"You Know What I Am? I'm a [] Nationalist."
October 30, 2018 12:50 PM   Subscribe

"It doesn't matter if it's 100% accurate. This is the play." Eleven worshippers were killed, and six others injured, at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in what is thought to be the worst anti-Semitic attack in recent US history. Trump’s caravan hysteria led to this (Adam Serwer, Atlantic) Stop trying to understand what Trump says and look at what his followers do (Dahlia Lithwick, Slate) Why did synagogue suspect believe migrant caravan is Jewish conspiracy? Maybe he watched Fox News (Slate) Synagogue Killings Mark a Surge of Anti-Semitism (The Atlantic) Thousands Signed a Letter Saying Trump Was Not Welcome in Pittsburgh He plans to visit anyway. Shooting victim’s family shuns President Trump in Pittsburgh as top officials decline to join him (WaPo)

A series of suspected explosive packages intercepted this week left the nation stunned and authorities hunting for a bomber targeting prominent Democratic figures, former intelligence officials, and CNN. 5 days, 13 potential bombs and lots of questions. Here's what we know (CNN) (Update: a 14th bomb was found in Atlanta, intended for CNN headquarters) Bomb Suspect Described as 'Loner' With Long Arrest Record (AP) Document: Criminal Complaint Against Cesar Sayoc (Lawfare) Annotated: the Trump Memes Stuck to Cesar Sayoc's Van (Guardian) The week also saw shootings at a Kroger in Kentucky (after the shooter tried to enter a black church) and a North Carolina high school

HEADLINE ROUNDUP:

US To Tell Russia it is Leaving Landmark I.N.F. Treaty (NYT) The Trump administration plans to leave the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, arguing that Russia has been violating it for years, and that the administration would like to develop new intermediate-range nuclear weapons to counter ones developed by China. While Obama argued that Russia was in violation of the agreement, he chose not to leave it, not wanting to stoke a renewed arms race. New Satellite Images Show Military Buildup in Russia's Strategic Baltic Enclave (CNN) Justice Department Charges Russian Woman with Interference in [2018] Elections (WaPo) Read the Complaint (CNN) Prosecutors Say Elena Khusyaynova managed the finances of “Project Lakhta,” a foreign influence operation designed “to sow discord in the U.S. political system” by pushing arguments and misinformation online about issues including immigration, the Confederate flag, gun control, and NFL anthem protests. Russian President Vladimir Putin says US dominance is ending after mistakes 'typical of an empire' (ABC) Not long after, John Bolton says Putin has been invited to visit Washington in early 2019 (Politico)

Paul Manafort to be sentenced February 8 in federal court in Virginia (WaPo) Judge T.S. Ellis III set the sentencing date during a Friday afternoon hearing. Legal experts said Manafort is likely to face seven to 10 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. He also faces sentencing in a related case in the District, also brought by special counsel Mueller. Mueller probes WikiLeaks' contact with conservative activists (WSJ) Mueller has questioned witnesses about Trump confidant Roger Stone, pundit Jerome Corsi, and the late Peter W. Smith and their links to WikiLeaks and the Clinton emails. Special Counsel Examines conflicting accounts as scrutiny of Roger Stone and WikiLeaks deepens (WaPo) George Papadopoulos wants immunity From the Senate (The Atlantic) The former Trump-campaign adviser may be worried that his testimony could implicate him in a crime, according to legal experts. U.S. says ‘others’ are under scrutiny in Michael Cohen grand jury probe (Bloomberg) Trump may answer Mueller questions post-election, Giuliani says (Bloomberg) Rudy Giuliani said in an interview Monday that the answers relate only to Trump colluding with Russia. He said the legal team is still unwilling to answer questions about obstruction of justice, and that a face-to-face interview with Mueller is “off the table” for now. Mueller wants the FBI to look at a scheme to discredit him (The Atlantic)

• In their latest action against transgender people (National Center for Transgender Equality), 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 government-wide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law (NYT) This move is opposed by the Human Rights Campaign (CNN), and by thousands of activists who have adopted the hashtag #wontbeerased (NYT) Department of Justice argues that transgender discrimination is not sex discrimination (Bloomberg) As Trump administration eyes writing transgender people ‘out of existence,’ a reckoning for a transgender Republican (WaPo); Impact of Strict Voter ID Laws on Transgender Voters in 2018 General Election (UCLA School of Law Williams Institute)

• Early Voting/Voter Suppression: [Florida] mail ballots cast by youngest voters, blacks and Hispanics were much more likely to be rejected than mail ballots cast by white voters (Miami Herald) Georgia voting begins amid accusations of voter suppression (NYT) In leaked audio, [GOP Gubernatorial Candidate] Brian Kemp expresses concern over Georgians exercising their right to vote (Rolling Stone) Voter applications said to be missing in Georgia (NYT) Former President Jimmy Carter asks Georgia Secretary of State to resign (AP) "In Georgia’s upcoming gubernatorial election, popular confidence is threatened not only by the undeniable racial discrimination of the past and the serious questions that the federal courts have raised about the security of Georgia’s voting machines, but also because you are now overseeing the election in which you are a candidate." Officials close only voting site in majority-Latino Kansas town (Slate) Project Veritas activist posed as an intern with [Missouri] U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s campaign and had access to voter information (Kansas City Star) 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 Reports of voter intimidation at polling places in Texas (ProPublica) Belief in widespread voter fraud is even worse Than QAnon or Birtherism (Washington Monthly) Low voter turnout is no accident, according to a ranking of the ease of voting in all 50 states (WaPo) Republicans Rushing to Save House Seats From Onslaught of Democratic Money (NYT) Early Voting clues point to very high interest election (TPM) 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.

• Horserace/Invisible Primary: Elizabeth Warren (previously on MeFi) says she took a DNA test to 'restore trust in government' (CBS), Bernie Sanders hints at a showdown with Warren (Politico), but many of his former staffers are looking for a different candidate (Politico), and Warren and Sanders may be headed for a standoff (The Atlantic) Kamala Harris introduces tax plan (Vox) Michael Avenatti says 'you're going to have to engage in a brutal campaign' (Hollywood Reporter). A judge ruled he owes a former partner $4.85 million, and he might have a little tax problem (Daily Beast) 'Well, I'd Like to be President': Hillary Clinton sends mixed signals on a 2020 bid (WaPo) How do you solve a problem like Hillary? (Politico) She’s not going away—and Democrats aren’t sure what to do about it. Barack Obama still doesn't get it (Splinter News) At a rally last night in Las Vegas, Obama told the audience that “the threat to our democracy does not come from one person in the White House or Republicans in Congress or big money lobbyists. The biggest threat to our democracy is indifference.” This is simply not true

IN OTHER HEADLINES:

• As Trump attacks the refugee caravan "invasion" on Twitter ("Many Gang Members and some very bad people"), the Pentagon plans to deploy 5,200 14,000 active-duty troops to U.S.-Mexico border to halt migrant caravan (USA Today, Newsweek)

Exclusive: Trump targeting birthright citizenship with executive order (Axios) Birthright citizenship explained (Vox) The revelation Tuesday morning that President Trump has plans to end birthright citizenship by executive order is the culmination of the President’s weeks-long effort to inject nativism into the midterm elections as his party desperately tries to hold on to its congressional majorities. (TPM)

• HHS Admits Miscount Left Some Migrant Children Stranded In Custody (Politico)

The United States targeted Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgency on Tuesday with sanctions against eight individuals, including two linked to the Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (Reuters)

Entire Broadband Industry Sues Vermont Over Net-Neutrality Law Trade associations and lobbying groups from the industry have also sued California, while New York and Montana have also passed similar laws. California Agrees To Suspend Law Until After Court Case (Ars Technica)

The Decline of Congressional Expertise Explained in 10 Charts (Techdirt) From 1979 to 2015, the Congressional Research Staff has lost 28% of its staff—238 people. In the same span, the Government Accountability Office staff has been cut by 44%—2,314 positions.

Trump Persuaded Struggling People to Invest in Scams, Lawsuit Says (NYT) The complaint alleges that Trump and his family received secret payments from three business entities: ACN, a telecommunications marketing company that paid Mr. Trump millions of dollars to endorse its products; the Trump Network, a vitamin marketing enterprise; and the Trump Institute, which the suit said offered “extravagantly priced multiday training seminars” on Mr. Trump’s real estate “secrets.”

Donald Trump’s Strategy as Midterms Approach: Lies and Fear-Mongering (Trump-rally-live-tweeter Daniel Dale for the Toronto Star)

“No One Is in Charge”: Inside Trump’s New Fox Takeover (Gabriel Sherman, Vanity Fair) "Lachlan Murdoch, now installed at Fox News, is a caretaker rather than an empire builder. And, so more than ever, Trump remains the network’s main programmer."

The Hack Gap: How and Why Conservative Nonsense Dominates American Politics (Vox)

Tucker Carlson's Descent into White Supremacy: A Timeline (Media Matters for America)

We're Witnessing a Massive Surge in Far-Right Violence (ThinkProgress) It's unlikely to end soon.

Nihilist Nation: The Empty Core of the Trump Mystique (Garret Keizer, The New Republic)

A Plaque Says This Fence In Southern California Is the First Completed Section of Trump's Border Wall (BuzzFeed) "The project to replace an old section of border wall was first requested in 2009. But a plaque dedicated Friday calls it the first section of Trump’s border wall."

Czechoslovakia Ramped Up Spying On Trump in Late 1980s, Seeking US Intel (Guardian) Exclusive: Aided by Ivana Trump’s father, intelligence service with KGB ties targeted high-level government information

#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)

Remember to check your voter registration. Early Voting laws and Election Day polling place hours are different in every state. Find your polling place here.

Previously in U.S. Politics Megathreads: "Game on, Tiny"

Megathread-Adjacent Posts Murdered Journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Elizabeth Warren DNA Test, Pew Study on Fact vs. Opinion, Politics and Policies, on Warren, Sanders, and others' economic plans

Elsewhere in MetaFilter: On MeTa, what Mefites are doing to improve things and getting out the vote (e.g. rangefinder 1.4's in-depth guide to Postcards to Voters); 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. Thanks to Doktor Zed and zachlipton for their help creating this post. U.S. Politics FPPs are generally collaborative, and a draft post can usually found on the MeFi Wiki.
posted by box (2034 comments total) 153 users marked this as a favorite
 
Thanks for including the Tucker Carlson documentation. It's too bad he didn't slink out of the public eye after Jon Stewart's famous scolding on "Crossfire," but Carlson should never, ever be allowed in any form of non-wingnut media -- or in decent company -- ever again, as a host, guest, or sweeper of floors.

In fact, sweeping floors is honest labor and too good for the likes of him.
posted by Gelatin at 12:54 PM on October 30 [19 favorites]


I eagerly await Trump’s words from Pittsburg, to hear how he manages to make it all about him and to blame the media.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:01 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


The Calm and Peaceful Happy [MeTa] Thread. For what Mefites use to restore their equilibrium after news like this.
posted by WCityMike at 1:12 PM on October 30 [15 favorites]






The sexual assault 'scheme' to discredit Mueller confounds me. They try to make up a lie about someone who's job it is to uncover lies. It'll convince exactly the people who already hate Mueller and make everyone else look bad. More garbage and noise for the spectrum I suppose.
posted by msbutah at 1:14 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


Re: Wohl, offering money to falsely swear an affidavit must surely be a crime, right? And assuming he lives in New York, a Trump-proof state AG office can charge him.

More: no need to connect through his mom. The domain registration for Surefire Intelligence has Jacob Wohl's name right in it.
posted by msalt at 1:14 PM on October 30 [26 favorites]


As it happens, Tucker Carlson is going to be speaking at a megachurch in Houston this Sunday. I didn't know dude got speaking gigs at churches, but it makes sense that he does. Voting is worship or some shit.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:15 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


The sexual assault 'scheme' to discredit Mueller confounds me. They try to make up a lie about someone who's job it is to uncover lies.

And also to prosecute people who, say, offer bribes to suborn perjury.
posted by Gelatin at 1:19 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


Which makes sense, because if there was ever a soulless husk of a man who needed to be prayed for en masse, it is Tucker Carlson.
posted by delfin at 1:19 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


There have been a few other tools that check for twitter bot activity, yes? I love how we have all of these tools to track twitter bot activity written by people outside of twitter, yet there's only the smallest amount of lip service given to actually cleaning them off their network, because it's "hard".

The only REAL answer is that they want the bots to remain.
posted by MysticMCJ at 1:21 PM on October 30 [17 favorites]


Early voting report, yesterday in Raleigh, NC.

NCSU reserved parking for voters near Reynolds Coliseum and it was easy to find the building. The curbside voting people told me to go upstairs as I walked in but there were no signs at the stairway itself so I wandered around until I found a volunteer distributing Democratic voting cards and got the same directions, good. After climbing the stairs the room was obvious. I was mildly surprised that I didn't need to show ID. Hope nobody else does either. Guess the Nazis are hoping the threat will be enough.

The Brits who live across the street were helping us vote again. Since they moved in I've seen one or the other handing out ballots, monitoring machines, etc., every time I've voted at my precinct. I got a kick out of seeing both of them doing the same on campus.
posted by kingless at 1:21 PM on October 30 [25 favorites]


For those of you with clinically low blood pressure, I present the antidote. From NY Mag: 12 Young People on Why They Probably Won’t Vote.

The stupidity, ignorance, and false intellectualism burns. It burns!

Sample: "I hate mailing stuff; it gives me anxiety."
posted by Justinian at 1:21 PM on October 30 [64 favorites]


"Honestly, if someone had the forms printed for me and was willing to deal with the post office, I’d be much more inclined to vote."

I'm going to go take a walk now, thanks.
posted by Justinian at 1:23 PM on October 30 [42 favorites]


I didn't know dude got speaking gigs at churches, but it makes sense that he does. Voting is worship or some shit.

Just like how atheist alt-right youtuber Stefan Molyneux gets paid to give pro-Christian speeches. Their god is fascism.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:24 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


The only REAL answer is that they want the bots to remain.

well, yeah. their only metric for success is engagement, and bots simultaneously make Twitter look busier than it actually is, and gin up a bunch of angry responses, which makes Twitter busier than it otherwise would be
posted by murphy slaw at 1:24 PM on October 30 [34 favorites]


This is an amazingly well crafted post of despair, thank you!
posted by corb at 1:25 PM on October 30 [80 favorites]


Re: Wohl, offering money to falsely swear an affidavit must surely be a crime, right? And assuming he lives in New York, a Trump-proof state AG office can charge him.

Steve Vladek thinks it might be a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 372

Sample: "I hate mailing stuff; it gives me anxiety."

For what it's worth, mailing stuff gives me anxiety. Filling out my voter registration took a few days as I needed to double check it several times. And then the anxiety around remembering to carry the letter with me when I go out. Never underestimate the power of anxiety. I spent several days worrying about whether it had gotten in before the deadline and I had put in the correct zip code. That said, I got a letter from my state saying that I had successfully registered to vote, so I'm all good, but anxiety is weird, yo.
posted by BungaDunga at 1:25 PM on October 30 [27 favorites]


The domain registration for Surefire Intelligence has Jacob Wohl's name right in it

Waiting for someone to cry that public WHOIS records are a violation of Wohl's privacy under the GDPR.
posted by BungaDunga at 1:26 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]




But wait, there's even more of this incredibly stupid story which is unraveling at a truly marvelous pace, from Natasha Bertrand again:
Jennifer Taub, an associate professor at Vermont Law School, received an email from a man using a "Surefire Intelligence" email address around the same time, on October 22, which Taub forwarded to me on Tuesday. "It's my understanding that you may have had some past encounters with Robert Mueller,” he told Taub. “I would like to discuss those encounters with you.” (Taub told me she has never had any encounters with Mueller, though she does appear on CNN at times as an expert commentator.)

“I believe a basic telephone call, for which I would compensate you at whatever rate you see fit (inside reason), would be a good place to start,” the man continued. “My organization is conducting an examination of Robert Mueller's past. Tell me a decent method to contact you by telephone (or Signal, which would be ideal) and a beginning rate to talk with you about all encounters you've had with Special Counsel Mueller. We would likewise pay you for any references that you may have. Lastly, I would appreciate your discretion here, as this is a very sensitive matter." Taub forwarded the email the special counsel’s office, noting that she did not plan to respond.

Around the time that Taub and the other woman began receiving these calls and emails from Surefire, Jack Burkman released a video on his Facebook page claiming, without evidence, that Mueller “has a whole lifetime history of harassing women.” On Tuesday, the day the special counsel’s office revealed that it had referred the woman’s claims to the FBI, Burkman tweeted a similar allegation.
There's no reason to believe "Lorraine" actually exists, but Jennifer Taub clearly does. The point here is that there's a clear path from this conspiracy theory to the shady as hell Surefire Intelligence to the shady as hell Whol, who denied involvement. And if a couple of journalists can put all this together in less time than it's taken Trump to fly to Pittsburgh, I suspect this plot isn't going to outsmart the FBI.

By shady as hell, I mean: @lachlan: More! At least three supposed Surefire employees, including "station chiefs" in DC and Tel Aviv, use fake LinkedIn headshots. The two station chiefs' pics are actually of Israeli model Bar Rafaeli and Sigourney Weaver's husband
posted by zachlipton at 1:29 PM on October 30 [55 favorites]


James O'Malley, creator of the invaluable @TrumpsAlert bot, has noticed Kellyanne Conway just removed "Counselor to the President" from her @KellyannePolls bio.

"Start your Kremlinology.... now!"
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:29 PM on October 30 [25 favorites]


12 Young People on Why They Probably Won’t Vote

For the first time in my entire life, I understand how it feels to rage against the kids these days.

Then I checked in again with my youngest sibs on their voting plans. Two have already early voted. One is driving home from college to early vote on Friday -- her first election ever!

So that helped dissipate some of the rage. Only some though. I still want to slap Tim a few times.
posted by the turtle's teeth at 1:29 PM on October 30 [33 favorites]


Pence has messianic rabbi open appearance with prayer invoking Jesus the Messiah.

The "rabbi" praised Trump and Pence at the point in the service where the mourner's kaddish should have been recited, which was when my numbness finally turned into rage.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:32 PM on October 30 [90 favorites]


I kind of think mail-in ballots should have free postage, at least inside the US Postal Service (I could see overseas mail being an issue), so I'm not 100% going to dump on the people who find mailing ballots hard. I suffer from the "one more thing" barrier for trivial tasks, so I don't really see why making mailing ballots easier wouldn't be a good idea, along with making registration easier. Making a printable foldable form with address and postage bar code on the outside wouldn't be such a hard design task.
posted by Karmakaze at 1:33 PM on October 30 [17 favorites]




Then I checked in again with my youngest sibs on their voting plans. Two have already early voted. One is driving home from college to early vote on Friday -- her first election ever!

My three millennials are voting too!
posted by bluesky43 at 1:34 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Let's not get too upset about the kids not voting, they generally don't.

There are a lot of lower hanging fruit to convince.
posted by aspersioncast at 1:34 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


That NYMag piece is really something. As much as I'm enraged by the kids (particularly the white male ones without chronic illness--the rest of them I can kind of see where they're coming from), I'm also enraged at a patchwork voting system that makes this so complicated for people to just vote.

Some/most of the blame can be placed with the system itself, where a young wage-earner has to decide whether voting for something that feels arbitrary to them is worth spending 4 hours (!) in line and take half a day from work. That's a real problem.
posted by witchen at 1:35 PM on October 30 [14 favorites]


In Pima County, Arizona (can't speak for the rest of the state) mail-in ballots are postage paid. I'll give a shout out to our county recorder, F. Ann Rodriguez, who has run a very competent operation for a long time. It may be the easiest county to vote in as far as Arizona is concerned.
posted by azpenguin at 1:35 PM on October 30 [13 favorites]


[A few deleted. Folks, reminder we're aiming for more signal and less noise; that emotions like fear/anger/etc can go to the venting thread, etc. Yes kids these days; let's not have 25 comments about kids these days. C'mon.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:36 PM on October 30 [18 favorites]


The "rabbi" praised Trump and Pence at the point in the service where the mourner's kaddish should have been recited, which was when my numbness finally turned into rage.

It was a blessing given at a campaign event, not a religious service. I think the point here was that he prayed by name for various Republicans (he had a list) instead of the victims in Pittsburgh, which is indeed rageworthy as is everything about his presence there, but it wasn't a religious service.
posted by zachlipton at 1:36 PM on October 30 [11 favorites]


The worst part of that NY Magazine article is that they could have interviewed people who can't vote because it's a two-hour round trip to the nearest polling place, and instead interviewed people who don't want to vote.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:36 PM on October 30 [73 favorites]


A likely unverifiable but funny story about Jacob Wohl:
My little Jacob Wohl story: August 2016, we're sitting around the trading turrets at my office on a bored to tears slow day. Our receptionist said someone was here for his 2pm appointment. None of us had an appointment on schedule. Who is it? we ask? Some guy named Jacob Wohl 1/
posted by edeezy at 1:36 PM on October 30 [26 favorites]


Instead of spending your time talking about how much you want to smack some young people in an article, work harder to make voting EASIER and MORE CONVENIENT for people to do.
posted by all about eevee at 1:37 PM on October 30 [33 favorites]


The Guardian is pissed.

A solid read that touches on factual information like how grandstanding it is to send troops to the border right before the election even though the caravan is weeks away from arriving. Or how every affected and/or official person in Pennsylvania on both sides told him to stay away in the wake of the Tree of Life shooting. Or how he continues to attempt manufacturing crises for political purposes, like threatening to single-handedly end US birthright while the irony he was born to an immigrant mother is lost on him.

My favorite line is the ending:
"A man who hates half of his country has no right to call for a unity that he does not believe in."
posted by Arson Lupine at 1:40 PM on October 30 [132 favorites]


What was the name of that Israeli intelligence firm with the vaguely scary name that was harassing journalists a while back? It was like “Black Dice” or some such.
posted by gucci mane at 1:42 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


I have not seen Dred Scott mentioned in these (recent) threads as being part of the birthright citizenship debate. Responding to the Supreme Court Dred Scott decision in the post-Civil War years was one of the major impetuses for birthright citizenship.

Some (mostly misinformed conservatives) have said that the Dred Scott decision declared blacks 3/5ths would be counted as 3/5 whites. No, that was the 3/5ths compromise in the Constitution. The Dred Scott decision declared that blacks were not and could never be U.S. Citizens (whether North or South, slave or free).

That was considered so egregious a pronouncement, the post-Civil War 14th amendment declared all those born on American soil to be citizens. The government cannot erase the citizenship for someone who is born here. To do so would be to validate the Dred Scott decision.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:45 PM on October 30 [37 favorites]


The Pitt News twitter feed has some good photos and video of the protests going on in Squirrel Hill right now.
posted by octothorpe at 1:45 PM on October 30 [10 favorites]


Black Cube
posted by mrjohnmuller at 1:45 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


ABC: Fewer Than Half of US States Have Undergone Federal Election Security Reviews Ahead of Midterms
The Department of Homeland Security has already provided or is scheduled to provide the service, which is free for states that request it, to only 21 states, a department spokesman told ABC News, concerning election experts who fear some states may not be aware of potential vulnerabilities.[...]

