"Game on, Tiny"
October 18, 2018 5:19 PM   Subscribe

Last Sunday's “60 Minutes” aired an interview by Lesley Stahl with Donald Trump, who informed her, twice, "I'm not a baby." (Transcript) Among other highlights, Trump, bobbing and weaving to avoid the truth, tried to cast blame on China when pressed about Russian interference in the 2016 campaign election, declared he knew more about NATO than Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (a former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation), suggested climate change will "change back again", and let slip, "I don’t trust everybody in the White House". The AP reports 11.7 million viewers tuned in to watch, just over half the audience that Stormy Daniels had on the CBS newsmagazine last spring. CNN tracks 11 noteworthy moments from Trump's '60 Minutes' interview.

Headline Roundup:
• Stormy Daniels vs. Donald J. Trump roundup: On Monday, a Federal judge dismissed Stormy Daniels' defamation lawsuit against Trump (CNN). The next morning, @realDonaldTrump tweeted, "Great, now I can go after Horseface and her 3rd rate lawyer in the Great State of Texas. She will confirm the letter she signed! She knows nothing about me, a total con!", to which @StormyDaniels replied, "Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present your president. In addition to his...umm...shortcomings, he has demonstrated his incompetence, hatred of women and lack of self control on Twitter AGAIN! And perhaps a penchant for bestiality. Game on, Tiny." Trump still believes his ‘Horseface’ Tweet is politically brilliant (Daily Beast) (Earlier this week, Daniels told NY Magazine's Olivia Nuzzi, fighting on Twitter is "great sport for me. That’s how I entertain myself on flights now. Who’s being mean to me today?") Meanwhile, Michael Avenatti has filed an appeal.

• Michael Cohen flip roundup: Vanity Fair: As the Midterms Approach, Michael Cohen Is Doubling Down On His Civic Duty—As Trump campaigns, Cohen has willingly talked to government investigators for more than 50 hours. Cohen also reportedly wants to campaign for Democrats in the midterms and 2020 (CNN). And Cohen and his attorney met Wednesday with a group of state and federal law enforcement officials investigating Trump's family business and charitable organization (CNN). In an interview with the AP on Tuesday, Trump described Cohen as “a PR person who did small legal work” and said it was “very sad” he had struck a deal to “achieve a lighter sentence.”

• Trump fraud roundup: Is Fraud Part of the Trump Organization’s Business Model? (The New Yorker's Adam Davidson); Pump and Trump: Donald Trump claims he only licensed his name for real estate projects developed by others. But an investigation of a dozen Trump deals shows deep family involvement in projects that often involved deceptive practices (ProPublica); Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. Were Close to Being Charged With Felony Fraud—New York prosecutors were preparing a case. Then the D.A. overruled his staff after a visit from a top donor: Trump attorney Marc Kasowitz. (ProPublica) Revealed: Aras Agalarov set up U.S. shell company before Trump Tower meeting. (Guardian)

• Khashoggi murder coverup roundup: The Trump Administration and the Saudi Royal Family Are Searching For a Mutually Agreeable Explanation For The Death of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi (WaPo); Saudi Arabia Transfers $100 Million to U.S. Amid Crisis over Khashoggi (WaPo) Khashoggi Disappearance May Disrupt Trump Administration’s Plans to Squeeze Iran (NYT) (See also the dedicated Jamal Khashoggi FPP)

• Federal deficit roundup: Federal Deficit Jumps 17 Percent As Tax Cuts Eat Into Government Revenue (NPR); The Numbers Are In, And Trump's Tax Cut Didn't Reduce The Deficit – Despite His Many Promises (John Hardwood, CNBC). But the deficit is the perfect occasion for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to discuss cuts to Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid: McConnell Blames Entitlements, Not GOP, for Rising Deficits (Bloomberg). Flashback to September 2017: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin: GOP Tax Plan Would More Than Offset Its Cost—‘Not only will this tax plan pay for itself, but it will pay down debt,’ he says (WSJ)

• Election security roundup: DHS Finds Increasing Attempts To Hack U.S. Election Systems Ahead of Midterms—The assessment said the feds don't know who is behind the attacks, but none have been successful (NBC); U.S. Still Hasn’t Finalized Election Security Plans—and the Midterms Are Weeks Away (Daily Beast); Facebook's former security chief: U.S. is unprepared for 2018 elections “The real question is what are our adversaries going to do in 2018?” Alex Stamos said in an interview. (NBC). Also, US Voter Records From 19 States Sold On Hacking Forum (ZDNET)

• Midterm voter turnout news roundup: Suburban Women Are Fed Up With The Republican Party And Could Drive A Blue Wave—If there's a Democratic sweep in November, politically moderate suburban women will be a big reason why. “Now I’m Democratic. I’ve never been before,” said Bobbie, a retired woman spending a morning browsing the shops of Birmingham, Michigan, an idyllic suburb of Detroit. (Buzzfeed); Young Voters Might Actually Show Up At The Polls This Year—At least, more of them than usual might. (538); Uncertainty Over a Blue Wave: NBC News Finds Democratic and GOP Voter Registrations At Same Level As Past Election Cycles—The data in some key Senate battleground states shows a mixed picture. (NBC)

In Other News:

Elizabeth Warren Calls On Fed to Maintain Growth Cap On Wells Fargo Until It Fires CEO Tim Sloan (CNBC); So, Senator Warren, You're Clearly Running for President. (The Nation) (See also the dedicated Elizabeth Warren FPP)

• Despite initial reports that Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke fired the agency's Inspector General and replaced her with a loyalist political operative, the existing IG is still on the job and has concluded Zinke violated the department’s policy on travel. (Interior Department officials blame HUD Secretary Ben Carson for issuing a statement containing "100 percent false information.").

• Russian Billionaire Aras Agalarov Set Up U.S. Shell Company Before Trump Tower Meeting Aras Agalarov, who helped arrange the meeting with Donald Trump Jr in June 2016, formed a shell company with an accountant who has had clients accused of money laundering and embezzlement. (Guardian); Russian Man at Trump Jr Meeting Had Links to Businessman with Alleged Soviet Intelligence ties, US Investigators Said Irakly Kaveladze’s business links to a Soviet-born banker with alleged ties to former KGB officials attracted interest from US investigators in the 1990s (Guardian)

Kelly, Bolton Get in Profane Shouting Match Outside the Oval Office (Bloomberg). The dispute appears to be centered around DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, immigration, and Trump's threat to close the southern border. The White House did not deny the shouting match but rather put out a statement inexplicably blaming Democrats.

Trump Tells Cabinet Departments to Propose 5% Cuts in Spending During a meeting Wednesday, Trump told his Cabinet, “I’m going to ask everybody to come back with a 5 percent cut for our next meeting. There may be a special exemption, perhaps. I don’t know who that exemption would be.”(Bloomberg)

FBI Raids San Juan City Offices Weeks After Trump Alleges Corruption An agency spokesman said that Tuesday's raid was related to an ongoing investigation into contract favoritism by the mayor's office and city officials. (MSN)

California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's Ties To Russia Are Front and Center As His Tight House Race Goes Down To The Wire (CNBC); Republican Hatred for Dianne Feinstein Is Making Her Lefty Opponent Competitive (NYMag) (See also dedicated California ballot measures FPP)

Russia Says Putin-Trump Meeting In Paris On November 11 Possible They will both be there to observe the centenary of WWI's armistice. (Reuters)

More Than 1,300 Still Missing In Florida After Hurricane Michael Public-safety platform CrowdSource Rescue said it has open cases for 800 missing adults, 141 children and 396 elderly—for a total of 1,337 people. Crews have already rescued nearly 1,500. (UPI)

• ACA Signups: Presenting The GOP Pre-Existing Condition Gaslighter Rogues Gallery! After a decade of disparaging, undermining, sabotaging, and attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republicans have realized that some of the law's key provisions are so popular that officials who are actively fighting to end coverage for pre-existing conditions are campaigning on their pledges to protect it, hoping voters won't notice. An exhaustive compendium of the double-talk.

Remember to check your voter registration: voter registration deadlines are coming up.

Previously in U.S. Politics Megathreads: "pRoVen INnoCeNt". Thanks to box and zachlipton for collaborating on this FPP on the MeFiWiki.

Elsewhere in MetaFilter: On MeTa, what Mefites are doing to improve things and getting out the vote; and on AskMe, How to help get out the vote without stepping outside my front door and nonpolitical volunteering from home.

As always, please consider MeFi chat and the unofficial PoliticsFilter Slack for hot-takes and live-blogging breaking news, the current MetaTalk venting thread for catharsis and sympathizing, and funding the site if you're able. Also, for the sake of the ever-helpful mods, please keep in mind the MetaTalk on expectations about U.S. political discussion on MetaFilter.
posted by Doktor Zed (2071 comments total) 132 users marked this as a favorite
 
During a meeting Wednesday, Trump told his Cabinet, “I’m going to ask everybody to come back with a 5 percent cut for our next meeting. There may be a special exemption, perhaps. I don’t know who that exemption would be.”

Lolz, I bet I can guess which exemption it's gonna be.
(clicks link)
He said he’d propose a $700 billion budget for military spending in fiscal 2020, which would be about a $15 billion increase over total appropriations for the Defense Department this year. It’s “a very substantial number,” Trump said, “but it’s defense, it’s important.”

Yeah. Kind hard to imagine him asking Defense to cut anything from its budget, let alone 5%.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:45 PM on October 18 [5 favorites]


Of course defense would be the only such cabinet level that could easily cut that much with basically no downside.
posted by odinsdream at 5:50 PM on October 18 [35 favorites]


Because Trump's embarked on a three-day campaign rally run (which will add up to five rallies in the next week), the Washington Post looks at them as a cultural phenomenon: Frozen In Time, President Trump and His Supporters Celebrate At His Campaign Rallies As Though It’s Still 2016

Meanwhile, the Toronto Star's Daniel Dale is live-tweeting/fact-checking Trump's Missoula, Montana rally tonight. Highlights so far:
—"I love these hangars. I love a hangar. There's nothing like a hangar," Trump begins. He is in a hangar.
—Trump on military planes: "You have F-35s, you have the F-18s, the Super-Dupers -- the Hornets. We have them all."
—Trump, on immigration, says Democrats have told him "we're not giving to give you the laws that you need," but, still, he is persevering: "We're taking it and we're doing it and we have great things happening."
—! Trump repeats Matt Gaetz's unfounded theory that the caravan migrants are being given money to get to the U.S. "by election day."
—Trump continuing with his hugely-misleading-at-best claim about Democrats and the migrants: "They also figure everybody coming in's going to vote Democrat...they're not so stupid when you think about it. But they are crazy."
—Trump to the "fake news" on immigration: "I have caused the problem. I'm taking full blame. You know why? Everyone's like in shock...it's my problem, I caused it: because I have created such an incredible economy, I have created so many jobs...that everybody wants to come in."
—Combo Tears Alert* and Sir Alert: Trump says that when he was walking in, "a big strong guy grabbed me, and he was almost crying, and it happens every time, and many times. And he said: 'Sir, Mr. President, thank you so much for saving our country.'"
—Trump, ranting about Clinton's emails, tells people to forget everything other than that, then says: "You can never forget about Benghazi, ever. You can forget about everything else. Never forget Benghazi. But forget about all the other things -- 33,000 emails."
—Trump is wayyy off script tonight, just ranting.
* According to Donald Trump, a lot of people are crying around Donald Trump. (Toronto Star)
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:58 PM on October 18 [24 favorites]


• FBI Raids San Juan City Offices Weeks After Trump Alleges Corruption An agency spokesman said that Tuesday's raid was related to an ongoing investigation into contract favoritism by the mayor's office and city officials

What I hate about this is that we can’t know if Trump talked about corruption because he had advance knowledge of the state of the investigation because he is an idiot, or if he sent the FBI after a political enemy because he’s a fascist thug. And one of those is definitely worse than the other.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:59 PM on October 18 [19 favorites]


The rally has gotten weirder and worser:

—Trump after a woman shouts I Love You: "It's finally a woman! You know I get it from the men all the time."
—Trump, mocking pundits for their 2016 predictions, begins to talk about the late conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer, so there is applause, but Trump was intending to criticize him, and he says, "He treated you better than he treated me."
—Trump criticizes people who criticized Melania's Africa attire as colonialist. Then he segues to the fire on Melania's plane. Trump says that once he found out Melania was okay, "I asked, how was she? Was she SCAAARED? 'No sir.'"
—Trump: "You love my hair? Thank you. She knows what to say. She knows how to make me happy. 'I love your hair.' Well the one thing that has been really great about this whole endeavour is they used to say 'he wears a hairpiece, he wears a hairpiece.' They don't say that anymore." Trump says that people no longer say he wears a hairpiece because they've seen his hair blown around in every kind of wind...and then he segues to the recent hurricanes...and then back to his hair. "So that's one good thing, nobody ever says that anymore."
—This is one of the very weirdest speeches I've ever heard Trump give.

And then, @seungminkim: Omg Trump on Gianforte: "By the way, never wrestle him." Trump on Gianforte's assault of @Bencjacobs -- "I think it might help him, and it did." Big cheers in crowd as Trump mentions a reporter getting assaulted. Wow.

@ZekeJMiller: WOW Trump in Missoula praising Gianforte: "Any guy that can do a body slam he's my kind of guy"

This, incidentally, came moments after decrying Democrats as the party of violent mobs.
posted by zachlipton at 6:08 PM on October 18 [70 favorites]


More weirdness from Missoula via @ddale8
—Trump: "You love my hair? Thank you. She knows what to say. She knows how to make me happy. 'I love your hair.' Well the one thing that has been really great about this whole endeavour is they used to say 'he wears a hairpiece, he wears a hairpiece.' They don't say that anymore."
—Trump says that people no longer say he wears a hairpiece because they've seen his hair blown around in every kind of wind...and then he segues to the recent hurricanes...and then back to his hair. "So that's one good thing, nobody ever says that anymore."
—Trump: "Democrats produce mobs. Republicans produce jobs." A few seconds later, he says, "By the way, this is the most beautiful sky. Well, Big Sky -- I guess there's a reason for everything, right...someday, one of you will explain exactly why."
—Trump says that nobody even challenges him when he calls Democrats the "party of crime." He then adds, "Maybe they have, who knows." He says he has to hedge because if he doesn't he'll get Pinocchios from @GlennKesslerWP.
—Trump on his Montana performance in 2016: "I won by a fortune of votes."
When Dale says that "This is one of the very weirdest speeches I've ever heard Trump give.", you know it's batshit insane.

Also, we've seen what Trump's hair looks like in the wind, and it isn't pretty (or convincing).
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:09 PM on October 18 [14 favorites]


It’s like watching a man have an hours long stroke on stage only the man isn’t having a stroke and he’s the leader of “the free world”. There aren’t enough drinks in the world.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 6:12 PM on October 18 [28 favorites]


He is having a stroke, just not that kind of stroke.
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:16 PM on October 18 [52 favorites]


ABC exclusive: According to a senior Turkish official, Mike Pompeo heard the Khashoggi recording earlier today, and was given a transcript; the State Department denies these things.
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:21 PM on October 18 [18 favorites]


This rally. That tweet. When will those reporting just drop the pretense of objective observation and just start calling out the sheer madness of this situation. The actual POTUS is basically performing Violet Beauregarde in a bad suit and there is literally nothing he can say or do that will sway the idiot seals clapping the show.

The only sane method of engagement now is to simply state, over and over and over: “Something is very wrong here”. Say it to his face, append it to every sentence written about him, blanket hashtag, just render the analysis redundant with the starkest, least contestable statement possible and don’t let up til the f@*cker cracks.
posted by freya_lamb at 6:29 PM on October 18 [49 favorites]


China's local governments have up to $6 trillion in off the books debt, which may cause a default crisis. I wonder how that will tie into our stupid trade war.
posted by double block and bleed at 6:49 PM on October 18 [10 favorites]


NYPD Arrests First Proud Boy for Manhattan Fight With Antifa

Geoffrey Young, 38, of New City, New York was arrested around 7 p.m. on charges of riot and attempted assault. He was among 12 people the NYPD wanted in connection with a fight between the two groups following a speech by Proud Boys leader Gavin McInnes at the Metropolitan Republican Club in Manhattan.

Still worth celebrating despite the chance that the NYPD misspelled "hired" as "arrested."
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:20 PM on October 18 [35 favorites]


In an effort to paper over his record of voting to limit access to addiction services, Dave Brat met with 100 incarcerated people struggling with addiction and showed the GOP version of empathy: "You think you’re having a hard time—I got $5 million worth of negative ads going at me." When an inmate complained that transitional housing is only offered in drug-ridden neighborhoods exposing them to temptation, Brat said upscale neighborhoods are not all they’re cracked up to be, "You won’t believe the depression in those hoity-toity neighborhoods."
posted by peeedro at 7:25 PM on October 18 [38 favorites]


Daniel Dale signs off:
—Trump's concluding framing: "A vote for Republicans is a vote to reject the Democrat politics of hatred and anger and division and to celebrate the greatness and the glory of being American."
—Trump has concluded. That was comprehensively bonkers. By far the most significant part was his praise for a congressman's assault on a journalist.
—This was also a significant moment: Trump returning for the first time in a long while to his baseless conspiracy theories about illegal immigrants voting, this time applying it to the midterms and the caravan.
—In case anyone has forgotten, Gianforte pleaded guilty to the unprovoked crime the president praised tonight. He got a six-month deferred sentence, 40 hours of community service, 20 hours of anger management, and a small fine.
Journo-twitter is, of course, appalled at Trump's celebration of Gianforte's assault of Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. We'll see if it makes any difference in the media coverage of his truly appalling rally.

Meanwhile, Maggie Haberman serves up another access-journalism special for the NYT: A President Who Believes He Is Entitled to His Own Facts
Aides to Mr. Trump insisted that his reaction to the disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi and the mounting evidence that he was murdered by a Saudi hit squad had been repeatedly mischaracterized. They pointed out that early on he had said he wanted an investigation.

Mr. Trump has appeared to grow noticeably more comfortable in the role of president, according to advisers, and that comfort level has reinforced his confidence in his own instincts, including what he regards as facts. Mr. Trump often points to a key moment — his election in 2016, which defied the polls — as proof that agreed-upon data can be wrong.

His long career in the New York real estate world convinced Mr. Trump that all people are prone to shading their views according to their own self-interest. Objectivity is not something he expects of people, and he long ago came to believe that “facts” are really arbitrary.[...]

But in briefings and meetings, Mr. Trump has frequently chosen to adhere to his own beliefs on issues such as the Iran nuclear deal. He has declared that pact to be “a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made,” based on his belief that Iran was not in compliance with it, despite evidence to the contrary.
And Haberman's response on Twitter to Trump's praise for Gianforte? "Beating up a reporter is funny, get it?" She is a fundamentally unserious person, a tabloid cynic trolling the libs from the safety of the Paper of Record.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:28 PM on October 18 [15 favorites]


Heidi Cruz "doesn't regret voting for Trump"

A Republican will proudly vote for a candidate who says they're ugly and that their spouse's dad killed JFK if that candidate is Republican.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:32 PM on October 18 [45 favorites]


What's the issue with Haberman's tweet about Gianforte? It's clearly sarcastic.
posted by Justinian at 7:41 PM on October 18 [15 favorites]


When will those reporting just drop the pretense of objective observation and just start calling out the sheer madness of this situation.

This will never happen. The election run-up proved they were unwilling, the post 11/9 reporting proved they are incapable.

>>Journo-twitter is, of course, appalled at Trump's celebration of Gianforte's assault of Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. We'll see if it makes any difference in the media coverage of his truly appalling rally.

Corporate media coverage will never change. After it is decimated á la The Music Industry it will get really weird, but it will fundamentally never change. It is not able to do so.

By the way Sir Doktor Zed, your posts are par excellence super fab and groovy and I'd like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we pass the audition.
posted by petebest at 7:45 PM on October 18 [24 favorites]


Yeah, I have plenty of problems with Haberman, but an article about how Trump doesn't give a shit about the truth and a sardonic tweet pointing out that's he's joking about violence against journalists doesn't seem to be evidence that she's "trolling the libs."
posted by neroli at 7:47 PM on October 18 [15 favorites]


What's the issue with Haberman's tweet about Gianforte? It's clearly sarcastic.

It's in remarkably poor taste, especially since the all the rest of her colleagues on Twitter are treating Trump's statement with the appropriate seriousness. Her sophomoric attitude is striking at odds with her peers'. Instead, she's playing into Trump's cynical treatment of his role as political showman instead of president of the United States.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:49 PM on October 18 [14 favorites]


Found on Facebook: the best correction to that awful painting Trump has.

(note the tie, heh)
posted by TwoStride at 7:54 PM on October 18 [14 favorites]


"Beating up a reporter is funny, get it?"

If you are widely believed or suspected to be treating an authoritarian/dictator with kid gloves, one whose rise to power was defined by "jokes" that were not jokes, whose neo-nazi followers' rise was defined by nazi "jokes" that were not jokes, expect your words to be believed. It's a choice to see sarcasm in the words of an accomplice to someone who never, ever jokes. I'm not willing to do that.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:55 PM on October 18 [29 favorites]


WaPo, Robert Costa and Karoun Demirjian, Conservatives mount a whisper campaign smearing Khashoggi in defense of Trump
Hard-line Republicans and conservative commentators are mounting a dark whisper campaign against Jamal Khashoggi that is designed to protect President Trump from criticism of his handling of the dissident journalist’s alleged murder by Saudi Arabian operatives — and support Trump’s continued aversion to a forceful response to the oil-rich desert kingdom.

In recent days, a cadre of conservative House Republicans allied with Trump has been privately exchanging articles from right-wing outlets that fuel suspicion of Khashoggi, highlighting his association with the Muslim Brotherhood during his youth and raising conspiratorial questions about his work decades ago as an embedded reporter covering Osama bin Laden, according to four GOP officials involved in the discussions who were not authorized to speak publicly.

Those aspersions — which many lawmakers have been wary of stating publicly due to the political risks of doing so — have begun to flare into public view as conservative media outlets have amplified the claims, which are aimed in part in protecting Trump as he works to preserve the U.S.-Saudi relationship and avoid confronting the Saudis on human rights.
This is some Ed Whelan shit right here. Like do they just have this playbook on their desks in a big red emergency binder?
posted by zachlipton at 7:57 PM on October 18 [38 favorites]


Pointed out on Lawrence O'Donnell was the anti-Tester ads have a lot of reference to Tester voting with Schumer. He absolutely neglects to follow up and call it out as an anti-semitic dogwhistle to white supremacists in Montana. Media, do your fucking jobs.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:58 PM on October 18 [6 favorites]


Another moment from Trump's rally sticks out: "You know what we do ... we fight! And we fight, and we win and we fight harder than anybody ever ... and then they say, 'oh, it's obstruction' ... if you fight back today its called obstruction - no no no, we fight back! Call it whatever the hell you want. We fight back."

Daniel Dale's right to call this a "pre-emptive defense against obstruction allegations", but there's something darker at work with Trump's exhortations at a rally to fight and fight and fight harder.

Seriously, a university study of incidence of violence in cities hosting 2016 campaign rallies found a spike in assaults wherever Trump made an appearance but no such corresponding link with Clinton.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:08 PM on October 18 [60 favorites]


Seriously, a university study of incidence of violence in cities hosting 2016 campaign rallies found a spike in assaults wherever Trump made an appearance but no such corresponding link with Clinton.

From today's Missoula rally: Former GOP chair urges Trump supporters to bring guns to rally in case of violent protests

Trump Country is bloodthirsty.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:13 PM on October 18 [22 favorites]


megathread crafters, fpp drafters (& company) oughta get a fuckin pulitzer.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:14 PM on October 18 [94 favorites]


These have been a real-time archive of this horroshow. That this history is documented and preserved is important.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:19 PM on October 18 [67 favorites]


Can't imagine the Secret Service would let people bring their guns to a Trump rally.
posted by awfurby at 8:22 PM on October 18 [2 favorites]


Can't imagine the Secret Service would let people bring their guns to a Trump rally.

It was meant for the protests outside the rally.

Missoula's my nearest city. I know people who protested today and I know people who hid in their homes all day or drove as far away as they could. Watching him gloat over Gianforte's assault felt pretty personal.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:24 PM on October 18 [31 favorites]


megathread crafters, fpp drafters (& company) oughta get a fuckin pulitzer


I was just thinking something similar. I remember back to the halcyon days of nine months ago, when all I had to do to create a Potus45 FPP was put four or five topical links in a paragraph of text and add a Simpsons quote for the title.

The chroniclers crafting these latest high-octane megathread posts are clearly of a higher calibre. Thanks to all of you for your outstanding archival work.
posted by darkstar at 8:25 PM on October 18 [51 favorites]


Heidi Cruz "doesn't regret voting for Trump"

Also from this interview:
It means Heidi is working 70-hour weeks not only because she wants to, but also because she has to.

“I really feel mission-driven on what he’s accomplishing,” she clarified. But “it does take some supportiveness, you know. Six to seven years in it, with me being the primary breadwinner—it’s like, ‘Uh, yeah, this is when people say thank you. I’ll now take that appreciation.’” She laughed. “Yeah, we’re seven years into this, and we’re not buying a second home anytime soon.”
Ted Cruz makes $174,000 as a Senator, putting his income alone in the top 3% of Americans, plus royalties from his books, which apparently people are willing to pay actual money for. Heidi Cruz is a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs. Together, their salaries alone would give them at least eight times the median household income in Texas, plus bonuses and other income.

On the impacts on their family, I really sympathize. But who seriously thinks it's a good idea to go around talking about the financial challenges of being a dual-income US Senator and investment banker family?
posted by zachlipton at 8:26 PM on October 18 [100 favorites]


“Yeah, we’re seven years into this, and we’re not buying a second home anytime soon.”

I have a feeling this quote may find its way into a Beto ad soon.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:27 PM on October 18 [43 favorites]


For the life of me, and this is going to be a completely lame point, I cannot believe anyone still invests the time to listen to this clown speak. I feel sorry for those who have to cover it.
posted by sfts2 at 8:36 PM on October 18 [13 favorites]


megathread crafters, fpp drafters (& company) oughta get a fuckin pulitzer.

I think the Pullitzer is only awarded for original long form journalism. What kind of prizes are available to archivists?
posted by Meatbomb at 8:38 PM on October 18 [1 favorite]


After much more rigamorale than expected I dropped of my absentee ballot to the US Consulate in Sydney whose security is more unforgiving than TSA. On the plus side, I got a lot of steps on my malfunctioning Fitbit.

Protip: get a locker at the State Library of New South Wales to drop off all your stuff except your documents, wallet and phone otherwise you will need to find storage facilities after being denied entry to the consulate which gets inconvenient and expensive. They also will not let a anyone watch your stuff outside the consulate either. Also, to find the damn building that has the consulate refer to the street view of the address otherwise, too much GPS drift and canyon effect.
posted by jadepearl at 8:39 PM on October 18 [14 favorites]


What kind of prizes are available to archivists?

Unfortunately, they are a lot less prestigious than the Pulitzer. But they do exist. And I would love love love love love to be there when one is presented to a Mefite in Austin next year. Because this is important work, more so than the Library of Congress saving all the tweets.
posted by witchen at 8:59 PM on October 18 [17 favorites]


Rocket Fuel malt liquor DAAMN! [reference]

Via LGM, this is apparently a real ad targeting African-Americans on behalf of a Republican candidate in Arkansas.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:10 PM on October 18 [8 favorites]


The most important work is not happening in this thread but is whatever you're doing to win the midterms right now :)

(If you're actively in the process of eradicating malaria or something else even more globally important, apologies.)
posted by zachlipton at 9:15 PM on October 18 [19 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

// 19 days until Election Day //

** 2018 House:
-- KS-03: Siena poll has Dem Davids up 48-39 on GOP incumbent Yoder [MOE: +/- 4.7%]. [Clinton 47-46 | Cook: Lean D]

-- ME-02: Siena poll has Dem Golden tied 41-41 with GOP incumbent Poliquin [MOE: +/- 4.8%]. [Trump 51-41 | Cook: Tossup]

-- NJ-11: Siena poll has Dem Sherrill up 49-38 on GOPer Webber [MOE: +/- 4.6%]. [Trump 49-48 | Cook: Lean D]

-- CO-06: Siena poll has Dem Crow up 47-38 on GOP incumbent Coffman [MOE: +/- 4.5%]. [Clinton 50-41 | Cook: Lean D]

-- NH-01: St Anselm poll has Dem Pappas up 44-36 on GOPer Edwards [MOE: +/- 6.5%]. [Trump 48-47 | Cook: Likely D]

-- NH-02: St Anselm poll has Dem incumbent Kuster up 49-22 on GOPer Negron [MOE: +/- 6.6%]. [Clinton 49-46 | Cook: Solid D]

-- FL-15: Survey USA poll has Dem Carlson tied 45-45 with GOPer Spano [MOE: +/- 4.6%]. [Trump 53-43 | Cook: Lean R]

-- WV-03: Siena poll has GOPer Miller up 46-41 on Dem Ojeda [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. [Trump 73-23 | Cook: Lean R]

-- TX-23: Siena poll has GOP incumbent Hurd up 53-38 on Dem Ortiz Jones [MOE: +/- 5.0%]. [Clinton 50-46 | Cook: Lean R]

-- CA-45: Public Opinion Strategies poll has GOP incumbent Walters up 50-46 on Dem Porter [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. This poll was commissioned by the Walters campaign. [Clinton 50-44 | Cook: Tossup]

-- AK-AL: Alaska Survey Research poll has GOP incumbent Young up 49-47 on indy/Dem Galvin [MOE: +/- 4.4%]. | Lake Research poll has Young up 48-44 [ no MOE listed]. This poll was commissioned by the Galvin campaign. [Trump 53-38 | Cook: Likely R] => Both of these are from Dem polling shops, and the Lake is an internal, but it does feel like Young may have a bit of a fight on his hands. I haven't seen that the Young campaign has released any of their own numbers to counter.
** 2018 Senate:
-- NJ: Monmouth poll has Dem incumbent Menendez up 49-40 on GOPer Hugin in their standard turnout model. Low turnout, Menendez up 51-39; high turnout, 50-39. [MOE: +/- 4.3%].

-- IN: Vox Populi poll has Dem incumbent Donnelly up 44-36 on GOPer Braun. With leaners forced to choose, Donnelly up 55-45 [MOE: +/- 3.7%].

-- NV: Vox Populi poll has Dem Rosen tied 44-44 with GOP incumbent Heller. With leaners forced to choose, Rosen up 51-49 [MOE: +/- 3.5%]. | Kaiser Family poll has Heller up 45-44. [MOE: +/- 3.0%].

-- WV: Vox Populi poll has Dem incumbent Manchin up 45-40 on GOPer Morrisey. With leaners forced to choose, Manchin up 53-47 [MOE: +/- 3.5%].

-- FL: Kaiser Family poll has Dem incumbent Nelson up 48-45 on GOPer Scott [MOE: +/- 3.0%].

-- TN: SSRS poll has Dem Bredesen up 44-43 on GOPer Blackburn [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. => This is the first poll to have Bredesen up in a while. My personal guess would be that Blackburn is up a couple of points.

-- NY: Quinnipiac poll has Dem incumbent Gillibrand up 58-33 on GOPer Farley [MOE: +/- 4.4%].
** Odds & ends:
-- KS gov: Every living Kansas governor of either party (with the exception of much reviled GOPer Brownback) is supporting Dem Laura Kelly. | GOP candidate Kobach desperately trying to block release of his deposition video from the voter suppression trial earlier this year. [Cook: Tossup]

-- NV gov: Same Vox Populi poll has Dem Sisolak up 42-40 on GOPer Laxalt. With leaners forced to choose, Sisolak up 52-48. | Same Kaiser Family poll has Laxalt up 46-40. [Cook: Tossup]

-- NH gov: St Anselm poll has GOP incumbent Sununu up 49-39 on Dem Kelly [MOE: +/- 4.6%]. [Cook: Likely R]

-- FL gov: Same Kaiser Family poll has Dem Gillup up 48-40 on GOPer DeSantis. [Cook: Tossup]

-- HI gov: Civil Beat poll has Dem incumbent Ige up 52-31 on GOPer Tupola [MOE: +/- 3.2%]. [Cook: Solid D] => Admit it, you didn't even know there was a Hawaii governor election this year, did you?

-- NY gov: Same Quinnipiac poll has Dem incumbent Cuomo up 58-35 on GOPer Molinaro. [Cook: Solid D]

-- TN gov: Same SSRS poll has GOPer Lee up 48-37 on Dem Dean. [Cook: Likely R]

-- MN gov: RGA has apparently given up Johnson's campaign for dead, cancels all remaining ad buys. Given that there are some close races in MN - MN-01, the state AG - this is good to hear.

-- WI gov: A fourth member of GOP governor Walker's administration has endorsed his Democratic challenger, Tony Evers. [Cook: Tossup]
** Averages & forecasts:
-- 538 generic ballot average: D+8.4 (49.7/41.3)

-- 538 House forecast (classic): 84.4% chance of Dem control

-- 538 Senate forecast (classic): 20.3% chance of Dem control

-- 538 governor forecast (classic): Dems favored to control 23.7 states.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:47 PM on October 18 [43 favorites]


Note that those 23.7 states have 60% of the population living in them! Hooray.
posted by Justinian at 9:49 PM on October 18 [9 favorites]


I'm terrified the polls for this upcoming election will fail the way polls for 2016 did, when Clinton was looking decent headed up to the election. Has the methodology changed in any general was since then?
posted by Rinku at 9:50 PM on October 18 [7 favorites]


Yeah, I just felt that quoting the populations made it a little harder intuitively to follow, although I agree that's the accurate way to think about it. Another way is: Dems favored to pick up eight seats.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:50 PM on October 18 [2 favorites]


Has the methodology changed in any general was since then?

Depends on the poll, i'm sure, but the NYT/Siena polls to pick a big example do weight for things like education which wasn't always the case for polls in 2016.

Plus the polls have been fairly decent this year. They haven't always been right on the money but there hasn't been any particular systemic bias for or against Republican candidates in evidence.
posted by Justinian at 9:52 PM on October 18


Not to re-litigate 2016, but:

A) 2016 polling was quite accurate in terms of overall vote share (it was off by about 2%). The issue largely was that the electoral college greatly magnifies the impact of specific errors. That's not a feature of Senate/House races.

B) Polls began dropping for Clinton after the Comey letter was released a few days out. She *was* in decent shape slightly earlier. She no longer was on Election Day, but everyone's memory is of the earlier position. It's entirely possible for some real world event to happen that impacts the race, but you can't expect polling to accommodate that.

Justinian is right that some pollsters are making adjustments to try and deal with things, some aren't.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:04 PM on October 18 [42 favorites]


I mean I can only see my race, and a few races I that I have friends working on, plus what I can extrapolate from what I see here, and-- I don't want to scare anyone, but I am extremely nervous, in a way I very definitely was not at this point in 2017. (Go knock doors.)
posted by dogheart at 10:16 PM on October 18 [5 favorites]


Sonoma lawmaker fights back against threat to ‘slut-shame’ her
A Sonoma city councilwoman’s visits to Burning Man didn’t stay on the Playa. They came back to threaten her re-election campaign in the form of an anonymous website replete with a photo of her scantily clad, allegations of “lascivious, drunk and drug-addled behavior” and an email threat to further expose her if she didn’t withdraw from November’s council race.

But Rachel Hundley, 35, formerly mayor of the small city, decided not to give in to the threats. Instead of quitting, or just ignoring the accusations, she recorded a video in historic Sonoma Plaza, called her anonymous attackers “spineless individuals” and accused them of “slut shaming.”
posted by homunculus at 10:27 PM on October 18 [60 favorites]


The only sane method of engagement now is to simply state, over and over and over: “Something is very wrong here”. Say it to his face, append it to every sentence written about him, blanket hashtag, just render the analysis redundant with the starkest, least contestable statement possible and don’t let up til the f@*cker cracks.

I like this. May I suggest using "You're a loser" instead?
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:42 PM on October 18 [1 favorite]


Ajit Pai killed rules that could have helped Florida recover from hurricane - Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica
The Federal Communications Commission chairman slammed wireless carriers on Tuesday for failing to quickly restore phone service in Florida after Hurricane Michael, calling the delay "completely unacceptable."

But FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's statement ignored his agency's deregulatory blitz that left consumers without protections designed to ensure restoration of service after disasters, according to longtime telecom attorney and consumer advocate Harold Feld.

The Obama-era FCC wrote new regulations to protect consumers after Verizon tried to avoid rebuilding wireline phone infrastructure in Fire Island, New York, after Hurricane Sandy hit the area in October 2012. But Pai repealed those rules, claiming that they prevented carriers from upgrading old copper networks to fiber. Pai's repeal order makes zero mentions of Fire Island and makes reference to Verizon's response to Hurricane Sandy only once, in a footnote.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:48 PM on October 18 [23 favorites]


I would say that this (it's a political cartoon, not a painting) is the most accurate revision of that picture.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:10 PM on October 18 [17 favorites]


A) 2016 polling was quite accurate in terms of overall vote share (it was off by about 2%). The issue largely was that the electoral college greatly magnifies the impact of specific errors. That's not a feature of Senate/House races.

Not to relitigate a nonrelitigation, but though Silver titled his most recent review The Polls are All Right, he does acknowledge, I think correctly, that while not remarkably bad, 2016 was a relatively bad year. Looking at the first table there, the total combined polling error was nearly 1.5 standard deviations larger than usual, and more than 2 standard deviations if you don't count the earliest, worst year in their dataset, 1998. The general presidential error average was the largest it's been since 1998, the state level presidential poll errors (Table 2) were tied for second largest since 1972, and the percent of Senate and Governor races that were called correctly was the lowest it's been since 1998 and the House was the lowest since 2000 (Table 3). Most importantly, this wasn't just due to random noise, but a large part of it was due to systematic bias: the overall 3 point Dem bias (ie, overpredicting for the Dems) was the largest pro-Dem bias since 1998 (Table 4), and is second only to the 4.3 point 1998 pro-Republican bias in absolute size over the last 20 years. So even though the total errors (3-6 points, depending on how you average things) aren't huge, they were unusually large and unusually biased.

That said, if folks want something more heartening, the party likely to win also seems more likely to be underpredicted, so as the ongoing 2017-2018 pro-Republican polling error at the top of Table 4 suggests, the Democrats may be more likely to be the beneficiaries of error than not this time around.
posted by chortly at 11:26 PM on October 18 [5 favorites]


And wouldn't you think that if the pollsters' postmortem analysis doesn't accurately identify the exact cause for the 2016 errors, their current analysis is more likely to err in the opposite direction. My last glimmer of political optimism makes me feel that the Blue Wave could be even bigger than expected. But of course, my growing core of pessimism (and 40 years of electoral experience) tells me "we're doomed".
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:53 PM on October 18 [1 favorite]


In the last thread, progosk linked to the latest episode of Gaslit Nation (10/10/18, "Robert Mueller Will Not Save You"). (Thank you!) I found a lot of it depressing, but here's a quick transcript of parts that were more motivating to get out and DO: 1. Andrea Chalupa and Sarah Kendzior taking the long view, and 2. they interview Sydette Harry (@blackamazon) for "advice on how to survive in an autocratic political landscape."

1. 42:30 "The people who are always on the front lines are PoC, especially ***women***, and just a reminder, as exhausted as you may be, . . . sure, stay in your despair for a bit but then get out as soon as you can & choose faith over despair. Any little action you can take . . . especially look out for campaigns of People of Color or community organizations especially with Women of Color . . . their lives literally depend on it, & you can understand being a human being yourself they must be exhausted, so anything you can do to lend your energy, spirit, encouragement, get in there, say "How can I help you, what do you need help with?" Don't lose faith in your country. We still have a lot of resources to turn this around. We still have time, there absolutely is time. Just begin, now. Ten years from the midterms, what kind of country do you want to have?"
47:20 Chalupa: "Going into the midterms, it's about the kind of country you want to create. America's burning . . . What kind of country to you want to rebuild? What are your dreams right now for your country? . . . Start now with whatever that intention is, 'cause that'll be waiting for you years from now."
Kendzior: "Reach out to people . . . have big ideas, follow your own values , beliefs, ambitions, if those ambitions are thwarted even repeatedly it doesn't mean they're necessarily dead. . . . Things can change dramatically . . . [Dispense] with the notion that what people think of you matters, especially for women. . . [50:00] We have to look out for each other. We The People are the last remaining check."

2. Sydette Harry: 1:07:00 "What I want to know is, Who are we going to take care of? [ie the most vulnerable] I can't control what [alt-right, Nazis, etc] do. Their goal is my destruction. What I CAN control is what we do, what resources we build. . . .What are we going to do to protect each other and ourselves? . . . [1:08:30] Have hard conversations that don't center what they're [Nazis, fascists, etc] going to do, but What do we care about, Who do we care about, Why do we care about them, How are we taking care of them? if they're destroying health care at a federal level, how do we take care of it at the local level? . . .

"I learned at the hands of old West Indian church ladies: . . . my fundamental strategy at this point is called "Baby Has Hat." Does baby have hat? If baby does not have hat, we give baby hat. If I cannot give baby hat, I need to figure out why baby doesn't have hat. Do I need to sew the hat? Is the transportation wrong? Is somebody standing in the middle of the doorway between me and giving the baby hat? Sometimes making sure the baby has hat means if you are standing in the doorway and I need to shoulder-tackle you to get you out of the way, that might be part of it, but that's not the focus. . . . My focus is, Are we doing the thing we say we care about?"
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 1:13 AM on October 19 [43 favorites]


I found some clips from the ad. When they say it's the most vile ad of the campaign, they're not kidding. It's conspiracy porn.

Duncan Hunter returns to the spotlight with one of the most vile political ads this year
THE ABILITY of Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R-Calif.) to go low was pretty well demonstrated in August when he and his wife were indicted on federal charges of using campaign funds for personal expenses. There was no thought of stepping aside; only blame — to Democrats (for a “witch-hunt”) and his wife (“whatever she did, that’ll be looked at, too, I’m sure, but I didn’t do it.”). Yet even Mr. Hunter has managed to astonish with what may be the most vile political ad of this year’s midterm elections.

The controversial ad by Mr. Hunter attacks his Democratic challenger for his Palestinian heritage and goes so far as to warn that Ammar Campa-Najjar has terrorist ties and is seeking to “infiltrate” Congress. The ad’s claims have been thoroughly discredited, earning a four Pinocchios rating from The Post’s Fact Checker, which concludes the Hunter campaign ignored or distorted basic biographical facts about Mr. Campa-Najjar.
posted by scalefree at 1:14 AM on October 19 [16 favorites]


Did anyone watch Beto o'Rourke on CNN? How did he do? What are the impressions of Mefites in Texas? I see a string of articles of he is doomed, but that could be the usual miasma of defeat funk of Democrats fanned by proxies problem.
posted by jadepearl at 1:34 AM on October 19 [1 favorite]


You want numbers? We got numbers. Josh Marshall's curated Twitter list of 23 polling & election data experts .
posted by scalefree at 1:37 AM on October 19 [5 favorites]


a bit of levity: Ted likes White Castle

stay for the "C'mon... ...Teehd."
posted by From Bklyn at 2:08 AM on October 19 [25 favorites]


I'm terrified the polls for this upcoming election will fail the way polls for 2016 did, when Clinton was looking decent headed up to the election. Has the methodology changed in any general was since then?

I just finished Jill Lepore's awesome, excellent, highly-recommended history of the United States, These Truths, which treats Native American history, the history of black Americans, movements like the suffragists, and more as integral parts of the story. She brings her history right up to the present day, a risky move (it's hard to write history when you're living in the middle of it) that I think she makes pay off.

Toward the end of the book, she talks about the crisis in polling, a major element of which is the fact that more than 90% of people contacted refuse to participate. Along with other factors, this extremely low level of participation is one of the things driving the inaccuracy of even the best-respected polls, which is problematic because they are relied upon so heavily for news and commentary.

Read it! Or listen to the audiobook, like I did. Very worthwhile. And fascinating from the perspective of putting our current dumpster fire in the context of all the other dumpster fires that have been burning since the very beginning.
posted by Orlop at 2:16 AM on October 19 [20 favorites]


a bit of levity: Ted likes White Castle

Harsh but true. There are no White Castles in Texas but Whataburger is everywhere. I can think of 4 within a 15 minute drive of my place in Austin, there may be more. And they're all open 24 hours.

stay for the "C'mon... ...Teehd."

Yeah, Ted. C'mon.
posted by scalefree at 3:51 AM on October 19 [6 favorites]


...she talks about the crisis in polling, a major element of which is the fact that more than 90% of people contacted refuse to participate.

The last time I participated in a poll (via phone) the questions became odder and odder over the course, until it was glaringly obvious that it was actually a push poll. I hung up on them and swore to never volunteer to take a poll again. And I haven't.

There's also the issue of my phone being bombarded regularly with all manner of spam calls. I simply don't answer a call from a number I don't recognize.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:55 AM on October 19 [25 favorites]


I'm trying to link a Guardian comment Trump is crude on Saudi Arabia, but he’s simply continuing US policy but I can't make it work. It's worth searching for, if you have the time.
The American love for Saudi Arabia is a mysterious thing, and it is consistent across presidencies, including Obama's. The Younge-piece suggests it's about lobby-money, but I think there's something else there. I also think the Iran deal was a tiny beginning to end it, and that it was obvious that Trump would go against it, both because he hates everything Obama, and because he was bought by the Saudis (he is so easy to buy).
posted by mumimor at 4:01 AM on October 19 [4 favorites]


~Former GOP chair urges Trump supporters to bring guns to rally in case of violent protests
~Trump Country is bloodthirsty.


The right has increasingly been depicting...well, anyone...not in-step with Trump as being part of violent mobs rioting throughout the US. The ads here supporting the GOP Senate candidate are rife with highly treated video snippets of all manner of violent street protests, with absolutely no context. They could be from some third-world dictatorship fifteen years ago for all anyone knows. Hell, they could easily have been staged on a backlot, for all anyone knows. These are usually overlaid with pics of Pelosi and/or Schumer and/or Bernie and/or Warren.

They really do see themselves as standing up to a world going to hell.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:12 AM on October 19 [24 favorites]


The right has increasingly been depicting...well, anyone...not in-step with Trump as being part of violent mobs rioting throughout the US.

...

They really do see themselves as standing up to a world going to hell.


It is absolutely no coincidence that this is exactly what Nazi propaganda looked like.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:25 AM on October 19 [93 favorites]


Right. About the rhetoric depicting the left as violent--I remember early on in this shit show that someone pointed out that assertions that were wildly, demonstrably false were never intended to be accurate statements about current reality. Instead, those scenarios are what would need to be true in order to justify whatever evil they have planned next. Those wild, demonstrable lies are setting the pretext for whatever outrage is next.

Trump and the right spun wild tales about dangerous immigrants and Mexican rapists, and then put babies in cages and build concentration camps for kids in Texas.

Trump and the right spun wild tales about illegal voting, and now voter suppression is completely transparent and deployed on a wide scale.

And now Trump and the right are spewing a lot of hot rhetoric about how dangerous the left is.

I am afraid things are about to get very, very ugly.
posted by Sublimity at 4:31 AM on October 19 [72 favorites]


Mumimor: Trump is crude on Saudi Arabia, but he’s simply continuing US policy

He's clearly holding a "leesplankje", a Dutch teaching aid from 1894 to teach spelling and pronunciation to six-year olds (17 simple images with the words underneath, and the pupil is supposed to create those words from loose cards printed with the characters and diphthongs): aap, noot, mies, scha-pen.

This one probably goes Sheikh, De-sert, Oil, Ter-ro-rist.
posted by Stoneshop at 4:34 AM on October 19 [6 favorites]


I am afraid things are about to get very, very ugly.

The escalation is a sign of desperation. They're losing the House & they know it so they're doing anything they can to fend it off. They'll deal with the repercussions afterwards, they just have to stop it from happening. Sooner or later they'll find a Beast like that isn't so easy to put back in the box.
posted by scalefree at 4:40 AM on October 19 [21 favorites]


The Trump Administration and the Saudi Royal Family Are Searching For a Mutually Agreeable Explanation For The Death of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

I'm utterly shocked Trump hasn't let loose with one of insane, offhand remarks over this. Something along the lines of "Great way to deal with the corrupt press."

C'mon...You can read that in his voice without even trying, can't you?
posted by Thorzdad at 4:49 AM on October 19 [7 favorites]


The American love for Saudi Arabia is a mysterious thing, and it is consistent across presidencies, including Obama's. The Younge-piece suggests it's about lobby-money, but I think there's something else there.

I may have a clue.

I remember as a child in the 70s that there was a strange sort of ad campaign in print media about Saudi Arabia. Or, rather, about Americans doing business with Saudi Arabia - one I remember in particular was about Americans who had moved there for business and how their kids were coping (I vividly remember a picture of a little boy in a baseball uniform with Arabic lettering on it; he was on the father's company-sponsored little league team, I think was the point). I'm pretty sure that the ads were taken out by some kind of oil company, or a company that was trying to turn public sentiment in favor of cooperating with the Saudis for their oil or something like that - an issue that would have alleviated the 70s energy crisis.

That was 40 years ago. 40 years of pro-Saudi PR probably has had an impact.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:49 AM on October 19 [15 favorites]


Adam Curtis's Bitter Lake is probably well known here. It starts with a meeting between FDR and King Abdulaziz after WW2 where it seems they reached an agreement to ensure the growth of American consumer society based on the consumption of unlimited oil, in exchange for inestimable wealth. A Devils's pact, if ever there was one.
posted by stonepharisee at 5:12 AM on October 19 [13 favorites]


The American love for Saudi Arabia is a mysterious thing
The Wikipedia page on Saudi Arabia-United States relations is very informative about this. The relation goes back to the 1930s, and was always propped by 1) oil and later oil/weapons sales and 2) common geopolitical interests. Even when the latter diverged at some point (oil crisis, 9/11...), the falling out never lasted more than a few years, probably due to 1).
posted by elgilito at 5:22 AM on October 19 [9 favorites]


So the methodology for ranking was changed, and now the US is the most innovative country for the first time in a decade.

In fact, Wednesday's report found that US healthy life expectancy—the number of years a newborn today can expect to live in good health—ticks in at just 67.7 years in the US.

That is lower than in Sri Lanka
and China and three years below the average in advanced economies. It is a full six years behind Singapore and Japan, the report found.

The WEF report also cautioned that the US rate of adoption of information and communications technologies was fairly low compared to other advanced economies.

posted by infini at 5:24 AM on October 19 [28 favorites]


Toward the end of the book, she talks about the crisis in polling, a major element of which is the fact that more than 90% of people contacted refuse to participate. Along with other factors, this extremely low level of participation is one of the things driving the inaccuracy of even the best-respected polls, which is problematic because they are relied upon so heavily for news and commentary.

It also kind of seems like polling now is akin to Newtonian physics circa the early years of particle physics. A fine predictor to a certain point, but basically an overlay of truth that can't help us answer more fundamental questions or explain those eccentric orbits.
posted by petebest at 5:25 AM on October 19 [19 favorites]


I remember as a child in the 70s that there was a strange sort of ad campaign in print media about Saudi Arabia.

Or you know, from March this year:
Trump’s Publisher Pal Puts Saudi Propaganda Magazine in U.S. Supermarkets
The owners of the National Enquirer have a slick, ad-free magazine on U.S. newsstands praising crown prince Mohammed bin Salman—and insist they had no outside help for it.
...
Greeting Americans on newsstands is a high-quality glossy advertisement for MBS, The New Kingdom. It retails for $13.99, has no ads and its 200,000 copies can be found in venues ranging from U.S. airports to WalMart, Safeway and Kroger’s—raising questions about the magazine’s financing and its origins. The Saudis say they don’t know how it came to be. AMI, which publishes The National Enquirer, insists it had no outside editorial or financial assistance, from the Trump administration or otherwise.


And if you believe that you'll believe the front page of the National Enquirer.
posted by PenDevil at 5:28 AM on October 19 [18 favorites]


So the methodology for ranking was changed, and now the US is the most innovative country for the first time in a decade.

So I've seen Trump boasting about this in the last few days & wondered how it happened since so many of our rankings have fallen. Now I see why. I have to wonder if there's any hanky-panky involved.
posted by scalefree at 5:37 AM on October 19 [2 favorites]


Harsh but true. There are no White Castles in Texas but Whataburger is everywhere. I can think of 4 within a 15 minute drive of my place in Austin, there may be more. And they're all open 24 hours.

There are four in DC, and then you have to roll up to Pennsylvania and New Jersey...

So, if you dig in, you find out that it's even more of a burn... Might as well be up in Canada. These ads are really taking it to the next level.
posted by mikelieman at 6:03 AM on October 19 [2 favorites]


-- ME-02: Siena poll has Dem Golden tied 41-41 with GOP incumbent Poliquin [MOE: +/- 4.8%]. [Trump 51-41 | Cook: Tossup]

538 predicts this as Golden +11. I'm wondering what 538 bases that on? Because nobody here believes it will actually be Golden +11. This poll *feels* more accurate.
posted by anastasiav at 6:04 AM on October 19


The American love for Saudi Arabia is a mysterious thing

It's really not. It's pretty much boilerplate "country keeping its population in line in order to allow major American corporate interests to make a shit-ton of money and secure strategic power in that region" American foreign policy.
posted by Rykey at 6:06 AM on October 19 [26 favorites]


I'm utterly shocked Trump hasn't let loose with one of insane, offhand remarks over this. Something along the lines of "Great way to deal with the corrupt press."

In his rally last night, Trump praised the criminal assault of a Guardian journalist by a Republican.
posted by mikelieman at 6:06 AM on October 19 [23 favorites]


> 538 predicts this as Golden +11. I'm wondering what 538 bases that on? Because nobody here believes it will actually be Golden +11. This poll *feels* more accurate.

On the 538 ME-2 forecast page I see -0.4/+2/+1.9 on the lite/classic/deluxe models, was the +11% the spread in the chance of winning maybe?
posted by papercrane at 6:13 AM on October 19


awfurby said: Can't imagine the Secret Service would let people bring their guns to a Trump rally.

You know, 45 is forever going on about how big burly men "grabbed him and started crying", and I'm thinking, where the hell is the SS that random loonies can grab the president? (I mean, I know the whole trope of strong men crying around 45 is pure narcissistic delusion, but how has no reporter with access asked him how all these crying towers of testosterone are getting past the best bodyguards in the world?)

My point being, if you can get him on the ropes about little lies, it becomes so much easier for his fans to believe that he's telling big lies too.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:27 AM on October 19 [29 favorites]


My point being, if you can get him on the ropes about little lies, it becomes so much easier for his fans to believe that he's telling big lies too.

At this point, after the whole stealing babies from their families thing, everyone still a Republican is irrational.

One of the big lessons of Operation C-F is: "Do not plan on irrational people either understanding rational arguments or behaving in rational ways."
posted by mikelieman at 6:34 AM on October 19 [45 favorites]


My point being, if you can get him on the ropes about little lies, it becomes so much easier for his fans to believe that he's telling big lies too.

He's been blatantly, obviously, baldly lying since day one (ie, the size of his inauguration crowd). His fans know he's lying. They don't care. He's lying "to own the libs". That's all that matters to them.
posted by Roommate at 6:35 AM on October 19 [53 favorites]


His fans know he's lying. They don't care. He's lying "to own the libs". That's all that matters to them.

100% this. We are literally years past the point where there is any reason to try to find rational explanations for why Republicans aren't aghast at his lies. Knowing he's lying but going along with it anyways because the lie serves as fig leaf for their real goals is literally how they show their fealty to their dictator-in-chief.
posted by tocts at 6:48 AM on October 19 [60 favorites]




A little thing, but: The city of Boston and a local family today announced a scholarship fund for students at local community colleges (and the University of Massachusetts Boston) who are nearing graduation but who might have to drop out because of financial hardships. Among those eligible: "Undocumented and/or DACA students with limited options for financial assistance."
posted by adamg at 6:57 AM on October 19 [42 favorites]


Paul Krugman talking about Republicans cutting the safety net, and subtweeting his own paper again:
Why do they think they can get away with this? The main answer is obviously contempt for their own supporters, many of whom get their news from Fox and other propaganda outlets that slavishly follow the party line. And even in appeals to those supporters who rely on other sources, Republicans believe that they can neutralize the deep unpopularity of their actual policies by misrepresenting their positions, and win by playing to racism and fear.

But let’s be clear: G.O.P. cynicism also involves a lot of contempt for the mainstream news media. Historically, media organizations have been remarkably unwilling to call out lies; the urge to play it safe with he-said-she-said reporting has very much worked to Republicans’ advantage, given the reality that the modern G.O.P. lies a lot more than Democrats do. Even the most blatant falsehood tends to be reported with headlines about how “Democrats say” it’s false, not that it’s actually false.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:59 AM on October 19 [70 favorites]


The only lies that Trumpoids care about are his promises that haven't come to fruition yet -- that he will Build The Wall, that he will Lock Her Up, that he will Drain The Swamp, that people not in the Trump fold will be Made To Know Their Place in the American social order.

And they have more reasons than H&R Block why those things not happening isn't Trump's fault.
posted by delfin at 7:01 AM on October 19 [8 favorites]


Trump Says He ‘Barely Knows’ Saudi Prince
via

“In conversations with allies, the president has begun to distance himself from Prince Mohammed, 33, saying he barely knows him. And he has played down the relationship that Mr. Kushner has cultivated with the Saudi heir.”

...During his conversation with The Times, Mr. Trump was uncharacteristically guarded. He declined repeated requests to discuss the chain of events that led to Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance or the crown prince’s role.

...While Mr. Trump’s views appeared to be hardening, Mr. Kushner was still lobbying his father-in-law to stand by Prince Mohammed, arguing the scandal would eventually pass, according to two people who have had recent discussions with White House officials.

...The director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, will have to reconcile the differences between the C.I.A.
["MbS did it"] and National Security Agency assessments ["MbS may have done it"]. Mr. Coats has privately expressed concerns about presenting an appraisal that boxes in Mr. Trump or poses a challenge to the president’s intention to maintain a close relationship with the kingdom.

Gee I wonder if the people that bum-rushed an alcoholic sexual assaulter onto the Supreme Court will keep everything the same with Saudi Arabia. The NYT sure wants us to think it's a question.
posted by petebest at 7:04 AM on October 19 [8 favorites]


the urge to play it safe with he-said-she-said reporting has very much worked to Republicans’ advantage, given the reality that the modern G.O.P. lies a lot more than Democrats do. Even the most blatant falsehood tends to be reported with headlines about how “Democrats say” it’s false, not that it’s actually false.

I noted late in the previous thread that NPR "national political reporter" (and unacknowledged Fox News correspondent) Mara Liasson had a segment yesterday analyzing the "closing arguments" of the two parties in the weeks leading to the election. She offered this summary:
LIASSON: Well, the closing argument from Republicans, who began thinking that that tax cut bill and the booming economy would boost them - but as the tax cuts got less popular, their closing argument is now warning voters that Democrats will take away the tax cuts, put regulations back on the economy, wreck the economy.

