"pRoVen INnoCeNt"
October 9, 2018 2:29 PM   Subscribe

Despite everything, Justice Kavanaugh was sworn in to the SCOTUS on the evening of Saturday, Oct 6, by Chief Justice John Roberts. The NY Times has reported evidence of tax fraud from the '70s and '80s; Donald Trump and his family evaded a tax bill that could have been as high as half a billion dollars. Trump is currently the President of the United States. Nikki Haley, ambassador to the U.N., has announced her resignation. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change produced a new report warning of warming by as much as 1.5°C as early as 2040. More shady shit around Trump's 2016 campaign is coming out.

To explain the title: While Kavanaugh was sworn in on Saturday, a matching public ceremony was held on Monday, where Pres. Trump made comments and said (contrary to facts) Kavanaugh had been "proven innocent".

Meanwhile, ethics complaints involving Kavanaugh have been filed with the DC Circuit Court, but will probably now be dropped.

Shady Campaign Shit:
• Trump Campaign Aide Requested Online Manipulation Plans From Israeli Intelligence Firm (NYT), in which Trump campaign official Rick Gates requested proposals to use fake online identities and social media manipulation for the campaign and a suspicious Trump Tower meeting with the owner of the intelligence firm, George Nader, Erik Prince, and Donald Trump Jr.

• GOP Operative Secretly Raised at Least $100,000 in Search for Clinton Emails; Opposition researcher’s efforts are of intense interest to investigators probing Russian election interference (WSJ/@WSJ) Including his own $50K contribution Peter W. Smith raised a total of $150K for the nonexistent "the Washington Scholarship Fund for the Russian students".

• The FBI freezes the assets of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Meanwhile, onetime Deripaska employee Paul Manafort faces asset forfeiture, including his Trump Tower condo.

Other news:
ActBlue is highlighting a Great Slate of new progressive candidates.

Ted Cruz declines a debate, so challenger Beto O’Rourke gets an hour on national TV by himself. Star-Telegram with a headshot of O'Rourke that makes him look weirdly like the guy in American Psycho.

Invisible Primary 2020: Cory Booker gives 'the speech of his life' in Iowa, Kamala Harris plans an Iowa visit, and Elizabeth Warren says she'll take a 'hard look' at running for president.

Maybe Dumbing it Down is Good Politics - Martin Longman, Washington Monthly; research has emerged showing that lower verbal and cognitive ability is predictive of Trump support

Reuters, Lawrence Hurley, U.S. top court rebuffs appeal of Kavanaugh ruling nixing climate rule: a 2015 regulation on HFCs was struck down in 2017, coincidentally by Judge Kavanaugh. The SCOTUS is letting it stay struck down.

HuffPo, Mary Papenfuss, Watchdog Group Calls For Probe Of Nikki Haley Flights Funded By Businessmen

Mother Jones, Rebecca Leber, This Oil Lobbyist Is the Real Power Behind Trump’s Interior Department

NY Mag's Grub Street reports, Government Drops Deportation Case Against Pizza Deliveryman Pablo Villavicencio

AP, Deported parents may lose to adoption

Buzzfeed, Hamed Aleaziz, ICE Attorneys Were Told Last Year To Stop Using Their Discretion In Immigration Cases

Taylor Swift makes an Instagram post endorsing Philip Bredesen, who is running for Congress in Tennessee. Dudes are mad about it, but she may have sparked a surge in voter registrations.

Previously in U.S. Politics FPPs: 'Indelible in the Hippocampus is the Laughter')

Remember to check your voter registration: voter registration deadlines are upon us.

As always, 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.

Per the July 28 Metatalk discussion, we should expect and plan for another thread next Monday, Oct 15th. Thank you to the users who contributed to drafting this post on the MeFi wiki.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant (1413 comments total) 122 users marked this as a favorite
 
I've started receiving voter information booklets, but I simply cannot figure out why they never have a pre-printed card or usable page on which I can indicate my choices and take to the polls. Like a cheatsheet. It sure makes it hard to research when I have to remember everything, or use their fake ballot facsimile that is multiple pages and printed sideways on the page.
posted by rhizome at 2:34 PM on October 9 [10 favorites]


The New York Times continues its transition to a hilarious comedic daily: Beto O’Rourke May Benefit From an Unlikely Support Group: White Evangelical Women
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:35 PM on October 9 [7 favorites]


U.S. top court rebuffs appeal of Kavanaugh ruling nixing climate rule:

Too many negatives!!
posted by Melismata at 2:40 PM on October 9 [25 favorites]


Like a cheatsheet. It sure makes it hard to research when I have to remember everything, or use their fake ballot facsimile that is multiple pages and printed sideways on the page.

In the great state of California we get TWO books -- the first is the big one with all the verbiage about candidates and propositions and local measures SOME EVEN IN ALL CAPS which often indicates that candidate or advocate is likely a crank. The second one is smaller and almost fits in a back pocket. It's got less verbiage, but it looks a lot like your regular ballot and you can fill in the bubbles as you expect you will and you can bring it into the booth with you when you mark up the real deal.
posted by notyou at 2:42 PM on October 9 [8 favorites]


BuzzFeed, Vera Bergengruen, The US Military Is Now Recruiting Soldiers To Fight In A War That Started Before They Were Born
Today, for the first time in history, a young American can enlist to fight in a US war that started before he or she was born.

As the war in Afghanistan enters its 18th year and the US Army falls thousands short of its recruiting goals, the Pentagon is recognizing it has to do something different to recruit an age group that does not remember 9/11 and for whom the “war on terror” has been background noise their entire lives. This includes rethinking some of its traditional military PR, which has unintentionally turned the corner from inspiring to morbid by highlighting that some of the young people enlisting today are taking over the same tasks in the very same places their parents fought almost a generation ago.
posted by zachlipton at 2:43 PM on October 9 [99 favorites]


Afghanistan still the world's reigning champion "Graveyard of Empires."

We were so sure we were going to break the streak.
posted by notyou at 2:45 PM on October 9 [82 favorites]




I wrote this in the last thread right as the new thread was posted, so posting again here:

There already was one debate, how did he come off? What was the media take on the debate? What little I had seen online seemed to say Beto underwhelmed, but I'd like to hear from someone who saw it.

I watched it. Based on the comments I'm seeing here, I had a different take from the norm. Overall, I thought Beto did worse than I was hoping he would, and Ted Cruz did much better.

Beto was definitely likeable, but I felt like he was talking to the Democratic base way more than I'd like in a red state like Texas. Ted Cruz repeatedly painted him as a crazy socialist, and though Beto pushed back a few times, many times he let the accusation stand, or addressed a loaded Cruz attack on its own terms, rather than disputing the premises.

A good example that stands out in my memory: The candidates were asked a question about the recent shooting of the black man in his own apartment. Cruz took it as an opportunity to chastise Beto for jumping the gun and saying the officer should be fired without an investigation, and then went into the tropes about how an officer's job is hard, etc., and how can he be so willing to fire her before he even knows what happened? Why is he anti-police?

Beto took that and talked purely about how terrible it was for the black man who died, which was true and good. But he never went back and talked about his love of police or addressed the baked in assumption from Cruz that treated firing the same as charging with a crime. I think it would have been a good opportunity to talk about how everyone agrees police have a tough job, and someone who jumps to shooting someone before realizing they're in the wrong house, etc., maybe they don't have the kind of elite judgment that we ask of our officers? That they have a tough job that we're extremely grateful they do every day to keep us safe, so we need tough officers?

So when the question was done, you could have the impression that Beto was somehow anti-police instead of pro-not-killing unarmed black men, because it was an allegation Cruz made and Beto didn't take head on.

A few other times Beto addressed smears like this by saying Cruz was lying, which he was, but without really laying out the truth or why it was a lie.

I was also expecting Cruz to come off as stale white bread. But he was sharp and on point. Much more likeable than I wanted (and it pains me deeply to say that).

So overall, yeah, I love Beto and I'd love to have him as a candidate here in California. But I was worried that he didn't do enough to counter Ted Cruz's smears of him as a radical leftist, and I think a few of them stuck.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 2:49 PM on October 9 [24 favorites]


@katzish:
New CNN poll of likely voters, generic Cong. midterm:
        Dem.       Repub.
Now     54%        41%
Sept.   52%        42%
With women it's even more dramatic: 63% support Dem, 33% Repub
Today = last day to register in many states. Get on it
Keep working towards registering voters. And when those deadlines pass, make sure those voters get to the polls!
posted by gwint at 2:52 PM on October 9 [19 favorites]




I have a (real) question:
What will happen if media outlets will drop the "alleged" moniker, and start referring to Kavanaugh as "Supreme Court Judge / Rapist"?
I mean, he cannot sue them for defamation, since they're entitled to use discovery in a trial, no?
posted by growabrain at 2:57 PM on October 9 [13 favorites]


Haha! Media outlets won't even call the president a liar.
posted by thebrokedown at 3:03 PM on October 9 [68 favorites]


Also, BrettKavanaugh.com now directs users to resources for sexual assault survivors
posted by growabrain at 3:03 PM on October 9 [133 favorites]


What will happen if media outlets will drop the "alleged" moniker, and start referring to Kavanaugh as "Supreme Court Judge / Rapist"?

This is why I refer to Trump as "just a wanna-be rapist" after his "locker room talk" explanation.
posted by Groundhog Week at 3:05 PM on October 9 [4 favorites]


ActBlue is highlighting a Great Slate of progressive candidates who they believe have a good chance to win, but need funds.

I love the Great Slate and what Maciej is doing, but this is not a slate of candidates who have a good chance to win. As Chrysostom showed in the tail of the last thread, many of these are not strong pickup opportunities for 2018.

Which isn't at all a bad thing. A little money goes a long way in many of these districts, and planting foundations for progressive candidates in Trump-voting districts is really important for the future. But I don't think of the Great Slate as a "take back the House" fund at this point, and if that's your strategic goal for the next month, I'd argue there are ways in in which your money and time can be better used.
posted by zachlipton at 3:10 PM on October 9 [10 favorites]


This is why I refer to Trump as "just a wanna-be rapist" after his "locker room talk" explanation.

Trump is an actual rapist.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:10 PM on October 9 [54 favorites]


EVEN THOUGH it was posted before, if you haven't already, please read Maciej Cegłowski's amazing piece about what it's like on the front lines of progressives trying to be elected....and please, if you don't know about the great slate and you know someone who wants to contribute towards genuine progressives who have a chance at taking a congressional seat, forward this link.
posted by lalochezia at 3:11 PM on October 9 [16 favorites]


Re: Beto on TV for an hour: yay! I bet a bunch of watch parties get set up during this too (like we did during the first debate). Where people raise money, phonebank, paint rocks*, write postcards, plan canvasses. And I'm not the only one who loves watching Beto even simply go through the drive-thru at Whataburger (on the facebook live streams). He's makes everything engaging, entertaining.

"Go Beto" is becoming a social greeting by the way. You wear your Beto shirt, as others pass you they say: Go Beto, and you say it back. I'm really digging that.

*There is this group of older women mostly who paint rocks with "Vote Beto" on them and they hide them around town for others to find. I never knew about rock painting before meeting this one woman who is into it. She started doing it after her son died of an opioid overdose. It helped her tolerate the grief. She met Beto, he's trying to find better ways to fight the opioid epidemic, and she started painting Beto rocks. And then some others joined her. They are really beautiful, colorful, sweet, and loving. And she's pretty prolific. She cracks out hundreds. A friend who is a canvasser uses them as a paperweight for Beto canvass cards when people aren't home. A woman who hosts phone banks has phonebank / rock painting parties that get people in the room together then phone banking doesn't seem so hard or weird and some of the people who started out crafting start calling too.

There's an energy to this campaign that brings out a lot of creativity in people. It's like a life force that just feeds kindness. I'm ready for this campaign to be over because the intensity of it is really too much a lot of the time, but at the same time I love this space where I'm meeting people and making friends, seeing and being around people being creative and passionate. I worry about some folks if this doesn't happen to the degree we desire. I should include myself there really. It's just, I don't know.
posted by dog food sugar at 3:12 PM on October 9 [102 favorites]


As for in-voting booth cheat sheets, there's a site that will let you load up your ballot ahead of time and let you make your decisions, saved behind a login. You could save that and pull it up when you get to the booth as a cheat sheet.
posted by msbutah at 3:14 PM on October 9 [6 favorites]


It may be too late to get this going but I donated a few bucks to Beto's campaign and would buy a painted Texas Beto rock for a surprising premium over other, non-painted rocks.

Seriously, they could sell their unique painted rocks to us rockless non-Texans to raise money for the Beto-machine. I'd gladly pay $50 + shipping (or more) for a genuine painted by a woman from Texas Beto rock. It's the perfect gift for you AND your politically obsessed brother who you just know needs a Beto rock for Christmas.

C'mon Beto for Texas ladies! Don't make me beg!
posted by ensign_ricky at 3:18 PM on October 9 [17 favorites]


Am I the only one who looks at Beto and the broad support he's getting and gets flashbacks to Obama's first Senate run?
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 3:21 PM on October 9 [27 favorites]


Am I the only one who looks at Beto and the broad support he's getting and gets flashbacks to Obama's first Senate run?

It's been pointed out more than a few times. He's energizing, exciting, and he's able to push leftward while seeming "reasonable" to moderates.

The only reason it's not being focused more is that people are really focusing on a lot of different campaigns, because we need many Democratic senators and reps, not just one charismatic one.
posted by explosion at 3:31 PM on October 9 [24 favorites]


Thanks for the correction about the Great Slate, zachlipton, that feels like actually a serious misrepresentation and I asked a moderator to fix it.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 3:36 PM on October 9 [3 favorites]




Am I the only one who looks at Beto and the broad support he's getting and gets flashbacks to Obama's first Senate run?

Nope. It's sorta a taboo jinx-y thing to say around Texas these days cause we're all trying not to have our hearts broken, but as someone who thought Obama never had a chance in hell of winning the presidency, though it would be "a dream come true" at the time...yeah.

Also, unfortunately I had the same impression as KingJoeSchmoe above of the first debate, that Cruz actually came off better than I expected, although pretty aggressive. And Beto didn't do the very best job of refuting his points. Ultimately I don't think that debate would have changed anyone's mind either way cause you would like the guy you're primed to already like.
posted by threeturtles at 3:36 PM on October 9 [14 favorites]


[Nudged the post text a bit re: Rainbo Vagrant's request.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:38 PM on October 9


Am I the only one who looks at Beto and the broad support he's getting and gets flashbacks to Obama's first Senate run?

Remember, though, that Obama's first Senate run was against none other than Alan Keyes. He was something of a surprise winner in the primary, and he was gaining steam, which is part of why the Republicans threw up their hands and picked Keyes when Jack Ryan imploded, but still.
posted by hoyland at 3:53 PM on October 9 [3 favorites]


Two things:
1. I don't think of the Great Slate as a "take back the House" fund at this point, and if that's your strategic goal for the next month, I'd argue there are ways in in which your money and time can be better used.

While that is surely true, I find the argument to donate money I can afford to lose (which is the only kind I ever donate because I am living on the margins) to one or more of the candidates in the Great Slate compelling and encourage everyone to read the whole damn thing, which includes this:

With a month to go before the midterms, there are more than a dozen districts where a progressive woman is running for office as a first-time candidate against an absentee Republican incumbent, and has polling in hand showing her able to win outright if she can reach independent voters with a short statement along these lines: I don't take corporate money, and I support universal health care. My opponent takes corporate PAC money, voted against the Affordable Care Act, and has refused to hold a town hall.

These same polls show that the incumbent has less than 50% of the vote, and that a large proportion of voters has never heard of the challenger. Once the large group of undecided respondents hear a two-sentence message about the two candidates, they break decidedly for our challenger. This polling evidence suggests that reaching independent voters in those districts in time for the election, using any tools available, should be a top priority of the Democratic Party.

And yet, candidates in these districts are struggling to find the means to get their message out, in an environment where marginal candidates and candidates running in completely safe districts are marinating in millions of dollars. In many cases, the shortfall amounts to something like $100-$200K, the cost of a block of TV ads in a smaller media market.

While I don't believe that every candidate in this situation is guaranteed to win if she can reach independent voters, I believe that they will all lose if they don’t. Given the relatively small sums at play, a national party flush with money, and the critical importance of winning the House in 2018, it confounds me that these campaigns can't get the resources to win.


2. The New York Times continues its transition to a hilarious comedic daily: Beto O’Rourke May Benefit From an Unlikely Support Group: White Evangelical Women

I did not think this article was comic; I thought it was amazing, at least from my perspective as a backslid Southern Baptist who left the church as a teenager. Here's a sample:

“I care as much about babies at the border as I do about babies in the womb,” said Tess Clarke, one of Ms. Mooney’s friends, confessing that she was “mortified” at how she used to vote, because she had only considered abortion policy. “We’ve been asleep. Now, we’ve woke up.”

Ms. Clarke, who sells candles poured by refugee women in Dallas, began to weep as she recalled visiting a migrant woman detained and separated from her daughter at the border. When an older white evangelical man recently told her that she couldn’t be a Christian and vote for Mr. O’Rourke, Ms. Clarke was outraged.


Some fundamentalist women are waking up and getting outraged. I don't expect them to be the reason Democrats win any races but I will cheer them on nonetheless.
posted by Bella Donna at 3:55 PM on October 9 [128 favorites]


I am a total Maciej Ceglowski fanboy, but as he himself has acknowledged his efforts at organizing have had mixed results at best.
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:59 PM on October 9 [1 favorite]


I was also expecting Cruz to come off as stale white bread. But he was sharp and on point. Much more likeable than I wanted (and it pains me deeply to say that).

Maybe the Tea Party movement has changed things by creating alternative routes to electoral success, but my experience with senior politicians has always been that they're very good at what they do. We want to believe that they're not just bad people, but also unlikable. Unfortunately, that's not the case. They achieved their position by beating many other contenders and then successfully keeping them down.

Ryan's decision to avoid a debate with O'Rourke is surely a tactical one, not mere cowardice, and based on the assessment that the perception that he's scared to confront his opponent is less damaging than the credibility and exposure given to O'Rourke in a public debate . And he's probably right - how many potential Republican voters will know or care or think badly of him as a result? It's a single news item that will get swallowed up by events. In contrast, Beto O'Rourke is the challenger and needs exposure. He's still going to be on TV, but nobody is going to watch a one-hour conflict-free political broadcast. Unless some development miraculously makes Beto's presentation newsworthy, Ryan will have effectively denied him a platform.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:00 PM on October 9 [4 favorites]


BuzzFeed, Vera Bergengruen, The US Military Is Now Recruiting Soldiers To Fight In A War That Started Before They Were Born
The war, therefore if we judge it by the standards of previous wars, is merely an imposture. It is like the battles between certain ruminant animals whose horns are incapable of hurting one another. But though it is unreal it is not meaningless. It eats up the surplus of consumable goods, and it helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that the hierarchical society needs. War, it will be seen, is now a purely internal affair.

In the past, the ruling groups of all countries, although they might recognize their common interest and therefore limit the destructiveness of war, did fight against one another, and the victor always plundered the vanquished. In our own day they are not fighting against one another at all. The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact.

The very word 'war,' therefore, has become misleading. It would probably be accurate to say that by becoming continuous war has ceased to exist. The peculiar pressure that is exerted on human beings between the Neolithic Age and the early twentieth century has disappeared and has been replaced by something quite different.

The effect would be much the same if the three superstates, instead of fighting one another, should agree to live in perpetual peace, each inviolate within its own boundaries. For in that case each would still be a self-contained universe, freed forever from the sobering influence of external danger.

A peace that was truly permanent would be the same as a permanent war. This--although the vast majority of Party members understand it only in a shallower sense--is the inner meaning of the Party slogan: WAR IS PEACE.
George Orwell, 1984
posted by kirkaracha at 4:04 PM on October 9 [49 favorites]


“Don't forget the real business of war is buying and selling. The murdering and violence are self-policing, and can be entrusted to non-professionals. The mass nature of wartime death is useful in many ways. It serves as spectacle, as diversion from the real movements of the War. It provides raw material to be recorded into History, so that children may be taught History as sequences of violence, battle after battle, and be more prepared for the adult world. Best of all, mass death's a stimulus to just ordinary folks, little fellows, to try 'n' grab a piece of that Pie while they're still here to gobble it up. The true war is a celebration of markets.”
― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
posted by chavenet at 4:13 PM on October 9 [47 favorites]


Sorry if this is covered already, but since folks are dropping donation links--is there a compiled list of these someplace? 'Top five places you can give ten bucks to insure that the Blue Wave actually materializes', that sort of thing?
posted by Sing Or Swim at 4:21 PM on October 9 [1 favorite]


Media outlets won't even call the president a liar.

The Toronto Star calls him out, in both this list and in regular articles. More media outlets need to do this though.
posted by saucysault at 4:23 PM on October 9 [3 favorites]


Chrysostom was kind enough to pick a list of women you can donate to in the last thread.
posted by zachlipton at 4:27 PM on October 9 [14 favorites]


My last comment re: the Great Slate: most everyone’s track record for organizing is mixed. These are all first-time candidates. I want to give them money not because I necessarily think they will win this time, but because they are preparing the ground in red districts for a future Democratic win. Perhaps they will run again in the future; perhaps others will run. At least I can help those first-timers show the incumbents that someone is willing to challenge them. That alone is worth something to me when the challengers are progressive candidates. No argument that these folks will probably lose this time around. But it took a lot of losses and a lot of work for those wankers in the Federalist Society to finally get what they want. I am willing to let them inspire me although not, perhaps, in the way they had envisioned.
posted by Bella Donna at 4:36 PM on October 9 [28 favorites]


Strongly seconding the message that giving support to first time D candidates is important no matter what their chances of winning. These are very powerful choices that someone makes, often at risk of their current low income, to even try to run and put themselves out there should be rewarded. Tell them you're watching and supporting.
posted by odinsdream at 4:43 PM on October 9 [54 favorites]


I just thought I'd check in on what our President was saying in Iowa. Turn the stream on and I hear, and it's worth taking this verbatim because there's a possibility it would sound vaguely rational if summarized:

"Now the Democrats, or as some people would say, the dims, who says that? The great Lou Dobbs, he says that, the dims. Sean Hannity. Judge Jeanine says that, doesn't she? Laura. Laura. How good has Laura been, right? We've got a lot of good people. Do we like Tucker? I like Tucker. How about Steve Doocy, Aisley, Brian?"

There is then a "lock her up" chant for Sen. Feinstein.

At this point, I turn it off. The President of the United States decided to adopt an idiotic insult for the opposing party, and then got so into it he decided to recite the entire Fox News lineup for some reason.
posted by zachlipton at 4:55 PM on October 9 [53 favorites]


Just a reminder that Citizens United loosed an avalanche of money. Much of this money goes into the pockets of the broadcast media.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 4:55 PM on October 9 [18 favorites]


The quotes from Orwell and Pynchon are terrifyingly like Lindsey Graham's characterization of the war in Afghanistan when he's counseling Trump in Woodward's book Fear. Graham basically tells Trump that the war will never be over and that he should stop talking about ending it, to just leave it to the professionals to get on with it.
posted by feste at 4:57 PM on October 9 [11 favorites]


My local SF Bay-area Resistance group decided to phonebank to flippable districts in California, because of credible reports from some Dem campaigns in other states that getting calls from Californians can backfire with many potential voters, even self-identified Dems. (Like, "Darned bleedin'-heart hippie Californians think they can call and tell US what to do!")

Last night's effort was to CA-10 (cities here include Livermore and Modesto) for Josh Harder, running against R incumbent Jeff Denham. The usual 90% went to voicemail and 3 people hung up on me (2 of them were marked on my page as Democrats). But the highlight was a guy in his 70s marked as Republican -- I looked at that and took a couple extra minutes to steel my nerves before dialing -- who said, "My #1 issue is WATER and the environment, and I already know I'm voting for your guy, the Democrat, because the people in power are doing terrible things to the earth and future generations." He said he couldn't volunteer for Harder because he's a disabled vet and has a bunch of limitations, but he thanked me for doing this work! and I thanked him back for caring about these issues and for his service and his vote.

He may not be typical of his demographic, but that exchange boosted my morale something fierce. Any of you fellow introverts out there who haven't phonebanked yet, if you have a laptop and a cell phone it's easy, they give you scripts and info about the candidate and the candidate's positions on issues.

Also, that Facebook group I'm working with that teaches progressives how to speak persuasively to conservatives (no need to unload on me about that mission! ***My*** mission involves recruiting woke white people to Trojan Horse the White-centric, White-defensive liberal membership with woke-ness, there are several Mefites there, come join us!) --

anyway, this group's leadership has been holding online workshops aimed at helping phonebankers and canvassers with what to say and how to say it. (I mean yes the phonebanking organizers give you scripts, but some conversations can go off the rails.) I attended one on Sunday and picked up useful things. Maybe the tips wouldn't be as useful for people who are old hands at this, but it was helpful for an introvert like me with not much cold calling experience. Anybody want my notes from that training, MeMail me. I'll email them to you.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 5:00 PM on October 9 [80 favorites]


I got my Socialist Rifle Association card in the mail today, super excited to be supporting this group, they're doing a lot of good stuff. Check out chapters in your area.
posted by odinsdream at 5:08 PM on October 9 [36 favorites]


Reports from the Trump rally in Iowa are that most of the audience seems to be from Nebraska, which suggests that he may not be totally successful in his goal to shore up support for embattled Iowa candidates.

(The governor's race is looking really tight, and the GOP candidate is selling the Trump rally hard on Facebook. Also, I got a text message from the Republican candidate on Saturday urging me to vote early. I was planning to vote early anyway, but I was out canvassing for the Democrats when I received her text, which suggests that they have some targeting problems.)
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:11 PM on October 9 [7 favorites]


I mentioned the North Dakota voter ID ruling earlier today, but it's worth drilling down into one of the consequences of that: Supreme Court Makes It Harder for Tribal North Dakotans to Vote
North Dakota’s 2017 voter law ID was challenged by Native residents who alleged that the law disproportionately blocked Native Americans from voting. In April, a federal district court judge blocked large portions of the law as discriminatory against Native voters. “The State has acknowledged that Native American communities often lack residential street addresses,” Judge Daniel Hovland wrote. “Nevertheless, under current State law an individual who does not have a ‘current residential street address’ will never be qualified to vote.” According to the website of the Native American Rights Fund, which represents the plaintiffs, many native residents lack residential street addresses because “the U.S. postal service does not provide residential delivery in these rural Indian communities.”As a result, tribal IDs use P.O. boxes, which are not sufficient under North Dakota’s new law—a specification that seems designed to disenfranchise native voters. Hovland’s ruling was in place during the primaries this spring.

But in September, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the law to go into effect. The Supreme Court upheld that ruling Tuesday. In her dissent, Ginsburg argued that the Supreme Court’s order was at odds with one of the top court’s most frequently invoked doctrines on election law: not to change the rules right before an election. By allowing a different set of ID rules in the general election from in the primary, Ginsburg warned, the court was risking widespread confusion and disenfranchisement.
...
Ginsburg noted that according to the factual record of the case, about 20 percent of voters likely to try to cast a ballot in the midterms will lack the required identification. Another “approximately18,000 North Dakota residents also lack supplemental documentation sufficient to permit them to vote without a qualifying ID,” she noted.
Again, if US media were reporting on this like an election in a foreign country, the word "illegitimate" would be tossed around a lot to describe an election where the rules are changed less than a month before voting day to disenfranchise people disproportionately of a specific ethnicity.
posted by zachlipton at 5:17 PM on October 9 [94 favorites]


WaPo, Rosenstein faces congressional confrontation amid new claim he seriously suggested wiretapping Trump
Soon after Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein suggested using a wiretap to record President Trump’s communications, then-acting FBI director Andrew McCabe went to the bureau’s top lawyer seeking advice on what he had just heard. Rosenstein, McCabe told the lawyer, wanted to furtively record the president to help explore whether Trump had obstructed justice. How, McCabe asked, should the FBI respond to the outlandish proposition?

The lawyer, James Baker, dismissed the idea, according to people familiar with the episode who described it to The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity. But importantly, Baker told congressional investigators last week that the deputy attorney general’s suggestion was presented to him by senior FBI officials as being serious — raising questions about Rosenstein’s assertions to the contrary, the people said.
...
There was another reason Rosenstein and McCabe were in a standoff at the time: Rosenstein had authored a memo criticizing Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, and the president used that memo as justification to fire Comey. To McCabe and others at the FBI, Comey’s firing was seen as potentially criminal, and it was possible Rosenstein had enabled it, according to people involved in the discussions at the time.
...
Rudolph W. Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer, said in an interview with The Post that Rosenstein told Trump that his comment about wiretapping was sarcastic, and that the president never believed that the deputy attorney general had pondered using a constitutional amendment to remove him from office. Giuliani said the president sees the deputy attorney general more than he does Sessions — Rosenstein, for example, attended the installation of new Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, while Sessions did not — and sees no reason to make immediate personnel moves at the Justice Department.

“I wouldn’t like to see a change like that before we have things solidified with Mueller,” Giuliani said.
Wait. Why is the President's personal lawyer commenting on a government employee's position and why is the Post ok with this?
posted by zachlipton at 5:24 PM on October 9 [25 favorites]


- Sorry if this is covered already, but since folks are dropping donation links--is there a compiled list of these someplace?
-- Chrysostom was kind enough to pick a list of women you can donate to in the last thread.

After making a dinky donation to Heidi Heitkamp last week, for the obvious reason, I received this email yesterday:
(Iris),

I wanted to reach out and say thank you. Thank you so much for stepping up to support me this past week. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for your donation.

But I have one more thing to ask you — will you sign up to visit North Dakota to volunteer?

Right now, what we need most is people power. This race will come down to the slimmest of margins, and what’s going to put us over the finish line is volunteers who are willing to knock doors and make phone calls to get out the vote.

So that’s where you come in. I know you’re a committed supporter — that’s why I’m emailing you to ask: sign up to volunteer in North Dakota.

All my best,

Heidi
What the hey? Erm. Twenty-five entire simoleans at the eleventh hour just doesn't qualify me as the sort of committed supporter who'll up and travel to North Dakota in the next three weeks for door-knocking duty.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:56 PM on October 9 [11 favorites]


Reports from the Trump rally in Iowa are that most of the audience seems to be from Nebraska, which suggests that he may not be totally successful in his goal to shore up support for embattled Iowa candidates.

The rally is in Council Bluffs which is right across the river from Omaha. So this is a mass exodus from red-red-red Nebraska to red-red-slightly purple Iowa for an evening.
posted by ensign_ricky at 5:57 PM on October 9 [1 favorite]


Oh, I am getting emails and letters not just from Beto's campaign--who, bless them, hit us up early and often, depressing my partner who is the only non-eligible-to-vote member of the household--but also emails, texts, and fundraising letters from the GOP. They seem to think that because I contact my representatives, I must like them or something. Last week I got a letter from the Mike Pence with a big ol' CHECK INSIDE label emblazoned on it, asking me to match his personal $35 donation (a dollar for every senate race happening right now) which he had, of course, thoughtfully enclosed a copy of.

I was all for trying to cash it anyway because fuck you, Pence, but it was made out to the GOP slush fund and had "ALREADY ENDORSED" on the back, so not so much.

Bastards. They also sent me a letter earnestly telling me that President Trump needed MY SUPPORT to keep those BASTARD DEMOCRATS from RUINING HIS ABILITY TO KEEP HIS CAMPAIGN PROMISES, and I would have filled in the survey and sent it in but also it too was demanding money. Which: fuck that.
posted by sciatrix at 6:11 PM on October 9 [8 favorites]


The mass nature of wartime death is useful in many ways. It serves as spectacle, as diversion from the real movements of the War. It provides raw material to be recorded into History, so that children may be taught History as sequences of violence, battle after battle, and be more prepared for the adult world

Maybe I am missing some ironic twist in that excerpt, but this reminds me of the smarter-than-thou types who like to remind us that Trump's fascist policies are just distractions from $issue. I mean, maybe there is some truth to it, but try telling a Syrian refugee that the chaos that ripped their life and their homeland to pieces is a spectacle, a diversion.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 6:16 PM on October 9 [8 favorites]


ActBlue is highlighting a Great Slate of new progressive candidates.

This makes me SO HAPPY! They endorsed Tracy Mitrano, my candidate who is running against the affable liar Tom Reed! I just came home from hours on the phone canvassing and it was super great news to see. I hope it helps cuz Reed has millions and Tracy doesn't take corporate donations. Yay!
posted by bluesky43 at 6:24 PM on October 9 [7 favorites]


THIS is Tom Reed. He does all of those things.the town halls he does he lies through his teeth. the dem candidate- tracy mitrano- is precisely who they are trying to reach.

With a month to go before the midterms, there are more than a dozen districts where a progressive woman is running for office as a first-time candidate against an absentee Republican incumbent, and has polling in hand showing her able to win outright if she can reach independent voters with a short statement along these lines: I don't take corporate money, and I support universal health care. My opponent takes corporate PAC money, voted against the Affordable Care Act, and has refused to hold a town hall.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:27 PM on October 9 [3 favorites]


Soon after Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein suggested using a wiretap to record President Trump’s communications

Stop. Telling. This. Lie. You. Complicit. Fucks.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:29 PM on October 9 [30 favorites]


“The State has acknowledged that Native American communities often lack residential street addresses,” Judge Daniel Hovland wrote. “Nevertheless, under current State law an individual who does not have a ‘current residential street address’ will never be qualified to vote.”

what
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 6:43 PM on October 9 [58 favorites]


That can't possibly be Constitutional. Restricting suffrage to landowners is completely contrary to the idea of all men being created equal?
posted by Justinian at 7:00 PM on October 9 [46 favorites]


It's a little hard to find the current text of the bill, but the marked-up version I'm reading now has allowances for ID that does not display a street address...oh, except you still have to provide a street address it just doesn't have to come from the ID.

That can't possibly be Constitutional.

You'd think. NARF is the organization fighting this, and while their social media and website seem to be pretty quiet today, I imagine they'd appreciate anything coming their way via the donate link on their website.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 7:12 PM on October 9 [15 favorites]


Anything can be constitutional when you own the supreme court.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:19 PM on October 9 [75 favorites]


Seconding the recommendation that folks donate to NARF. I had a lot of contact with them when I was in law school, waaaay back in the day. They are an an extraordinary organization.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 7:19 PM on October 9 [2 favorites]


There is no appellate above Supremes. The only way to overturn this is by legislature. Edit to add, that means us, as Americans putting pressure on these legislators to reverse this law. Because, this is not a slippery slope, this is an ice slide. This is patently unamerican
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:19 PM on October 9 [7 favorites]


Anything can be constitutional when you own the supreme court.

Native Americans have only had any constitutional rights at all for a few decades; this is a return to normalcy.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:23 PM on October 9 [6 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

// 28 days until Election Day //

** 2018 House:
-- NE-02: Meeting Street Research poll has GOP incumbent Bacon up 49-40 on Dem Eastman [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. Poll was commissioned by the Bacon campaign. [Trump 48-46 | Cook: Lean R]

-- KY-06: Public Opinion Strategies poll has GOP incumbent Barr up 48-46 on Dem McGrath [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. Poll was commissioned by the Barr campaign. [Trump 55-39 | Cook: Tossup] => This is not a good look for an incumbent's internal.

-- FL-15: WPA Intelligence poll has GOPer Spano up 46-39 on Dem Carlson [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. Poll was commissioned by the Club For Growth. [Trump 53-43 | Cook: Lean R]

-- AK-AL: Alaska Survey Research has GOP incumbent Don Young up 50-46 on indy/Dem Galvin
[no MOE listed]. [Trump 53-38 | Cook: Likely R]

-- VA-10: Schar School poll has Dem Wexton up 55-43 on GOP incumbent Comstock [MOE: +/- 4.0%]. [Clinton 52-42 | Cook: Lean D] => One caution here is that the field period was really long, that can mask movement of opinion.

-- NJ-11: Monmouth poll has Dem Sherrill up 48-44 on GOPer Webber in their standard turnout model. Low turnout, Sherrill up 48-45; Dem surge, Sherrill up 50-43 [MOE: +/- 5.2%]. [Trump 49-48 | Cook: Lean D]

-- Rothenberg: Kavanaugh probably won't fundamentally change the race. Philip Bump also skeptical.

-- Rakich: How gerrymandering can backfire. Remember that the tipping points vary by state.
** 2018 Senate:
-- RI: UNH poll has Dem incumbent Whitehouse up 57-33 on GOPer Flanders [MOE: +/- 4.4%]. => Galvin is one of the candidates from the Great Slate of progressives. Don Young isn't terribly well-liked, given that he's been in office since 1789, but he always pulls if off.

-- NV: Marist poll has GOP incumbent Heller up 46-44 on Dem Rosen [MOE: +/- 5.5%]. When the libertarian candidate is included, it's Heller up 44-42.

-- OH: BWU poll has Dem incumbent Brown up 50-33 on GOPer Renacci [MOE: +/- 3.5%].

-- Silver: What's behind lengthening Dem odds in the Senate? Mostly North Dakota.
** Odds & ends:
-- RI gov: Same UNH poll has Dem incumbent Raimondo up 48-34 on GOPer Fung. [Cook: Lean D]

-- NV gov: Same Marist poll has GOPer Laxalt up 46-45 on Dem Sisolak. With the Libertarian included, it's Laxalt up 44-40. [Cook: Tossup] => These feel a bit odd. Sisolak has been up in all polls since July, and why would Libertarians pull more from the Dem? Not to be all "unskewing the polls", but this seems a little odd. NV guru Jon Ralston thinks these are a bit weird, too.

-- IL gov: Victory Research poll has Dem Pritzker up 47-32 on GOP incumbent Rauner [MOE: +/- 2.8%]. [Cook: Likely D]

-- GA gov: Survey USA poll has GOPer Kemp up 47-45 on Dem Abrams [no MOE listed]. [Cook: Tossup] | High early voting numbers being seen from African-American voters. The Abrams campaign has been pushing early voting, though, so not clear if this is just "pull forward."

-- OH gov: Same BWU poll has GOPer DeWine up 40-37 on Dem Cordray. [Cook: Tossup] | Downballot: AG: GOPer Dettelbach up 38-34 on Dem Yost. SOS: Dem Clyde tied 33-33 with GOPer LaRose. Auditor: Dem Space up 32-31 on GOPer Faber. Treasurer: Dem Richardson up 33-31 on GOPer Sprague. Issue 1 (drug law reform): YES up 48-31.

-- MD gov: UMD poll has GOP incumbent Hogan up 58-38 on Dem Jealous [MOE: +/- 4.5%]. [Cook: Likely R]

-- OR gov: Riley Research poll has Dem incumbent Brown up 49-45 on GOPer Buehler [MOE: +/- 5.2%]. [Cook: Lean D]

-- Cook: The real blue wave is at the state level.

-- Progressive ballot initiatives to keep an eye on.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:23 PM on October 9 [18 favorites]


It's Raining Florence Henderson: "Anything can be constitutional when you own the supreme court."

Today's ruling was 4 conservatives and 2 liberals in favor of leaving the 8th Circuit's ruling as is, so.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:33 PM on October 9 [3 favorites]


-- AK-AL: Alaska Survey Research has GOP incumbent Don Young up 50-46 on indy/Dem Galvin
[no MOE listed]. [Trump 53-38 | Cook: Likely R]


I'm pretty excited about this one. Don Young is a gigantic octogenarian tool who is truly an embarrassment to the state. He literally been the only Congressman I have ever had in this state- and I was born here and am middle-aged. Alyse Galvin is likeable, working her *ass* off and has been gaining in the polls, and is about as liberal a candidate as could ever hope to succeed statewide. She was down 10 points two weeks ago.

I know it probably won't happen and Young has pulled it out over somewhat popular candidates before but man, it would be so fun to get him out of office and it's nice to see him have a viable opponent this round for a change.
posted by charmedimsure at 7:34 PM on October 9 [19 favorites]


What the hey? Erm. Twenty-five entire simoleans at the eleventh hour just doesn't qualify me as the sort of committed supporter who'll up and travel to North Dakota in the next three weeks for door-knocking duty.

Well, can't have it both ways. I routinely see people complaining that all the Democrats do is ask us for money instead of involving us in really meaningful ways, so here they are trying to do that. I'm sure it's not a tightly targeted ask, and it's probably worthwhile. There are people who could make this happen who give smaller dollars - students, people who grew up in that state, people who have a friend there, remote workers. Even if you aren't one of those people you might know one. It's great that they're asking and that they have a plan for people who can volunteer.
posted by Miko at 7:35 PM on October 9 [37 favorites]


My bet's on Young, but hey, they finally unseated Ted Stevens, so anything can happen.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:38 PM on October 9 [1 favorite]


Heitkamp got your win due to the Native American vote. Don't think this is NOT about naked disenfranchisement, racism against native members and keeping the Dakotas firmly Republican.

As much as I would like Beto to be Obama for the unexpected Senate win, I keep steady and surly with remembering that Obama was a long shot and then sheer insanity happened with his Republican, former investment banker, opponent, Jack Ryan's campaign imploded with sex club accusations. The Republicans, doubling down on crazy decide Alan Keyes who never even lived in Illinois should be the candidate. Obama, handily wins. It was one of the few times I thought that maybe there was a positive divine presence at work.

We have to fight this awful thing that is happening to the country. I know, man, do I know that we can all do better in the political spectrum.
posted by jadepearl at 7:45 PM on October 9 [5 favorites]


NARF seems like a fine organization, but as a fan of "Pinky and The Brain," their name leaves me wondering if there also might be a group out there called People Organized to Impeach Trump (POIT).
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 7:49 PM on October 9 [53 favorites]


Miko, it doesn't work as an effective campaign email if the recipient comes away thinking, that's kinda ridiculous. As a first message, it needed different wording to make the points you're making.
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:51 PM on October 9 [2 favorites]


People Organized to Impeach Trump (POIT)

Be the change you want to see in the world.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 7:51 PM on October 9 [15 favorites]


Miko, it doesn't work as an effective campaign email if the recipient comes away thinking, that's kinda ridiculous.

It does if that recipient is in the minority of recipients, or in the group of recipients not likely to act on it, or a recipient not planning on any further action. It does no harm and might produce some good. Something like this is a numbers game.

I just don't see this as a moment to call a perfectly fine ask stupid, even if it's not for you. In many campaigns I've been surprised by how many people are willing to travel to help. I helped find a lot of couches for Obama's first campaign. That might not be you, and that's fine, but it's something a lot of people do.

Travel to ND to Volunteer page.
posted by Miko at 8:00 PM on October 9 [25 favorites]


My bet's on Young, but hey, they finally unseated Ted Stevens, so anything can

Oh, me too. But I’m happy it at least looks like a real race.
posted by charmedimsure at 8:03 PM on October 9 [1 favorite]


Crap, I forgot to mention the 538 generic average. It's D+8.2 (49.5/41.3)
posted by Chrysostom at 8:14 PM on October 9 [8 favorites]


I am teaching a class about the election and the constitution to a group of fourth through seventh grade students. My students and I helped register 10 people to vote today. The activist we worked with, from an org called Chicago Votes, was an amazing woman, so skilled at talking to people.

Many of the people we talked to started by saying, “I don’t vote.” They felt that the system was never going to change. This was in a predominantly black, predominantly low income neighborhood, so I don’t blame people for feeling cynical.

But this activist talked to them, and the kids talked to them, and after a few minutes people would take the clipboard and start signing up! It was like a miracle to behold.

Keep reaching out, little by little.
posted by mai at 8:33 PM on October 9 [88 favorites]


USA Today op/ed: Trump-era protests, Kavanaugh drama show we need less democracy

The rapid normalization of calls to reduce or end democracy probably bodes well.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:47 PM on October 9 [25 favorites]


Oh, fer crying out loud - I get to have an opinion about a campaign email I received.

Sen. Kamala Harris is in Ohio. She gave the keynote address at the Democratic Party’s annual state dinner in Columbus, calling the Kavanaugh process "[A] sham. And a disgrace. Let’s speak the truth, that it was a denial of justice for women of this country as sexual assault survivors... What we have been witnessing is a display and an exercise of raw power, raw power, power that is being exercised not just to win, but to demean and deflate and defeat."

Harris said she'll decide on a presidential run after the November mid-term election.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:50 PM on October 9 [20 favorites]


Spoiler alert: She will decide "yes".
posted by Justinian at 8:54 PM on October 9 [28 favorites]


To those folks out there complaining about not having a “cheater” ballot: after this election, work your local politicians and election board to move to mail-in voting. You can mark your ballot at a table or desk, guides at hand, and it’s virtually tamper-proof. Washington State does this now, and although I miss going to my polling place, talking to the poll workers, and seeing if I was the first person in my precinct to vote that day, I LOVE mail in voting!
Also, I ran for local office (city council), and the voters who made me grind my teeth the most were the ones who would say “Oh, I’m not really into politics.” Or “I only vote in the Presidential election.” I would try hard to point out that City Council actually has more impact on their life day-to-day than POTUS, but it was always a losing battle. So yeah, talk to people about registering and voting!
posted by dbmcd at 8:55 PM on October 9 [10 favorites]


That can't possibly be Constitutional.

lol. white men can do anything they want to any native americans with far less accountability than to any other population in the country. you don't even have to be a government official or a cop.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:02 PM on October 9 [39 favorites]


Speaking of white men doing anything they want to Native Americans without accountability, and also speaking of this morning's discussion about a foster family trying to adopt a migrant child who had parents, this happened the other day: Indian Child Welfare Act Under Fire: Federal Judge Strikes Down 40-Year-Old Law, Appeals Could Lead to Supreme Court (and more from Indian Country Today: Texas Judge rules Indian Child Welfare Act as unconstitutional).

I'll say at the outset here that I'm getting pretty far away from things I know about in discussing this, so please correct me if I've horribly misrepresented the situation. As I understand it, the ICWA was passed in the late 70s when astonishing percentages of Indian children were being removed from their families and placed with white families, often far away. It provides for certain special measures to be taken when Native children are removed from their homes by child welfare officials, including provisions requiring transfer of the matter to tribal court and to make "active efforts" to preserve Native families.

The right-wing Goldwater Institute has spent years trying to get the ICWA struck down. Until now, they haven't been particularly successful; courts, including the Supreme Court, have been fine with the law's basic constitutionality multiple times in its history. But they've kept trying like a dozen times, and this time they got a federal judge to bite and rule that the entire law is unconstitutional, determining that it imposes race-based discrimination against Native children.

This ruling will certainly be appealed, a number of groups (including the above-mentioned NARF) are on it, but the fear is that it's just the start of a series of attacks on the entire structure of federal Indian law:
According to Matthew Fletcher, citizen of Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians and professor of law at Michigan State University — If ICWA is struck down as a “race-based” law, by extension — “the Indian Gaming regulatory Act would be unconstitutional. The Interior Department’s process through which tribes acquire land in trust, that would be unconstitutional. All the healthcare that the Federal government funds, unconstitutional. All the money that the federal government gives to tribes to run self governance, unconstitutional,” says Fletcher. “Everything would go down.”

The deep pockets funding the Goldwater Institute, like the Koch Brothers, are substantially invested in the oil, gas and other extraction industries. American Indian reservations comprise only 2 percent of all land in the United States but hold an estimated 20% of oil and gas reserves, 50 percent of uranium reserves, and 30 percent of all coal west of the Mississippi. In 2009, The Council of Energy Resource Tribes estimated energy resources on tribal land were worth about $1.5 trillion. Due to the trust status of tribal land, these vast resources cannot be extracted without the tribes’ consent. If the framework of federal Indian law was thrown out, all that land would be open for business.

“Indian Country absolutely should be terrified,” says Fletcher “This is the fight of the 21st Century.”
posted by zachlipton at 9:30 PM on October 9 [76 favorites]


Trump says Ivanka would be "dynamite" as U.N. ambassador, but fears "nepotism" accusations

posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 2:02 PM on 10/9
[3 favorites +] [!]


It's an obvious trial balloon. All the Trumpish sycophants will respond that no one could object to such a smart, talented lust object being given a serious cabinet position. And, voila, Secretary Ivanka!
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:35 PM on October 9 [2 favorites]


Until now, they haven't been particularly successful; courts, including the Supreme Court, have been fine with the law's basic constitutionality multiple times in its history. But they've kept trying like a dozen times, and this time they got a federal judge to bite and rule that the entire law is unconstitutional, determining that it imposes race-based discrimination against Native children.

This is exactly why they want to remake the federal judiciary in Trump's image. O'connor is a George W. Bush appointee who's previously ruled against the ACA. He's one of the previous batch of right wing zealots who routinely rubber stamps the most outlandish conservative test cases to pass along to SCOTUS, which is now controlled by Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.

Their entire plan is to rule from the bench like Ayatollahs for the next 50 years.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:39 PM on October 9 [24 favorites]


I like Harris, but I have some reservations about how she'd do nationally. The only reason I can see a Democrat losing is if they go too far left and manage to alienate people in swing states. But maybe I'm just nervous at this point, since it seems like we live in bizarro world and nothing makes sense anymore.

She strikes me as the kind of candidate who would drive turnout among Democrats, but I don't know if 2020 is going to be a race you can win on turnout without appealing to the middle; there's no extra points for great turnout in states you've already won. But I haven't looked at the numbers; maybe there's a viable strategy there. It'd sure be fun if you could put together the EC votes to win by saying "fuck everyone who voted for Trump right in the ear" and going full steam ahead on GOTV and getting 2016 non-voters to the polls.

Guess we'll see how things shake out.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:41 PM on October 9 [2 favorites]


I've started receiving voter information booklets, but I simply cannot figure out why they never have a pre-printed card or usable page on which I can indicate my choices and take to the polls. Like a cheatsheet. It sure makes it hard to research when I have to remember everything, or use their fake ballot facsimile that is multiple pages and printed sideways on the page.

Like, you can literally take any sheet of paper, even a napkin or toilet paper, and write your list of preferred, researched candidates on it to take to the polls. That way, you go in, you vote the choices you've made ahead of time, and you go out.

Why should you rely on campaigns (hardly neutral parties [heh]) to give you a card when literally any sheet of paper will do?
posted by hippybear at 9:46 PM on October 9


Dang, what kind of toilet paper do you use?

I don't want a party card, just a blank thing to mark.
posted by rhizome at 9:58 PM on October 9 [1 favorite]


Here's a tweet with instructions on how North Dakota Native voters without a residential address can get one assigned so they can vote. Please pass along.
posted by triggerfinger at 10:06 PM on October 9 [19 favorites]


Make one! It's not hard! If it's important to you, make one!

Or here, print this out and use a red sharpie to mark your candidates!
posted by hippybear at 10:08 PM on October 9 [1 favorite]


after this election, work your local politicians and election board to move to mail-in voting. You can mark your ballot at a table or desk, guides at hand, and it’s virtually tamper-proof.

Not, however, even remotely coercion-proof.
posted by flabdablet at 10:26 PM on October 9 [3 favorites]


I'd be interested to see any kind of analysis wherein voter coercion has been actually proven, or barring that statistical analysis which shows how coercion on mail-in ballots might be present enough in any voter pool to actually change the results of an election.
posted by hippybear at 10:33 PM on October 9 [5 favorites]


Regardless of coercion or lack thereof, the data to support the idea that moving to mail-in voting would increase turnout is very lacking. If anything it seems to, counter-intuitively, decrease turnout.
posted by Justinian at 10:36 PM on October 9 [4 favorites]


I just want to express my appreciation for this thread's title. Well done, Rainbo Vagrant.
posted by egypturnash at 10:39 PM on October 9 [6 favorites]


That can't possibly be Constitutional. Restricting suffrage to landowners is completely contrary to the idea of all men being created equal?

So I actually think it’s not a bad idea to prohibit people from voting on the basis of a PO Box alone - it would make it, if nothing else, super, super easy to swing various small state elections and would be incredibly vulnerable to massive fraud from out of state folks.

However, we do already have methods of verifying residence for people without mail delivery. Not using those options is the real problem, not failing to accept PO Boxes. The PO Boxes isn’t an issue if you have a robust network of social workers out verifying residency or suchlike.
posted by corb at 11:10 PM on October 9 [1 favorite]


The New Face of Men’s Rights: Trump and other Republicans say Brett Kavanaugh is being victimized by #MeToo—and they're expressing male solidarity in defending him.
By framing Kavanaugh’s nomination as not just a debate about the conduct and honesty of one man, but about men in general, Republicans have transformed a narrow question about a nominee’s fitness for the Supreme Court into a wider social referendum on gender equality and sexual misconduct in America today. #MeToo put these issues at the heart of the country’s politics, and now Republicans have twisted them for their own partisan ends. They’re trying to turn a women’s rights movement into a retrograde battle of the sexes.
posted by homunculus at 11:21 PM on October 9 [10 favorites]


and would be incredibly vulnerable to massive fraud from out of state folks.

This does not happen. There's no massive cabal of people who fraudulently register in other states. And it doesn't prevent the problem you think it does: it's perfectly possible to register in one state and get absentee ballots in another, and that only becomes illegal if you're not actually a resident of the first state anymore.

That said, allowing people to use a PO Box address is problematic (because your voting address needs to actually represent where you live for districting purposes not where you get mail). There are alternatives though; California's voter registration form (this is complicated by the fact that North Dakota literally does not have voter registration, but it could be done with provisional ballots) invites you to draw a map of wherever you live if you don't have an address. You can then supply a PO Box or other mailing address separately.

The bigger problem is that people should be entitled to a damn address (without having to know that a "county 911 coordinator" exists and that they're supposed to contact one to be able to vote) because it's 2018 and having an address is fairly useful in life. The even bigger problem is that this is not about reducing vulnerability to non-existent fraud, but rather systematically disenfranchising Native voters because Heitkamp won by a few thousand votes and they changed the law to try to stop that from happening again.
posted by zachlipton at 11:33 PM on October 9 [44 favorites]




News: 18000 members of a historically abused ethnic group who have a right to vote will, due to a last minute rule change designed to screw them, find it impossible to use that right.

Some responses: yeah but what if someone travelled in person to that state from another state, paid for a PO box, signed up for and paid utilities and banking services and used that PO box as an address for those services to establish residency needed to get a state issues photo id with that po box, then travelled back to that state when an election came up and cast one fraudulent vote... OMG wouldn't it be like the worst!
Me: If the rights of actual people are less important then stopping whatever fear without evidence of being cheated that you can contrive.... you might be a republican.
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 11:59 PM on October 9 [85 favorites]


the existence of, even the possibility of, wide scale voter fraud via large coordinated groups of individuals registering or voting in locations other than their home districts is an obnoxiously moronic republican myth that does us all a disservice to see repeated here. you might as well say it's funded by soros.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:53 AM on October 10 [31 favorites]


The dog whistles are working:
Fliers on 4 US college campuses blame Jews for Kavanaugh ruckus
Posters in support of Daily Stormer anti-Semitic website blame Jewish senators, Soros for accusations against new Supreme Court justice
Fliers blaming Jews for the sexual assault allegations against newly sworn-in Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh were posted on two University of California campuses, Berkeley and Davis, as well as at Vassar and Marist colleges, both located in the same city in New York state.

“Every time some Anti-White, Anti-American, Anti-freedom event takes place, you look at it, and it’s Jews behind it,” the fliers discovered Monday read.

The flier shows an image of Kavanaugh surrounded by caricatures of Jewish members of the US Senate with Stars of David drawn on their foreheads, as well as the Jewish billionaire George Soros, who has been accused of funding opposition to Kavanaugh. One of Kavanaugh’s accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, and the attorney for two others, Michael Avenatti, also are depicted with the words “Good Goy” written on their foreheads.

The fliers say they are “Brought to you by your local Stormer book club.”
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:06 AM on October 10 [12 favorites]


Heh:
David Schraub @schraubd
One of the stranger features of right-wing antisemitic conspiracy-mongering is that it makes me vocally deny things I'd love to claim credit for.

"All those women protesting Kavanaugh? They're there because of the Jews!"

"That's absurd! But also, thank you."
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:16 AM on October 10 [67 favorites]


> "USA Today op/ed: Trump-era protests, Kavanaugh drama show we need less democracy"

That's basically what people said about the suffragettes, as well.
posted by kyrademon at 2:54 AM on October 10 [21 favorites]


I have this relative who for most of his life insisted that voting doesn't matter, who despite saying lots of the stuff you'd expect a Trump supporter to say resentfully claimed to have voted for Clinton anyways in 2016 and who, since I've talked about joining the DSA earlier this year, has cautiously and suspiciously asked questions about socialism. (Each time he has ranted—entirely justifiably—about mistreatment by employers, I've meticulously capitalized on the opportunity to relate his complaints to broader social and economic phenomena.)

After showing him the USA Today “we need less democracy” op/ed yesterday (Internet Archive link) I think I persuaded him to vote in the mid-terms and from conversations during the past half-year I think he'll probably vote for Democratic candidates in our purple state. Keep plugging away at apathetic-appearing voters...
posted by Sockpuppet Liberation Front at 4:03 AM on October 10 [36 favorites]


End Trade Tensions and Bring Back Growth, Finance Chiefs Say

The heads of the IMF, OECD, World Bank and WTO made a joint call for the world to resist a rising tide of U.S.-led protectionism
[...]
But she [Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF] also warned that the global trading system was under threat and that the risks of further disruption remained. The IMF this week lowered its forecast for global growth to 3.7 percent this year and next, warning that U.S. tariffs and trade tensions between Washington and Beijing were starting to drag on the global economy.

Jim Yong Kim, the World Bank president, said slowing global growth was already starting to have an effect on poverty reduction around the world. He warned that trade tensions were causing companies to put investment decisions on hold, something that would further hinder growth.

“Every country will feel the negative effects,” he said.

Roberto Azevedo, the WTO’s director-general, said the organization’s members had started to acknowledge the need for reform of the institution and global trading rules. There was also a near-universal acknowledgment that globalization had not benefited everyone in the world and that more needed to be done to help those left behind.

But he warned that abandoning the WTO, as Trump has threatened to do, and killing the multilateral trading system that had evolved since World War II would mean walking away from decades of work that had broadly benefited the world.



World stocks tumble after IMF slashes economic growth forecast

“However, this is the first time any recognized body has been prepared to officially recognize the trade tensions and mark down their forecasts and that is a message in itself,”

/pyrrhic victory
posted by infini at 4:15 AM on October 10 [4 favorites]


Not being a US citizen, I'm still a bit confused about the whole voter registration scheme. That is, I understand why there is a requirement to register to vote in the primaries, but in the general election, I'm not sure (other than the manifold opportunities for voter suppression, of course).

Here's the outline of how it goes down here in Norway: Some time before an election, if you are eligible to vote (citizen, over 18), you get a card in the post. On it there's information about which polling place to use, opening hours, and which page and line of the census your name is on. You don't have to bring the card to vote, but it speeds up finding you in the census. You do need to bring photo ID, though, for example driver's license, bank card with photo, passport or similar. When you go to the polling place, you queue up, the nice people mark your name in the census and then you go to a booth to vote. You return with an envelope and stuff it in the ballot box.

Seems sensible enough to me, but I might benefit from an ELI5 on the registration system.
posted by Harald74 at 4:16 AM on October 10 [7 favorites]


(this is complicated by the fact that North Dakota literally does not have voter registration, but it could be done with provisional ballots)

I have the vague impression that the lack of voter registration may be related to the lack of addresses. You used to be able to have a poll worker vouch for you, which avoids the problem in communities where people know each other, but, of course, attacking vouching is another disenfranchisment tactic.
posted by hoyland at 4:17 AM on October 10


Here's the outline of how it goes down here in Norway: Some time before an election, if you are eligible to vote (citizen, over 18), you get a card in the post. On it there's information about which polling place to use, opening hours, and which page and line of the census your name is on. You don't have to bring the card to vote, but it speeds up finding you in the census. You do need to bring photo ID, though, for example driver's license, bank card with photo, passport or similar. When you go to the polling place, you queue up, the nice people mark your name in the census and then you go to a booth to vote. You return with an envelope and stuff it in the ballot box.