The department spokesperson declined to say which states have and have not undergone the assessments. ABC News asked election officials in all 50 states whether they have participated, and 19 states -- Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin -- confirmed that they had, while several others declined to comment.[...]

A Louisiana election official said the state is currently undergoing a DHS assessment, which will be complete after the November midterms. A New York official said the state has completed paperwork and is awaiting an assessment.
So much for DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's happy talk that "We are more prepared than we’ve ever been" for these elections. (Politico)
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:46 PM on October 30 [16 favorites]


The sexual assault 'scheme' to discredit Mueller confounds me. They try to make up a lie about someone who's job it is to uncover lies. It'll convince exactly the people who already hate Mueller and make everyone else look bad. More garbage and noise for the spectrum I suppose.

The noise factor is very much a feature rather than a bug. The people throwing this garbage out there don't care if it sticks or not. Its mere existence pushes the apathetic observers deeper into apathy. Some people will very much throw up their hands and say "Who you gonna believe?" even in the face of blatant, confounding, even hilarious stupidity, because they're looking for any excuse for their laziness--and the safety of their blind privilege.

Some right-leaning toolshed out there is even now going to point to the craziness of people like Wohl and say there's no reason to trust anything because of him and never once look at the opposite side of the spectrum. They'll just assume both sides are equally bad, because that's easier than making a judgment.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:47 PM on October 30 [13 favorites]




Incidentally, ABC reports that Roger Stone has picked Bruce Rogow, a Florida-based Trump lawyer, to represent him against the Special Counsel. This legal eagle, who has represented Trump's golf clubs a few civil cases, has suggested Stone take a polygraph test to prove his innocence, which Mueller's team will no doubt find hilarious.
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:51 PM on October 30 [11 favorites]


The worst part of that NY Magazine article is that they could have interviewed people who can't vote because it's a two-hour round trip to the nearest polling place, and instead interviewed people who don't want to vote.

Honestly, those kids didn't really strike me as that bad. One of them (the "I'm into the classics, not your puny contemporary politics, because Machiavelli" one) seemed not as smart as she thinks she is, and the guy who was all "if only you could vote on Instagram" clearly hadn't thought about voter security, but their concerns mostly weren't unreasonable per se even though "so I won't vote" wasn't the logical conclusion to draw. I didn't vote too much in my twenties either, for a mixture of "voting is endorsing a corrupt system", practical difficulties due to moving a lot and generalized ignorance. When you're just starting out, you don't necessarily notice how, eg, mass transit changes happen, or food stamps get cut, etc, because you literally haven't been living as an adult for more than a couple of years.

The problem with "we need to build grassroots power, not vote" is that voting is an important link between grassroots power and policy change. The other link is "we will physically strike or riot if you don't enact policies", and while that totally has its place, it's difficult to maintain. You can't always be on the cusp of a general strike for years at a time. Grassroots power is all about "if you don't enact policy change, our thousands and thousands of grassroots activists will vote you out". If you have 10,000 people but no way for them to put a scare into the politicians, you have nothing; grassroots organizing without a way to affect the state won't get you anywhere lasting.
posted by Frowner at 1:53 PM on October 30 [55 favorites]




@joshtpm [with CNN video of the arrival]: This is a touchy subject. Many will disagree with me. But I find it offensive and bizarre that this was choreographed so that the Israeli Ambassador is the one who greeted the President first at the Tree of Life synagogue. The Prez is not visiting Israel.
posted by zachlipton at 1:56 PM on October 30 [69 favorites]


I kind of think mail-in ballots should have free postage

Washington State does! Mail-in ballots for everyone. For this election, alas, some of the old postage-required envelopes went out, but the postal service will deliver them unstamped. Also we have free drop boxes hither and yon.
posted by clew at 1:59 PM on October 30 [20 favorites]


Also we have free drop boxes hither and yon.

Some of them drive-through for the complete American experience.
posted by edeezy at 2:00 PM on October 30 [6 favorites]


Waiting for someone to cry that public WHOIS records are a violation of Wohl's privacy under the GDPR.

Technically it was in the nameserver for one of DNS resolvers
posted by nikaspark at 2:00 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Frowner: "The problem with "we need to build grassroots power, not vote" is that voting is an important link between grassroots power and policy change. The other link is "we will physically strike or riot if you don't enact policies", and while that totally has its place, it's difficult to maintain. You can't always be on the cusp of a general strike for years at a time. Grassroots power is all about "if you don't enact policy change, our thousands and thousands of grassroots activists will vote you out". If you have 10,000 people but no way for them to put a scare into the politicians, you have nothing; grassroots organizing without a way to affect the state won't get you anywhere lasting."

This is exactly it. Voting *and* direct action are both critical.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:01 PM on October 30 [35 favorites]


Hey, guys. It's been a tough week for Pittsburgh.

I was refreshing social media constantly over the weekend, but somehow didn't hear the names of the shooting victims until church services on Sunday. When I looked at their faces I recognized one of them immediately: Cecil Rosenthal. If you ride the bus in Squirrel Hill you will probably recognize his face. He's easy to notice and hard to forget. He lived at the ACHIEVA residential support home around the corner from my apartment and was the kindest soul. He deserved so much better.

If you are looking for a constructive place to do something there are numerous collections for HIAS going around. I'd also recommend donating or volunteering for ACHIEVA or Best Buddies. Best Buddies is a program that creates ties and inclusion for people living with disabilities and Cecil was an active member.

Also, community note here, if this all feels raw to you maybe don't read the Post Gazette article entitled "'We just wanted to stay alive': As shooting began, Barry Werber hid in a closet and called 911". There are a lot of details in there and I'm not sure what to do with this anger.
posted by Alison at 2:02 PM on October 30 [104 favorites]


Trump’s stunning hypocrisy on preexisting conditions: Republicans are lying about their position on health care. Voters have a right to know that.
But perhaps Trump’s most brazen move is supporting a lawsuit that would eliminate Obamacare’s preexisting condition protections completely. The Trump administration has filed a brief in federal court arguing that these protections are unconstitutional and ought to be thrown out completely.

Let that sink in for just a moment. President Trump is tweeting things like, “All Republicans support people with preexisting conditions.” But that is just not the position of his White House, full stop. If the federal court sides with the Trump administration, protections for Americans with preexisting conditions would cease to exist.

The world that President Trump has pushed for — in federal regulations, in congressional legislation, in legal filings — is undeniably a world where it is harder for the Americans who need health insurance to get access to it.
posted by homunculus at 2:05 PM on October 30 [52 favorites]


The Washington Post reports: Mueller Probes Roger Stone’s Interactions With Trump Campaign and Timing of Wikileaks Release of Podesta Emails
The special counsel investigation into President Trump’s longtime ally Roger Stone is pressing witnesses about Stone’s private interactions with senior campaign officials and whether he had knowledge of politically explosive Democratic emails that were released in October 2016, according to multiple people familiar with the probe.[...]

On Friday, Mueller’s team questioned Stephen K. Bannon, Trump’s former chief campaign strategist, about alleged claims Stone made privately about WikiLeaks before the group released emails allegedly hacked by Russian operatives, according to people familiar with the session.

In recent weeks, Mueller’s team has also interviewed several Stone associates, including New York comedian Randy Credico and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi. Both testified before the grand jury.[...]

In his interview Friday with the special counsel team, Bannon was asked about Stone’s interactions with the campaign and instances in which Stone allegedly made private comments that matched his public declarations of having knowledge of WikiLeaks’s plans, according to people with knowledge of the interview.

In a statement to The Post today, Bannon said: “Mueller’s team has been very professional and courteous. Out of respect for the process, I will not discuss my interviews with them, but people shouldn’t believe everything they read.” William Burck, an attorney for Bannon, declined to comment.[...]

Bannon — who was previously interviewed by Mueller’s investigators for more than 20 hours in February — was also briefly asked Friday about potential obstruction of the Russia investigation by Trump, including the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey, according to people briefed on the discussions.
The stream of recent leaks about Roger the Rat-fucker and the Special Counsel suggests something big is coming down the pipe, and today's abortive smear of Mueller only points towards that.

As for that incompetent hatchet job, the Daily Beast takes us inside the crazy cabal trying to smear Robert Mueller—a Seth Rich conspiracy pusher and fringe online figures appear to be working behind the scenes.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:08 PM on October 30 [17 favorites]






I lived in Pittsburgh for 10 weeks back in 2007 for a Japanese language course at U Pitt. The bedroom I rented was in Squirrel Hill, I walked past the Tree of Life Synogogue a few times, mostly when I got lost looking for the Giant Eagle.

And after googling his name, I'm close to 100% certain I rode the bus with Cecil Rosenthal. Or at least someone who looked like him and who talked to me about the irrelevant things people who sit near each other on the bus talk about.

I'm sorry for you Pittsburgh. You didn't deserve this.
posted by sotonohito at 2:12 PM on October 30 [22 favorites]


I kind of think mail-in ballots should have free postage

San Francisco does, but not all California counties do in 2018. Anyone can choose to vote by mail in California.

Starting in 2019, all California mail-in ballots must come with a postage-paid return envelope.

There are also a number of counties that are transitioning towards mailing all registered voters a ballot by default, thanks to the Voter's Choice Act. The goal of that act is to move California towards an all-mail (or at least, mostly-mail) elections system. In counties where they tried it in the June 2018 primaries, voter participation was way up.
posted by toxic at 2:12 PM on October 30 [10 favorites]


protections for Americans with preexisting conditions would cease to exist

And two of those on the list of preexisting conditions are:

"Transgender" and "Sex Change"
posted by nikaspark at 2:12 PM on October 30 [26 favorites]


The sexual assault 'scheme' to discredit Mueller confounds me.

Ahhh ... you are viewing it from the wrong side. Let say that you think that all these sexual assault allegations are largely false, and the "MSM" just quotes them verbatim, without checking, and BANG! a good man goes down for the count. Any old allegation will do, they are mostly false. If you believe that, then hey, just drum up some allegations and Presto! They guy is toast.
posted by Bovine Love at 2:14 PM on October 30 [14 favorites]


Let say that you think that all these sexual assault allegations are largely false

They don't think they're false. They just don't care that they're true.
posted by dng at 2:19 PM on October 30 [18 favorites]


there are two ways the Mueller Sex Scamdal makes sense

1. as a falsifiable nonsense scandal that the right can point to when the next real sex scandal happens, as proof that some sex scandals are falsifiable nonsense, so who can ever say what "truth" is in this crazy mixed-up world we live in

2. as the flimsiest possible pretext for Trump to get Mueller fired
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:24 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


The sexual assault 'scheme' to discredit Mueller confounds me.

The plan is already working. You're talking about "scheme" and "sexual assault" in the same sentence. The phrase "false allegation" is going to be all over the news. We're talking about women falsely accusing political figures for money and the talking heads aren't going to add "but it was different last time" every time they bring it up.

It doesn't matter that the details don't exactly apply in this particular situation. The public discourse for those only half-listening is being framed as we speak.
posted by FakeFreyja at 2:24 PM on October 30 [30 favorites]


toward bottom of previous thread anastasiav offered
"If anyone is looking for a map to the arguments the five current Federalist Society members of SCOTUS might use to overturn US v. Ark and thus end birthright citizenship, you should check out this "perspective" published by the Federalist Society in 2016.

Particularly interesting that they consider this a "controversial" issue and not settled law."
reposted here for better access, because it is important & good to read, and because it is galling when you have to look to john f'ing yoo for the right (or less wrong) argument. maybe have it cued up come thanksgiving. if we make it to thanksgiving.
posted by 20 year lurk at 2:25 PM on October 30 [10 favorites]


in the FedSoc article on birthright citizenship linked by anastasiav in the last thread, we find this in the introduction:
Does the 14th Amendment Guarantee Citizenship to Babies Born to Illegal or Transient Immigrants on U.S. Soil? Mr. Walpin answers “no,” arguing that treating immigrants and the children humanely does not require interpreting the Constitution to grant birthright citizenship. Mr. Rivkin and Prof. Yoo argue that the 14th Amendment does in fact require that anyone born on U.S. soil be granted citizenship.
Prof Yoo is he of the torture memos. So if you read that page, you end up siding with him. It's a bizarro world trap! Save yourselves!
posted by mabelstreet at 2:29 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]




If you believe that, then hey, just drum up some allegations and Presto! They guy is toast.

Added bonus: No matter how the attempt to smear Mueller goes, fail or win, it also works as a tool to try and taint @metoo...“See? We almost got away with it, so it’s not impossible to think someone* is paying all these women to lie!”

*Soros obvs
posted by Thorzdad at 2:31 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Thank you to all the Pittsburghers who keep bringing us updates. We moved last year and it's heartbreaking not to be there with yinz. The one time I laughed in all this coverage was a photo from Squirrel Hill, on a block I walked many times, and there was a big orange sign that said "DETOUR TO HOMESTEAD." Yep, that felt like home.
posted by nakedmolerats at 2:31 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Doktor Zed: So much for DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's happy talk that "We are more prepared than we’ve ever been" for these elections.

Depends on how you define "prepared" -- prepared to purge non-Republican votes? As Georgia has shown, they're doing fucking gangunionbusters.

Meanwhile: A Rural Community Decided To Treat Its Opioid Problem Like A Natural Disaster (NPR, Oct. 28, 2018)
When he was police chief of Stanwood, Wash., population 7,000, Ty Trenary thought rural communities like his were immune from the opioid crisis.

Then, one day, a mother walked through his door and said, "Chief, you have a heroin problem in your community."

"And I remember thinking, 'Well that's not possible,' " Trenary recalls. "This is Stanwood and heroin is in big cities with homeless populations. It's not in rural America."

But heroin addiction and abuse are not just a big city problem, as Trenary had thought. While the bulk of fatal overdoses still happen in urban areas, the rural overdose rate has increased to slightly surpass that of cities.
...
A few years ago, he was elected sheriff of Snohomish County and got a rude awakening. He toured the jail and found it had become a de facto detox center, full of "very, very sick, very, very sick people," he says.

"Detoxing from heroin is like having the worst possible stomach virus you can have. People are proned out, just suffering."
...
"It took becoming the sheriff to see the impacts inside the jail with heroin abuse, to see the impacts in the community across the entire county for me to realize that we had to change a lot about what we were doing," Trenary says.

So they did. Snohomish County in Western Washington is taking a unique approach to tackle the problem.

Last year, leaders declared the opioid epidemic a life-threatening emergency. The county is now responding to the drug crisis as if it were a natural disaster, the same way it would mobilize to respond to a landslide or flu pandemic.
The community learned from how well they were able to react and respond to a natural disaster, the massive 2014 landslide in Oso, Washington, and they're taking that experience and applying those tactics and multi-agency coordination to the opioid epidemic in their community.

Think if the President did this, addressing a REAL ISSUE in rural communities, instead of being a fear-mongering tyrant in training.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:38 PM on October 30 [60 favorites]


@juliareinstein [video]: “Olam chesed yibanei,” the protestors are singing. “We will build this world with love.”

It's a lovely little song. Rabbi Menachem Creditor wrote it for his newborn daughter once upon a time. I've heard it a number of times, but never like this, never through a bullhorn. I...I hope I never have to again.

The Pitt News has a five minute video of the protest, which gives some idea of the size of it.

In New York today, Jewish activists held a protest sitting shiva on the doorstep of the Metropolitan Republican Club, which recently hosted Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes. 14 were arrested.
posted by zachlipton at 2:38 PM on October 30 [40 favorites]


The scales have fallen from Yeezy's eyes: My eyes are now wide open and now realize I’ve been used to spread messages I don’t believe in. I am distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative !!!
posted by PenDevil at 2:42 PM on October 30 [25 favorites]


So

"I fucked up, please ignore this as I will not take any action to make amends and I'll go back to making music till the next time I need attention"[fake]
posted by Twain Device at 2:45 PM on October 30 [33 favorites]


> The scales have fallen from Yeezy's eyes: My eyes are now wide open and now realize I’ve been used to spread messages I don’t believe in. I am distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative !!!

Not sure whether to laugh, cry, or throw up.
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:45 PM on October 30 [17 favorites]


My eyes are now wide open and now realize I’ve been used...

Yes, Kanye, you are, indeed, a tool.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:47 PM on October 30 [27 favorites]


Yes, Kanye, you are, indeed, a tool.

He's a weapon. That's like a tool, but more dangerous.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:49 PM on October 30 [28 favorites]




From Courthouse News Service today: Deciding whether to revive a case calling Trump-branded businesses a threat to the Constitution, a federal appellate judge noted Tuesday that the president’s enterprises certainly have a leg up on the competition. “The Trump restaurants and hotels are offering something that nobody else can offer,” U.S. Circuit Judge Pierre Leval said, identifying this as the ability to “line the pockets of the president.” One of three judges sitting on the Second Circuit panel, Leval appeared inclined to reverse a federal judge’s ruling in December throwing out a lawsuit by local hotels and restaurants calling that competitive advantage unconstitutional.
posted by Bella Donna at 2:52 PM on October 30 [14 favorites]


I guess with a new album out soon Kanye's label reminded him that conservative white 50 year olds don't buy hip-hop records.
posted by PenDevil at 2:53 PM on October 30 [22 favorites]


My eyes are now wide open and now realize I’ve been used to spread messages I don’t believe in. I am distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative !!!
He lifted up his hand and from the MAGA hat he wore there issued a great light that illumined him alone and left all else dark. He stood before Twitter seeming now tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful. Then he let his hand fall, and the light faded, and suddenly he laughed again, and lo! he was shrunken: a stocky hip hop star, clad in simple white, whose gentle voice was soft and sad.

"I pass the test", he said. "I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Kanye. "
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:01 PM on October 30 [70 favorites]


"I pass the test", he said. "I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Kanye. "

No, Kanye. No, you did not pass the test. You only realized the looming price of your spectacular failure.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 3:04 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


spoiler: that wasn't actually a quote from Kanye West.
posted by boo_radley at 3:06 PM on October 30 [14 favorites]


[Y'all let's not put a lot of effort into giving a shit about Kanye's latest whateverthefuck maybe.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:06 PM on October 30 [104 favorites]


ThinkProgress, New video of purported Russian troll discussing 2018 strategies removed from YouTube: "The video claims to reveal Russian social media interference talking points for the upcoming midterms."
In a video uploaded to YouTube last Friday, a man claims he participated in Russian social media interference operations during the 2016 election. Now, he says, he wants to come clean and reveal online strategies utilized by the notorious Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) in the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections. However, the video has since been removed from YouTube without any explanation from the company.

The man, who says his name is Williams, is seen sitting in a kitchen and talking into his camera. Williams claims that he was an employee of the IRA, the main entity behind Russia’s social media interference operations through and after the 2016 election. “I want to confess to you guys,” Williams says. “I lied to you guys a lot. Why is that? I’ve never been to America before. I only work in Russia.” Williams, both in appearance and in describing his work, appears to be half of the Russian “Williams and Kalvin” team originally exposed as fakes by The Daily Beast a year ago.
...
In the video, entitled “The last word of truth — escape from the troll factory,” Williams says an unnamed colleague recently started “receiving threats, messages, calls from [the] American military” regarding their work. (Last week, the New York Times revealed that U.S. Cyber Command had begun contacting Russian operatives to “deter them from spreading disinformation to interfere in elections.”)

Williams goes on to say he has decided to quit his work with the Internet Research Agency. “Man, it’s fucked up,” he says in the video. “Even me, I’m afraid of going to the office. Right now, I’m done. And [I] quit the job, so I’m moving out of [Russia] to a nearby European country to find [an] American embassy [to] seek asylum.”

A Twitter account, which has since been suspended, first alerted ThinkProgress to the existence of the YouTube video last Friday. The Twitter account also passed along an email address, claiming that it was also run by Williams. On Monday, ThinkProgress received a message from the email account, which wrote, “I’m so scared. I tried to escape to Europe but got stopped by the cops at the airport.” The email noted that Williams is now “stuck” in St. Petersburg, and that he will “probably get arrested soon.”
It goes on to discuss the person's claims about the Internet Research Agency’s strategy to interfere in the midterms, including specific candidates to support (both Democrats and Republicans).

Is this real? A hoax? Is him posting this video really just part of an Internet Research Agency plot somehow? What is even happening today? Why does everything have to be so so strange all the time?
posted by zachlipton at 3:06 PM on October 30 [22 favorites]


I was refreshing social media constantly over the weekend, but somehow didn't hear the names of the shooting victims until church services on Sunday. When I looked at their faces I recognized one of them immediately: Cecil Rosenthal. If you ride the bus in Squirrel Hill you will probably recognize his face. He's easy to notice and hard to forget. He lived at the ACHIEVA residential support home around the corner from my apartment and was the kindest soul. He deserved so much better.

Oh, I totally recognize him.
posted by octothorpe at 3:20 PM on October 30 [6 favorites]


WATCH: Trump’s motorcade forced to turn around after thousands of protesters flood Pittsburgh streets

(can't see where the article backs up the headline, but rather nice if true).
posted by Buntix at 3:23 PM on October 30 [51 favorites]


Is this real? A hoax? Is him posting this video really just part of an Internet Research Agency plot somehow? What is even happening today? Why does everything have to be so so strange all the time?

If you make things just too insane for anyone to parse, people will start disconnecting from daily life. Once that happens, no one will be watching when you simply walk in and take over.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:25 PM on October 30 [20 favorites]


From Vice News today: One of Facebook’s major efforts to add transparency to political advertisements is a required “Paid for by” disclosure at the top of each ad supposedly telling users who is paying for political ads that show up in their news feeds. But on the eve of the 2018 midterm elections, a VICE News investigation found the “Paid for by” feature is easily manipulated and appears to allow anyone to lie about who is paying for a political ad, or to pose as someone paying for the ad.

To test it, VICE News applied to buy fake ads on behalf of all 100 sitting U.S. senators, including ads “Paid for by” by Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer. Facebook’s approvals were bipartisan: All 100 sailed through the system, indicating that just about anyone can buy an ad identified as “Paid for by” by a major U.S. politician. What’s more, all of these approvals were granted to be shared from pages for fake political groups such as “Cookies for Political Transparency” and “Ninja Turtles PAC.” VICE News did not buy any Facebook ads as part of the test; rather, we received approval to include "Paid for by" disclosures for potential ads.

This comes after a VICE News test conducted last week, where we received approval to run political ads posing as Vice President Mike Pence, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, and the Islamic State group. An attempt to place an ad posing as Hillary Clinton was denied. At the time, Facebook said those ad disclosures should not have been approved. But these tests show that compliance with the feature is entirely voluntary, meaning a tool that Facebook introduced to increase trust in advertising can also be used as a vector for misinformation, and another way bad actors can game Facebook’s platform.
posted by Bella Donna at 3:27 PM on October 30 [33 favorites]


From Vice News today

You didn't quote the punchline at the very end.
There was one “Paid for” disclosure that Facebook didn’t approve in our latest test. They denied, just a couple minutes after we submitted it: Mark Zuckerberg.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:30 PM on October 30 [36 favorites]


For those of you with clinically low blood pressure, I present the antidote. From NY Mag: 12 Young People on Why They Probably Won’t Vote.

