the DSA's issues. Just not sure where to go from here. Which is the point of the above coffee klatch, which I earnestly hope that other people join me for.
posted by rue72 at 11:27 AM on July 5 [20 favorites]


The Blue Dogs pulled in the opposite direction, but the analogy (where it applies) is that they were a distinct minority group within a majority that could prevent the majority from passing bills, should they decide to vote collectively with the other side. Like, for instance, the Blue Dogs' obstructionism in the face of potentially meaningful health care reform.
posted by delfin at 11:28 AM on July 5 [10 favorites]


Putting them all together in one comment. Declarations filed in the lawsuit in the Western District of Washington over the policy splitting up asylum-seeking immigrant families. Set one, 322 pages. Set two, 423 pages. Set three, 165 pages. Many thanks to @KlasfeldReports for bringing to light this archive of darkness done in our names.
posted by scalefree at 11:37 AM on July 5 [23 favorites]


Is there any data on the demographics of DSA members? And/or official party surveys of members' views on various issues? Obviously this is tricky if their membership has increased substantially in just the last few weeks, but I myself would be interested to see even slightly older survey data. The nice thing about the primaries, for better or for worse, is that they gave us a huge amount of survey data on Sanders supporters (though not specifically on the "party members"), so we have a decent benchmark to compare against, anyway.
posted by chortly at 11:42 AM on July 5 [2 favorites]


[Folks, it seems like there's a lot of discussion to be had about the DSA that is rather taking over this more general one. If someone wants to make a new thread, that'd be great, but let this thread move on from it. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 11:46 AM on July 5 [39 favorites]


[sorry, just saw the note, I'll save that thought]
posted by aspersioncast at 11:55 AM on July 5


What is revealing in this line of reasoning is the implicit acknowledgement that the tea-party, the freedom caucus and factionalism is a disaster for the GOP and they know it.

The danger is that some dems may accept this argument, and move to distance themselves from Super Scary Socialism and make it all come true. Please guys (it will be guys), when you have a rock-star politician like Alexandria on your team, don't push back, lean in.


Expect to see more of this kind of coordinated messaging, as Russian bots and others try to disrupt Dem unity and focus come November. I find myself constantly pushing back on the "Dems in disarray" message when it pops up on my FB feed, with "it's big tent - plenty of room for both."
posted by jetsetsc at 12:00 PM on July 5 [13 favorites]


To touch on a comment from the previous post:
"If we take our balls and go home because someone isn't socialist enough or too milquetoast then we lose. Those levers of power? They're not about having reliable votes for our pie in the sky legislation. It's about being in control of committees. It's about being in control of floor votes in Congress. It's about being in control of nomination processes of judges and cabinet secretaries.... There are so many things we stand to benefit from even if we elect imperfect candidates who won't vote with Democratic Socialists 100% of the time."

I agree with this 100%. Obviously blindly voting for whoever is on "your team" is part of what has led to the rise of Trump, but America is really at a crisis point right now. In order to change that, we must have non-Republicans in office. Vote your heart in the primary, but for the next few election cycles, we do not have the luxury of voting for anyone other than Notta Fascist (D) in the general election-- every general election*. Once we have Democrats in power, once we have put a brake on the runaway train that the Republicans are trying to drive off a cliff, then we can call/write/fax/tweet/primary them on every issue, but we must get them into office before we can do that.

Because, as a Democrat living in a red state, here's the thing: when I call my senator, when I ask him to support something antithetical to his party's platform, he can ignore me with impunity. There is nothing he can do that would induce me to vote for him, and he knows that, and he doesn't care, because obviously he got elected just fine without me. But that milquetoast, mainstream Dem? He needs my vote. He can't afford not to listen.

*To clarify: voting for the left-most realistic candidate for the office. If you live in someplace that routinely elects DSA/Green/Other Leftish Third Party candidates, then by all means, vote for them for local positions! We need these candidates on school boards and city councils and state legislatures and Congress. Hell, we need them for the Senate, if your state can swing that! But what we don't need is for these candidates to split the general left into factions, because the deck is already stacked against us.
posted by Daughter of Time at 12:18 PM on July 5 [39 favorites]


Schumer trying to persuade Trump to nominate Garland is the right idea, but wrong approach.

Obama needs to address the nation with an apology for the 2016 non-confirmation. "I thought I could do it, but I just couldn't," he laments, then stares into the camera: "My failure has made me bitter, and today there is no name I despise more than 'Merrick Garland'. If he somehow achieved the seat, I'd be inconsolable. I would actually cry, like a pathetic baby. Like a dog.

"Fortunately, that's just hypothetical, because I doubt anyone could do it. Yes, Bush tried it, and Clinton before him, but making Merrick Garland a Supreme Court Justice is probably impossible."
posted by InTheYear2017 at 12:26 PM on July 5 [105 favorites]


At this point, I would hope Garland would decline.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:32 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]


I've wondered lately how much yakking on about "ethics" and "principles" are anti-feminist dogwhistles. (Not actual ethics and principles as concepts, but as constant talking points.)

Ah, good old "retreat into abstraction" to hide the handwaving and shittiness. Almost always indicates a bad faith argument, effectively countered by Feynman's Brick.
posted by BS Artisan at 12:34 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]


He needs my vote. He can't afford not to listen.

Leftists have been fed this bullshit line for decades. It's not true even if you'd like to believe it.
posted by TypographicalError at 12:34 PM on July 5 [7 favorites]


Once we have Democrats in power, once we have put a brake on the runaway train that the Republicans are trying to drive off a cliff, then we can call/write/fax/tweet/primary them on every issue, but we must get them into office before we can do that.

This has been the Democratic talking point whenever a Republican is in power for the last several decades, and it's still a losing message, regardless of how bad the current president is. It ensures that the Democrats will always be the party of controlled opposition. It is never going to drive turnout.
posted by dilaudid at 12:35 PM on July 5 [8 favorites]


So, on hiz Trumpness’ UK visit...is there to be a meeting with the Queen? While I’m no monarchist, the idea of the Queen shaking hands with Cheeto makes chunky bits well-up in my throat.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:35 PM on July 5 [7 favorites]


While I’m no monarchist, the idea of the Queen shaking hands with Cheeto makes chunky bits well-up in my throat.

Whereas my vision is for the Queen to make things well up in his throat, probably with a corgi to the Oh Dear I'm So Sorry I Thought He'd Been Trained Out Of Biting Theres.
posted by mephron at 12:39 PM on July 5 [10 favorites]


Trump actually announced something in a tweet:
I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this. The Senate confirmed Deputy at EPA, Andrew Wheeler, will..
...on Monday assume duties as the acting Administrator of the EPA. I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda. We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!
posted by Brainy at 12:40 PM on July 5 [41 favorites]


I think there's a strong argument that it's far more likely for socialists to gain power in this climate of angry opposition than it would be under a milquetoast centrist democratic government. All that was solid has melted into air thanks to Trump, and it's currently possible for the left to make huge gains by rallying around a strong, appealing, fierce ideological program.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 12:40 PM on July 5 [13 favorites]


Scott Pruitt: Too Corrupt for the Trump Administration. That's quite a towering achievement. I hope his hands aren't too moist to open the door on his way out.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:42 PM on July 5 [53 favorites]


So, folks that know this better than I do: does this remove Pruitt as a pre-confirmed option to replace Sessions? Or does having been Senate-confirmed persist, despite resigning in disgrace from your first confirmed Cabinet role?
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 12:44 PM on July 5 [10 favorites]


Wheeler is a former coal lobbyist.
posted by zarq at 12:45 PM on July 5 [11 favorites]


I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Was Trump trying to head off this latest Pruitt revelation? NYT: E.P.A. Aide Questioned Deleting Sensitive Meeting Details. Then She Was Fired.
"Last summer one of his senior schedulers, Madeline G. Morris, was fired by Mr. Pruitt’s former deputy chief of staff, Kevin Chmielewski, who said he let her go because she was questioning the practice of retroactively deleting meetings from the calendar. [...] Ms. Morris, who started work as Mr. Pruitt’s scheduler in June 2017, confirmed Wednesday that she was fired after she raised objections about the deletions, which she believed were illegal, although she said that Mr. Chmielewski did not tell her his reasons for firing her. One case involved the deletion of several of Mr. Pruitt’s meetings during a spring 2017 trip to Rome, including one with a controversial cardinal then under investigation for sexual assault."

Meanwhile, Giuliani surprises no-one in blowing another of his predicted deadlines: Despite July 4 expectation, Giuliani says no decision on cooperation with Mueller (CBS).
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:45 PM on July 5 [14 favorites]


> Pruitt has "resigned".

So that sets the outer bound of the level of petty corruption, grift, and bad news headlines that, however reluctantly, the Trump administration will not be able to tolerate. Good to know that this is how far we've fallen.

In any other administration, Wilbur Ross "forgetting" to sell his investments and "accidentally" making a multi-million dollar profit (previous thread) would be a 5-alarm scandal with hearings and resignations. Here it barely moved the needle against the level set by Pruitt.
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:46 PM on July 5 [42 favorites]


I think there's a strong argument that it's far more likely for socialists to gain power in this climate of angry opposition than it would be under a milquetoast centrist democratic government. All that was solid has melted into air thanks to Trump, and it's currently possible for the left to make huge gains by rallying around a strong, appealing, fierce ideological program.

The thing is, it's an utterly irrelevant part of the discussion in aggregate. There's a committee of establishment Democrats at each county level who put their thumbs on the scale but the voters ultimately decide who they want to endorse for the general election. Every district will put forward its own candidate from the primary. If you can run a firebrand like AOC and win, great. Use that. If you're going to war with noted piece of Senate furniture, Bill Nelson, as your general then go show up for him just because OH GOD RICK SCOTT IN THE SENATE need I say more? The important thing is showing up for whoever it is even if they aren't perfect [insert ideology here] and even if they don't make you feel excited like you've just drunk a bottle of extract of Tony Robbins.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 12:48 PM on July 5 [11 favorites]


Wheeler is a former coal lobbyist but also a former Senate staffer, so he gets the Comity Confirmation. So does Susan Parker Bodine, currently EPA's head of enforcement, if they choose to go that route.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:48 PM on July 5 [3 favorites]


When I did a DuckDuckGo search for "Andrew Wheeler epa" the top result title shown – on the EPA site! – was "coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler". At least it's honest.
posted by hijinx at 12:52 PM on July 5 [9 favorites]


I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

I do wonder whether Pruitt knew about his resignation prior to this tweet.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:54 PM on July 5 [38 favorites]


So, folks that know this better than I do: does this remove Pruitt as a pre-confirmed option to replace Sessions? Or does having been Senate-confirmed persist, despite resigning in disgrace from your first confirmed Cabinet role?

If he’s out of the cabinet he’s no longer an “Officer of the United States” under the Vacancies Reform Act, and no longer eligible to be an acting officer anywhere else either.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:54 PM on July 5 [33 favorites]


Schumer trying to persuade Trump to nominate Garland is the right idea, but wrong approach.

Yeah, essentially this. I don’t think it’s a bad idea for Schumer to try to convince Trump of a new Supreme Court pick, it makes perfect sense, but I don’t know how you think he’s possibly going to convince Trump to try Merrick Garland. He’d have more luck looking at the court cases that Hillary Clinton lost while a practicing attorney, and suggesting those judges as a bipartisan pick, because they ruled against Hillary. He isn’t driven by statesmanship, but only by petty spite, and the sooner leaders realize that, the better.
posted by corb at 12:55 PM on July 5 [11 favorites]


(I'm looking for links to throw together a post about the DSA, but I also know that as someone who has been to a grand total of 1.5 DSA events, I might not be the best person to do this. If anyone has any links they want to send me, please do; if there's no post I'll go with what I got tomorrow, assuming life does not interfere.

In the meantime I've made an IRL post for those of us interested in going to a NYC DSA event together.)
posted by schadenfrau at 12:56 PM on July 5 [10 favorites]


So that sets the outer bound of the level of petty corruption, grift, and bad news headlines

The last one. Only the last one, and only because of the sheer number of headlines. Wilbur Ross has almost certainly made eight figures via insider trading while Secretary of Commerce, but he's still in the Cabinet because it was only one story. But Pruitt just kept getting new stories about different venalities.
posted by Etrigan at 12:59 PM on July 5 [9 favorites]


I do wonder whether Pruitt knew about his resignation prior to this tweet.

If ever there were someone who deserved to be stranded out in East Jesus Nowhere and have to pay his own airfare back, it would be Scott Pruitt. I wouldn't like to be the security person who had to frisk him on his way out of the EPA building, either. "No, you can't take the stapler OR your soundproof booth."
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:00 PM on July 5 [33 favorites]


Wheeler's another one of Inhofe's creatures. He'll likely prove worse than Pruitt, in terms of environmental impact, because he'll prioritize deregulation over minting challenge coins, cadging free mattresses, or hunting up sinecures for a spouse.
posted by Iridic at 1:01 PM on July 5 [19 favorites]


So that sets the outer bound of the level of petty corruption, grift, and bad news headlines that, however reluctantly, the Trump administration will not be able to tolerate.

SCOTUSblog: Life would be complete if Scott Pruitt resigned to make himself available to be appointed to the Supreme Court.

After all, he's already been confirmed once . . .
posted by gladly at 1:01 PM on July 5 [3 favorites]


Not particularly substantive 45 news but I'll take it anyway: Looks like Sacha Baron Cohen is doing something nefarious with Trump University.

"...Cohen teased an upcoming project with the words, “Sacha Graduates Soon” followed by the Trump University logo. So far, there are no further details on the project, except that Cohen will be back “as you’ve never seen him before.” "
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:02 PM on July 5 [8 favorites]


@costareports: SCOTUS news: Sen. Rand Paul and his top adviser Doug Stafford have signed a statement urging POTUS to pick Sen. Lee. Former Sen. DeMint has signed the letter as well, among other conservatives, coordinated in part by FreedomWorks. Wash Post obtained the statement, which has not yet been released publicly, this afternoon. Signatures still being collected by conservative organizers... notable to see Paul on it, since he spoke w/ POTUS earlier this week. He has concerns about Kavanaugh, per associates

Not really confident there's anything substantive that comes out of this unless Paul really is going to derail the nomination instead of just making noise about it, but watching the right tear themselves into knots over Kavanaugh is fascinating.
posted by zachlipton at 1:06 PM on July 5 [4 favorites]


Okay, but you know that motherfucker stuffed his pockets with office supplies before he walked out the door.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:06 PM on July 5 [20 favorites]


The silver lining on Wheeler would be that he's dealt with EPA in a non-adversarial capacity before, and is less likely to want to burn it to the ground. AFAICT he's at the midpoint on that spectrum between Pruitt at the Burn Everything end and Bodine at the Preserve EPA As An Institution But Deregulate Everything side, otherwise known as the Christine Todd Whitman Special.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:06 PM on July 5 [5 favorites]


So does Coal Lobbyist Wheeler get the tactical pants now?

Also, and people I can't stress this enough - Scott Pants is out. Everyone gets cake! Have some for America!

And to "Pastries in Poughkeepsie", yes, Ding Dongs / Ring Dings will do in a pinch.
posted by petebest at 1:07 PM on July 5 [5 favorites]




Oh boy, Pruitt's resignation letter (via Twitter), and it's a doozy [real]
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:08 PM on July 5 [41 favorites]


I will accept a Pruitt resignation for my birthday, sure.
posted by EarBucket at 1:12 PM on July 5 [36 favorites]


Scott Pants is out.

I prefer "Scotty Both-Hands", esp. because Joe "Joey Pants" Pantoliano deserves better than having that asshole steal his name.
posted by Etrigan at 1:13 PM on July 5 [4 favorites]


"my desire to service you" is the most accurate part of that letter . . .
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 1:14 PM on July 5 [65 favorites]


NSFL tag on that resignation letter please. He stops just short of saying he’s praying to Trump the God-Emperor personally.
posted by schadenfrau at 1:15 PM on July 5 [13 favorites]


"Your courage, steadfastness and resolute commitment [...] is in fact occurring at an unprecedented pace [...]"

"However, the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented [...]"


Scott Pruitt's career in politics died as it lived: with astounding ineptitude.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:15 PM on July 5 [40 favorites]


From the letter:

I believe you are serving today as President because of god's providence.

Just to alight upon the theme of the post, he's not the fucken king.
posted by adept256 at 1:15 PM on July 5 [18 favorites]


Pruitt's resignation letter (via Twitter)

Dude, I *just ate*.
posted by uosuaq at 1:15 PM on July 5 [27 favorites]


sorry, misread "my desire in service to you" - i guess my prior comment should read WOULD BE the most accurate part of the letter.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 1:15 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]


Excerpt from Pruitt's letter:

"My desire in service to you has always been to bless you as you make important decisions for the American people. I believe you are serving as President today because of God's providence. I believe that same providence brought me into your service."

I know it's hot outside, but please, whatever you do:
Do NOT accept Kool Aid from this man!
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:16 PM on July 5 [17 favorites]


It's some Juche bullshit
posted by fluttering hellfire at 1:16 PM on July 5 [17 favorites]


The way the evangelicals are fawning over Trump, it's starting to make me think maybe Trump really is the anti-Christ and his private meetings with Putin are to give Putin orders, not the other way around. I mean, if you were the anti-Christ, wouldn't you mask your strength until the time was right?
posted by M-x shell at 1:17 PM on July 5 [14 favorites]


I believe God put me in this job. Also, I quit.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 1:17 PM on July 5 [169 favorites]


Sen. Rand Paul and his top adviser Doug Stafford have signed a statement urging POTUS to pick Sen. Lee.

I mean I like Senator Lee and all, and I appreciate his hatred for Trump’s venality, but man, GOP, you really want to be replacing senators in Blue Wave Season? Like, how’d that work out for you last time?
posted by corb at 1:19 PM on July 5 [4 favorites]


Even with everything - siren-bewailed dinner drives, corrupt-as-fuck practices, unethical, immoral, insipid actions - he lasted 16 months.
posted by petebest at 1:19 PM on July 5 [4 favorites]


Im sure mitt has some kids who would run, no?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 1:20 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]


Daily Beast: The Brits Told Us the Russians Were Hacking Our Election—To the British eavesdroppers who uncovered Russia’s hack of Democratic headquarters, it looked like Watergate all over again. But no one in the U.S. seemed to care. (From The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age by David E. Sanger. ) While mega-thread readers won't find anything surprising in this article, it does explicitly say that GCHQ identified the GRU hacking the DNC in April 2016.

Likewise, this overview article from Vox doesn't break any new ground, but it's useful to read an aggregate of what we know (which is only a fraction, of course, of what Mueller does): Why Trump’s inauguration money is a major part of Mueller’s Russia investigation—Russia-tied donations and oligarch connections have drawn Mueller’s interest.

Wilbur Ross has almost certainly made eight figures via insider trading while Secretary of Commerce, but he's still in the Cabinet because it was only one story.

Now that Pruitt's gone, Ross is the #1 most obviously corrupt member of the Trump cabinet (his undisclosed Invesco stock trade is a headache that isn't going away, for example).
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:20 PM on July 5 [39 favorites]


Now that Pruitt's gone, Ross is the #1 most obviously corrupt member of the Trump cabinet

Devos gets the silver and Zinke gets the bronze.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 1:25 PM on July 5 [11 favorites]


If he’s out of the cabinet he’s no longer an “Officer of the United States” under the Vacancies Reform Act, and no longer eligible to be an acting officer anywhere else either.

Don't jinx it! He's resigning effective July 6. I for one, plan to hold my breath for the rest of today, unless someone can remind me of the canonical mefi turning and spitting ritual...
posted by mabelstreet at 1:29 PM on July 5 [5 favorites]


Live your life with the confidence of a comically corrupt Trump official who believed spending thousands of dollars on tactical pants and silence cones was all part of God's manifested will.
posted by 0xFCAF at 1:30 PM on July 5 [21 favorites]


Now that Pruitt's gone, Ross is the #1 most obviously corrupt member of the Trump cabinet

Devos gets the silver


Devos isn't corrupt -- as the daughter of a billionaire and the wife of a billionaire, she doesn't really know what money is. On the "hates their own agency" vs. "stealing every dime" spectrum, she's way over on the left, Ross is way over on the right, and Pruitt was right in the middle.
posted by Etrigan at 1:30 PM on July 5 [8 favorites]


> On the "hates their own agency" vs. "stealing every dime" spectrum, she's way over on the left, Ross is way over on the right, and Pruitt was right in the middle.

So Pruitt was the GoldiLockean conservative ideal of sabotage and grift? (sorry...)
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:31 PM on July 5 [5 favorites]




Pruitt occupied every spot on that spectrum simultaneously. I assume it's some kind of quantum thing.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:32 PM on July 5 [12 favorites]


"My desire in service to you has always been to bless you as you make important decisions for the American people. I believe you are serving as President today because of God's providence. I believe that same providence brought me into your service."

"I have the honor to be
Your Obdt. St
S. Pruitt"
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 1:32 PM on July 5 [20 favorites]


"However, the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented [...]"

So nobody in Oklahoma ever tried to hold him to account?

Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.
posted by ocschwar at 1:33 PM on July 5 [5 favorites]


"The President who plays king won’t conquer the bedrock values this nation was founded on."

right-right...I mean, Yup-Yup.
posted by clavdivs at 1:34 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]


I believe you are serving today as President because of God's providence.

Well, it wasn't the will of the people, that's for sure.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:36 PM on July 5 [85 favorites]


No one but Trump knows the inside of his own mind, but the person who always seems to come closest is Twitter's Alexandra Erin: So, here's the thing. Bad press is not necessarily a negative to Trump. The *right* kind of bad press will endear a person to him and help fuel his rage.

Pruitt's problem was that his graft stories made him look weak.


...

Trump doesn't care that Pruitt had aides run personal errands for him -- "that makes him smart" -- but the nature of the errands: a used mattress. Favorite lotion. Securing a cushy sinecure for his wife.

Trump is the man who bragged about not giving his beloved first wife jewelry because he didn't want her to own any "negotiable assets". The idea of doubling your fortune by having your wife bring in as much money as you make would strike him as something very much like cuckoldry.

Yes, it seems absurd, and most of the media talking heads are going to consider more mundane explanations, but it sounds about right to me. Particularly the point that Trump enjoys being angry (though like his love of praise, it's non-sustainable and he'll always need to chase a bigger fix).

Maybe Donald had no problem specifically with Pruitt enriching his wife or buying lotion or whatever. But I do think that Pruitt's occupational position would paradoxically be safer if he'd been willing to take even bigger legal risks. Just literally rob a bank without wearing a mask -- he'd go to jail, Trump would insist on still not letting him go, the story among the alt-right would be all about "balls" and lib-triggering.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 1:38 PM on July 5 [21 favorites]


Ha, Twitterfolk are now referring to Pruitt as "Ofdonald" based on the letter.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:38 PM on July 5 [112 favorites]


I don’t think it’s a bad idea for Schumer to try to convince Trump of a new Supreme Court pick, it makes perfect sense, but I don’t know how you think he’s possibly going to convince Trump to try Merrick Garland.

"Obama couldn't make it happen."
posted by jason_steakums at 1:40 PM on July 5 [12 favorites]


> Now that Pruitt's gone, Ross is the #1 most obviously corrupt member of the Trump cabinet

Devos gets the silver and Zinke gets the bronze.


Everybody underestimates Ben Carson (and his family).
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:42 PM on July 5 [17 favorites]


Political Wire: Li Jiang, who owns a flag-making company in China, told NPR that he’s been contracted to manufacture flags for President Trump’s 2020 election bid.

Quick, someone tell Sen Susan Collins (R-Concerned) who was so proud of the passage of her All-American Flag Act* last week in the midst of the Keep Families Together protests.

*The All-American Flag Act" would require the government to buy flags that are made in the U.S. and with materials that are 100% American.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:44 PM on July 5 [11 favorites]


@maggieNYT: NEWS - @LannyDavis, the Clinton-era White House official, tells me he's been retained by @MichaelCohen212 as he prepares for a potential legal onslaught from prosecutors and a potential PR onslaught from Trump associates.

[Stupidity intensifies.]

Some backstory on why Davis sucks, from Jon Lovett back in 2012.
posted by zachlipton at 1:44 PM on July 5 [11 favorites]


My suburb has the biggest 4th of July parade in the area, so lots of politicians march in it. The Dems went by and it was fine. Then the GOP contingent came by with their swag. They offered some to Micro McGee, and he shouted, "NO!" and they tried to persuade him, "Are you sure you don't want some candy?" and he said "NO!" louder and crossed his arms over his chest and leaned away from them. Meanwhile, Mini McGee had taken a sticker and stuck it on himself because he loves stickers, but when he heard his brother shouting, looked down at his sticker, realized it was for Republicans, and ripped it off, visibly upset, shouting, "NO! IT'S BAD!" and crumpled it up and threw it at the walkers.

My kids know we're Democrats, but we try to be relatively circumspect in talking about Republicans (as they have Republican relatives, and my husband has GOP colleagues and bosses (especially when he was at the state), and you never know what their friends' parents believe). So we try to explain positive reasons for why we vote for Democrats and support Democratic policies, and explain that some political questions are hard questions without easy answers and it's okay for people to disagree about them. We have also banned TV and radio news because we don't want them exposed at this age to Nazis holding rallies and the president assaulting women and all the other assorted appallingness of this administration.

Anyway, this is 100% about Trump. They loathe Trump, they think he's the worst guy in America, they automatically oppose everything he does. And they have figured out that Republicans support Trump. And now they want nothing to do with Republicans, and are starting to hate Republicans too, for supporting Trump. They are 7 and 9. If I were a Republican concerned about the long-term survival of the party, that'd scare me, that I was losing (white, male) voters probably for life before they're 10 years old.

Also I sternly rebuked Mini McGee for throwing things at people, because civility, but honestly I'm pretty freaking proud.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:46 PM on July 5 [166 favorites]


I'll always wonder what Pruitt's job interview was like:

"I'm *extremely* corrupt. I believe my corruption skill set is a perfect fit for your team, and that I can contribute by setting the pace for corruption within your administration. I can hit the ground running and be proactive in my corruption on day one. That said, I am always looking to further my corruption skills and am excited by the prospect of learning more about corruption from you and your team."
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:46 PM on July 5 [23 favorites]


Everybody underestimates Ben Carson (and his family).

Carson might actually be unaware that he is part of a scam. His entire candidacy run was probably little more than mail fraud committed by his campaign manager funnelling money to consultants.
posted by PenDevil at 1:49 PM on July 5 [4 favorites]


I reiterate: Everybody underestimates Ben Carson.
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:52 PM on July 5 [8 favorites]


Ha, Twitterfolk are now referring to Pruitt as "Ofdonald" based on the letter.

"Under His Hair."
posted by scalefree at 1:52 PM on July 5 [28 favorites]


Pruitt is likely resigning in part because he was losing Republican support over his "pleases nobody" flips and flops onbiofuels policy, not just because of the scandals.
posted by kewb at 1:52 PM on July 5 [1 favorite]


Carson might actually be unaware that he is part of a scam.

I strongly disagree. That Atlantic headline sounds like an attempt to avoid a defamation suit rather than a substantive point.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:53 PM on July 5 [3 favorites]


The people who pushed Pruitt for EPA chief were mainly going from a "trigger the libs" perspective -- who better to run the EPA than the guy who sues EPA all the time, right????

I doubt there was more to it than that, plus a good word from Jim Inhofe. The corruption was likely an unexpected bonus.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:54 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]


"I'm *extremely* corrupt. I believe my corruption skill set is a perfect fit for your team, and that I can contribute by setting the pace for corruption within your administration."
posted by The Card Cheat

#eponysterical
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:56 PM on July 5 [14 favorites]


As Trump celebrates reductions in legal immigration and is working toward more, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Wants To Hire 40 More Foreign Workers. His business is petitioning the government he runs for the visas, which would total 240 since he launched his campaign.
posted by zachlipton at 1:58 PM on July 5 [42 favorites]


"NO! IT'S BAD!"

I'm with you, kid.
posted by emjaybee at 1:59 PM on July 5 [17 favorites]


Trump ordered the Border Patrol to hire more agents, but instead, it’s losing them

A Government Accountability Office report last week found that attrition has outstripped improvements in recruiting and hiring. In the first half of 2018, the Border Patrol hired nearly double the number of agents it brought on over the same period in 2017. [...] But it wasn’t enough to keep up with departures. In 2017, the Border Patrol posted a net loss of nearly 400 agents. That left staffing at almost 7,000 below Trump’s target.

Despite scraping the bottom of the thug barrel they're still coming up short. Incivility and social ostracism works.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:00 PM on July 5 [93 favorites]


Despite scraping the bottom of the thug barrel they're still coming up short. Incivility and social ostracism works.

And how! Does it make me a bad person that I'm genuinely happy that the social pressure on Pruitt ended up being the reason cited for his resignation? I know there are probably other forthcoming corruption-related factors, but just to see it in print... it's a rush!
posted by Krazor at 2:03 PM on July 5 [22 favorites]


Unscientific Pruitt: Eight ways the EPA administrator suppressed science.
Blocking science in the name of transparency

Firing academic science advisors

Misrepresenting climate change science

Ignoring science to reduce protections for waterways

EPA brain drain

EPA’s website goes light on science

Dirty power plants

Budget cuts to tribes
posted by scalefree at 2:05 PM on July 5 [16 favorites]


In a thematic parallel to this FPP, Fox and Friends sent a reporter to Colonial Williamsburg to have a Thomas Jefferson interpreter perform a reading of the Declaration of Independence. He chose to excerpt the sections that are valid criticisms of Donald Trump. Video from Fox, coverage at the WaPo: ‘Fox & Friends’ gets punked by ‘Thomas Jefferson’.
posted by peeedro at 2:20 PM on July 5 [68 favorites]


Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has released a statement on Pruitt's resignation. It reads as follows:

"Good."
posted by kelborel at 2:25 PM on July 5 [68 favorites]


Sen. Durbin:
Remember Brian Benczkowski? He represented Russia’s Alfa Bank and was a top staffer to then-Senator Sessions. Senate Republicans plan to vote next week to confirm him to head the DOJ Criminal Division. Heading the DOJ Criminal Division is a critically important job. This person will supervise over 600 federal prosecutors handling thousands of cases and investigations, and will oversee sensitive matters such as the criminal investigation of Michael Cohen. Benczkowski has no prosecutorial experience. He showed poor judgment by choosing to represent Alfa Bank while he was seeking a DOJ job despite reports that Alfa was under criminal investigation. And he won’t commit to recuse himself from Russia-related matters if confirmed. Why does President Trump want Brian Benczkowski for this important job? Why not find an attorney who has actual prosecutorial experience and who is free and clear from Russian connections? And we still don’t know the full story behind Alfa Bank and what they did in 2016. In May I joined my Senate Judiciary Democratic colleagues in calling for Benczkowski’s nomination to be withdrawn. See our letter here: https://twitter.com/SenatorDurbin/status/1014886391073902593/photo/1 Watch this vote next week. Republicans will try to confirm Benczkowski while attention is focused on SCOTUS. This could be a pivotal moment in the Russia investigation.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:28 PM on July 5 [63 favorites]


New Yorker, Jonathan Blitzer, Parents Are Struggling to Reclaim Their Children from the Office of Refugee Resettlement
Last week, after spending a month in a federal prison, a Honduran woman named Rosalinda Hernández finally received some good news: the government was ready to release her. In May, she and her nine-year-old son had crossed the U.S. border, seeking asylum. Under the Trump Administration’s zero-tolerance policy, she had been arrested and charged with entering the country illegally, while her son was sent to a children’s shelter in the Midwest. Now, however, the government was no longer prosecuting families for illegal entry, and the charges against her were being dropped. Hernández was sent by bus to a migrant shelter in downtown El Paso. “I only spoke to my son twice while I was a prisoner,” Hernández told me. “Now we talk on the phone every afternoon.” At the end of each conversation, she said, he asks when they’ll see each other. She tells him, “This month, in July, for sure.”

A few days ago, Hernández learned that it will be several more weeks, at least, before the government can return her son. In order to regain custody of their children, immigrants like Hernández need to collect documents that prove their fitness as parents and submit their fingerprints—and the fingerprinting alone takes about twenty days to process. “Making the decision to seek asylum and leave everything behind often means that parents don’t have certain documents,” Linda Corchado, Hernández’s immigration lawyer, told me. “And those documents are required just to begin the conversation with the government.” Hernández’s family in Honduras has been frantically sending Corchado documents. “I’ve been getting photographs, transcripts from the boy’s third grade class, vaccination records, even a letter from his school teacher,” Corchado said.

But the government also needs information that Hernández doesn’t have: an address, a full criminal background check on every other adult who might live in the same household as her child, and proof of income. Having just left federal prison, Hernández is effectively homeless. She told me, “Once I realized what was happening, I said, ‘Oh my God, what am I going to do?’"
...
While Corchado gathered documents, Hernández called her sister, who lives in New York, to ask if she could use her home address. “My sister wanted to help, but she got scared that the government will come after her,” Hernández said. “She’s undocumented.” Under past Administrations, O.R.R. reassured parents and family sponsors that it would never scrutinize their immigration status. But, based on a new memorandum of agreement, signed in April, O.R.R. is now required to share the information it compiles on sponsors with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Now case managers tell parents and potential sponsors that, if they submit personal information for vetting purposes, it could lead to deportation. Hernández told me, “When I heard that, it changed everything. It’s not just me who’s at risk here.” (Some names in this article have been changed.)

Hernández and her sister decided to ask a friend who is a legal permanent resident if she could serve as a sponsor, but the woman’s husband got nervous when he heard that the government would have to fingerprint him. “He said to me, ‘What does this all have to do with your kid?’ ” Hernández told me. “I don’t have anyone now,” she said. “Everyone’s scared. They all have doubts. It’s just me, and I can’t get my son.”
posted by zachlipton at 2:31 PM on July 5 [52 favorites]


A Government Accountability Office report last week found that attrition has outstripped improvements in recruiting and hiring. In the first half of 2018, the Border Patrol hired nearly double the number of agents it brought on over the same period in 2017. [...] But it wasn’t enough to keep up with departures. In 2017, the Border Patrol posted a net loss of nearly 400 agents. That left staffing at almost 7,000 below Trump’s target.

Despite scraping the bottom of the thug barrel they're still coming up short. Incivility and social ostracism works.


Incivility and social ostracism was how most societies handled things for most of human history. And it seems to have worked. Honestly, it's much cheaper and more effective than many other forms of punishment. (I think prison was mostly used to keep people from running away before their trials, until relatively recently. Can a history expert weigh in?)

In addition to being increasingly socially unacceptable, there are just fewer young people, especially young white people, to fill more physical jobs. Middle-aged people make better keyboard warriors than real-life ones. More white people are dying than being born in the majority of states. Already, in my area, I can see that a majority of demanding physical labor jobs are being filled by immigrants - the native-born white population is getting old and creaky for not-desk jobs. Another way we are short-changing our future by not encouraging immigration.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 2:33 PM on July 5 [13 favorites]


With more entirely predictable news, the Financial Times reports: Fed Minutes Flag Rising Fears Over Tariffs—Some businesses say they have ‘scaled back or postponed’ spending
According to minutes of the Fed’s June meeting, some business indicated they had already “scaled back or postponed” plans for capital spending due to “uncertainty over trade policy”, while a larger group voiced concern about the impact of trade restrictions on future investment.[...]

Fed officials also discussed the trade tensions stirred by President Donald Trump in their May meeting, but the minutes of that gathering said they viewed the range of possible trade impacts as “particularly wide”.

The concerns documented in the June meeting appeared more pronounced and the minutes put a greater emphasis on potential negative effects.[...]

Officials also highlighted the importance of monitoring the slope of the yield curve, which measures the difference between short-dated and long-dated treasury yields. A flat or inverted yield curve has traditionally been seen as a warning sign for recession and market players have been watching the flattening curve with alarm.

The difference between two-year treasury yields and 10-year yields fell to 28 basis points on Thursday, the lowest level since July 2007.

“A number of participants thought it would be important to continue to monitor the slope of the yield curve, given the historical regularity that an inverted yield curve has indicated an increased risk of recession in the United States,” the minutes said.
While there's a lot of short-term positive news in June's Fed minutes, which Fox and the GOP will naturally spin, the medium- to long-term indicators are decidedly negative.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:39 PM on July 5 [13 favorites]


The not-so-subtle thing that's going on with Pruitt's "providence": It's a direct Hitler rip-off ("die Vorsehung" with a rolling r).
posted by Namlit at 2:43 PM on July 5 [8 favorites]


Point — @christinawilkie: NEWS: Trump on Rep. Jim Jordan allegations: “I don’t believe them at all. I believe him. Jim is one of the most outstanding people I’ve met since I’ve been in Washington. I believe him 100 percent. No question in my mind. I believe Jim 100 percent. He’s an outstanding man.”

Counterpoint — NBC News, Fourth Ohio State wrestler says Rep. Jim Jordan knew about sexual abuse when he was coach:
A fourth former Ohio State University wrestler came forward Thursday to contradict Rep. Jim Jordan’s claim that he had no idea the wrestling team doctor was molesting athletes.

The wrestler, Shawn Dailey, said he was groped half a dozen times by Dr. Richard Strauss in the mid-1990s, when Jordan was the assistant wrestling coach. Dailey said he was too embarrassed to report the abuse directly to Jordan at the time, but he said Jordan took part in conversations where Strauss' abuse of many other team members came up.

"I participated with Jimmy [Jordan] and the other wrestlers in locker-room talk about Strauss. We all did," Dailey, 43, told NBC News. "It was very common knowledge in the locker room that if you went to Dr. Strauss for anything, you would have to pull your pants down.”
So, um, this actually was locker room talk? *hits head on desk repeatedly*
posted by zachlipton at 2:46 PM on July 5 [60 favorites]


So anyway one of my state-politics-dorks friends is spending the summer (or fall too? I dunno) in DC and just noted that "I seriously just accidentally cut off Jeff Flake at the dry cleaners. He was annoyed but ultimately did little to stop me."
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 2:48 PM on July 5 [54 favorites]


Eyebrows, I can just hear you giving a lecture about good behavior and the American way, then saying, “Look, it’s awfully hot, and heat makes everybody cranky. Why don’t we all go get some ice cream?”
posted by Countess Elena at 2:57 PM on July 5 [12 favorites]


unless someone can remind me of the canonical mefi turning and spitting ritual...

IT DOESN'T WORK
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:02 PM on July 5 [63 favorites]


He was annoyed but ultimately did little to stop me.

Damn, man. Jeff Flake stays on brand even at the dry cleaners.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 3:03 PM on July 5 [91 favorites]






Republicans will absolutely lose their shit if you don't stand for the anthem, because to them that disrespects The Troops, but when we're talking about the actual troops? Fuck those guys, apparently.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 3:34 PM on July 5 [74 favorites]


WaPo :. "Sen. Jon Tester takes out newspaper ads welcoming Trump to Montana ahead of a hostile visit"

This is like rolling over and showing your belly to the sadistic predator who’s already got a taste of your blood.
posted by schadenfrau at 3:37 PM on July 5 [6 favorites]


Wow, we're not even willing to do "service guarantees citizenship!" anymore - we're basically beyond parody.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 3:39 PM on July 5 [49 favorites]


My guess is that Tester is more making a point to voters in Montana than anything. He's considered one of the more vulnerable Senate Dems, so I'm chalking it up to "wanting to be re-elected" rather than meek surrender. Just like Nancy Pelosi saying "Say you're against me if it's necessary to be elected."

Kamala Harris (CA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) can say "Fuck you, Trump" and get kudos from their voters - red state Dems have to tread more carefully.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 3:44 PM on July 5 [12 favorites]


Tester was polling +8 like 10 days ago and he's not one of the ones I'm worried about betraying us on the SCOTUS pick or egregiously out of line like a Manchin or Donnelly, he's maintaining a Trump score of -49. Even I'm going to cut him some slack here with Trump-curious campaign shenanigans. In my mind he's our best Red State Dem by a mile and has been there for us on almost everything.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:44 PM on July 5 [24 favorites]


This is like rolling over and showing your belly to the sadistic predator who’s already got a taste of your blood.

How so? Like it or not, this is a state that went well over the MoE for him, so I can see the logic of putting out an ad that's meant to remind people of the work he's done regarding the VA.

Also, I've seen those ads attacking Tester over Jackson, and they're....delusional. To put it mildly.
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:45 PM on July 5 [1 favorite]


Trump is now using his campaign rally to praise "Admiral/Doctor" Ronnie Jackson, who he says he feels guilty about. He says Jackson "actually said I was healthy" and is "a great family man." He claims to have some kind of new report exonerating Jackson. He actually manages to kind of connect this to why he's there, blaming Tester for saying negative things about Jackson.

We've moved on to claiming that Hillary Clinton "gets special treatment under the Justice Department" and the crowd chanting "lock her up." It is now July 2018.
posted by zachlipton at 3:46 PM on July 5 [16 favorites]


I'm a middle-aged lady who last had a foreign language class 35 years ago, and being from the south all I remember of that was classmates probably causing the Spanish teacher to want to stick pencils through her eardrums with all the "Well, O-lah, y'all!!" going on. I didn't do more than the bare minimum to meet requirements because I have a terrible fear of public humiliation and our classes were oddly focused on numbers and I can't count decently in English.

For some reason, I have lately become obsessed with trying again to learn Spanish. Whenever I get particularly heartbroken or infuriated, I open my Duolingo app and do another lesson. I'm still basically at the "El gato come manzanas” level but it somehow comforts me. I know I'm not going down to the border to do translation or anything anytime soon, but I want to be able to greet the Hispanic families I see with a smile and just a word or two in their native language. I know this is...what? Naive? Silly? I just feel so helpless and at least learning something is a use of my time that is slightly less pointless than the team ranting that I am doing with my friends and family.
posted by thebrokedown at 3:48 PM on July 5 [78 favorites]


“A number of participants thought it would be important to continue to monitor the slope of the yield curve, given the historical regularity that an inverted yield curve has indicated an increased risk of recession in the United States,” the minutes said.

Ah yes. Bankers monitor the curve while the rest of ride it all the way down.
posted by srboisvert at 3:50 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]


Really letting his Klan flag fly in Great Falls.

"Did you see that clown on the statue of liberty yesterday? Why didn't they just put down nets and then wait until, you know..." (audience laughs)

20 minutes later: "I called Maxine Waters a low-IQ individual. I believe hers is in the mid 60s." (more laughter)
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:01 PM on July 5 [16 favorites]


red state Dems have to tread more carefully

Oh I agree. I really don’t give a shit what Tester has to do to get re-elected as long as we keep the seat blue. My point is that if his goal is to appeal to Trumpers, this is the exact wrong thing to do. “Thank you” after being attacked? It’s like chumming the water.
posted by schadenfrau at 4:03 PM on July 5 [3 favorites]


Russians Will Target Liberals on Social Media for the Midterm Elections

by Nancy LeTourneau, Washington Monthly
"Although Russia did target the left in 2016, there are reasons to believe that the left will be the target in 2018—meaning, the primary target. This doesn’t mean we won’t see a repeat of 2016 tactics targeting Trump supporters and right-wing voters, but rather that these tactics may be used as a supplement to those aimed at left-leaning voters. Thus, the “WalkAway Campaign” should serve as a warning to Democratic voters, who need to be prepared not to walk into the traps that are being and will be set."
Caroline O., Arc Digital blogger: "Pro-Trump & Russian-Linked Twitter Accounts Are Posing As Ex-Democrats In New Astroturfed Movement":
"Astroturfed social media campaigns like the “WalkAway Movement” aim to create manufactured consensus, or the illusion of popularity, so that an idea or position without much public support appears more popular and mainstream than it actually is.

Below, I present the anatomy of this astroturfed movement, starting with its origins and moving on to its artificial sources of amplification, the shaping of its narrative, and the boost it got from far-right and Russian media platforms including Breitbart and RT. I also discuss the potential functions of a psychological operation such as this one, as well as the lessons—and warnings—it offers as we head into the 2018 midterms and beyond."
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:03 PM on July 5 [54 favorites]


Did you see that clown on the statue of liberty yesterday?

Yes, what a clown, sitting beside a plaque stating
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
and protesting the separation of mothers and infants on the basis of national origin.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:04 PM on July 5 [56 favorites]


He is now doing an extended riff about throwing a 23andme test at "Pocahontas," but "gently, very gently, because this is the MeToo generation."

Aaaand I'm going outside.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:05 PM on July 5 [16 favorites]


Trump is now explaining that if he debates Elizabeth Warren, he will get one of the DNA testing kits they advertise on TV and will try to make her take one: "but we have to do it gently because we're in the me too generation so we have to be very gentle, and we will very gently take that kit and we will gently toss it hoping it doesn't hit her and hit her arm" and offer her $2M "if you take the test and it shows that you're an Indian." He also "apologized" to Pocahontas, "the real one."

Also, and I believe this has something to do with his crowd sizes but I have no idea: "I have broken more Elton John records...I don't have a guitar or an organ. No organ. Elton has an organ.... This is the only musical [instrument]: the mouth. And the brain, attached to the mouth...the brain is much more important."
posted by zachlipton at 4:06 PM on July 5 [23 favorites]


Wow, we're not even willing to do "service guarantees citizenship!" anymore - we're basically beyond parody.

Oh I guarantee you none of the people being discharged are white. It will remain a path to citizenship for the right (white) people.

The worst part is that I assume it's because us armed forces are going to be asked to kill nonwhite immigrants and they don't trust anyone other than white people to do it.
posted by poffin boffin at 4:06 PM on July 5 [18 favorites]


immigrants like Hernández need to collect documents that prove their fitness as parents

Is just chilling.
posted by Sphinx at 4:06 PM on July 5 [28 favorites]


Trump is at his most repulsive tonight. As ever, the Toronto Star's Daniel Dale is live-tweeting his speech, in all its foulness:
Trump says he will apologize to the real Pocahontas, but "to the fake Pocahontas, I won't apologize."

He begins a story: "Let's say I'm debating Pocahontas, right..."

Trump says if he's debating Warren, he is going to buy an ancestry kit, and - "very carefully...because we're the Me Too generation..." - "we will say I will give you a million dollars to your favourite charity...if you take the test."
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:06 PM on July 5 [1 favorite]


immigrants like Hernández need to collect documents that prove their fitness as parents

I'm a parent. I'm not sure I have any documents proving I'm fit to be a parent. I just ... reproduced.

Oh shit.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:07 PM on July 5 [8 favorites]


[We probably don't need to liveblog the portions of Trump's bullshit that consist of basically just showing his ass in his usual fashion. If he says something genuinely remarkable, note it up, but otherwise let's just skip to a digest of anything actually worth digesting.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:07 PM on July 5 [27 favorites]


I know I'm not going down to the border to do translation or anything anytime soon, but I want to be able to greet the Hispanic families I see with a smile and just a word or two in their native language.

You'd have better luck with an indigenous language like nahuatl or mixtec or kiche actually.
posted by poffin boffin at 4:11 PM on July 5 [4 favorites]


immigrants like Hernández need to collect documents that prove their fitness as parents
You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, or drive a car. Hell, you need a license to catch a fish! But they'll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father.
Keanu Reeves in Parenthood
posted by kirkaracha at 4:13 PM on July 5 [6 favorites]


I want to share a word from one of my pastors, a brilliant, wonderful, queer Latina Baptist... she and her wife (who pastor our church together) visited a detention facility along the US-Mexico border last week. On Sunday she delivered a sermon about nationalism, walls, "restoring national greatness," the myths of our history... and quite a lot more. Sharing it here in case anyone needs it. (If you're so inclined, you can listen to the whole thing here.)
When our policies become efficient but inhumane, the walls must come down. When our courtrooms become sanitized to the cries of the brokenhearted, our walls must come down. When our public servants are required to recite propaganda instead of create real hope for the vulnerable, the walls must come down.

Right now, children and families, men and women who have journeyed thousands of miles for months at a time--a sacred journey--in hopes of a better life for their children, are locked in cages because the State is masquerading weakness and fear with strength and courage.

Right now an attorney is sitting with a five year old child, who every so often draws stick figures of gang members who threatened to hurt her family, and every so often the shape of ice cream cones she'd like to eat, while that attorney prepares her to represent herself before a judge and armed officers, alone, without her parents, in federal immigration court.

Right now, those of us who feel compassion for migrants are still hesitant to say things like "Abolish ICE" because we've been shaped to believe that this is a complicated set of geopolitical dynamics, and countries do need safe borders, and we'd hate to sound dramatic and unreasoned and unwilling to approach this issue with an even hand--you know, the kind of stuff that folks not sitting in cages get to say over coffee while they "process all this."
posted by duffell at 4:15 PM on July 5 [36 favorites]


So, there is one thing that is worth noting - the rally is in Great Falls, not Billings. Billings would be the logical location - it's the biggest city in the state, it's the conservative hub, it has the best venues in terms of capacity. But, it's also the home district of Russ Fagg - the man Rosendale had to beat to get the nod, and whose campaign latched the "outsider" albatross around his neck. Which makes me wonder if there's still some residual bad feelings.
posted by NoxAeternum at 4:16 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]


"I have broken more Elton John records...I don't have a guitar or an organ. No organ. Elton has an organ...."

Jesus Fred Christ Trump, he is unable to recall the word "piano". His speech is repulsive enough as it is, but here he's actually losing control. The man is cognitively impaired, and we're watching him decompensating on live TV.

Oh, and he's flaunting his collusion with the Kremlin: “Trump mocks his critics for saying "'President Putin is KGB' and this and that. You know what? Putin's fine."”

This may be the first time he's been so brazen about it (Dale comments, “To recap: In rapid succession, Trump said Americans don't benefit much from protecting Europe from Russia, said Americans are "schmucks" for paying for NATO, and said, "Putin is fine."”).
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:18 PM on July 5 [34 favorites]


they'll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father.

If that's how you think you're becoming a parent, then you're doing it wrong.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:19 PM on July 5 [8 favorites]


Dale comments, “To recap: In rapid succession, Trump said Americans don't benefit much from protecting Europe from Russia, said Americans are "schmucks" for paying for NATO, and said, "Putin is fine."”
Can I make a rule that people whose surrogates talk about (((New York money))) don't get to use Yiddish slang?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:21 PM on July 5 [16 favorites]


So, Don Jr opened for the President in Montana -- I don't recall that happening previously.

That clown is actually going to run for office soon, isn't he?
posted by notyou at 4:23 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]


The lady who asked Pruitt to resign at lunch the other day.

@KristinMinkDC:
Hey @realDonaldTrump where are you going to lunch tomorrow?
posted by chris24 at 4:25 PM on July 5 [109 favorites]


That clown is actually going to run for office soon, isn't he?

He lives in NY. He'd be crushed.
posted by chris24 at 4:26 PM on July 5 [4 favorites]


literally physically crushed, i will hire the crane crew myself, using union labor for irony purposes
posted by poffin boffin at 4:29 PM on July 5 [49 favorites]


@CGasparino [Fox Business] :Just heard @POTUS at this rally complaining about the use of anonymous sources. For the record he was one of mine over the years.[...]I'm ok w @POTUS personally always got along w him but this anonymous source schtick is complete BS he knows it

Any reporter who has spoken to him off the record needs to do this. The press pool gave him a half hour, mainly off the record, on Air Force One today. There is zero news value in giving a notorious liar anonymity so he can turn around and attack the very reporters he talks to.
posted by zachlipton at 4:34 PM on July 5 [72 favorites]


He lives in NY. He'd be crushed.