Basically, here you have to ask to be sent that card in the post (i.e. register) and (in most states) cannot vote if you haven't done so X days before the election. In New York, where I live now, you can either bring that card, which tells you which table to go to, or you walk in to the polling place, people at one table ask your address and direct you to a table. When you get to the table for your district, they ask you your name, look it up in the book, you sign (there's a copy of the signature you gave when you registered), they give you a ballot and you vote.

Minnesota (not sure about anywhere else) has same-day registration, so you can either register in advance or turn up the day of and stand in a long line to register first. If you do that, you need to bring proof of address, like your driver's license or gas bill (or a neighbor vouching for you--I think they have to be registered and in the same district). My voter registration once got screwed up in Minnesota and instead of being in the book as First Middle Lastname, I was Lastname First Middle. But because I'd given my name as, well, my name and not what was in the book (we eventually found me because I had my postcard saying I was registered with me and realised the name looked odd), I couldn't vote as that version of me. The election judge crossed out the wrong entry and sent me to register under my actual name.

In Texas, you have to register first and bring photo ID when you vote, despite a court order saying ID is cannot be required. (There's supposedly a process if you don't have ID. Good luck with that.)
posted by hoyland at 4:24 AM on October 10 [9 favorites]


Not being a US citizen, I'm still a bit confused about the whole voter registration scheme. That is, I understand why there is a requirement to register to vote in the primaries, but in the general election, I'm not sure (other than the manifold opportunities for voter suppression, of course).

You've hit on the only reason. There is a pretty large group of people in our country--a group that includes literally all conservatives, since this is one of their core beliefs--that really believe that most people shouldn't have a say in the way things are run. Our system was designed with the intent that only certain types of people (you know which ones) would get a vote, and not registering everyone automatically makes it easier to weed out the ones that aren't supposed to be enfranchised.
posted by IAmUnaware at 4:38 AM on October 10 [27 favorites]


Seems sensible enough to me, but I might benefit from an ELI5 on the registration system.

At the root level, the US is still in a lot of ways more a confederation of more-or-less independent states rather than a cohesive nation. Barring some fairly general national (aka "federal") rules and laws (the voting age is 18, the 19th amendment to the Constitution establishing women's right to vote, etc.), each state gets to set its own rules and laws and process and requirements about registering to vote and same for actually voting.

So the ELI5 is, "Depends what state you live in."
posted by soundguy99 at 4:41 AM on October 10 [6 favorites]


The only reason I can see a Democrat losing is if they go too far left and manage to alienate people in swing states.... I don't know if 2020 is going to be a race you can win on turnout without appealing to the middle...It'd sure be fun if you could put together the EC votes to win by saying "fuck everyone who voted for Trump right in the ear" and going full steam ahead on GOTV and getting 2016 non-voters to the polls.

What it comes down to, what it always comes down to, is excitement. We won't win on math, we'll win if people feel fired up and ready to go. Our best candidate isn't going to be determined by their ideological stance or the clear articulation of their ideas or their experience. It will be the person that makes you feel hope when you look at them, and the person that makes you want to speak up for them and commit your time and resources to getting them into the White House. We should be looking for that spark, not worrying about the right/left/moderate issue. The mushy middle isn't strongly ideological. They just want to feel excited and do what the zeitgeist seems to be swaying them toward. Let's get behind whoever excites people.
posted by Miko at 4:46 AM on October 10 [24 favorites]


In addition, registering to vote (in the absence of rules like those under discussion now) actually does solve a problem, which is that not every person who is eligible to vote has an address where you can send a card. Not every person who is eligible has a driver's license. Or a passport. People move between jurisdictions, and there is no requirement to tell anyone if you prefer not to. Obviously there are many possible solutions to this, one of which is a national citizenship registry. But that also has drawbacks. In my experience of living in the Nordic countries as an outsider, things work very well as long as you fit precisely into the system, but become nearly impossible as soon as you do not.
posted by Nothing at 4:53 AM on October 10 [3 favorites]


The Republican operative who openly sought Clinton foundation emails from Russian intelligence to help elect Trump, who was then, immediately after the story broke, found dead with a suicide note that explicitly stated there was "no foul play" involved? Okay, maybe Mueller's digging into it as murder. (NYMag)

Or potentially the AlfaBank server thing is gonna get somebody jailed. Or not. As the article helpfully outlines, If there is a smoking gun here, it will probably require testimony from one of the people involved in the campaign. We have no indication that that kind of testimony is coming — but, then, we have no indication of anything Mueller is up to, nor have we had much indication the entire time he’s been investigating. Which, is kinda true? In that it doesn't say anything?

And finally the whole "Trump is a ridiculously flagrant tax cheat who never gave a shit" thing?

Trump is and always has been a bad businessman who relies on regular, large cash infusions from his father to stay afloat. Washington Post reporters David A. Fahrenthold and Jonathan O’Connell, piggybacking on the Times revelations, have raised another curiosity: it was about the time that Fred Trump’s payment stream dried up that Trump’s way of financing his operations took a sharp and sudden turn. Whereas before he financed his purchases with debt — he had called himself the “king of debt” — he began buying properties with cash.

It is unusual for real estate developers to make cash purchases, given the incentives they normally have to finance with borrowing. It’s especially unusual that Trump started doing this right after he lost his father’s continuous cash spigot. This was also the time in his career he started working closely with Michael Cohen and Felix Sater, both of whom had links to the Russian underworld.

Tick tock?
posted by petebest at 4:54 AM on October 10 [82 favorites]


The PO Boxes isn’t an issue if you have a robust network of social workers out verifying residency or suchlike.

Last time I checked, New York state law empowers the Board of Elections to send the Sheriff out to your specified location to verify the registration information. Whether the Board of Elections does what they are supposed to is another issue.
posted by mikelieman at 5:04 AM on October 10 [4 favorites]


"Go Beto" is becoming a social greeting by the way. You wear your Beto shirt, as others pass you they say: Go Beto, and you say it back. I'm really digging that.

This reminds me a lot of the rise, well further rise I should say, of "Roll Tide" after the outstanding ESPN commercial featuring it being used as everything from hi to bye to have a good day to thanks to 'rest in peace'. I guess I'm just saying that it brought a common sentiment to the forefront and raised solidarity and made the other teams jealous so, yes, I approve.

Go Beto.
posted by RolandOfEld at 5:15 AM on October 10 [16 favorites]


Like, you can literally take any sheet of paper, even a napkin or toilet paper, and write your list of preferred, researched candidates on it to take to the polls. That way, you go in, you vote the choices you've made ahead of time, and you go out.

I think that there are some states that don't allow you to bring notes, documents, or other reference material to the voting booth with you. I may be mis-remembering, but I want to say that I've seen signage to that effect at my own polling place at least once.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:43 AM on October 10 [4 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that it's legal to bring notes everywhere in the US. One recommendation I've seen is to download a sample ballot, which you should be able to get online, fill it out, and bring it to the polls with you. Having said that, one reason that I like to vote by mail is that I can sit down with the ballot and research any candidates or ballot initiatives that I don't feel totally confident about.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:53 AM on October 10 [4 favorites]


What may be illegal is using a phone in a voting booth, so I would write any notes on paper. That may be counterintuitive to the youngs, though.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:58 AM on October 10 [3 favorites]


What may be illegal is using a phone in a voting booth, so I would write any notes on paper. That may be counterintuitive to the youngs, though.

Ok, I hope I don't get into trouble with this -- FULL DISCLOSURE -- I am an Albany County, NY elections inspector. ( I works the polls )...

If you're by yourself at the privacy carrel where you mark your ballot, there is no reason for me to pay any attention to what you do. Use whatever reference materials you care to. (YMMV)
posted by mikelieman at 6:08 AM on October 10 [11 favorites]


Also, this country is traditionally allergic to having a central list of everyone and who they are and where they live. Every such list is opt-in voluntary. The closest we get is a Social Security number, and people were REALLY suspicious of that when it was started, and it doesn't include an address. The second closest thing is probably the IRS records ... Third closest thing is I guess credit reporting agencies. It wouldn't be impossible but having the government make that list would just trigger a lot of people.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 6:09 AM on October 10 [5 favorites]


Vote Save America has voter guides up online now. You can research everything on your ballot from the website and put all your choices onto a sample ballot that you can print and take with you to the polls.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 6:10 AM on October 10 [16 favorites]


Given how hard our government is working to harm significant portions of it's own citizenry, I'm surprised anyone would be in favor of a centralized, up-to-date citizens database at this moment in time.
posted by ragtag at 6:19 AM on October 10 [12 favorites]


In New Jersey registered voters get a copy of the ballot mailed to us, with the polling place and district noted on it. You can bring your own notes, but not try to influence others.

One year I had my ballot with me, and a (possibly first time) voter showed up, saw the full ballot posted on the wall and was confused by way more options than he'd expected (maybe he'd only planned to vote in the federal election?). I had to call a volunteer over to verify I had not marked my copy before I could lend it to him to read in line. I also, naturally, could not explain any of the ballot issues to him, but at least he had time to read them in line rather than have to stand in the little booth wasting everyone's time.

Times have changes some with voting machines, but when I voted in Oregon, I registered, signed in and was given a paper ballot that I filled out in a little curtained privacy alcove, with a #2 pencil like a standardized test. That got dropped in a ballot box.

In New Jersey, as a kid (my mother was a volunteer, I got to play with the practice machines), we had voting machines that basically had a giant paper ballot in a booth. You would pull a lever to close the privacy curtain and then each option had a little lever next to it to mark your choice (complete with a mechanical limiter so if it was 3 our of 8 you could only mark 3) and a hole over the paper with a pen if you wanted to write in. You'd then push the lever back, which would mark the ballot, slide it down to leave a fresh one for the next person, and open the privacy curtain. We still have the big honkin' lever, which is very satisfying, but there's a keyboard for write-ins and a push button for a green check or red x for your choices.
posted by Karmakaze at 6:21 AM on October 10 [6 favorites]


Given how hard our government is working to harm significant portions of it's own citizenry, I'm surprised anyone would be in favor of a centralized, up-to-date citizens database at this moment in time.

Those people already have their more or less complete lists, and they are remarkably detailed. When the time comes for more direct action they will know exactly which people to visit.
posted by M-x shell at 6:26 AM on October 10 [10 favorites]


The VA's VISTA system was a thing of beauty

As long as you ignore the shrieking pit of horrors that lies underneath it.

I love the idea of a unified health record too, but if I ever have to stare at MUMPS code and try to work out what it's doing ever again in my life, I'm going to sell all my possessions and go herd goats in Wales instead. That's just a random sample. All of VistA is like that.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:27 AM on October 10 [14 favorites]


In New Jersey registered voters get a copy of the ballot mailed to us, with the polling place and district noted on it. You can bring your own notes, but not try to influence others.

I wish that PA mailed out ballots. I'm often surprised at the booth with some random ballot initiative or weird county officer that I've never heard of (at least we don't vote for prothonotary any more.)
posted by octothorpe at 6:34 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]


As I understand it, the ICWA was passed in the late 70s when astonishing percentages of Indian children were being removed from their families and placed with white families, often far away. It provides for certain special measures to be taken when Native children are removed from their homes by child welfare officials, including provisions requiring transfer of the matter to tribal court and to make "active efforts" to preserve Native families.

I want to touch on this real quick, since apparently this is foster care week in the news. As our local foster agency explains it, those "astonishing percentages" of children being removed before ICWA were often being removed for just being Native. ICWA provides a bit of a check against that as a tribe can now step in and effectively take over the care of a child in care.

And as I'm reading the Wikipedia article I'm seeing some rough similarities between pre-ICWA activity and what's going on with separated immigrant families:
As Louis La Rose (Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska) testified:

I think the cruelest trick that the white man has ever done to Indian children is to take them into adoption court, erase all of their records and send them off to some nebulous family ... residing in a white community and he goes back to the reservation and he has absolutely no idea who his relatives are, and they effectively make him a non-person and I think ... they destroy him.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 6:48 AM on October 10 [30 favorites]


Every such list is opt-in voluntary.

Facebook’s isn’t. They collect data on people who’ve never signed up for their service.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:49 AM on October 10 [14 favorites]


mikelieman In Texas there's a sign on the door of every polling place that directs voters to completely turn off their phones, not just silence them. I wouldn't be at all surprised if people who tried to view voting guides on their phones here were hassled.
posted by sotonohito at 6:51 AM on October 10 [2 favorites]


I kind of think people might be confusing our complete lack of privacy laws and laws preventing surveillance (except for fifty-plus different sets of laws against “wiretapping” which might have been useful in 1960, where even a lawyer often can't confidently say what is legal or illegal because a state supreme court didn't bother to clarify particular details on any of the occasions it heard wiretapping cases) with this idea of there not being any centralized databases? I mean HIPAA probably prevents a bunch of cases of copying databases of medical information, but not its collection.

But the confused junk sculpture of poorly-thought-through regulations restricting how governments can handle personal information, while letting private companies advertise that they have “anonymized” their data if you'd have to match up three dates and times before you could attach a name to a data set (not that there's any law requiring them to do even that, usually), actually promotes and protects promiscuous collection and cross-referencing of personal data in private hands rather than preventing things like that.
posted by XMLicious at 6:53 AM on October 10 [2 favorites]


[Folks, let's drop the extended sidebar about a national citizenship registry or similar (or Facebook), and get back to current ongoing news. If people want to talk more about this regarding privacy, Facebook, etc., that would be better as a new post. ]
posted by taz (staff) at 7:02 AM on October 10 [6 favorites]


If you need a woman Democratic candidate to donate to, I'm throwing huge support in for my Congressional candidate, Audrey Denney.

Most polls think she's a long shot, but lately I've seen more bumper stickers and yard signs for Audrey than I have for the odious incumbent, Doug LaMalfa. I've also seen several #MeToo bumper stickers around town, so it feels like the tide may be turning, even in rural, Republican California.

(It helps that Doug LaMalfa is the sort of shit that tells his constituents “I have the mic folks. Yep, boo away." when boo'ed during a town hall meeting.)
posted by elsietheeel at 7:12 AM on October 10 [11 favorites]


The Trump Campaign Says Exploiting Hacked Emails Is Free Speech - Natasha Bertrand, Atlantic
In a motion to dismiss a new lawsuit accusing President Donald Trump’s campaign team of illegally conspiring with Russian agents to disseminate stolen emails during the election, Trump campaign lawyers have tried out a new defense: free speech.

The lawsuit, filed last month by two donors and one former employee of the Democratic National Committee, alleges that the Trump campaign, along with former Trump adviser Roger Stone, worked with Russia and WikiLeaks to publish hacked DNC emails, thereby violating their privacy.

But the Trump campaign—represented by Jeffrey Baltruzak, Michael A. Carvin, Nikki L. McArthur, and Vivek Suri, all of the law firm Jones Day—responded in a brief filed Tuesday that the campaign can’t be held legally responsible for WikiLeaks’s publication of the DNC emails.

Furthermore, the Trump lawyers argued, the First Amendment protects the campaign’s “right to disclose information—even stolen information—so long as (1) the speaker did not participate in the theft and (2) the information deals with matters of public concern.”
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:17 AM on October 10 [10 favorites]


"USA Today op/ed: Trump-era protests, Kavanaugh drama show we need less democracy."

As Jello Biafra said many years ago, the American Pravda.
posted by ryanshepard at 7:18 AM on October 10 [13 favorites]


I almost went to that Booker speech. Hm, maybe I should have.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 7:22 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]


Furthermore, the Trump lawyers argued, the First Amendment protects the campaign’s “right to disclose information—even stolen information—so long as (1) the speaker did not participate in the theft and (2) the information deals with matters of public concern.”

It's a pretty solid argument, honestly. I would think there would be exceptions and additional rules specific to certain types of information (e.g. national security, HIPAA, securities). But the general principle they're arguing makes sense and I can see the counterargument backfiring badly against very worthy causes.
posted by The World Famous at 7:27 AM on October 10 [9 favorites]


That may be, but that (1) clause is demonstrably false. The man participated in the theft on live TV.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:29 AM on October 10 [21 favorites]


Missouri Judge Blocks Key Portions Of Voter ID Law Ahead Of Midterms - David A. Lieb, AP/via TPM
A Missouri judge on Tuesday blocked key portions of the state’s voter photo identification law, meaning some voters could find it easier to cast ballots in a November election headlined by a hotly contested U.S. Senate race.

The ruling bars election officials from enforcing a requirement that a voter lacking a valid photo ID sign a sworn statement while presenting some other form of identification in order to cast a regular ballot. It also prevents the state from advertising that a photo ID is required to vote.

The permanent injunction by Senior Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan takes effect immediately. But Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said he plans to ask that the ruling be put on hold while he appeals to a higher court.

The case will affect voting procedures in the general election that is headlined by a race between Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and her Republican challenger, Attorney General Josh Hawley, whose office defended the state law on behalf of Ashcroft.
Emphasis mine.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:33 AM on October 10 [27 favorites]


That may be, but that (1) clause is demonstrably false. The man participated in the theft on live TV.

I would be shocked if any judge anywhere would consider that to have been participation in a theft. But I've been shocked a lot over the last few years.
posted by The World Famous at 7:37 AM on October 10 [5 favorites]


I'm recalling this SCOTUS decision which Mother Jones described as the Supreme Court ruled that even protected speech can be a criminal act if it occurs at the direction of a terrorist organization.

Maybe someone can answer—if the Trump campaign couldn't be demonstrated to have participated in the theft would it matter in reverse, if Russian intelligence could be shown to have directed the Trump campaign to use the products of their espionage operations? Like, as part of an in-kind campaign finance transaction, or timing and coordination, or something?
posted by XMLicious at 7:57 AM on October 10 [4 favorites]


Arizona voter registration is done for this cycle. I don’t know what the numbers will turn out like, but I do know I have seen a LOT of people out and about registering voters. Fourth Avenue, the university, farmers markets, etc. and it’s been like this for months.
posted by azpenguin at 7:57 AM on October 10 [8 favorites]


Vote Save America has voter guides up online now.

I would have a lot more confidence in that page if it didn't have a huge chunk of Lorem ipsum text right at the top....

FYI, a group called Suit Up Maine, which grew out of Pantsuit Nation and the Indivisible folks, has published a Maine election guide and it is astonishingly comprehensive.
posted by anastasiav at 7:58 AM on October 10 [10 favorites]


Haha! Media outlets won't even call the president a liar.

CNN chyron from October 3: "BREAKING NEWS: WHITE HOUSE DENIES TRUMP WAS MOCKING KAVANAUGH ACCUSER AFTER TRUMP MOCKS KAVANAUGH ACCUSER"
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 8:02 AM on October 10 [44 favorites]


I wish that PA mailed out ballots.

They don't mail them, but Butler County has preview ballots for every election. It looks like Allegheny County has them too. Here's Westmoreland County's. I'll stop there. Just search [county name] preview ballots. I wish they did a better (or, you know, any) job advertising them.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:12 AM on October 10 [2 favorites]


Eric Tucker, AP: Sen. Mitch McConnell is warning Democrats to think carefully about "presidential harassment" if they win majority of the House. The Kentucky Republican told AP that threats to investigate Trump's finances and businesses would "help the president get re-elected" in 2020.

Well, damn. Thanks for the warning, Mitch.
posted by delfin at 8:18 AM on October 10 [46 favorites]


The permanent injunction by Senior Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan takes effect immediately. But Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said he plans to ask that the ruling be put on hold while he appeals to a higher court.

In any normal year, I'd point out that the Missouri Secretary of State is clearly a poorly-considered pseudonym, and he's really just the former Attorney General wearing a rubber mask like a villain from Scooby Doo while advancing the national GOP's interest in voter suppression, but this is no ordinary year.
posted by Mayor West at 8:19 AM on October 10 [3 favorites]


Well, damn. Thanks for the warning, Mitch.

Following the proud historical tradition established when Eisenhower told Hitler that reinforcing Pas de Calais was a bad idea.
posted by Etrigan at 8:21 AM on October 10 [12 favorites]


The Kentucky Republican told AP that threats to investigate Trump's finances and businesses would "help the president get re-elected" in 2020.

"If you try to leave me, I'll kill you." ~abusive men everywhere for all of history.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:22 AM on October 10 [104 favorites]


One thing that is on Allegheny County ballots in November is the Allegheny County Children’s Fund which will increase property taxes by 0.25 mills to fund things like pre-K, school meals and other services for young children.

My local Next Door is currently a dumpster fire over it and I need to stop reading it for my own sanity. It's a horrific bingo card of anti-tax government-bad fuck-you-got-mine nonsense.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:25 AM on October 10 [11 favorites]


The Kentucky Republican told AP that threats to investigate Trump's finances and businesses would "help the president get re-elected" in 2020.

They don't have to bring him to testify in front of Congress, Mitchy my boy. They could just go full RICO on him, and get the assets of his businesses and all their subcontractors frozen while the FBI takes a nice long stroll through their financial filings. I'm sure he'd react calmly and coolly, and not say anything incriminating on live television when he found out the news from Fox and Friends.
posted by Mayor West at 8:27 AM on October 10 [44 favorites]


I'm a bit mesmerized by people who willingly subject themselves to Trump's abuses. Sessions is a fascist, but for some reason, maybe because he seems like such a fucking failure of a person, he fascinates me. Like, why does he continue to affiliate himself with such an enterprise when the president routinely treats him, publicly, like shit?

I mean I'm having a pretty good day and I'm sitting here covered in cat hair, working on a novel I don't have a contract for, and I really need a haircut. And I'm happy. So why are people subjecting themselves to this?

I mean I want them to be miserable so I'm not objecting to their feeling that way, only very interested in it. Shit, is this what sadism is.
posted by angrycat at 8:29 AM on October 10 [36 favorites]


"USA Today op/ed: Trump-era protests, Kavanaugh drama show we need less democracy."

This is same James Robbins who once compared Tea Partiers to "Hobbits," "a free people living productive and pleasant lives, hard working, honest and happy."

On the heels of white nationalist James Allsup's call to infiltrate the GOP (even further), Gavin McInnes is addressing NY's Metropolitan Republican Club on Friday.

Relatedly, this twitter thread by David Neiwart on the right's normalization of the rhetoric of civil war is worth reading. (Well, it can't make you feel any worse.) At the same time, as Kelly Weill writes—"It’s Not Just Antifa: Now GOP Wants to Lock Up Liberal Women"—Republicans are denouncing any opposition to them at all as dangerously "radical."

At SCOTUS today, the ACLU is challenging a 1996 manditory detention law requiring the detention without a hearing of people with a past criminal record for the duration of their deportation proceedings. Also, RBG has temporarily blocked lower court orders for depositions by two senior Trump administration officials in the multiple lawsuits over the new question about U.S. citizenship status on the 2020 census.

At the state level, MA's Yes On Three, is the campaign to keep MA's 2016 public accomodation law (which added gender identity to the list of prohibited grounds for discrimination in places of public accommodation, resort, or amusement) from being repealed.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:32 AM on October 10 [12 favorites]


Because getting abused by the president is still some level of getting power, I guess? Even though joining this evil empire is literally the worst at trying to actually get any power.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:32 AM on October 10 [3 favorites]


Sessions went from screaming in the Senate about non-white people entering and living in this country to having significantly more influence over the handling of non-white people entering and living in this country.

Putting up with an orange Muppet is a small price to pay for racial purity.
posted by delfin at 8:35 AM on October 10 [38 favorites]


Harald74: "Not being a US citizen, I'm still a bit confused about the whole voter registration scheme. That is, I understand why there is a requirement to register to vote in the primaries, but in the general election, I'm not sure (other than the manifold opportunities for voter suppression, of course)."

Several folks gave the basics, but the root of voter registration is anti-immigrant bias in the 19th century.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:37 AM on October 10 [22 favorites]


So why are people subjecting themselves to this?

because however badly he treats them, they know he will treat far worse the people they think don't deserve to live, either in this country or at all in general.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:41 AM on October 10 [14 favorites]


I always feel like the Orwell quotes, while I appreciate them, are premature. Like, you can't quote Orwell while things are still getting worse. It's something you should do in retrospect. When there's food on the table again. When there's finally enough soil to cover the graves.
posted by klanawa at 8:41 AM on October 10 [4 favorites]


If we gotta quote Orwell can we quote Homage to Catalonia instead of his fiction?
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 8:47 AM on October 10 [7 favorites]


At the state level, MA's Yes On Three, is the campaign to keep MA's 2016 public accomodation law (which added gender identity to the list of prohibited grounds for discrimination in places of public accommodation, resort, or amusement) from being repealed.

And it was sponsored by right wingers who desperately want the law repealed, but for some reason got a "Yes" vote to mean keeping the law (conjecture: The state constitution lets the attorney general block ballot questions that deprive people of their rights, so they phrased it as a pro-rights question). So vote Yes on 3.
posted by adamg at 8:50 AM on October 10


“If somebody called my wife a dog and said my daddy was in on the Kennedy assassination, I wouldn’t be kissing their ass," Davis's character says. "You stick a finger in their chest and give ’em a few choice words. Or you drag their ass out by the woodshed and kick their ass, Ted."
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:55 AM on October 10 [10 favorites]


Speaking of voting guides, does anyone know a good one for California, especially for the propositions? A few are obvious, but others I'm not as sure about.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 8:56 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]


As feds focused on detaining kids, border drug prosecutions plummeted

It was never about drugs, never about crime. It was always about cruelty. Child concentration camps are the product, not the by-product.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:56 AM on October 10 [85 favorites]


corb: "So I actually think it’s not a bad idea to prohibit people from voting on the basis of a PO Box alone - it would make it, if nothing else, super, super easy to swing various small state elections and would be incredibly vulnerable to massive fraud from out of state folks."

In person voter fraud is exceedingly rare; really not worth even talking about or taking into consideration.

Harald74: "Here's the outline of how it goes down here in Norway: Some time before an election, if you are eligible to vote (citizen, over 18), you get a card in the post."

This is the registration step. Norway probably has several measures in place to automatically register people as they move around (BC, Canada does; practically no one who doesn't actively avoid being registered remains unregistered though if you recently moved you can sometimes be registered at your old address). The US mostly doesn't because the white male land owners don't actually want anyone else to vote.
posted by Mitheral at 8:57 AM on October 10 [2 favorites]


The Kentucky Republican told AP that threats to investigate Trump's finances and businesses would "help the president get re-elected" in 2020.

I'm reminded of a movie I saw once. I don't remember the name. At a key moment in the film, an old man is in a fight to the death against an enemy he had humiliatingly defeated years earlier. But this time, the tables are turned, and his enemy is far stronger, fueled by years of seething, indignant rage. The old man knows he's doomed. But he mocks his enemy, boasting that his enemy cannot possibly win and that, even if the old man is killed, he will, in some unspecified way, become even more powerful. And then the old man's nemesis responds to this bullshit mockery by unceremoniously killing him. And it turns out that the old man's bullshit was just that - bullshit. More powerful as a result of the defeat? Nope. Four sequels and the only hint of "more powerful" we get is that his ghost returns to give a half-assed apology for having been a liar.

I wish I could remember the name of that movie. Oh well.
posted by The World Famous at 8:59 AM on October 10 [33 favorites]


Speaking of voting guides, does anyone know a good one for California, especially for the propositions?

Check out the California League of Women Voters ballot guide (there are links to other good voting guides on the right side of the page).
posted by elsietheeel at 8:59 AM on October 10 [6 favorites]


So why are people subjecting themselves to this?

Questions like this remind me of one of the most thought-provoking articles of the last 3 years: "If Sean Penn Were the Democratic Nominee: Imagining a world where the wackadoo candidate is in the other party."

What if you're a principled person (and if you think there is no such thing as a principled Republican, 1) you are wrong, and 2) you can stop reading now) whose party has been taken over by a crazy person? You agree with many of his beliefs, but you understand that he's absolutely unsuited for the position and is damaging both your party and the country. The article was written during the election, so the question was whether to vote for the candidate, but it applies equally to the decision of whether to serve in the administration. So, would you serve in President Penn's administration, trying to harness his good impulses and moderate his bad ones?

(Yes, there are plenty of reasons to argue that there are substantial differences in the parties and that it's not just luck that we ended up with President Trump rather than President Penn, but it's still a useful hypothetical.)
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 9:00 AM on October 10 [4 favorites]


Like, you can't quote Orwell while things are still getting worse. It's something you should do in retrospect. When there's food on the table again. When there's finally enough soil to cover the graves.

[emphasis added]

Also, I have bad news for you about how history works. Turns out there's never enough soil to cover the graves Here's a Walter Benjamin quote to go with your Orwell:
This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 9:00 AM on October 10 [37 favorites]


Speaking of voting guides, does anyone know a good one for California, especially for the propositions?

ballot.fyi breaks 'em all down and has links to additional info. Also, lets you rank the questions by their, um, "spiciness."
posted by adamg at 9:02 AM on October 10 [3 favorites]


Lindsey Graham Doesn’t Want a Primary - Dick Polman, Atlantic

Article title is a little misleading. A more complete one would be "Lindsey Graham Doesn’t Want a Primary … Where He Could Lose"
... now that Graham has cranked up the volume on behalf of beleaguered men—“I am a single white male from South Carolina, and I’m told I should shut up, but I will not shut up”—the Graham parlor game has gone into overdrive. Why does John McCain’s former “wingman” (Graham’s self-description) seem so intent on betraying his mentor’s independent streak? What explains his hard-right turn toward Trumpism?

Everyone in politics seems to have a theory: Steve Schmidt, the former Republican strategist, tweets that Graham “is a political careerist and an unequaled sycophant when it comes to finding favor with power.” Another Republican operative, who knows Graham well, tells me privately: “All of us have talked about this. He started drifting toward Trump when McCain got sick.”

Maybe Graham is auditioning to succeed Jeff Sessions as a more pliable attorney general. Or maybe he’s simply Machiavellian in the extreme; as Tommy Vietor, a former Obama aide, tweets, “When Obama first took office, [Graham] lived in Rahm Emanuel’s office,” referring to Obama’s first chief of staff. “He has no core beliefs. He just drifts in the political wind.”

The likeliest explanation is hiding in plain sight: Graham, like so many of his Republican brethren, suffers from a political disease that fellow South Carolinian Mark Sanford calls “fear of local folks.”
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:02 AM on October 10 [11 favorites]


Other craziness on the USA Today op/ed page: "President Trump wrote an opinion article for USA Today on Oct. 10 regarding proposals to expand Medicare to all Americans – known as Medicare-For-All -- in which almost every sentence contained a misleading statement or a falsehood." - Glenn Kessler, WAPO

Almost. Every. Sentence.
posted by marshmallow peep at 9:07 AM on October 10 [52 favorites]


(Yes, there are plenty of reasons to argue that there are substantial differences in the parties and that it's not just luck that we ended up with President Trump rather than President Penn, but it's still a useful hypothetical.)

No, it isn't, because of those very differences. Sean Penn isn't going to be anywhere near the Democratic candidacy because the Democratic Party isn't structured in a way that would allow it.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:12 AM on October 10 [6 favorites]


Other craziness on the USA Today op/ed page: "President Trump wrote an opinion article for USA Today on Oct. 10 regarding proposals to expand Medicare to all Americans – known as Medicare-For-All -- in which almost every sentence contained a misleading statement or a falsehood." - Glenn Kessler, WAPO

It's an Op-Ed in USA Today with a scary headline aimed directly at senior citizens. Trump knows his audience and knows they're easy marks.
posted by The World Famous at 9:13 AM on October 10 [17 favorites]


What if you're a principled person (and if you think there is no such thing as a principled Republican, 1) you are wrong, and 2) you can stop reading now) whose party has been taken over by a crazy person? You agree with many of his beliefs, but you understand that he's absolutely unsuited for the position and is damaging both your party and the country.

You take steps to either minimize his ability to do damage to both party and country or remove him from office, ideally both at once. In the short term, it sucks because you have to give up the opportunity to shape the country in accordance with your beliefs about how it should work, but in the long term, it's a boon: you have the ability to point out that you are still a principled person even if it hurts and really take the high ground in the future, for one thing, and you don't incur the long-term damages of having your ideals and beliefs associated with a very unpopular, very foolish person who builds an association of those ideals with corruption and incompetence. You invoke the myth of Cincinnatus wherever you can--and if you're working in Ohio, so much the better. You sell yourself on your principles, your morality, and your unimpeachable ethics, and you point out hypocrisies in your opponent at every turn, and you don't shut the fuck up until things are better.

You do not "try to control him." That only prolongs the taint of his association with you and your faction and poisons your relationship with your constituents and your base. You do not go "oh, but he's doing something I want," because his unpopularity will, left unchecked, poison your ability to achieve the things you want in any sustainable way. You do not attempt to disenfranchise people rather than convincing them to support you, and you do not deliberately increase unrest and misery in the general population of citizens even if it will personally enrich you in a small way, because if you ramp up that misery too badly, the arc of history demonstrates that bad things happen to you and your heirs.

I have no idea why the Republicans have purged their entire cabinet of long-term strategists, public relations officials, and proponents of enlightened self interest, but they have.
posted by sciatrix at 9:14 AM on October 10 [28 favorites]


Speaking of Lindsey Graham....

Charleston Post and Courier: SC attorney general impeded Statehouse corruption probe, grand jury says
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson undermined a Statehouse corruption probe that targeted a powerhouse family of political operatives, people with whom he had a “problematic relationship,” a State Grand Jury report says.

The grand jury found that Wilson, the state’s chief prosecutor, impeded its investigation into “pay-for-influence” schemes while he continued working with one of its chief targets — veteran consultant Richard Quinn. [...]

The report detailed how one prominent company after another sought the Quinns’ help to advance their interests.

This is normally the province of lobbyists. But after the federal “Lost Trust” investigation in 1990, state lawmakers put stricter restrictions on lobbying.

Political consultants stepped into this vacuum. And with Richard Quinn’s longstanding connections to U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham*, Gov. Henry McMaster and other top politicians, Richard Quinn & Associates was one of the most sought-after consultants in the state, several witnesses told the grand jury.
*via Seattle Times:
Quinn has been advising Lindsey Graham since 1994, when the political newcomer became the first Republican to represent South Carolina’s 3rd District in more than 100 years. When longtime Quinn client Strom Thurmond retired from the U.S. Senate, Quinn shepherded Graham’s 2002 bid to replace him and has worked with Graham in every election since. When Graham ran for president last year, Quinn was in his corner.

Since 2002, Graham’s campaigns have paid Quinn’s firms nearly $3 million. Earlier [in 2017], Graham said he would wait and see where the investigation went, calling Quinn “a friend for a very long time.” It’s unknown what role, if any, Quinn plays now with Graham.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:15 AM on October 10 [7 favorites]


Like, you can't quote Orwell while things are still getting worse. It's something you should do in retrospect.

The entire book 1984 is a precautionary tale, so of course you quote it beforehand. Orwell quoted Orwell while things were getting worse, before it was too late.
posted by M-x shell at 9:18 AM on October 10 [23 favorites]


You agree with many of his beliefs

Masterful false equivalence. It is the beliefs themselves that are abusive.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:18 AM on October 10 [30 favorites]


> That's basically what people said about the suffragettes, as well.

Speaking of the suffragettes, here's an open thread, in case anyone missed it: Ju-Jitsu Suffragettes.
posted by homunculus at 9:25 AM on October 10 [4 favorites]


Wall Street Journal editorial board explicitly advocates an openly fascist presidential candidate. It also supports Bolsonaro.

Brazilian Swamp Drainer
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:26 AM on October 10 [16 favorites]


Eric Tucker, AP: Sen. Mitch McConnell is warning Democrats to think carefully about "presidential harassment" if they win majority of the House. The Kentucky Republican told AP that threats to investigate Trump's finances and businesses would "help the president get re-elected" in 2020.

Whatever you do, don't look in the basement. Nothing to see there at all.

But hey, Mitch is right, the harassment of 7 Benghazi investigations certainly prevented a President Trump and R Senate and House.
posted by chris24 at 9:32 AM on October 10 [18 favorites]


Why does John McCain’s former “wingman” (Graham’s self-description) seem so intent on betraying his mentor’s independent streak? What explains his hard-right turn toward Trumpism?

I don't see why people think this is a mystery. Graham has been very forthright in explaining his position:
Asked by Bash how he squares his close friendship with McCain to his new relationship with Trump, Graham said, "If you know anything about me, I want to be relevant. I want to make sure that this President, Donald Trump, who I didn't vote for, ran against, is successful."

So Graham is very clear.
1) While Graham may personally dislike Trump, he agrees with his agenda -- tax cuts, immigration, judges, voter suppression.
2) Graham wants to be relevant, an insider with influence. You can't be an insider by opposing Trump.

There's no mystery to it.
posted by JackFlash at 9:37 AM on October 10 [34 favorites]


And for the record: I sincerely thought there were Republicans who would back up their principles with action because it made good political sense to do so. I am appalled and furious not only at their veniality and malice but also by the incompetence that, as far as I can tell, has set into pretty much the entire party machine beyond very local levels. (I know you have folks working on it, corb, and I have heard what Jacqueline has mentioned about the libertarian side of things, but frankly the stories I hear about principled Republicans seem to have an inverse relationship between the sphere of influence of any given person within the party and the amount of conviction and force they bring to challenging Trump's more damaging policies.)

Idiots.

I mean, I am pissed at the incompetence and inability to manage PR spin of many on the left and in the media, but I am just flabbergasted at the total lack of any kind of long-term planning beyond "disenfranchise as many Americans as possible as quickly as possible" on the part of the GOP. Absolutely flabbergasted.
posted by sciatrix at 9:37 AM on October 10 [28 favorites]


It's an obvious trial balloon... And, voila, Secretary Ivanka!

That's what freaked me out. It's like in advertising, it doesn't matter that the ad is terrible, it matters that it stuck in your head so that you're complaining about it, spreading the idea to others. He's trying to shift the window of conversation to a place where this is something openly discussed. Either it ends with her getting it after it's been normalized through repetition, or she gets something else that we all talked ourselves into believing wasn't as bad, because "at least it's not being the ambassador to the UN. It's outright terrifying, and I wouldn't bet against it working.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:40 AM on October 10 [16 favorites]


The entire book 1984 is a precautionary tale, so of course you quote it beforehand. Orwell quoted Orwell while things were getting worse, before it was too late.

Don't quote 1984. No, really, it's not the appropriate thing for the times, maybe not for any time. It's a horror story for systems-minded middle schoolers; a well-written one, certainly, but like all horror stories it's less about depiction of reality and more about grotesque distortions of reality designed to heighten the sensation of dread and terror. It's carved out such a place in our cultural consciousness not because it's so accurate, but because so many of us were systems-minded middle schoolers, and there's not that many well-written horror stories for people who are more frightened by grinding ubiquitous systemic oppression than by spectacular exceptional murderers and monsters.

Homage to Catalonia really is the Orwell for our times, if we must go to Orwell. 1984's horrifying omnipotent system is too airtight to actually exist; humans, and history, aren't as schematic as all that. Random events occur; plans go wrong; humans are pigheaded and strange in ways that sometimes don't serve totalitarianism. Homage to Catalonia, being eyewitness reportage instead of a horror story, can show us an image of actual human life during times of revolution, counterrevolution, and intensifying world-systematic oppression. 1984 doesn't do that; it just shows us the world-system with the individuals who make it up largely flattened to caricatures. This is good for producing terrifying affects, but it's useless for practical insights.

If we absolutely must go to dystopian fiction — and I don't think we do — it seems apparent that Atwood rather than Orwell is the dystopian writer to go to. The flavor of human-made hell that she depicts in Handmaid's Tale more closely matches our times; we're not dealing with system-obsessed Stalinist history-erasers, we're dealing with viciously patriarchal thugs too stupid to understand anything more complex than their fists in your face.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 9:45 AM on October 10 [69 favorites]


All this stuff about 'how can they do it?'...'How did he become so terrible?'... etc, I think disregards the whole showbiz element of what modern politics has become. We only get to watch the show they want us to, right? Everyone fixating on how Sessions rolls over (like a dog, one might say) and how Graham has flipped to the Dark Side, etc is exactly the soap drama they want us to tune into while kids are locked in cages and mega grift sucks tax dollars into the pockets of the already mega rich. And I in no way set myself apart from this credulous gullibility
posted by Myeral at 9:50 AM on October 10 [5 favorites]


Meanwhile, a trailer for the "first Trump Era Film", The Oath
posted by growabrain at 9:52 AM on October 10 [3 favorites]


[Following on that, let's rein in the general "how can they"/these fuckers stuff, and steer back toward updates on actual, concrete events. The general "who's the appropriate political writer from the past" stuff can get its own post if folks want to continue that. ]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:57 AM on October 10 [9 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

// 27 days until Election Day //

** 2018 House:
-- PA-17: Monmouth poll has Dem Lamb up 54-42 on GOPer Rothfus in their standard turnout model (both candidates are quasi-incumbents, due to redistricting). Low turnout has Lamb up 54-42, Dem surge model, Lamb up 55-41 [MOE: +/- 5.2%]. [Trump 49-47 | Cook: Likely D] => Professional, objective analysis: you're going down, Rothfus, ahahahahahahaha.

-- FL-06: GQRR poll has Dem Soderberg tied 45-45 with GOPer Waltz [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. Poll was commissioned by the Soderberg campaign. [Trump 57-40 | Cook: Likely R]

-- Rakich: Districts the GOP has triaged, or should.

-- Axios: Dem primary turnout may indicate general turnout (or not, who knows).

-- 538 generic ballot average: D+8.3 (49.6/41.3)
** 2018 Senate:
-- MA: UMass Lowell poll has Dem incumbent Warren up 56-31 on GOPer Diehl [MOE: +/- 4.4%].

-- OH: Suffolk poll has Dem incumbent Brown up 54-36 on GOPer Renacci [MOE: +/- 4.4%].

-- AZ: OH Predictive Insights poll has GOPer McSally up 47-41 on Dem Sinema [MOE: +/- 4.0%]. => This is the first poll that's shown anything but a narrow Sinema lead in a while, so this is a bit of an eyebrow-raiser.

-- CT: Quinnipiac poll has Dem incumbent Murphy up 57-42 on GOPer Corey [MOE: +/- 5.0%].

-- MO: Ipsos poll has GOPer Hawley up 45-44 on Dem Incumbent McCaskill [MOE: +/- 3.0%].
** Odds & ends:
-- MA gov: Same UMass Lowell poll has GOP incumbent Baker up 66-27 on Dem Gonzalez. [Cook: Solid R]

-- OH gov: Same Suffolk poll has Dem Cordray up 46-40 on GOPer DeWine. [Cook: Tossup] | Downballot: AG: Dem Dettelbach up 42-36 on GOPer Yost. SOS: Dem Clyde up 43-33 with GOPer LaRose. Auditor: Dem Space up 36-33 on GOPer Faber. Treasurer: Dem Richardson up 42-35 on GOPer Sprague. Issue 1 (drug law reform): YES up 43-38. => This is the first poll to have Cordray up in a while, although it's always been close, so hmmm.

-- AZ gov: Same OH Predictive Insights has GOP incumbent Ducey up 54-37 on Dem Garcia. [Cook: Likely R]

-- CT gov: Same Quinnipiac poll has Dem Lamont at 47, GOPer Stefanowski at 39, indy Griebel at 11. [Cook: Tossup]

-- GA gov: PPP poll has Dem Abrams tied 46-46 with GOPer Kemp [no MOE listed>. [Cook: Tossup]

-- CO gov: SSRS poll has Dem Polis up 44-33 on GOPer Stapleton [MOE: +/- 3.0%]. [Cook: Lean D] => This poll is old and was in the field a long time, but there's been little polling of the race, so I thought it was worth mentioning.

-- IL gov: Ipsos poll has Dem Pritzker up 50-30 on GOP incumbent Rauner [MOE: +/- 2.5%]. [Cook: Likely D]

-- Morning Consult poll has Dems leading on Kavanaugh and enthusiasm thereof.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:59 AM on October 10 [23 favorites]


-- OR gov: Riley Research poll has Dem incumbent Brown up 49-45 on GOPer Buehler [MOE: +/- 5.2%]. [Cook: Lean D]

Chrystostom (or others), do you know of any sources breaking down historical voter turnout by state and gender? That OR governor poll has me nervous but also suspicious -- their methodology mentions that (A) the poll was over the internet rather than phone and (B) the respondents were 56% male. The polling group said that they didn't adjust for male/female response rate, with the justification "'I think maybe that's indicative of a more highly motivated demographic,' Riley said, explaining that he did not make any adjustments to account for the higher survey participation among men." My guess would be that actual Oregon voters are closer to 50/50, but I don't have any basis for that.
posted by bassooner at 10:10 AM on October 10 [4 favorites]


Lindsey Graham Doesn’t Want a Primary - Dick Polman, Atlantic

I don't know who Dick Polman is when he's at home, but I think that piece greatly overstates Graham's political vulnerability and probably also overstates Graham's fear of being politically vulnerable and thereby produces a narrative appealing to certain kinds of self-described "moderate" Republicans and "centrists" who might like to believe that Graham is only feigning his sycophancy. (Note here how similar that belief is to the belief in the Trumpian "pivot.")

So when Polman writes "Graham’s standing in South Carolina has been shaky for years," I wonder how much time he's actually spent in the state, because while Graham has never been a darling of the Tea Party/Freedom Caucus set, he has, in fact won most of his races pretty decisively. In 2002 he defeated Alex Sanders by 10 points; in '08 he defeated his GOP primary challenger by over 30 points and his Democratic opponent by over 20; and in '14, when his approval was at its lowest, the Tea Party not only declined to challenge him, he defeated his Democratic opponent by some 16 points. Graham isn't even facing another election until 2020, so there's no reason for him to even feel particularly vulnerable at this time.

I mean, I don't doubt that an opportunity to burnish some conservative bona fides has entered Graham's calculations to some degree, but "Lindsey Graham doesn't want a primary" is a story serious people are only telling themselves. As far as I can tell, right now Lindsey Graham doesn't give a damn about a primary.

(If Graham does fear losing the state, he might worry about loosing those parts of the state that aren't nearly as conservative as his native upstate and which have generally been appeased by his "moderate" act.)
posted by octobersurprise at 10:13 AM on October 10 [7 favorites]


bassooner, looking at the 2016 exit polls from Oregon, it looks like you're right. The split was much closer to 50/50. In fact it was 51% female and 49% male.
posted by nsillik at 10:18 AM on October 10 [3 favorites]


OR governor is a bit of an enigma right now. There has been very little non-partisan polling. And GOP nominee Buehler is basically running as a centrist Democrat (Dem gov Brown is quite progressive).

Here's some 2014 exit polling. It's for the Senate race, unfortunately, but it's probably a similar response. Women were 54% of the total vote.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:23 AM on October 10 [2 favorites]


like all horror stories it's less about depiction of reality and more about grotesque distortions of reality designed to heighten the sensation of dread and terror

What is the War on Terror but a grotesque distortion of reality designed to heighten the sensation of dread and (spoiler!) terror? Americans are more likely to win the lottery or die choking on food than get killed by a terrorist. 3,600 Americans were killed in terrorist attacks worldwide between 1995 and 2016. There were over 40,000 automotive fatalities in 2017.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:24 AM on October 10 [18 favorites]


Questions like this remind me of one of the most thought-provoking articles of the last 3 years: "If Sean Penn Were the Democratic Nominee: Imagining a world where the wackadoo candidate is in the other party."

This is not thought-provoking. It is stupid.

We have a lot of words to describe someone who is willing to sacrifice the safety and/or lives of others, do real damage to the country, and irreparably align themselves with the forces of evil, just so they can personally benefit or pass some pet legislation. "Principled" is not on that list.

("Republican" is, though)
posted by tocts at 10:28 AM on October 10 [20 favorites]


> And for the record: I sincerely thought there were Republicans who would back up their principles with action because it made good political sense to do so.

I think the moment when this all clicked for me was during the mass protests against Scott Walker's union-busting and other assorted dickheadedness that led to the failed effort to recall him. There were all of these people motivated enough to take over the Wisconsin state capitol building for long periods of time. There were poll numbers showing how unpopular his policies were. There was the fact that people were able to collect almost a million signatures to initiate the recall process.

And yet... he won by a larger margin of victory than his original election because he turned out his base in record numbers

Susan Collins is no dummy, and neither are her pollsters. We don't need to rehash the debate over whether she has any principles in the first place, but assuming she does, and assuming she wants to run again, I'm fairly confident that her team believes that the best path to remaining in Congress is to double down on Trumpism in order to turn out the base. Her image as a "moderate" has taken a beating over the years, even among casual observers. She knows that her challenger would be bringing up her near-lockstep pro-Trump voting record. So why not throw a Hail Mary by going full Scott Walker?
posted by tonycpsu at 10:32 AM on October 10 [15 favorites]




[A few deleted. Actual concrete events.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:44 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]


I have no idea why the Republicans have purged their entire cabinet of long-term strategists, public relations officials, and proponents of enlightened self interest, but they have.

This, to me anyway, is the real question. It's honestly weird that a party that has seemingly been pretty good at playing the long game for several decades is suddenly eating its own seed corn. There's no way that what's going on now is good for the Republican Party as a party, that is to say, as a long-term political organization. If the Democrats don't snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, the Republicans will almost certainly lose in 2020, and they may well lose both the House and Senate as well. What they're doing doesn't seem to make sense from a strategic perspective.

Trump is transparently a looter; he doesn't seem to care, and presumably sees his endgame as becoming an oligarch with a cushy job in some version of America's Gazprom. I can kinda see Lindsay Graham and some of the older Senators deciding this is their last dance as well, so they might as well see what they can get away with. But I'm surprised how many younger—and presumably career-oriented—politicians are on the bandwagon.

What Trump did, and is doing, doesn't seem sustainable—I don't mean in terms of being good for the country or anything, I mean literally sustainable for more than a cycle or two as a viable tactic. He does seem to get out the conservative (older, angry, white) base, but that seems like winning by giving yourself shots of Benzedrine. Effective in the short run, but probably less effective each time you try, and a lot better in a sprint than in a marathon. Eventually the Democrats are going to manage GOTV efforts to match, or run candidates (Blue Dogs, whatever you want to call them) that peel away enough support by compromising on issues without being visibly insane. Is the well really that deep with disaffected, white, non-college-educated voters, that they think they can keep going back to it again and again, each time they get themselves jammed up? Because that seems to be their only move.

It's just weird to watch an organization that, even if their policy goals weren't always my cup of tea, has normally seemed to take a reasonably-long view—building candidates, accepting losses here and there for wins later, accepting that the other party would probably take various offices from time to time—suddenly get so excited about what looks an awful lot like a suicide pact.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:51 AM on October 10 [19 favorites]


Found a study on polarization in civic life, thought it was good but there was too much to put in a comment here, so I made an FPP out of it: We The Polarized.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:51 AM on October 10 [7 favorites]


Marquette poll has WI gov candidates Walker and Evers tied. This poll has individual races showing very different results- Baldwin stomping Vukmir, but incumbent AG Schimel ahead of Democratic challenger Josh Kaul.
posted by Jpfed at 10:55 AM on October 10 [3 favorites]


Wall Street Journal editorial board explicitly advocates an openly fascist presidential candidate. It also supports Bolsonaro.

Brazilian Swamp Drainer


Because I did not know very much about Bolsonaro, I did not realize how awful this was. But here is an article that just came across my Facebook feed to provide the proper context...

Federico Finchelstein for Foreign Policy:

Jair Bolsonaro’s Model Isn’t Berlusconi. It’s Goebbels.
Bolsonaro, who is also known as the Brazilian Trump, is currently being advised by Steve Bannon in his campaign. Still in the hospital, after an assassination attempt a few weeks ago, the Brazilian populist combines promises of austerity measures with prophesies of violence. His campaign is a mix of racism, misogyny, and extreme law and order positions.

He wants criminals to be summarily shot rather than face trial. He presents indigenous people as “parasites” and also advocates for discriminatory, eugenically devised forms of birth control. Bolsonaro has warned about the danger posed by refugees from Haiti, Africa, and the Middle East, calling them “the scum of humanity” and even argued that the army should take care of them.

He regularly makes racist and misogynistic statements. For example, he accused Afro-Brazilians of being obese and lazy and defended physically punishing children to try to prevent them from being gay. He has equated homosexuality with pedophilia and told a representative in the Brazilian National Congress, “I wouldn’t rape you because you do not deserve it.”

In these and other statements, Bolsonaro’s vocabulary recalls the rhetoric behind Nazi policies of persecution and victimization. But does sounding like a Nazi make him a Nazi? Insomuch as he believes in holding elections, he is not there yet. However, things could change quickly if he gains power. Recently, Bolsonaro argued that he would never accept defeat in the election and suggested that the army might agree with his view. This is a clear threat to democracy.
Of course Bannon is advising this guy.
posted by OnceUponATime at 10:56 AM on October 10 [57 favorites]


What they're doing doesn't seem to make sense from a strategic perspective.

It makes a lot more sense when you think about it from this perspective: Republicans, as a party and as a system of thinking, have been working literally constantly towards a point when they are fully and permanently in control of the government. They've now achieved this. They don't have any beliefs about democratic rule, or fair play, or "robust civil discourse" that are not simply tactical positions they've taken to achieve this goal. They are authoritarians. They are fascists. It looks like they don't have a gameplan beyond this because this was the goal and they don't plan to give up power. Ever.
posted by odinsdream at 11:14 AM on October 10 [73 favorites]


The voter suppression happening in Georgia should be shocking, especially since the man in charge of voter registration is the GOP candidate for governor. Voting Rights Become A Flashpoint In Georgia Governor’s Race (AP):
An analysis of the records obtained by The Associated Press reveals racial disparity in the process. Georgia’s population is approximately 32 percent black, according to the U.S. Census, but the list of voter registrations on hold with Kemp’s office is nearly 70 percent black.

Kemp’s office blamed that disparity on the New Georgia Project, a voter registration group founded by Abrams in 2013.

Kemp accuses the organization of being sloppy in registering voters, and says they submitted inadequate forms for a batch of applicants that was predominantly black. His office has said the New Georgia Project used primarily paper forms and “did not adequately train canvassers to ensure legible, complete forms ….”

His office says “the law applies equally across all demographics,” but these numbers became skewed by “the higher usage of one method of registration among one particular demographic group.”

Voters whose applications are frozen in “pending” status have 26 months to fix any issues before their application is canceled, and can still cast a provisional ballot.
"The number of voter registration applications that Brian Kemp's office has frozen equals roughly 2% of the total number of votes cast in the 2014 gubernatorial election. Polls show a *very* tight election this year." - Daniel Nichanian
posted by gladly at 11:16 AM on October 10 [23 favorites]


I'd recommend this article if you're interested in how this has played out elsewhere. The short version is that our shared understanding of the benefits of a democratic society aren't really, uh, fully distributed. Plenty of people actually are anti-democratic authoritarians.
posted by odinsdream at 11:18 AM on October 10 [23 favorites]


Fuck Brian Kemp. I am absolutely livid at the conflict of interest with his overseeing his own election, to say nothing of what a slimy trump-stained pile of scum he is. I really hope Abrams pulls ahead to win it against obviously rigged odds.
posted by Room 101 at 11:23 AM on October 10 [17 favorites]


Plenty of people actually are anti-democratic authoritarians.

Man, I've known this since the 90s. Many, though certainly not all, of those who would benefit from a white Christofascist authoritarian state have no problem with such a thing if you described it using the right terminology (much the same as people like the ACA a lot more if you describe it to them without naming it). I guess the only thing that has been shocking to me has been the FUCK IT, WE'LL DO IT LIVE situation we're currently in with the fascists. I thought they'd be a lot subtler about it.
posted by soren_lorensen at 11:25 AM on October 10 [21 favorites]


In my liberal bubble of North Carolina I've been amused to see the left co-opting the love-of-Constitution usually claimed by the right. The insane rightwing state legislature has come up with 6(!) State Constitution amendments for us to vote on this fall, and yard signs and bumper stickers are telling us to vote against all of them, for love of the dear old Constitution.

(plenty of reasons this isn't a particularly great tactic in the long run, but if it works this year then I guess I'm ok with it)
posted by jermsplan at 11:28 AM on October 10 [5 favorites]


How 20 years of stop and search has widened America’s racial divide - "A police push to seize guns from cars ended in disproportionate numbers of black people getting arrested for minor crimes. "
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:31 AM on October 10 [3 favorites]


NYT, F.B.I. Director Defends Kavanaugh Investigation as ‘Standard’
The F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, defended the bureau’s handling of an abbreviated background check into Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, telling lawmakers on Wednesday that agents acted properly amid criticism that they should have more thoroughly investigated sexual assault allegations against him.

As part of a dramatic deal to move Justice Kavanaugh’s nomination forward in the Senate two weeks ago, the White House directed the F.B.I. to conduct a narrow investigation that was “specific in scope,” Mr. Wray told members of the Senate Homeland Security Committee during a hearing.

“That is consistent with the standard process for such investigations going back quite a long ways,” he said.
Wray had a chance to say he wasn't ok with this, and silence. Rule No. 3: Institutions will not save you
posted by zachlipton at 11:31 AM on October 10 [40 favorites]


Jia Tolentino, One Year of #MeToo: What Women’s Speech Is Still Not Allowed to Do
The anger crackling through Kavanaugh and Graham—and the thrum of vindictive satisfaction that I could feel passing through the base they were playing to—shut me down for the evening. I grasped, for the first time, the extent to which the past year has made some men crave the poisonous high of feeling wrongfully endangered. I also grasped the scale of the consequences that women and other sexual-assault victims will face as a result. Like the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, these men are borrowing the rhetoric of the structurally oppressed and delivering it with a rage that is denied to all but the most powerful. “I’m a single white male from South Carolina,” Graham said, at a meeting the morning after the hearing, “and I’m told that I should just shut up, but I will not shut up.”
...
It will be said that Kavanaugh was confirmed despite the #MeToo movement. It would be at least as accurate to say that he was confirmed because of it. Women’s speech—and the fact that we are now listening to it—has enraged men in a way that makes them determined to reëstablish the longstanding hierarchy of power in America. By imagining that they are threatened, men like Kavanaugh have found the motivation to demonstrate, at great cost to the rest of us, that they are still the ones that have the ability to threaten others.

And yet this awful truth will not stop women from speaking, and I do not think that it will turn a movement into a moment. It has become clear that there is not nearly enough left to lose.
posted by zachlipton at 11:33 AM on October 10 [54 favorites]


Late GOP Activist Peter W. Smith Met With Former Trump Adviser Michael Flynn in 2015, Sources Say (unpaywalled link via facebook redirect)
The Journal reported in 2017 that Mr. Smith implied he had connections to Mr. Flynn, but the email and people familiar with the matter indicate the two men were in contact and did in fact have a working relationship. Though no apparent business deals came of the 2015 meeting, the introduction gave Mr. Smith a contact who would go on to become part of Mr. Trump’s inner circle. An attorney for Mr. Flynn declined to comment
...
Mr. Smith’s pursuit of Mrs. Clinton’s emails put him in contact with a varied group of hackers and operatives on the fringes of Republican politics and brought him to dark corners of the online world, the Journal has previously reported. He died in a Minnesota hotel room in 2017 in what authorities ruled a suicide at the age of 81, weeks after telling friends that he believed he had finally obtained the missing emails, according to a person familiar with the matter.
...
Numerous people familiar with Mr. Smith’s quest have been questioned by Mr. Mueller’s investigators, including at least one witness who was called before a grand jury, according to a court document and people familiar with the matter. A grand jury subpoena described to the Journal also has sought a range of documents concerning Mr. Smith’s activities.
...
Beyond his connection with Mr. Flynn, Mr. Smith also claimed ties with the antisecrecy website WikiLeaks, and he solicited money to assist founder Julian Assange with legal support, according to Mr. Ortel and an email Mr. Smith sent in December 2016 that was reviewed by the Journal.
posted by BungaDunga at 11:40 AM on October 10 [15 favorites]


Oh, hey. Another sentencing today in the Mueller probe. Pinedo helped the Russians broaden their efforts with fake IDs.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:44 AM on October 10 [33 favorites]


Late GOP Activist Peter W. Smith Met With Former Trump Adviser Michael Flynn in 2015, Sources Say

Here's @WSJ's link (for those who prefer not to use Facebook): https://t.co/RIHNCHPptt

Also, Team Trump is signalling like mad to each other via anonymous leaks by "people familiar with the matter" to friendly news outlets about where Mueller's looking—and this Smith lead is suddenly getting awfully warm.