Alexandra Petri provides some better excuses in Why I, a young person, probably won’t vote
Miranda, 22: I was going to vote, but then I thought I saw a moth.
posted by zachlipton at 3:37 PM on October 30 [52 favorites]


But a plaque dedicated Friday calls it the first section of Trump’s border wall.

Taking Trump’s name off of things is going to be the stuff of some truly great photo essays. I hope we live long enough to see them.
posted by Etrigan at 3:41 PM on October 30 [29 favorites]


Alexandra Petri provides some better excuses in Why I, a young person, probably won’t vote

only the byline and the avocado jokes make that recognizable as satire
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:47 PM on October 30 [11 favorites]


Mass shootings happen in an instant and grab headlines. A business and investment shift away from the firearms industry is happening more subtly. FedEx, the U.S. shipping group, is ending a program that offers discounts for business members of the National Rifle Association, the company confirmed to Breakingviews. It's a quiet reversal: eight months ago, FedEx stood by the gun-rights lobby group as other companies scrapped deals.
posted by Bella Donna at 3:48 PM on October 30 [70 favorites]


@jdawsey1: Trump has said for months that he wanted to end birthright citizenship by fiat. It even came up during transition. But there was no White House plan to announce it now. Many thought issue was dead. Lawyers had no papers ready to go and are very dubious.

@ddayen:
This birthright citizenship thing is so infuriating, because it exposes how access journalists become willing dupes through which policy is laundered. In this case Swan-dered. Here's how it probably worked:

There have maybe been "discussions" about ending birthright citizenship, amounting to a few hardliners bringing it up and getting shot down. They know they have an ally in Trump, they just have to get it over to him. So one of them chats up Swan, says "hey we've been talking about this." The guy knows Swan's interviewing Trump in a matter of days. Maybe he even encourages him to ask Trump about it. Swan complies, and Trump says "I thought I was the only one who knew that," feeding Swan's ego that he has a scoop.

Once he runs it, the issue is Swan-dered. Now it's something "the president intends to do" rather than spitballing. And because it's public, the BS machismo of the White House dictates that they can't back down. By planting the trial balloon with an access journalist, it's now a debate, not than a few lunatics in the White House game-planning. The access journalist got played. his scoop wasn't dug out, it was handed over. And for very strategic reasons. No different than Cheney giving scoops about Iraq to the NYT and then pointing to those stories to justify the war.
I wouldn't say Swan got played though. He got exactly what he wanted: a big scoop and hype for his HBO show, a show that's premised on doing precisely this kind of work and will surely make him a bunch of money. Everybody's happy with this arrangement as long as you don't care about the rule of law.
posted by zachlipton at 4:02 PM on October 30 [55 favorites]


But a plaque dedicated Friday calls it the first section of Trump’s border wall.
“This looks like a wall,” [Obergruppenführer des Reichssicherheitshauptamt Kirstjen Nielsen] said. “It’s 30 feet tall. I think the difference is not only is it see-through but it’s different than a fence in that it’s part of a system...it has technology. It’s a wall. This is what the president has asked us to do. It’s part of a system.”
It’s 30 feet tall.

Trump promised a 65-foot-high wall.

I think the difference is not only is it see-through but it’s different than a fence in that it’s part of a system

Personally I feel that if you can see through it it's a fence not a wall.
The conventional differentiation is that a fence is of minimal thickness and often open in nature, while a wall is usually more than a nominal thickness and is completely closed, or opaque.
But to be fair, Trump did promise transparency, at least as far as the wall is concerned.
One of the things with the wall is you need transparency," Trump said. "You have to be able to see through it. In other words, if you can't see through that wall — so it could be a steel wall with openings, but you have to have openings because you have to see what's on the other side of the wall.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:05 PM on October 30 [8 favorites]


The American Chopper Boys on the NY Mag "young non-voters" piece.
posted by Justinian at 4:10 PM on October 30 [29 favorites]


WaPo op-ed, Trump’s proposal to end birthright citizenship is unconstitutional
Sometimes the Constitution’s text is plain as day and bars what politicians seek to do. That’s the case with President Trump’s proposal to end “birthright citizenship” through an executive order. Such a move would be unconstitutional and would certainly be challenged. And the challengers would undoubtedly win.

Trump has long argued that birthright citizenship for the children of parents not legally in the United States should be abolished. “It’s ridiculous. And it has to end,” he told Axios in an interview released Tuesday, in which he disclosed his plan for the unilateral action.

But at its core, birthright citizenship is what our 14th Amendment is all about, bridging the Declaration of Independence’s promise that “all men are created equal” with a constitutional commitment that all those born in the United States share in that equality.
Sure, that is indeed what most legal scholars think. Oh, I forgot the byline, didn't I?
By George T. Conway III and Neal Katyal
posted by zachlipton at 4:11 PM on October 30 [31 favorites]


I worry for John Rogers, I worry for Cameron Kasky's well-being, I worry for us all.

The next week is going to take a thousand years.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 4:14 PM on October 30 [12 favorites]



mendacious and intellectually bankrupt is what Mark Joseph Stern at Slate calls the concept that the 14th Amendment doesn't cover everyone born in the US (other than children of diplomats).

We have Ed Meese to thank for this, in part. Ptooie.
posted by suelac at 4:19 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


The next week is going to take a thousand years.

A few days ago, I posted a comment here saying that we had a week and a half to go for this election cycle to get weirder.

We've had the Tree of Life massacre, Trump doubling down on encouraging violence against journalists, another bomb arriving at a CNN office, Pence's Jews for Jesus blasphemy, the Jacob Wohl self-immolation, Trump's announcing his intent to revoke the 14th Amendment and Kanye West's recantment since then.

And we still have a week to go.
posted by delfin at 4:20 PM on October 30 [36 favorites]


By George T. Conway III and Neal Katyal

I really hope Neal "Democrats Should Confirm Gorsuch to help my SCOTUS practice" Katyal never has another role in another Democratic administration, should we be so fortunate to see another, and I could do without his self-promoting bylines in the WaPo too. Maybe ask an actual immigration scholar.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:22 PM on October 30 [9 favorites]


From Judd Legum: .@Purina is the third company to drop Steve King in response to reporting by Popular Information The others are @LandOLakesInc and @intel

Legum is a one-man newsletter writer. I genuinely believe that poking at companies like this can be an effective tactic (Sleeping Giants!) and whomever suggested in the last megathread that we need to come together and pester Fox News advertisers is right. It won't work immediately, but I do think it will work eventually if we keep at it because companies care about profits. That is pretty much all they care about. So if the cost of donating to Nazis like King becomes more expensive than not donating, they will stop. If the costs of advertising on Fox News becomes more expensive than advertising elsewhere exclusively, they will stop.
posted by Bella Donna at 4:24 PM on October 30 [42 favorites]




Too little, too late news, NBC reports: GOP Lawmaker Says Trump Administration To Name Anti-Semitism Envoy Soon—The State Department Position Has Been Vacant Since President Trump Took Office
Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., who wrote the law creating the position, said Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan had told him late Monday that the administration had planned to name someone two weeks ago but that the candidate withdrew due to health reasons. He said Sullivan had informed him the administration has settled on another person and is preparing to name them to the job, although he couldn’t say exactly when.

“Hopefully, yesterday, because the problem is very real,” Smith told NBC News. “I don’t think we can wait any longer for this.”
As a reminder, anti-Semitic incidents surged nearly 60% in Trump's first year in office across the US, as tracked by the ADL.
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:50 PM on October 30 [20 favorites]


Because of course it is:
The U.S. military appears to be planning for armed confrontation on the southern border with groups it considers terrorist and criminal organizations as a caravan of asylum seekers makes it way through Mexico from Central America, according to a document obtained by Newsweek. ... On Monday, Defense Secretary James Mattis and subordinate combatant commanders authorized troops heading to the border to carry live ammunition, according to the documents obtained by Newsweek. It is unknown at this time what the specific rules of engagement will be on the southern border for active-duty service members.
posted by Bella Donna at 4:53 PM on October 30 [6 favorites]


Oops, missed this related story. Not surprising, just appalling, like everything else:
The Trump administration was informed that “only a small percentage” of Central American migrants traveling with several “caravans” headed toward the U.S. will likely make it to the border. The information was received before the administration moved ahead with plans to deploy more than 5,200 troops to the border, according to operational documents obtained by Newsweek.

The Pentagon announced Monday that it would send around 5,200 troops to the border ahead of the arrival of as many as four migrant caravans making their way to the U.S.-Mexico border. But a Defense Department official with knowledge of the deployment told Newsweek that “the units deployed right now are of actual strength between 5,000 and 7,000. With another 7,000 on standby, who can deploy with 24-hour notice.”

Operational documents sent to Newsweek by a Pentagon official outlining the deployment, dubbed Operation Faithful Patriot, reveal that the government continued its plans to send troops to the border despite anticipating that “based on historic trends...only a small percentage of migrants will likely reach the border.”
posted by Bella Donna at 5:04 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


The troops will probably outnumber the migrants from the caravan who make it at least 2 to 1.
posted by BungaDunga at 5:07 PM on October 30 [6 favorites]


If it’s like the caravans in the past it will be greater than a 10 to 1 ratio. As someone who lives on the border I am more terrified of the further militarization of my home than I am of the refugees.
posted by wobumingbai at 5:14 PM on October 30 [68 favorites]


It is unknown at this time what the specific rules of engagement will be on the southern border for active-duty service members

Create an incident that “proves” that the US is under “terrorist” attack? Just spitballin’ here.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:18 PM on October 30 [17 favorites]


Grateful as usual for Mefi at a time like this. The people elsewhere in my life who get it are worse off than I am, so my job there is just to listen. Like too many others I've felt numb since Saturday, with flashes of rage and sorrow. Squirrel Hill is the neighborhood here in Pittsburgh that I consider to be home, the place I've lived the longest/most frequently in my life (in every corner of it; I move a lot). The wait to learn the names of the victims was nauseating. Through work, volunteering (JFCS), a family friendship, and just walking around the neighborhood, many of them were familiar. I am trying to remember them only as I knew them.

So many people who live in Squirrel Hill walk almost everywhere if they can, because almost everything you need is a couple of blocks this or that way, and you get to know people at least by sight with a "good morning" or a "shabbat shalom". Though not perfect (gentrification among other ills), there's so much good there: it's an urban small town with multiple generations of families living together or nearby, as well as a vibrant student quarter; it's ethnically and religiously diverse, full of small businesses, and usually safe. A tragedy close to home is no more tragic than any other, but this place and its people are especially closely woven into the fabric of Pittsburgh. For many of us, there is a sense of symbolic injury atop the immediate loss to the families, friends, and congregations of the victims. The wound is deep. May it only bring us closer to one another.
posted by notquitemaryann at 5:49 PM on October 30 [73 favorites]


Anti-Semitic incidents surged nearly 60% in Trump's first year in office across the US, as tracked by the ADL.

Come on, if you are going to quote the ADL, at least quote the actual headline:
"Anti-Semitic Incidents Surged Nearly 60% in 2017", because some unknown mysterious thing may have occurred in 2017.

And you also have the editorial in the NYT by Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League entitled "When Hate Goes Mainstream" in which he cites Steve King and Louis Farrakhan.

You know three words you will not find in either of those articles by the ADL -- Donald or Jay or Trump.
posted by JackFlash at 6:07 PM on October 30 [8 favorites]


Carl Reiner is still alive and has a message for America.
posted by octothorpe at 6:09 PM on October 30 [47 favorites]


During the 2016 election campaign the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) was upset enough by Trump's rhetoric that they took all the money Trump had donated (or maneuvered over to them) through the years ($56 000) and redirected it to an educational program called No Place for Hate®.

... in light of Mr. Trump’s “penchant to slander minorities, slur refugees, dismiss First Amendment protections and cheer on violence”


In lighter, the leopard would never eat my face, news;
"I have long supported ending birthright citizenship," Sen. Ted Cruz said following a campaign rally in Uvalde. [Real]
posted by phoque at 6:10 PM on October 30 [24 favorites]


You know three words you will not find in either of those articles by the ADL -- Donald or Jay or Trump.

Or any mention of the political party that 90% of the people he mentioned belong to.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:18 PM on October 30 [6 favorites]


Texas Governor Abbot reacts differently to Trump military move than he did to Obama's Jade Helm.

Huh.

Wonder why he'd react so very differently to a routine long-announced military preparedness drill than to he's reacting to a move that sends armed federal troops who will outnumber the force they're being sent to oppose by at least a factor of 10:1?

Maybe he felt 2015 was a darker time? Maybe he figures the complexion of the situation has changed? I just can't figure it out.
posted by lord_wolf at 6:19 PM on October 30 [111 favorites]


From a Twitter thread by Martha S. Jones, author of Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America
6/ A narrowly tailored EO that rested on the view that the children of unauthorized immigrants are not subject to the jurisdiction of the US (in citizenship terms) and thus not citizens by virtue of Birthright is an argument that can be made.

[...]

4/ Coukd [sic] #SCOTUS revisit its own precedent in Wong Kim Ark and rule that children of non citizens are not Birthright citizens. It would be a departure from precedent, but it is possible.
posted by jgirl at 6:33 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


I worry for Cameron Kasky's well-being, I worry for us all.

I love Cameron Kasky. Those Parkland kids are amazing.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:40 PM on October 30 [9 favorites]




It is unknown at this time what the specific rules of engagement will be on the southern border for active-duty service members

Create an incident that “proves” that the US is under “terrorist” attack?


I don't know if they'll go that far, but I'm definitely betting the framing will be that since the troops were what stopped the caravan (armed soldiers, worn-out and destitute refugees, go figure), OF COURSE permanent militarization of our borders is the answer.
posted by Rykey at 6:40 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


In very minor (but still encouraging) news: Steve Bannon draws crowd of tens to rally for Steve Watkins in Topeka

Steve Watkins has had a rough time of it. He's been discovered in multiple lies, and this week was accused of being in an "open marriage" and an accuser has come out, claiming he made extremely unwanted advances. His television appearances have made Trump look well-informed by comparison. But I'm sure he'll benefit from the Bannon bump.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 6:44 PM on October 30 [10 favorites]


Goddammit, I LOVE hockey. Do I have to give up the NHL now?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:48 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


"Jacob Wohl" is a pseudonym, right? I mean, really... Jacob A Wohl. J. A. Wohl. Ja Wohl.

C'mon, writers. Be better. Be Best.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:53 PM on October 30 [50 favorites]


Pharell is not happy.

"Dear Mr. Trump: We write you on behalf of our client, Pharrell Williams, composer and performer of the hit song 'Happy.' On the day of the mass murder of 11 human beings at the hands of a deranged 'nationalist,' you played his song 'Happy' to a crowd at a political event in Indiana [sic]. There was nothing 'happy' about the tragedy inflicted upon our country on Saturday and no permission was granted for your use of this song for this purpose."
posted by bluesky43 at 6:58 PM on October 30 [53 favorites]


@RobbieGramer: Wow: Pompeo signals (at least rhetorical) shift in US support for Saudi coalition’s bombing campaign in war-wracked Yemen: “Coalition air strikes must cease in all populated areas in Yemen.”

The Times had an utterly devastating feature on famine and economic warfare in Yemen (cw: photos of starving kids) over the weekend. It's unclear to me whether Pompeo's comments will be backed by any tangible change in policy.
posted by zachlipton at 7:04 PM on October 30 [10 favorites]


Let's remember four policemen got shot at the synagogue too. They deserve our highest honors. Not like this, of course, but I suspect the Penguins' motives were coming from the right place, if more than a bit misguided as seen from our point of view.
posted by M-x shell at 7:06 PM on October 30 [59 favorites]


Yeah, "Blue Lives Matter" and that tasteless flag are horseshit, but the Pgh cops absolutely have some skin in this attack and its memorial.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:08 PM on October 30 [25 favorites]




ELECTIONS NEWS

// 7 days until Election Day //

** 2018 Senate:
-- AZ: Marist poll has Dem Sinema up 47-44 on GOPer McSally [MOE: +/- 5.4%].

-- FL: Suffolk poll has Dem incumbent Nelson up 45-43 on GOPer Scott [MOE: +/- 4.4%]. | UNF poll has Nelson up 47-46 [MOE: +/- 3.0%].

-- TN: Vox Populi poll has GOPer Blackburn up 53-47 [MOE: +/- 3.5%]. | Marist poll has Blackburn up 51-46 [MOE: +/- 5.7%].

-- IN: Cygnal poll has GOPer Braun up 49-46 on Dem incumbent Donnelly [MOE: +/- 4.4%].

-- MI: Glengariff Group poll has Dem incumbent Stabenow up 53-36 on GOPer James [MOE: +/- 4.0%].

-- MO: Cygnal poll has GOPer Hawley up 49-46 on Dem incumbent McCaskill [MOE: +/- 4.4%].

-- OH: BWU poll has Dem incumbent Brown up 51-32 on GOPer Renacci [MOE: +/- 3.8%].

-- TX: Dixie Strategies poll has GOP incumbent Cruz up 52-42 on Dem O'Rourke [MOE: +/- 4.0%].

-- CT: Quinnipiac poll has Dem incumbent Murphy up 56-41 on GOPer Corey [MOE: +/- 4.0%].
** 2018 House:
-- PA-11: Susquehanna poll has GOP incumbent Smucker up 50-46 on Dem King [MOE: +/- 5.6%]. [Trump 61-35 | Cook: Solid R] => You might remember Jess King from this Metafilter FPP. Lancaster is the only county in the US never to be represented by a Democrat, so this would be quite something.

-- CA-50: Survey USA poll has GOP incumbent Hunter up 48-45 on Dem Campa-Najjar [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. [Trump 55-40 | Cook: Lean R] => This is one of the races with the most blatantly racist GOP ad campaigns, perhaps only second to....

--NY-19: Monmouth poll has Dem Delgado up 49-44 on GOP incumbent Faso in their standard turnout model. Low turnout, Delgado up 48-46; high turnout, Delgado up 51-43 [MOE: +/- 5.1%]. [Trump 51-44 | Cook: Tossup] =>...the other super-racist ad campaign race.

-- KS-02: Siena poll has Dem 41-37 on GOPer Watkins [MOE: +/- 4.8%]. [Trump 56-37 | Cook: Tossup]

-- FL-27: Anzalone Liszt Grove poll has Dem Shalala up 49-39 on GOPer Salazar [MOE: +/- 4.4%]. Poll was commissioned by the DCCC. [Clinton 59-39 | Cook: Lean D] => The "Shalala is blowing it" narrative seems to have quieted a bit, but both sides still spending plenty in the race.

-- NC-02: Survey USA poll has GOP incumbent Holding up 49-40 on Dem Coleman [MOE: +/- 4.4%]. [Trump 53-44 | Cook: Lean R]

-- OH-07: Mellman Group poll has GOP incumbent Gibbs up 45-38 on Dem Harbaugh [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. [Trump 63-33 | Cook: Solid R]

-- NC-09: Siena poll has GOPer Harris up 45-44 on Dem McCeady [MOE: +/- 5.0%]. [Trump 54-43 | Cook: Tossup]

-- A whole passel of polls from Change Research (and no MOE for any of them). Change Research is a Dem shop, but a) these results go both way versus expectations, b) as Nathaniel Rakich points out, most of these GOP districts have been polled lightly, if at all, so it's something. Note that these are mostly reach districts for Dems.
-- CO-03: GOP incumbent Tipton up 53-38 on Dem Mitsch. [Trump 52-40 | Cook: Likely R]
-- NY-01: GOP incumbent Zeldin up 52-37 on Dem Gershon. [Trump 55-42 | Cook: Likely R]
-- FL-18: GOP incumbent Mast up 53-44 on Dem Baer. [Trump 53-44 | Cook: Lean R]
-- IL-16: GOP incumbent Kinzinger up 55-41 on Dem Dady. [Trump 56-38 | Cook: Solid R]
-- OH-02: GOP incumbent Winstrup up 52-39 on Dem Schiller. [Trump 56-40 | Cook: Solid R]
-- MI-06: GOP incumbent Upton up 46-43 on Dem Longjohn. [Trump 51-43 | Cook: Likely R]
-- IN-05: GOP incumbent Brooks up 50-44 on Dem Thornton. [Trump 53-41 | Cook: Solid R]
-- MI-01: GOP incumbent Bergman up 54-42 on Dem Morgan. [Trump 58-37 | Cook: Likely R]
-- WI-06: GOP incumbent Grothman up 50-48 on Dem Kohl. [Trump 56-39 | Cook: Likely R]
-- KS-02: GOPer Watkins up 45-44 on Dem Davis. [Trump 56-37 | Cook: Tossup]
-- IN-09: GOP incumbent Hollingsworth up 52-45 on Dem Watson. [Trump 61-34 | Cook: Solid R]
-- IA-04: GOP incumbent King up 45-44 on Dem Scholten. [Trump 61-34 | Cook: Lean R]
-- IA-04: Steve King shot back at the above poll with an internal from WPA Intelligence that has him up 52-34 [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. They both could be true-ish, though, as the WPA one is about a week older, and King hasn't gone on the air at all, while Scholten has been up with a lot of ads. Plus, King getting a lot of bad press of late.

-- VA-07: GOP incumbent Brat bringing in Steve Bannon to rally. [Trump 51-44 | Cook: Tossup]

-- SC-01: Outgoing incumbent Mark Sanford is refusing to endorse GOP candidate Arrington. [Trump 54-40 | Cook: Lean R]

-- Silver: All about the big number of competitive districts, and why that's problematic for forecasting.
** Odds & ends:
-- AZ gov: Same Marist poll has GOP incumbent Ducey up 55-42 on Dem Garcia. [Cook: Likely R]

-- FL gov: Same Suffolk poll has Dem Gillum up 45-44 on GOPer DeSantis. | Same UNF poll has Gillum up 49-43. [Cook: Tossup]

-- FL Amendment 4 (felon re-enfranchisement): Same UNF poll shows YES up 69-23. Measure needs 60% to pass. | St Pete Polls finds YES up 60-34 [MOE: +/- 2.1].

-- OH gov: Same BWU poll has Dem Cordray tied 39-39 with GOPer DeWine. [Cook: Tossup] | Downballot: AG: Dem Dettelbach up 40-39 on GOPer Yost. SOS: Dem Clyde up 40-34 on GOPer LaRose. Auditor: Dem Space up 40-32 on GOPer Faber. Treasurer: Dem Richardson up 39-36 on GOPer Sprague. Issue 1 (drug law reform) YES up 43-40.