From your lips to poffin boffin's ear.

HRC lived in Illinois, Massachusetts, Arkansas, D.C. (and elsewhere?), before finally settling in New York and the Senate seat there. Don Jr could conceivably try the same.
posted by notyou at 4:36 PM on July 5 [1 favorite]


That clown is actually going to run for office soon, isn't he?

That was the gist of his puff-profile in GQ last month—the dubiously titled The Real Story of Donald Trump Jr. —which concludes, "There's little doubt that as a political creature, Don has grown more sure-footed. Once reportedly derided by Trump campaign staffers as 'Fredo,' the Corleone child who can't seem to do anything right except endanger his family legacy, Don has now become one of Trump's most useful spokesmen. [...] And in the coming months, he'll be making a big push to campaign for Republicans ahead of this year's midterms—firing up his father's base."

(For some comic relief after raising that prospect, here's Mashable—the Internet mercilessly mocks a photo of the Trump boys and it is deeply satisfying.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:38 PM on July 5 [3 favorites]


Anyone want to volunteer to make twitter less nasty? Amnesty international is doing a thing. Please consider stepping up if you’re a cis white dude as it involves reading a bunch of hateful shit.

Also right on to those of you learning Spanish, one of the most powerful acts of solidarity with a marginalized group is to meet them where they are, and I can’t think of a stronger way to do that then learning their language and going outside your own comfort zone.
posted by supercrayon at 4:39 PM on July 5 [23 favorites]


Regarding that Tester add, it seems like a Trump troll to me. He thanks Trump for signing legislation Tester wrote or sponsored.
posted by feste at 4:41 PM on July 5 [9 favorites]


The Providence Journal reports:
Facing a hailstorm of criticism, state Democratic Party Chairman Joseph McNamara on Thursday morning rescinded his party’s endorsement of a Trump-voting ex-Republican male over a female progressive legislator in a Providence House race.

He also rescinded the party’s endorsement of a former state senator - with a history that includes a conviction for vehicular homicide - over a female political newcomer competing for the Democratic nod for an open Senate seat ...
posted by adamg at 4:50 PM on July 5 [40 favorites]


Trump ordered the Border Patrol to hire more agents, but instead, it’s losing them

i live in Tucson and I was reading some job web sites - the Border Patrol and Lyft both seem really desperate right now. I'll pass on both.
posted by Squeak Attack at 4:58 PM on July 5 [9 favorites]


In any other administration, Wilbur Ross "forgetting" to sell his investments and "accidentally" making a multi-million dollar profit (previous thread) would be a 5-alarm scandal with hearings and resignations. Here it barely moved the needle against the level set by Pruitt.

Can we please go after Trump and his family for the laws we know he's broken? The illegal tax evasion loophole? Robbing his own charity? Real estate fraud? How can Democrats ask people to fight every step of the way when they can't even hold the president and his circle accountable when they flagrantly break the law? You want to give Trump a wake up call? Make him pay his taxes. Send his kids to jail. Just like we would to anyone else with the same evidence for the same crimes. Just like other reputable countries do with their leadership all the time. Seriously, where is the investigation? What is the hold up? Who do we call or write to?
posted by xammerboy at 4:58 PM on July 5 [41 favorites]


What is the hold up? Who do we call or write to?

Jeff Sessions is Attorney General. It's really hard to charge federal cabinet members with state crimes. Insider trading is federal. You're not going to get actual prosecutions without political victory. They have immunity by poltiical complicity, we don't live in a country of laws anymore under Republican control. That's just a fact. Ezra Klein talked about this today with Lawfare's Susan Hennessey.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:11 PM on July 5 [29 favorites]


Small Town Socialist reporting in: I attended my first DSA meeting on Monday in Knoxville, TN. I rough-counted the crowd, we had about 60 people in attendance and just under half were women. Monday was chapter officer elections, and I noted that both the outgoing and incoming chairs are women. The evening's topic was presented by a guest speaker from a community organizing group. The guest speaker was a black man, but the club attendees were all white (which is not great but also not surprising, given Knoxville's racial makeup.) I learned that Knox DSA had enough participants to both staff a table and march in the Pride parade.

It's not perfect (way too white, for starters) but overall I felt welcome and heard.
posted by workerant at 5:16 PM on July 5 [31 favorites]


xammerboy: "Can we please go after Trump and his family for the laws we know he's broken? The illegal tax evasion loophole? Robbing his own charity? Real estate fraud? How can Democrats ask people to fight every step of the way when they can't even hold the president and his circle accountable when they flagrantly break the law? "

I believe the Democrats WILL as soon as they CAN - but they have to retake the majority first. They can't do anything while the Republicans hold the majority in both houses.
posted by kristi at 5:17 PM on July 5 [6 favorites]


Wow, we're not even willing to do "service guarantees citizenship!" anymore

On reading the article, it looks like they’re slow walking this. It’s happening to people who have agreed to join, but have not actually yet gone to basic training and become soldiers. I am betting that this may be the actual wedge that they want to use to try to take on soldiers, but it is important to be correct in our statements about what is actually happening right now.

That said, seriously, we all aren’t stupid, we see the writing on the wall. They’re going to come for us all. We always knew they would.
posted by corb at 5:21 PM on July 5 [32 favorites]


I believe the Democrats WILL as soon as they CAN - but they have to retake the majority first. They can't do anything while the Republicans hold the majority in both houses.

Even when the Democrats retake Congress, they can't actually prosecute anything they find through Congressional committee. Congress has subpoena power, but not prosecution power, ultimately the remedy for contempt of Congress still runs through DOJ through a referral to the US Attorney for DC. Referrals for other crimes would similarly have to go through DOJ. They'll have much more power than now, but not necessarily enough to bring actual charges if norms keep breaking down at the current rate. We'll still be relying on Rod Rosenstein or some other Trump appointee to bring actual charges.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:24 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]


The U.S. labor shortage is reaching a critical point

What is this coming crisis?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that April closed with 6.7 million job openings. May ended with just over 6 million people the BLS classifies as unemployed, continuing a trend this year that has seen openings eclipse the labor pool for the first time. At some point that gap will have to close. Economists expect that employers are going to have to start doing more to entice workers, likely through pay raises, training and other incentives.
Oh. That.
posted by scalefree at 5:29 PM on July 5 [43 favorites]


I believe the Democrats WILL as soon as they CAN

This wouldn’t have the ability to do this immediately, but I also don’t think we should treat it as a sure thing. If / when the left regains control of the executive and legislative branches, there’s going to be a whole bunch of really uncomfortable things that we will have to pressure them to do. They will not want to investigate and prosecute all the corruption; they will not want to impeach judges or pack courts or go after big banks or private prisons. We will have to make them. Because I honestly don’t think we can take another hit to our collective sense of justice. When no one trusts the laws or the state at all, for anything, society well and truly falls apart.

We can’t let them get away with it anymore. Any of it. The bill is going to have to come due and it is going to be ducking huge.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:31 PM on July 5 [40 favorites]


... the Border Patrol and Lyft both seem really desperate right now. I'll pass on both.

Dude ... think of the synergies ...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:32 PM on July 5 [7 favorites]


And they’re not gonna want to do it for understandable reasons. Everyone will be exhausted by then, and some people will just want it all to stop, and some people will swear they’ll rise up in open crazy person revolt if we prosecute their heroes or come for their guns.

I still think we have to do it.

This is in the best possible timeline, obviously.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:36 PM on July 5 [13 favorites]


Absolutely. "Look forward, not backwards" played a LARGE role in getting us here today, we can't allow Democrats to look away again. Prosecutions are non-negotiable.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:42 PM on July 5 [49 favorites]


Power to the people, right on:

Senate Hopeful Beto O’Rourke Plays Pot Anthems With Willie Nelson, Margo Price
(Sam Sodomsky | Pitchfork)

“The Democrat running against Ted Cruz was previously in a band with At the Drive-In’s Cedric Bixler-Zavala.”
posted by Barack Spinoza at 5:47 PM on July 5 [19 favorites]


The ancient Romans engaged in a practice called "augury", the interpretation of omens revealed in the movements of birds. From this practice we get English words such as augur, auspex/auspices, and auspicious/inauspicious.

I'm not especially into trying to predict the future via birds but if I were, I feel as though yesterday would have given me some cause for concern. I awoke, having difficulty breathing, discovering that the CPAP machine which I had been using was no longer fuctioning for the reason that all electrical service had been interrupted. It turns out the reason for the electrical outage was that an eagle had bridged two electrical transmission lines with spectacular albeit disastrous results for the eagle and also an outage for local electric customers.

I'm not sure what it means to have been woken from a sound sleep on the anniversary of our country's independence by the indirect results of the incineration of our national symbol but it definitely seems no stranger or more foreboding than many of the other things that have taken place this year..
posted by Nerd of the North at 5:47 PM on July 5 [84 favorites]


The third stage is “bargaining”: Jennifer Rubin in WaPo suggests How to fix the Supreme Court without packing it

With a heavy dose of “both sides,” don't you know.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:54 PM on July 5 [8 favorites]


“The Democrat running against Ted Cruz was previously in a band with At the Drive-In’s Cedric Bixler-Zavala.”

It was a very bad band.
posted by scalefree at 5:57 PM on July 5 [4 favorites]


Well, there goes Scott Pruitt.

Like CNN says, the amazing thing isn't that he's gone, it's that he lasted so long.

I figure it's kinda like Reagan and Meese, Trump is going senile and he thought of Pruitt as one of his people so he didn't want him to go.

Also, where was he going to find someone else as Captain Planet villain level anti-environmental to fill the post?
posted by sotonohito at 5:58 PM on July 5 [1 favorite]


Richard Spencer barred from Europe

Nationalism is a double edge sword but I doubt the punchable nazi learnt that.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 6:04 PM on July 5 [54 favorites]


Joe in AustraliaThe third stage is “bargaining”: Jennifer Rubin in WaPo suggests How to fix the Supreme Court without packing it

Yeah, I'd say it sounds like bargaining. Along with a dose of fantasy. The structure of the Senate and EC makes it more likely than not that going forward the Republicans will have either the Presidency, or the Senate, or both. Why would they contemplate, even for a moment, giving up their power to have nine Liberty U alumni sitting on the Court?

The idea of Collins and Murkowski using their position to extract future promises of good behavior (a return to a 60 vote minimum, a 90 day vote or auto-appointment) is fantasy on two levels. First in imagining that either Collins or Murkowski would even contemplate doing that, and second that McConnell's promise to give them that in exchange for appointing a 30 year old Roy Moore to the Court is worth anything at all.

The Republicans see a great opportunity to own the US government forever, and they're taking it. The idea that they'd give that up is simply unrealistic.
posted by sotonohito at 6:06 PM on July 5 [8 favorites]


Forgive my ignorance, but these Metafilter threads are the first time I've heard the American Service-Members Protection Act discussed by people who seem actually informed. It's legislation just for show, right? I don't see how the United States are going to ever going to enforce such a law. Would military action against the Hague not be an explicit Article 5 trigger compelling all other NATO states to come to the defence of the Netherlands against the US?
posted by MarchHare at 6:07 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]


It's legislation just for show, right?

No American has been brought to the Hague even though many of them deserve it.

Would military action against the Hague not be an explicit Article 5 trigger compelling all other NATO states to come to the defence of the Netherlands against the US?

It would be the start of World War III.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 6:10 PM on July 5 [8 favorites]


I’d say “that is not a thing that anybody wants”, but, well, this lot.
posted by Artw at 6:11 PM on July 5 [4 favorites]


The USA actually has a law, the "American Service-Members Protection Act" which mandates the USA invade the Hague to liberate any US official or soldier who is brought up on charges at the International Criminal Court.

It should be noted that the law does not require the President to do this, simply authorizes them to do so. So the law needn't be repealed first, but you do need a Democratic president. (But honestly that's the bare minimum you need for this magical scenario to occur anyway, so...)
posted by ragtag at 6:20 PM on July 5 [5 favorites]


A law which required the President to take any particular military action would be blatantly unconstitutional anyway would it not? Congress could declare war and send funds for the war effort but they couldn't actually direct it to be fought.
posted by Justinian at 6:29 PM on July 5 [1 favorite]


The White House @WhiteHouse
Alexander Hamilton: "There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes the human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism."


I have a Hamilton quote in response to them:
The truth unquestionably is, that the only path to a subversion of the republican system of the Country is, by flattering the prejudices of the people, and exciting their jealousies and apprehensions, to throw affairs into confusion, and bring on civil commotion. Tired at length of anarchy, or want of government, they may take shelter in the arms of monarchy for repose and security.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 6:39 PM on July 5 [61 favorites]


It never ceases to amaze me how many of our founding fathers explicitly warned of a man like Trump.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 6:39 PM on July 5 [99 favorites]


If I remember my American history textbook correctly, the President can only go to war with the express consent of Congress. Or if he calls it a 'police action.' Or if he doesn't tell anyone about it. No wait. That was America: The Book. But still.
posted by MarchHare at 6:42 PM on July 5 [10 favorites]


Economists expect that employers are going to have to start doing more to entice fuck over workers

as Atrios frequently reminds us, wages will never go up.
posted by j_curiouser at 6:43 PM on July 5 [16 favorites]


It never ceases to amaze me how many of our founding fathers explicitly warned of a man like Trump.

And before them, the Greeks.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 7:02 PM on July 5 [6 favorites]


these Metafilter threads are the first time I've heard the American Service-Members Protection Act discussed by people who seem actually informed. It's legislation just for show, right?

Despite being largely a symbolic Act, I do think that it serves as more than just a show. I imagine a U.S. President could also use it as legal cover for an action less outright unthinkable than an actual invasion of the Hague (it authorizes "all means necessary and appropriate"). For example, a U.S. President could reference this law as legitimizing their use of the U.S. Armed Forces to forcibly divert a foreign plane (as "statutory authorization" under the War Powers Resolution) to recover a U.S. official being transported to the Hague, as, in theory, one of the enabling clauses in the War Powers Resolution must be met before the President can order the U.S. Armed Forces into action. However, as hinted to by MarchHare, in the past Congress hasn't done much more than complain about previous potential violations of the WPR, so I doubt the repeal of this Act would actually do much to restrain a U.S. President intent on using the U.S. Armed Forces to retrieve a U.S. official from the custody of the Hague.
posted by RichardP at 7:16 PM on July 5 [1 favorite]


Got Kleenex? No? Go get some

reunion

n = 1. We have a long damn way to go.
posted by Dashy at 7:18 PM on July 5 [18 favorites]


A law which required the President to take any particular military action would be blatantly unconstitutional anyway would it not? Congress could declare war and send funds for the war effort but they couldn't actually direct it to be fought.

This seems true, yes. Congress does not have the power to bind the executive in this particular way.

It is not clear if it matters that it's blatantly unconstitutional, though. This is really in the realm where the issue is more power (or, maybe, the use of the constitution as a means of persuasion) than actual law. Courts would not be interested in getting involved.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 7:19 PM on July 5


And before them, the Greeks.

Although not technically Greeks, the Spartans made their Ephori account for their actions at the end of their terms...
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 7:20 PM on July 5 [1 favorite]


If I remember my American history textbook correctly, the President can only go to war with the express consent of Congress. Or if he calls it a 'police action.' Or if he doesn't tell anyone about it. No wait. That was America: The Book. But still.

Indeed, although whether Congress can make the President do something military is a different question. Still, this is the kind of "law" that is involved with legislative / executive-as-military-commander conflicts. (Meaning, there isn't any law).
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 7:21 PM on July 5


Although not technically Greeks, the Spartans made their Ephori account for their actions at the end of their terms...

Maybe we just move past all the Slave owners and xenophobes of history?
posted by Artw at 7:26 PM on July 5 [4 favorites]


NYT, Caitlin Dickerson, Trump Administration in Chaotic Scramble to Reunify Migrant Families
In interviews with federal employees, immigration lawyers and shelter operators, those closest to the process raised questions about the initial assertions that federal authorities could account for the locations of both parents and children after they were separated.

In fact, the Health and Human Services agency charged with overseeing the care of migrant children, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, established such procedures, which included identification bracelets, the issuance of registration numbers and careful logs to keep the records of parents and children linked.

But those precautions were undermined in some cases by the other federal agency that has initial custody of apprehended migrants in the first 72 hours after they cross the border — Customs and Border Protection. In hundreds of cases, Customs agents deleted the initial records in which parents and children were listed together as a family with a “family identification number,” according to two officials at the Department of Homeland Security, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the process.

As a result, the parents and children appeared in federal computers to have no connection to one another.

“That was the big problem. We weren’t able to see that information,” said one of the officials, who is directly involved in the reunification process.

Officials cautioned that this was not a deliberate attempt to obfuscate, but a belief that it made more sense to track cases separately once a group of migrants was no longer in custody as a family unit, these sources said.
...
The announcement Thursday that DNA testing would be used to help confirm family units drew some opposition from immigrant advocates, who said that the records could be used to track undocumented immigrants indefinitely.
it's abundantly clear that there was never the slightest effort by those doing the separating to ensure these kids would ever be returned to their parents. Oh, and if they do return your kids, they might randomly strand you in a randomly chosen location:
But no pathway was in place as of Thursday for what will happen after the reunifications, for families released from immigration custody on bond or other conditions. Some parents and children will presumably have been moved several states away from their extended families or support networks, the officials said. They may not have the money for transportation back to their families, or even food.
posted by zachlipton at 7:47 PM on July 5 [37 favorites]


Officials cautioned that this was not a deliberate attempt to obfuscate

Mmhm.

Some parents and children will presumably have been moved several states away from their extended families or support networks, the officials said. They may not have the money for transportation back to their families, or even food.


OK, so how can private citizens help here? I've got a car and several classes of child safety seats, I've got money, I've got google maps and weekends off. You need put up in a motel for a day or two and then driven to your family in Indiana? I'm your woman. Or, like, I can throw dollars at whoever is doing this on a more full-time basis. If we can move rescue dogs across the country with volunteer networks, we can reunite babies with their abuelas.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:55 PM on July 5 [83 favorites]


Officials cautioned that this was not a deliberate attempt to obfuscate

The trials should decide that.
posted by Artw at 8:00 PM on July 5 [84 favorites]


I'm in the UK but used to talk with people from the US back in the day when the internet was young and the term "pantywaste" was a popular euphemism among them. I assume it's changed from that, but means the same thing.

This was many hours ago, but since no one else called it out, I have to be a bit pedantic. The term is properly spelled "pantywaist" and refers to the old-fashioned term for an item of clothing, the item we now call "panties." So calling someone (in use, always a male someone) a pantywaist is implying they are lesser due to association with a feminine item of clothing. In other words it's an antiquated sexist and transphobic slur like so many others that insulted men by questioning their sexuality and gender.

So best left several decades in the past.
posted by threeturtles at 8:01 PM on July 5 [52 favorites]


Judy Woodruff is reporting a 14 month old was returned with lice but without having been bathed.

Body lice spread typhus. Typhus is what killed Anne Frank.
posted by Dashy at 8:02 PM on July 5 [43 favorites]


The announcement Thursday that DNA testing would be used to help confirm family units drew some opposition from immigrant advocates, who said that the records could be used to track undocumented immigrants indefinitely.

I've been hoping that some kindhearted STEM folks could come up with a similarity hash for genetic material and obtain values for these hashes for parents and kids. That way, the database could answer questions about the most-likely relatives without even storing the DNA itself. There's probably a reason this wouldn't work or would still be vulnerable security-wise but I would love to hear from some bio people and security people to find out what those problems might be.
posted by Jpfed at 8:15 PM on July 5 [4 favorites]


Senator Warren burns Trump in reply to his attack on her at tonight's rally in Montana, in true Warren style.

@elizabethforma Hey, @realDonaldTrump: While you obsess over my genes, your Admin is conducting DNA tests on little kids because you ripped them from their mamas & you are too incompetent to reunite them in time to meet a court order. Maybe you should focus on fixing the lives you're destroying.
posted by scalefree at 8:38 PM on July 5 [121 favorites]


Rust Moranis: "20 minutes later: "[Trump at Rally]: I called Maxine Waters a low-IQ individual. I believe hers is in the mid 60s." (more laughter)"

$diety on a rubber crutch I hate this blatant ignorance. A person with a 60 IQ has the cognitive function of a 8 year old. I don't know why but obvious ignorance like this is really one of my Cheeto related pet peeves.

Squeak Attack: "i live in Tucson and I was reading some job web sites - the Border Patrol and Lyft both seem really desperate right now. I'll pass on both."

If I was unemployed in Tucson (and American, I'd guess they are sticklers about that) I'd be so tempted to join up; do really well in all the training; and then proceed to Gilligan it Up to the best of my ability while maintaining plausible deniability.
posted by Mitheral at 8:50 PM on July 5 [14 favorites]


Kinda encouraging that nobody wants to take the shitty, soul destroying jobs the government is offering at the border though, isn’t it?
posted by notyou at 9:10 PM on July 5 [16 favorites]


One of my very favorite people in the world is a US Navy veteran who answered the call when the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters were threatened, and he overwintered with the Standing Rock Sioux. Wednesday, and again today, he was arrested outside the ICE facility in Philadelphia. He's out of jail (again) and in good health and good spirits. His arrest photo even made the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer on Independence Day.

Someday I hope to inspire my friends as they inspire me.
posted by workerant at 9:18 PM on July 5 [45 favorites]


A person with a 60 IQ has the cognitive function of a 8 year old. I don't know why but obvious ignorance like this is really one of my Cheeto related pet peeves.

It's not ignorance. He knows what that means and he wants very very badly to call her the ableist R word, but has apparently been warned against it so strongly and so many times that it's somehow sunk in. The gross people laughing know exactly what he means, what he'd rather be saying, and they think it's great.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:18 PM on July 5 [52 favorites]


i live in Tucson and I was reading some job web sites - the Border Patrol and Lyft both seem really desperate right now. I'll pass on both.

Get any of that rain today? It was glorious for the 2 minutes it was going. Now my swamp cooler is like "lol fuck y'all."

BP has been advertising for a long time here; there's always openings. I think the Trump admin is hurting recruitment because people who are not total monsters are looking at the BP right now and thinking "do I really want to be associated with this?"
posted by azpenguin at 9:25 PM on July 5 [4 favorites]


@JenniferJJacobs:
TARIFFS ON CHINA GOODS WILL GO FORWARD JUST AFTER MIDNIGHT TONIGHT, Trump told us on AF1, as the world braces for trade war.

PREPARED TO ESCALATE: Another $16 billion of tariffs on Chinese goods could follow in *two weeks,* Trump said.

He said the admin has another $200 billion in tariffs on China imports ready to go, and then another $300 billion.

The final total could eventually reach $550 billion.
Fun fact: $550B is more than all the goods we imported from China last year were worth.

Synthesizer manufacturers Moog have warned that they may need to move production overseas. They assemble their products in the US, and say they even work to source circuit boards from US suppliers, but most of the raw electronic components come from Chinese manufacturers, which the tariffs will target. Others in the electronics industry have also warned of the same effects: raw components are subject to the tariffs, while finished goods are not (there's a large constituency who will revolt if smartphones get more expensive overnight, but few care about capacitor costs). This provides an incentive to offshore, since you're taxed if you do the high value final assembly work in the US, but not if you just have the entire thing made in China.
posted by zachlipton at 9:31 PM on July 5 [40 favorites]


Chosun Ilbo, Pompeo Brings 'Rocket Man' CD for Kim Jong-un
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left for North Korea on Thursday for denuclearization talks and brought two gifts for leader Kim Jong-un.

One is a letter from U.S. President Donald Trump and the other an Elton John CD with his song "Rocket Man."

Sources in Washington said the gifts reflect Trump's expectations that Kim will follow through on the pledges in an agreement the two signed at their summit.

One diplomatic source in Washington said, "The 'Rocket Man' CD was the subject of discussion during Trump's lunch with Kim. Kim mentioned that Trump referred to him as 'rocket man' when tensions ran high last year" after a series of nuclear tests and missile launches by the North. "Trump then asked Kim if he knew the song and Kim said no."

Trump remembered the conversation and told Pompeo to take a CD with the song for Kim. He reportedly wrote a message on it and signed it.
Second Elton John story today. Dumbest fucking timeline.
posted by zachlipton at 10:01 PM on July 5 [47 favorites]


Based on that exchange I don’t think the President has ever heard Rocket Man, either.
posted by notyou at 10:05 PM on July 5 [23 favorites]


It's amazing what I encounter on my evening walk. Usually it's something nice, like eagles, or ravens, or mink, or (rarely) otters. Lately it's been tens of thousands of adorable tiny jellyfish that have recently hatched (if that's the right word for what jellyfish do) in the harbor. On one memorable occasion, it was a humpback whale that swam along beside me as I walked atop the cruise ship dock in the evening after the ships are gone. Anyway, there's always something worth leaving the house for, but from day to day you never know what it's going to be.

Tonight's surprise was Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and his security detail. I encountered them walking through a local tourist area after hours, and after I figured out exactly who it was, from a respectful and non-threatening distance I made eye contact and stated "Mr. Secretary you are not welcome here." His security asked me to repeat myself, and so I said "I said that he is not welcome in Ketchikan." His security insisted that "This is America, he is welcome anywhere." The secretary himself appeared to ignore me, walked to a waiting car, and rode off.

I can't say I feel as though I accomplished much but it was pretty satisfying emotionally.
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:05 PM on July 5 [177 favorites]


You know Kim will have an interpreter explain the song to him: "Trump believes you to be a lonely drug using astronaut..."
posted by xammerboy at 11:31 PM on July 5 [11 favorites]


The fact the Pruitt’s replacement is just as bad as he is, and probably even more so, underscores the point that Pruitt’s scandalous corruption was just a distraction.

This is surely analogous to his materialistic boss’s main strategy. Trump is probably conducting his politics in a way that will enrich him in a massive way. People claimed that he was not really a billionaire before he ran - now he will show them.

When they were ousted, Gaddafi and Mubarak had HUNDREDS of billions each in personal wealth. Putin is also supposed to be the richest person in the world today. Trump’s goal is surely to beat him in his own game. He is looking at the “big” picture. He already passed a $1.5 trillion tax cut that benefits his opaque bisnesses. The many scandals are mere distractions.
posted by growabrain at 1:48 AM on July 6 [8 favorites]


Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids
In fact it's cold as hell
And there's no one there to raise them if you did
And all this science I don't understand
It's just my job five days a week

A rocket man, a rocket man
posted by stonepharisee at 1:58 AM on July 6 [6 favorites]


>> Political Wire: Li Jiang, who owns a flag-making company in China, told NPR that he’s been contracted to manufacture flags for President Trump’s 2020 election bid.

>> As Trump celebrates reductions in legal immigration and is working toward more, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Wants To Hire 40 More Foreign Workers.


a trumpist's guide to threading the needle of hypocrisy:
(a) if you're rich and white, cheating means you're smart and tough. otherwise, cheating means you're stealing from good decent folk.
(b) you can keep making cheap stuff for me to buy at walmart, just like always*. you can pick my crops. you can work in my kitchens. but only if we both remember that my boot is on your neck, every minute of every day. and only if you stay invisible.

*terms and conditions may apply as of 6 Jul 2018
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 2:54 AM on July 6 [20 favorites]


Native American water protector becomes first to be sentenced to time in federal prison for DAPL protests
The Water Protector Legal Collective explains that many of the defendants facing charges in relation to the events at Standing Rock take plea deals because a trial will mean facing a hostile jury pool. A defense-commissioned study last year by the National Jury Project found the a whopping 77 percent of potential jurors in Morton County and 85 percent in Burleigh County had already decided that the Standing Rock defendants were guilty. A motion for a change a venue for the defendants was denied.
posted by adamvasco at 3:10 AM on July 6 [20 favorites]


The 4th of July Democracy Now! episode began with James Earl Jones reading Frederick Douglass’s 1852 speech “What to the American Slave Is Your 4th of July?”(full show, alt link, .torrent) during a series of readings from Voices of a People’s History of the United States, an anthology compiled by Howard Zinn in 2004.

Most of the rest of the episode is a really great, wide-ranging interview with James Forman Jr., current Yale Law professor, former clerk for SCOTUS Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Pulitzer winner for Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America published in 2017, and son of James Forman Sr. and Constancia Romilly who met while activists with SNCC during the 1960s alongside John Lewis and other titans of that era's Civil Rights movement.
posted by XMLicious at 3:15 AM on July 6 [15 favorites]


Based on that exchange I don’t think the President has ever heard Rocket Man, either.

He’s seen the bit in The Rock where Nicolas Cage uses it as a punchline before killing a Black guy, and that’s good enough for him.
posted by Etrigan at 3:52 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


otherwise, cheating means you're stealing from good decent folk.

So this is the interesting thing about Trump's brand of authoritarian ressentiment. Unlike the classic twentieth century manifestations of fascism, with their shadow theater in which the Great Man mobilized all the forces of the state and nation in theoretic service to the forgotten Little Man, Trump doesn't actually care about "good decent folk" at all.

He rarely bothers to pay any more than the briefest lip service to the common people. At most, he'll celebrate them in their Deplorable aspect. But he doesn't easily mingle with them, he takes no joy or comfort in them, and he often forgets or simply doesn't bother to disguise the fact that he sanitizes his hands immediately after contact with them.

What this implies to me is that his racism is purer still. It's another example of his saying the quiet parts out loud, without even the figleaf of concern for the Little Guy that animate the twentieth-century fascisms: from his perspective, the problem with black and brown immigrants isn't that they're stealing from good upstanding whitefolk, it's that they're black and brown. And though it's very occasionally present in his rhetoric, from the escalator speech onward, he doesn't even dwell overlong on the They're Raping Our Women trope.

Trump is just a straight-up hater of people on the basis of their difference from him, and doesn't make more than the slightest pretense otherwise.
posted by adamgreenfield at 3:55 AM on July 6 [25 favorites]


WaPo: Republican candidates in key Senate races struggle with Trump tariffs
For now, Republican challengers in a handful of heartland states argue that President Trump deserves room to negotiate in his bid to yield better deals for American businesses and consumers alike. But retaliatory tariffs that countries like Canada and China are aiming squarely at Trump’s base will test their solidarity with the president in a very competitive midterm election year.

Nowhere is the squeeze between Trump and his trade policies more evident than in North Dakota, where Trump is trying to oust incumbent Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp. “We're not starting a trade war, but we'll finish it,” Trump said last week at a rally in Fargo, as Heitkamp’s Republican challenger, Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), looked on. The next day, in a local television interview, Cramer said that “people are with [Trump] and they want a better deal.” And while Cramer said he’s told the president that farmers need to see results soon, the GOP lawmaker also predicted that “you’re going to see some victories along the way that will continue to make this the right thing.”

North Dakota farmers may see it differently. The Trump administration on Friday is set to slap another $34 billion in duties on Chinese imports; Beijing says it will respond in kind, leveling the same amount in countervailing fees on U.S. goods including soybeans, North Dakota’s top export to the country. The state ships $28 million worth of the product to China annually, according to a report out this week from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — and China consumes roughly a third of American-produced soybeans, a fact growers point to in raising alarms about the tariffs.
this trade war might be the only thing on earth that might actually make the trumpists turn on trump. not even overwhelming evidence of corruption from mueller's report is going to sway the converted, because that has long since turned into another case of "whose story do you really WANT to believe," which has always been trump's most powerful weapon. american democracy's best hope right now is not robert mueller. it's (1) farmers and upper middle class suburbanites going bankrupt before November 6th, 2018, and (2) Democrats knocking on doors before November 6th, 2018.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 4:00 AM on July 6 [17 favorites]


Trump 'angry baby' blimp gets green light to fly over London during president's visit
The six-metre balloon depicting Mr Trump as a nappy-clad orange baby will take flight from Parliament Square Gardens on 13 July.

posted by octothorpe at 4:21 AM on July 6 [24 favorites]


Trump 'angry baby' blimp gets green light to fly over London during president's visit

Yeah, AFAIC this is as effective a response to cruelty and oppression as levitating the Pentagon. Trump himself will assuredly never see the thing, and even if he does he's psychically incapable of being insulted or upbraided by it, or in fact relating it to himself in any way.

You want to amuse yourself with absurdist gestures like this, fine. But people are literally dying in the camps, still, and too many families have been ripped apart irreparably, and when children are reunited with their parents at all, they're being handed back unbathed and covered in lice. Tell me what an angry baby balloon does about any of that, FFS.
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:30 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


I wasn't really expecting a giant baby blimp to effect policy changes, Adam.
posted by octothorpe at 4:40 AM on July 6 [107 favorites]


Vocal, obvious, and widely reported opposition to Trump and all he stands for is a good thing™. The non-US media will not downplay or both-sides things.
posted by stonepharisee at 4:47 AM on July 6 [49 favorites]




We got all kinds of dissent. Country and Western!
posted by petebest at 5:04 AM on July 6 [31 favorites]


This was many hours ago, but since no one else called it out, I have to be a bit pedantic.

Thanks for the correction.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 5:11 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


It never ceases to amaze me how many of our founding fathers explicitly warned of a man like Trump.

Which is another reason the Electoral College has to go. Not only did it allow the past two Republican presidents to be installed over the express votes of the majority (with a tip-in by a partisan Supreme Court in Bush's case), but it also failed in the express purpose for which is was designed. It's worse than useless.
posted by Gelatin at 5:13 AM on July 6 [53 favorites]


I'm finding it jarring that pro-fascist guests on talk shows are using phrases like "pro-MS-13" without being challenged on it as a manifestly racist epithet. I was initially trying to draw a parallel with Judenfreund but that doesn't contain the same synecdoche where a particular organization stands in for the implicitly subhuman group. And of course no one actually calls themselves "pro-MS-13" whereas in Nazi Germany there were at least some people who embraced Judenfreund, I think?

Google results I don't want to click on seem to indicate that the RNC has been airing ads in the last month or so using the term.
posted by XMLicious at 5:25 AM on July 6 [9 favorites]


it also failed in the express purpose for which is was designed. It's worse than useless.

The problem is state laws that mandate that the electoral college just vote for the winners of the vote or it won’t count. I think we would have seen enough faithless electors to throw it to the House at least otherwise.
posted by corb at 5:28 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


The gerrymandered to-hell-and-back House?
posted by Barack Spinoza at 5:37 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Second Elton John story today. Dumbest fucking timeline.

It's the same story. Trump asks Pompeo to take the Elton John CD to Kim. Then he realizes that the CD (and by extension, Elton John) was enormously popular, so at the rally he assures himself aloud that he is yet more popular.
posted by Jpfed at 5:39 AM on July 6 [20 favorites]


it also failed in the express purpose for which is was designed. It's worse than useless.

The electoral college was explicitly designed to give outsized power to white landowners and slaveowners.
At the Philadelphia convention, the visionary Pennsylvanian James Wilson proposed direct national election of the president. But the savvy Virginian James Madison responded that such a system would prove unacceptable to the South: “The right of suffrage was much more diffusive [i.e., extensive] in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of Negroes.” In other words, in a direct election system, the North would outnumber the South, whose many slaves (more than half a million in all) of course could not vote. But the Electoral College—a prototype of which Madison proposed in this same speech—instead let each southern state count its slaves, albeit with a two-fifths discount, in computing its share of the overall count.
It's still functioning exactly as designed, by explicitly granting disproportionate power to white, rural voters, descending from slaveowners. Our entire system of government was designed from the beginning to give the appearance of democracy, but rigged in favor of white supremacy.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:42 AM on July 6 [94 favorites]


Schadenfrau : My biggest concern at this point is that the DSA is culturally resistant to seeing that they have a problem, and that the problem is them. Without that, it doesn't get fixed. And even then it will require a lot of emotional labor at a time when we're all exhausted. So that's...not great.

In y'day's email.
Nominations for national board (NPC) vacancies

2018 National Political Committee Application
Any DSA member in good standing is eligible for election as an NPC Member. Any member may nominate their/him/herself for such positions ...
The deadline for submission of nominations for the NPC shall be the end of Tuesday, July 10, 2018.
I *was* going to nominate MeFi's Own The Whelk, but I think you're more in touch with this showstopping issue.

If nominated, would you accept? If elected, would you serve?
posted by mikelieman at 5:44 AM on July 6 [16 favorites]


I just listened to a bunch of the recorded conference calls while I was out for a walk and I think in one of them it was stated that the NPC is mandated to have 50/50 gender membership and ¼ PoC?
posted by XMLicious at 5:49 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Bloomberg: Putin Is Preparing a Deal Trump Can Tout After Summit
Kremlin officials are in intense negotiations with their counterparts in Washington to strike at least one deal they hope will let President Donald Trump tout his summit with Vladimir Putin as a triumph that justifies steps to repair relations.

At the top of the list for the July 16 meeting in Helsinki, Finland, is Iran’s role in Syria, an issue that Moscow is simultaneously negotiating with Tehran, a senior Russian official said on condition of anonymity because he’s not authorized to comment on the record.

Putin has agreed in principle to U.S. and Israeli demands that Iranian-backed forces in southern Syria be kept away from Israel’s border, replaced with troops loyal to the government in Damascus, two Kremlin advisers said.

After studying Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, during which he announced a surprise halt to U.S. military exercises with South Korea, Putin decided he needs to negotiate with the billionaire personally, the senior official said, without elaborating. The two leaders may meet without aides, as Trump and Kim did in Singapore, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.[...]

Still, there are major questions about Putin’s ability to enforce any agreement involving Iran’s actions in Syria, even if he offers to deploy troops to stabilize the border areas in question. This in turn is fueling concerns in Washington and among U.S. allies in Europe that Trump may proclaim the Helsinki meeting a breakthrough without extracting any real concessions.
The fix is in. The only question is what Putin's getting in return.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:57 AM on July 6 [14 favorites]


It'll take some time, but I believe that trump and all his cohorts will be rooming at the Hague.
posted by james33 at 6:00 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


I just listened to a bunch of the recorded conference calls while I was out for a walk and I think in one of them it was stated that the NPC is mandated to have 50/50 gender membership and ¼ PoC?

That is correct. I took the time to read the constitution and by-laws when I signed up. ( Which says much about me... )

Another reason for my changing my prospective nominee from The Whelk. EVERY organization needs More Women Leading, just on general principle.
posted by mikelieman at 6:06 AM on July 6 [10 favorites]


The problem is state laws that mandate that the electoral college just vote for the winners of the vote or it won’t count. I think we would have seen enough faithless electors to throw it to the House at least otherwise.

No, as Barack Spinoza pointed out, the problem was that, as in 2000, the Republicans were going to put a Republican into office no matter what. Throwing the election into the House would have resulted in the same outcome. Republican politicians are afraid of Democratic voters, but they're even more afraid of Republican ones.
posted by Gelatin at 6:13 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


VA-07: Brat Moves from Lean Republican to Toss Up (David Wasserman | Cook Political Report)
In 2014, economics professor Dave Brat turned the political world upside-down when he upset House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the GOP primary by taking a hard line on illegal immigration. But four years later, he's at risk of getting swept out by a Democratic wave in a rapidly moderating district anchored by the professional Richmond suburbs. After courts redrew the 7th CD in 2016, President Trump took just 50 percent here, down from Mitt Romney's 56 percent in 2012.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 6:29 AM on July 6 [23 favorites]


Most Americans oppose key parts of Trump immigration plans, including wall, limits on citizens bringing family to U.S., poll says (WaPo)
Americans overwhelmingly oppose the Trump administration’s now-rescinded policy of separating immigrant children from their parents, and smaller majorities also disagree with the president’s call to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and to restrict legal immigration by limiting citizens from bringing parents and siblings to this country, according to a new Washington Post-Schar School poll.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 7:05 AM on July 6 [18 favorites]


Trump: "Y'know what, Putin is fine. He's fine. We're all fine, we're all people."

This is what he said. He said this.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:07 AM on July 6 [25 favorites]


Hey mikelieman! Thank you—I’m honored, and I just sent you a memail message. Shorter version: yup I’d roll my sleeves up and get all officially pitbull-y, but I am very conscious of my newbie status and general lack of familiarity with the organization, which I don’t think is a minor issue — like being a pitbull is super useful when it’s targeted because you know what to target, but when it’s not...it can be sort of destructive. I’m thinking I’m going to be doing this anyway. The Whelk has done a lot and seems super plugged in, and I’d actually love to talk to him about this stuff.

Ok wait I’m gonna send another memail
posted by schadenfrau at 7:09 AM on July 6 [25 favorites]


This Ought to Run in Campaign Ads from Now Through Eternity. Attention Optics Police: a crew of Republican senators spent the Fourth of July in...Moscow.
posted by scalefree at 7:10 AM on July 6 [35 favorites]


VA-07: Brat Moves from Lean Republican to Toss Up

Brat was the test case for the anti-immigration message that is now Trump's signature issue. It played to the base, but seems to be shriveling in light of its real effects.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:15 AM on July 6 [11 favorites]


He is an entirely engineered republican creature I feared might be some kind of Dead Zone presidential candidate someday. Of course, we ended up with worse in the form of Trump, but if he shrivels up and does as a consequence that’ll be a good thing.
posted by Artw at 7:19 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Eric Levitz, New York: Ocasio-Cortez’s Socialism Can Work in the Midwest — With a Rebrand
Certain aspects of Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign were tailored to an electorate of working-class Bronxites, and young, highly educated gentrifiers (who are, for the moment, one of the core constituencies for far-left politics in the U.S.). Democratic candidates in heavily white, rural swing districts probably wouldn’t benefit by adopting the slogans “abolish ICE” and “democratic socialism.” Those phrases are radical, by design; their purpose is to galvanize activist energy — and expand the boundaries of political possibility — by articulating a vision of transformative change. And they’ve proven quite effective at serving those functions.

But they aren’t optimal slogans for the Democratic Party in heavily white, nonurban swing districts — and were never meant to be. [...]

And yet, if some of the signifiers of Ocasio-Cortez’s politics are too “far left for the Midwest,” there’s little reason to believe that the substance of her politics is. Republicans might have the upper hand in a fight over abstractions like “socialism” or the “abolition of internal immigration enforcement.” But it’s far from clear that Democrats would lose an argument over the virtues of Ocasio-Cortez’s policy platform — even before a “Midwest” audience. [...]

The palatability of Ocasio-Cortez’s policy platform reflects two important realities: Actually existing “democratic socialism” — which is to say, the brand championed by its most prominent proponents in elected office — is almost indistinguishable from left-liberalism; and left-liberal policies are already quite popular in the United States. [...]

If all Americans voted for the party whose positions on economic policy best matched their own stated preferences, then the Republican Party would not be competitive in national elections. The GOP’s strength derives entirely from the considerable appeal of white identity politics with constituencies that happen to wield disproportionate power over our political system. [...]

Thus, the key for Democrats — especially in the Midwest, where a lot of economically liberal, culturally conservative white voters live — is to increase the salience of class identity in American elections. [...]

Transporting this model from the Bronx to Macomb County would certainly require switching up the details. But there’s little reason to think that a customized version of Ocasio-Cortez’s class-centric, social-democratic politics can’t thrive in the Rust Belt.

All of which is to say: Tammy Duckworth should embrace “socialism with Midwestern characteristics.”
posted by tonycpsu at 7:20 AM on July 6 [37 favorites]


All of which is to say: Tammy Duckworth should embrace “socialism with Midwestern characteristics.”

Like being an FDR-style New Deal Democrat.
posted by Gelatin at 7:22 AM on July 6 [25 favorites]


ocschwar: Fuck it. Close DisneyWorld for a week. Send the staff out to collect the kids. They'll get it done.

Then we'll get coverage of "both sides" with clueless people who rant to TV cameras that their vacation was ruined, just like when Patricia Okoumou climbed the Statue of Liberty (yes, that was really what a nationally syndicated station chose to go with to bring "balance" to the story of a woman who was making a political statement about the incarceration of child migrants and refugee seekers, who have been forcibly taken from their parents).

In other news, China Says U.S. Has Begun 'Largest Trade War' In History, Retaliates With Tariffs (NPR, July 6, 2018)
As the day dawned across the U.S. on Friday, a new economic reality dawned with it: The tariffs long threatened against billions of dollars in Chinese goods took effect just at midnight ET while many Americans were sleeping — but Beijing was ready immediately with a wake-up call of its own.

The new trade regulations imposed by the Trump administration, which levy a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports to the U.S., have "violated [World Trade Organization] rules and launched the largest trade war in economic history to date," China's Ministry of Commerce declared in a statement Friday.

Chinese authorities quickly retaliated with equivalent tariffs on $34 billion worth of imported U.S. goods — previously promised as ranging from vehicles to soybeans, beef and other agricultural products.

The rapid tit for tat follows weeks of anxious anticipation over the "trade remedies" President Trump vowed last month to implement. At the time he announced the tariffs, back in mid-June, Trump said the current U.S.-China economic relationship had grown to be "no longer sustainable."

"Trade between our nations," he explained, "has been very unfair, for a very long time."
Yes, it's so unfair that the U.S. and Europe are sending back empty shipping containers, sometimes who freighters full of 'em (NYT, 2006, and likely moreso now that China has refused to take the world's refuse [previously]), because we're happy to offshore not only the work, but also environmental impacts, so much so that China’s pollution clean-up is driving up prices for shoppers (South China Morning Post, 20 Nov. 2017). Not to mention abhorrent record on human rights (Human Rights Watch World Report 2017, China).

I can't help but think that if we (as shoppers, myself included, and as governments) cared more about the full costs of low-cost Chinese goods, instead of the bottom dollar, we wouldn't have gotten so far into this "unfair" situation.

Also, if it's so unfair Donny, why aren't you buying your 2020 campaign flags from a US company?
posted by filthy light thief at 7:26 AM on July 6 [9 favorites]


Lotta fellows would learn something about the Midwest - like our history of labor organizing, the actual political dynamics of the cities here, the actual racial make-up - before exercising their jaws about our politics and how we're too stupid for the ideas that work on the coasts. The coasts were the ones who were cool with crucifying mankind upon a cross of gold, regardless of what it did to the farmers - I wouldn't be talking about how dumb and folksy we are here if I were them.
posted by Frowner at 7:28 AM on July 6 [68 favorites]


I do know that one of the biggest flag makers in the US is closed now - my mother-in-law lived near it, and the factory closed down and is now being made into condos. It used to be on Bloomfield Avenue in Verona, NJ, and now it's gone. I wonder if there's any flag makers in the US anymore that's not going to make terrible ones.

What do I know? I'm just an American white male who is in debt past his eyeballs, with a wife who's American-born but of Puerto Rican parents, and who I regularly wake up terrified about from dreams of ICE deporting her, a woman born in Manhattan, into a country she knows nothing of, and wondering what I would do if the worst happened.
posted by mephron at 7:30 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Can we really fucking please stop equating "Midwest" and "rural?" Tammy Duckworth represents Chicago, you guys. Chicago is in the Midwest. Keith Ellison got elected in the Midwest. We're really not all Evangelical Christian farmers.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:30 AM on July 6 [88 favorites]


> Can we really fucking please stop equating "Midwest" and "rural?" Tammy Duckworth represents Chicago, you guys. Chicago is in the Midwest. Keith Ellison got elected in the Midwest. We're really not all Evangelical Christian farmers.

Duckworth's argument was about winning in the Midwest generally, though:

“I think it's the future of the party in the Bronx, where she is,” Duckworth said.

“I think that you can’t win the White House without the Midwest and I don’t think you can go too far to the left and still win the Midwest,” Duckworth said during the interview.

posted by tonycpsu at 7:32 AM on July 6 [4 favorites]


Even the damn farmers aren't all evangelical Christian farmers, for pete's sake.

Conservatives in the midwest are pretty much like conservatives on the coasts - white, relatively well-off, isolated, older.
posted by Frowner at 7:33 AM on July 6 [13 favorites]


Okay but there's no Midwest House or Senate seats. There's different states (many of which are dominated population-wise by their cities) and different Congressional districts. No one is electing a single person to represent The Entire Midwest.

Pittsburgh is either Midwest or Appalachia depending on who you ask. It is far from rural or conservative. Pittsburgh is arguably the birthplace of the American labor movement. We just elected 2 DSA candidates to the State House.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:37 AM on July 6 [16 favorites]




Another reason for my changing my prospective nominee from The Whelk. EVERY organization needs More Women Leading, just on general principle.

I think this is too zero sum. The point is cooperation and solidarity. I think both would be good in leadership roles, and I also think that the valorization of leadership over and above the work/brilliance of the rank and file is arguably a bit antithetical to socialist and feminist values.
posted by rue72 at 7:44 AM on July 6 [4 favorites]


> Okay but there's no Midwest House or Senate seats. There's different states (many of which are dominated population-wise by their cities) and different Congressional districts. No one is electing a single person to represent The Entire Midwest.

I think that's a caricature of the piece, which is merely arguing that progressives take AOC's ideals and emphasize different portions of it when trying to win in some US house districts. Electing Summer Lee and Sara Innamorato in relatively low-turnout state assembly races where the incumbents were far out of step with their electorate is one thing -- doing it in higher turnout US house races in much redder districts is another. The point of the article is that progressive policies can win with just a little tweaking of the message -- an idea that I don't think should be controversial.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:45 AM on July 6 [5 favorites]


I can't help but think that if we (as shoppers, myself included, and as governments) cared more about the full costs of low-cost Chinese goods, instead of the bottom dollar, we wouldn't have gotten so far into this "unfair" situation.

I don’t think there was any way around globalization but I think the time to act to protect US markets from practically slave labor imports was 40 years ago. It would have been up to Carter or Reagan to put forward a cost of living tariff on cheap imported goods to ensure America workers weren’t priced out of their own market.

But that’s not how it went. The capitalists of America knew they could benefit from the double prongs of offshoring production to either make cheaper products or increase profits while at the same time hiding the effect of flattening real wages that they had started to push. It was probably greatly helped along with the massive expansion of access to consumer credit allowing the middle class to buoy themselves on revolving lines of credit. Especially in the ‘90s as Chinese goods started to creep up in cost with their burgeoning middle class demanding higher wages.

Now a pair of quality American boots costs $350. We haven’t had real pay rises in 40 years so they’re now entirely out of reach for the middle class. So we’re bascially in a catch 22.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 7:53 AM on July 6 [39 favorites]


I don’t think there was any way around globalization but I think the time to act to protect US markets from practically slave labor imports was 40 years ago.

that's the one thing that's been bugging me about trump's promises to change things - they're based on what a lot of working class people wanted in the 70s - the time to save manufacturing jobs, balance trade and insist our allies pay for more of their defense was way back then - (although it's debatable whether much of this would have worked)

it's been said that a lot of people would like to go back to the world of the 50s, but i think what we've been missing is they're trying to do it by relitigating the debates of the 70s

that's not going to work either - and for awhile, i was thinking that trump was just mouthing words and didn't really believe any of this - all i know is the horse is gone, the barn's burned down, and people are standing around with any key they can find wondering where the lock is

we seriously need politics that's based on current events
posted by pyramid termite at 8:03 AM on July 6 [24 favorites]


EVERY organization needs More Women Leading, just on general principle.
Iceland agrees. < Where to Invade Next excerpt, youtube
posted by Harry Caul at 8:04 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Now a pair of quality American boots costs $350. We haven’t had real pay rises in 40 years so they’re now entirely out of reach for the middle class. So we’re bascially in a catch 22.