While we wait to see what this news shakes loose, Marcy Wheeler presented her hallmark cogent analysis on Monday's WSJ story about Smith (whom she suggests is being used as a stalking horse): Peter Smith Had a Penchant For Secrecy, But Whence Might Be More Interesting Than How "Someone got this old rat-fucker to use just enough secrecy to serve as signposts for the interesting bits. I’m as interested in who provided that advice (and when) as I am in the identity of the four donors whom WSJ must know but isn’t sharing."
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:49 AM on October 10 [12 favorites]


Trump eager to woo back advisers who have moved on - Annie Karni, Politico

Specifically, former deputy national security adviser Dina Powell is a possible candidate to replace Nikki Haley.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:50 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]


I really hope Abrams pulls ahead to win it against obviously rigged odds.

As do I. I have an embarrassingly uncritical love for Abrams right now. This election is already close, and I wonder what happens to those provisional ballots should the Georgia governor's election come down to recount?
posted by gladly at 12:08 PM on October 10 [7 favorites]


No, it isn't, because of those very differences. Sean Penn isn't going to be anywhere near the Democratic candidacy because the Democratic Party isn't structured in a way that would allow it.

posted by NoxAeternum at 9:12 AM on October 10 [3 favorites +] [!]


This got my attention. It's not immediately obvious to me what the structural differences between the parties are that would make this true. I think it would be worth a thread of its own if a knowledgeable person were to take it on.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:08 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]


Late GOP Activist Peter W. Smith Met With Former Trump Adviser Michael Flynn in 2015, Sources Say

"Additionally, in an email reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, one of Mr. Smith’s former associates wrote to a friend last week, “As you are aware Peter started a business relationship with Gen. Mike Flynn in November 2015. We spoke with him on the day he left for his trip to Moscow.” The associate, John Szobocsan, sent the email as the Journal was preparing a story on Mr. Smith and was attempting to reach Mr. Szobocsan. He didn’t respond to requests for comment."

Szobocsan's Bloomberg bio is the Managing Director at Corporate Venture Alliances, who "specializes in applications of economics, finance, statistics, technology, valuation, and accounting principles in litigation matters", i.e. a hired gun to help international corporations with courts and regulatory bodies. Naturally he'd move in some of the same circles as Flynn, who was hanging out his shingle as an expert consultant.

As a reminder, last month, after Mueller repeatedly requested Flynn's sentencing be delayed, Judge Emmet Sullivan scheduled for December 18.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:11 PM on October 10 [5 favorites]


> This got my attention. It's not immediately obvious to me what the structural differences between the parties are that would make this true.

The most obvious difference is superdelegates. The GOP technically has them but they're required to vote for whoever their state does, whereas Democratic superdelegates can go against their state's wishes, and routinely do -- or, they used to, anyway.

The Democrats did take some steps to reduce the power of superdelegates after 2016, such that they're only allowed to vote against their state's winner in the second round of voting. So I guess theoretically a celebrity candidate without establishment support could get the nomination if they won a majority of the primary vote, but that's a pretty big if.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:15 PM on October 10 [3 favorites]


WEAPON SYSTEMS CYBERSECURITY: DOD Just Beginning to Grapple with Scale of Vulnerabilities (A recent report from the GAO.)
Another test team reported that they caused a pop-up message to appear on users’ terminals instructing them to insert two quarters to continue operating.
Heh.
posted by scalefree at 12:17 PM on October 10 [18 favorites]


@RobertMaguire_: Reporter: Have you spoken to the Saudis about Khashoggi?

Trump: “I’d rather not say. But the answer is yes."
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:25 PM on October 10 [14 favorites]


Democratic health care proposal fails in the Senate
A Democratic measure aimed at eliminating short-term health care plans that don't cover pre-existing conditions failed in the Senate on Wednesday in a tied vote of 50-50.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins was the sole Republican to vote for the measure, put forth by Democrats. The resolution was aimed at rebuffing a Trump administration rule that allowed some plans not to require coverage of pre-existing conditions, the latest action from the minority party's push to focus on the issue of health care going into the midterms.

Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin used the Congressional Review Act to force a vote to overturn the Trump administration rule to expand short-term insurance plans.
This was not actually intended to work—there was zero change the House would take it up even if it got through the Senate—, but creates fodder for the last month of the campaign, where voters repeatedly say health care is their #1 issue in choosing a candidate. (If you think it is concerning that voters repeatedly say health care is their #1 issue, yet virtually all forms of news are filled with non-health care related stories, allowing Republicans to lie with impunity about their health care positions, you are not alone.) This creates an opportunity for attack ads on the Republicans who voted against it.
posted by zachlipton at 12:27 PM on October 10 [33 favorites]


No, it isn't, because of those very differences. Sean Penn isn't going to be anywhere near the Democratic candidacy because the Democratic Party isn't structured in a way that would allow it.

For one thing, I don't think it would be at all workable for a candidate with a known public record of domestic violence to have a place in a Democratic primary, whereas post-Trump it almost seems like a qualification. It always amazes me how conservatives always criticize Penn for having "crazy liberal views", but never for having beaten and abused his wife. Hell, even the Slate article linked above doesn't mention it.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:42 PM on October 10 [13 favorites]


Feinstein and de León have finally agreed to a debate in their Senate race. Except it's on a Wednesday...at noon...with no broadcast partner. The makings of a really well-viewed event here. It will be livestreamed.
posted by zachlipton at 12:49 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]


Another test team reported that they caused a pop-up message to appear on users’ terminals instructing them to insert two quarters to continue operating.

With it being the DoD they probably immediately started looking for slots that could take quarter billion inputs.
posted by srboisvert at 1:05 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]


creates fodder for the last month of the campaign, where voters repeatedly say health care is their #1 issue in choosing a candidate

For seven or eight years the Republicans said they would repeal and replace Obamacare. They failed. With both houses of Congress and the presidency, they failed.

Trump lied that said he would replace it with something better. He failed. With a completely Republican Congress, he failed.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:11 PM on October 10 [32 favorites]


WaPo, Roberts refers judicial misconduct complaints against Kavanaugh to federal appeals court in Colorado
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on Wednesday referred more than a dozen judicial misconduct complaints filed recently against Brett M. Kavanaugh to a federal appeals court in Colorado.

The 15 complaints, related to statements Kavanaugh made during his Senate confirmation hearings, were initially filed with the federal appeals court in Washington, where Kavanaugh served for the last 12 years before his confirmation Saturday to the Supreme Court.
...
It is unclear what will come of the review by the 10th Circuit. The judiciary’s rules on misconduct do not apply to Supreme Court justices. The 10th Circuit will likely decide to dismiss the complaints as moot now that Kavanaugh has joined the high court.
posted by zachlipton at 1:44 PM on October 10 [10 favorites]


"A local Kansas GOP official lashed out at Democratic congressional candidate Sharice Davids on social media earlier this week, saying “your radical socialist kick boxing lesbian Indian will be sent back packing to the reservation.”"
I guess this was intended as a burn? But this makes her sound AWESOME. So awesome I went and donated to her campaign! Scanty polling shows Davids +6 against GOP incumbent Yoder, so I, for one, welcome our new radical socialist kickboxing lesbian Native American overlady.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:52 PM on October 10 [126 favorites]




The judiciary’s rules on misconduct do not apply to Supreme Court justices. The 10th Circuit will likely decide to dismiss the complaints as moot now that Kavanaugh has joined the high court.

I don't think charges of perjury are ever moot, myself.
posted by mikelieman at 2:03 PM on October 10 [19 favorites]


> I guess this was intended as a burn? But this makes her sound AWESOME. So awesome I went and donated to her campaign! Scanty polling shows Davids +6 against GOP incumbent Yoder, so I, for one, welcome our new radical socialist kickboxing lesbian Native American overlady.

for whatever it's worth, everything about that description applies to her except "radical socialist" — she's a moderate who (IIRC) beat a Sanders-backed candidate in the primary.

I hope she crushes Yoder, of course.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 2:08 PM on October 10 [10 favorites]


Olivia Nuzzi, My Private Oval Office Press Conference With Donald Trump, Mike Pence, John Kelly, and Mike Pompeo
I walked to the Oval Office. I guessed that the president wanted to disabuse me of any notion that Kelly was about to be fired, or had almost been fired many times before. I was right, but my imagination was too limited. What ensued amounted to a private press conference — featuring a series of special guest stars from the highest echelon of the Trump administration — to try to get me to change my mind.

“I just heard that you were doing a story on … this stuff,” the president said as he came into the Oval Office and sat down at the Resolute Desk. I sat in a chair across from him. Next to me were Sanders and communications director Bill Shine.
...
This was beginning to feel ridiculous, like this was the reunion episode of a sitcom, in which Bob Saget might come out next to an applause track
Paragraphs and paragraphs of nonsense follow. No questions about matters of substance appear to be asked at any point, which is presumably why Nuzzi was picked for this task, and those questions that are offered are really flatly ignored. Half the administration wanders in and out at various times. Trump is very fond of his Big List of Acomplishments, which he calls out to have brought to him on demand (he has held this list up at rallies too).

The nonsense is far too long and uninteresting to summarize, and I say this as something of a specialist in reading his nonsense, but the bit where he says that Sen. Burr is "a judge at the Senate committee" is particularly choice. He also thinks that "I’m not sure if this is nice or not nice, but when they don’t respond [to polls], that means it’s an automatic Trump vote."
posted by zachlipton at 2:10 PM on October 10 [12 favorites]


Trump heads to fundraiser, rally after offering prayers to those in hurricane's path

@realDonaldTrump: "Departing the @WhiteHouse for Erie, Pennsylvania. I cannot disappoint the thousands of people that are there - and the thousands that are going. I look forward to seeing everyone this evening."
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:12 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]


in case anyone thought perhaps that GOP official was suggesting Sharice Davids go back to the reservation because folks like her are over-represented in congress . . . it may come as a shock to you that Davids would, if she won, join Deb Haaland (who also needs to win her race but it seems a lot safer) as the first ever native women in congress. ever.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 2:13 PM on October 10 [21 favorites]


Oh, it's Trump's Mirror again! From the Olivia Nuzzi piece in NYMag:

“People that are off the record — I think it doesn’t even exist. I think writers make it up,” he said. “Generally, generally. Not in all cases, but generally.”

“Well, you’ve cited anonymous sources before,” I said. “Were they made up?”

He didn’t respond.

posted by suelac at 2:19 PM on October 10 [58 favorites]


Paragraphs and paragraphs of nonsense follow.

Blind headless monsters thrashing about in front of the tourist, doing what they think is the appearance of civilized, responsible things. It's amazing just to read for the gonzo spectacle of it all. It's almost as if the author was trying to write an article that the administration could not help but agree with---there's no analysis or editorializing at all---just a pure stream of now.
posted by bonehead at 2:27 PM on October 10 [8 favorites]


It's almost as if the author was trying to write an article that the administration could not help but agree with---there's no analysis or editorializing at all---just a pure stream of now.

Presenting it without analysis or criticism but purely as spectacle, and continuing to do so in order to maintain access, is collaboration.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:30 PM on October 10 [19 favorites]


Wray had a chance to say he wasn't ok with this, and silence. Rule No. 3: Institutions will not save you

Wray was appointed to obey Trump’s orders after he fired Comey, period. He was utterly and completely compromised from day 1 based on the circumstances of his predecessor’s departure.

No Trump selected FBI director could ever have been trustworthy, the only possible choice after his interference was to outsource the pick of a new Director to a bipartisan panel of Senators, preferably headed by a Democrat. Anything less was running headlong towards the Furher.

And Democrats confirmed Wray nearly unanimously. Because they still pretended Trump is a normal president, and pretended the Republican Party was acting in good faith. Neither thing was true, and the later had not been true since at least 2008, if not 1994.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:54 PM on October 10 [16 favorites]


for whatever it's worth, everything about that description applies to her except "radical socialist" — she's a moderate who (IIRC) beat a Sanders-backed candidate in the primary.

Not through the use of kickboxing, sadly.

But seriously, the Republicans are going to use “radical socialist” as an epithet whenever it's convenient, regardless of the facts. I don't know whether it carries as much weight as it once did, but there's a possibility that they're trying to manipulate Democratic candidates away from a positive message (“We want you to have clean air, water, and access to health care”) and into some stupid denial like “I'm not even a real socialist!”
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:06 PM on October 10


From the Nuzzi, er, piece, linked above:

“Well, the Mueller investigation, if anything, it’s showing that the Democrats colluded with Russia and others. And it’s showing there’s no collusion from me. There never was. And yes, I’m very satisfied with the way that’s going. It’s a process. I’m very satisfied. I consider it to be an illegal investigation. It should’ve never been called. But is there anything there? Nothing. There’s no collusion. There is no collusion.

You have a call from ... Alexandria Detention Center ... Press 1 to accept the charges.
posted by petebest at 3:07 PM on October 10 [13 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: "Departing the @WhiteHouse for Erie, Pennsylvania.

Man I fucking hate Twitter.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:08 PM on October 10 [16 favorites]


Why does it take 15 assassins to kill one journalist? Like, say one boss, one to do it, and 13 to... do what exactly?
posted by M-x shell at 3:27 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]


It's not about killing him efficiently. It's about sending a message.
posted by Justinian at 3:31 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]


Why does it take 15 assassins to kill one journalist? Like, say one boss, one to do it, and 13 to... do what exactly?

As an example, see this assassination carried out by Israeli intelligence in Dubai that involved at least 11 people.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:33 PM on October 10 [4 favorites]


Why does it take 15 assassins to kill one journalist? Like, say one boss, one to do it, and 13 to... do what exactly?

The working theory is that they had to dismember the body and remove it from the embassy for disposal (possibly all the way back to Saudi), so I'm assuming each assassin had to carry some piece out in some manner.
posted by PenDevil at 3:34 PM on October 10 [3 favorites]


“No, no. When they go low, we kick ’em. That’s what this new Democratic Party is about.”

— Former Attorney General Eric Holder, quoted by the Washington Post.

via
posted by petebest at 3:34 PM on October 10 [16 favorites]


It's not really about sending a message, it's about making sure they get it done the first time. One or two people can't cover all the exits, etc.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:39 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]


WaPo, Matt Zapotosky and Josh Dawsey,
Trump talked with Jeff Sessions’s own chief of staff about replacing him as attorney general
President Trump talked recently with Jeff Sessions’s own chief of staff about replacing Sessions as attorney general, according to people briefed on the conversation, signaling that the president remains keenly interested in ousting his top law enforcement official.

The conversation between Trump and Matt Whitaker was somewhat nebulous, the people said. It was not clear, for example, whether Whitaker would take over on an interim basis or be nominated in a more permanent capacity, or how definitive the president’s intentions were.
...
In the wake of that reporting, Rosenstein offered to resign and traveled to the White House expecting to be fired. The administration lined up Whitaker to replace Rosenstein in an acting capacity, while Noel Francisco, the solicitor general, would take over supervision of the special counsel probe. The conversation about Whitaker taking over as attorney general occurred around that time, according to people briefed on the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
...
In September 2017, he wrote a column for CNN saying that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III — who CNN had reported at the time could be looking into Trump and his associates’ financial ties to Russia — had “come up to a red line in the Russia 2016 election-meddling investigation that he is dangerously close to crossing.” If made the attorney general, Whitaker would possibly be in a position to supervise Mueller, but ethics officials would likely review his past public comments to see if he had any conflicts of interest.
posted by zachlipton at 3:41 PM on October 10 [3 favorites]






WaPo, Matt Zapotosky and Devlin Barrett, Rosenstein-McCabe feud dates back to angry standoff in front of Mueller, in which Rosenstein wanted McCabe to recuse himself, McCabe wanted Rosenstein to accuse himself, and everyone hates each other and I hate everyone. In addition, GOP lawmakers indefinitely postponed their Thursday meeting to question Rosenstein, which is an interesting and potentially calming development.
posted by zachlipton at 4:05 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]


Paragraphs and paragraphs of nonsense follow.

Sir Alert! Trump veers away from Nuzzi's question about the Mueller investigation by returning to the subject of the midterms, backed up by this obviously phoney anecdote:
“Yes, am I concerned about the election? I’d rather win elections. I’ve never lost an election in my life, okay? You know that, right? I’ve run one time. It was for the presidency. I actually had a senator come in and say, ‘Mr. President, I’ve been a senator for 24 years. Sir, I think this is the way you should do it.’ I said, ‘Well, you know, I’ve just been a president for two years. It’s the only time I ever ran for office.’ He said, ‘You know, that’s one of the most amazing things that I’ve ever seen and I’ve been doing this a long time.’ It is sort of interesting.”
If this press conference for one was supposed to head off a critical story on Kelly, it's a weird bit of damage control from the Trump White House comms team (were Haberman and Rucker busy?). While Nuzzi doesn't push back nearly hard enough on the obvious bullshit, quoting Trump at length, verbatim, never makes him look good.

Meanwhile, following today's worst day for U.S. stocks since February, the WaPo's Robert Costa reports, "President Trump, on the economy, speaking to the press pool in Erie: “... the Fed is making a mistake. They’re so tight. I think the Fed has gone crazy. So you can say that, ‘Well, that’s a lot of safety actually.' And it is a lot of safety... But I think the Fed has gone crazy.”" (After all Trump's touting of the stock market as his personal economic achievement, he's quick to find a scapegoat for this 830-point drop.)

As for Trump's Erie rally tonight, with Daniel Dale taking a well-deserved rest, PolitiFact is taking on the live-tweeting/fact-checking duties. Buckle up!
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:06 PM on October 10 [4 favorites]


‘Well, you know, I’ve just been a president for two years. It’s the only time I ever ran for office.’

By the way, this is a lie.
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:10 PM on October 10 [43 favorites]


Sir, I think this is the way you should do it.

Didn't some media person or columnist point out that one of Trump's tells for a completely made up anecdote is that an important person calls him "Sir."?
posted by Justinian at 4:11 PM on October 10 [22 favorites]


And it's always always someone, anyone, everyone else who's gone crazy.

Why do we even listen to the functional equivalent of an advanced syphyllitic anymore?
posted by riverlife at 4:12 PM on October 10 [3 favorites]


Didn't some media person or columnist point out that one of Trump's tells for a completely made up anecdote is that an important person calls him "Sir."?

Hence the "Sir Alert!".
posted by sideshow at 4:13 PM on October 10 [11 favorites]


Ohh, I didn't understand. Thanks.
posted by Justinian at 4:15 PM on October 10


The "Sir Alert" comes from the Toronto Star's Daniel Dale, who picked up on Trump's verbal tell in his uttterly concocted anecdotes. Dale also noticed that if Trump describes someone crying in an anecdote, it's a sign of total falsehood. His narcissism shades into the delusional.

Anyroad, we'll see if either of these come up tonight in Erie.
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:22 PM on October 10 [10 favorites]


I actually had a senator come in and say, ‘Mr. President, I’ve been a senator for 24 years.

For whatever it's worth, according to wikipedia, it seems like there's exactly one current senator who took office 24 years ago -- Jim Inhofe. It would have been amazing, though, if he had said 25 or 26 years instead of 24 years because that would made the mystery senator either Dianne Feinstein or Patty Murray.
posted by mhum at 4:26 PM on October 10 [8 favorites]


Ah, but you forgot to factor in the 20% to 50% he inflates every number by regardless of meaning or context.
posted by theodolite at 4:29 PM on October 10 [19 favorites]




“I think at the moment, there’s no reason to do anything,” Mr. Bloomberg said then [September], of changing his registration. “But if I think — if I wanted to change parties and I thought it sent the right message, I would do it.”

The message that you're a die-hard opportunist? It's an angle, I suppose.

Bloomberg had heart surgery in 2000, which he did not disclose before running for NYC mayor. Now 76, he'd be the oldest president in American history if he ran and won.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:45 PM on October 10 [5 favorites]


For whatever it's worth, according to wikipedia, it seems like there's exactly one current senator who took office 24 years ago -- Jim Inhofe. It would have been amazing, though, if he had said 25 or 26 years instead of 24 years because that would made the mystery senator either Dianne Feinstein or Patty Murray.

It is probably someone connected with the seekrit president who served 16 years.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:51 PM on October 10


No questions about matters of substance appear to be asked at any point, which is presumably why Nuzzi was picked for this task, and those questions that are offered are really flatly ignored.

I don't think that's a fair characterization of Nuzzi. She asks quite a few questions:
Often, before an official departs his orbit, Trump publicly remarks that he’s very fond of them. I began to ask Trump how he expected me to believe his relationship with Kelly was so good, given that fact, when he cut in.
...
I completed asking the question about staffers who had been ousted in the past despite assurances from Trump that all was well.
...
“People that are off the record — I think it doesn’t even exist. I think writers make it up,” he said. “Generally, generally. Not in all cases, but generally.”

“Well, you’ve cited anonymous sources before,” I said. “Were they made up?”
...
One simple reason, because nobody has accomplished as much in so short a period of time.”...“How are you measuring that, exactly?” I asked.

His eyes narrowed. “See the list that’s in your hand?”

“But are you comparing it to a similar list from previous administrations?” I asked.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:52 PM on October 10 [22 favorites]


I don't think that's a fair characterization of Nuzzi.

the attitude you see expressed in these threads towards journalists who aren't perceived as being explicitly pro-#resistance is really, uh, something
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:59 PM on October 10 [36 favorites]


This was beginning to feel ridiculous, like this was the reunion episode of a sitcom, in which Bob Saget might come out next to an applause track

It's definitely weird. The interview starts with Trump, Nuzzi, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and communications director Bill Shine in the Oval Office.
Then Chief of Staff John Kelly comes in.
Then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo comes in (he had a lunch with Trump scheduled).
Then Vice-President Mike Pence comes in.
Then vice-president’s chief of staff Nick Ayers comes in.

Don't those people have jobs?

The pages were stamped with 58 bullet points, typed in a large font. At the top, underlined, bold, and all-caps, it read, “TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ACCOMPLISHMENTS.”

Underlined, bold, and all-caps? He is truly history's greatest monster.

posted by kirkaracha at 4:59 PM on October 10 [43 favorites]


Then Chief of Staff John Kelly comes in.
Then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo comes in (he had a lunch with Trump scheduled).
Then Vice-President Mike Pence comes in.
Then vice-president’s chief of staff Nick Ayers comes in.

Don't those people have jobs?


Their job is managing Trump.
posted by benzenedream at 5:39 PM on October 10 [15 favorites]


I don't think that's a fair characterization of Nuzzi. She asks quite a few questions

She asks a few, and her attempt to ask Trump about his pronouncements about anonymous sources is praiseworthy, but what the story boils down to is that she set out to write about Kelly's job being in jeopardy, the White House put on an incredibly elaborate spiel featuring a cavalcade of stars to say it's not, and she captured it verbatim. She does so wonderfully, conveying the surrealism of this strange event, and sometimes allowing Trump to dig bigger holes for himself is about all you can do. But we already have multiple mechanisms for Trump to offer us unfiltered random nonsense on whatever he's seen on TV recently—beyond Twitter, he's held six rallies so far this month and USA Today just printed an unrebutted array of his lies—and I'm not sure why this needed to be another such opportunity or why there couldn't have at least been an effort to steer the nonsense (it's always going to be nonsense with him) toward substantive matters.

It's not that I want Nuzzi or any other journalist to be pro-#resistance, and I don't consider her some kind of collaborator of fascism or whatever. But she's been ushered into the Oval Office to watch them perform this play, and it's all in the service of influencing a story about the state of the White House Chief of Staff's employment, and it just feels like this is not really a good use of resources right now.

There was just this rather alarming report about the future livability of large portions of the planet, a number of separated children still haven't been returned to their parents, the President leads chants calling for the extralegal detention of his political enemies, he called Kavanaugh's accusers "evil." The US military is involved in an increasing number of conflicts with no end in sight, North Korea isn't giving up its nukes, civilians keep getting killed in Yemen with our bombs, and Saudi Arabia is acting with impunity. And there's all the ordinary business of the government as it pertains to people's everyday problems: health care, jobs, the justice system, the immigration system, welfare, transportation, etc...

Any of these topics is more important than whether John Kelly is keeping his job, an issue nobody cares about, and here Nuzzi is sitting in a room with (thanks kirkarcha!) the President, Press Secretary, Communications Director, Chief of Staff, Secretary of State, Vice President, and the Vice-President's COS. Of all the things to talk about with seven of the most powerful people in the government, why is Kelly's employment status the main focus Could she have successfully gotten answers about any other question? I don't know, quite possibly not, but it's frustrating that there wasn't some kind of an attempt indicated in the article.

The White House put on an exclusive performance of a play about a meaningless topic, and Nuzzi wrote a fantastic review of it. It says a lot about this administration's priorities that they'd put on such an utterly cartoonish show to try to demonstrate that Kelly's job is secure. I don't think it's unreasonable to say that it also says something about a reporter's priorities if they take in the play rather than try to ask about something else.

It's not Nuzzi that's the problem here (or Haberman, or whatever journalists people are calling collaborators next week). It's an overall culture that views capturing the show the White House is putting on as the same as reporting on it, which is the same approach that Trump benefited from throughout his entire campaign. Trump's a con man: the investigative journalists covering the administration have figured this out and report on him accordingly; it's well past time for White House reporters to do the same.
posted by zachlipton at 5:49 PM on October 10 [82 favorites]


the attitude you see expressed in these threads towards journalists who aren't perceived as being explicitly pro-#resistance is really, uh, something

To be fair, Nuzzi is, by her own account, a big fan of Ann Coulter.
posted by This time is different. at 5:57 PM on October 10 [8 favorites]


Of all the things to talk about with seven of the most powerful people in the government, why is Kelly's employment status the main focus Could she have successfully gotten answers about any other question?

They knew she wouldn't ask actual questions, that's why she, and Haberman, and Swann, etc, always get the call. Ask yourself why its ALWAYS these same "journalists" getting the interviews, the exclusives. Because the White House KNOWS they will repeat whatever lines they're fed, and never push back on anything of actual consequence. No, Nuzzi noting how long Trump was off the record is not some act of heroism, she let him go off the record at will, and transcribed everything else he said without pushback.

These people deserve as much scorn as we give them here and more. This is the same culture that ran hours of empty podium waiting on Trump to appear while ignoring Hilary's policy speeches and only ever asking her EMAILS questions. And they've learned nothing. They will do their best to do the exact same thing to the next Democratic candidate in 2020, and they way you can tell that is by reading Nuzzi's story today and following any NYT reporter on twitter.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:05 PM on October 10 [28 favorites]


To be fair, Nuzzi is, by her own account, a big fan of Ann Coulter.

Well that's always a good sign
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:36 PM on October 10 [7 favorites]


To be fair, Nuzzi is, by her own account, a big fan of Ann Coulter.

but as a commentator, or as an avant-garde performer?
posted by murphy slaw at 6:52 PM on October 10 [6 favorites]


I somehow hadn’t realized that Nuzzi is only 25 years old. What a fucking world we’re living in.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 6:57 PM on October 10 [15 favorites]




(Sean Penn becoming the Democratic President) This got my attention. It's not immediately obvious to me what the structural differences between the parties are that would make this true.

Wouldn't the Democratic Party have to accept him as a candidate? I don't see that happening. Fox News was stumping for Trump as a viable candidate for years before he ran.
posted by xammerboy at 7:35 PM on October 10


Khashoggi seems to be heating up:

Senator Bob Menendez:
#BREAKING: Invoking the Global Magnitsky Act w/ @SenBobCorker, requiring POTUS to determine if the Saudi gov’t was responsible for gross human rights violations against #JamalKhashoggi. Under this law, if the White House finds Saudi Arabia responsible, they MUST impose sanctions
Jeremy Herb (CNN):
Corker, Menendez and more than a dozen more senators send a letter to Trump that could pave the way for sanctions over Khashoggi disappearance. Full letter and background here
Tamara Cofman Wittes (Brookings):
This is highly significant. Suggests the American intelligence shared with senators is pretty damning regarding the Saudi role.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:40 PM on October 10 [47 favorites]


They're going to have real trouble getting Trump to punish anybody over the dismemberment of a Washington Post journalist.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:42 PM on October 10 [17 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS - pt.2

** 2018 Senate:
-- WI: Marquette poll has Dem incumbent Baldwin up 53-43 on GOPer Vukmir [MOE: +/- 5.1%].

-- MN (A): Marist poll has Dem incumbent Klobuchar up 63-33 on GOPer Newberger [MOE: +/- 4.9%].

-- MN (B): Same Marist poll has Dem incumbent Smith up 54-38 on GOPer Housley.
** 2018 House:
-- IL-12: Global Strategy Group poll has GOP incumbent up 46-45 on Dem Kelly [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. Poll was commissioned by the Kelly campaign. [Trump 55-40 | Cook: Tossup]

-- WA-08: Elway poll has GOPer Rossi up 49-39 on Dem Schrier [MOE: +/- 5.0%]. [Clinton 48-45 | Cook: Tossup] => This one has raised some eyebrows, it's way off the Siena poll of two weeks ago.

-- Triage watch: NRCC cancelling ads in AZ-02 (likely meaning they've given up on this open Lean Dem seat) and in TX-23 (likely meaning they've concluded incumbent Will Hurd is safe).
** Odds & ends:
-- WI gov: Same Marquette poll has GOP incumbent Walker up 47-46 on Dem Evers. [Cook: Tossup] | Downballot: AG: GOP incumbent Schimel up 47-43 on Dem Kaul. => This is the first polling with any lead for Walker in quite some time, other polling has had Evers with a couple of point lead.

-- MN gov: Same Marist poll has Dem Walt up 55-38 on GOPer Johnson. [Cook: Likely D]

--MD gov: Gonzalez poll has GOP incumbent Hogan up 54-36 on Dem Jealous [MOE: +/- 3.5]. | Downballot: AG: Dem incumbent Frosh up 43-34 on GOPer Wolf. [Cook: Likely R]
posted by Chrysostom at 8:14 PM on October 10 [17 favorites]


This, umm. Feels worryingly like an inflection point in an assassination-of-Franz-Ferdinand kind of way.
posted by odinsdream at 8:15 PM on October 10 [15 favorites]


Update: The GOP official who said Native American Dem candidate Sharice Davids would be "sent packing back to the reservation" has resigned.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:29 PM on October 10 [76 favorites]


I presume the White House will strenuously avoid applying the Magnitsky Act to Saudi Arabia. It's not just the malignant powers of the Orb; Trump and his cronies have strong ties to both Saudi Arabia and Russia. Saudi Arabia wouldn't want to become a target of it; and Russia wouldn't want the Act to be further legitimised by extending it.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:03 PM on October 10 [4 favorites]



This, umm. Feels worryingly like an inflection point in an assassination-of-Franz-Ferdinand kind of way.


I don't think anyone is going to start a World War over the death of a journalist.
posted by awfurby at 9:09 PM on October 10 [4 favorites]


I don't think anyone is going to start a World War over the death of a journalist.

People felt the same way about Franz Ferdinand.
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 9:13 PM on October 10 [15 favorites]


When Freeze-To-Death Gorsuch thinks you're being too harsh, maybe you should re-evaluate your life choices.

At Immigration Argument, Justice Kavanaugh Takes Hard Line (Adam Liptak, NYT)
A Supreme Court argument on Wednesday over the detention of immigrants during deportation proceedings seemed to expose a divide between President Trump’s two appointees, Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh.

The question in the case was whether federal authorities must detain immigrants who had committed crimes, often minor ones, no matter how long ago they were released from criminal custody. Justice Kavanaugh said a 1996 federal law required detention even years later, without an opportunity for a bail hearing.

“What was really going through Congress’s mind in 1996 was harshness on this topic,” he said.

But Justice Gorsuch suggested that mandatory detentions of immigrants long after they completed their sentences could be problematic. “Is there any limit on the government’s power?” he asked.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer pressed the point, asking a lawyer for the federal government whether it could detain “a person 50 years later, who is on his death bed, after stealing some bus transfers” without a bail hearing “even though in this country a triple ax murderer is given a bail hearing.”
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:14 PM on October 10 [37 favorites]


Oh, I don't know. He was the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, it was a fairly big deal.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:15 PM on October 10 [8 favorites]


The people who signed the letter look to be (Graham and Leahy plus) every member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee... except Rand Paul? Guess he loves Saudi Arabia for being such a libertarian paradise?
posted by Justinian at 9:16 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]


-- WA-08: Elway poll has GOPer Rossi up 49-39 on Dem Schrier [MOE: +/- 5.0%]. [Clinton 48-45 | Cook: Tossup] => This one has raised some eyebrows, it's way off the Siena poll of two weeks ago.

Yeah one hopes this is a statistical outlier 'cause it's a really terrible poll. Clinton district where Siena had Schrier up a point.
posted by Justinian at 9:18 PM on October 10


One reason I'm a little skeptical is that Rossi is such a known quantity, you'd think he'd largely have his favorables baked in already, as it were, and that undecideds would tend to break against him.

Nate Cohn has said the Siena polls definitely want to revisit some districts, this might help put WA-08 on the list.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:25 PM on October 10


Oh, I don't know. He was the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, it was a fairly big deal.

I was mostly just making a cheap internet joke. But I think it’s true that your average European wasn’t expecting a world war over Franz Ferdinand’s assassination. No one even liked that jerk.
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 9:26 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]


I recently read an interesting take (in this book) that, while bad in many ways, Franz Ferdinand was probably the one person who could have kept Austria-Hungary going as a non-nationalist enterprise, and who was very much trying to avoid war.

[end of WWI derail]
posted by Chrysostom at 9:39 PM on October 10 [5 favorites]


Portrait of a Campaign
With a month to go before the midterms, there are more than a dozen districts where a progressive woman is running for office as a first-time candidate against an absentee Republican incumbent, and has polling in hand showing her able to win outright if she can reach independent voters with a short statement along these lines:

"I don't take corporate money, and I support universal health care. My opponent takes corporate PAC money, voted against the Affordable Care Act, and has refused to hold a town hall."

[...]

Given the relatively small sums at play, a national party flush with money, and the critical importance of winning the House in 2018, it confounds me that these campaigns can't get the resources to win.

Spoiler: at the end of this thing I am going to ask you to donate a hell of a lot of money to thirteen such candidates.
also btw...
thread: "keep in mind, MADISON HIMSELF SUPPORTED CREATING A RULE MANDATING THE EXPANSION OF THE HOUSE!!! It was the original 1st amendment! And it was ratified! And it is being illegally ignored by the treachery of the Archivist of the United States!

[...]

"'But this just seems crazy!!' George Washington singled out the Congressional Apportionment Amendment of the Bill of Rights, which required regular House expansions, as the most important amendment of them all. I stand with George Washington." #PacktheHouse :P
posted by kliuless at 9:56 PM on October 10 [15 favorites]


When Freeze-To-Death Gorsuch thinks you're being too harsh, maybe you should re-evaluate your life choices.

The empty suit in the stolen seat is naturally terrible, but capable of some perspective. It turns out the serial sexual assaulter is the genuinely cruel one.

Who could have expected this?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:57 PM on October 10 [27 favorites]


Right at the end of the Nuzzi piece she drops this bit that really rings true.
This is where Kelly is helped by the fact that his enemies are even more inept than they believe he is. “When the president says, I need you to leave, Kelly just ignores him,” the administration official said. “I think the president just doesn’t know who to call to fire him. Normally if the president wanted to fire somebody, he would call Kelly to do it. But there’s nobody else to call.”
posted by scalefree at 10:09 PM on October 10 [53 favorites]


"Trump has been sucking on a spigot of his father’s cash nonstop since he was in diapers, becoming a millionaire by middle school. According to the Times, when all was said and done, “Mr. Trump received the equivalent today of at least $413 million from his father’s real estate empire, starting when he was a toddler and continuing to this day.” Moreover, “much of it was never repaid.” As for the rest of the mythology, not only was he spending his father’s money, he blew much of it on disastrous deal after disastrous deal. Only to be bailed out by his father’s millions time and time again." Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh, and what it looks like to ruled primarily by inherited wealth. AKA the aristocracy is back baybee.
posted by The Whelk at 10:23 PM on October 10 [46 favorites]


(just saying a 90% inheritance tax on estates over a certain level could make all of this go away)
posted by The Whelk at 10:24 PM on October 10 [73 favorites]


I mean, it's pretty much the cultural opposite of the Dr. Phil stories you see about parents taking out loans and credit cards and bills on their kids' names and ruining their credit before it even exists. Trump couldn't run out of credit for oh, 65? years.
posted by rhizome at 10:33 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]


200-pound bomb was part of planned Election Day attack to promote odd political theory, feds say
Authorities on Wednesday said they found a 200-pound bomb in the New York home of a man who allegedly planned to blow himself up at the National Mall in Washington, D.C in an Election Day attack.

Paul M. Rosenfeld was charged with federal offenses related to manufacturing a bomb and transporting explosives.

In August and September, the 56-year-old sent text messages and letters to a person in Pennsylvania describing his plot, which aimed to call attention to Rosenfeld's belief in sortition, a political theory that officials should be randomly appointed from a pool of candidates.

"As alleged in the complaint, Paul M. Rosenfeld planned to detonate a large explosive to kill himself and draw attention to his radical political beliefs," William F. Sweeney Jr, assistant director-in-charge of the FBI's New York office said in a statement.
More on Sortition, not as wacky as it might sound:

What is Sortition? from the Sortition Foundation.

Is It Time to Take a Chance on Random Representatives?
[short answer: maybe!]

Can “sortition” sort out the problem of political ignorance?
[short answer: probably not]
posted by scalefree at 11:59 PM on October 10 [6 favorites]


@jessesingal: Say what you will but he has undoubtedly succeeded in his goal of raising awareness of sortition
posted by zachlipton at 12:06 AM on October 11 [48 favorites]


Google's internal "insights lab" produced a detailed report on the tensions between preventing harm and supporting free speech at scale. It's 85 slides of nuanced thought on how tech has struggled to address these issues over the past few years, what people are calling for now, and some principles to move forward (it's an internal report, not official executive decision-making, so clearly not intended to be taken as policy).

It's good stuff and worth taking the time to read if you care about these issues. Unfortunately, someone got cute and titled it "The Good Censor." The slides got leaked to Breitbart (which is why it's online now), which promptly ignored everything but the title and declared Google was making a "Shift Towards Censorship" and made it all about China (which is not at all what the report is about).
posted by zachlipton at 12:34 AM on October 11 [18 favorites]


In August and September, the 56-year-old sent text messages and letters to a person in Pennsylvania describing his plot, which aimed to call attention to Rosenfeld's belief in sortition, a political theory that officials should be randomly appointed from a pool of candidates.

It's not the smartphones, not the cognitive dissonance, not the arbitrary immiseration, not the multitude of augmentations and forms the human body might take, not the advanced physics, and not the looming robots that mark that we're living in the future for me. It's this. It's the bare-knuckle violence over what political arrangement we will have, stripped of all the trappings. Kings are shit, democracy is an infinitely adjustable sliding scale, dictators rule with a paper-thin pretense, fascism is on the rise globally, and the power-hungry are coming out of the shadows. That "sortition" gets a bomber says we live in a time when every. single. ideology. gets its prophets and martyrs, and the stability and peace we had before was artificially enforced. Expect this to continue. Vote for peace ffs.
posted by saysthis at 12:41 AM on October 11 [12 favorites]


Anne Helen Petersen: Why No Scandal Has Stuck To Trump: In the lead-up to and aftermath of Trump’s election, media organizations have thrown millions of dollars in resources toward investigative journalism aimed squarely at him, his family, and his fortune. And, as Times reporter Susanne Craig told CNN, in her eyes the tax investigation “sets down a factual narrative of his life that is very much in contrast with the one that's largely out there now.”

But is that, in fact, true? On some level, even when a story like this reveals new information, it doesn’t quite illuminate anything we didn’t already know — or at least suspect, or understand as true, even without hard proof — about Trump. There is no resulting scandal, because none of the information actually unsettles the foundation of Trump’s image.

An affair with Stormy Daniels? Proof that he’s a ladies’ man. The allegations of sexual misconduct and assault? Proof that he’s an unapologetic boor. The Access Hollywood tape? Proof that he’s a man of a different era who refuses political correctness. Reports of his inability to understand complex political and economic policy? He’s a simple man, not an elitist. A tape rumored to have Trump saying the n-word while taping The Apprentice might dominate the news cycle for a day or two — as each of these other stories has — but ultimately it fades away. It wouldn’t be scandalous, because Trump has already demonstrated his racist views: As the Atlantic’s Adam Serwer put it, “America Doesn’t Need Another Tape to Know Who Trump Is.”

If anything, each revelation has done the opposite of what scandal should do: It didn’t revise your understanding of Trump, but reinforced what you already thought about him. If someone already loved him, they loved him more; if they already hated him, they hated him more. Which isn’t to say that these stories aren’t worth reporting or publishing, but they highlight just how strange and unprecedented their seeming lack of effect is. They don’t disassemble Trump’s image; they simply harden any existing reaction to it.

posted by cendawanita at 12:51 AM on October 11 [32 favorites]


Which isn’t to say that these stories aren’t worth reporting or publishing, but they highlight just how strange and unprecedented their seeming lack of effect is. They don’t disassemble Trump’s image; they simply harden any existing reaction to it.

Problem is, not a single Republican has the honor and integrity to call Trump what he is -- a child-rapist and thief -- and act on that statement.
posted by mikelieman at 3:23 AM on October 11 [8 favorites]


Sortition is a horrible idea that keeps getting brought up because our overly hagiographic syatem of history education in this country loves to draw a line from Athens to our system of government, but never really discusses how the "direct democracy" of Classical Era Athens excluded the vast majority of the Attic population it governed (probably because that would raise uncomfortable questions.)
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:39 AM on October 11 [12 favorites]


I have stuck up for Michael Avenatti in these threads (Michael Cohen is going to jail!), but ugh, this blurb.

If you want to try too imagine yourself in the position of the hypothetical principled Republican right now, you should probably be imagining our candidate not as Sean Penn, but Michael Avenatti. Popular. "Tough." Masculine. A celebrity. Attention hound. Wants to "fight" (literally and figuratively. ) Pisses off your enemies in delightful ways. With no experience or policy expertise.

I can just imagine myself saying "Well, I don't like him that much, but he's better than the alternative" in exactly the tones my mother used to explain to me why she supported Trump over Hillary Clinton. Blech. Please don't put me in that position, people.
posted by OnceUponATime at 3:40 AM on October 11 [29 favorites]


If you want to try too imagine yourself in the position of the hypothetical principled Republican right now, you should probably be imagining our candidate not as Sean Penn, but Michael Avenatti.

Here's where I think this isn't a productive line of reasoning. At this point, your "hypothetical principled Republican" (HPR) is all-in on things like stealing babies from their families as they try to apply for asylum*, transporting the stolen babies across the country without notifying the families, and then deporting the families and adopting out the stolen babies to "families able to provide better lives for the abandoned babies".

The HPR is evil. And obviously irrational. So, my point is, "don't bother trying. As a rational person you CANNOT ever truly understand the IRRATIONAL thought processes of the HPR.

There was an earlier discussion, and at this point I'm trying to engage these HPR's not with antagonism, but sympathy. They are broken people. RATIONAL discussion can't get you anywhere. So, I try to help them understand that they don't need to be this way.

-------

* There's 2000 words I can write on the asylum thing, but will summarize as, by law you have ONE YEAR to apply for asylum regardless of where/how you enter. Entry at official entry not required.
posted by mikelieman at 3:55 AM on October 11 [26 favorites]


Google's internal "insights lab" produced a detailed report on the tensions between preventing harm and supporting free speech at scale. It's 85 slides of nuanced thought on how tech has struggled to address these issues over the past few years, what people are calling for now, and some principles to move forward (it's an internal report, not official executive decision-making, so clearly not intended to be taken as policy).

It's good stuff and worth taking the time to read if you care about these issues. Unfortunately, someone got cute and titled it "The Good Censor." The slides got leaked to Breitbart (which is why it's online now), which promptly ignored everything but the title and declared Google was making a "Shift Towards Censorship" and made it all about China (which is not at all what the report is about).


The title isn't "being cute", but illustrative of how rigidly defined the discussion of free speech in America has been in the past, and how that very particular worldview continues to shape the discussion, even as the position itself is eroding as we're more and more realizing that what we upheld as "free speech" was, in fact, incredibly silencing for many dispossessed people.
posted by NoxAeternum at 4:01 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]


Notably, Michael Avenatti hasn't committed any crimes that I'm aware of, hasn't had a history of sexual harassment, and hasn't lied blatantly to the American people since he entered the spotlight. And he has a law degree. He probably knows how to read and isn't afraid of stairs.

I don't want to have to vote for him either, but it's sure hard to imagine anyone as bad as Trump.
posted by mmoncur at 4:20 AM on October 11 [44 favorites]


Yikes...
The Washington Post fact-checked Trump's USA Today column. They struggled to find a single honest sentence.
"Almost every sentence contained a misleading statement or a falsehood," the Post concluded. The single-payer health-care plan as outlined by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) would expand services for seniors, not "take away benefits that seniors have paid for their entire lives," as Trump posited.

Fact checker Glenn Kessler also pointed out that health insurance premiums have not, in fact, gone down on average, and Trump did not keep his promise to bolster protections for pre-existing conditions. Where Trump blames Democrats, the Post blames the efficacy of health-care providers; where Trump claims seniors will be disproportionately harmed, the Post describes the opposite. When Trump, or his ghostwriter, inexplicably ropes in the calls to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Kessler reminds him that it's far from a widely held view.
Why the heck is no one holding those people to account? Ask any Republican "The president claimed X, when the facts show Y. Could you explain that, please?"
posted by PontifexPrimus at 5:09 AM on October 11 [47 favorites]


Notably, Michael Avenatti hasn't committed any crimes that I'm aware of

Avenatti has money troubles and it's entirely possible he committed fraud in order to relieve some of that pressure when a convicted felon conveniently forced his law firm into bankruptcy two days before arbitration covering a $15M debt.

It's very obvious Michael Avenatti isn't doing what he's doing because he cares so deeply about America. He's doing what he's doing for Michael Avenatti and for money.

Sure, he's not as bad as Trump, but who the hell is? I could probably count them all on one hand and half of them are named David Duke.
posted by Room 101 at 5:18 AM on October 11 [22 favorites]


Why the heck is no one holding those people to account? Ask any Republican "The president claimed X, when the facts show Y. Could you explain that, please?"

They have. The response is invariably, "I haven't seen the tweet / heard the speech / read the editorial."
posted by Etrigan at 5:47 AM on October 11 [29 favorites]


That, or they chide the press for constantly trying to get them to comment on Trump's statements, as if being asked to address things the leader of their party is saying is an undue imposition or trap.

The GOP is profiting quite heavily and happily from the fact that once you stop even bothering with a pretense of good faith, each added act of bad faith has almost no real ability to harm you.
posted by tocts at 5:54 AM on October 11 [50 favorites]


I'm also gonna guess that the target audience—USA-Today op-ed readers already predisposed to fear !!!SOCIALISM!!!—aren't likely to seek out counterpoints from other sources in order to thoughtfully weigh the merits of each argument. Once you get the ear of people like that, the damage is done, and the Trumps, McConnells, and Millers of the world know it.
posted by Rykey at 6:01 AM on October 11 [5 favorites]


It almost makes me want someone to take out a full page ad in USA Today (it's in color!) with the OpEd marked up in red print with all the fact-checking... That falls under fair use, right?
posted by Karmakaze at 6:06 AM on October 11 [15 favorites]


They have. The response is invariably, "I haven't seen the tweet / heard the speech / read the editorial."

And typically the followup is not "do you think the American people should also ignore the President's tweets, speeches, and, editorials like you do?"
posted by jedicus at 6:07 AM on October 11 [16 favorites]


Perry Bacon Jr., 538: Who’s Behaving Like A 2020 Presidential Candidate
At this point, however, it’s hard to distinguish “I’m keeping my options open” from “Hell yes, I’m running.” So rather than wildly speculating about who’s going to do what, let’s try to answer this question: Who’s already doing the things that eventual candidates typically do at about this point in the election cycle?
Note: The list of people that tick at least some of Bacon's maybe-running boxes includes three potential Republican candidates. The rest are Democrats.
posted by nangar at 6:13 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]


Poor Melania: One of the most bullied people in the world. (ABC Interview via Raw Story)

It's such a shame that we treat the first lady so- what's that? She said what about the burden of providing evidence of assault being on survivors? Never mind, keep it up, do it more.
posted by Krazor at 6:29 AM on October 11 [17 favorites]


One of the most bullied people in the world.

David Frum:
When pro-Trump trolls barraged
@juliaioffe
with violently misogynistic anti-Semitic images and telephone death threats after truthful reporting on Melania early life in Slovenia, the First Lady said: "I don't control my fans" and "She provoked them."
posted by OnceUponATime at 6:44 AM on October 11 [59 favorites]


Manners for thee but not for me. It's a Grand Old Principle.
posted by GrammarMoses at 6:49 AM on October 11 [8 favorites]


Trump tries to fire John Kelly 'but Kelly just ignores him', White House official says
Donald Trump has reportedly tried to fire John Kelly, but failed because the White House chief of staff “just ignores him”.

The president wants rid of the former Marine Corps general but “doesn’t know who to call to fire him” as Mr Kelly himself usually carries out his sackings, according to an administration staffer.

The official was speaking on condition of anonymity to New York magazine journalist Olivia Nuzzi, who was invited to a bizarre private meeting with Mr Trump when he learned she was planning to report on tension between the president and his chief of staff.
[real]...? [parody]? What is even real anymore?
posted by PontifexPrimus at 6:52 AM on October 11 [42 favorites]


Not only is the gop not going to push back on lies, I got polled yesterday testing out a message of approximately "Tom Malinowski wants a single payer healthcare plan that would end Medicare as we know it and bajjilionicize the national debt." That being the right wing fever swamp translation of "Medicare for All".

It felt like a message-testing poll rather than a push poll, but either way, that's where the train is headed.

(The dude then asked me how I would vote based on those statements, among others, and when I said "Democrat" almost unthinking, he showed his one and only opinion with a shocked "uh, okay.")
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 7:01 AM on October 11 [11 favorites]


Manners for thee but not for me. It's a Grand Old Principle.

Frank Wilhoit: "Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect."
posted by Etrigan at 7:02 AM on October 11 [44 favorites]


Trump tries to fire John Kelly 'but Kelly just ignores him', White House official says
...
[real]...? [parody]? What is even real anymore?


Michael Cohen has said the same thing about his tenure at TrumpCo. For all his "You're Fired!" (tm) bluster, Trump is incapable of firing someone face-to-face, because he so desperately has to be loved in the room.
posted by Etrigan at 7:04 AM on October 11 [7 favorites]


Kansas Dems Face A Serious Roadblock To Defeating Kris Kobach In Gov Race - Allegra Kirkland, TPM
The chaotic Kansas gubernatorial primaries saw a GOP race that came down to just dozens of votes and a push to boot the independent nominee from the ballot. When the dust finally settled in late August, three major candidates had emerged for November’s five-person contest: Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly, and Independent Greg Orman.

Democrats fretted at the time that Orman could be a spoiler candidate, sullying the clear distinction between their moderate nominee and her firebrand, Trump-loving GOP opponent.

Both internal and public polling suggests that may just be the case—injecting even more drama into an already high-stakes race.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:05 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


Finally.

Fox Goes Cold On Trump: Last Holdout Largely Stops Airing Full Rallies - Kate Riga, TPM

Trump, no longer ratings gold, loses his prime-time spot on Fox News - Jason Schwartz and Gaby Orr, Politico.
In a crucial period with the midterms less than a month away, some in the White House are worried that the president is losing a megaphone to his base.
Fox News, like other businesses, wants to have a more stable bottom line, instead of losing commercial time to uninterruptable, randomly scheduled full hour rallies.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:11 AM on October 11 [41 favorites]


Trump, no longer ratings gold, loses his prime-time spot on Fox News [...] In a crucial period with the midterms less than a month away, some in the White House are worried that the president is losing a megaphone to his base.

Welp, time for a new war.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 7:18 AM on October 11 [10 favorites]


Harry Reid is still a Democratic kingmaker - By Ella Nilsen for Vox. The political machine he assembled over the years is a major influence in Nevada.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:31 AM on October 11


State House candidate scrutinized for posing with political sign at Warhol grave.

A Pennsylvania state House candidate was criticized for placing her campaign sign inches away from Andy Warhol’s tombstone last weekend. But the candidate said she did not have any political intent.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:35 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


The indispensable S. Kendzior and A. Chalupa have a new episode of Gaslit Nation out: Robert Mueller Will Not Save You (iTunes / Stitcher / Spotify).
(As they've parted ways with their original host, Dame magazine, you're invited to contribute to their Patreon.)

posted by progosk at 7:36 AM on October 11 [8 favorites]


out: Robert Mueller Will Not Save You

Would appreciate a summary, transcript, or critique for people who can’t listen to audio, especially with a fucking title like that.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:45 AM on October 11 [20 favorites]


From the first link:
"Goodbye checks and balances, hello authoritarian shitshow! In the latest Gaslit Nation, Sarah and Andrea discuss the demolishment of checks and balances now that the independence and integrity of the judiciary are gone – joining a legislature that has been, in the words of Senator Patrick Leahy, reduced to little more than an arm of the Trump White House. As we predicted, this was a historic week for America, one that will be remembered as a turning point toward consolidated autocracy. So speak while you can still speak, and vote while you can still vote.
We discuss the aftermath of the Kavanaugh confirmation, the tattered future of the Mueller investigation, the possible compromise of the FBI, and the transnational crackdown on journalists who document corruption and speak up against repressive governments. In one week, Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi went missing and was allegedly murdered in the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey, and Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova was murdered in a Bulgarian border town, making her the third high profile journalist to be murdered in the EUthis year. Both had critiqued the repression and corruption of their countries.
These are also dangerous times for US journalism, as Trump continues his attack on the free press and his dehumanization of anyone who dares criticize him. We discuss the dark future of a world run by a transnational crime syndicate seemingly held in check by no one. Many of our worst fears have been realized; those baselessly claiming a “deux ex Mueller” was coming were severely mistaken.
What we have, in the end, are ourselves and each other to save – along with what’s left of our country. We end the episode with an interview with Sydette Harry, a writer whose prescient analysis of the weaponization of digital media should have been heeded years ago, and whose advice on how to survive in an autocratic political landscape should be heeded now."

posted by progosk at 7:48 AM on October 11 [5 favorites]


Are there any financial people that know things about dollars that could say whether this means anything?

A rare and worrisome thing happened during Wednesday's stock market slaughter: Bonds fell, too
posted by Jpfed at 7:48 AM on October 11 [16 favorites]


Are there any financial people that know things about dollars that could say whether this means anything?

A rare and worrisome thing happened during Wednesday's stock market slaughter: Bonds fell, too
posted by Jpfed at 7:48 AM on October 11 [2 favorites +] [!]


I have no idea, but I took a rare look at my pension savings, and if I retired tomorrow, I'd have nothing at all to live from. I need to start growing some vegs.
posted by mumimor at 7:57 AM on October 11 [4 favorites]


Are there any financial people that know things about dollars that could say whether this means anything?

I am barely above a lay person, so take it with the whole salt shaker, but if I had to come up with a possible reason I’d say that volatility finally realized Donald Trump is president.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:57 AM on October 11 [17 favorites]


A rare and worrisome thing happened during Wednesday's stock market slaughter: Bonds fell, too

That seems to be a pretty short-term phenomenon. Interest rates have been rising, which appears to be one factor behind the stock decline.

But the market (SP500) is still priced high and up 20 percent since beginning of 2017.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 8:06 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


NoxAeternum: Sortition is a horrible idea that keeps getting brought up because our overly hagiographic syatem of history education in this country loves to draw a line from Athens to our system of government, but never really discusses how the "direct democracy" of Classical Era Athens excluded the vast majority of the Attic population it governed (probably because that would raise uncomfortable questions.)

But that just means Athens didn't really have sortition. I'm not weighing in on any side of the debate, but the example of Athens doesn't in itself discredit the concept any more than voting-based democracy is discredited by the reality of mass disenfranchisement of people in the various places it has been practiced. (In fact, either instance is arguably a testament to the sheer power of the people -- those who enacted it also said "We can't let just anyone vote/lead", and the pro-democracy counter is "Really? Why not?")

... okay, I will weigh in. A major drawback of sortition is that the chance of very-fringe candidates is magnified without even the need for demagougery. Yes, demogogues can take control in conventional democracy, but you need the mob's support first. Under sortition someone even worse can get power without even having to convince a single other person that once in office they don't intend to, say, blow up a mall to raise awareness of their pet cause.

A major pro that I'm surprised doesn't get discussed more is that money is almost wholly removed from the equation, at least insofar as there's no such thing as "campaigning", so we don't have to worry about the influence of the financial elit. However, it's possible this would just push it into the backroom, with the outright secret bribing of newly-picked leaders.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 8:11 AM on October 11 [5 favorites]


From How We’re Getting By: A Survival Guide for Journalists at Rewire.News. Includes other good tips as well.

Exercise reminds me that I can keep moving forward (literally) even when everything else seems to be going in reverse. My current goal is to deadlift the recorded weight of certain elected officials in case I ever have to pick them up and physically move them (or hurl them!) from their seats of power. Plus, there’s no better exercise impetus than keeping yourself alive in the face of people who want you dead. Spite is a great motivator. –Kat Jercich, vice president and managing editor
posted by Bella Donna at 8:19 AM on October 11 [18 favorites]


But that just means Athens didn't really have sortition.

Sorry, but this is a "no true Scotsman" argument. Classical Era Athens did have sortition of the polity - it's just that the Athenian polity was highly oligarchic because of its design. Furthermore, it's that very nature that allowed it to work - when you restrict your pool of selection to a group that was educated and wealthy enough to be able to be put into a position of authority without personal disruption, it makes the random selection less dangerous.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:21 AM on October 11 [5 favorites]


“Trump has had contacts with the Russian mafia for 35 years”. Craig Unger interviewed by Salon on his new book:
Everything happens through proxies. They are enormously important. Going back to 1984 -- this was when Putin was still in the KGB -- Trump had started laundering money for the Russian mafia. In ‘92, the Russian mafia had people like Vyacheslav Kirillovich Ivankov, who was one of the key figures under the mob boss Mogilevich. The FBI was looking all over for him but he was actually in Trump Tower. A lot of the Russian mobsters were going to Trump Tower as well, presumably to launder money as well. So you saw this budding relationship. Trump was completely overextended in Atlantic City. He ended up $4 billion in debt. He had no future at all until the Russians came to his aid.
What's new (to me) is the forensic level of detail in how exactly Trump was purportedly turned.
posted by bonehead at 8:24 AM on October 11 [62 favorites]


[The weight derail is one of the more pointless and inappropriate derails we've managed. Yay? Drop it, please. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:43 AM on October 11 [23 favorites]


Me: But that just means Athens didn't really have sortition.