-- TX gov: Same Dixie Strategies poll has GOP incumbent Abbott up 59-33 on Dem Valdez. [Cook: Solid R] | Downballot: LG: GOP incumbent Patrick up 51-40 on Dem Collier. AG: GOP incumbent Paxton up 50-41 on Dem Nelson. Land Commissioner: GOP incumbent Bush up 52-36 on Dem Suazo.

-- TN gov: Same Vox Populi poll has GOPer Lee up 56-44 on Dem Dean. | Same Marist poll has Lee up 57-40. [Cook: Likely R]

-- CT gov: Same Quinnipiac poll has Dem Lamont up 47-43 on GOPer Stefanowski. [Cook: Tossup]

-- GA gov: OpinionSavvy poll has Dem Abrams up 48-47 on GOPer Kemp [MOE: +/- 3.9%]. [Cook: Tossup] => Reminder that this will go to a runoff if no one breaks 50%.

** Averages & forecasts:
-- 538 generic ballot average: D+8.5 (50.4/41.9)

-- 538 House forecast (classic): 86.1% chance of Dem control

-- 538 Senate forecast (classic): 15.2% chance of Dem control

-- 538 governor forecast (classic): Dems favored to control 24.0 states.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:16 PM on October 30 [40 favorites]


People in this thread (and as far as I can tell, on the Internet) forgetting that police officers were shot or saying the police don't deserve "highest honors" for their heroic actions in intervening and preventing a much worse tragedy: ~0.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:18 PM on October 30 [12 favorites]


it's a real shame we didn't have ways to honor fallen cops before someone invented a racist-ass flag.
posted by rotten at 7:23 PM on October 30 [71 favorites]


it's a real shame we didn't have ways to honor fallen cops before someone invented a racist-ass flag.

my $.02? Any org goes with the cheapest solution. They had the flag. They have this tragedy. This is tone-deaf, not a straight up insult.

If anyone has exceptionally strong feelings, write them in a week, once it's something they can consider outside the heat of the moment.
posted by mikelieman at 7:29 PM on October 30 [10 favorites]


For the first time, I'm getting the sense that some Democrats in Iowa think that Scholten could actually beat Steve King. It's a very, very, very long shot, but I think it's moved out of pipe dream territory and into the realm of (extremely remote) possibility. King has gotten really complacent: he hasn't campaigned at all, and he hired his son and daughter-in-law as his campaign managers, rather than actual professionals. He also hasn't bothered to raise money, and he can't raise any last-minute money now that things seem to be close, because nobody wants to be associated with him at the moment. I don't expect Scholten to pull a Doug Jones, but stranger things have happened.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:31 PM on October 30 [19 favorites]


How does anyone who supports abolishing birthright citizenship not realize that it will eliminate all forms of ID they have too, because all of those forms of ID are things which would have been given to someone who could merely prove that they were born in the United States
posted by XMLicious at 7:33 PM on October 30 [7 favorites]


Sam Bee writer Mike Drucker provides a moment of levity:
Jacob Wohl trying to scam Robert Mueller is like the scene in the first 10 minutes of every Terminator film where a guy punches the robot and breaks his hand
posted by Jpfed at 7:49 PM on October 30 [90 favorites]


I live in IA-04 and am tentatively daring to hope for Scholten winning. At least - the energy I've been feeling from the campaign has been enough to make me think "you really should've polled the district since September."

I'm ready to get my heart broken like the 1996 NC senate race Jesse Helms won for the umpteenth time, though.
posted by Jeanne at 7:58 PM on October 30 [15 favorites]


Update: Jews assail 'Christian rabbi' who appeared with Pence, and so does his own movement: Loren Jacobs, who spoke at a rally with the vice-president, was stripped of his ordination by the Messianic movement in 2003.
Loren Jacobs, who was invited onstage by Vice President Mike Pence to speak at a rally in Michigan for a GOP congressional candidate, was defrocked 15 years ago, according to a spokeswoman for the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations.

“Loren Jacobs was stripped of his rabbinic ordination by the UMJC in 2003, after our judicial board found him guilty of libel,” Monique Brumbach said in an email.

Brumbach did not say who Jacobs allegedly libeled, but it appears from his synagogue website he was involved in a theological battle with other leaders of the group, which believes that Jesus is the son of God — a belief that is anathema to the vast majority of the world's Jews. Jacobs seemed to be concerned that the group was insufficiently conservative on doctrinal matters.

Meanwhile, mainstream Jewish leaders and experts on the faith said they could not fathom why GOP congressional candidate Lena Epstein, herself a longtime member of a Detroit–area synagogue, invited Jacobs at all to her rally Tuesday because in their eyes he’s not even a real Jew, let alone a rabbi.
@mattyglesias: The fake rabbi wasn’t even a real fake rabbi.
posted by zachlipton at 7:59 PM on October 30 [98 favorites]


Arson Lupine: Or how [Trump] continues to attempt manufacturing crises for political purposes, like threatening to single-handedly end US birthright while the irony he was born to an immigrant mother is lost on him.

I am loving the almost passive aggressiveness of the section of Trump's mother's Wikipedia page which discusses her immigration to the United States:
"she became what would later be termed an economic migrant, one of tens of thousands of young Scots who left for the United States or Canada during this period"

"Arriving in the U.S. with $50 (equivalent to $732 in 2017), MacLeod lived with her older sister Christina Matheson on Long Island and worked as a domestic servant for at least four years."

"As one account has put it, she "started life in America as a dirt-poor servant escaping the even worse poverty of her native land.""
The man's mother came to the U.S. as a teenage economic migrant, speaking English as a second language and with only an 8th grade education. And now he turns around and treats migrants the way he does? Christ what an asshole.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 8:01 PM on October 30 [46 favorites]


The Perfect Storm: Trump, White Nationalism, and a 24-Hour News Cycle. The attacks of the last week are clearly connected to a larger pattern of right-wing extremism that has been gaining steam over the last ten years.

Trump’s hate and lies are inciting extremists. Just ask the analyst who warned us.
I spoke to Daryl Johnson, the former Department of Homeland Security analyst who created a big stir when he authored a leaked report in 2009 warning of a rise in right-wing extremist activity. Conservatives reacted with outrage, and the Obama administration decided it needed to do damage control. But Johnson was onto something, and he has since launched a consulting company that studies domestic extremism and advises law enforcement about it.
Trump Shut Programs to Counter Violent Extremism: The administration has hobbled the infrastructure designed to prevent atrocities like Pittsburgh.
posted by homunculus at 8:14 PM on October 30 [29 favorites]


538 classic has Scholten about 1 in 6 chance right now, which seems right-ish. Definitely has the feel of a late breaking race but it's a big hill to climb.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:16 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Or how [Trump] continues to attempt manufacturing crises for political purposes, like threatening to single-handedly end US birthright while the irony he was born to an immigrant mother is lost on him.

The Borowitz Report: Trump Strips Citizenship from Children of Immigrants, Thus Disqualifying Himself from Presidency
posted by homunculus at 8:17 PM on October 30 [57 favorites]


unclear how the gov't could assert that persons detained and held (or subject to being detained and held) by u.s. authorities are not subject to the jurisdiction of u.s. authorities.

all that nineteenth century language, the the FedSoc article about jurisdiction being contingent upon that state to which a person owes allegiance (evidently traditionally by dint of birth locale) was kinda yucky, as is most discussion of allegiance.

i have grim intuitions of or insights into how things might play out poorly, often, when presented with a set of facts, the kind a person such as myself hesitates to articulate for sort-of-superstitious, and maybe a few normatively stitious, reasons. lately i've typed some of them into this box, and edited them, and refreshed the thread, and thought about them and deleted them. i had one just last night, pursuant to discussion of what (at that time seemed to be a developing consensus on) 14,000 troops would do once they got to the border, which i typed in and then deleted unsaid. discussion has developed, nobody has said it, and just upthread there was talk of building a refugee camp and someone else reminded us of the legalistic administrative purpose behind guantanamo bay.

the grim intuition is that best use of those troops, for the nascent fascist regime, would be to cross into mexico and, there, halt the advance of the refugees before they reach the border. this has a variety of salutary results, not least of which is that those refugees don't make it onto u.s. soil. and some plausible risks and drawbacks. sorry to share.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:19 PM on October 30 [6 favorites]


Understood, thanks.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:23 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


@Noahpinion
Trump has three basic groups of people that he thinks he can use as scary bogeymen to stir up fear among voters:
  1. Central American immigrants
  2. Black people
  3. Muslims
He basically cycles back and forth between these three bogeymen, as circumstances allow...
@interfluidity
“I’m old enough to remember when we suddenly had a ‘national conversation’ about torture…I’m worried the same thing will happen here — that birthright citizenship will be permanently damaged by the very existence of this sham debate”
@ChuckWendig
TRUMP: "I've decided to eat babies."

PEOPLE: "He can't eat babies, that's super illegal."

TRUMP, on TV, eating babies, not even cooking them first: "People are saying that I really am the best baby-eater, folks."

NYT: "Trump Vs. Babies: The Rhetoric On Both Sides Must Stop"
posted by kliuless at 8:46 PM on October 30 [111 favorites]


unclear how the gov't could assert that persons detained and held (or subject to being detained and held) by u.s. authorities are not subject to the jurisdiction of u.s. authorities.

I haven't looked through the relevant links yet but I'm recalling that when I was Googling about the rules around treason a couple of years ago, I encountered a statement that although someone who is not a U.S. national and has never entered U.S. territory can't be charged with treason, because they owe no allegiance to the U.S. which can be betrayed, even someone who is not a U.S. citizen or resident and is technically just here on vacation or something is construed as having a temporary allegiance to the country by virtue of their presence on U.S. soil alone. And thus can be charged with treason for actions which occurred during their time here.

If that's true, I wonder if we'll end up with a situation where someone is legally regarded as having an allegiance to the U.S. which would be sufficient to charge them with treason, but the government is trying to claim that they simultaneously aren't under U.S. jurisdiction.
posted by XMLicious at 9:00 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


So if birthright citizenship is done away with (it won't be), then every woman who gives birth in an American hospital will have to prove her own citizenship or that of the other biological parent in order for the baby to be a citizen, right?
posted by The World Famous at 9:11 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


We all know the answer to that, right? Not if they’re white.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:13 PM on October 30 [40 favorites]


It makes me a little sad sometimes that America seems so intent to destroy itself and the world because quite a lot of you on here seem quite nice.
posted by turbid dahlia at 9:30 PM on October 30 [97 favorites]


So if birthright citizenship is done away with (it won't be), then every woman who gives birth in an American hospital will have to prove her own citizenship or that of the other biological parent in order for the baby to be a citizen, right?

I'm not sure anybody knows how it would work and I'm kinda sure the Administration doesn't know how it would work and they're the ones proposing it.
posted by Justinian at 9:32 PM on October 30 [19 favorites]


We all know the answer to that, right? Not if they’re white.

Ahnenpaß
posted by XMLicious at 9:40 PM on October 30 [8 favorites]


Birthright Citizenship is just another roadblock against the kind of Fascist America they want to create. None of them are thinking about how citizenship would work otherwise.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:40 PM on October 30 [8 favorites]


Plenty of other countries manage it [not-birthright citizenship] just fine, so there are plenty of models to borrow from. Rest assured we’ll choose to model the one that screws people over in the most cruel and careless way possible and take it up a notch.
posted by notyou at 10:16 PM on October 30 [11 favorites]




It's come up that Trump's the son of an immigrant, but so are most of his own children. Ivana became a naturalized US citizen in 1988, after the kids were born; Barron Trump was born in March 2006 and Melania became a citizen sometime that year.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:13 PM on October 30 [39 favorites]


From the NYT Opinion page: You’re Disillusioned. That’s Fine. Vote Anyway.
[...] I could have offered a warm, gentle answer but these are not warm, gentle times. Given everything that has transpired since President Trump took office, I have no patience for disillusionment. I have no patience for the audacious luxury of choosing not to vote because of that disillusionment, as if not voting is the best choice a person could make. Not voting is, in fact, the worst choice a person could make.
[...]
Nothing will change by sitting at home for the midterms or any other election. We cannot afford disillusionment. We cannot afford to do nothing. Lives are at stake and if you don’t recognize that, you are no better than those with whom you are disillusioned.
posted by Justinian at 12:37 AM on October 31 [48 favorites]


TRUMP: "I've decided to eat babies."

Trump Supporters: As long as they're not fetuses we're cool with it.
posted by flabdablet at 12:44 AM on October 31 [24 favorites]


Facebook is letting anyone impersonate almost any organisation to run ads, making a mockery of their 'transparency' rules.
posted by PenDevil at 3:10 AM on October 31 [15 favorites]


I dipped into morning programming on NPR for the first time in weeks and got Innskeep giving a both-sidesish platform to former WH aide overtalking him about how the 14th amendment indeed is functionless just as the Trumpy has said, and then Liasson interviewing someone who just can't side with progressives because she finds them so close minded, 'bullying' and dogmatic. Jeeesh.
posted by Harry Caul at 4:27 AM on October 31 [17 favorites]


I was listening to the same NPR programming and thinking to myself “And this is supposed to be the liberal network?”
posted by TedW at 4:30 AM on October 31 [4 favorites]


“And this is supposed to be the liberal network?”

It never had that intention. It's always been a fairly centrist news source and does take pains to represent a range of opinion and perspective. It's futile to bring that expectation to it. However, it remains probably the most informative broadcast source of any kind. It's possible to draw information from something without agreeing with its slant.
posted by Miko at 4:36 AM on October 31 [34 favorites]


One should listen to NPR for the same reason that I subject myself to the likes of Breitbart Radio, Hannity and such.

It is much easier to refute an ignorant argument if you have already heard the argument that an ignorant person will parrot.
posted by delfin at 5:14 AM on October 31 [11 favorites]


New open postcard campaigns since I last checked:
- FL: Gillum and Taddeo
- ND: Heitkamp (no blog link yet, but it's one of the options now)

Still active:
- GA: Abrams and Amico
- FL: Second Chances in FL (Yes on Amendment 4)
- TN: Bredesen
- TX: Beto O'Rourke and Eric Holguin

Since there's less than a week left until Nov 6th, I'm writing for the closest region to me. The instructions now say to hand the postcards over to a USPS mail carrier or counter clerk to help avoid delivery delays.

On a more personal note, yesterday was a weird day -- I might talk more about it some other time/place -- but something came up and I've had to reduce the number of cards I had planned to write. I was thinking about it before I caught up here, and I literally did a double take when I saw my username in this post. If anyone found my Postcards To Voters info helpful and joined, that's awesome (thank you box for mentioning it). If I could ask a favor, it would be to write one more postcard if you can.

Or if you're interested in writing cards but don't think you can mail any in time for Nov. 6, it's not too late; you can sign up to participate in the next election. There are always elections throughout the year: for run-offs, retirements, etc, and downballot races of course are super important.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 5:16 AM on October 31 [20 favorites]


[We've had the NPR debate many times before, so let's cut this short, please.]
posted by taz (staff) at 5:30 AM on October 31 [9 favorites]


None of them are thinking about how citizenship would work otherwise.

Service guarantees citizenship! Would you like to know more?
posted by entropicamericana at 5:51 AM on October 31 [63 favorites]


The Washington Post reports: Mueller Probes Roger Stone’s Interactions With Trump Campaign and Timing of Wikileaks Release of Podesta Emails

Incidentally, Roger Stone's changing his story about Wikileaks and the Trump campaign again: "Stone denied discussing WikiLeaks with Trump campaign officials. [...] Stone said he may have briefly discussed WikiLeaks’s email releases with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, his longtime business partner, but only after Manafort stepped down from his post in August."

This sounds like a classic limited hangout, and with Stone's talent for deceit, a modified one at that. He must be terrified of what Manafort could be telling Mueller.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:11 AM on October 31 [5 favorites]


In today's horrible news from the campaign trail that isnt about bad polling or offensively racist shit trump said:

It doesnt seem like the fact that they were canvassing was the reason they were shot, but two canvassers from Good Jobs Now, a community based organization working to create a fair economy and promote a more just Detroit were shot while on their route, one fatally.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 6:14 AM on October 31 [13 favorites]


Has Mueller Subpoenaed the President? Nelson W. Cunningham, Politico
The evidence lies in obscure docket entries at the clerk’s office for the D.C. Circuit. Thanks to Politico’s Josh Gerstein and Darren Samuelsohn, we know that on August 16th (the day after Giuliani said he was almost finished with his memorandum, remember), a sealed grand jury case was initiated in the D.C. federal district court before Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell. We know that on September 19, Chief Judge Howell issued a ruling and 5 days later one of the parties appealed to the D.C. Circuit. And thanks to Politico’s reporting, we know that the special counsel’s office is involved (because the reporter overheard a conversation in the clerk’s office). We can further deduce that the special counsel prevailed in the district court below, and that the presumptive grand jury witness has frantically appealed that order and sought special treatment from the judges of the D.C. Circuit – often referred to as the “second-most important court in the land.” ...

But is it the president? The docket sheets give one final – but compelling – clue. When the witness lost the first time in the circuit court (before the quick round-trip to the district court), he unusually petitioned for rehearing en banc—meaning he thought his case was so important that it merited the very unusual action of convening all 10 of the D.C. Circuit judges to review the order. That is itself telling (this witness believes his case demands very special handling), but the order disposing of the petition is even more telling: President Trump’s sole appointee to that court, Gregory Katsas, recused himself.
posted by mcdoublewide at 6:21 AM on October 31 [65 favorites]


In lighter, the leopard would never eat my face, news;
"I have long supported ending birthright citizenship," Sen. Ted Cruz said following a campaign rally in Uvalde. [Real]


Ah but see the ending of birthright citizenship doesn't apply to Ted Cruz because he was born in Canada. Like all true Americans are.
posted by srboisvert at 6:23 AM on October 31 [15 favorites]


Donald Trump and other GOP candidates want to radically change a 150-year-old cornerstone of American citizenship

This is an article from 2015.

When the famous immigration hawk US Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) proposed a bill to end so-called "birthright citizenship," just 27 far-right Republican members of the House of Representatives signed on as cosponsors. the [17th amendment] issue, got little traction, however. Seven months later, enter Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

Since the real-estate magnate unveiled his official immigration-reform plan last month, at least four Republican candidates have followed him on one of his more controversial proposals: ending birthright citizenship, the constitutional right that automatically grants American citizenship to anyone born in the United States.

posted by bluesky43 at 6:32 AM on October 31 [6 favorites]


But wait: the same whites who are Trump's preferred citizens arrived here from Northern Europe as...immigrants? So their children -- i.e., every Republican alive now who isn't a naturalized citizen themselves -- shouldn't be citizens? WTF?

Who does he think is going to vote for him??
posted by wenestvedt at 6:40 AM on October 31 [3 favorites]


I loathe to dignify this nonsense with discussion even vaguely, but I do wonder what statistics there are on exactly how many babies are born and benefit from birthright citizenship where both parents - or even just mom[1] - are not already citizens anyway. It seems obvious to me that this is an invented problem but some hard facts would be nice, re exactly what’s the real negative impact* here compared to the massive convenience in documentation we get from this presumption?

* to the extent that this automatic granting of citizenship can be called “negative impact” which in my mind is a huge and unfounded assumption in the first place

[1] I mean for fucks sake, what sort of societal morass are we going to get into if we insist on a genetic link here and the birth mom isn’t a citizen? Now we’re going to be the genealogy&monogamy cops? It’s amazing that racism can manage to simultaneously be so stupid and pointless and yet so much groddamned work.
posted by phearlez at 6:50 AM on October 31 [5 favorites]


I wish people would stop trying to apply notions of logic to the fascist Republican agenda. We all know exactly what they want, and who they're targeting, and who will be exempt from their decrees. Trying to catch them out in a fallacy or a moment of hypocrisy will get you nowhere.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:50 AM on October 31 [105 favorites]


US troops deployed at the border limited in what they can do

The more than 5,200 active-duty troops being sent by President Donald Trump to the U.S.-Mexico border will be limited in what they can do under a federal law that restricts the military from engaging in law enforcement on American soil.

That means the troops will not be allowed to detain immigrants, seize drugs from smugglers or have any direct involvement in stopping a migrant caravan that is still about 1,000 miles from the nearest border crossing.

Instead, their role will largely mirror that of the existing National Guard troops

posted by bluesky43 at 6:51 AM on October 31 [5 favorites]


Now we’re going to be the genealogy&monogamy cops?

I guess Jordan Peterson is unofficially advising on policy now.
The reality is that no one advocating to end birthright citizenship is thinking about applying it to white people. They definitely aren't going to apply it to wealthy capitalist immigrants like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, etc., either. It's purely intended as a signal that poor immigrants who are portrayed as "cheating" the system by having "anchor babies" are going to be further targeted for elimination, either by deportation or total disenfranchisement or ??? They know it's never going to apply to people like Ivanka; that's not the intent. Don't take this seriously as a real policy goal. It's a dogwhistle over a wish to use the legal system to enforce white supremacy.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 6:58 AM on October 31 [20 favorites]


The Yawning Divide that Explains American Politics (WSJ) Two groups of voters—white women with college degrees and white men without—have moved drastically in opposite directions. Among the women, the share who want Democrats to lead the next Congress is 33 percentage points larger than the share favoring GOP control. The men, by contrast, favor Republicans by a net 42 points.
posted by box at 7:05 AM on October 31 [3 favorites]


I dipped into morning programming on NPR for the first time in weeks and got Innskeep giving a both-sidesish platform to former WH aide overtalking him about how the 14th amendment indeed is functionless just as the Trumpy has said, and then Liasson interviewing someone who just can't side with progressives because she finds them so close minded, 'bullying' and dogmatic. Jeeesh.

My alarm clock is set to the local Adult Contemporary radio station and they have the typical morning format of a few people trading witty banter, doing call-in bits and playing some hits. They start the top of the hour with a scripted "news" roundup, which is usually a couple of big national items, some entertainment items, and some sort of "weird" news item that you probably saw going around the internet the day before.

Today it started right off with "President Trump has finally come up against something his ego can't beat" (paraphrasing). They summarize his attack on birthright citizenship and then say that since it's in the Constitution it's basically going nowhere. They recap what it takes to ratify a new amendment to the Constitution. They make some jokes and move on.

So I'm getting out of bed to the thought that "Blake & Eva in the Morning" have a better take on this than NPR.
posted by mikepop at 7:06 AM on October 31 [64 favorites]


In 2015 I got some terrifying foreshadowing when a Republican acquaintance, herself a descendant of 100% 20th-century immigrants, proposed this creative interpretation of the 14th Amendment. She probably did not realize the “ignore what the text literally says” version she was proposing called my own citizenship into question if I go back a few generations.