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice
A really good pair of leather boots, the sort that would last years and years, cost fifty dollars. This was beyond his pocket and the most he could hope for was an affordable pair of boots costing ten dollars, which might with luck last a year or so before he would need to resort to makeshift cardboard insoles so as to prolong the moment of shelling out another ten dollars.
posted by mikelieman at 8:05 AM on July 6 [20 favorites]


Not to abuse the edit window, that's $70 in terms of a $350 boot, and yeah, the hypothesis is sustained.
posted by mikelieman at 8:06 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Tammy Duckworth represents Chicago, you guys.

That only makes it more indefensible that she feels the path to victory is engaging in ritual hippy-punching. She could win on the exact same platform as AOC by running up numbers in Chicago. She could win easily by coopting some of the Democratic Socialist framing. She should be expected to support almost the same policy proposals as AOC put forth. There's no reason for her to gratuitously lash out at the progressive left. There's no reason the progressive left should be expected to lie down and take it anymore. Demand elected Democrats stop hippy punching to appease Republicans. Period.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:06 AM on July 6 [52 favorites]


I’ve Been Reporting on MS-13 for a Year. Here Are the 5 Things Trump Gets Most Wrong.

The most damning bit: MS-13 was started in the US, amplified and spread in the prison system here, and then exported to El Salvador.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:11 AM on July 6 [44 favorites]


But that’s not how it went. The capitalists of America knew they could benefit from the double prongs of offshoring production to either make cheaper products or increase profits while at the same time hiding the effect of flattening real wages that they had started to push. It was probably greatly helped along with the massive expansion of access to consumer credit allowing the middle class to buoy themselves on revolving lines of credit. Especially in the ‘90s as Chinese goods started to creep up in cost with their burgeoning middle class demanding higher wages.

I just started reading Dean Baker's book on this (Rigged (it's free!)), and the fundamental mechanism seems to have been a switch from a system that featured international capital flowing into improving economies to support local growth and development to a system that featured international capital flowing into economies to support the development of export industries and the accumulation (by the locals) of foreign reserve currency. The inflection point seems to have been the collapse of the Asian Tigers and the subsequent bailout and austerity.

Fascinating, especially in that it suggests a way out that doesn't involve a choice between trade wars or hyper-exploitation.
posted by notyou at 8:15 AM on July 6 [13 favorites]


Not to abuse the edit window, that's $70 in terms of a $350 boot, and yeah, the hypothesis is sustained.

The thing is, the real wages of all Americans was climbing up until about 1980. After that it flattened out and we've been able to afford what we can only by falling prices and cheap credit. If the wages trajectory had continued along with productivity gains the middle class would be able to comfortably afford a $350 pair of boots by now.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 8:15 AM on July 6 [14 favorites]


There's no reason for her to gratuitously lash out at the progressive left.
Or to conflate "The Midwest" with white conservative voters. They're never going to like us; they're never going to vote for us; they're never going to give up an ideology that treats everyone else as an American with an asterisk, at best, while they represent real America, the Heartland.
posted by This time is different. at 8:17 AM on July 6 [8 favorites]


Like being an FDR-style New Deal Democrat.

We need A Fair Deal.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:25 AM on July 6 [14 favorites]


Or to conflate "The Midwest" with white conservative voters. They're never going to like us; they're never going to vote for us;

When you write off an entire region, forever - what are you offering that’s better than civil war? People talk about “hippie punching” but “ha-ha, rednecks” is equally terrible. Are you seriously saying your ideology and positions have nothing of benefit to offer to multiple entire states? If not, why not?

If what you mean “us” is “the Democrats”, then they absolutely have a lot to offer if they’re willing to stop looking for corporate donations and to take a hard line on unions. Not just the Sanders plan - but giving the NLRB /real teeth/. Fully staffing the agencies that investigate firings and violations of labor law so that people don’t have to wait months for a toothless response. Make Bosses Afraid Again. Don’t worry so much about whether or not people are forced to pay union dues. The guy on the factory floor gives zero fucks on whether or not people are able to exist without paying union dues. He wants to know he’s not going to be laid off on a whim. He wants full time hours. And if you can’t offer that as a competing vision, why not?
posted by corb at 8:26 AM on July 6 [14 favorites]


As someone in a service industry, I really wish folks would stop fetishizing manufacturing. It is not the only (or even the main) way to add value to an economy. Besides, as manufacturing continues to automate, the number of jobs created by it (in any country) will continue to fall.
posted by obliquity of the ecliptic at 8:27 AM on July 6 [47 favorites]


> As someone in a service industry, I really wish folks would stop fetishizing manufacturing. It is not the only (or even the main) way to add value to an economy. Besides, as manufacturing continues to automate, the number of jobs created by it (in any country) will continue to fall.

Ugh, this! Here in Pittsburgh, it's so gross how people with an agenda use the decline of the steel industry to tug on the heartstrings of citizens. Like this:
“Transparency is an important value, but like other important values in our legal system, in our government, it's not totally absolute,” he said. Janocsko also suggested that O’Brien should sanction the OOR by ordering it to redo its reviews of whether the Amazon documents should be made public.

Janocsko also said the government needed to keep the bid secret because Amazon coming to the Pittsburgh could be the biggest investment since Andrew Carnegie’s steel mills and that the region desperately needed investment. He said O’Brien knew that, as he used to be a steelworker.

“I'm an old steelworker. You are, too. And I think we're ones of the very few who lived through the collapse of the manufacturing and steel industry in this area,” Janocsko said. “To construe the Right-to-Know Law in this instance, at this particular point in time, is to essentially sabotage any realistic proposal we could have of achieving a groundbreaking private investment in our economy.
I can only assume that "groundbreaking private investment in our economy" is a transcription error from the original "budget-breaking public investment in Amazon", and that Mr. Janocsko needs to account for both the good and the bad of the steel industry here.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:32 AM on July 6 [12 favorites]


Wow, we're not even willing to do "service guarantees citizenship!" anymore - we're basically beyond parody.

Speaking of the directorial efforts of Mr V, I popped in the original Robocop bluray to test something the other day and left it on for a while, just past the ED-209... let's say "failed demo," since that's the level of concern the big bosses show for how it turns out.

Anyway, leading up to that, Dick opens his presentation with
Take a close look at the track record of this company. And you'll see that we have dabbled in markets traditionally regarded as non-profit. Hospitals. Prisons. Space exploration. I say good business is where you find it.
Beyond parody indeed.
posted by phearlez at 8:32 AM on July 6 [20 favorites]


The guy on the factory floor gives zero fucks on whether or not people are able to exist without paying union dues.

that's not true - it might not be the biggest issue of all time, but it is important to the people on the factory floor, at least where i work
posted by pyramid termite at 8:33 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Demand elected Democrats stop hippy punching to appease Republicans. Period.

Hippy punching and appeasing Republicans only serves to reinforce Republican frames (just as Republican voter suppression reinforces the frame that their agenda isn't popular). How has hippy punching and appeasing Republicans worked for Congressional Democrats in this century? I don't see a Democratic majority -- and if we get one, it'll be explicitly because of a rejection of Republicans and their terrible values.
posted by Gelatin at 8:33 AM on July 6 [7 favorites]


> Don’t worry so much about whether or not people are forced to pay union dues. The guy on the factory floor gives zero fucks on whether or not people are able to exist without paying union dues. He wants to know he’s not going to be laid off on a whim. He wants full time hours. And if you can’t offer that as a competing vision, why not?

There is no existing entity better capable of ensuring that guy's livelihood right now than labor unions that require union dues to function. Make all the arguments you want about the stronger unions that could come if we just walked away from existing ones and instead had their members engage in direct action to build a better labor movement from their ashes, but at least be honest about the real harm to real people that this will cause.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:41 AM on July 6 [15 favorites]


The thing is, the real wages of all Americans was climbing up until about 1980. After that it flattened out and we've been able to afford what we can only by falling prices and cheap credit. If the wages trajectory had continued along with productivity gains the middle class would be able to comfortably afford a $350 pair of boots by now.

It can't be said enough -- and among Democratic politicians, it isn't being said enough -- that since 1980 all the productivity gains went straight into the pockets of the wealthy, who were taxed less and less on their gains.
posted by Gelatin at 8:42 AM on July 6 [57 favorites]


So, this is weird, and I'm just kinda leaving it here as a public record, but I've just had my passport renewal rejected. Apparently, because I got e divorce 30 years ago. Also, I can't renew my driver's license for the same reason. I have to gather birth certificate, marriage licenses, certified copies of my divorce, social security card, and a partridge in a pear tree and schlep around various government offices, none closer than an hour away, to put my papers in order.

Y'all, I was born here, and I'm wondering if I should hire an attorney to sort this out. Pro tip, ladies, do not ever change your name to your husband's name. The current system is nightmarish if you ever change husbands. But if it's this difficult for an American born in America to navigate our government's hellscape, can you imagine how difficult it must be for everyone who wants to join us?

Edit to ask, what specialty of attorney would be the right one to call?
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:46 AM on July 6 [85 favorites]


The guy on the factory

I would ask folks to remember that women hold blue collar jobs, women join and lead unions, women need higher wages, women are family breadwinners, and women vote.

Edited to add: NB folks as well. You can just as easily say the person on the factory floor.
posted by Emmy Rae at 8:49 AM on July 6 [29 favorites]


zachlipton: New Yorker, Jonathan Blitzer, Parents Are Struggling to Reclaim Their Children from the Office of Refugee Resettlement

I've watched a number of early 1990s era Unsolved Mysteries episodes (they're streaming on Amazon via Prime membership blah blah), and there are a number of stories of siblings separated under various circumstances, from orphan trains to later foster programs, and I had a sudden image of this sort of story becoming common again in 5-10 years.

In other news, Trump's Top 2 Supreme Court Picks Reflect Warring Republican Factions (NPR, July 6, 2018)
The internal White House debate over who should replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court reflects the broader political split within the Republican Party — and the mistrust that is nursed by outside-the-Beltway social conservatives about the more establishment and business-oriented wing of the party.

So it is perhaps no surprise that a quintessentially Washingtonian fight has erupted between the supporters of the two leading candidates for the Supreme Court nomination, Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

While Barrett's supporters portray Kavanaugh as insufficiently conservative, Kavanaugh's supporters portray Barrett as insufficiently experienced — a judge whose conservative credentials are not yet clear in her opinions.

In truth, both are very conservative legal believers who would undoubtedly push the Supreme Court far to the right of where it was during Kennedy's more centrist conservative time on the Supreme Court.
Emphasis mine, because this cannot be forgotten in the horse race coverage of "warring GOP factions."
posted by filthy light thief at 8:52 AM on July 6 [14 favorites]


[The electoral college is] still functioning exactly as designed, by explicitly granting disproportionate power to white, rural voters, descending from slaveowners.

Much as I oppose the electoral college, I don't think this claim is borne out by the data. We can identify the votes which have the most decisive power in a presidential election by looking at the states (or in some cases congressional districts) where the difference between the two leading candidates was smallest.

In 2016, the most powerful votes were in Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
In 2012, the most powerful votes, by far, were in Florida.
In 2008, the most powerful votes were in Missouri and North Carolina.

Now, let's look at the most rural states. In 2010, the top 10 most rural states were Maine, Vermont, West Virginia, Mississippi, Montana, Arkansas, South Dakota, Kentucky, Alabama and North Dakota. You have to go all the way to #11, New Hampshire, before you find a state whose voters have been powerful in a recent election.

The present-day electoral college doesn't significantly privilege rural voters. It privileges an essentially random group of voters. It should be abolished not because it has present-day racist or anti-urban effects, but because it is dumb as hell.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:54 AM on July 6 [9 favorites]


Now, as a citizen of Iowa, I can tell you that the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary most certainly privilege white, rural voters over urban residents, and their early dates should be abolished in favor of a rotating schedule of primaries.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:56 AM on July 6 [9 favorites]


As a citizen of Missouri, I'm used to being shit on for being midwestern. You're not arguing anything here that local leftists haven't already heard since...idk, Bush I for me I guess. Thanks! Have a good weekend!
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:59 AM on July 6 [6 favorites]


Or to conflate "The Midwest" with white conservative voters. They're never going to like us; they're never going to vote for us;

When you write off an entire region, forever - what are you offering that’s better than civil war? People talk about “hippie punching” but “ha-ha, rednecks” is equally terrible. Are you seriously saying your ideology and positions have nothing of benefit to offer to multiple entire states? If not, why not?


I think the issue is not a region, it's a specific type of voter. The white conservative voter who thinks that gays are destroying the country, immigrants are evil rapists, and big government is an abomination (unless it's telling women what to do with their dirty, dirty bodies.)

Those voters will not vote for someone who is pro-choice, they will not support a candidate that even gestures toward some idea of amnesty, and god forbid you say something positive about brown people or the gays. They will never bend. They haven't in 40 years and really, all of our (liberal left Democratic) outreach and hands offered across the aisle has only emboldened them to stick to their dying ideals even harder.

The Midwest is more than these people. The South is more than these people. And if we focus on the folks who are not these staunch ideologues who are terrified of losing their seat at the all-white table, we might be okay. But the bigger focus has to be motivating those who are like us that don't vote either because they have been actively disenfranchised or because they are unaware/unmotivated. By November, there shouldn't be a single pale blue voter that isn't registered. Stop chasing the racists and start focusing on our people that want a place to live that loves them back.
posted by teleri025 at 9:01 AM on July 6 [40 favorites]


In 2016, the most powerful votes were in Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
In 2012, the most powerful votes, by far, were in Florida.
In 2008, the most powerful votes were in Missouri and North Carolina.


These states were only so powerful because of the huge chunk of more lightly populated red states in the South and West. Your analogy forgets the enormous weight that's already on the scale before New Hampshire arrives. Rural voters have enormous sway. It's far from random.
posted by dragstroke at 9:04 AM on July 6 [15 favorites]


So, this is weird, and I'm just kinda leaving it here as a public record, but I've just had my passport renewal rejected. Apparently, because I got e divorce 30 years ago.

This is commonplace as Real ID has been going into effect.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 9:06 AM on July 6 [11 favorites]


Seriously, I am always told I am living in "The Midwest" but I live in Chicago, which, may I remind you, is the third largest city in the country. I'm not sure why we are always passed over as mattering or influencing "The Midwest" but there are a LOT of dedicated and passionate people on the Left here who are trying to influence the current political scene.
posted by agregoli at 9:06 AM on July 6 [12 favorites]


The present-day electoral college doesn't significantly privilege rural voters.

Florida, Michigan etc are only the deciding most important incremental voters in those elections because rural voters are privileged and put Rs in a position to win those "deciding" states and win the electoral college. That those states aren't the supposedly deciding swing state doesn't mean they're not privileged and don't build up the base of EC votes that allow Rs to squeak by in elections where they lose the PV.
posted by chris24 at 9:07 AM on July 6 [5 favorites]


> "Much as I oppose the electoral college, I don't think this claim is borne out by the data. We can identify the votes which have the most decisive power in a presidential election by looking at the states (or in some cases congressional districts) where the difference between the two leading candidates was smallest."

If every voter in every state had a proportionally equal amount of power in the electoral college, this would be true.

It is not.

You are only looking at the power of an individual voter to affect the electoral votes of their state. You are not looking at how many electoral votes each state gets.
posted by kyrademon at 9:08 AM on July 6 [12 favorites]


The present-day electoral college doesn't significantly privilege rural voters. It privileges an essentially random group of voters. It should be abolished not because it has present-day racist or anti-urban effects, but because it is dumb as hell.
...
You are only looking at the power of an individual voter to affect the electoral votes of their state. You are not looking at how many electoral votes each state gets.

In particular, for the 25 most populous states, the electors-per-voter is about 0.67 times the electors-per-voter of the 25 least populous states.
posted by Jpfed at 9:15 AM on July 6 [16 favorites]


It's true that small states (and DC!) get a disproportionate number of electoral votes, and small states tend to be more rural. But it seems to me that this bias is of tiny significance compared to the increased power of votes in states where the election will be closely run. There is a reason presidential candidates go to Miami, Florida and not to Cheyenne, Wyoming.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:16 AM on July 6


When you write off an entire region, forever - what are you offering that’s better than civil war?

I think you've pretty much misread me entirely because of the exact thing I'm complaining about: the conflation of "The Midwest" with white conservative voters. The "they" in "they're never going to vote for us" are white conservative voters. When people say leftist policies need to be tweaked or triangulated or rephrased or whatever to appeal to people in The Midwest, they *never* mean the majority of Midwesterners who live in large cities; they mean white conservative voters. The changes that are supposed to make leftist policies more palatable to them are always some kind of downplaying of identity politics or whatever boogieman phrase stands in for the way those policies are connected to a program of eroding Real Americans' treasured central status in the American cultural narrative. I mean, just think about it: what changes are being proposed to appeal to "The Midwest," and why *those* changes? I notice that no one ever says, "This won't play in the Midwest unless we commit to a more leftist economic policy."

So yeah, I'm writing off white conservative voters forever, yes. I think that's offering a pretty fair assessment of the likelihood that they will start voting for Democrats, much less socialists.

People talk about “hippie punching” but “ha-ha, rednecks” is equally terrible. Are you seriously saying your ideology and positions have nothing of benefit to offer to multiple entire states? If not, why not?

There's no "ha-ha rednecks" here. I'm taking the entirely reasonable position that leftist politics will never draw meaningful numbers of white conservative voters. (I include self-styled 'independents' who we know from voting habits are anything but.) We will never be able to offer real Americans in the Heartland what conservative politics offers them: a social structure that puts their identity at the ideological center of the American experience. We can tweak or rephrase or triangulate or whatever, but we cannot give them what they want (and get from Trump) so long as we insist on a conception of America that does not privilege them over the rest of us.

If what you mean “us” is “the Democrats”, then they absolutely have a lot to offer if they’re willing to stop looking for corporate donations and to take a hard line on unions. . . . The guy on the factory floor gives zero fucks on whether or not people are able to exist without paying union dues. He wants to know he’s not going to be laid off on a whim. He wants full time hours. And if you can’t offer that as a competing vision, why not?

The "us" is all of us who aren't Real Americans in one way or another. Too brown, too queer, too liberal; not manly enough, not Christian enough, not racist enough. The left has a lot to offer white conservative voters, just not what they want.
posted by This time is different. at 9:18 AM on July 6 [42 favorites]


I mean, ffs, they literally call themselves "real Americans."
posted by This time is different. at 9:19 AM on July 6 [19 favorites]


As a citizen of Missouri, I'm used to being shit on for being midwestern. You're not arguing anything here that local leftists haven't already heard since...idk, Bush I for me I guess. Thanks! Have a good weekend!

Indeed -- when I lived in Florida I never saw any sort of labor union action happening. In St. Louis, in any given month there are strikes, negotiations, billboards shaming particular businesses, etc.

The people of MIssouri and the legislators of Missouri for years have been fighting over "right-to-work" laws and there's an important proposition on the upcoming ballot. I have not seen anything yet supporting right-to-work, while there are "No on A" and "Right To Work is Wrong For Missouri" yard signs and bumper stickers everywhere.

OTOH: I also never saw anti-abortion billboards anywhere in the South, but they are all over Missouri. This is probably why Claire McCaskill has turned anti-choice (along with being anti-immigrant and pro-big business... I really hope Angelica Earl can kick her ass in the primary but I'm not holding my breath).
posted by Foosnark at 9:25 AM on July 6 [5 favorites]




If what you mean “us” is “the Democrats”, then they absolutely have a lot to offer if they’re willing to stop looking for corporate donations and to take a hard line on unions. Not just the Sanders plan - but giving the NLRB /real teeth/. Fully staffing the agencies that investigate firings and violations of labor law so that people don’t have to wait months for a toothless response. Make Bosses Afraid Again. Don’t worry so much about whether or not people are forced to pay union dues. The guy on the factory floor gives zero fucks on whether or not people are able to exist without paying union dues. He wants to know he’s not going to be laid off on a whim. He wants full time hours. And if you can’t offer that as a competing vision, why not?

"take a hard line on unions" and "Make Bosses Afraid Again" are pretty much mutually exclusive. The way to fight corporate power is to support the re-invigoration of labor as a political and practical force in America in and out of the workplace. Democratic abandonment of the labor movement over the course of 40 years and particularly since the 90s lost those voters to Trump.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:33 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


EPA blocks warnings on cancer-causing chemical: Burying the formaldehyde study is part of an effort by Pruitt and aides to undermine EPA's research program, current and former officials tell POLITICO.
The Trump administration is suppressing an Environmental Protection Agency report that warns that most Americans inhale enough formaldehyde vapor in the course of daily life to put them at risk of developing leukemia and other ailments, a current and a former agency official told POLITICO.

The warnings are contained in a draft health assessment EPA scientists completed just before Donald Trump became president, according to the officials. They said top advisers to departing Administrator Scott Pruitt are delaying its release as part of a campaign to undermine the agency’s independent research into the health risks of toxic chemicals.
posted by homunculus at 9:36 AM on July 6 [34 favorites]


Trump has presented judge Sabraw with a request of an extension on reuniting the kids and their parents.

I think the judge should order that any parent who has still not seen his child by the deadline should just get an automatic green card. The only way to make this sting Trump and his fan base.
posted by ocschwar at 9:38 AM on July 6 [43 favorites]


In particular, for the 25 most populous states, the electors-per-voter is about 0.67 times the electors-per-voter of the 25 least populous states.

The United States of Wyoming and the Dakotas.

(waves to MeFites in all three places)
posted by Barack Spinoza at 9:42 AM on July 6


Trump 'angry baby' blimp gets green light to fly over London during president's visit

AP: Trump’s UK Trip Includes Palace Pomp, Aims to Avoid Protests
Prime Minister Theresa May’s office said Friday that Trump will arrive July 12 after attending a NATO summit in Brussels. That evening he will attend a black-tie dinner with business leaders at Blenheim Palace, a grand country house near Oxford that was the birthplace of Winston Churchill. He will be greeted with military pomp, including a welcome by bands of the Irish, Scots and Welsh Guards. The Royal Regiment of Scotland — homeland of the president’s mother — will pipe him out at the end of the dinner. The next day, Trump and May will visit an unspecified defense site before holding talks at Chequers, the prime minister’s country retreat 40 miles (65 kms) from the capital. Later Friday the president will travel to Windsor Castle, west of London, for an audience with Queen Elizabeth II.

The itinerary will keep the president away from London on Friday, where protesters plan to march and to fly a blimp depicting Trump as a screaming orange baby over Parliament.

The president will spend Thursday night at U.S. Ambassador Robert “Woody” Johnson’s London residence but will otherwise steer clear of the city.[...] “The president is not avoiding anything,” the ambassador said. “The president is merely trying to get as impactful a trip as he can get in a 24-hour period.”[...]

Trump and his wife Melania plan to spend the weekend privately in Scotland, where the president owns two golf courses, before traveling to Helsinki, Finland, for a July 16 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump’s trip is classed as an official visit, rather than the full-scale state visit, hosted by the queen, for which May invited Trump soon after his January 2017 inauguration. London and Washington say the state visit is still due to happen at some point.
I'd like to highlight Trump's full itinerary because it holds such enormous potential to go pear-shaped.

Trump will be facing his deep international unpopularity—and by a population whose language he can understand, no less. He'll be doing so following a NATO summit that, I predict, will go about as well as the G-7 one in Canada since he'll be tempted to indulge in similarly grotesque misbehavior in order to ingratiate himself with Putin. On top of that, Trump's narcissism has already been injured by the downgrade of his visit from "full state" to merely "official", and he'll likely strike out at the most convenient target, which will probably by Theresa May (if she's still PM).
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:44 AM on July 6 [6 favorites]


[Folks, the flyover country conversation is one we've had a lot. Let's drop it here. If there isn't new stuff to talk about, may I direct your attention to the rest of the site?]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:44 AM on July 6 [13 favorites]


Electoral-votes-per-capita would be a very important problem if electoral votes were awarded proportionally. But generally, they aren't. It's winner-take-all. So the effective power of a Wyoming voter picking a candidate is infinitesimal compared to their counterpart in Florida, despite Florida having fewer electoral-votes-per-capita.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:48 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


New stuff to talk about:

John Kelly, Scott Pruitt, and the Epic Turnover of the Trump Administration

What does the endless death watch for the President’s chief of staff tell us about the worst-run White House of modern times?

(Susan B. Glasser | The New Yorker)
posted by Barack Spinoza at 9:49 AM on July 6 [5 favorites]


Wheeler is expected to pick up where Pruitt left off at EPA — only without the controversy that plagued him (WaPo)

Andrew Wheeler, who has served as deputy administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency, spent a decade lobbying for just the sort of companies the agency regulates. His record suggests his views are similar to President Trump’s.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 9:53 AM on July 6 [10 favorites]


The Jim Jordan Matter (Josh Marshall | TPM)
posted by Barack Spinoza at 9:57 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Courthouse News has an update from Mueller vs. Manafort: DC Circuit Urged to Keep Manafort Behind Bars
In a July 5 appeal brief, defense attorney Kevin Downing said that the June 15 detention against Manafort imperils his ability to prepare for two upcoming criminal trials.

Downing said Manafort “is now housed in solitary confinement because the facility cannot otherwise guarantee his safety.” For 23 hours per day, minus attorney visits, Manafort is locked in his cell.

Assistant special counsel Scott Meisler meanwhile wasted little time to counter that claim.

“The district court has taken steps to minimize the impact on Manafort’s ability to prepare for his upcoming trials; the government has offered to do the same; and Manafort has not sought any relief from the district court or the government, including the Bureau of Prisons, with respect to any confinement conditions,” the reply filed on July 5 says.
Meanwhile, independent Russian analyst Julia Davis @JuliaDavisNews picked up this remarkable Kremlin-approved statement:
#Russia's state TV:
Chairman of Foreign Affairs Comm Konstantin Kosachev says that Trump is convinced that Mueller can't catch him — only #Manafort.
Therefore, the "red lines" in dealing with Russia that were there at the start of his presidency are no longer holding him back.
Source: 60 минут. Противники или соперники: чем закончились переговоры с сенаторами США? [60 Minutes. Opponents or rivals: how did the negotiations with the US senators end?]
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:57 AM on July 6 [11 favorites]




ocschwar: I think the judge should order that any parent who has still not seen his child by the deadline should just get an automatic green card. The only way to make this sting Trump and his fan base.

It's also very much the only decent thing to do, in itself. Both to facilitate reunification (it's hard for child and parent to freely find one another if both are at constant risk of getting deported) and as simple compensation for heinous treatment.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 9:58 AM on July 6 [17 favorites]


Trump country hit hard by Chinese tariffs (Catherine Boudreau | Politico)
posted by Barack Spinoza at 10:04 AM on July 6 [13 favorites]


@Ocasio2018, 2:52 PM - 29 Jun 2018
Some folks are saying I won for “demographic” reasons.

1st of all, that’s false. We won w/voters of all kinds.

2nd, here’s my 1st pair of campaign shoes. I knocked doors until rainwater came through my soles.

Respect the hustle. We won bc we out-worked the competition. Period.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:06 AM on July 6 [76 favorites]


One thing that happened recently that got little attention was a new policy change from USCIS: they'll now issue a Notice to Appear (in immigration court) whenever someone is denied an immigration benefit and so is out of status.

Immigration lawyer Hassan Ahmad has a terrifying thread that walks through the implications of automatically putting everyone in removal proceedings the minute they become out of status, noting the 700,000 case backlog in immigration court already:
1. Jack, a foreign student, files for an extension. He's always been in status. Changes address, informs USCIS; acknowledged. USCIS sends request for evidence to old address anyway. Extension of status denied for failure to respond. Jack is put in removal proceedings.

2. Maria, here on a fiancee visa, files for a green card. Her US citizen husband has a good job. Before the interview, Maria is diagnosed with breast cancer. Officer finds out and denies Maria's green card, saying she's likely to become a public charge. Maria is put in removal.

3. Sam is a software engineer. He has a green card pending from his employer. Employer gets bought out by another company. USCIS denies the petition, saying insufficient proof the new employer can continue the sponsorship. Sam is put in removal.
posted by zachlipton at 10:12 AM on July 6 [52 favorites]


Tim Kaine on Twitter:

> Pompeo Brings 'Rocket Man' CD for Kim Jong-un http://dlvr.it/QZcQsm

And Kim Jong Un sends back a copy of Green Day’s “American Idiot.”
posted by porn in the woods at 10:12 AM on July 6 [36 favorites]


One thing that happened recently that got little attention was a new policy change from USCIS: they'll now issue a Notice to Appear (in immigration court) whenever someone is denied an immigration benefit and so is out of status.

Well my pants are suitably shat. I’d go for citizenship to rid myself of this draconian nightmare but apparently these fascist fucks are planning to strip me of that if they find some i that isn’t dotted or t that isn’t crossed that they don’t like.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 10:15 AM on July 6 [9 favorites]


Well my pants are suitably shat. I’d go for citizenship to rid myself of this draconian nightmare but apparently these fascist fucks are planning to strip me of that if they find some i that isn’t dotted or t that isn’t crossed that they don’t like.

I let $OTHER_COUNTRY's citizenship lapse when I got naturalized because I don't believe in half measures. (Plus $OTHER_COUNTRY was already doing cruel enough shit. The grass isn not greener in the rest of the Anglosphere.)

So I'm screwed.

My company is also screwed because we cannot operate with being able to hire "the best" (mostly means "people who have already done similar work to what we do", but we can't stay in business without this)
posted by ocschwar at 10:19 AM on July 6 [10 favorites]


I feel like I've finally made it (what "it" is remains to be decided). On Twitter just now I got told to "pick a side or go back to the other country" for being a dual Canadian. So there's at least one person out there who is on Team Deport White Middle Class Duals With An American Parent For Not Being Sufficiently Loyal American.
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:25 AM on July 6 [31 favorites]


Here’s another way to look at the Electoral College. Consider a big Blue state like California, and a bunch of small Red states like Wyoming. We could say that because Wyoming has more electoral-votes-per-capita, the election is biased in favor of Wyoming. But in fact, the situation is much more complicated. Like Barack said, there is no such thing as a “Blue” or “Red” state. Perhaps a quarter of the citizens of the Red states voted for the Democratic candidate, and their votes are not reflected in the Electoral College; they simply disappear. And perhaps a third of the citizens of the Blue state voted for the Republican candidate, and their votes are not reflected in the Electoral College. The fact that these votes don’t affect the Electoral College vote count is vastly more significant than the number of electoral votes per capita in each state. It leads to a situation in which candidates effectively don’t give a damn how many votes they get in non-competitive states. Whether they lose a state by 1% or 100% makes no difference to their chance of victory. Whether they win a state by 1% or 100% makes no difference to their chance of victory. So, the individual votes in those non-competitive states have much less value. The bias is in favor of individual voters in states where the election is closely run.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:31 AM on July 6 [9 favorites]


One thing that happened recently that got little attention was a new policy change from USCIS: they'll now issue a Notice to Appear (in immigration court) whenever someone is denied an immigration benefit and so is out of status.

Also note that our immigration system is so Kafkaesque that it gives Kafka a bad name, and it's ridiculously easy to be "denied an immigration benefit" or otherwise fall "out of status." My law firm has an employee who's a Canadian national and his initial visa application and grant were very easy; however the last time he crossed the border and tried to renew it, they demanded additional paperwork that was never required before (and is not required by the forms). So he had to take multiple flights, at several hundred dollars a pop, to sort it out.

Totally ordinary, every day behavior with no perceptible hint of "screwing up" can still mess up your immigration status. It only works (to the extent it even does) by having agents who are willing to dig through everything and fix things that go awry - taking a hard line against legit visa holders is just terrifying.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 10:43 AM on July 6 [23 favorites]




With the release of the jobs numbers (213K jobs added, unemployment rate up to 4% as more people reported entering the labor market, but overall participation rate remaining steady at a post-recession 62.9%), I'm intrigued by Byron Auguste (former Obama economics advisor)'s words more than I usually am by random Forbes contributors: Skills And Tomorrow's Jobs Report: The Usual Suspects, as the usual suspects bemoan a "skills gap" that's a bunch of nonsense:
In their outstanding 2010 book, The Race Between Education and Technology, economists Claudia Goldin and Larry Katz showed convincingly that U.S. growth diminished and inequality rose when educational attainment slowed its century-long rise in the 1970s. This original rise was driven by the universal high school movement, massive expansion of public colleges and universities, the G.I. Bill and Pell grants, which expanded demand and supply of high-quality post-secondary education. By contrast, in the last 15 years, employers have reclassified middle-class jobs as “college graduate jobs” much faster than any rise in college degrees or notable changes to the skills obtained in college (Burning Glass Technologies calls this “up-credentialing"). When only 20% of administrative assistants have a bachelor’s degree but almost two-thirds of new job postings for admins require a B.A. to be considered, such practices make college degrees more of an arbitrary barrier than an inclusive bridge to middle-class work.
...
Scratch that: I mean we can’t just wait to find out. Showtime is over; game time is now. It’s well past time we leave our passive spectating ways behind. The U.S. has arrived at an inflection point in our economy, technology and demography that demands a reality check on the sorry state of our labor market, and the – i.e., our – institutional practices that produce it.

Our employers complain they can’t find the needed skills, but never assess the skills of most of their job applicants. We preach “meritocracy” and performance, but we practice “alma mater-ocracy” and pedigree. Policymakers say jobs are their No. 1 priority; businesses insist their most important asset is their people; we say college is essential, then rate colleges by how many applicants they can reject. Commentators stroke their chins and refer to impersonal forces of technology, markets and systems - as if these were created in some other way than cumulative and collective human choices. Our cluelessness can be comical, but its net effect is tragic: a U.S. job market that’s broken for half of Americans, in ways barely noticed by so many who make the rules. The so-called “skills gap” is really an opportunity gap, which generates a gap (chasm, in fact) in confidence and trust, dividing our country by income, education, class, gender, race and region.
The cheerleading here is well and good, though falling short of policy, but it's also particularly sad that this is the conversation we need to be having, how does our labor market let so many people down in so many awful ways, yet we don't have that discussion at all because the Trump-driven narrative is built entirely around a stuck-in-the-past agenda of trying to stuff people in non-existent steel plants and coal mines. We've seen story after story lately of employers bemoaning their inability to find workers, everything from airline pilots to summer pool lifeguards, As Annie Lowrey writes in Say Hello to Full Employment:
Some analysts have started warning about the same issue happening nationally, in some cases in pretty overwrought terms. The “number one problem [for businesses] is finding qualified workers,” Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said in a statement this week. “At the current pace of job growth, if sustained, this problem is set to get much worse. These labor shortages will only intensify across all industries and company sizes.”

Yet the experience of towns like Ames and Des Moines show that such “labor shortages” might be due to insufficient wages and crummy working conditions — not an unwillingness of workers to switch industries or improve their skills for a job. The trucking industry is instructive here: Trade groups have argued that it is facing a shortfall of 51,000 workers, yet businesses have not yet shown much willingness to cut hours, boost pay, and improve conditions to lure workers in. Indeed, across the economy, companies have shown a remarkable unwillingness to boost wages, with growth barely keeping pace with inflation even as the unemployment rate has dropped to 4 percent.

Low wages continue to be an extraordinary problem preventing workers from connecting with a good job and keeping potential employees on the sidelines — in Iowa and across the country. “Even though we’re such a low unemployment state, we are also low-wage state,” Buck of the United Way said. “People think that when you have a state or a community that has low unemployment, that everyone's doing great. That is not the case. We still have about 34 percent of central Iowans who are not making enough to be financially self-sufficient.”
How about a real conversation about work that doesn't fetishize coal miners and app developers and recognizes that many of the jobs that are deemed most "needed" are the ones that pay poverty wages? How about an immigration policy that reflects our need for labor instead of racism? How about political leadership that suggests business owners don't have a god-given right to unlimited $8/hour skilled labor with years of experience in the exact position? How about trade policy that doesn't directly incentivize offshoring? Nope, we're stuck with Trump's antiquated ideas of work.
posted by zachlipton at 10:52 AM on July 6 [58 favorites]


Meanwhile Fox deals with the truly important issues of our time, victimhood for Trump supporters:
Man Accused of Tossing Drink at Pro-Trump Teen [link to state media outlet]
posted by benzenedream at 10:58 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


This confuses me (thinking on voter power above).
If an average of 64+% of Wyoming voters since 1968 vote GOP every single election, and the total voting population is just 56% of registered voters (250,701/444979 as of 2014) then just 35% of the voting capita grabbed 3 electoral college votes. Dependably, predictably since 1968. That's an electoral college vote for a GOP candidate per 53,160 Republican voter. Not a bad handicap to have in your pocket automatically for nearly five decades.
posted by Harry Caul at 10:59 AM on July 6


They're not confiscating passports (yet) but in Virginia, at least, driver's licenses will soon no longer be adequate ID for domestic air travel. Real ID is coming.
posted by emelenjr at 11:04 AM on July 6 [10 favorites]


Meanwhile Fox deals with the truly important issues of our time, victimhood for Trump supporters:
Man Accused of Tossing Drink at Pro-Trump Teen [link to state media outlet]


Top story on conservative forums a couple days ago: "puny antifa SMASHED at Patriot Prayer in Portland, watch this lib get his skull fractured, top kek"

Top story on conservative forums today: "getting a drink thrown at you and your MAGA hat stolen is terrorism and the first act of civil war"

Take it away, Umberto:

Thus, by a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak.

posted by Rust Moranis at 11:07 AM on July 6 [56 favorites]


I’m right now in the process of getting a us passport for my second daughter and we’re getting increasingly worried that it will be denied, even though we’re following the same process as for my first daughter.
posted by dhruva at 11:09 AM on July 6 [4 favorites]


Well my pants are suitably shat. I’d go for citizenship to rid myself of this draconian nightmare but apparently these fascist fucks are planning to strip me of that if they find some i that isn’t dotted or t that isn’t crossed that they don’t like.

I observed immigration court earlier this week. Of the 8 cases I witnessed, 5 of them were a result of ICE swooping in and basically just flat-out kidnapping people off the street, often after knowing where they'd be due to totally normal things like court appearances or scheduled office visits or work schedules.

One case involved the lawyer for the person objecting to the fact that their client didn't even receive a "Notice to Appear" in immigration court, yet was snatched and given some *other* kind of paper after-the-fact. The judge overruled this objection on the grounds that "they appeared for court didn't they?" (well, yes, your honor, they did, cause they had ALREADY BEEN KIDNAPPED BY ICE).

They are not just going after people for technicality issues. They're going after *anyone* here without documentation. One man was there after having been picked up going home from court, where he had just been found completely innocent of a totally bullshit "domestic dispute" call made by his asshole neighbors against him and his wife. He was taken from his 33 day old baby, who's now with his partner, who is also undocumented.

He was cornered during the deportation hearing into admitting that his partner is *also* here without documentation, and divulged her address. So now she's being hunted. The mother and sole caregiver of a 5 month old.
posted by odinsdream at 11:11 AM on July 6 [60 favorites]


[Seriously, folks, the megathread is not the place to discuss the inner workings of participation in the DSA.]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 11:30 AM on July 6 [17 favorites]


ProPublica: The 6-Year-Old Heard on Border Facility Audiotape Is Still Separated From Her Mother
The last time Cindy Madrid Henriquez, a Salvadoran immigrant, spoke to her 6-year-old daughter Jimena on the telephone, the little girl, who is in an Arizona shelter, began by complaining about having to wash her hair with bar soap instead of shampoo. Her scalp was dry and itchy. She had dandruff. Then her questions grew into fears: What if her hair started to fall out? What if her scalp became infected? When, she finally wailed, was her mother going to come and save her?
posted by Hypatia at 11:39 AM on July 6 [19 favorites]


Top story on conservative forums today: "getting a drink thrown at you and your MAGA hat stolen is terrorism and the first act of civil war"

Yeah OK that's over the top but the incident was real, unprovoked & unacceptable. We need to call these things out ourselves when they happen because it's the right thing to do even when the optics are bad, which let's face it they are in this case. Every incident we excuse encourages the next. We can always reframe it but at the end of the day we have to call it out.
posted by scalefree at 11:40 AM on July 6 [6 favorites]


One thing that happened recently that got little attention was a new policy change from USCIS: they'll now issue a Notice to Appear (in immigration court) whenever someone is denied an immigration benefit and so is out of status.

I think the Dems need to start tagging Trump's policies as a #WarOnImmigrants and make sure all the tech companies and others that depends on an educated workforce are aware that he's crippling their ability to hire.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 11:47 AM on July 6 [7 favorites]


We can always reframe it but at the end of the day we have to call it out.

Nope. No amount of "we think it's very wrong to throw drinks at people for their Nazi hat" will convince Nazis, Nazi sympathizers or (most importantly) the bad-faith civility pimps. Wasting energy doing so is a mug's game.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:48 AM on July 6 [73 favorites]


They're not confiscating passports (yet) but in Virginia, at least, driver's licenses will soon no longer be adequate ID for domestic air travel. Real ID is coming.

This has been a long running saga in Maine as well. I almost couldn't get my drivers licence renewed because my birth name is different than my current name.

Currently, Maine has an extension through October 10th. It will be interesting to see what happens then.
posted by anastasiav at 11:49 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


As Trump takes aim at affirmative action, let’s remember how Jared Kushner got into Harvard (Andrew Prokop | Vox)

A lot of money, and two US senators, were involved.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 11:49 AM on July 6 [17 favorites]


No scalefree. The hat itself is a microaggresion. There's no place for it.
posted by Bacon Bit at 11:49 AM on July 6 [18 favorites]


We can always reframe it but at the end of the day we have to call it out.

I promise that I will spend as much time calling out violence against Trump supporters as they have spent calling out the murder of a woman in Charlottesville. There, I'm done.
posted by Etrigan at 11:49 AM on July 6 [74 favorites]


> but the incident was real, unprovoked & unacceptable

That was peak /r/WhyWereTheyFilming/. Anyway conservatives will swoon over videos of antifa getting their shit wrecked and then whine about having a drink spilled on them in the same breath because Umberto Eco's quote about the enemy being simultaneously too strong and too weak is their guiding philosophy..
posted by Space Coyote at 11:50 AM on July 6 [12 favorites]


Yeah OK that's over the top but the incident was real, unprovoked & unacceptable. We need to call these things out ourselves when they happen because it's the right thing to do even when the optics are bad, which let's face it they are in this case. Every incident we excuse encourages the next. We can always reframe it but at the end of the day we have to call it out.

Nope. These assholes were publicly joking about lynching black people while wearing a symbol of hate. No quarter for fascists. Getting your fucking drink thrown at you should be the minimum you expect doing such in public.
posted by odinsdream at 11:52 AM on July 6 [85 favorites]


The hat itself is provocation and the only acceptable way to deal with public displays of fascism is to destroy them.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:52 AM on July 6 [57 favorites]


Umberto Eco's "enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak" has always seemed like bullshit that could easily be applied in the other direction- just look at the way Trump and his administration is described by people in this thread. There's no contradiction that a politician can be strong in some areas and weak in others.
posted by dilaudid at 11:53 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


There's no contradiction that a politician can be strong in some areas and weak in others.

That's not what Eco means.

I'm also going to take a hard pass on spending any energy calling someone out for being a little mean to a fascist. Like, as a lady just existing in the universe I've had worse things said and done to me by strangers and I wasn't even displaying an ideology. So, nah.
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:00 PM on July 6 [66 favorites]


(I made a DSA post here.)
posted by schadenfrau at 12:02 PM on July 6 [21 favorites]


the incident was real, unprovoked & unacceptable

strongly disagree on...two out of three counts
posted by schadenfrau at 12:04 PM on July 6 [9 favorites]


This is why you don’t put members of an apocalyptic death cult in charge of protecting the $&@!?ing environment:

Scott Pruitt’s faith guided his time in office and shielded him (Tara Isabella Burton | Vox)
posted by Barack Spinoza at 12:05 PM on July 6 [13 favorites]


There's no contradiction that a politician can be strong in some areas and weak in others.

The "enemy" for fascists much more frequently refers to minorities or shadowy cabals rather than individual politicians, so that's a misreading.

I think that the "too-weak and too-strong enemy" is a universal psychological mechanism on some level but it's enormously amplified among the far right. True, in every thread here you'll see different aspects of the administration called both dunderpatedly incompetent and demonically calculated. But you won't see Hillary Clinton named as the master of a global satanic pedophilia network who is also a sick and dying old woman literally kept upright with robotic components. It's a matter of scale.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:08 PM on July 6 [15 favorites]


Living right here in San Antonio where the Whataburger/MAGAhat incident took place, I strongly suspect the MAGAhat provoked the confrontation.

Any given Whataburger employee will see dozens, if not hundreds, of MAGAhats every day. San Antonio is a blue city in a red state, but there's plenty of Trump supporters around here.

The video of the incident starts in the middle, while the two are already arguing. While we have no way of knowing for sure what happened we've got two basic possibilities:

1) A Whataburger employee who sees dozens, if not hundreds, of MAGAhats daily snapped at this MAGAhat basically at random

or

2) The MAGAhat started something and the employee lost it.

The second possibility seems more likely. I can't say for sure it's what happened, but it does seem more likely.

I'll also add that I'm far from unbiased here I think the MAGAhat is the Klan hood of the 21st century and my sympathies would be with the employee even if he had just randomly thrown a drink on the MAGAhat. But even given that I'm inclined to think the MAGAhat started it.
posted by sotonohito at 12:08 PM on July 6 [50 favorites]


The guys who fought antifa in Portland were the same ppl who threw a rally in a predominantly immigrant part of Portland in order to maximize fear. When one of their guys from that rally went and stabbed three people on the light rail, after those three people stood up to him harassing two Muslim teenagers, they decided to continue with a rally in downtown Portland. They flew people out for it. These are the same people who spraypainted swastikas around SE Portland, and went to a bar and yelled racial slurs at the Jewish bartender. I'm sorry, but throwing a drink is elementary playground shit. Boo fucking hoo, let them cry. They get to run around and stab people and beat people and nobody gives a shit, but then they get a drink thrown at them and suddenly we need to be up in arms. They can go die for all I care.
posted by gucci mane at 12:09 PM on July 6 [90 favorites]


Scott Pruitt’s faith guided his time in office and shielded him

I'm all for religious equality, but just as an abortion clinic shouldn't be run by a devout pro-life Catholic, the Environmental Protection Agency shouldn't be run by someone who is trying to bring about the End Times.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:11 PM on July 6 [16 favorites]


Scott Pruitt’s faith guided his time in office and shielded him

Even the headline is hard for me to read because the incredibly creepy appalling jesusy-ness of his resignation letter was already so intense, so horrifying to read. I know that people out there right now in this country believe and speak in this bizarre and nonsensical 14th century way but it's another thing completely to see it put down in words by someone other than an unhinged commenter in a local newspaper.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:15 PM on July 6 [17 favorites]



I'll also add that I'm far from unbiased here I think the MAGAhat is the Klan hood of the 21st century and my sympathies would be with the employee even if he had just randomly thrown a drink on the MAGAhat.


Swastikas were benign too once.

I don't think violence is the answer here, but nobody should be able to go out with a MAGA hat and not be called out for carrying the symbol of something ghoulish. We're at the concentration-camps-causing-pandemics-among-the-inmates point.
posted by ocschwar at 12:18 PM on July 6 [29 favorites]


But are they all this epically corrupt? Or is that just a special Pruitty thing? I mean, I assume no good things about them whatsoever, creepy moral voids as they all are, but even surrounded by the Trump crew his corruption was something relentless and special.
posted by Artw at 12:20 PM on July 6


Guys we don’t have to argue about whether or not a MAGAhat is sufficient for drinks throwing when we have a witness that says the teenagers were saying they wish it was legal to kill black and Hispanic people and they want the country to be white again.
posted by corb at 12:20 PM on July 6 [98 favorites]


By the way, I reject the notion of "antifa smashed by patriot prayer!" or whatever it is that they post, simply because on the face of it it feeds into the whole concept that fascism loves to deliver: that they are these inherently strong, virile males who are beating these weak, pathetic [enter slurs about liberals/"those people" here]. The entire media narrative is 100% anti-antifa, because they're simultaneously weak libs that need to be owned/snowflakes but also a terrorist menace. It's bullshit on the face of it, and they never post videos of the fascists getting their faces stomped even when that's what happens on the ground. Likewise, they also don't post photos or videos of these guys ganging up and punching women in the face. Even further than that, antifa can sit there and have whatever "weapons" they bring to the rally taken away, shot at by the police while they are unarmed, all while the fascists get to roll in with 2x4 wood planks and smash people in the head, still get their asses beat, but the media narrative will perpetually be "terrorist antifa riot at peaceful alt-right protest!" It's fucking bullshit. And I say this as somebody who is deeply conflicted with the idea of violence, yet has been in these violent confrontations.
posted by gucci mane at 12:24 PM on July 6 [20 favorites]


we have a witness that says the teenagers were saying they wish it was legal to kill black and Hispanic people

If this is true, those are in my opinion "fighting words", and the modest response of stealing the hat should be legally forgivable, even if it would otherwise count as assault.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:24 PM on July 6 [14 favorites]


Cornell Legal Information Institute: Fighting words are, as first defined by the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) in Chaplinsky v New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568 (1942), words which "by their very utterance, inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. It has been well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality."

Fighting words are a category of speech that is unprotected by the First Amendment.

posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:26 PM on July 6 [33 favorites]


@ZoeTillman: BREAKING: The US attorney's office in DC is dismissing all remaining Inauguration Day mass arrest cases. The government had been unable to secure any convictions at trial so far; there were 38 cases left.

Here's the motion to dismiss the remaining cases.
posted by zachlipton at 12:28 PM on July 6 [94 favorites]


Cohen Tells Friends: Trump Won’t Pardon Me
Michael Cohen has reportedly told friends that he’s pessimistic about the chances of receiving a pardon from his longtime client and friend President Donald Trump. The attorney—currently under criminal investigation in New York—has not yet been charged with any wrongdoing, but has told his friends he doesn’t think the President will ride to his rescue.
🎵c’mon baby / let’s do the flip 🎶
posted by Barack Spinoza at 12:29 PM on July 6 [37 favorites]


In other legal news, Shera Bechard has apparently sued Broidy, Keith Davidson, and Michael Avenatti, and the complaint is sealed so we have no idea why. The lawyers are sniping at each other on Twitter. It's all a wild shitshow.
posted by zachlipton at 12:31 PM on July 6 [17 favorites]




It's an open question whether those specific racist things were said by the MAGA hat-wearer -- the best source on that seems to have retracted it. I still think it's more likely than not that he did, I'm just saying you can make your own judgement of the evidence before spreading the info, if you wish.

Regardless of the merits of drink-throwing or whatever, there's no question it will be magnified in a way that opposite-equivalent events aren't, for a number of related reasons. "Alt-righter beats up presumed foreigner" is "dog bites man", the assumed natural state of things. Reversing it, even in the mildest way, violates that order. It's the far-right version of being "wired for Republicans".