They're kind of reverting to the Trump culture war issues, which do energize their base, talking about hordes of criminal illegal aliens coming to kill people. And I'm looking at a fundraising pitch from Mimi Walters, a Republican congresswoman from California who says, we just learned that my socialist pro-tax opponent outraised us; we can't let the Democrat mob take over Congress.

Now, Democrats, on the other hand, have stuck to health care, which is the No. 1 issue for voters this year, except for they're refining it a little bit. They're now saying Republicans gave tax cuts to the rich, created a huge deficit, and to close that hole they are going to come and cut your Medicare and Social Security.


As I pointed out, the three points of the last sentence are verifiably, objectively true. They're facts -- Mitch McConnell suggested the deficit calls for cutting Social Security and Medicare only this week, and Paul Ryan is on record saying the same.

So the unpopularity of Republican policies results in them running overtly racist lies, and the Democrats' key argument is to tell the truth about Republican policies. And NPR, as they like to put it in their defense of their lame "he said, she said" reporting, leaves it to the listener to judge who is telling the truth. And in doing so, giving advantage to the liars and racists running Republican campaigns.

Feh.
posted by Gelatin at 7:12 AM on October 19 [45 favorites]


Did anyone watch Beto o'Rourke on CNN? How did he do? What are the impressions of Mefites in Texas? I see a string of articles of he is doomed, but that could be the usual miasma of defeat funk of Democrats fanned by proxies problem.
posted by jadepearl at 1:34 AM on October 19


I'm not a Texan--I'm not even an American--but I did watch some of this, and, to me, it was uninspiring.

I haven't watched Beto at all, but I've read about him a lot here on the Blue: about how inspiring he is and what a good speaker he is, and how he's the next great hope, etc., and honestly, he was completely underwhelming, especially after that kind of a build up.

He gave typical political standard, non-specific answers. On the questions he did try to answer specifically, I found him wishywashy. (A woman asked about universal health care, and he ended up backing into an employer-based model.) One man asked him what he was going to do with the millions in funds he has raised, and how (or if) he was going to help out other Democrats--either individually or as members of the party--and he got kind of miffed about the question. Essentially his answer was people gave him their money and trusted him, and his race was so important, so he couldn't even think of sharing.

I'm a political junky and really enjoy watching political debates and town halls, and I'm betting I've watched way more US political discourse than the average American, but he just couldn't keep my attention. I ended up flipping back and forth between CNN and Martha Stewart reruns, and that was only while Martha was in commercials.
posted by sardonyx at 7:28 AM on October 19 [8 favorites]


jadepearl I won't say Beto is doomed, but odds are **VERY** slim for a victory. He's a great candidate, it's wonderful that he's doing what he's doing, I'm 100% behind him, and I'd be absolutely delighted if he won. But its extremely unlikely. Texas is still solidly Republican. In another 10 years he'd have a real chance of winning, and in another 15 or 20 he'd be a shoe in.

That's not standard Democratic pre-defeat assumptionism, just a sad fact of the current voting population in Texas. I'm assuming a Cruz win because, sadly, that's the (much) more likely outcome.

That said, I think Beto is doing very good stuff that can help build up the Texas Democratic Party and at the very least he's turned what should have been a walk in the park automatic victory for Cruz into a real contest where Cruz is having to spend money rather than funding other Republicans. I really hope Beto won't drop out of politics if he loses, but rather will continue to rally the Party here in Texas and build up our voting base and speed up the shift of Texas from solid red to purple.

If he does win I'll be dancing in the streets. Literally, I'll go into a street and dance and I'll post a link to the video here on MeFi so you can all laugh at my pathetic old white guy dance moves. But don't expect a Beto victory, that's a surefire way to be disappointed.
posted by sotonohito at 7:52 AM on October 19 [45 favorites]


I watched it, and I live in TX, since 2004.
My thoughts on it: he toed lines, a lot. He was also asked questions that were set up to be damning, as far as anyone undecided's concerned. "You want open borders." "You want to legalize drugs." "You want to impeach Trump." And, from the left: "you've raised so much money and you're being selfish and not giving it to the party [Ed. : that doesn't support 90% of candidates]" Which, come the fuck on.
It all felt like an attempted hit job. And I thought he handled it as well as anyone could have. Could, for example, Ted Cruz stand up and answer questions like that? Since, y'know, that's who he's running against. How it played out? I have no idea. But the audience reactions there were pretty positive. Granted, a lot of the audience was made up of UT students. I think he handled it better than just about anyone, on the spot, could have.

I'm going to see him tonight at Pod Save America's Austin taping. Will report back whether the shine is real.
posted by rp at 7:58 AM on October 19 [12 favorites]


To not abuse the edit window: I really do hope that Beto is playing the long game here and has a solid plan in place for a post-defeat continued campaign for Texas Democrats in general. We're basically written off by the national party, the Democratic candidate for the House seat in my hometown got jack from the national party, not even a call back when he phoned them up to ask what to do next after he got the nomination.

Texas is likely to turn purple due to demographic shift, but that's not guaranteed, and we need a really solid and aggressive state Democratic Party. If Beto can help our state Party grow and improve, and maybe even get us something more than the finger from the national Party I'd count that as a win even if Ted Cruz gets the Senate seat.

Among other things, Beto is showing that you can get a lot of enthusiasm and (hopefully) votes just by being a middle of the road Democrat who doesn't really call for anything to the left of the Party Platform. It's kind of horrifying, but simply being a Democrat who talks about the official Party Platform can make you sound like a fire breathing leftist compared to many/most elected Democrats.

And Beto is showing that the message of the Democratic Platform is popular even in Texas.

While a Beto victory would be amazing, I'd take a Beto influenced or led state Party as a second prize without too much griping. We really, desperately, need some organizing and leadership.
posted by sotonohito at 8:00 AM on October 19 [25 favorites]


Sabine Parish judge rules Louisiana's split-jury law unconstitutional [Gordon Russell, The Advocate]
Less than a month before Louisiana voters weigh in on the future of the state’s unusual split-jury law, a Sabine Parish judge has issued a sweeping decision that declares the law was crafted with racist intent, continues to have a discriminatory impact today and thus violates the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The ruling by 11th District Court Judge Stephen Beasley relied heavily on research by historians and legal scholars as well as an exhaustive analysis published this year by The Advocate of jury trials conducted across the state over a six-year period. The judge ruled that the newspaper's data provided "uncontroverted" proof that the state's split-verdict law has a disparate impact on both black defendants and black jurors. [...]

Louisiana’s law allows for verdicts in felony cases as long as 10 of 12 jurors agree. Oregon is the only other state with such a law. [...]

On Nov. 6, Louisiana voters will decide on a constitutional amendment that would, for the first time in 120 years, require Louisiana juries to return unanimous verdicts. If voters pass the measure, it would lessen the impact of Beasley's ruling substantially -- but not entirely. [...]

Beasley said his ruling applies to pending prosecutions as well as people who were found guilty but haven't run out of direct appeals. Even so, if the constitutional amendment passes, the ruling might only affect a handful of cases in Sabine Parish. But if it fails, [Sabine DA] Burkett said he'd almost certainly appeal.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:01 AM on October 19 [28 favorites]


Beto's "victory" is this. He's gained incredible recognition on the national level. I would like to see -- should he not be in the senate -- him as the VP on a 2020 ticket with Harris/Gillibrand/TBD. Time to try "Not Old White Men" for a while...
posted by mikelieman at 8:01 AM on October 19 [11 favorites]


Patagonia endorses Jon Tester in Montana and Jacky Rosen in Nevada, In what may be a first, Patagonia endorses two Senate candidates (WaPo):
What Patagonia is doing is different. For as much money as corporate interests have pumped into politics after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010, Patagonia's pair of endorsements may constitute the first time any corporation has explicitly endorsed a candidate for office, experts say.
Endorsements like these are usually done by political action committees established by corporations, not by the corporation itself, and wouldn't have been legal before Citizens United.
posted by peeedro at 8:10 AM on October 19 [26 favorites]




That would be the Patagonia that is owned by the Kochs, right?
posted by ArgentCorvid at 8:17 AM on October 19


No, that would be Patagonia, the company that uses Cordura nylon, much like nearly all of their competitors. Where did you get the notion that they’re owned by the Koch’s?
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 8:22 AM on October 19 [32 favorites]


Patagonia is owned by Yvon Chouinard and is a certified California B corporation.
posted by peeedro at 8:25 AM on October 19 [12 favorites]


Just because it was lost at the end of the old thread: Mara Liasson, Fox/NPR dual duty
posted by benzenedream at 8:30 AM on October 19 [3 favorites]


Thank this stupid article for the Patagonia confusion. We went around about it a few threads ago.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 8:31 AM on October 19 [7 favorites]


Beto's "victory" is this. He's gained incredible recognition on the national level.

And he's exposed Cruz as a skinsuit full of beetles who will abandon any principle to gain or retain power. I know that most of us saw that long ago, but Ted Cruz is a Republican who is hanging on by his fingernails in Texas. Has there been a statewide election that was remotely scary for a Texas Republican in this century?
posted by Etrigan at 8:31 AM on October 19 [24 favorites]


Beto's "victory" is...

...his popularity and voters he brings to the polls will hopefully help carry a couple of Texas Ds to victory in House races.
posted by chris24 at 8:38 AM on October 19 [17 favorites]


And he's exposed Cruz as a skinsuit full of beetles who will abandon any principle to gain or retain power.

I've been looking for ways to express this idea concisely than "just a walking, writhing mass of insects wearing Ted Cruz like a cheap suit." Thank you for this.
posted by Mayor West at 8:42 AM on October 19 [20 favorites]


I'm utterly shocked Trump hasn't let loose with one of insane, offhand remarks over this. Something along the lines of "Great way to deal with the corrupt press.

@nickwiger: We’re about a week out from the rally where Trump does an impression of Khashoggi getting murdered
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:48 AM on October 19 [42 favorites]


Just for the record, it looks like BitterOldPunk should get credit for first calling Cruz a skinsuit full of insects on MetaFilter at least.
posted by Etrigan at 8:49 AM on October 19 [32 favorites]


A political action committee run by Republican women opposed to Donald Trump is getting involved in Michigan's most competitive Congressional races — and supporting the Democrat candidates.

Republican Women for Progress PAC tells Metro Times it has taken out $50,000 television ad buys in Michigan's 11th and 8th Congressional District races. Both races feature a moderate Democrat against a Trump-aligned Republican. In MI-11, Democrat Haley Stevens is up against Republican Lena Epstein, the former Michigan chair for the Trump campaign. In MI-08, Elissa Slotkin is trying to unseat incumbent Rep. Mike Bishop.

“We think the best thing that we can do for the party and for the country right now is to make sure there are good women — Democrat or Republican — that are elected to office and who can serve as a check on this administration and on the president," says Meghan Milloy, co-founder of Republican Women for Progress. "[This effort] really was inspired by us talking to Republican women in these districts where they said there was just no way that they could vote for the Republican.”


Kindly note that this PAC is funded by California billionaire Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn fame, which is something of a disappointment only because I would love it all the more if it were a grass-roots thing. But hey, don't get me wrong. Happy to see this.
posted by Bella Donna at 8:52 AM on October 19 [11 favorites]


Trump Tells Cabinet Departments to Propose 5% Cuts in Spending During a meeting Wednesday, Trump told his Cabinet, “I’m going to ask everybody to come back with a 5 percent cut for our next meeting. There may be a special exemption, perhaps. I don’t know who that exemption would be.”

This is such transparent reality show bullshit. The executive branch doesn't set the budget, Trump's own budget proposals have been largely ignored even by the Republican-controlled Congress, and all but maybe two of the cabinet-level department heads (Defense and Homeland Security) actively want to cut their own budgets anyway. Zinke, for example, would happily shrink the Department of the Interior down to an oil, gas, mining, and cattle ranching lease sales office.
posted by jedicus at 8:55 AM on October 19 [23 favorites]


Trump Tells Cabinet Departments to Propose 5% Cuts in Spending During a meeting Wednesday, Trump told his Cabinet, “I’m going to ask everybody to come back with a 5 percent cut for our next meeting. There may be a special exemption, perhaps. I don’t know who that exemption would be.”

Remember when that Randian nitwit who destroyed Sears turned it into an interdepartmental contest?
posted by mikelieman at 9:00 AM on October 19 [23 favorites]


Where did you get the notion that they’re owned by the Koch’s?

Probably from skimming one of the previous threads.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 9:00 AM on October 19


Access to the ballot box in November will be more difficult for some people in Dodge City, where Hispanics now make up 60 percent of its population and have remade an iconic Wild West town that once was the destination of cowboys and buffalo hunters who frequented the Long Branch Saloon.

At a time when many rural towns are slowly dying, the arrival of two massive meatpacking plants boosted Dodge City’s economy and transformed its demographics as immigrants from Mexico and other countries flooded in to fill those jobs.

But the city located 160 miles (257 kilometers) west of Wichita has only one polling site for its 27,000 residents. Since 2002, the lone site was at the civic center just blocks from the local country club — in the wealthy, white part of town. For this November’s election, local officials have moved it outside the city limits to a facility more than a mile from the nearest bus stop, citing road construction that blocked the previous site.

“It is shocking that we only have one polling place, but that is only kind of scratching the surface of the problem,” said Johnny Dunlap, chairman of the Ford County Democratic Party. “On top of that, not only is it irrational and ridiculous that we have only one polling place, but Dodge City is one of the few minority majority cities in the state.”

A Democratic Party database compiled from state voter data shows Hispanic turnout during non-presidential elections is just 17 percent compared to 61 percent turnout for white voters in Ford County in 2014.

Dodge City’s turnout is below the national turnout rate of 27 percent among Latino eligible voters in 2014, which in itself was a record low that year for the country, according to the Pew Research Center .

“That is terrible,” Dunlap said of the sole polling site’s former location in a white neighborhood. “What that has contributed to is a way below average Hispanic turnout in voting in Dodge City,” Dunlap said.

Hispanic voters tend to vote Democratic and could be a factor in Kansas’ tight governor’s race featuring a champion of immigration restrictions, Republican Kris Kobach, against Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly.

Some local voters and the American Civil Liberties Union have long criticized the use of a lone Dodge City polling site even before its move just weeks before the midterm election.

That single polling site services more than 13,000 voters in the Dodge City area, compared to an average of 1,200 voters per polling site at other locations, said Micah Kubic, executive director of the ACLU in Kansas.

Dodge City voters sometimes have to wait more than an hour in line to vote, and freight trains frequently block intersections at railroad tracks that split the town, Dunlap said.
posted by Bella Donna at 9:02 AM on October 19 [30 favorites]


Because if there is one thing we need more of in our political process, it is corporate speech:

In a last-ditch attempt to defeat one of the most far-reaching environmental measures on the 2018 ballot, a fossil fuel giant is blanketing Colorado television with election-focused political ads that it now claims are outside the purview of all state campaign finance laws. The maneuver — which pioneers a novel way for corporations to circumvent disclosure statutes and inject money directly into elections — has been blessed by the office of Secretary of State Wayne Williams, who has led a Republican political group bankrolled by the same fossil fuel corporation that is airing the ads.

At issue is Proposition 112, a landmark measure that would force fossil fuel companies to set their drilling and fracking operations further away from hospitals, schools, child care centers and residential neighborhoods. Natural gas colossus Noble Energy and its subsidiaries have been among the most prominent opponents of the initiative, disclosing $7.1 million in contributions to Protect Colorado, the issue committee opposing the initiative.

Noble has also given $200,000 to a PAC supporting the Republican majority in the state senate, which in recent years has been a bulwark against Democratic attempts to pass stronger safety and environmental protections regarding oil and gas operations.

However, on top of those disclosed and regulated expenditures, documents reviewed by Capital & Main show that Noble has also been airing its own corporate television ads against the measure — and the company refuses to tell state campaign finance regulators any details about the ads or about the amount it is spending on the spots.

posted by Bella Donna at 9:15 AM on October 19 [9 favorites]


Etrigan Has there been a statewide election that was remotely scary for a Texas Republican in this century?

Depends on how you define "in this century". If you mean "since the year 2000" then no. If you mean "in the past 100 years" then hell yes. Back before the great party realignment of 1968 Texas was solidly racist Democratic/Dixiecrat and didn't vote in Republicans to state offices since the end of the Civil War. And later, during the party realignment confusion, several actually pretty decent Democrats got elected in Texas including but not limited to Ann Richards.

Texas has only had about 30 or so years of being a Republican stronghold, though admittedly that's mostly just because politics is tribal and it took a while for the people who went around saying they'd never vote for the party of Lincoln to die off.
posted by sotonohito at 9:16 AM on October 19 [5 favorites]


And Away We Go! Early Voting Clues Point To Very High Interest Election
University of Florida professor Michael McDonald, who runs the United States Election Project blog, expects that some 45-50 percent of eligible U.S. voters will participate in the midterms—a figure not seen in a midterm election since 1970. In the 2014 midterms, slightly over a third of eligible voters, or 37 percent, cast ballots.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:32 AM on October 19 [18 favorites]


The Virginia Public Access Project has a nifty visualization on early voting* in Va. Compared to 2017 statewide elections, early voting is up 75%, in VA-10 it's up 131% (buh-bye Barbara Comstock).

*Virginia doesn't really have early voting, but you can cast an early absentee ballot in person or by mail.
posted by peeedro at 9:38 AM on October 19 [6 favorites]


Texas has only had about 30 or so years of being a Republican stronghold, though admittedly that's mostly just because politics is tribal and it took a while for the people who went around saying they'd never vote for the party of Lincoln to die off.

Specifically WRT Texas governors: After Republican Edmund J. Davis left office in 1874, it would be 105 years before the state elected another Republican. (Of course, after Ann Richards left office in 1995, it's been a complete and utter horror show: five years of George W. Bush, thirteen years of Rick Perry, and three years and counting of current dipshit Greg Abbott.)
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:38 AM on October 19 [7 favorites]


*Virginia doesn't really have early voting, but you can cast an early absentee ballot in person or by mail.

And while we don't have "early voting" proper, the reasons one can claim (most without providing proof) for needing to vote absentee are pretty wide and varied. For VA-10 in particular the "I work outside my district" option applies for the sizable number of folks in Loudoun commuting into DC for their government jobs. I've found that with every passing election more people are aware of this. Hopefully someday we'll just drop the pretense and let folks vote when they want for whatever reason.
posted by phearlez at 9:45 AM on October 19 [3 favorites]


Julian Assange: Wikileaks co-founder to take legal action against Ecuador

NO I WILL NOT CLEAN MY BATHROOM OR CARE FOR MY CAT
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:47 AM on October 19 [85 favorites]


And while we don't have "early voting" proper, the reasons one can claim (most without providing proof) for needing to vote absentee are pretty wide and varied.

If you like data, VPAP is also tracking the reasons given for requesting absentee ballots, scroll down to select county/city.
posted by peeedro at 9:55 AM on October 19 [3 favorites]


Years ago, in POTUS45 years, we had a lot of talk about how informed the questions asked of Zuck by Congress seemed to be. I've mentioned before the articles talking about how brain-drain from legislative staff has resulted in Congress leaning more on supplied sample law from lobbyist and interest groups. There's a new piece here about the diminishing number of Congressional staff over the last forty years and it's pretty grim. In that time CRS staff is down 28%, GAO down by 44%, and full-time committee staffing and committee hearings are down by about a quarter.

It's grim but quick reading.
posted by phearlez at 10:11 AM on October 19 [22 favorites]


Even when the latter diverged at some point

Crucial, in retrospect, was the seizure and recapture of the Grand Mosque in Mecca in '79. Hardly remarked upon and mostly forgotten, but this was the nexus point. The King made a deal with the hardliner Wahabbists that they could basically control religion in the Kingdom, to quell further reactionary rebellion, and here we are.

Before that all signs were pointing to gradual reform. Iran and Afghanistan, too. It never had to be like this, these places could have been relatively normal liberal democracies by now if things had gone slightly differently...
posted by Meatbomb at 10:16 AM on October 19 [16 favorites]


@WalshFreedom
The President encourages & applauds physical violence against a journalist.
Hey Republicans, don't ever complain again about violence coming from the Left.
18 Oct 2018


(rewind)

@WalshFreedom
On November 8th, I'm voting for Trump.
On November 9th, if Trump loses, I'm grabbing my musket.
You in?
26 Oct 2016


Republicans like Joe Walsh might talk like they're on our side when it'll get them attention, but don't think they won't get right back to calling for your murder as soon as the wind shifts.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:17 AM on October 19 [55 favorites]


A vile ad supports French Hill's reelection in Arkansas. (Linked audio in tweet.) The Washington Post commented on the ad.

Hill has said he condemns the ad, but he has not demanded that stations pull it.

According to Ben Jacobs, "this ad comes from a group whose treasurer is a guy with no connection to French Hill's campaign who has a history of running provocative content just for attention and making money in the process."

Here's a link to donate to Hill's opponent Clarke Tucker.
posted by jgirl at 10:40 AM on October 19 [4 favorites]


For all the hand-wringing over potential 2020 presidential candidates I don't know why people aren't embracing the obvious choice: naked guy punching NYPD car
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:02 AM on October 19 [20 favorites]


Republicans like Joe Walsh might talk like they're on our side when it'll get them attention

It's Debord's world now.

"All that once was directly lived has become mere representation."
posted by Buntix at 11:07 AM on October 19 [8 favorites]


Hill has said he condemns the ad, but he has not demanded that stations pull it is totally willing to benefit from it.

Since Republicans have gone all-in on following Trump in the most blatant appeals to racism, not one of them deserves the least benefit of the doubt when it comes to "condemning" garbage racist appeals made on their behalf.

We've talked before about how Democrats seem unwilling to attack Republicanism as a brand, but truly, the Republican Fausitan bargain with racism is one of that party's Achilles' heels. After the passage of the Civil Rights Act, Republicans could have joined with Democrats and declared racism has no place in American politics.

Instead, Lee Atwater and Richard Nixon cooked up the odious "Southern Strategy," and here we are.
posted by Gelatin at 11:09 AM on October 19 [10 favorites]


> For all the hand-wringing over potential 2020 presidential candidates I don't know why people aren't embracing the obvious choice: naked guy punching NYPD car

That led me to wonder what Vermin Supreme is up to these days.

Political activist Vermin Supreme sues to run for Kansas attorney general

AG gets outside help for lawsuit from Vermin Supreme

VERMIN SUPREME ATTORNEY GENERAL OF KANSAS
posted by homunculus at 11:26 AM on October 19 [16 favorites]


Georgia Purged About 107,000 People From Voter Rolls

With every report, the number just keeps growing.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 11:28 AM on October 19 [31 favorites]


@rubycramer [video]: Well, after a rally with Liz Watson in Bloomington, Indiana, @BernieSanders decided he wanted to walk to a polling place 0.6 miles away — he picked up a horde of a couple hundred running, screaming, crying, chanting fans and students, and a walking jazz band. I am sweating.

This is what democracy looks like.

Of course, the next tweet is also what democracy looks like: Also one persistent protester who shouted, “Go back to (expletive) 4chan, incels!“ to a bunch of college students.
posted by zachlipton at 11:35 AM on October 19 [7 favorites]


Julian Assange: Wikileaks co-founder to take legal action against Ecuador

NO I WILL NOT CLEAN MY BATHROOM OR CARE FOR MY CAT


This historical period will be known as the revolt of the manchild
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:36 AM on October 19 [45 favorites]


Georgia Purged About 107,000 People From Voter Rolls

To the GOP, Georgia's not a state but a proving ground.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:37 AM on October 19 [8 favorites]


It's Friday, and that means somebody's getting charged with a crime! WaPo, Justice Dept. charges Russian woman with interference in midterm elections
The Justice Department on Friday charged a Russian woman for her role in a conspiracy to interfere with the 2018 U.S. election, marking the first criminal case prosecutors have brought against a foreign national for interfering in the upcoming Midterms.

Elena Khusyaynova, 44, was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Prosecutors said she managed the finances of “Project Lakhta,” a foreign influence operation they said was designed “to sow discord in the U.S. political system” by pushing arguments and misinformation online about a whole host of divisive political issues, including immigration, the Confederate flag, gun control, and the NFL national anthem protests.

The charges against Khusyaynova came just as the Office of the Director of National Intelligence warned that it was concerned about “ongoing campaigns” by Russia, China and Iran to interfere with the upcoming Midterm elections and even the 2020 race — an ominous warning that comes just weeks before voters head to the polls.
Here's the DOJ press release and the criminal complaint.
posted by zachlipton at 11:38 AM on October 19 [32 favorites]


A Remarkable Unverified Claim by the President of Guatemala: 100 Migrants Linked to Terrorism Arrested in That Country
Congressional homeland security committees and DHS need to get to the bottom of this claim
At a public conference attended by reporters and Vice President Mike Pence last week, Guatemala President Jimmy Morales made a striking claim based on what he said was classified intelligence.

The newspaper Prensa Libre quoted President Morales saying, during his turn at the lectern of a major regional security conference, that his administration had captured "close to 100 people completely linked to terrorist issues, with ISIS, and that not only have we arrested them within our territory, but they have been deported to their countries of origin."

The Guatemalan president was speaking October 11 during the second Conference for Prosperity and Security in Central America. Senior American officials were in attendance with the vice president, as was Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, El Salvadoran Vice President Oscar Ortiz, Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray, and Mexican Secretary of Governance Alfonso Navarrete, among others.

No U.S. media reported the remarks; the Associated Press only reported Vice President Pence's speech, and the U.S. State Department posted the remarks of Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo. As far as is known, no U.S. official has commented on President Morales' remarkable claim of apprehending so many terrorist migrants.

Healthy skepticism is warranted here. (Guatemala happens to have requested $15 billion in border security assistance, and President Morales is laboring under accusations of corruption).

But the government of Guatemala apparently is standing by the claim, one that would carry significant implications to U.S. border security and immigration policy were it to vet out as even partly true.
posted by scalefree at 11:44 AM on October 19 [3 favorites]


@matthewamiller: Very strange that DNI/FBI/et al put out a statement accusing "Russia, China & other foreign actors" of trying to undermine confidence in democratic institutions less than an hour before DOJ indicts a Russian for interference. Would love to know the genesis of that statement.

Gosh, it's like someone took Trump's ranting about China literally and turned it into intelligence. Here's the full statement from ODNI, FBI, and DHS: Combating Foreign Influence in U.S. Elections.
posted by zachlipton at 11:45 AM on October 19 [3 favorites]


To the GOP, Georgia's not a state but a proving ground.

There are reasons you'd expect Georgia to be one of the most effective states to do this in; the margins on the governor race are razor-thin and it's one of the lowest-elasticity states, so mere persuasion won't move the needle as much as getting out (or suppressing) the vote.
posted by Jpfed at 11:48 AM on October 19 [7 favorites]


Ted can break anything.

@AlexThomasDC Ted Cruz just tried to do a Facebook Live but his staff seems to have no idea how an iPhone camera works — here’s two minutes of bizarreness
[video?]
posted by scalefree at 11:55 AM on October 19 [17 favorites]


No, this headline is not from 1933: South Carolina Is Lobbying to Allow Discrimination Against Jewish Parents
The Trump Administration is considering whether to grant a South Carolina request that would effectively allow faith-based foster care agencies in the state the ability to deny Jewish parents from fostering children in its network. The argument, from the state and from the agency, is that the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act should not force a Protestant group to work with Jewish people if it violates a tenet of their faith.

The case being made by South Carolina is an extension of the debate around RFRA, which is more commonly associated with discrimination against LGBTQ people, but by no means applies exclusively to that group.

If granted, the exemption would allow Miracle Hill Ministries, a Protestant social service agency working in the state’s northwest region, to continue receiving federal dollars while “recruiting Christian foster families,” which it has been doing since 1988, according to its website. That discrimination would apply not just to Jewish parents, but also to parents who are Muslim, Catholic, Unitarian, atheist, agnostic or other some other non-Protestant Christian denomination.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:56 AM on October 19 [76 favorites]


No, this headline is not from 1933: South Carolina Is Lobbying to Allow Discrimination Against Jewish Parents

Sooner or later, they always come for the Jews.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:59 AM on October 19 [49 favorites]


Ted Cruz just tried to do a Facebook Live but his staff seems to have no idea how an iPhone camera works — here’s two minutes of bizarreness

"oh my god. It gets worse"

posted by kirkaracha at 12:08 PM on October 19 [10 favorites]


@AlexThomasDC Ted Cruz just tried to do a Facebook Live but his staff seems to have no idea how an iPhone camera works — here’s two minutes of bizarreness
[video?]


if you listen carefully you can hear a voice saying "libera te tutemet ex inferis"
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:11 PM on October 19 [13 favorites]


That discrimination would apply not just to Jewish parents, but also to parents who are Muslim, Catholic, Unitarian, atheist, agnostic or other some other non-Protestant Christian denomination

I have no doubt that once they whittle out the obvious "others" they would turn their attention towards making sure they only work with the "right" kind of Protestants. This is what a lot of "religious freedom" folks I know fail to anticipate, that eventually they could find themselves practicing "wrong" kind of Christianity.
posted by history_denier at 12:11 PM on October 19 [17 favorites]


Sooner or later, they always come for the Jews.

Yeah, but they haven't always also demanded taxpayer dollars while they're doing it.
posted by Gelatin at 12:13 PM on October 19 [7 favorites]


Manafort's sentencing has been set for Feb 8 for his Virginia trial and the 10 deadlocked charges have been dropped. Also from the WaPo:
Manafort, 69, appeared in court in a wheelchair Friday and did not rise when Ellis spoke to him. Defense attorney Kevin Downing said in court that there are “significant issues with Mr. Manafort’s health right now that have to do with his confinement.”

Those conditions are for Manafort’s safety, Downing said, but he asked that Ellis expedite the pre-sentence investigation so Manafort could move as soon as possible out of a local jail and presumably to a federal prison. Downing did not elaborate on Manafort’s health issues.
posted by peeedro at 12:15 PM on October 19 [3 favorites]


No, they just made them pay for the cost of their yellow stars.
posted by Melismata at 12:18 PM on October 19 [6 favorites]


More detail on Manafort's health complaints from TPM
…Manafort showed up in a wheelchair, with his right foot appearing to be in some sort of white sock or wrapping…

Downing was seeking to expedite Manafort’s sentencing, suggesting that moving him to the prison where he’d be detained long term would help him with his health condition.

Ellis set a sentencing date for February 8, 2019.

A person familiar with Manafort’s condition said it was a serious medical condition that had to do with inflammation related to his diet.
posted by murphy slaw at 12:18 PM on October 19


Trump, last night: "This will be an election of Kavanaugh, the caravan, law and order, and common sense...it's going to be an election of those things."

AP-NORC Poll: Just 1 in 4 thinks Kavanaugh told entire truth

"Thirty-nine percent said they believe Kavanaugh was mostly honest but hiding something when he testified last month before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the drama’s most unforgettable day. Another 31 percent said he was largely lying, and 25 percent said he was totally truthful. [...] Overall, 43 percent disapprove of Kavanaugh’s confirmation while 35 percent approve."
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:18 PM on October 19 [11 favorites]


inflammation related to his diet.

... gout? It would be thematically appropriate for such a high-living individual.
posted by suelac at 12:20 PM on October 19 [30 favorites]


i think that's pronounced 'guilt'.
posted by Harry Caul at 12:29 PM on October 19 [12 favorites]


"oh my god. It gets worse"

How could SNL have predicted this one so accurately?
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:32 PM on October 19 [10 favorites]


Don't know how significant this is, but the Houston Chronicle, which supported Cruz in 2012, has endorsed Beto O'Rourke for Senate.
posted by murphy slaw at 12:35 PM on October 19 [34 favorites]


Etrigan: "Has there been a statewide election that was remotely scary for a Texas Republican in this century?"

The AG and LG races this year are not considered GOP shoo-ins.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:35 PM on October 19 [4 favorites]


Owner of Major League Baseball team among funders of racist super PAC
White billionaire Charles Johnson is among those funding Black Americans for the President's Agenda and its outrageous racist radio ads. According to a tweet from the writer, of the 26 funders, the first 23 were all white. He hasn't been able to ID the remaining three yet.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:37 PM on October 19 [13 favorites]


They’re running the “Democrats will lynch black people” ad here in Missouri as well.
posted by EarBucket at 12:38 PM on October 19 [2 favorites]


What is it about the name 'Charles Johnson?'
posted by phearlez at 12:45 PM on October 19 [5 favorites]


NBC, F-bombs and a storm-out among Trump's top staff as tensions rise over border policies, with further details
During a meeting Thursday about the issue, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was explaining an 80 percent rise in immigrant families crossing the border when Bolton interrupted her to criticize her handling of the issue, two people familiar with the meeting said.

Bolton said Nielsen, a close Kelly ally, was doing a poor job with the border and that her department was not producing the needed results, these people said. He argued that she was failing at one of the signature tasks she has as Homeland Security secretary, they said. Bolton, as well as Trump's senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, also proposed sending armed guards to the border and denying entry to anyone without proper documentation, including asylum seekers, according to three people familiar with the discussions.

What began as a policy discussion turned into a harsh exchange between the two senior officials steps from the Oval Office in which Kelly told Bolton that he lacked an understanding of the complexities of immigration policy, and Bolton told Kelly his efforts so far have not been effective, people familiar with the discussion said. The exchange between Bolton and Kelly was first reported by Bloomberg.

According to three people familiar with the exchange, Kelly repeatedly used the f-word to punctuate his points. These people said Kelly, who had served as Trump’s first Secretary of Homeland Security, fiercely defended Nielsen, who has come under fire from Trump over her handling of the border.

The advisers then went into the Oval Office to discuss the matter with the president. Kelly ultimately stormed out of the White House early with no resolution on the issue, these people said. "I’m f---ng out of here," Kelly said, according to one person briefed on the exchange. The White House has not responded to request for comment about the exchange.
International and federal law requires that the government allow people to seek aslyum at border crossings.
posted by zachlipton at 12:48 PM on October 19 [51 favorites]


every other completely fucked thing in that Kelly/Bolton story aside, how fucked is it that Kelly and Nielsen are the moderates on immigration policy in this administration?
posted by murphy slaw at 12:51 PM on October 19 [60 favorites]


There's kind of a lot of news today, isn't there? WSJ, Mueller Probes WikiLeaks’ Contacts With Conservative Activists
Mr. Mueller’s team has recently questioned witnesses about the activities of longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone, including his contacts with WikiLeaks, and has obtained telephone records, according to the people familiar with the matter.

Investigators also have evidence that the late GOP activist Peter W. Smith may have had advance knowledge of details about the release of emails from a top Hillary Clinton campaign official by WikiLeaks, one person familiar with the matter said. They have questioned Mr. Smith’s associates, the person said.

Right-wing pundit Jerome Corsi was also questioned by investigators about his interactions with Mr. Stone and WikiLeaks before a grand jury in September, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Corsi declined to comment. A lawyer for Mr. Stone said he hasn’t been contacted by the special counsel. Mr. Smith died last year.
posted by zachlipton at 12:51 PM on October 19 [9 favorites]


International and federal law requires that the government allow people to seek aslyum at border crossings.

Do you truly believe that the likes of Stephen Miller and John Bolton imagine themselves bound by either?

Plus, "we don't consider those to be actual 'people'" is floating through their heads.
posted by delfin at 12:52 PM on October 19 [9 favorites]


The maneuver — which pioneers a novel way for corporations to circumvent disclosure statutes and inject money directly into elections — has been blessed by the office of Secretary of State Wayne Williams, who has led a Republican political group bankrolled by the same fossil fuel corporation that is airing the ads.

Wayne Williams, who was one of two Secretaries of State to cooperate with Kobach's voter fraud commission which led to over 4K Colorado voters removing themselves from the rolls, who was previously the Clerk and Recorder of El Paso County, whose wife is running for El Paso County Board of commisioners in my district, and who has questionable taste in western wear that he may have misused discretionary funds to purchase, is up for re-election. I cannot wait to vote for Jena Griswold, a former Obama voter protection lawyer, who is running on a platform of stopping dark money in CO politics.
posted by danielleh at 12:55 PM on October 19 [6 favorites]


For all you Dodger fans out there, the MLB team with the principal owner donating to racist super PACs is San Francisco Giants. As if you needed a second guess.
posted by sideshow at 12:55 PM on October 19 [4 favorites]


NYT:
The Trump administration is planning to tell Russian leaders next week that it is preparing to exit the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, according to American officials and foreign diplomats.

President Trump has been moving toward leaving the three-decade-old treaty because Russia has been violating it for years and because it is constraining the United States from deploying new weapons to counter the growing arsenal of intermediate-range weapons that China has deployed in seeking greater influence in the Western Pacific.

The White House said that no official decision had been made to leave the treaty, known as I.N.F., which was signed in 1987 by Ronald Reagan and was considered a critical step in defusing Cold War tensions. In the coming weeks, Mr. Trump is expected to sign off on the decision, which would mark the first time he has scrapped a major arms control treaty.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:56 PM on October 19 [13 favorites]


every other completely fucked thing in that Kelly/Bolton story aside, how fucked is it that Kelly and Nielsen are the moderates on immigration policy in this administration?

Perhaps it's hair-splitting, but I think it's less a matter of being more moderate about policy and more a matter of having some sense of awareness of actual law and a desire not to get dragged in front of a court. Trump, Bolton, Miller - these are all people who believe in just doing what they fucking please and they possess a (perhaps not entirely unreasonable) belief that they're never going to actually have to account for anything. Kelly and Nielsen, perhaps only reflexively after being in the system for this long, still have concern about fitting within the structures.
posted by phearlez at 12:57 PM on October 19 [13 favorites]


Although in all seriousness, the Giants have like 30 owners and I was under the impression that the "face" of the ownership group was Larry Baer.
posted by sideshow at 12:57 PM on October 19


Perhaps it's hair-splitting, but I think it's less a matter of being more moderate about policy and more a matter of having some sense of awareness of actual law and a desire not to get dragged in front of a court.

yeah i mean we're basically at the point where the moderate wing of the president's cabinet are the ones who consider the requirements of the law for several milliseconds before forming a plan to route around it
posted by murphy slaw at 1:00 PM on October 19 [13 favorites]


Bolton said Nielsen, a close Kelly ally, was doing a poor job with the border and that her department was not producing the needed results, these people said. He argued that she was failing at one of the signature tasks she has as Homeland Security secretary, they said. Bolton, as well as Trump's senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, also proposed sending armed guards to the border and denying entry to anyone without proper documentation, including asylum seekers, according to three people familiar with the discussions.

See, you (for values of "you" that equal "Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen") appease the fascists by setting up concentration camps for children, and they attack you for not militarizing the border.

We need to have a Nuremberg-level tribunal once this gang of criminals is out of power.
posted by Gelatin at 1:03 PM on October 19 [23 favorites]


If elected, I will work closely with the folks who say I am a deep state communist MS-13 child trafficker

Immigration - There is no way I can ever support the "illegal immigrant juicer" that my opponent says must be installed along the border with Mexico, but I am willing to build more tent cities where confiscated illegal immigrant children can be auctioned off to weird foster parents banging at the gates like zombies.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:04 PM on October 19 [15 favorites]


Hey, you know what's even more cost-effective than building a wall across a couple of thousand miles of border terrain?

Stationing armed guards across a couple of thousand miles of border terrain.

Unless Bolton and Miller think that we can put up a CROSS HERE sign and all of the migrants will form an orderly line...
posted by delfin at 1:10 PM on October 19 [3 favorites]


From, wow, only earlier this month:

President Donald Trump was lobbied by immigration senior adviser Stephen Miller to stop issuing visas to Chinese students seeking to study in the United States. In the end, Trump agreed with Miller’s opponents in the debate.

Now I wonder if it were Kelly who slammed the brakes on this boneheaded racist fantasy.

In any case, Miller is a fucking racist scumbag. It's appalling and terrifying that people have to get between him and president dipshit.
posted by adept256 at 1:11 PM on October 19 [17 favorites]


It's worth taking a few minutes to read through the latest Russia complaint, particularly starting around page 14 where it discusses how messages were targeted (some of the highlights are available in tweet form too).

A lot of the messaging efforts are more sophisticated than what we've seen before. For instance:
For instance, "Citing an online news article titled "McCain Says Thining a Wall Will Stop Illegal Immigration is 'Crazy,'" from on or about August 5, 2017, a member of the Conspiracy directed that the article be messaged in the following way:
Brand McCain as an old geezer who has lost it and who long ago belonged in a home for the elderly. Emphasize that John McCain's pathological hatred towards Donald Trump and towards all his initiatives crosses all reasonable borders and limits. State that dishonorable scoundrels, such as McCain, immediately aim to destroy all the conservative voters' hopes as soon as Trump tries to fulfill his election promises and tries to protect the American interests. (Preliminary translation of Russian text.)
Another example is to brand Paul Ryan "a complete and absolute nobody incapable of any decisiveness" and to support Brice. Another post instructs the trolls to warn of "forces of civil retribution" during the election if anti-Trump Republicans "will not stop acting as traitors," citing Michael Savage. CNN and Jeb! are attacked with language straight out of Trump's mouth, including claims that CNN published fake polls predicting a Clinton win and claims that news outlets were paid by the Clinton campaign. And they created Twitter accounts including the now-suspended @CovfefeNationUS.

There's also the paid Russian troll who tweeted "I hope that all those Internet Research Agency f*ckers will be sent to gitmo," which is really a nice touch.

And then there's US Person 2, who was all in after being invited by a Russian troll to become an admin of the StopAllInvaders Facebook page, but had some concerns (ellipses in original):
US Person 2: but please tell me I'm not going to jail for this
...
Malone: jeez why would u
Malone: just page lol
Malone: i'll vouch fou 4 mb u get some money out that even
...
US Person 2: i trust you
Oops.
posted by zachlipton at 1:15 PM on October 19 [27 favorites]


Palm Beach Post, EXCLUSIVE: Mar-a-Lago member Lana Marks headed to South Africa post?
President Donald Trump is said to be ready to nominate couture handbag designer and Palm Beach resident Lana Marks to become ambassador to South Africa, making her the fourth member of the Mar-a-Lago Club that the president has tapped for an ambassadorship.
Besides the fact that she literally pays the President money every year, her resume has other qualities that appeal to Trump:
In more than a dozen past lawsuits against her in Aspen, New York, California and South Florida, Marks has repeatedly been accused of stiffing her attorneys, accountants, landlords and employees. She is also embroiled in bitter, international legal battles in South Africa and Israel with her siblings over a family trust and the care for their 89-year-old mother.
posted by zachlipton at 1:23 PM on October 19 [14 favorites]


Palm Beach Post, EXCLUSIVE: Mar-a-Lago member Lana Marks headed to South Africa post?

Her credentials were sent to the SA Presidency about 3 weeks ago. I mean she's no Patrick Gaspard, but at least she isn't (previously rumoured nominee and Breitbart Editor) Joel Pollak.
posted by PenDevil at 1:29 PM on October 19 [3 favorites]


WSJ, Justice Neil Gorsuch’s Speech to Catholic Group Closed to the Media
Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch’s doctoral study on a conservative philosophy called natural law is a prime reason right-leaning legal thinkers recommended him to President Trump. But the public won’t have a chance to learn the jurist’s latest thoughts on the theory when he speaks Friday at a conference of Catholic legal scholars seeking to expand Christian influence on public policy.

The sponsor, the Thomistic Institute, is barring journalists from covering the conference, titled “Christianity and the Common Good,” being held Friday and Saturday at Harvard Law School.

In an email, the Thomistic Institute’s director, the Rev. Dominic Legge, said coverage of Justice Gorsuch’s remarks would interfere with the event’s educational value. “The focus of this event is on the students having a fruitful encounter and exchange with the justice on an academic theme,” Father Legge said by email. “The decision that the event would be closed was mine, not the justice’s, and it was made in accord with our normal policy for such events.”
@KlasfeldReports: S̶e̶p̶a̶r̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶[̶R̶E̶D̶A̶C̶T̶E̶D̶]̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶[̶R̶E̶D̶A̶C̶T̶E̶D̶]̶

We're just not even pretending anymore.
posted by zachlipton at 1:33 PM on October 19 [51 favorites]


I'm envisioning less armed guards, more armed drones. At least, I'm sure that's what they'd like to have.
posted by BungaDunga at 1:34 PM on October 19 [3 favorites]


President Trump has been moving toward leaving the three-decade-old treaty because Russia has been violating it for years and because it is constraining the United States from deploying new weapons to counter the growing arsenal of intermediate-range weapons that China has deployed in seeking greater influence in the Western Pacific.

I don't know if Russia has really been violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and though that paragraph presents the violation as fact, the sourcing in is vague. But I do know that I wouldn't trust Trump's word that the Russians are doing so, because he tells lies to get what he wants.
posted by Gelatin at 1:34 PM on October 19 [2 favorites]


The Russians have been dicking about with the INF for years, the Obama administration thought they were in violation, too.
posted by BungaDunga at 1:37 PM on October 19 [4 favorites]


Can Latin America do something to us? Like, isn't there some way Mexico could kick us in the balls? We've had it coming for a long time, from Mexico, I mean. It would be satisfying if Mexico kicked U.S.A.'s ass; maybe the humility that would ensue would make America tolerable again
posted by angrycat at 1:42 PM on October 19 [4 favorites]


No, this headline is not from 1933: South Carolina Is Lobbying to Allow Discrimination Against Jewish Parents

Of course, Miracle Hill covers Greenville, Pickens and Spartanburg counties. They should've made Lake Hartwell bigger and flooded the entire upstate. This paragraph is the kicker, tho:
“I think that if Trump knew about this in detail, he wouldn’t be for it,” Lesser said. “Because he’s not a religious nut.” She’s a proud supporter of the president — and, she offered, she wanted Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to be confirmed.
If only the Tsar knew!
posted by octobersurprise at 1:44 PM on October 19 [18 favorites]


In an email, the Thomistic Institute’s director, the Rev. Dominic Legge, said coverage of Justice Gorsuch’s remarks would interfere with the event’s educational value. “The focus of this event is on the students having a fruitful encounter and exchange with the justice on an academic theme,” Father Legge said by email. “The decision that the event would be closed was mine, not the justice’s, and it was made in accord with our normal policy for such events.”

As the WSJ notes ("Neither Justice Gorsuch nor Father Legge responded to requests for a transcript or audio of the justice’s remarks that would not identify students.") they're saying they need to close it to the press, and happy to talk about how and why they're doing that, but not even answering questions about transcripts (would could hardly be disruptive) makes clear that this isn't about protecting students.
posted by cjelli at 1:44 PM on October 19 [9 favorites]


¡Pobre México, tan lejos de Dios y tan cerca de los Estados Unidos!
posted by kirkaracha at 1:45 PM on October 19 [8 favorites]


Jefferson's Wall of Separation Letter

In which he writes to baptists about the establishment clause and building a wall of separation between Church & State.

I thought these guys were all about building walls.
posted by adept256 at 1:50 PM on October 19 [5 favorites]


Separation between church and state doesn't mean a judge can never address a religious group. That doesn't violate Article 6 or the 1st amendment.

I don't like it and it appears to be unusual for a SCJ but I don't know that there are solid civic grounds to object.
posted by Miko at 1:55 PM on October 19 [5 favorites]


From upthread:
Ray Walston, Luck Dragon: This historical period will be known as the revolt of the manchild

Sure, they're revolting... but let's be honest, they've always been pretty revolting.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:00 PM on October 19 [8 favorites]


Separation between church and state doesn't mean a judge can never address a religious group.
It is not crazy, though, to have concerns when a highly politically polarized Supreme Court justice is addressing a religious group whose stated aim is "seeking to expand Christian influence on public policy," and the public is intentionally barred from learning what was discussed.
posted by Nerd of the North at 2:02 PM on October 19 [59 favorites]


For a Change, Democrats Seem Set to Equal or Exceed Republicans in Turnout
A wide range of evidence indicates that Democratic voters are poised to vote in numbers unseen in a midterm election in at least a decade.

Democrats have largely erased the turnout deficit that hobbled them during the Obama presidency, according to results from more than 50 New York Times Upshot/Siena College polls of the most competitive House battleground districts.

Democrats may even be poised to post higher turnout than Republicans, a rarity, in many relatively white suburban districts on Nov. 6.

But it’s not clear if this blue turnout surge will extend much further, particularly among young and nonwhite voters. Whether Democrats turn out broadly could make the difference between a fairly close fight for control of the House and sweeping Democratic gains of 40 or more seats.
Ceterum autem censeo Trumpem esse delendam
posted by kirkaracha at 2:05 PM on October 19 [9 favorites]


how fucked is it that Kelly and Nielsen are the moderates on immigration policy in this administration

LE vs. CE
posted by Bovine Love at 2:06 PM on October 19 [14 favorites]


Separation between church and state doesn't mean a judge can never address a religious group.

Addressing a religious group that seems to promote -- or that, at least, does associate with people who do promote -- the abolition of said separation is where that gets tricky, and why there's a public interest reason for at least knowing what Gorsuch says, separate from his ability to speak, which I don't think is legally problematic.
posted by cjelli at 2:07 PM on October 19 [6 favorites]


Sports Illustrated (just go with it, it's Friday), Emma Baccellieri, Meet the New York Teenager Who Created the 'Mets Are a Good Team' Super PAC
“My name’s Ben Aybar, and I’m a high school student. I’ve been working on how to form Super PACs for….” he took a beat, trying to remember how long it’s been. “A little over a week, now?”

Was he at school right now? Yeah, he said. Free period. He had a chem test later, but that’s later. Still: Could he talk after school, maybe, with his parents’ permission?

“Well, fun fact,” he said. “My parents don’t actually know that I’ve started a Super PAC.”

Later that day, he came clean to them.

“It’s really not something that my husband and I know anything about, how to form a Super PAC,” said his mother, Susie Aybar. “But I suppose it’s not that hard a thing to do, as he’s established.”
posted by zachlipton at 2:09 PM on October 19 [22 favorites]


It's curious that “Mormon” isn't in the list of religious orientations ineligible for foster parenting
posted by XMLicious at 2:19 PM on October 19 [8 favorites]


And it's highly problematic that Scalia regularly took all expenses paid trips with Republican donors, and that Thomas' wife runs a partisan Republican attack group.

It's well past time to codify some enforceable ethics rules that apply to the Court. It might take a Constitutional amendment.

We can include that along with our court packing plan.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:24 PM on October 19 [43 favorites]


Hey cats and kittens! Who's ready to get fun-kay?! The latest Michael Cohen is tiiiight! Let's kick it!

"Listen, here's my recommendation. Grab your family, grab your friends, grab your neighbors, and get to the poll, because if not, you are going to have another two or another six years of this craziness," Cohen told CNN in a brief interview outside of his Manhattan home. "So, make sure you vote. All right?"

...Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, said his client changed his party registration back to Democrat last week. Cohen was a Democrat for years, but changed his official registration to Republican after the 2016 election.


... to become deputy finance chair of the Republican National Committee. As one does.

I mean, I don't ... is this real life?
Check out the pic, he's got a whole Leonard Cohen vibe happening ... which ... I don't ...
posted by petebest at 2:28 PM on October 19 [16 favorites]




Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, said his client changed his party registration back to Democrat last week. Cohen was a Democrat for years, but changed his official registration to Republican after the 2016 election.
In general I'm in favor of welcoming repentant Republicans back into the fold but Cohen? Screw him. Is there any way for the Democratic Party to officially say "umm.. Thanks, but no"?
posted by Nerd of the North at 2:33 PM on October 19 [4 favorites]


Julian Assange is fighting the Ecuadorian government over a cat

TIL that proff’s cat has an instagram acct.
EmbassyCat
posted by scalefree at 2:48 PM on October 19 [6 favorites]


Why doesn't Ecuador just kick him out like a shitty tenant and let whatever happens to him happen to him? Why are they even bothering to put up with him anymore?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:52 PM on October 19 [17 favorites]


What seems more significant to me than the Houston Chronicle endorsement mentioned above is a Longview News-Journal endorsement for Beto! I've lived in Texas for most of my life, and in my mind it doesn't get any redder than deep East Texas like Longview's neck of the woods.
posted by marshmallow peep at 2:57 PM on October 19 [18 favorites]


> TIL that proff’s cat has an instagram acct.
EmbassyCat


What a weird account. It comes close to having humor but then... just doesn't. Maybe it's the thought of being stuck in a room with any of those people.

What is "proff," in this context?
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:58 PM on October 19 [2 favorites]


NYT, Katie Benner, Justice Dept. Rank-and-File Tell of Discontent Over Sessions’s Approach, featuring interviews with two dozen current and former career lawyers.
In one instance, Mr. Sessions directly questioned a career lawyer, Stephen Buckingham, who was asked to find ways to file a lawsuit to crack down on sanctuary laws protecting undocumented immigrants. Mr. Buckingham, who had worked at the Justice Department for about a decade, wrote in a brief that he could find no legal grounds for such a case.

Reminding Mr. Buckingham of the attorney general’s bona fides as an immigration hard-liner, Mr. Sessions asked him to come to a different conclusion, according to three people who worked alongside Mr. Buckingham in the federal programs division and were briefed on the exchange.

To Mr. Buckingham’s colleagues, the episode was an example of Mr. Sessions stifling dissent and opening the department to losses in court.

Mr. Buckingham resigned a few months later, and Mr. Sessions got his lawsuit. A federal judge dismissed most of the case, and the department has appealed. Both Mr. Buckingham and Ms. Flores declined to comment on the episode.
posted by zachlipton at 3:01 PM on October 19 [11 favorites]


"Proff" was a screenname used at one point by Assange.
posted by Kadin2048 at 3:02 PM on October 19 [5 favorites]


WaPo, Trump appointee tapped days ago to run Interior Department’s watchdog office resigns amid controversy
A top Trump administration political appointee who just two days ago was on track to lead the Interior Department’s inspector general’s office resigned Friday from the federal government, according to an administration official.

Suzanne Israel Tufts was scheduled to be interviewed Friday morning for another inspector general position elsewhere in the government, according to a person with knowledge of the interview. But she did not show up for the appointment.
This entire story, which has featured Interior putting out a statement declaring that Ben Carson put disseminated "false information" and now a sudden resignation, has been utterly bonkers and I have no idea what's going on.
posted by zachlipton at 3:04 PM on October 19 [26 favorites]


"Proff" was a screenname used at one point by Assange.

Yep, it's what he called himself on IRC back in the day when we hung out on #hack. It's still weird to see him in the news.
posted by scalefree at 3:09 PM on October 19 [8 favorites]


This entire story, which has featured Interior putting out a statement declaring that Ben Carson put disseminated "false information" and now a sudden resignation, has been utterly bonkers and I have no idea what's going on.

I've yet to see anything approaching an explanation of how it happened, whose idea it was.
posted by scalefree at 3:11 PM on October 19


Julian Assange is fighting the Ecuadorian government over a cat

Classic forced centrism from establishment media. It's definitely Ecuador and the cat versus Assange.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:14 PM on October 19 [11 favorites]


Jamal Khashoggi is dead, Saudi Arabian state television confirms

The news, which cited preliminary findings from an official investigation, was announced on state television on Friday. It said a fight broke out between Khashoggi and people who met him in the consulate, leading to the death of the reporter.

[they brought a coroner and a bonesaw]
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:24 PM on October 19 [20 favorites]


It said a fight broke out between Khashoggi and people who met him in the consulate

In the same way a fight broke out between Leon Trotsky and Ramon Mercader.
posted by dng at 3:29 PM on October 19 [36 favorites]


MBS and Susan Collins believe something happened to Khashoggi, but they don't believe who did it. If he was really murdered, why didn't he come forward sooner? An investigation should get to the bottom of this, but not one that's allowed to interview MBS or any of the 15 hitmen.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:30 PM on October 19 [67 favorites]


Let this henceforth define gaslighting.
posted by stonepharisee at 3:30 PM on October 19 [6 favorites]


It's curious that “Mormon” isn't in the list of religious orientations ineligible for foster parenting

If you are referring to an actual list, then yeah that makes sense since "Mormon" is a term used by outsiders to describe members of the The Church of Latter Day Saints.
posted by sideshow at 3:31 PM on October 19 [1 favorite]




If you are referring to an actual list, then yeah that makes sense since "Mormon" is a term used by outsiders to describe members of the The Church of Latter Day Saints.

Well, since like a month ago or whatever, officially. But most LDS church members use the term still, and have for a long time.
posted by eyesontheroad at 3:38 PM on October 19 [15 favorites]


Why doesn't Ecuador just kick him out like a shitty tenant and let whatever happens to him happen to him? Why are they even bothering to put up with him anymore?

I would imagine that they've been told, in no uncertain terms, that very bad things will happen (up to and including polonium milkshakes) should they fail to keep Assange out of the hands of the Western powers.
posted by delfin at 3:39 PM on October 19


can we call lies lies and let gaslighting refer to the fairly specific thing it originally meant? cause it was a useful descriptor for an ongoing pattern of behavior, common in DV situations, and now it just kinda means lying in general.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:40 PM on October 19 [43 favorites]


Well, since like a month ago or whatever, officially. But most LDS church members use the term still, and have for a long time.

The church president released the new LDS name policy a month ago, unironically I assume, on his official twitter account @MormonNewsroom and posted on his official web site MormonNewsroom.org.
posted by JackFlash at 3:51 PM on October 19 [24 favorites]


The American Economy Is Rigged, by Nobel-winning economist Joe Stiglitz, in that left-wing rag, Scientific American.

"Since the mid-1970s the rules of the economic game have been rewritten, both globally and nationally, in ways that advantage the rich and disadvantage the rest. And they have been rewritten further in this perverse direction in the U.S. than in other developed countries—even though the rules in the U.S. were already less favorable to workers. From this perspective, increasing inequality is a matter of choice: a consequence of our policies, laws and regulations."
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 3:52 PM on October 19 [53 favorites]


The Alaska governor's race just got funkier- the incumbent independent Bill Walker dropped out, but it's too late to take his name off the ballot. He was expected to take a chunk of the reasonable-person vote and leave Mike Dunleavy (R) the winner in a three-way race.

He endorsed the Democratic candidate on his way out the door. The race is now former Anchorage mayor and one-term Senator Mark Begich (D) vs. Dunleavy. Getting people to NOT vote for Walker will take a significant amount of voter education...everyone pray for a blue wave even up here.
posted by charmedimsure at 4:01 PM on October 19 [42 favorites]


It's worth taking a few minutes to read through the latest Russia complaint, particularly starting around page 14 where it discusses how messages were targeted (some of the highlights are available in tweet form too).

Yes... READ THE COMPLAINT!

Now, I've been following the filings during Operation C-F, and I'm reading through this and realize....

This is their finance person. They have the books.

Game over, man. Game over. Now it's just following the money back to, say... Roger Stone... Maybe this is old news, because Manafort was in on it.

Congratulations to Mueller's team, for the most 100% leak-proof investigation I've ever heard of.
posted by mikelieman at 4:05 PM on October 19 [39 favorites]




can we call lies lies and let gaslighting refer to the fairly specific thing it originally meant? cause it was a useful descriptor for an ongoing pattern of behavior, common in DV situations, and now it just kinda means lying in general.