NoxAeternum: Sorry, but this is a "no true Scotsman" argument.

True. Maybe I would call it "Less pure" sortition, in that "being sortition" is like "being rich" and a society can go all the way to one extreme (put babies' names into the hat) or the other (pick randomly between the king's two oldest sons).

NoxAeternum: Furthermore, it's that very nature that allowed it to work - when you restrict your pool of selection to a group that was educated and wealthy enough to be able to be put into a position of authority without personal disruption, it makes the random selection less dangerous.

This is complicated by the concepts of "danger" and "working". If multiple Athenian women and/or slaves could have somehow wound up in the councils and effected policies that improved the lives of those groups, that would be a reduction of the existing dangers experienced by the underclass. As it was, the ~democracy~ was dysfunctional the same ways American ~democracy~ can be.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 8:44 AM on October 11


So who's gonna make a Sortition FPP? (I don't have time to do it. Maybe we could draw straws)
posted by condour75 at 9:07 AM on October 11 [27 favorites]


The Trump administration carries out thousands more family separations than previously acknowledged

Using available statistics from the last two years, Amnesty further reports that in 2017 and 2018, the Trump administration appears to have separated approximately 8,000 “family units” along the border. Even if half of the people referred to in that figure were parents, the remaining 4,000 children would dwarf the total number of kids commonly reported to have been impacted by the “zero tolerance” campaign — that total tends to hover between 2,500 to 3,000.

Where are the other 1,500 children?
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:10 AM on October 11 [40 favorites]


Re: Georgia voter registrations not being processed, important note:
It's important to make clear that under Georgia law passed in 2017, these 53,000 can still vote if they bring ID to their polling place. It would be tragic and counterproductive if media coverage dissuaded those people from turning out.

According to state elections officials and the state elections website, "pending" voters who show state-issued ID will be able to vote a normal ballot:
If you've been talking about this issue on social media, it would be good to spread this info.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:14 AM on October 11 [46 favorites]


Washington state Supreme Court rules death penalty illegal under state constitution.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:30 AM on October 11 [73 favorites]


TPM published a longish history of voting rights in Georgia, highlighting the battle between Kemp and Abrams that's been going a lot longer than the current election. Much of the history is within the last ten years, but it reads like Jim Crow-era voter suppression, with Shelby v. Holder opening up a lot more options to suppress votes.
posted by gladly at 9:33 AM on October 11 [8 favorites]


The White House put on an exclusive performance of a play about a meaningless topic, and Nuzzi wrote a fantastic review of it. It says a lot about this administration's priorities that they'd put on such an utterly cartoonish show to try to demonstrate that Kelly's job is secure. I don't think it's unreasonable to say that it also says something about a reporter's priorities if they take in the play rather than try to ask about something else.

Last night on CNN's Don Lemon panel showw ith Nuzzi, regular political commentator/GOP communication consultant Alice Stewart deftly spun the NYMag piece into something positive for the Trump White House, spicing things up with a little gossip and a lot of flattery (including of Nuzzi's appearance):
I was at dinner tonight, and I happened to look across the room and I see one of the people in her piece, and so I walked over to him and said, "Hey, I'm on Don's show tonight with Olivia, and what's your response to the article?" And he said—well, I can't say who it was but he was there in the room—and first of all, he wanted to say that this is a good example of how the White House is accessible and wants to tout the record on their accomplishments of jobs and the economy and certainly the Supreme Court. And he said, "Make sure you tell Olivia that this was a very fair piece." They were pleased with how it came out. Virtually, the piece was like you live-blogging, and they were appreciative that you gave them the opportunity and you told the story fairly. You presented it as it was presented to you. They say this is a classic case of what Fake News is not.
Stewart concluded, "As someone who loves journalism, it was great to see you ‘funny thing happened on the way to leaving the White House’. It was a great read." And Nuzzi, laughing, appears to buy this spiel without responding to how it actually relegates her to the role of a stenographer.

Don Lemon later concludes about Trump, "The guy you see on stage is just an act." The problem with the news media, however, is that it still just reports that act instead of investigating what's really going on behind the scenes.

And this morning, Trump spent 45 minutes on the phone with Fox & Friends, until host Steve Doocy wrapped up the interview, telling him, "Go run the country." when he didn't get the earlier hint, "I know you're probably running short on time..."
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:44 AM on October 11 [18 favorites]



Where are the other 1,500 children?

I said this yesterday and it got deleted, but I'll say it again in case anyone sees it, we've been asking for three months now, what happened to all the prepubescent and teenage girls? They're not in camps, they're not in shelters, where are the girls?
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:47 AM on October 11 [56 favorites]


Regarding the possibility of arms sanctions against Saudi Arabia after the likely murder of Jamal Khashoggi:
TRUMP: "Again, this took place in Turkey, and to the best of our knowledge Khashoggi is not a US citizen, is that right? He's a permanent resident, okay... as to whether we should stop $110b from being spent in this country, that would not be acceptable to me."
Why be concerned about the murder of journalists and Yemeni children when you have that sweet, sweet cash pouring in?
posted by marshmallow peep at 9:54 AM on October 11 [31 favorites]


Where are the other 1,500 children?

I said this yesterday and it got deleted, but I'll say it again in case anyone sees it, we've been asking for three months now, what happened to all the prepubescent and teenage girls? They're not in camps, they're not in shelters, where are the girls?


TIME Magazine, Sept. 20: Health and Human Services Department Says It Lost Track of 1,488 Migrant Children

Twice in less than a year, the federal government has lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children after placing them in the homes of sponsors across the country, federal officials have acknowledged.

The Health and Human Services Department recently told Senate staffers that case managers could not find 1,488 children after they made follow-up calls to check on their safety from April through June. That number represents about 13 percent of all unaccompanied children the administration moved out of shelters and foster homes during that time.

The agency first disclosed that it had lost track of 1,475 children late last year, as it came under fire at a Senate hearing in April. Lawmakers had asked HHS officials how they had strengthened child protection policies since it came to light that the agency previously had rolled back safeguards meant to keep Central American children from ending up in the hands of human traffickers.

“The fact that HHS, which placed these unaccompanied minors with sponsors, doesn’t know the whereabouts of nearly 1,500 of them is very troubling,” Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, the panel’s chair, said Wednesday. “Many of these kids are vulnerable to trafficking and abuse, and to not take responsibility for their safety is unacceptable.”

HHS spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley disputed the notion that the children were “lost.” “Their sponsors, who are usually parents or family members and in all cases have been vetted for criminality and ability to provide for them, simply did not respond or could not be reached when this voluntary call was made,” she said in a statement.

posted by snuffleupagus at 9:55 AM on October 11 [12 favorites]


Trump, no longer ratings gold, loses his prime-time spot on Fox News

"Go run the country." when he didn't get the earlier hint, "I know you're probably running short on time..."

Canceled for terrible ratings...Sad!
posted by mabelstreet at 9:56 AM on October 11 [6 favorites]


as to whether we should stop $110b from being spent in this country, that would not be acceptable to me.

If only ISIS and Assad had spent more money on American pork products they could have beheaded as many people and dropped as much nerve gas as they wanted!
posted by XMLicious at 10:01 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


Health and Human Services Department Says It Lost Track of 1,488 Migrant Children

I'd forgotten about the neo-nazi meme inserted in child-disappearing statistics. If forgetting the government laughing about their ability and desire to commit genocide is what happened in 2018, I really don't look forward to what's going to become of us cognitively next year and the year after.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:02 AM on October 11 [34 favorites]


Again, this took place in Turkey, and to the best of our knowledge Khashoggi is not a US citizen, is that right?

It's a disgrace that the media is letting the Trump get away with (accessory to) murder (Politico).

NBC's Mark Murray (@mmurraypolitics ): "Trump has had no trouble condemning foreign countries and leaders he disagrees with (Iran, Venezuela, North Korea – before the détente). Which is why his near-silence and cautious words on Jamal Khashoggi's death/disappearance are so striking"

Max Kennerly (via Sarah Kendzior) goes further: "Donald Trump will pick needless fights with Canada, Mexico, Germany, and Australia (to name a few), but he won't even call out Russia or Saudi Arabia when they literally murder journalists. [...] And in the "corruption" corner, here's the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia trying to resolve this situation by calling... Trump's son-in-law who is wired into his business dealings, rather than a diplomat? Ah, yes, totally normal. [...] I'll put this on the "cowardice" side. He's utterly terrified of what the Saudis might do in response, even something benign like cancelling an arms sale (it's $15B, not $110B, and they've wavered)--something that should be *our* leverage against *them*." (Or, say, MBS could leak proof of how Jared's been giving away classified information to the KSA.)

Moreover, the UAE National's Joyce Karam details how the Trump administration has left a diplomatic vacuum for this to happen while sidelining the press:
Keep in mind:
•US has NO Ambassadors in either Saudi Arabia or Turkey
•We, journalists, no longer get Readouts of Trump [phone] calls
•NSC is not releasing Bolton calls either
•Jared calls were never released
•State has not released all Pompeo’s calls/readouts of mtgs on Saudi

In Saudi Arabia, Trump never nominated an Ambassador. Instead Kushner & lately Pompeo handling relation.

In Turkey, David Satterfield expected to be nominated but awaiting Congress confirmation of David Schenker as AS for NEA that Satterfield runs now.

All constrains US role
Emptywheel points out an emerging pattern of hands-off policy from the Trump administration when it comes to MBS: Before Trump Did Nothing When Mohammed Bin Salman Went After Jamal Khashoggi, He Did Nothing When Mbs Went After Alwaleed Bin Talal: "While Alwaleed is in no way a Saudi dissident, as Khashoggi was, he was a crucial cog not only in Saudi-US relations, but by virtue of his substantial investments in key US companies, in the US economy. And western observers watched as MBS exerted some kind of influence over Alwaleed with only hushed complaints. Far from criticizing the crackdown, Trump (and Jared, before the fact) appeared to sanction it."
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:13 AM on October 11 [30 favorites]


Let's check in on the Oval Office:

First, Trump criticized the Fed yet again, but this time he specifically said: "I’m paying interest at a high rate because of our Fed." Let that sink in a second. Trump, who personally owes hundreds of millions of dollars with variable-rate loans, is upset about government monetary policy because of the impact on his finances.

Next, Trump Would Rather Downplay Jamal Khashoggi’s Disappearance Than Jeopardize Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia. Here's a video clip. He claims offhand that the Saudis spend $110 billion on military equipment from us (not really true) and he's not going to stop that, but isn't sure whether Khashoggi is a US Citizen (he's a permanent resident) has he tries to downplay this.

And then Kanye showed up:

@Bencjacobs: Per pooler @agearan, Kanye West "is currently on an extended soliloquy that included saying he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Said that was a mis-diagnosis and he is sleep-deprived" while in the Oval Office.

@Yamiche: Per pooler @agearan, Kanye West while meeting Trump: "We have to release the love through it the country...We don’t have the reparations but we have the 13th Amendment” President Trump: “He can speak for me any time he wants. He’s a smart cookie. He gets it.”

@weijia: Our TV pooler @jonkarl warns there are a lot of profanities to watch out for, like “motherf#*%@!” and balls. He adds Kanye gave him a hug as press left the Oval Office.

@esaagar: KANYE in the Oval: “Let’s stop worrying about the future all we have is today .... Trump is on his hero’s journey right now. He might not have thought he’d have a crazy mother-fucker like (me)”

@maggieNYT: Trump's rallies haven't been airing live. He found a way back on TV live today with Kanye.

This entire event is interspersed with devastating hurricane photos on my Twitter feed, which makes it even more surreal. There's nothing funny about this. It's just sad. I hope Kanye gets the help he needs.
posted by zachlipton at 10:14 AM on October 11 [33 favorites]


He gets it

Fucking with people for fun and profit, got it.

In a way, Kanye and Trump are perfect for each other. Always on the lookout for the next persona or grift, they throw out stuff that feeds the attention economy that they have no control over, but which invests in them the power people want to be held over themselves.
posted by rhizome at 10:19 AM on October 11 [5 favorites]


From TPM: Ellis Challenges Manafort Plea Deal, Wants To Sentence Him Promptly
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis signaled he wants to move forward with sentencing Paul Manafort for the eight counts he was convicted of in Virginia this summer, and wants prosecutors to decide whether to retry him on the remaining deadlocked counts, despite Manafort’s plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller putting off such moves pending Manafort’s cooperation.

“This would be highly unusual,” Ellis said of the terms of the plea agreement, entered in a D.C. federal court last month. Ellis’ characteristically grouchy order set a hearing for Oct. 19 to begin wrapping up the retrial issues and sentencing mechanics in the Virginia case.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:23 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]


The US Is Set To Deport Witnesses Who Dispute The Border Patrol’s Version Of A Fatal Shooting

Guatemalan General Consul Tekandi Paniagua said the men, ages 18, 19, and 21, have told US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the FBI that they want to return to Guatemala and are expected to drop their efforts to stay in the United States at an immigration hearing set for Monday.

Paniagua declined to go into specifics, citing ongoing investigations, but he said all three men's statements contradict the Border Patrol's initial version that the still unnamed agent shot Claudia Patricia Gómez González only after he was attacked by the undocumented migrants he was pursuing. The FBI and the Texas Rangers, the two agencies investigating the shooting, have yet to provide an official version of what took place.


I'd want to return to Guatemala too if, after witnessing the murder of my companion, I were indefinitely imprisoned by the murderers.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:24 AM on October 11 [20 favorites]


According to @JoshNBCNews, Kanye also said that 'as a guy, "I'm With Her" didn't resonate with him as a slogan'. Kanye can get all the help he needs but there's not a simple cure for misogyny.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:26 AM on October 11 [66 favorites]


The video clip of that moment rather sums it all up, if you can stomach it. It lays out really all the gender politics happening here, and I never want anyone to ever try to claim that appealing to women is a "special interest" but appealing to men is just normal again. He goes on to explain that the MAGA hat "made me feel like Superman."
posted by zachlipton at 10:28 AM on October 11 [9 favorites]


Kanye, Saudi assassinations, hurricanes, Trump. I. Cannot. Even. Today.
posted by Harry Caul at 10:32 AM on October 11 [16 favorites]


James Poniewozik, via Twitter: "The one silver lining of this Kanye meeting is Donald Trump getting a tiny taste of what it's like to listen to Donald Trump hold forth for 10 minutes straight"
posted by kelborel at 10:33 AM on October 11 [50 favorites]


Kanye, Saudi assassinations, hurricanes, Trump. I. Cannot. Even. Today.

The first crewed launch failure since Challenger
posted by ringu0 at 10:38 AM on October 11 [10 favorites]


Kanye, Saudi assassinations, hurricanes, Trump. I. Cannot. Even. Today.

The first crewed launch failure since Challenger


Another 1500 disappeared children.

Worst "we didn't start the fire" reboot ever.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:40 AM on October 11 [33 favorites]


snuffleupagus: HHS spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley disputed the notion that the children were “lost.” “Their sponsors, who are usually parents or family members and in all cases have been vetted for criminality and ability to provide for them, simply did not respond or could not be reached when this voluntary call was made,” she said in a statement.

I don't want to minimize the horror or give any credit to the creeps but this is in fact correct for the most part. Consider: if one of those children were in your care, things being what they are, would you answer a call from any immigration enforcement agency?

Regardless, it doesn't address SecretAgentSockpuppet's question of the whereabouts of girls specifically, unless for some reason girls are being placed in homes (either with relatives or abducted into foster/adoptive homes) at a significantly higher rate than boys. So I suspect it's simply that the imprisoned girls' conditions are the same (and hidden from the public because the optics of mistreating girls are especially poor)... or worse.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 10:46 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


Argentina over the seven years of 1976 to 1983 had 500 newborns among their desapericidos. Trump has 1500 missing children in a year and a half.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:49 AM on October 11 [13 favorites]


@oneunderscore__ [Ben Collins, NBC News dystopia beat (yes, really)]:
Absolutely none of this Kanye speech is crazy, nuts, or even new if you've been targeted with an ad by PragerU on YouTube.

Kanye's rambling is pretty much a 1:1 recitation of YouTube conservatism and righty vloggers, which are extremely paid for and the next frontier of the Breitbart/InfoWars right. Kanye spends a LOT of time on his computer and on his phone, has always genuinely believed he's the smartest dude in the room, and has had a lot of positive things happen by getting a rise out of people.

A perfect brain for righty YouTube manipulation. I'd bet he's sincere. Uh, other than the Apple hydrogen plane, btw. That is not a Candace Owens/Jordan Peterson special.

If y'all really think Kanye's talk was an aberration and not precisely where this is headed, you should really spend some more time on YouTube.

If you don't want politics to look like this in 2020, pressure them to be more transparent about who is buying ads and funding content.
It's just sad to me that this could have been a brief moment where Trump, and by extension, the nation, spent six seconds thinking about the impacts of the justice system he oversees on millions of people, but the White House choose to exploit someone who is clearly not well, and instead of that conversation, we got hydrogen planes and Adidas and "we can empower the pharmaceuticals and make more money."
posted by zachlipton at 10:52 AM on October 11 [40 favorites]


Regardless, it doesn't address SecretAgentSockpuppet's question of the whereabouts of girls specifically, unless for some reason girls are being placed in homes (either with relatives or abducted into foster/adoptive homes) at a significantly higher rate than boys. So I suspect it's simply that the imprisoned girls' conditions are the same (and hidden from the public because the optics of mistreating girls are especially poor)... or worse.

It wouldn't surprise me if there was a bias towards more easily finding boys unfit for home placement. Mirroring their treatment in criminal courts.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:52 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Argentina over the seven years of 1976 to 1983 had 500 newborns among their desapercidos. Trump has 1500 missing children in a year and a half.

This is not the same thing, at all. There is an enormous difference between children literally disappeared by the government and children whose relatives didn't answer the phone in a 30-day follow-up phone call, often because the kids are in removal proceedings and people are scared to pick up the phone and talk to government agents.
posted by zachlipton at 10:56 AM on October 11 [13 favorites]


children literally disappeared by the government

Where the parents were also killed in the majority of cases.
posted by jontyjago at 11:07 AM on October 11 [4 favorites]


Facebook purged over 800 accounts and pages pushing political messages for profit (Elizabeth Dwoskin and Tony Romm, WaPo)
The accounts and pages, with names like Reasonable People Unite and Reverb Press, were likely domestic actors using clickbait headlines and other spammy tactics to drive users to websites where they could target them with ads, the company said. Some had hundreds of thousands of followers and expressed a range of political viewpoints, including a page which billed itself as “the first publication to endorse President Donald J. Trump.” They did not appear to have ties to Russia, company officials said.

Facebook said it was not removing the publishers and accounts because of the type of content they posted, but because of the behaviors they engaged in, including spamming Facebook groups with identical pieces of content and using fake profiles.

“Today, we’re removing 559 Pages and 251 accounts that have consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior,” the company said in a blog post. “People will only share on Facebook if they feel safe and trust the connections they make here.”

But the move to target American politically-oriented sites, just weeks before the Congressional midterms, is sure to be a flashpoint for political groups and their allies, who are already attacking the tech giant for political bias and for arbitrary censorship of political content.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:13 AM on October 11 [6 favorites]


Kanye spends a LOT of time on his computer and on his phone, has always genuinely believed he's the smartest dude in the room, and has had a lot of positive things happen by getting a rise out of people.

So basically Kanye is every dudely 20 year old channer/redditor/twitter troll ever.

(I had a bit I used to do a couple years ago about how the Kardashian’s were the age’s American family, in much the same way the Bunkers were in the ‘70s. This only makes feel like I was on to something even more.)
posted by octobersurprise at 11:27 AM on October 11 [8 favorites]


So, is donating to Heidi Heitkamp a waste of money at this point? I hate to see her lose her seat after voting against Kavanaugh and the anti-Native American vote rigging going on. Politico seems to think she may be done.
posted by shoesietart at 11:30 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Silver: What's behind lengthening Dem odds in the Senate? Mostly North Dakota.

Here's a tweet with instructions on how North Dakota Native voters without a residential address can get one assigned so they can vote. Please pass along.


Some expanded info:

Here's the original Facebook post on how to obtain address/documentation to vote.

This is important because the first comment directs people to the list of phone and email contact information by county for the "911 Coordinators" who happen to be the point of contacts for getting physical addresses set up, which reduces friction. Also, it's possible that liking the post and increasing awareness of this small FB group might help those affected by this decision (and any other Native Vote issue) join it and talk to and help each other.

Also because another comment points out the irony of Native Americans unable to vote for proof of residency.
posted by wildblueyonder at 11:32 AM on October 11 [32 favorites]


So, is donating to Heidi Heitkamp a waste of money at this point?

Heitkamp won after trailing significantly in the past so I wouldn't give up on her yet. But you have to be okay with her definitely being an underdog.
posted by Justinian at 11:36 AM on October 11 [7 favorites]




Realistically, what impacts Heitkamp winning or losing at this point is not money - she's raised a ton, and North Dakota is cheap. I'd give it to Jacky Rosen in NV, if you wanted to do Senate.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:38 AM on October 11 [9 favorites]


Is it your sense that Sinema is gonna pull it out in Arizona?
posted by Justinian at 11:41 AM on October 11


She'd be my second choice, but yeah, I think she'll win by a couple of points. Heller/Rosen has been really tight. NV is a tough state to poll, so I still think Rosen will squeak it out, but I'm less confident of that.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:43 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


(mind you, I'm just Some Guy)
posted by Chrysostom at 11:45 AM on October 11 [10 favorites]


Politico seems to think [Heitkamp] may be done.

The Politico article states the apparent fact that Heitkamp's down in the polls, which is probably accurate, but it also notes a couple of things:

* ND is a small state. Persuade a number of voters on the order of 10,000 and you can swing the election. In that respect, there aren't many places where money or effort have as much potential ROI for a Senate seat.

* The Kavanaugh fight happened when it did partly to put Democratic Senators on the defense. That's done now, lasting feelings about it are more likely to belong to those who lost, and refocus on other issues might help Heitkamp (something D internal polls say is already happening).

* There are local issues where Trump policies are having negative effects.

* Heitkamp is good at the local game and has pulled in from behind before.

* Not really a strong point, but note the line "Cramer, who declined an interview for this story" in conjunction with Heitkamp's observation that Cramer could self-immolate... apparently Cramer is aware of the risk.


No donation or action guarantees any victory. But the risk of putting money down on Heitkamp is small compared to the risks we all face if Heitkamp loses. If you need your money for necessities, of course don't donate. If there's a race that matters to you more or seems like a better bet, donate to that. But if you're just not sure there's an ROI, do it anyway. The battle isn't over and it matters.
posted by wildblueyonder at 11:50 AM on October 11 [10 favorites]


On 'Background Briefing' yesterday, Ian Masters interviewed Greg Miller, author of “The Apprentice: Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy” (3rd click)
posted by growabrain at 11:56 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Chief Justice John Roberts Requests Ethics Investigation of Brett Kavanaugh's Hearing Conduct
Specifically, he's transferred the investigation to a 10th Circuit judge who is a George W Bush appointee, is on Trump's short-list for a SCOTUS nomination, and prior to being appointed as a judge, argued before the Supreme Court that LGBT people are not entitled to equal protection under the law.

So, I'm sure we can expect to see that this investigation will be taken very seriously by The Best People.
posted by schmod at 12:01 PM on October 11 [51 favorites]


Politics as the New Religion for Progressive Democrats, Emma Green, The Atlantic

American Democracy in Crisis: Civic Engagement, Young Adult Activism, and the 2018 Midterm Elections - "The PRRI/The Atlantic 2018 Civic Engagement Survey was conducted by PRRI in partnership with The Atlantic among a random sample of adults (age 18 and up) living in the United States and who are part of GfK’s Knowledge Panel. The survey included a national sample (N=1,011) representing all 50 states, in addition to an over-sample of Americans ages 18-29 (800), totaling to N=1,811. The survey also over-sampled those living in Ohio (507), Illinois (499), Michigan (474), Wisconsin (435), and Minnesota (422). Interviews were conducted online in both English and Spanish between August 24 and September 13, 2018."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:03 PM on October 11 [3 favorites]


Flippable (which looks for high impact races in state legislatures) has recommendations for where your dollars would go farthest downballot. State legislatures matter, too, and $1 goes a lot farther there.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:06 PM on October 11 [8 favorites]


Argentina over the seven years of 1976 to 1983 had 500 newborns among their desapercidos. Trump has 1500 missing children in a year and a half.

1500 is not enough.

Refugee kids are getting arrested on their 18th birthday and held in jail pending deportation. Every kid that Trump loses track of is safe from this. Child welfare is a state matter. The kids and all their papers should be handed to the states where they've been placed, and it would be for the best if the federal government forgets they exist.
posted by ocschwar at 12:12 PM on October 11 [5 favorites]


Specifically, he's transferred the investigation to a 10th Circuit judge who is a George W Bush appointee, is on Trump's short-list for a SCOTUS nomination, and prior to being appointed as a judge, argued before the Supreme Court that LGBT people are not entitled to equal protection under the law.

And as was pointed out in this WaPo article:
“There is nothing that a judicial council could do at this point,” said Arthur D. Hellman, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh and expert on the operation of federal courts.

He said it was unprecedented for a new justice to face such a situation. Hellman predicted that the 10th Circuit will likely close the case “because it is no longer within their jurisdiction,” now that Kavanaugh has been elevated to the Supreme Court.
posted by zakur at 12:18 PM on October 11 [8 favorites]


Our fearless leader Chuck Schumer is about to confirm even more Trumpjudges:

Per senators in both parties, McConnell and Schumer negotiating on a package of nominees to send the Senate home until the election. But they aren't there yet

Maybe this time he’ll get a hard candy in return.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:31 PM on October 11 [17 favorites]


Surely these beans he gets from McConnell will actually be magical.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:45 PM on October 11 [22 favorites]


Kavanaugh proves one of the nine justices is not like the others - Rebecca Pilar Buckwalter Poza, DailyKos

On his first day, talked out of turn, and interrupted lawyers. Further:
Kavanaugh didn’t so much ask questions as make statements. The types of statements that should have come from the government’s attorney, not a justice. When he did ask questions—well, here’s an example of a “question”:
Is that presumption based on what we think was really going through Congress's mind at the time or is it based on a constitutional overlay, because what was really going through Congress's time [sic] in 1996 was harshness on this topic. Is that not right?
Kavanaugh didn’t even pretend he possesses the independence required for a justice.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:45 PM on October 11 [61 favorites]


the 10th Circuit will likely close the case “because it is no longer within their jurisdiction,” now that Kavanaugh has been elevated to the Supreme Court.

For crying out loud, he didn’t ascend to Mount Olympus. He should still be accountable for his sins and crimes. Nobody should be above the law regardless of job title.
posted by Servo5678 at 12:47 PM on October 11 [37 favorites]


I wish there was a chrome extension that just deleted all references to that piece of shit illegitimate justice. I could go the rest of my life without having to read that name again and be just fine.
posted by schadenfrau at 12:47 PM on October 11 [25 favorites]


And we need a primary fund to take out Schumer.
posted by schadenfrau at 12:47 PM on October 11 [17 favorites]


Not to say Kavanaugh is a fit justice, but I've been to an environmental case where the entire conservative wing started arguing the anti-EPA position when the lawyer on the opposing side proved to be very poorly prepared to actually defend his positions. This isn't nearly as unusual as I'd like it to be.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:48 PM on October 11 [12 favorites]


On his first day of arguments, during just one case—Nielsen v. Preap—Kavanaugh tried to speak at the same time as other justices—despite the tradition of new justices deferring to established justices—and interrupted each of the lawyers twice.

When I join a board or committee, I like to get the lay of the land before I start contributing. Sit back, shut up, and take your time to figure out how things work. Like Clarence Thomas is doing.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:51 PM on October 11 [82 favorites]


Why should Thomas ask questions? He has his mind made up before hand. It's easier to just zone out.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:56 PM on October 11 [7 favorites]




Nobody should be above the law regardless of job title.

Generally speaking sure, but ethics rules for federal judges explicitly don't bind SCOTUS. As far as those rules concern Brett, he's quit his job and isn't bound by them, so the complaints are moot- it's not like a lower court can meaningfully sanction him, since he's no longer a federal judge.
posted by BungaDunga at 12:58 PM on October 11 [2 favorites]


Thomas is famous for almost never asking questions. Though yeah, he is coming in already decided probably.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:59 PM on October 11 [2 favorites]


Axios, Michael Cohen is now a registered Democrat

@LannyDavis: Today, @MichaelCohen212 returning to the #Democratic Party another step in his journey that began with the @ABC @GStephanopolous Cohen putting family and country first -distancing himself from the values of the current Admin - Can’t wait for his first interview! #StayTuned

I'm kind of concerned his party switch doesn't really do his message any favors: it can be used to spin his deadly serious accusations of crimes by the President as a partisan matter, but I can't say I'm not curious to hear what this interview is going to involve given what he claimed in court.
posted by zachlipton at 1:01 PM on October 11 [3 favorites]


shoesietart: So, is donating to Heidi Heitkamp a waste of money at this point? I hate to see her lose her seat after voting against Kavanaugh and the anti-Native American vote rigging going on. Politico seems to think she may be done.

To add to the helpful answers above: it also depends partly on what you want to accomplish. I'm making a small donation to Heitkamp (along with donating to some other races - thanks, Chrystostom, for suggesting Jacky Rosen in Nevada!), because I want to thank her for voting against Kavanaugh and provide some positive reinforcement for doing the right thing. I want to thank and support her even if she loses.
posted by kristi at 1:02 PM on October 11 [8 favorites]


Axios, Michael Cohen is now a registered Democrat

Welcome to the Resistance, top enabler of fascism who doesn't believe it's possible to rape your wife!
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:05 PM on October 11 [26 favorites]


Today, @MichaelCohen212 returning to the #Democratic Party another step in his journey

Joke's on him if he thinks that will save him - nobody hates a democrat more than a democrat
posted by Think_Long at 1:11 PM on October 11 [50 favorites]


Speaking of the #Resistance, Avenatti is soliciting donations to Beto with a link that actually splits the money raised between Beto's campaign and Avenatti's own "The Fight PAC" (this isn't mentioned in his "chip in for Beto now" tweet, just in the details on the ActBlue page.
posted by zachlipton at 1:15 PM on October 11 [18 favorites]


TPM: Ross Admits Bannon Put Him In Touch With Kobach To Talk Census Citizenship Question

"Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross admitted Thursday in ongoing litigation that then-White House adviser Steve Bannon called him in the spring of 2017 to put him in touch with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to discuss adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

"Ross’ admission is contrary to previous testimony he gave to Congress in which he said he was not aware of being contacted by anyone in the White House about adding a citizenship question."
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:25 PM on October 11 [36 favorites]


Speaking of the #Resistance, Avenatti is soliciting donations to Beto with a link that actually splits the money raised between Beto's campaign and Avenatti's own "The Fight PAC" (this isn't mentioned in his "chip in for Beto now" tweet, just in the details on the ActBlue page.

I don't know how commonplace this is, but Kamala Harris does it too and it's always felt really shifty to me. Lately they've added some fine print saying that it's a donation to [subject of email] and Kamala Harris, but it used to be completely unmentioned until you were at the actual donation page.
posted by contraption at 1:42 PM on October 11 [6 favorites]


CNN, Trump's lawyers preparing answers to Mueller's questions
President Donald Trump's legal team is preparing answers to written questions provided by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The move represents a major development after months of negotiations and signals that the Mueller investigation could be entering a final phase with regard to the President.

The questions are focused on matters related to the investigation of possible collusion between Trump associates and Russians seeking to meddle in the 2016 election, the sources said. Trump's lawyers are preparing written responses, in part relying on documents previously provided to the special counsel, the sources said.
...
Additionally, the two sides have still not come to agreement on whether the President will be interviewed in person by investigators who are also probing whether Trump obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James Comey.
@emptywheel: I appreciate all you people insisting that I do a victory lap. But this seems to have been dictated by Trump's lawyers as much as the overwhelming evidence that Trump is on the hook for more than obstruction.
posted by zachlipton at 1:44 PM on October 11 [12 favorites]


OK, so serious question not just whining about the futility of it all. We now have Commerce Secretary Ross dead to rights on a perjury charge. He said one thing to Congress, he said another in court. Open and shut case of perjury.

Is there any actual mechanism by which he can be charged with perjury and prosecuted? He has no Presidential immunity, there's no potential Constitutional crisis involved in charging him with a crime. Which prosecutors are responsible for charging him, and how can we pressure them to do so?

Clearly the "liberal media" won't be beating the drum for this, but are we really totally helpless to watch a proven perjurer continue being Commerce Secretary, or is there some police agency who can be pushed to arrest him and charge him?
posted by sotonohito at 1:44 PM on October 11 [19 favorites]


I called this in the Kavanaugh thread:

NEWS: The Senate has unanimously agreed to hold speedy votes today on 15 more Trump-nominated judges—THREE on circuit courts and TWELVE on district courts—so they can get out of town.

All are for lifetime appointments.


Schumer looks to have gotten nothing in exchange for 32 judges. He could have made these appointments take them nearly 3 months to do individually the slow way.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:48 PM on October 11 [61 favorites]


Doing it the slow way throws away all the time they would have to campaign, does it not? If so, Schumer may think that the fight for control over the Senate would be helped enough by campaign time that giving up the judges faster is worth it.
posted by Jpfed at 1:53 PM on October 11 [4 favorites]


NYCSouthpaw: "In spiraling constitutional crisis in WV, the state’s Supreme Court grants a writ of mandamus to its own Chief Justice to halt the partisan impeachment proceedings against her." writ PDF.
posted by Justinian at 1:54 PM on October 11 [6 favorites]


Doing it the slow way throws away all the time they would have to campaign, does it not? If so, Schumer may think that the fight for control over the Senate would be helped enough by campaign time that giving up the judges faster is worth it.

That seems really shaky calculus, especially if the Dems have a chance at taking back the senate and putting the kibosh on all further judicial appointments. Schumer is really great at laying down.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:55 PM on October 11 [5 favorites]


Yeah, what Schumer is "getting" is the ability to send his Senators home to campaign. Whether you think that's worth the cost of not delaying these appointments (and realistically they could not be stopped, just delayed) is another question. But it's not as simple as Schumer "getting nothing."
posted by Justinian at 1:56 PM on October 11 [5 favorites]


They can't put the kibosh on these appointments even if Democrats take the Senate because the current Senate would approve them before the next Senate is seated.
posted by Justinian at 1:56 PM on October 11 [4 favorites]


Kanye has decamped to the Apple Store in Georgetown, where he has decided to stand on a table and give a "keynote." @jackmjenkins: He’s announcing he made a hat for Trump that says “made an updated hat that says ‘make America great’ without the ‘again’...and Trump wore it!” Shows a picture on his iphone of Trump wearing said hat. Says the “again” part of the original slogan “hurts back people.” He just left, saying he’s going to Africa.

(I'd assume that's a typo for "black," but who the hell knows?)

Imagine if the massive voter suppression crises in Georgia, Indiana, and North Dakota got 10% of the attention this show is getting.
posted by zachlipton at 1:57 PM on October 11 [15 favorites]


Yeah, what Schumer is "getting" is the ability to send his Senators home to campaign.

given that the Republicans "get" the same thing, I don't quite get the benefit
posted by halation at 1:57 PM on October 11 [14 favorites]


And Republicans need to campaign too. It’s a weak bluff.

I’m not sure why McConnell didn’t ask for an instant vote on all 100some judicial openings, the calculus looks the same and apparently 1 day of campaigning is worth any price.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:57 PM on October 11 [6 favorites]


Don't they only need to have one Dem on the floor at any given time to withhold consent? It seems like that would actually be a boon for campaigning Dems, since the Rs would need their people there to vote while the Ds just need one member at at time there to gum up the works. I'm not sure why we would assume the best of Schumer at this point.
posted by contraption at 1:58 PM on October 11 [10 favorites]


given that the Republicans "get" the same thing, I don't quite get the benefit

Because far more Democrats are endangered ... by candidates that aren't sitting Senators. So their opponents have free rein to campaign.
posted by Justinian at 2:01 PM on October 11 [7 favorites]


WSJ, Trump Is Mulling Candidates Who Could Replace Jeff Sessions
The potential candidates include Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Transportation Department general counsel Steven Bradbury, former Attorney General Bill Barr, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and Janice Rogers Brown, a retired appeals court judge from the District of Columbia Circuit, the people said.
@emptywheel: Both Bradbury and Azar have been confirmed (ack), so depending on what you think happens w/VRA if Sessions is fired, they could come in and take over supervision of Mueller immediately. In any case, the notion that Steven Bradbury might become AG is legit excuse to start drinking, right?
posted by zachlipton at 2:01 PM on October 11 [4 favorites]


And it seems like there’s a real opportunity to stake out a 2020 position by being the one senator to stay behind and tell Schumer he can fuck his deal and actually do something. Warren or Harris or someone could be that one to object for a month.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:02 PM on October 11 [8 favorites]


volatility finally realized Donald Trump is president.

@AP: "BREAKING: Dow drops 545 points as selling is widespread; two-day loss of 5.3 percent is largest since February."

ABC's Matthew Dowd earlier today: "If you had invested $1000 at start of Obama Presidency in index on dow Jones industrials you would have made $2500 at end. If you had invested $1000 at start of trump, you would have made $230 thus far."
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:03 PM on October 11 [21 favorites]


Again, guys, I think it's a reasonable argument that Democrats should gum up the works more than they have in the Senate. I'm just saying it isn't as simple as "they're doing nothing for nothing." There would be a cost to delaying tactics which would, as the name suggests, delay but not stop. It's also true that the delays would be symbolic and while symbolism is important it may or may not be more important than defending against this horrific Senate map in the midterms.

But that's my piece so I'll let it goooooo.
posted by Justinian at 2:05 PM on October 11 [16 favorites]


ABC's Matthew Dowd earlier today: "If you had invested $1000 at start of Obama Presidency in index on dow Jones industrials you would have made $2500 at end. If you had invested $1000 at start of trump, you would have made $230 thus far."

like, it's fun that the mainstream news media is dunking on trump, but short term stock market returns are possibly the worst possible metric for presidential performance?

also comparing eight years of an obama presidency (that started off with the market in the goddamn toilet) to two years of trump is double pointless.

trump is a terrible president in thousands of ways that have nothing to do with your portfolio
posted by murphy slaw at 2:18 PM on October 11 [56 favorites]




There would be a cost to delaying tactics which would, as the name suggests, delay but not stop.

I am genuinely confused about whether that's the case, though. This WaPo article suggests that all it takes is one present Senator to deny unanimous consent and force a cloture vote, in which case Warren, Sanders and, say, Hirono, could stay behind to take shifts and slow-walk the process to the maximum possible extent without any endangered Dem taking time away from campaigning. Is that not accurate?

It's not true that it's purely symbolic either; the longer it takes this congress to do any one thing, the fewer total things get done. I don't think Schumer's minority is "doing nothing for nothing," I think they're doing nothing for an anachronistic and misplaced sense of obligation to the spirit of comity, and out of fear of being labeled obstructionist. I think they have reasons, it's just that their reasons are bad and dumb. I would hope that they, being Senators, would know better than me, but recent history is making me doubt that presumption.
posted by contraption at 2:19 PM on October 11 [14 favorites]


It's not true that it's purely symbolic either; the longer it takes this congress to do any one thing, the fewer total things get done.

But in Schumer's version of this those things DONT get done, bc by rolling on the judicial nominations he also precludes the senate from doing any other business bc theyll all be home/not in session.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 2:22 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]


So what explains the difference between the two polls? [link is to the Marist pollsters explanation.]

tl;dr - *clears throat* It all comes down to turnout. *nods in satisfaction*
posted by Justinian at 2:23 PM on October 11 [4 favorites]


New Yorker, Sarah Stillman, The Five-Year-Old Who Was Detained at the Border and Convinced to Sign Away Her Rights
While crossing the Rio Grande in the journey’s final stretch, Helen slipped from their raft and risked drowning. Her grandmother grabbed her hand and cried, “Hang on, Helen!” When the family reached the scrubland of southern Texas, U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended them and moved them through a series of detention centers. A month earlier, the Trump Administration had announced, amid public outcry over its systemic separation of migrant families at the border, that it would halt the practice. But, at a packed processing hub, Christian was taken from Noehmi and placed in a cage with toddlers. Noehmi remained in a cold holding cell, clutching Helen. Soon, she recalled, a plainclothes official arrived and informed her that she and Helen would be separated. “No!” Noehmi cried. “The girl is under my care! Please!”

Noehmi said that the official told her, “Don’t make things too difficult,” and pulled Helen from her arms. “The girl will stay here,” he said, “and you’ll be deported.” Helen cried as he escorted her from the room and out of sight. Noehmi remembers the authorities explaining that Helen’s mother would be able to retrieve her, soon, from wherever they were taking her.
...
According to a long-standing legal precedent known as the Flores Settlement, which established guidelines for keeping children in immigration detention, Helen had a right to a bond hearing before a judge; that hearing would have likely hastened her release from government custody and her return to her family. At the time of her apprehension, in fact, Helen checked a box on a line that read, “I do request an immigration judge,” asserting her legal right to have her custody reviewed. But, in early August, an unknown official handed Helen a legal document, a “Request for a Flores Bond Hearing,” which described a set of legal proceedings and rights that would have been difficult for Helen to comprehend. (“In a Flores bond hearing, an immigration judge reviews your case to determine whether you pose a danger to the community,” the document began.) On Helen’s form, which was filled out with assistance from officials, there is a checked box next to a line that says, “I withdraw my previous request for a Flores bond hearing.” Beneath that line, the five-year-old signed her name in wobbly letters.
Here's an image of the form in which a 5-year old supposedly made the informed decision to withdraw her request for a Flores hearing. Helen carefully practiced spelling her name.
While in custody, she was also given crayons and asked to color patriotic images, including one of the Statue of Liberty.
posted by zachlipton at 2:28 PM on October 11 [77 favorites]


This is zero sum, Senate floor time is worth more than anything. 3 months of stalling on judges now is 3 months less they can devote to the next round of tax cuts or repealing Obamacare if they do increase their majority, or forcing them to use time now and in the lame duck to confirm less judges overall if Democrats take it back.

Delay is not worthless, it’s very much valuable. If you think it’s not think what all the Republicans were able stop Democrats from potentially doing in 2008-09 by bullshitting around with gangs of 6-8 and making ObamaCare take over a year to pass. Imagine the Republican version of Schumer during that time, “welp I guess they’ll pass it eventually so why not help them do it today!” And then we would’ve had a year to do free college or universal pre-K or whatever. Not fighting isn’t fighting smart or 11th dimensional chess, it’s just surrender.

And yes objecting to consent only takes 1.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:29 PM on October 11 [24 favorites]


The Five-Year-Old Who Was Detained at the Border and Convinced to Sign Away Her Rights

So minors can sign legal documents now, including contracts?
posted by rhizome at 2:31 PM on October 11 [13 favorites]


3 months of stalling on judges now is 3 months less they can devote to the next round of tax cuts

Where do you find the 3 months number? My understanding is they buy about a day per judge. 2 days per judge more realistically. So that's a month of nothing but the judges getting done. Which is what happens anyway if the Senate is in recess. The symbolic opposition is lost but not really any time?
posted by Justinian at 2:31 PM on October 11 [3 favorites]


like, it's fun that the mainstream news media is dunking on trump, but short term stock market returns are possibly the worst possible metric for presidential performance?

True enough, but since Trump keeps bragging about stock market performance since his inauguration, turnabout is fair play. (WaPo)
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:31 PM on October 11 [13 favorites]


Kavanaugh didn’t even pretend he possesses the independence required for a justice.

Good. Let him be a public partisan ass. He'd vote the same if he was as quiet as Thomas. This way the illegitimacy of the court is magnified which aids in possibly expanding it and also puts pressure on Roberts as the swing vote to moderate to maintain the reputation of the court he supposedly treasures.
posted by chris24 at 2:33 PM on October 11 [38 favorites]


Latinos are a key demographic if we're going to turn the Senate or House. Even Beto, who speaks Spanish, doesn't seem to have done a lot of outreach and that could be the key to his winning. There doesn't seem to be a concerted effort to capture the Latino vote or have I missed that?
posted by shoesietart at 2:43 PM on October 11 [2 favorites]


Kanye has decamped to the Apple Store in Georgetown

I'm not in Cupertino this week, but if I were I'm sure I'd could have heard the screaming from the retail folks on Bubb Road from my office.

BRB, asking my co-workers to go outside and listen for screaming.
posted by sideshow at 2:47 PM on October 11 [6 favorites]


As much fun as yelling at Schumer is, the reason he's doing this is very probably just that Heitkamp/McCaskill/etc asked him to.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 2:53 PM on October 11


So they let Kanye keep his iPhone with him when he went to meet with Trump in the Oval Office?

Interesting.
posted by The World Famous at 3:03 PM on October 11 [20 favorites]


Apologies if this has already been posted (I did look, but...):

"The National Park Service proposes to revise special regulations related to demonstrations and special events at certain national park units in the National Capital Region. The proposed changes would modify regulations explaining how the NPS processes permit applications for demonstrations and special events. The rule would also identify locations where activities are allowed, not allowed, or allowed but subject to restrictions."

Comment period ends on Oct. 15, 2018.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:20 PM on October 11 [17 favorites]


Can someone link to an explanation of the impact of those proposed changes to the rules for demonstrating near the capital? I could use some help formulating a comment.
posted by OnceUponATime at 3:23 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]


OnceUponATime, here's Paste Magazine's take. "The proposal would close 80 percent of the White House sidewalk, put new limits on spontaneous demonstrations, and open the door to charging fees for protesting."
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:32 PM on October 11 [4 favorites]


BuzzFeed, Leopold, John Kelly Called Elizabeth Warren An "Impolite Arrogant Woman" In An Email
White House chief of staff John Kelly called Sen. Elizabeth Warren an “impolite arrogant woman” in a private email he exchanged last year with his top aide following a telephone conversation with the Massachusetts Democrat about the Trump administration’s travel ban.

“Absolutely most insulting conversation I have ever had with anyone,” Kelly, then serving as the secretary of homeland security, wrote to Kevin Carroll, his then–senior counselor at the Department of Homeland Security, in an email from Feb. 8, 2017. “What an impolite arrogant woman. She immediately began insulting our people accusing them of not following the court order, insulting and abusive behavior towards those covered by the pause, blah blah blah.”
...
Carroll responded to his boss’s criticisms of Warren in an email the next day.

“Too bad Senate Majority Leader McConnell couldn’t order her to be quiet again! Warren is running for president so early, trying too hard, and chasing bad pitches,” Carroll wrote.
"Nevertheless, she persisted."
posted by zachlipton at 3:32 PM on October 11 [62 favorites]


@Latino turnout, the Vox piece that was linked above on Rosen's campaign in Nevada goes into that.

One consistent theme I've been hearing in turnout operations is that it's a year round operation. Building trust and credibility with vulnerable communities is hard. The Vox piece talks about Harry Reid's efforts to build that trust, and to build the campaign infrastructure that Rosen is now riding.

But it's also going to look different in different places. In Nevada, the Culinary Union has been a strong backbone for immigrant organizing, and I'm guessing a lot of that electorate is packed into Las Vegas. Texas is bigger and more disaggregated, and the state Democratic party ... is just in worse shape than Nevada's. Beto is supporting the party more than the other way around. It's always worth considering that there's a reason and a history behind why people do the things they do.

(In New Jersey, my understanding is that Menendez has a very specific Hispanic base, mostly in North Jersey, mostly Cuban, and outside of that he just does normal campaigning. Outreach looks different in different places.)
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 4:15 PM on October 11 [9 favorites]


“Absolutely most insulting conversation I have ever had with anyone,” Kelly, then serving as the secretary of homeland security, wrote

Not a chance.
posted by Rykey at 4:53 PM on October 11 [25 favorites]


In the Michigan Governor's race, Gretchen Whitmer already has a comfortable lead over Bill Schuette, thanks in part to the republican mishandling of the Flint crisis. But this creepy video making the rounds today in local news might help seal the deal:

Twitter video clip of Bill Schuette being gross and creepy to a female interviewer in 1989.

He told the Detroit Free Press, "That apparently was my poor attempt to be humorous 30 years ago".
posted by p3t3 at 4:54 PM on October 11 [11 favorites]


He told the Detroit Free Press, "That apparently was my poor attempt to be humorous 30 years ago".

When he was a mere lad of 34, not yet responsible for his actions as he whiled away his carefree salad days in (checks notes) the United States House of Representatives.
posted by Etrigan at 5:27 PM on October 11 [42 favorites]


Since Trump can't distinguish between fake and real news, The Onion should write a satire piece about how great he is, and get him to retweet it
posted by growabrain at 5:30 PM on October 11 [13 favorites]


Better yet, they should write a piece about how he has already been impeached and get him to resign.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:53 PM on October 11 [16 favorites]


"The proposal would close 80 percent of the White House sidewalk, put new limits on spontaneous demonstrations, and open the door to charging fees for protesting."

All the free speech you can afford. This new Supreme Court will love it.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:03 PM on October 11 [6 favorites]


Can someone link to an explanation of the impact of those proposed changes to the rules for demonstrating near the capital? I could use some help formulating a comment.

I've just come across the ACLU's public comment, which is 33 pages but helpfully includes a summary starting on page 2. I plan to crib off that to submit a comment (the deadline is the 15th), and invite others to do the same.

Remember that public comments, including whatever identifying information you provide, are public records that may be posted online. Jessamyn will tell you more about this and how to submit public comments if you'd like a handy guide.
posted by zachlipton at 6:09 PM on October 11 [21 favorites]


AP reports on the fallout from the Trump administration's cancellation of the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest recruiting program (MANVI): Army Expelled 500 Immigrant Recruits In 1 Year

"Over the course of 12 months, the U.S. Army discharged more than 500 immigrant enlistees who were recruited across the globe for their language or medical skills and promised a fast track to citizenship in exchange for their service, The Associated Press has found. [...] The Army began booting out those enlistees last year without explanation. [...] In response to the [MANVI] litigation, the Army stopped processing discharges last month and reinstated at least three dozen recruits who had been thrown out of the service."
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:17 PM on October 11 [17 favorites]


Justinian: "NYCSouthpaw: "In spiraling constitutional crisis in WV, the state’s Supreme Court grants a writ of mandamus to its own Chief Justice to halt the partisan impeachment proceedings against her." writ PDF."

Here's some more on this, I can't claim to understand what the possible outcomes are. Workman, the justice in question, is a Democrat.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:39 PM on October 11 [3 favorites]


Here's something to make y'all feel good. Andrew Gillum, Democratic candidate for Florida governor (and current mayor of Tallahassee) was out there this morning with a chain saw clearing fallen trees from streets.

It appears that Gillum was touring the city, came across work crews, and jumped in and grabbed a chainsaw. A reporter asked Gillum if he'd be using the video in a campaign ad, and Gillum said he didn't think so. (Noble of him; also, d'oh!)

But as my friend Craig Pittman from the Tampa Bay Times jokingly put it: "Florida gubernatorial candidate clearly does not know that the way to win votes after a hurricane is to toss paper towels at people."
posted by martin q blank at 6:43 PM on October 11 [25 favorites]


Exceptional_Hubris: "So what explains the difference between the two polls? [link is to the Marist pollsters explanation.]"

Marquette pollster Charles Franklin had some corrections here, fyi - Marquette uses RDD, same as Marist. They also weight by education, Marist doesn't.

That latter concerns me a bit about the otherwise great WI gov result from Marist - we've seen education level become a much larger factor in partisan lean, so I'm worried they've overstated support for Evers. On the other hand, both polls had pretty similar numbers in the Senate race, so it may be a non-factor.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:43 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]


NAACP, other civil rights groups file suit over Georgia voter registration issue.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:59 PM on October 11 [20 favorites]


To explain the title: While Kavanaugh was sworn in on Saturday, a matching public ceremony was held on Monday, where Pres. Trump made comments and said (contrary to facts) Kavanaugh had been "proven innocent".

But is there a point to the irregular capitalization? Is that some reference I missed?
posted by thelonius at 7:10 PM on October 11 [4 favorites]


But is there a point to the irregular capitalization? Is that some reference I missed?

Not sure what this is referencing specifically, but Trump capitalizes seemingly random words when he tweets.
posted by cj_ at 7:15 PM on October 11 [2 favorites]


thelonius, this reference explainer may help
posted by halation at 7:19 PM on October 11 [7 favorites]




Turks tell U.S. officials they have audio and video recordings that support conclusion Khashoggi was killed

Surely there'll be consequ-

Trump Says Murder Shouldn’t Stop Saudi Weapon Sales Because ‘We Have Jobs’
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:27 PM on October 11 [20 favorites]


Politico, Adelson drops tens of millions more to save the GOP Congress. He's already in for $25M for the Senate and $30M for the House, plus the "tens of millions of dollars more" here.

But there's some important context here. The day before this announcement, ProPublica reported Trump’s Patron-in-Chief. Adelson has sought to build a casino in Japan for ages, and Japan recently legalized casinos. Adelson got Trump to lobby for him (there's a bunch more in this link that's worth reading too):
Adelson had a potent ally in his quest: the new president of the United States. Following the business breakfast, Abe had a meeting with Trump before boarding Air Force One for a weekend at Mar-a-Lago. The two heads of state dined with Patriots owner Bob Kraft and golfed at Trump National Jupiter Golf Club with the South African golfer Ernie Els. During a meeting at Mar-a-Lago that weekend, Trump raised Adelson’s casino bid to Abe, according to two people briefed on the meeting. The Japanese side was surprised.

“It was totally brought up out of the blue,” according to one of the people briefed on the exchange. “They were a little incredulous that he would be so brazen.” After Trump told Abe he should strongly consider Las Vegas Sands for a license, “Abe didn’t really respond, and said thank you for the information,” this person said.

Trump also mentioned at least one other casino operator. Accounts differ on whether it was MGM or Wynn Resorts, then run by Trump donor and then-Republican National Committee finance chairman Steve Wynn. The Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported the president also mentioned MGM and Abe instructed an aide who was present to jot down the names of both companies. Questioned about the meeting, Abe said in remarks before the Japanese legislature in July that Trump had not passed on requests from casino companies but did not deny that the topic had come up.
Also, while we're talking about money, Steyer is in for another $4M of digital GOTV spend, targeting young voters, including the first political ads on Twitch.
posted by zachlipton at 7:55 PM on October 11 [15 favorites]


The Real Reason Republicans Call Women Protesters “Crisis Actors”
Dismissing the hundreds of thousands of us who organized and protested Kavanaugh allows Trump to pretend that the Republican Party is not undermining the will of the American people, and subverting democracy itself in the name of upholding male hegemony.

But there’s another underlying message to this flimsy, easily disproven narrative: that women lack minds and opinions of our own, and are only capable of doing what we’re told to; that we are fundamentally lacking in the strength, will, and autonomy to be leaders in the democratic process; that survivors who share their stories are dishonest “political actors.”

Additionally, senators who have labeled Kavanaugh’s confirmation process as a shameful “spectacle” and “circus” are essentially suggesting that women protesters and survivors are the ones who are out-of-control for doing everything we could to stand up to a sexual abuser.
posted by homunculus at 8:06 PM on October 11 [47 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** 2018 House:
-- NY-27: Tulchin Research poll has Dem McMurray tied 42-42 with GOP incumbent Collins [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. Poll was commisioned by the McMurray campaign. [Trump 60-35 | Cook: Lean R] => Obviously, you have to take internals with a grain of salt, but this is a lot closer than anyone expected, so even knocking a few points off, it's interesting.

-- NJ-03: National Research poll has GOP incumbent MacArthur up 44-40 on Dem Kim [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. Poll was commissioned by the MacArthur campaign. [Trump 51-45 | Cook: Tossup] => That's not a super great number for an incumbent's internal.

-- FL-27: Mason-Dixon poll has GOPer Salazar up 44-42 on Dem Shalala [MOE: +/- 4.0%]. [Clinton 59-39 | Cook: Tossup] => This has everyone freaking out today. I'm slightly more sanguine - that Trump approval looks pretty high - but this race is not where we want it to be.

-- Slate: Dems have a Latino problem. Here's a slightly older piece from Ron Brownstein on this. My take is that, while some of this is purely Latinx-centric, a lot of it is just a manifestation of low youth turnout.

-- NYT: GOP on the verge of triaging more districts, but it's getting to the point where they need everything to go perfectly in the districts they are focused on. IL-06 (Roskam) and CA-45 (Walters) mentioned as on the chopping block. These are both still Cook Tossup districts with close public polling numbers, so yoiks.

-- 538 takes a look at WV-03, the massively pro-Trump district where Dems still seem to have a good shot.

-- Amy Walter looks at who's got the enthusiasm. She makes a great point that Dems had it earlier for sure, which meant a lot of Republican retired, so Dems already got a big boost.

-- Today's 538 generic ballot average: D+8.3 (49.7/41.4)
** 2018 Senate:
-- WI: Marist poll has Dem incumbent Baldwin up 54-40 on GOPer Vukmir [MOE: +/- 4.8%].

-- NV: Siena poll has GOP incumbent Heller up 47-45 on Dem Rosen [MOE: +/- 4.0%].

-- TN: Siena poll has GOPer Blackburn up 54-40 on Dem Bredesen [MOE: +/- 4.2%].

-- TX: Quinnipiac poll has GOP incumbent Cruz up 54-45 on Dem O'Rourke [MOE: +/- 4.4%]. | Siena poll has Cruz up 51-43 [MOE: +/- 3.6%].
** Odds & ends:
-- WI gov: Same Marist poll has Dem Evers up 53-43 on GOP incumbent Walker. [Cook: Tossup] => This is quite a contrast to the Marquette poll we just saw that had Walker up a point. The average has been Evers by a couple, which may be where the truth lies.

-- TX gov: Same Quinnipiac poll has GOP incumbent Abbott up 58-38 on Dem Valdez.

-- NV gov: Same Siena poll has GOPer Laxalt up 46-45 on Dem Sisolak. Notable that Siena did not ask about the Libertarian or indy candidate Bundy, both of whom might get a couple of points, and presumably would tend to draw from the right.

-- GA gov: AJC poll has GOPer Kemp up 48-46 on Dem Abrams [MOE: +/- 2.8%]. [Cook: Tossup] | Downballot: LG: GOPer Duncan up 45-39 on Dem Amico (GA elects the LG separately). SOS: GOPer Raffensperger up 41-37 on Dem Barrow.

-- Early vote numbers look really high. Now, there's always the question if this is actual vote increase or just people voting early who would anywhere. I think there's been some research that presidential early voting tends to be "pull forward" and midterm tends more towards actual new votes, but early voting is a pretty new phenomenon, so it's unclear.

-- Everyone's talking state legislatures today. Carolyn Fiddler on chambers Dems could pick up (fun fact: picking up 17 specific seats to take control of eight chambers). More ratings from Crystal Ball. And Nathaniel Rakich looks at where Dems could gain trifectas or break GOP ones.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:06 PM on October 11 [14 favorites]


This Saudi situation reminds me of Vonnegut in Slaughterhouse-Five on Jesus: Christ, who didn’t look like much, was actually the Son of the Most Powerful Being in the Universe. [...] Oh, boy–they sure picked the wrong guy to lynch _that_ time!

Like, back 9/11, thousands of American residents dead, USG keeps the details & degree of backing tightly under wraps.

Commit massive atrocities and war crimes in Yemen, USG restocks the bombs, American papers run columns shilling for bin Salman.