The phrase ~So much for the tolerant left~ isn't just about supposed progressive hypocrisy, but an intention to emphasize these roles -- liberals are supposed to be the tolerant ones, conservatives and deplorables are bound by no such rules. Also, the "moderate" and "extreme" wings can hide behind each other; as soon as a line is crossed into unequivocal violent racism, it's "How dare you associate me with that?" Yes, even as Trump and his rhetoric blurs the line more and more, calls the Charlottesville marchers "very fine", and so on.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 12:38 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]




The US attorney's office in DC is dismissing all remaining Inauguration Day mass arrest cases

The J20 dismissals are huge. That’s amazing, and it’s BS they even got that far.
posted by corb at 12:42 PM on July 6 [33 favorites]


I'd love to see the administration successfully sued for their malicious prosecution with no likelihood of success.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:50 PM on July 6 [28 favorites]


In other legal news, Shera Bechard has apparently sued Broidy, Keith Davidson, and Michael Avenatti

And this is why, as I said in the previous thread, you probably don't want to choose your attorney based on the last guy you happened to see on the teevee. Unlike a politician "name recognition" isn't necessarily something you want in your lawyer. I'm glad Avenatti is pissing off Trump. But it's clear he's mostly interested in the Michael Avenatti show and not, you know, the good of his clients or the country.

Still way better than Davidson and Cohen.
posted by Justinian at 12:50 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


As Trump celebrates reductions in legal immigration and is working toward more, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Wants To Hire 40 More Foreign Workers.

Update: Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida Seeks to Hire 61 Foreign Workers (That revised figure of job postings for foreign workers includes hiring 21 cooks in addition to the previously reported 40 waiters/waitresses.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:53 PM on July 6 [9 favorites]


Florida Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo Blasts HHS for Barring Him From Visiting Detained Kids

That sounds dangerously close to actually giving a shit, or at least pretending to.
posted by Artw at 12:54 PM on July 6 [18 favorites]


Curbelo is also one of the Republicans who gives a shit about climate change (by virtue of representing a district that will be mostly underwater in the foreseeable future).
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:05 PM on July 6 [9 favorites]


The WaPo has quotes from EPA employees leaving work yesterday, Scott Pruitt is finally gone, and this was the antic scene outside the EPA:
“It’s a good day for the agency,” said the employee, choosing his words carefully and, like others, declining to give his name because Washington propriety still persists in some ways. “He was destroying the agen— well, he was not a friend of the environment, and I don’t think he was a friend of the agency.” A pause. A search for other words. But the first ones fit, so he repeated them: “It’s a good day.”
posted by peeedro at 1:08 PM on July 6 [39 favorites]


1. Jack, a foreign student, files for an extension. He's always been in status. Changes address, informs USCIS; acknowledged. USCIS sends request for evidence to old address anyway. Extension of status denied for failure to respond. Jack is put in removal proceedings.

Just to specifically call out what is pretty handily implied here - when I was deep in the whole debt collection challenging world, there was a term for deliberately mishandled summons so that debtors could be issued judgements by default when they didn't show up: sewer service, as in served a notice to appear. In jurisdictions where summons by mail was allowed they'd be mailed or fake-mailed or deliberately mailed the wrong place, insuring the debtor wouldn't be there to challenge in court - often a challenge that lacked any real basis in fact. Getting a default judgment undone was an order of magnitude harder than just showing up in court and calling bullshit on the claim.

So, yeah, there's not a question in my mind that an agency staffed in part or full by racist shitbirds would engage in similar shenanigans.
posted by phearlez at 1:09 PM on July 6 [30 favorites]


“It’s a good day for the agency,” said the employee, choosing his words carefully and, like others, declining to give his name because Washington propriety still persists in some ways. this administration will absolutely weaponize the Hatch Act against anyone who crosses them.
posted by phearlez at 1:10 PM on July 6 [24 favorites]


You know how Trump's whole line is that people need to come into the country legally? Turns out we lock you up if you do that and claim asylum, but you have better chances if you cross the border outside a port of entry. Texas Tribune, The Trump administration is not keeping its promises to asylum seekers who come to ports of entry
In the weeks since President Donald Trump’s now-rescinded family separation policy created chaos and confusion across the country, the messages from his administration and prominent Republican members of Congress have been clear: Seek asylum legally at official ports of entry and you won’t lose your kids. There may be armed Customs and Border Protection agents standing at the halfway points of bridges — but simply wait a few days, declare to them that you are seeking asylum, and you’ll get a fair shake.
...
But there’s ample evidence to suggest otherwise. Court records and individual cases discovered by The Texas Tribune indicate that a number of asylum seekers who came to international bridges in Texas and California were separated from their children anyway — or were not able to cross the bridge at all after encountering armed Customs and Border Protection agents on the bridge. And experts argue there’s no basis to the government’s claim that there aren’t enough resources to process asylum seekers.
...
As the Trump administration seeks to detain more and more people while their asylum cases are pending — even if they’ve never been charged with a criminal offense in the U.S. — asylum seekers at ports of entry may actually be worse off than those who cross a different way.

If people end up in immigration detention after they cross the border illegally between ports of entry — typically by crossing the Rio Grande or walking through desert — then ICE can set a bond for them (the price they must pay for their release). Those detainees can challenge the bond before an immigration judge, and the judge can agree to release them with a lower bond or with no bond at all — although reports indicate it’s become harder for people to get released from immigration detention on bond.

But for those who are detained after seeking asylum at a port of entry, bond is generally not an option, and an immigration judge can’t release them. Once they’re in immigration detention, they are only eligible for what’s called “parole” — temporary release from immigration detention — and that decision is up to ICE.

Perez-Bustillo, of the Hope Border Institute, said that puts asylum seekers who tried to cross the border the “right” way at a disadvantage. “When it comes to discretion of ICE … you’re totally helpless,” he said.
So if you claim asylum the way Trump wants you to, you're stuck in immigration detention indefinitely unless ICE somehow decides to release you, while those who are caught by the Border Patrol get to see a judge and ask to be released on bond. Hell of a system we have.
posted by zachlipton at 1:23 PM on July 6 [58 favorites]


If what you mean “us” is “the Democrats”, then they absolutely have a lot to offer if they’re willing to stop looking for corporate donations and to take a hard line on unions. Not just the Sanders plan - but giving the NLRB /real teeth/. Fully staffing the agencies that investigate firings and violations of labor law so that people don’t have to wait months for a toothless response.

I for serious do not understand how you can be a Republican in identity and vote for Republicans in this last decade and yet type this without shame or any apparent sense of self-examination. The move to allow over-classification of people as exempt employees was done under the Bush administration. The lawsuits against the Obama administration's DoL efforts to make the overtime exempt salary something people could actually live on were filed by Republican operations. The Trump administration's DoL dropping the challenge to the ruling against them was done not by the Cheeto in Chief via some random Trumpist former bodyguard or something but Alexander Acosta, who among his other roles before being the current (well, at 4:22p 7/6/18 - who knows with this Administration?) Secretary of Labor, was one of Bush II's appointments to the NLRB in the early 00s.

I don't disagree. Democrats should absolutely be yelling this sort of shit from the rafters. But this ranks alongside the stuff about trying to appeal to those white evangelical conservatives - there's been a party that was already leaps and bounds better on these issues. Well yeah, okay, Batman was preventing the Joker from stabbing me in the eye but he was all gruff and stuff and never yelled I'll protect you, citizen! and I got knocked down and now look, my phone is cracked! So I just don't know that I can take a side here on this superhero registration act thing.
posted by phearlez at 1:28 PM on July 6 [20 favorites]



But there’s ample evidence to suggest otherwise. Court records and individual cases discovered by The Texas Tribune indicate that a number of asylum seekers who came to international bridges in Texas and California were separated from their children anyway — or were not able to cross the bridge at all after encountering armed Customs and Border Protection agents on the bridge. And experts argue there’s no basis to the government’s claim that there aren’t enough resources to process asylum seekers.
...


If you have the resources to snatch the kids, you have the resources to process the paperwork for an asylum request.
posted by ocschwar at 1:28 PM on July 6 [25 favorites]


Trump administration admits they’ve lost track of roughly 20 percent of toddlers’ parents

During a conference call with reporters and U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw on Friday afternoon, government officials acknowledged that as many as 20 percent of the youngest children ripped from their parents on Donald Trump’s orders won’t be reunified with their families any time soon.

"Oops, we created a generation of orphans. Better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission, right?"
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:35 PM on July 6 [26 favorites]


If you have the resources to snatch the kids, you have the resources to process the paperwork for an asylum request.

Only if you count "humanity" as a resource.
posted by Etrigan at 1:39 PM on July 6 [6 favorites]


phearlez: "I don't disagree. Democrats should absolutely be yelling this sort of shit from the rafters."

It's almost like the Democrats aren't yelling it from the rafters because they don't actually care that much, which is the original point that corb was making, your weird ad hominem nonwithstanding.
posted by TypographicalError at 1:44 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


government officials acknowledged that as many as 20 percent of the youngest children ripped from their parents on Donald Trump’s orders won’t be reunified with their families any time soon.

Motherfuckers never intended to reunite anybody with anybody. As was mentioned earlier, they deleted the family ID number records.

Which raises the question: if reunification wasn't on the menu, what the fuck was the real plan?
posted by zjacreman at 1:45 PM on July 6 [48 favorites]


(And it should go without saying that if they guesstimate 20% will never be reunited, that means in reality it's 60% or more)
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:46 PM on July 6 [9 favorites]


Reveal News, Defense contractor detained migrant kids in vacant Phoenix office building
A major U.S. defense contractor quietly detained dozens of immigrant children inside a vacant Phoenix office building with dark windows, no kitchen and only a few toilets during three weeks of the Trump administration’s family separation effort, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting has learned.

Videos shot by an alarmed neighbor show children dressed in sweatsuits being led – one so young she was carried – into the 3,200-square-foot building in early June. The building is not licensed by Arizona to hold children, and the contractor, MVM Inc., has claimed publicly that it does not operate “shelters or any other type of housing” for children.
...
When Reveal asked MVM about the Phoenix office building, the company initially pointed to its earlier statement that it does not operate housing for immigrant children. After learning that neighbors had recorded video of children entering the building, an MVM spokesperson said the building “is not a shelter or a child care facility. … It’s a temporary holding place” for children being flown out of the Phoenix airport to other locations.

Asked whether the children were kept there overnight, the spokesperson said the building is intended to hold them for a few hours before flights but was unsure how long children actually ended up staying.
posted by zachlipton at 1:49 PM on July 6 [56 favorites]


"Oops, we created a generation of orphans. Better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission, right?"

No amount of begging should grant them forgiveness, but they should still be compelled to try.
posted by Gelatin at 1:51 PM on July 6 [7 favorites]


This Ought to Run in Campaign Ads from Now Through Eternity. Attention Optics Police: a crew of Republican senators spent the Fourth of July in...Moscow.

posted by scalefree at 7:10 AM on July 6 [25 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


Putin is playing the whole GOP like a fiddle. They have no clue.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:53 PM on July 6 [6 favorites]


It's almost like the Democrats aren't yelling it from the rafters because they don't actually care that much, which is the original point that corb was making, your weird ad hominem nonwithstanding.

There's only so many things that they can yell from the rafters. In case you haven't noticed the whole place is on fire right now.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 1:54 PM on July 6 [9 favorites]


@JuliaEAinsley: Govt lawyer tells judge she has dogsitting responsibilities so will have to leave town and cannot meet tomorrow for status update on 100 children under 5. I love my dog but...but this is a new one!

I...I do not actually have any words available to me that can follow that.
posted by zachlipton at 1:54 PM on July 6 [63 favorites]


Like hey, Republicans are currently rolling back to the Gilded Age but the mean ol' Demmycrats aren't taking my pet cause as seriously as I'd like so fuck 'em!
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 1:56 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


I...I do not actually have any words available to me that can follow that.

"Jail for contempt."
posted by zjacreman at 1:56 PM on July 6 [43 favorites]


if reunification wasn't on the menu, what the fuck was the real plan?

Genocide.

The UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defines genocide as
...any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
...
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
posted by Gaz Errant at 1:57 PM on July 6 [93 favorites]


These kids aren't orphans, if they're swiftly snapped up by white evangelical parents bent on brainwashing.

You know, the people who don't want to pay a lot for those burdensome, time-consuming, increasingly-restricted foreign adoptions.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:58 PM on July 6 [11 favorites]


your weird ad hominem nonwithstanding.

I guess I don't think "why exactly should someone who has spent the last whatever bunch of years being an active part of hamstringing anything resembling this go out in public and talk about what ought to be done" is an ad hominem. I think maybe you don't really know what an ad hominem is; it's not a shield against maybe you're not a person with any grounds to carry this message, it's an end run around addressing an argument by attacking a person. It's not a defense against someone pointing out "hey bub, you know that you have been working against some measures so perhaps you're not really credible on the issue of the need for more measures."

I guess corb and you don't need to care that it reads as a variation on "so much for the tolerant left" but it's not an ad hominem to point it out.
posted by phearlez at 1:59 PM on July 6 [7 favorites]


I...I do not actually have any words available to me that can follow that.

"Jail for contempt."


haha, if only we were on that timeline. . . in this case it appears the judge has agreed to delay the hearing until monday on the basis of the fucking dog sitting claim. Honestly these people are such awful pieces of shit no one should let them watch their dogs, let alone be responsible for children.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 2:01 PM on July 6 [10 favorites]


I haven't been able to sleep the past two nights. I'm both Jewish and Irish-American, and the forcible detention of children who have been separated from their parents means a specific thing in those two histories: tiny graves.

I pray I am wrong, but I am literally sick about this.
posted by maxsparber at 2:09 PM on July 6 [57 favorites]


A federal judge has apparently bought the dogsitting argument and will hear a status update from the government on Monday.

Er, I'm being told by someone I trust that someone she trusts that the dogsitting argument was not really the main reason it was postponed to Monday.
posted by zachlipton at 2:16 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


Honestly these people are such awful pieces of shit no one should let them watch their dogs, let alone be responsible for children.

They actually care about the dogs, though.
posted by zjacreman at 2:16 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


The thing about assuming these kids were bound for adoption by white evangelicals is it presupposes anyone had an actual plan here which involved eventual care for the kids. I haven't seen anything to support that. Everyone thought they were handing the problem off to someone else.

I think back to all the training I got as a teacher about my responsibilities to the kids, things like mandatory reporting and what would happen in a disaster situation, and I just... these fuckers never had a plan for the kids.

"It's someone else's problem," said countless bureaucrats and white dudes with badges and Stephen Miller and John Kelly and people who work for them, never once blinking at the fact that "it" refers to real live children.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:17 PM on July 6 [40 favorites]


They actually care about the dogs, though.

Precedent.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:18 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Putin is playing the whole GOP like a fiddle. They have no clue.

Oh they have millions of clues from Putin, running through the bank accounts of hundreds of PACs.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:19 PM on July 6 [11 favorites]


I think back to all the training I got as a teacher about my responsibilities to the kids, things like mandatory reporting and what would happen in a disaster situation, and I just... these fuckers never had a plan for the kids.

Of course not, they won't get fired for this like you would.
I concur: their aim was passive murder.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:19 PM on July 6 [7 favorites]


Putin is playing the whole GOP like a fiddle. They have no clue.

Or, worse yet: they do.

They actually care about the dogs, though.

Now a Romney-appointed judge...
posted by Barack Spinoza at 2:20 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


They know exactly what they're doing and they love it. Making Trump's America into Putin's Russia is their wet dream.
posted by soren_lorensen at 2:21 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]


I can't get over that we're forcing children to appear in court without a lawyer to represent them. Can you imagine being a judge, talking one on one with a five-year-old, and making a decision? It's a show trial, done in America on our watch, and it completely destroys the legitimacy of a court that allows it to happen.

I can't understand why any judge would even call the court to order with a kid that can barely tie their shoelaces standing pro se. It's so absurd it calls the entire system into question. Surely they have options? Can a judge really be forced to hold a hearing in conditions which are a manifest injustice? Who's going to enforce it? Just... do something else, please, please.
posted by 0xFCAF at 2:23 PM on July 6 [70 favorites]


Can a judge really be forced to hold a hearing in conditions which are a manifest injustice?

These are immigration judges. Doing just that is precisely their job. They don't have lifetime tenure like federal judges; they're hired and fired by Jeff Sessions, and Sessions gets to refer cases to himself to write binding precedent when he wants to.
posted by zachlipton at 2:26 PM on July 6 [9 favorites]


Giving us dogsitters a bad name, now :(
posted by The otter lady at 2:26 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


WaPo: Trump is set to separate more than 200,000 U.S.-born children from their parents – "[...] children — all U.S. citizens — will be placed in similar jeopardy if the Department of Homeland Security begins programs to deport more than 58,000 Haitians on July 22, 2019, more than 262,000 Salvadorans on Sept. 9, 2019, and 86,000 Hondurans on Jan. 5, 2020. Parents will be faced with the decision of whether to take their children — most of whom speak mainly English and know only life in this country — back to countries deemed by the State Department as not safe for travel, some with the highest homicide rates in the hemisphere. Otherwise, parents will have to leave their children alone in the United States or, if they’re lucky, with relatives, or foster parents who they may or may not know, or some with “adult sponsors” chosen by federal agencies."
posted by StrawberryPie at 2:28 PM on July 6 [54 favorites]


scaryblackdeath, I think this administration's constant ineptitude still gets them what they want most of the time. Evangelical Americans believed adoption could save children in the developing world from poverty—and save their souls. Guatemala is now closed to U.S. adoption, but before that, in 2007, and "several years before, an astonishing one out of every 110 Guatemalan children born was adopted in the United States" with a base charge of $35K per adoption.
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:29 PM on July 6 [11 favorites]


I can't get over that we're forcing children to appear in court without a lawyer to represent them

The best* part is, that isn't even a Trumpian innovation. Immigration "courts" are civil, not criminal, so there's no right to an attorney, not for as long as the modern immigration court system has existed (since 1983, it looks like?) Not even for infants.
* worst
posted by zjacreman at 2:31 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]


It's a show trial, done in America on our watch, and it completely destroys the legitimacy of a court that allows it to happen.

Immigration courts are not article 3 courts like other courts in the country. They're not under the purview of the judicial branch. It serves an executive decision function only.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 2:32 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


And it all starts to come together (medium)
Matthew Elliott, CEO of pro-Brexit Vote Leave, was a partner at Awareness Analytics Partners (A2P) which has links to Trump, DeVos and the Koch brothers.
A2P was started in 2015 by Samantha Ravich who was on the Trump transition team, A2P partner Sean Noble runs a nonprofit funded largely by the Koch brothers, and A2P developed an app with a think tank funded by the DeVos family and Koch brothers.
(crossposted to Brexit thread).
posted by adamvasco at 2:34 PM on July 6 [19 favorites]


Immigration "courts" are civil, not criminal,

They're neither. They're article 1 courts. They're tribunals for administration functions and appeals thereof rather than being any sort of jurisprudence. They can't put someone in jeopardy for life, liberty, or property (i.e. an immigration court cannot sentence someone to prison, they cannot order fines) and if you want to do any of those things you need to hand the person off to an article 3 court for prosecution.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 2:37 PM on July 6 [10 favorites]


LA Times: Workers in this town may become victims of Trump's trade war, but they're behind him 'no matter what'
Asked whether she would rethink her support for Trump if she lost her job at the nail plant, Brogdon said probably not. The tariffs ultimately would be good for the nation — even if it left her unemployed.
“Overall, he’s done good,” she said. “I’m not going to be selfish just because of me.”
posted by monospace at 2:41 PM on July 6 [7 favorites]


WaPo: Trump is set to separate more than 200,000 U.S.-born children from their parents

Oh my fucking god
posted by schadenfrau at 2:41 PM on July 6 [30 favorites]


Keep Scott Pruitt Moist: The Dramatic Reading by MeFi's Own jscalzi.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:42 PM on July 6 [15 favorites]


Asked whether she would rethink her support for Trump if she lost her job at the nail plant, Brogdon said probably not. The tariffs ultimately would be good for the nation — even if it left her unemployed.
“Overall, he’s done good,” she said. “I’m not going to be selfish just because of me.”


Workers at the Harley-Davidson plant said much the same to a Financial Times reporter last week.

The dude's policy is actually taking food off the family table and you're all shrug, it's for the best, I'd rather starve than admit I was wrong to vote for him. It's baffling.
posted by notyou at 2:48 PM on July 6 [36 favorites]


Seems like the bigger story here is not dogsitting, which was overblown somewhat (sorry), but the government's position that 19 of the parents who have already been deported shouldn't be covered by the ACLU's lawsuit, even though their children under five are still here. The ACLU, unsurprisingly, argued that deported parents also should be reunited with their children. The government is supposed to provide the ACLU with a list of the 101 children under 5 and their status (the government doesn't know where 38 of the parents are), and the judge will entertain arguments about necessary delays on Monday based on those facts.

It seems the issue is less the dogsitting, and more that the lawyer in question is advancing these absurd arguments instead of working to reunite families.
posted by zachlipton at 2:49 PM on July 6 [11 favorites]


Govt lawyer tells judge she has dogsitting responsibilities so will have to leave town and cannot meet tomorrow for status update on 100 children under 5.

Just to be sure I understood what was being postponed, I went back to Judge Sabraw's June 26 order. It says all children under 5 must be reunified by July 10. That deadline was NOT extended. Today there was a status conference scheduled. That conference has now been continued till Monday July 9 either based on the dog or whatever else, but the July 10 deadline still stands.
posted by mabelstreet at 2:50 PM on July 6 [6 favorites]


Can something really be said to be a deadline if there is literally no chance of meeting it and there will likely be no meaningful sanction for missing it?
posted by Justinian at 2:53 PM on July 6 [18 favorites]


WaPo: Trump is set to separate more than 200,000 U.S.-born children from their parents

Wow I'd love to share my thoughts on this and what I think should be done about it immediately but I wouldn't do well in prison.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:56 PM on July 6 [35 favorites]


Justinian, is contempt of court not an option here because the whole thing is a fuckaroo that can't easily be unfucked? Meaning that the court won't sanction because the government is like sorry we can't put the toothpaste in the tube/
posted by angrycat at 2:56 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


That's my believe, angrycat. Sure technically contempt of court is an option but I'll eat my nonexistant hat if it happens. The judge will issue some strongs words amounting to "stop or I'll say stop again."
posted by Justinian at 3:02 PM on July 6


"WaPo: Trump is set to separate more than 200,000 U.S.-born children from their parents"

One of the things that pissed the US off most about Castro was when he did this, although in reverse -- he allowed children to leave his murderous regime but their parents who opposed his regime and were political enemies had to stay. Parents had to decide whether to let their children join the Pedro Pan airlift to the United States to stay with strangers and hope for the best, or to keep their children with them knowing they and their families could be executed at any time for opposing Castro.

So, good news, the US is now basically the same as a tinpot banana republic dictatorship.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:05 PM on July 6 [28 favorites]


Not a lawyer, but would assume any sanctions from the judge will be more in the form of the government not getting the benefit of the doubt when it comes to presenting arguments and motions, etc.
posted by notyou at 3:06 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


So, good news, the US is now basically the same as a tinpot banana republic dictatorship.

Not quite... the tinpot banana republic dictatorship has one of the best universal healthcare systems on the planet.
posted by infinitewindow at 3:11 PM on July 6 [37 favorites]


To be fair to the various Trump supporters who are suffering under his trade policies, its hardly inconceivable to like policy that personally hurts you if you think it's good for the country.

I mean, plenty of liberals who want higher taxes would end up paying more, right? And we don't say those people are idiots.

So sure, Trump's trade policies are dumb and terrible. But the persistent drum beat of "the working class doesn't know what's good for it!" just drives those people TO the GOP. We should try harder to understand these opinions as long as they're not just straight bigotry or whatever.
posted by tau_ceti at 3:18 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


The dude's policy is actually taking food off the family table and you're all shrug, it's for the best, I'd rather starve than admit I was wrong to vote for him. It's baffling.

Racism is a helluva drug.

"If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you." - LBJ
posted by chris24 at 3:19 PM on July 6 [26 favorites]


Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs has an insider version of Pruitt's resignation:
LATEST: Scott Pruitt is devastated by his ouster, I’m told.

He didn’t resign voluntarily, like Trump told us, but under pressure: John Kelly delivered a message from president that it was time to go.

Pruitt was at EPA hq today and said goodbye to staff.

Bloomberg: Pruitt Was Told to Resign in Call From White House, Sources Say
And the NYT's Maggie Haberman puts this in the context of Trump's off-the-rails speech in Montana last night:
Trump’s presentation at the MT rally was steeped in grievance. People close to him believe he was angry about having to fire Pruitt and lashed out publicly at almost everyone else (except Putin) in his remarks.

Some of his White House aides will paint him solely as angry at Pruitt. That was true over last few weeks. But Trump liked Pruitt personally and hated what in his mind was giving critics a win.
All this palace intrigue nonsense during the ongoing tragedy of Trump's child-separation policy only makes it seem pettier and crueller.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:20 PM on July 6 [33 favorites]




Trump is set to separate more than 200,000 U.S.-born children from their parents

These people are citizens of the United States, and they are innocent of any crime. Should the President of the United States be entitled to cause them irreparable harm? Or should he be prevented from doing so? The choice is with Congress and the Courts. If you have a congressional representative, call them on Monday, and ask them to sponsor legislation to prevent the President from irreparably destroying the lives of thousands of American citizens.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:23 PM on July 6 [15 favorites]


WaPo: Trump is set to separate more than 200,000 U.S.-born children from their parents

For scale, that's a Salt Lake City, or a Spokane, or 1/2 of a Minneapolis, or 1/3 of a Vermont: it's impossible to overestimate the magnitude of the individual and societal harm that will come from permanently fucking with that many young lives over a single casually callous decision.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:23 PM on July 6 [29 favorites]


posted by notyou: Workers at the Harley-Davidson plant said much the same to a Financial Times reporter last week. The dude's policy is actually taking food off the family table and you're all shrug, it's for the best, I'd rather starve than admit I was wrong to vote for him. It's baffling.

Ok, stay with me for a minute. So, y'all remember Snow Crash , the Neal Stephenson novel about brain hacking via a language virus. (Sort of.) What if Rupert Murdoch is this simulation's/timeline's L. Bob Rife, and Fox News is just constantly transmitting a neurovirus that creates this sort of apathy in the infected even when in clear and present danger.

Listen, I'm not on the writing team or anything, I'm just saying, I have some notes. Perhaps the writers could arrange for a disruption in Fox News for a week or two, and see what happens? I mean, what could go wrong?
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 3:24 PM on July 6 [16 favorites]


So sure, Trump's trade policies are dumb and terrible. But the persistent drum beat of "the working class doesn't know what's good for it!" just drives those people TO the GOP. We should try harder to understand these opinions as long as they're not just straight bigotry or whatever.

Their opinions are "trade wars are good for reasons because Trump said so". That's not an opinion, its repeating the cult line. The only actual economist that backs it is fucking crank Peter Navarro. Every other legitimate expert is saying loudly this is insane. It's the economic equivalent of young earth creationism and climate denial. Just having a bad opinion does not entitle you to respect for it, especially when you flat out refuse to acknowledge actual facts, or evidence.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:25 PM on July 6 [43 favorites]


> We should try harder to understand these opinions as long as they're not just straight bigotry or whatever.

They cannot tell you why they feel that things will be better for the country, because objectively these policies cannot be better for the country. It's a cult for them, based on outright lies, fear, and racism. That is all we need to understand.

We've had a couple of years of "let's get to know the trump voter" better articles that have yet to prove that the voting was based on anything other than white supremacy, fear of the other, sticking it to liberals, punishing poor people, and kicking out anyone who doesn't think or look exactly like them. What point is there in trying to understand this further?
posted by MysticMCJ at 3:27 PM on July 6 [48 favorites]


But the persistent drum beat of "the working class doesn't know what's good for it!" just drives those people TO the GOP. We should try harder to understand these opinions as long as they're not just straight bigotry or whatever.

That's bullshit. These are the same people that buy the cheapest imported goods they can lay their hands on sending their fellow countrypeople to the unemployment line and, if they're lucky, on to minimum wage retail. The altruism of Trumpists, if it were real, would have saved the heartland from economic misery. No. It's just plain old cult worship of Dear Leader with a side of cognitive dissonance.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 3:28 PM on July 6 [8 favorites]


Here's a thought maybe Trump voters should try to understand us for once. Crazy I know.
posted by Justinian at 3:29 PM on July 6 [95 favorites]


Yet you NEVER fucking hear anyone say "Trump supporters should try to understand others." Fucking NEVER.
posted by MysticMCJ at 3:29 PM on July 6 [76 favorites]


I've got some good simul-posting going on here with a few others, it would appear....
posted by MysticMCJ at 3:29 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Thread by @RadioFreeTom: "It's not that I disagree about policy with Trump supporters. It's that I know they don't give a shit about policy. There's no way to have a […]"

It's a thread that we should all take notice of, particularly the first:
It's not that I disagree about policy with Trump supporters. It's that I know they don't give a shit about policy. There's no way to have a policy argument with people whose eyes are always looking up to the television for a cue from Dear Leader about what to say next. /1
And the end...
For myself, I am resigned that Trump will be president for as long as he's president. How it ends is up to the voters. But I don't see the need to engage in the cynical bullshittery of arguing policy with people who will change their minds on anything in nanoseconds. /9

And for the love of God, don't tell me about what Trump's Real 'Muricans in the Heartland want. I know what they want: more government action, including money, delivered with a smile, inflated respect, and pity, earned or not. Those are utterly pointless discussions too. /10
As a recovering "we need to understand racist folksy white people" myself, I have come to the conclusion that he's entirely right. There's literally no point to trying to understand Trump supporters because they don't know what they want. They just want what Dear Leader wants.

It's just an evolution from "The Republican agenda is opposite to whatever the Liberals want, updated daily" of Obama's tenure.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 3:36 PM on July 6 [50 favorites]


@feliciasonmez: "Conversations in a locker room" are different from reported allegations of abuse, Rep. Jim Jordan tells @BretBaier in interview about Ohio State accusations

Five wrestlers have come forward to say he knew, and the best he has now is that it was literal locker room talk, which is not exactly a denial. Then he called the law firm that tried to contact him to investigate this "Hillary Clinton's law firm." He used this line yesterday as well. The firm is Perkins Coie, which has been trying to get in touch with him for months. Ohio State stated hired them to investigate the allegations. This isn't some kind of grand conspiracy here.
posted by zachlipton at 3:39 PM on July 6 [11 favorites]


doubling down on bad decisions is, like, human nature. we hate admitting we're wrong. this is not at all unique to Trump supporters.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:41 PM on July 6 [6 favorites]


And the more you've tied your incorrect beliefs to your identity the less likely you are to admit those beliefs were wrong. Even when they have been proven demonstrably false. I know there's been stuff written about believers of apocalyptic cults and what happens when the apocalypse fails to materialize. You'd think they'd immediately be like "oh shit this whole thing was crap." But no, there's almost always a reason they were actually right even though the apocalypse manifestly did not happen.

Trump supporters have tied their belief in Trump very firmly to their identity. That's what a cult of personality is.
posted by Justinian at 3:45 PM on July 6 [36 favorites]


The best* part is, that isn't even a Trumpian innovation. Immigration "courts" are civil, not criminal, so there's no right to an attorney, not for as long as the modern immigration court system has existed (since 1983, it looks like?) Not even for infants.

I went to a meeting 10+ years ago about the lack of counsel in immigration courts, specifically about people with serious mental illness caught up in immigration proceedings. People who are floridly psychotic are expected to represent themselves. Citizens with serious mental illness have been deported because they lacked the capacity to prove citizenship. These horrors are all perverse, but they're not all new.
posted by Mavri at 3:48 PM on July 6 [6 favorites]



And the more you've tied your incorrect beliefs to your identity the less likely you are to admit those beliefs were wrong.


Which is why there are literally classes on critical thinking and logic, where one formally learns how to vet sources, and examine their own beliefs to see whether they are sound in respect to the facts.

It’s not a coincidence that the people most vulnerable to propaganda and magical thinking are also the least educated. Nor is it a coincidence that the party that wants to use propaganda and magical thinking in their campaigning is also strongly vested in dismantling access to education.
posted by Autumnheart at 3:55 PM on July 6 [24 favorites]


One of the things that pissed the US off most about Castro was when he did this, [...] So, good news, the US is now basically the same as a tinpot banana republic dictatorship.

Erm...

You know US subjugation of Latin Americans is not a new thing, right? It’s what a “banana republic” is. Learn your history.

The label “banana republic” has not applied to Cuba since 1959, because of what Castro did to overthrow half a century of US-backed and -installed tinpot dictators.

The worst atrocities in Cuba right now are being committed by the United States. That’s not new either.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:02 PM on July 6 [20 favorites]


Pence channeling his inner supervillain (it's similar to his outer supervillain).

NYT: ‘We Will Never Abolish ICE,’ Pence Says as He Slams Democrats

“So today, I want to make it clear to all of you and all of those looking on, under President Donald Trump, we will never abolish ICE,” Mr. Pence said. “And as the president said, we will never fail to applaud, and expand, and empower this agency with the resources that you deserve.” [...]

Later, as Mr. Pence was greeting ICE employees and taking photos with them, a pool reporter asked him if “child separations is a Christian thing to do.” The vice president did not respond.

posted by Rust Moranis at 4:08 PM on July 6 [45 favorites]


Can something really be said to be a deadline if there is literally no chance of meeting it and there will likely be no meaningful sanction for missing it?

I share your pessimism. On the other hand, Judge Sabraw was clearly aware of these difficulties when she set the deadline:

the practice of separating these families was implemented without any effective system or procedure for (1) tracking the children after they were separated from their parents,... and (3) reuniting the parents and children after the parents are returned to immigration custody following completion of their criminal sentence. This is a startling reality.... The unfortunate reality is that under the present system migrant children are not accounted for with the same efficiency and accuracy as property. Certainly, that cannot satisfy the requirements of due process.

Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Classwide Preliminary Injunction (S.D. Cal. No. 3:18-cv-00428-DMS-MDD Dkt. 83, June 26, 2018). This same order set the 14- and 30-day deadlines for reunification. Given the tone of the quoted portion of the order, Judge Sabraw does not seem to me to be likely to give only a slap on the wrist if the government fails to comply.
posted by mabelstreet at 4:31 PM on July 6 [11 favorites]


> And the more you've tied your incorrect beliefs to
> your identity the less likely you are to admit those beliefs
> were wrong.
Yes. I've seen this in action on a much-smaller-than-national scale and it's part of what has terrified me about Trump from the beginning.

I wrote this a little over two months before the election:
I'm having my own issues dealing with this election cycle. Years ago I had a job. It was a nice job before management of the group I worked in was handed over to a narcissistic liar. Projects failed, morale cratered, people were pitted against each other in a divide-and-conquer strategy, and by the time the smoke had cleared the most experienced and capable people had quit the organization (an extreme recourse, given that for most that involved leaving the community to find jobs elsewhere.) But if you've never dealt with somebody who lies as easily and reflexively as they breathe you really have no idea how destructive such a person can be or how little defense the average person has against someone who can be utterly convincing while peddling the most egregious bullshit.

Watching / listening to / reading Trump's amorphous, ever-shifting claims has been triggering anxiety and depression that I thought I had left behind me years ago, greatly magnified by the fear that we might be putting such a person in charge of not just one small company but the largest economy and most powerful military in the world.
Back then I couldn't believe that people couldn't see through the lies. I eventually came to realize that for many it's not a matter of not being able to, it's that they just prefer not to. Being told what you already want to hear can be incredibly seductive and the pathological liars who instinctively exploit this are consequently incredibly dangerous.

If you're not attracted by Trump's lies, count yourself fortunate but don't for a minute underestimate their appeal to a dismayingly large number of people. And my experience suggests that those who have bought into the small lies and held onto them when challenged will more eagerly swallow ever more preposterous whoppers -- many of his deluded victims won't be able to admit they were wrong about him and they will do whatever mental contortions are necessary to avoid facing up to the fact that they eagerly bought into a load of rubbish. We're a long way from the worst of this and I shudder to think how bad it's going to get before it's over.
posted by Nerd of the North at 4:34 PM on July 6 [41 favorites]


Here's a thought maybe Trump voters should try to understand us for once. Crazy I know.

3,000,000 more votes dude
posted by kirkaracha at 4:38 PM on July 6 [20 favorites]


Thread by @RadioFreeTom
Trump is going to do what Trump is going to do. He's not liberal or conservative. It's all just the blurted thoughts of an angry, frightened man who won an office he didn't really want. We have to get through it, but we don't have to pretend we're arguing about real things.
Ceterum autem censeo Trumpem esse delendam
posted by kirkaracha at 4:39 PM on July 6 [19 favorites]


WaPo: Twitter is sweeping out fake accounts like never before, putting user growth at risk
Twitter has sharply escalated its battle against fake and suspicious accounts, suspending more than 1 million a day in recent months, a major shift to lessen the flow of disinformation on the platform, according to data obtained by The Washington Post.

The rate of account suspensions, which Twitter confirmed to The Post, has more than doubled since October, when the company revealed under congressional pressure how Russia used fake accounts to interfere in the U.S. presidential election. Twitter suspended more than 70 million accounts in May and June, and the pace has continued in July, according to the data.

The aggressive removal of unwanted accounts may result in a rare decline in the number of monthly users in the second quarter, which ended last week, according to a person familiar with the situation who was not authorized to speak. Twitter declined to comment on a possible decline in its user base.
posted by gwint at 4:54 PM on July 6 [13 favorites]


They sure blue tick a fuck ton of nazis though, which appears to relieve them of the obligation to follow the terms of use.
posted by Artw at 4:58 PM on July 6 [34 favorites]


Can something really be said to be a deadline if there is literally no chance of meeting it and there will likely be no meaningful sanction for missing it?

Now I know you never worked in the software industry.

Trump is set to separate more than 200,000 U.S.-born children from their parents

The racism in US policy towards Haiti is the defining constant of my growing up in Miami. Year after year growing up I saw the policy deck chairs get moved about a bit here and there for Cuban refugees - who similarly rode the gulf stream to refuge in the US - while the door was kept shut tight for Haitians. Most of Trump's awful feels new and groundbreaking. This feels like the same old song.
posted by phearlez at 5:21 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


Can't Senate HSGAC drag Nielsen and Azar into a hearing at any time to get answers? Why isn't that oversight committee publicly throwing a fucking fit as a united front?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:28 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Also, McCaskill is the ranking member. I'm calling her office Monday.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:30 PM on July 6 [7 favorites]


The Washington Post buries some truly dismaying details under its bland headline: Ahead of NATO and Putin Summits, Trump’s Unorthodox Diplomacy Rattles Allies
During an April visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to the White House, a frustrated Trump was sharply critical of both British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. and European officials said. Asked about his comments, the president in a statement to The Washington Post said that “immigration is destroying Europe as we know it and it is very sad to be witness to what is happening.”

European Council President Donald Tusk has derided Trump’s “capricious assertiveness” and warned that European Union countries need to prepare for “worst case scenarios.” Trump, for his part, frequently tells European leaders how much he dislikes the European Union — and how it is “worse than China.”[...]

This report is based on interviews with U.S. and European officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal deliberations and Trump’s interactions with world leaders. The core of Trump’s freewheeling approach has been in place since his earliest days in the White House. Shortly after he took office, Trump began passing out his personal cellphone number to a handful of foreign leaders and in April 2017 White House aides were startled when officials in Canada issued a standard summary of a conversation between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Trump. In it, Trudeau complained of “unfair duties” and “baseless” claims about trade by Trump administration officials.

No one at the White House was aware the call had taken place. “We had no idea what happened,” a senior U.S. official said.[...]

In this instance, U.S. officials had to rely on Trump’s memory. A terse public readout described “a very amicable call.”

After the call, White House aides urged Trump to route all conversations with foreign leaders through the Situation Room, as required under federal records law, the senior official said.
And Putin is of course an even worse problem:
“The president thinks he can be friends with Putin,” former national security adviser H.R. McMaster complained during his time in the White House, according to U.S. officials. “I don’t know why or why he would want to be.”[...]

Some White House officials worry that Putin, who has held several calls with Trump, plays on the president’s inexperience and lack of detailed knowledge about issues while stoking Trump’s grievances.

The Russian president complains to Trump about “fake news” and laments that the U.S. foreign policy establishment — the “deep state” in Putin’s words — is conspiring against them, the first senior U.S. official said.

“It’s not us,” Putin has told Trump, the official summarized. “It’s the subordinates fighting against our friendship.”

In conversations with Trudeau, May and Merkel, Trump is sometimes assertive, brash and even bullying on issues he feels strongly about, such as trade, according to senior U.S. officials. He drives the conversation and isn’t shy about cutting off the allies mid-sentence to make his point, the officials said.

With Putin, Trump takes a more conciliatory approach, often treating the Russian leader as a confidante.
But as Trump said in Montana last night, "You know what? Putin's fine. He's fine. We're all fine. We're people."
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:37 PM on July 6 [32 favorites]


NYT, Shifting Strategy, Trump’s Lawyers Set New Conditions for Mueller Interview, in which Rudy reappears with new nonsense:
President Trump’s lawyers set new conditions on Friday on an interview with the special counsel and said that the chances that the president would be voluntarily questioned were growing increasingly unlikely.

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, needs to prove before Mr. Trump would agree to an interview that he has evidence that Mr. Trump committed a crime and that his testimony is essential to completing the investigation, said Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s lead lawyer in the case.

His declaration was the latest sign that the president’s lawyers, who long cooperated quietly with the inquiry even as their client attacked it, have shifted to an openly combative stance.
...
“If they can come to us and show us the basis and that it’s legitimate and that they have uncovered something, we can go from there and assess their objectivity,” Mr. Giuliani said in an interview. He urged the special counsel to wrap up his inquiry and write an investigative report. He said Mr. Trump’s lawyers planned to write their own summary of the case.
thatsnothowitworks.gif

As an example of the new stance, Mueller's team requested to interview Kelly a month ago and the White House has been pushing back. Their aim is to discredit Mueller before he acts:
The effort appears to be bearing some fruit. According to a Washington Post-Schar School poll released on Friday, 45 percent of Americans disapprove of how Mr. Mueller is handling the investigation, a 14-point increase from January.

“Nobody is going to consider impeachment if public opinion has concluded this is an unfair investigation, and that’s why public opinion is so important,” Mr. Giuliani said.
posted by zachlipton at 5:40 PM on July 6 [7 favorites]


I just want to quote one other bit from that Post story Doktor Zed so ably summarized:
Trump’s lack of preparation has added a further level of unpredictability to his interactions with foreign leaders, the officials said. The president rarely reads his nightly briefing book, which focuses on issues likely to come up in meetings, a second senior U.S. official said. To slim down Trump’s workload, aides have sometimes put the most critical information in a red folder, the official said.
So government employees spend long hours preparing briefings full of information he doesn't read, leaving him more Fox News time, and so they've taken to putting the stuff he really has to read in a red folder. I'm sure the red folder really gets careful attention though.
posted by zachlipton at 5:43 PM on July 6 [21 favorites]


As to Trump supporters. There was a study done years ago in Illinois about charting what happens to a group of true believers when the foundation of their faith collapses. This was a UFO cult, that was waiting for a specific time and place where the mothership would come to take them away. The study infiltrated the group to observe what happens when the mothership didn’t arrive. The group didn’t break apart, they became more fervent in their beliefs and started to actively proselytize. Trump made promises. Make America great again. Etc. As those promises fail to materialize, the true believers are just doubling down on their beliefs. The fact that his poll numbers are static amongst his followers seems to suggest that nothing he does or does not do will change their belief in him. To commit yourself to something so much that it is now a part of your identity puts you in a situation where input from outside your immediate sphere is blocked. 45 for some people arrived on the seen as an answer to some very fundamamtal questions they had, questions that arose through their own situation - anxiety and fear about being replaced by the other. On the Blue, we argue politics and sometimes ethics. We talk about other people’s religion, usually negatively. And Trump supporters, rightly so, get dumped on. But I think we need to change or at least add to our metaphors and models about how people behave surrounding our current government. 45 is a religious figure for a number of people. A savior of sorts. His rallies are revival meetings. The faithful get to be close to their savior. Political, ethical, rational speech will not change their minds.

None of this applies to the 1%ers who are just out to become more wealthy on the backs of the rest of us. That’s all just simple greed.
posted by njohnson23 at 5:51 PM on July 6 [15 favorites]


So sure, Trump's trade policies are dumb and terrible. But the persistent drum beat of "the working class doesn't know what's good for it!" just drives those people TO the GOP. We should try harder to understand these opinions as long as they're not just straight bigotry or whatever.

i keep hearing stuff like this, in different variations:

"be nice to trump supporters or they'll become trumpier"
"be nice to white people or they'll become trump supporters"
"be nice to white people or they'll become nazis"
"be nice to men or they'll just be more misogynist"
"be nice to straight people or they'll just be more homophobic"
"be nice to cis people or they'll just be more transphobic"
"be nice to the people or they'll just nail you to a cross"

jesus was nice

still got nailed to a cross

i'm no jesus

fuck your civility complicity
posted by anem0ne at 6:00 PM on July 6 [111 favorites]


Can't Senate HSGAC drag Nielsen and Azar into a hearing at any time to get answers?

Sure.

Why isn't that oversight committee publicly throwing a fucking fit as a united front?

Because the Republicans who control everything it does, and who have absolute control over its subpoena power, don't give a fuck.

Also, McCaskill is the ranking member. I'm calling her office Monday.

Sure, but remember that the power of the ranking member over what the committee does is exactly none whatsoever.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:04 PM on July 6 [6 favorites]


Re: Trump as cult leader - sorry for the self-link so of course mods delete if appropriate - but the talk of Trump as cult/religious leader had me itching to post this, a video I produced when I was a Sinclair (!) TV reporter for ABC 30 in St. Louis, March of 2017: a pro-Trump rally in Missouri’s capital Jefferson City.

In which it seemed so obvious that the folks attending revered Trump in a way that didn’t reflect reality in almost any respect.
posted by jettloe at 6:05 PM on July 6 [36 favorites]


This is probably heading to derailsville, but let me just note one of the most telling Trumper demographics: the non-church-going self-identified evangelical Christian. Iirc, that's the Christian group most likely to have voted Trump, even beyond chrurch-goers. What they get from Trump is something they weren't getting previously because they don't go to church.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:13 PM on July 6 [27 favorites]


Missouri Context:

St Louis is the older brother, kind of wearing out at middle age but his kids seem to be up and coming well. Kansas City is the middle child. Does stuff well, flies under the radar. CoMo is your hippie youngest sister who was an accident. Jefferson City is your Fox News watching parents that you have to periodically visit.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:16 PM on July 6 [12 favorites]


so, like, to engage with the concept of "be nice to them so they won't get worse" theory in a less dismissive manner, it's not that it's a bad notion, it's that after a certain point, you're just dumping good money after the bad.

if you know a few trumpists, sure, it makes sense to try and understand where their ideas are coming from. it makes sense to try and see what makes them tick to see if you can gently bend them away from the path they're on.

but if they're continually going down that path, like those dumb motherfuckers who are happy to lose their jobs over the tariffs? you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make that dumb gluebag drink. if they want to starve go on a hunger strike to support their Dear Leader, that suggests a level of foundational belief that is going to take a lot of effort to try and deprogram.

and you know what? fuck them. we've got children stripped from their parents for no good reason. we've got a woman's right to choose in the crosshairs. we've got queer people's families under threat. we've got people suddenly finding their citizenship status being revoked. we've got trans folks' existence under threat. all because those assholes believed in this regime that threatened this and still believe in this regime that is doing this now. so, like.

if whitey mcfactoryjob is okay with losing their job for the good of the country, i'm okay with their sacrifice.

and i hope they can pull themselves up by their bootstraps, because i sure as fucking hell don't see any reason to give them what little time, money, and energy i have.
posted by anem0ne at 6:16 PM on July 6 [40 favorites]


I'm inclined to suspect that no one in ICE or the entire chain of command from the lowest ICE agent all the way to Trump actually had a plan beyond "LOL FUCK YOU!"

Maybe, possibly, they hoped that by hurting people of color it would frighten other people of color and keep them from coming to America (legally or not). But I'm pretty sure that was secondary to the primary "LOL FUCK YOU!" goal.

The reason they didn't have any plans for actually dealing with the kids is because no planning was involved. Not anymore than when a drunk in a bar hauls off and slugs someone, or a guy on the freeway screams in rage and tailgates someone.

The fact that taking kids away from their parents would be be cruel was about as far ahead as they thought. After that? Shuffle the kids off to somewhere to be someone else's problem.

Along the way, of course, other plans form. There's the plan of contractors to milk money from the government by building kiddie concentration camps. There's the plans of individual ICE agents and higher up ICE people to take the basic "LOL FUCK YOU!" plan and make it worse, thus the people who deleted all records linking kids to parents.

But Trump himself? The worst thing is that for Trump it was Tuesday. There was no grand plan, no plot, not even the slightest bit of thought, just cruelty for its own sake and a total lack of concern for the consequences or future.
posted by sotonohito at 6:23 PM on July 6 [28 favorites]


if you know a few trumpists, sure, it makes sense to try and understand where their ideas are coming from. it makes sense to try and see what makes them tick to see if you can gently bend them away from the path they're on.

The hard part is talking in a way that persuades them, not you.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:24 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


Paul Manafort wants trial moved to Roanoke, says Northern Virginia too liberal (WaPo):
Attorneys for Paul Manafort asked a federal judge to move his fast-approaching criminal bank and tax fraud trial from Alexandria to Roanoke, Va., saying a more Republican-friendly jury would decide his guilt or innocence more fairly.

The president’s former campaign chairman’s prosecution has “become theatre in the continuing controversy” surrounding the president and his election, defense attorneys argue, and as a result, “It is difficult, if not impossible, to divorce the issues in this case from the political views of potential jurors.”
Even more noteworthy,
Also on Friday, attorneys for the special counsel made clear in a filing how they plan to link Manafort’s alleged bank fraud to the Trump campaign.

“The government does not intend to present at trial evidence or argument concerning collusion with the Russian government,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Uzo Asonye writes.

However, he said prosecutors will present evidence that a banker helped Manafort obtain $16 million in loans because he hoped to get a position in the Trump administration.

“In short, the defendant’s role with the Trump campaign is relevant and inextricably intertwined with the. . .bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy charges. Here, it would be difficult for the jury to understand why the loans were approved without understanding that the lender approved the loans, in spite of the identified deficiencies, because the senior executive factored in his own personal ambition,” Asonye writes.
The lender in question is Stephen Calk, a small-time Chicago banker, who had doors open for him in Trump world after the $16 million loan to Manafort, which represented 23.5% of his bank's total capital at the time, and was possibly a quid quo pro in exchange for being named Secretary of the Army.
posted by peeedro at 6:45 PM on July 6 [25 favorites]


Trump on Rep. Jim Jordan allegations: “I don’t believe them at all. I believe him. Jim is one of the most outstanding people I’ve met since I’ve been in Washington. I believe him 100 percent. No question in my mind. I believe Jim 100 percent. He’s an outstanding man.”

Politico: A Cesspool of Deviancy’: New Claims of Voyeurism Test Jordan Denials "A half-dozen ex-wrestlers told POLITICO they were regularly harassed in their training facility by sexually aggressive men who attended the university or worked there."