Anyways, I can confirm that Cruz has promoted this for years. In the video clip I found he called birthright citizenship a “policy” he had some ideas about how to change while avoiding a constitutional amendment, and then said a bunch of sniveling stuff about liberals. My acquaintance was evidently successfully distracted by the rambling about liberals when I sent her the link, rather than realizing as I'd hoped that Cruz was acknowledging that birthright citizenship is the way everything currently works.
posted by XMLicious at 7:08 AM on October 31 [3 favorites]


Both Ted Cruz and I acquired our citizenship via one or both of our parents, who were citizens at the time and were allowed by law to pass it on to us, even though we were born abroad. So birthright citizenship, per se, isn't relevant- there's an actual law that governs who is allowed to pass citizenship down by descent, and it varies on whether the parents are married and how long the US citizen parent lived in the US. Of course, nobody on the right is mad about American "ex-pats" handing down citizenship to their children born abroad, even if those children grow up and never touch foot in America.

That law is designed to give citizenship to people born abroad. If birthright citizenship were erased by fiat, I have no idea how you decide who gets to be a citizen. It could revive Dredd Scott, for all we know. Before the 14th Amendment, just about anyone could have citizenship denied on the basis of race. The Equal Protection clause would theoretically stop that happening, but once we're in crazytown and reinterpreting one bit of the 14th, there's no obvious reason why that could stop anything.
posted by BungaDunga at 7:11 AM on October 31 [8 favorites]


nobody on the right is mad about American "ex-pats" handing down citizenship to their children born abroad

Unless it's a conspiracy theory about Barack Obama...
posted by XMLicious at 7:15 AM on October 31 [10 favorites]


Here's your regular reminder that citizenship is a concept that does not exist outside of your ability to prove it in the manner required by whatever person or agency is questioning it. If they want you to be a citizen, you will be a citizen; if they want you to not be a citizen, you won't be, no matter how many papers or DNA tests you wave in their face.

I'd like to also remind folks that the 14th Amendment is what establishes the requirement of due process before being deprived of life, liberty, or property; what mandates equal protection under the law; and what has been interpreted as making the Bill of Rights applicable to state government actions. They will not stop at birthright citizenship; their intent is to nullify the 14th Amendment completely, and with it Brown v. Board of Ed., Roe, Obergefell, etc.

And the birthright citizenship thing has been a headline on an annual basis since at least 2010 in the mainstream press, yet they're all treating this as some new ground for debate that we've never heard of before:
2010, NPR
2011, CNN
2012, HuffPo
2013, USA Today
2014, LA Times
2015, WaPo
posted by melissasaurus at 7:21 AM on October 31 [62 favorites]


Unless it's a conspiracy theory about Barack Obama...

As the father of an American citizen born abroad I always wondered about this aspect of the birther argument too. Since Barack was born in 1961 when his mother was 18 however, the argument went that Ann Dunham did not fulfill the citizenship requirements to pass citizenship to her son as prescribed by the State Department:

For birth between December 24, 1952 and November 13, 1986, the U.S. citizen parent must have been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for 10 years prior to the person’s birth, at least five of which were after the age of 14 for the person to acquire U.S. citizenship at birth.

Not that your average birther actually cared about the fine print. Or ever crossed international borders with infants and all the requisite documentation to do so.
posted by St. Oops at 7:26 AM on October 31 [4 favorites]


I do wonder what statistics there are on exactly how many babies are born and benefit from birthright citizenship where both parents - or even just mom[1] - are not already citizens anyway. It seems obvious to me that this is an invented problem

It's totally an invented problem, designed to do nothing but extend a middle finger to brown people and pick up some votes on November 6.
posted by Rykey at 7:27 AM on October 31 [7 favorites]




There's an argument- and I have tried unsuccessfully to find where I read it- that the Reconstruction amendments, followed by the cases incorporating the bill of rights to apply to the states, functionally ended up creating a new Constitution.

Pulling the rug out from under the 14th Amendment would Make America 1857 Again and could roll everything back to Dred Scott.
posted by BungaDunga at 7:32 AM on October 31 [8 favorites]


Biden Stumps in Iowa As He Ponders 2020—The former vice president drew enthusiastic crowds and said he was “sick and tired” of the Trump administration.

if you want a vision of the gerontocracy, imagine a boomer running for office—forever
posted by entropicamericana at 7:35 AM on October 31 [31 favorites]


There's an argument- and I have tried unsuccessfully to find where I read it- that the Reconstruction amendments, followed by the cases incorporating the bill of rights to apply to the states, functionally ended up creating a new Constitution.

It's not a coincidence that that time period is when referring to the "United States" as a singular began to overtake the plural.
posted by Etrigan at 7:36 AM on October 31 [12 favorites]


This piece from April seems even more relevant in light of Trump's latest rhetorical attacks on immigration: The US government should cede territory back to Native Americans: Historically, immigrants were given special rights to take Native land. If Trump says we are no longer a nation of immigrants, that has consequences
Portugal, Spain, France and England claimed territory by planting a flag [link mine], a symbolic action known as “discovery”. It made no difference whether the land in question was inhabited or not, since only Christians had conferred upon themselves the right to “discover” in this sense. By the logic of the papal bulls, and that of later charters to English explorers made by the English king or queen, indigenous peoples had no rights to land or to legal recognition of any kind. Only immigrants did.

The young American republic preserved this European doctrine. The US supreme court formalized the Doctrine of Discovery in three famous cases of 1823, 1831 and 1832. Chief Justice John Marshall took for granted the obvious fact that America was the homeland of the Native Americans, “the rightful occupants of the soil”. By the logic of “discovery”, Native Americans had no rights because America was their homeland: “Their power to dispose of the soil at their own will to whomsoever they pleased was denied by the original fundamental principle that discovery gave exclusive title to those who made it.”

...

The American claim to American land is that Native Americans had a homeland but no dominion over it, since sovereignty automatically shifted to immigrants. If the federal government no longer defines the America as a “nation of immigrants”, it abandons, by its own logic, the claim to sovereignty over the land. If US policy is now, instead, to protect a “homeland”, that would mean restoring the rights of the Native Americans to the entirety of the US.
posted by homunculus at 7:38 AM on October 31 [22 favorites]


1) Trumpism is fascist enough that the success of Trump's goals only depend on complicity.
2) The detailed backs and forths about the supposed illegality, while informational, do very little to help the people being traumatized in real-time by the targeting.
posted by nikaspark at 7:38 AM on October 31 [13 favorites]


People here love Biden. I find it bizarre. But I'm not complaining, because the turnout at the Biden rally was massive, and I have a good feeling about Abby Finkenauer's chances. And that's good, because she'd be a huge improvement over the current asshole.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:38 AM on October 31 [5 favorites]


Tom Scocca: These Are the Bad Times.
posted by overhauser at 7:39 AM on October 31 [12 favorites]


Diamond Joe Biden the Onion article and bromance meme is pretty lovable, the reality, however, falls way short.
posted by entropicamericana at 7:41 AM on October 31 [31 favorites]


if you want a vision of the gerontocracy, imagine a boomer running for office—forever

I have some sympathy for Biden's position. Who among us has not said to ourselves "I wish there was just some way I could do something to FIX THIS." Biden is among the very small number of people who have something like the experience of being President, so for him it must be particularly painful to see so much get fucked over. I think he (and a number of other people, Bloomberg included) are in a spot where they legitimately have the skills and experience that would traditionally make them a favorite for the nomination.

In their shoes, how could you NOT think about taking over and trying to right the course?

That is not to say that I think it would be a good idea for him to run. But it is pretty easy to understand why he would want to at least try.
posted by anastasiav at 7:43 AM on October 31 [17 favorites]


[please god could we not discuss Biden again unless he actually does something]
posted by aspersioncast at 7:48 AM on October 31 [24 favorites]


[i find it disconcerting when a non-mod adopts the mod comment style. first i think it's an actual mod, and then i don't recognize the name as being a mod, and then i think there has been another staff shakeup and i start to wonder if the end of metafilter is nigh and in a world where so much seems temporary and unstable any change to the status quo no matter how incidental or illusory is a source of threat]
posted by logicpunk at 7:57 AM on October 31 [34 favorites]


[Pssst, let's not do more of this.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:59 AM on October 31 [38 favorites]


I wish people would stop trying to apply notions of logic to the fascist Republican agenda. We all know exactly what they want, and who they're targeting, and who will be exempt from their decrees. Trying to catch them out in a fallacy or a moment of hypocrisy will get you nowhere.

Dislodging people from the Republican agenda requires getting them feel bad about it and getting them to feel good/hopeful about something else. They're not going to directly react to facts, but will react to how facts make them feel.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:00 AM on October 31 [8 favorites]


Tom Scocca: These Are the Bad Times.

Tiny bit of good news in updating a section of that piece: It quotes a column by the incoming executive director of the Massachusetts Police Association that we should "meet violence with violence." That guy is a lieutenant in the Arlington Police Department, whose chief is, among other things, an active proponent of restorative justice. The town yesterday placed that guy on leave. "I disavow the remarks in the strongest possible terms, and this matter will be dealt with swiftly and certainly," Chief Frederick Ryan said.
posted by adamg at 8:00 AM on October 31 [23 favorites]


Back in the late Bush years I was sent to the "extra scrutiny" area at the border when coming back to the US from overseas. It turned out that I was sent there due to a misunderstanding (Senegal is not Syria, thanks), but in my two hours waiting for that to be sorted out, I could overhear the conversations in the other lines. The one that stuck with me was a very pregnant south asian woman who spent nearly the whole two hours going over her paperwork with the agent, only to finally be allowed in with an admonition that "Remember, we don't want your baby in our country. I'm putting this in your file."
posted by Nothing at 8:12 AM on October 31 [24 favorites]


Inspired by a comment in the previous thread I'm having 10 of this yard sign printed. Pittsburgh MeFites are welcome to one each while supplies last. They'll be ready by Friday. MeMail me if you want one.
posted by M-x shell at 8:13 AM on October 31 [10 favorites]


Dems Hope Trump’s Latest Immigration Attacks Could Spur Hispanic Turnout - Cameron Joseph, TPM
Democrats have been worried for months that a failure to boost Hispanic turnout could cost them in key House and Senate races. While some early voting analysis and recent polling suggests there’s been an uptick in interest in recent weeks, they remain concerned that not enough Latino voters will cast ballots to win some key battleground campaigns.
Some have been pointing at a lack of targeted outreach. Trump's attacks, as disruptive as they are, and as portrayed by the news media, aren't the same.
It won’t be clear until election day whether Democrats did enough to get Hispanic voters to the polls. While Trump’s closing message could help his party win key red-state races, it could prove a double-edged sword. But Latino vote experts say their candidates need to be doing all they can to highlight Trump’s latest comments to the Hispanic community.

“This barrage of anti-immigrant rhetoric is just serving to intensify the anger and frustration in the Latino community which generally means it should be pushing more people to the polls,” said Barreto. “But it’s contingent on the candidates in those races making a big deal out of it.”
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:17 AM on October 31 [3 favorites]


Question: did 45 go INTO the Tree of Life SYnagogue during his visit or did he just visit the descanso/memorial outside?
posted by ocschwar at 8:17 AM on October 31


Bonzo went to Bitburg, Trump went to Pittsburgh.
posted by e1c at 8:17 AM on October 31 [5 favorites]


This Is How We Radicalized The World

Ryan Broderick, Buzzfeed
It really doesn’t matter what country you’re in. The dance is the same everywhere you go.

Chances are, by now, your country has some, if not all, of the following. First off, you probably have some kind of local internet troll problem, like the MAGAsphere in the US, the Netto-uyoku in Japan, Fujitrolls in Peru, or AK-trolls in Turkey. Your trolls will probably have been radicalized online via some kind of community for young men like Gamergate, Jeuxvideo.com ("videogames.com") in France, ForoCoches ("Cars Forum") in Spain, Ilbe Storehouse in South Korea, 2chan in Japan, or banter Facebook pages in the UK.

Then far-right influencers start appearing, aided by algorithms recommending content that increases user watch time. They will use Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to transmit and amplify content and organize harassment and intimidation campaigns. If these influencers become sophisticated enough, they will try to organize protests or rallies. The mini fascist comic cons they organize will be livestreamed and operate as an augmented reality game for the people watching at home. Violence and doxxing will follow them.

Some of these trolls and influencers will create more sophisticated far-right groups within the larger movement, like the Proud Boys, Generation Identity, or Movimento Brasil Livre. Or some will reinvigorate older, more established far-right or nationalist institutions like the Nordic Resistance Movement, the Football Lads Alliance, United Patriots Front, or PEGIDA.

While a far-right community is building in your country, a fake news blitz is usually raging online. It could be a rumor-based culture of misinformation, like the localized hoaxes that circulate in countries like India, Myanmar, or Brazil. Or it could be the more traditional “fake news” or hyperpartisan propaganda we see in predominantly English-speaking countries like the US, Australia, or the UK.

Typically, large right-wing news channels or conservative tabloids will then take these stories going viral on Facebook and repackage them for older, mainstream audiences. Depending on your country’s media landscape, the far-right trolls and influencers may try to hijack this social-media-to-newspaper-to-television pipeline. Which then creates more content to screenshot, meme, and share. It’s a feedback loop.

Populist leaders and the legions of influencers riding their wave know they can create filter bubbles inside of platforms like Facebook or YouTube that promise a safer time, one that never existed in the first place, before the protests, the violence, the cascading crises, and endless news cycles. Donald Trump wants to Make American Great Again; Bolsonaro wants to bring back Brazil’s military dictatorship; Shinzo Abe wants to recapture Japan’s imperial past; Germany’s AFD performed the best with older East German voters longing for the days of authoritarianism. All of these leaders promise to close borders, to make things safe. Which will, of course, usually exacerbate the problems they’re promising to disappear. Another feedback loop.
This piece starts off with a descriotion of the disastrous consequences of this process, from the genocide in Myanmar to Duterte in the Philippines (who like Bolsonaro thinks criminals shoukd be shot without the benefit of a trial) to Trump, Brexit, etc.

These are the times we live in. This is the history of right now.

Reading those descriptions, I just want to say... when you are living at an inflection point in history you have a responsibility. Think of what you have told yourself you would have done if you lived "back then" at previous inflection points in our history, and try to do that.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:17 AM on October 31 [107 favorites]


Check out this excellent, and surprisingly hard-hitting piece by Maggie Haberman and Katie Rogers that--

You know what? I can't actually finish the joke. This is an awful fluff piece, the pinnacle of access journalism, and just a gross piece overall. It has everything: the "but Trump can't be anti-Semitic because Javanka!" excuses throughout, the gotta-hear-both-sides, the steamrolling of the objections from victims and Jews on the left, the gushing over SHS' crocodile tears while lying through her teeth, the inescapable subtext that critics claiming that the Trumps encourage anti-Semitism are blowing this out of proportion and being unfair to them.

This story is trash, and does nothing but continue to strengthen the far-right meme that the real Jews are the ones who uncritically view the Trumps as the best friends of Jewish Americans EVAR.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:20 AM on October 31 [17 favorites]


This Is How We Radicalized The World

open thread

posted by XMLicious at 8:20 AM on October 31 [6 favorites]


Question: did 45 go INTO the Tree of Life SYnagogue during his visit or did he just visit the descanso/memorial outside?

My understanding from following coverage online yesterday was that the sanctuary and building(s) proper are still closed as they process them as a crime scene. the language i heard described them as being inside the entryway to the shul.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 8:24 AM on October 31


Three Men Convicted Of Plotting To Bomb Somali Refugees Say They Were Encouraged By Trump's Rhetoric
Three men who were convicted of plotting to bomb an apartment building that housed a mosque and dozens of Muslim Somali refugees in Kansas were encouraged by President Donald Trump's rhetoric and asked a judge for leniency in their sentencing, their attorneys said.

In court documents filed this week, attorneys for Patrick Stein, Curtis Allen, and Gavin Wright, say the men were influenced by Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric and Russian propaganda on social media and argue that life sentences against their clients would not deter others from committing similar crimes.

"As long as the White House with impunity calls Islam 'a dangerous threat,' and paints average Americans as 'victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad,' a mixed signal gets sent," Wright's attorneys wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed Tuesday.

"As long as the Executive Branch condemns Islam and commends and encourages violence against would-be enemies, then a sentence imposed by the Judicial Branch does little to deter people generally from engaging in such conduct if they believe they are protecting their countries from enemies identified by their own Commander-in-Chief," they continued.
posted by homunculus at 8:32 AM on October 31 [45 favorites]


A local synagogue held a vigil yesterday evening. It was mobbed. Traffic was grid-locked. Temple was full even with extra chairs and people standing, with many more outside. The newspaper estimated 1,500. I posted on fb, and have gotten feedback from friends around the country that vigils and memorials have been packed. It makes me a tiny bit optimistic, but mostly I feel a powerful righteousness and solidarity. I will not allow this fucking monster to cultivate violence, racism, anti-Semitism and lies in my country, and apparently, I'm in good company.
posted by theora55 at 8:33 AM on October 31 [43 favorites]





I wish people would stop trying to apply notions of logic to the fascist Republican agenda. We all know exactly what they want, and who they're targeting, and who will be exempt from their decrees. Trying to catch them out in a fallacy or a moment of hypocrisy will get you nowhere.


This, and here's their historical reference point: The Immigration Act of 1924. TLDR America decided to preserve our "national identity" by picking an "arbitrary year", 1890, to base quotas on which countries people could emigrate from. What a total, shocking coincidence that this was right before Asians, Southern and Eastern Europeans and Jews began to emigrate in high numbers.

They'll just pick another year. It's not hard to imagine which year(s) white nationalists imagine as the current high point of "good American stock."
posted by nakedmolerats at 8:37 AM on October 31 [9 favorites]


Oprah will campaign with Stacey Abrams in Georgia - Emily Stewart, Vox
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:42 AM on October 31 [11 favorites]


That article kiiiiiiiinda buries the lede, which is that Oprah will be both campaigning with Abrams at a pair of town halls, and canvassing in door-to-door voter outreach.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:53 AM on October 31 [20 favorites]


At Event For Black Civil War Soldiers, Zinke Likens Robert E. Lee To MLK Jr.

Fittingly, according to the video this event "for black civil war soldiers" was attended entirely by white people.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:57 AM on October 31 [18 favorites]


> nakedmolerats:
"I wish people would stop trying to apply notions of logic to the fascist Republican agenda. We all know exactly what they want, and who they're targeting, and who will be exempt from their decrees"

I don't think it's a "who" that they're targeting (anymore), but a "what": the Constitution itself. The current "who"'s are merely the planks of the bridge that Trump will lead the country across, mostly willingly. Everybody is primed to discount some portion of the populace, so as long as Trump denies that it is what it is, We Discounters will harp on each other while the laws change beneath us.

Not only that, but in my fevered imagination this morning I was wondering if world leaders are conspiring on top of all this. The leaders that Trump has been courting are all people who would love to suspend or modify their own countries' Constitutions, it may just be that each will make tiny inroads of their own, seeing how the UN or whoever reacts (the press will be compliant by then), and chipping away at the notions of equality that are included in their national laws and, later, culture.

Maybe it's the culture that gets modified first, I'll have to think about that.

The things that these leaders are doing are happening now, not "maybe on next week's episode." I know everybody here is aware of all this, but I feel like perception (or action) is lagging reality in general, in the press, and at the coffee shop.
posted by rhizome at 8:58 AM on October 31 [6 favorites]


Oprah will campaign with Stacey Abrams in Georgia

You get a vote, and you get a vote, and you get a vote. Everybody gets a vote!
posted by mach at 9:00 AM on October 31 [65 favorites]


Maybe it's the culture that gets modified first

This has already happened.
posted by Miko at 9:00 AM on October 31 [5 favorites]


I don't think it's a "who" that they're targeting (anymore), but a "what": the Constitution itself.

I can remember back when conservatives liked to parade around as if they, and only they, were for abiding by the Constitution.

Back about two years ago.
posted by Gelatin at 9:01 AM on October 31 [17 favorites]


At Event For Black Civil War Soldiers, Zinke Likens Robert E. Lee To MLK Jr.

Just like Pence and his fake-ass rabbi, Trump and...everything, the strategy is to shit in the sink at the party whenever possible. What do you do when you can't beat them down and kick them out? I'm starting to think all public performances should be ignored and only legal and policy initiatives and changes make the news. The administration can't be touched by picket signs, and frankly I don't think yelling at people in restaurants changes anything (as much as I want them to continue).
posted by rhizome at 9:03 AM on October 31 [7 favorites]


Donnelly open to legislation ending birthright citizenship

"Well, would you prefer a Republican senator be in that seat trying to turn the children of immigrants into stateless unpersons?"

Yes.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:03 AM on October 31 [6 favorites]


To be clear, I was quoting from Faint of Butt with the italics. I agree with them though.
posted by nakedmolerats at 9:04 AM on October 31


Until the President steps forward with an executive order that kicks off the "debate" over birthright citizenship, and the Executive's ability to undo parts of the constitution via EO, where it matters (in the courts, in the Congress), he's still only shit stirring.

I hope significant parts of his base he's seeking to stir up will notice that and remain unstirred.
posted by notyou at 9:09 AM on October 31 [1 favorite]


NYT: Congress Has No Clue What Americans Want

Assuming that you’re convinced by the authors’ methodology, it turns out that senior congressional staffers on both sides of the aisle massively underestimate support for many popular policies:
Congress doesn’t know what policies Americans support. We know that because we asked the most senior staff members in Congress — the people who help their bosses decide what bills to pursue and support — what they believed public opinion was in their district or state on a range of issues.
...
Shockingly, 92 percent of the staff members we surveyed underestimated support in their district or state for background checks, including all Republican aides and over 85 percent of Democratic aides.

The same is true for the four other issues we looked at: regulating carbon emissions to address the climate crisis, repealing the Affordable Care Act, raising the federal minimum wage and investing in infrastructure. On climate change, the average aide thought only a minority of his or her district wanted action, when in truth a majority supported regulating carbon.
...
Aides usually assumed that the public agreed with their own policy views. If an aide did not personally support acting on climate change, he or she was less likely to think that constituents wanted action. This self-centered bias is common in other areas of life — we all tend to think that other people share our preferences. But we aren’t all charged with understanding what the public wants to ensure democratic representation.

Interest groups also played an important role in explaining congressional staffs’ errors. Aides who reported meeting with groups representing big business — like the United States Chamber of Commerce or the American Petroleum Institute — were more likely to get their constituents’ opinions wrong compared with staffers who reported meeting with mass membership groups that represented ordinary Americans, like the Sierra Club or labor unions.
TL;DR: just look at this fucking chart
posted by chappell, ambrose at 9:10 AM on October 31 [81 favorites]


Jesus fuck, no. The time to be stirred is now, before they start blanketing both traditional and new media with reasons why we should end it.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:11 AM on October 31 [4 favorites]


Interest groups also played an important role in explaining congressional staffs’ errors.

Way to bury the lede, NYT.
posted by Gelatin at 9:12 AM on October 31 [35 favorites]


Facebook is letting anyone impersonate almost any organisation to run ads, making a mockery of their 'transparency' rules.