But kill this one guy ... this guy apparently was connected.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 8:07 PM on October 11 [9 favorites]


In the AZ CD2 race, the GOP has canceled the TV buys for Lea Marquez-Petersen. She can’t seem to make up ground on Ann Kirkpatrick. I can’t say this seat is a slam dunk for the Dems since it’s swingy (its currently held by Martha McSally, who is vacating it to run for Senate, this is also Gabby Giffords’ former seat) I would say things are looking good here for the Dems. It would be nice to pick that seat back up. If anything even close to a blue wave materializes then it’ll flip blue.
posted by azpenguin at 8:13 PM on October 11 [3 favorites]


Trump Says Murder Shouldn’t Stop Saudi Weapon Sales Because ‘We Have Jobs’

It's rare to see the war machine being this honest. This is possibly the most astute and accurate thing Trump has ever said: "We have a country that’s doing probably better economically than it’s ever done before. Part of that is what we’re doing with our defense systems, and everybody’s wanting ’em, and frankly I think that that would be a very, very tough pill to swallow for our country"
posted by mostly vowels at 8:19 PM on October 11 [20 favorites]


"We have a country that’s doing probably better economically than it’s ever done before. Part of that is what we’re doing with our defense systems, and everybody’s wanting ’em, and frankly I think that that would be a very, very tough pill to swallow for our country"

Ford Prepares for Mass Layoffs After Losing $1 Billion to Trump's Trade Tariffs, Report Says
posted by bluecore at 8:24 PM on October 11 [34 favorites]


zachlipton: “Too bad Senate Majority Leader McConnell couldn’t order her him to be quiet again! Warren Trump is running for president so early, trying too hard, and chasing bad pitches,” Carroll wrote.

FTFMe.

Also, how did Carroll think it was a good idea to say a man should be able to order a woman to be quiet? Oh right, misogyny + Republican dream of controlling Democrats.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:32 PM on October 11 [5 favorites]


Chrysostom, I was phone polled (landline) tonight by SSI research asking about both the Maine Gubinatorial race and also Question 1. They did not ask about the Congressional race, or Senate, but I’m in CD1 so maybe they did ask CD2 as Pingree seems to be on track for an easy win.

Hope this means I’ll see some Maine polling results in your updates soon.
posted by anastasiav at 8:33 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Pingree is safe, and so is King in the Senate. Governor and Question 1, I'd be very interested to see some polling on.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:41 PM on October 11 [2 favorites]




-- Slate: Dems have a Latino problem. Here's a slightly older piece from Ron Brownstein on this. My take is that, while some of this is purely Latinx-centric, a lot of it is just a manifestation of low youth turnout.

I do not have time to dig in but those pieces both feel really naive to me, specifically in the way they talk about the "Latino community" as if there's a shared sense of racial identity, as if an insult to one subset of Hispanic people is an insult to everyone. Mostly just the Slate piece, it's more opinionated, although, Brownstein does this too

Latino is not a race. It's not a community or an ethnicity. It's a category that spans a quarter of the globe. On the US census, Hispanic/Not Hispanic is an entire separate question from White/Black/etc., they're not mutually exclusive. There are class and racial lines dividing the "Latino community". When Trump insults Mexicans, people from Cuba and Puerto Rico are not going to feel insulted. Whenever anyone says, "Latinos are not blahlkskl-" you should be asking in your head, which latinos??? ??? ??? I assume that's just the journalist; I assume the pollsters and analysts have more nuance, but I don't even know anymore. but if democratic campaigns are assuming and depending on a Hispanic wave in response to Trump's racism, they deserve to lose.

(thank you as always for sharing these, Chrysostom)
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 9:23 PM on October 11 [30 favorites]


Dang, the TX Quinnipiac senate poll is a bummer. Cruz +9?
posted by notyou at 9:29 PM on October 11 [2 favorites]


Ben Jacobs, Guardian, Republican pair apparently pose as communists to make Democratic donation, in which an Arizona Republican party organizer and an unnamed man try to donate a jar of cash to a Democrat (Rep. Tom O'Hallera, AZ-01) using fake names ("Jose and Ahmahd") and wanting a receipt made out to the "Northern Arizona University Communist party," which is not a real thing. The O’Halleran campaign's finance director drove to the local Republican field office to inquire about returning the money, and was surprised to find the mystery donor there.

I highly encourage you to watch the amazing video of O’Halleran's finance director visiting the Republican field office with a giant smile on her face as "Jose," who is apparently actually named Oscar, wanders into the middle of this and thinks he can just turn around and disappear.

I don't want to make a huge deal out of some college students being stupid, but the video of committing campaign finance violations to own the libs is hilarious. And we get a history lesson, in which it's always the same assholes:
Making federal campaign contributions under a false identity is a crime. However, as a dirty trick, the attempt to smear opponents by linking them to unsavory political groups has a long history. In 1972, Roger Stone, then a young campaign staffer for Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign, sent a donation to Nixon’s anti-war primary opponent in the name of the Young Socialist Alliance. Stone went on to serve as Donald Trump’s longtime political adviser, a role he left early in Trump’s presidential campaign.
posted by zachlipton at 9:38 PM on October 11 [79 favorites]


Quinnipiac has been a little more pessimistic on Beto than others, but I think the consensus is definitely high single digits. I don't know that I would be *shocked* if he won, but certainly quite surprised.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:38 PM on October 11 [5 favorites]


Straight ticket voting is a thing in Texas. In a year with a Gov race, there will be a lot of old people who remember Eisenhower, who will pull the lever for R.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:45 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Re Ford layoffs

FTA: "The move is intended to prevent a build-up in Ford’s inventories of the vans, but it will leave 2,000 workers idle between Oct. 22 and Nov. 4."

Just in time for the midterms. Let's hope all 2,000 of them vent loudly and publicly.
posted by Gotanda at 10:14 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Let's hope all 2,000 of them vent loudly and publicly.

Unfortunately at least 1,000 will vent loudly and publicly about immigrants and QAnon.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:21 PM on October 11 [9 favorites]


I'm happy about the Washington State death penalty ruling. Before DNA proved so many on death row innocent, the Mitchell Rupe case showed Washington how stupid it was. He got the death penalty for killing tellers in an '81 bank robbery, but that was overturned to life without parole in '94 due to his extreme weight, and then died in prison of liver disease in '06. This synopsis doesn't show how many times this asshole showed up on the news from '81 to '94. Discussions about the latest appeal, how he could get so fat in prison, how he couldn't be executed except by hanging because he hadn't chosen another method, way too much detail about hanging, etc, etc. The '94 ruling ended the news for good. Maybe his death made news, but at most a day not a decade.

This anachronism has ended for another state, just 30 more to go.
posted by netowl at 10:43 PM on October 11 [10 favorites]


B’Finghold The official White House transcript of the Trump/Kanye meeting today in the Oval Office.

Just as I predicted, Kushner was there with Kanye so the two hidden geniuses could discuss genius stuff.

I know it doesn't make a lot of sense to you and me, but that's because they are talking on an entirely different plane that mere mortals can never hope to understand.
posted by JackFlash at 10:51 PM on October 11 [2 favorites]


BuzzFeed, Leopold, John Kelly Called Elizabeth Warren An "Impolite Arrogant Woman" In An Email

Let a thousand T-shirts, lawn signs, posters, etc. bloom. Move over, "nevertheless, she persisted"; RAPEublicans are about to be barraged with the phrase "Impolite Arrogant Woman" from now to Election Day.

(TTTCS and such, of course)
posted by CommonSense at 11:07 PM on October 11 [6 favorites]


Checks out: Two cockroaches waving their antenna at each other are also communicating on a plane mortals will likely never understand, too.
posted by maxwelton at 11:13 PM on October 11 [11 favorites]


I feel like maybe the Kanye stuff could take a back seat maybe? The dude seems to be experiencing a pretty textbook manic episode and making fun of what is almost certainly mental illness seems like Not a Good Look territory overall.
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:16 PM on October 11 [19 favorites]


I feel like maybe the Kanye stuff could take a back seat maybe? The dude seems to be experiencing a pretty textbook manic episode.

I agree that mocking Kanye over the details of what he said & did should be out of bounds. But Trump committed what needs to be recognized as a major failure of governance by ignoring a devastating hurricane & an international incident of significant proportions in favor of yet another rally & a pointless & embarrassing meet & greet in the Oval Office. Have mercy on Kanye, sure. But don't let Trump off the hook for making it happen.
posted by scalefree at 11:28 PM on October 11 [55 favorites]


WaPo - How a Trump decision on trade became a setback for democracy in Vietnam
As the TPP was being negotiated, a budding movement of Vietnamese activists used social media to spread ideas about workers’ rights, transparency, accountability and even democracy. The U.S. government had engineered the trade agreement to also secure promises from Vietnam’s leadership that it would permit independent trade unions, strengthen environmental controls and allow a free and open Internet.

When the TPP was scrapped, that dynamic was thrown into reverse.

Minh Hanh has seen fellow labor activists arrested and given long jail sentences. She has faced constant harassment, including being attacked by masked men hurling rocks and explosives when she was staying at her father’s house.
So, thanks Trump?
posted by saysthis at 1:25 AM on October 12 [18 favorites]


Have mercy on Kanye, sure. But don't let Trump off the hook for making it happen

Kanye is doing damage and supporting racism, sexism, and a bunch of other isms. He doesn't get off the hook because he might be bipolar any more than Trump does because he might be NPD. It's the actions that matter.
posted by Justinian at 1:59 AM on October 12 [79 favorites]


I stand with Trump on this one.

@OMGno2trump Trump thinks the president should be impeached if the stock market drops 1,000 points in two days. It just dropped 2,300 points in two days. He should resign to save us the trouble. Impeach Trump, it's his idea.
[image]
@realDonaldTrump If the Dow loses 1000 points in two days the President should be impeached immediately! 12:01 PM - 6 Nov 2012
posted by scalefree at 4:30 AM on October 12 [25 favorites]


I'm not sure that is a real Tweet. The Presidential Archive doesn't show it in November 2012 at any rate. There was a reasonable drop in the market at that time, but not 1000 points.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 4:51 AM on October 12 [8 favorites]


Yeah, that one's definitely fake.
posted by mmoncur at 5:10 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


Abrams Campaign Calls For Brian Kemp To Resign As Georgia's Secretary Of State

Charles P. Pierce: I am not kidding.
We need UN election observers in Georgia...the state, not the country.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:19 AM on October 12 [63 favorites]


Also from Charlie Pierce: It's Time for Chuck Schumer to Go
Among the [fifteen] new judges were Richard Sullivan (for the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals), David Porter (for the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals), and Ryan Nelson for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. All three have the Federalist Society stamp of approval, and a look at their records reveals why. Nelson has a long history as a corporate lawyer and as a political appointee in the Justice Department under C-Plus Augustus, in which capacity he argued against clean air laws and against environmental suits brought against mining companies. He also is notable for defending Frank VanderSloot, a litigious Idaho mining plutocrat.

As for Porter, he's been central to Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley's neutering of the "blue slip" tradition by which a senator could object—and therefore kill—a federal judicial nominee in the senator's home state. In 2016, Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey "blue-slipped" an Obama nominee named Rebecca Haywood. Subsequently, Haywood, an African-American, never got a hearing, let alone a vote. However, here we are two years later, and Pennsylvania's other senator, Democrat Bob Casey, Jr. "blue-slipped" Porter. Grassley simply ignored Casey.
[...]
Schumer has shown absolutely no notion of how to read the room. Right now, for the first time in a long time, a huge number of people in Schumer's party are outraged on the subject of judges. (Usually, it's the Republican base that gets charged up over judges, and, I would add, look where it's got them.) This deal has to have killed at least some of the emotional momentum built up by the Kavanaugh confirmation battle. That none of the other Democratic senators—save, according to Burgess Everett, Senator Professor Warren—wanted to stay and fight is on all of them. But Schumer's leadership on this issue has been appalling.

I'm sure he's a swell guy and a good fundraiser, but Chuck Schumer is not a wartime consigliere. And he is not suited to these times; he's too close to Wall Street and deals like this make him look like the biggest sucker in two cordovans. At this point, I don't see a way for the Democrats to take the Senate. But, majority or minority, Chuck Schumer ought to be done as a leader of the Democratic Party in this moment. Gold watch, a hearty handshake, a warm ovation, and off the stage with him.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:54 AM on October 12 [47 favorites]


This exchange:

MR. WEST:
But you know what I don’t like about — it’s not that I don’t like — what I need Saturday Night Live to improve on, or what I need the liberals to improve on is, if he don’t look good, we don’t look good. This is our President.

THE PRESIDENT: It’s true.

I'm sorry about Mr. West's decompensation or whatever, but I think it's important to look how the other ill person in that conversation responds. Jesus. What a perfect exchange to illustrate the idea of l'etat, c'est moi.
posted by angrycat at 5:55 AM on October 12 [23 favorites]


What a perfect exchange to illustrate the idea of l'etat, c'est moi.

It's amazing how readily the quote staunch principled conservatives unquote will flip from "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism!" to "If you want America to succeed, then you want the President to succeed!", ain't it.
posted by Etrigan at 5:59 AM on October 12 [20 favorites]


It's amazing how readily the quote staunch principled conservatives unquote will flip from "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism!" to "If you want America to succeed, then you want the President to succeed!", ain't it.

It's just my lifetime, but in the sequence of Reagan->Clinton*->Bush->Obama I can spot three places where this information can come from. It's nothing new, just what the Republicans do. It might seem weird that the Democrats don't tend to go for the "I believe in the principle that disagreeing with the President is treason" routine when their president is in, but I think they're a lot less infected with the love of power for its own sake and the contempt for being bound by morality that it entails.


*Bush Sr was elected on proxy goodwill from Reagan and doesn't really matter for the purposes of this comment.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:22 AM on October 12 [5 favorites]


Also from Charlie Pierce: It's Time for Chuck Schumer to Go

As a constituent, I called the DC office, and shared this with the nice person who answered the phone, saying that sadly, I have to concur.

They hadn't heard about it yet, so I made the point that Schumer is NOT the wartime consigliere we need, read the first paragraph to them. I can only hope they read it and take it to heart. Or not. I'm TOTALLY COOL with Gillibrand being our Senior Senator....
posted by mikelieman at 6:22 AM on October 12 [15 favorites]


When is Kislyak's visit to Kennesaw going to become a thing? When is that not just going to be treated as some weird curiosity?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:25 AM on October 12 [11 favorites]


"The proposal would close 80 percent of the White House sidewalk, put new limits on spontaneous demonstrations, and open the door to charging fees for protesting."
This proposal is a garbage-fire, and the Park Service has a very long record of being fucking terrible at managing its parks in DC -- they're accountable to no one, ignore local voices, poorly micro-manage the vast swaths of the city that they technically own*, and employ the most brutal and violent police officers in our region.

However, closing the sidewalks south of the White House changes very little from the current state of affairs. You need to do some pretty creative math to get to that 80 percent figure -- as far as I can tell Lafayette Park (north of the White House) is unchanged, and most of the closed sidewalks have been closed for ages (going back to 9/11 or earlier).

I can't remember a single protest that's used the South Lawn --- it simply isn't really a good site to hold a protest -- if you're protesting, you're either on the Mall, or in Lafayette park. The proposal doesn't seem to change how Lafayette Park is operated (which is to say, it's often closed without reason) -- I'd be a lot more concerned if restrictions were being added there.

*Want to park your gigantic tour bus on the mall all day for free, and idle the engine the entire time? The NPS will help you do that!
Are you a DC government official who wants to establish a public bus route near a NPS site? That'll be 10 years of planning, and they'll ultimately block it without giving a reason.
I cannot understate just how much the Park Service is the worst.

posted by schmod at 6:57 AM on October 12 [22 favorites]




This proposal is a garbage-fire, and the Park Service has a very long record of being fucking terrible at managing its parks in DC -- they're accountable to no one, ignore local voices, poorly micro-manage the vast swaths of the city that they technically own*, and employ the most brutal and violent police officers in our region.

There's also a very dull and less outrage-inspiring aspect to the Park Service with regard to the public spaces in DC - particularly the Mall - in that they are just the kind of people who want to get that really nice couch, cover it in plastic, then put it in the room with the carpet you're not allowed to walk on.

I would push back on the Park Service being the worst since I think they're pretty great the second you get outside DC properties. They just clearly are not well suited to being in charge of public space of this type. It doesn't seem to mesh well with their mission and I sometimes think that the people who are assigned to deal with the DC Federal spaces must just be angry about the assignment since they're just fucking ridiculous about so many things.
posted by phearlez at 7:43 AM on October 12 [8 favorites]


Embattled Republicans Are Defending Popular Obamacare Provisions They Tried to Kill - Rowan Walrath, Mother Jones

Specifically, the ones protecting preexisting conditions, which for the Republicans are their votes against Obamacare.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:48 AM on October 12 [16 favorites]


Mitch McConnell warns of 'toxic fringe behavior,' somehow isn't talking about himself - Laura Clawson, Daily Kos
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s chins are wobbling with faked-up outrage [AP article] over “toxic fringe behavior” by Democrats. In an obvious and cynical campaign ploy from a master of cynical legislative ploys, McConnell’s supposed outrage focuses on protesters against the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
McConnell described protesters “literally storming the steps of the Capitol and the Supreme Court,” confronting Republicans at restaurants and shouting from the Senate visitors’ galleries during last week’s debate and vote on Kavanaugh.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:55 AM on October 12 [5 favorites]




Embattled Republicans Are Defending Popular Obamacare Provisions They Tried to Kill - Rowan Walrath, Mother Jones

Specifically, the ones protecting preexisting conditions, which for the Republicans are their votes against Obamacare.


This is a straight-up appeal to the Shirley Exception voter who's just looking for any possible excuse, no matter how tenuous.

Bill Schuette (the creepy guy cited above who's running for Governor of Michigan) has been hilariously clawing back every anti-ACA "stance" he ever took, one policy detail at a time, as we get closer and closer to Election Day and his polling deficit increases.
posted by Etrigan at 7:57 AM on October 12 [16 favorites]


Brian Beutler: In the GOP imagination, conservatism is the only legitimate expression of power, and they're trying to create that reality. This is what Hillary Clinton meant about withholding civility from a party that wants to destroy what you stand for. She was right.

Don't Fall Into The Civility Trap, Democrats
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:25 AM on October 12 [31 favorites]


Hey, speaking of the Maine governor's race:
He Settled a Sex Discrimination Complaint. Now He Wants to Lead Maine.

In 2006, Ms. Hayward, a former member of management at a Moody’s store, filed a sexual discrimination complaint against Mr. Moody with the Maine Human Rights Commission, accusing him of firing her because he did not think she was up to the job after giving birth to her son.
I do not wish to shock anyone, but Moody is the Republican candidate.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:26 AM on October 12 [8 favorites]


I’m tired of calling, so I got out one of the Rockwell The Four Freedoms postcards I stocked up on and write a terse message to Schumer’s NYC office asking him, for the sake of his reputation, to resign.
posted by The Whelk at 8:26 AM on October 12 [15 favorites]


Three ratings changes from Cook, two left, one right:

NV-04 (open) | Likely D => Lean D

IL-06 (Roskam) | Tossup => Lean D
IL-14 (Hultgren) | Lean R => Tossup
posted by Chrysostom at 8:29 AM on October 12 [7 favorites]


The NPS has jurisdiction over a big chunk of the District, including Rock Creek Park and up to Park Rangers policing certain areas (parts of Brightwood/Shepherd Park IIRC). Once you're off the Mall they're generally fine in DC and I'm not really sure where all the animosity is coming from.
posted by aspersioncast at 8:57 AM on October 12 [2 favorites]


When I was a kid, the NPS had jurisdiction over Dupont Circle (the actual circle, not the surrounding neighborhood), and I witnessed them harassing homeless people really often. It was a long time ago, but it did not endear me to the NPS. FWIW.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:03 AM on October 12 [3 favorites]


Voters in competitive states prefer candidates who opposed Kavanaugh, poll finds

An NBC News/Marist poll released Friday found that many voters in Nevada, Minnesota, and Wisconsin would prefer to vote for a candidate who opposed Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Super good job, Bredesen.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:07 AM on October 12 [34 favorites]


He Settled a Sex Discrimination Complaint. Now He Wants to Lead Maine.
“How do you dispose of a single mother when that’s your claim to fame in your campaign?” she asked in her thick Maine accent
In my experience, "very easily," when you're working under resentment. My dad's parents divorced in the 1940s and he was icily dismissive of people who divorced (remember the 1970s?), almost to the point of ostracizing himself from the actual family he married into. Suffice it to say that he had to quit drinking around the time "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" was a hit. He was not helpful when my brother was having marriage problems and his only dating advice to me was given in my 30s, "be careful or you'll end up with one with a kid." This is part of the reason I sometimes say I was raised by wolves.

Politician'ing is partially about thinking you're good at smoothing things over with people, including your own history, but here we see a guy who claims he can't talk about a settlement for events that contradict his own story (surely a gag clause added by his own lawyers) and I don't think that will get resolved in the public sphere. Hypocrisy and inconsistency are seen as skills to be mastered by those who wish to acquire power.
posted by rhizome at 9:10 AM on October 12 [4 favorites]


Sorry for starting the Park Service derail -- it's definitely something that can be its own thread if somebody wants to gather some links -- but it ain't national politics.

[There's a lot of pretty fascinating stuff that we can talk about -- The National Mall was covered in trees up until the 1920s (but we talk about it like its current incarnation is sacred/historic); a ton of DC properties have front lawns that are technically national parks due to a zoning quirk; NPS concession contracts are notoriously corrupt; and there's a whole ton of stuff we can talk about re: DC Home Rule, and the generally-shitty way that we're treated by the federal government]
posted by schmod at 9:11 AM on October 12 [11 favorites]


> "Super good job, Bredesen."

Bredesen and Manchin are pond scum. Their opponents, however, are infinitely worse. The end, got nothing more to say about it.
posted by kyrademon at 9:32 AM on October 12 [9 favorites]


An NBC News/Marist poll released Friday found that many voters in Nevada, Minnesota, and Wisconsin would prefer to vote for a candidate who opposed Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Super good job, Bredesen.


i think Bredesen's decision was offensive and short-sighted too, but it should be stated that Tennessee is not Nevada, Minnesota, or Wisconsin when it comes to this issue
posted by murphy slaw at 9:32 AM on October 12 [4 favorites]


A Kansas GOP Official Resigns After Racist Remarks About Democrat Sharice Davids - Andrea Tudhope, KCUR.org
A local Kansas GOP official has resigned after making disparaging remarks about Kansas congressional candidate Sharice Davids [Democrat, running for Kansas' 3rd district], writing "Your radical socialist kick boxing lesbian Indian will be sent back packing to the reservation."

On Sunday night, Michael Kalny, former GOP precinct committeeman of Shawnee, Kansas, made the remarks in a private Facebook message to Anne Pritchett, a chapter president of the Johnson County Democratic Women.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:38 AM on October 12 [20 favorites]




The Gorsuch Brief - Mark Joseph Stern, Slate.com
During Anthony Kennedy’s long reign as the Supreme Court’s swing vote, advocates perfected the art of “the Kennedy brief”: a legal argument designed to win his support by rhapsodizing about “dignity” and “liberty.” While the Kennedy brief went extinct upon his retirement, it may now be replaced by the Gorsuch brief, which replaces florid encomia to freedom with highly technical textualist arguments. The American Civil Liberties Union tested this strategy in a major immigrant-detention case this week. Gorsuch’s questions indicate it just might have worked.
Seems promising, though the only way to tell for sure is the actual ruling.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:47 AM on October 12 [21 favorites]


Foreign Policy whats that?
State Department Deputy Spokesman Robert Palladino faced a grilling during the a press briefing on Wednesday when he couldn't answer whether the US has nominated ambassadors to both Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
Answer: The US has no Ambassador in either Saudi or Turkey.
posted by adamvasco at 9:53 AM on October 12 [16 favorites]


radical socialist kick boxing lesbian Indian

I had no idea Republicans were also against kick boxing but I am not surprised.
posted by srboisvert at 10:22 AM on October 12 [9 favorites]




Steve Bramucci for Uproxx: The Republican Party’s Empathy Gap Is Ultimately Going To Fuck Them

Optimistic? Maybe. But if the only other option is a world in which assholes reign, and the only way to eke out even the most marginal existence is to fight back by becoming an asshole yourself...well, some would argue that's not a world worth trying to live in at all.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:36 AM on October 12 [13 favorites]


Trump’s potential new attorney general once mused about choking off Robert Mueller’s funding
President Trump declined Thursday to deny that he was eyeing Matthew Whitaker as a replacement for Attorney General Jeff Sessions. And suddenly, Whitaker’s past skepticism about the Russia investigation has taken on new significance.
...
Appearing on CNN in July 2017 — before he was in his current position as Sessions’s chief of staff — Whitaker mused about a scenario in which Trump might fire Sessions and replace him with a temporary attorney general. He noted that federal regulations still gave the attorney general power over the budget for a special counsel. That temporary replacement, he then said, could move to choke off Mueller’s funding.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:38 AM on October 12 [7 favorites]


‘It’s not a citizen’: Trump telegraphs a soft line on Jamal Khashoggi -- even as evidence becomes more damning

Later on Thursday, Trump repeatedly alluded to the fact that Khashoggi was not a U.S. citizen. “It’s in Turkey, and it’s not a citizen, as I understand it," he said. "But a thing like that shouldn’t happen.” Trump added later: “Again, this took place in Turkey, and to the best of our knowledge, Khashoggi is not a United States citizen. Is that right?” An aide specified that Khashoggi has been a U.S. resident.

The reference to a noncitizen and murdered journalist as an "it" gives us a glimpse of the future.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:50 AM on October 12 [61 favorites]




Greg Palast (@Greg_Palast), has been doing deep dives and reporting on voter suppression and voters being thrown off lists. Earlier this month, he posted a searchable database for Georgia voters, and now, with the breaking news about Illinois quietly removing more than half a million voters, he's created an IL search too. (Search has hit a snag, but is expected live asap.)

National Association of Secretaries of State, has a page to let you check your registration for every state.

The GOP is certainly giving the impression that they would like to purge the voter rolls, check your registration.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 11:21 AM on October 12 [31 favorites]


Harry Enten, formerly at 538 now at CNN has his own house and senate forecast page called, creatively enough, The Forecast. Here's his intro to it. He's calling for a 23 seat majority in the house for the Democrats and a four seat edge for the Republicans in the senate.
posted by octothorpe at 11:30 AM on October 12 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the voter registration info, SecretAgentSockpuppet. The link for the National Association of Secretaries of State also has a sample ballot link after you check your registration. At least it did for me here in Michigan.
posted by Gadgetenvy at 11:33 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


Something happened wherein somebody tagged a Republican club with anarchy graffiti and Trump's twitter feed is going on and on about it. And without thinking about it, when some slimeworm posted about it, I replied yeah we're coming for you and your children and posted a picture of Gritty being his fabulous self.

It's like, I'll never punch Orrin Hatch in the face, but maybe I'll improvise on some dank meme in a really cool tweet that insults him. It's not a good instinct.
posted by angrycat at 11:37 AM on October 12 [13 favorites]


It's like, I'll never punch Orrin Hatch in the face, but maybe I'll improvise on some dank meme in a really cool tweet that insults him. It's not a good instinct.

From each according to her ability.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:39 AM on October 12 [46 favorites]


WaPo, Trump administration weighs new family separation effort at border
The White House is actively considering plans that could again separate parents and children at the U.S.-Mexico border, hoping to reverse soaring numbers of families attempting to cross illegally into the United States, according to several administration officials with direct knowledge of the effort.

One option under consideration is for the government to detain asylum-seeking families together for up to 20 days, then give parents a choice: Stay in family detention with your child for months or years as your immigration case proceeds, or allow children to be taken to a government shelter so other relatives or guardians can seek custody.

That option — called “binary choice” — is one of several under consideration amid the president’s frustration over border security. He has been unable to fulfill key promises to build a border wall and end what he calls “catch and release,” a process that began under past administrations in which most detained families are quickly freed to await immigration hearings. The number of migrant family members arrested and charged with illegally crossing the border jumped 38 percent in August, and are now at record levels, according to DHS officials.

Senior administration officials say they are not planning to revive the chaotic forced separations carried out by the Trump administration in May and June that spawned an enormous political backlash and led to a court order to reunite families.
...
In addition to considering “binary choice” and other options, officials have proposed new rules that would allow them to withdraw from a 1997 federal court agreement that bars ICE from keeping children in custody for more than 20 days.

The rules would give ICE greater flexibility to expand family detention centers and potentially hold parents and children longer, though lawyers say this would be likely to end up in court.
You fucking fuckers still haven't returned all the children from the last crisis you created and now you want a new one?
posted by zachlipton at 11:47 AM on October 12 [50 favorites]


Oh good, not only have we barely started bail/plea bargain reform, but now instead of just picking between your innocence or ruining your life you can now also plea between locking up your kids or having them taken away.

Heads I win, tails you lose.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:53 AM on October 12 [2 favorites]


I replied yeah we're coming for you and your children and posted a picture of Gritty being his fabulous self.

i need this stinkin' badge
posted by octobersurprise at 11:56 AM on October 12 [15 favorites]


Senior administration officials say they are not planning to revive the chaotic forced separations carried out by the Trump administration in May and June that spawned an enormous political backlash and led to a court order to reunite families.

Judging from the following paragraphs, they meant they want orderly forced separations, with well-defined queues of weeping parents and traumatized children.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:58 AM on October 12 [2 favorites]


Trump’s potential new attorney general once mused about choking off Robert Mueller’s funding

Since Manafort, Mueller's been showing a profit for the US Treasury. I wonder if accounting-magic can keep that in their operating account for a while longer?
posted by mikelieman at 11:59 AM on October 12 [3 favorites]


Stay in family detention with your child for months or years as your immigration case proceeds, or allow children to be taken to a government shelter so other relatives or guardians can seek custody.

And as for the "consentingly" taken children: when many-to-all of the parents lose their immigration cases and are deported, don't think for a second that there's any plan or framework for returning the kids. They'll stay in detention or be trafficked to regime-friendly households. This is another coercive stolen-generation scheme.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:59 AM on October 12 [13 favorites]


The reference to a noncitizen and murdered journalist as an "it" gives us a glimpse of the future.

Obv he just meant it (the situation) is not one with a citizen involved.
posted by M-x shell at 12:00 PM on October 12 [6 favorites]


Since Manafort, Mueller's been showing a profit for the US Treasury. I wonder if accounting-magic can keep that in their operating account for a while longer?

When they seize Trump Tower they're gonna find whole apartments full of cash waiting to be laundered.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:01 PM on October 12 [8 favorites]


give parents a choice: Stay in family detention with your child for months or years as your immigration case proceeds, or allow children to be taken to a government shelter so other relatives or guardians can seek custody.

At this point the US government is basically Jigsaw
posted by theodolite at 12:02 PM on October 12 [24 favorites]


Hanna Rosin's interview for NYMagazine with Nina Burleigh about her new book, Golden Handcuffs: The Secret History of Trump’s Women, provides some fascinating details about the Trump family and about Donald's pathological character: Exploring the Secret History of Trump’s Women
HS: And Donald’s mother, Mary Anne — I had no idea she was a domestic!
NB: A domestic in one of the wealthiest homes in America. I couldn’t believe it when I looked her up in Census records. Her first address was in the Carnegie household, the closest thing to a castle that existed in the U.S. in that time. So she’s 19, coming from a place in Scotland where ten kids are crammed into a two-bedroom cottage. Then she’s polishing banisters or silver and watching this woman [Louise Carnegie] with the airs of a queen being chauffeured around with footmen. It marked Trump’s mother for life. She admired that wealth and wanted to be part of it, and Donald inherited that from her.

HS: So it gave him an appetite for royal trappings. Do you think it also gave him a sense of always being an outsider?
NB: It’s two sides of the same thing. The entire country is now living in this man’s conflict between a desire to be royalty and a profound feeling that he doesn’t belong.

HS: People who feel left out can probably smell that insecurity on him and identify with it.
NB: Exactly.
The pathological family history doesn't stop there, of course, and a portrait of the Trumps that emerges is like something out of Balzac, with Donald a figure from a hack collaboration of Upton Sinclair and Sinclair Lewis.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:03 PM on October 12 [40 favorites]


Ponint: ‘It’s not a citizen’: Trump telegraphs a soft line on Jamal Khashoggi

Counterpoint: Text of S.284
SEC. 3. Authorization of imposition of sanctions.

(a) In general.—The President may impose the sanctions described in subsection (b) with respect to any foreign person the President determines, based on credible evidence—

(1) is responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights committed against individuals in any foreign country who seek—

(A) to expose illegal activity carried out by government officials; or

(B) to obtain, exercise, defend, or promote internationally recognized human rights and freedoms, such as the freedoms of religion, expression, association, and assembly, and the rights to a fair trial and democratic elections;

(2) acted as an agent of or on behalf of a foreign person in a matter relating to an activity described in paragraph (1);

(3) is a government official, or a senior associate of such an official, that is responsible for, or complicit in, ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing, acts of significant corruption, including the expropriation of private or public assets for personal gain, corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources, bribery, or the facilitation or transfer of the proceeds of corruption to foreign jurisdictions; or

(4) has materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, an activity described in paragraph (3).
posted by mikelieman at 12:05 PM on October 12 [7 favorites]


And as for the "consentingly" taken children

Stillllll being tortured.

Separating children from their primary caregivers is child torture, full stop, and they’re still doing it. They want to find ways to do it more effectively.

When they first proposed this I made a comment about there being an old German book somewhere with woodcut illustrations on pages made out of human skin that was suddenly missing all its monsters.

Still true.
posted by schadenfrau at 12:09 PM on October 12 [34 favorites]


Separating children from their primary caregivers is child torture, full stop, and they’re still doing it.

Could foreign governments freeze the assets of US officials their versions of the Magnitsky Act?
posted by cmfletcher at 12:12 PM on October 12 [5 favorites]


‘It’s not a citizen’: Trump telegraphs a soft line on Jamal Khashoggi

I can't get over Trump calling Khashoggi an "it."
posted by rhizome at 12:15 PM on October 12 [12 favorites]


He has a brown name and worked for the Washington Post, of course Trump is going to dehumanize him and ignore his death. Our government is now the public face of human rights abusers across the world.
posted by gucci mane at 12:22 PM on October 12 [12 favorites]


The reference to a noncitizen and murdered journalist as an "it" gives us a glimpse of the future.

Obv he just meant it (the situation) is not one with a citizen involved.


Yeah that would be the more forgiving reading. But exactly what about Trump in general, his attitude towards immigrants and resident aliens, or his response to this situation has earned a more forgiving reading?

Also, I'm sure there's more well-educated people with regards to this phenomenon, but I would wager that there's some consistency in when people use distancing language to talk about something. Choosing to address the situation and an it, versus addressing the person at the center of the event, a he.
posted by phearlez at 12:26 PM on October 12 [9 favorites]


he's fairly obviously calling the situation "it," even if the phrasing is sloppy. let's reel it in and stay reality-based, eh
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:26 PM on October 12 [35 favorites]


he's fairly obviously calling the situation "it," even if the phrasing is sloppy.

Yeah, that's not actually any better. We're talking about what appears to be a political murder of a journalist who had legal standing in the United States of America. The President of the United States of America should, at the very least, not be fucking sloppy when discussing it in public.
posted by Etrigan at 12:32 PM on October 12 [27 favorites]


I've made some additions to the elections Google Doc.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:33 PM on October 12 [8 favorites]


the ship has quite sailed on expecting the president to talk in public like his words matter, I fear
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:36 PM on October 12 [17 favorites]


The President of the United States of America should, at the very least, not be fucking sloppy when...

the days when one could utter that phrase meaningfully just seem so very far away in this, TYOOL 2018. we seem to have swapped them for a day when "so Twitter is making Gritty the anti-Pepe" is a phrase which, somehow, has meaning.
posted by halation at 12:37 PM on October 12 [26 favorites]


Something happened wherein somebody tagged a Republican club with anarchy graffiti and Trump's twitter feed is going on and on about it.

This appears to be because the Metropolitan Republican Club is hosting Gavin McInnes, Proud Boys founder and person deemed too horrible to hold a Twitter account, tonight.
posted by zachlipton at 12:56 PM on October 12


Later on Thursday, Trump repeatedly alluded to the fact that Khashoggi was not a U.S. citizen. “It’s in Turkey, and it’s not a citizen, as I understand it," he said. "But a thing like that shouldn’t happen.” Trump added later: “Again, this took place in Turkey, and to the best of our knowledge, Khashoggi is not a United States citizen. Is that right?” An aide specified that Khashoggi has been a U.S. resident.

There are 13 million fully legal non-citizen American residents.
posted by srboisvert at 12:59 PM on October 12 [25 favorites]


Dear Mr. Trump, does this mean that it's now legal to kill green-card holders, as long as it happens on the soil of their country of origin (as diplomatic property is defined)?

Trump/State is going to slow roll this into the weekend so they can see how it plays, and also to construct a story that doesn't require them to do anything about it.
posted by rhizome at 1:10 PM on October 12 [5 favorites]


Khashoggi is going to become the upside-down Kavanaugh. Exactly the same people who were yelling about the presumption of innocence will shift the narrative about his death from "not our concern" to "actually this is good and praiseworthy".

For example, Don Jr retweeted one of the founders of The Federalist, who basically says Khashoggi was no angel. See, in his capacity as a reporter, he hung out with the Taliban and bin Laden during the eighties and wrote a piece that perhaps didn't paint them as pure evil or whatever.

Quick show of hands from anyone who realizes why this is an especially moronic smear for Republicans to attempt.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 1:40 PM on October 12 [35 favorites]


Ooh ooh me! Raises hand.

Because Reagan was funding the Taliban to fight the Russians back then.
posted by M-x shell at 1:48 PM on October 12 [29 favorites]


This appears to be because the Metropolitan Republican Club is hosting Gavin McInnes

Yeah, I didn't realize that was the club that was tagged. NYT's Shane Goldmacher has details at this twitter thread. McInnes advertised his appearance at the club on Instagram this way:
"On October 12th, 1960, Otoya Yamaguchi assassinated the head of the Japanese Socialist Party using a samurai sword. On October 12th, 2018, me and @thatjaprican will be re-enacting this inspiring moment at the Metropolitan Club. See bio for tickets.
Maxwell Hare, one of McInnes' Proud Boys who RSVP'd the McInnes event, was attacking protestors in Providence, RI last Saturday.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:51 PM on October 12 [7 favorites]


Because Reagan was funding the Taliban to fight the Russians back then.

Hey now, that was Charlie Wilson's War.
posted by mcdoublewide at 1:52 PM on October 12 [3 favorites]


Is there another source for the Indiana voter registration purge story? I don't need a lot of convincing to believe in Republican vote suppression, but this is all I've found about it, and there's not much backup provided.

Also, I haven't lived or voted in Indiana in over six years, and it turns out my registration's still active, so... I'd really like better info before I repeat this story along with the extremely-well-sourced vote suppression in Georgia and North Dakota.
posted by asperity at 1:53 PM on October 12


Wait up, today it's The White House is actively considering plans that could again separate parents and children at the U.S.-Mexico border, hoping to reverse soaring numbers of families attempting to cross illegally into the United States, according to several administration officials with direct knowledge of the effort.

In that WaPo article, there's a link to this story from three days ago, also with Nick Miroff's byline, Migrant families overwhelm detention capacity in Arizona, prompting mass releases:
The U.S. Border Patrol has arrested soaring numbers of Central American families in the three months since President Trump halted the practice of separating migrant parents and children who enter the United States illegally. Large groups of 100 or more have been turning themselves in to agents and requesting humanitarian refuge.
That's exactly what refugees are supposed to do; seeking aslyum is not illegal, and per the Refugee Act of 1980 (and the older UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees), they're not supposed to be penalized for it. (The act has a section on possible waivers to certain provisions, to "assure family unity;" such waivers are granted at the discretion of the Attorney General.)

Less than a month to election day, these poor beleaguered Arizona officials have thrown up their hands, per that Oct. 9th piece:
ICE has been dropping off busloads of families at church shelters and charities, some with ankle monitoring bracelets, others with little more than notices to appear in court... In her statement, O’Keefe, the ICE spokeswoman, blamed the dysfunction on lawmakers and court rulings that prevent the government from keeping children in immigration jails beyond a 20-day limit.

"After decades of inaction by Congress, the government remains severely constrained in its ability to detain and promptly remove families that have no legal basis to remain in the United States,” O’Keefe’s statement read.

“As a result, family units continue to cross the border at high volumes . . . as they face no consequence for their actions,” she said.
In today's article:
In addition to considering “binary choice” and other options, officials have proposed new rules that would allow them to withdraw from a 1997 federal court agreement that bars ICE from keeping children in custody for more than 20 days.

“There is currently a crisis at our southern border as we encounter rising numbers of adults who enter the country illegally with children,” DHS spokeswoman Katie Waldman said in a statement. “DHS will continue to enforce the law humanely, and will continue to examine a range of options to secure our nation’s borders.”

In southern Arizona, so many families have crossed in the past 10 days that the government has been releasing them en masse to shelters and charities. A lack of available bus tickets has stranded hundreds of parents and children in Tucson, where they sleep on Red Cross cots in a church gymnasium.

At a Senate hearing Wednesday, Sen. John Kyl (R-Ariz.) told [DHS Secretary Kirstjen] Nielsen that migrants were “flooding into the community” and that authorities there had “no ability to do anything about it.”

Nielsen said lawmakers needs to give DHS more latitude to hold families with children in detention until their cases can be fully adjudicated — a process that can take months or years because of huge court backlogs.
After the executive order was signed, an ACLU lawyer witnessed separations on the Gateway International Bridge (separations which possibly spur others to avoid the bridge and other established ports of entry). The deadline for reuniting families came and went.

Seeking aslyum is not illegal.

But like everyone says, it's crucial that this court agreement gets jettisoned, so children can be kept in concentration camps for years, or else these "floods" of people will keep mysteriously flowing into the community.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:57 PM on October 12 [26 favorites]


Scott Wagner, the GOP candidate for governor of PA put out a video of him saying the following:
“Gov. Wolf, let me tell you, between now and Nov. 6, you better put a catcher’s mask on your face, because I’m going to stomp all over your face with golf spikes, because I’m going to win this for the state of Pennsylvania, and we’re throwing you out of office,” Wagner said.
posted by octothorpe at 2:28 PM on October 12 [7 favorites]


Wagner's threat reeks of desperation. Last month Wagner was trailing Wolf in the polls by double digits, and Wolf has turned down Wagner's demands to add more debates (and after the shitshow of the Trebek-hosted one, who can blame him?).
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:44 PM on October 12 [7 favorites]


I read the comments on the article about Wagner's batshittery on PennLive.com, which usually has the predictable local news trash fire commentariate. Even those nutjobs were like "uhhhh wtf is wrong with that guy."

There was a lot of "I'm a Republican but no way in hell am I voting for this lunatic. I think I'll just stay home." Which: yesssss let the apathy flow through you.
posted by soren_lorensen at 3:43 PM on October 12 [47 favorites]


A little more for anyone wanting to comment on the NPS's proposed rule change by 10/15: Get Off My Lawn: Trump Proposal Could Squelch Protests in D.C.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:45 PM on October 12 [3 favorites]


Chrysostom: NJ-03: National Research poll has GOP incumbent MacArthur up 44-40 on Dem Kim [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. Poll was commissioned by the MacArthur campaign. [Trump 51-45 | Cook: Tossup] => That's not a super great number for an incumbent's internal.

I just started volunteering full time for this campaign today! It's going to be a nail-biter.

The district is in south Jersey under an hour from Philadelphia and less than two hours from NYC. If any MeFites want to come help out we're doing phone and door canvassing every weekend day until the election, memail me for details.
posted by galaxy rise at 4:48 PM on October 12 [20 favorites]


The GOP is certainly giving the impression that they would like to purge the voter rolls, check your registration.

Please check even if you live in a Democratic state. I live in California’s most liberal county, and had to redo my voter registration today because my last name was inexplicably misspelled… this despite living in the same home for years and voting in every election. Don’t take anything for granted, check your status and ask your friends and family to check theirs too.

I went to the county registrar of voters just to be extra certain, but the clerk said that one could change incorrect information online as well.
posted by donatella at 5:01 PM on October 12 [21 favorites]


How about an update on the Minnesota AG (with Keith Ellison running on the DFL ticket) race? Today, it was reported that the GOP candidate Doug Wardlow was at a fundraising event for Jason Lewis (also an utter garbage person), and was recorded on tape saying “It’s really exciting now to be in a position for the first time in a half century to take this office back. We’re going to fire 42 Democratic attorneys right off the bat and get Republican attorneys in there" while the whole room cheered. This is a pretty close race.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:10 PM on October 12 [18 favorites]


Also, I'm sure there's more well-educated people with regards to this phenomenon, but I would wager that there's some consistency in when people use distancing language to talk about something.

Remember when Darren Wilson in his grand jury testimony referred to Michael Brown as "it" and "demon" then went on to paint him as some sort of otherworldly creature who could run through bullets?
posted by triggerfinger at 5:18 PM on October 12 [15 favorites]


Let's check in on today's unfiltered nonsense session, which has been low-energy and even more pointless than usual, from Daniel Dale:
Trump is declining to conclude even though he's at his conclusion. "They have to start building larger arenas in this country." For the sixth time, he lies that he had 32,000 people at his election-eve rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

! Trump: "Robert E. Lee was a great general. And Abraham Lincoln developed a phobia. He couldn't beat Robert E. Lee. He was going crazy."

There was like no news in this rally and so Trump decided to offer some history. He says of Grant, "He drank a little bit too much. You know who I'm talking about, right?" "And he went in and he knocked the hell out of everyone. And you know the story. They said to Lincoln..." Trump on Ulysses S. Grant: "He had a serious problem. A serious drinking problem. But man was he a good general. And he's finally being recognized as a great general."

This is the white-person-claim cousin of Trump's claim that Frederick Douglass is being recognized more and more.

Trump on Neil Armstrong planting the flag on the moon: "There was no kneeling, there was no nothing...there was no games. There was no games. BOOM. BOOM. Right, fellas?" This has been one of Trump's weirder recent rally speeches. It was very low-energy and low-news, and Trump got to his concluding lines, and then he decided to just say Trump things.
There's video of the Robert E. Lee comments
posted by zachlipton at 5:38 PM on October 12 [15 favorites]


I know that this is an impossibility in today’s 24-hour “news” cycle, but that transcript gives credence to the idea that if the press were simply to have ignored all of the nonsense of the Trump administration, it would have been the best chance for him to become bored, pack his bags, and leave office.

The strangeness of the last few days has best exemplified the fact that, at the end of the day, all Trump really wants is the spectacle of it all.
posted by Brak at 5:52 PM on October 12 [13 favorites]


Trump is on about Grant's drinking because he is admitting that Kavanaugh is a drunk, and he knows Kavanaugh is a drunk, and he doesn't care that kavanaugh is a drunk, because kavanaugh kissed the meatloaf and has promised to exonerate any Republican for any crime, up to and including treason.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:52 PM on October 12 [49 favorites]


Still persisting.

@elizabethforma Remember when @realDonaldTrump launched the illegal, bigoted Muslim ban? People were being illegally detained – a direct and flagrant violation of court orders. So my office tried to get answers from @DHSgov about families who couldn’t get home to Logan.

There was only 1 problem: the new @DHSgov Secretary John Kelly wouldn’t return my calls. When I finally got him on the phone, he bizarrely insisted I made the whole thing up & we’d never tried to reach him in the first place. So I read him all the emails between our staffs.

I asked John Kelly for an office number I could use in the future to reach him more quickly. He tried to give me the main line listed on @DHSgov’s website (really). Let’s just say I persisted longer than he did – and eventually I got his cell phone number.

Before we got off the phone, I gave John Kelly something back for his troubles: a message on behalf of the American people that it was time to follow the court order and allow people stranded abroad to board planes into Logan Airport.

Was I tough on John Kelly in that phone call? You bet I was. Apparently he thought I was an “impolite arrogant woman.” “Blah blah blah” – that’s all he had to say when he was called out for breaking the law and destroying lives.

Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump can’t shut me up – and neither can John Kelly. (He can’t even get @realDonaldTrump off Twitter, and as far as I can tell, that was his main job description when he took on the role of @WhiteHouse Chief of Staff).

There are some men who can only hear “blah blah blah” whenever a woman’s talking. But there’s nothing impolite about people’s right to speak out and hold their government accountable. And sometimes, people are right to be angry.
posted by scalefree at 6:14 PM on October 12 [178 favorites]


Can we have Warren as President, please? Please??!?
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 7:29 PM on October 12 [10 favorites]


She’s got “IMPOLITE ARROGANT WOMAN” on totes and T-shirts, just announced. See her Twitter feed.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:36 PM on October 12 [37 favorites]


Can we have Warren as President, please? Please??!?

The thing about this is that once she's President, that's it. No more Senator Warren.

I think I'd rather she be Schumer's replacement, forever, or at least until she declines in effectiveness.
posted by rhizome at 7:42 PM on October 12 [24 favorites]


My god, I've never even envisioned Majority Leader Warren until right now, and now it's all I've ever wanted.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:45 PM on October 12 [69 favorites]


Guys, who the fuck is talking to Trump about the Civil War?

No way in hell he normally references three Civil War figures in regular conversation

No way he remembers three without prompting
posted by schadenfrau at 7:46 PM on October 12 [31 favorites]


I know it’s local to Arizona, but the Maricopa Community College Board race this year is especially critical and can have far-reaching, and immediate consequences for a lot of people.

Ultra-conservatives were able to get a majority of the Board when one of the progressives was in a terrible auto accident earlier this year. GOP Governor Ducey named his replacement, and since then, the new majority has been doing their best to dismantle the college district, along with worker protections and access to quality education for students.

The Maricopa College District serves over a quarter of a million students (one of the largest in the nation), is the largest feeder for transfer students to the state Universities, and is the largest provider of workforce training in the state. But the Board majority, consisting of hyperpartisan right-wingers (including former state legislators with a reputation for undermining public education), is trying to turn the college district into a third-rate trade school on the Wal-Mart business model.

One of these Board members has actually gone on record lobbying the state legislature to NOT fund the community colleges! How’s that for exercising their fiduciary responsibility?

Their actions have led to repeated complaints to the Higher Learning Commission, which accredits colleges and universities, and HLC is launching an investigation. So a crown jewel of public higher education in the state is now at risk of losing accreditation because of the current majority’s political agenda.

Wherever you are planning to vote, please don’t forget the down-ballot races. They often have incredibly important local consequences. And if you’re in Arizona, please consider voting for the following candidates (endorsed by both college faculty, staff and student groups):

Maricopa County College Board

Roc Arnett (At-Large candidate, can be voted for by any resident of Maricopa County)

...plus, depending on your District:

Marie Sullivan (District 3),
Stan Arterberry (District 4), or
Tom Nerini (District 5)

Thank you for your consideration, y’all. Our colleges are literally at stake here.
posted by darkstar at 7:50 PM on October 12 [48 favorites]


@ABC [video, which expands on the following quote]: Melania Trump tells @TomLlamasABC she wore the ‘I really don’t care’ jacket “for the people and for the left-wing media who are criticizing me. And I want to show them that I don’t care.”

Back when she wore the jacket, her spokeswoman insisted "it's a jacket. There was no hidden message" and suggested it was absurd for anyone to think otherwise. Now she acknowledges she wore it to own the libs, on her way to/from visiting migrant children, including those separated from their parents by the government. She takes care to say she wore the jacket "to go on the plane and off the plane," but not for the children, as if that clears everything up.
posted by zachlipton at 8:00 PM on October 12 [40 favorites]


For the sixth time, he lies that he had 32,000 people at his election-eve rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Van Andel Arena capacity: 10,834
Another 22k out on the streets? Not even a chance.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:00 PM on October 12 [5 favorites]


From the Elizabeth Warren twitter thread: "Let’s just say I persisted longer than he did"

*chef's kiss*
posted by mikelieman at 8:33 PM on October 12 [34 favorites]


Guys, who the fuck is talking to Trump about the Civil War?

He gets notes on the city or state where the rally is in case he wants to throw something in on the spur of the moment. Grant's from Ohio.
posted by scalefree at 9:13 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]


" Grant's from Ohio."

But was elected from Illinois, like Lincoln and Obama, TYVM.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:29 PM on October 12 [5 favorites]


Back when she wore the jacket, her spokeswoman insisted "it's a jacket. There was no hidden message" and suggested it was absurd for anyone to think otherwise.

The stunt wouldn't have worked if she admitted what it was at the time.
posted by scalefree at 9:37 PM on October 12 [3 favorites]


But was elected from Illinois, like Lincoln and Obama, TYVM.

This is Trump. He's lucky he leaves the White House wearing his pants every day. So are we, but that's another story.
posted by scalefree at 9:40 PM on October 12 [7 favorites]


Something happened wherein somebody tagged a Republican club with anarchy graffiti and Trump's twitter feed is going on and on about it.

This appears to be because the Metropolitan Republican Club is hosting Gavin McInnes, Proud Boys founder and person deemed too horrible to hold a Twitter account, tonight.


Update: in a development that will surprise precisely nobody, the Proud Boys went out after the speech and beat the shit out of people and yelled homophobic slurs. There's video. The event at the Metropolitan Club itself was held to celebrate the murder of a Japanese socialist in 1960.

Nobody seems to have reported any arrests.
posted by zachlipton at 10:00 PM on October 12 [53 favorites]


zachlipton: Now she acknowledges she wore it to own the libs, on her way to/from visiting migrant children

Just because she says that now, that doesn't mean it's true. The jacket served as a good distraction from the fact that she did not actually go where she was expected to go, and did not visit the migrant children being held at the border. And I believe that was the whole point of it.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:14 AM on October 13 [8 favorites]


A Field Guide to Bad Faith Arguments
Once you recognize these weak tactics in your mentions, you can easily outwit them
Bad faith arguments are common in politics. And while they’ve always been part of political culture, they’re much more rampant on social media. It’s easy to fall prey to bad faith arguments and waste time engaging someone on points that obscure rather than shed light on how we’re all affected by policy and politics.

So with that in mind, here’s a field guide for spotting and responding to bad faith arguments and staying focused on the real-world issues that matter.
posted by scalefree at 12:15 AM on October 13 [30 favorites]


The idea of Warren as Senate Majority Leader hadn't struck me before, but would certainly be brilliant. Apart from president, the other position I think would be perfect is promptly in charge of a newly-reinvigorated CFPB, like she should have been from the very start.
posted by bcd at 1:00 AM on October 13 [8 favorites]


>Can we have Warren as President, please? Please??!?

It's definitely in the realm of possibility! Harris and Gillibrand have a lot of fans too, though. This Bernie bro would be happy to vote for Warren in the primaries and Harris or Gillibrand in the general. President Gillibrand, Attorney General Harris and majority leader Warren would make me very happy.
posted by nangar at 4:07 AM on October 13 [4 favorites]


I love Warren but we don't need another 70+ year old in the Whitehouse.
posted by octothorpe at 4:49 AM on October 13 [38 favorites]


I love Warren but we don't need another 70+ year old in the Whitehouse.

This. A million times, this. Please lets not see any more septuagenarians running. Let's leave the space open for folks who are younger, more vital, and have more of a future than the current crowd. You know... like those who have only just recently joined AARP.
posted by jammer at 5:12 AM on October 13 [14 favorites]



I love Warren but we don't need another 70+ year old in the Whitehouse.
posted by octothorpe at 6:49 AM on October 13 [4 favorites +] [!]


U need to change ur name to hashtag if you want to diss the olds.
posted by srboisvert at 5:18 AM on October 13 [33 favorites]


I love Warren but we don't need another 70+ year old in the Whitehouse.
posted by octothorpe at 8:49 PM on October 13 [+] [!]


Maybe I'm wrong here, but I'm not down at all with the idea that "olds" aren't qualified to run the country. Yeah, maybe some of them are out of touch and ridiculous, but many are also Warrens, and I'd take President Warren any day. I think it's kind of ageist to make blanket statements about age, and I think it detracts from the instances when people actually ARE out of touch and irrelevant. Just as often, age gives you the experience and wisdom to know what you're doing, the fortitude to fight for your principles, and the track record to prove you have them. It's also entirely possible to call Trump horrible without calling him old.

Age can be part of the criticism, of course, but youth engenders inexperience, middle ages engenders insecurities and acting out, and old age engenders ossified views and irrelevant concerns, and those negatives can actually apply to all age groups.

Just sayin'.
posted by saysthis at 5:18 AM on October 13 [33 favorites]


[Let's cut short having this very same "no old people!" debate once again. It's been replayed in these threads over and over and over, and now it's been shared yet again just in case anyone has wandered in here directly from their cryogenic sleep chamber, so we're pretty well covered.]
posted by taz (staff) at 5:26 AM on October 13 [19 favorites]


Update: in a development that will surprise precisely nobody, the Proud Boys went out after the speech and beat the shit out of people and yelled homophobic slurs. There's video. The event at the Metropolitan Club itself was held to celebrate the murder of a Japanese socialist in 1960.

Nobody seems to have reported any arrests.


So the brownshirts are testing new boundaries, to see what they can really get away with, and we are apparently at the part where they can commit a bunch of hate crimes on video and nobody does anything.

Is that 1936ish? 1934?
posted by schadenfrau at 5:33 AM on October 13 [33 favorites]


Rebecca Kavanaugh of Nyc legal aid is reporting in her twitter that there were three arrests. . . Of anti-racist protestors who were getting beaten up by the proud boys.

Also is this the right place to point out that the picture of the proud boys group I’m seeing going around on social media is far less all-white than I was expecting?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 6:27 AM on October 13 [16 favorites]


Emily Gorcenski has a good thread about the “racial diversity” of the Proud Boys. Key points:
The Proud Boys parade Tiny and a bunch of Hispanic and Asian men around specifically to counter the “you’re a white supremacist!” narrative. Because even though that’s true, it puts one in the untenable position of having now to explain race theory.
If you turn what should be an argument about fascistic street violence and fascist gangs into an academic study of Audre Lorde then you’ve won.
posted by Superplin at 6:46 AM on October 13 [15 favorites]


Wow. I mean, I always knew the cops weren't on our side, and that plenty of cops were secretly (or not so secretly) Fascists themselves. But this is elevating things to a whole new level. They're going for a combo: first the brownshirts beat you, then the cops arrest you for bloodying the knuckles of those poor oppressed brownshirts who beat you.
posted by sotonohito at 6:51 AM on October 13 [13 favorites]


If you like me are dealing with constant Soros conspiracy theories (this is one of the big right wing attacks on Stacey Abrams here in GA), the ADL published a really nice 1 pager explaining how those are anti-Semitic lies. Some people who are repeating that nonsense are of course anti-Semitic and won't care, but some of them are just clueless sad souls who have been easily led by the right and don't have any idea who George Soros even is. I'm hopeful that constantly posting this link in response to Soros conspiracy nonsense may slowly penetrate into their brains.
posted by hydropsyche at 6:57 AM on October 13 [18 favorites]


Fox News while reporting on the Proud Boys violence went with the headline "Antifa attacks again — swords and vandalism at New York GOP office". The embedded video shows McInnes brandishing a sword.
posted by papercrane at 7:01 AM on October 13 [17 favorites]


Serious question: who in New York government (state or city) should be on this?
posted by schadenfrau at 7:45 AM on October 13 [5 favorites]


If you like me are dealing with constant Soros conspiracy theories

I'm not, but there is an excellent VOX podcast on Soros anyone interested should check out. Spoiler: All the animus against him, it's just racism. It's hard to even make an argument it's anything else.
posted by xammerboy at 7:49 AM on October 13 [5 favorites]


Is that 1936ish? 1934?