So as I understand it gaslighting is a form of persuasion to make you doubt what you know is true. The Saudi explanation isn't particularly believable & isn't meant to be believed, so no, not gaslighting.
posted by scalefree at 4:28 PM on October 19 [4 favorites]


Because it wouldn't be a Friday night news dump without something from SCOTUS…

Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner: "BREAKING: Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily halts discovery and the upcoming trial in the kids’ climate change case, pending a response to DOJ’s stay request, which is due by 3p Wednesday. The trial was slated to start at the end of this month; it’s not clear how quickly after Wednesday #SCOTUS will resolve the stay request."
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:30 PM on October 19 [14 favorites]


Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily halts discovery and the upcoming trial in the kids’ climate change case

There's no way a court with Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, and Thomas on it is going to recognize a constitutionally-protected right to a functioning climate.
posted by suelac at 4:48 PM on October 19 [27 favorites]


John Bolton pushing Trump to withdraw from Russian nuclear arms treaty.
Former US officials say Bolton is blocking talks on extending the 2010 New Start treaty with Russia limiting deployed strategic nuclear warheads and their delivery systems.
posted by adamvasco at 4:49 PM on October 19 [1 favorite]


At this point the Saudis should just run every statement through Sarah Huckabee Sanders, because it's the same "Fuck you, I don't have to explain anything" response she gives to everything. The lies aren't meant to fool anyone. They're only a transparent veil over an upturned middle finger.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:59 PM on October 19 [25 favorites]


Here's an article from The Verge that nicely summarises the recent Russian interference charges:

Russian woman charged with managing budget for US election interference plot
posted by michswiss at 5:02 PM on October 19 [11 favorites]


I read the complaint and I'm going to be really impressed with tactics if/when future cases against the current actual leaders on the US side (Stone, Trump) heavily rely on details from all these existing cases that were already successfully prosecuted. It's much easier to imagine the public accepting an indictment of a well known American figure if it's already connected with closed cases, rather than say attempting to take down Trump with one giant case and having the media public pick it to death and get bored.
posted by odinsdream at 5:17 PM on October 19 [8 favorites]


At this point the Saudis should just run every statement through Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Which reminds me... did they just give up on the daily brief completely? I can't remember the last time I saw Sanders at the podium?
posted by Justinian at 5:48 PM on October 19 [2 favorites]


Which reminds me... did they just give up on the daily brief completely? I can't remember the last time I saw Sanders at the podium?

Basically, yes. They do not do daily on-camera briefings anymore. In September, there was only one. I have no idea what SHS does every day if she doesn't have to prep for a daily press pool.
posted by dis_integration at 5:55 PM on October 19 [5 favorites]


I'm going to be really impressed with tactics if/when future cases against the current actual leaders on the US side (Stone, Trump) heavily rely on details from all these existing cases that were already successfully prosecuted.

Offhand, I recall it's been:

1) U.S. v. George Papadopoulos (1:17-cr-182, District of Columbia) ( Trump campaign )

2) U.S. v. Michael T. Flynn (1:17-cr-232, District of Columbia) ( Trump campaign, transition, admin )

3) U.S. v. Richard Pinedo, et al (1:18-cr-24, District of Columbia) ( Identity theft, stolen bank accounts )

Then Mueller's team pivots

4) U.S. v. Internet Research Agency, et al (1:18-cr-32, District of Columbia) ( Russian COMPANY )

5) U.S. v. Alex van der Zwaan (1:18-cr-31, District of Columbia) (Manafort/Gates/Ukraine)

6) U.S. v. Paul J. Manafort, Jr., and Richard W. Gates III (1:18-cr-83, Eastern District of Virginia)

7) U.S. v. Konstantin Kilimnik (1:17-cr-201, District of Columbia) (Obstruction )

8) U.S. v. Viktor Borisovich Netyksho, et al (1:18-cr-215, District of Columbia) **** ( RUSSIAN GOV'T OFFICERS)

9) U.S. v. Paul J. Manafort, Jr. (1:17-cr-201, District of Columbia) ( Plea deal )

And now this...

10) Russian woman charged with managing budget for US election interference plot...

Indeed, he's laying brick by brick to make a foundation that will not fail...
posted by mikelieman at 6:02 PM on October 19 [33 favorites]


This is their finance person. They have the books.

Game over, man. Game over. Now it's just following the money back to, say... Roger Stone... Maybe this is old news, because Manafort was in on it.


The Untouchables: The Bookkeeper
posted by scalefree at 6:10 PM on October 19 [1 favorite]




Trump Praises Saudi Arabia’s Response to Killing

President Trump said the Saudi arrests in Khashoggi killing are ‘great first step,’ doesn’t want any sanctions to include arms deals, the Washington Post reports.

Trump said that he’ll work with Congress on what the U.S. response should be, but that he’d prefer not to hurt American companies and jobs by cutting billions of dollars in arms sales to the kingdom.

(via)

Yeah what about are jorbs! It's okay WaPo, just put "kickbacks" in there. Nothin's gonna happen.
posted by petebest at 6:47 PM on October 19 [5 favorites]


I give it 2 days before Trump praises Saudi Arabia as a job creator, for example creating openings for newspaper columnists.
posted by Justinian at 6:48 PM on October 19 [9 favorites]


Again, the KC star is the superior paper of this state. The McCaskill story in the Pierce piece is a big deal and isn't even on the front page of the Post-Dispatch. Local media, do your fucking jobs.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:51 PM on October 19 [4 favorites]


@kylegriffin1 [video]: Reporter: "What evidence do you have that these are hardened criminals that are coming to the United States?" Trump: "Oh, please. Please. Don't be a baby. OK?"

You will be unsurprised to learn that the reporter he attacked was a woman, the New York Times' Emily Cochrane. And many of the migrants he's calling hardened criminals are, in fact, literal babies. He went on to explain that you can tell that they're criminals by looking, just to make it clear he's being racist.
posted by zachlipton at 7:18 PM on October 19 [41 favorites]


To recap, Trump, last night, on Gianforte: "I said, 'Oh, this is terrible. He's going to lose the election," Trump said. "Then I said, 'Well, wait a minute. I know Montana pretty well — I think it might help him.' And it did."

This morning, White House Correspondents' Association president Olivier Knox: "All Americans should recoil from the president's praise for a violent assault on a reporter doing his Constitutionally protected job. This amounts to the celebration of a crime by someone sworn to uphold our laws and an attack on the First Amendment by someone who has solemnly pledged to defend it. We should never shrug at the president cheerleading for a violent act targeting a free and independent news media."

Early this afternoon, Rep. Steve Scalise: "President Trump was clearly ribbing Congressman Gianforte for last year’s incident, which he apologized for last year. It’s obvious he was not encouraging his supporters to engage in attacks, and not one person harassed the numerous media reporters who were present."

And Eric Trump, on Fox News: "Stop, he wasn’t the guy who body-slammed anybody. He can have fun. By the way, this is exactly why my father won. Because so many people are so sick and tired of … the perfectly scripted politician who memorize their little soundbite and they went out there and had no crowds and weren’t any fun and they had no charisma, they had no personality. Hey, to go out and say as a guy who’s a little bit — who is un-PC and probably won because he is un-PC — “Anybody who body-slams somebody, he’s my kind of guy” — and joke about it, and the whole crowds laughing, like, stop."

But later there was this exchange:
Reporter: "Do you regret bringing up, last night at your rally, the assault on a reporter by a Congressman?"

President Trump: "No, not at all ... That was a different league and different world."
Daniel Dale has a clear-eyed take of this familiar news cycle:
He wasn’t “ribbing” Gianforte, he was praising him. He said Gianforte’s body-slam made Gianforte “my kind of - he’s my guy.” He then acknowledged, “I shouldn’t say this.” Then he told Gianforte, “There’s nothing to be embarrassed about.”

We’ve had three years of this: Trump makes bigoted/authoritarian/otherwise offensive remark, people react to what he said, Trump’s aides and supporters insist against all evidence that he was joking. The cycle often ends with Trump making extra-clear that he wasn’t joking.

Annnd, as usual, we have arrived at the part of the cycle where Trump makes clear he wasn’t joking. “He’s a tough cookie. And I’ll stay with that,” he said just now of Gianforte.
(Incidentally, Dale's taking tonight off, so coverage of Trump's Mesa, Arizona rally tonight is looking spotty.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:20 PM on October 19 [32 favorites]


We’ve had three years of this: Trump makes bigoted/authoritarian/otherwise offensive remark, people react to what he said, Trump’s aides and supporters insist against all evidence that he was joking.

OF COURSE Trump's aides say he was joking. Trump is a bully and "what's the matter, I was joking, can't you take a joke" is 100% classic bully behavior.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:31 PM on October 19 [59 favorites]


The Dale threads should be handled the same way we do giving in an info link to whatever live thing is happening
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:34 PM on October 19


Trump's AZ rally seems to be more of the same, which is to say, appalling, but nothing like yesterday. (Sample highlights: "The Democrats have become an angry, unhinged mob determined to get power by any means necessary."; "It is amazing how you can delete 33k e-mails after getting a subpoena from the United States Congress and our Justice Department doesn't do anything about it."; "Our Justice Department, headed by many people from the Obama administration."; "The Democrats don't care that a flood of illegal immigration is going to totally bankrupt our country. Because all the Democrats want is power.") Even Fox News has grown tired of his rallies' diminishing ratings, however, and isn't airing this one.

Still, it's important to keep a close eye on Trump's public appearances and closed-door meetings—e.g. his Scottsdale fundraiser earlier, during which he met with Joe Arpaio—and not leave it to regular filtered coverage.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:08 PM on October 19 [2 favorites]


Getting people to NOT vote for Walker will take a significant amount of voter education...everyone pray for a blue wave even up here

Yeah, it’s a hell of a thing. Early voting starts Monday. How many folks won’t hear that Walker suspended his campaign?
posted by leahwrenn at 8:48 PM on October 19 [1 favorite]


Things like this, incidentally, are why I have mixed feelings about lengthy early voting periods.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:03 PM on October 19 [7 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

// 18 days until Election Day //

** 2018 House:
-- FL-15: Siena poll has Dem Carlson tied 43-43 with GOPer Spano [MOE: +/- 4.7%]. [Trump 53-43 | Cook: Lean R]

-- PA-08: Siena poll has Dem incumbent Cartwright up 52-40 on GOPer Chrin [MOE: +/- 4.7%]. [Trump 53-44 | Cook: Likely D]

-- MI-08: Target Insyght poll has GOP incumbent Bishop up 48-45 on Dem Slotkin [MOE: +/- 4.5%]. [Trump 51-44 | Cook: Tossup]

-- MI-11: Target Insyght poll has Dem Stevens tied 48-48 with GOPer Epstein [MOE: +/- 4.5%]. [Trump 50-45 | Cook: Lean D]

-- PA-07: Muhlenberg College poll has Dem Wild up 48-41 on GOPer Nothstein [MOE: +/- 5.5%]. [Clinton 49-48 | Cook: Lean D]

-- Silver: The crazy fundraising disparity between Dems and GOP has unclear impacts for the forecast model.

-- Walter: Making this a referendum on Pelosi isn't going to work for the GOP.

-- Cohn: At minimum, Dem turnout expected to be a lot better this year. May be concentrated in white suburbs, though.
** 2018 Senate:
-- AZ: Data Orbital poll has Dem Sinema up 47-41 on GOPer McSally in their average midterm model. In their Dem surge model, it's Sinema up 48-40 [MOE: +/- 4.0%].

-- NV: PPP poll has Dem Rosen up 48-46 on GOP incumbent Heller [no MOE listed]. Poll was commissioned by a pro-ACA group.
** Odds & ends:
-- AK gov: Incumbent independent governor Bill Walker has ended his re-election campaign and endorsed Democrat Mark Begich. Previously, this was an excellent chance for a GOP pickup; it probably moves it to just a good chance. [Cook: Lean R]

-- NH gov: UNH poll has GOP incumbent Sununu up 50-39 on Dem Kelly [MOE: +/- 4.4%]. [Cook: Likely R]

-- RI gov: RGA has begun to cancel ad buys, as it looks like the GOP is starting to triage this seat. [Cook: Lean D]

-- SD gov: Both of the state's major newspapers have endorsed Dem candidate Sutton. Meanwhile, the Republican AG has not yet decided which candidate to endorse. CNN look at the race. [Cook: Tossup]

-- 538: Lots of possible Senate/governor splits this year.

-- Josh Marshall has a list of election-related Twitter follows. I endorse most of these, a few of them are too annoying.
** Averages & forecasts:
-- 538 generic ballot average: D+8.4 (49.7/41.3)

-- 538 House forecast (classic): 84.3% chance of Dem control

-- 538 Senate forecast (classic): 20.7% chance of Dem control

-- 538 governor forecast (classic): Dems favored to control 23.9 states.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:48 PM on October 19 [17 favorites]


We’ve had three years of this: Trump makes bigoted/authoritarian/otherwise offensive remark, people react to what he said, Trump’s aides and supporters insist against all evidence that he was joking. The cycle often ends with Trump making extra-clear that he wasn’t joking.

This? This right here? That's gaslighting.
posted by scalefree at 9:53 PM on October 19 [44 favorites]


The Activists Waging a War to Make The Far Right Go Broke - Elizabeth King, Splinter News
... Though fascists and their ilk fundraised aggressively to cover their legal costs in the wake of “Unite the Right,” many of them, especially the organizers and those directly linked to violence in Charlottesville, appear to be broke and enjoy few options for financial recourse. This comes despite the fact that the GOP, and, all too often the mainstream press, have either embraced or given cover for various violent far-rightists.

“I wouldn’t say they’re faring very well,” Keegan Hankes, a senior research analyst with the Southern Poverty Law Center, told Splinter of the “alt-right’s” financial status. “The vast majority of outspoken white supremacists or otherwise extremist groups have lost access to fundraising platforms like PayPal, Google Pay, and others like [them] have started enforcing their longstanding terms of services.” The white nationalist movement has by no means been entirely taken out by these efforts, but they’re not exactly rolling in dough right now.

One largely under-reported contributor to these circumstances is the meticulous, ongoing work of anti-racist and anti-fascist activists and civil rights groups. Using a common anti-fascist tactic called “no platform” which denies a person or group a platform to speak or organize (it’s sometimes called “de-platforming”), activists have helped make it difficult for white nationalists to fundraise online, stymying fascist activism by cutting off their income and fundraising capabilities. In a financial context, no platform means cutting the far right off from fundraising—both from crowdsourced fundraising platforms such as Patreon, and from collecting money directly via their own websites.
It's a good long feature, highlighting many examples showing success and work yet to be done.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:18 PM on October 19 [66 favorites]


Pat Robertson on Khashoggi: Let’s not risk “$100 billion worth of arms sales”

It's what Jesus would want.

It least the faux investigation will put off the Trump "Middle East Peace Plan" for a few years: Israel and the US join Saudi Arabia verses Iran in a Sunni/Shiʿah civil war.
posted by Marky at 10:24 PM on October 19 [7 favorites]


Chief justice halts discovery, trial in youth climate lawsuit - Chris Mills Rodrigo, The Hill
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Friday temporarily halted discovery and the upcoming trial of a case brought by a group of young Americans claiming that the federal government needs to do more to confront climate change.

The landmark trial was set to begin in less than two weeks in federal court in Oregon.

The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to delay the case on Thursday, citing concerns about the case's effect on the separation of powers.
See also: Government returns in climate change lawsuit (UPDATED), Amy Howe, SCOTUSblog
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:25 PM on October 19 [5 favorites]


Pat Robertson on Khashoggi: Let’s not risk “$100 billion worth of arms sales”

It's what Jesus would want.


Blessed are the arms dealers.
posted by scalefree at 10:40 PM on October 19 [8 favorites]


Pat Robertson on Khashoggi: Let’s not risk “$100 billion worth of arms sales”

Exodus: “Alas, this people has sinned a great sin. They have made for themselves gods of gold. "
posted by mikelieman at 11:39 PM on October 19 [22 favorites]


Chief Justice John Roberts has been quite the activist judge lately. First he intervened for Karl Rove in support of Republican megadonors and now he has intervened against children in support of Republican megadonors.

Wouldn’t it be nice if justices wore the names of their benefactors the way F1 drivers do? It would reduce ambiguity if Roberts and Thomas and Alito were emblazoned with “Halliburton” or whatever those ghouls call themselves now and if Kavanaugh were stamped head to toe with Keystone Light logos.
posted by SakuraK at 12:03 AM on October 20 [32 favorites]


Wouldn’t it be nice if justices wore the names of their benefactors the way F1 drivers do?

I'm so old, I remember when the 1975 movie Rollerball ( the audience rising for the Corporate Anthem ) was dystopian fiction.
posted by mikelieman at 12:10 AM on October 20 [14 favorites]


Pat Robertson is exactly the sort of "religious" leader Jesus criticized:
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
Matthew 23:23-26
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 12:36 AM on October 20 [30 favorites]


NYT, Georgia Voting Begins Amid Accusations of Voter Suppression. Hmm, what kind of accusations?
Wim Laven arrived to his polling location in Atlanta’s northern suburbs this week unsure what to make of recent allegations of voter difficulties at the ballot box. Then he waited two hours in the Georgia sun; saw one person in the line treated for heat exhaustion; and watched a second collapse, receive help from paramedics, yet refuse to be taken to the hospital — so he could remain in line and cast his ballot.

Mr. Laven is now a believer.

“I have a hard time imaging this is anything but an intentional effort,” said Mr. Laven, who teaches political science at Kennesaw State University. “I can’t imagine this is just pure incompetence. Everyone knew how serious people have been around here about getting out the vote.”
...
The Democratic Party of Georgia, through a spokesman, said its voter protection hotline has received about 300 calls a day since early voting began.
Most places in the world that aren't actively trying to suppress the vote manage to produce a voting system that doesn't involve people passing out.
posted by zachlipton at 12:41 AM on October 20 [81 favorites]




zachlipton posted: Sports Illustrated (just go with it, it's Friday), Emma Baccellieri, Meet the New York Teenager Who Created the 'Mets Are a Good Team' Super PAC
That's an interesting article but the good stuff is buried. This kid has "used one of his other hobbies—computer programming—to build election forecast models." And, being interested in politics, he wants to make a difference. So:
“I sort of was interested in using the idea that I could form a Super PAC as being a point against Super PACs,” he said, now speaking outside of school hours. “Look how easy this is to do. If I could do it, anyone can.” Still, he was surprised at just how easy it was. Google turned up the paperwork, and he filled it out within a few minutes.

Aybar wants to embrace the team’s traditional status as an underdog by advocating for what he deems their political equivalent: new candidates, operating without the backing of large corporate donations.

I think that's pretty cool.
posted by CCBC at 2:00 AM on October 20 [19 favorites]


Pat Robertson on Khashoggi: Let’s not risk “$100 billion worth of arms sales”

Why let the death of just one man keep you from your pieces of silver?

You're a fraud Pat. You're a Fake Christian. C'mon ... PAT.
posted by adept256 at 2:08 AM on October 20 [24 favorites]


can we call lies lies and let gaslighting refer to the fairly specific thing it originally meant? cause it was a useful descriptor for an ongoing pattern of behavior, common in DV situations, and now it just kinda means lying in general.

It's probably too late; the usual process of semantic dilution, because a thing is fun to say and makes you sound smart, has happened.
posted by thelonius at 2:20 AM on October 20 [4 favorites]


The confusion about the term gaslighting is because the typical tactic is for the abuser to outright contradict the evidence before the victim's senses. No, those lights aren't dimmer, it must just be you. No, I don't hear strange noises from the attic, you must be losing your mind. No, I didn't yell at you, you're misremembering.

And that kind of flagrant denial of facts is the same kind of thing you get from despots and authoritarians. I guess the main difference is whether or not someone is trying to make the audience doubt their own perceptions, but I think that's a matter of opinion when it comes to politics. Because some people will absolutely believe they didn't hear that thing they heard if Trump tells them they didn't. And others see it as obvious lying that no one would ever believe.
posted by threeturtles at 2:31 AM on October 20 [33 favorites]


I wonder if the reason he keeps declaring he is not a baby or calling other people babies is that he is dimly aware there is a literal baby balloon Trump floating around. It was in Los Angeles yesterday, I think. So now he's got 'I'm not a baby. You're a baby!' lodged in his little hamster wheel-based brain.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:33 AM on October 20 [34 favorites]


Early voting has started in North Carolina on the 17th and there is a huge amount of signs at most major intersections in my area alerting everyone that we are in early voting and where to vote. Very encouraging. I managed to knock mine out yesterday.
posted by kabong the wiser at 5:21 AM on October 20 [8 favorites]


The Trump administration is planning to tell Russian leaders next week that it is preparing to exit the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, according to American officials and foreign diplomats.

Russia Today: After Nuclear Holocaust, We’ll Go to Heaven As Martyrs; Attackers Will Die As Sinners – Putin
“Any aggressor should know that retribution will be inevitable and he will be destroyed. And since we will be the victims of his aggression, we will be going to heaven as martyrs. They will simply drop dead, won’t even have time to repent,” Putin said during a session of the Valdai Club in Sochi.
n.b. New Satellite Images Suggest Military Buildup In Russia's Strategic Baltic Enclave (CNN)

Taking a victory lap at Sochi, a relaxed and confident Putin (Bloomberg) said on Thursday that America's global dominance is coming to an end, with the U.S. itself accelerating that process with a string of mistakes "typical of an empire." (ABC)
The Russian president, speaking at the Valdai forum in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi, criticized the U.S. for implementing sanctions against Russia and other nations, arguing that doing so undermined trust in the dollar as the world's universal currency.

"It's a typical mistake of an empire," Putin said. "An empire always thinks that it can allow itself to make some little mistakes, take some extra costs, because its power is such that they don't mean anything. But the quantity of those costs, those mistakes inevitably grows.

"And the moment comes when it can't handle them, neither in the security sphere or the economic sphere. [...] Thank God, this situation of a unipolar world, of a monopoly, is coming to an end," Putin said. "It's practically already over."
But he did have some nice words for his asset Donald: "I have a completely normal and professional dialogue with him, and of course he listens. I see that he reacts to his interlocutor's arguments. [...] Maybe he acts like that {listening only to himself} with someone else, but in that case they are to blame."
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:02 AM on October 20 [19 favorites]


adept256:

Pat Robertson on Khashoggi: Let’s not risk “$100 billion worth of arms sales”
Why let the death of just one man keep you from your pieces of silver?

You're a fraud Pat. You're a Fake Christian. C'mon ... PAT.


I literally heard someone say this at a bar last night. "Trump is right! What is one life to a $100 billion dollar sale?" I know the guy well enough that I am 75% sure he was being serious. It's....

Fuck it. Who is the recommended person to donate to today to combat shit like that? Heidi Heitkamp has asked in the last 12 hours, but I think I remember that the money would be well spent on other candidates?

I just signed up for more texting for Beto and immediately after finishing this comment, will look at texting for Adrienne Bell (she just sent an ask for $14 specifically for texting. I just sent $14 to her 5 days ago, so I would rather start being boots on the ground for her and I am not super flush with cash.) but any other candidates in close races I can pitch a couple of bucks to, to get out of this hellscape asap?

Thx. I know y'all will come up with great names.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 7:16 AM on October 20 [4 favorites]


Claire McCaskill and Cort VanOstran
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:30 AM on October 20 [1 favorite]


I live in a pretty extreme political bubble but this morning on my local Nextdoor, one of those mysterious and elusive Obama-Trump voters* posted a wall o' text. It's going to get bahleeted as soon as the mod logs on, but the tl;dr is big Trump regrets. I have to say, it's the first time I've legit seen this in the wild in my real actual life rather than pseudonymous retweets of debatable provenance. Dude is fired up to vote Blue. I hope he's able to reflect a little about why he was taken in in the first place.


*I don't actually find them all that mysterious. Obama was their cool, nonthreatening black friend, their vote for him absolved them of all future racism, so they could vote for the white nationalist that entertained them and gave them good tribal feels and still think of themselves as good people.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:57 AM on October 20 [35 favorites]


*I don't actually find them all that mysterious.

I don’t either, but we see very different dynamics at work. I’m in NYC. The Obama/Trump people I’ve run into — and then heard more about from the guy who actually owns the place where I ran into them (different dudes, different times, eventually sparked a convo about it) — were very much about the misogyny. They didn’t say “because I’m a misognyist,” but they hated HRC for reasons they had difficulty articulating, and they liked Trump because he was strong, tough, etc etc. He spoke to the stupidest sort of macho fantasy, and they liked it.

Depressingly, even here in NYC, the guy who owned the store said a lot of guys admitted to liking Trump in private, which I took to mean “when there weren’t women around.” And in his specific words: “not just white guys.”

To this day one of the most hair-raising conversations I’ve ever had.

ETA: this is at a coffee shop in Crown Heights, so not like...a secret bastion of Republican support.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:09 AM on October 20 [40 favorites]


With Obama-Trump voters, there is the misogyny, the "we elected a black president so what's the big deal about race!" and I've observed something else, and in talking on another board this was confirmed by some other posters: there are low-information voters who think that the President is like a king, or a CEO, and will just "take care of everything." These people don't get that city councils and state assemblies and governors are in charge of local stuff. Want the roads fixed, or local jobs, or just a politician who has time to listen to you? That's all local. The President really doesn't have anything to do with your potholes or local parks or whatever.

They're the ones who were "ready for a change" or thought Trump could create jobs out of thin air or just vaguely MAGA! Along with the racism and the sexism is the vast cluelessness about what government is and how it operates.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:16 AM on October 20 [25 favorites]


Remember when the Daily Show did a special on undecided voters? Like...way back in the before times? I think maybe 2004? Or 2008?

And it was just like a panel of cheerful ignorance and stupidity. The eventual conclusion was: “they’re morons.” As in “what political party wants the support of these utter fucking morons?”

I think about that a lot.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:21 AM on October 20 [55 favorites]


Yeah, the misogyny is a given. This guy even says he still likes how "gruff" Trump is and assumed he'd direct that at our enemies rather than our allies. And he doesn't mind the "rudeness" (unspoken: because it's never directed at his white male ass). So yeah, misogyny.

Last week The Weeds podcast addressed Trump support among men of color via the Kanye thing, if anyone feels like taking a deep dive into that particular pit of despair.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:43 AM on October 20 [2 favorites]


Rep. Comstock’s donors: ‘A who’s who of the conservative movement in Washington’ (Jenna Portnoy, WaPo)
Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) has relied on a vast network of Republicans from a lifetime in GOP politics to help her raise more money overall than Democratic challenger Jennifer Wexton in their hotly contested Northern Virginia race.

From Vice President Pence to 2012 Republican presidential nominee and current Senate candidate Mitt Romney to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), Comstock’s campaign has benefitted from national starpower.

Pence also plans to campaign this weekend in Richmond for two congressional candidates in close races — Rep. Dave Brat and Republican Denver Riggleman — as well as Ryan McAdams, a Republican minister running in a safe Democratic district.

Comstock’s Northern Virginia district is one of the most competitive in the nation and one that Democrats say they need to win to take back control of the House. Hillary Clinton carried the district in the 2016 presidential race.

Wexton, a state senator, has collected endorsements from Clinton, former president Barack Obama and former vice president Joe Biden.

Although four public polls show that Comstock is behind, her supporters say the data does not take into account the two-term congresswoman’s knowledge and connection to the district, where she has lived for more than three decades.
Fuck off out of my district, Babs.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:58 AM on October 20 [9 favorites]


TMZ: Senator Mitch McConnell confronted at restaurant by angry customers

Great praxis: angry customers
Bad praxis: the other customers being all "oh no leave the poor little feller alone"
Very bad late-stage capitalism inadvertently leading to good praxis via dissemination: woman filming saying "I'm gonna sell this to TMZ"
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:02 AM on October 20 [54 favorites]


TMZ: Senator Mitch McConnell confronted at restaurant by angry customers

THis needs to become the norm. It should be impossible for htis guy to go into a restaurant and not have some patron loudly say "well, I just lost my appetite."
posted by ocschwar at 10:11 AM on October 20 [33 favorites]


Sound familiar?
posted by homunculus at 10:43 AM on October 20 [4 favorites]


> Found on Facebook: the best correction to that awful painting Trump has.

I like this one.
posted by homunculus at 10:49 AM on October 20 [9 favorites]


That liberal rag The Seattle Times endorses perennial Republican scumbag Dino Rossi (R) for WA-08.

Seattle is not pleased.
posted by gurple at 11:04 AM on October 20 [18 favorites]


From gurple's not pleased link above:
We have frequently expressed grave concerns in editorials about President Donald Trump’s divisiveness and policies on everything from immigration to tariffs to environmental rollbacks. But Congress needs more people like Rossi, a pragmatic lawmaker with a demonstrated record of working across the aisle with Democrats for solutions that work for the greater good. [emphasis mine]
Look assholes, it's 2018. Whatever this guy's record at the state level might be, there 👏 is 👏 no 👏 bipartisanship 👏 in 👏 DC. Not anymore. Not a single soul with an R next to their name has made a meaningful effort to reach across the aisle in years, mostly thanks to McConnell the one-man wrecking ball of functional democracy, and most Democrats that have tried have learned to regret it (see also Scorpion v Frog).

Claiming any Republican in 2018 is going to bring bipartisanship back to DC is comically naïve at best. You might as well try to shut down a meat processing plant by sending an especially stubborn cow.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 11:29 AM on October 20 [79 favorites]


For the third day in a row, Trump is holding a rally, this time in Elko, Nevada. Daniel Dale's exhaustive live-tweeting/fact-checking thread can be found here.

Trump's been staying at his typical level of inflammatory rhetoric and lies, with nothing like his Thursday ranting. So far, he's called the "Democrat Party" an "angry, ruthless, unhinged mob determined to get power by any means necessary", lied about his passing the Veterans Choice health program, described Rep. Maxine Waters as "a low-IQ individual", bamboozled his audience about Republicans protecting people with pre-existing conditions, and shared vague conspiracy theories about migrant caravans. Mostly, it's a combination of his greatest hits from 2016 and reruns from rallies earlier this fall (n.b. his persistent use of "loco" as a dog-whistle).

Trump has just learned about hashtags, however: "Democrats produce mobs, Republicans produce jobs. Hashtag. Right? That's called hashtag. That's a new hashtag. That's a hot one."
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:59 AM on October 20 [12 favorites]


Seattle Times has been challenging my commitment to supporting local news with their transparently pro-Rossi coverage. When they cover Kim Schrier, it’s with downgirling headlines like “Kim Schrier tries to make lack of political experience an asset in race with Dino Rossi”. When they cover Rossi they lead with excuses for his corruption like “Dino Rossi has done well in real estate, but his work is also fodder for campaign opponents”. The Rossi endorsement does not mention that Rossi holds an A rating from the NRA and took $400K from them, nor does it mention that he opposes equal rights for LGBTQ people. It does mention that he supports inserting government into women’s bodies but rationalizes that he can’t do much harm in the House because the Senate confirms judges, as if that’s the only way that radical Christianists threaten women’s autonomy. In summary, the number to call to cancel your subscription is 1.800.542.0820.
posted by SakuraK at 12:03 PM on October 20 [21 favorites]


These people don't get that city councils and state assemblies and governors are in charge of local stuff. Want the roads fixed, or local jobs, or just a politician who has time to listen to you? That's all local.

The dynamic I found my frustrating on my road trip across country were the small towns decked out in Trump regalia where a person of color is nary to be seen, and all the jobs have obviously been taken by Walmart. How did immigration and a return to manufacturing come to resonate so strongly with them over support for local business? And I'm super glad there aren't any minorities in these towns, because many of the local bars and tattoo parlors (this is often all that's left of local culture) will have signs reading "Patriots Only!" which I think a person of color would have to read as meaning, at least in part, as "Whites Only!" if only to be on the safe side. As a society, we're in a dark place when people can't see the problems right in front of them, and insist on blaming bogeymen.
posted by xammerboy at 12:05 PM on October 20 [24 favorites]


Yeah, looks like nothing is going to come out of this unless more pressure is applied to the Trump administration:

Trump says 'we have a tremendous order' with Saudi Arabia, doesn't want to cancel defense contracts 'as retribution' for Jamal Khashoggi's death
Turning to the executives around the table, Trump added, "I don't want to tell them 'By the way, we're going to take $25 billion worth of sales away from you.' Because that would mean a lot of jobs, it would mean a lot of everything."

"I would prefer if there was going to be some form of sanction," Trump said, adding that "we don't use as retribution, canceling $110 billion worth of work, which means 600,000 jobs. I know it sounds easy and it sounds good."
Principles? Who needs 'em!
But he always seems to have been quite miserly:

Donald Trump Once Cashed A 13-Cent Check
Back in 1990, a New York-based monthly called Spy magazine decided to run a little social experiment. So it sent out letters to 58 of the richest people in the city that contained checks for $1.11 for "services that you were overcharged for."

Remarkably, 26 people cashed them, so Spy magazine kept sending the checks but cut the amount, this time to 64 cents.

When 13 of those 26 cashed them, the magazine sent those 13 respondents a 13- cent check. Only two people cashed them this time: one was a Saudi arms dealer, and the other was Donald Trump.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 1:10 PM on October 20 [47 favorites]


Trump: When referring to the USA, I will always capitalize the word Country!

Diane Newberry: When referring to the President, I will always capitalize Obama

posted by growabrain at 1:17 PM on October 20 [18 favorites]


When 13 of those 26 cashed them, the magazine sent those 13 respondents a 13- cent check. Only two people cashed them this time: one was a Saudi arms dealer, and the other was Donald Trump.
And courtesy of the "it's a small world" department: the Saudi arms dealer (and also peripheral Iran-Contra Scandal figure) in question was Adnan Khashoggi, uncle of Jamal Khashoggi.
posted by Nerd of the North at 1:22 PM on October 20 [56 favorites]




Roll Call, Trump Pushes New Tax Cuts Before Election Day
President Donald Trump told reporters on Saturday that his administration was working with House Republicans on new tax cuts ahead of Election Day.

Trump said his administration was “looking at putting in a very major tax cut for middle-income people.”

“And if we do that, it’ll be sometime just prior, I would say, to November,” he said, speaking before boarding Air Force One after a campaign rally in Elko, Nevada.

Both the House and Senate are effectively out of session until the postelection lame-duck session, but if one were to take Trump at face value, he did point to “putting in” the tax legislation before then.

“Kevin Brady is working on it, Paul Ryan is working, we’re all working on it,” the president said, referring the to the House Ways and Means chairman and the speaker. “I would say sometime around the first of November, maybe a little before that.”
Um, *checks calendar*, *checks Congress's calendar*. That's not happening.

It really hasn't been adequately reported the extent to which GOP policies are so unpopular that their primary messaging for the midterms has been based on a series of egregious lies.
posted by zachlipton at 2:22 PM on October 20 [15 favorites]




ABC News (Australian) is reporting “Trump says US will pull out of nuclear arms treaty with Russia”. link
posted by awfurby at 2:47 PM on October 20 [2 favorites]


"And we're not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons and we're not allowed to."

Leader of the USA. This timeline is just trolling, now.
posted by The otter lady at 2:57 PM on October 20 [7 favorites]


The Missouri GOP is sending out mailers with false voting information...to republican voters to drive republican turnout up.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 4:45 PM on October 20 [7 favorites]


Avenatti: “You are not going to beat Trump through a message of puppies and daisies,” he said. “You’re gonna have to take the fight to Donald Trump and it’s gonna have to be a brutal campaign if the Democrats hope to take back the White House.”
While many of the people weighing 2020 runs would make “exceptional presidents,” most have “no shot,” Avenatti added.
“It’s gonna take a fighter and it’s gonna be a very, very brutal campaign,” the attorney said. “And if the Democrats don’t come to that realization quickly, he’s gonna be re-elected in 2020.
posted by growabrain at 4:48 PM on October 20 [6 favorites]


The Majority Report w/ Sam Seder: 'You're the Single Greatest Threat To My Family': Man Berates GOP Rep. Tom MacArthur Over AHCA

Powerful words, powerfully spoken.
posted by scalefree at 5:08 PM on October 20 [19 favorites]


@haroldpollack North Carolina's stated reason for shutting down Sunday voting was that counties with heavy Sunday voting were disproportionately African-American, and that African-Americans tended to be Democrats. Appeal: 16-1468 Doc: 150 Filed: 07/29/2016
posted by scalefree at 5:14 PM on October 20 [37 favorites]


Apparently they figured it'd be worse to admit it was racism that drove the decision so they decided it'd be better to say "no, it wasn't racism, it's just that black people tend to vote Democrat & we wanted to block people from voting Democrat."
posted by scalefree at 5:18 PM on October 20 [4 favorites]


Ha, that's just using more words to admit that it was racism that drove the decision
posted by 23skidoo at 5:23 PM on October 20 [13 favorites]


Apparently they figured it'd be worse to admit it was racism that drove the decision so they decided it'd be better to say "no, it wasn't racism, it's just that black people tend to vote Democrat & we wanted to block people from voting Democrat."

It does make a great deal of difference exactly how they word their argument. Race is a protected class but political party is not.

The Supreme Court, dominated by a conservative majority, has been reluctant to define even the most egregious partisan gerrymandering as unconstitutional. But gerrymandering on the basis of race everyone agrees is unconstitutional. So Republicans need to be very careful in how they frame their election law strategy -- they can use party but they can't use race. That's why they dance around the issue, even though in many southern states everyone knows that African American and Democrat are much the same.
posted by JackFlash at 5:55 PM on October 20 [11 favorites]


McCaskill canvassing update. The focus now is on making sure that people know their polling place, the hours, the id, transportation etc. We are also emphasizing to voters that the Missouri ballot this year is FOUR PAGES LONG which means that there will be long lines, so voting now has to have active planning to do. Missouri has no early voting, btw.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:00 PM on October 20 [7 favorites]


The Majority Report w/ Sam Seder: 'You're the Single Greatest Threat To My Family': Man Berates GOP Rep. Tom MacArthur Over AHCA

Powerful words, powerfully spoken.
MacArthur revived the ACA repeal effort by brokering a deal with the Freedom Caucus that led to it finally passing the house - all while buying and selling health care stock. He's also the only representative from NJ who voted for the GOP's tax plan. He votes with Trump 95% of the time.

He's currently running neck and neck with Democrat Andy Kim in NJ-3. NJ-3 is in southwest NJ outside Philly and is drivable from NYC, Baltimore, and even DC as well. Come get out the vote with us and send this miserable rep packing.
posted by galaxy rise at 6:09 PM on October 20 [31 favorites]


Saudi People Shocked by Flip-Flop on Khashoggi

Saudi Arabia’s about-face admission that journalist and government critic Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside its consulate in Istanbul earlier this month sent shockwaves through a country where many had believed — and defended — initial official claims that the authorities had nothing to do with it

Said one Saudi man: “A very sad day for this nation, to see what the country had descended into.”


I feel ya, bro.
posted by petebest at 7:11 PM on October 20 [48 favorites]


Miami GOP Chairman just caught leading Proud Boys in attack on Democratic campaign office

Which of course is why Democrats are being called a mob from every GOP corner.
posted by M-x shell at 9:34 PM on October 20 [42 favorites]


Dropped my ballot in the mail today. Felt good to finally be able to do that.
posted by azpenguin at 10:27 PM on October 20 [8 favorites]


The Guardian: Nicola Sturgeon has pulled out of a conference being jointly hosted by the BBC next month after learning that Donald Trump’s former strategist Steve Bannon had been invited to take part.

Scotland’s first minister said that allowing Bannon to freely express his opinions risked “legitimising or normalising far-right, racist views”.

posted by Iris Gambol at 10:59 PM on October 20 [39 favorites]


TERRI GROSS: Wait. Wait. Could we just stop a second?

SUZZANNE CRAIG: Yep.

TERRI GROSS: I don't really understand how 3-year-old Donald Trump can be his father's landlord. Can you explain that?

'Times' Journalists Puncture Myth Of Trump As Self-Made Billionaire

An excellent interview with NYT investigative reporters Susanne Craig and David Barstow.
posted by bz at 11:01 PM on October 20 [46 favorites]


Sturgeon elaborated, tweeting on Saturday: “I believe passionately in free speech but as @ScotGovFM I have to make balanced judgments – and I will not be part of any process that risks legitimising or normalising far-right, racist views. I regret that the BBC has put me and others in this position.”

She later added: “The email the BBC sent to my office justifying Bannon’s inclusion described him as a ‘powerful and influential figure … promoting an anti-elite movement’. This kind of language to describe views that many would describe as fascist does seem to me to run the risk of normalisation.” [At Threadreader]
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:03 PM on October 20 [67 favorites]


Georgia opens up a new front in the War on Democracy.

Georgia Is Using Amateur Handwriting Analysis to Disenfranchise Minority Voters The scourge of “signature mismatch” laws strikes again.
Say you live in Georgia. You’re eager to vote in this year’s election—a tight race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Trump acolyte Brian Kemp—so you fill out an absentee ballot and mail it in. Then, days or weeks after the election, you receive a notice in the mail. The signature on your absentee ballot, it explains, looked different from the signature on your voter-registration card. So an election official threw out your ballot. There is nothing you can do. Your vote has been voided.

If Georgia’s signature-mismatch law remains in effect through the November election, this fate will befall thousands of would-be voters. The statute directs elections officials to apply amateur handwriting analysis to voters’ signatures and reject any potential “mismatch.” Nearly 500 ballots in Gwinnett County alone have already been rejected for mismatch, a disproportionate number of them cast by minority voters. Now the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia is suing, demanding that the state give all citizens an opportunity to cure ballots rejected for mismatch. Its suit will help determine how successfully Georgia will suppress minority votes in the upcoming race.

Signature-mismatch laws are a scourge of American elections. The very premise makes no sense: In a similar lawsuit filed in New Hampshire, a forensic document examiner testified that effective signature comparison requires 10 signature samples “at a minimum” to account for variability. Even then, experts may struggle to verify a signature, because our signatures often change over time. Voters who are disabled or elderly, or are nonnative English speakers, are especially likely to have variation between signatures. That’s one reason why New Hampshire’s mismatch law disproportionately impacted seniors, California’s disproportionately impacts first-generation Asian Americans, and Florida’s disproportionately impacts Hispanics.

But there’s likely something more insidious going on here too. The extreme racial disparities among those affected by mismatch laws may also reflect the broad discretion that election officials have to toss ballots. In states with stringent mismatch rules, a handful of election officials are frequently responsible for the vast majority of ballots voided for mismatch. And those officials routinely work in counties with large minority communities.
posted by scalefree at 11:58 PM on October 20 [48 favorites]


HuffPo: Rep. Steve King Goes Full White Nationalist In Interview With Austrian Site. A shocking interview with a far-right propaganda site offers the clearest look yet at the congressman's racist ideology
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:45 AM on October 21 [9 favorites]


How many kids have cheque books? You can get through your day/week/year without having to use your signature now. I wouldn't be surprised if this generation haven't really developed a signature, or even use cursive. Or use a mailbox. Or know what a stamp is.

And the youth vote swings left. Coincidentally, boomers are probably the only people who still use cheques. I think that's what Donald meant when he said you needed ID when you buy groceries, because they'd always want to cross check his weird signature.

I've been seeing here and elsewhere grim stories about voter suppression in GA. I remember an activist telling Trevor Noah that government branches where a state ID can be obtained are being closed, meaning that you might have to take a day off work to a travel to your nearest one. I'd bet the offices that are still open are convenient for the right kind of people though.

Another story I heard, I think in the same interview, was that you need a birth certificate to get a state ID, and getting one can be expensive, time consuming and require supporting documentation including, you guessed, a state ID.

In other words, to get a state ID, you must first have a state ID. Which is sort of perfect.

I am unashamed to say that I support Stacey Abrams for GA governor for the symbolic value of her becoming the first black woman to be a state governor anywhere in America, AND as a democrat, AND in crimson Georgia.

'Voter suppression' is too mild a term for what's happening. How about vote gagging, or vote killing. We have to start using terms that convey the impact of the crime.
posted by adept256 at 3:19 AM on October 21 [35 favorites]


> "'Voter suppression' is too mild a term for what's happening. How about vote gagging, or vote killing. We have to start using terms that convey the impact of the crime."

They're literally throwing away votes. Democracy is being strangled to death by the Republican party.
posted by kyrademon at 3:41 AM on October 21 [37 favorites]


While many of the people weighing 2020 runs would make “exceptional presidents,” most have “no shot,” Avenatti added.
“It’s gonna take a fighter and it’s gonna be a very, very brutal campaign,” the attorney said. “And if the Democrats don’t come to that realization quickly, he’s gonna be re-elected in 2020. yt ”


He's not wrong...

Paging Senator Kamala Harris to the red courtesy phone. Senator Kamala Harris please pick up the red courtesy phone. ( Harris/O'Rourke... Tammy Duckworth sec.def. Barbara Underwood for AG, since Harris will be unavailable. Keep Warren in the senate as maj. leader. That's a winning team... )
posted by mikelieman at 4:08 AM on October 21 [19 favorites]


One of my (community college) students the other day was bemoaning the fact that her kid isn't being taught cursive in school.
posted by angrycat at 4:15 AM on October 21


Sanders hints at reckoning with Warren over 2020 ambitions
The two progressive icons are on a collision course.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Bernie Sanders says he speaks with Elizabeth Warren nearly every day — just not about 2020.

But with the two progressive behemoths on a collision course in the presidential primary — and with some progressive activists alarmed that they might split the vote, allowing a more moderate Democrat to win the nomination — Sanders suggested Friday that a pre-2020 discussion among like-minded candidates could be forthcoming.

Asked whether he and other progressive contenders should hold talks in an effort to ensure one of them prevails, Sanders told POLITICO, “I suspect that in the coming weeks and months, there will be discussions.”

Asked whether he has spoken already with Warren or Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) about the 2020 campaign, Sanders said, "No, not really."

An aide to Warren did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
posted by scalefree at 4:19 AM on October 21




'Times' Journalists Puncture Myth Of Trump As Self-Made Billionaire

This interview mentions frequent discussions Trump had with his siblings before and after their father's death about the business, and how Trump was always going to his father to get bailed out of one disaster or another.

Call me crazy, but I really suspect that there's a weak spot among the siblings. someone who's harboring some kind of jealousy that they've been squelching in the sake of family harmony. Can one of them please speak up?

....Unless they're also now keeping silent because they want the same thing Trump wants too, and are just telling themselves "well, it's the leopard-eating faces party..."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:54 AM on October 21 [4 favorites]


The department argued in its memo that key government agencies needed to adopt an explicit and uniform definition of gender as determined “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.” The agency’s proposed definition would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with, according to a draft reviewed by The Times. Any dispute about one’s sex would have to be clarified using genetic testing.

Defined by genitalia, defined by genetic testing, grounded in science – PICK ONE.

Not everybody is born with a penis or vulva. Some people born with penises have two X chromosomes; some people born with vulvas have an X and a Y; some have cells containing three sex chromosomes. Some people have a mixture of cells, especially including many mothers! Some people change their apparent gender at puberty without any surgical intervention. There's basically every combination and variance one could imagine; "male" and "female" are not well-defined groups. They're trying to legislate some imaginary distinction into reality because the real world doesn't work that way.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:00 AM on October 21 [77 favorites]


Trump went to the Washington Post yesterday to defend present US-KSA relations, especially over Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Khashoggi murder:
He did not call for the ouster of Mohammed and instead praised his leadership, calling the prince “a strong person, he has very good control.”

During the 20-minute interview, Trump repeatedly talked about the importance of the economic ties between the United States and Saudi Arabia and Mohammed’s role in that relationship.

“He’s seen as a person who can keep things under check,” he said. “I mean that in a positive way.”

The president said he does not prefer that another leader replace the 33-year old prince because he said he has read about others and Mohammed, known as MBS, is “considered by far the strongest person” and “he truly loves his country.” [...]

“Nobody has told me he’s responsible. Nobody has told me he’s not responsible. We haven’t reached that point. I haven’t heard either way,” he said. He added, echoing the Saudi version of events: “There is a possibility he found out about it afterward. It could be something in the building went badly awry. It could be that’s when he found about it. He could have known they were bringing him back to Saudi Arabia.”[...]

“I would love if he wasn’t responsible,” he said of MBS. “I think it’s a very important ally for us. Especially when you have Iran doing so many bad things in the world, it’s a good counterbalance to the world. Iran, they’re as evil as it gets. They’re probably laughing at this situation as they see it. Iran is as evil as it gets.”
And he has to defend Jared's role in this mess, echoing his usual exculpation failson strategy of emphasizing their supposed youth:
White House officials said there has been a deliberate effort during the Khashoggi controversy to sideline Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and adviser, who has developed a strong relationship with MBS. Trump has grown frustrated with Kushner, White House officials said, though he offered his son-in-law some support in the Post interview.

“Jared doesn’t do business with Saudi Arabia. They’re two young guys. Jared doesn’t know him well or anything,” he said. “They are just two young people. They are the same age. They like each other I believe. Jared has done a very good job. I think he’ll make peace with Israel. But there are a lot of setbacks. This is a setback for that.”
Of course, Trump's bullshitting about business relationships, as the Kushner Company has strong indirect ties to Saudi investment: Kushners' Blackstone Connection Put on Display in Saudi Arabia (Bloomberg)
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:25 AM on October 21 [10 favorites]


Jared doesn’t do business with Saudi Arabia. They’re two young guys. Jared doesn’t know him well or anything,” he said. “They are just two young people. They are the same age. They like each other I believe. Jared has done a very good job. I think he’ll make peace with Israel. But there are a lot of setbacks. This is a setback for that.

When do wealthy people become adults? Jared and MBS are both in their thirties.
posted by srboisvert at 6:52 AM on October 21 [34 favorites]


In lieu of donating to specific candidates, consider donating to voting rights groups, who will certainly need the money up through election day and behind.
Southern Coalition for Social Justice works on voting rights
Georgia specific group
posted by spamandkimchi at 7:34 AM on October 21 [16 favorites]


When do wealthy people become adults?

Not until they're actually convicted of crimes and sentenced to jail time. Then, like Manafort and Cosby, they suddenly become frail old men, knocking on death's door; serving their full sentences would be a crime against humanity, don't you have any compassion???
posted by melissasaurus at 7:36 AM on October 21 [95 favorites]


Ian Bremmer: McKinsey helped draft Saudi Arabia Vision 2030...and apparently helped the government identify key critics. The Saudi govt took it from there:
Avi Asher-Schapiro
The New York Times has obtained documents showing the consultancy firm McKinsey helping Saudi Arabia identify influential Saudis who opposed the government's line on Twitter—individuals who were later imprisoned & targeted with sophisticated spyware


The NYT article in question. Includes a Twitter insider working for KSA
posted by infini at 7:44 AM on October 21 [6 favorites]


Georgia Is Using Amateur Handwriting Analysis to Disenfranchise Minority Voters

Handwriting analysis is junk science just like polygraph tests and phrenology. This is like rejecting voters because of their head shape.

Or lets call it like it is, because of the color of their skin. Georgia's elections are not legitimate, full stop. This is exactly what John Roberts knew would happen, and what he wanted to happen in Shelby County.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:11 AM on October 21 [41 favorites]


Twitter has had difficulty combating the trolls.
...
The specialists found the jobs through Twitter itself, responding to ads that said only that an employer sought young men willing to tweet for about 10,000 Saudi riyals a month, equivalent to about $3,000.


This reminds me of the senate hearings questioning a facebook representative over their involvement in Russian campaign interference. A senator asked, incredulously:
How did Facebook, which prides itself on being able to process billions of data points and instantly transform them into personal connections for its users, somehow not make the connection that electoral ads paid for in rubles were coming from Russia? Those are two data points. American political ads and Russian money, rubles. How could you not connect those two dots?
So, Twitter, while you were having difficulty combating trolls, did you not think to investigate the ads offering a comfortable wage for tweeting, paid for in Saudi riyals?

Even setting aside what the currency was, someone is offering $3000 a month for tweeting. That seems like a lot! Shouldn't that have set off some alarms?

The extent that they even try is just to satisfy PR. Twitter is garbage, put it in the bin.
posted by adept256 at 8:16 AM on October 21 [20 favorites]


Alarmed by dropping vaccination rates among school kids, Arizona public-health officials created an online program, aimed at parents, about the benefits of shots. Anti-vaxxers complained. According to the Arizona Republic, a state board that looks at the impacts of government regulations responded by canceling the course. The board's members were all appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey.
posted by adamg at 9:41 AM on October 21 [31 favorites]


In March, Trump said the Saudi military deals would produce 40,000 jobs.
A week ago, he made it 450,000 jobs. Wednesday, 500,000 jobs. Yesterday afternoon, 600,000 jobs.
Yesterday evening: "The million jobs."
posted by growabrain at 9:45 AM on October 21 [32 favorites]


Even setting aside what the currency was, someone is offering $3000 a month for tweeting. That seems like a lot! Shouldn't that have set off some alarms?

I dunno about Saudi standards specifically, but it doesn't seem particularly out of range for a Twitter operator salary. Also remember that it was less than a month ago that the establishment informed us we have always been at war with Saudiarabia. Just a month ago we were still being told MBS was a forward-thinking reformer, Saudi Arabia was modernizing in a visionary fashion, etc.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 10:01 AM on October 21


On brink of 'worst famine in 100 years' - BBC News reporting on the famine in Yemen. Lots of sick babies in the video, if you'd rather not watch.

From wikipedia:
Since 2016, a famine has been ongoing in Yemen which started during the Yemeni Civil War. Over 17 million of Yemen's population are at risk; over 3.3 million children and pregnant or lactating women suffer from acute malnutrition. Over 100,000 of the affected children are in Al Hudaydah Governorate, with the city of Al Hudaydah worst affected area of the province.
...
After 5 November 2017, the famine in Yemen worsened because the Saudis, with the help of the United States, tightened their sea, air and land blockade.


Since Donald likes numbers, let's talk about the biggest man-made famine in history. 3.3 million children and mothers. I checked the citation for that and it's from UNICEF. I would like to check your citation for Saudi arms deals supporting millions of jobs stateside, but you haven't given one.

The brazen assassination of a dissident should invoke sanctions. Not doing so because it risks your complicity in a manufactured humanitarian crisis... and you say it provides jobs?

The weapons you're selling are killing children. But it creates jobs! Such a pragmatist.
posted by adept256 at 10:08 AM on October 21 [41 favorites]


it was less than a month ago that the establishment informed us we have always been at war with Saudiarabia

The establishment has done no such thing. The Saudis have long been problematic and the establishment, both Republican and Democratic, has bowed to it. It remains to be seen whether this latest issue will have any real impact on our actual policies.
posted by Candleman at 10:18 AM on October 21 [6 favorites]


*lowers voice to a whisper* Would it be mentioned out loud that 9/11 was Saudi citizens?
posted by infini at 10:22 AM on October 21 [19 favorites]




Krugman's right—yesterday @realDonaldTrump went all caps on delegitimizing the midterms: "All levels of government and Law Enforcement are watching carefully for VOTER FRAUD, including during EARLY VOTING. Cheat at your own peril. Violators will be subject to maximum penalties, both civil and criminal!"

His supporters are now amplifying this message, e.g. Rick Saccone, sore loser to Conor Lamb in the PA-18 special election: "We had a hearing in the PA Assembly last week confirming the voter fraud in PA. Dems still in denial. It is incredible. We need to take federal action. 100,000 unauthorized aliens registered by PENNDot."

Voter fraud is of course one of the wedge issues Russian operatives are using in their ongoing information warfare campaign, per Mueller's criminal complaint against Elena Khusyaynova, e.g. @TheTrainGuy13 (3/14/18): "VOTER FRAUD IS A FELONY HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT .@realDonaldTrump .@POTUS"
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:48 AM on October 21 [31 favorites]


In the face of the Trump administration's desire to erase trans people, a lot of cis people are wondering how to help. Wonder no more. Courtesy of @knroberts720 and Thread Reader, non Twitter folks can read some excellent advice here. In a followup thread, @knroberts720 noted that we need to go to our state governments and loudly lobby for state protections for transgender individuals.

In March 2017, when Roger Severino because the head of the Office for Civil Rights within Health and Human Services, ProPublica noted the following (and more):

Based on his prior writings, Severino will likely take the agency in a different direction than it had under the Obama administration. Last year, the agency issued rules banning discrimination against transgender patients, carrying out provisions of the Affordable Care Act. (A federal judge put those rules on hold on Dec. 31, siding with a Catholic hospital system, other religious health providers and five states that challenged them. The Trump administration has not sought to overturn the injunction.)

When those rules were proposed, Severino and a Heritage colleague wrote a scathing critique, saying they jeopardized the religious liberty and freedom of conscience of health care providers.

“By prohibiting differential treatment on the basis of ‘gender identity’ in health services, these regulations propose to penalize medical professionals and health care organizations that, as a matter of faith, moral conviction, or professional medical judgment, believe that maleness and femaleness are biological realities to be respected and affirmed, not altered or treated as diseases,” Severino wrote with colleague Ryan Anderson.

In a column for the conservative website Daily Signal, Severino and Anderson wrote that the HHS rule would force doctors to perform sex reassignment surgeries. “They would effectively require controversial procedures, such as ‘sex-reassignment’ surgery, that respected medical professionals argue have not been proven effective in treating serious mental health conditions.”

Despite the column’s assertions, federal rules cannot force doctors to perform procedures for which they are not trained or competent. Moreover, professional societies support coverage for gender transition treatments.


I. Can't. Even.
posted by Bella Donna at 11:22 AM on October 21 [30 favorites]


Not that we have time to waste on the civility debate, but here's a nice response from @lmichet, someone who actually researched it:
in college I took a class on early American culture. my final paper was 30pgs about how in the 1700s, ordinary and legit political action involved fistfighting your opponents, or disassembling their home board by board with your bare hands. so yeah yelling in restaurants is fine
it's not true that yelling at a politician in a public place is some kind of shocking inappropriate thing perverting our politics. Sometimes you gotta go to the Tear Your Mayor's House Apart With Your Bare Hands Zone and if this means "yell at them at wendys" that's 1000% chill
posted by Bella Donna at 12:45 PM on October 21 [75 favorites]


I wouldn't overstrain that "actually researched it." It's not like the's the first to understand this. A 30 page college paper on that is not generating new knowledge (here's a scholarly paper going back to the 60s apologizing for colonial American mob violence and here's one you can crib if you blew off your reading). The existence of mob violence in Colonial and early America is well known and not controversial. It's a stretch, though, to say it was "legit." Yes, there were plenty of equivalents of the Proud Boys or Free Staters willing to go to extremes, egged on by people who stayed safe in their parlors or on the western or northern fringes of the colonies, but let's be clear that the rioters were doing this while politically under the control of a government they hadn't yet overthrown - it's not as though that government sanctioned those tactics. Had a few things gone the other way every identified rioter would have been shot or hung. It's also not as thought that there weren't complicated opinions even by people who favored independence but didn't all favor the revolutionary path, and plenty of dissension on whether these tactics were productive, appropriate or useful.

The longer I've studied history, and the longer I live, the less I believe that I - or most people - would side with colonial America's small proportion of white male violent revolutionaries acting on behalf of "oppressed" wealthy merchants.
posted by Miko at 1:00 PM on October 21 [25 favorites]


Wouldn’t it be nice if justices wore the names of their benefactors the way F1 drivers do?