I know I'm way late to The Discourse on this but: Anyone with any experience placing ads on Facebook, doing paid event promotion, working with their Business Manager back-end in any capacity at all, etc., would not be surprised at all that FB has no fucking clue whether the features they create and promulgate actually, in any meaningful way, do the things they're supposed to do.
posted by penduluum at 9:13 AM on October 31 [7 favorites]


From the amount of legislators jumping on the bandwagon, I think the shit stirring was partly to take temperature. He can't change the Constitution, but Congress can. And the more Republican legislators get data from their constituents suggesting that GOP base loves this idea (and they will), the more it will become a real possibility. If they can't get enough support to rewrite the amendment, they can at least move the window enough to argue that a new immigration act modeled on 1924 is "the moderate option."
posted by nakedmolerats at 9:14 AM on October 31 [5 favorites]


Congress Has No Clue What Americans Want

It's almost as though letting people buy campaigns has a corrupting effect!
posted by enn at 9:16 AM on October 31 [61 favorites]


This, and here's their historical reference point: The Immigration Act of 1924. TLDR America decided to preserve our "national identity" by picking an "arbitrary year", 1890, to base quotas on which countries people could emigrate from. What a total, shocking coincidence that this was right before Asians, Southern and Eastern Europeans and Jews began to emigrate in high numbers.

Counterpoint: The Framers wanted open borders. Evidence: The word Immigration appears 0 times in the US Constitution.
posted by mikelieman at 9:17 AM on October 31 [10 favorites]


> Chris Evans Taunts Donald Trump With Rewrite Of His ‘Fake News Media’ Rant - Lee Moran, HuffPo

Oh man. Evans retweeted these clips of Obama speaking a few days ago. Hearing him speak, what a difference from the blowhard in office now.
posted by homunculus at 9:18 AM on October 31 [3 favorites]


NYT: Congress Has No Clue What Americans Want

Their explanations don't leap to the most plausible one: congress members, especially Republicans, but Democrats as well, just don't care what the people want.

Also:
The public contributes to the problem by not taking the time to express its opinions to politicians or vote.
Get fucked NYT.
posted by dis_integration at 9:18 AM on October 31 [73 favorites]


Donnelly open to legislation ending birthright citizenship

"Well, would you prefer a Republican senator be in that seat trying to turn the children of immigrants into stateless unpersons?"


I think Donnelly is playing their games here, and playing them pretty well. The full quote from TFA is:

"I heard you say that Lindsey Graham is going to put legislation forward" to rescind the law, Donnelly continued. "We have to take a look at that legislation."
"I’d want to see that legislation, make sure it was constitutional and review it first," he added.

Emphasis mine. I dont know a lot about Donnelly's views on the constitution but I am (perhaps naively) hopeful that this is just posturing on top of posturing.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:18 AM on October 31 [8 favorites]


ProPublica, with WNYC's "Trump, Inc." podcast: Rudy Giuliani’s Mystery Trips to Russia, Armenia and Ukraine—We spent weeks investigating his work and clients in the former Soviet Union. We have so many questions.

For example, "Just last week, for example, Giuliani appeared in the former Soviet republic of Armenia, which has close trade ties with Russia. He was invited, according to local press accounts, by Ara Abramyan, an Armenian businessman who lives in Russia. Abramyan once helped reconstruct the Kremlin and also received a medal for “merit to the fatherland” from President Vladimir Putin of Russia. Giuliani said he was in Armenia as a private citizen, but on a local TV news show, Abramyan implied that he expected Giuliani to carry a message for him to Trump."

While mainstream media is happy to repeat and amplify Guiliani's blatherings about the Mueller investigation, they've been on what appear to be Giuliani's back-channel trips to erstwhile Soviet bloc states. (Kudos to TPM for reporting on the Armenia trip.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:18 AM on October 31 [13 favorites]


[One deleted - let's keep graphic details about Khashoggi killing in the Khashoggi thread ]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:20 AM on October 31 [3 favorites]


...in my fevered imagination this morning I was wondering if world leaders are conspiring on top of all this. The leaders that Trump has been courting are all people who would love to suspend or modify their own countries' Constitutions, it may just be that each will make tiny inroads of their own, seeing how the UN or whoever reacts (the press will be compliant by then), and chipping away at the notions of equality that are included in their national laws and, later, culture.

Even besides the culture, which of the leaders Trump has been courting have not already directly modified their countrys' constitutions yet? el-Sisi dissolved the Egyptian constitution once already, Putin and Kim and King Salman have free rein as far as I know... as one of his early acts in office Trump was the only Western leader to call and congratulate Erdoğan when his constitutional changes went through, Xi Jinping had term limits eliminated and Trump joked with his Mar-a-Lago buddies “Maybe we'll try President For Life here some day!”... has Duterte gotten any changes in the Philippines? Bolsinaro isn't in office yet...

So, I think Trump is actually playing catch-up in the constitution-wrecking competition.
posted by XMLicious at 9:22 AM on October 31 [4 favorites]


I don't think it's a "who" that they're targeting (anymore), but a "what": the Constitution itself.

For what it's worth, this has been percolating in the heads of Trumpoids for a long while. Hannity's show has a lot of commercials for a Convention of States petition website, where True Patriots can pressure their state representatives to call an Article V convention to amend the Constitution on the fly.

Convention of States, with Alec’s support, is one of three prominent conservative groups pushing for a new constitutional convention. Under article V, if two-thirds of state legislatures so choose, they can force congress to convene such a meeting. On the agenda for Convention of States: an amendment to require a balanced budget, term limits for congress, repealing the federal income tax and giving states the power to veto any federal law, supreme court decision or executive order with a three-fifths vote from the states.

So, nothing much.

The threshold is 34 states to call it, 38 states for anything passed there to become law of the land. So it is unlikely that this would come to pass, and even more unlikely that a sweeping The Year Is One overhaul would destroy the Constitution as we know it -- but it is still a remarkably dangerous tool in the toolbox, and one worth keeping an occasional eye on.
posted by delfin at 9:25 AM on October 31 [6 favorites]


The problem isn't getting it through a Convention of States, because that's not going to be the path they take. More likely is that a bunch of states and/or municipalities will gleefully follow the executive order, a case against it works its way up through the courts, and then it lands in front of SCOTUS. Thanks to decades of manipulating the courts for just this kind of fuckery (with huge help from the same "moderates" now posturing against it), it easily passes muster in a SCOTUS that is extremely hostile even to legal immigration.

If half the country thinks they can just get away with doing it, and the entire federal government plus more than half of state governments is willing to give them free rein, there's nothing to stop them.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:42 AM on October 31 [18 favorites]


Counterpoint: The Framers wanted open borders. Evidence: The word Immigration appears 0 times in the US Constitution.

I mean, sure, but that clearly didn't stop us from explicitly pro-northwest-Europe immigration quotas until 1965, so why would it stop them now? The noble modern GOPer who is loyal to strict constructionism is a myth. The word fetus isn't anywhere in there either.
posted by nakedmolerats at 9:49 AM on October 31 [4 favorites]


Jus soli is part of Lincoln’s legacy.  Trump wants to destroy that. So here ya go, U.S. news orgs, some headlines for you to use, free of charge:

Republicans Forget Lessons of America’s Bloody Civil War
Party of Lincoln Denounces Lincoln’s Work
Ending Lincoln’s Legacy

It feels like we need voices in the background amplifying a message that jus soli was a response to foreign ideas of citizenship, that it’s inherently better because American does it and they don’t.  Herr Twitler’s followers lap that shit up.  His type of rhetoric is currently being used for a message of hate, but it can just as easily be used to amplify messages of acceptance.  Simply muddying the waters with alternative messaging could mitigate his damage potential.  After all, you can take that same irritatingly blinkered rah-rah America, Fuck yeah! language and simply change the dependent clause hanging off the end of whatever jingoistic nonsense you’re babbling.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 9:58 AM on October 31 [26 favorites]


"The Framers" would not have been able to conceive of a state apparatus powerful enough to police the country's borders. Even the Know-Nothings in the 1850s wanted to regulate naturalization, not immigration. It's hard even to convey how alien the concept of closed borders would have been to pre-20th-century people. There was a ton of controversy about the introduction of passports right after World War I, because it seemed wrong to many Americans to require people to have a document in order to travel.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:00 AM on October 31 [63 favorites]


"The Framers" believed in fucking bodily humours and thought that ponds produced fish through spontaneous generation. Republicans do not care about the original intent or primacy of the constitution. We're the only people taking arguments of constitutionality in good faith and the only people who see it as anything other than a scrap of ancient parchment to be abused and warped to one's liking. It's time we give up that notion.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:06 AM on October 31 [61 favorites]


Jus soli is part of Lincoln’s legacy.

That is not my understanding, though this is just from reading Wikipedia: pre-14th-Amendment we also had birthright citizenship in principle as a carry-over from British law after the Revolutionary War, it just in practice only applied to white people in the context of the US's white supremacist society. There was somewhat of a conflation between the concepts of a citizen and a subject, and European monarchs wanted to be able to declare as many of the people of the world their subjects as possible. But it all traces even further back to the Antonine Constitution of Rome which in 212 declared that all free men were Roman citizens.

However, since responding to your proposed headlines would seem to require acknowledging and discussing just how far back ius soli goes they might be a good idea, while the nationalists are trying to portray it as an aberration of some sort. (Not to mention all of the other good-to-engage-with principles brought up in the course of discussing how the topic of birthright citizenship would relate to black Americans taking their rightful place as citizens of the country they built.)
posted by XMLicious at 10:13 AM on October 31 [1 favorite]


Politico: Inside The Trump Administration’s Rudderless Fight To Counter Election Propaganda—The administration is letting individual agencies respond to foreign governments’ attempts to undermine U.S. elections.
Nearly a dozen senior law enforcement, homeland security and intelligence officials held a first-of-its-kind meeting at the Justice Department in late September to discuss how to respond if a foreign adversary tried to influence the midterm elections.

But they left after 90 minutes without devising a plan or answering key questions, according to a person who attended the previously unreported gathering.

No one from the White House was present, said the attendee, who requested anonymity to speak candidly. The only presidential appointee there, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, delivered opening remarks and left after the first half hour. And in a twist that epitomized the administration chaos surrounding election preparations, attendees emerged to discover that The New York Times was reporting that Rosenstein had discussed secretly recording his meetings with President Donald Trump.
The list of attendees encompasses numerous government agencies (which is part of the problem when it comes to co-ordination, especially without guidance from the top):
Participants in the meeting included John Demers, the head of DOJ’s National Security Division, who chaired the session; Krebs, from DHS; Tonya Ugoretz, head of the intelligence community’s Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center; and Brian Benczkowski, who leads DOJ’s Criminal Division.

Also present were Matt Gorham, the head of the FBI’s Cyber Division; Robert Johnson, the head of the bureau’s Criminal Division; Joseph Bonavolonta, the No. 2 official in the bureau’s Counterintelligence Division; Anne Neuberger, the NSA’s lead on countering foreign influence operations; a CIA official; and someone from DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.[...]

A month after the Sept. 21 meeting, the Trump administration still has no strategy for fighting disinformation campaigns aimed at swaying U.S. elections, three people knowledgeable about the matter told POLITICO — less than a week before voters nationwide return to the polls.[...]

Meanwhile, intelligence and law enforcement agencies warned this month that Russia, China and Iran are waging “ongoing campaigns” to influence American elections and policies.

“The lines of authority for defending against and responding to influence ops are going to be hypercomplicated,” said one former DHS employee, who also requested anonymity to discuss the sensitive deliberations.
Back on the Internet, Twitter Just Launched a Midterms Page and It’s Already Surfacing Trolls and False, Hyperpartisan News, Buzzfeed reports.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:15 AM on October 31 [11 favorites]


Inside The Trump Administration’s Rudderless Fight To Counter Election Propaganda

"inside a dog's fight against treats"
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:18 AM on October 31 [71 favorites]


We're the only people taking arguments of constitutionality in good faith and the only people who see it as anything other than a scrap of ancient parchment to be abused and warped to one's liking. It's time we give up that notion.

The alternative to the rule of law is the rule of warlords. Gang leaders. Mafia Dons. Strongmen. Tyrants. Call them what you like. Either the law is above everyone or someone is above the law.

So I'm all in favor of patching our constitutional firmware when we need to, but I see this rhetoric about warping the law to one's like as being as bad as Trumpism. In fact it IS Trumpism, one of the core tenets.
posted by OnceUponATime at 10:18 AM on October 31 [18 favorites]


Apologies for directly quoting the latest graphic Khashoggi details from CNN.

The main thing is that in the past month the story's shifted from departed consulate alive/mysteriously missing/accidental death/accidentally killed in fistfight/killed by 'rogue operatives'/murdered, but not under royal aegis; now CNN's reporting a statement by the chief prosecutor's office in Istanbul that the entire attack on the WaPo journalist, from method of murder to means and removal of (still-missing) remains, was a premeditated plan. Which makes royal involvement even more obvious, and the photo-op with Khashoggi's eldest son, Salah, shaking hands with King Salman and the crown prince last week, more troubling.

Salah, a dual US-Saudi citizen who had been under a travel ban due to his father's work, and his family were allowed to come to America two days later.
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:19 AM on October 31 [5 favorites]


Donald Trump and other GOP candidates want to radically change a 150-year-old cornerstone of American citizenship This is an article from 2015.

Worth noting that the birthers and their ilk spent eight years obsessing over this "birthright citizenship" fan fic stuff and that much of that goes back ever farther through the various kinds of sovereign citizen and posse comitatus ideologies and probably back through the birchers. They grasped then, the way they do now, after any story they could use to invalidate the citizenship of anyone they wanted to take it from. Maybe yet they'll haul in the "Jedi" Pauly, the dude who declared that citizenship only travels through the sperm.

There's an argument- and I have tried unsuccessfully to find where I read it- that the Reconstruction amendments, followed by the cases incorporating the bill of rights to apply to the states, functionally ended up creating a new Constitution.

Among sovereign citizens, birchers, nazis, and other fringe right types, this is taken for granted. It's why they call African-Americans—and sometimes others—there's a plethora of overlapping explanations used to justify it—"14th Amendment citizens" to suggest that their citizenship is somehow inferior to white citizens.

Until the President steps forward with an executive order that kicks off the "debate" over birthright citizenship, and the Executive's ability to undo parts of the constitution via EO, where it matters (in the courts, in the Congress), he's still only shit stirring.

I think it's very important to grasp that even if there's no chance at all of eliminating "birthright citizenship," none of this is merely "shit stirring." Even claiming the authority to eliminate the 14th amendment—especially when Senators get up and talk about introducing legislation to do the same thing—is a way of terrorizing immigrants, naturalized citizens, and people of color in general. This is the same thing that's being done to trans people. The same thing they do with women. Even if nothing comes of this—and it's possible nothing will—this is a way to bully and incite fear and most importantly try to delegitimize a group (who will then be more vulnerable to whatever attacks might follow). The primary goal of this kind of rhetoric isn't to stir shit; it's to license his base's eliminationist fantasies.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:24 AM on October 31 [57 favorites]


It's why they call African-Americans—and sometimes others—there's a plethora of overlapping explanations used to justify it—"14th Amendment citizens"

JFC, I can't get used to this feeling when I find out that some simple-looking single-layer craven shit (kill the 14th amendment to stop anchor babies) is actually just covering for about 37 layers of deep craven nasty dog whistle scheming.
posted by duoshao at 10:48 AM on October 31 [27 favorites]



Donnelly open to legislation ending birthright citizenship

"Well, would you prefer a Republican senator be in that seat trying to turn the children of immigrants into stateless unpersons?"

Yes.


He's in a tight reelection. He's an attorney, and knows it's a bullshit non-starter. "Open" means exactly nothing. Beat the shit out of him in the primary, or after the election, otherwise you're just supporting his opponent.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:50 AM on October 31 [14 favorites]




Donald Trump and other GOP candidates want to radically change a 150-year-old cornerstone of American citizenship This is an article from 2015.

One thing that can't be emphasized enough -- and, tragically, isn't being -- is that the Republican Party is undoing a 220-plus-year-old cornerstone of American governance: That the rule of law, competing interests, and checks and balances (most ably demonstrated by the supine Congressional Republicans actively conspiring to aid Trump in covering up his crimes).

If Trump can undo a Constitutional amendment by executive order, so could any Democratic president. (And given how the Republicans howled about Obama's "tyranny" over his use of executive orders, it's clear that every accusation is indeed a confession, as they must have had just that idea in mind for their own use.)

If these racist would-be tyrants can redefine citizenship away from their fellow Americans, their fellow Americans, should they take power, could do so right back to them.

No one branch of government is entrusted with too much power because one thing the Founders did know, along with their belief in bodily humors, is that any power one faction amassed could eventually be used against it. That's why the rule of law is supposed to, however imperfectly in practice, protect everyone alike.

And that's why the notion of an in-group that the law protects but does not bind and an out-group that the law binds but does not protect is utterly revolting and anathema to the American experiment.

The things the Republicans propose and suggest are beyond illegal -- they're fundamentally un-American.
posted by Gelatin at 10:57 AM on October 31 [38 favorites]




My latest Trump, this time a fair bit more realistic, though I did attempt to draw him as an overgrown rage filled child. So, warning, it's pretty intense, and maybe perfect for Halloween.
I think I'm done with these for the time being, other than a long running Dorian Gray image I'm still working on.

This may be a surprise, but I can actually do portraits in a non monstrous fashion, and I think I would like to try drawing some people that are actually decent, as opposed to the spilt fingered mouth breathers I've been posting here for the last 2 years.

I am open to suggestions for doing more positive drawings.

Please take care, all of you, and good luck with the midterms.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 11:13 AM on October 31 [34 favorites]


Politico: Inside The Trump Administration’s Rudderless Fight To Counter Election Propaganda—The administration is letting individual agencies respond to foreign governments’ attempts to undermine U.S. elections.

Writer Eric Geller had to leave out so many vividly appalling details in his in-depth article, but thankfully he's sharing a selection on Twitter:
—There's a bit in the story about these repeated NSC requests for info.

"By the third time it happened," a source told me, "all of us were rolling our eyes, because we were just cutting and pasting from the last time. We can’t figure out why we’re being asked this over and over."

—Then there's the part about preparing a briefing for Trump.

"I shit you not," my source said, "they told us, 'Less words, more pictures.'"

—Another angle that we had to trim was the tension between DHS and other agencies due to DHS's desire to constantly share information with its partners.

Other agencies are more cautious about what to share and how. For DHS, it's partly about establishing credibility outside USG.

—DHS Secretary Nielsen has tried to fill the void left by the White House on this issue.

A source suggested to me that "DHS had a little bit of an emboldened attitude because DOJ was so embattled and perceived as having weak influence within the administration."

—So this is a complicated situation that defies easy narratives.

It is not the case that Trump appointees and their employees are covering their eyes and ears and abdicating their duties.

It *is* the case that the WH's approach is concerning to many current and former officials.
"We've done a really good job with the low-hanging fruit and the obvious risks,” said Masterson, officially senior adviser for cybersecurity policy at DHS, tried to reassure Politico.
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:15 AM on October 31 [11 favorites]


Dan Rather:
Think about this headline: "Trump claims he can defy Constitution and end birthright citizenship" - VP Pence echoes, says Supreme Court may back Trump. Objective Analysis: this is moving from outrageously absurd to truly dangerous. A president says he can defy the constitution!
posted by growabrain at 11:17 AM on October 31 [36 favorites]


Dan, starting with the emoluments clause, he's never said otherwise.

Trump Is Violating the Constitution (NYR, Feb. 2017)

In the year since President Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 2017, a myriad of constitutional issues has so far arisen during his term. (National Constitution Center)

Trump vs. the Constitution: A Guide (Aug. 2016, Politico)
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:25 AM on October 31 [16 favorites]


There's a lot I like about you, Dan, but you really blew it at a critical moment that paved the way for what we're dealing with now.
posted by Rykey at 11:29 AM on October 31 [1 favorite]


Nancy Pelosi on The Late Show last night: “We will win.”
Colbert: “I feel like I should sacrifice a goat to take the hex off of what you just said.”
(Qualified as Democrats will take the House, if they win “big” the Senate too. Probably a geo-locked video clip, unfortunately)
posted by XMLicious at 11:33 AM on October 31 [19 favorites]


But Latino vote experts say their candidates need to be doing all they can to highlight Trump’s latest comments to the Hispanic community.

No, you fuckers. They need to be doing all you can to FIGHT THIS FUCKING FUCKERY. Like, it's not just a matter of "how can my candidates explain that Trump is awful loud enough?" We know. We know that Trump is coming for everyone. We are well fucking aware. What we aren't aware of is how much other people actually care, what they plan to do about it, and what they are actually doing right now while they are still a candidate. If your candidates aren't trash and actually are working to defend people, it will be clear.
posted by corb at 11:38 AM on October 31 [13 favorites]


Colbert: “I feel like I should sacrifice a goat to take the hex off of what you just said.”

so the new TTTS is SAG?
posted by numaner at 11:42 AM on October 31 [14 favorites]


Don't take this seriously as a real policy goal.

I mean FFS, is the term libsplaining a thing yet? Because I cannot believe that a literal half dozen people felt like they needed to drop some variation of this about the birthright citizenship thing here in response to my "what's the actual scope of the impact of this" question. Yes, we know that the cruelty is the point and the noise and mess, if that's all they get, also serves them. I guess I should be thankful there wasn't an accompanying few lines on the moistness of H2O?

We know voter fraud is also a bullshit made up problem too but we take the time to point out the unbelievable scarcity of it - and the fact that it always seems to be R voters - because facts matter. They don't change racist minds, such as they are, but being able to say "this applies to 9 people but will force all of you to need even more documentation at the DMV" is part of inoculating the squishy middle against this.
posted by phearlez at 11:44 AM on October 31 [10 favorites]


so the new TTTS is SAG?

All the turning, cursing, and spitting we did in 2016 didn't seem to do jack, so sure, let's start sacrificing goats eating goat cheese or whatever.
posted by Uncle Ira at 11:45 AM on October 31 [18 favorites]


There's an argument- and I have tried unsuccessfully to find where I read it- that the Reconstruction amendments, followed by the cases incorporating the bill of rights to apply to the states, functionally ended up creating a new Constitution.

That argument is not incorrect - Every amendment, every Supreme Court precedent, every Circuit Court case interpreting the Constitution functionally creates a "new Constitution." Dred Scott created a "new Constitution" just as much as the 14th Amendment did. Skipping ahead a century, the Warren Court's decisions and their progeny effectively created a "new Constitution" including one-person-one-vote, the recognition of an implied right to privacy not expressly enumerated in the Constitution, etc. And, lest we think this is merely a "liberal" thing, and to give just a few recent examples of what are many throughout history, right-leaning SCOTUS opinions like Heller, Citizens United, and Hobby Lobby effectively create a "new Constitution" by creating new constitutional rights and doctrines from whole cloth.