Not to get too deep into "what year of Hitler are we in now" but brownshirts beating leftists with impunity or overt support from police was a 1920s thing. We got a long way to go yet.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:15 AM on October 13 [17 favorites]


Trump: Saudis ‘Vehemently Deny’ Killing Jamal Khashoggi

And the classic moment we were all waiting for: "they deny it." See also: Putin, Moore, Kavanaugh, future death squads.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:20 AM on October 13 [23 favorites]


'Outside agitators,' a phrase from the civil rights era, resurfaces in Georgia governor’s race
“There are only two scenarios here. Either this is just a term that is in the back of [Kemp’s] mind and he doesn’t think about it. That’s unfortunate because it means he’s ignorant — that Brian Kemp doesn’t understand the long history of this term and how it’s been used,” Crespino said. “I think, given the way Brian Kemp ran his campaign in the primaries, that he used it with every intention and that he knew the kind of way that term resonates.”
Why bother recording new tracks when the fans just want to hear the classics over and over again?
posted by tonycpsu at 8:57 AM on October 13 [28 favorites]


Re Soros: yes, the hard-core animus against him by the right is just anti-Semitism and conspiracy theory. However, I have not forgiven Soros for his anti-feminism. That doesn't mean that the right-wing racists deserve a hearing! Just that we go after people for things they've truly done.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:59 AM on October 13 [8 favorites]


Now she acknowledges she wore it to own the libs, on her way to/from visiting migrant children

When Melania said she was arguably the most bullied person in the world my head exploded. There are like, a dozen different layers to the delusion and each take my breath away. Up until this point, you could still argue that her bullying campaign was inspired children, or a partial protest of her husband's behavior, or counter commentary to destructiveness of online communications, or something... but to find out it all springs from her concern about... herself... as the most bullied person. in. the. world... it's just...

and then all the contextual aspects she would need to ignore... but... your husband ...Obama ...while visiting a detention ...you couldn't have maybe said concern for your son ...of all the things happening in the world. It beats out "let them eat cake". It's like Marie Antoinette said "Yes, they're starving, but arguably the biggest hunger problem in the world right now is me. My crumpet breakfast should have arrived hours ago!"
posted by xammerboy at 9:03 AM on October 13 [101 favorites]


Atlantic: The GOP’s chances are dim in the districts Hillary Clinton won in 2016—and it’s all Donald Trump’s fault.
Democrats’ promising prospects in the 25 Republican-held House districts that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 underscore the price of the electoral trade that Donald Trump’s tempestuous presidency is imposing on the Republican Party.

Less than one month before Election Day, Democrats are strongly positioned to win at least 15, and perhaps more than 20, of these Clinton-Republican seats. That alone would carry them close to the 23 they need to regain the House majority—even before contesting the other competitive, GOP-held seats in districts Trump won.[...]

The common thread connecting these Republican risks isn’t hard to find. A new Washington Post/Schar School poll across 21 of the 25 Clinton-won districts found that Trump’s approval rating in them stood at just 38 percent. Trump’s position in these swing districts was especially bleak among college-educated white voters, according to previously unpublished results provided to me by the Post’s polling director, Scott Clement. Not only did a staggering 70 percent of college-educated white women in these districts disapprove of Trump’s performance, but so did 58 percent of college-educated white men, usually a reliable Republican constituency. Two-thirds of those well-educated white women said they intended to vote Democratic for Congress, as did a majority of the men. Those attitudes threaten widespread losses for the Clinton-district Republicans.
“I think [Trump's] political strategy was particularly injurious to the Republicans running in the more blue and purple places,” says the Democratic pollster Geoff Garin. “It’s totally a consequence of playing to the base, which in a lot of these districts, by definition, is playing to the short side of the field.”
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:01 AM on October 13 [8 favorites]


NYT: Kushner Likely Paid No Federal Income Taxes for Years, Documents Show—Confidential documents reviewed by The Times indicate that Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, probably paid little or no income tax from 2009 to 2016.
His low tax bills are the result of a common tax-minimizing maneuver that, year after year, generated millions of dollars in losses for Mr. Kushner, according to the documents. But the losses were only on paper — Mr. Kushner and his company did not appear to actually lose any money. The losses were driven by depreciation, a tax benefit that lets real estate investors deduct a portion of the cost of their buildings from their taxable income every year.[...]

The White House last year championed a sweeping revision of the nation’s tax laws that expanded many of the benefits enjoyed by real estate investors, allowing them to reap even larger deductions.

“The Trump administration was in a position to clean up the tax code and promised to get rid of some of the complexity that certain taxpayers use to their advantage,” said Victor Fleischer, a tax law professor at the University of California, Irvine. “Instead, they doubled down on those provisions, particularly the ones they have familiarity with to benefit themselves.”
While it's also technically legal for Jared to accrue tax-reducing losses for his real-estate expenditures using borrowed funds*, what's more significant is who's ratting Jared out:
The documents, which The Times reviewed in their entirety, were created with Mr. Kushner’s cooperation as part of a review of his finances by an institution that was considering lending him money. Totaling more than 40 pages, they describe his business dealings, earnings, expenses and borrowing from 2009 to 2016. They contain information that was taken from Mr. Kushner’s federal tax filings, as well as other data provided by his advisers. The documents, mostly created last year, were shared with The Times by a person who has had financial dealings with Mr. Kushner and his family.
* c.f. Trump's notorious boast, "There’s nothing like doing things with other people’s money.[...] OPM: Other People's Money."
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:29 AM on October 13 [32 favorites]


Kushner Likely Paid No Federal Income Taxes for Years

So this is what Nikki Haley meant by Kushner being a "hidden genius."
posted by JackFlash at 11:23 AM on October 13 [4 favorites]




The GOP is certainly giving the impression that they would like to purge the voter rolls, check your registration.

I’ve been a registered Democrat in Pima county for over 10 years. This morning I relieved this text from a local number. The link goes to a GOP site to register to vote.

I sent a email to the Pima county dems but I’m still angry about it. I can very easily see that a text like that could cause confusion about ones current voter status.
posted by lizjohn at 12:05 PM on October 13 [7 favorites]


Newsweek: Trump ally and Brexit leader Nigel Farage says there’s something Americans should worry about more than Russian meddling: Jews.
Farage in a Monday interview singled out the so-called “Jewish lobby” as an overwhelming power in America during a discussion about Russia’s interference in U.S. politics.

“There are other very powerful lobbies in the United States of America, and the Jewish lobby, with its links with the Israeli government, is one of those strong voices,” Farage said on his London-based radio show.

He turned the conversation to Jewish lobbies after a caller had suggested the pro-Israel lobby was as dangerous to the U.S. as the Kremlin.

“That’s a reasonable point,” Farage told the caller.

“There are about 6 million Jewish people living in America, so as a percentage it’s quite small, but in terms of influence it’s quite big.”
Nigel Farage is the person Donald Trump suggested should be UK ambassador to the US.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:31 PM on October 13 [28 favorites]


New Yorker, Adam Davidson, How Trump’s Impulsiveness, Vanity, and Cronyism Could Tank the Economy
His comments came as confirmation of warnings that the International Monetary Fund issued last weekend. The I.M.F.’s World Economic Outlook provides the benchmark forecast for the global economy. It is a bureaucratic document, using careful, bloodless words to convey even the most hysterical of warnings. But readers familiar with the language of international finance can’t help but see the fear and contempt in the most recent reports. The executive summary warns, “The trade measures implemented since April will weigh on activity in 2019 and beyond; US fiscal policy will subtract momentum starting in 2020.” In regular English, this means: Trump has unilaterally launched a series of trade wars that will damage the global economy next year. Also, the tax cuts that were sold as growth-inspiring will so dramatically increase the U.S. government’s deficit that its economy will begin to slow.
...
An important lesson of the financial crisis of ten years ago is that markets are very bad at figuring out how to respond to warning signs. Many people on Wall Street knew that the housing market might be a bubble, that there was something of a frenzy. But they didn’t know when it would all fall apart, so they just traded as if everything would keep going up. Many on Wall Street today know that the likelihood of the President making a series of decisions—from launching a trade war to influencing fed policy—that sends our economy downward is unusually high. But, on any given day, the businessperson looks at the numbers that provide clarity (unemployment, wages, G.D.P. growth, the stock market) and sees no reason for today to be the day for despair. Yes, of course, they are all looking, anxiously, at the President, always unsure of what he will do next but knowing something, someday, might be cataclysmic. But before then, perhaps, he’ll do something else, something that helps their business and makes them richer. They don’t know, because there is nothing to base their forecast on other than Trump’s own gut. And that is precisely how he wants it.
posted by zachlipton at 12:31 PM on October 13 [19 favorites]


@peterbakernyt: Brunson asks Trump if he could pray for him and then kneels and asks God to give him “supernatural wisdom.” Trump thanks him, then asks his wife who she voted for. Brunson says he sent absentee ballot from prison.

Given Trump's next question, I guess the "supernatural wisdom" doesn't come immediately?
posted by zachlipton at 1:53 PM on October 13 [4 favorites]




Here's a neat thing. A high school class made a statistical model of the election and gives the Democrats an 80% chance of taking the House.
"BlairOracle is a project by seniors at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. It was created during the Fall 2018 Political Statistics course taught by Mr. David Stein." They discuss the model and methods in the "About" page and seem like really terrific kids. This made me happy today.
posted by thebrokedown at 2:21 PM on October 13 [12 favorites]


Axios Trump-whisperer Jon Swan reports: Pat Cipollone Filling Out Paperwork to Be White House Counsel
Washington litigator Pat Cipollone is expected to be President Trump's pick to replace Don McGahn as White House Counsel, according to four sources familiar with the sensitive internal conversations.

Cipollone has already begun the process of filling out his necessary paperwork, according to one of those sources. (As with any decision in Trumpworld, the president could reverse it or some other obstacle could emerge in the paperwork process. But as of today, it's expected to be Cipollone.)

[...]Cipollone, who has no previous White House experience, does some of that in his private practice but it's not what he's known for, the source added. Cipollone is primarily known as a civil litigator[...].

"But he's a true believer," the source said of Cipollone. "He's a big Trump supporter."
The Washington Post backs this rumor up: Trump Has Chosen Washington Lawyer Pat Cipollone As Next White House Counsel, People Familiar With Decision Say
President Trump has chosen conservative Catholic activist and longtime Washington commercial lawyer Pat Cipollone as his next White House counsel to replace Donald McGahn, according to two people familiar with Trump’s decision.

Trump told Cipollone of his selection last week.

Cipollone, who practices commercial litigation at Stein Mitchell Cipollone Beato & Missner, is a well liked and respected among Trump’s personal lawyers and had been informally advising them on the special counsel probe into Russian interference in the 2016 elections since at least June.

Cipollone is expected to take over the premier legal office in the next week, pending a security clearance review. He would head up this office at a momentous and challenging time. The White House counsel’s team has been eviscerated by departures, having dwindled down to 25 lawyers from 35 earlier in the year. The office normally has a staff of 50 lawyers. It has also lost four of its five key deputies in recent months.
As ever in Trumpland, loyalty overrides all else. Even though Cipollone received Jay Skelekow's support and is friends with Emmett Flood (who, interestingly, did not lobby for the position himself), his specialty lies in commercial litigation, trade regulation, and health-care fraud, as well as defamation counseling. His lawfirm bio highlights his work in "significant investigations and regulatory disputes involving state and federal agencies such as the DOJ, SEC, FTC, FDA, DOT, HHS, FDIC", however, so he appears to know how to run complex cases.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:23 PM on October 13 [5 favorites]


"But he's a true believer," the source said of Cipollone. "He's a big Trump supporter."

I don't think this is accurate. Trump is an empty suit, so he must actually be a big fan of Miller, Kelly, and Mattis and the rest of the actors on this project.
posted by rhizome at 2:35 PM on October 13


NYT, Now for Rent: Email Addresses and Phone Numbers for Millions of Trump Supporters
Early in his presidential campaign, Donald J. Trump dismissed political data as an “overrated” tool. But after he won the Republican nomination, his team began building a database that offers a pipeline into the heart of the party’s base, a comprehensive list including the email addresses and cellphone numbers of as many as 20 million supporters.

Now, consultants close to the Trump campaign are ramping up efforts to put that database — by far the most sought-after in Republican politics — to use, offering it for rent to candidates, conservative groups and even businesses.
...
It is not unusual for candidates to rent supporter data to — or from — other campaigns. The new effort by Mr. Trump’s team, however, appears to be the first time the campaign of a sitting president facing re-election has opted to market its list.
...
So far, parts of the list have been rented to a number of Republican candidates — including the gubernatorial campaign of Ron DeSantis in Florida and the Senate campaign of Josh Hawley in Missouri — as well as nonprofit groups advocating the confirmation of Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and even to an author promoting a pro-Trump book, according to people familiar with the arrangement.
Always be grifting.
posted by zachlipton at 2:37 PM on October 13 [18 favorites]


So far, parts of the list have been rented to a number of Republican candidates — including the gubernatorial campaign of Ron DeSantis in Florida and the Senate campaign of Josh Hawley in Missouri — as well as nonprofit groups advocating the confirmation of Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and even to an author promoting a pro-Trump book, according to people familiar with the arrangement.

With the destruction of meaning now occurring in the public sphere, I have to think that the market for "imprimatur," implied vouching, and third-party authenticities (a vessel, like "subjectivity") in general is only going to get more lucrative. Connections between signifiers and signifieds can be a profit center.
posted by rhizome at 2:42 PM on October 13 [2 favorites]


> "But he's a true believer," the source said of Cipollone. "He's a big Trump supporter."

I don't think this is accurate. Trump is an empty suit, so he must actually be a big fan of Miller, Kelly, and Mattis and the rest of the actors on this project.


Cipollone seems likely to have drunk the Trump-flavored Kool Aid—Giuliani thinks well of him, and Laura Ingraham considers him a mentor. In the circles in which they all move, Trump's brand hasn't lost its shine yet. And since Cipollone's been advising Trump unofficially for the past few months that's given Trump time to win him over, like a veteran con man.

NYT, Now for Rent: Email Addresses and Phone Numbers for Millions of Trump Supporters

This may prove Trump's most profitable resource from his presidency. Not only does his list capture the most diehard of GOP supporters, but also it expands into new areas of independent Trumpists, unique names that current Republican candidates can't procure from anyone else.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:51 PM on October 13 [5 favorites]


I just saw my first Beto yard sign...in Portland, OR.
posted by terooot at 3:45 PM on October 13 [50 favorites]


Just got this in my inbox:
Dear MoveOn member,

VOTER SUPPRESSION RED ALERT: 53,000 Georgia voters—80% people of color—have just had their voter registrations blocked by Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp.1

Kemp is running against Stacey Abrams for governor, and the polls say they are locked in a statistical dead heat.2 So now Kemp is flat-out trying to get an edge in the election, using voter suppression tactics.
posted by yoga at 3:53 PM on October 13 [5 favorites]


@terooot:

I saw a Beto sticker on somebody’s car here the other day.
posted by gucci mane at 3:56 PM on October 13 [1 favorite]




I see tons and tons of Beto yard signs in the city of Houston but then only Cruz signs when out on bike rides in the far flung ‘burbs in any direction :(
posted by Burhanistan at 4:00 PM on October 13 [3 favorites]


"...If we had a real net worth statement on Donald Trump, it would probably show he’s worth a few hundred million dollars. That’s all."
David Cay Johnston on the financial crimes of Donald Trump: Donald Is a Criminal Tax Cheat
posted by growabrain at 4:17 PM on October 13 [11 favorites]


The Beto merchandise has gone national: I spotted one of my neighbors wearing a Beto campaign shirt here in small-town Southeast Alaska.

Which is great, but I wish I were seeing more Alyse Galvin signs; this is our best chance to unseat (U.S. Congressman and general all around jerk) Don Young in years but nobody from the campaign has even bothered to return my e-mails asking how to get in touch with a local volunteer coordinator and the clusterf*ck that is taking place in the state gubernatorial race seems tailor-made to depress Democratic turnout. (The short version of that: Alaska's incumbent governor, Bill Walker, is an independent who was elected last time around by a coalition after reaching an agreement with the Democratic nominee, who became his Lieutenant Governor. This time around Walker, the incumbent, is somewhat unpopular because of some hard choices he's had to make about the state's finances and this year's Democratic nominee, former U.S. Senator Mark Begich, is refusing to withdraw or make a deal with Walker. As a result, the two non-Republican candidates are expected to split the moderate and liberal vote and the Republican nominee is expecting an easy win without a majority but with a larger plurality than either of the other two. Under such circumstances it's certainly conceivable that some who would ordinarily vote against Young may not cast a vote if they feel the governor's race is a foregone conclusion.)
posted by Nerd of the North at 4:56 PM on October 13 [10 favorites]


BBC: President Donald Trump has said the US will inflict "severe punishment" on Saudi Arabia if the kingdom is found to be responsible for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
He said he would be "very upset and angry if that were the case", but ruled out halting big military contracts.
posted by Rykey at 5:01 PM on October 13 [3 favorites]


I'm sure he'll get right on it after he finishes imposing the Russian sanctions which Congress demanded some time ago (with veto-proof majorities.)
posted by Nerd of the North at 5:07 PM on October 13 [28 favorites]


People, this is our chance. We form a superpac, rent the trump list, and begin our campaign of reeducation. We've got some amazing wordsmiths, we can do this!
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:42 PM on October 13 [51 favorites]


Trump: Democrats are 'consumed by their chilling lust for power'

If only the Democratic Party were a thousandth as awesome as they portray it, instead of having less power than any major party in a century and little apparent establishment-level interest in changing that.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:04 PM on October 13 [16 favorites]


Every accusation a confession.
posted by LarsC at 6:24 PM on October 13 [53 favorites]


Seems like it was only yesterday the Democrats were a bunch of spendthrift losers.
posted by rhizome at 6:29 PM on October 13 [2 favorites]


Atlanta had a Jewish community for over a century, and The Temple, founded in 1867, was bombed by white supremacists in 1958. My spouse is Jewish. Many of my students are members of Georgia's growing Muslim community, founded primarily by refugees settled here by the State Dept (back when we did that) from locations as diverse as Bosnia, Syria, and Sudan. The rhetoric from the right here is becoming increasingly unhinged and scary and targeting religious minorities more and more explicitly every day. Regardless of who wins the governorship in Nov, I am scared of what these people are capable of.
posted by hydropsyche at 6:42 PM on October 13 [23 favorites]


NYT, Now for Rent: Email Addresses and Phone Numbers for Millions of Trump Supporters

This may prove Trump's most profitable resource from his presidency. Not only does his list capture the most diehard of GOP supporters, but also it expands into new areas of independent Trumpists, unique names that current Republican candidates can't procure from anyone else.


Mining stupidity is incredibly profitable and sustainable as long as you don't infected.

[narrator's voice]: They always get infected.
posted by srboisvert at 7:27 PM on October 13 [5 favorites]


That article growabrain just linked to: Donald Is a Criminal Tax Cheat is pretty damning...
Is what the Trumps did really any different from other very rich people? If you say a house is worth $450,000 when worth $500,000, that’s not criminal by any stretch. But when you say it’s worth $30,000, six cents on the dollar, that’s criminal. They knew it was criminal. It’s why they hid this stuff.
He goes on to say that if Trump's recent tax filings are investigated crimes will likely be uncovered for which Trump can, and should, go to prison for.
posted by xammerboy at 7:31 PM on October 13 [22 favorites]


The Intercept has a great article on J.D. Scholten and how he's running his campaign in Iowa's deep red 4th district against Steve King, well worth the read.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:38 PM on October 13 [4 favorites]


Dems have to run on a platform “against fascism”!
posted by growabrain at 8:51 PM on October 13 [3 favorites]


triggerfinger: "How about an update on the Minnesota AG (with Keith Ellison running on the DFL ticket) race?"

Hasn't been any recent polling of this race (pollsters who only poll top of ballot races - I hate you). Last we had publicly was a month ago, when one had the race tied, one with Ellison up 5.

My personal prediction would be that Ellison pulls it off - the abuse stuff seems to be quieting a bit; his opponent, as noted, is pretty extreme for MN; and the GOP nominated stiffs for both Senate races and governor.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:09 PM on October 13 [1 favorite]


Washington Post: Crackdowns on potential voter fraud fuel worries about ballot access in November

Instead of calling it voter suppression, the WaPo calls it potential voter fraud. The WaPo chooses their headlines.

They are complicit.
posted by JackFlash at 9:11 PM on October 13 [38 favorites]


Nerd of the North: "Which is great, but I wish I were seeing more Alyse Galvin signs; this is our best chance to unseat (U.S. Congressman and general all around jerk) Don Young in years"

Previous polling of this race has been from an outfit that's a little iffy, but a PPP poll just came out that has Galvin only down three. She's certainly making a race of it.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:14 PM on October 13 [4 favorites]


schadenfrau: "Serious question: who in New York government (state or city) should be on this?"

@NYGovCuomo:
Authorities must review these videos immediately and make arrests and prosecute as appropriate. Hate cannot and will not be tolerated in New York.

Here's a message from a Queens boy to the so-called 'proud boys' – ​NY has zero tolerance for your bs. ​
@NYCMayor:
The NYPD is fully investigating last night’s attack involving the Proud Boys. If you know anything, the NYPD wants your help. Hate is never welcome in NYC and we will punish those responsible — whether they threw punches or incited violence — to the fullest extent of the law.
The talk is being talked, whether the walk is walked is tbd, I guess.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:18 PM on October 13 [14 favorites]


Ellison's divorce records ordered unsealed - Briana Bierschbach, MPR News
In an order issued Friday, Hennepin County Family Court Referee Jason Hutchison said the records in Ellison's 2012 divorce with ex-wife Kim Ellison will be unsealed on Oct. 17.

Ellison will appeal the order, his lawyer said.

Ellison, the Democratic nominee for attorney general, has been accused of domestic abuse by his ex-girlfriend, Karen Monahan, who said he tried to drag her off a bed by her foot during a dispute in 2016. Ellison denies the allegation.

In September, the Star Tribune newspaper joined Alpha News, a conservative online news site, in pushing to unseal the divorce records, arguing it was a matter of public interest.
Meanwhile, his opponent, Republican Doug Wardlow, ... says he would fire Democratic attorneys in office if he wins the election. (Jessie Van Berkel, Star Tribune),
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:26 PM on October 13 [3 favorites]


His low tax bills are the result of a common tax-minimizing maneuver that, year after year, generated millions of dollars in losses for Mr. Kushner, according to the documents. But the losses were only on paper — Mr. Kushner and his company did not appear to actually lose any money. The losses were driven by depreciation, a tax benefit that lets real estate investors deduct a portion of the cost of their buildings from their taxable income every year.[...]

Pardon me, but depreciation is a perfectly normal bookkeeping practice. It represent the legitimate notion that, generally, things decline over time. There is nothing sketchy about including depreciation when you calculate your taxes.
posted by M-x shell at 9:47 PM on October 13 [2 favorites]


"Meanwhile, his opponent, Republican Doug Wardlow, ... says he would fire Democratic attorneys in office if he wins the election. "

Which is illegal, if they're not in policy positions. There are both state and federal rules to prevent this kind of political purge in bureaucracy jobs, and more generally it's a Constitutional violation for an elected official to fire government employees for engaging in protected First Amendment speech and association -- like belonging to or campaigning for political parties. (And beyond that, a lot of state government employees in professional roles -- like lawyers -- will have contracts, and won't be at-will.) Minnesota actually goes farther than many states and prohibits even private employers from firing employees for (routine) political activities, and makes doing so a misdemeanor. Pretty cool when the AG candidate is totally ignorant of the law and proposing crimes and constitutional violations on the campaign trail!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:48 PM on October 13 [54 favorites]


President Donald Trump has said the US will inflict "severe punishment" on Saudi Arabia if the kingdom is found to be responsible for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Raise their rent at the Trump Tower?
posted by JackFlash at 10:04 PM on October 13 [13 favorites]


Pardon me, but depreciation is a perfectly normal bookkeeping practice. It represent the legitimate notion that, generally, things decline over time. There is nothing sketchy about including depreciation when you calculate your taxes.

From the article:
In theory, the depreciation provision is supposed to shield real estate developers from having their investments whittled away by wear and tear on their buildings.

In practice, though, the allowance often represents a lucrative giveaway to developers like Mr. Trump and Mr. Kushner.

The law assumes that buildings’ values decline every year when, in reality, they often gain value. Its enormous flexibility allows real estate investors to determine their own tax bills.
posted by scalefree at 10:05 PM on October 13 [25 favorites]


Elections News (Local Alaskan Style):
Women absolutely dominated Alaska’s local elections this week

In Fairbanks, voters elected 3 women to the three open seats on the Borough Assembly, which makes ordinances for an area about the size of Slovenia (with about 100K people), and elected 3 women to the three open seats on the Fairbanks City Council, as well as two women to the school board (out of two seats) and two women to the local gas utility (out of two seats). Including two trans women, one to Assembly and one to city council (although it’s not clear the voters were aware of that fact, although both women are out). So the Assembly will be 4/9 women, and city council 4/6 women (which we think is the first time it’s majority women). Conversely, voters elected the conservative candidate for mayor, voted against all the ballot initiatives that would give the borough enough money to work with, and voted for the initiative that bans the borough from working to fix the significant air pollution problem. So you win some, you lose some.

But the Interior has some really important statewide races coming up, and a collection of really great candidates. If you’re looking for a statewide race to donate money to, Scott Kawasaki is running to defeat Pete Kelley, and that may be the most important statewide race in Alaska.

And I’m feeling good about Alyse Galvin’s chances to beat Don Young.

(I’m one of those three women elected to the Assembly.)
posted by leahwrenn at 11:15 PM on October 13 [124 favorites]


Pardon me, but depreciation is a perfectly normal bookkeeping practice.

Yeah, wow, that article is bizarre. It takes multiple paragraphs to get to "Nothing in the documents suggests Mr. Kushner or his company broke the law."

Its enormous flexibility allows real estate investors to determine their own tax bills.

Depreciation does not allow developers to just arbitrarily decide how much tax to pay. There are specific rules about what gets depreciated at what rate. Maybe I'm just unaware of the provisions that give them "enormous flexibility," but if so, then let's talk about those specific flexibility provisions.

Depreciation makes a lot of sense. Imagine someone moved out of a house and bought a new one, but now rents out their first home. When the house they're renting needs a new roof, that will be really expensive! It could potentially eat up more than the rent brought in for the entire year. But the owner can only deduct something like 1/27 of the cost per year, because roofs are part of the group of things that depreciate over 27 years. (I might be wrong about that exact "27" number, but it's not a number that the owner arbitrarily picks.) When the furnace goes out or the fridge dies, same thing. There are a lot of expenses that go into maintaining a home. Instead of letting someone deduct the big investments immediately, those get spread out over time.

The law assumes that buildings’ values decline every year when, in reality, they often gain value.

When you sell, you have to pay back a bunch (all?) of the depreciation that you deducted from any proceeds (unless you immediately turn around and use the proceeds to buy another building, which just defers the process). And you have to pay that back even if you didn't deduct depreciation in the first place. It's basically mandatory to deduct it from your taxes!

Some portion of a real estate investment gains in value over time, while some fraction wears away over time and only getting replenished when you finally replace those weathered back steps or upgrade those horribly outdated kitchen cabinets. Try selling a house that needs a major repair, and you'll see what I mean.

There's a lot to criticize in our tax system, and the outcome here certainly seems odd, but this article just seems written by someone who doesn't understand the issue at all.
posted by slidell at 11:28 PM on October 13 [6 favorites]


This companion article says it works like this:
Step 1: The Purchase
Kushner Companies buys a property. The majority of the money for the purchase comes in the form of mortgages and personal loans from banks.

Step 2: The Write-Off
Under the federal tax code, real estate investors can write off the purchase price of the building — excluding the cost of the land — over a period of decades. Although Kushner Companies has spent little or no cash of its own, the firm takes large annual deductions based on the theoretical depreciation of the building.

Step 3: The Loss
The property generates cash for the Kushners. But any earnings, which would be subject to the federal income tax, are swamped by the amount that the company is taking in write-offs for depreciation. The result is that Kushner Companies records a net loss for tax purposes.

Step 4: The Investors
The company passes on that loss to its owners, including Mr. Kushner and his father, Charles.

Step 5: The Offset
The loss can be used to offset the Kushners’ income in the year it is recorded, and it can be carried forward to cancel out future income or to get refunds for taxes they paid in previous years.

Step 6: The Deferral
When Kushner Companies sells a property, it can use the proceeds to finance a new acquisition. If done within the right time frame, the company can indefinitely defer any capital-gains taxes it might owe on the sale of the original property.
posted by BungaDunga at 11:57 PM on October 13 [16 favorites]


Although Kushner Companies has spent little or no cash of its own...

This seems to be the big hook and it is very weak sauce indeed. If they borrowed money then they will be paying interest, and they still have to pay back the principle. NYT is trying to make it look like something worse than it is. We need NYT to find and prove criminality. At the rate things are going, even that might not be enough to bring them down, but this exposé exposes nothing.
posted by M-x shell at 12:21 AM on October 14


Well, it’s exposes one thing; rich people don’t bear the same societal burdens that us regular folk do.
posted by valkane at 2:02 AM on October 14 [46 favorites]


I think there’s another angle to all of this Kushner stuff, especially relevant to the current news and our relationship with the Saudi regime - the depreciation is legal and allowable accounting but it’s the indefinite deferral which is the tricky bit. In order to keep pushing off his tax bill Kushner needs an endless supply of credit and investors to jump from one sale to another purchase. It answers the question of why a supposedly rich person would need to continue engaging in this business after amassing substantial wealth - he needs financing not to further enirch himself but to stay ahead of an avalanche of taxes hes put off. . . And the obvious question that follows is what about all that financing.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 5:02 AM on October 14 [25 favorites]


Wasn't sure if this deserved a FPP of its own, but damn it's good.
It's a long read, but hang with it, it's worth it.

Guy’s viral analogy nails exactly why Brett Kavanaugh is so triggering to women.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 5:10 AM on October 14 [16 favorites]


Imagine a woman writing an analogy so other women could understand kicking guys in the balls hurts them. 
posted by ruetheday at 5:36 AM on October 14 [71 favorites]


We need NYT to find and prove criminality.

The NYT has uncovered extremely sketchy business practices by Kushner, but it's not alleging criminality in this case (unlike Trump's, in which they documented outright fraud). What their follow-up articles need to do is re-examine Kushner's real estate deals in light of this new information. The Kushner Company's desperation in 2016 and 2017 to find new investors for its over-leveraged 666 Fifth Avenue property as major payments on its loans were coming due now makes even more sense if selling the building on unfavorable terms/timing would leave Jared with a massive tax bill as well. This looks less like normal real estate investment and more like a Ponzi scheme. (This morning, so much noise on Twitter is pushing back against this story with the argument that writing off depreciations is perfectly normal and there's nothing to see here—expect the WSJ and Fox Business to take that line tomorrow.)

The case against Kushner for political corruption is inarguable, on the other hand. After taking massive advantage of tax loopholes for years, Kushner, in his nepotistic position as "senior adviser" to the president, helped steer new tax "reform" legislation that was even more beneficial to him personally. As for his financial risks with 666 Fifth Avenue, Kushner became diplomatically entangled with Qatar and China while seeking investment from them, not to mention how his loans from Deutsche Bank may implicate him in Mueller's investigations into potential money-laundering.

But as former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney observed, people who pay no taxes will never take responsibility for their lives.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:58 AM on October 14 [21 favorites]


Guy’s viral analogy nails exactly why Brett Kavanaugh is so triggering to women.

Here's the whole thread unrolled with ThreadReaderApp.
posted by scalefree at 6:01 AM on October 14 [5 favorites]


[Soooo ... as much as I'm loathe to have yet another painful, triggery rape/assault post and thread on Mefi, if this is going to take over the whole current WH/politics thread, it should probably get its own post instead. *sigh*]
posted by taz (staff) at 6:11 AM on October 14 [9 favorites]


BBC: President Donald Trump has said the US will inflict "severe punishment" on Saudi Arabia if the kingdom is found to be responsible for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Reuters: Saudi Arabia Rejects ‘Threats’ After Trump Vows ‘Severe Punishment’ On Khashoggi Disappearance
“The Kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures, or repeating false accusations...” the official Saudi Press Agency quoted an unnamed government source as saying.

“The Kingdom also affirms that if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action, and that the Kingdom’s economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy...” the source added without elaborating.

The threat caused the stock market of the world’s biggest oil exporter to lose as much as $33 billion of its value on Sunday in one of the first signs of the economic pain that Riyadh could suffer over the affair.
The Saudi official went on to say that the Kingdom is "as glorious and steadfast as ever".
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:19 AM on October 14 [6 favorites]


The NYT has uncovered extremely sketchy business practices by Kushner, but it's not alleging criminality in this case (unlike Trump's, in which they documented outright fraud). What their follow-up articles need to do is re-examine Kushner's real estate deals in light of this new information.

I think there's no benefit to worrying about this. Mueller's team has the same deep-dive info on Kushner and Junior's finances, so if there's anything to discover, they've already done it. Of course, the investigation is leak-proof, so the first time we'll realize the facts is when they drop an indictment.
posted by mikelieman at 6:25 AM on October 14 [3 favorites]


You know what? I've got a simple rule for things like this: if the tax break in question doesn't apply to me then my default position is to assume that it's there for rich fuckers to cheat on their taxes.

Do I get to deduct the "depreciation" on my stuff from my taxes? My car is worth less today than when I bought it, hell it was worth less five seconds after I drove it off the lot than when I bought it. Does that "depreciation" reduce my taxes? No? Then fuck them, it's cheating and it should be outlawed.

In fact, I think we could take Trump and Kushner as a convenient way to clean up America's tax code. Just outlaw absolutely anything they've ever done to lower their tax bill. Call it the Trump Rule: any rule, regulation, loophole, code, or other legal mechanism Donald J. Trump has ever used to reduce his taxes by even one cent is hereby a felony offense going forward.

I'm damn sure not seeing any benefit to having a tax code that coddles the billionaire looter class while making me pay.
posted by sotonohito at 6:55 AM on October 14 [58 favorites]


There's two things here, 1) I think the criminal part of the Kushner scheme is more than they're understating the value of property. You can fudge a little to claim your 500k home is really only worth 475k, but when you claim it's worth 30k, that's criminal. The Kushner's are essentially claiming that a billion dollar skyscraper is only worth 100mil, and knowing no one will ever prosecute them for bald face lying.

And 2) depreciation makes sense for some business assets, like mining machinery and factories, shit that really does get used up and ground down to worthless over the course of its useful life. It really doesn't make sense in the NY real estate market, where supply is highly constrained and values only ever increase. The Kushners are essentially claiming that the same billion dollar skyscrapper has to be completely demolished and rebuilt every 20 years, and using that fictional "loss" to off set all other tax liabilities, while knowing they can actually resell that property for 1.5billion. We could easily fix this by refining what depreciation really applies to, or just capping the amount of losses that can be used to offset tax liability in any context.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:33 AM on October 14 [21 favorites]


Everyone can take depreciation on their houses if they itemize deductions.
posted by M-x shell at 7:43 AM on October 14 [1 favorite]


"Do I get to deduct the "depreciation" on my stuff from my taxes? My car is worth less today than when I bought it, hell it was worth less five seconds after I drove it off the lot than when I bought it. Does that "depreciation" reduce my taxes? No? Then fuck them, it's cheating and it should be outlawed."

If you owned a business and used your car for your business (within the particular legal parameters the tax code allows) then you could deduct depreciation for your car. Depreciation is a good thing. It was created to PREVENT people/businesses from buying something large and expensive and deducting the entire purchase price in same year. That cost is spread out into the future, over the legal lifespan of the asset. It is not designed for the benefit of the rich, it is designed to more accurately reflect, over time, the deduction of the expense of large items bought for use in EVERY business. Now, are there some issues with some of the details of the tax code regarding depreciation? Of course. But this whole topic seems, to me, more like a distraction to keep us (the National us, not the MeFi us) from paying attention to more pressing things like voter purges and voter disenfranchisement.
posted by W Grant at 7:45 AM on October 14 [8 favorites]


There is no depreciation on a personal residence, whether you itemize deductions or use the standard deduction. Depreciation is a business expense. If part of your personal residence is used in your business and you are a sole proprietor (self employed), and it satisfies the tax code, that deduction should be on the Schedule C of the business, NOT on the itemized deductions of the taxpayer.
posted by W Grant at 7:49 AM on October 14 [12 favorites]


Everyone can take depreciation on their houses if they itemize deductions.
I think this is only true if you use a certain part of your house exclusively for business purposes, and even then you can only deduct depreciation on that part.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 7:49 AM on October 14 [1 favorite]


I say the depreciation thing is a derail at this point. Suggest you take it to chat, go watch kitty videos, or head to meta-talk if you are feeling chatty. Pretty please.
posted by Bella Donna at 7:55 AM on October 14 [15 favorites]


Meanwhile, CBS is dropping snippets of Trump's 60's Minutes interview scheduled to air tonight. As with his NYMag interview, he appears to be trying to head off news about further chaos in his administration after Nikki Haley's suspiciously well-timed departure. This time it's Mattis rather than Kelly who's on the chopping block (or not).
President Trump suggested that Defense Secretary James Mattis could be one of the next administration officials to depart his Cabinet. In an interview airing on "60 Minutes" Sunday, the president said there are "some people" in his administration that he's "not thrilled with."

Asked by correspondent Lesley Stahl if Mattis is going to be leaving, Mr. Trump replied: "Well, I don't know. He hasn't told me that."

"I have a very good relationship with him. I had lunch with him two days ago. I have a very good relationship with him. It could be that he is. I think he's sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth," Mr. Trump said of the retired Marine Corps general. "But General Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well. He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves. Everybody. People leave. That's Washington."

Mr. Trump dismissed reports of chaos in the White House as "fake news," but said, "I'm changing things around. And I'm entitled to. I have people now on standby that will be phenomenal. They'll come into the administration, they'll be phenomenal."
"The best people" catchphrase may give way to "phenomenal people on standby" at this rate.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:07 AM on October 14 [6 favorites]


Mueller's team has the same deep-dive info on Kushner and Junior's finances, so if there's anything to discover, they've already done it. Of course, the investigation is leak-proof, so the first time we'll realize the facts is when they drop an indictment.

There's no guarantee that Mueller will investigate or provide information to congress about anything other than Trump's involvement with Russian interference in the election. Nor will Mueller necessarily share the information with us, rather than just with a small committee. In fact, in previous investigations Mueller has limited himself to looking at only the crimes and questions he was specifically asked to investigate. Trump's taxes may never be looked into unless Congress specifically asks them to.


1) I think the criminal part of the Kushner scheme is more than they're understating the value of property. You can fudge a little to claim your 500k home is really only worth 475k, but when you claim it's worth 30k, that's criminal.

Just to be clear, this analogy was used to describe Trump's tax schemes, not Kushners. Trump's father gave him a bunch of buildings decades ago as a gift, and claimed at the time they were worth pennies on the dollar to avoid paying taxes. That is criminal. The Times says what Jared is doing is legal, but it seems to me like he was writing off a lot of losses he didn't really have, which really should be illegal.
posted by xammerboy at 8:18 AM on October 14


The depreciation angle is very simple to explain. It could be structured in many ways, but as currently structured it allows people like Trump and Kushner to become fabulously wealthy and live like kings without paying a dime in taxes.

That shouldn't be difficult to understand.
posted by JackFlash at 8:20 AM on October 14 [8 favorites]


There is no depreciation on a personal residence, whether you itemize deductions or use the standard deduction. Depreciation is a business expense. If part of your personal residence is used in your business and you are a sole proprietor (self employed), and it satisfies the tax code, that deduction should be on the Schedule C of the business, NOT on the itemized deductions of the taxpayer.

That's indeed how it works for you and I. What I suspect Kushner's doing is:

1) The property is owned by a LLC. The LLC rents it to Kushner. The LLC takes depreciation on it. Given the knuckleheads involved, whether Kushner every actually pays rent to the LLC is a relevant question.

There's nothing illegal with it, it's just that you need a LLC with the credit to buy it, which means that it's not something you or I can do, so I'd say it's immoral, but not yet illegal.
posted by mikelieman at 8:25 AM on October 14 [1 favorite]


It seems to me more like buying a house on credit, renting it out for more then the interest payments, pocketing the rent money and writing off the depreciation of the house every year. So the remainder (rent money minus interest on the loan) is your tax-free income, because you're writing off huge paper losses as the house depreciates.

Eventually you sell the house for more than you bought it for and pay back the original loan. You'd ordinarily have to pay capital gains on it, but since it's a real estate you can roll that loan directly into another house and never pay the capital gains either. If real estate in New York actually depreciated (like, say, a car) then this wouldn't be nearly as sweet a deal since you'd have to actually be putting rent towards the loan payment- but as long as you can pay off the loan by selling the property later, you just pocket all the rent and claim massive losses at the same time.

Anyway, this all seems like a bit of a derail, but it says something about how these people manage to stay wealthy.
posted by BungaDunga at 8:52 AM on October 14 [17 favorites]


Trump in a 60 Minutes interview suggests that Secretary of Defense Mattis might be the next to go: "I think he's sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth."

Yeah, Mad Dog Mattis who Obama had to fire because of his attempts to undermine Obama's Iran nuclear deal is a "Democrat."

I'm assuming the primary reason Trump originally hired Mattis is just because Obama fired him. But now it may have come to be a conflict of military targets. Mattis is known for wanting military action against Iran, but Trump is focused on Korea.
posted by JackFlash at 8:58 AM on October 14 [6 favorites]


There's no guarantee that Mueller will investigate or provide information to congress about anything other than Trump's involvement with Russian interference in the election.

I get what you're saying, but I feel that Bob Mueller's already shown he's not going that way.

Mueller's already prosecuted the hell out of Manafort for financial crimes. Manafort, along with Kushner and Junior met in Trump Tower with Russian criminals to discuss illegal contributions to the campaign. ( 52 USC 30121 )

There's no way Kushner and Junior are cleaner than Manafort. Conspiracy ( 18 USC 371 ) and Fibbing to Feds ( 18 USC 1001 ) are slam-dunks in any case, so yeah. Mueller's going for the HURT. There's no pardon that gets Manafort's siezed assets back.
posted by mikelieman at 8:58 AM on October 14 [6 favorites]


Apologies for misinformation about residential depreciation. I got confused because we did that when we ran a daycare on the house, which was a business use.
posted by M-x shell at 9:13 AM on October 14 [2 favorites]


Trump in a 60 Minutes interview suggests that Secretary of Defense Mattis might be the next to go: "I think he's sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth."

Let's remember Trump's only real success in life was a show where he kept people on the edge of their seats waiting to see who would be fired this week. The media are still easily distracted by the same ball of yarn.
posted by benzenedream at 9:17 AM on October 14 [35 favorites]


GOP Senator David Perdue Rips Phone Away When Student Confronts Him (VIDEO)

And what did he grab the phone over? A question about Georgia's voter suppression.

That's their real vulnerable spot, because it's both their most important work and their most indefensible. They're fully aware of their sprint to the finish line of ending democracy.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:46 AM on October 14 [57 favorites]


I get what you're saying, but I feel that Bob Mueller's already shown he's not going that way.

Yet.

The questions Mueller's submitted to Trump's legal team for written response are, at least according to CNN's anonymous source, "focused on matters related to the investigation of possible collusion between Trump associates and Russians seeking to meddle in the 2016 election". Earlier this year, back when Rick Gates flipped, Trump's legal team was leaking about how Mueller wanted to ask questions about obstruction in what was obviously their effort to frame the issue in the media.

Since then, Mueller has also wrapped up Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen as cooperating witnesses in addition to Michael Flynn and Felix Sater, as well as assorted grand jury testimony from Trump 2016 campaign associates and interviews with White House staff who were also on the campaign—especially Don McGahn and Steve Bannon, whose cooperation seriously spooked Team Trump.

With the timing of the Trump White House's current full-court press to the media about how everything there continues to be a "well-oiled machine", one has to wonder if there's panic going on behind the scenes.
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:50 AM on October 14 [5 favorites]


Eventually you sell the house for more than you bought it for and pay back the original loan. You'd ordinarily have to pay capital gains on it, but since it's a real estate you can roll that loan directly into another house and never pay the capital gains either

If you’re trying to follow along/learn more, this is known as a 1031 exchange.
posted by phearlez at 9:51 AM on October 14 [5 favorites]


That's their real vulnerable spot, because it's both their most important work and their most indefensible. They're fully aware of their sprint to the finish line of ending democracy.

They're just going to steal the Georgia governor race by not allowing black people to vote. There's no more pretense or literacy tests or cover story, they're just tearing up votes from majority black districts and not even denying it:

Exclusive: High Rate of Absentee Ballot Rejection Reeks of Voter Suppression - WhoWhatWhy
Gwinnett County leads in rejecting mail-in ballots, with 398 turned away as of Thursday, according to numbers reported by the secretary of state’s office. Despite having only 12 percent of the state’s overall mail-in ballots, the county is responsible for 40 percent of statewide rejections so far.

The rejections show a pattern: Asian or Pacific Islander voters are rejected at four times the rate of white voters, while black voters are rejected at nearly three times the rate of white voters.
...
Gwinnett is a majority-minority county, where 62 percent of residents are nonwhite and one out of four residents are foreign-born. The county’s poverty rate is lower than the state’s average.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:04 AM on October 14 [42 favorites]


The Saudi official went on to say that the Kingdom is "as glorious and steadfast as ever".

As always seems to be the case this murder was preceded by overt misogyny: repression of Saudi women and overtly sexist attacks on Canada’s foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland.

These new Saudi regime is announcing exactly who they are and what they stand for.
posted by srboisvert at 10:15 AM on October 14 [4 favorites]


I increasingly feel like, since the rich are so good at dodging taxes and people are paid so much money to help them do it, what we really need to do is assess the value of the tax preparation and wealth structuring industry, and levy that entire value as a tax on wealth. (Not income, wealth.) Since presumably whatever they're getting paid, they're saving their wealthy patrons ten times that (at least), and the entire industry is nothing but rentiers, so let's levy that rent-seeking industry's tax-avoidance income as a tax on the wealth of their patrons -- those with wealth over $500 million, regardless of their liabilities (since half of those are fake and created by the rent-seeking wealth-sheltering industry).

As a bonus, it might build a constituency for going to government-prepared tax returns and destroying the TurboTax/H&R Block rentiers of the world who lobby to keep the tax code as complex as possible so people will pay them. ALL OF THAT GETS ROLLED INTO THE WEALTH TAX! The more we regular people have to pay TurboTax to do our excessively-complicated taxes because it makes Intuit money, the more it costs the super-wealthy!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:18 AM on October 14 [31 favorites]


Mueller's already prosecuted the hell out of Manafort for financial crimes. Manafort, along with Kushner and Junior met in Trump Tower with Russian criminals to discuss illegal contributions to the campaign. ( 52 USC 30121 ) There's no way Kushner and Junior are cleaner than Manafort.

Mueller handed the Manafort case off to New York, keeping open Manafort's option to become a federal witness on Trump's election interference with Russia in return for a lighter sentence and protection. Mueller's interest in Manafort pretty much begins and ends with his knowledge of Trump's collaboration with Russia. I have no doubt he'll put the screws to Kushner, or anyone else, in the same way, except, perhaps, for Trump, because his investigation into Trump is limited to the question of whether or not Trump collaborated with Russia to interfere in the election.

Mueller could release information on other crimes if he wanted to, but a lot of his past and current behavior suggests he likely won't. There was an interview on Vox with someone from Lawfare who explained that Mueller has led investigations in the past where the expectation was that he would uncover other related crimes and make them public, but instead released only information regarding the very specific questions he was charged with investigating. Also, the incredibly tight lid he's kept on the investigation's findings suggest he may not plan on making everything public at the end of the day.

I looked for the podcast, but I'm unsure which one it was. I did come across a bunch of lawfare articles basically saying no one knows what information Mueller will release, but there is a very good chance it will be limited to questions regarding Russia. It could really go either way. Maybe Mueller will release everything, a la Ken Starr, he's ever come across, but don't count on it.

I've been wondering why there hasn't been a public outcry to look into Trump's taxes. Maybe it's because many people are assuming Mueller's findings will include them? If so, I think it's a mistake to count on that. Where is the call on the news, and from the people, asking that a proven tax criminal's current taxes be investigated? How is the IRS justifying not looking into him? The NYTime's article was a bombshell, and I am amazed it hasn't appeared to make a splash at all with the public. An investigation into Trump's taxes is the best bet for uncovering crimes that can, and should, get him impeached.
posted by xammerboy at 10:32 AM on October 14 [4 favorites]


Here's one of the lawfare articles: will-we-ever-learn-what-bob-mueller-knows
posted by xammerboy at 10:41 AM on October 14 [2 favorites]


W Grant deducting the entire purchase price in same year. That cost is spread out into the future, over the legal lifespan of the asset. It is not designed for the benefit of the rich, it is designed to more accurately reflect, over time, the deduction of the expense of large items bought for use in EVERY business.

Ah. I think I've found where we disagree. You've accepted the premise that deducting "business expenses" from taxation is legitimate and I disagree completely.

Why would we ever agree that a business gets to deduct their expenses from their taxes? I don't get to deduct the amount I spend on food, or rent, or transport, from my taxes. Why would I possibly agree that it's a good idea to let the rich fucks deduct the money they spend on keeping corporate America going from their taxes?

I'd argue that one huge problem in America today is that businesses don't pay nearly enough taxes. Getting rid of the idea that they can deduct "business expenses" seems like a damn fine place to start. I certainly won't agree that businesses should get special corporate asshole deductions that I don't.
posted by sotonohito at 10:41 AM on October 14 [21 favorites]


I've been wondering why there hasn't been a public outcry to look into Trump's taxes.

Avaaz has one on the go right now.
posted by flabdablet at 10:43 AM on October 14 [1 favorite]


One thing I don't understand is why the Time's article doesn't automatically trigger an IRS investigation. You would think if a billionaire was caught massively cheating on their taxes in the past, that would automatically trigger an investigation into their current taxes? I feel like it's futile to try and make this congress investigate Trump's taxes, though we should try, but it should not be impossible to hold the IRS to doing its job.
posted by xammerboy at 10:50 AM on October 14 [4 favorites]


The IRS commissioner is a Trump appointee, that pretty much explains why they won't investigate anything about his taxes either.

This is why functioning democracies don't elect obvious criminals to be president.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:54 AM on October 14 [29 favorites]




I increasingly feel like, since the rich are so good at dodging taxes and people are paid so much money to help them do it, what we really need to do is assess the value of the tax preparation and wealth structuring industry,

If companies are so good at avoiding taxes we should seize/ buy out 75% of thier stock and distribute half of the control to the employees
posted by The Whelk at 11:18 AM on October 14 [15 favorites]


Largest West Virginia coal mine shuts, 400 miners out of work.

There was a time. Aeons ago in the dark ages of 2016, when I'd have been sympathetic to those put out of work.

One of the things the Trump Presidency has cost me is my empathy towards his voters. I'm about 50% meh, and 50% laughing and hoping they suffer even 1/10th as much as one of the children Trump has been gleefully torturing for their white supremacist enjoyment.
posted by sotonohito at 11:21 AM on October 14 [47 favorites]


In a fuctioning country, all of this would've been investigated years ago - but when you spend 40 years defunding and delegitamizing insitutions like the IRS they become hollow signifiers, which was tge entire point.

All of this is the fruiting body end result of a campaign that began decades ago.
posted by The Whelk at 11:27 AM on October 14 [37 favorites]


Update: in a development that will surprise precisely nobody, the Proud Boys went out after the speech and beat the shit out of people and yelled homophobic slurs. There's video. The event at the Metropolitan Club itself was held to celebrate the murder of a Japanese socialist in 1960.

Unsurprisingly, the NYT reported this as Fight Breaks Out Near Republic Club After Visit by Gavin McInnes, Police Say. Not assaults, a fight! And despite there being video, they hedge with a wishywashy "police say".

Surprisingly, the normally execrable Maggie Haberman seems to subtweet her own paper, linking to a Buzzfeed article that takes the situation seriously. I guess she's not worried about maintaining access to McInnes.
posted by great_radio at 11:54 AM on October 14 [12 favorites]


Does anyone happen to have a good ballot guide for California? I'm filling mine out and I have no idea about any of the judicial/downballot candidates.
posted by downtohisturtles at 12:57 PM on October 14


I’m plotting a California election FPP like we did in 2016, sometime in the next week, since there’s a lot to dig into. Memail me or ping me on the politics slack if you have thoughts on what should be included.
posted by zachlipton at 1:06 PM on October 14 [6 favorites]


One of the things the Trump Presidency has cost me is my empathy towards his voters. I'm about 50% meh, and 50% laughing and hoping they suffer even 1/10th as much as one of the children Trump has been gleefully torturing for their white supremacist enjoyment.

Trump will be out of office one day unless his head is plugged into an immortal mech of some sort. The empathy lost, by choice on one side and out of the necessity of survival on the other, is never coming back.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:09 PM on October 14 [11 favorites]


> Why would we ever agree that a business gets to deduct their expenses from their taxes?

So- the logic goes like this. You buy a car for $1k and use it to earn 1k. You haven't profited yet. But you have 1k of income. Deducting the car (or some fraction of it each year) lets you more fairly assess what you are really earning from the business. If you could sell the car immediately for the purchase price, you would be up 1k, but it has depreciated some, so you are only up some fraction of the 1k and are taxed on that.

As to whether people should be able to deduct more things- I don't know. But it makes sense for business.
posted by BungaDunga at 1:09 PM on October 14 [3 favorites]


If companies are so good at avoiding taxes we should seize/ buy out 75% of thier stock and distribute half of the control to the employees

nuns vs. guns
posted by kliuless at 1:23 PM on October 14 [1 favorite]


Elizabeth Warren builds expansive Democratic campaign effort ahead of likely 2020 bid
The Warren effort, while beneficial to a presidential campaign she said she will “take a hard look” at after the midterms, also signals how decentralized the national Democratic Party has become as most of the energy is being generated by individuals who are building their own operations.

On the fundraising front alone, scores of Democrats have raised more than $1 million each in pursuit of House seats this year; in Texas, Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke pulled in more than $38 million in the most recent fundraising quarter.

Warren is still helping the official campaign committees — donating and raising money for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, for example — but much of her work is independent of them and appears aimed at restocking a Democratic bench that has become woefully thin in recent years.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:34 PM on October 14 [10 favorites]


The person with the capital-intensive business has the same requirements for food/rent/transportation, and doesn't get to deduct them; that's not creating an uneven playing field between the two businesses. Again the idea is to make more capital-intensive businesses competitive (because that's generally how progress works—you want more capital investment in tools, machines, etc., so you get more stuff per unit labor, a/k/a productivity), in situations where they would be penalized under a straight income-based tax scheme because of the high short-term cost and tendency to wear out over time. Put differently: without being able to account for and deduct depreciation, it creates an incentive to not invest in equipment, which is considered a perverse outcome.

Things that everyone is subject to are covered by the standard deduction. That's its entire purpose—well, that and preventing a lot of people from having to itemize. Creating a new class of itemized deductibles that basically everyone was entitled to file for would be a big win for Intuit and various tax preparers, but it doesn't seem like it would be a huge windfall for everyone else.

There are specific deductions that are absolutely handouts and loopholes created for various industries. The tax code is rife with them. But the idea of depreciation in general is pretty uncontroversial. There are better hills to die on politically than that one.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:39 PM on October 14 [10 favorites]


Does anyone happen to have a good ballot guide for California? I'm filling mine out and I have no idea about any of the judicial/downballot candidates.

I do one every election for my friends (incl. a number of MeFites) and would be glad to Memail it to you. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction race is really important this year and I’m voting for Tony Thurmond for that office, partly because he’d be really good, and partly because Thurmond’s opponent is a nightmare DeVos clone who would do a lot of damage to public education. As far as judicial stuff goes, I’m voting not to retain Carol Corrigan on the CA Supreme Court. I mentioned this at the tail end of the last thread when someone asked: Corrigan was a dissenting vote in the 2008 same-sex marriage case In re Marriage Cases (i.e., voting to deny same-sex couples civil rights), and I would prefer to have a judiciary that reflects my values.
posted by donatella at 1:39 PM on October 14 [15 favorites]


CNN: Secretary Zinke's Calendar Omissions Date To His Very First Day In Office
Ryan Zinke's very first meeting as interior secretary was never put on his official calendar.

It was a meeting scheduled to last five minutes with Chris Cox, the executive director of the National Rifle Association's lobbying arm, on the sidelines of an event with other sportsmen.[...]

The meetings are coming to light now only because of internal memos and other notes, released through a Freedom of Information Act request, that reveal these meetings and others that were not noted on his calendar, glaring omissions from what is supposed to be a complete record of the secretary's activities.

The monthly calendars the Interior Department has released publicly in response to Freedom of Information Act requests have often left off or obscured some meetings. More detailed accounts of Zinke's time are found in separate briefing memos prepared by his staff, which have not been released with the calendars and were obtained only by filing another FOIA request.
While all this may reach Pruitt-level impropriety, Zinke's actions almost certainly cross the line:
Among the new Zinke records are emails and briefing documents from his scheduler with subject lines like "Secretary Daily Schedule." The documents list time frames, locations and attendees for meetings that do not appear on the calendar Zinke's office released.

Norm Eisen, the Obama administration's co-called ethics czar, said the omissions are outside the norm and show "a shocking pattern of affirmatively concealing meetings with special interest influencers."

"It appears to violate federal law, which in my view requires that such records be maintained and produced," said Eisen, who is board chairman of the nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution think tank and a CNN political commentator.

Several of the undisclosed or obscured meetings included representatives from energy companies, whose interest in the Interior Department could stem from its ownership of public lands, regulation of mining and some energy production, and enforcement of certain environmental laws.
By diligently combing records and e-mails, CNN found several examples of Zinke meeting, sub rosa, with energy company executives, but the pattern of his activity suggests there are more out there.
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:44 PM on October 14 [35 favorites]


I realize this is a derail, but to clarify the idea of business expenses...certainly some deductions are necessary.
... But the idea of depreciation in general is pretty uncontroversial.


That may be your opinion, but you may not be aware that some states do just fine by charging business income tax on gross revenue without any deductions or depreciation. There are no itemized deductions, but in exchange, the tax rates are much lower. This eliminates all the gaming and loopholes. You add up your revenue and you pay your tax. That's it.

Don't assume that just because you have done things one way that it is the only reasonable way to tax businesses. Business lobbyists like to make the tax code complicated because those complications provide many loopholes to game the system.
posted by JackFlash at 1:51 PM on October 14 [5 favorites]


Mueller handed the Manafort case off to New York

Mueller handed off Cohen to SDNY. He kept Manafort.
posted by chris24 at 1:53 PM on October 14 [3 favorites]


There are better hills to die on politically than that one.

Please stop pretending that anyone is doing that, or that devoting any mental cycles to “Jared Kushner is at best an abuser of the tax code if not actively criminal” is betraying the hashtag-Resistance.

Let people be mad at stuff.
posted by Etrigan at 2:00 PM on October 14 [37 favorites]


Trump calls on blacks to ‘honor’ Republicans with votes, then praises Confederate general Robert E. Lee

Response from Rev. Robert Lee IV concerning his great-great-great-great-uncle, "...yet again out president is lying and showing us his true colors, he is showing us he supports an idol of white supremacy and of hatred. Robert E Lee fought for the continued enslavement of black bodies. It was for states' rights, yes, but it was for states' rights to own slaves. I find myself saddened by the state of our nation." He encourages people to vote to show Trump that white supremacy has no place in our government.
posted by peeedro at 3:02 PM on October 14 [71 favorites]


YouGov's "lower turnout" 2018 scenario: GOP holds house by 1.