Way upthread, but this has been suggested before for members of CA congress, and I have a vague recollection of it being brought up during the initial furor over Citizen's United.
posted by aspersioncast at 1:18 PM on October 21 [1 favorite]


Compare and contrast…

NBC reports: NBC/WSJ Poll: Democrats Hold 9-Point Advantage For Midterm Elections—Two weeks out, Democrats retain an edge but "unprecedented enthusiasm" is fueling both parties. The Democratic advantage has decreased—the GOP's favorability has risen by 1%. As one pollster puts it, “Despite these improvements [for Republicans], you’ve got to look where the tilt is going. And the tilt didn’t change.”

The (Murdoch-owned) WSJ has their own take: Interest in Midterms Surges, Boosting Trump Approval Rating—Democrats’ still favored by voters in latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll as the party to lead Congress (@WSJ link) Trump's approval rating is only 47%, which the highest of his presidency in their polling. And among likely voters it drops to 45% approve/52% disapprove.
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:30 PM on October 21


Apologies if this has been posted before. I have searched this thread and not seen it. Healthcare-focused attorney and writer Matthew Cortland is asking public health professionals to leave comments that may be useful in the expected legal fight against the administration's treatment of immigrant children. (Emphasis below mine.)

Trump has ordered DHS to adopt new rules allowing these children to be imprisoned indefinitely, in private facilities. These converted big box stores and tent camps are held to no meaningful standards of care and are subject to no meaningful oversight. But these rules will be challenged in court. Your comments will be a vital part of the record before the judge – your comments can help persuade the federal court to defend kids. ... Use this guide to write a comment opposing Trump's barbaric proposal. Submit your comment to DHS by November 6th. Share this guide with colleagues.
posted by Bella Donna at 1:30 PM on October 21 [8 favorites]


it's not as though that government sanctioned those tactics. Had a few things gone the other way every identified rioter would have been shot or hung.

A couple weeks ago, about 100 Redcoat re-enactors landed on Long Wharf in Boston Harbor to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the landing of real Redcoats there, sent to try to restore order in an increasingly restive colony. Boston 1775 is "reporting" on the events that followed (the tactic didn't work; two years later, troops opened fire during a fight turned into a riot and shot five colonists dead).
posted by adamg at 1:31 PM on October 21 [2 favorites]


Had a few things gone the other way every identified rioter would have been shot or hung

Didn’t this happen pretty regularly when the armed thugs had the backing of the authorities? Like during strikes? I feel like a lot of union organizers and laborers died, or am I making that up
posted by schadenfrau at 2:04 PM on October 21 [7 favorites]


Remember that “Afghan-on-Afghan incident” in which a gunman wearing an Afghan army uniform killed three senior provincial officials that we discussed in passing in the previous thread? It turns out that among the three Americans who were also wounded was Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Smiley, which the Pentagon had initially tried to hush up.

Meanwhile, in the Afghanistan election, voters defy violence to cast ballots (BBC).
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:38 PM on October 21 [5 favorites]


The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a governmentwide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.

Anyone not see this coming? Anyone at all?

Whose rights are next?

Help. Blue wave, please.
posted by loquacious at 2:44 PM on October 21 [46 favorites]


It really hurts my heart that nominating Kavanaugh has energized the right and that this makes our chances of taking the Senate worse. Like, I don't believe in God, but if I was God, I would right now just be like some of my children are just awful where did I go wrong as a parent.
posted by angrycat at 3:05 PM on October 21 [9 favorites]


It really hurts my heart that nominating Kavanaugh has energized the right and that this makes our chances of taking the Senate worse. Like, I don't believe in God, but if I was God, I would right now just be like some of my children are just awful where did I go wrong as a parent.

Nothing riles up the GOP base more than seeing a rich white man encounter a small but easily surmounted obstacle put there by a woman smarter than them.
posted by dis_integration at 3:15 PM on October 21 [38 favorites]


Per Nate Silver (as trustworthy a source as any in a field that's hard to measure), there wasn't really much of a "Kavanaugh boost." Voters always seem to come home, so to speak, in the weeks leading up to Election Day. And, again according to what I've read on FiveThirtyEight, the Senate was always going to be an uphill battle for us this time. The map was just against us, even though the party not in the White House usually has the advantage.

Taking back the House is a much safer bet, and stanching the bleeding in the Senate so that next election cycle we are operating from more of an advantage. (We really blew it in 2010 and 2014 and are clawing back to baseline.)
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 3:21 PM on October 21 [14 favorites]


Nothing riles up the GOP base more than seeing a rich white man encounter a small but easily surmounted obstacle put there by a woman smarter than them.

One aspect, but in Kavanaugh's case, where nominating someone without the "Did he sexually assault someone?" issue would have been trivial, might I suggest that:

Nothing riles up the GOP base more than seeing... a man dominate a woman. They literally ENJOYED the Kavanaugh hearings and subsequent events at a visceral level. Evil is the word to use.
posted by mikelieman at 3:38 PM on October 21 [40 favorites]


The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a governmentwide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.


Forgive me, but didn't they already do this? There were no legal protections for transgender people to begin with, except for whatever the Obama administration said there were, the actual law was still being litigated, and the second Sessions and Devos put their butts in a chair, the Title IX lawsuits were dropped and new rules and interpretations were promulgated. I think I even remember this exact wording. They have already sent the message, multiple times, "we think it's fine and legal to discriminate against trans people."

I can't imagine what they think this will do. I expect it's just a culture war nugget, but if I'm wrong it could be very, very bad.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 4:05 PM on October 21 [3 favorites]


No government in the world has ever spent a year discussing if it is okay to use DNA testing of people as a way of assessing their gender binary purity.

This is an expansion of evil.
posted by nikaspark at 4:15 PM on October 21 [37 favorites]


This memo, if enacted will pave the way for the wholesale erasure (aka genocide) of trans people in the US.

This is real folks. I’m not exaggerating.
posted by nikaspark at 4:17 PM on October 21 [40 favorites]


Gorbachev Calls Trump’s Treaty Withdrawal ‘Not the Work of a Great Mind’ - Andrew E. Kramer, NYTimes
Mr. Gorbachev, who is now 87 years old, cast Mr. Trump’s decision as a threat to peace.

“Under no circumstances should we tear up old disarmament agreements,” he said. “Is it really that hard to understand that rejecting these agreements is, as the people say, not the work of a great mind.”

Mr. Gorbachev, in an interview with the Interfax news agency, called Mr. Trump’s rollback of the disarmament agreement “very strange.”

“Rejecting the INF is a mistake,” Mr. Gorbachev said. “Do they really not understand in Washington what this can lead to?
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:28 PM on October 21 [24 favorites]


I can't imagine what they think this will do. I expect it's just a culture war nugget, but if I'm wrong it could be very, very bad.

What happens if it, eg, revokes people's passports? What happens if people can no longer access government services if they and their birth-assigned documents don't match? I can think of all kinds of ways that this can be used to exclude people, and I am worried that if the government can do something like this by fiat, well, what else can they do?

Trans people won't be the last. If they can basically take away a lot of rights just by saying "this is how we define gender", think about all the other stuff. 'This is how we define sexuality", "this is how we define the aptitudes of women", "this is how we define race". This is about one step from the part in Handmaid's Tale where everyone with an "F" on their ID has their bank account cut off.

Think about a society in which the government can, by fiat, overnight, without passing a law, just...declare a whole group non-people. Think about how that changes everything. Think about how it's going to feel for you if you know that the government can write a memo that says, for instance, "there is no such thing as homosexuality" or "women are not physically capable of doing certain jobs because Fake Science" or "the races have different biological aptitudes and it is all right to take this into consideration in hiring". The only reason "trans people don't exist" doesn't strike you as equally bizarre is because you've been conditioned to think that trans people's lives are the subject of entertaining debate.

I am as afraid of the cultural effects as the law, because what this says to the right is "you are correct, trans people are not people". And that really means, "you are correct, anyone who does not look like a 1950s TV ad isn't people".

Everyone who is TERF-adjacent or who doesn't call out their TERF acquaintances (since I assume the TERFs are cheering) should be aware that you did this. You treated "trans people: humans who deserve rights, liars, tumblr snowflakes or perverts?" as a legit debate. If you no-platformed it we wouldn't be in this mess.
posted by Frowner at 4:31 PM on October 21 [88 favorites]




Per Nate Silver (as trustworthy a source as any in a field that's hard to measure), there wasn't really much of a "Kavanaugh boost." Voters always seem to come home, so to speak

This is what makes me cautious about a "blue wave". Clinton polled up as much as 13 or 15 early, and all those "reluctant" Republicans and nice suburban white women and "Republican leaning 'undecideds'"...all broke for Trump at the end, despite what they told pollsters.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:35 PM on October 21 [6 favorites]


This is what makes me cautious about a "blue wave". Clinton polled up as much as 13 or 15 early, and all those "reluctant" Republicans and nice suburban white women and "Republican leaning 'undecideds'"...all broke for Trump at the end, despite what they told pollsters.

I'm struggling to find any historical polls from 2016 that had Clinton at +13 nationally in late October. I'm one of those that are in the "despite the freakout, in the end the polls were not that wrong except in a few key states (like wisconsin)" camp, and I think voter suppression is responsible for a lot of the difference here in WI in 2016.

The polls are alright, and I think will be largely predictive. They match the fundraising difference between the GOP and the Democrats so that, at least, tracks.
posted by dis_integration at 4:43 PM on October 21 [7 favorites]


Historically, late undecided voters vote against the in party, as they tend to be people looking for a reason to vote against the incumbent and so they eventually find one, whatever it is. That cut against the Democrats in 2016 but would work to their advantage in 2018. For a lot of reasons I'll be panicked until the results come in on Election Day but it isn't the case that these things always cut against us. They just follow patterns that hurt us in 2016 but might help us now.
posted by gerryblog at 4:46 PM on October 21 [7 favorites]


What happens if it, eg, revokes people's passports?

When they take people's passports away, it's so they can't escape what's going to happen next.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:11 PM on October 21 [23 favorites]


Is there anyone on the public stage with clout questioning the wisdom of the U.S. selling the Saudi Arabian government weapons at all? I'm not even talking "as a punitive measure for this extrajudicial killing of a journalist", just as "do we really want to be publicly directly responsible for what they do with the weapons?"
posted by Selena777 at 5:17 PM on October 21 [11 favorites]


When they take people's passports away, it's so they can't escape what's going to happen next.

Probably worth mentioning then that I've been hearing a lot of stories on Twitter from trans people the last few months about the government either revoking their passport or refusing to issue them a passport. According to this story they're claiming that there's been no change in policy and each of these cases just features unique administrative mistakes, but in light of the "exact match" voter suppression strategy some of this is looking very familiar.
posted by IAmUnaware at 5:25 PM on October 21 [34 favorites]


AP: A ragged, growing army of migrants resumes march toward US

A ragged army marches toward us.

Debased as it is, it's still impressive how eagerly mainstream media embraces far-right phrasing and framing. The victory of fascist rhetoric has nothing to do with any inherent effectiveness or universal appeal. It's that, by and large, the prominent outlets have chosen their side.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:30 PM on October 21 [66 favorites]


I can't imagine what they think this will do. I expect it's just a culture war nugget, but if I'm wrong it could be very, very bad.

I feel like I'm on a different fucking planet than you, then. This is transparently about making it literally impossible to exist as a trans person in the world. At minimum. It's about giving license to the worst of our society to visit violence upon others, to seek retribution against the liberals and the queers. To literally fight their existence. To kill them.
posted by odinsdream at 5:38 PM on October 21 [56 favorites]


On the plus side, language calls out to both the decent and the debased. By definition, he and she who are ragged, needy and persecuted are the friends of all good people.

“You have to help the next person. Today it’s for them, tomorrow for us,” Valdivia said, adding that he was getting a valuable gift from those he helped: “From them we learn to value what they do not have.”

Maria Teresa Orellana, a resident of Lorenzo, handed out sandals. “It’s solidarity,” she said. “They’re our brothers.”

She even had kind words for Mexican police: “We are very grateful to them because even though they closed the doors to us (at the border), they are coming behind us taking care of us.”


They get it. Many, many Americans also get it. We just have to come out and fucking outnumber and outshout the people who choose not to.
posted by delfin at 5:49 PM on October 21 [14 favorites]


WaPo, Special counsel examines conflicting accounts as scrutiny of Roger Stone and WikiLeaks deepens
In recent weeks, a grand jury in Washington has listened to more than a dozen hours of testimony and FBI technicians have pored over gigabytes of electronic messages as part of the special counsel’s quest to solve one burning mystery: Did longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone — or any other associate of the president — have advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans to release hacked Democratic emails in 2016?

While outwardly quiet for the last month, Robert S. Mueller III’s investigators have been aggressively pursuing leads behind the scenes about whether Stone was in communication with the online group, whose disclosures of emails believed to have been hacked by Russian operatives disrupted the 2016 presidential campaign, according to people familiar with the special counsel probe.

Stone, who boasted during the race that he was in touch with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, has said since that his past comments were exaggerated or misunderstood. Both he and WikiLeaks have adamantly denied they were in contact.

However, prosecutors are closely examining both public comments and alleged private assertions that Stone made in 2016 suggesting he had a way to reach Assange, the people said.

Last month, Randy Credico, a onetime Stone friend, told the grand jury that the Trump loyalist confided during the 2016 campaign that he had a secret back channel to WikiLeaks, according to a person familiar with the matter.
This is really the whole ball game. It's just straight up "did the Trump campaign collude?" And will anything happen if Mueller demonstrates that the answer is yes?
posted by zachlipton at 5:57 PM on October 21 [22 favorites]


On the plus side, language calls out to both the decent and the debased. By definition, he and she who are ragged, needy and persecuted are the friends of all good people.

Sure, but I don't think Rust Moranis was calling out the "ragged" part so much as the "marching army" part. There will be fewer sympathetic or neutral terms used as the fascist movement strengthens and becomes more mainstream.
posted by contraption at 6:04 PM on October 21 [5 favorites]


This administrations new policy toward transgender people is a big step toward getting rid of us entirely. As mentioned above, it paves the way for refusing us services. For treating us as non-persons. There is no way they will stop with this. They will declare us mentally ill, or criminal by nature. Out of one side of their mouths they'll say they're doing it for our own good, while making sure that their base knows their real motivations.

They want us dead, or at a distant second, back in the closet.

I'm not going back in the closet.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 6:06 PM on October 21 [100 favorites]


There will be fewer sympathetic or neutral terms used as the fascist movement strengthens and becomes more mainstream.

If AP headlines look like this now, imagine the first surges of climate refugees and the attendant heating of the reactionary atmosphere. They'll openly advocate genocide.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:13 PM on October 21 [14 favorites]


I don't really care for the doom-y predictions. Can we not borrow trouble? There seems to be plenty of real trouble going around.
posted by j_curiouser at 6:22 PM on October 21 [23 favorites]


The right-wing media machine will openly advocate genocide.

The "mainstream" sources will merely give equal time to those advocating genocide, treat them as if they're rational and worthy of airtime, and state that Opinions Are Divided in a very serious voice.
posted by delfin at 6:24 PM on October 21 [13 favorites]


Reuters continues to be better than AP on this: Thousands of Hondurans in U.S.-bound migrant caravan head into Mexico
posted by contraption at 6:30 PM on October 21 [12 favorites]


Kate Starbird on Russian disinfo ops on Twitter. (Sorry if Medium isn't a qualifying source for the purposes of this thread, but Starbird is a legit researcher; previously.)
posted by eirias at 6:46 PM on October 21 [9 favorites]



I don't really care for the doom-y predictions. Can we not borrow trouble? There seems to be plenty of real trouble going around.
I see where you're coming from, but they have literally announced a policy to strip a bunch of us of our identities. Do you not consider this real trouble? Looking at the likely direct effects of what they are actually doing doesn't strike me as inappropriate or uncalled for at this point.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 6:51 PM on October 21 [67 favorites]


I think they meant the "what about when climate change comes big" speculation.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:09 PM on October 21 [3 favorites]


If we don't get well on our way to fixing the crisis of wealthy straight white Western male misogyny in *checks watch*, eh, 10 years or so, then yes we will mostly be fucked by climate change, and yall know who won't get the lifeboats.

Solidarity, now.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:19 PM on October 21 [19 favorites]




The trouble is, he has an editor somewhere reading headlines like "TRUMP LIES ABOUT X" (which is true, and exactly the fact that a good journalist would report) and deciding "Gosh, that makes us sound like 'the opposition'" and changing them to "OPINIONS DIFFER ON X".

I'm completely fine if they focus 100% on reporting facts but that's not what's happening here. When one side is anti-fact, the traditional "report both sides" approach doesn't work.
posted by mmoncur at 7:45 PM on October 21 [31 favorites]


"I won't be baited into becoming 'the opposition!'"
             — Frog in a pot of relaxing warm water, 2018
posted by Behemoth at 7:51 PM on October 21 [42 favorites]


"We won't be baited into becoming 'the opposition!'"
— New York Times on its fawning coverage of Hitler until 1939
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:54 PM on October 21 [35 favorites]


"We won’t be baited into becoming ‘the opposition.’

We know, you're already "the collaborators". But thanks for stating it clearly.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:54 PM on October 21 [34 favorites]


You would think having a fellow journalist chopped into pieces might overcome a chronic case of bothsidesism, but no. The NYT will be that way until they are bankrupted. Don't give them a dime.
posted by benzenedream at 8:00 PM on October 21 [49 favorites]


Trans people won't be the last. If they can basically take away a lot of rights just by saying "this is how we define gender", think about all the other stuff. 'This is how we define sexuality", "this is how we define the aptitudes of women", "this is how we define race".

The White House could turn a lot of civil rights legislation around if it defined white people as the victims of discrimination. We've seen similar things with, e.g., admission into prestigious universities. Trump's own rhetoric has occasionally been an inch away from the 14 words; I'm sure there will be people pushing for measures to prevent "white genocide" as soon as they think they can get away from it.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:49 PM on October 21 [9 favorites]


I'm not going back in the closet.

Me either. Is it time for ACT UP styled die-ins on the capitol steps or did they make that kind of protesting a federal felony yet?

Because this is a life or death issue for trans people. They don't even have to build prisons, camps or anything to start killing trans people. Making life even more difficult and reducing access to treatment will do the trick invisibly and quietly.

I may have reached the "standing on a street corner holding an angry sign" phase. TRANS RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS.

Please vote. I haven't felt this voiceless, ever.
posted by loquacious at 9:58 PM on October 21 [93 favorites]


I got my ballot this week.

I was going to vote in a few days, and then drop it in the ballot dropbox on my way to work one day. (I'm in WA State, so the vast majority of us vote by mail, and then either drop that ballot in the mail, or in a ballot drop box run by the county.) Then, the news hit - and I made sure my ballot was filled out and dropped off tonight.

Trans rights are Human rights!
posted by spinifex23 at 11:03 PM on October 21 [26 favorites]


I've made a profound mistake not renewing my passport while Obama was still in office.
posted by michswiss at 11:52 PM on October 21 [9 favorites]


Apologies if this has been posted before. I have searched this thread and not seen it. Healthcare-focused attorney and writer Matthew Cortland is asking public health professionals to leave comments that may be useful in the expected legal fight against the administration's treatment of immigrant children. (Emphasis below mine.)

posted by Bella Donna at 1:30 PM on October 21 [6 favorites +] [!]


If it was posted before, I missed it, so thank you for making me aware of the request. I'm on it.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:17 AM on October 22 [5 favorites]


After Kavanaugh was confirmed there was a slew of articles like these, arguing that John Roberts must be dismayed because preserving the appearance of the Court's impartiality and lack of partisanship was of the highest importance to him.

Meanwhile, the judge he's appointed to review the ethics complaints against Kavanaugh is a judge whose appointment to the federal court Kavanaugh campaigned for personally.

... I'm starting to think that maybe, possibly, he's not a true custodian of the impartiality of the Supreme Court.
posted by trig at 2:45 AM on October 22 [55 favorites]


Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, publisher of the New York Times, said "We won’t be baited into becoming ‘the opposition.’ And we won’t be applauded into becoming ‘the opposition.’"

And the Trump regime draws unwanted attention to yet another dynastic failson.
posted by srboisvert at 5:22 AM on October 22 [14 favorites]


I don't really care for the doom-y predictions. Can we not borrow trouble? There seems to be plenty of real trouble going around.

I don't really care for doom-y predictions either but in under 10 years I have to renew my green card. As it currently stands those applications are apparently being rejected for typos. So for me there is already the terror of the possibility that a mendacious bureaucrat following mendacious policy could casually with the press of a key ruin the life I live. This status uncertainty means I won't be buying a home. This means I won't expand my business or start another.

Now imagine if you were faced with this bullshit and didn't have a Canada to return to. Imagine you had nowhere to run when the country you live in and are a citizen of turns on you?
posted by srboisvert at 5:37 AM on October 22 [56 favorites]


... I'm starting to think that maybe, possibly, he's not a true custodian of the impartiality of the Supreme Court.

Civility and impartiality and being above the politics of it all are always, always, always masks.
posted by Etrigan at 5:44 AM on October 22 [6 favorites]


"First they came for the X..." doomsaying seems reasonably appropriate at the moment in which the current government in power sends out a press release stating that next, they are coming for X.
posted by delfin at 5:47 AM on October 22 [86 favorites]


I've been wondering about the timing of the INF treaty withdrawal. I know he keeps a pile of treaties and agreements in the bathroom, and it seems just as arbitrary to reach for this one next.

First, I came across the video of Reagan and Gorbachev signing the agreement, and this moment of levity between the two, having a chuckle. Then they go to the side and sign away 2100 nuclear weapons. This moment of laughter is when The Great Unpuckering began, because by 1991, verified by both parties, there were 2100 fewer nuclear weapons in the world.

So in that sense, the purpose of the treaty was fulfilled decades ago, so why now? Most opinions say 'China', in which case we get an arms race and Cold War 2. Which is bloody awful, and I wish we left all that shit behind in the last century. But it may not be that. This time last year:

Russia and Saudi Arabia 'sign $3bn arms deal'

We've already heard Trump say that if the US doesn't sell Saudi Arabia weapons, someone else will, meaning China or Russia. Now I see how the negotiations over the arms deal may have happened. MBS would have told Kushner or Trump about the Russian weapons that violate the treaty, and what a pity about this darn treaty! Without it we could buy them from you!

So he wants to sell the Saudis banned weapons and tearing up treaties is NBD. And it has to happen now before the pressure to impose sanctions is too great.

It's a theory, but I haven't read any other compelling reasons to do this now.
posted by adept256 at 6:50 AM on October 22 [12 favorites]


First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
- Martin Niemöller
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:02 AM on October 22 [18 favorites]


Stacey Abrams on Track to Achieve Historic Upheaval of Voter Suppression; Trump Half-Asses a Tweet - Whitney Kimball, Splinter News.
When Donald Trump fires a sloppy attack tweet at a state politician, it’s usually a sign that Republicans are running another shit candidate in a solidly red state which is now at risk of a Democratic win. He did, and they are, and it is. On Saturday, Trump tweeted his “Strong Endorsement” [caps his] for gubernatorial candidate and current Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who’s now neck-and-neck with Democrat Stacey Abrams in a state [Georgia] which hasn’t elected a Democratic governor since 1998 or a Democratic president since 1996. If she wins, she’ll be America’s first black woman governor.

In the same tweet, Trump called Kemp’s unnamed “opponent” “totally unqualified” and “Would destroy a great state!”
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:05 AM on October 22 [15 favorites]


The first people they went after were the transgender people:

"On 6 May 1933, the German Student Union made an organised attack on Magnus Hirschfeld's Institute of Sex Research. Its library and archives of around 20,000 books and journals were publicly hauled out."
posted by nikaspark at 7:07 AM on October 22 [56 favorites]


Stacey Abrams on Track to Achieve Historic Upheaval of Voter Suppression; Trump Half-Asses a Tweet

Stacey Abrams was the first candidate I have ever actually donated to; I may do so again. Kemp is reprehensible for all sorts of reason, and if he wins it will make voter suppression an even more attractive strategy for Republicans.

I did early voting last week in Georgia and there was a steady stream of voters, more than I usually see. Also seemed like more minority voters as well, but where I live there is a large army base and there are a lot of Republicans who aren’t white, so I don’t know what to make of that. I used a passport card as my voter ID just to be different and it was no problem. I was dismayed to see how many Republicans were running unopposed in local races and just wrote in “Anybody Else” rather than vote for them.
posted by TedW at 7:23 AM on October 22 [18 favorites]


9 experts warn that Latino dislike of Trump may not translate into midterm turnout - Li Zhou, Vox
It really comes down to whether Democrats invest in voter outreach
Democratic outreach to Latino voters doesn’t look much better than it did in 2016 - Li Zhou, Vox
Most Latino voters say they haven’t experienced any kind of midterms outreach.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:28 AM on October 22 [10 favorites]


Carl Bernstein on CNN (via Mediaite): Trump Is Preparing to Declare Midterms ‘Illegitimate’ If Democrats Win

"I talked to people in touch with the White House on Friday who believe that, if the congressional midterms are very close and the Democrats were to win by five or seven seats, that Trump is already talking about how to throw legal challenges into the courts, sow confusion, declare a victory actually, and say that the election’s been illegitimate — that is really under discussion in the White House."
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:38 AM on October 22 [36 favorites]


Carl Bernstein on CNN (via Mediaite): Trump Is Preparing to Declare Midterms ‘Illegitimate’ If Democrats Win

That's rich, too, given that Trump's win was illegitimate -- which is, of course, what all his fear and loathing of the Mueller probe is about -- but that point of view didn't get any more traction in the so-called "liberal media" than recognizing that George W. Bush's 2000 victory was illegitimate because of an obviously partisan SCOTUS decision.

Democrats need to not be shy about declaring Trump an illegitimate president, the product of verifiable election interference by Russia.
posted by Gelatin at 7:44 AM on October 22 [15 favorites]


If AP headlines look like this now, imagine the first surges of climate refugees and the attendant heating of the reactionary atmosphere. They'll openly advocate genocide.

I agree with what you're saying, except: the Hondurans *are* climate refugees. The starvation & social instability they are fleeing is absolutely fueled by food shortages as a direct result of climate disruption-driven droughts and crop loss. The first surges of climate refugees have already started. Why the media is not acknowledging this aspect of the migration is left as an exercise to the reader.
posted by the turtle's teeth at 7:45 AM on October 22 [82 favorites]



"I talked to people in touch with the White House on Friday who believe that, if the congressional midterms are very close and the Democrats were to win by five or seven seats, that Trump is already talking about how to throw legal challenges into the courts, sow confusion, declare a victory actually, and say that the election’s been illegitimate — that is really under discussion in the White House."


Saying and doing aren't the same, and neither are doing and succeeding. I think that the only thing everyone can do is to proceed as planned, hope for a real wave and then stand up to challenges if/when they occur.

I also think that this would be where there have to be massive, shut-down-DC protests if, eg, legitimately elected people are not seated. I think this is the make-or-break election. Every time an election goes normally, it gets that much harder to stage a coup in 2020. Everything is important, god knows, but in the immediate moment maybe the most important thing is to insure that people who are elected are seated.

I really think that if there's one "drop everything and go to DC and sit on the pavement" situation, it would be that one, not because I love the Democrats or think that American democracy is so strong and perfect but because if there are no more elections, there's nothing at all short of armed resistance to keep the GOP from doing anything they want to anyone at all, and it's better not to cut to armed resistance unless you're sure you have a decent chance of winning.
posted by Frowner at 7:48 AM on October 22 [39 favorites]


And by "anything they want" I don't just mean "our current bad situation", I mean Brazilian junta, Santiago stadium, burning research institutes things.
posted by Frowner at 7:53 AM on October 22 [9 favorites]


Democrats need to not be shy about declaring Trump an illegitimate president, the product of verifiable election interference by Russia.

I disagree. The problem with this argument is that it leads people to believe the results of elections cannot be trusted. If this is true then there is no way to vote our way out of the situation we are in. We would already have fallen into tyranny, and what's worse, a pro-democracy movement would be pointless, because if elections don't work, democracy does not work. In a world where democracy does not work, we are back to the middle ages -- different factions back different would-be kings and go to war, and the winner gets to sit on the throne. Every time a king dies there is the potential for a succession crisis, unless his son (or other chosen successor) brutally consolidates power early on.

That is how human society worked for most of human history, and how much of human society STILL works. And if we cannot trust the results of elections, that is the alternative.

You know I am totally alert to the dangers of Russian interference. But one of the primary goals of that interference is to undermine confidence in democracy itself, as a system of government. The "Trump is illegitimate" narrative serves that goal almost as well as the "Clinton is illegitimate" narrative the Russians had planned to promote.

We need to be super careful to oppose Trump without undermining the foundations of democracy.
posted by OnceUponATime at 7:59 AM on October 22 [42 favorites]


"I talked to people in touch with the White House on Friday who believe that, if the congressional midterms are very close and the Democrats were to win by five or seven seats, that Trump is already talking about how to throw legal challenges into the courts, sow confusion, declare a victory actually, and say that the election’s been illegitimate — that is really under discussion in the White House."

Saying and doing aren't the same, and neither are doing and succeeding. I think that the only thing everyone can do is to proceed as planned, hope for a real wave and then stand up to challenges if/when they occur.


Republicans have already successfully done this once with a presidential election (Bush Jr. versus Gore). They even staged a fake riot that was the pretext for the Supreme Court authorizing what was effectively a coup pre-empting a proper recount of votes.

So doing has been done before.
posted by srboisvert at 8:00 AM on October 22 [11 favorites]


The Price of RageThere is a rising tide of anger in America. But those who have earned their fury are often the ones who are punished for it.
Donald Trump is an anger troll. Rage is the one thing he capably nurtures and grows. He stoked anger in people horrified by Kavanaugh’s confirmation and is now turning it against them. This is an old tactic: drive people crazy, then call them so. As projects of government go, this one is as familiar as it is contemptible. He wants to make his followers feel threatened. To achieve this, he needs his opponents to seem irrational. So he sets about making them angry.

He insults them, railroads them, calls people protesting for justice liars and profit-seekers even as he openly enriches his friends. He gives them offensive nicknames and mocks their pain for fun, and to get them to lose control. He’s doing this in plain sight—it’s pretty obvious why people are angry—but his goal is to make their reaction look inexplicable, beyond the pale. After leading angry crowds to yell abuse at anyone he points to, he turns around and marvels at how irrational and dangerous his targets are.

As tactics go, this one is dumb and transparent, but it’s worth describing it because it works. It works a lot. Trump is not a genius. But he instinctively understands the dynamic of provoking and then delegitimizing someone else’s pain. As Adam Serwer wrote, he’s energized by the suffering he causes others and—secondarily—by the bond that ritualized cruelty forges with his base, which has been connected by fear of others. From Trump’s perspective, it’s kind of fun that people feel compassion for the families he separated. It’s delightful that women are worried about rights he has expressly said he wanted to take from them. And, after insulting and belittling people he’s supposed to be governing, he enjoys acting surprised that they mind.

It’s a silly and ugly game, but it’s the only true rule of Trumpism: be the sorest winner imaginable. Aspire to nothing but power and status. Hold no principle sacred. Withhold justice and insult those who object. Yes, the effects of this are predictable. It doesn’t take a genius of social engineering to be the “why are you hitting yourself?” guy. All it takes is a willingness to be him.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:09 AM on October 22 [66 favorites]


We need to be super careful to oppose Trump without undermining the foundations of democracy.

Of course, but twice in this century a Republican has been elevated to the presidency on the basis of actually illegitimate shenanigans, they gained much power to do real damage and did do real damage to this nation, and the media basically shrugged and said "what're you gonna do?"

And the fact is, not much -- especially with Trump and his supine Republican Congress not only refusing to act as a check on his power but also actively aiding and abetting the cover-up. But even if Congress was moved to act, it's so enormously difficult to successfully remove a president from office thru impeachment that it's never been done. And if it was, we'd just have, in our current case, Mike Pence as President.

The result is that there's little incentive not to seize the office of president by fair means or foul, because once you're there, you have four years to do as you please -- even act in the blatant interest of unfriendly foreign powers -- and there's little anyone can do to stop you.

I haven't the faintest idea of what the solution might be, but we also need to be super careful of allowing a political party that represents a minority of Americans waltz into the presidency after an emboldened program of electoral interference, with barely a shrug from the so-called "liberal media."
posted by Gelatin at 8:13 AM on October 22 [15 favorites]


But one of the primary goals of that interference is to undermine confidence in democracy itself, as a system of government. The "Trump is illegitimate" narrative serves that goal almost as well as the "Clinton is illegitimate" narrative the Russians had planned to promote.

Well, they've already succeeded, because the "Trump is illegitimate" argument has the virtue of being true. He is a minority president elected with the declared and obvious interference of a hostile foreign state, serving the interests of that foreign power above the country he allegedly leads.

Not pointing that out loudly and consistently deprives us of a powerful, truthful and righteous argument. We have to save democracy from Trump before we can worry about the long term damage done by the Russians and his election. That damage is already done and we're battling now to define the extent of it.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:16 AM on October 22 [37 favorites]


just wrote in “Anybody Else” rather than vote for them.

Now we have a slogan for 2020!
posted by adept256 at 8:19 AM on October 22 [6 favorites]


Early voting opens in Texas today. Reports are that lines exist in San Antonio, Dallas suburbs, Harris county, where Houston is, also flood zones are problematic right now. If your area is affected by the floods, check the Secretary of state site for looking locations.

Also Austin and surrounding areas are now in a Boil Water alert. Floods have overwhelmed the purification plant, according to NPR.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:22 AM on October 22 [10 favorites]


Well, they've already succeeded, because the "Trump is illegitimate" argument has the virtue of being true.

I've been trying to say something along the lines of "He won. He's the president. But he committed crimes in the course of the campaign and in office, and needs to be impeached."

I have a list of those crimes and the evidence for them handy in case anyone asks.

I guess the problem is that it's hard to communicate nuance. There are degrees of legitimacy, and I can agree with the message that the elections were not legitimate enough, not free enough, not fair enough. But it's hard to communicate that without giving people the impression that vote totals were made up and the whole thing was a meaningless charade. In which case, what is the point of political activism, or even voting? People will do what people in dictatorships do -- retreat into their private lives, behind closed doors, and keep their opinions to themselves for the safety of their families.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:23 AM on October 22 [15 favorites]


That's rich, too, given that Trump's win was illegitimate ...

But if doesn’t get roped in this November it doesn’t matter - possession is 9/10th is the law.

Shit is keeping me up at night. The increasingly ‘pessimistic’ assessments by the MSM as to the likelihood of the Democrats taking the majority in the House at least, I gotta think is a damper on the enthusiasm of the less strident anti-Trump voters. I mean that it feels like the fix is in.
posted by From Bklyn at 8:23 AM on October 22 [7 favorites]


Some good news on the voting front: A record 44 percent of U.S. firms will give workers paid time off to vote Nov. 6, up from 37 percent in 2016, according to reports from the Society for Human Resources Management. (Bloomberg) "More than 400 companies have also signed on to efforts with ElectionDay.org and Time to Vote to boost voter turnout in a variety of ways. That doesn’t necessarily mean shutting down or officially giving workers time off. Some firms, like Lyft Inc., have instituted “no meetings” policies or provided on-site voter registration."

Of course, what we really need is a federal holiday for Voting Day.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:25 AM on October 22 [29 favorites]


just wrote in “Anybody Else” rather than vote for them.

Doesn't this invalidate a ballot if a recount is needed?
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:28 AM on October 22


Only if your state's voting laws are very restrictive on write-ins. I assume he was using the write-in line and not scratching out their name on the ballot and writing "Anyone Else" in the margins.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:34 AM on October 22 [1 favorite]


Of course, what we really need is a federal holiday for Voting Day.

I see this said over and over, but when I get federal holidays off from my white-collar gig (that allows me the flexibility to go vote and pays for private transport that will get me there) I often times find myself patronizing businesses that are open on that holiday and staffed by the people who lack those options. I am unsure that the holiday concept provides much or possibly any benefit for the people who actually need additional help getting to the polls.
posted by phearlez at 8:34 AM on October 22 [22 favorites]


We may not be able to get a national holiday for Election Day, but at the very least it seems we should be able to get some of the bluer municipalities to make it a city holiday, or a civic event with parades and floats and parties and so on.

There's no excuse for the big Democratic stronghold cities like NYC, LA, Chicago, and so on not to make Election Day a huge citywide event even if they can't pass laws mandating employers in that area give workers paid time off to vote. Get the various veteran's groups to parade (they love just about any excuse for that) and use that to leverage other groups. Election day should be a celebration of democracy, an event where you go to vote and your "I Voted" sticker lets you join the parade and get a free corndog or whatever.

Get all the people who do vending at state fairs to open funnel cake stands and the like! Have a contest for best patriotic float!

Right now in the USA voting is a dreary exercise in civic responsibility. Even if it isn't a time consuming hassle that makes you late for work (or late getting home, or whatever) it's bland and blah. People like an event, so make election day an event. We can start in the big cities where we basically run things unopposed and use that as leverage to spread the idea into red country.
posted by sotonohito at 8:35 AM on October 22 [13 favorites]


The Misreading of Ted Cruz - Jim Newell, Slate
The Texas senator doesn’t win in spite of being a smug, calculated, point-scoring politician. He wins because of it.

For all the contempt directed at the Texas senator and the now baked-in assumption that he’s an insufferable jerk, Cruz knows that his smarmy, dripping calculation, so off-putting to his enemies, is his greatest strength as a politician.

Ted Cruz is on track to win his re-election on Nov. 6. Despite the national frenzy surrounding his opponent—an inspirational figure whose campaign is more like a movement—Cruz is leading the race comfortably, by about 5 to 10 percentage points on average. And cutting against the narrative, put forward even by some of his close friends, that he has a “likability” problem relative to the charming O’Rourke, he now has a higher favorability rating in Texas than the “congressman from El Paso,” as Cruz refers to O’Rourke in a way that sounds, somehow, like an insult.
He's incredibly disciplined too, focused to a fault. Some people, I guess, would call that inflexibility.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:40 AM on October 22 [6 favorites]


There are degrees of legitimacy, and I can agree with the message that the elections were not legitimate enough, not free enough, not fair enough.

And Democrats should absolutely communicate that message -- that Republicans do not have power because their message appeals to a majority of the population or even to a majority of voters, but because they gerrymander, purge voter rolls, disenfranchise minorities, and engage in other shenanigans.

The media should be talking about the fact that Republican Senators represent only a fraction of the population Democratic Senators do the way Republicans tricked them into talking about "the 60-vote requirement for passing legislation" as a way of normalizing their abuse of the filibuster -- another antidemocratic tactic, thank you.
posted by Gelatin at 8:44 AM on October 22 [6 favorites]


> just wrote in “Anybody Else” rather than vote for them.

Doesn't this invalidate a ballot if a recount is needed?


Do you mean the other votes on the ballot for other offices? Not here in Virginia where I have been a poll worker. Write-ins get tabulated in another form (regardless of how pointless they are) but it doesn't change the machine-counted totals for other lines on the ballot. Really, any sorts of fuckupedness on a given line doesn't impact the other items. When you feed in a ballot with an over-vote the scanner will barf it back out and the voter gets an option to spoil that ballot and vote a new one or it can be resubmitted if they insist on moving forward. But any non-ruined vote still gets counted.

There are some contentions that happen in a recount but everything I have seen in the media (I worked the polls, I never participated in official certification or recounts) indicates that the presumption leans towards counting something in a vote. Campaigns will challenge a vote if the mark is so feeble that it might possibly be perceived as an accidental mark, but usually those things come down to situations where someone scratched through something and bubbled another choice, creating an overvote so the counter needs to pick which of multiple options were intended. I don't see that attitude/presumption leading to a case where they discard other choices that are not ambiguous.
posted by phearlez at 8:44 AM on October 22


Right now in the USA voting is a dreary exercise in civic responsibility.

Bake sales and small precincts do wonders. I'm not the only one who looks forward to the Election Day bake sale at the school where we vote (and who gets disappointed in primaries because they only hold the bake sales for general elections). Plus, it's a good way to catch up with some of your neighbors. But then, the two precincts in the school where we vote are small and there's rarely much of a line - it's not like, oh, we have to drive out of town and stand in line for hours at the only polling place for the entire city.
posted by adamg at 8:44 AM on October 22 [3 favorites]


We may not be able to get a national holiday for Election Day, but at the very least it seems we should be able to get some of the bluer municipalities to make it a city holiday, or a civic event with parades and floats and parties and so on.

If you have parades, that's more people that have to work that day as event staff (in addition to places that don't close for holidays - hospitals, restaurants, etc.)
posted by mikepop at 8:46 AM on October 22 [6 favorites]


Belief in Widespread Voter Fraud Is Even Worse Than QAnon or Birtherism - David Atkins, Washington Monthly.
One could say more here, but the point should already be clear. Not only does this sort of thing [widespread voting fraud via impersonation] not happen, it’s ludicrous to even postulate that it might happen. It also, of course, presupposes a number of ugly and fantastical prejudices about immigrants and people of color.

These supposed schemes would be literally impossible to pull off without getting caught, the logistical effort to make them happen would far outstrip any potential electoral rewards, and the risk of failure would be catastrophic. And yet for some reason it’s treated as a credible fear and a legitimate policy problem.

Political journalists are keen to dismiss the wackier conspiracy theories like Obama birtherism or QAnon tomfoolery–and well they should. But there is no reason to treat belief in widespread voter impersonation fraud any differently. ... The notion is so far beyond ridiculous that it makes people who question the moon landing seem serious by contrast.

It would be just as reasonable if conservatives started setting up unconstitutional searches and seizures of students and people of color to guarantee against alien body snatcher invasions, as it is to implement restrictive hurdles against voting rights to guarantee against voter fraud.

But the political press doesn’t treat it that way. Instead, fears of voter impersonation are bizarrely treated as a normal part of our politics, with dire consequences for the rights of voters and for democracy itself. That must change, and quickly.
It's a 'feels' trip. Invoking voter impersonation fraud touches on cultural themes of fairness and unfairness, and how 'advantages' are unfair.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:50 AM on October 22 [33 favorites]


I live in one of those places with fifty thousand people, and one polling place. And it's not even because it's Democrat leaning, or people of color, it's because this dumb place still operates like we're 5000 people from ten years ago.

That said, with all the California imports we've seenseen in North texas, my hand to gods that they are all closet liberals and we unseat Pete sessions.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:51 AM on October 22 [10 favorites]


If you have parades, that's more people that have to work that day as event staff (in addition to places that don't close for holidays - hospitals, restaurants, etc.)

A buddy and his team at the LAPD are working a bunch of overtime this week because the Dodgers made it into the World Series and now he and his peeps are tasked with planning out a potential victory parade. This is just the cops, I'm sure the DWP, Sanitation, LAFD, City/County governments, etc., etc., are also doing a bunch of stuff just case the Dodgers pull it off.

So, adding a parade means lots of other people have to work extra, not just leading up to the day but on the day itself.
posted by sideshow at 8:52 AM on October 22 [3 favorites]


TLDR on the Ted Cruz article: He's a talking-point robot who never gets baited into giving a human response to anything, which means he's always on message and never generates anything that a Republican voter would perceive as a gaffe.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:53 AM on October 22 [17 favorites]


There's no excuse for the big Democratic stronghold cities like NYC, LA, Chicago, and so on not to make Election Day a huge citywide event even if they can't pass laws mandating employers in that area give workers paid time off to vote.

NYC employees have the day off. Thats about 300k people.

This is basically the only good thing i have to say about how voting here works. A holiday isnt the solution as everyone has noted the people who most need accommodation for voting are the least likely to be given the day off. vote from home, multi-day voting periods (a whole week even) with distributed ballot collection sites would all be vastly better (currently you can early vote/in-person absentee but only if you make the trip to the Board of Elections office which is inconvenient for many).
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 8:54 AM on October 22 [3 favorites]


As Trump administration eyes writing transgender people ‘out of existence,’ a reckoning for a transgender Republican [Wapo]
“For trans people to be phased out of existence, that would be a violation of individual rights,” she said. “How can we stand for individual liberties if we are ready and willing to use the force of government — completely antithetical to what Republicans believe — to deny someone’s ability to exist in our society? As Republicans, we should be appalled at that.”
Excuse me while I go scream into the fucking void.
posted by Is It Over Yet? at 9:01 AM on October 22 [44 favorites]


"As Republicans, we should be appalled at that." (emphasis mine)

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
posted by phearlez at 9:05 AM on October 22 [8 favorites]


Republicans have already successfully done this once with a presidential election (Bush Jr. versus Gore). They even staged a fake riot that was the pretext for the Supreme Court authorizing what was effectively a coup pre-empting a proper recount of votes.

In the event of what should be a close Democratic electoral victory with a small Democratic majority, power will go to the party with the most will-to-power. Which party institution do you think will fight harder for control and dominance?
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:06 AM on October 22 [8 favorites]




How can we stand for individual liberties if we are ready and willing to use the force of government — completely antithetical to what Republicans believe

*sigh* She's close to figuring it out, but she can't quite get there. With the possible exception of coercion people don't do things antithetical to what they actually believe. If you see your party do something you thought was antithetical to your party the only conclusion you can really draw from that is you were wrong. It was antithetical to your idea of your party, but the actual party doesn't care about your idea.

I can only hope she moves on from Denial and moves on to the other stages of grief.
posted by Green With You at 9:26 AM on October 22 [21 favorites]


Right-wing twitter is abuzz at the moment with chatter about Cory Booker being accused of sexually assaulting a man in a bathroom.

I have not found any sources more credible than Gateway Pundit and The Blaze pushing it as news yet, which is to say that I have not found any sources that are credible at all providing any evidence. But, as usual, that doesn't stop Donnie Jr. from running his mouth.

(This is not to say that it did not happen, just that no one in the mainstream has touched this yet. Which is, of course, proof to the knuckledraggers that it's being suppressed.)
posted by delfin at 9:36 AM on October 22


Shit is keeping me up at night. The increasingly ‘pessimistic’ assessments by the MSM as to the likelihood of the Democrats taking the majority in the House at least, I gotta think is a damper on the enthusiasm of the less strident anti-Trump voters. I mean that it feels like the fix is in.

The "Dems in disarray" narrative is one of the only two stories that the media can cover, along with "both sides do it".

If you want to feel slightly better, the 538 House average has an 86% chance of Democratic control, and avg gain of +40 seats for 234D-201R. That kind of margin would be difficult to ratfuck away.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:38 AM on October 22 [26 favorites]


If you want to feel slightly better, the 538 House average has an 86% chance of Democratic control, and avg gain of +40 seats for 234D-201R. That kind of margin would be difficult to ratfuck away.

If we've ever seen an organization ready willing and able to take on a difficult ratfucking it's this one. I read an 86% chance based on models as 50/50 when the fascists aren't perfectly spherical and in a vacuum.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:44 AM on October 22 [16 favorites]


The "Dems in disarray" narrative is one of the only two stories that the media can cover, along with "both sides do it".

If you want to feel slightly better, the 538 House average has an 86% chance of Democratic control, and avg gain of +40 seats for 234D-201R. That kind of margin would be difficult to ratfuck away.


I keep telling myself this - and normally, I'm a very upbeat and positive person, but I think I still have November 2016 PTSD (welcome to the club!). I'm definitely in "hope and work for the best, just prepare for the worst" territory. I hate being like this...I really do...it's not my nature! But 2016...

One thing to remember, any increased Democratic turnout is vital for down-ballot races, too - and no matter what happens in the House and Senate, whether you live in a red state or a blue state, if you have competent, progressive local government or corrupt, -ist local government makes a HUGE difference to your life. And it's easier than ever to find voting guides online! Some states even have their own threads! I'm so grateful for the online guide that the League of Women Voters provides, as a Californian who has to wade through a yuuuuuuuuge ballot with often confusingly-worded propositions.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 9:49 AM on October 22 [8 favorites]


If we've ever seen an organization ready willing and able to take on a difficult ratfucking it's this one. I read an 86% chance based on models as 50/50 when the fascists aren't perfectly spherical and in a vacuum.
I'm agnostic on the spherical part, but I'd love for them to be in a vacuum.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 10:02 AM on October 22 [30 favorites]


This is different. The VA House Incumbent Who Airs Dirty Laundry As His Re-Election Strategy - Matthew Barakat, AP/via TPM
Virginia Del. Lee Carter wants you to know that he is in the midst of his third divorce, can’t hold a job, lobbed homophobic insults when he was young, and may even have explicit photos of himself floating around on the internet.

It’s not that the incumbent Democrat wants to lose the election next year; he just wants to get all of the potentially damning information out there before any of his opponents can.

“I think we’ve moved past the age where folks in politics can pretend that their past doesn’t exist,” Carter, a 31-year-old first-term delegate from Manassas, told The Associated Press in explaining his decision to release the less-appealing aspects of his life in a series of 15 tweets.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:03 AM on October 22 [10 favorites]


Bake sales and small precincts do wonders.

In the NYS hamlet in which I grew up, the Ladies' Aid of my mom's church held an oyster stew upper on election night at the polling place.
posted by jgirl at 10:15 AM on October 22 [6 favorites]


One thing to remember, any increased Democratic turnout is vital for down-ballot races, too - and no matter what happens in the House and Senate, whether you live in a red state or a blue state, if you have competent, progressive local government or corrupt, -ist local government makes a HUGE difference to your life.

I can't emphasize this enough. Although I don't live there anymore, I spent my early professional life in Houston, Texas. The state, of course, has a reputation in other parts of the country and world for being solid red and many outside the state are incredulous that Beto has any chance at all of beating mass-of-beetles-in-a-human-suit Ted Cruz. But Texas truly is a land of contrasts, at least politically. Houston, for example, leans liberal--the city has had Democratic mayors since 1981. Even if Ted Cruz manages to hold on, Beto-driven turn-out in the larger cities (especially Houston) will have a huge impact on local races. Judicial races are particularly important. State judges in Texas are elected, and next month just in Harris County there are 10 appellate, 36 district, and 24 county judicial races on the ballot. And of course there are also the U.S. Representative, State Senator and Representative, and various county positions (including several Justices of the Peace) on the ballot.

And most of those races will be won on party line votes driven by the top of the ticket. For example, when Obama was elected in 2008, Democratic turnout was very high and a whole slew of Republican judges in Houston and Dallas were swept out of office, replaced by Democrats. Although I'm not as close to it as I used to be, I expect a similar pattern next month.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:21 AM on October 22 [15 favorites]


One thing to remember, any increased Democratic turnout is vital for down-ballot races, too - and no matter what happens in the House and Senate, whether you live in a red state or a blue state, if you have competent, progressive local government or corrupt, -ist local government makes a HUGE difference to your life.

Relevant link roundup:

WaPo: Which state legislatures might go blue this fall? [lots of infographics]

538: These 8 Attorney-General Races Could Make A Big Difference To Trump’s Agenda

Tax Foundation: Top State Tax Ballot Initiatives to Watch in 2018

Governing Magazine: State elections forecast (gov, AG, SoS, legislature)

Vox: The 9 most important state legislature elections in 2018, explained

Roll Call: November Elections Bring High Stakes for Medicaid

Ballotpedia: Municipal Elections 2018
posted by melissasaurus at 10:22 AM on October 22 [12 favorites]


Chrysostom: Cohn: At minimum, Dem turnout expected to be a lot better this year. May be concentrated in white suburbs, though

Anecdotes from two five* hours of door-to-door polling in Albuquerque:
- White folks were a lot less likely to be home, or open the door
- POC who opened the door were generally happy to talk, and I even got hand-shakes and a fist bump (after the guy, who was on the phone, told whoever he was on the phone "you're going to vote, right? You have to vote!")
- Most confusing interaction: a nice, older Hispanic woman was happy enough to talk as I fumbled through my script, but when I asked to clarify that she was voting for Dems (after she said "of course I'm voting, it's an important year") she said "Oh no, I'm voting for Republicans this time." I was utterly flabbergasted. "Sorry for the bother, have a good day."

I know my limited experience wasn't a statistically sound sample, but let's not discount the people of color, who (unfortunately, and to be honest) might have more to lose in this election. Of the few people who answered doors, they were the more positive, and in some cases really wanted to reassure me that they were going to vote, even if they didn't have a plan on when they were going to vote.

* It was my first time canvassing, and when I called to get scheduled, I was told "oh, it'll be about two hours." More than 60 doors across 2-3 scattered neighborhoods + not knowing the road names = 5 hours of trekking, but it was a pretty good first time. I'd like to go back next weekend, schedule allowing, but this time I'll review my script in advance and get comfortable with it, then study the map and label the unlabeled streets.

The local outfit, like New Mexico voting system itself, is a bit basic, and just like the NM ballots, are all paper-based. But with a smartphone, it wasn't too bad to navigate the addresses and manage the printed-out list of people to talk with.

And next time, I'll tell people to verify that they're registered (I assumed they were, if they're identified as Democrats or Declined to State on my list) by going to VoteSaveAmerica (thanks, Fizz!), because nothing in my literature had a good way to check that info, and one young lady wasn't sure (and wanted to be sure her parents were registered). I didn't even know if they could still register (the cut-off is 28 days prior to the election :( ), or that there's a handy URL for New Mexico: NMVote.org.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:29 AM on October 22 [53 favorites]


“I think we’ve moved past the age where folks in politics can pretend that their past doesn’t exist,” Carter, a 31-year-old first-term delegate from Manassas, told The Associated Press in explaining his decision to release the less-appealing aspects of his life in a series of 15 tweets.
I’ve been waiting for this. If you’re 31, you most likely entered college in 2005, one year after the introduction of Facebook, and several years after the introduction of MySpace. In a few years, we’ll have candidates who were in their dumbest, most careless adolescent years right when social media was becoming endemic but before the youths realized how terrible that was.

But...there are still pictures out there. I have a feeling that white men won’t suffer a lot of blowback for pictures of their youthful indiscretions, but everyone else...

I mean. You know how it goes.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:36 AM on October 22 [34 favorites]


I was at Pod Save America's Austin HBO taping on Friday. It was way, way better than their first show.
Lines were around the block. Pretty much 100% Beto backers.
No idea how it translates to turnout, but we, in this neighborhood, on this block, in this town, are super Beto. Having it air on HBO might be a good thing! Not gonna crit the editing and camera work, but it was better than the first one by miles.

"We should be the greatest collective threat they've ever seen"

Goddamn, I hope we can get enough out for Beto to make this happen. It's nervewracking. We're all out.
posted by rp at 10:38 AM on October 22 [14 favorites]


The neighborhood where I canvassed Sunday here in Indianapolis was mostly POC. I got about an 11% response rate (and when the name on my list had moved, I still dropped off a flyer with voting instructions and best wishes), so I'm hopeful that I motivated a couple of folks to get out to vote. And one of the last people I talk to not only committed to vote on the first day of early voting, but also asked for information on volunteering.

Looking at my statistics from MiniVAN, if they answered the door at all, they were excited and fired up about voting. It's anecdotal, but I expect Joe Donnelly to win re-election based on my experiences.
posted by Gelatin at 10:39 AM on October 22 [13 favorites]


Just got done early voting in Houston. Line was about 30 minutes and full of every kind of color and ethnicity.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:45 AM on October 22 [34 favorites]


Rust Moranis: Miami GOP Chairman just caught leading Proud Boys in attack on Democratic campaign office

The subtitle: "Yesterday, Miami GOP Chairman Nelson Diaz told me he never even heard of the Proud Boys, but the hate group’s own video proves otherwise."

Emphasis mine, because FFS, if you're going to say "I don't know these guys," make sure they're not filming you in one of their self-documented attacks seems like a pretty obvious thing to do.

Then again, I've never thought of physically attacking the headquarters of the Republicans as a way to send any sort of message.


Meanwhile, Entire broadband industry sues Vermont to stop state net neutrality law -- State law says ISPs must follow net neutrality to get government contracts. (Jon Brodkin, Oct. 19, 2018)
The nation's largest broadband industry lobby groups have sued Vermont to stop a state law that requires ISPs to follow net neutrality principles in order to qualify for government contracts.

The lawsuit (PDF) was filed yesterday in US District Court in Vermont by mobile industry lobby CTIA, cable industry lobby NCTA, telco lobby USTelecom, the New England Cable & Telecommunications Association, and the American Cable Association (ACA), which represents small and mid-size cable companies.

CTIA, NCTA, USTelecom, and the ACA also previously sued California to stop a much stricter net neutrality law, but they're now expanding the legal battle to multiple states. These lobby groups represent all the biggest mobile and home Internet providers in the US and hundreds of smaller ISPs. Comcast, Charter, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile US, Sprint, Cox, Frontier, and CenturyLink are among the groups' members.
New York and Montana both passed similar laws that require any ISP that have contracts with the state to ensure net neutrality.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:55 AM on October 22 [19 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S. We will now begin cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to them.

Hey, you know what really makes migrants want to stay in their country of origin? Deliberately taking steps to make life shittier where they are.
posted by delfin at 10:59 AM on October 22 [54 favorites]


Checking in from Dallas here -
My facebook wall is filled with early voting stickers (and Beto tags).
Some of the most conservative neighborhoods I drive through have equal part Beto and Cruz signs which is something I have never seen here.
It may be surprising for people not from Texas that Dallas is actually a very blue city. As soon as you get outside of city-center though that changes.
I've never seen there be so much ferver for a Democratic candidate among my peers and community. If the race isn't close I'd be very shocked. Either I've become completely delusional or if this isn't the time for Beto to win, I'm not sure when or if it would ever be.
posted by hillabeans at 11:00 AM on October 22 [24 favorites]


Shit is keeping me up at night. The increasingly ‘pessimistic’ assessments by the MSM as to the likelihood of the Democrats taking the majority in the House at least, I gotta think is a damper on the enthusiasm of the less strident anti-Trump voters. I mean that it feels like the fix is in.

I have found that the solution to this is to take action. Sitting at home worrying will make you feel worse and will do nothing to impact the election. Please consider getting out and canvassing. At the end of a shift I'm tired but feel so much better.
posted by mcduff at 11:00 AM on October 22 [20 favorites]


Was talking at a community college thing about how students could get involved in activist efforts; why they asked me, I don't know, but I guess I have some stories. Then we were asking what the students cared about and two were like mass incarceration and the organizer and I were like yeah yeah good what else and the same two were like health care! And we're like good good access and affordability and--

actually the students were convinced that the government knew how to cure cancer and were keeping the cure a secret for nefarious reasons. One kid claimed the government knew that cancer was caused by the venom of a certain bee.

There were three of us there, a counselor, a student organizer, and me, an instructor. I could feel each of us carefully not looking at the other. Because we were trying to get these students politically active, and saying "lo you have filled your mind with bullshit" really didn't seem to be a winning argument.

But here's the thing: one of the 'government knows the cure to cancer' students was one of my comp students, and she's a smart cookie.

But somebody is filling their minds with bullshit.