The ongoing project of the American conservative legal community (scholars, judges, lawyers, think tanks, etc.) is to roll back every aspect of this ever-changing "new Constitution" that they happen to disagree with and to pretend that what they're doing is "restoring" the Constitution to its "original intent" or "plain text." That means rolling back the Warren Court's legacy, and ultimately rolling back every single thing going back to the moment they think the Constitution went off the rails. And if you press them hard enough or get in a deep legal discussion with them in a smoky room in a conservative club, they'll ultimately identify that off-the-rails moment as either Marbury v. Madison, when the Supreme Court became the final word on constitutional interpretation or McCulloch v. Maryland, when Justice Marshall wrote "we must never forget that it is a Constitution we are expounding." (emphasis original).
posted by The World Famous at 11:48 AM on October 31 [34 favorites]


right-leaning SCOTUS opinions like Heller, Citizens United, and Hobby Lobby effectively create a "new Constitution" by creating new constitutional rights and doctrines from whole cloth

Not to mention Bush v Gore...
posted by Gelatin at 11:58 AM on October 31 [6 favorites]


“The ongoing project of the American conservative legal community (scholars, judges, lawyers, think tanks, etc.) is to roll back every aspect of this ever-changing "new Constitution" that they happen to disagree with”

For decades we've been playing piecemeal defense against this highly focused and organized effort so it's not surprising that they've been successful.

I guess this is a rhetorical question, but what would it look like to go on the offensive against this? Yes, yes, we need to GOTV and take back the House, Senate, and Oval Office, etc. but it seems we need something more targeted specifically for this.
posted by duoshao at 12:16 PM on October 31 [9 favorites]


An ... uhhh ... interesting Halloween message from Ted Cruz [real]
posted by anastasiav at 12:21 PM on October 31 [24 favorites]


phearlez, I found this WP article from a few years ago, providing stats on the history of immigrants as a portion of the whole population. (see if you can spot the subtle difference in the URL and the actual headline.)

A couple take-aways:
- The percentage of 1st and 2nd generation residents as a total of the population (~ 24%) is quite a bit lower now than the 30%-45% we saw in the first half of the 20th century.
- The diminishing size of the European blue bars relative to other segments in the last graph probably explains a lot of why this is suddenly an "issue".

[also, don't read the comments.]
posted by mach at 12:21 PM on October 31 [4 favorites]


Josh Marshall:
What is the deal with Lena Epstein? Is she a nice Jewish girl from suburban Detroit who is actually a secret or well … not so secret alt-righter or a congregant at a Reform Temple who’s secretly part of “Jews for Jesus”?
(It includes the line: ..."Last night it was revealed that Jacobs was actually defrocked years ago by the national “Jews for Jesus” group, making him actually a fake fake rabbi...)"
posted by growabrain at 12:22 PM on October 31 [6 favorites]


People do realize that "Jews for Jesus" is a Christian cult, right?
posted by Melismata at 12:23 PM on October 31 [15 favorites]


An ... uhhh ... interesting Halloween message from Ted Cruz [real]

Game, set, match.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:26 PM on October 31 [45 favorites]


Let's check in on the President, from the pool report:
President Trump is now being interviewed by Larry Kudlow.

“Nobody wants to talk about the economy anymore so let’s talk about the economy,” Kudlow said.

Trump used the opportunity to talk about both the caravan and immigration.

Referencing the caravan the president reminded the room, “We want people to come in legally.”
Besides the obvious problem that he can't stick to the script, why is Trump being interviewed by *checks notes* his own advisor?
posted by zachlipton at 12:27 PM on October 31 [30 favorites]


An ... uhhh ... interesting Halloween message from Ted Cruz [real]

Ha ha ha, it's funny because the country is full of living relatives and loved ones of the victims of an uncaught serial murderer! ha ha ha!
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:28 PM on October 31 [37 favorites]


People do realize that "Jews for Jesus" is a Christian cult, right?

Optimistically, I used to think maybe it was a "we love Jesus but hate Paul", sort of thing. But on closer inspection, yeah, looks like a weirdly-branded evangelical Christian cult.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 12:30 PM on October 31 [8 favorites]


Referencing the caravan the president reminded the room, “We want people to come in legally.”

This is your regular reminder that applying for asylum is a legal process and a legal and moral right and obligation, regardless of whether the individual entered the country legally.
posted by Gelatin at 12:32 PM on October 31 [49 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Yesterday in Pittsburgh I was really impressed with Congressman Keith Rothfus (far more so than any other local political figure). His sincere level of compassion, grief and sorrow for the events that took place was, in its own way, very inspiring. Vote for Keith!

Uhhhh. Did he just endorse a candidate he met while visiting a memorial on the basis that he showed a suitable level of grief? Did that just happen? Was his main takeaway from his trip really "wow that guy knows how to look like he cares; I wish I could do that?"

This goes with this morning's tweet in which he made it all about himself and how he was treated by various groups.

@ddale8: It is perhaps interesting that the president is impressed with someone for having sincere grief and sorrow over a mass murder.
posted by zachlipton at 12:34 PM on October 31 [63 favorites]


So just a little view of the current political climate in my mostly blue city in a very red state: we have a mayoral election this year, with a former police chief running against a long-time city council member. Today I got a campaign flyer from the former police chief in the mail, in which he accuses his opponent of being a Republican and suggests she could have voted for Trump.

From the flyer with the bold and all-caps: [his opponent] "says she is an independent but in fact she is a LIFELONG REGISTERED REPUBLICAN" and "consistently voted in GOP Primaries that included Donald Trump, Andy Barr, and Mitch McConnell'.
posted by dilettante at 12:37 PM on October 31 [5 favorites]


yeah but have you seen that dude grieve
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:39 PM on October 31 [14 favorites]


Trump Lashes out at Paul Ryan over birthright citizenship comments
[sl WaPo]

In which smirking fratghoul Paul Ryan continues to eat the meatloaf while also carrying the water.
posted by aspersioncast at 12:46 PM on October 31 [9 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: Yesterday in Pittsburgh I was really impressed with Congressman Keith Rothfus (far more so than any other local political figure). His sincere level of compassion, grief and sorrow for the events that took place was, in its own way, very inspiring. Vote for Keith!

In my experience, Rothfus has no human emotions of any kind.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:52 PM on October 31 [11 favorites]


People do realize that "Jews for Jesus" is a Christian cult, right?

A cult that was sued (more or less successfully) by Jackie Mason after they featured a cartoon of him in a pamphlet.

What is the deal with Lena Epstein?

So, here's a thing that Marshall didn't touch on in his excellent reading of how incredibly bad at everything Epstein is: She doesn't even live in the district she's running in. It's not a requirement in Michigan, and she doesn't even pretend to have an apartment here. But the 11th is more Republican than where she actually lives (or works, or anywhere else she can claim a connection to) because it was gerrymandered to absolute fuck in 2010.

The 11th (post-gerrymandering) elected a goddamn reindeer farmer to Congress because he had an R by his name. And Lena Epstein may well be about to lose it. Granted, her opponent is a pretty good Democrat who's been working her ass off, but Epstein is absolutely fucking inept.
posted by Etrigan at 12:53 PM on October 31 [19 favorites]


I know this is ancient history, but I have a theory on that odd "faked leak of a fake sex allegation against Mueller" story, where "Lorraine Parsons" mass-bcc'ed reporters claiming she was offered money to make up allegations against Mueller. But Ms. Parsons didn't check out as a real existing person.

1. Jacob Wohl decides to offer cash for allegations against Mueller, and gets told to piss off by one or more of the women contacted. He knows this is likely to get back to reporters.

2. He creates the fake Lorraine Parsons character who preemptively leaks a fake version of essentially true facts to reporters, to discredit the real scandal. (Pure Roger Stone, may be what happened with Bush Jr. cocaine allegations in 2000).

If you want a deeper level of inception, he may have planned to fabricate an allegation all along, and contacted real former associates of Mueller to create a scenario that might lead reporters to believe he actually found a real incident. But along the way, the Mueller referral to the FBI or just some solid legal advice convinced him he had fucked up and put himself in real legal jeopardy, so he rushed to muddy the waters.
posted by msalt at 12:55 PM on October 31 [9 favorites]


Very interesting thread from Nick Gourevitch of Dem pollster Global Strategy Group, arguing that a lot of "polling error" is really late movement in the race:
One of the polling lessons I learned from conducting polling almost up until Election Day in both the 2016 general and the 2017 VA Gov race is that “polling error” is partly late movement (partly!!). There were obviously some methodological issues with 2016 polls around education weighting and urbanity but there was also late movement. In 2017, a lot of those were addressed and we still saw late movement towards Ds. This is very difficult to untangle if you are an outsider like @FiveThirtyEight judging polling error. Especially because some polls do have error and methodological flaws.

But I’m really not a fan of judging polls simply by the margin of final result to margin of Election Day. You can do very rigorous poll 2 weeks out and it can look wrong if the race shifts. You can also do a garbage poll 2 weeks out that looks right if the race shifts. Campaigns spend the most resources in the final week(s). Plenty of voters only tune in at the end. The expectation that a poll done 2-3 weeks out needs to predict the result to be “right” is bad. This is especially true in lower info races (House, state leg, ballot proposals).

As campaign pollsters, we almost never do polls in the final days because most decisions have been made and it’s mostly curiosity at that point. But every cycle we do a few and every cycle those are more accurate than the ones we did weeks prior. Imagine that. Anyway, late movement is a thing. It’s real. We’ve done callbacks on pre-election calls to confirm it. All these races aren’t settled. 6 more days. The end.
FWIW, I've seen several other pollsters agreeing.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:56 PM on October 31 [36 favorites]


The Great Center-Right Delusion By Paul Krugman/NYTimes
What’s driving American politics off a cliff? Racial hatred and the cynicism of politicians willing to exploit it play a central role. But there are other factors. And an opinion piece by Hertel-Fernandez, Mildenberger, and Stokes in today’s Times (which is actually social science, not opinion!) seems to confirm something I already suspected: misunderstanding of what voters want is distorting both political positioning and public policy.

What the authors of the piece show is that congressional aides grossly misperceive the views of their bosses’ constituents; this is true in both parties, but more so of Republicans. What they don’t point out explicitly is that with the exception of A.C.A. repeal, Democrats err in the same direction as Republicans, just less so. Specifically, both parties believe that the public is to the right of where it really is.
posted by mumimor at 12:58 PM on October 31 [41 favorites]


Ohio vote purge ruling:
A federal appeals court is ruling that the Ohio boards of elections must count provisional ballots in this year's midterm elections for certain individuals who were previously purged from the voter rolls.

A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the ruling on Wednesday, Cleveland.com reported.

The court stipulated that Ohio must count votes cast by people who were purged from the voter rolls between 2011 and 2015 and live in the same county of their last registration. Those voters can cast ballots as long as they were not disqualified from voting due to reasons such as felony conviction, mental incapacity or death.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:00 PM on October 31 [36 favorites]


Specifically, both parties believe that the public is to the right of where it really is

Maybe, but they are responding to voters who are as to the right (or perhaps even far righter) of the general public. That's why voting and increasing the number of voters is so important.
posted by The_Vegetables at 1:01 PM on October 31 [4 favorites]


Trump Lashes out at Paul Ryan over birthright citizenship comments

Media Matters's Matthew Gertz notes that, predictably, Trump's 12:43 pm tweet lambasting Paul Ryan for giving his opinions on birthright citizenship instead of focusing on the midterms followed Fox News interviewed Ryan at 12:01 pm ("You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order. We didn't like it when Obama tried changing immigration laws via executrive action[….]").

Honestly, journalists need to cover Trump's tweets in the context of whatever he's watching on Fox. More often than not, @realDonaldTrump is just an old man shouting at his TV.
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:02 PM on October 31 [31 favorites]


I should have linked the piece Krugman links to: Congress Has No Clue What Americans Want
posted by mumimor at 1:02 PM on October 31


It is perhaps interesting that the president is impressed with someone for having sincere grief and sorrow over a mass murder.

The President is implying that those local politicians who asked him to stay away were not sincere in their concern that the President's presence would be disrespectful of the dead and the grieving and that those local politicians were instead politicizing the tragedy.

He's a terrible person.
posted by notyou at 1:04 PM on October 31 [27 favorites]


More often than not, @realDonaldTrump is just an old man shouting at his TV.

As I say every month or so in a megathread: Like you read fortune cookie fortunes as ending with "...in bed.", every Trump tweet should be read as starting with "Long time listener, first time caller...".
posted by Etrigan at 1:09 PM on October 31 [30 favorites]


also trump doesn't understand that ryan is not seeking re-election, having seen his chances of retaining a majority and therefore the speakership go up in a puff of trumpsmoke, and therefore gives zero fucks whatsoever about maintaining the majority as he prepares to skip off into wingnut welfare land and cash the giant check he wrote himself by passing a giant tax cut that helped seal his party's congressional fate this go-round
posted by murphy slaw at 1:10 PM on October 31 [8 favorites]


What the authors of the piece show is that congressional aides grossly misperceive the views of their bosses’ constituents; this is true in both parties, but more so of Republicans.

Having worked in both the Senate and the House, my experience confirms that yes, the former College Republicans in their 20s who are the bulk of Republican congressional staff grossly misperceive a lot of things, including, but not limited to, the views of their bosses' constituents and, basically, everything else.
posted by The World Famous at 1:19 PM on October 31 [32 favorites]


Today in grift + relentless propaganda = MAGA: for only 30 bucks you can pre-order your own MAGA Lego knock-off box and BUILD YOUR OWN WALL! (This set comes with more than 100 pieces including President Trump in a MAGA hard hat!) So, you know, you can't build too big a wall, but probably big enough wall to keep a horde of mini-figs from expropriating the Malibu Barbie Dream House.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:25 PM on October 31 [8 favorites]


A federal appeals court is ruling that the Ohio boards of elections must count provisional ballots in this year's midterm elections for certain individuals who were previously purged from the voter rolls.

Is some Democratic GOTV campaign on this? Get the list, contact individuals with detailed instructions on how to cast provisional ballots, man a hotline to respond to any poll takers who won't accept them?
posted by msalt at 1:25 PM on October 31 [5 favorites]




Jeebus H. Christ, the popups that come up on that MAGA Lego link.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:27 PM on October 31 [4 favorites]


Seema Verma, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (in other words, she runs Medicare), tweeted out "This year’s scariest Halloween costume goes to..." and a picture of a "Medicare for all" t-shirt.

In other words, she considers it terrifying that the program she runs could possibly help people under the age of 65, and thinks that's a good joke.

These are just terrible people.
posted by zachlipton at 1:28 PM on October 31 [95 favorites]


Army Times: Deployed border troops are preparing for militias stealing their gear, protester violence, documents show

From the papers, the military is preparing to defend against an “estimated 200 unregulated armed militia members currently operating along the [Southwest Border]. Reported Incidents of unregulated militias stealing National Guard equipment during deployments. They operate under the guise of citizen patrols supporting [Customs and Border Patrol] primarily between [Points of Entry].”
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:29 PM on October 31 [14 favorites]


10-15,000 troops? By the time the stragglers who are still in the caravan approach the US-Mexico border, the scene will look like the Cook County Assessor's office from the Blues Brothers.
posted by delfin at 1:31 PM on October 31 [52 favorites]


What the authors of the piece show is that congressional aides grossly misperceive the views of their bosses’ constituents; this is true in both parties, but more so of Republicans.

Sure, proposals that are quite left-sounding poll surprisingly well. But then people vote for Republicans anyway. So, I don't know that constituent views are as clear as all that - actions speak louder than words.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:34 PM on October 31 [11 favorites]


Sure, proposals that are quite left-sounding poll surprisingly well. But then people vote for Republicans anyway. So, I don't know that constituent views are as clear as all that - actions speak louder than words.
Isn't the point that most people don't vote? I dunno
posted by mumimor at 1:36 PM on October 31 [2 favorites]


Note to South Carolina kids: Consider skipping Mark Sanford’s house this year
posted by growabrain at 1:37 PM on October 31 [3 favorites]


Ugh, the new mailer from the Pennsylvania Republican Party on behalf of gov-wannabe Scott Wagner screams in all-caps that IF YOU DON'T VOTE, THE DEMOCRATS ARE GOING TO IMPEACH PRESIDENT TRUMP. The graphics are, um, crappy. Front: a pair of ambiguously ethnic tattooed folks, one of whom is (Photoshoppedly) carrying an Impeach Trump sign. Back: Photo Wagner, four times the size of DJT's picture.

Dear Pa. GOP,

Attached is a Scott Wagner mailer that I received on October 31, 2018. I feel that you should be aware that some asshole is signing your name to stupid, racist, badly Photoshopped propaganda.

Very truly yours,

An impeachment supporter
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:37 PM on October 31 [23 favorites]


Ex-CIA Agent's Congressional Campaign Says James O'Keefe's Project Veritas Infiltrated It
The campaign of Democratic challenger Abigail Spanberger announced on Thursday that it had discovered and removed an operative for James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas who had posed as a volunteer and infiltrated its staff.
The operative, who went by the name Monica Nelson, appears to have been Marisa Jorge, a New York-based official who has been previously exposed after embedding with other political campaigns. Justin Jones, Spanberger’s communications director, said that Nelson had been on the campaign as a volunteer for several weeks. She had shown up at the offices with the appearance of being pregnant and said she was bored at home and wanted to help out.

posted by PenDevil at 1:38 PM on October 31 [19 favorites]


(This set comes with more than 100 pieces including President Trump in a MAGA hard hat!)

It's not even a flattering faux-LEGO likeness.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:39 PM on October 31 [3 favorites]


@JenniferJJacobs: Breaking: Trump, talking to reporters before leaving WH for Florida, says troop deployment to border may go up to 10,000 to 15,000 on top of border patrol officers.

@adam_wola [receipts behind the link]:
What is even going on here?

Left: Yesterday. The general who heads U.S. Northern Command saying "14,000 troops at the border? I don't even know where that came from."

Right: Today. The president saying "yeah how about 15,000."
posted by zachlipton at 1:41 PM on October 31 [8 favorites]


It'll be a million fresh troops by Monday night.
posted by notyou at 1:43 PM on October 31 [9 favorites]


It's not even a flattering faux-LEGO likeness.
No, somehow fascinating that even a pro-trump faux lego marketeer portrays him as an ugly yellow and shouty blob.
posted by mumimor at 1:44 PM on October 31 [3 favorites]


Shouldn't the states rights right wingers be throwing a fit about this blatant incursion of Federal troops?
posted by PenDevil at 1:46 PM on October 31 [11 favorites]


I won't buy the faux-Lego MAGA wall set but I am truly tempted, precisely because that is one very angry toy Trump. He looks super pissed.
posted by Bella Donna at 1:47 PM on October 31


trump's actual statement was that he would deploy "up to anywhere between 10 and 15,000 military personnel" to the border, which, if parsed carefully, means that if he sends no troops at all he still told the truth.

emphasis mine
posted by murphy slaw at 1:48 PM on October 31 [13 favorites]


Doesn't Paul Ryan still have an active role in the Congressional Leadership Fund SuperPAC?
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:48 PM on October 31


So the wall will be just be a Baltic Chain with guns?

Giving them no actual jurisdiction or authority will no doubt serve to actualize a currently non-existent situation.
posted by aspersioncast at 1:48 PM on October 31


10-15,000 troops? By the time the stragglers who are still in the caravan approach the US-Mexico border, the scene will look like the Cook County Assessor's office from the Blues Brothers.

If they won't build his wall for him he'll just make it out of people.
posted by scalefree at 1:58 PM on October 31 [2 favorites]


No, he'll just use the troops to start interrogating and detaining everyone who "doesn't look like a citizen".
posted by Autumnheart at 2:01 PM on October 31 [5 favorites]


Seema Verma, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (in other words, she runs Medicare), tweeted out "This year’s scariest Halloween costume goes to..." and a picture of a "Medicare for all" t-shirt.

I work on a government contract related to Medicare. I was in a phone meeting just now that included one of her deputies when she tweeted this. The meeting was about making healthcare pricing more transparent to Medicare beneficiaries. This has become one of the most important initiatives of the administration. One of her deputies was in the meeting. (I'm pretty certain everyone but me was apparently unaware of the tweet.) We were getting a briefing about some behavioral research on whether beneficiaries use healthcare price transparency tools available to them. The answer is no, they do not. At least not yet. When her deputy heard this part of the briefing, he refused to accept it. Refused to accept the facts, or any of the possible explanations. He repeated an anecdote I've heard him say before: his elderly mother will drive long distances to save 3 cents on a gallon of gas. He was told by multiple people well versed in the material, from inside and outside the agency, that shopping for healthcare is not the same as shopping for gas or food or clothing.

I'm sorry my thoughts are so disorganized. I'm filled with rage. And growing my once-small and easy-to-ignore suspicion that "making prices more transparent" really equates to a desired future of forcing people to choose option B over option A, rather than just making options more clear and easier to understand.

Also, I want to say this: My clients inside of CMS are good people. They're incredibly resilient, and knowledgeable, and thoughtful, and kind. I don't know how they put up with this. As angry as I personally feel, I know they will be heartbroken and mortified and torn.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 2:02 PM on October 31 [95 favorites]


If they won't build his wall for him he'll just make it out of people.

Soylent Screen
posted by Barack Spinoza at 2:03 PM on October 31 [23 favorites]


Donnelly open to legislation ending birthright citizenship

Donnelly’s down in the polls. It was hard to check that box for him when I early voted Saturday. But a pretend Democrat in that seat really is preferable to the Trump rubber-stamp that’s running against him. At least Donnelly didn’t vote 100% with Republicans. For Indiana, that’s about the best you can hope for these days.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:06 PM on October 31 [11 favorites]


Shouldn't the states rights right wingers be throwing a fit about this blatant incursion of Federal troops?

The order came from the WHITE House, so it’s all good.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:08 PM on October 31 [3 favorites]


reminder: after today, you trump won't have Don McGahn to kick around anymore:
Former White House Counsel Don McGahn ended his tumultuous tenure at the White House with one last encounter in which President Donald Trump blamed him for Robert Mueller's appointment, sources close to McGahn tell CNN.

In a face-to-face Oval Office meeting, the President groused to McGahn about Mueller's appointment made on McGahn's watch as White House counsel, and the cloud the investigation has continued to cast over the presidency, the people familiar with the conversation said.

Sources say while the President was fixated on Mueller, he also gave McGahn high marks for other matters during his time as the top White House lawyer, as CNN previously reported. One source said the President's continued frustration about Mueller is another example of him shifting blame for the ongoing Russia investigation.
McGahn had decided it was time to go and he left before the background investigation was complete for the incoming White House counsel Pat Cipollone, one source familiar said.

"Typically you would have the incumbent stay until the successor was ready to take his place. But in this case, McGahn was tired of the President and the President was tired of McGahn." The source added while the departure was "positive," both men recognized it was time for McGahn to go. "He didn't want to stay on and the President didn't want him to stay."
posted by murphy slaw at 2:08 PM on October 31 [6 favorites]


At least Donnelly didn’t vote 100% with Republicans. For Indiana, that’s about the best you can hope for these days.

Montana's no blue state but it has Tester, who despite fighting to keep his seat has not promoted removing the legal personhood from future generations of children. I do not buy that we need to look the other way on red-state democrats' support of crimes against humanity.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:11 PM on October 31 [11 favorites]


No, he'll just use the troops to start interrogating and detaining everyone who "doesn't look like a citizen".