Now we're up to six ex-wrestlers, and it's not simply how appalling the behavior is that they describe, it's also that every single one of them says Jordan knew about it.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:49 PM on July 6 [28 favorites]


This Jim Jordan thing, man, you don't always get this perfect a recursive demonstration
Point — @christinawilkie: NEWS: Trump on Rep. Jim Jordan allegations: “I don’t believe them at all. I believe him. Jim is one of the most outstanding people I’ve met since I’ve been in Washington. I believe him 100 percent. No question in my mind. I believe Jim 100 percent. He’s an outstanding man.”

Counterpoint — NBC News, Fourth Ohio State wrestler says Rep. Jim Jordan knew about sexual abuse when he was coach:
I don’t believe them at all. I believe him. is exactly how you get someone knowing about abuse allegations and doing nothing and sweeping them under the rug. What you're saying about this dude? This refusing to believe people reporting something ugly? It's exactly what he was doing when he decided to just personally disregard reports rather than take some action and involve other, less biased people.

Now, to be honest I'm sure in Trump's case it's less about any actual belief in this person than simply not caring about anything but personal self-interest. But still, the hand-waving dismissal performance is so self-referential the news networks should flash a QED up over it.
posted by phearlez at 7:03 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]


Jim Jordan will be one of the chief questioners of Peter Strzok during his public hearing, will he not? Given Strzok's... outspokeness... in his texts I can't imagine how difficult it will be for him to refrain from saying he refuses to take ethical accusations from an enabler of mass sexual abuse.

I'm sure that would be counter productive. He probably shouldn't do it. But oh god would it be satisfying.
posted by Justinian at 7:09 PM on July 6 [13 favorites]


NEWS: Trump on Rep. Jim Jordan allegations

NEWS: [Also accused sexual predator] Trump on Rep. Jim Jordan allegations...

Seriously, any news story that carries Trump's comments on Jordan without reference to the legion credible accusations against Trump is again, complicit. It's without question that Trump doesn't just not care about sexual misconduct allegations, he and the entire Republican party are affirmatively on the side of every accused predator.

Hastert.
Roy Moore.
Jim Jordan.
Trump.

This is a fucking obvious pattern and practice of institutional acceptance, cover-up and continued promotion. Republicans affirmatively condone and promote sexual assault. It should be noted, every, single, time.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:12 PM on July 6 [77 favorites]


Don't forget Bill Shine, newly appointed communications director (just this week).

Shine was driven out of Fox News because even they'd found his behavior unacceptable.
posted by Nerd of the North at 7:21 PM on July 6 [30 favorites]


Sexual assault and pedophilia: that's the Republican way.
posted by gucci mane at 7:26 PM on July 6 [16 favorites]


to engage with the concept of "be nice to them so they won't get worse" theory in a less dismissive...

i am inclined to view this notion, in this context, as no more worth engaging than some glib nonsense from rudi guiliani, which is to say, suspicious of gaslight or worse, if engaging at all. accordingly, your first statement, anem0ne, was poetic and spot on.

in general, a good faith approach is a fine and likely faultless opening. the "be nice to them so they won't get worse" maxim, all context aside, paraphrases the "treat others as you would be treated" maxim, and could be innocently unobjectionable. it is a workable default approach. an opening posture.

should bad faith be encountered, that maxim may be set aside in favor of another geared to more adversarial posture.

i hear "be nice or they/we'll be worse" generally from the mouths of people i am already reasonably confident are not speaking in good faith, the nazi apologists and some among the champions of civility, and disregard it. waste of resource to argue; waste of attention to be drawn in by a(nother) guilianian illogic gambit. there are real things to worry about.

but since you do seriously consider it, i think some reason can be found for the assertion in considering the dynamics of the interpersonal engagement insofar as escalation tends to fix disputants more firmly in exaggerated extremes of their starting/actual/essential positions. not sure it sticks; suspect in my case the radicalization of my own position during vitriolic dispute sticks better the stronger my emotional investment/response is.

also, pretty much any imperative suggestion with an "or else" clause already violates any reasonable notion of civility. the speaker is either lying or willing to do the threatened thing, fatally undermining their credibility as a source of good-faith statements.
posted by 20 year lurk at 7:33 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


I've tried to avoid bringing Supreme Court rumors into these threads unless there's an underlying point about the right tearing itself apart over just what sub-species of conservative justice they're looking for, but I want to highlight Politico's 'It looks all-American': Trump wants the whole package in Supreme Court nominee, in which physical appearance seems to play a significant role, and it's Trump's particular views on what looks "American" that are controlling.

I would also like to know on what possible standards this judgement was based:
In her interview with Trump, Barrett, who has only one year of experience on the bench, performed poorly, according to a second source familiar with the process.
posted by zachlipton at 7:34 PM on July 6 [12 favorites]


20 year lurk:

i mean, yeah, generally anyone who says the "be nice or they'll get worse" thing usually isn't arguing in good faith.

on the other hand, the person saying it has been on mefi for a while, so i'm inclined to believe they're putting forward that notion in good faith and are not an apologist for the republicans deplorable wingnuts of america.

it's the whole, "be nice to them" and "see if there's some common ground to agree with" part.
posted by anem0ne at 7:39 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Shine was driven out of Fox News because even they'd found his behavior unacceptable

His wife is a real peach as well: Bill Shine’s Wife Darla Complained She Couldn’t Use N-Word and Spread Conspiracy Theories About ‘Blacks’
posted by bibliowench at 7:40 PM on July 6 [23 favorites]


it's impossible to overestimate the magnitude of the individual and societal harm that will come from permanently fucking with that many young lives over a single casually callous decision.

I've probably shared this before - I'm a blindingly white person but if you go back to my great-grandmother you find native Mexicans. She came north to flee racism, and that's basically why I find myself living in the midwest today. Things like racism have a long reaching impact, no matter how slight.

Her and her family, as I understand it, made a good life for themselves up here, and she was one of those women who blazed her own path in both schooling and jobs that had previously been only for men.

So I think it's fair to say my ancestors came out on top, right? No one was lynched or enslaved or anything like that. Yet it still impacted my life, and now here I am telling you about it.

But if 200,000 families are utterly destroyed? How many people might the branches of those family trees might hold 100 years from now, here and in Central America? And what sort of reputation might The Land of The Free and The Home of The Brave have earned for itself with all of them?
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 7:40 PM on July 6 [8 favorites]


[video] @MuslimIQ This is really depressing. Children are born knowing only love & unity. These kids are being indoctrinated with misinformation, hate, and propaganda. We must do better as a nation. 😓
posted by scalefree at 7:51 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


MegaThread, I just want to tell you you're so great, and, I like, have all your albums and that one where Two unicycles and some duct tape left the cookies out for Tehhund was totes the best, and I that one where zalex met the worm citations of CROJ is all times, man, it's so cool you're here and everything.

So anyway this part of the Cracked.com list of 5 self-pwns of the alt-nazis, linked upthread, is just boggling my noodle, like, okay:

4
The "Alt-Right" Hates Alt-Furries

The world of furries is a strange and interesting place. It's not all squirrel costume sex, which is why I've never fully gotten into it, but I have seen videos, and they're oddly engaging. For our purposes, what you need to know about the world of furries is that it's a rich tapestry of lifestyles and philosophies. For example, while some furries are just folks who want to be anthropomorphic foxes, others are folks who want to be anthropomorphic Nazi foxes. And that's an issue for the other kind of Nazis, who are anthropomorphic dicks.

The group in question call themselves alt-furries. They very much still dress as animals, but those animals are dressed as Nazis. And if you're wondering how a furry dresses as a Nazi, just imagine Benicio del Toro's Wolfman, but with swastika armbands. However, regular right-wing folks like Richard "Ow, my face!" Spencer have shown the deepest depths of their intolerance by actually rejecting these furry Nazis, saying he disavowed them in a now-banned subreddit. He did not elaborate on his rationale, which probably would have made for amazing reading.

It's not even clear among the alt-furries which are actual Nazis and which are simply wearing the costume of a humanoid animal who is a Nazi (seriously, this is the subject of a bitter debate that resulted in one furry convention getting cancelled). [...]

I realize that you likely understand this controversy less now than when you had no idea it existed at all. Let's just move on.


Like. *bkshhh*. Wow. A new . . level. of. y'know. Wow. Anyway keep doing what you're doing!
posted by petebest at 7:57 PM on July 6 [24 favorites]


A late Friday surprise. WSJ, Trump Administration Expected to Suspend ACA Program Related to Insurer Payments
The Trump administration is expected to suspend an Affordable Care Act program that plays a key role in the health law’s insurance markets, a move that could deal a financial blow to many insurers that expect payments.

The suspension of some payouts under the program, known as risk adjustment, could come in the wake of a recent decision by a federal judge in New Mexico, who ruled that part of its implementation was flawed and hadn’t been adequately justified by federal regulators, people familiar with the plans said.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees the program, may at least temporarily suspend the payments insurers expected to receive this fall, stemming from their 2017 business, and next fall, which would have reflected their 2018 business, the people said.
...
It isn’t clear if a suspension of the risk-adjustment payments could lead some insurers to seek higher rates for next year’s plans. Mr. Banerjee said some insurers might seek to “reprice for the coming year” if it is clear they wouldn’t be getting the expected money based on prior years’ business.
posted by zachlipton at 7:59 PM on July 6 [10 favorites]




@EricLiptonNYT: SCOOP: EPA, in last day that Pruitt is administrator, moves to circumvent limit on manufacturing of "super polluting" diesel trucks, undoing a 20-year effort embraced by Dems and GOP administrations to curb toxic emissions.

Cool, one last divinely-appointed Fuck You, World on his way out the door. Praise be.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:12 PM on July 6 [22 favorites]


Governor: Trump officials view placing migrant kids in foster care equal to family reunification

“The secretary told us on a conference call they do not have an intention to reunify these children with their parents,” Inslee said on MSNBC’s “All in With Chris Hayes,” appearing to refer to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. “They’re going to call it good if they can find anybody else who can serve as a foster parent or anybody else who can serve as familial relationship, and these kids don’t even know these strangers,” he continued.

As with others in this thread, I am also reaching the point where any comment I have to make would only put me in a deeper chamber under the Ministry of Love in a few years' time.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:39 PM on July 6 [78 favorites]


Normal event, normal era, normal country.

Expert says 'rogue' transmission on Chicago police radio channels was likely portion of Hitler speech

An unauthorized audio transmission over Chicago police radio frequencies Wednesday night seems to be a partial rebroadcast of an Adolf Hitler speech from a 1935 Nazi propaganda film, an expert said. [...]The audio interrupted police radio frequencies for about four minutes Wednesday evening.

Melissa Stratton, spokeswoman for the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, has said the city is investigating. She said it was a “rogue radio transmission,” a general term for unauthorized transmissions, and not a city user accidentally broadcasting his or her own audio.

[...] Another user said the transmission sounded like “someone telling a story, a very scary, intense, angry story.”

posted by Rust Moranis at 8:51 PM on July 6 [15 favorites]


The lender in question is Stephen Calk, a small-time Chicago banker, who had doors open for him in Trump world after the $16 million loan to Manafort, which represented 23.5% of his bank's total capital at the time, and was possibly a quid quo pro in exchange for being named Secretary of the Army.

GREAT recap of the core financial crimes from Maddow February 2018, where she discusses "Lender D", and the quid-pro-quo AND Calk's divorce proceedings.
posted by mikelieman at 9:00 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


The disgusting ‘normal’ under Trump (Alexandra Petri, WaPo)
I understand that so many other nightmare things have happened that when the president of the United States makes a cruel crack about the #MeToo movement at a rally, it barely ripples on the surface. I understand that we as a country look at this man, our president, and say, “Yes, that sounds like him! That is exactly the sort of thing that he would say,” and then we leave what should be a full month of just outrage by the side of the road to fend for itself — maybe with an apologetic note that we hope to get back to it in 2019, when we will maybe not also have to be upset at the speaker of the House for not bothering to familiarize himself with who Scott Pruitt was even after he hit his 58th scandal. I understand that we cannot be indignant about everything all the time or we would never sleep.

But as 2018 barrels past this incident, let us at least pause and agree that it was disgusting in a now-familiar way.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:43 PM on July 6 [43 favorites]


@MarkHarrisNYC (New York mag):
I don't feel we need to understand Trump voters as much as we need to outnumber them.
posted by chris24 at 10:06 PM on July 6 [90 favorites]


I saw the ultimate "we need to treat them more nicely so they stop being awful people" link on twitter recently but damn me if I can find it. The problem is it was an image of an old newspaper article... possibly NYT... and thus unsearchable. The upshot? It was about how the Jews in Germany should be more understanding of the Nazis so that they don't become more entrenched in their awful Naziism. Yes, it was a real thing.

That's basically all I have to say about that. And anyone who feels like posting something about more understanding for Trumpies should just think about that article for a while.
posted by Justinian at 10:10 PM on July 6 [26 favorites]


If anyone else saw the same thing and has a link I would appreciate it so I can bookmark it. Hell for all I know it may have been posted to metafilter in one of the previous threads. Almost everything is.
posted by Justinian at 10:14 PM on July 6




i got you fam:

from angus johnston/@studentactivism, posted 14 jun 2018
> threadreader

nytimes pic is up top
posted by anem0ne at 10:18 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]


also related, pointing out how empathizing with those deplorable fuckhead types who are happy to lose their jobs because trump is a pointless, dangerous thing:

from dr. katherine crocker/@cricketcrocker, posted 16 jun 2018
> threadreader
posted by anem0ne at 10:20 PM on July 6 [6 favorites]


@PeterAlexander Here’s the verbatim exchange from today’s status conference in the Southern District of California, via @JuliaEAinsley
FEDERAL JUDGE: "Will counsel be here this weekend or are you going back?"
ACLU LAWYER: "We will do whatever (inaudible). We will stay the weekend."
DOJ LAWYER: "I have dog-sitting responsibilities that require me to go back to Colorado but I will be back Monday."
FEDERAL JUDGE: "I would like to meet again perhaps 10 a.m."
posted by scalefree at 10:33 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


If he didn't fly back, the dog would have to be put in a kennel. Who wants a dog to be in a cage over a weekend?
posted by xammerboy at 10:44 PM on July 6 [53 favorites]


alexandra petri is so angry she nearly turned in a joke-free column, and i don't blame her
posted by murphy slaw at 11:04 PM on July 6 [27 favorites]


I am reminded of why, as much as I love parts of MeFi, I don't post a lot. I posted my previous comment just before leaving for the evening, and I come back to find myself transformed into a giant strawman that's gotten pounded into the dirt.

I was not remotely suggesting that we try to empathize with Nazis or child-cagers, and I understand the impulse to declare anybody Trump adjacent to be unforgivable.

But for all that, I was talking tariff policy. It's not like people in the industrial Midwest suddenly decided they were anti-NAFTA or China because of Trump's magic spell. This has been a thing for years, and Trump's been giving them what they want on economics.

Are some of those people *also* irredeemable racists? Sure, and I agree there are a lot of them that can't and shouldn't be dealt with. I don't give a shit about "civility". But I'm not yet willing to say that anyone who is pro-Trump because of economics is an automatic Nazi.

We are already behind the 8-ball due to voter suppression, gerrymandering, and so on. We write these people off at our peril. So unless you're really looking forward to Civil War 2, my only point is that we shouldn't throw out previously Dem voter babies with the alt-right bathwater if we don't have to.
posted by tau_ceti at 11:24 PM on July 6 [21 favorites]


Some White House officials worry that Putin, who has held several calls with Trump, plays on the president’s inexperience and lack of detailed knowledge about issues while stoking Trump’s grievances.

No shit, Sherlock.
posted by soundguy99 at 11:38 PM on July 6 [17 favorites]


Here's a fun approach to blocking corruption: Rhode Island bill would keep Trump off 2020 ballot unless he releases his tax returns - "Rhode Island’s state Senate passed a bill this week that would keep candidates off the presidential ballot in their state if they don’t release five years' worth of tax returns." The Senate vote was 34-3; now it goes to the House.

There is some concern about whether it's constitutional for states to have their own requirements for the ballot, but I suspect that a challenge won't hold up on those grounds - plenty of states have filing requirements (including, "we're only listing one candidate per party"), and someone who didn't qualify to be listed would always be available as a write-in.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:21 AM on July 7 [17 favorites]


What evidence do we have that there are significant numbers of Obama voters who voted for Trump in 2016? “Didn’t vote” exceeds the margin between Presidential candidates in every election. There are few Obama voters who voted for Trump and the difference in electoral performance in 2016 was due to voter activation/deactivation. Our goal should be to reactivate former voters and enable new voters:

Help voters who haven’t voted recently while understanding that there are increasing structural impediments which make it hard for many of them to do so. Disenfranchisement, “oops lost your registration” day-of shenanigans, polling places open on limited days/hours, employers not allowing some employees time to vote - let’s help voters overcome this.
posted by SakuraK at 12:21 AM on July 7 [5 favorites]


We write these people off at our peril.

We don't need their votes. We just need to get our voters to the ballots.

So unless you're really looking forward to Civil War 2

If there's a Civil War 2, it's not going to be because the leftists weren't polite enough to the people who believe that America will be great as soon as we get rid of all the social rights, legal safety nets, and business regulations of the last hundred years.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:26 AM on July 7 [76 favorites]


We write these people off at our peril.

I think a part of what's really frustrating is that Trump's tariff and immigration policies won't remotely solve any of the issues they say they will address. However, if we write off all of the people that support them as rubes and racists, I agree we'll never reach them. We need policy proposals that address the underlying (non-racist) concerns about local economic security and cultural identity. Perhaps policies supporting small businesses, infrastructure projects, etc. I don't mean to say we should stop calling out racists for being racist, but using a stick and a carrot is generally more effective than using either alone.
posted by xammerboy at 12:29 AM on July 7 [3 favorites]


Republicans on Russia trip face scorn and ridicule from critics at home.
Republican lawmakers who went to Russia seeking a thaw in relations received an icy reception from Democrats and Kremlin watchers for spending the Fourth of July in a country that interfered in the U.S. presidential election and continues to deny it.

“Cannot believe GOP, once the party that stood strong against Soviets & only a decade ago sought to democratize the Middle East, is now surrendering so foolishly to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and the Kremlin’s kleptocracy — only two years ­after Russia interfered in U.S. election,” tweeted Clint Watts, an information warfare specialist at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and frequent featured expert before congressional panels examining Russian influence operations.

“Russians wooing with a shopworn song — repugnant as nails on a blackboard,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote in a Twitter post in response to the delegation’s trip. “They are enemies and adversaries, attacking us.”
posted by scalefree at 12:33 AM on July 7 [23 favorites]


We need policy proposals that address the underlying (non-racist) concerns about local economic security and cultural identity. Perhaps policies supporting small businesses, infrastructure projects, etc.

You know who literally published white papers describing exactly what you're asking for? And talked about job retraining, small business, etc all the time? It was one of the two candidates for President. Not the one who won.

The people who vote for Trump do not care about policy. They say they do but their voting is inconsistent with that hypothesis. When people show you who they are, believe them.
posted by Justinian at 12:37 AM on July 7 [113 favorites]


Republican lawmakers who went to Russia seeking a thaw in relations received an icy reception from Democrats and Kremlin watchers for spending the Fourth of July in a country that interfered in the U.S. presidential election and continues to deny it.

If Trump does not seriously compromise US geopolitics during his Putin make out sesh I will bake a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and eat it.
posted by SakuraK at 1:01 AM on July 7 [5 favorites]


But I'm not yet willing to say that anyone who is pro-Trump because of economics is an automatic Nazi.

Putting the term Nazi aside, anyone today who self-identifies as a Trump supporter is a person who by definition has a value system that I find to be abhorrent, and beyond any pragmatism I can muster to try to reach. To use one of your examples, I hear: “Sure, Trump’s a bigot, a racist, a misogynist, and a compulsive liar. But we're totally aligned on our opposition to NAFTA, so I’ll hold my nose.”

Holding one’s nose at this point, knowing what’s public and incontrovertible about Trump, completely obliterates one’s moral compass in my view, and I don’t have it in me to do anything but fight the political fight against this sickness. Bless those who have the fortitude to try, but at this point it ain’t me.
posted by Brak at 1:02 AM on July 7 [38 favorites]


Here's a helpful reminder that Trump supporters are okay with concentration camps and stealing babies.
posted by Lyme Drop at 1:06 AM on July 7 [64 favorites]


A substantial percentage of Americans have always been okay with concentration camps and stealing babies... and slavery, and rape, and lynching, and many variations on genocide. The benefit of the Trump Administration is that it has made it so much easier to identify them.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:42 AM on July 7 [7 favorites]


anyone today who self-identifies as a Trump supporter is a person who by definition has a value system that I find to be abhorrent
...and that value system includes a dedication to lying, cheating and stealing that makes refusing to do business with any of them not just a moral decision but a very practical one.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:45 AM on July 7 [15 favorites]


[Please, for the love of whatever you love, please, please drop Round #2380572069275 of "should we be nice to / try to understand Trumpists?" Begging.]
posted by taz (staff) at 2:24 AM on July 7 [42 favorites]


I think a part of what's really frustrating is that Trump's tariff and immigration policies won't remotely solve any of the issues they say they will address.

No! What's really frustrating is that those weren't issues to begin with!

Disagreement about trade policy is, I know, a fraught area for some of my brothers, sisters and others on the left, and I know there are people I respect that understand free trade and the broader neoliberal project to be entirely coextensive. That was what Seattle '99 was about. I remember. So I understand there's, uh, a diversity of opinion here. But literally nobody thinks tariffs and trade wars are a viable answer.

Similarly, there is no "surge" of people entering the country, border communities are not being "flooded" or "overwhelmed" with illegitimate entrants, asylum seekers or entirely legal immigrants. The whole thing is a racist mirage entire.

I don't have much hope for a fact-based media holding the Administration to account on these and similar questions, though Paul Krugman does his part. What I really, really don't want to see, though, is anyone here accepting these framings for so much as the time it takes to stab out a comment. These aren't the issues that confront us, and never were.
posted by adamgreenfield at 2:37 AM on July 7 [36 favorites]


Yep. Absolutely no immigration crisis at all. Border crossings are basically at a 40 year low. The only "crisis" for Trumpettes is that there are brown people living here and in a generation, more than them.
posted by chris24 at 3:05 AM on July 7 [35 favorites]


I sometimes troll Trump supporters by pointing out that it is too late to prevent the US from becoming majority minority. Kids under five already are. When those kids grow up and have their own kids, after their grandparents are gone, the US is going to be majority minority. Period. You could completely stop all immigration and ban birth control for white women, and it wouldn't stop those kids from growing up and replacing their whiter elders.

I take some hope from that. My kids are white, but I don't particularly expect that my grandkids will be, if I have any.
posted by OnceUponATime at 3:38 AM on July 7 [12 favorites]


(Of course, I also worry that this will just make Trump supporters work that much harder on building an apartheid era South African style system of minority rule...)
posted by OnceUponATime at 3:43 AM on July 7 [9 favorites]


Somebody shared this Twitter thread with me about what happened in South Africa in the mid 20th century. It seems like this might be the best historical analogy for where we are right now (out of many possible analogies...)
So, Trump. As I said, historical analogies are dangerous. But what I keep thinking about was the 1948 election, the one in which the National Party first got elected. Seventy years ago. 26 May. That was the turning point for South Africa.

Thing is, if you go back and read the papers at the time, what is so shockingly clear is that no-one realised what was in the process of happening. They all thought it would blow over soon.

You see, the National Party never won the popular vote. They had barely 37%. They only got in because of the electoral system. Rural votes were more heavily represented in Parliament. They barely squeaked in. It was never meant to happen. It was a glitch.

And Apartheid? Read the newspapers of the time. Very few in the English press took it seriously. It was a word and a couple of incendiary and racist slogans. Even the National Party itself did not have any detailed policies. It was clearly impractical, doomed.

In 1953, the NP achieved a solid majority. Still, people did not think they would last. 

In those days, coloured people in the Cape still had the vote. The NP passed an act taking them off the voter's roll. 

The Appelate Division struck it down as unconstitutional.

So what the NP then did was to pack the Senate, to ensure a two-thirds majority, and they changed the Constitution. That was 1955. That was the first time that it really became clear that big trouble was coming. Seven years after they got in. 

It took 40 years to get them out.
posted by OnceUponATime at 3:54 AM on July 7 [106 favorites]


I know Jared Diamond gets some serious side-eye in these parts, but I am reminded of his book Collapse, specifically, his evaluation of the Rwandan genocide. Yes, there were these racial tensions between Hutu and Tutsi and European colonists are at least in significant part to blame for these tensions. But IIRC Diamond argued that things burst into flame when people did not have very much at all, multiple households within single dwellings, lack of jobs, other bad economic things.

I also recall Susan Sontag writing about how, during instances of plague in medieval Europe, Jewish populations were attacked, the idea that Jews were responsible for plague.

Or heck, look at our own genocide with Native Americans.

Diamond's point is a simplistic one, but it seems to be accurate: whenever there's a struggle for resources, people go crazy. Now, white people are realizing that they'll have less of the pie. And going crazy about it.

We should not engage in defeatism, but I think we also have to acknowledge the human capacity for brutality and lack of reason in certain contexts. Trump voters are only a novelty in that this a new manifestation of an old human tendency.
posted by angrycat at 4:11 AM on July 7 [12 favorites]


yeah, but when haven't we struggled for resources? The nature of global capitalism is that it is a continuous competition for resources, and even if white people in America are enjoying some of the highest standards of living in recorded history, they're still upset because they don't have as much as they believe that they're entitled to.

I acknowledge that Trump voters are coming from a place of fear and defending what they believe should be theirs. I just don't accept their definition of what belongs to them or believe in the justice of their desires, because it often means that people like me should not have as much of what they have.
posted by bl1nk at 4:32 AM on July 7 [13 favorites]


The nature of global capitalism is that it is a continuous competition for resources, and even if white people in America are enjoying some of the highest standards of living in recorded history, they're still upset because they don't have as much as they believe that they're entitled to.

In absolute terms, again, there is no meaningful resource scarcity. Energy may be the exception, but even here renewable energy technology is developing so quickly that the fossil fuel industry will soon require significant subsidy to hold its own against solar and wind.

We'll probably need to develop different pathways for the production of material goods that are currently petroleum-derived, from shrink-wrap to spandex, but that too is an area where I actually and unusually do expect market-based innovation to fill the gap between supply and demand.

Too, there remains a giant sustainability issue involved in raising the entire seven-plus billion population of the planet to the level of material prosperity and personal mobility Westerners have regarded as ordinary since the end of the Second World War.

But in terms of the American economy? Any shortages or scarcities you or I will experience are (a) ones generated by the inherent, brutal inefficiency of our way of doing things — i.e. the proverbial fruit rotting in the fields because of a sudden evaporation of the immigrant labor necessary to harvest it; (b) supply-chain issues exacerbated by foolish trade policy; (c) strictly matters of demand for a particular brand of something, rather than the thing itself; or (d) issues arising out of our omnicidal treatment of the global ecosystem, like the predicted disappearance of the banana.
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:55 AM on July 7 [25 favorites]


My Dad and Henry Ford [SLTheNib]
posted by runcifex at 5:17 AM on July 7 [9 favorites]


Diamond's point is a simplistic one, but it seems to be accurate: whenever there's a struggle for resources, people go crazy. Now, white people are realizing that they'll have less of the pie. And going crazy about it.

I think it's more like, "White people traditionally had unrestricted/unregulated access to resources", and the change is now, there's scarcity and on top of "freaking out" there's the historical dominance edge appearing to disappear. The traditional resource complaint, "THEY are taking OUR jobs" + the escalated "Scarcity" == Crazy.

I think, at least.
posted by mikelieman at 5:21 AM on July 7 [3 favorites]


Glenn Greenwald is touring Russia this week to 'combat toxic views' about that country.
posted by octothorpe at 5:32 AM on July 7 [13 favorites]


Glenn Greenwald is touring Russia this week to 'combat toxic views' about that country.

I'd love to know who's footing the bill for this birthright trip.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:38 AM on July 7 [34 favorites]


Glenn Greenwald is touring Russia this week to 'combat toxic views' about that country.

Even if Russia had never attempted to meddle in the US (and Brexit) vote, it still would be a heavily corrupted kleptocratic mafia state.
posted by PenDevil at 6:02 AM on July 7 [34 favorites]


And almost cartoonishly anti-LGBT, which you'd think GG would care a tiny bit about.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:08 AM on July 7 [42 favorites]


Secretary of State Pompeo leaves North Korea with promise of more talks but no tangible breakthrough (WaPo):
Ahead of the new round of talks, Kim Yong Chol, North Korea’s septuagenarian former spy chief, teased Pompeo, suggesting that the “serious” negotiations the night before may have caused Pompeo to lose sleep.

“We did have very serious discussion on very important matters yesterday. So thinking about those discussions, you might have not slept well last night,” Kim said.

“Director Kim, I slept just fine,” Pompeo responded, according to a pool report provided by reporters accompanying the secretary of state.
Another sleepy Secretary of State. Also the State Department has denied the signed "Rocket Man" CD was given to the North Koreans.
posted by peeedro at 6:32 AM on July 7 [6 favorites]


AP: North Korea Says Pompeo Talks ‘Regrettable’
North Korea says high-level talks with a U.S. delegation led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were “regrettable” and has accused Washington of trying to unilaterally pressure the country into abandoning its nukes.

The statement by an unnamed North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman on Saturday came hours after Pompeo concluded two days of talks with North Korean officials led by Kim Yong Chol.

The statement says that the United States betrayed the spirit of last month’s summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by making unilateral demands on “CVID,” or the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea.

It says the outcome of the follow-up talks was “very concerning” because it has led to a “dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearization that had been firm.”
Now that the media spectacle of the Singapore summit has faded, US-North Korean relations are headed back to square one. Incidentally, Pompeo did not meet with Kim this time, as he has in his previous trips, but what should he have expected after that decidedly undiplomatic "Rocket Man" CD gift?
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:41 AM on July 7 [9 favorites]


1. I think there's a widespread misunderstanding of ICE under Obama versus ICE under Trump. ICE under Obama was extremely bad and did many though not all of the same things as ICE under Trump. However, the increase in deportations under Obama was an increase mainly in name, and in fact Obama was no worse a deporter than other presidents. In some areas, Obama pulled ICE back - focusing only on "criminal" immigrants (which was also bullshit), ordering that ICE stay away from courts and churches, etc. The thing that Obama did that really paved the way for Trump was to start formally deporting people near the border and keeping records rather than informally deporting them. On the one hand, this saved Trump a couple of steps. On the other, there's no reason to believe that he wouldn't have taken those steps.

It's a tough circle to square - the American deportation machine was, in places, as murderous under Obama as under Trump, and although later in his administration Obama made some small modifications, he basically didn't do much to improve it. Cold rooms, withheld medications, busing people around the country, deporting people to dangerous places where they were killed - these things happened under Obama too. (On and off as my life allowed after about 2008, I went to protests and followed this issue; I mean, it has been something I've cared about for a while.)

At the same time, I think that the narrative that elections "don't matter" and "they're all equally bad" just isn't true, and you don't need to stand up and cheer for Obama's policies to agree. There's a difference between "we won't see acceptable change with the Democrats as they are now" and "the GOP won't make things worse".

2. With Greenwald: On one hand, I think irrational hatred of Russia and Russian things is an American problem. If he's going to go around and, eg, interview Russian leftists, do cultural stuff, do some detailed reporting about important inflection points in modern Russian history, inform people about things that are true (eg, their national healthcare system has been improved by Putin, it's a fact), I don't think that's bad. I would broadly support it, actually, and very similar work was done during the Cold War by various liberal and center left journalists.

If it's going to be woo-hoo, there are no problems here, mumble-mumble-no-homo, then I would not support that.

Lots of people on the left defended the Stalin-era USSR against their better judgment and personal knowledge because they thought the revolution was more important, including Paul Robeson, who was a very fine person and should not be judged by this. It would be wrong and misguided to assume that you need to defend Puin-era Russia because any counterweight to US hegemony is a good counterweight, but it wouldn't be unprecedented.
posted by Frowner at 6:42 AM on July 7 [22 favorites]


Jim Jordan is accused of turning a blind eye to Ohio State sexual abuse. Now he’s attacking the accusers. (Tara Golshan | Vox)
Rep. Jim Jordan, one of the most powerful conservatives in the House, has been accused by at least five men of turning a blind eye to the sexual abuse of possibly more than 1,000 athletes and students, when he was the assistant coach of the wrestling team at Ohio State from 1986 to 1994.

Jordan’s response: deny the allegations and raise questions about his accusers’ intents.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 6:49 AM on July 7 [16 favorites]


A little steel in the spine’: Rod Rosenstein, facing mounting criticism from Congress, is starting to fight back (WaPo)
Rosenstein has been in the hot seat ever since he appointed Robert S. Mueller III to investigate whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election. The president dislikes him and conservative Republicans in Congress have toyed with impeaching him over Russia-related documents they say he won’t hand over. Those who work for Rosenstein know any day could be their boss’s last.

But in more than 14 months on the job, the former Maryland U.S. attorneyseems to be getting used to the constant controversy and criticism that comes from overseeing Mueller. Rather than walking on eggshells, he’s starting to fight back.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 6:52 AM on July 7 [4 favorites]




C’mon, now. I bow to no one in my appreciation for Paul Robeson, but nobody’s beyond reproach. His support of the Moscow party line was then, and remains, a blot upon his honor that just can’t be waved away.
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:57 AM on July 7 [6 favorites]


conservative Republicans in Congress have toyed with impeaching him over Russia-related documents they say he won’t hand over.

Good luck with impeaching Rosenstein and doing Trump’s dirty work for him. I think Rosenstein is fighting back because he knows even though Trump is holding a pair of aces he’s holding a suited 10-Jack and the flop was Q-K-A of that same suit. Trump thinks he has three aces with a potential four aces on the river while Rosenstein is quietly smiling because no matter what happens he wins.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 7:00 AM on July 7 [8 favorites]


Trump’s Trade War Is a Big Problem for Republicans in Politically Pivotal Iowa
(Ed Kilgore | NYMag)
So here's the thing: agriculture is very important to the *identity* of this state, but I'm actually not so sure how important it is to the *economy* of Iowa at this point. I think that Trump's appeal here is rooted in identity. They miss the America they [think they] grew up in. (That meme wasn't just popular on rightwing social media, for what it's worth. I also saw it shared by liberal and leftist Iowans, which sort of made me wonder where, if anywhere, I would fit in this America they grew up in.) They think that Trump is going to Make America Great Again by once again centering the perspective of white, patriarchal, Christian, non-urban people and by reinstating their dominance over America civic and cultural life. I am not sure that the average Trump voter in Iowa is going to abandon him because soybean farmers take a hit from tariffs. I'm not even sure they'll blame him: they might decide that George Soros manipulated the markets or something.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:13 AM on July 7 [5 favorites]


Hey, look over there at the front page of the New York Times… it's a tête-à-tête with Trump's favorite law professor! Alan Dershowitz Is Enjoying This—In an interview with The Times, Mr. Dershowitz talks about McCarthyism (Martha’s Vineyard-style) and why nuance doesn’t exist in politics anymore.

And on Twitter, @RealDonaldTrump (or whoever's typing this morning) is trying to tie their recent bot-purge and followers "the Failing New York Times and propaganda machine for Amazon, the Washington Post" when, as of last year, almost half of his were estimated as fake.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:26 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


So here's the thing: agriculture is very important to the *identity* of this state, but I'm actually not so sure how important it is to the *economy* of Iowa at this point.

It's not about raw percentages though. It's about knock on effects to other parts of the local economy. If the farmer isn't making money they don't invest in new capital resources. They don't invest in luxuries. The people who make and retail those see their fortunes fall, they don't buy as much, and so on. Soybeans cost more in China, prices go down domestically with increased supply, John Deere's dealerships are struggling, lays off a few people.

The economy in aggregate is very resilient to knock on effects because there's usually mixed fortunes in aggregate. Local economies? They'll be screwed without proper attention and rectifying action. A smart person conducting a trade war would look at the potential targets, obtain funding, and flood the area with counter-cyclical spending to mitigate the political and economic damage. For instance, you could pinpoint the areas that will be hardest hit, deliver assistance to counties to improve infrastructure and catch up on deferred maintenance of crucial road networks from farms which would help to offset any employment losses in ancillary industries and keep money flowing in the local economy.

Instead, Dear Leader is relying on his people thinking he's doing the right thing despite their getting the short end of the stick. Which is also a thing I guess. We'll find out if it works in 2020 if he's not driven out of the country on a rail before then I guess.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 7:27 AM on July 7 [7 favorites]


agriculture is very important to the *identity* of this state, but I'm actually not so sure how important it is to the *economy* of Iowa at this point.

The WaPo has some nifty graphics showing how the Chinese tariffs are targeted at both rural and Trump-voting districts and a breakdown of agricultural vs manufacturing tariffs, Iowa is well-targeted by both.

They also have a poll showing that 56% of voters think tariffs will be bad for jobs and 73% think tariffs will be bad for the cost of products. For both questions, tariffs poll worse in battleground congressional districts.

Caveat, this poll was performed by the Post and the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. The Schar School is essentially a Koch funded academic policy shop, the phrasing of the poll question reflects that: "Trump announced plans to impose taxes known as tariffs on some goods that are imported to the United States. China has responded by announcing tariffs on some U.S. goods sold in China. Do you think this situation will be good or bad for the [jobs|cost of products] in the United States?"
posted by peeedro at 7:29 AM on July 7 [3 favorites]


I sometimes troll Trump supporters by pointing out that it is too late to prevent the US from becoming majority minority. Kids under five already are. When those kids grow up and have their own kids, after their grandparents are gone, the US is going to be majority minority.

That's based on the assumption that all those five year olds and under are going to grow up in the United States, and the events of the last month make it pretty damn clear that Trump and his vast swathe of vicious moronic goons are intending to prevent them from doing so.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:39 AM on July 7 [10 favorites]


"So here's the thing: agriculture is very important to the *identity* of this state, but I'm actually not so sure how important it is to the *economy* of Iowa at this point. "

Ag itself is like 3% of the Iowa economy, but manufacturing is 22%, and Iowa's ag & manufacturing have both been surgically targeted, making up 25% of the state's economy ... plus all the knock-on effects.

The other thing is that in rural parts of the state, Ag is often the biggest or even ONLY thing going in the county, and what few other jobs there are depend on agriculture. There'll be a grain elevator that employs people, a tiny branch railroad to the elevator, maybe a grain processor that cooks ethanol or makes pet food (Purina, f'ex, has a lot of facilities in rural parts of the midwest). The teeny towns with miniscule retail (maybe a grocery store or diner, some place that services and maybe sells farm equipment, gas station, pizza place -- although if you're lucky it's a gas station pizza place because Casey's makes good pizza!) are entirely dependent on farmers making money. So Des Moines isn't going to feel the heat from Ag tariffs, no, but a teeny rural county with 3,000 people total is going to be hit HARD and it's going to put a lot of pressure on their Congressmen (almost all men, almost all Republicans) when entire counties are going belly-up and there are no jobs to be had.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:40 AM on July 7 [34 favorites]


They miss the America they [think they] grew up in.

I mean, I miss being 8 years old, too? But time only goes in one direction and becoming an adult and noticing all the shit that went over your head before is sort of inevitable. Everyone seems to think that their generation invented both sex and capitalism.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:44 AM on July 7 [38 favorites]


With Greenwald: On one hand, I think irrational hatred of Russia and Russian things is an American problem. If he's going to go around and, eg, interview Russian leftists, do cultural stuff, do some detailed reporting about important inflection points in modern Russian history, inform people about things that are true (eg, their national healthcare system has been improved by Putin, it's a fact), I don't think that's bad. I would broadly support it, actually, and very similar work was done during the Cold War by various liberal and center left journalists.

His first interview is with RT with such gems as:
"Interestingly, where Russia is concerned, despite all the claims that Trump is a puppet of Russia, in many ways Obama was more cooperative with the Russian government than Trump was. Obama refused to send lethal arms to Ukraine whereas Trump did that. Obama refused to bomb forces of the Assad government – Trump has done that. Trump has expelled more Russian diplomats that Obama did."

And yet when Jeremy Corbyn stood up and said: before we blame the Russian government for this poisoning, we ought to see evidence that they are actually responsible, the British media treated him as though he had said something evil.

There are factions within the intelligence community of the United States, the NSA, the CIA, the FBI that hate Donald Trump and will do anything to destroy him, including leaking classified information against him. I believe that if there were evidence of collusion between Trump and the Russian government, when it comes to the hacking of the DNC or the John Podesta emails, we would have seen in by now. We have not seen it by now.
So no, he's not going on a PR safari to show us the real nicer side of the regular Russian people, he went to repeat Putin's disinformation verbatim.

Grennwald is a Russian asset, I'm not sure how this is still a debate.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:47 AM on July 7 [76 favorites]


So, not only was adopting out the stolen kids the plan all along, it is still the plan??

I think it's time to start pressuring governors to direct state National Guards to seize these facilities, before it's too late.
posted by zjacreman at 7:47 AM on July 7 [39 favorites]


So, not only was adopting out the stolen kids the plan all along, it is still the plan??

WaPo: Trump is set to separate more than 200,000 U.S.-born children from their parents – "[...] children — all U.S. citizens — will be placed in similar jeopardy if the Department of Homeland Security begins programs to deport more than 58,000 Haitians on July 22, 2019, more than 262,000 Salvadorans on Sept. 9, 2019, and 86,000 Hondurans on Jan. 5, 2020. Parents will be faced with the decision of whether to take their children — most of whom speak mainly English and know only life in this country — back to countries deemed by the State Department as not safe for travel, some with the highest homicide rates in the hemisphere. Otherwise, parents will have to leave their children alone in the United States or, if they’re lucky, with relatives, or foster parents who they may or may not know, or some with “adult sponsors” chosen by federal agencies."


It's not only still the plan, but the plan is expanding to 10 times what it is now, despite Trump having been ordered by a federal judge to cease, desist, and reunite all the families within 14 days.

And why should Trump give a shit about some pesky federal district or circuit court? In the Muslim Ban decision, SCOTUS (even with Kennedy still there) gave him carte blanche to do any fucking racist genocidal thing he wants to immigrants -- and brag about his gross bigoted unConstitutional reasons for it at rallies and on Twitter -- and they'll merrily look the other way.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:56 AM on July 7 [22 favorites]


It is obvious by now that the republicans had no intention of reuniting families. We see it in their deliberate record deleting and inhumane planning on nearly every front. Their goal was, AND STILL IS, to remove adults from becoming citizens, keep them from voting, stealing their children, and brainwashing kids to vote republican. If they can’t get the numbers by procreation, they’ll try to get the numbers in other ways, and it is clear nothing is too monstrous for them.
posted by erisfree at 8:08 AM on July 7 [23 favorites]


and brag about his gross bigoted unConstitutional reasons for it at rallies and on Twitter -- and they'll merrily look the other way.

Remember how in McCleskey v. Kemp SCOTUS told us aggregate statistics weren't evidence and we basically needed to have elected officials on tape with their racism for something to be racist...
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 8:11 AM on July 7 [6 favorites]


What, if anything, could discourage a Trump supporter from coming out to vote?
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:24 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


So Des Moines isn't going to feel the heat from Ag tariffs, no, but a teeny rural county with 3,000 people total is going to be hit HARD and it's going to put a lot of pressure on their Congressmen (almost all men, almost all Republicans) when entire counties are going belly-up and there are no jobs to be had.
They're all men, and three out of the four are Republicans. But here's the thing: the majority of people in all four of Iowa's congressional districts live in urban areas. It's only a tiny, tiny majority in Steve King's district, but the other three are majority urban by a substantial margin. (2/3rds of the population is urban in the 1st and 2nd, and 3/4ths in the 3rd, which contains Des Moines.) All of Iowa's population growth is in urban areas. Most of the good jobs are in things like financial services and IT. In terms of identity, this is a rural, agricultural state. Compared to most of the US, it's a rural, agricultural state. But if you look at where people actually are and what they're doing, it's increasingly an urban/ suburban state with a service-based economy. And that's a source of identity crisis for Iowans, including a lot of Iowans who live in urban areas and work in non-agricultural, non-manufacturing jobs.

I'm not denying that the tariffs are going to cause a lot of pain for a lot of people in Iowa. But I think it's possible to overestimate the political effects. And if the Democrats are going to win back Iowa, they need to articulate an alternative political vision, rather than assuming that people are going to abandon the Republicans because they clearly don't give a flying fuck about the wellbeing of most people in this state.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:25 AM on July 7 [4 favorites]


What, if anything, could discourage a Trump supporter from coming out to vote?

While they follow Trump's moves with a cultish abandon, the same is not true for GOP leadership. They're seen as Establishment, Swamp, RINOs. Attacks on them could well hit home & demoralize the GOP Base.
posted by scalefree at 8:37 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Also, it's possible for a district to be heavily urban while still being heavily white, which as we all know is going to be a big predictor of GOP voting. Steve King's district is almost 50/50 rural/urban, but it's 95% white.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:37 AM on July 7 [3 favorites]




Also, it's possible for a district to be heavily urban while still being heavily white, which as we all know is going to be a big predictor of GOP voting. Steve King's district is almost 50/50 rural/urban, but it's 95% white.
Right, but that's kind of my point. It's easy for New York magazine to look at Iowa and say "oh, Trump's trade war is terrible for agriculture. It's going to cost him support in Iowa." But I think that's a basic misunderstanding of Trump's support in Iowa. It's not economic. It's about identity.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:43 AM on July 7 [12 favorites]


Here's what I don't understand about the mass deportation of parents coupled to adopting out the babies: the genesis of the plan is racism. Disgust at brown people. But all the babies left behind will be brown themselves. How does that work? I can't get my brain to the reprise of slavery, but ... where is this going, when presumably the racist trumpsters will turn their noses up at brown babies?
posted by Dashy at 9:03 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


I keep thinking that too, Dashy. I thought the whole point of this was to get the brown out of town, as it were, not adopt it and give it a loving home (quite the opposite).
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:08 AM on July 7


Stolen generation shit is racist too.
posted by Artw at 9:08 AM on July 7 [19 favorites]


The genesis is racism, but for many of the Trumpsters their racism is a slightly more subtle bias against nonwhite "cultures" rather than anyone who happens to have the wrong color skin. These kids who would otherwise turn into gang members etc. can be adopted by "good" families and grow up to be Real Americans. Lots of that going around with evangelicals in particular.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:11 AM on July 7 [22 favorites]


white people are realizing that they'll have less of the pie. And going crazy about it.

I knew that something like Trumpism was probably coming, about 15 years ago or so? Whenever it was that the demographic projections after the 2000 Census came out and predicted a minority-majority population within however many years, anyway. The unfortunate, obvious, and inevitable thing I saw coming from that was a likely resurgence of white nationalism and explicitly white identity politics. At the time I don't think I expected it quite so soon, though. But it's something more people should've expected; the demographic change that's been ongoing in the USA over the past 40 years or so is pretty much unprecedented in the context of a modern country.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 9:18 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


And further to the above, I am not really sure why people expect much different in a country that was explicitly founded on white supremacy and has maintained it, implicitly, ever since in a million ways large and small.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 9:19 AM on July 7 [10 favorites]


Wow, evangelism .... I think I was better off not knowing that. This gets exponentially worse every damn day, doesn't it.
posted by Dashy at 9:19 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


The debate about why or if they're intentionally trapping nonwhite kids here despite hating them is part and parcel of Functionalism/Intentionalism version 2.0 and your opinion on 1.0 should guide you on this one.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:21 AM on July 7 [11 favorites]


These kids who would otherwise turn into gang members etc. can be adopted by "good" families and grow up to be Real Americans.

But if not, the USCIS policy memorandum zachlipton linked to yesterday mentions
An EPS [Egregious Public Safety] case is defined by USCIS and ICE as a case where information indicates the alien is under investigation for, has been arrested for (without disposition), or has been convicted of, any of the following [...] known or suspected street gang members
(emphases mine) I had a grimly humorous conversation with a older permanent resident acquaintance of mine about whether any of the senior citizen community groups he belongs to qualify as street gangs.
posted by XMLicious at 9:33 AM on July 7 [3 favorites]


A relative of mine (we are white) is a guns and gold hoarding unrepentant Trump voter and supporter. He and his wife have two adopted African American kids. He has used this fact as a How Can I Be Racist - Libtards Say All Trump Supporters Are Racist shield frequently.

He is racist as fuck.

He and his wife feel that they are bringing these poor kids up in a superior culture. They are vehemently anti-abortion, and literally feel that (Black) women who want to have an abortion owe babies to infertile (white) couples. They don't say "black" or "white." They say "ghetto" and "stable."
posted by Cookiebastard at 9:50 AM on July 7 [92 favorites]


when presumably the racist trumpsters will turn their noses up at brown babies?

Oh no, they get to play white savior all the time now. And I think in practice this will end in some Dickensian Cinderella-without-the-rescue pseudo-slavery child abuse horror shit. I mean, they’re not going to stop being racist just because they’ve “saved” a brown kid.

Fuck I am so angry. These people are so few and yet they are the source of so much horror and suffering it’s fucking incomprehensible.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:52 AM on July 7 [52 favorites]


From previous thread: Kentucky governor cuts dental, vision benefits to nearly 500K Medicaid recipients

Louisville Courier-Journal: Reports of Denied Dental Care Mount after Bevin's Medicaid Cuts
The Courier Journal on Tuesday night reported that some dentists said they had to turn away children and pregnant women after they were mistakenly showing up in the state's computer system as having no dental coverage — even though they were supposed to be exempt from the cuts.[...]

Dentists across the state have reported confusion and frustration among patients from the cuts, which followed a judge's order last week striking down Bevin's plan to overhaul the Kentucky's Medicaid program.

"I think there's just a lot of uncertainty," said Jennifer Hasch, manager of dental services for the Shawnee Christian Healthcare Center in Louisville. "Patients are really confused. It was so abrupt there's a lot of fear from people about whether it affects their dental coverage."

Many patients didn't realize they'd lost coverage until they showed up for appointments this week, they said.
The silver lining is that once again, GOP performative cruelty leaves open a legal challenge to their draconian cuts since Medicaid rules require sufficient notice of changes.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:03 AM on July 7 [23 favorites]


Maybe roll-backs of child labor laws will be accompanied by atavistic “apprenticeship” systems on the old 18th/19th century pseudo-slavery child abuse model which Cinderella was probably partly inspired by.
posted by XMLicious at 10:06 AM on July 7 [5 favorites]


Jesus, that article linked upthread about the minister facing deportation. If you're dumb enough to believe Trump's definition of "one of the good ones" would ever be the same as your own... you're right where you deserve to be, I guess.
posted by Rykey at 10:38 AM on July 7 [16 favorites]


...the cuts, which followed a judge's order last week striking down Bevin's plan to overhaul the Kentucky's Medicaid program.

So “the cuts” just kinda “followed,” did they? Maybe because of something some nameless, faceless judge did?