The counselor did the wisest thing which was wait until we had moved on a bit from the cancer-causing bee thing and emphasized knowing about your subject and getting good sources. Thank you, counselor guy, you handled it right.
posted by angrycat at 11:05 AM on October 22 [60 favorites]


@jeffmason1: Breaking: @realDonaldTrump national security adviser @AmbJohnBolton says he told Russian counterparts that Russian meddling in U.S. elections hardly had any real effect

Um, are they going to take this as encouragement to take it up to 11 then?
posted by zachlipton at 11:08 AM on October 22 [14 favorites]


But here's the thing: one of the 'government knows the cure to cancer' students was one of my comp students, and she's a smart cookie. But somebody is filling their minds with bullshit.

Conspiratorial/paranoid thinking is (1) psychologically common and ubiquitous in all societies to some degree (2) actually warranted right now, if often misdirected, since there are plenty of real nefarious conspiracies at work, and (3) is currently being promoted by our unique ongoing period of technological/socio-economic reality-shattering.

What's more normal these days than believing that cancer is caused by the venom of a certain bee?
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:16 AM on October 22 [5 favorites]


"Comrade Bolton, we KNOW what effect it had. It's why you're HERE NOW."
posted by delfin at 11:17 AM on October 22 [12 favorites]


@jeffmason1: Breaking: @realDonaldTrump national security adviser @AmbJohnBolton says he told Russian counterparts that Russian meddling in U.S. elections hardly had any real effect

Why do I think that Mueller's team has a sealed indictment showing the cause/effect relationship of various Russian meddling schemes in using appropriate metrics for "effect"
posted by mikelieman at 11:17 AM on October 22 [3 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S.

This is your regular reminder that seeking asylum is a legal process and does not require legal entry into the host country.
posted by Gelatin at 11:18 AM on October 22 [78 favorites]


filthy light thief, it's interesting: I've been canvassing in Orange County, Calif., which is sort of quintessential white suburbia*, yet I too find that enthusiasm seems anecdotally lower among white voters. (*It's now ~18% Asian, and a third Latinx, not that you'd know it in the "classic" coastal/southern communities.) The extremely psyched voters I talk to in D-45, for instance, are almost always Asian.

White voters, on the other hand, are the absolute most likely group to gruffly declare that they aren't voting/don't care/haven't looked into the election. They are also the only people who have cursed at me, threatened me, or otherwise gotten aggro. (Note: I am white, and dress "respectably" while going door-to-door. I don't want to know what kind of interactions I'd be having otherwise.)
posted by desert outpost at 11:27 AM on October 22 [20 favorites]



@realDonaldTrump: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S.

This is your regular reminder that seeking asylum is a legal process and does not require legal entry into the host country.


Also, it is generally considered a human right to leave a country. Countries that restrict citizens from leaving are authoritarian regimes.
posted by papercrane at 11:33 AM on October 22 [66 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S.

Is he... is he suggesting that countries should STOP people from leaving if they want to? Because that sounds very East Germany/North Korea to me and I don't like it one bit.

As far as I understood it, my US passport requests that other countries allow me to enter not that the US government has given me permission to leave. I get that this can amount to the same thing and that we are living in a dystopian nightmare but WTF?
posted by Is It Over Yet? at 11:35 AM on October 22 [27 favorites]


the 'government knows the cure to cancer' students was one of my comp students, and she's a smart cookie. But somebody is filling their minds with bullshit.

The government does know the cure (preventative anyway) for a subset of cancers. It's the HPV vaccine and I believe the reason this isn't announced from every fucking government rooftop by blaring speakers and huge LED screens is due to a puritan theocratic conspiracy that really wants people to be afraid of sex at all costs including several thousands of preventable deaths a year.
posted by srboisvert at 11:35 AM on October 22 [50 favorites]


Michael Avenatti's feet of clay are sizeable indeed, the Daily Beast finds: Michael Avenatti Lived the High Life While Owing Millions to IRS—As Michael Avenatti floats a 2020 presidential run, court records reveal the lawyer and his companies owed millions in unpaid taxes and judgments. (Earlier this summer, Avenatti told CNN, “You know, look, I’ll be happy to put my tax records and background up against the president’s background and his tax records,” )

Also yesterday, Avenatti tweeted, "A lot of misinformation being thrown about re my tax returns. Be clear - on Aug. 12 (This Week interview on ABC), I stated I would release my tax returns if I ran. On Sept. 28 (Texas Tribune interview), I stated the same thing. Both on video. My position remains the same."
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:57 AM on October 22 [7 favorites]


While we're on the subject, this just happened today: Michael Avenatti hit with $4.85-million judgment for unpaid debt as court orders eviction of his law firm
Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for porn actress Stormy Daniels, was hit with a personal judgment of $4.85 million on Monday for his failure to pay a debt to a former colleague at his longtime Newport Beach firm.

Less than hour after his defeat in the Los Angeles lawsuit, the firm, Eagan Avenatti, suffered another setback at a trial in Santa Ana: The Irvine Co. won a court order evicting Avenatti and his staff from their suite at Fashion Island mall for failing to pay the last four months of rent.
Please do not make this man the President.
posted by zachlipton at 12:03 PM on October 22 [40 favorites]


@jeffmason1: Breaking: @realDonaldTrump national security adviser @AmbJohnBolton says he told Russian counterparts that Russian meddling in U.S. elections hardly had any real effect

Er, it's kind of different in context, Bolton in an interview on Moscow radio:
I told our Russian colleagues today that I do not think their interference in our electoral process had any real effect. But it's not the most important thing. The very desire to interfere in our affairs causes distrust when it comes to the Russians, to Russia. And I believe it is impossible to tolerate, it should not be allowed.
Since I kind of get the feeling Russia doesn't really care about our level of distrust, this still just feels like encouragement to do more.
posted by zachlipton at 12:16 PM on October 22 [4 favorites]


In response to questions about protecting transgendered people—I'm protecting everyone!

What do trans people have to lose except for their careers, their marriages, their children, and their lives?
posted by XMLicious at 12:17 PM on October 22 [7 favorites]


Avenatti has feet of clay? Sure. But he’s the only one that is taking the fight to Trump.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want Avenatti for Pres or even Representative, or really anything having to do with government. But I want him to keep taking pot shots at Trump. Lots of them.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:28 PM on October 22 [21 favorites]


“He’s not Lyin’ Ted anymore. He’s Beautiful Ted.”
Assumes beauty not in evidence.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:29 PM on October 22 [3 favorites]


Because there is very little chance of him actually clinching the nomination, Avenatti is a great practice candidate for us liberals to work on developing our not-eating-our-own skills. Like, we can literally just leave it to the GOP to make the arguments against him, and he almost certainly will not become the nominee regardless of anything we do or don't say! Let's get this figured out before Kamala Harris announces, please
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:30 PM on October 22 [50 favorites]


Counterpoint: "The crazy, unqualified guy will obviously lose, so let's just worry about who's going to be the one who cleans up after that" was exactly the GOP field's strategy for Trump.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:39 PM on October 22 [16 favorites]


Although a lot of attention will be paid to the folks who lined up early to see the Cruz/Trump rally, there are a lot of people lined up for early voting in Houston. Click through the slideshow to see lots of photos of Beto addressing those early voters.
posted by mcdoublewide at 12:42 PM on October 22 [2 favorites]


Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want Avenatti for Pres or even Representative, or really anything having to do with government. But I want him to keep taking pot shots at Trump. Lots of them.

And Avenatti's recent comments about how the DNC needs to get their heads out of their ass and go on a wartime footing is something that needs to be said.

I think the whole "running for president" thing is a tool to disarm his actual points. The DNC isn't doing what they need to do. Attack. Attack. Attack. And let Avenatti go back to being a loudmouth on TV...
posted by mikelieman at 12:42 PM on October 22 [5 favorites]


counter to the counterpoint, if it turns out that Avenatti is what gets the base all fired up and ready to vote, maybe we should just quietly shake our heads at our fellow humans, realize that our fingers are have utterly failed to find the pulse of the electorate, and accept that prescriptive internet punditing is not a role in which we shine
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:53 PM on October 22 [16 favorites]


Christopher Ingraham, WaPo: Low voter turnout is no accident - ranking ease of voting across all 50 states:
There are a lot of factors that affect voter turnout in the United States — race, income, education, electoral competitiveness, the list goes on and on.

Many of those factors are outside policymakers' control. But there’s one big realm that they have a lot of influence over: voting access laws, which vary significantly from state to state. Is early voting allowed? How about no-excuse absentee voting? Are there strict voter ID laws, lax ones or none at all? Can convicted felons vote?
Take a bow, Oregon - you're #1 with your mail-in voting! Colorado is #2, California #3, and all are blue to purple states...hmmm, what a coincidence! (Though high-ranked North Dakota is red.) The lowest-ranking states are Mississippi, Virginia, Tennessee, Indiana and Texas (all red except Virginia, most former Confederate states, and the KKK had a huge presence in Indiana for years).

I hope that even if Beto loses in TX, he gooses up the down-ballot races enough that local laws can make voting easier, as I think this holds Democrats back more than just about anything else.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 1:00 PM on October 22 [12 favorites]


Though high-ranked North Dakota is red.
Would that be the high-ranked North Dakota that critics are claiming will effectively disenfranchise large numbers of a minority population group (Native Americans) with its voting policy requiring a postal address in order to vote?
posted by Nerd of the North at 1:06 PM on October 22 [11 favorites]


- national security adviser @AmbJohnBolton says he told Russian counterparts

If only.

Bolton: I told our Russian colleagues today that I do not think their interference in our electoral process had any real effect.

colleague: a person with whom one works, especially in a profession or business.
synonyms: coworker, fellow worker, workmate, teammate, associate, partner, collaborator, ally, confederate

It's more of a pep talk. Bolton believes they could do better.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:08 PM on October 22 [9 favorites]


Someone like Avenetti couldn't be a Democratic Presidential candidate because, unlike Republicans, Democrats generally aren't craven morons who will vote for the sleaziest, most unqualified, ridiculous, person running. Democrats have a reasonable amount of quality control over who becomes a candidate.
posted by Liquidwolf at 1:10 PM on October 22 [4 favorites]


Please do not make this man the President.

@MichaelAvenatti
We should not and cannot eliminate ICE.


God damn it. We coulda had a good thing, Mikey.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:13 PM on October 22 [15 favorites]


You know, even though I remain pessimistic about his chances, it does change my mood when I look at facebook and one of my friends has posted a video she took of Beto showing up at her polling station and standing on a truck in a parking lot to yell at a massive crowd about universal healthcare and a woman's right to choose, to raucous applause.

In Texas.

No matter what happens with that race, I'm proud.
posted by threeturtles at 1:17 PM on October 22 [79 favorites]


Washington Post book critic Carlos Lozada is livetweeting Scaramucci's book, which turns out to inexplicably exist and is, for some reason, not a small pamphlet.

Spoiler alert: it's bad.
posted by zachlipton at 1:18 PM on October 22 [3 favorites]


Wondering how many people will buy a lottery ticket this week versus how many people will end up voting (or ever end up voting).
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:21 PM on October 22 [6 favorites]


This is picking nits, but Democrats have a reasonable amount of quality control with who becomes the nominee. The field of candidates is usually a bit peculiar early on, so Avenatti would be like fourth weirdest. He's not ticket material but he is a publicity machine - if he raises a bunch of important issues (as he seems to like to do) before dropping out for some plum gig, while altering some viable candidate's platform and policies for the better, that's not the worst thing.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:24 PM on October 22 [12 favorites]


Wondering how many people will buy a lottery ticket this week versus how many people will end up voting (or ever end up voting).

I believe that various countries (and even cities in the US) have experimented with tying voting to a lottery which rewards a random voter with real cash.
posted by chaz at 1:28 PM on October 22 [7 favorites]


One hurdle to voter registration has been knocked over in New Hampshire.

With just over two weeks to go until voters head to the polls, a judge has blocked the state from using new voter registration regulations that require voters to prove they live where they're trying to vote. Instead, the judge says the state needs to switch back to the registration forms used in 2016.

Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Brown issued his ruling on the voter law — commonly referred to as "Senate Bill 3" or "SB3" — on Monday afternoon. You can read his full order here.

Brown's ruling drew heavily on testimony from experts about the burdens SB3 could place on individual voters and on New Hampshire's voting system as a whole. That testimony came during a two-week hearing held earlier this fall to decide the law's fate. (You can catch up on NHPR's full coverage of that hearing here.)

The judge pointed to testimony from a literacy expert that the language SB3 adds to new voter registration documents "would be incredibly difficult for the average adult to read and understand." Brown also cited testimony about the potential impact SB3 might have on delays at the polls. Based on that analysis, the judge concluded that "SB3 will result in potentially significant increases in waiting times at polling places throughout the state, particularly those with large turnout."

Additionally, the judge wrote that the legal team challenging the new voting law "presented credible testimony that the negative impact of SB3 will be greater for certain groups of people," including young adults, people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and people experiencing homelessness.

Among other arguments presented during the earlier SB3 hearing, the state attorneys defending the law argued that it had been in effect since 2017 without incident. But the judge said the elections for which the law has been in place — many of them at the local level — are not comparable to the turnout expected in November.

Brown also addressed the argument, presented both in court and among broader supporters of SB3, that the law is needed to improve the "integrity" of the state's elections.

"All remarks regarding improving confidence in and the integrity of the State's elections were made in the context of closing 'loopholes' and tightening up the 'lax' system that supposedly enables ineligible voters to cast ballots throughout the State," the judge wrote. "However, as documented throughout the preliminary injuction hearing and as acknowledged by the legislature, voter fraud is not widespread or even remotely commonplace."

Even if the issue were more serious, Brown said SB3 doesn't seem to do anything to prevent it.

"Therefore, instead of combating fraud, the law simply imposes additional burdens on legitimate voters," the judge wrote.


I strongly encourage reading the order itself.
posted by schoolgirl report at 1:39 PM on October 22 [33 favorites]


Christopher Ingraham, WaPo: Low voter turnout is no accident - ranking ease of voting across all 50 states:

Minnesota #1 in turnout. Fuck yeah!
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:40 PM on October 22 [13 favorites]


"However, as documented throughout the preliminary injuction hearing and as acknowledged by the legislature, voter fraud is not widespread or even remotely commonplace."

Remember the tens of thousands of Massachusetts residents Trumpies said were being bused to New Hampshire to vote in 2016? Thank you, your honor, for recognizing we only go to New Hampshire for tax-free liquor, foliage, skiing and to get to Maine (and, OK, Storyland if we have young kids).
posted by adamg at 1:44 PM on October 22 [11 favorites]


Minnesota #1 in turnout. Fuck yeah!

Probably relatedly - MN has same-day registration that even has a mechanism for folks without any ID or mail to get registered and vote immediately. You can be vouched for by an existing voter who says they know you so long as you both live in the same election precinct.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 2:01 PM on October 22 [37 favorites]


While the New Hampshire order is good and right, what are the consequences for those attempting voter suppression? I just feel there should be some penalty for attempting to subvert democracy. At the moment, it just seems to be 'nice try, better luck next time'.
posted by adept256 at 2:19 PM on October 22 [4 favorites]


Spoiler alert: it's bad.

For whom?
posted by Melismata at 2:21 PM on October 22


So Trump's approval hit an all-time high today (excluding the month after his inauguration) while the generic ballot continues to deteriorate for Republicans. So that's a mixed bag. The former is absolutely depressing but it's something to be concerned about after the midterms, and the generic ballot polls are very encouraging for the House.

My theory is that the focus on the midterms and the Mueller investigation (mostly) laying low because of said midterms have combined to push the fact that Trump is an insane tweeting monster out of the forefront of people's minds and once we get past the next few weeks people will remember, once again, that he's an insane tweeting racist homophobic narcissistic monster.
posted by Justinian at 2:26 PM on October 22 [5 favorites]


It would be good to have some sort of punitive consequences for passing voter-suppression laws but I would think that it's difficult to set sanctions up which can't also be turned against any legislator attempting to protect voting rights or election observers.
posted by XMLicious at 2:28 PM on October 22 [1 favorite]


the Mueller investigation (mostly) laying low because of said midterms

It occurred to me after the latest unsealed charge against Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova that Mueller may be watching the midterms and the schenanigans that go on in real time. Which may give him far more ammunition to use after the elections.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 2:36 PM on October 22 [6 favorites]


Bad news: The aforementioned Trump approval number is driven by his stunningly high approval among non-college men.

Good news: His numbers with college-educated white women continues to plummet.

Better news: college-educated white women are the demographic most likely to turn out for midterm elections. (from Dave Wasserman)
posted by Justinian at 2:40 PM on October 22 [11 favorites]


Perhaps I missed something about a million Scaramuccis ago, but why does the Mueller investigation have to tiptoe around midterm elections when Trump isn't one of the people actually running in this election? I feel like an insane, illogical premise has been snuck into everyone's minds.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 2:40 PM on October 22 [11 favorites]


I expect many people who might support the administration's proposed trans-exclusionary regulations would change their mind if they realised that everybody is going to be scrutinised by the gender police, especially kids around puberty. It's going to be horrible and humiliating and there will be times when people close to them will be harassed with demands that they prove that they're “really” the gender they claim to be. In that light, here's James Hamblin in The Atlantic: Against a Federal Registry of Genitals
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:41 PM on October 22 [17 favorites]


the schenanigans that go on in real time

Worst 24 reboot ever
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 2:41 PM on October 22 [6 favorites]


Perhaps I missed something about a million Scaramuccis ago, but why does the Mueller investigation have to tiptoe around midterm elections when Trump isn't one of the people actually running in this election?

Legally and even per regulations it doesn't. But Mueller is smart and undoubtedly doesn't want to give TrumpCo ammunition to use to try to discredit Mueller as a partisan witchhunt trying to mess up the midterms. Which of course Trump will do anyway but no reason to make it easy for him.

It's not like Mueller's team isn't still working, they're just laying low.
posted by Justinian at 2:42 PM on October 22 [2 favorites]


why does the Mueller investigation have to tiptoe around midterm elections when Trump isn't one of the people actually running in this election?

Especially when he keeps asserting that he isn't linked to the people under investigation. He can't have it both ways.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:42 PM on October 22 [6 favorites]


Beto O'Rourke's going to every freaking country is legendary stuff. It reminds of what I've heard about RFK, about what I saw with Obama, and what I've read about LBJ's election to the House of Representatives:
A third major reason for Johnson's longshot victory was how hard he worked for it. The young politician began campaigning the morning after he announced, several days before Governor Allred even set the election day, and campaigned day after day after day straight through until an emergency appendectomy hospitalized him forty-eight hours before the election. For forty straight days he worked like a man possessed from before sun-up till well after midnight. He raced by automobile across the 8,000 square miles of the Tenth District speaking at rallies, attending barbecues he paid to stage, consulting with political leaders, and talking with every single voter he could possibly find.

"He kept going back to towns, visiting repeatedly not just the six 'big' towns in which the candidates campaigned but tiny villages which most of the other candidates never visited at all". Other candidates might cancel campaign swings or appearances because of a blue norther that brought blizzard conditions to Central Texas, but not Lyndon. Others tended to concentrate their efforts on Saturday when farmers came to town, Johnson campaigned every hour every day.
...
The election results proved the wisdom of this strategic decision. While Johnson got only 28% of the votes cast and lost the eastern prairie counties, he carried four of the five Hill Country counties and won these counties by overwhelming margins.
O'Rourke's spent a lot of time and energy going to deep-red counties that are unlikely to vote for him. It really shows he wants to represent everyone in Texas. C'mon, Texas, he deserves to win!
posted by kirkaracha at 2:44 PM on October 22 [22 favorites]


The recent precedent is Mueller should drop whatever action he's going to take 9 days before the election. That's next Sunday.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:45 PM on October 22 [20 favorites]


I feel like an insane, illogical premise has been snuck into everyone's minds.

It was. Donald Trump was elected president almost two years ago.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:45 PM on October 22 [13 favorites]


I do not get this Avenatti talk. His attempts to go after Trump in court haven't gone well and he doesn't say the right things. Plus, he's not polling well. Who wants this? Why are we acting like it's a serious challenge? Is the pull of white dude that strong?
posted by asteria at 2:48 PM on October 22 [21 favorites]


I have been on the anti-Avenatti train for a while now (ok more of a anti-pro-Avenatti train) and it's a lonely place. Forget it, asteria, it's chinatown.
posted by Justinian at 2:49 PM on October 22 [18 favorites]


It would be good to have some sort of punitive consequences for passing voter-suppression laws

In a functioning democracy not built on white supremacy, shame would be this consequence. (See also, Talia Lavin's The Death Of Shame: "In one of America’s two major political parties, the 2018 election cycle has been marked by the noted absence, perhaps the death, of shame.") People who actively inhibit democracy would, in any sensible system, be yelled at, voted out, and unwelcome in polite society. That's how social shaming works.

But we don't have that. We have a party that lies time and time again without shame and actively whips up white supremacist furry. Passing voter suppression laws doesn't get you shunned; it's what gets you re-elected.

I keep hearing the Democrats need to fight as hard as Republicans, and I don't disagree, but I'm not sure how to do that without abandoning any sense of shame. And it seems that what we need is more shame in this country, not less, so that when people with power want to do things that are inherently shameful, like suppress the vote, they are shamed into not doing so. I don't know how to do that: "Make America Shameful Again" is hardly a winning slogan (some would say it's been the Democratic Party's motto for decades).
posted by zachlipton at 2:49 PM on October 22 [16 favorites]


I expect many people who might support the administration's proposed trans-exclusionary regulations would change their mind if they realised that everybody is going to be scrutinised by the gender police, especially kids around puberty. It's going to be horrible and humiliating and there will be times when people close to them will be harassed with demands that they prove that they're “really” the gender they claim to be. In that light, here's James Hamblin in The Atlantic: Against a Federal Registry of Genitals

Pretty sure all those dumbfucks who support this latest Trump move are going to use the Shirley Exception to justify it.

Also, that Atlantic link is fucked up, because the top related story to the "Against Federal Registry" is Jesse Singal's vile anti-trans article. So, not only does The Atlantic get to say that it's a bad idea because kids will be scrutinized by the gender police, it then recommends an article that fucking recommends that those kids be scrutinized, disbelieved, and gaslit about their gender identity.

It's shitty people like Jesse Singal and publications that platform them that make it easier for people to just throw their hands up and do nothing when this stuff happens.
posted by anem0ne at 2:55 PM on October 22 [7 favorites]


Who wants this?

nobody in this joint, which is why it baffles me how vigorously we keep getting warned against succumbing to his lawyerly charms.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:56 PM on October 22 [22 favorites]


People who actively inhibit democracy would, in any sensible system, be yelled at, voted out, and unwelcome in polite society. That's how social shaming works.

But we don't have that. We have a party that lies time and time again without shame and actively whips up white supremacist furry. Passing voter suppression laws doesn't get you shunned; it's what gets you re-elected.

I keep hearing the Democrats need to fight as hard as Republicans, and I don't disagree, but I'm not sure how to do that without abandoning any sense of shame. And it seems that what we need is more shame in this country, not less, so that when people with power want to do things that are inherently shameful, like suppress the vote, they are shamed into not doing so.


We do have this, look at Mitch McConnell's dinner confrontation. The problem is this doesn't happen to him every single time he leaves the house, and that it doesn't happen to every elected Republican every single time they leave the house. And that the people who rightly threw Mitch's dinner on the floor and got in his face were immediately attacked by the Civility Police in the media, at the same time those same Civility Police were repeating Trump's defense of literal murder without a hint of concern for civility on the other side.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:04 PM on October 22 [13 favorites]


Beto O'Rourke's going to every freaking country is legendary stuff.

He toured with an indie band. That's hard work. Seriously, the logistics of touring is insane when you don't have big label support. It's driving all day, playing all night, sleeping in the van with your head in the kick drum (there's a pillow in there), brutal stuff. And you usually end up with just enough gas money to get to the next gig. If only it were so easy as remembering three chords, as some people think.

On Pod Save America this weekend they said he wasn't taking any PAC money or corporate donations. So it is a bit like an indie campaign.

As far as transferable skills go, touring with a band is probably a great primer for campaigning.
posted by adept256 at 3:07 PM on October 22 [73 favorites]


Disregarding the problem of the illegitimate supreme court, how feasible is it to draft and enforce criminal penalties for disenfranchisement intent? Are there federal laws on the books that are not being enforced, or is it really left almost completely to the states?

It is completely ridiculous that I will get 5 years for tossing one person's vote by mail ballot in the trash, but Kris Kobach and Brian Kemp are free men while disenfranchising tens of thousands.
posted by benzenedream at 3:39 PM on October 22 [30 favorites]


Trump distances himself from a potential GOP thumping
According to two people familiar with the conversations, Trump is distancing himself from a potential Republican thumping on Election Day. He’s telling confidants that he doesn’t see the midterms as a referendum on himself, describing his 2020 reelection bid as “the real election.” And he says that he holds House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell responsible for protecting their majorities in Congress.

According to one person with knowledge of these talks, Trump has said of Ryan and McConnell: “These are their elections … and if they screw it up, it’s not my fault.”
posted by kirkaracha at 4:03 PM on October 22 [9 favorites]


Trump's pure lies & nonsense are exposed for what they are.

@ddale [image: transcript of Trump trying to explain his middle class tax cut lie, very badly]
posted by scalefree at 4:04 PM on October 22 [12 favorites]


Daniel Dale, Donald Trump’s strategy as midterms approach: lies and fear-mongering
Democrats will kick seniors off their health insurance. Democrats will end insurance protections for people with health problems. Democrats will destroy the Social Security retirement system. Democrats will give illegal immigrants free cars. Democrats will abolish America’s borders. Democrats are behind the latest migrant caravan from Latin America. That caravan includes people from the Middle East.

False, false, false, false, false, false, false.

U.S. President Donald Trump made a brief attempt to campaign on his record of accomplishments but, as the November congressional elections approach, he has traded that shiny new positivity for the well-worn tactic that helped him win the presidency in 2016: a blizzard of fear-mongering and lies, many of them about darker-skinned foreigners.

Trump has been a serial liar about just about everything for his entire tenure in office, but he has rarely before deployed so many complete fabrications about so many important subjects at the same time.
Imagine if an American paper could say it so clearly and simply.
posted by zachlipton at 4:11 PM on October 22 [63 favorites]


My friend got diagnosed with brain cancer last week. One of the first things he said to me about it is that he's terrified of leaving his wife and children destitute because of his medical bills. Please canvass, phonebank, textbank, write postcards, donate and vote so that no dying parent in this country ever has to spend their last months worrying about this.
posted by mcduff at 4:26 PM on October 22 [60 favorites]


A ray of hope on, of all things, Fox and Friends.
When "Fox & Friends" co-host Steve Doocy asked a panel of independent voters for their thoughts on a caravan of 5,000 Central American migrants traveling through Mexico to reach the United States, he seemed surprised by their answers, which expressed sympathy for the individuals fleeing poverty, oppression and violence.
Interestingly, they all say things like, “of course they should be processed properly.” These are low information people who are generally reasonable; they just don’t think too deeply. These are exactly the people who buy the bullshit Republican rationalizations. These are exactly the people who need to hear the truth: the Republicans are lying.

Every news organization that fails to note that is fucking complicit at this point. And also: beneath contempt. Jesus Christ, it’s pathetic. Above all it’s pathetic. If you are a journalist or a news editor, your one, highest duty is to tell the truth. And these motherfuckers get you to stand up every day and spout lies for them. You stand for nothing.

Tell the truth. Call them liars until they are forced to respond. Stand for something.
posted by schadenfrau at 4:41 PM on October 22 [33 favorites]


...it’s like he’s wraithed the entire industry.
posted by schadenfrau at 4:41 PM on October 22 [7 favorites]


[image: transcript of Trump trying to explain his middle class tax cut lie, very badly]

The Trump administration will pay accounting companies millions of dollars to build several small scale models of the tax cut and will distribute photos of actual middle-class tax cuts being constructed during the Obama administration. Some parts of the final Trump tax cut may be “transparent”.
posted by XMLicious at 4:52 PM on October 22 [4 favorites]


NYT, The Day John Kelly and Corey Lewandowski Squared Off Outside the Oval Office, in which we're still learning about what went down in February and everyone is trying to get Kelly fired:
An argument last February between the White House chief of staff, John F. Kelly, and Corey Lewandowski, an informal adviser to President Trump, turned into a physical altercation that required Secret Service intervention just outside the Oval Office, according to a half-dozen people familiar with the events.

The episode, details of which have not been previously reported, is the latest illustration of the often chaotic atmosphere Mr. Trump is willing to tolerate in the White House as well as a reflection of the degree to which Mr. Kelly’s temper can be provoked.

The near brawl — during which Mr. Kelly grabbed Mr. Lewandowski by the collar and tried to have him ejected from the West Wing — came at a time when the chief of staff was facing uncertainty about how long Mr. Trump would keep him in his job. A guessing game over his departure has colored his tenure ever since.
Don't worry, there's a grift angle:
Mr. Kelly criticized Mr. Lewandowski to Mr. Trump for making so much money off the president in the form of his contract with the super PAC supporting the president’s re-election. Mr. Kelly also expressed his anger that Mr. Lewandowski had been criticizing him on television for his handling of the security clearance controversy related to Mr. Porter.
posted by zachlipton at 4:56 PM on October 22 [5 favorites]


What is THAT!? A middle class tax cut FOR ANTS!!??
posted by j_curiouser at 4:58 PM on October 22 [17 favorites]


According to two people familiar with the conversations, Trump is distancing himself from a potential Republican thumping on Election Day. He’s telling confidants that he doesn’t see the midterms as a referendum on himself

Trump, at rally in September: "Get out in 2018, because you’re voting for me in 2018. You're voting for me."

@ddale [image: transcript of Trump trying to explain his middle class tax cut lie, very badly]

It's worth quoting the sorry exchange in its entirety, per the WH Pool Report:
Q You said "lower tax cuts." You said that you wanted tax cuts by November 1st. Congress isn't even in session. How is that possible?

THE PRESIDENT: No, we're going to be passing -- no, no. We're putting in a resolution sometime in the next week, or week and a half, two weeks.

Q A resolution where?

THE PRESIDENT: We're going to put in -- we're giving a middle-income tax reduction of about 10 percent. We're doing it now for middle-income people. This is not for business; this is for middle. That's on top of the tax decrease that we've already given them.

Q Are you signing an executive order for that?

THE PRESIDENT: No. No. No. I'm going through Congress.

Q But Congress isn't in session though.

THE PRESIDENT: We won't have time to do the vote. We'll do the vote later.

Q Congress is out.

THE PRESIDENT: We'll do the vote after the election.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:08 PM on October 22 [35 favorites]


Daniel Dale reflects, "I've fact-checked every word Trump has uttered for two full years. This is one of his most dishonest weeks in political life. He's lying about so many different things at once, and in big ways -- not exaggerating or stretching, completely making stuff up."

With that in mind, here's his live-tweet/fact-check of Trump's rally with Ted Cruz in Houston. Sample: "Trump keeps talking about the tax cut nobody else including his aides knows anything about: "We're going to be putting in a 10% tax cut for middle-income tax families...Kevin Brady is working on it...all middle-income people, a big tax cut...we'll be putting it in next (week?)." (That last bit is unintelligible as even Trump can't spit out that bullshit schedule.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:12 PM on October 22 [12 favorites]


Well, this isn't great.

[NBC News] Republicans outpacing Democrats in early voting in key states, NBC News finds
Republican-affiliated voters have outpaced Democratic-affiliated voters in early voting in seven closely watched states, according to data provided by TargetSmart and independently analyzed by the NBC News Data Analytics Lab.

GOP-affiliated voters have surpassed Democratic-affiliated ones in early voting in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Montana, Tennessee and Texas, the data showed.

Only in Nevada have Democratic-affiliated voters exceeded Republican-affiliated voters so far in early voting, according to the data.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 5:13 PM on October 22 [5 favorites]


Trump has adopted a new tactic: literally mumbling when it's time to say when the tax cut is happening so nobody can understand what he's saying.
posted by zachlipton at 5:13 PM on October 22 [19 favorites]


Nate Silver on early voting, for what it's worth.
posted by gimonca at 5:41 PM on October 22 [5 favorites]


While the New Hampshire order is good and right, what are the consequences for those attempting voter suppression? I just feel there should be some penalty for attempting to subvert democracy. At the moment, it just seems to be 'nice try, better luck next time'.

Yeah, bad news is that that's what they're doing. We've got HB 1264 due to take effect in 2019, which would merge definitions of "domiciled" with being a "resident" of the state, which impacts how voting works, since those statues currently refer to people being "domiciled" here.

The definition of "resident" is stricter than being domiciled, and includes things like, if you have a license, you need to switch it to a NH one, and register your car here. Overview here. It's a targeted strike on college students and transient people/a poll tax.
posted by damayanti at 5:50 PM on October 22 [5 favorites]


@chrisgeidner: BREAKING: #SCOTUS Halts Deposition Of Commerce Secretary In Challenge To Census Citizenship Question, Allows Deposition of DOJ Official To Proceed. While #SCOTUS stopped the Ross deposition for now and allowed the deposition of Gore and other discovery to go ahead, Gorsuch, joined by Thomas, would have granted the stay as sought by DOJ — halting both depositions and the extra discovery. The Chief found a way to keep this to only two justices voicing disagreement with the order. That's an impressive compromise — which involved quite a bit of work inside the court, I have to imagine.

More details on what happens next (the Justice Department has a bit more time to again ask the Supreme Court to sheild Ross from being deposed).
posted by zachlipton at 5:55 PM on October 22 [3 favorites]


So, most of the Republicans in my area have been using blue signs. GOP candidates for Gov, Rep, and state house ... all the signs are blue. Cowards. Is this the case everywhere?
posted by Dashy at 6:10 PM on October 22 [3 favorites]


I wouldn't read much into that. Yard signs are almost always blue. Reagan/Bush, Bush/Quayle, Dole/Kemp, Bush/Cheney, McCain/Palin, Romney/Ryan, Trump/Pence: all blue. Clinton/Gore '96 had probably the reddest yard sign (half-red) over that time period. The whole "blue state" and "red state" thing only dates to 2000 anyway, but it's never translated to campaign marketing materials.
posted by stopgap at 6:22 PM on October 22 [2 favorites]


In things-we-already-pretty-much-knew news, Trump says "I'm a nationalist" at Cruz's rally.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:27 PM on October 22 [5 favorites]


The NBC story appears to be counting absentee and in-person voting together, and an overall GOP advantage in that total is not nearly as surprising as it would be for in-person alone.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:27 PM on October 22 [4 favorites]


As mentioned on the Grey this afternoon, that article was published at 1:45PM on the very first day of early voting in Texas, well before any of the after-work folks could have hit the polls, so I take that data with several hefty grains of salt. Anecdotal reports is that early voting lines are filling up and swelling here as they are elsewhere--we'll see what the actual data comes out with in November.
posted by sciatrix at 6:28 PM on October 22 [9 favorites]


Beto's all-county visits and the attention paid to it remind me of the first person I was actually enthusiastic to vote for, Lawton Chiles.
posted by phearlez at 6:29 PM on October 22 [8 favorites]


Early vote numbers are pure haruspicy, guys. Don't be somebody who stares at them and frets all day, or follows every real-time NYT poll and worries at the ones with fewer than 100 respondents, or flips out at every 0.2 point uptick in the R congressional balance.

I do that for you so you don't have to. I'm like the sin-eater. Leave it to the expert.
posted by Justinian at 6:33 PM on October 22 [110 favorites]


I was called today by a DCCC fundraiser citing the report on early voting returns--very much "the sky is falling" in tone--and I argued with her that it wasn't true in CO based on numbers I'd seen. Then I told her that I was volunteering, knocking doors and making phone calls, and I didn't want to waste any more of her time because I wasn't going to be donating (I have been donating to candidates, just not through the DCCC). My kid and I did some GOTV this afternoon and I returned my ballot this evening.
posted by danielleh at 6:35 PM on October 22 [23 favorites]


Gorsuch, joined by Thomas, would have granted the stay as sought by DOJ — halting both depositions and the extra discovery.

There's a bit more to it than that. Gorsuch's dissent from the order is staggeringly deceitful, saying that the only evidence of "bad faith" from Ross is that he changed his mind on the need for a citizenship question after joining the administration -- nary a mention of telling Congress two different stories about how the question came to be.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:38 PM on October 22 [16 favorites]


Trump has adopted a new tactic: literally mumbling when it's time to say when the tax cut is happening so nobody can understand what he's saying.

He said the sheriff's near.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:39 PM on October 22 [25 favorites]


Anecdata from Massachusetts: saw my first (ever?) political ad for the Republican governor, Charlie Baker, feature all people who identified themselves as "a proud Democrat voting for Charlie Baker."

Seems to me like even though he's got an extremely high approval rating, Baker is very worried about being tainted with the Republican label in a midterm backlash...
posted by TwoStride at 6:41 PM on October 22 [2 favorites]


saw my first (ever?) political ad for the Republican governor, Charlie Baker, feature all people who identified themselves as "a proud Democrat voting for Charlie Baker."

That must be the ad touting his bipartisanship as he walks thoughtfully with, among others, Dan Rivera, the Democratic mayor of Lawrence, who's been in the news a lot of late, what with the local gas company blowing up parts of his city. It's actually nothing new for Baker; of more concern, if this were an actual campaign, would be his support of the rabid Trumpkin running against Elizabeth Warren.
posted by adamg at 6:51 PM on October 22 [6 favorites]




In things-we-already-pretty-much-knew news, Trump says "I'm a nationalist" at Cruz's rally.

It's worth taking the context [video] on this one:
Radical Democrats want to turn back the clock, restore the rule of corrupt, power-hungry globalists. You know what a globalist is, right? You know what a globalist is? A globalist is a person that wants the globe to do well, frankly, not caring about our country so much. And you know what? We can't have that. You know, they have a word, it sort of became old fashioned. It's called a nationalist. And I say really, we're not supposed to use that word. You know what I am? I'm a nationalist, ok? [cheering] I'm a nationalist. Nationalist. Nothing. Use that word. Use that word. [USA chants]
It was too much even for Le Pen: @PGourevitch: Even Marine Le Pen of the National Front, when I interviewed her in 2011, steered clear of that label: “I prefer ‘nationals.’ ‘Nationalists’ sounds a little...” she said, waving a hand under her nose to indicate the foul stench.

But it's Trump's little "we're not supposed to use that word" that's the tell. He knows exactly what he's doing. He's been directly told not to talk like this.

I was going to end this comment by saying that Trump knows exactly where talking like this leads, but since I'm incapable of getting through a complete thought without looking at Twitter, I happened to see this first, which really answers that question: NYT, Explosive Device Found Near George Soros’s Home in Westchester County
posted by zachlipton at 7:38 PM on October 22 [60 favorites]


John Whitehouse (Media Matters):
All of the evening news broadcasts are leading with what Republicans want as the top story.

Meanwhile, they did not air a single health care segment for all of 2018. This same thing happened in 2014, when these shows covered Ebola for just before the election ... right before it magically stopped being an issue. It is no secret what's going on here. They're quite open about it on Fox News. Here's the NBC segment. Watch how little time and emphasis they give to noting that Trump's claim is a total lie. (And then frame the migrants as taking on Trump personally, for some reason). Here's ABC. They repeat twice that Trump's claim has no evidence, but take at face value apparently Trump's claim that this is a national emergency. CBS teased a segment about the midterms, before going to a full segment on the caravan. They framed it as one of Trump's talking points for the rally tonight. CBS in a subsequent segment portrayed Trump's lie as him "ramping up the rhetoric on immigration." They then interviewed two people in MAGA hats before airing one line about Democrats hoping Trump's remarks backfire. And let's say you disagree with me on the characterization of these segments. Fine. The newscasts are still making a categorical error in giving it this much attention. Just because Trump tweets something does not make it the top story. They can't even agree where the caravan is headed and yet it's still the top story. and trump's bragging about his strategy working.
Trump is straight up telling cable news they are playing directly into his hands:

per @USATODAY, re: the caravan lies, "[Trump] said the TV footage that showed them straggling north was rebounding to the political benefit of Republicans in the midterms."
Our media is choosing to repeat Republican lies over any actual coverage of real issues.

Meanwhile while Republicans now claim to want to protect preexisting conditions:
Trump Administration releases new rule to allow states to add plans which don’t cover pre-existing conditions.

2 week’s before an election in which GOP is claiming this isn’t really their strategy.
Zero stories on the nightly news.
Republicans: We're going to cut taxes for the rich next year and also cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Democrats: THEY'RE GOING TO CUT TAXES FOR THE RICH AND CUT MEDICARE, MEDICAID, AND SOCIAL SECURITY!

Trump: GUATAMALA IS ISIS!!

Nightly News: Is Guatemala ISIS?
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:42 PM on October 22 [64 favorites]


Regarding NBC's early voting article, a word from the CEO of TargetSmart:

@tbonier:
Folks, our partnership with NBC allows them to perform their own analysis with our data. Sometimes I agree with what they do, sometimes I don't. The piece today falls into the latter category.
posted by chris24 at 7:46 PM on October 22 [22 favorites]


NYT, Explosive Device Found Near George Soros’s Home in Westchester County

They even soft pedaled a mail bomb:
“An employee of the residence opened the package, revealing what appeared to be an explosive device,” the police said in a statement. “The employee placed the package in a wooded area and called the Bedford police.”
"found near". It was found in his mailbox and his staff took it inside his house and opened it.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:30 PM on October 22 [49 favorites]


TwoStride: "Anecdata from Massachusetts: saw my first (ever?) political ad for the Republican governor, Charlie Baker, feature all people who identified themselves as "a proud Democrat voting for Charlie Baker."

Seems to me like even though he's got an extremely high approval rating, Baker is very worried about being tainted with the Republican label in a midterm backlash...
"

I'd be shocked if Baker won by as little as 20 points. I don't think he's that worried.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:50 PM on October 22


Justinian: "Early vote numbers are pure haruspicy, guys."

Mmm, I think it's more like nephelomancy.

Seriously, I think there *can* be some value extracted from early voting info. That said:

a) It's at best a supporting indicator, like fundraising. It may tell you something, but less than polling or PVI.

b) You really need to be familiar with the state/region, and what can be expected in order to draw reasonable inferences, and the number of people who have that kind of detailed background is pretty small. It's kind of like knowing last Election Day that Northern Virginia comes in late, so don't freak out over an early GOP lead, but way more so.

Where people I trust say, "This looks like a positive indicator for Dems," I'm glad to hear that, but that's about as far as I take it.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:56 PM on October 22 [13 favorites]


NYT, Explosive Device Found Near George Soros’s Home in Westchester County

Trump is a stochastic terrorist, full stop. He doesn't get to wash his hands of the absolutely foreseeable results of his words and deeds.
posted by Justinian at 9:19 PM on October 22 [28 favorites]


Keith Ellison has now slipped behind Doug Wardlow in the polls in the MN AG race.

He does not have high name recognition, while Keith does, though lots of people have a negative opinion of Ellison. And for the near constant RNC attack ads I see towards Keith Ellison, I have yet to see one attack ad on Wardlow, who is an extreme right winger with noxious views relying on his lack of name recognition to try to sneak in as a moderate (and, so far, succeeding). Which really makes me wonder what the fuck the Democrats/DCCC are spending their money on in Minnesota?!?
posted by triggerfinger at 9:20 PM on October 22 [7 favorites]


You really need to be familiar with the state/region, and what can be expected in order to draw reasonable inferences

I do follow Ralston's analysis of the early vote in Nevada since he's intimately familiar with what it means. I don't know who can provide equivalent context for other places like FL, GA, TX etc though so I never link anything.
posted by Justinian at 9:21 PM on October 22


Steve Shale is probably the Ralston of Florida. Not sure about elsewhere.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:24 PM on October 22 [2 favorites]


Reno Gazette Journal, 12 Laxalt family members oppose Laxalt for Nevada governor. Here's why, in their own words by [deep breath] Gabriel Urza, Kevin Nomura, Amy Nomura Solaro, Alexandra Urza, Kevan Danielle Laxalt, Michelle Terese Laxalt, Peter Laxalt, Michelle Janet Laxalt, Dr. Kevin Marie Laxalt, Dr. Kristin Laxalt, Monique Laxalt and Meggan Laxalt Mackey.

It starts off by calling him a carpetbagger poser and continues from there.
posted by zachlipton at 9:29 PM on October 22 [11 favorites]


I'd be shocked if Baker won by as little as 20 points. I don't think he's that worried.

528 has Baker as the 2nd most secure governor only behind Ige in Hawaii.

For an ostensibly Blue state, Massachusetts sure does love electing Republican governors and fucking over the only veto-proof Democratic Senate majority we'll ever see in our lifetimes.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:41 PM on October 22 [9 favorites]


I take your broader point - get it together, Dems of the Bay State! - but aside from Massachusetts, Democrats also have the supermajority in the Senates of Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Vermont. And they only need one more seat to achieve it in California, and two in Nevada.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:50 PM on October 22


For an ostensibly Blue state, Massachusetts sure does love electing Republican governors and fucking over the only veto-proof Democratic Senate majority we'll ever see in our lifetimes.

Hi, Maryland here. We heard there's a challenger to our rightful place on the "blue state that stupidly gives Republicans another chance to run the state on occasion" throne. Have you seen our latest MD-Gov polls?

You've got your work cut out for you, Massholes.
posted by CommonSense at 10:03 PM on October 22 [21 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

// 15 days until Election Day //

** 2018 Senate:
-- AZ: Siena poll has GOPer McSally up 48-46 on Dem Sinema [MOE: +/- 4.2%].

-- FL: A slew of Florida Senate polls today.
-- OnMessage has GOPer Scott up 51-46 on Dem incumbent Nelson [MOE: +/- 2.1%]. This poll was commissioned by the Scott campaign.

-- Quinnipiac has Nelson up 52-46 [MOE: +/- 3.5%].

-- Survey USA has Nelson up 49-41 [MOE: +/- 5.0%].

-- SEA Polling has Scott up 47-45 [no MOE listed].

-- SSRS has Nelson up 50-45 [MOE: +/- 4.2%].

-- St Pete Polls has Scott up 47-48 [MOE: +/- 2.5%].
-- IN: American Viewpoint poll has GOPer Braun up 44-40 on Dem incumbent Donnelly [no MOE listed]. This poll was commissioned by the Braun campaign. => If you want to see what energetic BS reads like, check out this polling memo. It goes on at great length about how the Donnelly campaign is cratering, and then has the exact same race numbers as a couple of weeks ago. Not to say that Donnelly will win, but this document is not providing an objective assessment of anything. | Elsewhere, a Purdue University poll has Donnelly up 41-40 [MOE: +/- 4.6%].

-- MN (A): Mason-Dixon poll has Dem incumbent Klobuchar up 56-33 on GOPer Newberger [MOE: +/- 3.5%].

-- MN (B): Same Mason-Dixon poll has Dem incumbent Smith up 47-41 on GOPer Housley.

-- MO: Remington Research poll has GOPer Hawley up 48-47 on Dem incumbent McCaskill [MOE: +/- 2.7%].

-- ND: Strategic Research poll has GOPer Cramer up 56-40 on Dem incumbent Heitkamp [MOE: +/- 3.9%]. => There have been some eyebrows raised about Strategic Research polls - this is apparently their first foray into political polling. That said, a lead for Cramer seems pretty clear at this point.

-- WV: Strategic Research poll has Dem incumbent Manchin up 52-36 on GOPer Morrisey [MOE: +/- 3.9%].

-- Pan Atlantic Research poll has indy incumbent King at 57, GOPer Brakey at 30, and Dem Ringelstein at 8 [MOE: +/- 4.4%].

-- VT: Braun Research poll has indy incumbent Sanders up 60-19 on GOPer Zupan [MOE: +/- 4.0%]. => Before there are any wisecracks, they were polling governor and stuff, and there's no reason not to ask about this race, too, even though it is a foregone conclusion.
** 2018 House:
-- ME-01: Same Pan Atlantic Research poll has Dem incumbent Pingree at 53, GOPer Holbrook at 29, indy Grohman at 11. [Clinton 54-39 | Cook: Solid D]

-- ME-02: Same Pan Atlantic Research poll has GOP incumbent Poliquin tied 37-37 with Dem Golden, indy Bond at 6. They did ask about second choice, but a high percentage of people were unsure. [Trump 51-41 | Cook: Tossup]

-- FL-27: Siena poll has Dem Shalala up 44-37 on GOPer Salazar [MOE: +/- 5.0%]. [Clinton 59-39 | Cook: Tossup] => Siena had a lot of trouble getting good responses on this, so it ended up heavily weighted; approach with caution.

-- VT-AL: Same Braun Research poll has Dem incumbent Welch up 55-18 on GOPer Tynio. [Clinton 57-30 | Cook: Solid D]

-- AR-02: Hendrix College poll has GOP incumbent Hill up 52-40 on Dem Tucker [MOE: +/- 4.0%]. [Trump 52-42 | Cook: Lean R]

-- FL-15: Remington Research poll has GOPer Spano up 47-41 on Dem Carlson [MOE: +/- 2.6%]. Poll was commissioned by the Spano campaign. [Trump 53-43 | Cook: Lean R]

-- GA-07: JMC/BBC poll has GOP inumbent Woodall up 49-43 on Dem Bourdeaux [MOE: +/- 4.5%]. [Trump 51-45 | Cook: Lean R]

-- NY-19: Siena poll has GOP incumbent Faso up 44-43 on Dem Delgado [MOE: +/- 4.6%]. [Trump 51-44 | Cook: Tossup] => This is the race with the incredibly racist GOP messaging. Well, I know, but one of the top three.

-- WA-03: Siena poll has GOP incumbent Herrera Beutler up 48-41 on Dem Long [MOE: +/- 4.6%]. [Trump 50-43 | Cook: Lean R]

-- VA-05: Siena poll has Dem Cockburn up 46-45 on GOPer Riggleman [MOE: +/- 4.6%]. [Trump 53-42 | Cook: Lean R] => Riggleman is the Bigfoot guy.

-- IL-12: Siena poll has GOP incumbent Bost 48-39 on Dem Kelly [MOE: +/- 4.7%]. [Trump 55-40 | Cook: Tossup]

-- VA-02: Siena poll has GOP incumbent Taylor up 45-42 on Dem Luria [MOE: +/- 4.6%]. [Trump 49-45 | Cook: Tossup]

** Odds & ends:
-- CO gov: YouGov poll has Dem Polis up 54-42 on GOPer Stapleton [MOE: +/- 3.5%]. [Cook: Lean D]

-- FL gov: Of course, the FL Senate pollsters were asking about governor, too. (if you're wondering, Quinnipiac is releasing their governor poll separately on Tuesday) [Cook: Tossup]
-- OnMessage has GOPer DeSantis up 48-45 on Dem Gillum. Again, this poll was commissioned by the Scott campaign. Also, I believe this is the only poll since the primary to have DeSantis leading.

-- SEA has Gillum up 48-42.

-- Survey USA has Gillum up 49-42.

-- SSRS has Gillum up 54-42.

-- St Pete has Gillum up 47-46.
-- ME gov: Same Pan Atlantic Research poll has Dem Mills at 44, GOPer Moody at 36, and indy Hayes at 8. [Cook: Tossup]

-- MN gov: Same Mason-Dixon poll has Dem Walz up 45-39 on GOPer Johnson. [Cook: Likely D]

-- VT gov: Same Braun Research poll has GOP incumbent Scott up 42-28 on Dem Hallquist. [Cook: Solid R] | Downballot: LG: Dem Zuckerman up 47-30 on GOPer Turner. AG: Dem Donovan up 56-17 on GOPer Willhoit. SOS" Dem Condos up 45-22 on GOPer Paige.
** Averages & forecasts:
-- 538 generic ballot average: D+8.6 (49.9/41.3)

-- 538 House forecast (classic): 86.5% chance of Dem control

-- 538 Senate forecast (classic): 21.6% chance of Dem control

-- 538 governor forecast (classic): Dems favored to control 24.1 states.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:01 PM on October 22 [29 favorites]


but aside from Massachusetts, Democrats also have the supermajority in the Senates of Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Vermont

I think he meant when they replaced Ted Kennedy with a Republican, thus knocking the Democratic majority in the US Senate from 60 down to 59.
posted by Justinian at 11:18 PM on October 22 [9 favorites]


Yeah, I realized that later. I have state legislatures on the brain.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:23 PM on October 22


So is anybody taking numbers for vote suppression & folding them into projections for specific races? I'm not sure how you'd do it; is there any way to combine them with any degree of precision?
posted by scalefree at 12:00 AM on October 23 [2 favorites]


As much as I love Chrysostom's updates, poll watching is mostly worthless (as we saw in 2016), unless you are using them to decide where your dollars or time can best be spent, or you are a political operative. I am never again going to assume a race is safe because of fucking polls. So many assumptions have been weakened --engagement, voter supression, Trump's cult influence, and the reshaping of the two main parties all add noise into an already imprecise model. Please take any time you might spend zombieing out to poll watching (guilty!) and do anything concrete, even if it's just baking cookies for your local (non nazi) dogcatcher candidate, or better yet, GOTV efforts. Even if you're in a deep blue region odds are you are within a one hour drive of a tossup suburban/exurban district.
posted by benzenedream at 12:35 AM on October 23 [18 favorites]




They did ask about second choice, but a high percentage of people were unsure

For those not aware, the races in ME for CD1 and CD2 will use ranked choice voting.

The race for Governor - the seat that got all this started in the first place - will not, because the Maine Republican Party refuses to work with the Dems to make the necessary changes to the Maine Constitution, and have, in fact, gone to court a few times attempting to get ranked choice tossed out entirely.
posted by anastasiav at 4:16 AM on October 23 [8 favorites]


I have yet to see one attack ad on Wardlow

I've seen one in rotation. I can't quote you who funded it, I think the Ellison campaign. It's a pretty good ad: one of the pull quotes is around "Wardlow wants to throw doctors in jail who do reproductive health care for women". Can't find it on YouTube.

(This is how I know the DCCC or comparable weren't involved....it's a good ad that bring up real issues and doesn't pull punches. I'm assuming DCCC doesn't fund state AG races.)

Also, as long as I'm on the subject, any poll involving the StarTribune is likely to be laughably bad. Ellison still has a fight on his hands, but I've seen too many ridiculous Strib polls to take any given one seriously.

Further aside: this is where get out the vote efforts in the cities are super important. We need to rack up big, big totals in Hennepin, Ramsey, etc. to counter any potential weakness outstate, or people voting for super-popular Amy Klobuchar and skipping the downballot races.
posted by gimonca at 5:09 AM on October 23 [7 favorites]


For an ostensibly Blue state, Massachusetts sure does love [...] fucking over the only veto-proof Democratic Senate majority we'll ever see in our lifetimes.

Massachusetts, like any other state, has its own local politics to contend with, and if you're unhappy about how Scott Brown got into office, you can put the blame squarely on Ted Kennedy himself. In 2004 when John Kerry was running for president, the law of the land was that the Governor appoints a replacement until the next election in case the Senate seat becomes vacant. With Kerry potentially creating a vacancy (if he won) and a Republican governor in place (Mitt Romney), the Democrats cooked up a scheme to change the law so that it was via a special election, specifically to thwart this potential short-term loss. This scheme was driven primarily by Ted Kennedy.

Kerry of course did not get elected, the seat was not vacant, and it didn't matter. Except, then years later, Ted Kennedy on his death bed tried to get it changed back, so that the now-Governor (Democrat Deval Patrick) could appoint someone to his seat after he died instead of let there be a special election. This failed, and we had the special election only possible because of Kennedy's earlier bad faith fucking with the system. The Democrats then also ran a pretty shitty candidate who assumed the seat was clearly owed to her party, and the rest is history.

Turns out when you've got a single-party state and get up to bullshit shenanigans, it occasionally bites you in the ass.
posted by tocts at 5:34 AM on October 23 [25 favorites]




Also, as long as I'm on the subject, any poll involving the StarTribune is likely to be laughably bad. Ellison still has a fight on his hands, but I've seen too many ridiculous Strib polls to take any given one seriously.

The current owner of the StarTribune, Glen Taylor, was expected to exert a rightward pull on what was already a conservative newspaper when he purchased it.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:20 AM on October 23 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I don't know how much to trust that poll on the Wardlow/Ellison race, but it's scary enough that I'm going to try to phonebank for Ellison this weekend. Wardlow is fucking terrifying.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:25 AM on October 23 [9 favorites]


Political ad spending tops $71 million in Minnesota - Kelly Busche, Christian King, Imani Cruzen, Emily Gray and Hailey Almsted, MinnPost.com
Candidates and interest groups had bought space for more than 330,000 TV and radio ads as of Oct. 9, still a month before election day. On network and cable television, the ad buys account for nearly 2,600 hours of ad time – enough to cover 107 full days of nothing but political commercials.

If that number seems higher than other estimates floating around, there’s a reason for that. This is the first election cycle for which political advertising can be quantified across radio, television and cable without visiting individual stations; the Federal Communications Commission only now requires cable operators to file ad purchases electronically. Other studies about this year’s campaign ad spending mostly utilize documents from Minnesota’s Campaign Finance Board or the Federal Elections Commission. But the delays in reporting campaign activity to those organizations can be lengthy, while the FCC database is updated regularly.

Still, a complete accounting of the ads isn’t an easy process. Each TV network station, cable company and radio station files its reports via a pdf document, meaning each ad purchase must be collected and counted individually. The process, done on a week-by-week basis, provides an opportunity to study election advertising by campaigns and outside groups in close to real time. (The data doesn’t include satellite companies, who are not required to file in as timely a manner.)

That accounting was done by a team of student journalists at the University of Minnesota, which has been reviewing each filing for Minnesota’s eight congressional races, two U.S. Senate races and the statewide races for governor, attorney general, state treasurer and state auditor. The process, done on a week-by-week basis, provides an opportunity to study election advertising by campaigns and outside groups in close to real time.

“I think getting a fuller picture of who’s influencing voters is always helpful,” said Dan Weiner, the senior counsel at the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program at New York University. “The really important disclosure is the big ad buys, because those are the things that actually bring leverage to people in power.”
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:37 AM on October 23 [1 favorite]


Following Trump’s Lead, GOP Leans Hard Into Culture Wars In Closing Ads - Cameron Joseph, TPM

[fake] Consequences of not voting Republican:
  • Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
  • Egon Spengler: 40 years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes!
  • Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
  • Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!
[/fake]
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:13 AM on October 23 [19 favorites]


Following Trump’s Lead, GOP Leans Hard Into Culture Wars In Closing Ads - Cameron Joseph, TPM

Mashing hard on the "rile up the base" button isn't a sign of a party that expects to amass a lot of popular support. Vile as it is, it's also an admission by the Republicans that they feel they're losing.
posted by Gelatin at 7:20 AM on October 23 [11 favorites]


The hack gap: how and why conservative nonsense dominates American politics
The hack gap has two core pillars. One is the constellation of conservative media outlets — led by Fox News and other Rupert Murdoch properties like the Wall Street Journal editorial page, but also including Sinclair Broadcasting in local television, much of AM talk radio, and new media offerings such as Breitbart and the Daily Caller — that simply abjure anything resembling journalism in favor of propaganda.