The GOP will do absolutely everything in its power (legal and legitimate or otherwise, mostly otherwise) to keep D turnout low. Anybody counting on a victory in the House is counting chickens.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:54 PM on October 14 [18 favorites]


I went canvassing today in the suburbs outside of Philly. I had a registered Republican (white man, huge house) stop me in the middle of my recitation of the candidate's positions to say that he didn't need to hear it because, for the first time ever, he's voting all Democrats. He said he's sick of what the GOP is doing. I had other Republicans tell me that they strongly support the candidate (for the PA House of Representative) and are enthusiastic about voting for the other Dems on the ticket. Same thing from a number of Independents.

Of course this is just anecdotal. What I'm really trying to tell you is: go find a campaign and canvass. This all comes down to getting out the vote. It honestly isn't my favorite thing to do, but it is so important. Ask yourself: if you don't do it, who will?
posted by mcduff at 3:59 PM on October 14 [74 favorites]


The Register's endorsements for Congress: GOP has failed to govern; give Democrats a chance - Des Moines Register Editorial
The Register’s editorial board normally considers each congressional race individually before making endorsements. We interview the candidates, if possible, and review their backgrounds and public positions. We consider character and the candidate’s depth of understanding of issues. We have been known, at times, to endorse a candidate we disagree with on issues rather than one we doubt could follow through on promised change.

We went through the same process this year, although no Republican incumbents chose to meet with us. Some of the challengers are more prepared than others. We were especially impressed by Republican Christopher Peters’ growth as a second-time challenger to Rep. Dave Loebsack in the 2nd District.

But the stakes are too high this year to worry about whether some candidates have sufficiently detailed agendas or know enough about how some parts of the government work. Nothing short of a change in party leadership in Congress will move this country forward. That’s why we’re recommending that Iowa voters send home Reps. Rod Blum, David Young and Steve King and return Rep. Dave Loebsack to the House
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:11 PM on October 14 [29 favorites]


Jesus H. Christ this is why both of them need to go the fuck away and get the fuck out of every level of Democratic politics: Hillary Clinton: Bill's affair with Monica Lewinsky wasn't an abuse of power because 'she was an adult'

Neither of them can do any good for us at all going forward. We don't need them, we need desperately for them both to retire and never speak publicly again, and stop dragging the party and the country down every time either of them opens their mouth.

Retire. Both of you.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:36 PM on October 14 [71 favorites]


The ONE reason "Me Too" didn't happen twenty-plus years ago was Bill Clinton and his influence over the Democratic Party. And Hillary is a textbook case for an enabler. Yes, I voted for her in November 2016, but not when she was facing other competition in the primaries, 2016 and 2008. I heard all her feminist rhetoric, but it just made me very uncomfortable the idea that the first Woman President would be an enabler.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:53 PM on October 14 [7 favorites]


Daniel Dale is livetweeting Trump's 60 Minutes interview.

Notably, it's the first time someone has finally pressed him on his climate change views (the fact that this is new is alone an indictment of the entire system we have for White House reporting): "I think something’s happening. Something’s changing - and it’ll change back again. I don't think it's a hoax, I think there's probably a difference. But I don't know that it's man-made." If you click through, he goes on to say scientists disagree and he doesn't want to lose money or jobs doing anything about it and demands to be shown scientists "because they have a very big political agenda."

Why did he say he loves Kim Jong Un? "Stahl reads Trump Kim Jong Un's awfulness resume. Trump says that he knows these things, since he is "not a baby." Asked why he said he "fell in love" with such a bad guy, Trump says that this was just a "figure of speech.""

@ddale8: Trump concedes that Putin is "probably" involved in assassinations and poisonings, but he says, "I rely on them, it's not in our country."

It continues to go downhill from there.
posted by zachlipton at 4:55 PM on October 14 [14 favorites]


That may be your opinion, but you may not be aware that some states do just fine by charging business income tax on gross revenue without any deductions or depreciation. There are no itemized deductions, but in exchange, the tax rates are much lower. This eliminates all the gaming and loopholes. You add up your revenue and you pay your tax. That's it.

I was not aware of that, so thank you. But I would call that a sales tax. Government must get its due one way or another, but to avoid moral hazard I much prefer they get their cut from the bottom line, not off the top.
posted by M-x shell at 4:57 PM on October 14


How many times has Trump insisted he's not a baby? And have any other presidents even done so once?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:06 PM on October 14 [5 favorites]


How many times has Trump insisted he's not a baby?
It's a meme. And a syndicated comic strip.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:13 PM on October 14 [2 favorites]


How many times has Trump insisted he's not a baby?

That wasn't even the only time he did it in the same interview.

That was a two-"baby," two-"babies" interview. (he also said "I'm not saying I trust everybody in the White House. I'm not a baby.")
posted by zachlipton at 5:18 PM on October 14 [2 favorites]


Of course he’s not a baby. He’s a toddler.
posted by Etrigan at 5:22 PM on October 14 [6 favorites]


Bad art alert: It's hanging in the White House.
posted by armacy at 5:24 PM on October 14 [16 favorites]


It's hanging in the White House.

God, can you imagine how that conversation would actually go...?
posted by Grangousier at 5:29 PM on October 14 [1 favorite]


We are all stinkeye Coolidge
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:39 PM on October 14 [7 favorites]


I'm surprised they're not playing poker.
posted by SPrintF at 5:53 PM on October 14 [12 favorites]


I’m surprised it doesn’t depict Obama as a waiter or something servile. That is more pugilism than art, though good job on making trump look like someone who is able to sit still and pay attention.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:59 PM on October 14


God, can you imagine how that conversation would actually go...?

Most of the men at that table would be congratulating Trump for getting further than they did.
posted by great_radio at 6:04 PM on October 14 [4 favorites]


Stinkeye Coolidge is my new sockpuppet account
posted by entropicamericana at 6:06 PM on October 14 [6 favorites]


Do you think that Trump notices the woman in the background center striding purposefully up to the table?
posted by octothorpe at 6:07 PM on October 14 [7 favorites]


Also given the deadness of everybody else this painting presumably takes place in the underworld, reminding us that better days are coming.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:16 PM on October 14 [20 favorites]


That it's not printed on black velvet is astonishing.
posted by MarchHare at 6:26 PM on October 14 [18 favorites]


Government must get its due one way or another, but to avoid moral hazard I much prefer they get their cut from the bottom line, not off the top.

I have no idea how your magical buzz phrase moral hazard worked its way in there ...

But, tax dodgers love your bottom line. That is because, while the top line is easily defined, the bottom line can be anything you and your lobbyists and accountants want it to be.

There are some 10,000 pages of tax code and most of those are all about redefining the bottom line, as distinct from the top line -- mortgage deductions, depreciation, long term and short term capital gains, itemized deductions, earned income vs investment income vs passive income, ISOs vs NQSOs vs ESOPs, IRAs, Roth IRAs, 401(k)s, trusts, S-corps vs C-corps vs partnerships, mergers vs acquisitions and on and on.

All of those thousands of pages are about fudging that bottom line. And that is how you get guys like Trump and Kushner acquiring hundreds of million of dollars without paying any taxes.
posted by JackFlash at 6:32 PM on October 14 [15 favorites]


I just have to wonder what the split is on what they pay lawyers and accountants to parse those 10,000 pages. I mean, it must be a difference of what? Paying a cadre of professional tax dodgers 10 million to save 50 million in taxes? Or something? 10 to 100? 10 to 500? What does a thief earn these days versus the tax code?
posted by valkane at 6:48 PM on October 14


T.D. Strange: "Gwinnett County leads in rejecting mail-in ballots, with 398 turned away as of Thursday, according to numbers reported by the secretary of state’s office. Despite having only 12 percent of the state’s overall mail-in ballots, the county is responsible for 40 percent of statewide rejections so far."

It appears Gwinnett is requiring year of birth on the form, although there isn't a space for it, and state law does not require it. Legal action likely pending.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:14 PM on October 14 [24 favorites]


[We can probably more than leave the tax jousting be at this point, folks. It's okay if the thread is actually just quiet when nothing's happening.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:36 PM on October 14 [11 favorites]


Dem position on the generic seems to be on the upswing since Kavanaugh:

* Ipsos: D+12 (50/38)

* ABC/WP: D+13 (55/42)

* Harris: D+9 (49/40)

538 average is now D+8.7 (50.3/41.6), pretty near the peak, and the first time D over 50. On the other hand, Senate polling has been lousy, and House polling has been pretty meh, too.

Maybe we're seeing the blue wave fracture into partisan intensity on both sides, meaning the generic is reflecting Dems running up the score in blue areas, and the Dem pickups will be limited to Clinton districts and narrowly Trump districts. Or maybe this is more like Virginia 2017, where public polling showed a very close race, but general sentiment (and Dem private polling) was strongly blue (which in the end was correct).

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by Chrysostom at 7:49 PM on October 14 [18 favorites]


I am a total Maciej Ceglowski fanboy, but as he himself has acknowledged vimeo his efforts at organizing have had mixed results at best.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:59 PM on October 9


I watched the entire video that you linked to, and from his accounting he has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars despite a rough start, and by his account many of these races are in play as a result. I'm not sure why we saw two different videos.

Maciej at Webstock
posted by craniac at 8:11 PM on October 14


Fixed.
posted by homunculus at 8:12 PM on October 14 [3 favorites]


538 average is now D+8.7 (50.3/41.6), pretty near the peak, and the first time D over 50. On the other hand, Senate polling has been lousy, and House polling has been pretty meh, too.

The conventional wisdom appears to be that generic ballot polling is a leading indicator while district polling is a lagging indicator. And if there's one thing the last 2 years has proven it's that the conventional political wisdom is always right on the money.
posted by Justinian at 8:15 PM on October 14 [2 favorites]


Yeah, we did see some of this divergence between generic and district polling earlier, maybe two or three months ago?

Also there's this thing where the Siena/NYT polls are a big chunk of the public polling right now, which could be a problem if they're wonky. Like they just finished PA-01 and MN-08, and not only were they both *considerably* off expectations, they were off in opposite directions. That does't mean they're wrong, and it doesn't mean that Siena is doing anything wrong, but it does remind you that we can't just rely on one set of numbers.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:24 PM on October 14 [1 favorite]


The election is still 3 weeks away, lagging indicators trending the wrong direction isn't great this far out.

Also my tea leaves this morning settled in the shape of "D+9", so.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:24 PM on October 14 [1 favorite]


I never predict anything, so I can never be proven wrong! It's a foolproof scheme.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:27 PM on October 14 [11 favorites]


Instead of looking at election polling I've taken to staring at the third panel of Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights for three hours a day.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:28 PM on October 14 [68 favorites]


The New York Times wants to hear from YOU.
Are you a sentient tortiose-person, awakened from centuries of slumber after nuclear fallout permeated your high desert burrow? The New York Times would like to offer you a full-time columnist position, so long as you are willing to praise Donald Trump at least three times in every column and refrain from having any discernible opinion on consuming humans for food. (Humans will be provided.)
posted by euphorb at 8:49 PM on October 14 [11 favorites]


I'm surprised they're not playing poker.
posted by SPrintF at 8:53 PM on October 14 [4 favorites +] [!]


That one hasn't been updated yet.

This one's more tolerable, although I wouldn't mind a version with Harriet Tubman replacing you-know-who.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 8:52 PM on October 14 [3 favorites]


The Daily Beast provides more information about the painting, which I realize as I type that phrase is something nobody should want to know more about, yet we've come this far so we might as well finish it:
But one person was thrilled to learn that it was hanging on the wall of Trump’s office—the artist himself.

Thomas told The Daily Beast that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), a fan of the artist’s work, gave the print to Trump.

“He had actually given a me real gracious call to tell me how much he liked it,” Thomas said of Trump. “He was very complimentary. He made a comment that he’d seen a lot of paintings of himself and he rarely liked them.”
...
He said that as far as he knows, no other president has his artwork. He said Issa has both the Democratic and Republican prints hanging in his office and commissioned a portrait of himself from Thomas, who also paints cowboys.
Really thrilled to know this wasn't just a staff-level decorating decision, but something the President himself felt compelled to make a phone call about.

Obligatory West Wing: the President is told he can choose decor from the Smithsonian's collection, and says he wants Apollo 11
posted by zachlipton at 9:14 PM on October 14 [3 favorites]




Much as I want automatic registration, I think making Voting Day a holiday would prit' near take care of voter registration by itself.
posted by rhizome at 9:31 PM on October 14 [6 favorites]


I don't want to like Avenatti but he's the only one making constitutional hardball arguments to rebut the Republican's attacks on the entire concept of democracy. And what I want above anything else is a Democratic party that plays hardball like Republicans have for 40 years. I don't want compromise on any topic, in any area, or on one single nominee. I want our own Mitch McConnell, and I want that fictional person to punch Chuck Schumer in the fucking face. And I wont settle for Creepy Uncle Joe Biden because Joe Manchin likes him or because Obama who lost 1000 Democratic seats in 8 years tells us to Vote For Joe.

I'm not going to be happy about voting Avenatti in the 2020 primary, but right now it's between him and Warren, with everyone else distant third. If Avenatti is the only one speaking to how angry I am over the last 4 years, you know what?, he won my vote fair and square.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:34 PM on October 14 [44 favorites]


Avenatti actually cares about hard political power and doesn't approach elections like one more late-night round of settlers of catan that you agree to even though you just want to go home.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:42 PM on October 14 [11 favorites]


I'm not sure I'd go as far as actually vote for Avenatti, but I have had a little voice in the back of my head for the last month screaming we need a new Voting Rights Act.

And DC statehood.
posted by BungaDunga at 9:46 PM on October 14 [10 favorites]


I'm willing to give Donnie this one. It's a pretty amazing painting.
posted by rhizome at 9:52 PM on October 14 [7 favorites]


We have an entire damned amendment that gives the Feds the power to ensure equal access to the vote, and with a brand new VRA it will be slightly harder for whatever partisan hacks are on SCOTUS to overturn like they did the last one.

Preclearance in some states and not others is unconstitutional (per Shelby)? Fine. Apply preclearance to everyone. Fund a new independent agency to oversee it. In states that aren't trying to suppress votes, they'll get preclearance easily. Tie the rest up in lawsuits forever, and impose uniform voting rules on them.
posted by BungaDunga at 9:53 PM on October 14 [7 favorites]


overturn like they did the last one

(to clarify I'm talking about the preclearance provisions, which were overturned in Shelby)
posted by BungaDunga at 9:54 PM on October 14


I'm not sure I'd go as far as actually vote for Avenatti

And I'd rather vote for any other mainstream Democrat that made those arguments, but none are.

If California was Republican and they faced a permanent Senate minorty like we do, they would absolutely break it into 7 different gerrymandered to hell "States". If there were 4-6 free Republican Senators between Bizarro-DC, Bizarro-Puerto Rico and Bizarro-Guam/Samoa, you think those places would still be not states? Fuck no. All norms died the moment McConnell refused to hold a hearing on Garland. Period. It's over. Norms are fucking done, all that matters is power. We have an absolute majority of human voters, and they do not. Any action that doesn't acknowledge and leverage that to the absolute maximum is surrender to permanent minority rule.

And no Democrat except maybe Avenatti is acknowledging that fact, not really even Warren.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:54 PM on October 14 [51 favorites]


We have no idea what they're going to say or support when it comes to campaigning for 2020. Unlike Avenatti, who has a full time job of promoting Michael Avenatti, the other potential candidates are actually busy doing things trying to help the country. We should probably wait until 2019 before judging this thing.
posted by Justinian at 9:57 PM on October 14 [32 favorites]


Yeah. After Trump, the precedent is that you must have held public office before you can run for president. If Avenatti really wants to serve his country, he can start by trying to win a senate seat or a governorship or something. You don’t get to just walk into the top job.
posted by chrchr at 9:59 PM on October 14 [14 favorites]


Sure, and if we don't win this one in 2018 who knows if we'll even have a 2020 election.

But I sure wish our actual Democratic leaders were as strategic and righteously pissed off as Avenatti, hell, as people in these threads have been from the start, and were planning that far ahead for the long game.

Instead we're left justifying Chuck Schumer's latest batch of judges.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:01 PM on October 14 [8 favorites]


If you have time to be worried about Avenatti or to decry Schumer more than once a day, you have time to canvas, phonebank, write postcards, or otherwise help get Democrats elected in the midterms. Worry about 2020 once this battle is done.
posted by zachlipton at 10:04 PM on October 14 [61 favorites]


Much as I want automatic registration, I think making Voting Day a holiday would prit' near take care of voter registration by itself.

Except for voters whose eligibility was purged under our current capricious voter eligibility system, e.g. in Georgia where the dude running for governor is also the dude in charge of determining who can vote. Automatic registration would reduce the power of dudes like that.
posted by SakuraK at 10:09 PM on October 14 [6 favorites]


Ability to vote on Election Day is a separate issue from voter registration.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:12 PM on October 14 [8 favorites]


"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." (some ancient Chinese wise man)
And the long journey America must go to become the Democracy it never really has been begins with a single election... the one on November 6th. I've said before that we won't be out of danger until we survive the '18, '20, '22 and '24 election cycles. We just have to do this one first.
"You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want." (some recent American asshole)
But we go to the polls with the candidates we have, some of whom are the ones we want, others not nearly so, and then work on finding and developing new and better candidates. But we just have to do this one first.
I have my own suspicions (both hopes and fears) that the pollsters' scorekeeping may turn out less accurate than usual. So many variables and so many things that might go right - or wrong.
22 days and counting.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:20 PM on October 14 [10 favorites]


Is it true that you can only go to one polling place in your electorate on election day in the US? That feels like something worth addressing alongside the voter registration thing - have an electronic electoral roll, set up a polling place in every school, and then when someone checks in at one of them they're checked off everywhere. That way you don't have to have such enormous lines to vote, and people can change their plans depending on what's going on that day.

But I'm hearing the voice of the mods in the back of my head going 'is this really news or responding to a recent event' so I'm going to... still post this, I guess

We can all get in trouble together
posted by Merus at 10:23 PM on October 14 [4 favorites]


For the love of all that is holy, can we stop pre-litigating the 2020 primaries?

> Worry about 2020 once this battle is done.

Yes. Exactly that.
posted by Nerd of the North at 10:25 PM on October 14 [19 favorites]


"We just have to do this one first." (Ancient MetaFilter commenter)
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:53 PM on October 14 [4 favorites]


For the love of all that is holy, can we stop pre-litigating the 2020 primaries?
Hey, speaking of the Maine governor’s race...

Yes, indeed. While everyone is (justifiably) hating on Susan Collins, there’s really nothing to be done about her until 2020. If people would forget about Collins for the moment and concentrate on next month, we might be able to stop having a horrible Republican (“Wall Street flunky”) representative in District 2. We’re finally getting rid of the even worse Republican governor we’ve been plagued with for the last eight years, thanks to term limits, and it would be nice if we could avoid being stuck with his replacement Shawn Moody. (Moody only got 5% of the vote when he ran for governor in 2010, but as we all know, standards for Republican candidates have gone way downhill since then.)

Politico just mentioned that Maine Democrats are starting to figure this out. If you’re looking for races/candidates who might need support and want to make Susan Collins unhappy, surely she wouldn’t be pleased if she’s the only Republican left standing among Maine’s governor, two U.S. senators, and two U.S. representatives.
posted by LeLiLo at 11:39 PM on October 14 [20 favorites]


Is it true that you can only go to one polling place in your electorate on election day in the US?

Yes, it's true. Every registered voter is assigned a polling place near their residence. The real issue is that every election day devolves at some sites to a denial of service attack as issues with registrations require exceptional handling, and any machine issues can be a showstopper. ( Small voting sites get ONE machine, and if it dies, there ARE emergency ballot procedures, but it's still more sand in the gears )

In a perfect world, it would require no more than 10 minutes from entering the polling place to leaving. At a minimum I would +1 the machines at every site, so that if there was an issue, the line didn't grind to a halt.
posted by mikelieman at 12:03 AM on October 15 [5 favorites]


That’s not true everywhere. In Travis County, Texas, you can vote at any polling location in the county (if you’re registered in Travis) during early voting and on election day. It should be that way everywhere.
posted by Orb at 12:19 AM on October 15 [10 favorites]


I am Jack's total lack of surprise:

Donald Trump finally just said it: he doesn’t care if Kavanaugh’s accuser is telling the truth
[...]
Stahl followed up: “But you seem to be saying that she lied.”
“I’m not going to get into it,” Trump said. “Because we won. It doesn’t matter. We won.”
Trump turned the Republican subtext on Ford into text: Ford’s story — true or not — is not important.
Any chance of any journalist following up on this? No one? Oh well...
posted by PontifexPrimus at 12:57 AM on October 15 [62 favorites]


If we can ship Warren/Majority Leader why not Avenatti/DNC chair?
posted by contraption at 1:13 AM on October 15 [12 favorites]


I'm listening.
posted by rhizome at 2:34 AM on October 15


Boston Globe, Warren releases results of DNA test
Senator Elizabeth Warren has released a DNA test that provides “strong evidence’’ she had a Native American in her family tree dating back 6 to 10 generations, an unprecedented move by one of the top possible contenders for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president.
She really couldn't have waited to do this after the midterms? It's a real test done by an expert, not Ancestry.com or whatever, but the story is still largely lacking in cultural context or the voices of Native Americans, who have some pretty strong opinions on this topic that go beyond DNA test results.

Anyway, she's running.
posted by zachlipton at 3:02 AM on October 15 [28 favorites]


I completely understand why she did that because, yes, she's running. But it's disgusting to see good people forced to jump through these hoops by assnozzles like Trump. It's like if Obama was forced to publish his birth certificate to prove he was an American to a bunch of racist assholes and that... oh, wait that happened too. It's all bullshit and if she thinks Trump will stop hitting her on this or calling her Pocahontas she will be disappointed. (Of course I strongly suspect she doesn't believe that.)

Secondly, go back 10 generations in America and it'd surprise me if you didn't find some Native American DNA. The power of exponents.
posted by Justinian at 3:13 AM on October 15 [23 favorites]


Just spent an evening in the Fargo area, flipped on the TV, immediately got two TV commercials: Heidi Heitkamp in a warm, homey, well-produced commercial full of both-sides-ism, saying that both parties do bad things, but she's an independent.

This was immediately followed by a shouty anti-Heitkamp commercial that went full-Willie-Horton by showing the distorted face of some guy in a murder case a few years ago and ranting about "sanctuary cities".

Heitkamp is running about 8 points back in the averages.
posted by gimonca at 4:42 AM on October 15 [7 favorites]




She really couldn't have waited to do this after the midterms?

Not that she's at risk, but she is actually one of the people running for re-election in those midterms - against a Trumpkin and a guy who travels around the state in a charter bus proclaiming himself "The Real Indian."

Also, now that she's taken the test, will Donnie pay up?
posted by adamg at 6:27 AM on October 15 [14 favorites]


Circling back to tent cities for kids, wapo had this story. Note, in the footage, there are no girls. Where are the girls?
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:28 AM on October 15 [18 favorites]


Laura McGann in Vox: “I’m not going to get into it,” Trump said. “Because we won. It doesn’t matter. We won.” Trump turned the Republican subtext on Ford into text: Ford’s story — true or not — is not important.

PontifexPrimus: Any chance of any journalist following up on this? No one? Oh well...

What do you suppose following up would look like? As the article says, this is subtext made text, and even less-politically-engaged Americans were already familiar with the subtext because it naturally bleeds into related notions.

At this point, for the most part, any given American either thinks Kavanaugh is guilty and shouldn't be a justice, or that he didn't do it and by the way it doesn't matter if he did. It's the emperor's new clothes -- lots of people may articulate words to the effect that they're "torn", that they sympathize with Ford and they see his side as well, but nobody's eyeballs are actually providing a vision of a clothed emperor, they're just hoping it can seem that way from the outside.

Trump's own words aren't "The emperor is actually nude" but literally "It doesn't matter", and you're never going to extract anything more specific from him than that. Sarah Sanders can just say "He's right that we should move on" or whatever. It's his horrible "animals" remark all over again -- yes, he's saying the quiet part out loud, but still not at maximum volume.

Justinian: Secondly, go back 10 generations in America and it'd surprise me if you didn't find some Native American DNA. The power of exponents.

The exponentiation isn't endless -- at some point parts of the tree have to collapse, which either may or may not include any of a number of demographics. I'm a white American and I suspect it's likelier that my own parents are, like, 12th cousins than that I have any Native ancestry.

Warren's apparent heritage may be miniscule but not entirely meaningless, and supports a hypothesis I've seen here, that the knowledge of it was passed down in family lore. As far as I can tell she only ever "used" this once in her life, namely marking herself as a minority in some Harvard form after acceptance there, and there's no evidence it ever benefited her. (I'm reminded of a birther-adjacent smear about Obama, that he tried for some kind of special scholarship for foreign-born students, which is of course untrue.)

It was still a screwup on her part to ever claim it, because no tribe/nation seems to claim her. But hopefully this DNA thing still knocks some wind out of the smear's sails. (Ideally she would add an acknowledgement of the screwup, but the politics of that gets complicated fast.) The awful thing is considering that it probably won't, and Donald will just keep saying the slur with the new implication that it rightly applies to Native people, rather than the old implication that it was just about calling her "fake".
posted by InTheYear2017 at 6:31 AM on October 15 [8 favorites]


Weijia Jiang, White House correspondent for CBS News:

@realDonaldTrump says he spoke to Saudi King Salman for about 20 minutes by phone, and the King “firmly denies” “any knowledge” in the disappearance of #Khashoggi. Trump suggested it could have been “rogue killers”.
posted by bluecore at 6:44 AM on October 15 [1 favorite]


If you watch Warren's video, she says that her father's parents opposed his relationship with her mother due to her known native ancestry, so the couple eloped and enjoyed a long marriage. This is core to Warren's family story, not distant lore. And people have a right to tell their family stories... at least in a sane world, they do.
posted by Scram at 6:47 AM on October 15 [46 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump says he spoke to Saudi King Salman for about 20 minutes by phone, and the King “firmly denies” “any knowledge” in the disappearance of #Khashoggi. Trump suggested it could have been “rogue killers”.

Apparently Saudi Arabia remain curiously uninterested in who might have breached embassy security in such a profound way.
posted by jaduncan at 6:49 AM on October 15 [32 favorites]


now that she's taken the test, will Donnie pay up?

(narrator voice) Donnie never pays up.
posted by flabdablet at 6:52 AM on October 15 [10 favorites]


I think Warren needs to embrace the native American ancestry thing and proclaim it loud and proud, a la: my family history includes people from many different places like so many Americans, we are all one human race, etc, etc. Reclaim it and use it as a rallying point.
posted by Sublimity at 6:54 AM on October 15 [6 favorites]


- I can't recall where I read this - and I've been looking! - but Election Day, while never a federal holiday, used to be an occasion for celebration with parades and what not, but of course that was when only white men had the vote. Maybe a big splashy holiday along the lines of July 4 would be something that could bring more people to the polls. A day off would certainly make voting more convenient. Making voting easier, maybe even mandatory, would help too. In any event, more voters participating would be a good thing for the Democrats.

- Democrats are nominating women galore! And, groundbreakingly, the first trans woman to run for a governorship is Democrat Christine Hallquist (Vermont). Dems are getting more representative of their constituents. I know I will vote for women and POC whenever possible in all elections. (Including 2020.)

- Incumbent congresspeople who belong to the party out of power in the WH are usually well-positioned to win their elections. The last time this did not happen and Democrats lost despite this factor was in 2002. (When the R president was popular, and 9/11 had just happened.) This should be good news for embattled Democratic senators like Heidi Heitkamp, but somehow that doesn't seem to be a factor this year. Chrysostom, anyone, has there been a write-up on this?
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:54 AM on October 15 [10 favorites]


‘It is a scary time,’ Trump backer Amy Kremer tells MSNBC. Witches ‘are placing a hex on Brett Kavanaugh.’ Allyson Chiu, WaPo.
Amy Kremer, co-founder of the group Women for Trump, is worried — Republicans aren’t safe.

“It is a scary time right now,” Kremer said Sunday morning during an appearance on MSNBC. She had been prompted by host Ali Velshi to discuss the prevalence of violent language in political discourse, specifically words such as “mob” and “gangs,” which are often used by President Trump and other Republicans to describe liberals.

A tea party activist and stalwart supporter of Trump, Kremer immediately sprang to the president’s defense, ticking off a list of instances in which “the left” and the “mobs going on out there right now” have made it difficult for high-profile conservatives to go anywhere without being harassed.
And then she blamed witches. Privileged blamestorming goes crazy.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:54 AM on October 15 [17 favorites]


I for one demand more effective hexes.
posted by jaduncan at 6:59 AM on October 15 [81 favorites]


now that she's taken the test, will Donnie pay up?

(narrator voice) Donnie never pays up.


Per the right wing idiots in my facebook feed, he doesn't have to because she doesn't meet the
standards that the Cherokee tribe imposes to consider someone a member of the tribe.
posted by Cocodrillo at 7:00 AM on October 15 [3 favorites]


Re Elizabeth Warren - I don't see how her ancestry is a big deal or a factor in not voting for her for anyone who likes her. The only people who care enough to make this A Big Deal are, well, Republicans, or else Democrats who weren't going to vote for her in the first place.

So yeah, I think we need to stop Chicken Little-ing about every little thing with every single candidate.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 7:02 AM on October 15 [11 favorites]


West Virginia botches impeachment of chief justice. Faces constitutional crisis.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 8:19 AM on October 15 [10 favorites +] [!]

I have to share this pull quote from that article because it is so indicative of our times:
In an apparent dig at House leadership, Acting Chief Justice James A. Matish wrote that “our forefathers . . . had the forethought” to establish specific procedures in the constitution, but “what our forefathers did not envision is the fact that subsequent leaders would not have the ability or willingness to read, understand, or to follow those guidelines.
posted by M-x shell at 7:13 AM on October 15 [38 favorites]


Re: Sen Warren and using DNA test as proof of ancestry:

If you're interested in what an indigenous Native American geneticist has to say about all this, Krystal Tsosie has you covered and indigenous scientist Kim Tall Bear wrote the actual book on the subject.
posted by nikaspark at 7:14 AM on October 15 [23 favorites]


She has a story from her family history about the bigotry her family faced. The modern day bigots say that can't be true, there's no way you're part native and proceed to start calling her names. She releases a DNA test that say she is part native. The modern day bigots now say you aren't native enough for it to count. This is birther 2.0 bullshit.
posted by cmfletcher at 7:19 AM on October 15 [78 favorites]


And in further "Republicans Are Horrible" news, Karin Housley, the Republican candidate for Minnesota Senator (running against Tina Smith), compared Michelle Obama to a chimp on her FB page (CW: a whole festival of racism and sexism). Luckily, Tina Smith looks to be safe in her seat (she's up by some 15 points) but ugh, Housley is so gross.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 7:21 AM on October 15 [6 favorites]


Tl;dr: they are tired from moving the goalposts so much.
posted by jaduncan at 7:22 AM on October 15 [3 favorites]


I was going to say, having lived in Salem, MA for several years, that I have not a doubt in my mind that witches are placing hexes on Kavanaugh. That would be a completely unremarkable thing for them to do in response to evil presences in the country.

Then I Googled and found it is not an exaggeration. I see no issue with witches placing hexes on menacing political figures; it's no different from Christians praying for their candidates or that their opponents will love. But still, seeing someone saying it on TV is hilariously medieval, in a dark way. "I saw a Democrat witch walk by Goody Kavanaugh's barn and now her butter won't churn!"
posted by Miko at 7:23 AM on October 15 [54 favorites]



Per the right wing idiots in my facebook feed, he doesn't have to because she doesn't meet the
standards that the Cherokee tribe imposes to consider someone a member of the tribe.


She is not asking the Cherokees to enroll her. She's asking Trump to stay good to his word.
posted by ocschwar at 7:23 AM on October 15 [28 favorites]


A tea party activist and stalwart supporter of Trump, Kremer immediately sprang to the president’s defense, ticking off a list of instances in which “the left” and the “mobs going on out there right now” have made it difficult for high-profile conservatives to go anywhere without being harassed.

For what it's worth, I tuned into Breitbart's morning howl and they were beating this drum extremely loudly once again; how Democrats are openly endorsing political violence, how they have 570 documented instances of left-on-right violence or incitements to violence and NOT ONE right-on-left ("Charlottesville doesn't count," they claim, "that was a white man attacking a white woman," as if that happened completely in a vacuum in the middle of a peaceful march), how Antifa is everywhere, how angry and violent thugs are waiting to pounce on conservative canvassers, and how President Trump is completely right in that every Democrat is complicit in this rampant mob violence.

So if you're playing Thanksgiving Dinner Table Bingo, put "violent Democrat mobs suppressed Real American votes" in the top left corner when discussing election results with family at that time.
posted by delfin at 7:29 AM on October 15 [8 favorites]


In the continuing annals of "climate change isn't real, or if it is, we're already fucked, so let's not try to do anything to make it better," Proposed Bill would Cancel Electric Vehicle Subsidy, Tack on User Fees (AASHTO Roundup, Oct. 12, 2018)
Legislation proposed Oct. 9 by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, aims to terminate and repeal the up to $7,500 electric vehicle federal tax credit, impose a “federal highway user fee” on the owners of alternative fuel vehicles and require that those fees be collected with the user’s tax return – with the monies gained from those fees to be transferred into the Highway Trust Fund.

“The electric vehicle tax credit largely benefits the wealthiest Americans and costs taxpayers billions of dollars,” Barrasso noted in a statement. “[Natural] gas, electric, and [other] alternative fuel vehicles use the same roads. All should contribute to maintain them. My bill ("The Fairness for Every Driver Act," PDF) supports the Highway Trust Fund by making sure all drivers pay into the account that improves America’s roads.”

He added in an editorial published with Investor’s Business Daily that between 2011 and 2017, electric-vehicle buyers received $4.7 billion in tax credits – and that stopping such tax credits now could, according to calculations by the Manhattan Institute, save taxpayers roughly $20 billion.

“Removing the federal subsidy won’t collapse the electric-vehicle market,” Barrasso stressed in his op-ed. “Forty-nine states have created their own subsidies. Most have also made it simpler to license or purchase electric cars. And drivers of electric cars pay nearly nothing for the wear and tear on our nation’s roads. Yet a Tesla causes just as much strain on America’s highways as traditional fuel-powered vehicles.”

Retiring Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Penn., the outgoing chairman of the House of Representatives Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, made a similar user fee proposition as part of a 108-page infrastructure funding proposal released on July 23.

One aspect of that “draft plan” as he called it would create “new levies” on electric vehicles and bicycles – a 10 percent fee on the wholesale price of electric vehicle batteries and a 10 percent user fee on the wholesale price of adult bicycle tires – as well as reinstate the 4.3-cent-per-gallon fuel tax on diesel fuel (indexed to inflation) used by passenger trains eligible for funding under certain federal public transportation programs.

Barrasso noted in his op-ed that the Highway Trust Fund is “due to run out of money in 2021,” so the additional user fee that owners and operators of alternative fueled vehicles would pay under his legislation – a fee that is calculated using rates comparable to those already being paid by the drivers of traditionally powered vehicles – would help restore the fund’s solvency.
Because actually raising the gas tax would be bad, while taxing people who drive more efficient vehicles is good.

Also, if you're so concerned about tearing up the roads, why not tax vehicles based on their base weight, and maybe levy higher fees on vehicles more likely to haul heavy loads, like pick-up tricks? (Larger freight trucks are already charged different rates.) Oh right, that's not really what you're doing here, it's sticking it to the libs.

Additionally, the percentage of alternate fuel vehicles sold is still a fraction of total number of cars or vehicles sold per year, and by taking away the subsidy, you're going to decrease that number.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:34 AM on October 15 [16 favorites]


A couple of months ago I was canvassing for Elizabeth Warren, and at our pre-canvass meeting in a local coffee shop, some dude stood around with us until were done getting our instructions, then proceeded to make a huge scene yelling about how she stole jobs from real Native Americans. Some guys in our canvassing group started arguing (yelling) at him, our whole group got kicked out while the yelling spilled onto the sidewalk and the cops got called. And this was in liberal Salem, MA! I mean, that yelly guy probably was never going to vote for Warren anyway, but the issue does come up in person in an area where she is [hopefully] very likely to win. While the guys in our group were fruitlessly engaging with the yelling, my friend and I left the coffee shop by the back door and just started canvassing, because I don't have any time in my life to give yelly guys my attention.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 7:35 AM on October 15 [32 favorites]


GOP plays blame game while fighting to save House majority
Republicans have begun to concede defeat in the evolving fight to preserve the House majority.

The party’s candidates may not go quietly, but from the Arizona mountains to suburban Denver to the cornfields of Iowa, the GOP’s most powerful players this midterm season are actively shifting resources away from vulnerable Republican House candidates deemed too far gone and toward those thought to have a better chance of political survival.

And as they initiate a painful and strategic triage, the early Republican-on-Republican blame game has begun as well.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:48 AM on October 15 [7 favorites]


Legislation proposed Oct. 9 by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, aims to terminate and repeal the up to $7,500 electric vehicle federal tax credit...

It shouldn't come as any great shock, but Sen. Barrasso has received nearly half a million dollars in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry over the last five years.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:54 AM on October 15 [6 favorites]


For Republican's looking to find out who to blame, I suggest they buy a heck of a lot of mirrors.
posted by Green With You at 7:58 AM on October 15 [3 favorites]


Republicans have begun to concede defeat in the evolving fight to preserve the House majority.

"Lucy already sad about how well Charlie's going to kick the football."

Way to encourage complacency, AP.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:59 AM on October 15 [7 favorites]


Secondly, go back 10 generations in America and it'd surprise me if you didn't find some Native American DNA. The power of exponents.

I have traceable roots 10 generations to the Mayflower on mom's side and no Native American at all per my genome sequencing. I almost wish I did, but who cares.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:11 AM on October 15 [4 favorites]


Apparently there's no end to ways to use the Kavanaugh Defense:

"Trump says 'Rogue Killers' May Be Involved In Jamal Khashoggi Case".

Summarized:

"We believe he was killed, we just think you're all mistaken about which embassy he entered and which government fully controlled the access to the place he was killed ..."
posted by tocts at 8:15 AM on October 15 [8 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump says he spoke to Saudi King Salman for about 20 minutes by phone, and the King “firmly denies” “any knowledge” in the disappearance of #Khashoggi. Trump suggested it could have been “rogue killers”.

Donald Trump says he spoke to Brett Kavanaugh... and Kavanaugh "firmly denies" "any knowledge" in the sexual assault of Dr. Ford. Trump suggested it could have been "rogue rapists".

Emphasis mine... Yeah, it's literally the same template.

Per the right wing idiots in my facebook feed, he doesn't have to because she doesn't meet the standards that the Cherokee tribe imposes to consider someone a member of the tribe.

Here's the clip from July 5, 2018 where Trump makes his offer. I had thought the loophole they were going for would have been "They weren't debating, and he said he'd make the offer during the debate", but I guess that's too nuanced.
posted by mikelieman at 8:18 AM on October 15 [11 favorites]


Honestly, as long as Warren's bloodline does not come up 100% Red Lectroid I do not really care what it shows.

I would like to see her stay exactly where she is and continue to be a delightfully loud voice in the Senate, personally, but time will tell what she chooses to do.
posted by delfin at 8:18 AM on October 15 [8 favorites]


Is he even still giving out his presidential salary out to charities each quarter?
posted by armacy at 8:19 AM on October 15 [1 favorite]


"Trump says 'Rogue Killers' May Be Involved In Jamal Khashoggi Case"

When reports of home-grown death squads start to pile up here in the USA you better believe the administration line will be that it's the work of "rogue killers." If it works there, it'll work here.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:19 AM on October 15 [8 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump says he spoke to Saudi King Salman for about 20 minutes by phone, and the King “firmly denies” “any knowledge” in the disappearance of #Khashoggi. Trump suggested it could have been “rogue killers”.

The king is widely reported to be senile and barely aware of his surroundings, asking him anything is basically admitting you made up an answer. Its worse than believing Putin when he said he didn't hack the election.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:19 AM on October 15 [5 favorites]


Trump in a 60 Minutes interview suggests that Secretary of Defense Mattis might be the next to go: "I think he's sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth."

Note that Trump is explicitly defining "Democrat" as "personally disloyal to Trump," and therefore defining Republicans as inherently all in on Trumpism.

if the 2018 midterms turn out to be the bloodbath in the house that polls seem to indicate possible, one wonders if the rest of the Republican Party is prepared to have Trump co-opt their brand.
posted by Gelatin at 8:21 AM on October 15 [8 favorites]




I think the problem is more likely a rogue president.
posted by M-x shell at 8:25 AM on October 15 [15 favorites]


Noted —

• The Guardian, "3,121 desperate journeys: exposing a week of chaos under Trump's zero tolerance ... Thousands of documents analyzed by the Guardian provide the most comprehensive picture yet of what happened to immigrants prosecuted under the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy."

NYT, He’s ‘One of Us’: The Undying Bond Between the Bible Belt and Trump. NYT in trying very hard not to see the elephant in the room non-shocker, but worth it just to see Ralph Reed claim that "There’s this odd common bond between someone who grew up in Queens and someone who grew up in the rural or the exurban South, that for decades people have looked down their noses at them, and they’re tired of it."

NBC, Forget Facebook, YouTube videos are quietly radicalizing large numbers of people — and the company is profiting.

• @laraseligman — JUST IN: @usairforce confirms that @SecAFOfficial, @GenDaveGoldfein and CMSAF Gen. Kaleth Wright just touched down at @TeamTyndall to survey the damage from #hurricanemicheal. About 600 military families have been displaced, and as many as 17 F-22s may be damaged or destroyed.

UNCOVERING CORRUPTION: On Strategic Harassment, Mexican Trolls and Election Manipulation — (video) "Some days every single trending topic is fake." A tactic of Mexico's ruling party: Use one influencer with 1M followers + 30 programmed accounts to start a trending topic." 13th Event of the Disruption Network Lab, Kunstquartier Bethanien Berlin, Studio 1.

• Robert Evans, Bellingcat, October 11, 2018, From Memes to Infowars: How 75 Fascist Activists Were “Red-Pilled”

• Daniel J. Gross, The Greenville [SC] News, Oct. 13, 2018, 5 arrested during 'Build the Wall' rally and counter-protest in downtown Greenville.

• Carole Cadwalladr, The Guardian, October 13, 2018, Citizen journalists – the fighters on the frontline against Russia’s attacks.
"When the story of 2018 is told, historians may be hard pressed to say which was weirdest: that a deadly nerve agent was deployed in a quiet cathedral town on the edge of Salisbury Plain, at the heart of our military establishment. Or that the Russian suspects were identified not by British intelligence but a group described last week as “armchair investigators.”"
• Eric Heisig, Cleveland.com, October 11, 2018, Federal judge in Cleveland threatens ICE with contempt if it deports man he released from jail in criminal case.
"A federal judge threatened to hold ICE agents in contempt of court if they tried to deport a Painesville man he ordered freed on bond after he pleaded guilty to illegally re-entering the United States from Mexico."
posted by octobersurprise at 8:25 AM on October 15 [23 favorites]


nikaspark If you're interested in what an indigenous Native American geneticist has to say about all this, Krystal Tsosie has you covered and indigenous scientist Kim Tall Bear wrote the actual book on the subject.

In the linked Twitter feed, Krystal Tsosie quotes Warren:
"I’m not enrolled in a tribe and only tribes determine tribal citizenship, I understand and respect that distinction..." At least shows @SenWarren understands distinction of enrollment by sovereignty as opposed to broad ancestry by tech.
And that's all I'll say about that.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 8:25 AM on October 15 [16 favorites]


I also have ancestry stretching back to the Dutch colonies in the 1600s, and no Native DNA. All of my interesting DNA came from the immigrants subsequently, because like most Americans, I'm a mutt.

The thing with Warren is that she's not claiming Indian princess trope, she's telling a story that happened to her parents. Now, keeping in mind her age, that means her mom faced discrimination 50 some odd years ago for being part indian, which rings true to me. My father's old money family wanted nothing to do with the tannish child produced when he got my mother pregnant.

Racism was alive and prevalent for most of this country's history. Wait, I mean all. All of the history
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:26 AM on October 15 [44 favorites]


Lexicon watch, darkest timeline edition.

TIRED: "Lone wolves"
WIRED: "Rogue killers"
posted by tonycpsu at 8:27 AM on October 15 [21 favorites]


Here's the clip from July 5, 2018 where Trump makes his offer. I had thought the loophole they were going for would have been "They weren't debating, and he said he'd make the offer during the debate", but I guess that's too nuanced.

Exactly. The fact is, Trump didn't make the offer. He said that he would make the offer in the future contingent on Warren being the nominee and there being a debate between them. Warren's tweet insisting that he made the offer is terrible. This is stuff you learn in the first few weeks of law school in contracts class, and she was professor at HLS, for crying out loud. How does make such a stupid mistake?
posted by The World Famous at 8:28 AM on October 15 [5 favorites]


go back 10 generations in America and it'd surprise me if you didn't find some Native American DNA

12 generations on my father's side, back to pre-Mayflower Virginia; 12 generations on my mother's side, back to 1634 and several colonists who arrived in Maryland aboard the Ark and Dove; no Native American ancestry detected by a consumer DNA test. I would guess that Native American ancestry is actually relatively rare for white Americans of colonial ancestry.

The only thing I find interesting about Warren releasing the results of a DNA test showing Native ancestry is that it seems to me like a signal that she's 100% running for President (since the whole thing would have been an issue otherwise).
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 8:30 AM on October 15 [2 favorites]


This is stuff you learn in the first few weeks of law school in contracts class, and she was professor at HLS, for crying out loud. How does make such a stupid mistake?

This is politics, not contract law; Warren isn't suing him. Is it a legal mistake to push your opponent on a rhetorical point in a political setting?
posted by cjelli at 8:35 AM on October 15 [27 favorites]


This is stuff you learn in the first few weeks of law school in contracts class, and she was professor at HLS, for crying out loud. How does make such a stupid mistake?

The Court of Public Opinion doesn't operate on criminal or civil court rules, however I would offer that the "preponderance of evidence" standard would best apply.

e.g.: "The preponderance of evidence in Doe v. Trump and Epstein shows that in 1994, Donald J. Trump raped a 13 year old girl"

on preview, what cjelli said..
posted by mikelieman at 8:36 AM on October 15 [11 favorites]


This is politics, not contract law; Warren isn't suing him. Is it a legal mistake to push your opponent on a rhetorical point in a political setting?

It's a tactical mistake to push your opponent on a stupid point where you're clearly and obviously completely wrong, particularly when you are literally one of the world's foremost experts on contract law. It makes people like me, who hate Trump and are eager to vote for almost anyone else, think Warren is either shockingly dishonest or a complete idiot. Is that what she was going for?
posted by The World Famous at 8:37 AM on October 15 [2 favorites]


The contract-law-critical demographic on this one might not be all that big.
posted by Mocata at 8:39 AM on October 15 [25 favorites]


It's not a tactical mistake to push your opponent's buttons when he always reacts so badly to having his buttons pushed.
posted by mazola at 8:40 AM on October 15 [27 favorites]


Random question: how is the Beto merch store doing about fulfilling orders? My band is playing "Clampdown" at a local event on Friday and I thought it would be cool to have a Beto shirt.
posted by pxe2000 at 8:41 AM on October 15 [2 favorites]


The contract-law-critical demographic on this one might not be all that big.

I'm thinking it's more the "people who actually know what Trump said" demographic. But maybe I'm wrong. I'm looking at the front page of boingboing and they've got the actual Trump quote highlighted and I can't imagine anyone reading what Trump actually said and thinking he promised anything.
posted by The World Famous at 8:42 AM on October 15


'I want Dems to fight hard and punch back!'

** Elizabeth Warren punches back at Trump on the Native American issue. **

'She's not abiding by the finer points of contract law on a political argument!'
posted by chris24 at 8:46 AM on October 15 [121 favorites]


From yesterday: CNN: Secretary Zinke's Calendar Omissions Date To His Very First Day In Office

By diligently combing records and e-mails, CNN found several examples of Zinke meeting, sub rosa, with energy company executives, but the pattern of his activity suggests there are more out there.


Always remember that hiding this kind of activity in violation of executive branch records law is a tacit admission that knowledge of the meetings would be politically detrimental if not outright suspicious.

So many people in Trump's administration openly admit they have something to hide, because they're trying to hide it.
posted by Gelatin at 8:46 AM on October 15 [10 favorites]


Yeah, the Pocahantas thing is a double barbed hook... yes he's making fun of her for claiming to be part Native American for material gain, he's also making fun of her for being part Native American, as he's a racist asshole playing for a racist asshole base. You have to be proactive to take the wind out of his sails, not reactive.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:47 AM on October 15 [12 favorites]


Random question: how is the Beto merch store doing about fulfilling orders? My band is playing "Clampdown" at a local event on Friday and I thought it would be cool to have a Beto shirt.

I'm only one data point, and I ordered mine about two months ago. It took about 10-14 days to arrive, if I recall correctly.
posted by CommonSense at 8:47 AM on October 15


At least quote me accurately. I accused her of being either a liar or an idiot, not of failing to abide by the finer points of contract law.
posted by The World Famous at 8:49 AM on October 15 [1 favorite]


At least quote me accurately. I accused her of being either a liar or an idiot, not of failing to abide by the finer points of contract law.

"It's a tactical mistake to push your opponent on a stupid point where you're clearly and obviously completely wrong, particularly when you are literally one of the world's foremost experts on contract law."
posted by chris24 at 8:52 AM on October 15 [4 favorites]


It's not a tactical mistake to push your opponent's buttons when he always reacts so badly to having his buttons pushed.

1. Of course he won't pay me $100,000,000. He never honors his debts.
2. Of course he won't pay me $100,000,000. He can't afford it.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:52 AM on October 15 [30 favorites]


Yeah, the Pocahantas thing is a double barbed hook... yes he's making fun of her for claiming to be part Native American for material gain, he's also making fun of her for being part Native American, as he's a racist asshole playing for a racist asshole base. You have to be proactive to take the wind out of his sails, not reactive.

So I feel like this is now gonna morph into a simultaneous hypocritical slur of "she's not Native enough to claim Native heritage like she does" bullshit--from white Republicans, but that will resonate with other white people who like to tone police, while also goading Trump into continuing his flatly racist Pocahontas slurs to show his racism to his racist base.

I don't know how serious she is about the money and I kinda can't bring myself to look because oh god why. But it does feel like some sort of run-up prep to a 2020 run.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:54 AM on October 15 [4 favorites]


I'm thinking it's more the "people who actually know what Trump said" demographic. But maybe I'm wrong.
Reporter, May 31: Do you think people should be concerned that the president posted somewhat of an incoherent tweet last night ['covfefe'] and that it then stayed up for hours?

Sean Spicer: Uh, no.

Reporter: Why did it stay up so long? Is no one watching this?

Sean Spicer: I think the president and a small group of people knew exactly what he meant.
I think what Trump said -- to set his exact wording aside because I don't think it's actually helpful -- is that he's a wealthy man and that Warren wouldn't dare challenge him, and that if she did challenge him she would lose. That is the subtext to his statement: 'I have money, and she, who does not have money, wouldn't dare accept this challenge.' Warren accepted his challenge, and asking if he will follow through with the money.

Parsing that into a contingent offer -- rather than just some shitty chest-pounding on Trump's part -- is really misreading what he said. I think Warren understood what he was saying pretty clearly. I think you're (and it pains me to say this) reading Trump too literally, and not reading him seriously.
posted by cjelli at 8:58 AM on October 15 [6 favorites]


Regardless of legal details, Trump's actual response to Warren has been "I didn't say that". Just straight-up bullshit, as I would have expected. That's actually the right move for him strategically, too, because if he went with anything more specific he'd have already lost the spirit of things. That's why his modus operandi has always been "Deny, deny, deny", rather than half-truths and equivocations.

An additional advantage of a demagogue's constant hyperbole is the implication that your opponent must be doing the same thing. So instead of the old-school politician's "She's right about this but wrong about something else" (in this context "She has Native ancestry but not enough to qualify for XYZ"), you get "She's a total liar just like she thinks I am, because everyone everywhere operates in a world of falsehood, because human utterances are just moves in a giant game and truth is meaningless, and by the way I'm the most truthful person ever, just so honest, so honest."
posted by InTheYear2017 at 8:58 AM on October 15 [9 favorites]


The king is widely reported to be senile and barely aware of his surroundings

Okay, but Trump has the title of Predisent, not King. He probably wishes he had, though.
posted by Stoneshop at 9:01 AM on October 15 [2 favorites]


[Oh god please stop going in circles about a stupid argument that other people are having. We don't need to perpetuate the stupidity in small. Thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:01 AM on October 15 [56 favorites]


She doesn't intend to get a single dollar from him. He (or rather his lawyers) will get into contract law if and only if it goes to court, but it never will. She's just making a political ploy, that's all. Until that time, his best countermove isn't truth, but bullshit.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 9:03 AM on October 15 [2 favorites]


17 F-22s may be damaged or destroyed.

So someone left $6 billion of the most expensive fighters in history sitting on the ground in the path of a hurricane. Too bad there wasn't some new technology that allows them to transport this expensive equipment, say, 100 miles away.
posted by JackFlash at 9:14 AM on October 15 [32 favorites]


Justinian: Secondly, go back 10 generations in America and it'd surprise me if you didn't find some Native American DNA. The power of exponents.

I'm sure this would be true if two populations on the same continent co-mingled for a long stretch of time. Assuming one population didn't rampantly kill masses of the other and engage in long campaigns of racism such that "just one drop" meant those offspring were repellent and not to be integrated into white society. Oops, I gave away which population was which.

Warren's story perfectly illustrates exactly why this homogenization isn't as common as we might expect.
posted by phearlez at 9:17 AM on October 15 [17 favorites]


Democrats Told to Avoid Talking About Immigration, Which Will Surely Stem the Tide of Fascism - Paul Blest, Splinter News

AKA. "Third Way and CAP Tell Democrats to Avoid Immigration: Report"
Two of the biggest think tanks in Democratic politics, the centrist Third Way and the more liberal Center for American Progress, have come together to tell Democrats to pipe down about immigration, because bringing the Trump administration’s unbearable cruelty to light might lose them a couple of votes that were surely leaning towards them otherwise.

...while it’s understandable to stress some issues more than others depending on the makeup of the district in question, there’s a difference between that and running from [some issues like immigration] altogether. The Trump administration continues to commit rampant human rights abuses in a never-ending quest to purge this country of brown people. And it should be no surprise that as the rest of the GOP’s argument for re-election falls away, they’re starting to talk more and more about how good family separation is.

The way to combat this—both in the short- and long-term, considering that as bad as it is now, it could get so much worse in the future if Republicans are allowed to continue to pursue this line of attack unanswered—is to offer a robust alternative to the racism of Trump and the GOP. Turning tail on one of the most important issues of our time isn’t the way to do that.
Emphasis mine.

See also: G.O.P. Finds an Unexpectedly Potent Line of Attack: Immigration - Julie Herschfeld Davis, NYT
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:18 AM on October 15 [12 favorites]


So someone left $6 billion of the most expensive fighters in history sitting on the ground in the path of a hurricane. Too bad there wasn't some new technology that allows them to transport this expensive equipment, say, 100 miles away.

Setting The Record Straight On Why Fighter Jets Can't All Simply Fly Away To Escape Storms
At modern fighter is not a Honda Accord. You don't just hop in it and drive it around for months until you finally have to take it for a one-hour oil change when the light comes on. If anything, they are far more akin to high-end sports cars that require a lot of expensive TLC to keep operating. The F-22, in particular, is more analogous to an exotic supercar or even a high-end race car than anything else. It requires dozens of hours of maintenance for every single flight hour and deep maintenance can take days or even many weeks to accomplish, depending on what is needed to be done and availability of spare parts, which can be scarce.
...
The F-22 fleet, in particular, sits at the lowest readiness rate across the USAF fast-jet inventory. There are a number of contributing factors to this, including the type's short production run that pretty much everyone regrets in hindsight. But as of 2017, the F-22 community as a whole struggled to meet a 50 percent mission capable rate. Their legacy fighter predecessors fared better at generally above 70 percent.

So no, the commanders at Tyndall AFB—the home of F-22 training and a base with 55 of the stealth fighters on hand, as well as the home to many other aircraft—can't simply click their flight boots together and magically get 55 F-22s in the air.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:18 AM on October 15 [17 favorites]


For the jar labeled "Rod Dreher's Tears": Institutionalizing The Trans Revolution, The American Conservative. "You cannot get more Establishment Conservative Washington than Arthur Brooks and Danielle Pletka. They are in the Inner Ring. And they ratify Thomas Donnelly having become Giselle Donnelly. You may think this is a wonderful thing, or you may think this is a terrible thing, or you may not know what to think at all. But you must recognize that this event happening at one of the top right-wing institutions in Washington is a very big thing indeed."
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:22 AM on October 15 [8 favorites]


CNN video > Independent Trump voters horrified by Trump.

Please, dear God, more of this. More of it from TV news and papers.
I can be angry at them for voting for him in the first place but I can also leave that aside to stop the bleeding and turn this disaster around.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:24 AM on October 15 [8 favorites]


> So no, the commanders at Tyndall AFB—the home of F-22 training and a base with 55 of the stealth fighters on hand, as well as the home to many other aircraft—can't simply click their flight boots together and magically get 55 F-22s in the air.

Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees. If these $150 million birds can't be safely moved when given advance warning of a natural disaster, then that is an outrage, regardless of why they can't be safely moved. The base commanders aren't the ones at fault -- the military leadership and contractors are for not building in (and paying for) contingency plans.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:24 AM on October 15 [55 favorites]


Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees. If these $150 million birds can't be safely moved when given advance warning of a natural disaster, then that is an outrage, regardless of why they can't be safely moved.

100% this.

That article is a bunch of apologist bullshit that's far more concerned with why some peoples' ideas of how to achieve this are bad than it is the fact that there isn't a way to achieve this should have heads rolling across every level of the military hierarchy. There's a token "sure let's talk about that" at the end, but only after expending considerable time focused on how dumb people are for thinking there should in fact be a way to do this already.

That we're willing to spend billions on military equipment and not even plan for how to not have it destroyed by forseeable circumstances is so far into negligence for the sake of profit and warmongering and shiny toys that it might as well just be a picture of this shitshow in the dictionary under "Military Industrial Complex".
posted by tocts at 9:29 AM on October 15 [38 favorites]


So someone left $6 billion of the most expensive fighters in history sitting on the ground in the path of a hurricane. Too bad there wasn't some new technology that allows them to transport this expensive equipment, say, 100 miles away.

Different planes, but I can tell you that they moved the F16s out of harm's way. They gave me a lovely wake-up call at 4am in the morning yesterday, as they flew back home (afterburners are loud, y'all). So yeah, they do move the planes, if they can.
posted by damayanti at 9:29 AM on October 15 [3 favorites]


Yea, basing the most expensive plane ever built in a hurricane zone is the issue, not really inability to move them on short notice. That goes back to Congress and whoever won the lobbying fight over which AFB got to house the shiny new planes.

And which Republican saw "climate change" in a report about building a stronger hangar and stripped it out.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:29 AM on October 15 [23 favorites]


I'm sure this would be true if two populations on the same continent co-mingled for a long stretch of time. Assuming one population didn't rampantly kill masses of the other and engage in long campaigns of racism such that "just one drop" meant those offspring were repellent and not to be integrated into white society.