“...the denial of dental care, which Bevin unilaterally made after his previous plans to strip Kentuckians of their Medicaid coverage were found illegal in a court of law.”
posted by dirge at 10:38 AM on July 7 [5 favorites]


Prediction by Matt Miller, regarding today's AP story (on a June 2017 letter by Trump lawyers dissing Comey) and yesterday's NYTimes story,
@matthewamiller First new comments to the NYT, now a leak to the AP, tomorrow Rudy showing up on two Sunday shows. What explains this sudden new assault on the Mueller probe by Trump? Seems something is coming.
posted by pjenks at 10:40 AM on July 7 [17 favorites]


Krugman: How to Lose a Trade War

It's hard to take out a good essence of this, because of charts, but I like the snark here:
Is there a strategy here? It’s hard to see one. There’s certainly no hint that the tariffs were designed to pressure China into accepting U.S. demands, since nobody can even figure out what, exactly, Trump wants from China in the first place.
posted by mumimor at 10:49 AM on July 7 [18 favorites]


for many of the Trumpsters their racism is a slightly more subtle bias against nonwhite "cultures" rather than anyone who happens to have the wrong color skin

Yeah, sometimes I think we simplify this stuff too much, and just trying to fit everything under the very large umbrella of ‘racism’ doesn’t let us actually figure out and model what is happening. I think Trumpism is much less about direct racism based on the color of skin, and much more about xenophobia, fear of the stranger, of those who come carrying or possess already other cultures they can’t understand. (Though many are, of course, both xenophobic and racist, it is still important to be clear about where these ideas are coming from). People who are more xenophobic than racist fear that other cultures will supplant their own more than they fear the skin color, which is why they’re happy to adopt kids of other races, because they are rearing them in their own culture.

That’s also why Trumpism in particular seems to love and adore people who are of the race or religion that they spend a lot of time fighting, but who are acculturated into white American traditions and values. Ted Cruz post kissing the rod, Nikki Haley, Allan West. They don’t fear the color or heritage - what they fear (and what they inherently rejected, I think, in Jeb Bush) is changing, is their culture falling away as others merge with it or are lifted up.
posted by corb at 11:03 AM on July 7 [23 favorites]


where is this going, when presumably the racist trumpsters will turn their noses up at brown babies? posted by Dashy at 11:03 AM on July 7 [+] [!]

White saviour complex. These kids are in for a life of degradation and suffering to repent for the sin of being brown. They will spend every day being told how grateful they should be. The rod will not be spared. They will not be allowed to date the Chosen, i.e. white people in their congregations. We will have to rescue them if this comes to pass. Let us stop it before it happens.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 11:09 AM on July 7 [18 favorites]


I'm watching the BBC documentary about the Times' coverage of Trump: The Fourth Estate: The New York Times and Trump: The First 100 Days. (Link to a Guardian review, because how you get it depends on where you are). There are things to say about this, and they were probably all said in a thread five scaramuccis back, I don't remember anything these days. But there is a scene where Trump taunts and humiliates the press at CPAC, and it is so chilling. I'm trying to find words, because of course separating children from their parents is far worse than bullying journalists, but in that scene, the spirit of totalitarianism is made apparent. The way the mob (formerly known as middle class conservatives) turn towards the journos in the pool while Trump calls them enemies of the people is identical with any number of historic fascist rallies we have seen in documentaries.
posted by mumimor at 11:38 AM on July 7 [31 favorites]


@matthewamiller First new comments to the NYT, now a leak to the AP, tomorrow Rudy showing up on two Sunday shows.

From the AP leak to which Miller referred—Trump Lawyers Call Comey ‘Machiavellian’ in Note to Mueller:
Lawyers for President Donald Trump unleashed a blistering attack on former FBI Director James Comey in a confidential memo last year to the special counsel, casting him as “Machiavellian,” dishonest and “unbounded by law and regulation” as they sought to undermine the credibility of a law enforcement leader they see as a critical witness against the president.

The letter, obtained by The Associated Press, provides a window into the formation of a legal strategy currently used by Trump’s lawyers as they seek to pit the president’s word against that of the former FBI director.[...]

The June 27, 2017, letter was written by Marc Kasowitz, then the president’s lead lawyer, as Mueller and his team were in the early stages of their investigation into Trump associates and as they had begun examining whether the president, by firing Comey, had sought to stymie an FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
It's hard to see what direct bearing this memo has on the current phase of the Special Counsel probe. It's entirely possible this is just chaff Team Trump is deploying in order to head off further speculation about Cohen flipping.

Meanwhile, the NYT's Michael Schmidt forwards a message from a Team Trump alumnus, who's apparently jumping on this bandwagon: "Trump’s former personal lawyer, John Dowd, emailed me this morning. Praised legal team for fighting Mueller and had interesting defense of initial strategy to fully cooperate. Dowd told me previously he initially trusted Mueller but came to think he was out to get the president."
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:40 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Is there a strategy here? It’s hard to see one. There’s certainly no hint that the tariffs were designed to pressure China into accepting U.S. demands, since nobody can even figure out what, exactly, Trump wants from China in the first place.

He wants the trade deficit to be either zero or positive towards the US because apparently that's "winning". For this to happen China would basically need to triple how much they buy from us or revalue the RMB dramatically or even both. The first would be laughable. The second would be laughable but also disastrous.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 11:44 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


People who are more xenophobic than racist fear that other cultures will supplant their own more than they fear the skin color, which is why they’re happy to adopt kids of other races, because they are rearing them in their own culture.

Is there really that much of a line between racism and xenophobia, particularly at this point in history when we know scientifically that concepts of race related in any way to heredity have always been complete bullshit? I mean, is European anti-Semitism racism or xenophobia or inter-Abrahamic-faith sectarianism, and who the hell really cares?

There are always loopholes that allow Honorary Aryans and Civilized Tribes and freedmen Negroes who are “a credit to their race” and crap like that but it doesn't appear to have much of a material effect on outcomes.

It seems like an especially perilous endeavor to use such a distinction to absolve anyone of anything and anoint them as non-racist or non-xenophobic. That will just be turned to the service of more mental gymnastics for conceiving of justified kinds of rounding people up by the millions for mass population resettlement or justified kinds of baby prisons.
posted by XMLicious at 12:01 PM on July 7 [16 favorites]


Retweeted Talking Biotech (@talkingbiotech):
Social scientists find evidence that Russia is pushing messages to erode trust in American agriculture. This week's podcast.
posted by acrasis at 12:04 PM on July 7 [12 favorites]


AP: North Korea Says Pompeo Talks ‘Regrettable’

Huh. So ignorant bastards who show up with an insult pre-loaded by an indecisive sociopath and no handle on anything fail at their diplomatic mission for the country?

Weird.
posted by petebest at 12:08 PM on July 7 [15 favorites]


AP: North Korea Says Pompeo Talks ‘Regrettable’

Pompeo met for nearly three hours Friday with a senior North Korean official in Pyongyang to nail down specifics of commitments on denuclearization made at Trump’s summit with Kim.


So, Pompeo went to NK to ask them the exact same question that he called "insulting and ridiculous" when reporters asked him what "denuclearization" actually means.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:29 PM on July 7 [19 favorites]


"Trump said, 'Let's keep all the good people here and all the bad people out,'" Ramirez said.

"That's great, but I'm here," Ramirez said of his detention situation. "If I'm here, anybody can be here. I'm not saying I'm the best person in the world, but I've tried to live a good life."


From Slothrup's link above. So fucking delicious.
posted by great_radio at 12:37 PM on July 7 [6 favorites]






On my bookshelf sits a copy of W. The First 100 Days: A Whitehouse Journal...halcyon days.
posted by bonobothegreat at 12:57 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Kansas GOP congressional candidate: 'Outside of Western civilization, there is only barbarism'

Ugh, maybe this is a good time to share my running list of the worst GOP candidates and office holders of this year and last...

Running list of all the awful Republicans in office or running for office this year...

Steve King

Roy Moore

Eric Greitens

Joe Arpaio

David Stringer

Don Blankenship

Arthur Jones

Dennis Hof (more Hof)

Corey Stewart

Paul Nehlen

Rick Tyler

James Allsup

Jamie Kelso

Craig Cobb

Patrick Little

Russell Walker

John Fitzgerald

And now..
Steve Fitzgerald

A partial summary...


Republican leaders have renounced some of these guys. But there is nevertheless a pattern of furs like this being attracted to the Republican party. Unless someone can put together a similar list for Democrats...
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:27 PM on July 7 [18 favorites]


I can't get over this bit of the Greenwald interview (and if he was misquoted by RT, he's had ample opportunity to say so by now):
RT: Have the last two years of inquiries and reports convinced you that Trump colluded with Russia?

G.G: No, if anything, it’s convinced me that it’s more unlikely than ever. There are factions within the intelligence community of the United States, the NSA, the CIA, the FBI that hate Donald Trump and will do anything to destroy him, including leaking classified information against him. I believe that if there were evidence of collusion between Trump and the Russian government, when it comes to the hacking of the DNC or the John Podesta emails, we would have seen in by now. We have not seen it by now.
The gall for Greenwald to complain about the NSA leaking classified intelligence information. The website he edits published an NSA report that assessed that Russian military intelligence targeted an election systems manufacturer and US local governments before the election. You might remember how they botched it; their source just pleaded guilty and will spend the next five+ years in prison.

Greenwald says he had nothing to do with that story, but it's still the site his name is synonymous with. He is right that it doesn't prove collusion, and he's also right we should be extremely careful with what is and isn't proven, particularly because it's hard to appreciate just how damning all the stuff we have proved is. But what kind of asshole oversees a website that gets someone thrown in prison, then jets off to the country whose wrongdoing they uncovered to mock their source? He's very careful in his answer to render what Russia actually did in the past exonerative tense; the actual crimes are waved over as merely "when it comes to the hacking."
posted by zachlipton at 1:29 PM on July 7 [47 favorites]


There are factions within the intelligence community of the United States, the NSA, the CIA, the FBI that hate Donald Trump and will do anything to destroy him, including leaking classified information against him. I believe that if there were evidence of collusion between Trump and the Russian government, when it comes to the hacking of the DNC or the John Podesta emails, we would have seen in by now.

The other equally valid conclusion is that these factions that hate Trump do not exist.
posted by PenDevil at 1:37 PM on July 7 [9 favorites]


the past exonerative tense

Love this. Will be using it (sadly) often.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 1:39 PM on July 7 [5 favorites]


Long, but worthwhile piece from John Lanchester in the London Review of Books, that looks at how the 2008 financial crisis (and lack of any real percussions for the perpetrators) put us on the path ending in the current state of politics.

After the Fall

Also illustrates that as well as abolishing ICE and trying to get Trump &co a nice trip to the Hague that if it can't be smashed then capitalism needs at the very least to be zip-tied and stuck in a cage. Nobody should be rich enough that they can buy an election/referendum/country.
The frustrating thing is that the policy implications of this idea are pretty clear. In the developed world, we need policies that reduce the inequality at the top. It is sometimes said these are very difficult policies to devise. I’m not sure that’s true. What we’re really talking about is a degree of redistribution similar to that experienced in the decades after the Second World War, combined with policies that prevent the international rich person’s sport of hiding assets from taxation. This was one of the focuses of Thomas Piketty’s Capital, and with good reason. I mentioned earlier that assets and liabilities always balance – that’s the way they are designed, as accounting equalities. But when we come to global wealth, this isn’t true. Studies of the global balance sheet consistently show more liabilities than assets. The only way that would make sense is if the world were in debt to some external agency, such as Venusians or the Emperor Palpatine. Since it isn’t, a simple question arises: where’s all the fucking money? Piketty’s student Gabriel Zucman wrote a powerful book, The Hidden Wealth of Nations (2015), which supplies the answer: it’s hidden by rich people in tax havens. According to calculations that Zucman himself says are conservative, the missing money amounts to $8.7 trillion, a significant fraction of all planetary wealth. It is as if, when it comes to the question of paying their taxes, the rich have seceded from the rest of humanity.
posted by Buntix at 1:40 PM on July 7 [55 favorites]


zeusianfog posted this link in a previous thread, but it deserves more eyeballs so here it is again:

Brianna Rennix and Oren Nimni, Current Affairs. Things You Can Do Beyond Calling Your Congressperson:
. . . 2. Go watch the immigration court [odinsdream commented about this experience upthread] . . . [eg] During one conversation, IJ Cassidy expressed concern with how the observers would use the information and whether their observations would portray him in a negative fashion. He then sought to explain his decisions.” Now just imagine how this guy behaves when no one is watching! . . . 3. Volunteer to accompany people to court, to ICE check-ins, or to visit loved ones in detention. . . .
The article links to MA org that does this; here's New Sanctuary, a NYC org. Here's a WNYC piece about how valuable it is for volunteers to just be there with detainees, quiet, witnessing: "The most challenging thing is for volunteers to simply be quiet," she said, acknowledging that New Yorkers can be pushy and are used to speaking out about perceived injustices. "You’re asking them to take a step back and to be quiet. And they don’t truly believe the power that they have just by being there." There's power in just being there for people who feel utterly alone and forgotten.

Hodgepodge of thoughts:

One critique of some protests at ICE detention centers that I've heard is, some detainees (especially this would apply to some kids) were frightened by the shouting because they didn't understand English, that the crowd was trying to support them. One solution I've heard is to sing Spanish-language kids' songs. De Colores is an easy one, and (a Latino friend tells me) well known in many countries. Here's a Nahuatl lullaby. Also, while driving, I've been practicing calling out loudly, "El pueblo unido sera jamas vencido!" & it feels glorious.

Y'all who are sharing your scripts for others to use, you're not just shouting in to the void. Please enjoy an exchange I had with a +65, White, Christian, introvert guy friend of mine:

Me: "Have you been contacting your Members of Congress?" Him, triumphantly: "...Sure I did! I called about the tax bill!" Me: "Er...have you contacted them more recently? Like about the kids?" Him: "...." Me, making an effort to have a neutral, mildly curious tone: "So...what is it that's keeping you from contacting them more? Cuz I could send you scripts from my friends, so all you have to do is copy and paste." Him: "..." I changed the subject, but sent him an email later reiterating, "What is it that's keeping you from doing this?"

He didn't answer directly, but he asked for scripts. After I sent them, he emailed, "Please keep the scripts coming. I may not use the same wording, but they will jolt me to action."

Also, I've posted before about a +65, White, Christian guy from church who's married to a Japanese-American woman, who said to me "Why are they saying such awful things about our President? He's the most brilliant man in the world!" I had coffee with him (this was before the news came out about the child separations). I suspect his wife may be a forced-birther, but this guy himself strikes me primarily as low-information and credulous.

First we established common ground, bonding about travel, interracial marriages, and what we think of the outgoing pastor. I segued into, "Of course there are good Christians and bad Christians." He agreed heartily. I asked him if he thinks the President behaves like a good Christian. He hesitated. I segued into how there are bad Christians who lie about Obama and other African Americans just because of skin color, "So that thing I said before about checking our sources, and double-checking what I want to believe and changing my beliefs if there's strong evidence that my beliefs are wrong, it's because I don't want to be misled by those kinds of people. Or by my own desire to be right all the time." He agreed that that was good. He handed me one of his information sources, a March 2018 investment newsletter quoting a financial expert saying, "Obama doubled the national debt!" I said my understanding was that Obama had been great for the economy and pretty good for the debt. I later emailed him a Forbes article about Republican vs Democratic administrations' effects on the debt, and added, "I find it odd that your newsletter criticizes Obama for the deficit, without mentioning anything about the more recent GOP 'tax reform.'" I included CBO links. He thanked me and said, "That information is important!"

I'm not trying to re-litigate "Trumpists: Redeemable or Not?" or assert that anybody needs to do what I'm doing. I'm just reporting on a specific case that I had the energy to take on. Knowing he's not one of the rabid ones gives me more energy, and I thought some of y'all might have been curious about what happened.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 1:41 PM on July 7 [61 favorites]


Love this. Will be using it (sadly) often.

I got it from Vijith Assar's extraordinary (though I've twisted the meaning a bit) An Interactive Guide to Ambiguous Grammar. William Schneider seems to get the credit though.
posted by zachlipton at 1:41 PM on July 7 [10 favorites]




> The gall for Greenwald to complain about the NSA leaking classified intelligence information.

No kidding - His ENTIRE CAREER as we know it today was launched by NSA leaks - via Snowden. That set him down the entire path that he's on, and he was actually one of the most prolific publishers of the leaked NSA documents themselves.

So yeah, that's well beyond gall.
posted by MysticMCJ at 2:05 PM on July 7 [6 favorites]


Of possible interest: I'm a Maine voter with a landline. I just got a pretty extensive phone poll asking me A LOT of questions about Sen. Collins Supreme Court vote, including if I would feel "more favorable, less favorable, or about the same" if she voted against a SCOTUS candidate who opposed Roe. I kept waiting for it to be a push poll, but it never was.
posted by anastasiav at 2:11 PM on July 7 [13 favorites]


@dsa_louisville
A group of Louisville residents, including several @DemSocialists members, had a message for Mitch McConnell as he left a local restaurant today. Powerful people like Mitch deserve no peace while they enable the imprisonment of babies in concentration camps. #AbolishICE

[video]
posted by Artw at 2:21 PM on July 7 [37 favorites]


I am hobbled by my location.

I live in the reddest of red areas. Many days, I feel like one of the few remaining true humans in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I can't assume anyone around me shares my views. There are open displays of Trumpism everywhere.

Also, I am self-employed. I can't risk my business by being openly political.

But I can't do nothing.

I've decided to do what I can to reclaim the hallmarks of patriotism. The Republican party has been wrapping itself in the flag and jingoistic patriotism my entire 51 years of life.

I'm taking them back.

Today I screen printed a couple of t-shirts with the statue of liberty, and the "golden door" poem. I will wear them proudly. I will continue and expand. Next up will probably be the text of the Constitution. Or the text of the oath of office.

I cannot open a conversation about immigration, or racism, or egalitarianism, or liberal political philosophy. But I can put those messages front and center.

Yeah, and vote.

And help others to vote.

And continue to strive to be open, a safe harbor.
posted by yesster at 2:32 PM on July 7 [81 favorites]




Sahil Kapur: Interesting 2016 law article by Trump SCOTUS prospect Amy Coney Barrett suggesting true “originalism” requires reversing Brown v. Board of Education, invalidating Social Security as unconstitutional, and declaring West Virginia illegitimate.

Harvard law professor and Solicitor General under Ronald Reagan Charles Fried argues that the Robert Court is "Not Conservative".
The press and the rest of the commentariat have fallen into the habit of referring to the work of Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch as “conservative.” That is wrong. In several of the most controverted areas that the Court has entered and in which its decisions have had a profound effect on law and on our national life—voting rights, gerrymandering, affirmative action, abortion, campaign finance, and most recently mandatory agency fees to public sector unions—the Court has undermined or overturned precedents that embodied longstanding and difficult compromise settlements of sharply opposed interests and principles. These decisions are not the work of a conservative Court.
...
Stability, continuity, and pragmatism are the watchwords of conservatism. The conservative asks why wholesale, radical recasting is in order. Have labor unions grown so strong that they threaten—as they did in Britain in the late seventies—to dominate the economy so that constitutional brakes rather than legislative adjustments are called for? The suggestion is laughable. Have previously disenfranchised groups grown so overweaning and the forces of bigotry so far dispersed that the protections of civil rights laws are no longer needed? The Congress as recently as 2006 did not think so. Has the influence in political campaigns of large amounts of money from a few wealthy individuals and organizations so decreased from 1907 or the 1970s that it is time not only to dismantle but to declare beyond the constitutional pale any meaningful regulation of money in politics? Conservatism surely recognizes the need to respond to changed circumstances. But the radical reversal, in the name of vague and manipulable abstractions, of settlements that work tolerably well is not that.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:57 PM on July 7 [24 favorites]


Organizing around debt, debt collectives and strikes

The episode of Season Of The Bitch about commercial debt, debt as a woman’s issue and economic violence, and how to fight back

The new economy project. Democratize the economy!

1 in 7 Americans are being pursued by a debt collector
posted by The Whelk at 3:04 PM on July 7 [11 favorites]




Please enjoy the Dean of UCLA Gary Segura absolutely roasting the NYT's Maggie Haberman, Nate Cohn, Alex Burns and Adam Nagourney to their faces.

For those of us who are pressed for time - the video you linked to is an hour long, is there a particular timestamp for a particularly good moment?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:18 PM on July 7 [13 favorites]


Douglas Rushkoff, Medium. Survival of the Richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

I was ushered into what I thought was the green room. But instead of being wired with a microphone or taken to a stage, I just sat there at a plain round table as my audience was brought to me: five super-wealthy guys — yes, all men — from the upper echelon of the hedge fund world. After a bit of small talk, I realized they had no interest in the information I had prepared about the future of technology. [...] Slowly but surely, however, they edged into their real topics of concern.

Which region will be less impacted by the coming climate crisis: New Zealand or Alaska? Is Google really building Ray Kurzweil a home for his brain, and will his consciousness live through the transition, or will it die and be reborn as a whole new one? Finally, the CEO of a brokerage house explained that he had nearly completed building his own underground bunker system and asked, “How do I maintain authority over my security force after the event?” [...] The billionaires considered using special combination locks on the food supply that only they knew. Or making guards wear disciplinary collars of some kind in return for their survival.


If and when the current crisis ends there'll be another and plausibly more brutal sci-fi dystopia immediately awaiting. The political reformation currently underway has to be able both to confront Trumpism and to prevent or account for the Neil Stephenson/Peter Watts cyberpunk hell at its heels. The only thing that can accomplish that is a hard and concerted left turn.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:22 PM on July 7 [63 favorites]


Sahil Kapur: Interesting 2016 law article by Trump SCOTUS prospect Amy Coney Barrett

If you read it, you'll notice a line that jumps out at you: "possibly illegitimate Fourteenth Amendment." An article offering up various confederate gripes, such as the states that succeeded from the union no longer having representation in Congress (who the fuck cares whether the 14th "can claim no warrant to democratic legitimacy
through original popular sovereignty" when there was no democratic legitimacy because the entire point is that much of the population was disenfranchised?), is cited for this proposition.
posted by zachlipton at 3:27 PM on July 7 [12 favorites]


Since independent journalist Sarah Kendzior's out sick with strep throat and can't appear on cable news, she's posted a Twitter thread about some points she'd like to make about recent news events, particularly the GOP senators' 4th of July visit to Moscow:
The Kremlin's push to elect Trump had the removal of sanctions as a key goal, and the motivation for the GOP Senators visit was the same -- aiming at extending the mutually beneficial kleptocracy that the Trump team, the Kremlin, and its mobbed-up interlopers have consolidated.

Their visit was in violation of US sanctions policy and their collaboration threatens US sovereignty.

Remember that in addition to interfering in the election, Russia hacked the State Dept, DOD, DNC, RNC, nuclear plants, etc.

Gutless, disloyal GOP Senators give all this a pass.

Kremlin aggression has only grown since Trump has taken office, whether in Ukraine and Syria or in new attacks on the West, as in the UK.

Trump was reluctant to sign sanctions and has no intention of enforcing them, even when Russia attacks allies. These Senators abet that too.

We already see different actors who abetted Trump and the Kremlin become more blatant about their loyalty -- which is NOT to the US or the public good.

This will become more stark after Trump meets with Putin. Sale of US sovereignty may be marketed as a "bold new partnership".
Sure enough, on The Big Picture radio host Oliver Knox previewed his discussion with Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) on returning from his trip: "Johnson said it was time to “evaluate” whether to lift US sanctions imposed on Russia over its annexation of Crimea, saying they have failed to change Moscow’s behavior and cut US businesses out of Russian deals."

Meanwhile, Devin Nunes's latest ploy is referring 42 Obama administration officials, FBI agents and outside political activists to a House joint task force by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and Judiciary Committee for an investigation into how the Obama Justice Department targeted the Donald Trump campaign (Washington Times). It's a shame Trump has pre-toxified the term "witch hunt" since this would be a dictionary definition example.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:27 PM on July 7 [40 favorites]


> Can we please go after Trump and his family for the laws we know he's broken? The illegal tax evasion loophole? Robbing his own charity? Real estate fraud? How can Democrats ask people to fight every step of the way when they can't even hold the president and his circle accountable when they flagrantly break the law? You want to give Trump a wake up call? Make him pay his taxes. Send his kids to jail.

How to Make Trump's Tax Returns Public - "New York's governor and other state authorities can ask right now for a criminal investigation of the president's taxes."
posted by kliuless at 3:33 PM on July 7 [11 favorites]


It's pretty clear that NK won't meaningfully denuclearize (not that we thought they would) so what happens now? Does Trump simply continue to claim he's solved the problem and the world is now safe and all the while NK happily goes about its nuclear business? And do we let Trump get away with that since forcing him to confront the reality that he got completely reamed by NK could result in a nuclear conflict?
posted by Justinian at 3:41 PM on July 7 [7 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: “Please enjoy the Dean of UCLA Gary Segura absolutely roasting the NYT's Maggie Haberman, Nate Cohn, Alex Burns and Adam Nagourney to their faces.

For those of us who are pressed for time - the video you linked to is an hour long, is there a particular timestamp for a particularly good moment?”
The first 6 minutes contain the roasting. The rest appeared to be exactly the kind of mewling you'd expect from the participants.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:43 PM on July 7 [7 favorites]


"Kansas GOP congressional candidate: 'Outside of Western civilization, there is only barbarism'"

He missed a chance to quote Senator Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska who in the early 40s vowed that "with God’s help, we will lift Shanghai up and up, ever up, until it is just like Kansas City"
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:48 PM on July 7 [7 favorites]


For those of us who are pressed for time - the video you linked to is an hour long, is there a particular timestamp for a particularly good moment?

The Dean's opening is the first 4-5mins. The NYT people come up right after and give their now characteristically signature petulant and pissy retorts then they get on with the planned roundtable.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:58 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]


It's pretty clear that NK won't meaningfully denuclearize (not that we thought they would) so what happens now? Does Trump simply continue to claim he's solved the problem and the world is now safe and all the while NK happily goes about its nuclear business? And do we let Trump get away with that since forcing him to confront the reality that he got completely reamed by NK could result in a nuclear conflict?

1. The status quo
2. When he remembers it, sure.
3. I don't care, it's dialed down the tensions on the peninsula. The knife at my extended family's throat is a few inches further away. Donald Trump can have the Nobel, and Pres. Moon can keep on keepin' on with his 사대주의.
posted by anem0ne at 4:03 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


sure, Nobel Peace Prize Winners Henry Kissinger and Donald Trump.

Why not just close up shop? It was a good run.
posted by petebest at 4:07 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


(i know that reference is a deep cut from a little less than two and a half months ago but i'm not actually saying either the dear leader or the great successor should get the nobel)
posted by anem0ne at 4:11 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Jamelle Bouie, Slate: The Power of "Abolish ICE":
The message’s already-swift movement into the mainstream illustrates how the field of possible opinion in American politics is wide open in a way we haven’t seen since the 1960s, or even earlier. Demographic change—from racial and ethnic diversity to new, younger cohorts of voters—is working its way through our elections, and, after a generation of loose consensus around markets and deregulation, a resurgent left is pushing social democracy. “Abolish ICE” may not be a slogan for the present, yet, but there’s no question it’s a symbol of the party’s future.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 4:14 PM on July 7 [23 favorites]


> For those of us who are pressed for time - the video you linked to is an hour long, is there a particular timestamp for a particularly good moment?

There's also the HuffPost article: The New York Times Owes LGBTQ People An Apology For Its Trump Coverage
posted by christopherious at 4:14 PM on July 7 [19 favorites]


@brandyljensen
Dems are largely allergic to “Abolish ICE” as a message because it’s clear and uncompromising but, even more importantly, did not require a cadre of overpaid consultants to develop
posted by Artw at 4:31 PM on July 7 [55 favorites]


Worth noting that yesterday, Micahel Cavna's not-editorial-page cartoon "Warped" re-published a 20-year old cartoon: "If Donald Trump were the editor of People Magazine" in which he declares himself to be ALL of the "50 Most Intriguing People", reinforcing my belief that long before he became The World's Most Powerful Man, his true life goal was becoming The World's Most Famous, and that was 5 years before he got his own TV show. And what we call "Trumpism" far predated its namesake. He only made it OK to be more openly racist/sexist/bigoted/etc. and is most certainly gloating over his name being put on an "-ism", just as he gloated over everything else his name has been put on.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:05 PM on July 7 [5 favorites]


A bit of levity about these dark times: '80s Pop Star Rockwell (Amber Ruffin) Sings "White Women Watching Me" (YT - 2:21, Late Night with Seth Meyers; published on Jun 27, 2018)
posted by filthy light thief at 5:09 PM on July 7 [11 favorites]


So, ever since this trade war malarkey started, China has been working in the background loosening up credit for their businesses and easing reserve ratios for banks.

The result? The USDCNY is up to 6.64 to the dollar. You can see the fall in the yuan's value all through mid June until today.

So not only have we been driving up commodity prices causing pain for US businesses, our intent on shock and awe and going in like a bull in a China shop have seen our exports to China rise in price. Prior to all this bluster, China had been letting the yuan appreciate even reaching a new 12 month high. Now? They're just being prudent to protect themselves in this trade war.

We've basically fucked ourselves by having no plan and not being ready for anything other than China coming to us with an unconditional surrender, desperate to sue for peace.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 5:22 PM on July 7 [12 favorites]


Trump team doesn't care about winning the trade war (or anything) in reality. They just want some show concession to yell about at his rallies. No doubt we'll end up losing quite a bit.
posted by lumnar at 5:26 PM on July 7 [6 favorites]


He missed a chance to quote Senator Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska who in the early 40s vowed that "with God’s help, we will lift Shanghai up and up, ever up, until it is just like Kansas City"

The references to this quote I'm seeing in a cursory search seem to trace back to a 1956 book called The Crucial Decade in which Wherry's 1940 speech is indeed portrayed as obtuse American ignorance of the actual interests of "the Asiatics" who had, as of the book's publication, recently taken up Communism on a national scale and/or been conquered by the Communist faction in a civil war.

The Spectator article's point that Americans and American politicians are regularly and reliably obtuse is entirely sound but I can't help but notice that the speech would have taken place three years after the Battle of Shanghai when the world would have been seeing photos of bombed-out city blocks, suffering like this (← content warning: injured probably-orphaned children), and film footage of streams of refugees from other parts of the city fleeing into the Shanghai International Settlement, which wasn't attacked by Japanese Imperial forces until after Pearl Harbor.

In the interest of trying to avoid the ignorance the Spectator's headline decries, I'm inclined to wonder whether Wherry's statement was an expression of solidarity with Chinese victims of war that was not carefully characterized in the course of alarm during the subsequent decade over the spread of Communism, less so than a claim in that particular instance that people in China wanted Shanghai to be like Kansas City. (Not that Americans weren't totally racist and ignorant and exploitative in general when it came to China and have continued to be since then, of course.)
posted by XMLicious at 5:27 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Dems are largely allergic to “Abolish ICE” as a message because it’s clear and uncompromising but, even more importantly, did not require a cadre of overpaid consultants to develop

Remember in 2017 when Democrats spent millions of dollars on consultants to come up with the most milquetoast and bloodless slogan imaginable: "A Better Deal"? I mean, I know that's the joke... but goddamn does that seem like decades ago.
posted by Justinian at 5:42 PM on July 7 [18 favorites]


I think the Democrats would be well served by turfing out most/all of their consultants and hiring community organizers instead. Remember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez' worn out shoes? That's how you get voters, folks. You pound the pavement, you ring doorbells, you hand out flyers, you talk to people. You don't sit there and pay people big bucks to come up with catchy slogans. Sure, "Yes We Can" was a great slogan for the Obama team, but the fact that he got people to get up off the couch was what won him the Presidency.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 5:53 PM on July 7 [14 favorites]


Plus, Obama's slogan was invented by Dolores Huerta, not a roomful of consultants.
posted by mubba at 6:03 PM on July 7 [11 favorites]


It is really weird to me, as someone who knocked thousands of doors and ran canvasses in 2016 (and 2014 and 2012), to hear that people think that the Democrats haven't been knocking doors.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:07 PM on July 7 [46 favorites]


‘My son is not the same’: New testimony paints bleak picture of family separation

This is deliberate and systematic child abuse.
posted by Artw at 6:29 PM on July 7 [41 favorites]


The Democrats need to do more than "knocking doors" and "canvassing" as the results in 2014 and 2016 have shown; mostly following up with previous non-voters, helping them get bullet-proof voter registrations and escorting them to the polls (the 'busing in people' need to be a real thing, if you make them valid voters). Countering the Republican ratfucking takes a lot of work that goes beyond what has been done before.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:31 PM on July 7 [11 favorites]


The Senate I led put country over party. This one must do the same for Robert Mueller. By Bill Frist
Bill Frist is a heart and lung transplant surgeon, former U.S. Senate majority leader and senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center.
When I retired from the U.S. Senate in 2007 as its majority leader, my parting words were a prayer for my colleagues to rise above the passions of the moment and protect the institution as a bulwark for our country’s enduring values. The Senate I served in was not devoid of partisanship, nor should it be, but my hope was that patriotism would always take priority over party.

It is with some trepidation that I offer thoughts on how the good people still serving in the Senate should address a current crisis, but staying silent is no longer an option. Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is under assault, and that is wrong. No matter who is in the White House, we Republicans must stand up for the sanctity of our democracy and the rule of law.
His message is...mixed. He spends too much space defending conservatism & Trump himself & he gets wishy-washy at several other points along the way. In the end I don't know how much his support of Mueller will matter. But I'll take it.
posted by scalefree at 6:36 PM on July 7 [9 favorites]


Sure, I'll take it, but I will never forger that Bill Frist gave an incorrect medical diagnosis of Terri Schiavo on the Senate floor after watching some videos, so he long since missed his off-ramp to rise above the passions of the moment.
posted by zachlipton at 6:43 PM on July 7 [36 favorites]


I'm going to venture a guess here: the 9000 or so children currently in the HHS orphanage system (it's what they are, and when the number of kids needing foster care so severely overwhelms the foster care system, it's what you have to have), the ones who actually did arrive at the border unaccompanied, they will be the target of the next ghoulish idea from Jefferson Sessions. And they're sitting ducks.

Which means we need to establish pre-emptively that they fall under the child welfare laws and regulations of the state where they put their heads down at night, even if it means overrulling McCullogh Vs. Maryland.
posted by ocschwar at 6:55 PM on July 7 [10 favorites]


Remember in 2017 when Democrats spent millions of dollars on consultants to come up with the most milquetoast and bloodless slogan imaginable: "A Better Deal"? I mean, I know that's the joke... but goddamn does that seem like decades ago.

Prince died 27 months ago. You can still see where the timeline went into the skid.
posted by petebest at 6:56 PM on July 7 [9 favorites]


@JoshMBlackman: "ABC will air The Bachelorette in its regular 8 PM EST time slot but will break in for Trump’s announcement and return to the show afterward."

We're really not being very subtle about how we turned politics into a reality show instead of the process by which we make important decisions that impact everyone's lives, have we?
posted by zachlipton at 7:15 PM on July 7 [37 favorites]


we turned politics into a reality show

I'm on record for saying this pre-2010, but 'Reality TV' is the most insidious and terrifying population control phenomenon since forever. I think I remember using "disease" and 'fucking disease' in my diatribes.

No one understood what I was getting at - many were still under the assumption that they were completely unscripted and just edited post to tell a story. I didn't get it then (was in grad school, most of my Canadian cohort were into reality tv of some variety as were my American ones), but I get it now - they don't care, belief is easy, contradictions to belief is annoying.

'Reality TV" really degraded the populace's discernment discrimination performance through normalization.

Now that Gerrymandering is being up-played, and 'physical' voter suppression methods being contested, the more insidious culture-war-via-media might be a battleground worth opening up. 'Rosanne' being cancelled might have been the first shot fired, but I thought that 'The Mick' on FOX had surprisingly progressive grace notes. Though still with a few pretty regressive ones.

<sarcasm> The most aggravating thing is that Trump is using annoying techniques that used to work for captive audiences like cliffhangers - I hate cliffhangers.
posted by porpoise at 7:37 PM on July 7 [41 favorites]


Just be thankful they're not having a rose ceremony.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:38 PM on July 7 [5 favorites]


There's also the HuffPost article: The New York Times Owes LGBTQ People An Apology For Its Trump Coverage

doing a quick google search suggests to me that both maggie haberman and alex burns are in what appear to be rather hetero marriages. now it could be that either one or both could be bi, but i kinda feel like this just underfuckingscores again just how damaging it can be to groups to have stories affecting them being written and told by those not in the community.

*cough* *cough* fuck you jesse singal
posted by anem0ne at 9:35 PM on July 7 [22 favorites]


Madeleine Albright: ‘The things that are happening are genuinely, seriously bad’
Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer
She agrees that we ought to be careful not to casually throw around the F-word lest we drain the potency from what should be a powerful term. “I’m not calling Trump a fascist,” she says. Yet she seems to be doing all but that when she puts him in the same company as historical fascists in a book that seeks to sound “an alarm bell” about a fascist revival.

She frequently nudges the reader to make connections between the president of the United States and past dictatorships. She reminds us who first coined the Trumpian phrase “drain the swamp”. It was drenare la palude in the original, Mussolini Italian. She quotes Hitler talking about the secret of his success: “I will tell you what has carried me to the position I have reached. Our political problems appeared complicated. The German people could make nothing of them… I…reduced them to the simplest terms. The masses realised this and followed me.” Sound familiar?
(Mods, I posted this in the Brexit thread first by accident (though it fits there as well))
posted by mumimor at 2:51 AM on July 8 [45 favorites]


cybercoitus interruptus, thank you for your comment above. I appreciate that you were not attempting to re-litigate anything. I appreciate that you were sharing more of the story. I especially appreciate the advice on what we can do beyond calling our MoC and what you, personally, are doing to resist this cruel and inhumane administration–and how great that makes you feel. After reading your comment, tears are rolling down my cheeks. I am so touched by your efforts; they make me feel so hopeful and connected, somehow, despite the isolation I normally feel as an American transplant to Europe.

Al-Anon, a fellowship for the friends and family members of alcoholics, emphasises the importance of sharing experience, strength, and hope. In my experience, there hasn't been a lot of strength or hope around to offer lately. The current bleak reality makes sharing positive experiences all the more valuable. Thanks to all of you, fellow MeFites, who share resistance tips as well as victories of any size. Thank you for being here. I love you all.
posted by Bella Donna at 3:07 AM on July 8 [12 favorites]




Not at all suspicious: Arron Banks met Russian ambassador 11 times
Brexit’s biggest funder, Arron Banks, met the Russian ambassador at least 11 times in the run-up to the EU referendum and in the two months beyond, documents seen by the Observer suggest – seven more times than he has admitted. The same documents suggest the Russian embassy extended a further four invitations but it is not known if they were accepted.

It is the third time the number of such meetings has been revised upwards. For two years, Banks insisted his only contacts with the Russian government consisted of one “boozy lunch” with the ambassador.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:44 AM on July 8 [29 favorites]




Holocaust Denier in California Congressional Race Leaves State G.O.P. Scrambling


If it makes you feel any better - this is my disctrict, and our incumbent, Democratic rep is too well-liked to lose, and we are a very blue district. Our election results.

Our local Indivisible group is not happy that this guy (John Fitzgerald) is running (not because he has a chance to win, but because anti-Semitism) and is calling on people to boycott Fitzgerald's business.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 4:44 AM on July 8 [19 favorites]


Johnson, one of the July 4th in Moscow traitors just (last night on satellite radio) came out against the Russian sanctions. He says they haven’t changed Russia’s behavior on Crimea.

So apparently Republican policy is that it’s now ok for Putin to annex whatever he feels should be Russian so... uh... watch out Finland?
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 5:28 AM on July 8 [34 favorites]


More like watch out Iran. If the strategy here is to say that sanctions don’t work, if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em, and the policy is to agree with and normalize the type of leadership that doesn’t respect sovereignty and responds with force to anyone who disagrees, then is this a trial balloon for just blowing the shit out of people and taking their territory? That’s a pretty terrifying position to take for the country with the world’s largest weapons stash and the crazy president.
posted by Autumnheart at 5:57 AM on July 8 [2 favorites]


Johnson, one of the July 4th in Moscow traitors just (last night on satellite radio) came out against the Russian sanctions. He says they haven’t changed Russia’s behavior on Crimea.

Say the people who freaked out when Obama tried to relax relations with Cuba after 55 years of sanctions not changing behavior.
posted by chris24 at 7:09 AM on July 8 [52 favorites]


Yesterday in Fascist Shunning:

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Woman calls Steve Bannon a "piece of trash" in local bookstore, police called

Louisville Courier-Journal: A group of protesters confronted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Bardstown Road in Louisville Saturday, calling out "Abolish ICE," before adding they know where he lives.

A side thought: Remember, before you confront fascist figures in public, there are poor schlubs out there who LOOK like well-known fascists but are not actually them. Before assaulting them in public, be sure to ask them to display a photo ID first. If it is actually Steve Bannon or Stephen Miller or such, asking them "Papers, please" will surely make them emit a boyish chuckle in fond recognition.
posted by delfin at 7:17 AM on July 8 [35 favorites]




So apparently Republican policy is that it’s now ok for Putin to annex whatever he feels should be Russian so... uh... watch out Finland?

I'm Canadian and very worried about which piece of the global pie the Republicans have been offered in exchange.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:32 AM on July 8 [6 favorites]


U.S. Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution Stuns World Health Officials
The Americans were blunt: If Ecuador refused to drop the resolution, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid. The Ecuadorean government quickly acquiesced.
...
Health advocates scrambled to find another sponsor for the resolution, but at least a dozen countries, most of them poor nations in Africa and Latin America, backed off, citing fears of retaliation
...
In the end, the Americans’ efforts were mostly unsuccessful. It was the Russians who ultimately stepped in to introduce the measure — and the Americans did not threaten them.
We are a puppet state.
posted by jedicus at 7:35 AM on July 8 [83 favorites]


It was a six-day daily newspaper when I worked there in the ‘90s, and now because of tariffs imposed on newsprint manufactured in Canada, the Star-Democrat newspaper in Easton, Md., will be a five-day daily.
posted by emelenjr at 7:45 AM on July 8 [5 favorites]


I think, at this point, what worries me most is that Putin doesn’t seem to be worried about what happens with the next American President. Like he’s hacked one political party completely and can make it dance for his own amusement, but he’s going so far with it, so blatantly, provoking anger and rage in so many people, that it’s almost like he’s not at all worried that his puppet party will ever lose power.

And that worries me.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:46 AM on July 8 [32 favorites]


We are a puppet state.

Or, raw power FIRST FIRST gone mad. Reading between the lines of that article shows the delegates having embraced trumpian policy of bully/terror tactics to get their own way in any kind of multilateral institution. Domination politics. Has anyone yet linked all of this to the Trumpian National Security Policy document, the way the recently resigned US Ambassador to Estonia did in his resignation message? He left before Helsinki Summit (HEL is just 2 hours by fast ferry from Tallinn)
posted by infini at 7:56 AM on July 8 [4 favorites]


what worries me most is that Putin doesn’t seem to be worried about what happens with the next American President.

Pruitt didn’t have a care in the world right up until reality caught up with him. As with any man in a position of power, don’t assume their confidence is earned.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 7:57 AM on July 8 [14 favorites]


I'm reading Elena Ferrante's Frantumaglia, and in a 2002 letter to her publisher she excoriates Silvio Berlusconi as a figure who has "completed the transformation of citizens into an audience, and is for now the most unprincipled exponent of the reduction of democracy to imaginary participation in an imaginary game. He succeeds thanks to his tendentious monopoly of the medium that best realises and imposes that suspension of disbelief.” Keep insisting that the stakes are real, keep asking about mechanics, keep insisting on the rule of law. It matters.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:58 AM on July 8 [44 favorites]


U.S. Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution Stuns World Health Officials

In the end, the Americans’ efforts were mostly unsuccessful. It was the Russians who ultimately stepped in to introduce the measure — and the Americans did not threaten them.


From the NYT article about this US-Russian Kabuki dance:
A Russian delegate said the decision to introduce the breast-feeding resolution was a matter of principle.

“We’re not trying to be a hero here, but we feel that it is wrong when a big country tries to push around some very small countries, especially on an issue that is really important for the rest of the world,” said the delegate, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

He said the United States did not directly pressure Moscow to back away from the measure. Nevertheless, the American delegation sought to wear down the other participants through procedural maneuvers in a series of meetings that stretched on for two days, an unexpectedly long period.
This is what the Russians call vranyo: "Vranyo is described as when a person knows he is lying and expects the other person to understand that. One of my colleagues said, 'He was lying to us, we knew he was lying, he knew we knew he was lying, but he kept lying anyway, and we pretended to believe him.'" (Moscow Times)
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:12 AM on July 8 [34 favorites]


it’s almost like he’s not at all worried that his puppet party will ever lose power

That would be because he knows full well that his puppets are not Republicans per se (though there undoubtedly are many such within their ranks) but gullible low-information Americans in general, of whom there are at least a hundred million.

As long as Putin and his army of trolls and bots can keep muddying the political waters to the extent that a significant fraction of the populace can't keep track of what's real and what's not, he can keep the US off-balance enough to lurch in directions he chooses, often enough to be useful to him. All he needs in order to thrive is a state of persistent political chaos. Doesn't matter whose chaos.

And sure, it helps his project to have one of those gullible low-information Americans in the Oval Office, but it would still work without him. The fact that the toddler got elected in the first place is a demonstration of that.
posted by flabdablet at 8:16 AM on July 8 [6 favorites]


Pruitt didn’t have a care in the world right up until reality caught up with him. As with any man in a position of power, don’t assume their confidence is earned.

Pruitt still has all the money he harvested from his job and will no doubt go on to find new and interesting ways of enriching himself through corruption whilst his replacement continues to destroy the environment, so it’s maybe not quite the inspiration we need.

Me, I like to think of the fall of the Ceaușescus.
posted by Artw at 8:21 AM on July 8 [7 favorites]


Politico: ‘A Cesspool of Deviancy’: New Claims of Voyeurism Test Jordan Denials "A half-dozen ex-wrestlers told POLITICO they were regularly harassed in their training facility by sexually aggressive men who attended the university or worked there."

Washington Post: Rep. Jim Jordan Faces New Accusation That He Must Have Known About Alleged Sexual Abuse At Ohio State

We're now up to seven former wrestlers accusing Jordan of looking away/covering up the sexual abuse.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:25 AM on July 8 [19 favorites]


Surely the real puppet masters are the corporations, no? Reading that article on breastfeeding, it was telling to read that sales of baby food (naturally, a market dominated by a few US and European companies) are flat-lining in richer countries, with only 'developing' (I hate that word) countries providing a 4% growth forecast
posted by Myeral at 8:26 AM on July 8 [6 favorites]


They could've changed the vote totals this time, how would we know?

Because we have exit polls, and now the idea that our elections have been and can be compromised has entered the mainstream, it’s gonna be harder to rig them, not easier.

I am worried about voter suppression though.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:30 AM on July 8 [3 favorites]


[One deleted. Gentle nudge not to fill time here by going down the road of general fears etc that we've been over many times; if there are no updates right at this moment, maybe check out something else on the site or elsewhere.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:33 AM on July 8 [6 favorites]




Clash looms over ICE funding

The administration is pressing Congress for $8.3 billion in discretionary funding for ICE in fiscal 2019 - a $967 million increase over this year's budget.

Terrorizing families and torturing infants is aparently expensive, and we’re paying for it.
posted by Artw at 8:52 AM on July 8 [10 favorites]


Giuliani's tour of the Sunday morning shows is going predictably well. Here are some summaries/excerpts from Twitter:

NBC Politics: Giuliani says President Trump's legal team wants "factual basis" for Mueller interview
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/giuliani-says-trump-legal-team-wants-factual-basis-mueller-interview-n889666


NBC's Meet the Press host Chuck Todd: "Rudy Giuliani tells me that if Michael Cohen "wants to cooperate, I think it's great." Giuliani says it's a good development because "it will lead to nothing." #MTP"

ABC's This Week: "Rudy Giuliani to @GStephanopoulos: "The reality is that there are biases that have to be explored surrounding Mueller...this is the most corrupt investigation I have ever seen" http://abcn.ws/2J8OGwg #ThisWeek"

ABC News: "NEW: Pres. Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani on Michael Cohen: "As long as he tells the truth, we're home free...Michael's not going to lie. He's going to tell the truth. As long as he does that, we have nothing to fear" https://abcn.ws/2tZ8JZd #ThisWeek"

Bonus Alan Dershowitz:
ABC's Evan McMurray"Alan Dershowitz to @GStephanopoulos: "You cannot question a president's motives when the president acts. If a president pardons, that's it. If a president fires, that's it. You can't go beyond an act and get into his motive or into his intent." #ThisWeek"

And @RealDonaldTrump primed the pump for Giuliani's media tour on Twitter last night with this rant:
Public opinion has turned strongly against the Rigged Witch Hunt and the “Special” Counsel because the public understands that there was no Collusion with Russia (so ridiculous), that the two FBI lovers were a fraud against our Nation & that the only Collusion was with the Dems!

The Rigged Witch Hunt, originally headed by FBI lover boy Peter S (for one year) & now, 13 Angry Democrats, should look into the missing DNC Server, Crooked Hillary’s illegally deleted Emails, the Pakistani Fraudster, Uranium One, Podesta & so much more. It’s a Democrat Con Job!
The problem with Team Trump's maligning the Special Counsel is that it's working.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:54 AM on July 8 [20 favorites]


We're going to be paying for it for decades.

The completely justifiable lawsuits will never end. Reparations will be in the billions.
posted by yesster at 8:56 AM on July 8 [10 favorites]


The problem with Team Trump's maligning the Special Counsel is that it's working.

@Anthony (The Daily Show):
Two months prior to Nixon's resignation, 54% of the public felt the media was giving Watergate too much coverage.
posted by chris24 at 9:13 AM on July 8 [64 favorites]


This is what the Russians call vranyo: "Vranyo is described as when a person knows he is lying and expects the other person to understand that. One of my colleagues said, 'He was lying to us, we knew he was lying, he knew we knew he was lying, but he kept lying anyway, and we pretended to believe him.'"

This must be why the Russians dig Trump so much; they can describe him in one word. Since they're able to define him so simply they know exactly how to deal with him.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:33 AM on July 8 [23 favorites]


Was just thinking today: what happened to the effort to try to stop the placement of a SCOTUS judge until after the November election, following the same principle that McConnell used to block Garland? Did the Dems in Washington give up on that already?
posted by StrawberryPie at 9:45 AM on July 8 [3 favorites]


McConnell had a majority in the Senate. Democrats don’t have enough votes to block the nomination.
posted by EarBucket at 9:53 AM on July 8 [7 favorites]


How do The Best People do statecraft? So glad you asked:

Punking Pompeo ("Inside Pompeo's Fraught North Korea Trip", Nick Wadhams, Bloomberg)

As U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo touched down in Pyongyang at 10:54 a.m. on Friday he had few details of his schedule in the North Korean capital -- even which hotel he and his staff would stay in.

Not much was clear aside from lunch with counterpart Kim Yong Chol to start filling in the “nitty-gritty details’’ from the Singapore declaration signed between the leaders of the U.S. and North Korea, according to his spokeswoman Heather Nauert. A handshake with Kim Jong Un, at least, seemed certain.

In the end, Pompeo stayed at neither of the hotels where he thought he’d be. The North Koreans took him, his staff and the six journalists traveling with the delegation to a gated guesthouse on the outskirts of the capital, just behind the mausoleum where the bodies of regime founder Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il lie embalmed and on occasional display.