The other is that the self-consciousness journalists at legacy outlets have about accusations of liberal bias leads them to bend over backward to allow the leading conservative gripes of the day to dominate the news agenda. Television producers who would never dream of assigning segments where talking heads debate whether it’s bad that the richest country on earth also has millions of children growing up in dire poverty think nothing of chasing random conservative shiny objects, from “Fast & Furious” (remember that one?) to Benghazi to the migrant caravan.

And more than Citizens United or even gerrymandering, it’s a huge constant thumb on the scale in favor of the political right in America.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:59 AM on October 23 [54 favorites]


[One deleted; there's a separate thread for Jamal Khashoggi news.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:02 AM on October 23


gimonca: "Also, as long as I'm on the subject, any poll involving the StarTribune is likely to be laughably bad. Ellison still has a fight on his hands, but I've seen too many ridiculous Strib polls to take any given one seriously."

Well, Mason-Dixon did the actual polling, and they're pretty well regarded (B+ from 538). That said, there have been a grand total of three polls from two firms in this race, and I get increasingly skeptical as races move down the ballot. Admittedly, this is a pretty high profile race.

If I had to place money on it, I'd say Ellison squeaks it out - although MN is not as blue as outsiders appear, the Klobuchar race is dead, and the Smith and governor's races pretty close to it.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:03 AM on October 23 [2 favorites]


anastasiav: "the Maine Republican Party refuses to work with the Dems to make the necessary changes to the Maine Constitution"

Worth pointing out that trifecta control is within reach for Maine Dems - they are only a seat short in the Senate.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:06 AM on October 23 [4 favorites]


Take two minutes to watch The #BlueWave Trailer (by Portland/Vancouver-based Eleven Films).
posted by progosk at 8:14 AM on October 23 [2 favorites]


Two little things in the WaPo:

Rep. Dave Brat, an economist, borrowed heavily from Bernanke in academic paper. Three entire pages of Bernanke's writing ended up in a 2005 paper(pdf) without proper attribution. It was discovered by a fellow at the London School of Economics who called it "plagiarism" and referred it to Brat's former school concerning "apparent academic misconduct."

Chinese-owned company qualifies for Trump’s anti-China farm bailout. Part of the bailout is a $558 million program to buy pork to distribute to food banks and schools and large operators are at an advantage to obtain these contracts. In normal years the program has a budget of around $30 million with a majority going to the two largest pork producers: Smithfield Foods, owned by Chinese conglomerate WH Group, and the Brazilian company JBS. Trump's tariff bailout will likely be a windfall for these companies.
posted by peeedro at 8:17 AM on October 23 [29 favorites]


Cook ratings moves. Two right, eight left.
IL-12 (Bost) | Tossup => Lean R
TX-31 (Carter) | Lean R => Likely R

AK-AL (Young) | Likely R => Lean R
AZ-08 (Lesko) | Solid R => Likely R
FL-06 (open) | Likely R => Lean R
FL-15 (open) | Lean R => Tossup
FL-27 (open) | Tossup => Lean D
NY-23 (Reed) | Solid R => Likely R
OK-05 (Russell) | Solid R => Likely R
TX-22 (Olson) | Likely R => Lean R
Totals:
Solid D - 182 (182 D, 0 R)
Likely D - 12 (8 D, 4 R)
Lean D - 15 (2 D, 13 R)
Tossup - 30 (1 D, 29 R)
Lean R - 27 (1 D, 26 R)
Likely R - 27 (1 D, 26 R)
Solid R - 142 (0 D, 142 R)
218 needed for majority.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:17 AM on October 23 [32 favorites]


Chrysostom, those number really hit home in terms of how hard this all is to call and how critical Dem turnout is. The first 3 categories add up to 209 so we'd need all those plus 9 tossup races, right? Yikes.

I also just finished season 5 of Veep (no spoilers please!) so the whole nail-biting down to the wire thing is fresh in my mind. I'm going to take the day after election day off like I did in 2016 to either rejoice or freak out.
posted by freecellwizard at 8:32 AM on October 23 [5 favorites]


freecellwizard, if you want the glass half full version, the GOP would have to win all of their Solid/Likely/Lean plus another 22 seats to hold their majority. And if you expand the middle, and put the "Lean" seats into "Tossup" on both sides, the Dems would need to win 14 of the "Tossup/Lean" seats and the GOP would have to win 49. 3 Dem seats are at risk to flip, while that number on the GOP side is 46.

Nothing is ever for certain until things are actually done, but these are better numbers for the House than we've seen in a long time.
posted by azpenguin at 8:39 AM on October 23 [17 favorites]


Statistics was one of my favorite subjects in college, and I love to talk about sampling biases and likely-voter screens and how pollsters may or not be under-counting or over-counting certain populations. But at this point, I just want to vote in my own district (VA-05) and see what happens on election night.

I'm worried that a lot of pollsters may have have been tweaking their likely-voter screening methodologies after getting burned in Virginia and special elections, and they're not telling us how they're doing that. They're usually not very transparent about how they do likely-voter screens. Most of them treat likely-voter screens as proprietary pixie dust. It may make polling in the run-up to this election less reliable than usual. We'll see.

Thanks to all of you who've been volunteering and contributing to Democratic candidates. I can't thank you enough.
posted by nangar at 8:59 AM on October 23 [20 favorites]


Thanks to all of you who've been volunteering and contributing to Democratic candidates. I can't thank you enough.

I'm doing it for the ice cream. And democracy. But also ice cream. Ben and Jerry created sepcial edition flavors for some of the congressional races, and Ben will be at Stephany Rose Spaulding's campaign office tomorrow with Rocky Mountain Rose ice cream.
posted by danielleh at 9:12 AM on October 23 [18 favorites]


Meanwhile, the White House Council of Economic Advisers has released a report on the evils of socialism to commemorate Karl Marx's 200th birthday, where – I swear to God this is not made up – they write that Nordic-style social democracy would be doomed to fail in the United States because its positive outcomes are only possible thanks to the natural tendency for people of Nordic descent to be more well-off than other ethnicities.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:15 AM on October 23 [79 favorites]


Nordic-style social democracy would be doomed to fail in the United States because its positive outcomes are only possible thanks to the natural tendency for people of Nordic descent to be more well-off than other ethnicities.

Jesus fucking Christ. Just call it the "master race" guys, and call it a day - save us all some time.
posted by nubs at 9:18 AM on October 23 [47 favorites]


Hey friends - can I pitch a local city council race that needs some support?

Joey Brunelle is a DSA backed candidate for City Council here in Portland, ME. He's running against eight-term (21 year) incumbent Nick Mavodones, who recently got a HUGE and contribution ($7300) from the National Association of Realtors Fund. This is pretty much unprecedented in little Portland, ME for a council race, but it speaks to the gentrification issue here in Portland and how much the realtors and the business community feel that Mavodones has done for them.

The catch, though is that Brunelle is only accepting donations from folks who have an address (even a summer address) in Maine. Here's his giving link.

I know there are megathread readers here in Maine. If you can, would you toss Joey a few bucks? He's great, and he needs the money. Thanks.
posted by anastasiav at 9:21 AM on October 23 [19 favorites]


Meanwhile, the White House Council of Economic Advisers has released a report on the evils of socialism to commemorate Karl Marx's 200th birthday, where – I swear to God this is not made up – they write that Nordic-style social democracy would be doomed to fail in the United States because its positive outcomes are only possible thanks to the natural tendency for people of Nordic descent to be more well-off than other ethnicities.

Where do you see this? This report is bullshit but its premise seems to be that the Nordic model isn't great from a USA perspective, not that there's something special about them that makes it work.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:32 AM on October 23 [9 favorites]


Yeah, I don't know how much to trust that poll on the Wardlow/Ellison race, but it's scary enough that I'm going to try to phonebank for Ellison this weekend. Wardlow is fucking terrifying.

As a follow up, just got my first pro-Ellison text. I'm guessing it's not just me (and a good portion of my facebook feed) that's freaked out about Wardlow right now.
posted by dinty_moore at 9:35 AM on October 23 [1 favorite]


azpenguin: "freecellwizard, if you want the glass half full version, the GOP would have to win all of their Solid/Likely/Lean plus another 22 seats to hold their majority. And if you expand the middle, and put the "Lean" seats into "Tossup" on both sides, the Dems would need to win 14 of the "Tossup/Lean" seats and the GOP would have to win 49. 3 Dem seats are at risk to flip, while that number on the GOP side is 46.

Nothing is ever for certain until things are actually done, but these are better numbers for the House than we've seen in a long time.
"

Right. Based on what I've read about Cook accuracy (this probably holds true for Sabato, too, but I find his layout uglier), you might expect *maybe* one Likely race to go against prediction, and 1-2 Lean races. On the tossups, the challenger was actually slightly more likely to flip than not. And that's all on average - in a wave situation (Rs in 2010, for example), you generally see races to break towards the wave party.

FWIW #1: the 538 forecast, which is generally more Dem optimistic than Cook, has exactly 218 in Solid/Likely/Lean Dem races.

FWIW #2: The expected distribution of outcomes this time is not even - it has a long tail left. So we have a small-ish chance of the GOP holding control, a most likely scenario of fairly modest Dem gains (but gaining control), and a small-ish chance of substantial to truly massive Dem gains.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:40 AM on October 23 [6 favorites]


nangar: "I'm worried that a lot of pollsters may have have been tweaking their likely-voter screening methodologies after getting burned in Virginia and special elections, and they're not telling us how they're doing that. They're usually not very transparent about how they do likely-voter screens. Most of them treat likely-voter screens as proprietary pixie dust. It may make polling in the run-up to this election less reliable than usual. We'll see."

Heartily endorse this comment. Turnout models are problematic this year (go check out out one of the NYT/Siena polls and you can see how drastically outcome change with different assumptions). How high is Dem interest? How high is Dem interest versus GOP interest? How high is Dem interest in each demographic group (i.e., the famous "Dems have a Hispanic problem")?

I'm sure there will be a lot of interesting papers coming out of this, but bleagh.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:44 AM on October 23 [4 favorites]


It's not the lynchpin of their argument, but Page 33 points out that Americans of Nordic descent earn 25% more than the national average.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:45 AM on October 23 [5 favorites]


It's not the lynchpin of their argument, but Page 33 points out that Americans of Nordic descent earn 25% more than the national average.

See! It isn't white privilege! It's ... um ... something else.
posted by Gelatin at 9:48 AM on October 23 [5 favorites]


It's not the lynchpin of their argument, but Page 33 points out that Americans of Nordic descent earn 25% more than the national average.

how does that compare to white folks in general, though?
posted by murphy slaw at 9:48 AM on October 23


At the same time, people of Nordic descent currently living in the U.S. have incomes about 25 percent above the average American (regardless of descent), and therefore have incomes about 50 percent above the average of the people resident of their home country. In other words, if the U.S. were to take on all the characteristics of a Nordic country, it could expect its incomes to be sharply lower.
I fucking hate feeling like I'm defending this administration but the argument they're making is about American exceptionalism, not racial superiority.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:49 AM on October 23 [7 favorites]


I really don't think they are making the argument that you think they are making. They're trying to say that even if everybody in the USA was like a Nordic person, they would still have lower incomes in a socialist sytem. Obviously whether that's true or not is .... whatever, but this isn't explicitly some white nationalist document.

From the relevant page of the report:

The average real GDP per capita in the U.S. is about 20 percent above the averages in Denmark,
Finland, Iceland, and Sweden. The comparison with Norway is similar, too, if we adjust for
Norway’s large oil income. Indeed, Alaska and North Dakota—U.S. States that, like Norway,
have high oil output per person—enjoy per capita GDP that is 15 and 4 percent higher,
respectively, than Norway’s.
At the same time, people of Nordic descent currently living in the U.S. have incomes about 25
percent above the average American (regardless of descent), and therefore have incomes
about 50 percent above the average of the people resident of their home country. In other
words, if the U.S. were to take on all the characteristics of a Nordic country, it could expect its
incomes to be sharply lower.

posted by permiechickie at 9:51 AM on October 23 [2 favorites]


In other words, if the U.S. were to take on all the characteristics of a Nordic country, it could expect its incomes to be sharply lower.

Well, maybe, but much of the population -- not just wealthy whites -- would enjoy a higher standard of living beyond its income. Conservatives have played the "You'll earn less!" / omitting to mention you'll get more sleight of hand for decades now.
posted by Gelatin at 9:52 AM on October 23 [8 favorites]


Also, if every person in the USA was of Nordic descent, surströmming would be way more popular.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:53 AM on October 23 [15 favorites]


See! It isn't white privilege! It's ... um ... something else.

Oh, I'm 100% sure that this number comes from white privilege. That's not the argument that the report is making, though.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:53 AM on October 23 [1 favorite]


The Trump administration continues to run purity tests on non-partisan appointments, the Washington Post finds: ‘I’ve never seen these positions politicized’: White House rejection of veterans judges raises concerns of partisanship
The Board of Veterans’ Appeals has long filled a nonpartisan role in the federal government, run by dozens of judges charged with sorting through a thicket of regulations to determine whether an injured veteran is entitled to lifetime benefits.

But this summer, the White House rejected half of the candidates selected by the board chairwoman to serve as administrative judges, who make rulings on the disability claims. The rejections came after the White House required them to disclose their party affiliation and other details of their political leanings, according to documents viewed by The Washington Post.

Such questions had not been asked of judge candidates in the past, according to former judges and board staff.

As part of the process, the candidates were asked to provide links to their social media profiles and disclose whether they had ever given a speech to Congress, spoken at a political convention, appeared on talk radio, or published an opinion piece in a conservative forum such as Breitbart News or a liberal one such as Mother Jones, according to one candidate, who requested anonymity because the person is not authorized to speak to the media.
The results were three Democrats and one independent rejected and three Republicans and one (GOP primary–voting) independent approved.
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:57 AM on October 23 [19 favorites]


Put another way: even if Americans of Nordic descent made less than the average, the (specious) argument in this report that they're better off here still works, and I really think that 25% number is kind of red herring in what they're trying to do here.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:59 AM on October 23


Rolling Stone: Exclusive: In Leaked Audio, Brian Kemp Expresses Concern Over Georgians Exercising Their Right to Vote
Brian Kemp, Georgia Secretary of State and the Republican nominee for Georgia governor, expressed at a ticketed campaign event that his Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams’ voter turnout operation “continues to concern us, especially if everybody uses and exercises their right to vote,” according to audio obtained by Rolling Stone.
...
Not long after Kemp began his remarks, the candidate expressed worry about early voting and “the literally tens of millions of dollars that they [the Abrams camp] are putting behind the get-out-the-vote effort to their base.”

Kemp then asserted that much of that Abrams effort is focused on absentee ballot requests. “They have just an unprecedented number of that,” he said, “which is something that continues to concern us, especially if everybody uses and exercises their right to vote — which they absolutely can — and mail those ballots in, we gotta have heavy turnout to offset that.”
Anyone expressing a concern that people might vote should not be in a position to determine whether or not people can vote.
posted by cjelli at 10:01 AM on October 23 [88 favorites]


But this summer, the White House rejected half of the candidates selected by the board chairwoman to serve as administrative judges, who make rulings on the disability claims. The rejections came after the White House required them to disclose their party affiliation and other details of their political leanings, according to documents viewed by The Washington Post.

Such questions had not been asked of judge candidates in the past, according to former judges and board staff.


This is your occasional reminder that the US' current nonpartisan civil service system originated from the nation already having experience with political patronage and the "spoils system," and finding it woefully corrupt and inefficient.

So many conservative ideas involve regressing to obsolete ideas that the nation already experimented with and rejected, often at no small cost.
posted by Gelatin at 10:01 AM on October 23 [43 favorites]


@davidfrum
If liberals insist that enforcing borders is a job only fascists will do, then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't. Me in @TheAtlantic on the attempt by 7000 Central Americans to force entry into the US


#nevertrump GOP Resistance Hero David Frum: literal fascism is great if it means stopping the browns.

There's your reasonable Republican who will surely help lead us back to an era in which everything is normal again. Likewise by publishing him, The Atlantic shows once again that liberal capitalism will always, always, always side with fascism when the other side gives even a token nod to socialism.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:05 AM on October 23 [52 favorites]


Put another way: even if Americans of Nordic descent made less than the average, the (specious) argument in this report that they're better off here still works, and I really think that 25% number is kind of red herring in what they're trying to do here.

The thing I'm turning over with this is: suggesting that economic outcomes correlate to ethnicity -- but may not here, in this specific case, because of American exceptionalism -- is still suggesting that ethnicity does correlate to economic outcomes, in isolation, which is racism. Why compare Americans of Nordic descent as a unit at all? Why include it, period, if not to suggest that ethnicity drives income?
posted by cjelli at 10:06 AM on October 23 [18 favorites]


The Trump administration continues to run purity tests on non-partisan appointments, the Washington Post finds: ‘I’ve never seen these positions politicized’: White House rejection of veterans judges raises concerns of partisanship

Remember a few months ago when the Trump administration threw out the rules for selecting Administrative Law Judges? Now we're seeing how the new process will work in practice.

You only get to be a VA or SSA judge if you've published in Brietbart or voted in a GOP primary.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:08 AM on October 23 [10 favorites]


Liberals insist that "enforcing borders" != "putting people in concentration camps."

Note that Frum's argument, such as it is, is a variation on the one Republicans deployed when they were caught in the legal and moral crime of torturing people. They moved the goalposts to insist that the "effective program" of torture was the only way they could protect the US, and that opposing it meant liberals and others with a working moral compass wanted the US left undefended.

Don't be fooled again.
posted by Gelatin at 10:10 AM on October 23 [27 favorites]


I think this is turning into a derail, so, I think seeing racism in everything this administration does is a reasonable default explanation, and I'm not going to say it doesn't apply here. I'm just saying there's all kinds of rhetorical shittiness they can and do deploy, and maybe that's what's happening in this one report.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:10 AM on October 23 [2 favorites]


I know there are megathread readers here in Maine.
Kicked in a bit!
posted by mikepop at 10:11 AM on October 23 [11 favorites]


I fucking hate feeling like I'm defending this administration but the argument they're making is about American exceptionalism, not racial superiority.

It's both! It's neither!

The "argument" is basically:
income = (genetic fitness) * (economic system)

The Norse people are 25% more genetically fit than the average American, but Norway is only 90% as rich, so:
.9 = 1.25 * (Norse economy / US economy)
Norse economy = .72 * US economy

See, the Norse economy is only 72% as efficient as the American one! QED!

Technically, I guess you'd call this using racism to "prove" nationalism. But really, the whole this is so transparently stupid that I'm pretty sure I put more thought into interpreting it than the authors did in writing it.
posted by bjrubble at 10:12 AM on October 23 [25 favorites]


How to Understand (and Survive) All the Election Predictions You See - Chris White, Slate
The New York Times’ wavering needle is back, FiveThirtyEight has new predictions every day, and then there’s Twitter. Here’s how to process all those numbers.

However, just like we should never go food shopping when we’re hungry, so too should we be wary of consuming data journalism without the proper bearings. I catch myself treating these analyses not merely as venues to broaden my understanding of a particular issue but as omniscient oracles foretelling the future in empirical tea leaves. My rational self … scolds me for forgetting that these models aren’t perfect and reminds me that there are actually some basic reasons to be skeptical about election modeling.
Reasons:

1. "There's no real way to test these models". If their truth can't be evaluated other than by holding an election, they're useless.

2. We often confuse complexity and elegance (e.g. fancy graphics) for data and model accuracy.

3. Suspect motivations. Do motivations include education or enrichment, or worries or neuroses?
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:25 AM on October 23 [1 favorite]


I am an American of Nordic descent, and I make an above average income. I also have a genetic disorder, and this whole conversation is simultaneously creeping me out and pissing me off.
posted by Quonab at 10:26 AM on October 23 [29 favorites]


Economists who defend robber-baron capitalism hate the Nordic countries because there wealth is more evenly distributed and everyone has the basic rights of health, housing, education and care while the inhabitants are obviously well off and the economies are strong and stable.
Among their different weak arguments, some are always racist. It's as certain as death. Always has been.
posted by mumimor at 10:34 AM on October 23 [12 favorites]


How to Understand (and Survive) All the Election Predictions You See - Chris White, Slate

I feel like this comment is subtweeting someone...but WHO?
posted by Chrysostom at 10:39 AM on October 23 [9 favorites]


[Maybe enough on the Nordic thing for now.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:40 AM on October 23 [14 favorites]


Chuck Schumer: "Make no mistake: Despicable acts of violence and harassment are being carried out by radicals across the political spectrum—not just by one side. Regardless of who is responsible, these acts are wrong and must be condemned by Democrats and Republicans alike. Period."

Good god.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:40 AM on October 23 [26 favorites]


Chuck Schumer: "Make no mistake: Despicable acts of violence and harassment are being carried out by radicals across the political spectrum—not just by one side. Regardless of who is responsible, these acts are wrong and must be condemned by Democrats and Republicans alike. Period."

You have to click through for the full effect, in which a rock thrown through a window is compared to a literal mail bomb to make the "both sides" point.
posted by zachlipton at 10:43 AM on October 23 [33 favorites]


Think about all the fascists who'd been salivating over the idea of blowing up Soros who have now been shamed and chastened by Schumer's brave stand against violence on all sides
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:55 AM on October 23 [40 favorites]




I really think that 25% number is kind of red herring in what they're trying to do here

did you mean: storsild
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 10:59 AM on October 23 [5 favorites]


Tampa Bay Times, in a story combining really all of my interests: Records show FBI agents gave Andrew Gillum tickets to ‘Hamilton’ in 2016: " The records, released by former lobbyist Adam Corey today, appear to refute what his campaign has said about the trip."
The text messages show that, contrary to what his campaign has said, Gillum knew the tickets came from "Mike Miller," who was an FBI agent posing as a developer looking into city corruption.

"Mike Miller and the crew have tickets for us for Hamilton tonight at 8 p.m.," Corey texted Gillum on Aug. 10, 2016.

"Awesome news about Hamilton," Gillum replied, according to the records.

The texts appear to refute what Gillum's campaign said just days after his unlikely win in the Democratic primary for Florida governor.

The campaign said in a Sept. 4 press release that Gillum's brother, Marcus, gave him the ticket.
posted by zachlipton at 11:00 AM on October 23 [5 favorites]


Can I just Play Devil's Advocate against the machine? is the best social media response I've seen to the constant bandying about "civility"
posted by nakedmolerats at 11:10 AM on October 23 [31 favorites]


Amy Walter points out that:

- In 2014, those who disliked both parties favored the GOP House candidate by 17 points.

- In 2018, those who dislike both parties favor the Dem House candidate by 15 points.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:19 AM on October 23 [16 favorites]


As Schumer would say, "There are good machines on both sides."
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 11:23 AM on October 23 [4 favorites]


zachlipton: "@chrisgeidner: BREAKING: #SCOTUS Halts Deposition Of Commerce Secretary In Challenge To Census Citizenship Question, Allows Deposition of DOJ Official To Proceed. "

Most of the takes have been that this is Quite Bad, but interesting analysis here from Tom Wolf of the Brennan Center that the Administration got rather less than it might seem.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:25 AM on October 23 [3 favorites]


Even Rep. McCarthy isn't saying the damage to his office was political violence. While all the headlines use the word "vandalized," McCarthy is saying the two men took "office equipment."

Sending a mail bomb to Soros is pretty inherently political. It's entirely possible that the two guys in Bakersfield had some political motivation, but as with most thefts of office equipment, it also could just be, well, crime.
posted by zachlipton at 11:35 AM on October 23 [31 favorites]


Vox, Sarah Kliff, A White House report points out that Mao and I both like low health care costs. True, but…
Some days you go to work and not much exciting happens.

Other days you go to work and the White House describes you as “similar” to Russian communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin and former chair of the Communist Party of China Mao Zedong.
...
The reason that other countries have lower health care spending is that their governments set prices that are significantly lower than ours. The most powerful tool that our peer countries use to tamp down on health care spending is price regulation. The increased efficiency and reduced administrative costs are a nice byproduct of this.

The health care prices in the United States are, in a word, outlandish. On average, an MRI in the United States costs $1,119. That same scan costs $503 in Switzerland and $215 in Australia. And keep in mind, these are just averages — I’ve had readers send me bills for MRIs here in the United States that are as high as $25,000.

In 2003, a team of influential economists published a paper pointing out that prices are the key problem in American health care. It came with the title: “It’s the Prices, Stupid.” When you review other countries — not just single-payer countries, but also countries like Switzerland with competing, private insurers — you see that the thing they have in common is that they’re regulating health care prices.
posted by zachlipton at 11:41 AM on October 23 [48 favorites]


Chuck Schumer: "Make no mistake: Despicable acts of violence and harassment are being carried out by radicals across the political spectrum—not just by one side. Regardless of who is responsible, these acts are wrong and must be condemned by Democrats and Republicans alike. Period."

So here's a little backstory: not only had I been voting for Chuck Schumer in every one of the elections he's been in since 1992, I even attended a fundraiser for him that one of my old bosses threw.

I just tried calling him to express my dismay over this tweet - the lines are full. so instead I emailed him to mention that this is how long I'd been supporting him, but that this Tweet was the last straw "because any reasonable thinking individual would have to admit that one side more so than the other is committing the most violence at this day and age, and if you can't see that, I can only assume you are no longer a reasonable thinking individual".

He's done.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:43 AM on October 23 [67 favorites]


It would be so easy to corrupt me with Hamilton tickets. I wouldn't even think twice.

Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp will have their first debate tonight. Prior to the debate, a story about Abrams burning a Georgia state flag emerged. This was part of a protest in the nineties against a Georgia state flag that was designed to flaunt Georgia's response to integration. There's also audio of Kemp addressing supporters at a ticketed event about his concern over Abrams voters exercising their right to vote. Kemp's comments aren't exactly a smoking gun, except that he's already suppressing minority vote in an election where he's also a candidate.
posted by gladly at 11:44 AM on October 23 [5 favorites]


@JasonLeopold [with document]: #FOIA UPDATE: The FBI has not been able to locate any photographs of James Comey and Robert Mueller hugging and kissing. (Trump said he had 100)

@Comey: My wife is so relieved. 😂
posted by zachlipton at 11:49 AM on October 23 [72 favorites]


My rational self … scolds me for forgetting that these models aren’t perfect and reminds me that there are actually some basic reasons to be skeptical about election modeling.
Reasons:

1. "There's no real way to test these models". If their truth can't be evaluated other than by holding an election, they're useless.

2. We often confuse complexity and elegance (e.g. fancy graphics) for data and model accuracy.

3. Suspect motivations. Do motivations include education or enrichment, or worries or neuroses?


I'm on board with #2 or #3 but...#1 seems like a challenge to statistical models in general. Yes, you can't test them except by examining how they correspond to some observed reality, which may well be another set of polled statistics (which is what an election is). It's correct to note this means these models have limits, which is understood by their students and practitioners, it's probably even a good thing to try and help those limits be more broadly understood. It's very wrong to confuse that with "they're useless."

Examining *why* you want the information and what its limits are is a good idea. The "why" that best justifies paying attention to polls probably leads to action that might reasonably make a desirable outcome more likely.
posted by wildblueyonder at 11:54 AM on October 23 [2 favorites]


Also, from that same article, I don't think "right" always functions the way the author thinks it does. It *can* function as a qualifier, but it's often functioning as a signifier that the person using it is trying to walk their audience through a chain of reasoning.
posted by wildblueyonder at 11:58 AM on October 23 [1 favorite]


@JasonLeopold [with document]: #FOIA UPDATE: The FBI has not been able to locate any photographs of James Comey and Robert Mueller hugging and kissing. (Trump said he had 100)

@Comey: My wife is so relieved. 😂


@bartona104: did you specifically query "in a tree"?
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:02 PM on October 23 [30 favorites]


My California mail-in ballot is filled out, stamped, signed, dated and mailed! Done and dusted! Thank you, zachlipton, for compiling the Fiat Lux thread, which was a YUGE help, especially with all the judicial votes. Proud to be a little drop in the #bluewave. #Ivoted
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 12:15 PM on October 23 [20 favorites]


BuzzFeed, White Nationalist Richard Spencer’s Wife Says In Divorce Filings That He Physically and Emotionally Abused Her (contains descriptions of physical abuse)

Every. Single. Time.
posted by zachlipton at 12:18 PM on October 23 [87 favorites]


Reuters: U.S. Treasury Sanctions Target Taliban, Iranian Backers
“Iran’s provision of military training, financing and weapons to the Taliban is yet another example of Tehran’s blatant regional meddling and support for terrorism,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “The United States and our partners will not tolerate the Iranian regime exploiting Afghanistan to further their destabilizing behavior.”

Mnuchin was visiting the Middle East this week to discuss ways to fight terrorist financing and upcoming Iran sanctions. The Taliban sanctions also were imposed by the seven members of the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC), a U.S.-Gulf initiative to stem finance to militant groups.
No word about sanctions on other Taliban supporters like Pakistan or Russia—or the Saudis—but Team Trump wants a war with Iran, not them.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:23 PM on October 23 [8 favorites]


Chrysostom re: Maine Ranked Choice constitutional changes - Worth pointing out that trifecta control is within reach for Maine Dems - they are only a seat short in the Senate.

Just saw this - only a seat short of control, but they need a " two-thirds vote of the members present in both chambers" to send the amendment back to the voters for ratification. We're quite a ways from that.
posted by anastasiav at 12:24 PM on October 23 [3 favorites]


ZeusHumms: Wondering how many people will buy a lottery ticket this week versus how many people will end up voting (or ever end up voting).

Or spend a fraction of time following sports as they do thinking about the upcoming election. That was a thought that struck me as I was canvassing on a Sunday afternoon, hearing TVs blaring football games and seeing plenty of sports stickers on cars but few political stickers.


Dashy: So, most of the Republicans in my area have been using blue signs. GOP candidates for Gov, Rep, and state house ... all the signs are blue. Cowards. Is this the case everywhere?

The shitty Tea Party* Governor candidate here in New Mexico has signs "Democrats for Pearce," and as I've linked in a prior MegaThread, an online form to join the Democrats for Pearce coalition. Lots of blue signs, I can't recall seeing him sporting any Republican signs. He even had the gall to say he'd "stand up to Trump" which made me shout "Why start now? You've stood with him 90% of the time so far!" (538's "Trump Score").


Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish: the White House Council of Economic Advisers [wrote that] ... the natural tendency for people of Nordic descent to be more well-off than other ethnicities.

My wife shared her view on so many complaints of white men: THEY'RE SITUATIONS MADE BY WHITE MEN. Those Proud, Nordic Men set up systems that stacked the decks for people who looked like them when it came to education and social welfare, and then get upset when Other People aren't as invested in education and they are. Redlining was not a self-inflicted wound upon POC, but another example of White Men making their lives harder, only to then be confused why POC aren't better off. FFS.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:26 PM on October 23 [22 favorites]


Those texts and calls between Spencer and his wife are damning. (Major CW obviously). A person who initiates a conversation with his wife by asking if she thinks her parents would attend her funeral is one of Trump's "very fine people on both sides."
posted by Kitty Stardust at 12:30 PM on October 23 [17 favorites]


So, most of the Republicans in my area have been using blue signs. GOP candidates for Gov, Rep, and state house ... all the signs are blue. Cowards. Is this the case everywhere?

I can tell you one thing about southeast and mid-Michigan: I have not seen one Republican candidate with "Republican" or "GOP" on a sign. Not every Democrat has "Democrat" on them, but zero Republicans do.
posted by Etrigan at 12:32 PM on October 23 [8 favorites]


@markknoller: .@FLOTUS and @BetsyDeVosED host 30 6th graders in the WH screening room, to watch "Wonder." Mrs Trump calls it "an amazing movie encouraging kindness." The event is pegged to National Bullying Prevention Month, which she says "encourages everybody to be kind to each other."

Ok then.

Her husband, meanwhile, went on a bonkers rant in which he claimed that California has a ton of water, it's terrible that people have brown lawns, and threatens to take money away from the state because he doesn't like our forest management practices. Then whenever this is:

@ddale8: Trump calls on a man in the audience at his White House state leadership event to talk about this California fires-and-farms subject. He says he has no idea who the man is but that he is good-looking and seems like he knows what he's talking about.

And finally, he doubled down on his nationalist talk: "Call me a nationalist if you'd like, but I don't want companies leaving."
posted by zachlipton at 12:43 PM on October 23 [17 favorites]


And finally, he doubled down on his nationalist talk: "Call me a nationalist if you'd like, but I don't want companies leaving."

Not exactly doubling down -- he's trying to redefine "nationalist" as "protectionist," pretending it only means that he's concerned about the US economy.

Which means someone explained, again, how toxic the word "nationalist" it means and that it implies things that're harmful to his and the Republican brands, and that they're doing the usual Republican trick of trying to move the Overton window by pretending something horrible is necessary and ordinary (because it seems the horrible is ordinary for Republicans).
posted by Gelatin at 12:57 PM on October 23 [19 favorites]


Of possible interest: Daily Kos endorses 12 candidates crucial to flipping state legislatures. Donate!
posted by Chrysostom at 1:09 PM on October 23 [10 favorites]


Y'all, I just made a newscaster and crew laugh out loud. They were doing a local color report on things to do while waiting to vote of something similar, and they asked me what I thought of Senate candidates, and I said, (imagine if you will, the deepest Texas accent you ever did hear, for that is the accent I used), "Well, one of em pets kittens, and the other probably eats them, one of them shows Christian compassion for his fellow man, and the other is 10,000 live cockroaches in a badly fitting human suit, so....

I'm pretty sure they turned the camera off, and it'll never see air, but y'all, the whole coffeehouse laughed and clapped. Gods willing, Beto triumphs over the roaches.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 1:20 PM on October 23 [171 favorites]


(those candidates are all women, sorry, meant to mention that)
posted by Chrysostom at 1:21 PM on October 23 [5 favorites]


This hasn't really gotten much attention, but is pretty disturbing. Mike Pence Cites False Statistic On Terrorists At The Southwest Border
Pence said it was “inconceivable that there are not people of Middle Eastern descent in a crowd of more than 7,000 people advancing toward our border” and that there were statistics to back up Trump’s claim.

The only statistic he cited was about terrorists ― and it was wrong.

“In the last fiscal year we apprehended more than 10 terrorists or suspected terrorists per day at our southern border from countries that are referred to in the lexicon as ‘other than Mexico’ ― that means from the Middle East region,” Pence said.
As the story points out:
The administration has offered no evidence that this is true. Even if it was, being from the Middle East doesn’t mean someone is a terrorist, or even an illegitimate asylum-seeker.
The conflation by the Vice President of people "of Middle Eastern descent" (who do not, in fact, appear to be part of this group) and "terrorists or suspected terrorists" is, well, terrifying.
posted by zachlipton at 1:29 PM on October 23 [51 favorites]


Pence said it was “inconceivable that there are not people of Middle Eastern descent in a crowd of more than 7,000 people advancing toward our border” and that there were statistics to back up Trump’s claim.

Trump used that exact phrasing a week or so back. Classic Pencing towards the Führer.

That many now receive "of middle eastern descent" as a few years ago they would have taken "ISIS-affiliated terrorist" is indicative of how much genocidal ideology is becoming the water in which we swim.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:35 PM on October 23 [19 favorites]


Arizona superintendent fails in last attempt to limit evolution teaching - John Timmer, Ars Technica
Not reelected, sees standards written by science educators adopted over her dissent.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:38 PM on October 23 [42 favorites]


zachlipton:
The conflation by the Vice President of people "of Middle Eastern descent" (who do not, in fact, appear to be part of this group) and "terrorists or suspected terrorists" is, well, terrifying.
It's like the fifth-worst thing about that story, but it looks like Pence is also doing that thing where "Mexico" becomes shorthand for "all of the Americas south of the USA". I would assume that the 10 border-crossers "suspected" of terrorism were simply from other South American places (e.g Nicaragua). But for someone like Pence that's like saying a Japanese person is "not from China", it just doesn't compute.

Remember he was a talk radio host as poisonous as Limbaugh. We think of him as putting a genial facade on the horrors within, but that's just by comparison to Trump. In truth there's not even a pretense.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 1:44 PM on October 23 [14 favorites]


‘other than Mexico’ ― that means from the Middle East region

I don't believe that's a real euphemism (dysphemism?) anyone uses but I suppose I can take further thoughts on this matter to FFXVI. Ugh.

conflation by the Vice President of people "of Middle Eastern descent" (who do not, in fact, appear to be part of this group) and "terrorists or suspected terrorists" is, well, terrifying.

Also that.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 1:47 PM on October 23 [1 favorite]


‘other than Mexico’ ― that means from the Middle East region

I don't believe that's a real euphemism (dysphemism?) anyone uses.

I've seen it in none other than Steven Seagal's QAnon-esque novel Way of the Shadow Wolves, released last year. So it's been floating around for at least a year or two.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:51 PM on October 23 [3 favorites]


@kylegriffin1: The Garland County [Arkansas] Election Commission left Susan Inman, the Democratic candidate for secretary of state, off the election ballot. Early voting began without her as an option. Sites had to be shut down. Inman says the glitch left her in "sheer disbelief."

I think we can all agree that this is the ultimate rat-fuck, whether intentional or no.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:58 PM on October 23 [8 favorites]


Trump says 'it's OK to grab women by their private parts' says man accused of groping woman on plane

(Linking to DailyKos, because of Washington Post paywall. CW for description of alleged assault, which took place Sunday on a SouthWest flight. Further warning, the DailyKos article also mentions Jessica Leeds, who alleges that Trump assaulted her on a flight some 30 years ago; those details, from a 2016 NYT article, are included.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:21 PM on October 23 [8 favorites]




Weird how this keeps happening. WaPo, ‘I thought it was very nice’: VA official showcased portrait of KKK’s first grand wizard
A senior official at the Department of Veterans Affairs is under fire for displaying a portrait in his Washington, D.C., office of the Ku Klux Klan’s first grand wizard.

David J. Thomas Sr. is deputy executive director of VA’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, which certifies veteran-owned businesses seeking government contracts. His senior staff is mostly African American.

Thomas said he removed the painting Monday after a Washington Post reporter explained that its subject, Nathan Bedford Forrest, was a Confederate general and slave trader who became the KKK’s first figure­head in 1868. He professed to be unaware of Forrest’s affiliation with the hate group, which formed after the Civil War to maintain white control over newly freed blacks through violence and intimidation.
The guy is a career civil servant, not a Trump appointee. As the article notes, information on who Nathan Bedford Forrest was is readily available with a simple Google search, and the official already knew it depicted a confederate general, which is really all anybody should need to know. Unsurprisingly:
Racial tensions have flared between Thomas and several of his employees, at least three of whom have pending claims of racial discrimination against him. An attorney representing two of these employees said the portrait is evidence that Thomas is not comfortable around African Americans. “You don’t hire someone who puts a picture of the Klan in his office unless you’re” racially insensitive, said the lawyer, John Rigby.
posted by zachlipton at 2:29 PM on October 23 [34 favorites]


NYT, Julie Hirschfeld Davis, The Ripple Effect of a Trump Tweetstorm: When President Trump began tweeting warnings and threats about a caravan of migrants headed for the border, his own government could not explain what he meant

This is a really nice little timeline of what happens every damn day: Fox News broadcasts some nonsense, Trump tweets about it, reporters spend the rest of their day asking everyone to back it up (thus making whatever nonsense Trump wants the Story Of The Day), and spokespeople from various agencies respond off the record but no actual answers are provided.

So everybody knows that this is how the system works now, but what if they just didn't do this? What if we could short-cut the whole process to: Fox News broadcasts nonsense, Trump tweets, reporters give the White House a one-hour deadline to provide actual information, and after that time expires, the story is either ignored because it's unsubstantiated or reported as "Trump tweets nonsense off TV again, own White House has no idea what he's talking about."

The entire White House press corps does not, in fact, need to spend an entire day chasing down his bullshit.
posted by zachlipton at 3:00 PM on October 23 [66 favorites]


I don't think any employee of the United States Government should display anything—portrait, flag, Johnny Reb hat, noose—in their office inspired by traitorous slavers who tried to overthrow the fucking United States Government.

Including everyone in the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches from the top down.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:01 PM on October 23 [51 favorites]


One factor in why everything is so terrible: Old people can't tell the difference between facts and opinion. And they vote. Every time.
posted by Justinian at 3:04 PM on October 23 [31 favorites]


I was saving that link for the next time we get told to sprinkle some ~*~*~* media literacy *~*~*~ around, like in the old days when Walter Cronkite and Paul Harvey and Mike Wallace told Americans the truth!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:28 PM on October 23 [4 favorites]


One factor in why everything is so terrible: Old people can't tell the difference between facts and opinion. And they vote. Every time.

Well that's inconvenient, because I thought we had all decided to blame snake people millenials being brainwashed by the internet for being unable to differentiate between facts and opinions.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:16 PM on October 23 [12 favorites]


I've seen it in none other than Steven Seagal's QAnon-esque novel Way of the Shadow Wolves, released last year.

why would you do this to yourself
posted by schadenfrau at 4:23 PM on October 23 [37 favorites]


One factor in why everything is so terrible: Old people can't tell the difference between facts and opinion.
As the article says, the big correlation is with "exposure to television news", which is lower in younger people.

I've had this driven home rather forcefully recently, seeing an elderly friend who was originally very loving & open-hearted become more and more racist & fearful as she became isolated through ill-health & started relying on talkback radio & TV current affairs for news.

Now that she's no longer using that as her window to the world she's becoming her old self again. Love your old folks, talk to them, take them books to read - and don't let them rely on fearmongering conservative media for "information" about the world…
posted by Pinback at 4:33 PM on October 23 [46 favorites]


I was doing my usual browse of gritty gifs so I could properly insult somebody on twitter, and then noticed an alarming new one: Gritty knocking over two people on the ice, one person labeled 'liberals' and the other 'fascists.' I don't know what Libertarian thought he could claim Gritty, but he's ours, dude.
posted by angrycat at 4:35 PM on October 23 [8 favorites]


Ted Cruz Says Beto O’Rourke Can Have ‘Double Occupancy Cell With Hillary Clinton’ After Supporter Chants ‘Lock Him Up’

Now that Cruz is stealing trump's bits, I wonder how long it'll be before he's calling his own wife ugly and accusing his father of murdering JFK.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:52 PM on October 23 [56 favorites]


angrycat, lots of folks on the left draw a distinction between "liberals" and "Leftists." Also, my understanding is that Gritty is an anarchist.
posted by contraption at 4:52 PM on October 23 [5 favorites]


angrycat: guessing that gritty meme is from a leftist, not a libertarian. it makes sense if you live in a place where the left/liberal distinction is taken seriously and seems like crazy nonsense in a place where everything to the right of fascism gets called liberalism.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 4:56 PM on October 23 [6 favorites]


contraption: jinx! and yeah, gritty’s definitely an anarchist, even though DSA keeps trying to claim him as one of theirs.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 4:57 PM on October 23 [2 favorites]


Ted Cruz Says Beto O’Rourke Can Have ‘Double Occupancy Cell With Hillary Clinton’ After Supporter Chants ‘Lock Him Up’

Provide me with some context - what crime has Beto allegedly committed? I mean, other than being a popular democrat running against Cruz?
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:00 PM on October 23 [8 favorites]


what crime has Beto allegedly committed? I mean, other than being a popular democrat running against Cruz?

Nothing. This is our new normal, promising prison to political enemies to baying rabble.
posted by Candleman at 5:04 PM on October 23 [96 favorites]


Democrats finally wake up to their voting problem
First, on one level it is inexcusable that this infrastructure was not put into place earlier. A party that coasted on the popularity of President Barack Obama, to the dismay of many activists, did not build this infrastructure previously. That accounts in part for the disappointing results for Democrats in previous elections.

Second, this is much easier to pull off when there are diverse candidates who look like the irregular voters they are trying to reach.
...
Finally, if Democrats are going to commit to expanding the electorate, this will have to be a multiyear effort. A substantial increase in low-propensity voters may not be evident for years, but with Republicans maximizing the white vote and working to make voting more difficult for many voters, Democrats have no choice but to try to counteract these trends.
...
Once in office, Democrats at the state level will need to take measures to expand access (e.g., automatic registration, voting by mail).
Remember when Obama and Congressional Democrats collectively fell over each other to see who could be first to kill the most effective Democratic registration and GOTV organization in the country because James O'Keefe made a video? Wouldn't it have been nice to have had ACORN still on the ground since 2010?
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:09 PM on October 23 [53 favorites]


Provide me with some context - what crime has Beto allegedly committed?

He's been convicted of the crime of deliciousness.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:17 PM on October 23 [3 favorites]


Heather Cox Richardson, Boston Globe: ‘Voter fraud’ is a myth that helps Republicans win, even when their policies aren’t popular
The modern myth of voter fraud began in 1986, President Ronald Reagan’s sixth year in office, when Republicans recognized that their policies could not attract a majority of voters. Their budget cuts had hit black Americans particularly hard...

Actual voter fraud is virtually nonexistent. But voter suppression is increasingly widespread. In 2013, the Supreme Court took the federal government out of the business of protecting the vote by gutting the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and states quickly enacted new voter policies. “Exact match” ID policies hit people of color, who disproportionately fill out error-prone paper forms, and women, whose names often change with their marital status. Limiting voting places can shut out a whole population. Limiting voting machines suppresses the vote by making wait times discouragingly long.

The modern-day Republican Party likes voter suppression, because it shrinks the electorate. They have pushed the voter fraud myth because it enables them to win even when their policies are unpopular. It also reflects their worldview: Even if a majority believes the government should regulate business and promote social welfare, those voters should have no say in the nation’s government because their ideas are suspect, even un-American.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 5:18 PM on October 23 [21 favorites]


what crime has Beto allegedly committed? I mean, other than being a popular democrat running against Cruz?

Nothing. This is our new normal, promising prison to political enemies to baying rabble.


It started in earnest during the 2016 GOP Convention: The Republican National Convention and the criminalization of politics
posted by homunculus at 5:19 PM on October 23 [9 favorites]


Brian Beutler, The 2018 Midterms Are 2016 All Over Again
But the larger purpose of all the disinformation—about Democrats paying Muslim caravaners to infiltrate the country, and Republicans advancing a middle-class tax cut plan that doesn’t exist—is to pervade the news environment with storylines that, beyond the slander and lies, aren’t particularly relevant to next month’s vote. And to that end, it has been a stunning success.

Credulous or critical, the news is absolutely saturated with coverage of these issues. There have been plenty of stories debunking President Trump’s claims about the composition of the caravan, and the risk it poses to the United States. If you burrow into the details, you’ll probably learn that Trump has fabricated a Republican middle-income tax cut plan from whole cloth, because the corporate tax cut he actually signed is terribly unpopular. But every column inch and minute of airtime spent scrutinizing fiction is lost forever and does nothing to actually inform people about the true stakes of the coming midterms.
posted by zachlipton at 5:23 PM on October 23 [32 favorites]


I've been thinking that Trump's uptick in popularity is probably completely due to the massive advertising that is going into Republican candidate support. The Republicans have to unite and pretend until after the election when they will drop Trump like a hot potato.

While that goes against the grain of the narrative that the Republicans are embracing Trump (they are), they are embracing him because they have no choice for now. But after the election they can shovel all the unpopular aspects of Repubicanism on big mouth.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:54 PM on October 23


A private memo reavealed that prank calls nearly shut ICE down completely

"The emails also show how ICE responded internally to the calls, discouraging reporters from covering the issue while discussing the possibility of providing crime victims as Fox News interview subjects to 'balance' coverage."

That's fair. Remember that time when, left to its own devices for vetting for ICE-related interview subjects, Fox mistakenly booked Massachusetts state Sen. Barbara L'Italien.
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:03 PM on October 23 [4 favorites]


But after the election they can shovel all the unpopular aspects of Republicanism on big mouth.
Except, of course, for the ones that are inherent in the party orthodoxy and have been for decades. They've developed an advanced propaganda apparatus because when plainly stated many of their policies are unpopular. That didn't start with Trump.
posted by Nerd of the North at 6:05 PM on October 23 [5 favorites]


after the election when they will drop Trump like a hot potato.

No, they'll just latch on to the next reason their own power is tied up with his.
posted by Rykey at 6:05 PM on October 23 [11 favorites]


Do we even have to say “Republican” any more? Can't we just call them “the Nationalists” at this point? I mean, if the actual leader of their party is openly stating that he's a nationalist now and no one is rejecting that.

Cross out the ‘E’ on those Shepard-Fairey-esque posters that say “NOPE” and it can stand for “Nationalist Old Party.”
posted by XMLicious at 6:12 PM on October 23 [8 favorites]


So my coworker today was just doing some research on a health care topic, when she ran into this . I know this can't be legal, but it just doesn't matter anymore, right? But still, this is really egregious. Why is this not even news that they are doing this? This is straight up RNC propaganda/election ad bullshit presented as a whitehouse.gov FACT SHEET. And here she found aother one. And our office was all up in arms and looked at the news and...nothing.
posted by mkim at 6:30 PM on October 23 [30 favorites]


My ballot finally arrived! I could use some help finding a better ballot guide to supplement my own research. If anyone feels motivated to help an Oregonian out, memail me please.
posted by christopherious at 6:33 PM on October 23




Democrat-Backed Catch and Release Loopholes Create a Border Crisis

Fishing term for releasing animals instead of killing them -> cop/ICE thug term disparaging not abusing people -> common right-wing media behemoth term for not stuffing millions of people in concentration camps -> whitehouse.gov press release term for releasing animals instead of killing them
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:43 PM on October 23 [15 favorites]




That ... straight-up propaganda? ... on whitehouse.gov is terrifying. Is that unprecedented? It feels unprecedented.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:50 PM on October 23 [35 favorites]


There was an extremely-tonally-weird minute about the White House propaganda at the end of Marketplace on NPR tonight. You can hear it here. It's at 26.45 or so. I couldn't tell if the whole "gosh, isn't Washington interesting!" thing was "oh holy crap, this is what fascism looks like, isn't it?" or "I am a wry NPR commentator being wry and NPR-y, because that's the only way I know how to be." It's Marketplace, so probably the latter.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:03 PM on October 23 [5 favorites]


Minor thing maybe, but Marketplace isn't NPR, it's American Public Media, which is a different entity.
posted by adamg at 7:11 PM on October 23 [9 favorites]


Peter Alexander: "Trump admits he has no evidence to back up his claim that "unknown Middle Easterners" are in the caravan: "There’s no proof of anything. There’s no proof of anything, but there could very well be."
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:13 PM on October 23 [10 favorites]


If 2018 can be summed up in one sentence it's definitely "Trump admits he has no evidence to back up his claim."
posted by Marticus at 7:17 PM on October 23 [11 favorites]


Kai Ryssdal has been known to go full nihilist about current events over on the Make Me Smart podcast. On Marketplace he generally masks it as "I am a wry NPR commentator being wry and NPR-y" but if you listen closely you can hear the "hahaha sob" undercurrent of quiet desperation.
posted by Flannery Culp at 7:21 PM on October 23 [24 favorites]




on the Public Radio Wokeness Scale I'd say Kai is somewhat to the right of like Sam Sanders and the On The Media crew, but way left of the excruciatingly bothsidesy Morning Edition/All Things Considered. He's the only mainstream business journalist I know who occasionally seems to consider that capitalism might be an insane way to run a society.
posted by theodolite at 7:29 PM on October 23 [29 favorites]


Marketplace is also one of the few public radio shows to straight up call Trump a liar, even before the election.
posted by jedicus at 7:54 PM on October 23 [21 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

// 14 days until Election Day //

** 2018 Senate:
-- MS: Marist poll has GOP incumbent Wicker up 60-32 on Dem Baria [MOE: +/- 6.1%].

-- MS (special): Same Marist poll has GOP incumbent Hyde-Smith at 38, Dem Espy at 29, and GOP nutcase McDaniel at 15. Hyde-Smith would beat Espy in a runoff, 50-36. => Dems' only real shot at this race was a rerun of the Alabama special, with McDaniel playing the part of Roy Moore. If this is anywhere near close, though, he's not going to make the runoff.

-- IN: Mason Strategies poll has GOPer Braun up 47-43 on Dem incumbent Donnelly [MOE: +/- 3.9%].

-- MT: MSU-Billings poll has Dem incumbent Tester up 47-38 on GOPer Rosendale [MOE: +/- 4.5%]. | Meanwhile, an MSU-Bozeman poll has Tester up 46-43. [MOE: +/- 2.0%]. => You probably didn't even know that Montana State had campuses in Billings *and* Bozeman, did you?

-- TX: GBA Strategies poll has GOP incumbent Cruz up 50-46 on Dem O'Rourke [MOE: +/- 4.0%]. Poll was commissioned by End Citizens United.

** 2018 House:
-- CA-48: Monmouth poll has GOP incumbent Rohrabacher up 50-48 on Dem Rouda in their standard turnout model. Low turnout has Rohrabacher up 52-46; high turnout has Rouda up 50-48 [MOE: +/- 5.1%]. [Clinton 48-46 | Cook: Tossup] => Not to be unskewing the polls, but this one does have an implausibly high Trump approval rating of +8.

-- MN-01: Survey USA poll has Dem Feehan up 47-45 on GOPer Hagedorn [MOE: +/- 4.4%]. [Trump 53-38 | Cook: Tossup]

-- GA-06: JMC/BBC poll has GOP incumbent Handel up 49-45 on Dem McBath [MOE: +/- 4.5%]. [Trump 48-47 | Cook: Lean R]

-- ME-02: GSG poll has Dem Golden up 48-42 on GOP incumbent Poliquin [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. Poll was commissioned by End Citizens United. [Trump 51-41 | Cook: Tossup]

-- OH-12: Clarity Campaigns poll has GOP incumbent Balderson up 48-46 on Dem O'Connor [MOE: +/- 3.9%]. Poll was commissioned by End Citizens United. [Trump 53-42 | Cook: Tossup] => It's quite rare for a special rematch to go the other way, but there's been talk of this as a sleeper race - O'Connor has been doing gangbuster fundraising.

-- TX-21: WPA Intelligence poll has GOPer Roy up 50-38 on Dem Kopser [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. Poll was commissioned by CLF (the GOP SuperPAC). [Trump 53-43 | Cook: Likely R]

-- NM-02: Siena poll has GOPer Herrell up 45-44 on Dem Torres Small [MOE: +/- 4.6%]. [Trump 50-40 | Cook: Tossup]

-- MT-AL: Same MSU-Billings poll has GOP incumbent Gianforte up 44-41 on Dem Williams | Same MSU-Bozeman poll has Gianforte up 48-40. [Trump 57-36 | Cook: Lean R]

-- WI-01: Change Research poll has Dem Bryce up 45-44 on GOPer Steil [no MOE listed]. Poll was commissioned by the Bryce campaign. [Trump 53-42 | Cook: Lean R] => Pretty underwhelming for an internal.

-- CA-39: Siena poll has Dem Cisneros up on 47-46 on GOPer Kim [MOE: +/- 4.6%]. [Clinton 52-43 | Cook: Tossup]

-- WP poll of 69 "battleground districts" finds that Dems lead by an average of 50-47. This has led to much commentary to the effect of, "yes, close districts are close."

-- Rakich: A fair number of competitive districts haven't been polled out at all, that's not so great.

-- Nate Cohn with another one of the ever popular "what kinds of districts will determine who wins the House" articles.

-- If you missed it, Harry Enten now has a nice page with his forecasts and stuff.

-- Silver: The relation - if any - between Trump approval and GOP chances.
** Odds & ends:
-- AK gov: Some states allow early/mail voters to change their mind and submit a new ballot, but Alaska has made clear they won't be allowing voters for since-dropped-out governor Walker to vote for an active candidate. [Cook: Lean R]

-- WI gov: Enten: Not looking great for GOP incumbent Walker. [Cook: Tossup]

-- CT gov: Sacred Heart poll has Dem Lamont up 40-36 on GOPer Stefanowski [MOE:+/- 4.3%]. [Cook: Tossup]

-- FL gov: Quinnipiac poll has Dem Gillum up 52-46 on GOPer DeSantis [MOE:+/- 3.5%]. [Cook: Tossup]

-- GA gov: Opinion Savvy poll has Dem Abrams tied 48-48 with GOPer Kemp [MOE:+/- 3.4%]. [Cook: Tossup] => Reminder that if no one clears 50%, this will go to a runoff.

-- MI gov: Marketing Research Group poll has Dem Whitmer up 50-36 on GOPer Schuette [MOE:+/- 4.0%]. [Cook: Lean D] => MI governor and Senate races are getting to the level where it may start suppressing GOP turnout in downballot races.

-- KS gov: PPP poll has Dem Kelly at 41, GOPer Kobach at 41, indy Orman at 10. In a theoreical head to head, Kelly tops Kobach 48-44. [MOE:+/- 3.7%]. [Cook: Tossup] => That head to head might be a positive, as third party candidates usually underperform their polls, and it looks like those folks might slightly break left.

-- Mason-Dixon poll of the MN AG race has GOPer Wardlow up 43-36 on Dem Ellison [MOE:+/- 3.5%]. => FWIW, I've seen some pushback about this poll seeming a bit off.
** Averages & forecasts:
-- 538 generic ballot average: D+8.6 (49.9/41.3)

-- 538 House forecast (classic): 85.1% chance of Dem control

-- 538 Senate forecast (classic): 19.0% chance of Dem control

-- 538 governor forecast (classic): Dems favored to control 24.1 states.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:22 PM on October 23 [23 favorites]


Historian Matt Karp with a super interesting thread [Twitter | Threadreader] about how in the 1850s and 60s, anti-slave forces attacked the legitimacy of the Supreme Court in the face of their intransigent support of slavery. This was basically successful, and allowed Reconstruction to go ahead. Obvious parallels apply currently.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:29 PM on October 23 [29 favorites]


Do we even have to say “Republican” any more? Can't we just call them “the Nationalists” at this point?

I plan to keep using Republican to bury the term. It deserves to be consigned to the same sort of derision and disdain that "National Socialist" Party merits.
posted by anem0ne at 9:32 PM on October 23 [8 favorites]


I plan to keep using Republican to bury the term.

How about calling them the Nationalist Republican America Party? Y'know, NRAP, instead of NSDAP.

Or some variant thereof.
posted by aramaic at 9:49 PM on October 23 [2 favorites]


That Twitter thread about abolitionists attacking SCOTUS' legitimacy in the mid 1800s makes a couple references to life tenure as a compelling justification for skepticism. Of course, back then, average life expectancy was somewhere around 40, and... yeah.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:56 PM on October 23 [2 favorites]


The geography of voting — and not voting
These maps show a turnout percentage based on two numbers for each county: ballots cast in the 2016 presidential race and the estimated population of voting-age citizens. Among the low-voting counties, those with turnout of 55 percent or less, there are some striking differences.

For example, low-voting areas span the entire urban-rural spectrum. On the map, rural areas and small towns may dominate visually. But there are far more potential votes in low-turnout metropolitan counties.
Ceterum autem censeo Trumpem esse delendam
posted by kirkaracha at 10:16 PM on October 23 [9 favorites]


Regarding supreme court lifetime appointments in the mid1800s, average life expectancy for 30-40 year old white men (the likely age cohort for appointment) in the US in 1850 was about 64-67. The average life expectancy for a white male at birth in 1850 was around 38 years, but that's based mostly by infant mortality in the first few years of life.
posted by mabelstreet at 10:21 PM on October 23 [21 favorites]




Do we even have to say “Republican” any more? Can't we just call them “the Nationalists” at this point?