There have actually been studies of this; white Americans are among the least-admixed colonial populations (largely because English colonists included women, whereas in colonial Mexico and South America the Spanish colonists were mostly men). The average self-identified "white" American is of around 98% European ancestry. For comparison, self-identified white Mexicans and Brazilians are anywhere from 60--90% European, and white Afrikaners average 85-90% European. The one drop rule was very effective at maintaining racial boundaries in the US--the average African-American has around 25% European ancestry, and a majority of Native Americans have some European admixture.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 9:34 AM on October 15 [23 favorites]


That article is a bunch of apologist bullshit

I disagree. The article sets up in the opening graf that the complaints it's talking about are ones blaming the commanders down to the rank and file for not simply doing a number of things. It addresses some of the systemic issues early in the article, including some that point to the fact that it's likely impossible to approach 100% readiness. To the extent that it is apologist it is for the people on the ground at that base who absolutely deserved to get out to safety rather than hang around and risk their lives to save some things.
posted by phearlez at 9:37 AM on October 15 [4 favorites]


Two of the biggest think tanks in Democratic politics, the centrist Third Way and the more liberal Center for American Progress, have come together to tell Democrats to pipe down about immigration

"Why isn't this dumb voting base more enthusiastic to vote for a party that will let them be murdered by the state in the hope that it'll make a few Nazis not vote for the other party?"
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:38 AM on October 15 [2 favorites]


@borzou Journalists at Saudi consulate in Istanbul spotting cleaners coming into building just before Turkish investigators are scheduled to arrive to probe Jamal Khashoggi disappearance (via APTN feed)
[image]

@borzou Cuz the way to preserve the integrity of a possible crime scene and bolster confidence in the investigation is to bring in a bunch of cleaners through the front door before the detectives arrive
[video]

@borzou Just leaving the Saudi consulate now. A little bit of activity, lots of journalists but no sign yet of Turkish investigators
[video]
posted by scalefree at 9:40 AM on October 15 [12 favorites]


To the extent that it is apologist it is for the people on the ground at that base who absolutely deserved to get out to safety rather than hang around and risk their lives to save some things.

This. Also, reminder that the base CO says 100% of on-base housing is uninhabitable.
This is not a thing any base CO wants to say, ever.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:42 AM on October 15 [8 favorites]


Murtaza Hussain and Eli Clifton: Military Officials Aren't Supposed to Associate With Hate Groups. So Why Are These Generals Speaking at Frank Gaffney's Confab?
OVER THE PAST decade, the Center for Security Policy has emerged as one of the most notoriously bigoted and conspiratorial think tanks in Washington, D.C. Under its founder and president, Frank Gaffney, the organization regularly found itself in the news for promoting anti-Muslim conspiracies — including farcically paranoid ones. Yet, unlike similar organizations that remain on the political fringes, the Center for Security Policy is remarkably close to the halls of power — not just to President Donald Trump, for whom Gaffney was an informal adviser during the campaign, but also to the traditional power brokers of the defense establishment.

That closeness will be put on display in Virginia on October 17, when the Center for Security Policy will be co-hosting a symposium on “asymmetric threats.” Organized with the Institute for the Study of War, the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, and the government contractor CACI International (whose employees have been accused of detainee torture in Iraq), the confab includes scheduled speakers who are high-ranking officials in several branches of the military.
[...]
In addition to Gaffney himself, the list of scheduled speakers includes a number of high-ranking active duty military officials. The anticipated participation of four active duty lieutenant generals — the Air Force’s VeraLinn “Dash” Jamieson and David. D. Thompson, Daniel J. O’Donohue of the Marine Corps, and Michael K. Nagata of the Army — at an event sponsored by Gaffney’s group might stand in contrast to the equal opportunity manuals issued by each of their respective service branches.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:43 AM on October 15 [9 favorites]


For the jar labeled "Rod Dreher's Tears": Institutionalizing The Trans Revolution, The American Conservative.

FYI if you are trans,enby,gnc et al avoid that article if you're sensitive to dead naming and trans antagonism because holy fucking shit that article is one long word blade of potential self harm.
posted by nikaspark at 9:43 AM on October 15 [19 favorites]


Bungie the suckers down onto a flatbed and drive em out. Sure they'll get scuffed up, but compared to a hurricane?
posted by whuppy at 9:51 AM on October 15 [3 favorites]


So no, the commanders at Tyndall AFB—the home of F-22 training and a base with 55 of the stealth fighters on hand, as well as the home to many other aircraft—can't simply click their flight boots together and magically get 55 F-22s in the air.

They do however have a meteo department that, one would expect, has the capability of estimating within a reasonable margin the path the hurricane will be taking, and if that's going to be sufficiently close to the airbase, tell those commanders that they have [some estimated time] to get their planes out of the way.
posted by Stoneshop at 9:52 AM on October 15 [3 favorites]


Bungie the suckers down onto a flatbed and drive em out. Sure they'll get scuffed up, but compared to a hurricane?

I happened to drive to the Orlando area last week, and I saw a helicopter (a civilian, something like a Bell JetRanger or somesuch) being transported north on a flatbed truck in exactly this fashion. Though one wonders if an F-22 would fit on a flatbed.
posted by Gelatin at 9:53 AM on October 15 [1 favorite]


The Man Who Broke Politics - McKay Coppins, Atlantic

aka "How Newt Gingrich Destroyed American Politics" and "Newt Gingrich Says 'You're Welcome'"
Newt Gingrich turned partisan battles into bloodsport, wrecked Congress, and paved the way for Trump's rise. Now he's reveling in his achievements.
...
…Gingrich had a plan. The way he saw it, Republicans would never be able to take back the House as long as they kept compromising with the Democrats out of some high-minded civic desire to keep congressional business humming along. His strategy was to blow up the bipartisan coalitions that were essential to legislating, and then seize on the resulting dysfunction to wage a populist crusade against the institution of Congress itself. “His idea,” says Norm Ornstein, a political scientist who knew Gingrich at the time, “was to build toward a national election where people were so disgusted by Washington and the way it was operating that they would throw the ins out and bring the outs in.”
...
Gingrich and his cohort showed little interest in legislating, a task that had heretofore been seen as the primary responsibility of elected legislators. Bob Livingston, a Louisiana Republican who had been elected to Congress a year before Gingrich, marveled at the way the hard-charging Georgian rose to prominence by ignoring the traditional path taken by new lawmakers. “My idea was to work within the committee structure, take care of my district, and just pay attention to the legislative process,” Livingston told me. “But Newt came in as a revolutionary.”

[By 1997], the poisonous politics Gingrich had injected into Washington’s bloodstream had escaped his control. So when the stories started coming out in early 1998—the ones about the president and the intern, the cigar and the blue dress—and the party faithful were clamoring for Clinton’s head on a pike, and Gingrich’s acolytes in the House were stomping their feet and crying for blood … well, he knew what he had to do.

Never mind that Republicans had no real chance of getting the impeachment through the Senate. Removing the president wasn’t the point; this was an opportunity to humiliate the Democrats. Politics was a “war for power,” just as Gingrich had prophesied all those years ago—and he wasn’t about to give up the fight.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:55 AM on October 15 [39 favorites]


I think the point is "TRUMP LETS 17 FIGHTER JETS SIT IN THE PATH OF A HURRICANE" is a great headline, and the details of exactly who and when the decision to let them be destroyed was made isn't really all that relevant.

The buck stops at his desk. That's what "Commander in Chief" **MEANS**. It's his fault.
posted by sotonohito at 9:56 AM on October 15 [37 favorites]


From the Atlantic article on Newt Gingrich:
The great irony of Gingrich’s rise and reign is that, in the end, he did fundamentally transform America—just not in the ways he’d hoped. He thought he was enshrining a new era of conservative government. In fact, he was enshrining an attitude—angry, combative, tribal—that would infect politics for decades to come.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:57 AM on October 15 [3 favorites]


I totally don't give a flying fuck about flying death machines getting smashed the fuck up, jesus can we not try to use that as a Debate Point against Republicans?
posted by odinsdream at 9:59 AM on October 15 [15 favorites]


Though one wonders if an F-22 would fit on a flatbed.

The F-22 has a 44' wingspan and, given how the wing blends into the fuselage and has all sorts of stealth materials, it's unlikely you can pop the wings off like a lego model. Even if you could clear out traffic a lot of streets have obstacles that are closer than 22' to the centerline of the road.
posted by nathan_teske at 10:00 AM on October 15 [2 favorites]


It addresses some of the systemic issues early in the article, including some that point to the fact that it's likely impossible to approach 100% readiness.

It does not address the issue of readiness, it simply states it as an unchangeable fact and asserts that civilians not all immediately knowing about it makes them stupid.

If the article started with some basic details for people who don't know the intricacies and then was primarily about the bad decision making (in congress, in the military hierarchy, etc) that brought us here, it would be fine. Instead, it spends more or less all of its time focused on assuming that the way things are could not have been any different and that the thing that's gotta be crystal clear is all us civilians are stupid for thinking billions of dollars of appropriations for military equipment would come with some concomitant responsibility for keeping the equipment safe from known and likely dangers.
posted by tocts at 10:00 AM on October 15 [10 favorites]


The buck stops at his desk. That's what "Commander in Chief" **MEANS**. It's his fault.

It's his responsibility.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:01 AM on October 15 [2 favorites]


Bungie the suckers down onto a flatbed and drive em out. Sure they'll get scuffed up, but compared to a hurricane?

Apologia or not, TFA talked about a number of options, including this:
Throwing jets on flatbed trucks? People don't realize how large of a flying machine a Raptor is. They are roughly 44 feet wide, 62 feet long, and weigh over 43,000lbs.
Standard interstate lane width = 12'
Standard flatbed trailer length = 48' - 53'
Single-axle weight limit on the Interstate System is 20,000 pounds (so could be done on a 3-axle trailer, but c'mon)

Not arguing that there shouldn't be options, but they aren't so stupid to not use the obvious possible ones.
posted by achrise at 10:02 AM on October 15 [1 favorite]


For the jar labeled "Rod Dreher's Tears": Institutionalizing The Trans Revolution, The American Conservative. "You cannot get more Establishment Conservative Washington than Arthur Brooks and Danielle Pletka. They are in the Inner Ring.

It's like Rod's never heard of Deirdre McCloskey. I mean, McCloskey's built her late career on the interrogation of, and advocacy for, "‘bourgeois’ or middle class values as a central enabling agent" of capitalism. Just the sort of ideas Rod is always pestering people to engage with.

(And yes, that whole Dreher piece is practically the epitome of hot cis takes.)
posted by octobersurprise at 10:02 AM on October 15 [2 favorites]


That Dreher article ought to be celebrating the latest achievements in conservative orthodoxy: anything is okay, including things we vilify, so long as you have sufficient power and in-status already. Though that would require some actual self-knowledge and recognition of privilege which he completely lacks, given this bit:
For one, ours is now a culture in which a predilection for kinky sex is no longer something that one keeps private, out of a sense of shame, or because one feared the judgment of others, but now just a quirky part of one’s identity.
That is so darkly laughable to everyone else out here in the world where we have to hide our personal realities, many more banal than BSDM, lest we get canned for it because our boss just feels like it. Said vulnerability to termination being entirely traceable to at-will promotion and labor organization destruction that people like Dreher and Donnelly have made their life's mission.

tl;dr: protect not bind, bind not protect, forever
posted by phearlez at 10:09 AM on October 15 [9 favorites]


Unlike hurricanes, F-22s are not natural occurrences. Who is responsible for spending billions of our dollars on these massive hulks that can't even be moved out of the way when bad weather is coming in?
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:09 AM on October 15 [5 favorites]


Because ignoring climate change and refusing to spend money on infrastructure maintenance courts disaster on all fronts, Pacific Gas and Electric turned off power to ~60K of its customers yesterday, out of fear that high winds could knock down their sagging power lines, sparking and fanning even more wildfires. PG&E has already been blamed for 13 wildfires in the past year; one of those fires last year, caused by sagging lines, killed four and injured a firefighter. The negative press from that incident appears to have prompted this weekend's emergency maintenance.
posted by halation at 10:11 AM on October 15 [10 favorites]


I totally don't give a flying fuck about flying death machines getting smashed the fuck up, jesus can we not try to use that as a Debate Point against Republicans?

You mean "the neglectful waste of $2.5+ billion dollars of taxpayer money littering a demolished airbase"?
posted by rp at 10:12 AM on October 15 [37 favorites]


Yes? I do mean exactly that. I mean that they were wasteful to *construct at all* and the fact that they've not been protected from destruction isn't like, the thing that needs to be focused on or "solved". The solution is to focus on not repeating the mistake of arming our country like we're fighting fucking alien hoards.
posted by odinsdream at 10:15 AM on October 15 [5 favorites]


Hey, when a trans basher is moaning that he lost the culture war, that is enjoyable reading to me and not at all triggering.
posted by M-x shell at 10:15 AM on October 15 [12 favorites]


If the F-22s were going to be based at Tyndall for whatever reason, then there should've been hurricane rated hangars for them at least. Given the planes' low flight-readiness rate there should've been some kind of planning in place.

And yes, moving them by truck would've been a massive shitshow. However, each aircraft represents about a $340M investment. Presumably, that buys a lot of overtime. (Although maybe there's enough sensitive tech on the F-22 that their ability to pull in more crews or contractors would be limited.)

My understanding is that the preliminary inspections are holding out hope for limited damage.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:16 AM on October 15 [9 favorites]


AP: Government spends millions to guard Confederate cemeteries

After last year’s deadly clash between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, the federal government quietly spent millions of dollars to hire private security guards to stand watch over at least eight Confederate cemeteries, documents from the Department of Veterans Affairs show. The security effort, which runs around the clock at all but one of those VA-operated cemeteries, was aimed at preventing the kind of damage that befell Confederate memorials across the U.S. in the aftermath of the Charlottesville violence.

The bones of slavers and traitors get more protection than you do.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:22 AM on October 15 [68 favorites]


PG&E has already been blamed for 13 wildfires in the past year; one of those fires last year, caused by sagging lines,

Lines have always sagged. Always. The problem is in not pruning the trees that grow up to touch them.
posted by rhizome at 10:29 AM on October 15 [8 favorites]


snuffleupagus: If the F-22s were going to be based at Tyndall for whatever reason, then there should've been hurricane rated hangars for them at least.

Exactly this: wouldn't your own insurer want to know that you had taken some minimal care to safeguard your property? Don't site an asset in an area without preparing shelters for known hazards. For goodness sake, this isn't the 1945 island-hopping campaign, with steel mesh landing strips -- it's FLORIDA.

If there are work areas that aren't storm-proof, then the number of airframes on the rack should be limited during storm season, especially when storms have been come less-predictable, as in recent years.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:40 AM on October 15 [9 favorites]


And yes, moving them by truck would've been a massive shitshow. However, each aircraft represents about a $340M investment. Presumably, that buys a lot of overtime.

I would think "Doing this on short order would be expensive" is a minor concern next to "Doing this at all would mean blocking primary evacuation routes during a hurricane evacuation."
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 10:42 AM on October 15 [11 favorites]


> Not arguing that there shouldn't be options, but they aren't so stupid to not use the obvious possible ones.

Two additional points against putting them on flatbeds and driving them out. First, to get them anywhere safe they would be either be stuck in hurricane evacuation traffic, or police would have to clear multiple lanes of hurricane evacuation traffic for the planes. Not to mention any bridges that may be too short. Either way means taking up space and time on critical evacuation routes for actual people.

Second (and this is a point I read on twitter a few days ago): these planes are chock full of classified information. You can't just field strip them and put the classified stuff in a bank truck. The paint itself is classified. The exact shape of certain parts may be classified (ex: the shape of the exhaust outlets on the B2 bomber is classified). Yes, the huge loss of material is a bad thing, but you have to weigh that against the potential that some people are going to be pissed about being stuck behind a giant plane and post sensitive pictures of it on Facebook. Or the risk that they get in an accident and some material gets left behind or something. Better to have all of that contained on the already secured air force base.
posted by zrail at 10:43 AM on October 15 [8 favorites]


Fine. Just don't expect me to enthusiastically support building more.
posted by hydropsyche at 10:46 AM on October 15 [5 favorites]


Just don't expect me to enthusiastically support building more.

No worries. The F-22 project was cancelled a long time ago.. These are all the F-22's there will ever be. We've "replaced" it with the less capable F-35 JSF.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 10:48 AM on October 15 [12 favorites]


Pittsburgh's traditionally right-wing newspaper, The Tribune-Review, who in past years had no problem endorsing Republican candidates has announced that it's out of the endorsement business, presumably because the Republican nominees in PA are so horrible this year that they coundn't come up with a way to endorse them without it being laughable.
posted by octothorpe at 10:48 AM on October 15 [32 favorites]


If the article started with some basic details for people who don't know the intricacies and then was primarily about the bad decision making (in congress, in the military hierarchy, etc) that brought us here, it would be fine. Instead, it spends more or less all of its time focused on assuming that the way things are could not have been any different and that the thing that's gotta be crystal clear is all us civilians are stupid for thinking billions of dollars of appropriations for military equipment would come with some concomitant responsibility for keeping the equipment safe from known and likely dangers.
posted by tocts at 2:00 AM on October 16 [5 favorites +] [!]


I've made the decision, although I don't know if it's one at the top or bottom of the galaxy brain hierarchy, to listen to a massive chunk of the Joe Rogan podcast. I enjoy the wide-ranging, long-format discussion, goofy conspiracy theories, far-out-man drugs/health/MMA discussions, and the variety of guests.

I do not enjoy the constant invocations against "social justice warriors", "outrage culture", "call-out culture", and "recreational outrage". Hardly an episode goes by that I don't yell at my computer when I hear him go off on this rant. What I think, when it happens, is that PEOPLE ARE OUTRAGED FOR GOOD F**KIN' REASONS MAN!

Six billion dollars in jets and you just left it there? How f**kin stupid do you have to be to go for the angle that we plebs shouldn't think it's an outrage? It's an outrage! It's one more example of all the things to be outraged at. Someone needs to shout these idiots down and make it hurt when they are guilty of gross neglect. It needs to hurt your clickthrough rate and your bottom line when you posit things like that. Just like it's an outrage that it took months to turn the power back on and that we're not getting ready to evacuate Florida, the soon-to-be-drowned state. You're the government. Govern. UGH.
posted by saysthis at 10:48 AM on October 15 [9 favorites]


Lines have always sagged. Always. The problem is in not pruning the trees that grow up to touch them.

For some managers, preventative maintenance of infrastructure is more expensive than remediating the failures. Until the failure-mode is a forest fire, obviously.
posted by mikelieman at 10:50 AM on October 15 [3 favorites]


Lines have always sagged. Always. The problem is in not pruning the trees that grow up to touch them.

It's not usually trees. It's two wire phases shorting to each other showering sparks of hot metal on the dry grass below.

When temperatures are high, the power lines sag because of thermal expansion. That alone isn't a problem. But then you get high winds and the wires start swinging to and fro and under rare conditions two wires will short to each other causing sparks.

There are various things designed to prevent this -- the distance that wires are separated from each other, the distance between towers, and wind vanes suspended on the wires to reduce swinging. Generally the wires swing side by side together in parallel, but in rare wind conditions they can start swinging in opposite directions so that they swing apart then slap together.

Normally a brief short doesn't cause a major problem and the system can recover quickly. But in dry conditions the spark can cause a fire, so the power company shuts down the power line temporarily as a precaution.
posted by JackFlash at 10:53 AM on October 15 [18 favorites]


Until the failure-mode is a forest fire, obviously.

Even that wasn't enough for PG&E, frankly -- it had to be a forest fire that killed people, with those deaths reported on as Specifically Their Fault in the media.

(edited to add: it's not like the "G" part of "PG&E" is any better about this, of course)
posted by halation at 10:53 AM on October 15 [2 favorites]


Analyse this: what Freud can teach us about Trumpism - "I refer you to 9 November 2016, the day after the most recent day that will live in infamy. I have been at this job through many public catastrophes, and I have been struck, for better and worse, by the therapeutic dyad’s ability to shut the door on the world even when it is actively burning, to note (or not) that the towers collapsed or a school got shot up, and then return to our private concerns. So, when on that Wednesday, no matter how much they (and I) might have wanted to get back to their intimate dramas, if only as a refuge, we found ourselves unable to speak of anything else but the ascension of Trump. It seemed remarkable – an inversion of business as usual. The political had become personal in the most literal fashion."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:54 AM on October 15 [5 favorites]


I personally hope the storm wiped all the planes out, and the next one takes out the F-35s too. Until we radically change our system, the norm seems to be that the military always gets about 1/2 the entire discretionary federal budget. If 90% of that budget were expended on planes that are immediately destroyed, that's a better use of military money than almost every other alternative within the current system.
posted by chortly at 10:56 AM on October 15 [17 favorites]


I've made the decision, although I don't know if it's one at the top or bottom of the galaxy brain hierarchy, to listen to a massive chunk of the Joe Rogan podcast. I enjoy the wide-ranging, long-format discussion, goofy conspiracy theories, far-out-man drugs/health/MMA discussions, and the variety of guests.

I too enjoy a podcast that gives a massive normalizing platform to Alex Jones, Milo, Proud Boys' Gavin McGinnes, a slew of Gamergaters, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, Stefan Molyneux, Steven Crowder, holocaust denier Chuck Johnson, and on, and on, and on.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:57 AM on October 15 [28 favorites]


Six billion dollars in jets and you just left it there?

There is a cost for readiness. There is a cost to have the equipment to move equipment. There is a cost to better hangers. There is a percent chance that storm will cause $X, another percent chance it will cause $Y damage, etc.

When you work out the odds, it is not necessarily the wrong bet to make to leave some of them there; note that decision may have been made a decade (or three) ago when you decided your facility parameters and readiness.

Risk management sometimes means losing. I'm not sure they did the wrong thing in the big picture even if this particular incident came out badly.
posted by Bovine Love at 10:58 AM on October 15 [18 favorites]


I think the point is "TRUMP LETS 17 FIGHTER JETS SIT IN THE PATH OF A HURRICANE" is a great headline, and the details of exactly who and when the decision to let them be destroyed was made isn't really all that relevant.

This is a good point because liberals do this constantly. Someone finds a great avenue of political attack on Trump, and a dozen people chime in with "To be fair, there's a kernel of truth to Trump's claim, blah blah blah", when Trump's claim is like, "Not everybody knows that grapes are just vine testicles, so true"
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:13 AM on October 15 [58 favorites]


@AliceOllstein: NEW: The Trump admin has just appointed Mary Mayhew as the new head of Medicaid. She was previously the top health official for Maine Gov. Paul LePage, who refused to implement the Medicaid expansion voters approved a year ago. LePage's stonewalling is currently tied up in courts, and 70,000 Mainers are still waiting to be allowed to enroll. Mayhew's tenure in Maine also included tightening the state's Medicaid eligibility standards and adding work requirements to the food stamp program.

I was told "people now on standby that will be phenomenal" was the new catchphrase, but I have to conclude that this person is actually the worst.
posted by zachlipton at 11:22 AM on October 15 [22 favorites]


@mjs_DC: The Florida Supreme Court just ruled that Gov. Rick Scott CANNOT appoint three new justices on his last day in office.

Here's the court order and here's an article about Scott's court packing plan for context.

Hard to overstate the extent to which FL-Gov matters now.
posted by zachlipton at 11:25 AM on October 15 [63 favorites]


Regarding the public-becomes-personal psychological trauma imposed by the election, perhaps this illustrates the difference between psychotherapy and psychiatry, but in January 2017 on my final visit to my then-psychiatrist, she asked how I was doing, and I told her I was kinda freaking out about the rising tide of fascism, and she responded impatiently that she wasn't there to discuss politics and just what did I want from her?

(Fwiw this was at Kaiser San Francisco; what a terrible psych department.)
posted by Lyme Drop at 11:26 AM on October 15 [15 favorites]


Watching MSNBC and I felt sure they just said Steve King is polling 10 points behind. Can anyone find that poll?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:29 AM on October 15 [1 favorite]


Regarding the public-becomes-personal psychological trauma imposed by the election, perhaps this illustrates the difference between psychotherapy and psychiatry, but in January 2017 on my final visit to my then-psychiatrist, she asked how I was doing, and I told her I was kinda freaking out about the rising tide of fascism, and she responded impatiently that she wasn't there to discuss politics and just what did I want from her?

By way of contrast, my Kaiser Honolulu therapist has been extremely supportive through this whole two year political nightmare and has given me a number of concrete things I can do for self-care on days when the news gets particularly depressing - which is to say every day.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:31 AM on October 15 [8 favorites]


Sure, hurricane readiness etc. I have also heard rumors that sometimes you need to move planes to stop them being blown up in actual wars and such, so the inability to move them without any enemy presence at all is not all that impressive.
posted by jaduncan at 11:34 AM on October 15 [9 favorites]


Watching MSNBC and I felt sure they just said Steve King is polling 10 points behind. Can anyone find that poll?

Scholten's campaign released an internal this week showing him only down 6 but thats a long way from up 10
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 11:38 AM on October 15 [3 favorites]


I have also heard rumors that sometimes you need to move planes to stop them being blown up in actual wars and such, so the inability to move them without any enemy presence at all is not all that impressive.

The war industry executives making money hand-over-fist probably don't see this as a problem, given that "fighter jets blown up" is just another way of saying "more planes we'll need to produce in exchange for lots and lots of money."
posted by duffell at 11:40 AM on October 15 [4 favorites]


Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post: Where people show up to vote - and where they don't:
But the United States is a big country, and there are huge regional variations in voter participation within our own borders. At the state level, for example, turnout in the 2016 presidential election ranged from less than 40 percent in Hawaii to nearly 70 percent of the voting age population in Maine and Minnesota.

...The data shows that in the average county, 59 percent of adult citizens voted in 2016. Turnout rates ranged from less than 20 percent in one Georgia county to nearly 100 percent in a number of small southwestern ones.

What’s driving those differences? While there’s no magic formula that can predict voter turnout in a given community, there are a number of factors that researchers have found, time and time again, to be closely associated with who turns up at the polls.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 11:41 AM on October 15 [7 favorites]


I totally don't give a flying fuck about flying death machines getting smashed the fuck up, jesus can we not try to use that as a Debate Point against Republicans?

I think it could be a useful debate point for arguments like "For about the cost of the planes that we apparently don't value enough to move out of the way of an approaching hurricane, we could have bought out the entire US coal industry in order to wind it down and retrain its work force in mine pollution remediation."
posted by contraption at 11:44 AM on October 15 [39 favorites]


I do not enjoy the constant invocations against "social justice warriors", "outrage culture", "call-out culture", and "recreational outrage". Hardly an episode goes by that I don't yell at my computer when I hear him go off on this rant. What I think, when it happens, is that PEOPLE ARE OUTRAGED FOR GOOD F**KIN' REASONS MAN!
...
I too enjoy a podcast that gives a massive normalizing platform to Alex Jones, Milo, Proud Boys' Gavin McGinnes, a slew of Gamergaters, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, Stefan Molyneux, Steven Crowder, holocaust denier Chuck Johnson, and on, and on, and on.

The constant invocations against social justice warriors are themselves an excellent predictor of giving a massive normalizing platform to the extreme right. Summarizing Rebecca Lewis' study of the reactionary right on Youtube, Ezra Klein writes
Lewis’s argument, which I agree with, is that the core, unshakable agreement uniting the reactionary right is their intense loathing of “the social justice left,” of political correctness, of threats to free speech as they define it... It’s much more accepting of differing views on health care, the role of the state, and taxation than the modern Republican Party. But you can’t be in sympathy with the SJWs.
posted by Jpfed at 11:44 AM on October 15 [20 favorites]


less than 40 percent in Hawaii

By the time we're getting to the polls in Hawaii, the presidential election has generally already been called. I can't overstate how often I hear this cited as a reason why people don't vote for anything in Hawaii even in mid-terms.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:44 AM on October 15 [9 favorites]


That Gary Greenberg piece is worth your time. It's not just about the phase of pseudo-mourning a lot of us entered in November 2016 and are still going through. It's also about how the logic of psychoanalysis itself played a part in the conditions that led to the current situation:
Freud’s doctrines, once fully transmitted to the New World, took on a peculiarly American colouration: steeped in personal affirmation, the therapeutic faith rested here on a conviction that in instinct, and especially in the emotions, lay wisdom. And a corollary to this faith was the bedrock belief that in psychological pain lay not the evidence that we had failed to surrender instinct to civilisation but rather that civilisation had failed to protect us from injury...

...In this blighted province, even if you have never set foot in a therapist’s office, even if you see the profession as a vast snowflake factory, you have absorbed the truth of the therapeutic: that grievance is always justified, that the victim always has the high moral ground, and that if you are frustrated or worried or despairing or otherwise discomfited, then that means you have been robbed of your birthright.
And it makes a concise argument that no amount of scandal, norm-breaking, or criminality will ever disturb the base:
Trump promises more than the restoration of white men to their rightful place at the top of the org chart. He promises to make the world comprehensible again without the intercession of pointy-headed elites and the nagging of social justice warriors. He urges us all to shake loose the surly bonds of civilised conduct: to make science irrelevant and rationality optional, to render truth obsolete, to set power free to roam the world, to lift all the core conditions written into the social contract – fealty to reason, scepticism about instincts, aspirations to justice. We then, at last, will be restored to the primordial American state of nature – free to consume, to pillage, to destroy, to wall out our neighbours and to hate people for living in shitholes.

Trump indeed does more than promise: with his profligate lies, his proud immorality, his sneering disdain for fairness, his disregard for consistency or any other kind of integrity, he embodies those promises. He is the anti-Aufklärer, and his deepest appeal lies in an unspoken promise that lies behind the others: to undo the Enlightenment, to free us from the burdens of living rationally in a world where nothing is settled and where everything – economic well-being, national borders, gender identities, domestic arrangements – is up for grabs, let the strongest prevail.
posted by theodolite at 11:46 AM on October 15 [19 favorites]


Speaking of Medicaid, @sangerkatz: Another month of Medicaid work requirements in Arkansas. 4,109 more people lost coverage. 372 people met the requirement by reporting work hours to the state. Also, it looks like another 4,000+ people are on track to lose their Medicaid coverage next month.

KFF has a good issue brief on why this is happening. The state has made some outreach efforts, but many of the people targeted by this requirement have a hard time understanding complicated written notices and may have prepaid phone plans where they have to change numbers if they run out of credit. The process to signup for an online account, if you happen to have access to the internet (which people targeted by the work requirement disproportionately do not), is 11 steps including 5 security questions and receiving a reference number for verification. And it gets worse and worse from there.

At this point, this policy is actively homicidal.
posted by zachlipton at 11:47 AM on October 15 [50 favorites]


It's not just about the phase of pseudo-mourning a lot of us entered in November 2016 and are still going through.

adjective. not genuine; sham. from Greek ψευδής, pseudes, "lying, false"

Mine isn't pseudo.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:48 AM on October 15 [30 favorites]


There's only been a couple polls of IA-4, King+10 and King+6. IA-4 is a R+11 district.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:48 AM on October 15 [3 favorites]


Dan Epps via Josh Marshall’s Twitter feed:
The fact that ⁦
@Harvard_Law
⁩ prof Mike Klarman is calling for Court packing is a big deal. He’s one of the most levelheaded people I know.
Here’s the Harvard Law Prof’s post.

Fantasy civics is how we move the Overton window in our direction. Pack the fucking Court.
posted by schadenfrau at 11:51 AM on October 15 [69 favorites]


On a recent Pod Save America podcast the host convinced one of his regular co-hosts that it was only fair and moreover moral to pack SCOTUS after the co-host said he was against it. Honestly, I think vocal voters such as ourselves should push against the professional centrists of the Democratic Party in many ways and solidly supporting the idea of packing SCOTUS is one of the ways to do that. And if it works, even better.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:08 PM on October 15 [4 favorites]


@brianstelter: Just in from @clarissaward and @TimListerCNN: "According to two sources, the Saudis are preparing a report that will acknowledge Jamal Khashoggi's death was the result of an interrogation that went wrong, one that was intended to lead to his abduction from Turkey..." More from Ward and Lister's @CNN report: "One source says the report will likely conclude that the operation was carried out without clearance and transparency and that those involved will be held responsible."

I mean they apparently brought a bone saw and brought 15 people to take on one 60-year-old man, but ok, I guess we're advancing to the "we did it; so what?" phase of this process.
posted by zachlipton at 12:08 PM on October 15 [48 favorites]


On Saturday night in Portland there was a Proud Boys march that devolved into a full-blown brawl. Link to a tweet with video by local reporter Mike Bivins.

This march was planned by Joey Gibson, who runs Patriot Prayer, a right-wing group that regularly has rallys in Portland that have become violent in the past. Link to an article from Seattle’s The Stranger about the march.

This march was in response to a small protest against police violence after a police shooting here recently, which were predominantly peaceful but have been criticized by right-wing media for the hands off approach by our mayor, Ted Wheeler.

Willamette Week: Portland Streets Descend Into Bedlam, Again, as Proud Boys and Antifascists Maul Each Other
"Flash march" leads to wild brawls in downtown after national media stoked tensions between warring protest groups.
A sudden march by Proud Boys through downtown Portland tonight turned into a melee, as tensions between radical groups stoked by national media erupted in a street brawl that police struggled to contain.

Right-wing extremists and masked antifascists clashed on the street outside of Kelly's Olympian, a downtown bar. Several brutal fights broke out at once, with black-clad leftists swinging at their MAGA-hat wearing adversaries. Some of the right-wingers struck with batons. Both sides used pepper spray.

Joey Gibson, the leader of Vancouver, Wash.-based protest group Patriot Prayer, organized the march in response to a series of conservative media stories criticizing Mayor Ted Wheeler and Portland police for a hands-off response to small protests against police brutality last weekend. A couple of videos showing protesters yelling at motorists and standing in the street led Fox News and others to criticize Wheeler for allowing "mob rule" in his city.

[...]

A man who appeared to be Tusitala "Tiny" Toese kicked a counter-protester who was on the ground. Another right-wing supporter ran up and stomped on the man's face. One of his fellow protesters pushed him away and said "Let him go."
“Tiny” is a regular attendee of these violent marches, and is considered to be Joey Gibson’s right hand man. He’s constantly seen at rallys and marches doing violent shit, including away from those environments:
Tim Ledwith, 34, said he was punched by Tusitala “Tiny” Toese, 22, who is aligned with the Proud Boys, a “western chauvinist” group founded by Gavin McInnes, a co-founder of the Vice Media empire.

Toese is also a prominent member of Vancouver, Washington-based Patriot Prayer, a group that has staged rallies that have often turned violent in the Pacific north-west over the past year. Patriot Prayer is led by Joey Gibson, a Republican candidate in the US Senate primary in Washington.

Ledwith said the attack happened in a busy shopping area in Portland at around 2.30pm on Friday 8 June. Toese and two other men had been yelling at strangers from a truck, he said.

“They were yelling: ‘Support Trump, build the wall,’” Ledwith said.

Ledwith responded with a profanity, he said, and the men stopped their vehicle. Ledwith said Toese and another man, Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer supporter Donovan Flippo, got out.

“They were calling me a faggot and slinging epithets at me,” Ledwith said. “Tiny walked over calmly and … punched me in the face. I’m like, half his size. I was not a threat to them. I’m 34 years old, not 17. This is not a thing that happens to me day-to-day.”

Ledwith said the punch knocked him to the ground and opened a gash in his lip. He was treated at hospital, he said, receiving several stitches.
An earlier incident, with Tiny and the same man from the above assault
Mykel Mosley walked out of the Vancouver Mall and saw something that made him angry: a pickup flying what he says was a Donald Trump flag.

The African-American teenager yelled out an obscenity about Trump.

Two men got out of the truck, and chased Mosley, one of them spinning him briefly to the ground.

A video, posted online, shows some of the May 11 confrontation and its aftermath — including Mosley’s being turned over by mall guards to police who arrested him.

The man who grabbed Mosley was identified by the Clark County prosecuting attorney as Tusitala “Tiny” Toese. Another man, Donovon Flippo, through a posting from his Facebook account, says he joined in the pursuit of Mosley.
Washington Post: Political violence goes coast to coast as Proud Boys and antifa activists clash in New York, Portland
Portland, which has long seen clashes between the far left and far right, has been consumed for two weeks with Black Lives Matter protests over a fatal police shooting in September. Those protests, in turn, provoked right-wing groups when video emerged last weekend of demonstrators blocking traffic and beating on a passing driver’s car.

So on Saturday evening, a conservative group organized a “flash march for Law and Order” — marching toward the downtown plaza where a memorial had been set up for the police shooting victim, Patrick Kimmons.

“We’ve got Proud Boys running security,” one of the organizers said in a Facebook Live stream of the march.

Predictably, the marchers arrived at the plaza to find it full of counterprotesters chanting “Black Lives Matter.” The local antifascist group was among those live-tweeting from that side of Fourth Avenue.

The right-wing marchers paused on the other side of the street, waving U.S. flags and chanting back — “All Lives Matter,” and “U.S.A., U.S.A.!” and eventually shouted threats.

“Respect the memorial and vigil that’s going on over there,” a man with a loudspeaker said, as seen in one of several Facebook Live videos. “But if they come across the street, you gotta do what you gotta do.”

Portland police had apparently been expecting trouble and managed to dissuade it for half an hour or so by lining up in tactical gear along the street.

But after sundown, things kicked off.

The antifascists may have provoked the violence, according to Mike Bivins, a freelance reporter who documented the ensuing melee on Twitter. One of them burned an American flag as the Proud Boys and company were leaving, causing them to return. Another antifascist then doused the entire group with pepper spray, Bivins wrote.
On top of this, apparently a bunch of anti-racist skinheads were at the bar where the fighting in Portland happened. Twitter thread from American S.H.A.R.P. I guess that makes sense, I just had no idea that there were skinhead crews knockin’ around still.

So, yeah, pretty big weekend for these groups. I didn’t know about the Portland march until just this morning, because I deleted my Facebook a while ago, so I don’t get a lot of local events news anymore. I guess I’ll have to start looking at Twitter pages regularly.
posted by gucci mane at 12:10 PM on October 15 [20 favorites]


I have to conclude that this person is actually the worst.

OMG she is completely the worst, and I am so so horrified by this. Mayhew is basically the reason that Maine has been unable to expand Medicade, despite both the legislature and the voters pushing for the expansion. And oh, by the way, 133 developmentally disabled people in Maine died due to abuse or neglect on her watch.

She's terrible and dangerous.
posted by anastasiav at 12:12 PM on October 15 [22 favorites]


I too enjoy a podcast that gives a massive normalizing platform to Alex Jones, Milo, Proud Boys' Gavin McGinnes, a slew of Gamergaters, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, Stefan Molyneux, Steven Crowder, holocaust denier Chuck Johnson, and on, and on, and on.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:57 AM on October 16 [11 favorites +] [!]

The constant invocations against social justice warriors are themselves an excellent predictor of giving a massive normalizing platform to the extreme right. Summarizing Rebecca Lewis' study of the reactionary right on Youtube, Ezra Klein writes
Lewis’s argument, which I agree with, is that the core, unshakable agreement uniting the reactionary right is their intense loathing of “the social justice left,” of political correctness, of threats to free speech as they define it... It’s much more accepting of differing views on health care, the role of the state, and taxation than the modern Republican Party. But you can’t be in sympathy with the SJWs.
posted by Jpfed at 3:44 AM on October 16 [8 favorites +] [!]


I preserved links to the Rebecca Lewis and Ezra Klein articles in Jpfed's comment, although not quite at the same point.

What I want to say to Rust Moranis and Jpfed is - exactly. Why, RM, am I listening? Because right now my job is translating at home for 16 hours a day and why not, and it has been for weeks, and right now is a good time in my life for rabbit holes. I enjoy parts. I rage at others.

The parts I rage at are exemplified perfectly by the Dave Rubin Twitter quote in Ezra Klein's article:
Dave Rubin

@RubinReport
Hi @ezraklein, wanna explain to me how gay married, pro choice, pro-pot, against death penalty, for reforming prisons/drug sentencing, is part of reactionary right?

(As you and rest of mainstream slide into irrelevancy you did get the “underestimated forces” part right, though.)

9:47 PM - Sep 20, 2018
I can answer that, but I can't do it coherently. It has something to do with "a platform is power, and we've seen what happens when we give trolls a platform, Donald Trump and other Republicans get elected, which leads directly to things like child separations, tax cuts for the rich, more racism, police brutality, and [insert every Republican talking point I have to argue back against here]. I don't care who you are or how you identify, I care that you're using your platform to enable people who do these things, and I want you to either admit the harms and power dynamics you enable exist and work to stop them or get deplatformed, and I intend to use outrage as a means to enforce my view until you stop." Honestly, I don't care how non-traditionally conservative you are. This isn't about conservatism anymore. It's about raw power and all the disingenuous means the Republicans use to maintain it. They need to be stopped by any means necessary while ensuring that democracy and a free society survives, but power dynamics can no longer ignore the fact that platform and message is a part of power projection too, and outrage at projecting bad views is not a bad thing or unfair in a culture where bad faith arguments mostly from one side exist. We might even argue over whether the Democrats do the same thing, sometimes they do, but first, acknowledge the warping of truth on the right, or you deserve the outrage.

"Make a good faith argument and then I'll engage you in good faith" shouldn't be controversial, and refusal to acknowledge that is the Achilles' heel of the reactionary right as described here. I wish I knew how to engage it in a pithy, soundbite-worthy way.
posted by saysthis at 12:37 PM on October 15 [1 favorite]




Charlie Pierce: I'm Not Sure We're Ready for the Chaos That Will Follow the Midterms. Prepare for recount hell and the delegitimizing of the Blue Wave.
These two statements [from John Bolton and Brian Kemp] are not merely crude electioneering. They are part of a national mechanism that is being created to delegitimize a Democratic sweep should it happen next month. It will be Chinese meddling, or sneaky "Illegals." And they will sell it hard to those people most likely to believe it. And the country likely will catch on fire.

In addition, as close as some of these races appear to be, we likely are heading into a couple of months of recount hell. If 2000 was any indication, there could be 10 or 20 Brooks Brothers riots in our future. All democratic norms are down. It's a free-for-all.

I'm not sure if the Democratic Party is ready for what could be coming, and I'm very sure neither the elite political press nor the country is ready for it. I'd like to believe everything is going to be most chill at the polling places, but I'm not betting on that either way. I'd like to believe that the results, whatever they are, at least will be treated as legitimate decisions made by a democratic polity. But you'd have to be crazy to bet on that.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:52 PM on October 15 [55 favorites]


From a Twitter thread by historian Louis Hyman@louishyman. (Using a different app that anyone with a browser can access, so no Twitter required.)
In my history of consumption class, I teach about #Sears, but what most people don't know is just how radical the catalogue was in the era of #Jim Crow. #twitterstorians Every time a black southerner went to the local store they were confronted with forced deference to white customers who would be served first. And the store would be filled with racist caricatures of black people in an effort to sell to white people. ...

In an attempt to undermine #Sears, rumors spread that Sears was black (to get white customers to stop buying from him). Sold by mail “these fellows could not afford to show their faces as retailers” Sears, in turn, published photos to “prove” he was white. These rumors didn’t affect sales but show how race and commerce connected in the countryside. And how dangerous it was to the local order, to white supremacy, to have national markets.

So as we think about #Sears today, let's think about how retail is not just about buying things, but part of a larger system of power. Every act of power contains the opportunity, and the means, for resistance.

posted by Bella Donna at 12:53 PM on October 15 [33 favorites]




I'm not sure if the Democratic Party is ready for what could be coming, and I'm very sure neither the elite political press nor the country is ready for it.

The only people ready for what's coming are sociopaths and psychopaths.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:57 PM on October 15 [18 favorites]


Native twitter is mightily pissed off about Warren, and it's not that hard to understand. Remember when Franken had to resign because (a) he was a bit of a dick in a photo but also (b) to maintain a consistent standard on an important issue? It's the same idea here. Warren needs to unequivocally address this issue and back off the blood quanta thing. Or she needs to name her people and her community and have them name her back.
posted by Rumple at 1:38 PM on October 15 [14 favorites]


If 2000 was any indication, there could be 10 or 20 Brooks Brothers riots in our future. All democratic norms are down. It's a free-for-all.

I mean, we don't have to meet them in the octagon. The left can go on strike, among other things.
posted by rhizome at 1:40 PM on October 15 [2 favorites]


"In addition, as close as some of these races appear to be, we likely are heading into a couple of months of recount hell."
"Our elections are now like our wars, and never end." — Alexander Chee
@alexanderchee
• Amber Jamieson, Buzzfeed, October 14, 2018, Immigrant Teens Are Stuck In An Expanding Tent City In Texas.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:45 PM on October 15 [6 favorites]


well at least we'll be hearing something other than "oh, but she's SO good in the senate" as the reason why we shouldn't support This Particular Woman for President
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:51 PM on October 15 [26 favorites]


because (a) he was a bit of a dick in a photo

No.
posted by schadenfrau at 1:56 PM on October 15 [49 favorites]


well at least we'll be hearing something other than "oh, but she's SO good in the senate" as the reason why we shouldn't support This Particular Woman for President

I mean, I get that things these days are frustrating, but this is a really shitty way to tell folks of native descent reading this thread [hi, I'm one!], or folks* who are citing really eloquent instances of native scholars and representatives, that their voice isn't worth it in this case.

*Thanks for those citations, seriously, I've spoken before here about how tribal enrollment isn't something that's very parse-able by those who aren't mucking around in it. It's also doubly icky because my tribe A) uses blood quantum numbers as part of their membership criteria and B) has attempted to use it as a cudgel upon their own membership but C) it was an integral part of our bylaws that actually allowed us to get federal recognition when we did. Those folks you cite are more coherent than I am able to be on this very, VERY sticky subject.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:59 PM on October 15 [25 favorites]


Kim Tall Bear's 2016 Twitter essay on tribal membership standards and the usefulness of DNA for determining Native American heritage is the best discussion I've seen yet on the issue. It's really complicated.

I understand that Warren thinks she needs to address this, but I wish she would do a better job of it. She must have access to people who are better-informed on the issue than she appears to be.
posted by suelac at 2:07 PM on October 15 [2 favorites]


ok, let me put it this way: I have no desire to push back on criticisms, eloquent or otherwise, of how Warren has dealt with Trump's gross-ass racist bullshit slurring of her, but I would hope that my fellow white people don't just take this ball and run with it as the regrettable but inarguable proof that Warren just isn't the right candidate at this time, etc
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:07 PM on October 15 [11 favorites]


I don't think she can address it both truthfully and effectively. Because the truth is probably something close to "this was family folklore, I checked a box on a form without thinking about it much, and it turned out the folklore was probably mostly bullshit." And that would play right in to Trump's hands.
posted by Justinian at 2:08 PM on October 15 [16 favorites]


But I'm glad we've identified 2020's "but her emails" so far in advance that I can mentally prepare.
posted by Justinian at 2:10 PM on October 15 [87 favorites]


@KimTallBear: i've been asked by several reporters today what Elizabeth Warren should do to appease her Native American critics. @rebeccanagle already told her what to do. she wrote warren the apology for warren [link from 2017]: "I am sorry for the real damage that Native Americans have experienced as the debate about my false identity has revived the worst stereotypes and offensive racist remarks, all while Native people have been silenced. I will do my part as a Senator to push for the United States to fully recognize tribal nations’ inherent sovereignty and uphold our treaty obligations to Native Nations. I will use my national platform to advance the rights of Native Americans and I commit to building real relationships in Indian Country as an ally and supporter." There you have it. A Cherokee woman, @rebeccanagle, did #ElizabethWarren's work for her.

I feel like this story has been billed as "Warren vindicated" (or in right wing media: "we happen to have these blood quantum charts handy—no that's not creepy at all—, and she's a liar") not entirely through her own words but rather because that's the inevitable consequences of what people will say after dropping a DNA test like this, when the reality is that identity is super complicated, the basic concept of tribal sovereignty means that white people shouldn't get to decide their members, and she's ended up hurting people that she could be elevating instead (as she's recently done with the Native American Voting Rights Act). I think the Globe, as the people who were first given the story and ultimately set the framing for everyone else today, did a particularly poor job by not including the voices of what actual people of native descent think, focusing solely on DNA results rather than tribal sovereignty, and I wish they and Warren's people had done better on that.
posted by zachlipton at 2:12 PM on October 15 [17 favorites]


I don't think she can address it both truthfully and effectively. Because the truth is probably something close to "this was family folklore, I checked a box on a form without thinking about it much, and it turned out the folklore was probably mostly bullshit." And that would play right in to Trump's hands.

Everything plays right into Trump's hands. Doesn't matter what she says. So why not have a thoughtful response that appeals to people who like thoughtful responses?

Remember how many things Obama talked thoughtfully about, and how many votes he got? Warren seems like she's capable of that kind of thoughtful self-reflection. There'll be a section of the population that'll hate it and mock it, but those people will do that anyway, no matter what she does or doesn't say.
posted by clawsoon at 2:16 PM on October 15 [13 favorites]


Basically: Warren had a family story that her grandmother was at least part Native American. (I don't know if Warren has ever asserted that her grandmother was a tribal member.) Warren's DNA test doesn't definitively prove or disprove the claim (although it's not unreasonable to think it tends to support it).

So far as I know, Warren hasn't ever claimed tribal membership, although once she did claim Native ancestry on a form.

Nobody has reported that Warren is now claiming tribal membership as a result of the DNA test. DNA tests are generally not useful for establishing tribal membership for many historic/legal/cultural reasons. And tribal membership is decided upon by the tribe and not by any given individual claiming Native ancestry.

Elizabeth Warren: still basically white. Might have some Native ancestry, like many other people.

The above is too complicated to be encompassed in a headline; as a result, we're going to be hearing about this for-freaking-ever. Bah.
posted by suelac at 2:27 PM on October 15 [40 favorites]


Stormy is rocking it hard with Olivia Nuzzi @TheCut
I’m like, “Jesus Christ. There’s no crying in tittie bars. What’s happening?”
posted by kirkaracha at 2:27 PM on October 15 [5 favorites]


Warren can't win this situation. Nothing she can say will stop the right wing attacks, they're still going to call her Pocahontas. She didn't just put out a DNA test, she made a statement consistent with her family's history, like she's done over and over. Identity IS complicated, and this is part of hers, and she's been totally consistent about how. But nothing she can say will stop our side from saying she didn't do it enough, or say it perfectly right, or anything to turn the firing squad back into a circle. The same people attacking her today would've done the same thing if Obama had preemptively released his longform birth certificate ahead of 2008 instead of years later.

She obviously made a choice that she has to address this ahead of 2020 and choose to do it sooner rather than later, but she was never going to "win" this situation, and it's still going to follow her, because Republicans and their "both sides" media enablers will always find something, EMAILS, checking a box, something, to turn into the story other than real issues and a referendum on the results of Republican control.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:32 PM on October 15 [43 favorites]


Painting update:
THE POST: So Trump doesn’t have the original painting?

THOMAS: It’s a high-quality laser print. The original is still in my studio.
The White House can borrow from the National Gallery and the Smithonian (and this administration tried to borrow a van Gogh from the Guggenheim), but instead he's got a laser print of this thing hanging up? And what the hell is with the artist who doesn't send his original to the White House of all places?
posted by zachlipton at 2:36 PM on October 15 [21 favorites]



Not to be forgotten: the Trump administration is also using this whole mishegas with Warren as an opportunity to muddy the question of tribal sovereignty, because the Tribes own 12% of the yet-to-be-developed oil and gas reserves in this country.

The Trump administration would very much like tribal membership to be seen as purely biological, because if it is, then all tribal preferences and protections like treaty rights, Indian Health Service, trust responsibilities, and the very existence of the BIA become constitutionally suspect.

Once they break the protected status of the Tribes, they'll go on to terminate them as political institutions and open the land to development. Oh, and of course that would also destroy Tribal casinos as competition to people like Sheldon Adelson.
posted by suelac at 2:37 PM on October 15 [37 favorites]


the basic concept of tribal sovereignty means that white people shouldn't get to decide their members

Sovereignty means they get to decide who are officially members of the tribe (and many a first nation has tossed out people with native ancestry). But it doesn't mean they get to deny people their ancestry.

I'll have Canadian ancestry forever even if I might not be a Canadian citizen forever (though I will because who would throw that away?). I have French Canadian ancestry despite being completely anglicized.
posted by srboisvert at 2:38 PM on October 15 [9 favorites]


So she's getting called Pocahontas from the right and I'm sure there are Natives calling her a Pretendian or Generokee. This entire situation is a clusterfuck.
posted by elsietheeel at 2:39 PM on October 15 [10 favorites]


And what the hell is with the artist who doesn't send his original to the White House of all places?

Surprisingly, most visual art is neither chewable nor dishwasher safe.
posted by loquacious at 2:40 PM on October 15 [21 favorites]


She released a DNA test interpreted by an expert that confirms her family's oral history.

We don't need to wait to see what Republicans or Trump or anybody else have to say on the matter.

We're already bagging on her on the blue/twitter for hurting Cherokee sovereignty, for misrepresenting contract law, etc. etc.

Jesus christ.
posted by birdheist at 2:42 PM on October 15 [58 favorites]


> I'm not sure if the Democratic Party is ready for what could be coming, and I'm very sure neither the elite political press nor the country is ready for it.

> The only people ready for what's coming are sociopaths and psychopaths.

Yes, but sociopaths and psychopaths on both sides. Game recognizes game. Don't underestimate how capable members of this class are at destroying each other.
posted by Arson Lupine at 2:42 PM on October 15 [1 favorite]


I'm sure there are Natives calling her a Pretendian or Generokee

It is terribly inconvenient that Native Americans are speaking up on a matter of longstanding importance to them.
posted by Rumple at 2:42 PM on October 15 [25 favorites]


And what the hell is with the artist who doesn't send his original to the White House of all places?

Ignoring the, umm, artistic merit of the work, would you give over the original of anything of value to Trump's keeping?
posted by bcd at 2:43 PM on October 15 [8 favorites]


The White House can borrow from the National Gallery and the Smithonian (and this administration tried to borrow a van Gogh from the Guggenheim), but instead he's got a laser print of this thing hanging up? And what the hell is with the artist who doesn't send his original to the White House of all places?

If what you want isn't in the National Gallery or the Smithsonian, then the fact you can borrow from there doesn't help you much.

It looks like this was a gift to Trump from a member of Congress, who bought the print and gave it to Trump, and Trump then told his people to hang it somewhere - which ended up being whatever room that was in the interview video. It doesn't look like anyone asked the artist whether the original could be borrowed, nor does it look like anybody, including Trump, really cares about the painting enough to ask. They hung up a cheap gift on the wall, and that's about it.
posted by The World Famous at 2:44 PM on October 15 [2 favorites]


All the president's men: what to make of Trump's bizarre new painting
Thomas reports that Trump called him to say how much he liked the painting: “He was very complimentary. He made a comment that he’d seen a lot of paintings of himself and he rarely liked them.” Let’s take a closer look, then, at Trump’s depiction, and that of his predecessors.

Donald Trump
Honestly, I am impressed with the detail in Trump’s hair. But his physique is very strange. With the greatest of respect, Trump’s figure usually resembles a hastily packed sleeping bag, and yet here, he has the torso of Jon Hamm in Mad Men. But one element is true to life: look at that tiny hand. The hand of a delicate porcelain doll. Credit to Thomas for his attention to detail re Trump’s beverage choice – his well-documented favourite, Diet Coke. There’s absolutely no way he’d be seen drinking it from a glass, however, as evidenced in the cracking of cans during interviews (up to 12 a day, apparently).
posted by kirkaracha at 2:46 PM on October 15 [5 favorites]


Just a friendly reminder that we’re all (generally) on the same side in here and that we don’t have to take our frustrations out on one another. Lord knows I have not been perfect at resisting that temptation, but I think it’s worth remembering.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 2:47 PM on October 15 [12 favorites]


I understand the impulse to defend Warren, and the ugly racist way Republicans have bullied her is disgusting, but... the way she's handled this is not a good look. It is in fact really problematic. Native people have explained why and will continue to do so. It is counterproductive to attack and diminish their arguments for partisan reasons.

Sometimes, Republican criticism is valid, even if given in entirely bad faith, and I don't think it means we're engaging in the circular firing squad if we accept that. Maybe it just means being consistent with our own values -- e.g. allow marginalized people to speak for themselves and trust them on what they say -- even when it's uncomfortable for us.
posted by the turtle's teeth at 2:50 PM on October 15 [16 favorites]


Elizabeth Warren: still basically white. Might have some Native ancestry, like many other people.

I think she's making a mistake by taking this remotely seriously. Any time anyone on the campaign trail or anywhere else asks about this she should just say "After the last two years, are you fucking serious?"

maybe leave out the fucking
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:52 PM on October 15 [20 favorites]


The same people attacking her today would've done the same thing if Obama had preemptively released his longform birth certificate ahead of 2008 instead of years later.

Careful there. Birtherism was entirely a racist conspiracy theory fueled by the likes of Trump. Warren has, let's set aside the question of whether she ever did anything wrong or not for a second, what's happened has legitimately been hurtful to native people here in the US; they're speaking up about it as discussed in this very thread. And yes, it sucks that she's in the impossible position of needing to have a nuanced and difficult conversation about identity on the one hand and having Trump bullying her in a disgusting dominance display on the other, but that's where we are.

As an example, events have already transpired to prove my point: @cmarinucci: Via @WhiteHouse Press Pool: @realDonaldTrump backtracks on previous promise to pay $1 million to @SenWarren for DNA testing showing Native American ancestry -- “I’ll only do it if I can test her personally -- and that will not be something I will enjoy doing either.”

[video]

The primary we're heading into is about to be terrible. We can't let Trump's bullying, and he will use every opportunity to insert himself into the primary and bully, stop us from doing the right thing, and dismissing the voices of native people is wrong. The Democratic party needs to figure out how to have a primary that is both about how to beat him and how to ignore him, or he'll set the terms for the entire debate. I don't know how to do that.
posted by zachlipton at 2:56 PM on October 15 [13 favorites]


Once they break the protected status of the Tribes... also destroy Tribal casinos

The Mashpee Wampanoag are facing this right now. The reversal of their reservation's trust status is an ominous precedent. I recently moved to Mashpee and it's in the news here but I don't think there has been much national press (maybe Sen. Warren will redirect some of the attention she has recently drawn towards this very real issue facing native people living in the state she represents).
posted by soy bean at 2:57 PM on October 15 [7 favorites]


Trump denies offering $1 million for Warren DNA test, even though he did
"I didn't say that. You'd better read it again," Trump told reporters at the White House when asked about his $1 million offer.

Responding to a question about Warren's test, Trump said, "Who cares?"
Ceterum autem censeo Trumpem esse delendam
posted by kirkaracha at 2:58 PM on October 15 [2 favorites]


I think she's making a mistake by taking this remotely seriously.

This. No one that was going to vote for her was swayed by Trump calling her Pocahontas and no Trump acolyte will be swayed by this test. But but allowing him to dictate the field of battle, now we're talking about this rather than more substantial. It's something he's very good at.
posted by Candleman at 3:01 PM on October 15 [28 favorites]


Let's just own the fact that any time somebody tosses a complicated intersectional situation into a pack of liberals, we all start whaling on each other.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:03 PM on October 15 [88 favorites]


It's all a moot point anyway since Harris is going to be the nominee.
posted by asteria at 3:05 PM on October 15 [7 favorites]


I've followed this a bit and have read the tweets regarding using blood tests and ancestry to define membership within tribes. Has there been a claim made that Elizabeth Warren is a member of the Cherokee Tribe, beyond the re-telling of a family story about one of her ancestors?

It seems weird that the very people highlighting the importance of ancestry != membership would be confusing a claim of ancestry with one of membership.

:shrug: What prize bull octorok said.
posted by birdheist at 3:13 PM on October 15 [8 favorites]


It seems weird that the very people highlighting the importance of ancestry != membership would be confusing a claim of ancestry with one of membership.

Nobod