It was the start of a confused visit of less than 30 hours, marked by a pair of lavish banquets that the secretary and his staff appeared to dread for their length and the daunting number of courses presented by unfailingly polite waiters. He only learned of his own schedule hours ahead of time, and the meeting with Kim Jong Un never happened -- despite strenuous efforts from his staff.


Of course, all Americans, South Koreans, and to some extent the world loses in this opulent display of arrogant incompetence. But I'd be lying if I said there wasn't some freude in my schaden-O's from that article.
posted by petebest at 9:58 AM on July 8 [34 favorites]


Rudy Giuliani says he has “debriefed” all of Mueller’s witnesses

On the one hand if this is accurate it's worrying, but on the other, Rudy is so full of shit, his uncle works on experimental prototypes at Nintendo
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:10 AM on July 8 [25 favorites]


McConnell had a majority in the Senate

I am really wondering about John McCain here though. Can he actually make it to the Senate? In the extremely, extremely, unlikely event that Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski actually has a backbone to stand up for all women everywhere, that would be 49-50 in favor of Dems, and there's no tie to even break. All we need is one if McCain really can't travel back to DC. This isn't going to go down until September, and it's not like his brain cancer is going to get better in 2.5 months.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:12 AM on July 8 [8 favorites]


I dunno, it feels like the longer the North Koreans can string the American regime along the better it is for South Korea? You don't have the Dear Leader threatening to turn Pyongyang into a sea of ashes, and you don't have the Great Successor threatening to turn Seoul or K-Town, LA into ones either.
posted by anem0ne at 10:12 AM on July 8 [4 favorites]


It's almost like when you give busywork to an incompetent colleague so they just keep doing nothing of consequence so they don't make things any worse than they are?
posted by anem0ne at 10:14 AM on July 8 [8 favorites]


"Inside Pompeo's Fraught North Korea Trip", Nick Wadhams, Bloomberg)

I mean, Kim got to meet with the President of the US, something his father and grandfather did not get to do, and had to give up absolutely nothing except maybe some prisoners he was only keeping around just to have a card to play in a scenario like this. So you gave him everything he wanted, legitimized his regime and placed it on equal footing with the rest of the world, and you expect actual negotiations about denuclearization to happen? Absolute amateurs.
posted by dis_integration at 10:18 AM on July 8 [30 favorites]


> Giuliani's tour of the Sunday morning shows is going predictably well.

Yet another complaint about the fourth estate: Trump conspirators using the press to pass messages back and forth.
posted by klarck at 10:30 AM on July 8 [11 favorites]


Public opinion has turned strongly against the Rigged Witch Hunt and the “Special” Counsel because the public understands that there was no Collusion with Russia (so ridiculous), that the two FBI lovers were a fraud against our Nation & that the only Collusion was with the Dems!

NYT national security editor Amy Ficus examines the effects of Team Trump's campaign against the Special Counsel (n.b. Trump's personal attacks on Mueller started in March), per the Washington Post's new poll*.
That new WaPo poll showed a 14-pt increase in the percentage of people who disapprove of Mueller’s handling of the investigation, and a corresponding decrease in those who had no opinion. The attacks by Trump, Rudy and House R’s are having an effect.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/polling/department-justice-mueller-russian/2018/07/06/09a17592-8123-11e8-b3b5-b61896f90919_page.html

[...] I find it interesting that Trump et al have filled the vacuum of the unopinionated.
* "Do you approve or disapprove of the way U.S. Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller is handling the investigation into possible ties between Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government?"—Approve 49%, Disapprove 45%, and No Opinion 5%. Compare to similar polling questions: 11/1/17—Approve 58%, Disapprove 28%, and No Opinion 14%; and 1/18/18 Approve 50%, Disapprove 31%, and No Opinion 19%.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:48 AM on July 8 [4 favorites]


I'm having such a hard time wrapping my head around this whole breastfeeding thing. WTF.

How can they consciously threaten other countries who promote breastfeeding?! I get that they are soulless dirtbags who believe that breasts only serve sexual purposes, but I guess hearing all this in reality is hard. This also seems like they are trying to support ripping children from their mothers at the border because breastfeeding isn't a necessity per today's argument. I know they are pro-birth (not pro-life) but this doesn't make any sense.

So. Let me see if I have this correct: these Republicans now believe that if we get raped, it's our fault (because we shouldn't have been wearing a skirt out late at night - DUH) and we have to have our rapists' child because abortion is murder, AND we cannot feed the child in the most natural way possible.

We really are inching closer and closer to a Handmaid's tale.
posted by floweredfish at 11:12 AM on July 8 [43 favorites]


What if part of the increase in the Mueller disapproval rate is aimed at the pace of the investigation? Specifically, are more people dissatisfied that it's not moving fast enough and not handing out indictments like cheap Halloween candy already? I know by many metrics we're still within the Watergate timeline (just over two years between the break-in and the resignation) but the well-documented brazen stupidity of the currently-targeted gang of ratfuckers would suggest a few more heads should be on pikes by now.
posted by hangashore at 11:20 AM on July 8 [4 favorites]


In the extremely, extremely, unlikely event that Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski actually has a backbone to stand up for all women everywhere, that would be 49-50 in favor of Dems

If Trump nominated Barrett I think there's a reasonable chance they'd flip and her nomination would go down 48-51. But I think it's highly unlikely Trump does that. I think he'll nominated Hardiman or Kethledge and both Collins and Murkowski will vote to confirm. That gives the Republicans 50 votes no matter what, and in such a case I think 2-3 Dems also vote Yes and the nomination succeeds 53-46.
posted by Justinian at 11:21 AM on July 8 [2 favorites]


I get that they are soulless dirtbags who believe that breasts only serve sexual purposes, but I guess hearing all this in reality is hard.

I think it's less the sexy, sexy breastfeeding and more the desire to protect the profits of companies that make formula.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:31 AM on July 8 [65 favorites]


Re. the WHO breastfeeding topic, I suspect that the key point is this sentence: "...who described it as a marked contrast to the Obama administration, which largely supported W.H.O.’s longstanding policy of encouraging breast-feeding."

Obama supported it, therefore the Trump administration is against it. Bonus, of course, for the fact that some lobbyist cash can flow their way.

Also, I think this is part and parcel of the effort to transform citizens into consumers, and to replace democratic values and rights with consumer choice and purchasing power. E.g. if it cannot be sufficiently monetized, then 'it' cannot possibly be a right.
posted by skye.dancer at 11:45 AM on July 8 [35 favorites]


Regarding the WHO breastfeeding resolution, it really does look like a little game that Russia decided to make the US play, given that the Russians swooped in at the last minute and sponsored the resolution with no opposition from the US, and the Russian delegate quote: "We’re not trying to be a hero here, but we feel that it is wrong when a big country tries to push around some very small countries, especially on an issue that is really important for the rest of the world"
posted by maggiemaggie at 12:03 PM on July 8 [12 favorites]


Nothing at all indicates that it was a Russian game. The US is very capable of being evil all on its (our) own. And the US (and our formula companies) have been evil for many, many years. That is why a lot of people have been boycotting Nestle for years.

Let's not use Russia as a convenient way to avoid responsibility.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 12:14 PM on July 8 [13 favorites]


California has completed it's count from the primary a few years weeks ago. 7.14million votes cast, up 60% from 2014 when 4.46million votes were cast.
posted by Justinian at 12:18 PM on July 8 [42 favorites]


The thing that makes me see it as a a game is the fact that the US fiercely opposed all the other countries except Russia, then Russia offers that smug quote. I'm sure the US is capable of being evil on its own, but they also seem to playing a few sadistic games lately.
posted by maggiemaggie at 12:19 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


The Purge Producers Think It’s "Natural" that Trump’s 2020 Campaign Slogan is From Their Movie
Last year, the internet had some fun with the fact that President Trump’s proposed 2020 campaign slogan, "Keep America Great," had already been used by The Purge horror franchise. According to HuffPost, this hasn’t dissuaded the Commander-in-Chief from sticking with the slogan, and the films' producers aren’t at all surprised.

To be clear, The Purge producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller don’t think that Trump has seen their movies. Still, Fuller told HuffPost, "It felt kind of natural after we made the movie and then he used that."
posted by kirkaracha at 12:41 PM on July 8 [7 favorites]


Given the themes of the series that seems horrible appropriate. The bad guys of the series are basically pro-mass shooting repubs and NRA types, benefiting off of violence they set off and enjoying it from afar without expectation of getting personally touched by it.

No I wouldn't have said a few years ago that the dumb "all crime is legal" movie would have turned out to be hugely socially prescient either.
posted by Artw at 12:58 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


And, like the Trump era, the Purge movies make absolutely no sense. So yeah, prescient.
posted by Justinian at 1:01 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


it is not just the anti-obama fact of the WHO breastfeeding issue, food companies like those who produce formula are giant multinationals or in cahoots with other food companies to maximise their profit.


many multinational companies own diet lines & dieting companies alongside their incredibly unhealthy processed food and soda offers...it is significant that the USA also objected to soda taxes ....or changed the wording on them.


they basically have made human predisposition towards packing on fat for the lean months...an evolutionary advantage for 10s of thousands of years ....in an obesogenic environment they created...into a cash cow. Worse they have convinced humans who don't have a genetic predisposition towards the kinds of genes that pack on fat in times of plenty that their co-inhabitants of the earth must have had a massive loss of willpower at a certain stage, just like every developing nation suddenly lost their willpower, a population level loss of willpower....yeah that's likely.

the latest loss of willpower is the wild dingo populations of New South Wales. Fact, they're becoming fat by eating out of food bins especially around fast food joints. Funny that.


so when the huge multibillion dollar food industries have learned the lesson of big Pharma, why are we surprised? They treat patients in pain, or people with obesity, as cash crops, they get us going and coming really because when we try to get well...guess who also owns the addiction clinics and dieting chains?

why no-one can see that the present kleptocrat- in -chief in the white house was placed there by the combined special interests of Russian and US billionaires who need these sanctions dropped and need these 'pesky regulations" dropped...oh, and while you're at it, please try to dumb-down, or do I mean DeVossify the population so we can continue to pull the wool over their eyes with Fox News and Alt-Facts....

The breast-feeding and lets not support soda restrictions...that's completely part of the playbook that got us Pruitt, Mnunchin, Ross, Trump, Bannon, Miller et al
posted by Wilder at 1:02 PM on July 8 [24 favorites]


apologies, as I try to find my slides from IFSO2018 where I saw the slide I recall it is the Wild dog populations of NSW, dingos are by their nature, wild.
posted by Wilder at 1:13 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]



the slide showed the obesity curves for the USA, UK, Germany & Indian rates of obesity next to a curve that was titled WDP


we racked our brains for minor countries until the researcher told us it stood for the wild dog population in NSW


yes we are animals and considering we know there are 118 factors influencing obesity of which willpower is just 1 (Foresight report 2010) we STILL buy into a framed message that if only we bought more diet drugs, diet products, joined a gym, joined weightwatchers, etc., ignoring all of the Evidence from the Swedish Obesity Study and the global Health Weight Registry that willpower alone allows only 5% of people to lose weight and maintain that loss
posted by Wilder at 1:23 PM on July 8 [9 favorites]


[Let's call it good on the processed food stuff; kind of getting off into the weeds.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:31 PM on July 8 [9 favorites]


Say the people who freaked out when Obama tried to relax relations with Cuba after 55 years of sanctions not changing behavior.

You can't view Republican attitudes about Cuba policy as anything beyond leftover reflexive anti-communism and blatant, desperate pandering to the aging Cuban refugee population of Florida. Trying to make any other frame work is madness. Before their current run at being anti-family while claiming to be pro-family, you had their support of keeping Elian Gonzales with his cousins rather than reuniting him with his father. The descendants of these folks care less and less about maintaining the embargo but the old guard is largely Republican and getting them to keep coming out and voting means keeping them happy.

It's not hard at all to find the folks in congress who are believers that trade solves all problems, except when someone named Castro gets involved. These folks could shamelessly make back to back speeches about the importance of keeping out the embargo till Castro is out of power and how we're helping bring a taste of freedom to China with our trade there.

I guess this fair-weather commitment to trade was a good predictor of their willingness to shrug off Trump's nonsense so long as it helps them keep power.
posted by phearlez at 1:36 PM on July 8 [8 favorites]


> "Do you approve or disapprove of the way U.S. Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller is handling the investigation into possible ties between Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government?"

They may as well ask whether or not participants approve of the way their Timex keeps time. I follow these megathreads for links to some of the most astute analysis of Mueller's investigation - and yet it's all speculation based on his MO, standard practice and minutia like sequential blocks of indictment numbers. Mueller is inscrutable. There hasn't been a single unintentional leak. Those are extremely labile opinions - both approve and disapprove - that could turn on a single Friday news dump.
posted by klarck at 1:53 PM on July 8 [17 favorites]


"Do you approve or disapprove of the way U.S. Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller is handling the investigation into possible ties between Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government?"

The thing that encourages me is that the COURTS, where Mueller works, don't give a damn about approval ratings. And if the whole Campaign-Selling-Cabinet-Seats is true ( see Rod Blagojevich ) , Mueller MIGHT just opt to indict a sitting President, and let the courts work out the details.
posted by mikelieman at 2:03 PM on July 8 [7 favorites]


And if the whole Campaign-Selling-Cabinet-Seats is true

Did I miss a major story somewhere or is this pure speculation based on it being something Trump seems like the kind of person to do?
posted by Justinian at 2:42 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


One of the British citizens exposed to Novichok in England has died. To be clear; a British citizen has been killed by a Russian attack using illegal chemical weapons of mass destruction. It's inconceivable that there won't be an extraordinary response to this, and yet I expect that to be the case.
posted by Justinian at 2:48 PM on July 8 [82 favorites]


.
posted by j_curiouser at 2:49 PM on July 8 [10 favorites]


The thing that encourages me is that the COURTS, where Mueller works, don't give a damn about approval ratings. And if the whole Campaign-Selling-Cabinet-Seats is true ( see Rod Blagojevich ) , Mueller MIGHT just opt to indict a sitting President, and let the courts work out the details.

The courts have no accountability over the President. Constitutionally the check on the President is Congress. Constitutionally the check on Congress are the People. What Giuliani is trying to do (successfully might I add) is lay cover for Republican members of Congress to hold the line and resist any sort of accountability for Trump jettisoning any investigations and subsequent charges.

If Trump were to fire Mueller tomorrow the ball would be in Congress’s court to impeach. If Giuliani has half of Americans unsympathetic to Mueller then he can point out the dice roll Congress take with their base if they decide to impeach. Republicans would be between a rock and a hard base. Not impeaching Trump could lose them an election. Impeaching Trump could lose a base for a generation.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 2:51 PM on July 8 [7 favorites]


Did I miss a major story somewhere or is this pure speculation based on it being something Trump seems like the kind of person to do?

Shit is happening so quickly it's hard to keep up.

THIS earlier comment by peeedro details the lender and what "was possibly a quid quo pro in exchange for being named Secretary of the Army."

And if you spend time googling Stephen Calk, you find out that he's JUST the kind of guy caught up in trouble who -- in money laundering type cases -- flips faster than The Flash at STAR*labs Pancake Breakfast.

I try to remember: (1) BREATHE, and (2) Trump et al are playing a game in the Court of Public Opinion, while Mueller is NOT playing games in the Court of Law. and (3) if we're talking good-old money laundering and influence peddling, that's something that NY can *easily* charge, avoiding all the pesky "Federal Pardons" thing.
posted by mikelieman at 2:57 PM on July 8 [9 favorites]


Ah ok. Not to be Captain Pedantry or anything but Secretary of the Army isn't a Cabinet position. That isn't a defense of selling the thing, obviously, but... not a Cabinet seat.
posted by Justinian at 3:04 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]




Perhaps in response to Russia's murder of a random allied civilian by WMD and in light of his coming meeting with Putin, Trump has tweeted a liberal-tears video compilation of non-supporters reacting to his election, with the message "They just didn't get it, but they do now!"
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:10 PM on July 8 [6 favorites]


The courts have no accountability over the President

Can you show me some citation from the Constitution or US Code which explicitly says that if someone who happens to be serving as President is indicted for criminal acts, that they are exempt from prosecution?

If there is a clear Constitutional prohibition or statute saying it can't happen, I DO want to see it!

Since tradition has been tossed out the window, and we are truly in a time of Constitutional Crisis where the Framer's world of personal honor challenged by duel does not exist, and can't prevent the abuse we see today, we are in uncharted waters. There isn't any reason NOT TO indict President Trump, and let the criminal courts figure it out.
posted by mikelieman at 3:14 PM on July 8 [7 favorites]


How can our legal system operate like this? Why doesn't one of these immigration judges just say "This is ridiculous. This kid can't participate in these proceedings. Find their parents and have them all here in my court in a week."
posted by runcibleshaw at 3:17 PM on July 8 [50 favorites]


Then it was the child’s turn for his court appearance before a Phoenix immigration judge, who could hardly contain his unease with the situation

Are you an attorney? Do you have 7 years experience? That's all it takes to be an Immigration Judge.

Not that Article I judges have much discretion, the governing statutes that set the rules for immigration hearings require these absurd results, and the judges have no protection from being fired for most any reason, but a whole bunch of people intent on changing this travesty applying to be Immigration Judges could be influential.

Reform of the immigration courts needs to be part of the Democrats comprehensive reform plans. Unrepresented kids need the unequivocal right to a government appointed advocate, at the very minimum.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:18 PM on July 8 [12 favorites]


Why doesn't one of these immigration judges just say "This is ridiculous. This kid can't participate in these proceedings. Find their parents and have them all here in my court in a week."

They literally can't. They're not "real" judges. They're employees of the executive charged with adjudicating immigration cases according to the governing regulations, which do not allow for every defendant to have a lawyer. They have a small window of discretion to determine specific factual questions regarding a persons immigration status, reasonable fear of harm if deported, etc, which can be overruled at any time by the Executive Office of Immigration Review within DOJ, or the Attorney General himself.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:22 PM on July 8 [16 favorites]


Can you show me some citation from the Constitution or US Code which explicitly says that if someone who happens to be serving as President is indicted for criminal acts, that they are exempt from prosecution?

The President can instruct attorneys general to fire any federal prosecutor that comes after him and fire said AGs if they refuse.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 3:25 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


Re. the breastfeeding resolution:

"In addition to the trade threats, Todd C. Chapman, the United States ambassador to Ecuador, suggested in meetings with officials in Quito, the Ecuadorean capital, that the Trump administration might also retaliate by withdrawing the military assistance it has been providing in northern Ecuador, a region wracked by violence spilling across the border from Colombia, according to an Ecuadorean government official who took part in the meeting.

The United States Embassy in Quito declined to make Mr. Chapman available for an interview."

Todd Chapman is apparently a career foreign service officer who was confirmed as ambassador under Obama. So I'm kind of stunned he would make threats like this unless he had been ordered to, it seems clumsy, heavy-handed and makes the country look very bad for not much gain imo.
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 3:29 PM on July 8 [7 favorites]


The President can instruct attorneys general to fire any federal prosecutor that comes after him and fire said AGs if they refuse.

Force him to do just that, in that case. There’s no reason that we should be held hostage by threats rather than actions.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 3:31 PM on July 8 [8 favorites]


Force him to do just that, in that case. There’s no reason that we should be held hostage by threats rather than actions.

Nobody said anything about hostage. My entire original point is that Congress are who ultimately hold the President accountable.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 3:35 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


They literally can't. They're not "real" judges.

As an example:
When 1996 legislation provided immigration judges with contempt power over attorneys appearing in their courts, INS managed to indefinitely block implementing DOJ regulations because the agency did not wish to afford immigration judges such authority over their fellow DOJ attorneys within INS; as a result, the judges still lack such contempt power 21 years later.
A real judge has the authority to manage the conduct of cases in their court, and can hold people in contempt if they don't comply. Immigration judges can't, despite the express wishes of Congress over 20 years ago, because DOJ makes the rules, and they've just decided to ignore that bit.

Immigration judges can't even do much when the government doesn't bother to show up at hearings. An immigration judge ordering the government to find the parents and have them brought to court is like a Wendy's drive-through worker ordering that Dave Thomas show up with the chili recipe: the entire system is designed so that can't happen.
posted by zachlipton at 3:39 PM on July 8 [16 favorites]


When i lived in louisville, i ate at the bristol bar and grille on bardstown road all the time. They have a great menu, and their pork dijonnaise is to die for. Having said that, I’m kinda ashamed a restaurant that was founded by hippies selling a $7 steak sandwich in the 70’s would have a pus-pot like mitch come thru the door.

Ahem.

So, now we’re not only the country that puts babies in cages, we’re anti-breastfeeding? WTF? This cannot stand. And Russia came to the rescue? This ain’t my America, folks. This ain’t anyones idea of America.
posted by valkane at 3:49 PM on July 8 [8 favorites]


The US experienced a WMD attack right after 9/11. No one seems to remember that too clearly. The FBI wrecked one man's career and drove another to suicide, without any physical evidence and sketchy science - eventually closing the case due to the suicide. Not very many people besides the FBI have much confidence that it was the right guy. Even his co-workers.

Now, we get to see how the UK handles it. I am not hopeful. The Foreign Office has to be shitting it's collective pants - what's the retaliation against Russia?

Is this Sarajevo? A spark in the tinderbox?
posted by j_curiouser at 4:01 PM on July 8 [13 favorites]


Thank you for your replies. Sounds like abolishing immigration courts should go hand in hand with abolishing ICE.
posted by runcibleshaw at 4:02 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


Why doesn't one of these immigration judges just say "This is ridiculous. This kid can't participate in these proceedings. Find their parents and have them all here in my court in a week."

What they absolutely could do is say "I am told that my position requires me to condemn a child in proceedings he cannot understand and in consequence of an act for which he was not responsible. I have no discretion here other than to decline to play my part. Consequently, I resign."

If they were more gutsy they might first do something like declare all the people before them to be political prisoners and then resign, but under these circumstances resignation is their only moral choice.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:11 PM on July 8 [28 favorites]




I also can't stop thinking that most women are less likely to conceive again while breastfeeding. Just another way to chip away any tiny bit of control women have over if/when/how they get pregnant.
posted by nakedmolerats at 4:17 PM on July 8 [17 favorites]


The writers left an Easter egg in the Bannon story. A commenter on the Post's story said
Oh, and dear posters on the Washington Post reader board, the owner of Black Swan Books, Nicholas Cook[e] lll, could have called Steve Bannon to come into his shop to feel him out over asking for a pardon of his wife, Ellen, by President Trump.

Nick's wife was Treasurer of the National Episcopal Diocese in New York and was convicted of stealing over $2 million dollars in Church funds. Nick himself used to be a lawyer and a priest.
It's weird but true - the Federal judge who sentenced his wife Ellen is Trump's sister.

This incident just seems too squirrelly, too unlike, the other confrontations between citizens and Trump Adm. officials to be genuine. JMHO
That…that couldn't possibly…

Sure enough.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:28 PM on July 8 [38 favorites]


- the Federal judge who sentenced his wife Ellen is Trump's sister.


Trump has a sister?
posted by runcibleshaw at 4:44 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


The US experienced a WMD attack right after 9/11. No one seems to remember that too clearly.

Recounting the Anthrax Attacks by Scott Decker is a good book, it does not make the head of the FBI look very good. That would be Robert Mueller, he is portrayed as a micromanager who fell for bogus bloodhound science, was unable to resist political pressures from the Bush administration and Sen Leahy, and goaded on by Nicholas Kristof to focus on an implausible suspect. Between the Amerithrax case and the implosion of Virtual Case File when I hear anyone suggest that Mueller is going to take down Trump, I quietly hope the he's learned some important lessons from his past failures.
posted by peeedro at 4:48 PM on July 8 [15 favorites]


Trump has a sister?

Maryanne Trump Barry
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:48 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


I actually found via Google that thing about Cooke's wife embezzling from the Episcopalians, and I'm totally curious about whether they're still married. As best as I can tell, Cooke himself was never convicted of anything, although it's hard to see how he could not have known that his family's entire lavish lifestyle was being funded via embezzlement. His wife was sentenced to five years in prison.

Anyway, he's apparently a crook with the thinnest veneer of plausible deniability who played at religiosity while living the high life by stealing from the church, so he seems like someone who would be right at home in the Trump administration.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:57 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


Jon McNaughton, conservative propagandist painter extraordinaire, has painted an image of Trump committing a Federal felony against Robert Mueller: 18 USCS § 111, Assaulting a Federal Officer while the officer is engaged in the performance of his or her official duties. In this case it's aggravated assault because he's touching the victim, punishable with up to 8 years in prison.
posted by scalefree at 5:00 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


Trump's got two sisters, Maryanne Trump Barry and Elizabeth Trump Grau.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:00 PM on July 8


The McNaughton [wonkette] piece scalefree is talking about.
posted by porpoise at 5:04 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


Gah sorry, I meant to post a link to the image on Twitter. My bad.
posted by scalefree at 5:07 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


Hang on, hang on. Three of five Brexit ministers have resigned the the last hour. It's like 1am in the UK. Wtf is going on and what does this mean for a Brexit? Might this have anything to do with the Russia murder by poisoning earlier today?
posted by triggerfinger at 5:10 PM on July 8 [43 favorites]


Trump's got two sisters, Maryanne Trump Barry and Elizabeth Trump Grau.

And two brothers, Fred Jr. and Robert. Fred Jr. died of alcoholism-related health issues, which caused Donald Trump to avoid alcohol and cigarettes.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:11 PM on July 8


Might this have anything to do with the Russia murder by poisoning earlier today?

Likely nothing so sane. They’re just not getting their preferred version of the shitty Brexit deal they’re not going to get out of the EU anyway, and so are throwing a fit and, if we are lucky, bringing down the government.
posted by Artw at 5:14 PM on July 8 [15 favorites]


The US experienced a WMD attack right after 9/11. No one seems to remember that too clearly.

Oh, I do. We had to hear about how George W. Bush Kept Us Safe for years after he went 0-2.

I was wondering earlier how soon it will be before Trump takes credit for firing Pruitt as Draining the Swamp when he hired Pruitt in the first place, and how it would be similar to Bush claiming he kept us safe after he didn't.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:16 PM on July 8 [33 favorites]


I was wondering earlier how soon it will be before Trump takes credit for firing Pruitt as Draining the Swamp when he hired Pruitt in the first place

I haven't seen Trump say it yet but it is absolutely SOP for his supporters to say that Trump firing the corrupt and/or incompetent people that Trump himself hired is proof that he is draining the swamp. That's absolutely their position.
posted by Justinian at 5:20 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


Of course Trump's sister's name would be a homophone for Marion Barry. That's sloppy, even by the writers's standards.
posted by miguelcervantes at 6:17 PM on July 8 [10 favorites]


A journalist’s conscience leads her to reveal her source to the FBI. Here’s why. (Margaret Sullivan, WaPo)
It’s pretty much an inviolable rule of journalism: Protect your sources.

Reporters have gone to jail to keep that covenant.

But Marcy Wheeler, who writes a well-regarded national security blog, not only revealed a source — she did so to the FBI, eventually becoming a witness in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of President Trump’s possible connections to Russia.

“On its face, I broke one of the cardinal rules of journalism, but what he was doing should cause a source to lose protection,” Wheeler told me in a lengthy phone interview.

“It’s not a decision I regret,” she added.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:23 PM on July 8 [20 favorites]


Marion Barry was a deeply flawed man and his later in life slide into caricature was tragic. Never the less he was worth a thousand of Trump and I’d sign on for twelve years of him as president over 4 of DJT.
posted by phearlez at 6:39 PM on July 8 [12 favorites]


Literally Glen Greenwald: MSNBC is the deep state now.

Putin needs to hire GG a new writing team, the material is getting a little worn. It's like season 6 of True Blood up in here.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:39 PM on July 8 [14 favorites]


I have a friend who clerked for Maryanne Trump Barry. He credibly claims she is a center-left judge, a Garland-type, and that she had nothing in common with DJT other than the hair, which is kinda eerie.
posted by johnny jenga at 6:42 PM on July 8 [12 favorites]


Re. the breastfeeding resolution:

"In addition to the trade threats, Todd C. Chapman, the United States ambassador to Ecuador, suggested in meetings with officials in Quito, the Ecuadorean capital, that the Trump administration might also retaliate by withdrawing the military assistance it has been providing in northern Ecuador, a region wracked by violence spilling across the border from Colombia, according to an Ecuadorean government official who took part in the meeting”.


Ecuador is one of the countries from which refugees flee and seek asylum in the US. The US is currently committing crimes against humanity wrt these refugees by ripping children away from parents, deliberately deleting the records, and certainly not allowing the youngest ones to be breast-fed. The US is then playing dominance politics by obstreperously opposing Ecuador on the world stage about whether mothers should be supported in breast-feeding babies when possible. The only objective from the US standpoint is humiliation.

It’s like we grew up and the bullies won.
posted by SakuraK at 6:43 PM on July 8 [14 favorites]


which caused Donald Trump to avoid alcohol and cigarettes.

But not meth! (And coke. Dude has to have snorted some in the 80s.)
posted by Burhanistan at 6:53 PM on July 8 [3 favorites]


I have a friend who clerked for Maryanne Trump Barry. He credibly claims she is a center-left judge, a Garland-type, and that she had nothing in common with DJT

Maryanne Trump Barry in 1992:

“Professional hypochondriacs,” the speaker said, were making it hard for “men to be themselves” and were turning “every sexy joke of long ago, every flirtation,” into “sexual harassment,” thus ruining “any kind of playfulness and banter. Where has the laughter gone?” As for boorish behavior, the best way to disarm it was with “humor and gentle sarcasm,” or better yet, that “potent weapon” of a “feminine exterior and a will of steel.”
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:01 PM on July 8 [9 favorites]


Politico, Ashley Gold, GOP thinks bashing tech companies will rally base
Republicans are turning their grievances about biased tech companies into a rallying message for a difficult election year.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel are among the GOP leaders vocally complaining about a host of Silicon Valley slights against conservatives, ranging from Facebook’s stripping of ad revenue from the video-blogging duo Diamond and Silk to a Google search result that paired the California GOP with “Nazism.”

So is Brad Parscale, who ran Donald Trump’s winning digital campaign in 2016 but now, as the reelection campaign manager for the social-media-loving president, says it’s past time for a reckoning with companies like Facebook and Twitter.

Conservative complaints about Silicon Valley have sprouted in the past year, echoing the frequent GOP accusations that liberal news media and a pervasive bureaucratic “deep state” are conspiring against Trump’s agenda. But the anti-tech message appears to be accelerating as Republicans fight to fire up their base and counter a feared Democratic “blue wave” in November.

Meanwhile, tech executives are scrambling to prove they don’t harbor anti-conservative prejudice. Facebook has held at least two previously unreported meetings with conservative groups and digital experts since April, and it launched an audit of potential bias with the assistance of former Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and the law firm Covington & Burling.
It's the classic GOP grift, which worked so well with the press that they've expanded it ever more: work the refs with a constant stream of bad faith accusations of bias until you bully them into giving up, then claim it's still not good enough.

It's a suckers game. There is absolutely zero chance that the same people who dedicated the resources of the House Judiciary Committee to investigating the grievances of Diamond and Silk will ever under any circumstances say "ok thanks Facebook. We're pleased with the changes you've made and now agree you are unbiased American patriots." Facebook could replace their app with the Diamond and Silk fanclub page, and it still wouldn't stop the complaints. What did hiring a parade of increasingly unhinged Trump supporters get CNN? Nothing; they chant "CNN sucks" at Trump rallies louder than ever. The Times has opened its op-ed pages to host the Bari Weiss Home For Grifters and Incompetents, a project that has brought them not one iota of respect or trust from the right. These entities continue to treat Republican complaints as if they're legitimate grievances that could possibly be resolved instead of unwinnable culture war sniping used to maintain the illusion that the party controlling all three branches of government is perpetually oppressed.
posted by zachlipton at 7:07 PM on July 8 [56 favorites]


The Trump Foundation grift keeps on grifting…

Palm Beach Post: Trump Foundation donated to charities that booked galas at Mar-a-Lago
Nearly all of the $706,000 in donations made by the Donald J. Trump Foundation in Palm Beach County since 2008 went to charities that hosted lavish fundraisers at Mar-a-Lago — the president’s highest-profile business in the county.

While the timing and frequency of the donations suggest charities that fete at Mar-a-Lago — especially those that return after fundraising at other venues — are rewarded for their loyalty, several local charities said the donations were not a quid pro quo or a reward for doing business with Trump.[...]

Moving to Mar-a-Lago: Who got how much and when

A sampling of the charities that received a donation at the time they moved their fundraisers to Mar-a-Lago.

• The International Red Cross received a $21,000 donation in 2015, the year it decided to move its event from The Breakers back to Mar-a-Lago.
• The Salvation Army received a $25,000 in 2015, the year after it moved its event to Mar-a-Lago from the Breakers.
• The MorseLife Foundation moved its dinner dance to Mar-a-Lago in 2011 and the next year the Trump Foundation made a $25,000 donation.
• The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society moved its event to Mar-a-Lago in 2010. In April 2011, Trump called into Rush Limbaugh’s radio show during Limbaugh’s annual Leukemia/Lymphoma Cure-A-Thon and pledged to give $100,000. The foundation then made a $101,500 donation.
• The Dana Farber Cancer Institute began hosting its fundraisers at Mar-a-Lago in 2011. A year before, the Trump Foundation donated $100,000 to the institute’s headquarters and the foundation followed with a $25,000 gift in 2014 and another $22,500 in 2015.
• The Palm Beach Zoo — a regular at the Breakers — received a $25,000 donation from the Trump Foundation in 2013, which was the year it moved to Mar-a-Lago.
And the last time Trump contributed any of his own money to his foundation was 2008.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:12 PM on July 8 [28 favorites]


Here's the cover story for next week's NY Magazine: Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart — Or His Handler? A plausible theory of mind-boggling collusion. (The accompanying chart of all the players connecting Trump and Putin is almost beautiful in its baroqueness.)

MeFite POTUS45 megathread regulars won't find anything new in this article's overview of the available evidence about Trump's Russian ties, but such is the state of American journalism that it has to gently introduce the possibility that Trump colluded, and continues to collude with the Kremlin. It's mind-boggling that the US political establishment and the fourth estate aren't jointly raising alarm bells over the upcoming summit, yet here we are.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:27 PM on July 8 [61 favorites]


What that article didn't mention (that I could see, I may have missed it), is that:
“Charities hosting large galas can pay Trump's club between $125,000 and $275,000 for a single night's revelry. Even lunchtime events can cost charities between $25,000 and $85,000.”
[Vox article about previous event cancellations].

So he's using other people's money to bribe the charities, and making (generally) an order of magnitude more personally. Effectively laundering and transferring the charity money.
posted by Buntix at 7:28 PM on July 8 [13 favorites]


So he's using other people's money to bribe the charities, and making (generally) an order of magnitude more personally. Effectively laundering and transferring the charity money.


Since the main reason he hasn't put any money in since 2008 is that he was (illegally) directing people paying him to instead donate to the charity, this is really more kickback than bribe. I mean, a kickback is basically a form of bribe, but it's a Trump type of bribe: it uses someone else's money.
posted by phearlez at 7:34 PM on July 8 [7 favorites]


It's mind-boggling that the US political establishment and the fourth estate aren't jointly raising alarm bells over the upcoming summit

Both are extremely happy being a client state in exchange for either judges/tax cuts or ratings/subscribers. There's no such thing as the collective interests of the United States.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:47 PM on July 8 [7 favorites]


The WSJ's inside report on Trump's Justice pick reveals his hallmark chaotic decision-making: Trump Takes a Final Look at Supreme Court Choices—President deliberates with advisers, who aren’t sure where he stands ahead of Monday announcement (Twitter paywall bypass)
President Donald Trump on Sunday polled outside advisers about his Supreme Court nominee and appeared to favor different finalists as the day wore on, wrestling with a decision that is crucial to his legacy and that could tip the court’s yearslong balance firmly toward conservatives.

On the eve of his planned Monday night announcement, Mr. Trump was undecided and was making calls and asking questions about a quartet of finalists: federal judges Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, Thomas Hardiman and Amy Coney Barrett, people familiar with the search process said.

During the day Sunday, Mr. Trump zeroed in on different aspects each finalist brought to the equation, and his own advisers weren’t certain where he would land, noting a final decision could come just hours before Monday’s televised announcement, set for 9 p.m. EDT. “It’s a jump ball,” said one person familiar with the search.

“We are close to making a decision,” Mr. Trump said Sunday afternoon as he prepared to return to Washington from a weekend at his New Jersey golf club. “Let’s just say it’s the four people. Every one you can’t go wrong. I’ll be deciding tonight or tomorrow sometime by 12 o’clock, and we’re all going to be meeting at 9 o’clock,” he said.

The president’s decision process included a round of golf Sunday with friends such as conservative commentator Sean Hannity, the people familiar with the process said. Mr. Hannity didn’t respond to a request for comment.[...]

White House aides, not knowing whom Mr. Trump would choose, devised rollout plans for each of the top contenders. They are preparing to lay out the nominee’s biography and judicial record in the hours after the announcement and are arranging for supporters to speak on TV.

The multiple candidates are aware of the process and have agreed to participate in it.

A central figure in the search is the White House counsel, Don McGahn, who is part of a conservative legal world that values judges who interpret the law by focusing on the precise legal text as written by Congress, as opposed to the purported reasons lawmakers had in mind when passing the law.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has played a minimal role in the selection, Mr. Trump’s advisers said.

One reason Mr. McGahn has stayed in his job while other senior White House aides have departed is that he prized the chance to help usher in two Supreme Court nominees, people familiar with the matter said.
The best case scenario is that this is just part of a gas-lighting campaign by the right-wing noise machine to amp up suspense over who Trump will pick. The worst is that White House aides remain unable to get Trump to focus on major issues and are delicately leaking this problem to a friendly press outlet.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:12 PM on July 8 [5 favorites]


If they were more gutsy they might first do something like declare all the people before them to be political prisoners and then resign, but under these circumstances resignation is their only moral choice.

One thing I don't understand is why 50% of the children with legal representation end up staying and hardly any without do. If there are legal arguments to be made, you would think an activist judge or two might take it upon themselves to make them on behalf of the kids.
posted by xammerboy at 8:27 PM on July 8 [8 favorites]


I tried googling for the quotes from numerous lawyers saying that anyone else who abused a charity the way the Trump family has would be facing jail time, but all I can find is links to Trump complaining about Hillary's crooked foundation.

We desperately need a public outcry on this. It's before a judge now, and maximum pressure should be applied now to ensure Trump is treated like anyone else. It's amazing to me that this scandal is getting lost in the shuffle. All that's needed here for the Trump family to finally be called out on their criminal behavior is greater exposure and public pressure.

Russia called out the U.S. because they are on the ball, and not about let an opportunity pass where they can stand up against the United States for baby's healthcare on a world stage. Letting Trump's truly egregious abuse of his charity for self gain pass is missed opportunity. It tells me, despite all I've been hearing about Democrats being ready and fired up for change, that they are not on the ball. If Democrats can't nail Trump on this, I have little faith they can handle the bigger stuff.
posted by xammerboy at 8:47 PM on July 8 [7 favorites]


Ecuador is one of the countries from which refugees flee and seek asylum in the US

Ecuador is politically stable, with low internal displacement, and a refugee destination, particularly for Colombians displaced by the civil war and American anti-drug activity.

Not trying to dispute the broader point about how shitty the U.S.'s behavior is here, just pointing out that Ecuador is... actually pretty nice!
posted by zjacreman at 9:02 PM on July 8 [25 favorites]


Michigan-2nd Dem. candidate Rob Davidson: I am an ER doc. I just got off the night shift and this is why I support healthcare for all. Healthcare is a right. My opponent @RepHuizenga believes his constituents need to have skin in the game and voted to cut healthcare from 20 million Americans. So I am running against him.

MI-2 is a PVI R+9 district. Davidson is running essentially unopposed in the primary to face incumbent R. Bill Huizenga, who hasn't faced a serious Democratic challenger since his election in 2010.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:36 PM on July 8 [68 favorites]


"need to have skin in the game"... you'd think that with regards to Health and healthcare, "skin in the game" is universal...
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:11 PM on July 8 [8 favorites]


- Ecuador is one of the countries from which refugees flee and seek asylum in the US

-- Ecuador is politically stable, with low internal displacement, and a refugee destination, particularly for Colombians displaced by the civil war and American anti-drug activity.


Ecuador is a destination for Colombians and Venezuelans, yet CNN lumped Ecuador in with Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador in its "What are migrants fleeing from when they cross the Mexico-US border?" piece last year.
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:14 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


WaPo: How to Resist Bad Supreme Court Rulings
The comparison of Trump v. Hawaii to Dred Scott hinges on the argument that the two cases are similarly egregious, turning on specious ideas about racial difference: then against black people and now against Muslim people.

That’s true, and certainly a reason we should study Dred Scott in this moment. But which lessons we draw from the past matters. The Dred Scott decision was a bad one, and yet it also exposed the limitations of the court’s power — and how lawyers and activists curbed its influence. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney overreached when he aimed to seal the fate of black Americans, and the resistance to his ruling is instructive for those who are seeking to do the same in the face of Trump v. Hawaii.

No sooner had the Dred Scott decision been handed down than it was under attack from many sides. African American activists and members of the abolitionist movement immediately opposed what was a blow to those who had long claimed that former slaves were free people and also citizens. At stake was whether the United States was destined to be a white man’s country or whether there was a future for an interracial democracy on the horizon.

Taney’s fellow jurists also objected to the blanket exclusion of black Americans from the body politic. Lower federal courts resisted in surprisingly effective ways. Their willingness to interpret Taney’s decision narrowly and treat black litigants like citizens was a blow that sapped Dred Scott of much real influence...
Also, Pacific Standard: David Faris Offers Democrats a Plan For Fighting Back
posted by triggerfinger at 10:55 PM on July 8 [18 favorites]


A reminder that all politics is local: A Group Is Trying to Revoke the Trump Hotel’s Liquor License Based on Moral Character.


Via the English edition of Der Forverts, which has its own characteristic take: Rabbis Say Trump Hotel Should Lose Liquor License Over ‘Good Character’ Law

[n.b., they do say that "The petition was filed by two retired judges and five local clergy members, including Rabbi Aaron Potek of the young adult outreach group Gather DC and Rabbi Jack Moline"]
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:19 PM on July 8 [30 favorites]




[A couple deleted; please post your UK/Brexit links over here. Thanks!]
posted by taz (staff) at 5:16 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


"need to have skin in the game"... you'd think that with regards to Health and healthcare, "skin in the game" is universal...

"Skin in the game" is one of those phrases that wealthy assholes use to justify withholding vital social services from those who need them despite the fact that they themselves are "playing the game" with someone else's skin.

Oh, and also, it's not a fucking game! It's life or death for many people.
posted by Servo5678 at 5:29 AM on July 9 [25 favorites]


Trump aide endure increasing public fury

“One night, after Miller ordered $80 of takeout sushi from a restaurant near his apartment, a bartender followed him into the street and shouted, “Stephen!” When Miller turned around, the bartender raised both middle fingers and cursed at him, according to an account Miller has shared with White House colleagues.

Outraged, Miller threw the sushi away, he later told his colleagues.”

No justice, no peace, no 80$ sushi.
posted by The Whelk at 5:38 AM on July 9 [124 favorites]




Outraged, Miller threw the sushi away, he later told his colleagues.

There is nothing more 21st-Century-conservative than throwing away $80 worth of food because someone was mean to you and then acting like it was a victory on your part.
posted by Etrigan at 5:48 AM on July 9 [120 favorites]


Sounds likely that someone out there found a really good meal in the trash. I hope that they shared it with friends and they all enjoyed it.
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:51 AM on July 9 [4 favorites]




valkane So, now we’re not only the country that puts babies in cages, we’re anti-breastfeeding? WTF? This cannot stand. And Russia came to the rescue? This ain’t my America, folks. This ain’t anyones idea of America.

Unfortunately, while it isn't your idea of America or mine, it most definitely is someone's idea of America. Around 25% of Americans seem to think this is absolutely what they want out of America, and another 25% shrug and accept it as long as they get their tax cuts.

To the hardcore Trumpists babies in cages is winning, and breastfeeding is icky and should be discouraged. There's a lot of men, and I notice this overlaps with being highly conservative, who view breasts as 100% ornamental and for adult men's sexual enjoyment, the idea of breastfeeding squicks them out and they hate it. I'm sure there's some women who feel the same way, though assuming they exist they don't seem to be as vocal about it as the self entitled douchebros who go on anti-breastfeeding rants.

As Mr. Glover observed, this is America. It is not our America, but it most certainly is America.

I really do think one thing that Trump's ascendance has done is that it's forcing a lot of privileged lefties to recognize what black people and women have been screaming for decades: that America is deeply divided and there are a **LOT** of Americans who actively hate the inclusive, egalitarian, model of America we'd like to imagine is universal.
posted by sotonohito at 6:13 AM on July 9 [41 favorites]


Trump aide endure increasing public fury

Included amongst the "fury" and "vicious" attacks: longtime residents of the neighborhood Pence is temporarily staying in putting up rainbow flags because, according to the writers of this bit of access-journalism hackery, that is an unwarranted attack on a decent man. Can't help sympathizing with the fascists by engaging in some good old-fashioned false equivalency.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:13 AM on July 9 [29 favorites]


Rudy Giuliani says he has “debriefed” all of Mueller’s witnesses

That's on top of another of his bold legal ploys during his appearance on ABC's "This Week": Giuliani seems to say Trump asked Comey to give Michael Flynn 'a break' (CNN)
After host George Stephanopoulos said to Giuliani that Comey says he took Trump's remark as direction, Giuliani responded that he was also told, "Can you give the man a break?" many times as a prosecutor.

"He didn't direct him to do that," Giuliani said. "What he said was, can you, can you ..."

"Comey says he took it as direction," Stephanopoulos interjected.

"Well, that's okay. He could have taken it that way, but by that time he had been fired," Giuliani responded. "He said a lot of other things, some of which has turned out to be untrue. The reality is, as a prosecutor, I was told that many times, 'can you give the man a break,' either by his lawyers, by his relatives, by his friends. You take that into consideration. But you know that doesn't determine not going forward with it."
And first thing this morning, Michael Cohen's new lawyer Lanny Davis tweeted, "Did @rudygiuliani really say on Sunday shows that @michaelcohen212 should cooperate with prosecutors and tell the truth? Seriously? Is that Trump and Giuliani definition of “truth”? Trump/Giuliani next to the word “truth” = oxymoron. Stay tuned. #thetruthmatters"
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:29 AM on July 9 [12 favorites]


ya know... I am not ready for a Michael Cohen hero turn. Feels unearned.
posted by Golem XIV at 6:32 AM on July 9 [19 favorites]


Josh Dawsey is the guy who tried to get SHuckS to give a straight answer, so I wouldn't lump him in with Haberman. The rainbow flag story is one small part of an article filled with actual fury.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:32 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Why America’s cheese capital is at the center of Trump’s trade war
Both men agree with Trump that there are serious issues with the trade of cheese but what they don’t like is the uncertainty that has come with this cantankerous, piecemeal trade dispute. “If we know what the rules are, we know what to do. But not knowing is this going to be six weeks, six months, six years? That’s really difficult,” Schwager said.

Dick Groves, publisher of Wisconsin-based Cheese Reporter, says he had not seen so much uncertainty in the industry in the 40 years he has been following it. “There’s a heck of a lot of uncertainty right now,” he says. Farmers are wondering if it’s time to kill some of their cows but no one knows what will happen next. “This thing is happening so quickly,” he says.

One of the worst consequences of the dispute for Schwager is that it has effectively removed the US from negotiations about real issues for the industry. European officials are striking deals with China, Mexico and other parties to protect the names of their cheeses – deals that have already forced Sartori to change the name of one of their products in Mexico, a move that led to customer confusion and declining sales. Those kinds of deals could hurt US cheesemakers for generations, he says.

“If we are not at the table, we don’t have a say,” says Schwager. “The intention of the administration is to level the playing field. The intention is good. Just not the tactics,” he says.
(My bolding) This is all fine and well, but the part I bolded underlines that this is a fight the US can never win. The EU goes to great lengths to protect it's original food products, such as Parmigiano and Roquefort. Even when the trade-war ends, they are not going to give on this issue, and if Mexico and Canada want to trade with the EU (which I guess they will even more now as the US has shown itself to be volatile and unreliable), they will have to respect the EU rules. tl;dr: it isn't just a case of Trump being an idiot here.
posted by mumimor at 6:35 AM on July 9 [11 favorites]


God, that Giuliani quote is so infuriating. Trump wasn't just a friend of the person being prosecuted, he's the head of the executive branch. If the district attorney had come to Giuliani and said "give the guy a break" would he have just seen that as a suggestion?
posted by runcibleshaw at 6:45 AM on July 9 [8 favorites]


God, that Giuliani quote is so infuriating. Trump wasn't just a friend of the person being prosecuted, he's the head of the executive branch. If the district attorney had come to Giuliani and said "give the guy a break" would he have just seen that as a suggestion?

What infuriates me most, is the lack of pushback:

Giuliani said was, "The reality is, as a prosecutor, I was told that many times, 'can you give the man a break,' either by his lawyers, by his relatives, by his friends. "

Obvious follow up: Comey wasn't prosecuting of Michael Flynn, but rather investigating him. Comparing apples to bowling balls.
posted by mikelieman at 6:52 AM on July 9 [10 favorites]


I am not ready for a Michael Cohen hero turn. Feels unearned.

It's like when Principal Snyder took a stand against the Mayor's final form. It's not really a hero turn, and it'll probably turn about the same for Cohen.
posted by Etrigan at 6:53 AM on July 9 [39 favorites]


Today in headlines guaranteed to make you smile even though they come from Politico: Beto-mania sweeps Texas.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:59 AM on July 9 [40 favorites]


[Comey] said a lot of other things, some of which has turned out to be untrue.

Citation needed, Mr. Giuliani.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:08 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Today in headlines guaranteed to make you smile even though they come from Politico: Beto-mania sweeps Texas.

He just needs to be on Stephen Colbert in the Ed Sullivan Theater and he'll become a national phenomenon.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 7:18 AM on July 9 [13 favorites]


yesster: I've decided to do what I can to reclaim the hallmarks of patriotism. The Republican party has been wrapping itself in the flag and jingoistic patriotism my entire 51 years of life.

I'm taking them back.

Today I screen printed a couple of t-shirts with the statue of liberty, and the "golden door" poem. I will wear them proudly. I will continue and expand. Next up will probably be the text of the Constitution. Or the text of the oath of office.

I cannot open a conversation about immigration, or racism, or egalitarianism, or liberal political philosophy. But I can put those messages front and center.

Yeah, and vote.

And help others to vote.


First, fuck yeah to all this!

Second, I recently saw Jackie Kashian, who has a bit about realizing she's a patriot only because of the current shit-show. It's in her recording I Am Not the Hero of This Story (Amazon), which has a good mix of humor and politics, if that's the kind of thing you want.