Fun fact: In the Spanish Civil War the elected liberal government was the Republicans and the rebellious right-wing (and Nazi-supported, and eventually victorious) side was the Nationalists.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:26 PM on October 23 [6 favorites]


I always say republicanos in my head to maintain the distinction but there's probably one or more instances in Latin American history I'm unaware of, or elsewhere in the former Spanish Empire, that re-flip the script and have the republicanos as the Nazis again.
posted by XMLicious at 10:37 PM on October 23


I know this is old news from, like, 3 days ago but I still can't get over how brazenly Trump is lying about this SA arms deal thing. Last I heard he was claiming $450billion in deals with SA and over a million jobs. To put that in perspective, a million jobs would be something like 3x the number of employees of every defense contractor in the US combined. Triple. It would be around, I believe, 0.75% of all jobs in the USA. And $450billion is somethng like 2.5% of the entire economy of the United States and nearly the entire economy of Saudi Arabia.

He's claiming that this phantom deal is equivalent in value to a non-trivial fraction of the US's entire economic output, and would employ almost 1 out of every 100 people in the workforce.

And somehow the dumbnuts who vote Republican and watch Fox News think this makes perfect sense.
posted by Justinian at 2:21 AM on October 24 [42 favorites]


They don't think it makes sense because it lines up with the facts. They think it makes sense because it feels good to believe. Hedonistic epistemology will kill us.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:33 AM on October 24 [49 favorites]


That thing about how old people are worse than young people at telling the difference between facts and opinions? It did not make me any happier to go read TFA and discover that "Forty-four percent of younger people identified all five opinions as opinions, while only 26 percent of older people did."

Perhaps it is partly a methodology issue (skipping a statement counted against a respondent, which seems reasonable) but there is no comfort in finding out that in the sample, respondents aged 18 to 29 did the best at identifying factual statements as factual–and only 34% correctly identified all 5 statements of fact. It was 30% for those 30 to 49. This is not good news for our country. Yikes.

It makes me all the more enraged about the mainstream media and honestly, I did not think that was possible. This is one of the reasons why the reporting principle of simply offering facts to the public and allowing them to decide what those facts mean is both morally bankrupt and financially lucrative.
posted by Bella Donna at 2:36 AM on October 24 [14 favorites]


That Twitter thread about abolitionists attacking SCOTUS' legitimacy in the mid 1800s makes a couple references to life tenure as a compelling justification for skepticism. Of course, back then, average life expectancy was somewhere around 40, and... yeah.

posted by tonycpsu at 9:56 PM on October 23 [+] [!]


Momentary derail on that topic, because I've seen that error made several times. Life expectancy at birth was very short back then, but that's because children died a lot. When you visit graveyards from back then, it's astounding how many graves are for 0-5 y.o. kids (and their mothers). Between antiseptics, antibiotics, and vaccines, that problem has been largely eliminated. Once someone reached young adulthood, life expectancy was pretty good and well past 40. For example in 1850, a 20-year-old's life expectancy was 60, and by the time they reached the age of 50, expectancy was up to 70 years.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:54 AM on October 24 [40 favorites]


Here's a direct link to Pew's write up of their Fact vs. Opinion Quiz.

Looking at the details is slightly more encouraging. For the individual statements, a majority (and often a strong majority) of 18-49's got the correct answer. And on all statements but one, a majority of the over 50s also made a correct identification. What's extremely discouraging is the statement which only 48 percent of the older people identified as fact: "Immigrants who are in the United States illegally have some rights under the Constitution."

And to be slightly fair, there's one opinion I might have mis-identified if the question was given to me when I wasn't paying close attention: "Increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour is essential for the health of the US economy." My knee-jerk response would be: "Damn right, that's true & factural."
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 3:15 AM on October 24 [6 favorites]


Note that in all cases people weren't being asked to evaluate whether something was true but only whether it was a statement which represented an opinon or not. A false statement of fact should still have been identified as a fact rather than opinion.

For example; if presented with the sentence "Elvis Presley was the first President of the United States" they should have identified that as a statement of fact, despite it being manifestly false. And if given the statement "Firefly was grossly overrated" they should have identified that as a statement of opinon, despite it being manifestly true.

People were much more likely to claim something was a fact, even if it wasn't, if they agreed with the sentence and much more likely to claim something was an opinion, even if a fact, if it was an inconvenient fact for their worldview. Perhaps that was to be expected but it is still discouraging.
posted by Justinian at 3:24 AM on October 24 [10 favorites]


And to be slightly fair, there's one opinion I might have mis-identified if the question was given to me when I wasn't paying close attention: "Increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour is essential for the health of the US economy." My knee-jerk response would be: "Damn right, that's true & factural."

You'd have a lot of company. (link to another write-up of the study with some additional info). 37% of Democrats incorrectly identified that statement as one of fact. That is much less depressing than the equal number of Republicans (37%) who wrongly identified the statement that Obama was born in the USA as one of opinion.
posted by Justinian at 3:32 AM on October 24 [2 favorites]




Maybe it's my epistemic bias clouding my judgement, but "Increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour is essential for the health of the US economy" seems awfully close to being a testable proposition, and thus not a great model of an "opinion" statement. Sure, "essential" and "health" are vague hand-wavy language, but it's not like it's saying "Increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour is the morally right thing to do" or something.

Interestingly, it's the only one from the opinion column with a tie between 18-49 and 50+ respondents.
posted by obliviax at 4:00 AM on October 24 [14 favorites]


The conflation by the Vice President of people "of Middle Eastern descent" (who do not, in fact, appear to be part of this group) and "terrorists or suspected terrorists" is, well, terrifying.

Indeed. And has been going on under Republican administrations since Dick Cheney.
posted by Gelatin at 4:44 AM on October 24 [3 favorites]


> "For example; if presented with the sentence 'Elvis Presley was the first President of the United States' they should have identified that as a statement of fact, despite it being manifestly false."

This is the definition of "fact" taught in grade school, but it is not the way the word is actually used by anyone anywhere. Try telling people, "It is a fact that the moon is made of green cheese", and note how many of them disagree with you that this is a fact.
posted by kyrademon at 4:52 AM on October 24 [5 favorites]


It doesn't look like any of the factual statements were actually false in the Pew study. From the methodology section:

Researchers used a multistep, deliberative process to construct and select the final statements used in the survey. The factual statements were drawn from a variety of sources, including news organizations, government sources, research organizations and fact-checking entities. The factual statements included only accurate – as opposed to inaccurate – statements that were fact-checked by the research team from primary data sources, fact-checking organizations and news stories, among other sources.
posted by Avelwood at 5:00 AM on October 24


[If folks want to really dig in on the Pew fact/opinion quiz, it should probably get its own thread at this point.]
posted by taz (staff) at 5:32 AM on October 24 [7 favorites]


This commercial is now on rotation on Twin Cities TV. Running directly from the Dean Phillips campaign.

The media outlets quoted in the commercial spend 2 minutes "fact-checking", then take in bushel baskets of money for running the same commercials that lie for the rest of the day. It's a shame the Phillips campaign has to do this, but I'm glad they're doing it.
posted by gimonca at 5:43 AM on October 24 [5 favorites]


I really liked this blog post about a Los Angeles film director who has started a PAC that makes low-cost, high-quality video ads for candidates for state offices. She came to Iowa and shot a ton of really nice-looking ads for Democratic candidates for the state legislature. It makes me wonder what skills the rest of us have that we could put to use in some way.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:56 AM on October 24 [40 favorites]


Her husband, meanwhile, went on a bonkers rant in which he claimed that California has a ton of water, it's terrible that people have brown lawns, and threatens to take money away from the state because he doesn't like our forest management practices.

You hear conservatives say that ideas like higher minimum wage, student debt forgiveness, all around stronger social safety net, etc. are childish fantasies cooked up by irresponsible twerps -- "you get a pony! everybody gets a free pony while we're at it!"

In its abandonment of sound, science-driven environmental policy, the right has completely bought the fantasy of unlimited natural resources for everyone, everywhere, forever. Perfect green lawns forever in a semiarid climate, folks! God help you if you pull a Jimmy Carter and encourage people to suck it up, put on a sweater and not be so wasteful.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 6:07 AM on October 24 [27 favorites]




Explosive Device Found in Mail Sent to the Clintons

Cue handwringing about some random yutz throwing a rock at a random Republican campaign office in 3...2...
posted by Gelatin at 6:33 AM on October 24 [13 favorites]


GA gov: Opinion Savvy poll has Dem Abrams tied 48-48 with GOPer Kemp [MOE:+/- 3.4%]. [Cook: Tossup] => Reminder that if no one clears 50%, this will go to a runoff.

Last night during their debate, current Secretary of State and candidate for governor Brian Kemp refused to recuse himself if the GA governors race goes to a recount. So, yeah.
posted by gladly at 6:34 AM on October 24 [12 favorites]


God help you if you pull a Jimmy Carter and encourage people to suck it up, put on a sweater and not be so wasteful.

This sort of reminds me of when Obama suggested people switch over to LED lightbulbs to save billions in energy costs and Republicans went bananas, because "freedom". I get that the lightbulbs had some problems, but the reaction deeply embarrassed me. Is there no sacrifice too small to be made for the country, or even the planet? With global warming, will we not even... try anything? Is this really the same country that went through the depression and WWII? It's hard to believe we had the stomach for it.
posted by xammerboy at 6:36 AM on October 24 [54 favorites]


Is there no sacrifice too small to be made for the country

It has nothing to do with the sacrifice. It's throwing a tantrum because mom (read: an authority figure they don't respect) told them to pick up their dirty socks. (To be clear: if dad told them to pick up their socks, they'd have done it immediately.)
posted by uncleozzy at 6:42 AM on October 24 [33 favorites]


Her husband, meanwhile, went on a bonkers rant in which he claimed that California has a ton of water, it's terrible that people have brown lawns,

Californian here - I HATE lawns. HATE them. They do not belong in our climate. They started as an imitation of wealthy British country estates - a status symbol from a cool, damp climate that shouldn't be in Cali's warm dry one.

There are a lot of beautiful landscapes that can be done with xeriscaping - my neighbors have a gorgeous xeriscaped yard, and I'm going to go the same way when I can afford it.

I am so glad that California's state and local government (BLUE state, remember?) knows what is best for us and will act accordingly. I live in a tinderbox as it is (there was a fire in the open space about a mile from my house this summer...omg omg I was going to have to literally herd cats) and fuck right in the ear anyone who tells me we have plenty of water.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:46 AM on October 24 [44 favorites]


Meanwhile, Yutu, a Category 5 typhoon, will soon be making landfall in the U.S. Commonwealth of Saipan (population 50,000) and hardly a peep about it.

This is what moral leaders are supposed to do: be on top of issues that affect tens of thousands of lives.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:46 AM on October 24 [24 favorites]


It has nothing to do with the sacrifice. It's throwing a tantrum because mom (read: an authority figure they don't respect) told them to pick up their dirty socks.

There is something really bloody-minded baked into American culture. I used to volunteer in the area of pet rescue and adoption, and you'd run into people all the time whose response to "Hey, you should spay and neuter your pets because look here's some math about overpopulation and also here's some sad pictures meant to activate your empathy" was NUH-UH AND BECAUSE YOU ASKED ME TO DO IT I'M GOING TO SPECIFICALLY NOT, SO THERE AND TAKE THAT!
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:49 AM on October 24 [39 favorites]


I promise not to harp on Yutu anymore, but the Dvorak readings have it at 175 mph. May be the second worst ever speed at landfall on U.S. soil.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:53 AM on October 24 [11 favorites]


Cue handwringing about some random yutz throwing a rock at a random Republican campaign office in 3...2...

It won't be some random yutz. It'll be the Senate minority leader.
posted by great_radio at 6:55 AM on October 24 [8 favorites]




Luckily, their mail is screened by the Secret Service.
posted by all about eevee at 6:58 AM on October 24 [6 favorites]


I promise not to harp on Yutu anymore, but the Dvorak readings have it at 175 mph. May be the second worst ever speed at landfall on U.S. soil.

Harp away! The fact that we aren't hearing a peep about this through normal or official channels is criminal.
posted by bcd at 7:00 AM on October 24 [8 favorites]


Phew, we can all breathe easier: Trump explains that his tariffs don't actually exist.

No, really.

Article:
“We don’t even have tariffs. I’m using tariffs to negotiate,” the president said, describing the tariffs on steel and aluminum he imposed this year as “small.”

The U.S. this year imposed tariffs on steel, aluminum, washers and solar panels, as well as tariffs on an additional $250 billion of Chinese imports. Some businesses have supported the tariffs, but many have said they hurt their profits and could lead to higher prices for customers.

“Where do we have tariffs? We don’t have tariffs anywhere,” Mr. Trump said when asked about the risks tariffs pose to the economy. “You know what happens? A business that’s doing badly always likes to blame Trump and the tariffs, because it’s a good excuse for some incompetent guy that’s making $25 million a year.”
Who are ya gonna believe, me or your lyin' eyes?
posted by PontifexPrimus at 7:02 AM on October 24 [25 favorites]


Now a package has been sent to the Obamas.

A further detail from the NYT's story: "Two explosive devices were found in mail sent to the offices of former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Secret Service said Wednesday. The devices were similar to one found on Monday at the home of the billionaire philanthropist George Soros, two law enforcement officials said."

Obama was, however, away at a midterm campaign rally in Las Vegas, where he pulled no punches (ABC):
—"I’m here just to get one thing from you -- and this is for you to vote. This November’s elections are more important than any in my lifetime and that includes when I was on the ballot."
—"When you hear all this talk about economic miracles, remember who started it. I hope people realize there's a pattern that every time [Republicans] run things into the ground and we've got to clean it up."
—"I know you can bet on anything here in Vegas, but you don't want to bet that Republicans are going to protect your healthcare."
—"Unlike some, I actually try to state facts—I believe in facts. I believe in a fact-based reality, a fact-based politics. I don’t believe in just making stuff up. I think you should say what’s true."
I miss having a fact-based president.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:06 AM on October 24 [81 favorites]


While simultaneously ranting about how great those tarrifs are.

The same day. The mind boggles.
posted by bcd at 7:07 AM on October 24 [13 favorites]


"We don’t even have tariffs. I’m using tariffs to negotiate"

This is one of those liars paradox logic problems, isn't it?
posted by dng at 7:12 AM on October 24 [8 favorites]




Today feels like a real turning point. The bombs sent to Soros, Clintons and Obamas -- and now it looks like CNN? -- ARE the stochastic terrorism we've been warning about forever. This is the beginning of something and how the media responds to it and how elected Republican officials respond to it will tell us a lot.

I hope the media can manage to focus on how fucking scary and messed up this is for at least as long as they harped on Sarah Sanders ruined lunch and Alan Dershowitz's social problems at Martha's Vineyard. I'm not optimistic.
posted by the turtle's teeth at 7:19 AM on October 24 [63 favorites]


The White House is condemning the mailbombs, as one would expect. It'll be perversely fascinating to see if Trump has enough discipline not to mention the targets in his next few rallies & how long it'll take until he does. How will he try to thread the needle? Trump does not unilaterally disarm.

And CNN gets a bomb of their own. Truly tragic for Trump, the true victim in all this.
posted by scalefree at 7:20 AM on October 24 [4 favorites]


Stochastic terrorism. In a large enough population (e.g., the United States), there will always be someone willing to literally carry out other's rhetorical threats.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:23 AM on October 24 [1 favorite]




NAACP: Georgia votes for Democrat Stacey Abrams are being changed to Republican Brian Kemp - Matthew Rozsa, Salon
The Georgia NAACP is filing a complaint claiming that votes for Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams in that state's race for governor have been changed to Republican candidate Brian Kemp.

The NAACP's state conference electronically filed complaints with the Georgia Secretary of State's office (which is held by Kemp himself) claiming that votes cast for Abrams in Bartow and Dodge counties were initially registered to Kemp, according to USA Today. As of Tuesday, the Georgia NAACP also had plans to file additional complaints in Henry and Cobb counties, likewise claiming that votes intended for Abrams had initially been changed to Kemp. Eight voters in total are alleging that they noticed their votes had been changed.

"We’ve experienced this before. They ended up taking these old dilapidated machines out of service. The ones giving the problems. They should have been replaced about 10 years ago," Phyllis Blake, president of the Georgia NAACP, told USA Today.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:33 AM on October 24 [34 favorites]


no White House bomb per USSS [Fox News]
posted by scalefree at 7:35 AM on October 24 [8 favorites]


[A few comments deleted. Let's not run off into speculating/dark jokes about what will happen, "oh these fuckers probably ___" etc.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:35 AM on October 24 [4 favorites]




I called my Senator Chuck Grassley's DC office to express concern about the assassination attempts on George Soros, President and Secretary Clinton and President Obama. I asked whether the Senator had made any statements about the attacks; the staffer informed me that he had not.

I noted that the Senator had claimed that George Soros had paid anti-Kavanaugh protesters to harass him in Congress. He had promoted many conspiracy theories against President Obama, such as the famous Obamacare Death Panels. And, he and every Senate Republican had supported Kavanaugh's claim that the Clintons were responsible for crafting the false allegations of sexual assault against the nominee.

Does the Senator, I asked, have any experience with explosives?

The staffer said that she did not know of any experience and that the question was inappropriate. Why was it inappropriate, I asked. She said, "He is a U.S. Senator. He is not mailing explosives." I said, "Oh, because that would be inappropriate. Is it appropriate of the Senator to accuse George Soros of paying protestors to harass him?" The staffer said she would pass on my concerns.

I asked, "Has the Senator made any statements about any other Jews who are paying protesters to harass him?". The staffer said the Senator had not made any reference to George Soros's ethnicity. I noted that George Soros was at the center of global neo-Nazi conspiracy theories, a fact of which the staffer claimed to be unaware. I suggested that she do a little Googling on the subject, something which the Senator had undoubtedly already done, else he would not be accusing George Soros of being the puppet-master of a conspiracy against him. I said that as an Iowan and a Jew, I was alarmed that the Senator appeared to be transitioning from being a crypto-fascist, to just being a regular old fascist. I said that my request to the Senator would be to stop saying false, insane, racist, xenophobic, dangerous things, and retire. I was thanked and my message will be passed along
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:43 AM on October 24 [136 favorites]


FYI, our friend Senator Collins has chosen today to send out her first fundraising email for 2020. From the text of the email, I'd say she's leaving the idea of being a moderate behind...
posted by anastasiav at 7:46 AM on October 24 [5 favorites]


Voter-suppression shuffle: Officials close only polling site in majority-Latino Kansas town - Igor Derysh, Salon
Dodge City, Kansas, which has a 60 percent Hispanic population, had its only polling site moved outside the city limits to a suburban location with no access to public transportation, the Wichita Eagle reports.

Once famous as a boozy, violent frontier town of the Old West, Dodge City today is a community of 27,000 people roughly 160 miles west of Wichita. In recent years it has relied on a single polling site for its 13,000 voters, compared to an average of 1,200 voters at other sites. The polling site was located in a wealthy, predominantly white neighborhood near a local country club.

This year, local officials have shuttered Dodge City's lone polling place, citing road construction in the area, and moved it to a facility outside the city limits that is more than a mile from the nearest bus stop.

“It is shocking that we only have one polling place, but that is only kind of scratching the surface of the problem,” Ford County Democratic Party chair Johnny Dunlap told the Wichita newspaper. “On top of that, not only is it irrational and ridiculous that we have only one polling place, but Dodge City is one of the few minority-majority cities in the state.”

State voter data shows that Hispanic voters in Ford County had just a 17 percent turnout in the 2014 elections, compared to a 61 percent rate among white voters. The national Hispanic turnout rate in 2014 was 27 percent.
Dodge City went to one polling site in 2002, citing accessibility requirements imposed under the ADA.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:49 AM on October 24 [23 favorites]


The Georgia NAACP is filing a complaint claiming that votes for Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams in that state's race for governor have been changed to Republican candidate Brian Kemp.

The odd thing about this story is that voters are able to see the effects of the change immediately. If it weren't for that, many of those changed votes would never be caught.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:51 AM on October 24 [12 favorites]


The Georgia NAACP is filing a complaint claiming that votes for Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams in that state's race for governor have been changed to Republican candidate Brian Kemp.

Republicans can't win without cheating.

By their actions, they admit that they know they can't win without cheating.
posted by Gelatin at 7:55 AM on October 24 [29 favorites]


I have a question -- please MeMail me privately with your suggestions, I do not want this to derail the thread. If I can come up with 3 or 4 free days to drive to a state to help with get out the vote efforts, where would be the most important/effective? Indiana, Missouri, or North Dakota? Those are all within driving distance (for me) of Chicago. Thank you.
posted by W Grant at 7:58 AM on October 24 [13 favorites]


Watching Fox News. It's thoroughly fascinating to watch them shift gears & point their propaganda machine in the opposite direction from what it's just been doing. Repeated admonitions not to get ahead of ourselves & ascribe a motivation to these attacks, there are many possible motivations including mental illness which brings up the recent mailbomb attacks in Austin, we go now to our reporter in Austin. Also Don, Jr & the Chair of the GOP offer their condemnations, we can disagree on things without letting it get too acrimonious. Did we mention that people who send these sorts of things are frequently found to be mentally ill?

It reminds me of nothing so much as that scene in Titanic where Jack & Rose are running through the bowels of the ship & find themselves in the engine room just as the engines shift from forward to reverse. All those massive cams slow down, come to a stop then shudder as they engage in the opposite direction.
posted by scalefree at 8:05 AM on October 24 [23 favorites]


I made an FPP for Yutu.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:05 AM on October 24 [14 favorites]


The same day. The mind boggles

The mind is meant to boggle. Trump is the supreme example of the danger of bullshit and the ease with which the conscienceless can use it to wreak destruction. Case in point: I have been ridiculously busy with work for the last month, and as a result I have not followed the Khashoggi case as closely as I have followed other events of the last 2 years. As a result, I have been legitimately confused by the torrent of competing stories and contradictory claims that are fed to me with no vetting by online news headlines. I cannot keep up with the facts of that case right now, and a cursory glance at headlines is completely insufficient when every news outlet now credulously perrots what each warring faction *says* without evaluating it for the public.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 8:18 AM on October 24 [26 favorites]


Everything Shows a GOP Resurgence Except for the Evidence
I’m not here to unskew the polls for you. The Senate map has shifted significantly against the Democrats over the last month. There are also worrisome nuggets of information. President Trump’s personal numbers have popped up. The latest NBC poll showed Republicans closing the enthusiasm gap with Democrats. Each of these give me pause and make me wonder whether they’re leading indicators of some shift. But when I look at all the numbers combined, there’s just no evidence for this shift which is dominating the media narrative.

The best baseline I think in terms of is the generic ballot poll. That’s been highly consist, between 8 and 9 points for the last two months.

If you think a Democratic takeover of the House is critical to the country’s future, I’m not here to tell you, don’t worry, everything’s going to be fine. That’s not how I feel. But I will say that almost all the evidence that we have is that we’re looking at a high probability of a Democratic takeover of the House and that things look pretty similar to what they’ve looked like for the last six months. The numbers don’t bear this media narrative.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:24 AM on October 24 [14 favorites]


Staring into the abyss of today's headlines... signing up for another canvassing shift, ordering another 10 addresses for Postcards to Voters, and kicking in what little I can afford to Democrats in close races. Working to keep panic to a manageable level. Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeep breaths, all, and hugs to those who need them.
posted by duffell at 8:31 AM on October 24 [29 favorites]


The mind is meant to boggle. Trump is the supreme example of the danger of bullshit and the ease with which the conscienceless can use it to wreak destruction.

I believe the traditional relationship between cause & effect are actually twisted in Trump's mind, a result of his narcissism further enhanced by his exposure to Norman Vincent Peale as well as his belief in eugenics. For Trump things are true because he needs them to be & only as long as that need persists. If & when he needs the opposite to be true, that's what happens. So he can have the benefits of tariffs working for us without the downsides of them working against us simultaneously. It's Trump's world, we're just renters.
posted by scalefree at 8:37 AM on October 24 [2 favorites]


ZeusHumms: "Voter-suppression shuffle: Officials close only polling site in majority-Latino Kansas town - Igor Derysh, Salon "

The mayor of Dodge City would like you to know it's not the city that makes the polling location decisions, it's the county or the state. And they are offering free door-to-door rides to the polls for anyone who needs it. (fb link)
posted by Chrysostom at 8:42 AM on October 24 [21 favorites]


Voter-suppression shuffle: Officials close only polling site in majority-Latino Kansas town - Igor Derysh, Salon

The polling site was moved outside the town limits to a place where there is no public transportation. Voto Latino is working to provide free rides to the polls in there and are asking for donations to help fund it. You can donate here.
posted by mcduff at 8:43 AM on October 24 [22 favorites]


The terrifying uncertainty at the heart of FiveThirtyEight’s election forecasts - Andrew Prokop, Vox
FiveThirtyEight’s “classic” forecast — which has become the gold standard in elections forecasting — gives Democrats an 85.6 percent chance of retaking the House and Republicans a 81.3 percent chance of holding the Senate, as of Tuesday evening.

So both of those are highly likely to happen, right?

Well, one person who’s been trying to complicate that assessment is FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver himself.

One point Silver has made over and over again in recent weeks is that even if you take his House and Senate forecasts at face value, when you think about both of them together, there’s around a 40 percent chance that one of them will be wrong.

He elaborated on this on Twitter this week, making a point that’s important to understand — that a “very normal-sized polling error” in either direction could result in a dramatically different outcome.

These days, savvy election watchers have to keep two ideas in their heads at the same time:
  • The best way to get some sense of what the Election Day outcome will be is to look at polling averages or models like FiveThirtyEight’s.
  • But polls of state or House races often get the final margin wrong by several points, and just because a forecast shows an outcome as unlikely, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
In other words: uncertainty, uncertainty, uncertainty.

posted by ZeusHumms at 8:44 AM on October 24 [6 favorites]


Ivanka can't admit that certain people are mortal human beings and not evil demons from libtardland, so in her statement she decided to literally other Soros.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:54 AM on October 24 [16 favorites]


For a little humor, let's turn to Rhode Island, where the Boston Globe reports the somewhat unpopular Democratic governor could win re-election because a peeved Republican state rep is running as an independent against the incumbent and the Republican nominee. The story includes an anecdote about a dust up between the now independent, Joe Trillo, and another state rep:
Trillo claimed Ehrhardt tried to poke him in the eyes “like the Three Stooges” and in response, “I slapped him a few times.”

Ehrhardt confirmed most of Trillo’s story, with one exception: He never poked Trillo’s eyes.

“When he got angry and up close to me, I could not resist the urge to reach out and tweak his nose,” he said.

The fight, Ehrhardt recalls, was over legislation regulating the inspection of boat toilets.
posted by adamg at 8:57 AM on October 24 [33 favorites]


Yeah, that's Rhode Island all right.
posted by Melismata at 8:59 AM on October 24 [13 favorites]


Needs more coffee milk.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:00 AM on October 24 [13 favorites]


Ehrhardt confirmed most of Trillo’s story, with one exception: He never poked Trillo’s eyes.

“When he got angry and up close to me, I could not resist the urge to reach out and tweak his nose,” he said.


My sister and I have been arguing over a similar incident for the last 30 years. I maintain I went to tweak, she swears I deliberately poked her in the eyes, our mother refuses to take either side. Our fight was over her disturbing me as I was reading The Crow.
posted by Molesome at 9:06 AM on October 24 [6 favorites]


Joe Trillo looks like Austin Powers: Trillo+Trump pic

No one in Rhodey wants him.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:06 AM on October 24 [2 favorites]


Who "tweaks" a nose? Sounds fake, like boxing someone's ears.
posted by orrnyereg at 9:07 AM on October 24


our mother refuses to take either side

30 years without taking a side in that argument is 30 years well spent.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 9:11 AM on October 24 [20 favorites]


Who "tweaks" a nose? Sounds fake, like boxing someone's ears.

Reminder: This is Rhode Island, where a man was re-elected mayor of the state's largest city despite being convicted for attacking a guy he thought was sleeping with his ex-wife with a fireplace log (and a lit cigarette, for good measure).
posted by adamg at 9:11 AM on October 24 [13 favorites]


And now they're evacuating the NY offices of CNN.

CNN's Jeremy Diamond: "From CNN's Brynn Gingras, Mary Anne Fox & David Shortell: The package with an explosive device sent to CNN’s NY offices today was addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, according to city and local law enforcement officials. Brennan is an NBC national security analyst"

Meanwhile, in Miami, the NBC affiliate reports, Police Investigating Suspicious Package at Sunrise Office of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz "Footage showed a bomb squad and firefighters responding to the building"
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:14 AM on October 24 [9 favorites]


The polling site was moved outside the town limits to a place where there is no public transportation. Voto Latino is working to provide free rides to the polls

I predict this fact will be used, dishonestly, to bolster Republican claims of "vote fraud."
posted by Gelatin at 9:15 AM on October 24 [4 favorites]




Wasserman Schultz's address was reportedly used as the return address on all the bombs. It appears she was both scapegoated and targeted. (Not that anyone reasonable would actually believe her office sent them, of course.)
posted by the turtle's teeth at 9:30 AM on October 24 [10 favorites]


> Ivanka can't admit that certain people are mortal human beings and not evil demons from libtardland

Please don't use that term. I know you're being ironic, but it's based on a slur and bet it's not yours to reclaim.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:31 AM on October 24 [23 favorites]




November 6, 2018: the day Americans learn just which Republicans will still be elected even after refusing to condemn remarks about the recipients of the explosive devices "deserving it" —or even after making such remarks themselves.

Lone bomber or not, this is some serious shit going on right here. We're turning a corner, people.
posted by Rykey at 9:33 AM on October 24 [23 favorites]


MSNBC now reporting Eric Holder was also targeted.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:41 AM on October 24 [8 favorites]




MSNBC now reporting Eric Holder was also targeted.

This incident isn't just a one-off, as horrible as sending a single package bomb is. It's a wave of attacks. A wave of terrorist attacks that Donald Trump encouraged, forget about failed to prevent.
posted by Gelatin at 9:50 AM on October 24 [45 favorites]


Another suspicious package intercepted. This is the San Diego Union Tribune's building, which also hosts one of Kamala Harris's offices.
posted by halation at 9:50 AM on October 24 [8 favorites]


Exclusive: In Leaked Audio, Brian Kemp Expresses Concern Over Georgians Exercising Their Right to Vote - Jamil Smith, Rolling Stone
The Republican gubernatorial candidate spoke to donors about the growing threat of the Stacey Abrams campaign as the midterm elections approach
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:57 AM on October 24 [3 favorites]


MSNBC now reporting Eric Holder was also targeted.

Specifically, the bomb found at DWS' office was actually meant for Holder, but was misaddressed and returned to the purported sender.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:57 AM on October 24 [11 favorites]


ZeusHumms: "The odd thing about this story is that voters are able to see the effects of the change immediately. If it weren't for that, many of those changed votes would never be caught."

It's likely just because these are old and shitty machines that have known issues. That's not to say it's okay that these haven't been replaced, but we shouldn't assume the errors were intentional.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:57 AM on October 24 [2 favorites]


Is it odd that there don't seem to be any reports of those machines changing votes in the other direction, from Kemp to Abrams?
posted by SpaceBass at 10:00 AM on October 24 [19 favorites]


For a snapshot of the moment's response to the mailbombs from the base and the "reasonable conservative" wings of the right, let's compare the most common themes at subreddits /r/the_donald and /r/conservative, from most to least frequent.

/r/the_donald:
1) Obvious false flag by the Clintons, the Deep State, Jim Acosta and the Jews
2) Bombing them is good
3) LOL look how triggered the lib NPCs are

/r/conservative:
1) Let's wait and see who did it before we leap to conclusions
2) Whatabout Scalise and Antifa
3) Obvious false flag by the Clintons, the Deep State, Jim Acosta and the Jews Soros
4) Bombing them is good
5) This is not what we stand for
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:04 AM on October 24 [34 favorites]


Well, sure, you can't rule out malfeasance with Kemp involved. But why - for example - show the error on the machine? You could just change it under the hood, as it were. Or just fudge the count on Election Day.

Norden is a recognized expert on voting technology (you might find this report interesting), so I'm inclined to give some credence to his take.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:04 AM on October 24 [1 favorite]


Pro-Trump Media Insists Bomb Threats Against Clinton, Obama, CNN are ‘Pure BS,’ a ‘False Flag’

Dam Phiffer: Pro-Trump media is a leading indicator of what will be mainstream Republican orthodoxy next week

A Skinsuit full of cockroaches: Violence is never OK. Reports of bombs sent to the homes of Obama, Clinton, and Soros are deeply, deeply disturbing. America is better than this. Political disagreements are fine, even healthy, but we should always be civil and respect each other’s humanity.

Rita Konaev (Tufts): Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination was preceded by a radicalization & dehumanization campaign depicting him as a traitor & Nazi who must be stopped, locked up or worse

These words remind me of what those who led that campaign (inc. current PM Netanyahu) said after Rabin was murdered
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:05 AM on October 24 [32 favorites]


The false flag stuff doesn't make sense by usual conspiracy theory standards. Why both with Brennan? He's not in office. Or Kamala Harris? She's not up for election. How does this "help" her?
posted by asteria at 10:06 AM on October 24 [7 favorites]


Is it odd that there don't seem to be any reports of those machines changing votes in the other direction, from Kemp to Abrams?

If this is an issue of old touchscreen voting machines, then it's not odd- their errors tend to systematically misjudge the position of a touch in a particular direction, and (for some reason) the order of candidates on a ballot is not randomized. So the misrecorded votes will systematically favor one candidate. The organizational failure is probably in not replacing the old machines, rather than explicitly tampering with machines to change votes in a chosen direction.
posted by Jpfed at 10:09 AM on October 24 [9 favorites]


5) This is not what we stand for

Yes, it is. A wave of terrorist attacks against your political opponents. The "this is not what we stand for" ship sailed in 2016 with two more years' worth of "LOCK HER UP" chants sending it off.

For some reason, I am reminded of "never Trump" Jonah Goldberg's silly book from George W. Bush's presidency that tried to claim that fascism was a liberal phenomenon. Ha.
posted by Gelatin at 10:10 AM on October 24 [32 favorites]




Quick reminder that chat is open for those interested or in need.
posted by yoga at 10:11 AM on October 24 [5 favorites]


Yesterday's Schumer tweet sure hasn't aged well, but Chuck has yet to make any kind of statement today, just some mealy-mouthed grandstanding about pre-existing conditions. Hoping that he (or anyone, really) starts debunking this 'false flag' bullshit, but I'm not real optimistic here.

NY Gov Cuomo just confirmed at a press conference that his Manhattan office was also targeted with a package.
posted by halation at 10:12 AM on October 24 [12 favorites]


The only logic is to absolve Republicans of all responsibility and blame Democrats for somehow causing their own victimhood. That’s how organized dehumainzation and eliminationist rhetoric works. They’re not presenting a coherent argument, they’re working to justify future violence even at this moment.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:12 AM on October 24 [15 favorites]


A Skinsuit full of cockroaches: Violence is never OK. Reports of bombs sent to the homes of Obama, Clinton, and Soros are deeply, deeply disturbing. America is better than this. Political disagreements are fine, even healthy, but we should always be civil and respect each other’s humanity.

As someone pointed out on Twitter, just the night before Cruz was leading a chant of "LOCK HIM UP" aimed at his political opponent, apparently for the unspeakable crime of running for office as a Democrat in Texas.
posted by Gelatin at 10:12 AM on October 24 [39 favorites]


Seems unbelievable that Elizabeth Warren and Maxine Waters have not been targeted. I can't imagine how the folks at their offices are feeling today. I hope every major news outlet eviscerates the Republicans/Conservatives pointing fingers at Democrats and screaming FALSE FLAG. Of course Trump will never acknowledge his incendiary rhetoric as a cause of this, but every reporter should ask about it every chance they get to every elected official, every appointee, every GOP mouthpiece.
posted by pjsky at 10:15 AM on October 24 [11 favorites]


As far as Abrams to Kemp vote switching goes, much as I hate the Republicans I think its mechanical error not fraud.

First, and most important, if you're going to actually swap votes around on a voting machine it is trivial to do so without displaying that on the screen. No actual vote theft would involve showing what you're doing to the victim.

Also, there's basically two kinds of touch screen. The good but expensive kind is the kind on your phone, the shitty but cheap kind is the kind found on older voting machines and some older PIN pads in grocery stores (and more recently on those touch screen ten thousand and one flavor soda fountains). The cheap and shitty kind frequently needs to be recalibrated and, worse, will eventually permanently fail in a way that recalibration can't fix.

I spent a lot of time as a young tech working with the old and shitty touch screens, and in general when they did start failing they'd **TEND** to fail by interpreting input as being closer to the center of the screen and further from the edges. Which would, assuming alphabetic order, tend to swap Abrams for Kemp, but not Kemp for Abrams. A person trying to vote Kemp on a machine failing like that would likely just have to touch the Kemp area harder, or wiggle their finger around, which is still a machine error but not the kind most people really notice or pay attention to in the way they would when seeing the machine swap their vote.

TL;DR: It seems extremely unlikely that the Abrams to Kemp vote swapping on the machines is deliberate fraud, it's just evidence of our voting infrastructure being cheap and old and in desperate need of updating or downdating to paper ballots, take your pick.
posted by sotonohito at 10:17 AM on October 24 [13 favorites]


Also, Nancy Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein. What a terrifying day.
posted by all about eevee at 10:18 AM on October 24 [3 favorites]


Just recalled the statements Trump made at his recent rally about the politician that hit a reporter being "my kind of guy" and that there was "nothing to be ashamed about."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:19 AM on October 24 [12 favorites]


As it turns out, the real victims here are Republicans, and especially Meghan McCain.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:20 AM on October 24 [7 favorites]


Yesterday's Schumer tweet sure hasn't aged well, but Chuck has yet to make any kind of statement today

Along with the realization that institutions aren't going to save us, we should all have long since concluded that Chuck Schumer specifically isn't going to save us. He has demonstrated time and again that he is not up to the challenge, and is always going to fall back on some combination of both-sides-ism and a belief in a level of decorum that has long since ceased to exist.

The sooner he is ousted, the better.
posted by tocts at 10:21 AM on October 24 [19 favorites]


The most surprising thing about the bombs today is that it took almost two years into the Trump presidency for it to happen. Glad no bombs have actually detonated...so far.
posted by COD at 10:21 AM on October 24 [25 favorites]


All of these bulky packages seem to have been mailed on the same day. I wonder how you do that without anybody remembering you or anyone noticing the bogus return address. Any word whether the shipper was USPS, FedEx or UPS.
posted by JackFlash at 10:22 AM on October 24 [8 favorites]


So, so fitting that instead of any kind of response to the attempted mass-bombing of his entire party, Schumer's last tweet is:

@SenSchumer
It is simply not true that Republicans will protect coverage for pre-existing conditions, Mr. President.


Dude is going to "it is simply not true, Mister President" us into Hell itself.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:23 AM on October 24 [17 favorites]


"@bessbell Bess Kalb
We're calling this person the Magabomber. Pass it on.
Then vote."
posted by pjsky at 10:24 AM on October 24 [77 favorites]


>>Voter-suppression shuffle: Officials close only polling site in majority-Latino Kansas town >The polling site was moved outside the town limits to a place where there is no public transportation. Voto Latino is working to provide free rides to the polls in there and are asking for donations to help fund it.

Lyft is also offering free rides.
posted by msalt at 10:24 AM on October 24 [10 favorites]


A bit of good news: the SD Union-Trib / Harris incident appears to be unrelated, or, at the very least, it's an entirely different MO. The suspicious packages were harmless, just boxes full of apparently-abandoned household items, and were not mailed, but were left at the building last night (with a suspect caught on security footage).
posted by halation at 10:37 AM on October 24 [5 favorites]


I can summarize some of the recent "the left is also violent" rhetoric by paraphrasing Mel Brooks: violence is when you raise your voice at me in a restaurant. Civility is when you receive a bomb in the mail and die.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:37 AM on October 24 [58 favorites]


I know we should be past being alarmed and appalled, but it is seriously alarming and appalling just how rapidly Republicans are mainstreaming the false flag theory, a.k.a. the sneaky Democrats are bombing themselves.

It usually takes a day or two for the conspiracy theories to make it from the batshit bloggers/Tweeters to mainstream commentators and another day or two for elected officials to start alluding to them. Today, it's only been a couple hours and a few mainstream GOP/rightwing commentators (Coulter, Limbaugh) are already saying the Dems must have done this.

At this rate, some of the more low-rent congressmen will be spouting the conspiracy theory by dinnertime and Trump will declare the theory "very likely" at his rally tonight.
posted by the turtle's teeth at 10:38 AM on October 24 [10 favorites]


The false flag stuff doesn't make sense by usual conspiracy theory standards. Why both with Brennan? He's not in office. Or Kamala Harris? She's not up for election. How does this "help" her?

Anything that makes them feel bad is fake. Their side is nothing but virtuous. Anything that might hurt them or make them look or feel bad can only be the lies of the Enemy.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:39 AM on October 24 [19 favorites]


“obviously it's a huge false equivalence to place "being rude at a diner" to "sending bombs" but what i'm how much america has been prepped to grade right wing/reactionary behavior on a curve

harassment/threats against abortion clinics has been "well, what're you gonna do"” @spacetwinks

When you expect a group to be terrible, they get more leniacy to be terrible. The fact that a lot of right wing groups got domestic terror training by trying to bomb abortion clinics and assassinate doctors just seems to get ignored.
posted by The Whelk at 10:39 AM on October 24 [23 favorites]


My all-time favorite take currently percolating through all strata of the right-wing internet: "it has to be a false flag, because we conservatives know how to make bombs that go off properly."

Sums it up pretty good, I think.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:39 AM on October 24 [15 favorites]


Let's take a moment to appreciate the brave postal and delivery service workers who deal with the possibility of being collateral damage in some lunatic's deranged plot every single day that they show up to work.
posted by MrVisible at 10:39 AM on October 24 [106 favorites]


It usually takes a day or two for the conspiracy theories to make it from the batshit bloggers/Tweeters to mainstream commentators and another day or two for elected officials to start alluding to them. Today, it's only been a couple hours and a few mainstream GOP/rightwing commentators (Coulter, Limbaugh) are already saying the Dems must have done this.

They've had decades of practice following each other without directly communicating.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:41 AM on October 24 [1 favorite]


When you expect a group to be terrible, they get more leniacy to be terrible.

Which is exactly the media failure mode Trump has exploited since the beginning of his campaign.
posted by Gelatin at 10:43 AM on October 24 [5 favorites]




The explanations about voting machines from Jpfed and sotonohito both make sense. Nonetheless, I can imagine the local authorities using those facts as a reason to not replace the machines: "If there's no malice going on, then why change anything?"

Also, while I'm generally against electronic voting for all the usual reasons, this sounds more like a problem in the realm of butterfly ballots and similar physical/mechanical issues. I actually support touchscreen interfaces (with some kind of screen reader for blind voters?) as the theoretically-ideal input system for generating paper ballots that the voter inspects physically. Then you can always improve them as needed from one election to another (e.g add more language translation options, randomize the list of candidates, change the voting system itself to a drag-and-drop ranked order, etc). The output could be as simple as the candidate's name on its own (with some corresponding machine-readable bit) so that almost no possible confusion is left once the ballot is cast.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 10:45 AM on October 24 [1 favorite]


Kemp is Secretary of State. He was part of the decision to not replace the fucking 16 year old Windows 2000 touch screen nightmares. I don't care if they are malfunctioning or programmed to change all votes to his, I just want them gone and to fill in a damn bubble with a damn pencil on a damn piece of paper that goes into a damn scanner machine that counts my damn votes while also saving the damn piece of paper in case we need a damn recount.
posted by hydropsyche at 10:47 AM on October 24 [55 favorites]


In addition to the bomb threats, several families in the Dallas area (Richardson specifically, a suburb just north of the city) woke up just after midnight on Tuesday because the Beto O'Rourke and Colin Allred signs in their yards were set on fire.

People with children are now waking up to the fire dept putting out their yards in the middle of the night in my city, but they'll investigate it as "criminal mischief."

It's not just elected Dems or donors in the crosshairs anymore. It feels like it's all of us. I'm also getting reports from friends in Irving that they're seeing people wearing solid red shirts stand in parking spaces, block walkways/roads and verbally harass non-white voters entering early polling locations.

Everyone please be careful out there...
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:48 AM on October 24 [68 favorites]


JFC, they've fixed it now, but Fox News tweeted: (emphasis mine)

"Suspicious package sent to CNN contained 'some kind' of white power, NYPD says"

see @kashanacauley Kashana for screen shot
posted by pjsky at 10:48 AM on October 24 [27 favorites]


What would we call an Islamic religious leader who said that journalists were the enemies of the people, and that it was good to attack journalists, and who tried to help an Islamic government cover up the political murder of a journalist?

Most Americans would have little difficulty in calling him a terrorist leader.

What would we call the people banding together to financially and politically aid such a leader?

Most Americans would have little difficulty in calling them a terrorist organization.

However, I suspect that the Senator Ernst (R-IA) DC office staffer who finally admitted to me that the Republican Party was a terrorist organization was mainly trying to get me to hang up the phone
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:48 AM on October 24 [61 favorites]


Part of me (the part that has spent too much time on the internet) wonders if the date of October 24 was chosen to coincide with the reveal of Operation Gladio back in 1990, because that seems like the kind of too-clever-and-entirely-dumb sort of thing that happens at the centre of the Dark Enlightenment / Warhammer 40K Venn diagram where this kind of hideousness festers. I mean, this conspiracy has everything: NATO cold war shit, CIA/MI6/Deep State involvement, paramilitary arms caches, false-flag terrorist attack coordination protocols, a code-name of the word for an ancient Roman footsoldier's sword and a cool motto in Latin ("Silendo Libertatem Servo")...
posted by halation at 10:51 AM on October 24 [7 favorites]




hydropsyche: "Kemp is Secretary of State. He was part of the decision to not replace the fucking 16 year old Windows 2000 touch screen nightmares. I don't care if they are malfunctioning or programmed to change all votes to his, I just want them gone and to fill in a damn bubble with a damn pencil on a damn piece of paper that goes into a damn scanner machine that counts my damn votes while also saving the damn piece of paper in case we need a damn recount."

200% yes. Just trying to distinguish between passive and active malfeasance.

(remember to vote for Barrow for Georgia SOS!)
posted by Chrysostom at 10:55 AM on October 24 [5 favorites]


How Republicans are using the language of #MeToo against Democrats - Anna North, Vox
… Republican candidates largely seem interested in speaking out against harassment and assault as a way to score political points. They’re attempting to thread a needle on Ford — claiming to believe she was assaulted but not that Kavanaugh was the perpetrator, even though Ford says she is “100 percent” certain of his identity. And then they’re criticizing Democrats for failing to “believe women” — sometimes when no women have even come forward.
...
There will be times, for both parties, when supporting women who report sexual misconduct will be politically inconvenient. Democrats have already seen that with Franken. Republicans, however, have yet to accept this reality. For them, #MeToo remains little more than a political tool — something they can use to attack their opponents, and simply put away when it’s no longer needed.
Standard Republican play - turn an opponents strength into a weakness. Or as we say these days, 'weaponizing'.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:56 AM on October 24 [5 favorites]


Kemp is Secretary of State. He was part of the decision to not replace the fucking 16 year old Windows 2000 touch screen nightmares.

He and comrade Kislyak, right? I hope something finally blows that weird visit open.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 10:57 AM on October 24 [4 favorites]


So, so fitting that instead of any kind of response to the attempted mass-bombing of his entire party, Schumer's last tweet is:

@SenSchumer
It is simply not true that Republicans will protect coverage for pre-existing conditions, Mr. President.

Dude is going to "it is simply not true, Mister President" us into Hell itself.


That tweet was part of a multi-tweet thread, all of which Twitter says were tweeted at 6:30. That means that it was unlikely to have been typed in at 6:30; it was written beforehand (we have no idea of knowing when) and scheduled to go out at that time. The fact that it was not written to address the bombing situation is therefore not surprising.

Also, no shit Schumer isn't going to "save you". Since when does the minority leader of the Senate have anything to do with mail bombers? What effect do you expect him, had he taken the optimal course of action, to have on the situation?
posted by Jpfed at 10:57 AM on October 24 [9 favorites]


JFC, they've fixed it now, but Fox News tweeted: (emphasis mine)

"Suspicious package sent to CNN contained 'some kind' of white power, NYPD says"


That realization you're typing a phrase so much that autocorrect has learned it and starts suggesting it all the time.
posted by mikepop at 10:57 AM on October 24 [17 favorites]


Mrs. Betty Bowers @BettyBowers

Giveaway that the domestic terrorist is a Trump supporter: They spelled Florida "FLORIDS" on the return address.

includes photo of envelop mailed to John Brennan/CNN
posted by pjsky at 10:57 AM on October 24 [12 favorites]


There will be times, for both parties, when supporting women who report sexual misconduct will be politically inconvenient. Democrats have already seen that with Franken.

But politically inconvenient or no, Democrats did the right thing -- Franken resigned. Republicans refuse to relinquish power so easily.
posted by Gelatin at 10:57 AM on October 24 [18 favorites]


I normally don't do the meta stuff but I have to give a strong and enthusiastic vote for not talking about how much we hate Chuck Schumer right now
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:01 AM on October 24 [47 favorites]


According to the Guardian:

Another suspicious package has been intercepted at a Congressional mail screening facility in Capitol Heights, Maryland, according to CNN.

The Capitol Police bomb squad responded.

Other suspicious packages found around the country have proved to be false alarms. The California building containing offices of Sen. Kamala Harris and the San Diego Union-Tribune was briefly evacuated after someone spotted a stack of packages they found suspicious, the paper reported, but they were found to contain a shoe, children’s books, an empty bag of chips and other miscellaneous items.


This day gets curiouser and curiouser. Empty bag of chips?
posted by pjsky at 11:01 AM on October 24 [3 favorites]


Giveaway that the domestic terrorist is a Trump supporter

Dude could be the most sincere MAGAest of MAGA hat wearers but I have a dollar that says the right-wing fever swamp machine will very soon label it as a false flag operation done by the Democrats/leftists. Then Donnie Jr will begin retweeting that. Then trump himself will echo the sentiments in his usual shitty allusive way, even when law enforcement doesn't corroborate.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:02 AM on October 24 [5 favorites]


ABC News White House correspondent Tara Palmeri now reporting that the latest suspicious package intercepted at the Congressional screening office was addressed to Rep Maxine Waters.
posted by pjsky at 11:06 AM on October 24 [2 favorites]




Meanwhile, CNN reports that FBI is still investigating whether the attempted bombings have a "nexus to terrorism," which is sort of like wondering whether the Boston Strangler had a nexus to murder.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:09 AM on October 24 [18 favorites]




NY Gov Cuomo just confirmed at a press conference that his Manhattan office was also targeted with a package.

Update on this one: it turned out to be a harmless package of "literature." Why Cuomo rushed to a press conference to announce he had received a package after his office denied the same is a mystery.
posted by zachlipton at 11:11 AM on October 24 [8 favorites]


Why Cuomo rushed to a press conference to announce he had received a package after his office denied the same is a mystery.

Because the most dangerous place in Albany is between Andrew Cuomo and a camera?
posted by Etrigan at 11:13 AM on October 24 [37 favorites]


"Expert guy" on MSNBC conjecturing about how this is probably a pre-election false flag
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:18 AM on October 24 [3 favorites]


NBC is live-broadcasting the First Lady talking about how her Be Best campaign helps combat drug abuse. That's what is happening in our plane of reality right now

Her husband, the President, praised her for being able to speak English.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:21 AM on October 24 [15 favorites]




The President says that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in America. Presumably this is a recent development that occurred after the President praised Representative Gianforte for his criminal assault on a journalist, the enemy of the people. Now we must wait to see if the winds of change blow once more upon our great nation, and the moral worthiness of political violence therein
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:28 AM on October 24 [13 favorites]


Trump is speaking at his opioids event. He starts off by thanking his wife for the introduction: "that's just one of many languages that you know, so it's so amazing that you can do it."

He reads carefully off the prompter on the mail bombs without, usual platitudes about safety being his highest priority, he's had a briefing from officials, there's an investigation, we'll bring those responsible to justice, etc... "Acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United State of America" says the man who offered to pay the legal fees of people who commit violence at his rallies.

He's very proud of himself for getting through that without screwing it up, so he ad-libs: "it's a very bipartisian statement, I can tell you from both sides we both agree on that." He's also "extremely angry, upset and unhappy."

And we've now moved on to the portion of the program where he tells lies about how he's solved the opioid crisis, which seems to consist of reading dozens and dozens of names of politicians and saying thank you.
posted by zachlipton at 11:29 AM on October 24 [22 favorites]


"Expert guy" on MSNBC conjecturing about how this is probably a pre-election false flag

What, on MSNBC? Are you sure? Do you know who it was? I want to see a video!
posted by Justinian at 11:34 AM on October 24 [4 favorites]


Unless the bombs were in packages of under 13 ounces, they would have had to have been mailed from inside a post office.

United States Postal Service: If your mailpiece weighs more than 13 oz and you're using postage stamps, take it to a Post Office retail counter to mail it. If put in your mailbox for pickup service, the carrier will leave it. If dropped in a blue collection box or lobby location, it will be returned to you.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:34 AM on October 24 [3 favorites]


@AriBerman:
Breaking: federal court rules Georgia can't reject absentee ballots for mismatched signatures. 1 in 10 absentee ballots rejected in Gwinnett County, GA's 2nd largest. Blacks, Latinos & Asian-American voters more likely to have ballots rejected than whites. via @sophlin229 @ACLU
posted by Chrysostom at 11:36 AM on October 24 [75 favorites]


I believe the USPS weight thing is an anti-terrorism move post-Sept 11.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:36 AM on October 24 [4 favorites]


I flipped to MSNBC. Jesus, Ray is right... except the person I see riding this false flag shit is not a rando... it's frikkin Stephanie Ruhle. I can't believe she knows what she's saying?
posted by Justinian at 11:37 AM on October 24


Supposedly some or all of these packages were delivered by courier or otherwise not through the postal service. None of the pictures posted online have a postmark or anything to mark the postage stamps on the envelopes as cancelled (i.e. used for postage) so it seems like they may just be there so the package could blend in with properly delivered mail.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:38 AM on October 24 [6 favorites]


Meanwhile, CNN reports that FBI is still investigating whether the attempted bombings have a "nexus to terrorism," which is sort of like wondering whether the Boston Strangler had a nexus to murder.

Susan Hennessey tweets:
People are criticizing this but "terrorism" is a legal term of art for federal law enforcement and we should not want them to use it until the determination is supported by sufficient facts.

There are circumstances in which it is reasonable to colloquially use the term terrorism, that do not yet meet statutory or guideline definitions. My point is we shouldn't read a value judgment into these agencies' decisions to wait to make a formal determination.

I wrote this three years ago in a different context but it includes analysis of when and why the federal government uses the term "terrorism" in early investigative decisions.
posted by Jpfed at 11:39 AM on October 24 [4 favorites]


says the man who offered to pay the legal fees of people who commit violence at his rallies

And don't forget the “Second Amendment solutions” if his followers didn't get things they wanted during a Clinton 45 admnistration.
posted by XMLicious at 11:40 AM on October 24 [28 favorites]


I feel for Ali Velshi on MSNBC dealing with all these numpties saying "who could know who is doing this?" and implying that it could be a feint by the bomber that they first picked liberals.

(edit: corrected last name)
posted by bootlegpop at 11:40 AM on October 24 [2 favorites]


Supposedly some or all of these packages were delivered by courier or otherwise not through the postal service.

Good. Otherwise, I was expecting Trump's presser to lambast the USPS for delivering so many packages two days late.
posted by delfin at 11:41 AM on October 24 [3 favorites]


I feel for Ali Vashid on MSNBC dealing with all these numpties

Yeah, thankfully Velshi is not putting up with any bullshit. My impression is that Ruhle is playing "devil's advocate". But that's really not a good look. We don't need anyone advocating for the devil right now, Trump is good enough at doing it.
posted by Justinian at 11:41 AM on October 24 [7 favorites]


I flipped to MSNBC. Jesus, Ray is right... except the person I see riding this false flag shit is not a rando... it's frikkin Stephanie Ruhle. I can't believe she knows what she's saying?

If there is one lesson to be learned by our time, it's to believe people when they say "I support fascism."
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:42 AM on October 24 [21 favorites]


Plane bearing Luftwaffe markings crashes and burns on California freeway

Normal country, normal era


If you wanted to know the "era" when military planes of various sort weren't flying out of Camarillo/Point Mugu/etc, you'd probably have to go to before the Wright Bros. This isn't even the first German plane to crash around that area is recent memory.
posted by sideshow at 11:43 AM on October 24 [1 favorite]


I believe the USPS weight thing is an anti-terrorism move post-Sept 11.

Actually, weight restrictions went into effect in '96 largely in response to the Unabomber, but the limit was lowered from 16 ounces to 13 ounces after 9/11.
posted by SpaceBass at 11:44 AM on October 24 [5 favorites]


It's sensible to acknowledge that a small-scale "false flag" operation is a possibility and that we shouldn't jump to conclusions regarding the attacker. Saying it's a probability is a dangerous lie. One thing that is not in doubt is that the President of the United States has explicitly endorsed political violence, while telling the most barbaric lies to demonize his opponents in politics and the press. Trump is already responsible for political violence; the addition of explosives seemed inevitable from day one.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:44 AM on October 24 [19 favorites]


The entire "who could know who is doing this" and "false flag" framing strikes me as misguided. Ignore political parties for a second. The bombs were sent to the people and entities the President, who encourages violence, has attacked time and time again. Forget making assumptions about which "side" the bomber is on, focus on the guy picking the targets.
posted by zachlipton at 11:44 AM on October 24 [37 favorites]


Unless the bombs were in packages of under 13 ounces, they would have had to have been mailed from inside a post office.

This is true only for packages mailed with normal stamps. You can mail a package with a printed label ordered through usps.com of any weight through a drop box, as long as you can get it to fit. (Of course, you need a credit card to buy a printed label, so in theory there is some traceability, but credit card numbers can be stolen.)
posted by enn at 11:45 AM on October 24 [2 favorites]


This person used a ton of stamps. Like, way more postage than necessary.
posted by all about eevee at 11:49 AM on October 24 [1 favorite]


This person used a ton of stamps. Like, way more postage than necessary.