And third, getting people to vote is not a small thing, don't discount it.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:32 AM on July 9 [18 favorites]


Rust Moranis: Douglas Rushkoff, Medium. Survival of the Richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind

If zombie movies have shown me anything, it's that trying to be Smaug and hoarding your wealth ends badly every time. The uber-rich are outnumbered by everyone else, and the value of goods changes drastically when everyone is just trying to survive. In other words, befriend a farmer, if you yourself can't be a farmer.

Back to the news: following zachlipton's link of A late Friday surprise. WSJ, Trump Administration Expected to Suspend ACA Program Related to Insurer Payments (t.co shortened link points to this WSJ article), Trump Administration Freezes Payments Required By The Affordable Care Act (NPR, July 8, 2018)
The Trump administration said Saturday that it is temporarily halting billions of dollars of payments designed to help insurers meet the Affordable Care Act requirement that they provide coverage regardless of whether a person is healthy or sick.

The administration said it was withholding $10.4 billion in the so-called "risk adjustment" payments, citing a district court ruling from earlier this year in New Mexico. While the administration says it is required to stop payments because of the court decision, insurers say the move could result in higher premiums for millions of individuals and small businesses.

The risk adjustment program plays an important role in the ACA by pooling risk for insurers, transferring funds from insurers who enroll healthier members for relatively less, to those that take on higher costs in order to enroll sicker members. The idea is to insulate insurance companies from the cost of enrolling people with pre-existing conditions, and remove the incentive for insurance companies to cherry pick healthy people.

The New Mexico ruling found fault with the formula used by the government to calculate the payments, saying it was "arbitrary and capricious." [PDF] But another district court in Massachusetts upheld the formula.

The announcement came as insurers were awaiting an annual report that usually comes at the end of June, informing them of whether they owe money into the risk adjustment program or will be paid out for the previous year. Insurers say the sudden halting of those payments creates uncertainty at a critical time, as they are currently developing their premiums for 2019.

Insurance companies responded quickly on Saturday with their disapproval. In a statement America's Health Insurance Plans, the trade association for health insurance companies, said they are "very discouraged by the new market disruption brought about by the decision to freeze risk adjustment payments."
Trump Administration: willing to work on the weekend when it means fucking people over, but when discussing the fate of children? Dog sitting comes first. (Also, I have questions about the cost of a DOJ lawyer flying from Southern California to Colorado to "dog-sit," as compared to the cost of having anyone else do that same job, but that's not a discussion for here and now.)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:48 AM on July 9 [26 favorites]


KY Attorney General and bitter opponent of Gov. Matt Bevin Andy Beshear announces run for governor. Bevin is widely hated, but the state has fully switched over to red, and Beshear has his own baggage as the son of former Gov. Steve Beshear.

Republican Attorney Generals Association sees Kentucky as a "prime pickup opportunity". It's unclear that Democrats will have a replacement candidate and state Senator Whitney Westerfield lost by only 2000 votes to Beshear in 2015. KY could switch from having an activist Trumpublican Gov constantly dogged by suits from a Democratic AG, to a Democratic Gov dogged by lawsuits from a teaparty Republican AG. Or if Beshear loses, KY will lose the last bastion of Democratic control and live with a Republican trifecta for the first time since the 1920s.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:13 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Sounds likely that someone out there found a really good meal in the trash. I hope that they shared it with friends and they all enjoyed it.

I hope that too, and I also hope the flavour wasn't ruined for them by over-generous saucing with the chef's saliva.
posted by flabdablet at 8:15 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


"Skin in the game" is one of those phrases that wealthy assholes use to justify withholding vital social services from those who need them despite the fact that they themselves are "playing the game" with someone else's skin.

It actually goes farther than that, since multiple economic theories are based on the idea that literal skin in the game (prisoner's dilemma, tragedy of the commons) is not enough to ensure optimal outcomes. Anyone for anything you see that says "skin in the game" is not to be taken seriously.
posted by The_Vegetables at 8:23 AM on July 9 [21 favorites]


This Miller-sushi thing kinda reminds me of the football fans that filmed themselves burning their team jerseys. Like, he already purchased the sushi, right? So, he just threw 80 bucks in the trash? Yeah, buddy, that'll show 'em!

So, reminder to those in the service industries: wait until after you get the money, then tell them they can go fuck themselves. :D "And 30 cents makes 20. Thank you for shopping here and I hope you and the people you work for die in a fire. Have a nice day!"
posted by snwod at 8:27 AM on July 9 [33 favorites]


"Do you approve or disapprove of the way U.S. Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller is handling the investigation into possible ties between Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government?"—Approve 49%, Disapprove 45%, and No Opinion 5%. Compare to similar polling questions: 11/1/17—Approve 58%, Disapprove 28%, and No Opinion 14%; and 1/18/18 Approve 50%, Disapprove 31%, and No Opinion 19%."

This just highlights the stupidity of polling since people have zero basis to judge the majority of Mueller's investigation because we know next to nothing about it.
posted by srboisvert at 8:34 AM on July 9 [14 favorites]


Polling stupidity is not the same as the stupidity of polling.
posted by Bovine Love at 8:41 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


ya know... I am not ready for a Michael Cohen hero turn. Feels unearned.

This feel more like the 'lawyer takes shot at becoming a celebrity so his children can one day be instagram famous reality tv stars' thing that is going on these days.
posted by srboisvert at 8:53 AM on July 9 [6 favorites]


OPM guidance pushes quick, forceful action on Trump’s orders to weaken unions, due process
Guidance sent to agency heads last week gives his offensive, which also hit employee grievance procedures, high priority on Trump’s to-do list for deconstruction of the administrative state. Emphasizing that importance, the guidance also put the leaders on notice that they must explain failure to follow his executive orders to the preesident, through the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

“President Trump has recognized the importance of strategic workforce management, placing it at the top of his agenda for modernizing the Federal Government,” OPM Director Jeff Pon told agency leaders in one of three memorandums providing direction for a trio of executive orders issued May 25.

They affect about 1.2 million federal workers, or 57 percent of the government’s nonpostal, nonmilitary workforce, who are represented by unions. More broadly, the orders and the guidance upend the way that agency and union leaders have cooperated for decades, while pleasing Republicans who have long called for firing feds faster. This precedes the administration’s “bold and aggressive” civil service reform plan, which Pon previously said will be revealed before the November elections.

Meanwhile, opposition to the orders is growing. A federal judge will hear arguments against Trump’s anti-union push this month.

Pon’s guidance explains the purpose of the orders and exhorts agency leaders to act with haste. Agencies were instructed, for example, to seek union-weakening collective bargaining agreements at “the soonest permissible opportunity.”
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:18 AM on July 9 [15 favorites]


Via the English edition of Der Forverts, which has its own characteristic take: Rabbis Say Trump Hotel Should Lose Liquor License Over ‘Good Character’ Law

I wouldn't mind if people started attacking Trump's businesses locally. Have you ever been to Chicago? He built a building and slapped his name on it so large that it's visible from every vantage point. I would love to see stuff like that go. I don't see why people can't make local petitions to simply shut down his businesses for the reason that they put off tourists.
posted by xammerboy at 9:24 AM on July 9 [8 favorites]


Doctor giving migrant kids psychotropic drugs lost certification years ago.
The psychiatrist who has been prescribing powerful psychotropic medications to immigrant children at a federally funded residential treatment center in Texas has practiced without board certification to treat children and adolescents for nearly a decade, records show.

On the Texas Medical Board’s website, though, Dr. Javier Ruíz-Nazario reported he had that specialized certification for treating children and adolescents. However, according to the website, he has not yet updated the board on the status of this board certification as required by its rules.

Ruíz-Nazario’s name appears on various court documents that allege troubling practices at the Shiloh Treatment Center south of Houston, including affidavits in class-action settlement motions in which children claim they were tackled and injected and forced to take pills identified as vitamins that made them dizzy and drowsy.

Many of the records specifically name Ruíz-Nazario as the doctor who prescribed the medication.
posted by scalefree at 9:41 AM on July 9 [52 favorites]


WTF are they doing to those kids?

Isn't there somebody in charge with the mandate and jurisdiction to get them out of that hellhole?
posted by yesster at 9:46 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Jurisdiction, yes. Desire, no.
posted by delfin at 9:52 AM on July 9 [4 favorites]


I simply cannot believe that I am reading about a decertified doctor prescribing psychotropic medicines to children in concentration camps. I live in London and will add my presence and my voice (such as they are) to the Trump protests this Friday. THIS HAS TO STOP! NOW!!
posted by Myeral at 10:02 AM on July 9 [67 favorites]


In my Angela Merkel fan fic...

I want them to just start laughing whenever he does anything like that. Just giggle. If he keeps going, they laugh harder. What's he going to do, invade? Of course not. He's a paper tiger. They know it. Trade war? Everyone's shown that they're better at those than he is.

Fuck it. Laugh at the clown when he does something stupid. That's what clowns are for.
posted by Etrigan at 10:41 AM on July 9 [22 favorites]


Updates from the now-concluded hearing in the ACLU's case regarding reuniting children under five with their parents, via @ZoeTillman:
According to the ACLU, the govt provided "incomplete information" by the Saturday deadline, and then provided revised info yesterday. The judge has set another hearing to discuss status for 10am PT today. Asked about the ACLU's assertions last night, an admin official issued a statement (no specific attribution permitted) saying the results of the admin's reunification efforts were "highly encouraging" and that DOJ was "eager" to present progress to the judge.

Latest hearing just ended in the family separations case in San Diego. Latest #s:
- Of 102 children ID's as potentially eligible for reunification under judge's order, 6 ineligible — 3 b/c of parent's criminal history, 3 b/c accompanying adult turned out not to be a parent
- Of 96 children under 5 remaining (102 originally ID's minus 6 deemed ineligible), DOJ says 59 are likely to be reunified by judge's deadline tomorrow — 54 basically confirmed, and govt is waiting for confirmation for 5 to make sure the parent passes the background check
- For 9 children, the parent has been removed from the US, and the govt has given the ACLU info about when the parent was removed and what country they were sent to. But the govt doesn't appear to know exactly where those parents are, so ACLU is going to help trying to find them
- For 4 children, parent is in state criminal custody, which means they can't be reunified right now
- For 8 children, parents are in fed criminal custody. Almost all, if not all, have ICE detainers, which means they can be reunified once they're in ICE custody
- 2 children have been reunified with a parent who had been released from immigration detention
- 4 children had been previously ID'd for reunification with a non-parent sponsor. Govt/ACLU determining if parent wants to be reunified with child instead
- For 9 children, the parent has been released from immigration detention — DOJ says they're in contact with 4 parents, still waiting for info on status of making contact with the other 5
- For 1 child: Status of the parent is unknown, govt is still trying to figure that out

So to recap: Based on representations by DOJ lawyer today, 54/96 children under 5 will likely be reunified by the judge's deadline of tomorrow, and could be 59 depending on background checks. Number could go up a bit depending on other factors listed above in the thread. For the parents and children who will be reunified by tomorrow, DOJ lawyer said they're expected to be then be released from ICE custody - they wouldn't be reunified at family detention facilities
posted by zachlipton at 10:55 AM on July 9 [28 favorites]


So Mr Anti-Elitist Cadet Bone Spurs doesn't like some of his potential SCOTUS picks because they went to public universities. He only wants graduates from Harvard and Yale.

I cannot even.
posted by suelac at 10:58 AM on July 9 [31 favorites]


Harvard and Yale grads are the gold toilets of the legal world, only the best for President Deals and America
posted by zjacreman at 11:10 AM on July 9 [26 favorites]




Some Heritage Foundation hack just was on MSNBC using Maxine Waters as a defense for their funding opacity. Conservatives just need to utter "Maxine Waters" now to rally the base.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:27 AM on July 9 [8 favorites]


New news round-up at News You May Have Missed: Inauguration Day protestors have charges dismissed; Where are the kids?; Tariffs threaten the free press; Sessions rescinds more rights; Bloggers in India and Indonesia paid to write fake news; Scott Pruitt told to resign by Kelly; Literacy not a “right”; Unions must represent non-members for free; Teachers running for office; Resignations continue; Citizenship question lawsuit; New spins on Brexit and Russia; Organic food fraud; FDA advisors may be compromised; Hope for rhinos; and, World's second largest barrier reef is safer.
posted by joannemerriam at 11:29 AM on July 9 [4 favorites]


Daily Beast: The Original Donald Trump Super PAC Just Announced a Curious Reimbursement—The Make America Great Again PAC recently announced that it had refunded a years-old donation from a Florida real-estate developer.

The Trump-aligned super PAC Make America Great Again has now just revealed in FEC filings that it refunded $50,000 to donor Michael Dezertzov, a Florida real-estate developer who has partnered with Trump on several of high-profile real-estate projects, selling nearly $100 million in Trump buildings to Russian buyers. (This transaction occurred on Aug. 18, 2016, , coincidentally, the day before Paul Manafort resigned as Trump campaign chairman.) Meanwhile, $60,000 of the PAC's financing still remains unaccounted for.
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:31 AM on July 9 [12 favorites]


Finding a new black politician to endlessly harass must feel like a warm, cozy old bathrobe to them at this point.
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:46 AM on July 9 [59 favorites]


GOP lawmaker rejects racism charge: 'My son is named after a black guy'

“I don’t give a shit about Corey Stewart,” Taylor told The Virginia-Pilot. “No one else does either except for Democrats who are trying to target me. [...] No one cares, except for a small teeny amount of people you met at the cupcake place. What are they trying to say? That Scott Taylor likes Corey Stewart so therefore he’s a racist? Do you think that’s going to play here? [...] My son is named after a black guy. I’m a military guy. We don’t give a shit about where you come from. Black, white, brown, gay, straight. I don’t care.”

It is unclear who Taylor’s 5-year-old son, reportedly named Sterling, is named after.

posted by Rust Moranis at 11:50 AM on July 9 [8 favorites]


BuzzFeed, Pregnant Women Say They Are Being Mistreated In Immigration Detention, Despite The Administration's Claims (cw: miscarriages): "Pregnant women in immigration detention under the Trump administration say they have been denied medical care, shackled around the stomach, and abused."
posted by zachlipton at 11:58 AM on July 9 [22 favorites]


Trump UK visit: police to mobilise in numbers not seen since 2011 riots.
One chief constable said the resources that had been asked for were on the scale required “if London was burning down”.
posted by adamvasco at 12:00 PM on July 9 [4 favorites]


Chuck Schumer giving a truly inspiring speech about the SC pick by heroically calling for action mumbling about Leonard Leo. I'm fired up and ready to go.
posted by Justinian at 12:10 PM on July 9 [9 favorites]


From adamvasco's link: “More mutual aid is being asked for than the [London 2012] Olympics, than for the terrorist attacks last year. I’ve never seen mutual aid requests like this Every force is sending their maximum and above.

“£5m [nationally] is the direct cost. You then have the cost of cancelled rest days. If I cancel a rest day to send an officer, that cost will be covered by the local force.”


I don't know whether to feel incredibly proud of all these folks ready to protest in the UK, or suspicious that this is actually necessary.
posted by Emmy Rae at 12:13 PM on July 9 [8 favorites]


Chuck Schumer giving a truly inspiring speech about the SC pick by heroically calling for action mumbling about Leonard Leo. I'm fired up and ready to go.

Tim Kaine posted this garbage on his facebook account:
I will meet with the Supreme Court nominee to ask them important questions. We need to know:

- Will you uphold the ACA, as prior rulings have? Pre-existing conditions may land on the docket.

- Do you respect precedent on a woman’s constitutional freedom to make her own reproductive health decisions?

- Will you respect equality protections for all Americans?

This nominee must also be scrutinized for whether they will be a sufficiently independent Justice. Someone too loyal to a president who says he has the power to pardon himself and whose extreme actions may very well crowd the Supreme Court docket would be a major warning sign.
No Tim, not remotely adequate. We want a firm commitment that you will not vote for Amy Comey Barrett again. You fucked us once already.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:26 PM on July 9 [30 favorites]


Boris Johnson just resigned as UK Foreign Secretary? Is there someplace with a good primer on what the hell exactly is going on Over There?
posted by Justinian at 12:27 PM on July 9 [5 favorites]


GOP lawmaker rejects racism charge: 'My son is named after a black guy'

he couldn't even point to his one black facebook friend? he must be pretty racist to not even have a black facebook friend...
posted by anem0ne at 12:28 PM on July 9 [5 favorites]


Oh, apparently there is a Uk centric thread on the blue. Keep calm and carry on then.
posted by Justinian at 12:29 PM on July 9 [4 favorites]


The Trump-aligned super PAC Make America Great Again has now just revealed in FEC filings that it refunded $50,000 to donor Michael Dezertzov, a Florida real-estate developer who has partnered with Trump on several of high-profile real-estate projects, selling nearly $100 million in Trump buildings to Russian buyers.

Thanks for painting that bullseye so big and bright you Nazi dummies
posted by schadenfrau at 12:34 PM on July 9 [6 favorites]


The courts have no accountability over the President. Constitutionally the check on the President is Congress. Constitutionally the check on Congress are the People.

Yes. This is the Constitutional law theory that as yet remains untested. Certainly as it relates to the president's executive authority this is true. When it comes to criminal behavior unrelated to the discharge of duties related to the office, it isn't so clear.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:40 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]


Rewire news: Memo to Chuck Schumer: Stop Dithering and Start Fighting. Now.

What you don’t seem to get is that it inspires people to see leadership, to see people in power make clear they have convictions and principles and will fight to the end to support those principles on behalf of the good of all people. It is downright dispiriting to see you drone on about process and civility and plead with Trump to do the right thing. If ever in our history there was a man less concerned about the right thing, it is Trump. And if ever in our history we needed someone to lead come what may, it is now. Our democracy is at stake.
posted by Emmy Rae at 12:44 PM on July 9 [27 favorites]


Trump's former chauffeur has filed a lawsuit.

Noel Cintron, who worked as Trump’s driver for more than 25 years, said he was owed 3,300 hours of uncompensated overtime from his last six years on the job.

Mind you, Cintron was underpaid the entire time, but the statute of limitations allows him to pursue compensation for just those final years. Additionally:

Cintron also claimed his salary was increased just twice over a period of 15 years – from $62,700 in 2003 to $68,000 in 2006, and then to $75,000 in 2010. The second raise, he added, came with a caveat: Cintron alleged he was forced to surrender his health benefits, “saving Trump approximately $17,866.08 per year in health insurance premiums”.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:44 PM on July 9 [23 favorites]


then to $75,000 in 2010. The second raise, he added, came with a caveat: Cintron alleged he was forced to surrender his health benefits, “saving Trump approximately $17,866.08 per year in health insurance premiums

That is not a raise.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:47 PM on July 9 [44 favorites]


GOP lawmaker rejects racism charge: 'My son is named after a black guy'

"Great, so you condemn Corey Stewart and his racist remarks then?" should be the reply.

Break this down into smaller chunks so any nitwit can understand it.
1. Do you think saying racist things is bad?
2. You think being racist is bad?
3. Corey Stewart said racist things that indicates he is racist. Do you think that is bad?

If you agree that all of those things are bad, then condemn the bad man. That is now both the easiest and ONLY way to prove your not racist bonafides. Anything else is trying to weasel out of condemning racism and trying to weasel out of giving that condemnation only reinforces the impression that the guy is racist no matter how many black friends he has or who he named his kid after.

It's like a less extreme example of punching Nazis and this guy is saying, "Look, I'm all for punching Nazis, I named my kid after a famous Nazi puncher. I just don't want to punch Nazis."

I really wish more journalists would frame things as yes or no questions and then keep dogging the person they asked until they get a yes or no answer. Keep reminding them that it's a yes/no question and that anything other than a yes/no response will be treated as a "no".

"Do you condemn racist McNazipants?"

"I named my fish Dredd Scott."

"That's a 'no' then?"

"Look, racism is bad and racist people are bad."

"So that's a 'yes' you DO condemn Mr. McNazipants?"

Even a response of "Yes but..." would be worlds better than the non-answers everyone gives now. Why is this guy trying to muddy the waters on whether he's against racism? We all know it's because he wants racists to vote for him and he's okay with racism even if he doesn't actively support it (which is just another form of actively supporting racism) so don't let him obfusticate, ask yes/no questions and don't stop until you get a yes/no answer. If they won't play ball, tell them you're going to write it up as a "no" unless you hear them respond "yes".
posted by VTX at 12:53 PM on July 9 [22 favorites]


Yes. This is the Constitutional law theory that as yet remains untested. Certainly as it relates to the president's executive authority this is true. When it comes to criminal behavior unrelated to the discharge of duties related to the office, it isn't so clear.

It's really beside the point though. The President is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States (to the point where it's put into his damn oath) and can de facto stop any federal investigation into himself. That's why Congressional impeachment is the check and probably why the impeachment check statement is so broad (virtually anything Congress says is a crime is a crime worthy of removal from office). The outrage of the President trying to avoid prosecution is supposed to be enough to trigger an impeachment and removal for subsequent prosecution.

It's the whole freaking point of Article II. The President administers this stuff, Congress you're the check.

The problem is the system has never been stress tested by power craven partisans acting in unison to cover for a President's crimes and there's nothing written that lets the courts step in and stop the insanity.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 12:58 PM on July 9 [6 favorites]


Guys, am I reading this right: Does this mean denying quorum won't do shit to stop them from voting Benczkowski into that DOJ Criminal Division AG position later this afternoon?

I'm so tired of feeling helpless. My daily call/fax seems to just be more screaming into the void at this point. I guess we're just going to let Trump install a back channel into Mueller's Russia investigation now? Is there ANYTHING we can do to stop this?
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:59 PM on July 9 [5 favorites]


The right wingnut crowd seems to be gearing up to be mad if Hardiman gets the nod tonight? Really? It's not enough for them for a reliable conservative to be on the Court, it has to be a frothing partisan fanatic to own the libs?

Hardiman looks to be the least-bad option among the 4 contenders. Still pretty bad.
posted by Justinian at 1:04 PM on July 9


The Secrets of Leonard Leo, the Man Behind Trump’s Supreme Court Pick (Jay Michaelson, Daily Beast)
When President Donald Trump nominates a justice to the Supreme Court on Monday night, he will be carrying out the agenda of a small, secretive network of extremely conservative Catholic activists already responsible for placing three justices (Alito, Roberts, and Gorsuch) on the high court.

And yet few people know who they are—until now.

At the center of the network is Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society, the association of legal professionals that has been the pipeline for nearly all of Trump’s judicial nominees. (Leo is on leave from the Federalist Society to personally assist Trump in picking a replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy.) His formal title is executive vice president, but that role belies Leo’s influence.

Directly or through surrogates, he has placed dozens of life-tenure judges on the federal bench; effectively controls the Judicial Crisis Network, which led the opposition to President Obama’s high court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland; he heavily influences the Becket Fund law firm that represented Hobby Lobby in its successful challenge of contraception; and now supervises admissions and hires at the George Mason Law School, newly renamed in memory of Justice Antonin Scalia.
This is fine.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:07 PM on July 9 [42 favorites]


Hardiman looks to be the least-bad option among the 4 contenders.

So liberals won't be maximally unhappy. Therefore, unacceptable. I don't know why you are finding this hard to accept as the alpha and omega of their motivations. It's entirely on-brand.
posted by phearlez at 1:08 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Getting 95% of what they want is generally unacceptable to the hard right, as they view that as compromising on the other 5% and compromise is a Violation of True Conservatism.

This all-or-nothing attitude has let the Freedom Kook-us types seize defeat from the jaws of victory on many an occasion, so it's not necessarily a bad thing.

I tuned into Breitbart on Sirius this morning out of morbid curiosity, and their main concern was that Trump needs to pick whichever of the four will be the rightmost on the issue of immigration, full stop. Which tells you about what you need to know right now.
posted by delfin at 1:09 PM on July 9 [13 favorites]


Holy crow, Johnny Wallflower, that article is a Catholic conspiracies juggernaut. And Leo's barely 52, 53 years old?

Leo is a member of the secretive, extremely conservative Knights of Malta, a Catholic order founded in the 12th century that functions as a quasi-independent sovereign nation with its own diplomatic corps (separate from the Vatican), United Nations status, and a tremendous amount of money and land.

(It is the Daily Beast though, so in the bit about Opus Dei, "self-flagellation" is misspelled.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:37 PM on July 9 [4 favorites]




> Apologies if everyone else has always understood this, but-- he's trying to collect rent. Just like his dad. But instead of dunning Woody Guthrie & co., he's trying to dun Nato. Because shaking down tenants is how he was taught to display power and leadership and to interact with the world. It's a script that's been reinforced with him since he was little more than a fetus, and so, since that's what he knows how to do, and it's in his comfort zone, he's doing it.

On top of this, yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported in their article Summit Looms for a Strained NATO Alliance:
When German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Donald Trump shortly after he took office, the new U.S. president opened the meeting by telling her, “Angela, you owe me one trillion dollars.”

It was his estimate of a 14-year gap between what Germany spent on its own defense and what it had promised to spend under arrangements with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, according to an official briefed on the session.
This is Trump's idiot idea of a power play, and I will eat a MAGA hat if that $1T estimate has anything to do with reality.

In contrast, one of Putin's power plays is to dangle the possibility of a meeting and then rescind it. He used this on Trump, and he used it last week against the eight visiting senators.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:12 PM on July 9 [11 favorites]


I have good news! Sarah Kendzior and Andrea Chalupa are hosting a podcast called Gaslit Nation
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:26 PM on July 9 [18 favorites]


Kellyanne Conway's husband: I give my wife a 'harder time' about working for Trump than she gets walking down the street

I think he's saying we need to up our game.
posted by M-x shell at 2:29 PM on July 9 [47 favorites]


Can somebody make a new post about that Leonard Leo article that was posted above? Because that is fucking ridiculous.
posted by gucci mane at 2:31 PM on July 9 [4 favorites]


In other autocratic news, Turkey is a banana republic now.
Turkey’s lira plunged after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appointed his son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, as economic chief of his new administration, fueling investor unease that the government can calm financial markets.
The lira fell 3.8 percent to 4.7488 per dollar, extending one of the biggest slides across emerging markets this year. Albayrak served as energy minister since 2015.
So it looks like Erdogan is busy setting up the family business ready to Make the Ottoman Empire Great Again.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 2:43 PM on July 9 [13 favorites]




Yep I'm following the rumors about Kavanaugh with great interest.

The only reason I see for Trump to pick Kavanaugh is Trump's belief that Kavanaugh is the justice most likely to help shield him from Mueller. So maybe I should have assumed that would be the case. Of course any judge with an ounce of integrity would recuse if such a case came up about Trump. I'm sure he won't.
posted by Justinian at 2:47 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


How can it not be Kavanaugh? There's that time in 2009 when Kavanaugh wrote a law review article arguing that Congress should act to shield the President from criminal investigations and civil suits while in office: "The indictment and trial of a sitting President, moreover, would cripple the federal government." How can Trump not go with the guy who thinks the President is too busy to be investigated for crimes?
posted by zachlipton at 2:51 PM on July 9 [23 favorites]


That feeling when you're desperately hoping for John Roberts to be the guy to preserve the rule of law in your country...
posted by Justinian at 2:53 PM on July 9 [14 favorites]


BuzzFeed, Some Members Of Trump's Exclusive Clubs Appear To Have Been Invited To An Air Force One Tour
Some members of President Donald Trump's exclusive Florida clubs appear to have been invited to an Air Force One tour last year, according to an invitation obtained by BuzzFeed News, which was cross-checked with records received through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Members would not confirm or deny that they actually attended, but the invitations would raise more questions about the blurry line between Trump's administration and his family’s private businesses. Although past administrations have given Air Force One tours to friends, family, and even donors, in this case, those attending would have paid Trump’s exclusive clubs thousands of dollars annually.

Two separate tours were scheduled at the Atlantic Aviation FBO at Palm Beach International for 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Feb. 18, 2017 — hours before Trump held his first 2020 campaign rally less than 120 miles away at the Orlando Melbourne International Airport hangar.
The guy is in office less than a month, and he's conducting plane tours for his customers.
posted by zachlipton at 2:59 PM on July 9 [15 favorites]


In other autocratic news, Turkey is a banana republic now.

Oh, and Erdogan also abolished the EU affairs ministry, fired most of its staff, and subsumed the rest into the foreign ministry, thanks to his newly authorized expanded powers. That will make the NATO summit more awkward, but he'll no doubt receive approval from Trump.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:11 PM on July 9 [4 favorites]


Members would not confirm or deny that they actually attended, but the invitations would raise more questions about the blurry line between Trump's administration and his family’s private businesses.

Because the Trump administration seems to be all grift all the time, I would maintain that the line is not at all blurry. It just doesn't exist.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:13 PM on July 9 [7 favorites]


Getting 95% of what they want is generally unacceptable to the hard right, as they view that as compromising on the other 5% and compromise is a Violation of True Conservatism.

I think he should be allowed to appoint all 4 & swap them in & out depending on the nature of the case. It's only fair.
posted by scalefree at 3:15 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


He could sell it as being like tagging in & out in wrestling. Maybe they'll get to pick funny names & wear masks & costumes.
posted by scalefree at 3:17 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Kavanaugh's 53, clerked for Kennedy, is an evangelical Roman Catholic, and already has most of the sought-after bona fides, including:

Senate Democrats have complained that a federal appeals court judge may have misled them at his confirmation hearings when he said he had no role in formulating detention policy when he was an official in the Bush White House.

Senators Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, a committee member, have questioned the forthrightness of the judge, Brett M. Kavanaugh, of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

NYT, July 3, 2007
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:26 PM on July 9 [4 favorites]


> Re. the WHO breastfeeding topic, I suspect that the key point is this sentence: "...who described it as a marked contrast to the Obama administration, which largely supported W.H.O.’s longstanding policy of encouraging breast-feeding."

Obama supported it, therefore the Trump administration is against it. Bonus, of course, for the fact that some lobbyist cash can flow their way.


Also, Trump is not a fan of the act itself: Trump called breastfeeding mom 'disgusting'
posted by homunculus at 3:35 PM on July 9 [7 favorites]


Vice: Trump was like a “predator” toward teens at parties in ’80s and ’90s, says BBC report

The report featured Monday on the BBC Panorama investigative documentary series, entitled “Trump: Is the president a sex pest?” included testimony from two women who said they encountered Trump at parties during his time as a real estate magnate and operator of beauty pageants. [...]

Pilling said she was not the youngest girl at the party, claiming there were girls as young as 14 attending. “I felt I was in the presence of a shark,” Pilling said, describing Trump.

posted by Rust Moranis at 3:42 PM on July 9 [19 favorites]


The correct term is “predator.”
posted by schadenfrau at 3:51 PM on July 9 [10 favorites]


The correct term is “predator.”

Superpredator seems more apt.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 3:55 PM on July 9 [11 favorites]


Control+F Epstein. No hits? Oh, c'mon now, fourth estate.
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:57 PM on July 9 [17 favorites]


NYT, Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Trump Poised to Enter NATO Meeting as Wild Card Among Allies
Mr. Trump’s advisers are hoping to avoid a blowup akin to the one the president provoked at the Group of 7 summit meeting in Quebec last month, and have pointed Mr. Trump to evidence that NATO allies have responded to his aggressive pressure by increasing their own military spending.

But in private conversations, the president has been dismissive of the military alliance and the European Union, suggesting both entities exist to take advantage of the United States and strip it of capital.
...
During a phone call with Mr. Putin in March, when the president was urged by aides not to congratulate the Russian president on his electoral victory, Mr. Trump did just that. He told Mr. Putin that Russia and the United States should get along better. And he commiserated with Mr. Putin over Trump administration officials whom the Russian president said had tried to prevent the call from happening, according to a person with direct knowledge of the conversation.

“Those are stupid people; you shouldn’t listen to them,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Putin, the person said.
posted by zachlipton at 4:00 PM on July 9 [13 favorites]


Trump does not see himself as subservient to Putin, he sees Putin as an ally, therefore subservient to him. Depending on how skillfully Putin handles him (which is likely but not a sure thing), this alliance may not succeed; our hopes and prayers should be that it does not.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:08 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


I don't know about that, Trump seems to think of Putin as a "friend", and has a strange obsession with Putin being his "best friend".
posted by gucci mane at 4:22 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Pilling said she was not the youngest girl at the party, claiming there were girls as young as 14 attending. “I felt I was in the presence of a shark,” Pilling said, describing Trump.

Things that don't interest him he ignores, they may as well not exist. Like ambassadors; who needs em? Things that interest him consume him like fire, like destroying Obama's legacy or pursuing teenage girls. He's owned no less than three beauty pageants: Miss USA, Miss Universe & Miss Teen USA. He was forced to sell them all in 2015 after ethnic slurs against Mexicans made broadcasters distance themselves from him. While he owned them he was pretty creepy towards contestants. That's why he bought the pageants, so he could be creepy to the girls.
posted by scalefree at 4:24 PM on July 9 [9 favorites]


Trump Poised to Enter NATO Meeting as Wild Card Among Allies

Am I the only one reminded of Charlie Kelly declaring himself the WILD CARD after he cut the brake lines on the car he and his friends were all inside? Because it seems so relevant.
posted by Justinian at 4:29 PM on July 9 [25 favorites]


Some good news as we wait for the big news. @abogadatejana: Breaking! Judge Gee denies Trump Administration’s motion to modify the Flores Settlement Agreement (protecting detained immigrant children for 20 years) as "procedurally improper and wholly without merit."

Here's the order, and the Politico write-up: Judge rejects Trump request to alter agreement on release of immigrant kids:
Los Angeles-based U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee dismissed as "tortured" the Trump administrations legal argument to get out from under the so-called Flores consent decree agreed to back in 1997, dictating that children in immigration detention not be held more than 20 days.

"Defendants seek to light a match to the Flores Agreement and ask this Court to upend the parties’ agreement by judicial fiat," wrote Gee, an appointee of President Barack Obama. "It is apparent that Defendants’ Application is a cynical attempt...to shift responsibility to the Judiciary for over 20 years of Congressional inaction and ill-considered Executive action that have led to the current stalemate."

Gee's order says some immigrant families could be detained together if the parents' consent, but suggests that without that consent immigration authorities must release the children.
posted by zachlipton at 5:31 PM on July 9 [25 favorites]




Brought to you by Jay Pinho and Victoria Kwan, the co-creators of SCOTUS Map:
SCOTUS Watch tracks the public statements made by United States senators about how they plan to vote on the Supreme Court nominee, and tallies them into a likely vote count. This tally is based solely on their statements: we do not make estimates or guesses based on a senator's party affiliation or ideology.

Note that this only includes statements made by senators after the identity of the nominee is announced. (So, for example, Senator Doug Jones' statement to CNN on Sunday, July 8th would not count, as the nominee had not yet been announced.)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:39 PM on July 9


NBC reporting that Trump has selected Brett Kavanaugh, as expected, for the SCOTUS seat.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 5:53 PM on July 9


Is that a phone ringing in the previous thread? Because I called it.

Seriously, though. AP's confirmed the Kavanaugh nomination, so the media can stop covering this like it was a reality TV contest and start doing their job, say, by asking him up front and on the record if he'll recuse himself in any cases directly involving Trump.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:04 PM on July 9 [17 favorites]


TIL Ed Meese is still alive
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:05 PM on July 9 [8 favorites]


He'll have a pre-canned non-answer to that question. I'm sure he's been coached extensively on how to answer it so all the Republicans and red state Dems can vote for him and still maintain plausible deniability.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:06 PM on July 9 [5 favorites]


Trump announces Kavanaugh, after shouting out Ed Meese, in the audience, to show how Reaganeque he is, mentioning Reagan a couple times for emphasis.

How could it have ever been anybody but the "Congress should make sure the President can't be investigated for crimes because he's very busy" guy? And now we get a national discussion on re-litigating the Clinton impeachment, Vince Foster papers, the works. Kavanaugh is 53.
posted by zachlipton at 6:06 PM on July 9 [17 favorites]


Kavanaugh leads with a big old lie about no other President hiunting linger for just the right justice, so that’s endearing. Clearly a conservative in the Trumpian “totally bullshit you, right to your face” mold.
posted by Artw at 6:15 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


link to the venting MeTa.

(For your convenience, The Abyss has already begun staring back into you.)
posted by Barack Spinoza at 6:18 PM on July 9 [13 favorites]


So the guy who said:
In particular, Congress might consider a law exempting a President—while in office—from criminal prosecution and investigation, including from questioning by criminal prosecutors or defense counsel. Criminal investigations targeted at or revolving around a President are inevitably politicized by both their supporters and critics. As I have written before, “no Attorney General or special counsel will have the necessary credibility to avoid the inevitable charges that he is politically motivated—whether in favor of the President or against him, depending on the individual leading the investigation and its results.” The indictment and trial of a sitting President, moreover, would cripple the federal government, rendering it unable to function with credibility in either the international or domestic arenas. Such an outcome would ill serve the public interest, especially in times of financial or national security crisis.
...also proposed that Ken Starr ask the following questions of Bill Clinton:
"If Monica Lewinsky says that you ejaculated into her mouth on two occasions in the Oval Office area on two occasions, would she by lying?"

"If Monica Lewinsky says that you masturbated into a trashcan in your secretary's office would she be lying?"

"If Monica Lewinsky says that on several occasions you had her give you oral sex, made her stop, and then ejaculated into the sink in the bathroom off the oval office, would she be lying?"
Does not compute.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:23 PM on July 9 [14 favorites]


There's no chance Kavanaugh won't be confirmed. Zero. They might as well vote tonight, it's done already. The only one that maybe could've been defeated would've been Barrett.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:23 PM on July 9 [7 favorites]


Anti-abortion groups are coming out against him so there's something. Not that it will matter.
posted by dilaudid at 6:29 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Montgomery County in Maryland is about to be run by an extremely cranky socialist who won by a razor thin margin “MoCo has more people than 7 states and a unitary county executive, which means there's a solid case that Marc Elrich is going to be the most powerful socialist executive in the country, with a chunk of the Beltway media living in his jurisdiction.”
posted by The Whelk at 6:35 PM on July 9 [49 favorites]


Ben Wittes: have known Brett a long time—in a number of different capacities. I will have a lot to say about his nomination in the coming days. For now, I will just say that he is a scholarly and thoughtful judge, a genuinely ecumenical thinker, and an extremely fine person.

Ostensibly Democratic public intellectuals don't have to do this. You really don't have to give Joe Manchin cover to vote for the guy will uneqivcoably criminalize abortion and overrule democracy for the next 50 years.

Oh, look, the NYT had this just ready to go: A Liberal’s Case for Brett Kavanaugh. And this is a hell of a disclosure even for the laughable NYT: "(Disclosure: I was one of Judge Kavanaugh’s professors when he was a student at Yale Law School.)"

Cancel your subscriptions.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:36 PM on July 9 [47 favorites]


[Couple deleted; let's take emotional stuff over to the venting thread, and let's stick to updates in here.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 6:40 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]


“A Liberal”. Go fuck yourself, NY Times.

In a brief respite from hell news:
Hecklers spoil another Mitch McConnell meal by blaring 'Fight The Power'
posted by Artw at 6:41 PM on July 9 [56 favorites]


Does not compute.

He even seems to realize this, and offers a sort of explanation in his law review article. In short, he joined the Bush Administration, discovered Presidenting is hard, and developed a rather different view of executive power. After waxing poetic about how hard Bush's job was:
Having seen first-hand how complex and difficult that job is, I believe it vital that the President be able to focus on his never-ending tasks with as few distractions as possible. The country wants the President to be “one of us” who bears the same responsibilities of citizenship that all share. But I believe that the President should be excused from some of the burdens of ordinary citizenship while serving in office.

This is not something I necessarily thought in the 1980s or 1990s. Like many Americans at that time, I believed that the President should be required to shoulder the same obligations that we all carry. But in retrospect, that seems a mistake. Looking back to the late 1990s, for example, the nation certainly would have been better off if President Clinton could have focused on Osama bin Laden without being distracted by the Paula Jones sexual harassment case and its criminal-investigation offshoots. To be sure, one can correctly say that President Clinton brought that ordeal on himself, by his answers during his deposition in the Jones case if nothing else. And my point here is not to say that the relevant actors—the Supreme Court in Jones, Judge Susan Webber Wright, and Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr—did anything other than their proper duty under the law as it then existed. But the law as it existed was itself the problem, particularly the extent to which it allowed civil suits against presidents to proceed while the President is in office.
Then he goes on to say Congress should defer civil suits against the President and that Congress should do the same "with respect to criminal investigations and prosecutions of the President."

In other words, he writes that he realized his work on the Starr Investigation made the country less safe once he learned the President had a lot to do, which really is not an impressive realization for a Supreme Court Justice to be coming around to.
posted by zachlipton at 6:41 PM on July 9 [21 favorites]


Really happy to say that the top response to NYT's tweet of that execrable "A liberal's case for Brett Kavanaugh" article is a GIF which seems to display a hippo's butt in the throes of diarrhea
posted by the turtle's teeth at 6:42 PM on July 9 [24 favorites]


RE: Marc Elrich

I voted for him specifically because I was so turned off by David Blair's bombardment of mailers, fliers, and even targeted Twitter ads. His campaign platform seemed to be entirely based on giving money to businesses. Blair basically spent his campaign money to convince me to find someone who wasn't him to vote for.
posted by runcibleshaw at 6:43 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


The True Believers are pissed that it's not Coney Barrett, according to my recon into deplorable online territories, so there's that.
posted by Ruki at 6:45 PM on July 9 [5 favorites]


T.D. Strange: Oh, look, the NYT had this just ready to go: A Liberal’s Case for Brett Kavanaugh. And this is a hell of a disclosure even for the laughable NYT: "(Disclosure: I was one of Judge Kavanaugh’s professors when he was a student at Yale Law School.)"

Their twitter hed is even worse: "The nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be the next Supreme Court justice is President Trump’s finest hour, his classiest move"

Aside from Rukmini Callimachi's Pulitzer Prize worthy reporting on ISIS, the whole paper needs to go in the dumpster.
posted by bluecore at 7:01 PM on July 9


It's an opinion piece, folks. Bring some context to this.
posted by Miko at 7:05 PM on July 9 [13 favorites]


Doesn't sound like we are getting a judge reluctant to overturn established law...
A judge who seeks merely to follow precedent can simply read previous judicial opinions. But an “originalist” judge — who also cares about what the Constitution meant when its words were ratified in 1788...
The last time the Supreme Court refused to overturn Roe was because it was established law people already organized their lives around. Republicans know this. Willingness to overturn precedent, especially previous Supreme Court decisions, is code for "will overturn Roe".
posted by xammerboy at 7:09 PM on July 9 [5 favorites]


@frankthorp: Key vote watch: @SenatorCollins says Judge Kavanaugh “has impressive credentials and extensive experience”

Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:10 PM on July 9 [32 favorites]


Hecklers spoil another Mitch McConnell meal by blaring 'Fight The Power'

Please keep posting these. I know they’re trivial amongst the “real” news, but knowing these assholes are losing peace in their private lives is some of the only good news I get anymore.
posted by greermahoney at 7:29 PM on July 9 [59 favorites]


Hecklers spoil another Mitch McConnell meal by blaring 'Fight The Power'

Can someone communicate suggestions to the people who are in position to heckle McConnell some more? Because I can make some more suggestions. For example, I wish someone would blast the crying of the children held in detection. I wish someone would blast McConnell's voice when he said he would hold up the selection of a new judge "because it shouldn't be done during an election year".
posted by StrawberryPie at 7:33 PM on July 9 [11 favorites]


It's an opinion piece, folks.

It is, but not all opinions are worth publishing in the most important papers in the world and are part of the endless stream of pro-Republican apologia after playing a big part in the endless "but her emails" and various pro-Trump opinion pieces before the election.

I mean, this editorial isn't going to do anything, but the space certainly could have been better used with a well thought out piece on why it should be inappropriate for a Justice appointed by a president under investigation to rule on related cases than this.
posted by Candleman at 7:36 PM on July 9 [36 favorites]


It's an opinion piece, folks. Bring some context to this.

That the paper of record had solicited, pre-planned and ready to publish the moment Trump's pick to overturn Roe was announced. A paper is not required to publish any opinion from any random Trump supporter or pre-planted messaging campaign rollout, they choose to participate in this, every, single, time. It's not just some professor's opinion, it's the NYT's editorial decision to endorse it.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:36 PM on July 9 [66 favorites]


Tommy Vietor :"Brett Kavanaugh spent 5 years in the Bush White House. He undoubtedly sent tens of thousands of emails. All of those are public record and Democrats and the media should demand that they be posted online like Elena Kagan's emails were."
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:37 PM on July 9 [92 favorites]


You think the WSJ would've ran "The Conservative's Case for Paul Watford" the second President Clinton announced him? Fuck no. Ask yourself why the NYT does this.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:38 PM on July 9 [23 favorites]


The only reason I see for Trump to pick Kavanaugh is Trump's belief that Kavanaugh is the justice most likely to help shield him from Mueller.

I believe the thing I first heard a year ago - that Kennedy agreed to retire in exchange for Trump picking one of his clerks. Now that also would have applied to Harriman, so I’m not sure what influenced his choice between those two, but I think the major reason was “because backroom deal”.
posted by corb at 7:43 PM on July 9 [5 favorites]


"The liberal case for a Trump third term." NYT, November 2024
posted by perhapses at 7:44 PM on July 9 [67 favorites]


The connection of Kennedy-son-Deutschbank-Trump is still bothering me. Media really waved that off.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:47 PM on July 9 [52 favorites]


We're bound to see a lot of generally-anti-Trump Republicans talk about how this is a decent and acceptable choice. Their opinions will be framed as if they're being fair. It'll ignore how much work generally-anti-Trump Republicans did to get us into this nightmare in the first place.

An awful lot of them don't have a problem with most of what Trump does, but rather the way he does it. They want their dystopia with more dignity and the racism and sexism to come with a little less noise, but they still want all that.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 7:51 PM on July 9 [27 favorites]


Should the Kavanaugh discussion go in the SCOTUS thread?

Here's former Obama NSC Dan Shapiro on the coming storm:
1. I don't think we are fully grappling with the possibility that we could be on the on the cusp of a completely new era, a fundamental reshaping of the international order. And I don't mean over the course of the Trump Administration. I mean by next week.

2. It sounds outlandish to even say it out loud, and some can easily call this hyperbole. I hope to God it does not happen. But we would be insane not to grapple with the possibility.

3. Trump clearly wants to pull the US out of NATO. He doesn't believe in the alliance (or any alliances); he thinks our allies take advantage of us; he complains that NATO is worse than NAFTA(whatever that means); he seeks purely transactional relations with our closest partners.

4. Should other NATO members meet their 2% of GDP defense spending targets? Absolutely. Trump is on solid ground to push for it. But to consistently trash allies, undervalue their contributions to our security, threaten to withdraw US troops -- that's him wanting out.

5. Perhaps most damaging is that his rhetoric is building up hostility to NATO among his supporters. It's a huge breach in the consensus American support for the alliance that has undergirded Western security for 70 years, and it won't disappear when Trump does.

6. What's more, his passionate desire for friendship with Putin is emboldening Russia & risks doing further damage to European security. If he recognizes Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea, if he seeks to tone down sanctions on Russia over its aggression vs Ukraine, watch out.

7. This could play out in the next 2 weeks. If he sabotages the NATO summit the way he did the G-7, don't be surprised if he actually makes a move toward exiting NATO. Think he won't? On what basis? Because his staff restrains him? Because of his strategic understanding? Please.

8. If we get there, the implications are innumerable & terrifying: Russia pawing at Baltics &other E & C European states; breakdown of joint defense structures; withdrawal of US troops from Euro bases; less restrained German foreign policy; weaker US power projection to Eurasia.

9. That just scratches the surface. We honestly cannot begin to imagine living in a new era without these international organizing structures. Because for all of NATO's challenges, no sane person or American political leader has or would contemplate such a reckless move.

10. But it could happen. Our President doesn't know the history or strategy, doesn't listen to experts, personalizes everything & makes it transactional, & loves the drama of the outrageous move that dominates cable TV coverage. For him, pulling out of NATO is all gain, no cost.

11. Even as I write this, it sounds fantastical. I will be the happiest person on the planet if I look back at this thread and say, man, you were way overreacting. But we need to be ready for this awful scenario to play out.

12. I repeat: we are potentially on the verge of a wildly dangerous cascade of events that will devastate our interests, weaken our leadership, abandon our allies, embolden our adversaries, and make the world a darker and more brutal place.

13. We have done no planning for this course of action. No one thinks it is a good idea. But one man, whose knowledge and values are wanting, whose motivation is suspect, and whose supporters follow him blindly, could take us there. END
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:55 PM on July 9 [102 favorites]


Welp, if he takes us out of NATO wasn't the Cold War fought entirely in vain?
posted by Sphinx at 8:28 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]


Pompeo just did a goodwill visit in Vietnam so it wasn't a total loss
posted by Apocryphon at 8:35 PM on July 9


Roger Stone is already running ads linking Kavanaugh to a coverup of Vince Foster's death, if you thought this somehow wasn't the stupidest possible timeline.
posted by zachlipton at 8:43 PM on July 9 [20 favorites]


I’m sure many Americans are fond of their hegemony but that really isn’t the thing most people to be affected by the end of NATO are fearing.
posted by Artw at 8:46 PM on July 9 [5 favorites]


I guess it's as good a time as any to repost Howard Zinn's Don't Despair about the Supreme Court
The Constitution gave no rights to working people: no right to work less than twelve hours a day, no right to a living wage, no right to safe working conditions. Workers had to organize, go on strike, defy the law, the courts, the police, create a great movement which won the eight-hour day, and caused such commotion that Congress was forced to pass a minimum wage law, and Social Security, and unemployment insurance.
---
The right of a woman to an abortion did not depend on the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. It was won before that decision, all over the country, by grassroots agitation that forced states to recognize the right. If the American people, who by a great majority favor that right, insist on it, act on it, no Supreme Court decision can take it away.

The rights of working people, of women, of black people have not depended on decisions of the courts. Like the other branches of the political system, the courts have recognized these rights only after citizens have engaged in direct action powerful enough to win these rights for themselves.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:48 PM on July 9 [77 favorites]


[A few comments deleted; let's not relitigate the end of the British empire.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:56 PM on July 9 [29 favorites]


A disaster foretold (Spiegel Online)
Berlin is bracing itself for similar hectoring at the summit -- a continuation of the kind of treatment received by German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen during her recent trip to Washington. [... V]on der Leyen had actually gone to explain to the U.S. government why Germany would not be able to reach 1.5 percent by 2024. At the same time, she was armed with facts and figures to show how deeply the German military was engaged in the alliance.

But that didn't help the atmosphere. For one thing, U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell surprised the Germans by flying to Washington to take part in all of the minister's discussions there. It was an unmistakable gesture: Donald Trump's watchdog was there to make sure that Berlin did not get off lightly.

Grenell left the attacking to John Bolton, Trump's national security advisor. Von der Leyen spent almost an hour in Bolton's narrow White House office, ensuring him that she had used almost all her political capital to push for an increase in defense spending.

Bolton listened, his staff diligently taking notes. But von der Leyen was unable to persuade the hardliner, and shortly before the end of the meeting, Bolton made the U.S. viewpoint clear, explicitly saying he was speaking in the name of the president. German engagement was nice, he said. But for the former businessman Trump, "only cash" mattered. Because Berlin hasn't delivered on that score, Bolton said, Trump was quite ang