That's one of the things to watch for, because it means the person was specifically avoiding interacting with a clerk and wanted to make sure it didn't get rejected for insufficient postage. Other things to watch out for include misspelled addressees and weird lumpy packages, so this batch is practically training aids for the mail room.
posted by Etrigan at 11:54 AM on October 24 [16 favorites]


Waiting for the "false-false-flag theory": the packages were sent by conservatives trying to make it appear as though they were liberals trying to make it appear as though they were conservatives.
posted by gurple at 11:56 AM on October 24 [11 favorites]


Something crystallized in my mind recently when we criticize and express disappointment in journalists and media sources (like NPR, NYT etc)
1) The journalists don't want to end up like Jamal Koshogghi
2) it was the republicans who sold us the notion that these are left-leanjng instead of right-leaning sources
3) they have bills to pay and need access and cooperation from the government and powerful corporations.

so i too am disappointed and we should still call out their shit. but i guess my outrage is switching to acceptance.

if republicans steal the november elections these journalists and media companies will not save us, they will save themselves and maintain peace and public order and not stir up rebellion. If we are looking to the as a vanguard they will diaappoint.
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 11:57 AM on October 24 [9 favorites]


Waiting for the "false-false-flag theory": the packages were sent by conservatives trying to make it appear as though they were liberals trying to make it appear as though they were conservatives.

You're joking but I have seen literally this crazy theory put forward in seriousness. The idea being that conservatives will totally buy the false-flag theory and will thus be pissed off at the libs and will turn out to vote.
posted by Justinian at 11:57 AM on October 24 [5 favorites]


the right-wing fever swamp machine will very soon label it as a false flag operation done by the Democrats/leftists

They already are doing that


And then the so-called "liberal media" will inject those talking points into the national discourse by quoting Trump or Don Jr. or whoever, despite there being no evidence whatever that it's true, nor that anyone should accept the Trumps' word about anything, up to and including whether it's day or night.

Long before Obama was even elected liberal bloggers called the fever swamp - Limbaugh - Drudge - mainstream media chain -- in which the media airs the same worthless talking points from Drudge that they wouldn't from Limbaugh -- the "Mighty Wurlitzer" or sometimes the "Puke Funnel." And the mainstream media falls for it time and again, which means they aren't really falling for it at all.
posted by Gelatin at 12:00 PM on October 24 [3 favorites]


Its really horrifying how MSNBC is apparently hellbent on becoming FOX lite. I don't know why they seem to feel that the path forward is to become a right wing propaganda outlet, but they do.

Yesterday Megyn Kelly spent several minutes lamenting the fact that white people can't dress up in blackface for Halloween anymore, and today they had on a right wing apologist telling us the assassination attempts on several major Democratic figures is a "false flag".

Did they decide that since they haven't yet fired Rachel Maddow they need to "balance" her by having every other program on their lineup be extreme far right or what?
posted by sotonohito at 12:02 PM on October 24 [13 favorites]


if republicans steal the november elections these journalists and media companies will not save us, they will save themselves and maintain peace and public order and not stir up rebellion. If we are looking to the as a vanguard they will disappoint.

This is the charitable interpretation. There's also: since fascism is friendlier to capital than socialism is, liberal capitalism's for-profit media will always side with fascism when given the choice.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:02 PM on October 24 [31 favorites]


MSNBC analyst says he has information he doesn't want to share because it could interfere with the ongoing operation. Maybe concern about encouraging copy-cats?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:04 PM on October 24 [1 favorite]


Julian Assange: Wikileaks co-founder to take legal action against Ecuador

Reuters: Exclusive: Ecuador No Longer to Intervene With UK For Wikileaks Assange - Foreign Minister
Ecuador does not plan to intervene with the British government on behalf of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in talks over his situation as an asylee in the South American country’s London embassy, Ecuador’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Foreign Minister José Valencia said in an interview with Reuters that Ecuador’s only responsibility was looking after Assange’s wellbeing, after the Australian national sued the country over new conditions placed on his asylum in the London embassy.

“Ecuador has no responsibility to take any further steps,” Valencia said. “We are not Mr. Assange’s lawyers, nor are we representatives of the British government. This is a matter to be resolved between Assange and Great Britain.”[...]

Valencia said he was “frustrated” by Assange’s decision to file suit in an Ecuadorean court last week over new terms of his asylum, which required him to pay for medical bills and telephone calls and to clean up after his pet cat.

“There is no obligation in international agreements for Ecuador to pay for things like Mr. Assange’s laundry,” he said.
But whatever will happen to Embassy Cat if Assange is evicted?
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:04 PM on October 24 [22 favorites]


Oh, Mr. Bigglesworth, you have performed a public service.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:08 PM on October 24 [36 favorites]


You're joking but I have seen literally this crazy theory put forward in seriousness. The idea being that conservatives will totally buy the false-flag theory and will thus be pissed off at the libs and will turn out to vote

this is honestly what i'm assuming

MSNBC analyst says he has information he doesn't want to share because it could interfere with the ongoing operation. Maybe concern about encouraging copy-cats?

Perhaps, but I think it's more likely that there are social-media-based coordination efforts, and investigators don't want the evidence deleted before it's properly preserved and followed-up-on.
posted by halation at 12:08 PM on October 24 [2 favorites]


If Julian Assange is unhappy with his conditions in the Ecuadorean embassy, a good method of seeking resolution prior to civil action would be, um, the action of... of walking out of the front door...
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:09 PM on October 24 [13 favorites]


"Expert guy" on MSNBC conjecturing about how this is probably a pre-election false flag

I'm sorry, how did baseless bullshit like "false flag" get mainstreamed? (I mean, I know, that's really rhetorical.) In what way does it make any sense at this point to invent paranoid & counter-intuitive motives for these attempted mailbombs? We really have come to the point where Kent Brockman is asking whether, in the absence of any real evidence, viewers should start cracking each other's heads open and feasting on the goo inside.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 12:10 PM on October 24 [15 favorites]


It's possible these are just ironic letter bombs.
posted by theodolite at 12:10 PM on October 24 [18 favorites]


The journalists don't want to end up like Jamal Koshogghi

I haven't run into anyone in person who scoffs at the Khashoggi stuff but I really want to ask someone who supports Trump's dissembling... we had other countries torture people for us, in those other countries, during the Bush II administration. If you find it acceptable for someone to be supposedly “just tortured” in a Saudi consulate in Turkey, would you actually object any more strenuously if other countries were torturing people for our government here in embassies and consulates within US borders?

The abetting of torture with no subsequent consequences under Obama (hello Gina Haspel in Saudi Arabia as the CIA director!) seemed like it put us on rails headed towards a day when we'll publicly accept pretexts for the US government to torture its own citizens.
posted by XMLicious at 12:13 PM on October 24 [5 favorites]


Yeah like when they go off confetti and balloons pop out of the bomb and the sound of applause. It could be.
posted by angrycat at 12:14 PM on October 24 [3 favorites]


I'm sorry, how did baseless bullshit like "false flag" get mainstreamed?

I am genuinely surprised "false flag" isn't already trending on Twitter, to the point where I'm wondering if I have my settings wrong. This is where the right-wing nutjob sphere always goes, whether we're talking about people threatening and harassing women game developers or straight-up domestic mass shootings. The point of all that noise is to mainstream the idea.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:14 PM on October 24 [3 favorites]


It's possible these are just ironic letter bombs.

I think you mean "locker room bombs".
posted by Justinian at 12:17 PM on October 24 [35 favorites]


I'm sorry, how did baseless bullshit like "false flag" get mainstreamed?

The Republican march to the right brought paranoid lunacy into the mainstream, particularly Alex Jones, of whom Donald Trump is and for a long time has been a huge fan.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:19 PM on October 24 [8 favorites]


Put Caravan of Love on your protest music playlist. It's a perfect fit for this moment in history.
posted by adept256 at 12:19 PM on October 24 [1 favorite]


Plane bearing Luftwaffe markings crashes and burns on California freeway ... Normal country, normal era

It is in fact pretty normal for there to be antique Axis-power aircraft, more common antique aircraft modified to appear more like Axis aircraft, and more common antique aircraft in Axis livery flying around.

While I expect there is at least one actual rich nazi-loving fuckwit painting his old T-6-family plane in Luftwaffe colors just to be a dick, the primary reason these things exist is so that they can go to airshows and be dramatic as they fly around with Allied-power warbirds.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 12:24 PM on October 24 [10 favorites]


[Suggestion to reel it back in a little from the jokes, songs, "these fuckers how could they" etc.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:28 PM on October 24 [4 favorites]




While I expect there is at least one actual rich nazi-loving fuckwit painting his old T-6-family plane in Luftwaffe colors just to be a dick

I know of at least one such dick in particular, in the area where this crash occurred, who keeps his Nazi plane in a private hangar where he also stores a bunch of other Nazi shit along with, just coincidentally, a bunch of Antebellum shit. He likes antiques, see, he's just a collector.
posted by contraption at 12:35 PM on October 24 [19 favorites]


I don't see how we stop this bleed from facts not being facts and wild conspiracy theories are propagated by the "authority figures" they benefit. I've been increasingly worried about that for a long time because they have no reason to stop right now and how would they even stop once they started?
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 12:36 PM on October 24 [1 favorite]


Today in very good people on both sides, Democratic 2020 front runner Joe Biden:

This country has to come together. This division, this hatred, this ugliness has to end.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:38 PM on October 24 [12 favorites]


Donald Trump, earlier this afternoon: "I just want to tell you that in these times, we have to unify. We have to come together[.]" (via GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel)
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:48 PM on October 24


Even the so-called "false flag" argument its stupid, because it concedes that when someone mails a bunch of letter bombs to Democratic politicians, of course people will presume conservatives -- and not, say, Islamic terrorists, Bolsheviks, or the Baader-Meinhof gang -- are behind it.

Now, why would anyone do that?
posted by Gelatin at 12:51 PM on October 24 [25 favorites]


Statement from CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker:
There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media. The President, and especially the White House Press Secretary, should understand their words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that.
Tough words from one of the people responsible for all this.
posted by zachlipton at 12:52 PM on October 24 [61 favorites]


Brad Heath (USA Today):
A federal court has ruled that a section of President Trump's executive order blocking "sanctuary cities" from receiving government grants is unconstitutional.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:56 PM on October 24 [56 favorites]


I'm sorry, how did baseless bullshit like "false flag" get mainstreamed?

Because the channels that serve as intermediaries between primary sources/first-person experiences and the rest of us, to communicate information to us about the world beyond one's immediate physical location, are deeply corrupted. Our media do not present any consistent version of an objective, true view of the world.

If these bombs were in fact sent by a random individual, I have no doubt that thousands and thousands of paid employees of, e.g., Russia's IRA, immediately leveraged this 'serendipitous' news to propagate false flag theories, hashtags, etc., and probably also are astroturfing the other side with posts and threads of faux-outrage about these horrible Republicans claiming 'false flag' already, we should be very angry with them and respond to that 'false flag' charge! These are the weapons being deployed against us (aside from, tragically, actual weapons like package bombs).

Our media are corrupted, they are the primary mode and means through which war continues to be waged on upon us, internally and by outside actors aplenty. This is how things are now; in fact, I would be surprised if these (so far) attempted bombings weren't immediately followed by people blaming Democrats for getting themselves bombed.
posted by LooseFilter at 12:58 PM on October 24 [10 favorites]


The apparent attempts at terrorist bombings were absolutely predictable (Paul Waldman, WaPo)
But what we can say is this: Given what Trump has done and said, this was absolutely predictable. In fact, it’s a wonder that it took this long.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 12:58 PM on October 24 [39 favorites]


So to sum up, there have been 6 explosive devices reported on. 3 were addressed to the private residences of Soros, the Clintons and the Obamas. One showed up at the CNN office in Times Square, addressed to John Brennan; one showed up at the main Congressional mailroom and was addressed to Maxine Waters; one showed up at the office of Debbie Wasserman Schultz and had been addressed to Eric Holder. DWS's office was the return address for all of them. They were not carried by USPS.

One device was reported to show up at the White House, but it was a mistaken report. Sen Kamala Harris and that Cuomo guy both had false alarms.

Do I have all that right?
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 1:13 PM on October 24 [13 favorites]




Hey, we had a bunch of terrorist packages sent to media figures and Democratic politicians the last time a Republican became president without winning the popular vote! These recycled plot points are getting old.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:14 PM on October 24 [23 favorites]


Sen Kamala Harris and that Cuomo guy both had false alarms.

It turns out that the Cuomo package was, apparently, a thumb drive of background information on the Proud Boys, almost assuredly related to the recent assaults in Manhattan following that Proud Boys event.
posted by halation at 1:18 PM on October 24 [6 favorites]




Life comes at you fast.

@kenvogel INTERESTING: President TRUMP, who hasn't contributed a penny to his campaign since taking office, pledges in a fundraising email to "match" $3M worth of grassroots donations to his campaign ahead of the midterms. Yet another first for a sitting president in the modern era.
[image: top of campaign flyer]

@kenvogel UPDATE: The TRUMP campaign tells me that @POTUS is NOT going to donate any of his own $ to his campaign, despite emailing donors asking them to "make a contribution of $5 … & I will MATCH it dollar-for-dollar."
Apparently that refers to him transferring DONOR $ to the RNC.
[image: bottom of campaign flyer]
posted by scalefree at 1:50 PM on October 24 [19 favorites]


The government says Britain needs to trade with Saudi Arabia. It’s a myth
David Wearing, The Guardian


Many assume that UK-Saudi ties are all about oil, but only 3% of UK oil imports come from Saudi Arabia, with much consumption coming from our own reserves. In any case, given Saudi dependence on oil income, any use of the “oil weapon” – limiting supply – would rebound on Riyadh. What the British state and British capitalism really value is not Saudi oil, so much as the wealth generated by its sale.

posted by mumimor at 1:58 PM on October 24 [4 favorites]


BuzzFeed, Hamed Aleaziz, ICE Misled A Federal Court About Why Iraqi Detainees Couldn’t Be Sent Home, Documents Show
Documents unsealed in a federal court in Michigan this week show that ICE officials repeatedly misled the court about the status of Iraqi detainees, insisting that it had an agreement with the Iraqi government to repatriate them when it appears that it did not.

The apparently misleading claims allowed ICE to keep the Iraqis in detention months longer than would normally have been permitted, the ACLU of Michigan claims.

The issue is the latest example of what advocates say is the Trump administration’s willingness to offer misleading information as it tries to restrict immigration.
...
At one point, ICE even told Goldsmith that it was his order that had stopped a repatriation flight when in fact Iraq had refused to accept the flight.
posted by zachlipton at 2:10 PM on October 24 [12 favorites]


THE PRESIDENT'S MATCH
Offer does not include presidential matching.
The Democrats will invoke violent mob rule, endless witch hunts against anyone they want, open borders, job-killing regulations, assaults on the Constitution, high taxes, and high crime -- all to empower themselves.
Meanwhile he's evoking violence, assaulting the Constitution, avoiding taxes, and committing high crimes and misdemeanors.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:12 PM on October 24 [8 favorites]


Would it do any good whatsoever to flat out say to Trump that everything he accuses everyone else of is exactly what he himself is doing?
posted by yoga at 2:14 PM on October 24 [6 favorites]


Democratic 2020 front runner Joe Biden

oh come on, he is no such thing
posted by thelonius at 2:14 PM on October 24 [35 favorites]


It's glaring that the White House Press Secretary seems to go out of her way to exclude Soros from the condemnation, unless you can consider him a "public servant".
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:16 PM on October 24 [5 favorites]




ok, i apologize in advance, but: does the White House appear to be panicking in an appropriate way? like has trump made a statement? does he seem bothered, or smug?

I just keep having a few things rattling through my head.

- That Trump kept referencing "something" that could happen before the midterms, the way he talked about Hillary's emails when we now know he was conspiring with the Russian government to influence the election via hacking.
- That he, and the right wing, are obsessed with "false flag" operations, and that it is always projection with these people.
- That oh my fucking God why why is this something I have to actually consider, why is insane hypervigilance an actual rational reaction ALL THE TIME now

Good Lord I feel so crazy. And yet I felt exactly as crazy when we were discussing the possibility that the Russian state had conspired with the Trump campaign to influence the election.

Fuck EVERYTHING. Feel free to talk me down.
posted by schadenfrau at 2:30 PM on October 24 [35 favorites]


Democratic 2020 front runner Joe Biden

oh come on, he is no such thing


I hate to be the one to break this to you
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:32 PM on October 24 [5 favorites]


NYT: Slumping Stock Market Enters Negative Territory for the Year
Stocks have fallen for 13 of the past 15 trading days, including a 3.3 percent drop on Oct. 10 that was the market’s worst fall in eight months. The S.&P. 500 is now down more than 0.6 percent for the year. ... The sell-off arrived despite an economy that looks otherwise strong: Unemployment is as low as it has been in nearly a half-century and the economy expanded at a 4 percent pace in the second quarter.
NYT's Pick from the Readers' Comments:
Matt gineo: It's the Black Kenyan's fault!! MAGA
(Yes, I think it's sarcastic. Probably.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:34 PM on October 24 [3 favorites]


From the r/politics thread (seen several like this):
Hey guys I know everyone is in a state of shock right now. But what happens if it ends up being a left wing progressive supporter? The people targeted were all establishment Democrats, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if a sick Bernie Bro did this. Will you guys apologize to conservatives if that's the case?
Anyone know if the bots are going with this already across a bunch of platforms?
posted by schadenfrau at 2:35 PM on October 24 [1 favorite]


> I hate to be the one to break this to you

apparently 5% of democrats want John Kerry to be the nominee?

If we have to dig up failed presidential candidates from Massachusetts, couldn't we have Dukakis instead? I kinda liked that guy...
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 2:36 PM on October 24 [10 favorites]


Democratic 2020 front runner Joe Biden

oh come on, he is no such thing

I hate to be the one to break this to you


This is an artifact of plurality voting, which just gets worse and worse the more candidates are running. Any other not-intentionally-bad system would be better, especially for such a crowded field.
posted by Jpfed at 2:37 PM on October 24 [3 favorites]


Carter's eligible.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:38 PM on October 24 [26 favorites]


>> I hate to be the one to break this to you
> apparently 5% of democrats want John Kerry to be the nominee?


Okay, we're soon going to need a prohibition on pre-litigating the primaries... (Sigh)
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:38 PM on October 24 [12 favorites]


[Let's not pre-litigate the primaries.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:38 PM on October 24 [81 favorites]


That was fast.
posted by scalefree at 2:45 PM on October 24 [26 favorites]


Anyone know if the bots are going with this already across a bunch of platforms?

I'd be shocked if they weren't. And it doesn't even make sense; so far as I am aware Maxine Waters has never been the target of the left's ire. And while there is a strain of antisemitism on the left I don't think Soros has been on the pointed end of it. So you've gotta ignore like 1/3 of the packages to even begin to get this to fit into the evvviiil Bernie Bro hobby horse.

That said, I hope everyone who was so vituperative with the language about DWS takes a hard look at whether they can do better. She was on the receiving end of a lot of ugly attacks from all across the spectrum .
posted by Justinian at 2:54 PM on October 24 [14 favorites]


When Trump Phones Friends, the Chinese Listen and Learn
Mr. Trump’s aides have repeatedly warned him that his cellphone calls are not secure, and they have told him that Russian spies are routinely eavesdropping on the calls, as well. But aides say the voluble president, who has been pressured into using his secure White House landline more often these days, has still refused to give up his iPhones. White House officials say they can only hope he refrains from discussing classified information when he is on them.
Mr. Trump’s use of his iPhones was detailed by several current and former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity so they could discuss classified intelligence and sensitive security arrangements. The officials said they were doing so not to undermine Mr. Trump, but out of frustration with what they considered the president’s casual approach to electronic security.


The US government has probably executed people for less obvious transmission of US intel to foreign parties
posted by PenDevil at 2:57 PM on October 24 [56 favorites]




From the r/politics thread (seen several like this):
Hey guys I know everyone is in a state of shock right now. But what happens if it ends up being a left wing progressive supporter? The people targeted were all establishment Democrats, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if a sick Bernie Bro did this. Will you guys apologize to conservatives if that's the case?
Anyone know if the bots are going with this already across a bunch of platforms?


Given how many of the Bernie Bros were bots I think this might just mean that the bots are claiming credit.
posted by srboisvert at 2:59 PM on October 24 [7 favorites]


In the second day of early voting, 955,694 Texans cast in-person ballots and 231,313 cast mail-in ballots in the 30 counties where most registered voters in the state — 78 percent — live. That turnout equals 59 percent of the total votes cast in those counties during the entire two-week early voting period in the last midterm election in 2014.

C'mon, guys. We're looking at turnout levels for the past two days that appear to be consistently equivalent to 2016-level turnouts, and generally two or three times what they were in 2014. Come on. (Note that the highest increase in voter turnout is, perhaps unsurprisingly, in El Paso.)
posted by sciatrix at 3:01 PM on October 24 [29 favorites]


Given how many of the Bernie Bros were bots I think this might just mean that the bots are claiming credit.

Not to mention that Russian troll/bot accounts tracked by Hamilton 68 are pushing #magabomber and #falseflag among their hashtag-propaganda and the bomb story is all over their trending topics. (Their other favorites include #walkaway, #migrantmob, #khashoggi, #greatreturnmarch, and #boycottisrael.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:13 PM on October 24 [8 favorites]


Dare I even ask what "#greatreturnmarch" is supposed to mean.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:21 PM on October 24 [1 favorite]


It's ok though. They think Trump probably isn't discussing secrets on insecure calls because he can't be bothered to read them:
They said they had further confidence he was not spilling secrets because he rarely digs into the details of the intelligence he is shown and is not well versed in the operational specifics of military or covert activities.


The more alarming part is the influence campaign to talk to Trump through his friends, about which people felt compelled to go to the Times because they can't seem to stop it any other way.

Can you imagine what Republicans in Congress would be doing if there was a report that Obama was blabbing away to foreign powers because he couldn't be bothered to follow security instructions?
posted by zachlipton at 3:21 PM on October 24 [14 favorites]


Dare I even ask what "#greatreturnmarch" is supposed to mean

It's likely a reference to The Great March of Return (one name for a series of Palestinian protests in the Gaza Strip), and likely goes along with the #boycottisrael hashtag.
posted by halation at 3:25 PM on October 24 [5 favorites]


Not to mention that Russian troll/bot accounts tracked by Hamilton 68 are pushing #magabomber and #falseflag among their hashtag-propaganda and the bomb story is all over their trending topics.

That is the opposite of talking me down
posted by schadenfrau at 3:26 PM on October 24 [9 favorites]


Can you imagine what Republicans in Congress would be doing if there was a report that Obama was blabbing away to foreign powers because he couldn't be bothered to follow security instructions?

Can you imagine the NYT coverage if Hilary Clinton didn't follow email server best practices? Wait.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:32 PM on October 24 [32 favorites]


The DOJ memo is another thing that literally already happened. i promise you i am not trying to minimize or somehow say it's okay, quite the opposite, i'm pretty distressed and I have been for a year and a half now, i'm trying to provide context. These are all Vox/German Lopez pieces unless otherwise specified.

Feb 22 2017: Trump administration sent out a letter officially revoking Obama-era guidance on protecting trans students in federally funded schools

Oct 5, 2017: Trump's DOJ rescinded a memo protecting trans workers. The EEOC has somehow had a different policy, though, this whole time they've been telling people that trans workers are protected.

May 2018: Trump administration stripped protections for trans prisoners.

July 2018, NBC news, Trump administration 'exacerbating' LGBTQ health care discrimination, report says
In May 2017, HHS began the process of rolling back an Obama-era rule that clarified the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act, section 1557, to include discrimination based on gender identity as sex discrimination.

Then in January 2018, HHS announced the creation of a religious freedom division that would defend health care providers who refused care on the basis of their religious or moral beliefs, and proposed a rule that would that would expand the ability of insurers and health care providers to deny service on the basis of religious or moral objections.


Dominic Holden of Buzzfeed seems to be following this topic, among others, and he guested on a Vox podcast recently.

The DOJ memo/policy is a year old. What's new is that there's a specific court case where the EEOC is suing on behalf of a transgender person, and they argued the case in circuit court, but they cannot represent the government in the Supreme Court; only the DOJ can, and they won't. SCOTUS has not actually taken up the case yet, and there are two other cases that also involve transgender discrimination that (if I understand correctly) are ahead of it in line.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 3:38 PM on October 24 [28 favorites]


They said they had further confidence he was not spilling secrets because he rarely digs into the details of the intelligence he is shown and is not well versed in the operational specifics of military or covert activities.

Have no fear, Trump is too dumb to talk about serious details over the phone. He only does that when he has Russian officials in the Oval Office and he can spill enough top secret info to wreck covert operations in progress for close allies, right?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 3:53 PM on October 24 [1 favorite]


Oh, and the NYT story said that the HHS memo was initiated "last spring", so maybe between March and June of 2017. The tweets about transgender troops were in July of 2017. The DOD report on transgender troops, and Mattis' recommendations, came out in Mar 2018.

Here's another recent Vox piece with the same context and timeline I just sort of laid out.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 3:55 PM on October 24


That is the opposite of talking me down

Occam's Razor suggests that the Trump administration could, if given opportunity, fuck up a grilled cheese sandwich. I find it far more likely that, instead of a widespread conspiracy to intimidate prominent Democrats and double-false-flag America into falsely believing that Democrats want Americans to falsely believe that a Republican is responsible for today's circus, that the answer is far simpler:

...if your propaganda engines howl to the fucking moon 24/7 for years on end that Hillary and Bill are Satan and the Obamas are Lucifer and Soros is the Antichrist and All Democrats Are Horribly Evil And Twisted Demons and Oh Won't Someone Rid America Of These Troublesome Liberals, sooner or later some of them are going to be dumb enough to try to help out.

No Russians required. No DIRECT action from the Trump camp required. Is it possible that some ratfucker on Team Trump had an inkling about this? Jeez, I hope not, but it IS possible. But it's a lot more likely that this is four decades of conservative Mirror Universe Media Machine bleating come home to roost yet again.
posted by delfin at 4:00 PM on October 24 [31 favorites]


Valencia said he was “frustrated” by Assange’s decision to file suit in an Ecuadorean court last week over new terms of his asylum, which required him to pay for medical bills and telephone calls and to clean up after his pet cat.

Assange is such a brat.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 4:01 PM on October 24 [6 favorites]


I agree with delfin. We're not looking at false flags, umpty-dimensional chess, or any kind of headfake. We're looking at some, ahem, "lone wolf terrorist" who took his cue from stuff that the right-wing hate-o-sphere from Trump on down has been shouting since 2008 or so. Dollars to donuts it's some right-wing, gun-hoarding, birther type with an anti-Semitic streak a mile wide (no, I don't think it's coincidence that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was particularly targeted, along with Soros).

This is my belief and I'm sticking to it until further evidence.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 4:12 PM on October 24 [27 favorites]


I don't think the Magabomber is really part of the Russian/Republican information warfare operation for several reasons.

1. The smart play would have been to fake an assassination attempt against Trump or some other prominent right wing figure. This would allow them to paint themselves as victims and put a scary brown liberal terrorist patsy out there to dominate new coverage for the last weeks of the campaign. No, this is the opposite. The choice of targets makes the right look crazy and violent.

2. If this had been a professional operation targeting the leaders of the opposition party, the bombs would have gone off. They had five targets. They would have gotten at least one of them. Why even use bombs? If you're a pro, there's plenty of opportunities to shoot any of those people any time you want.

3. They're all in on making "scary caravan of brown people" the drum they're going to beat from now until the election. This just cost them at least one news cycle, and probably more depending on how long it takes them to catch the bomber(s). The "false flag" bot activity is damage control, not a planned op.

I think all signs point to right wing stochastic terrorism that popped off at an inconvenient time.
posted by vibrotronica at 4:14 PM on October 24 [23 favorites]


That four of the six targets are part of the so called deep state cabal trying to destroy prezzie shitstain says a good deal, I think. Our suspect takes as reality one of the various conspiracy theories.
posted by vrakatar at 4:20 PM on October 24 [2 favorites]


McSweeney's LEST WE FORGET THE HORRORS: A CATALOG OF TRUMP’S WORST CRUELTIES, COLLUSIONS, CORRUPTIONS, AND CRIMES, ATROCITIES 113-197, by BEN PARKER and STEPHANIE STEINBRECHER
113. March 1, 2017 – The Justice Department reported: Attorney General Jeff Sessions met twice with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak before Trump took office. Sessions did not mention the meetings during his confirmation hearings. Moreover, Sessions had claimed under oath that he was unaware of any contacts between Trump surrogates and Russia.

114. March 2, 2017 – Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Justice Department’s ongoing Russia investigation after reports surfaced that he had two undisclosed meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The New York Times reported Donald Trump tried to convince Sessions not to recuse himself, and that he expected Sessions to protect him in the investigation.
...
196. April 29, 2017 – On Face the Nation, Donald Trump falsely suggested the new Republican healthcare bill, called the American Health Care Act, would protect health insurance for those with pre-existing conditions. The most recent draft of the legislation contained no such stipulation.

197. April 30, 2017 – Donald Trump invited Rodrigo Duterte, the authoritarian leader of the Philippines, to visit the White House. Duterte’s regime had carried out extrajudicial killings of drug users and drug dealers, garnering global condemnation. As of January 2018, Human Rights Watch had counted over 12,000 such murders’. Two senior officials in the White House said they expected significant pushback internally, should Duterte accept Trump’s invitation. The two leaders met in November, during which time Trump reported the pair had a “great relationship.”
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:21 PM on October 24 [23 favorites]


The Brown Shirts are now Red Hats
posted by growabrain at 4:28 PM on October 24 [6 favorites]


...if your propaganda engines howl to the fucking moon 24/7 for years on end that Hillary and Bill are Satan and the Obamas are Lucifer and Soros is the Antichrist and All Democrats Are Horribly Evil And Twisted Demons and Oh Won't Someone Rid America Of These Troublesome Liberals, sooner or later some of them are going to be dumb enough to try to help out.

This is explicitly their plan. It's the same playbook that leads inexorably to violence, and they follow it knowingly and intentionally on a daily basis, only to disclaim any responsibility for things like today, or the OKC bombing, or George Tiller. Just spewing eliminationism to a wide audience regularly is enough to trigger some subset of that audience to act, and it only takes one. They know this, indeed count on it. There's no other reason for doing it.

The seminal voice on this stuff for years has been Dave Neiwert. This is from 2006:
It isn't only Muslims and Jews who are being included in this kind of talk. Probably the leading targets of hateful rhetoric in the past year have been illegal immigrants. But the range of targets is fairly broad, and now includes gays and lesbians; environmentalists; civil-rights advocates; journalists; and the most common target of the past decade, liberals generally. The first real uptick in this rhetoric was associated with the initial liberal resistance to the invasion of Iraq, which produced a real flood of elimination talk from the rabid American right, including such leading pundits as Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh.

Today, the right's rose-petaled enterprise has turned to shit, just as the "treasonous" bastards warned them it would -- so of course, those same bastards are now to blame. This is the way it always works for the right, the people of the party of responsibility, who seem unable to accept any responsibility whatsoever for the disasters created at their own express behest, and instead blame those with the foresight to warn against them beforehand.
If you have 2 hours, the entire 10 part series is extremely relevant.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:41 PM on October 24 [39 favorites]


Unicorn on the cob: In addition to the bomb threats, several families in the Dallas area (Richardson specifically, a suburb just north of the city) woke up just after midnight on Tuesday because the Beto O'Rourke and Colin Allred signs in their yards were set on fire.

All the Beto signs in my Dallas-almost-Richardson neighborhood seem to have vanished today. I guess the torrential rains prevented the usual arson.
posted by skippyhacker at 4:51 PM on October 24 [3 favorites]


Trump starts his rally (I will not liveblog it, but this particular segment important) by discussing the package bombs again. He reads the same bland statement off the prompter: aggressive investigation, bring them to justice, blah blah. "Any acts or threats of political violence are an attack on our democracy itself" (there's like one cheer at this point). He sounds like he's blandly and uncaringly reading a disclaimer. There is sporadic applause for "we want all sides to come together in peace and harmony." "Those engaged in the political arena must stop treating political opponents as morally defective." "No one should carelessly compare political opponents to historical villains...we should not mob people in public spaces or destroy public property" (that last bit gets a decent cheer).

Then he bothsides this by blaming the media: "the media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and stop the endless hostility and...often negative and false stories. They've got to stop."

Trump is so proud of himself as he launches into a bland version of his stump speech (Democrats want high taxes, Republicans low) that he interrupts himself mid-sentence to say "do you see how nice I'm behaving tonight? Have you ever seen this? We're all behaving very well and hopefully we can keep it that way, right? We're going to keep it that way."
posted by zachlipton at 5:06 PM on October 24 [13 favorites]


Chris Hayes: So apparently the sticker on the bombs said "Git Er Done" in a faux ISIS font with silhouetted mudflap ladies? What the hell.

He follows up to clarify that he is not, in fact, joking. I just can't anymore.
posted by Justinian at 5:10 PM on October 24 [35 favorites]


The Toronto Star has published Daniel Dale's cheat sheet: A Handy Guide to Donald Trump’s Most-Frequent Campaign Rally Lies and False Claims

The sad fact of Trump coverage is that the mainstream US media has effectively given him a pass on repeating the same lies and falsehoods at rally after rally. Dale has also observed that whatever controversy Trump may stir up at one of these events, the local coverage in the next morning's local papers is always deferential and even respectful, running the most presidentially photogenic images of Trump the night before (and not, say, miming the body-slamming of a reporter to the applause of his supporters). Anyroad, here's the link to Dale's upcoming live-tweet/fact-check.

NBC's Monica Alba already reports, "Well. We’re barely into the pre-program here in Wisconsin and the crowd is already chanting “LOCK HER UP! LOCK HER UP!” after senate candidate Leah Vukmir mentions Hillary Clinton in passing."
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:12 PM on October 24 [8 favorites]


So I'm starting to get good vibes out of Florida and pretty bad ones out of Nevada. That would make sense if you subscribe to the recent hypothesis that Trump's rural base has come home to him in a big way and are turning out while the more suburban swing voter types (read: white people who prefer their racism in gentile form plus college educated women appalled by Trump) are still strong against the GOP since Florida has a lot more and bigger suburban battlegrounds than Nevada. Which is really characterized by Vegas vs the rest of the state with Reno breaking slightly one way or the other depending on the cycle.

The bad news if my scooby sense is correct is that Rosen would be in trouble. The good news is that Nelson wouldn't be, plus Gillum... and the House delegation out of Nevada is basically set in stone barring a monster wave in either direction while we have a good chance at flipping some in Florida.
posted by Justinian at 5:41 PM on October 24 [4 favorites]


You know, people harassing me over my vote for Beto or any Democrat, fuck, ANY candidate just gels my commitment to voting because "FUCK YOU, this is my country, too. My ancestors, friends, family, and community built and died for this country, in and out of uniform. FUCK YOU, for thinking you can take my rights and duties away from me with your violence and words; that I have a backbone made of wet paper. I am COMMITTED and do not veer. I will bake your ashes in my bread and shit you out so some good comes from you."

I hope the folks voting Democrat know that their vote does count because the thugs are spending a lot of energy trying to stop you. Fuck'em.
posted by jadepearl at 5:42 PM on October 24 [45 favorites]


Ah okay so they were ironic letter bombs. Sorry for Lathe of Heavening that one, I'll try to think about good stuff from now on
posted by theodolite at 5:46 PM on October 24 [4 favorites]


Ann Coulter: From the Haymarket riot to the Unibomber [sic], bombs are a liberal tactic.

Dan Kaszeta: Tell that to Oklahoma City you Dollar Tree Eva Braun
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:47 PM on October 24 [125 favorites]


White people who prefer their racism in gentile form

I can’t tell if this is funny, sad, or autocorrect.
posted by Rumple at 5:51 PM on October 24 [13 favorites]


Tell that to Oklahoma City you Dollar Tree Eva Braun

That's the biggest example obviously. But not nearly the only one. Eric Rudolph (Olympic bomber) was a right winger. The KKK bombed a bunch of people and places. Not particularly recently but the freakin' Haymarket riot was what, 150 years ago or some crap? I could go on but whats the point. She's spouting propaganda not anything like engaging in debate.

So I'd say she's more of a dollar tree Leni Riefenstahl except that Riefenstahl was extremely talented.

on preview: woops. I'm not saying "gentile" was a typo but i'm not not saying it was a typo.
posted by Justinian at 5:53 PM on October 24 [7 favorites]


It rained today here in Colorado Springs. I still spent a little over 2 hours chasing voters for Stephany--specifically targeting young and first time voters, so the addresses were not in a nice tight, walkable little turf, but I have good wool socks and a weather-proof coat. I had lots of encouraging conversations today, folks who have their plans to vote and know how important it is. There was an ice cream social at Stephany's office today with Ben of Ben & Jerry's giving away free scoops and talking about the limited edition flavor for Stephany's campaign--Rocky Mountain Rose, which will be made with Colorado Palisade peaches (they're just about out of season, so that's gonna be tough to source) and pecans in a caramel base. I arrived early with my kids, got hugs from the candidate, commiserated with the intern Drew about knocking doors in the rain, we ate our ice cream and then looked on gobsmacked at the line of folks that filled the office and spilled out into the street and around the block. I don't exactly feel hopeful about our chances, but I feel fiercely determined.
posted by danielleh at 5:58 PM on October 24 [39 favorites]


Regarding the use of political violence on the left and right, David Neiwert compiled a rather long twitter thread about major examples last week.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:00 PM on October 24 [14 favorites]


Chris Hayes: So apparently the sticker on the bombs said "Git Er Done" in a faux ISIS font with silhouetted mudflap ladies? What the hell.

Really. Explosive device sent to CNN featured parody ISIS flag, 'Get Er Done' inscription
An image on the explosive device sent to former CIA Director John Brennan on Tuesday appears to be a parody of an ISIS flag taken from a meme that has been circulating on right-wing corners of the internet since 2014.

The print-out appears to show a parody flag that replaces Arabic characters with the silhouette of three women in high heels, and a middle inscription reading “Get ‘Er Done” — which is the catchphrase of standup comedian Larry the Cable Guy.
...
The “Get ‘Er Done” flag was originally created in 2014 by the right-wing parody site World News Bureau, for an article titled “ISIS Vows Retribution For Counterfeit Flags.” It has since been shared as a meme on right-wing websites and forums.
There's also a picture of a face, but nobody seems to know who that is.
posted by zachlipton at 6:14 PM on October 24 [18 favorites]


@Tom_Winter: BREAKING / NBC News: The FBI says in a statement that they have confirmed two ADDITIONAL packages, both addressed to Rep. Maxine Waters, that are similar in appearance to the other packages found today.
posted by zachlipton at 6:19 PM on October 24 [13 favorites]


The “Get ‘Er Done” flag was originally created in 2014 by the right-wing parody site World News Bureau, for an article titled “ISIS Vows Retribution For Counterfeit Flags.” It has since been shared as a meme on right-wing websites and forums.

The dumbest insurgency.
posted by odinsdream at 6:23 PM on October 24 [22 favorites]


@Tom_Winter: BREAKING / NBC News: The FBI says in a statement that they have confirmed two ADDITIONAL packages, both addressed to Rep. Maxine Waters, that are similar in appearance to the other packages found today.

The bomber doesn't actually follow the news all that closely & he ran out of names so he just started over.
posted by scalefree at 6:37 PM on October 24 [7 favorites]


The dumbest insurgency.

Welcome to Y'all Qaida.
posted by NoxAeternum at 6:38 PM on October 24 [55 favorites]


at this point i'm about ready to believe that 2018 is proof that chaos magic is real and grant morrison fucked up our entire timeline somehow, maybe trying to write a sequel to The Invisibles or something

Does anybody have a clearer / complete image of the memes taped to the device? I'd like to get a closer look at the face, if possible.
posted by halation at 6:38 PM on October 24 [8 favorites]


Also, from tonight's FL gubinatorial debate, Gillum goes "not racist, but #1 with racists" on DeSantis - with receipts.

That dog hollered indeed.
posted by NoxAeternum at 6:44 PM on October 24 [81 favorites]


It's not just elected Dems or donors in the crosshairs anymore. It feels like it's all of us.

I was in college during the lead up to the 2004 election. One day I left my apartment to go to work and discovered that all four of my car tires were flat. I don't remember anymore whether they actually got slashed or if someone just let the air out.

At the time I just had no idea what to think. I chalked it up to an irritating unsolved mystery. I didn't have any more enemies than your average college age person. I had a couple of exes but nothing particularly acrimonious. My car was parked in a lot that was sort of on the way back to campus from an area where a lot of bars were, so random drunk people probably cut through there at least occasionally.

I had a couple of bumper stickers. I definitely had this one from MoveOn saying M̶i̶s̶s̶i̶o̶n̶ Nothing Accomplished/ Defeat Bush '04. I don't remember specifically beyond that but I probably also had a Kerry/Edwards sticker. But at the time I really just did not think those would anger any rational human enough to vandalize a stranger's car. I didn't think about it again for a long time.

I have been thinking about this incident more and more lately. I still don't know and never will, maybe it was an ex or someone who knew me personally, but I find it more and more believable as time goes by that maybe a bumper sticker WAS enough to anger the wrong person into doing that to me. And so now, it haunts me and I think about it all the time. Every time I speak out, every time I think about putting a bumper sticker on my car (shameful confession: I just recently while cleaning came across my pristine Hillary 2016 sticker, having never been brave enough to actually put it on my car), or wearing a T-shirt that reveals political feelings, or attending protests, or donating to campaigns. Who might I anger? Which one has a gun or just anger control/violence issues? Who could find out more about me, doxx me, harass me at work? Is it only a matter of time in this country before protestors and activists are simply jailed and/or murdered? Will my history of cautious and limited political activism still come back and bite me in the ass then?

I don't know what the point of this comment is honestly. I want to do so much more, speak out so much more, be active, fight, but I'm scared, and it seems like for good reason. This is all just so fucked up. For the first time in my life I'm questioning what beliefs and morals I would actually be willing to put my life on the line for. I hope it doesn't come to that but if push comes to shove I think I would have to and it's surreal to think about.
posted by robotdevil at 6:45 PM on October 24 [41 favorites]


I came in to post what NoxAeternum linked above. You should definitely click it and enjoy the just savage evisceration!
posted by Burhanistan at 6:48 PM on October 24 [2 favorites]


Also, from tonight's FL gubinatorial debate, Gillum goes "not racist, but #1 with racists" on DeSantis - with receipts.

That was actually the first I saw of Gillum and holy hell, we’re gonna see a lot more from him and it’s gonna be great.

(Please no milkshake bulshit. Pleeeeeease.)
posted by schadenfrau at 6:51 PM on October 24 [9 favorites]


DeSantis looks like he's going to cry.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:56 PM on October 24 [6 favorites]


DeSantis looks like he's going to cry.

I came here to post this exact sentence. That guy has the worst poker face.

Also Gillum 2020 please
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:04 PM on October 24 [5 favorites]


Justinian: "and the House delegation out of Nevada is basically set in stone barring a monster wave in either direction"

If you would like to freak out some more, both NV-03 and NV-04 are only Lean Dem, and both have been talked about as being on the very short list of possible GOP pickups.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:06 PM on October 24 [3 favorites]


But at the time I really just did not think those would anger any rational human enough to vandalize a stranger's car. I didn't think about it again for a long time. I have been thinking about this incident more and more lately.

Last year I had a letter to the editor printed in the paper in favor of single payer -- from a business owner's perspective, with my name and company in the signature. Later that week I was driving on the highway when one of my car wheels almost fell off. All five lug nuts were loose, really loose. They don't just loosen themselves. Not saying for sure it was sabotage, but I'm going with that assumption. The way things are, I'd rather be proven wrong about that than be proven wrong assuming the opposite. Be safe if you can, but don't let danger keep you from resisting, because it's also dangerous not to resist. They are counting on us to be afraid.
posted by M-x shell at 7:43 PM on October 24 [45 favorites]


I find it more and more believable as time goes by that maybe a bumper sticker WAS enough to anger the wrong person into doing that to me. And so now, it haunts me and I think about it all the time. Every time I speak out, every time I think about putting a bumper sticker on my car (shameful confession: I just recently while cleaning came across my pristine Hillary 2016 sticker, having never been brave enough to actually put it on my car), or wearing a T-shirt that reveals political feelings, or attending protests, or donating to campaigns. Who might I anger? Which one has a gun or just anger control/violence issues? Who could find out more about me, doxx me, harass me at work? Is it only a matter of time in this country before protestors and activists are simply jailed and/or murdered? Will my history of cautious and limited political activism still come back and bite me in the ass then?

I feel the same way. Hell, it's possible that my putting up a sign on my patio has led to my being robbed if someone was angry enough, maybe that caused it for all I know. Everyone is hair trigger angry all the time and out for revenge and I live in a toxic environment and just...yeah.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:52 PM on October 24 [7 favorites]


Some good news: F.B.I. Arrests White Nationalist Leader Who Fled the Country for Central America

Robert Rundo was arrested. Article says, "He is the founder of the Rise Above Movement, a neo-Nazi gang based in Southern California whose members were involved in violent activity at protests throughout California in 2017. He and three other Californians associated with the group — Robert Boman, 25, Tyler Laube, 22, and Aaron Eason, 38 — were charged with inciting riots, according to court documents. Mr. Boman and Mr. Laube were arrested on Tuesday morning in Southern California. The F.B.I. said it was still searching for Mr. Eason.

Earlier this month, another four members of the Rise Above Movement — Benjamin Daley, Michael Miselis, Thomas Gillen and Cole White — were indicted on conspiracy to riot charges for attacking counterprotesters during last year’s Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. Mr. Rundo left the country shortly after the four were arrested at the beginning of the month."
posted by Sublimity at 7:55 PM on October 24 [19 favorites]


If you would like to freak out some more

I would not.

But while I probably did overstate NV-03's solidness... I'd be very very shocked if NV-04 flipped. It's possible but I would think that would mean a very long, sad night was happening for the good guys.
posted by Justinian at 7:58 PM on October 24


Here's the full Gilliam/DeSantis exchange, which shows a) how badly DeSantis fucked things up, b) that he did so because he made an assumption about what the moderator was going to ask, and c) the moderator basically saying "well, had you waited for me to finish, you wouldn't be where you are now, but since you didn't, Mr. Gilliam now gets to serve you your ass on a platter. Enjoy."
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:15 PM on October 24 [72 favorites]


I find it more and more believable as time goes by that maybe a bumper sticker WAS enough to anger the wrong person into doing that to me.

After voting in 2004, I stopped at a liqour store with my friend to buy beer for what we thought was going to be the celebration of the downfall of King Bush. He was wearing one of those yellow anti-war buttons, something he put on basically just because it was election day and we were walking to the polling place. A guy in the liqour store saw that button and started cursing us out in the store, and the owner asked him to leave. After we paid and exited, this guy was lurking in the alley outside, and followed us home at a distance, yelling all the time, calling us fa**ots and so on. I thought for sure he was going to shoot us, and I've been apprehensive about wearing obvious political statements ever since then. This is a violent and broken country, with a violent and broken people.
posted by dis_integration at 8:17 PM on October 24 [21 favorites]


Nate Silver is playing a horrible game: We’re Back From The Future. Which Of These Wildly Different Midterm Outcomes Would You Believe?
posted by growabrain at 8:20 PM on October 24 [4 favorites]


Well, I've told the story here before about how we had to sell our old house and move because I'd been openly Arabic before 911, and after 911, we had flags planted in our yard, and things got real ugly for awhile. Subsequently, I have avoided things like bumper stickers, campaign signs, or canvassing near where I live. The nationalists have been scary for a long time y'all. A real long time. The teahadists weren't created by the republicans, they were just emboldened.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:27 PM on October 24 [69 favorites]


The Post's Josh Dawsey and Felicia Sonmez Trump takes aim at media after homemade bombs sent to Clinton, Obama and CNN sum it up nicely:
Trump appeared to make a show of behaving civil throughout his remarks to supporters in this town of about 4,000 people in central Wisconsin. He was relatively subdued as he spoke, interrupted himself several times to point out that he was “trying to be nice” and took no responsibility for his own role in contributing to the country’s civic discourse.

“No nation can succeed that tolerates violence or the threat of violence as a method of political intimidation, coercion or control,” Trump said as he opened his remarks. “We want all sides to come together in peace and harmony.”

Moments later, he took aim at one of his favorite targets, the news media. “The media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative — and oftentimes, false — attacks and stories,” Trump said.
...
The president, who has frequently used nicknames such as “Lyin’ Ted” or “Crooked Hillary” to mock his rivals, called for those in the political arena to “stop treating their opponents as morally defective.”
...
And he stopped himself several times to point out that he was making an effort to tone down his typically combative rhetoric.

“By the way, do you see how nice I’m behaving?” Trump said. “We’re all behaving very well. And hopefully we can keep it that way.”
posted by zachlipton at 8:30 PM on October 24 [7 favorites]


I feel like Trump needs one of those signs next to him when he gives a speech, like the ones claiming some number of “days since an industrial accident” you might see in a factory. Only, for Trump, the sign would say something like “Sentences since an industrial lie / attempt to foment unrest”. And about every thirty or sixty seconds, some longsuffering OHSA rep would have to walk back over to the sign and reset the counter on it to zero.
posted by darkstar at 8:41 PM on October 24 [15 favorites]




KNUC, Death And Politics Collide Yet Again In This Year's Election, on the various parts of the country that still elect coroners (strangely, often as a partisan office), the unqualified people who run ("And my particular opponent has never even touched a dead body. She's 22"), and the push to stop this madness and use qualified medical examiners instead.

I also learned today that Arizona elects its Mine Inspector, and well [photos]: Took a look at the people running for Arizona Mine Inspector and I was not disappointed. If this guy showed up and told you he was the mine inspector you wouldn’t even ask for ID.

This is normally where I'd tell you about the only elected town dogcatcher in the country, which is a lovely little diversion with dialogue that should be straight out of a Parks and Recreation episode, but it turns out the spoilsports at NPR ruined that, because we can't have nice things. It turns out that dogcatchers are not an officially elected position in the state of Vermont, even though Zeb Towne has been elected to the post in Duxbury for 15 years in a row. While Towne has hardly been a secret, it was apparently news to the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, which earlier this year declared that dogcatchers must be appointed, not elected. Towne has now been appointed dogcatcher instead, but our nation lost our only elected dogcatcher position, and this is a great tragedy.
posted by zachlipton at 9:04 PM on October 24 [32 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

// 13 days until Election Day //

** 2018 Senate:
-- FL: Another multi-poll day:
--FAU poll has GOPer Scott up 42-41 on Dem incumbent Nelson [MOE: +/- 3.6%].
-- St. Leo poll has Nelson up 47-38 [MOE: +/- 3.5%].
-- Gravis poll has Nelson up 49-45 [MOE: +/- 3.5%].
-- MO: OnMessage poll has GOPer Hawley up 49-42 on Dem incumbent McCaskill [MOE: +/- 3.5%]. Poll was commissioned by the Hawley campaign.

-- NJ: Rutgers poll has Dem incumbent Menendez up 51-46 on GOPer Hugin [MOE: +/- 5.1%].

-- NV: Ipsos poll has GOP incumbent Heller up 47-41 on Dem Rosen [MOE: +/- 3.3%]. => Worth noting that Jon Ralston, among others, had a lot of questions about this poll.

-- TX: Ipsos poll has GOP incumbent Cruz up 49-44 on Dem O'Rourke [MOE: +/- 3.1%].

-- WI: Ipsos poll has Dem incumbent Baldwin up 54-39 on GOPer Vukmir [MOE: +/- 3.2%].

-- MI: Marketing Research Group poll has Dem incumbent Stabenow up 53-37 on GOPer James [MOE: +/- 4.0%].

-- WV: Fabrizio, Lee poll has GOPer Morrisey up 44-42 on Dem incumbent Manchin [MOE: +/- 4.0%]. Poll was commissioned by the NRSC. => This is classic trying to hard with an internal. You could have had Manchin +2, and said Morrisey is closing the gap, and that might have been believable, but you had to go for the gold, I guess.
** 2018 House:
-- There were a whole batch of polls from TargetPoint, which is a GOP pollster. They say that *someone* commissioned them, but they don't want to say who. And they don't list MOE. So, regard these with a grain of salt:
-- NY-21: GOP incumbent Stefanik up 50-40 on Dem Cobbs. [Trump 54-40 | Cook: Likely R]
-- OH-16: GOPer Gonzalez up 48-39 on Dem Palmer. [Trump 56-40 | Cook: Solid R]
-- TX-02: GOPer Crenshaw up 49-40 on Dem Litton. [Trump 52-43 | Cook: Likely R]
-- CA-45: GOP incumbent Walters up 50-42 on Dem Porter. [Clinton 50-44 | Cook: Tossup]
-- VA-05: GOPer Riggleman up 48-43 on Dem Cockburn. [Trump 53-42 | Cook: Lean R]
-- VA-10: Dem Wexton tied 47-47 with GOP incumbent Comstock. [Clinton 52-42 | Cook: Lean D]
-- PA-01: Dem Wallace up 49-45 on GOP incumbent Fitzpatrick. [Clinton 49-47 | Cook: Tossup]
-- CO-06: Dem Crow up 48-43 on GOP incumbent Coffman. [Clinton 50-41 | Cook: Lean D]
-- VA-10: GSG poll has Dem Wexton up 49-39 on GOP incumbent Comstock [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. Poll was commissioned by Gabby Gifford's PAC. => This is way closer to other polling - mostly high single digit Wexton leads - than the TargetPoint.

-- OH-12: GBA Strategies poll has Dem O'Connor tied 47-47 with GOP incumbent Balderson [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. Poll was commissioned by the O'Connor campaign. [Trump 53-42 | Cook: Tossup] => Two Dem polls in two days showing a very tight race, no response from Balderson yet.

-- FL-15: GQR poll has Dem Carlson tied 47-47 with GOPer Spano [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. Poll was commissioned by the Carlson campaign. [Trump 53-43 | Cook: Tossup]

-- NY-22: Siena poll has Dem Brindisi up 46-45 on GOP incumbent Tenney [MOE: +/- 4.7%]. [Trump 55-39 | Cook: Tossup]

-- FL-26: Siena poll has Dem Mucarsel-Powell up 45-44 on GOP incumbent Curbelo [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. [Clinton 57-41 | Cook: Tossup]

-- ME-02: GOP incumbent Poliquin refused to say he wouldn't take legal action if he loses his race only due to ranked choice voting (a distinct possibility). [Trump 51-41 | Cook: Tossup]

-- SC-01: GOP candidate Arrington appears to have been caught threatening a local mayor for not endorsing her. [Trump 54-40 | Cook: Lean R]
** Odds & ends:
-- SD gov: Mason-Dixon poll has Dem Sutton tied 45-45 with GOPer Noem [MOE: +/- 4.5%]. [Cook: Tossup] => This is the first independent polling of this race. Sutton has released two internals with him narrowly in the lead, Noem hasn't released any of her own, meaning it's probably tied to a narrow Sutton lead.

-- FL gov: [Cook: Tossup] => I'm not a professional race rater, but it kind of feels like this race should move to Lean D.
-- FAU: Dem Gillum up 41-37 on GOPer DeSantis.
-- St. Leo: Gillum up 49-37.
-- Gravis: Gillump 49-43.
-- FL downballot: Same St. Leo poll has: AG: Dem Shaw up 40-36 on GOPer Moody. Ag Comm: Dem Fried up 40-33 on GOPer Caldwell. CFO: Dem Ring up 37-34 on GOP incumbent Patronis.

-- MI downballot: Same Marketing Research Group poll has: AG: Dem Nessel up 39-34 on GOPer Leonard. SOS: Dem Benson up 41-33 on GOPer Lang.

-- NV gov: Same Ipsos poll has GOPer Laxalt up 46-41 on Dem Sisolak. [Cook: Tossup]

-- TX gov: Same Ipsos poll has GOP incumbent Abbott up 53-38 on Dem Valdez. [Cook: Solid R]

-- WI gov: Same Ipsos poll has Dem Evers up 48-45 on GOP incumbent Walker. [Cook: Tossup]

-- OK gov: Magellan Strategies poll has GOPer Stitt up 51-44 on Dem Edmondson [MOE: +/- 4.4%]. [Cook: Lean R] => Magellan is an R outfit, but says they aren't working for anyone in the race. Polling here has been scanty, but has been mostly low mid-single digit leads for Stitt.

-- GA gov: Marist poll has GOPer Kemp up 46-45 on Dem Abrams [MOE: +/- 4.8%]. [Cook: Tossup]

--Vox: How pollsters responded to issues in 2016 (a topic that's come up here a bit).
** Averages & forecasts:
-- 538 generic ballot average: D+8.2 (49.9/41.7)

-- 538 House forecast (classic): 84.0% chance of Dem control

-- 538 Senate forecast (classic): 17.6% chance of Dem control

-- 538 governor forecast (classic): Dems favored to control 23.9 states.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:05 PM on October 24 [21 favorites]


-- NY-22: Siena poll has Dem Brindisi up 46-45 on GOP incumbent Tenney [MOE: +/- 4.7%]. [Trump 55-39 | Cook: Tossup]
-- FL-26: Siena poll has Dem Mucarsel-Powell up 45-44 on GOP incumbent Curbelo [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. [Clinton 57-41 | Cook: Tossup]


These races are two that I'm going to be watching early on election night to try to get a feel for how things are shaping up, along with probably VA-05 and VA-07. All Eastern time and should report pretty early. If we take 3 of the 4 I'm gonna start the good drinking. If we lose 3 of the 4 I'm gonna start the bad drinking. If we split them 2-2 I'm gonna start the drinking drinking.
posted by Justinian at 9:25 PM on October 24 [27 favorites]


Add KY-6 to your watch list. Polls close at 6est and KY usually reports fairly quickly. If McGrath wins it's a real good sign that the blue wave is a real thing. We can retake the House without that race, but if she wins early it's going to be a good night.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:32 PM on October 24 [8 favorites]


[pedantry] Kentucky polls close at 6 pm local time, so part of the state at 6 ET, part of the state at 7 ET. [/pedantry]

Obviously, KY-06 (Lexington) is in the east. And agree on that's one to watch early. Florida reports fast, too, and there are a several of Tossup to Lean R seats there to watch. NY-19/22/24 are interesting, but New York is pretty poky on counting.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:46 PM on October 24 [1 favorite]


zachlipton: I also learned today that Arizona elects its Mine Inspector, and well [photos]: Took a look at the people running for Arizona Mine Inspector and I was not disappointed. If this guy showed up and told you he was the mine inspector you wouldn’t even ask for ID.

I love Bill Pierce! He's come to several of our LD meetings over the past year. Not only is he straight out of Central Casting, he legit knows his stuff (confirmed by a friend who is a very picky geologist type) and has all the right priorities. Fingers crossed.
posted by Superplin at 10:06 PM on October 24 [13 favorites]


So I have half a hand in IL-12 and IL-13. If any of you are close enough to help with those, please MeMail me. These are very flippable, and we really need help. IL-13 in particular is gonna come down to volunteer margin.
posted by dogheart at 10:11 PM on October 24 [7 favorites]




Partisan elected offices in some counties in Pennsylvania include register of wills, recorder of deeds, clerk of courts, prothonotary, and coroner.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:29 PM on October 24 [6 favorites]


prothonotary

How positively Byzantine of them.
posted by Justinian</