Possibly, but with his current batch DoD explicitly said they would act in accordance with the Posse Comitatus Act: "O’Shaughnessy on Monday said the military will conduct all of its operations at the border “in adherence to posse comitatus.”"

Trump could certainly try to assert some sort of inherent Constitutional power to overrule posse comitatus if he wanted, but he hasn't yet and would have to before troops start detaining people.
posted by BungaDunga at 2:12 PM on October 31 [1 favorite]


McGahn had decided it was time to go and he left before the background investigation was complete for the incoming White House counsel Pat Cipollone, one source familiar said.

I seriously can’t even imagine why they’re bothering with background investigations anymore. Are they afraid he’s not corrupt and criminal?
posted by Etrigan at 2:18 PM on October 31 [16 favorites]


I guess I'm reading Donnelly differently. To me, saying "I'll take a look at whether it's Constitutional" is a nice way of saying "no fucking way" without losing voters.

I'm more concerned about McCaskill calling the Democratic base "crazies". If, say, Manchin had said it he'd be getting pilloried.
posted by Justinian at 2:19 PM on October 31 [12 favorites]


note: still vote for McCaskill
posted by Justinian at 2:19 PM on October 31 [16 favorites]


He was told by multiple people well versed in the material, from inside and outside the agency, that shopping for healthcare is not the same as shopping for gas or food or clothing.

This is just so rage inducing, and I'm sorry your meeting was so frustrating. I know someone who is unusually equipped to operate the health care system. As in, she worked in the legal department of a major health insurance company for many years. And finding herself with a high deductible health plan (so the cost would be out of pocket) and a need for a screening colonoscopy, she tried to do the responsible consumer behavior of comparing prices. And could not do it. No available online tool, no series of phone calls were capable of producing an answer to the basic question of "how much will this cost?"

And this is pretty much the best-case scenario for health care shopping where it should really be like buying a TV. It's a preventative screening exam, so she feels fine and there's no urgency whatsoever, it's a neatly packaged service that can be easily described, there are a bunch of providers and facilities that would all be perfectly fine, prices vary a decent amount. And it was impossible. It's somehow even more impossible to price shop under the typical circumstances when someone is sick, scared, needs care urgently, has limited choices, doesn't know exactly what they'll need, and isn't an actual expert in navigating the health care system.

But all we hear from Verma and friends is "free market" this and raise deductibles so consumers have "skin in the game" that. It's never worked, and it hurts so many people in the process.
posted by zachlipton at 2:20 PM on October 31 [72 favorites]


I do not buy that we need to look the other way on red-state democrats' support of crimes against humanity.

Sure. I agree. Those ideals are what primaries are for. But, when you’re down to the general election, and you only have shit choices on the ballot, you vote for the least smelly one because the really smelly one would carry Trump’s love child if he could.

Or should I simply not vote at all? That’s not an option this year.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:27 PM on October 31 [16 favorites]


As long it's with the assumption that those mefites in his district will hold their noses and vote for him over any Republican I don't see why not?

None of these comments should be read as, "...and therefore you should vote for the Republican." So, like, just proceed knowing that no matter how harsh a comment someone might make, they know that voting against them in their next primary and contacting them to voice their displeasure is how any of us will react.

If you don't think Donnelly's actions merit a primary challenge or angry calls from constituents, that's all you're arguing against.

We do need to look the other way when it comes to the general and we all know that, anything else is fair game.
posted by VTX at 2:32 PM on October 31


He repeated an anecdote I've heard him say before: his elderly mother will drive long distances to save 3 cents on a gallon of gas.

This is actually inefficient, his elderly mother (if true, and that's a big if) is using more gas than she would save on the 3 cent savings. So actually it's exactly like healthcare, where a lot of people choose perceived savings over the reality of actual higher costs.
posted by corb at 2:33 PM on October 31 [35 favorites]


we don't need to dive head-first down this rabbit hole every time a marginally useful democrat gives a vague pseudo-answer to a loaded question in the week before midterms, also
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:34 PM on October 31 [22 favorites]


[This "red-district Dem waffles, threat or menace" thing is pretty darn well-trod ground, maybe folks who want to tread it again can go read one o the previous iterations?]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:36 PM on October 31 [7 favorites]


We've been through this a thousand times in here. Given the option, you should absolutely show up and vote for the lesser of two evils in a general election.

The only alternative to voting for the lesser-evil effectively gives a fraction of a vote to the more-evil option.

That's it. Those are your two choices at this juncture. You don't need to feel guilty about opting for harm-reduction. If anything, it's a moral imperative to vote for the least-bad option that has a chance of winning.
posted by schmod at 2:36 PM on October 31 [36 favorites]


I'm more concerned about McCaskill calling the Democratic base "crazies".

There are 2 1/2 liberal areas in Missouri; Map from Jason Kander's race in 2016.

It's a statement equivalent to 'Don't freak the rurals'. All of that angry red area is where we need votes. Missouri democrats are conservative and getting more so. This is what it looked like in 2012 when she beat Todd Akin.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:37 PM on October 31 [2 favorites]


And finding herself with a high deductible health plan (so the cost would be out of pocket) and a need for a screening colonoscopy, she tried to do the responsible consumer behavior of comparing prices. And could not do it. No available online tool, no series of phone calls were capable of producing an answer to the basic question of "how much will this cost?"

Yes, I've had similar experiences. Including calling up every provider/facility/company ahead of my husband's neurosurgery to ask "I don't care what words you use to describe it: How MANY DOLLARS WILL I OWE YOU when this is all done?" and being told zero dollars, and then getting a bill for $2000.

And this is pretty much the best-case scenario for health care shopping where it should really be like buying a TV.

This is what the government wants--regardless of their motive. This is what consumers want. This is, however, not what insurance companies or physicians or hospitals want. Or lobbyists. Because they will all lose revenue. Ambulatory surgical centers uniformly cost way, way less for outpatient procedures than do the same procedures done as an outpatient at a hospital. But the hospital won't make money if you go somewhere else because they can't charge you $45 for an aspirin and $91 for a breakfast plate that looks and smells like cow vomit and oh by the way when you were unconscious we used an out-of-network "consultant" on your case and please write us a check for $3200. And the doctor will probably make less money too. And the insurance company will get screwed, because [insert byzantine insurance company billing scheme bullshit here].

But all we hear from Verma and friends is "free market" this and raise deductibles so consumers have "skin in the game" that. It's never worked, and it hurts so many people in the process.

Yes. I'd thought all this price transparency work was in service of sustaining the long-term health of the Medicare trust fund. So, you know, other people could use it later. I mean, those are the actual words used as business goals and whatnot for all these projects. But then I see a swinging dick like the one I saw today, and I just....

The main reason people aren't able to accurately shop right now--even if they want to--is because the data has no interoperability, and no reliability. It isn't available, and when it is, it doesn't play nicely with other data, and it may not represent your true out of pocket cost. So why would you use it? This will change over time; this is in fact actively being worked on inside the agency right now. But it will take years for consumers to trust the data once it's all available. It's a years-long arc. I fear the state of things by then.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 2:37 PM on October 31 [41 favorites]


the bolshevik larpers in trotskyist and marxist-leninist groups have this concept of "democratic centralism," generally sloganized as "democracy in debate, unity in action." basically the idea is that there's free debate up until the group votes on what to do, after which point debate is over and everyone in the group must enthusiastically support the decision the group has made, whether or not they agree with that decision.

it's a hallmark of our shitty times that we're forced to basically embrace democratic centralism in the defense of idiot "moderatism," but, well, that's where we are.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 2:39 PM on October 31 [9 favorites]


raise deductibles so consumers have "skin in the game"

Like, in addition to the literal skin that medical care consumers already have "in the game"?
posted by mabelstreet at 2:43 PM on October 31 [21 favorites]


homunculus: In court documents filed this week, attorneys for Patrick Stein, Curtis Allen, and Gavin Wright, say the men were influenced by Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric and Russian propaganda on social media and argue that life sentences against their clients would not deter others from committing similar crimes.

Tough break, chaps. We know longer jail sentences don't deter criminals ("This matters for policy, as it suggests that locking vast numbers of people in jail is not only expensive, but useless as a deterrent"), but this, and the growth of private prisons, came from the GOP's "tough on crime" spree that started in the 1980s. Can't be seen to be soft on crime, or the criminals win, right? Oh wait, criminals are people, too. Often POC. [Want more depressing US statistics on prisons? See these International Incarceration Comparisons.]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:45 PM on October 31 [11 favorites]


raise deductibles so consumers have "skin in the game"
The phrase 'skin in the game' (as used in 2018) means the person you are talking to knows nothing about economics, as the prisoners dilemma and tragedy of the commons both show that literal skin in the game is not enough to guarantee optimal outcomes.
posted by The_Vegetables at 2:55 PM on October 31 [31 favorites]


Iris Gambol: Trump vs. the Constitution: A Guide (Aug. 2016, Politico)

Addition via NPR -- FACT CHECK: 14th Amendment On Citizenship Cannot Be Overwritten By Executive Order (Oct. 30, 2018)


scaryblackdeath: From the papers, the military is preparing to defend against an “estimated 200 unregulated armed militia members currently operating along the [Southwest Border]. Reported Incidents of unregulated militias stealing National Guard equipment during deployments. They operate under the guise of citizen patrols supporting [Customs and Border Patrol] primarily between [Points of Entry].”

I have met the enemy, and he is us. Specifically, he is the faux-military "us" who think that it's OK to steal the actual military's gear and undermine actual military exercises and capacity.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:00 PM on October 31 [13 favorites]


Army Times: Deployed border troops are preparing for militias stealing their gear, protester violence, documents show

From the papers, the military is preparing to defend against an “estimated 200 unregulated armed militia members currently operating along the [Southwest Border]. Reported Incidents of unregulated militias stealing National Guard equipment during deployments. They operate under the guise of citizen patrols supporting [Customs and Border Patrol] primarily between [Points of Entry].”


So, um, is FoxNews going to report that the U.S. Army is being deployed in large numbers within the U.S. for the express purpose of engaging against U.S. citizen militias?
posted by The World Famous at 3:04 PM on October 31 [21 favorites]


unregulated militias stealing National Guard equipment

Does this mean unregulated militias are stealing guns from our well-regulated militia? Wonder what the writers of the second amendment would think of that.
posted by OnceUponATime at 3:06 PM on October 31 [33 favorites]


"Unregulated militias are stealing national guard equipment" is one way to sell the plausibly-deniable buildup of paramilitaries.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:10 PM on October 31 [25 favorites]


ImproviseOrDie: He repeated an anecdote I've heard him say before: his elderly mother will drive long distances to save 3 cents on a gallon of gas. He was told by multiple people well versed in the material, from inside and outside the agency, that shopping for healthcare is not the same as shopping for gas or food or clothing.

I wonder if his mother knows she's being used as an anecdote for "old people are dumb."

The fact that this person has no empathy or sympathy for his own mother and is willing to use her as a prop for his broken analogies is no longer sad, it's expected of Trump and Co.


Meanwhile: Verizon won’t speed up 5G buildout despite FCC preempting local fees -- Verizon also lowering capital investment in 2018 despite net neutrality repeal. (Jon Brodkin for Ars Technica, Oct. 31, 2018)

Really, the headline and sub-line say it all. FCC sold out local jurisdiction's authority and gutted its power and potential to actually charge for the time it takes to review what is often a visual blight of cell phone antennas for ... nothing. Absolutely nothing.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:13 PM on October 31 [13 favorites]


"Well, this looks a good spot to store this large cache of weapons and vehicles for a bit, hmm, yeah, I'll just set the documentation right on top here so I don't misplace it. I sure hope none of those darn patriotic militia groups happen to COME BY AND TAKE THEM WHILE I GO OVER HERE FOR A WHILE."
posted by contraption at 3:15 PM on October 31 [11 favorites]


Reuters: The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee is pursuing a wide-ranging examination of former White House adviser Steve Bannon’s activities during the 2016 presidential campaign, three sources familiar with the inquiry told Reuters.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:19 PM on October 31 [35 favorites]


Meanwhile: Verizon won’t speed up 5G buildout despite FCC preempting local fees -- Verizon also lowering capital investment in 2018 despite net neutrality repeal.

This is exactly the type of thing I expected would happen with NN repealed. There's now less incentive to invest in the infrastructure. Why invest in beating the competition when you can just charge your customers more, charging them for things you weren't allowed to charge for in the past?
posted by azpenguin at 3:22 PM on October 31 [25 favorites]


Montana's no blue state but it has Tester, who despite fighting to keep his seat has not promoted removing the legal personhood from future generations of children.

In 2010, when Democrats had a majority, Jon Tester, along with four other Democratic senators, voted against the DREAM Act to protect immigrant children. The DREAM Act failed 55/41 by five votes. That was the last possible chance of getting a DREAM Act.

Face it. Red state Democrats are always walking a fine line.
posted by JackFlash at 3:24 PM on October 31 [7 favorites]






@JenniferJJacobs: Breaking: Trump, talking to reporters before leaving WH for Florida, says troop deployment to border may go up to 10,000 to 15,000 on top of border patrol officers.

Think Progress's Aaron Rupar has the video:
—Trump says he plans to deploy "up to 15,000" troops to the southern border to deal with a caravan of migrants that's a fraction of that size.
For context, America has less than 10,000 troops in Afghanistan.
—Trump promises concentration camps and indefinite detention for border-crossers: "One other thing -- important -- we're not doing any releases anymore... We'll build tent cities, whatever we have to build in terms of housing. We're not doing releases."
—REPORTER: Do think somebody is funding the caravan?
TRUMP: "I wouldn't be surprised, yeah. I wouldn't be surprised."
R: George Soros?
T: "I don't know who, but I wouldn't be surprised. A lot of people say yes."
"I wouldn't be surprised"?!? Does Trump think that he can hide his incitement behind a statement like that? He will have more blood on his hands before Election Day at this rate.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:44 PM on October 31 [18 favorites]


Harry Enten and the Nates

I saw them open for Talking Heads at CBGB in '78.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:45 PM on October 31 [32 favorites]


R: George Soros?

What if reporters didn't try to bait Trump into spreading anti-Semitic conspiracies? Like, that's actually not something they need to do, and playing the 10,000th round of "will Trump agree with whatever nonsense he last hears?" is no longer a useful exercise. It's entirely possible to even ask the question without suggesting an answer.
posted by zachlipton at 3:50 PM on October 31 [81 favorites]


Just wanted to throw this out there, I want to thank people who have provided links/ resources to turn comments into actionable items on here. I was going to quote comments but as I was reading it turned into too many to quote but for example: things like "do things to help people vote instead of judging them for not voting" or "boycott Fox News advertisers" or "this candidate in this race could use some support" etc. etc.

I love it when people include, when they make comments like this, additional suggestions and especially links to help us do something helpful faster. Wanna help people get out the vote? Donate/volunteer here, check out this resource. This candidate needs help- here's the link. Boycott Fox news advertisers, here's a link to a site I've found to be current and accurate about this stuff.

I get that for megathread regulars it might seem like these things are old news- for example, Sleeping Giants- so they don't get explicitly mentioned/linked. But the information overload these days is so intense and ever increasing- especially when trying to follow it all and balance it with our day jobs or whatever else- for me, anyway, I do forget these things and it takes some effort and googling to find them again. I'm not such a precious snowflake that I can't google for ten minutes to figure out what the name of Sleeping Giants was again, but when there are twenty horrible news stories every day and twenty things to donate to/ volunteer for/ boycott, every little shortcut helps us be more efficient. Personally, the repetition of things in these threads doesn't bother me, it helps. I must have seen Postcards to Voters get suggested at least twenty times before I actually decided I wanted to do it (and I did)! Plus even though many of us are regulars, who knows whether lots of people who never comment are reading, people who are new, etc.
posted by robotdevil at 3:52 PM on October 31 [51 favorites]


Wonkette is not just defending Soros, but also singing his praises: George Soros Is A Goddamn HERO
posted by homunculus at 3:59 PM on October 31 [47 favorites]


To robotdevil's excellent comment, I'll add that the "volunteers get favorites" metathread policy (not actually a policy, your favorites are your business, use or don't them as you see fit, void where prohibited, see your doctor immediately if you exceed your favorite limit for more than 24 hours) has been in effect since the 2016 primaries and continues. If someone shares how they spent their time hoofing it to knock doors or battled phone anxiety, please join me in acknowledging their hard work with meaningless internet points.
posted by zachlipton at 4:00 PM on October 31 [40 favorites]


Amanpour interviews Dave Chappelle and Jon Stewart

Stewart and Chapelle (moreso Stewart) were fairly critical of the press handwringing about not getting respect from Trump along with the $$$$ pouring in to news media, and Amanpour was totally in her 'we journalists searching for truth it's not about the money' mode. She seemed visibly annoyed at one point. It's a great interview and I found their comments super insightful.
posted by bluesky43 at 4:02 PM on October 31 [9 favorites]


"I've turned in my ballot. I voted for Andrew Gillum," said [former GOP Rep] @DavidJollyFL. "The reason is simple: it's because I've served with Ron DeSantis."
posted by Chrysostom at 4:04 PM on October 31 [65 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump [video, which includes footage of the caravan and the words of a Latino man in court talking about killing cops with the title "Illegal Immigrant [his name] KILLED OUR PEOPLE"]: It is outrageous what the Democrats are doing to our Country. Vote Republican now! Vote.GOP

@jkuhnhenn: Trump goes all Willie Horton.

@JohnJHarwood: as you recall, Bush campaign distanced itself from the Willie Horton TV ad // this is coming directly from the President of the United States // from dog whistle to guttural scream
posted by zachlipton at 4:05 PM on October 31 [32 favorites]


CNN Exclusive: Trump Blamed Ex-Counsel Mcgahn For Mueller Investigation
Former White House Counsel Don McGahn ended his tumultuous tenure at the White House with one last encounter in which President Donald Trump blamed him for Robert Mueller's appointment, sources close to McGahn tell CNN.

In a face-to-face Oval Office meeting, the President groused to McGahn about Mueller's appointment made on McGahn's watch as White House counsel, and the cloud the investigation has continued to cast over the presidency, the people familiar with the conversation said.

Sources say while the President was fixated on Mueller, he also gave McGahn high marks for other matters during his time as the top White House lawyer, as CNN previously reported. One source said the President's continued frustration about Mueller is another example of him shifting blame for the ongoing Russia investigation.

McGahn had decided it was time to go and he left before the background investigation was complete for the incoming White House counsel Pat Cipollone, one source familiar said.

"Typically you would have the incumbent stay until the successor was ready to take his place. But in this case, McGahn was tired of the President and the President was tired of McGahn." The source added while the departure was "positive," both men recognized it was time for McGahn to go. "He didn't want to stay on and the President didn't want him to stay."
The seriousness of McGahn's interactions with the Special Counsel's investigation notwithstanding, this is another yet example of Trump's actual passive-aggressive management style rather than the "you're fired" take-charge executive.
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:06 PM on October 31 [6 favorites]


@jkuhnhenn: Trump goes all Willie Horton

"The last 3.5 years did not happen."
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:09 PM on October 31 [3 favorites]


Has Mueller Subpoenaed the President? Nelson W. Cunningham, Politico

Marcy Wheeler: "BREAKING: The President and his lawyer insist the President was not subpoenaed in criminal investigation into the President but they also refuse to turn in his open book test in that criminal investigation into the President until they know if they can fire the Attorney General."

She analyzes the situation at length on emptywheel.net: No, Mueller Probably Didn’t Subpoena Trump, Yet "I suspect the subpoena — if that’s what this is — is either for a White House figure (John Kelly or Don McGahn might be possibilities), a lawyer (Trump Organization lawyers Alan Garten and Alan Futerfas both had non-privileged conversations about the pushback on the June 9 meeting, as did Agalarov lawyer Scott Balber), or a journalist (Chuck Johnson and Lee Stranahan have denied having been contacted by Mueller; Hannity would be another possibility)."

As for : "I’m at least as intrigued by the way the timeline [of Mueller's court filings] overlaps with Don McGahn’s last big press push, around the same time as the initial filing before Beryl Howell. A lawyer like McGahn would also have reason to want to avoid the jurisdictional step of being held in contempt (indeed, if he had been held in contempt, it might explain one reason for the urgency of the appeal). It’s also one possible explanation for why someone would skip that step — another being that whoever is making this challenge is even less well-lawyered than Miller. Finally, if it were McGahn appealing a grand jury subpoena, Katsas’ recusal would be a no-brainer (though he has said he would recuse more generally)."

This heat from Mueller might further explain why McGahn became so anxious to leave the White House this summer and departed so hastily after Kavanaugh's SCOTUS confirmation.
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:21 PM on October 31 [21 favorites]


Those voters can cast ballots as long as they were not disqualified from voting due to reasons such as felony conviction, mental incapacity or death.

Wait wait wait ... they're saying you can be disqualified from voting just because you're dead?

sorry, couldn't help myself
posted by joz at 4:28 PM on October 31 [3 favorites]


@Mike_McGough: CA Democrat HQ cordoned off downtown Sac. Reportedly receieved suspicious package. 9th St. closed between R and S.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 4:35 PM on October 31 [1 favorite]


How does the Posse Comitatus Act interact with the 100-mile border exclusion for constitutional rights? Couldn't the White House argue that troops deployed within that zone are "guarding the border" and that they're not acting in a domestic capacity at all? That would give a legal veneer to building concentration camps &c. Yes, I know this means treating migrants as if they were a literal invading army, but that's literally what they're doing, so.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:40 PM on October 31 [3 favorites]


"and subject to the jurisdiction thereof"

Well, suppose they were not... they would not be "illegal" would they?
posted by sjswitzer at 4:44 PM on October 31 [3 favorites]


Couldn't the White House argue that troops deployed within that zone are "guarding the border" and that they're not acting in a domestic capacity at all?

The WH can argue any bullshit they want in a calling spirits from the vasty deep sense but the courts (and ultimately the Supreme Court) will have the ultimate say. Brett Kavanaugh is a man, I am sure, of great intellectual weight and integrity who will undoubtedly do the right thing in all respects.
posted by Justinian at 4:48 PM on October 31 [4 favorites]


Would this be grounds for Conscientious Objection? What if service members were to say fuck right off with this?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 4:49 PM on October 31 [5 favorites]


CA Democrat HQ cordoned off downtown Sac. Reportedly receieved suspicious package. 9th St. closed between R and S.

Sacramento police say the "suspicious envelope" is not dangerous.
posted by murphy slaw at 4:50 PM on October 31 [4 favorites]


As far as I know the 100-mile zone relates to police powers, and the Posse Comitatus Act specifically forbids using the Army in a law-enforcement capacity. That is- while certain kinds of stops might be allowed in the 100-mile zone, you can't use the Army to do it.

The Insurrection Act offers some narrow possibilities though. There's a flowchart. You could declare the immigrants a "public health emergency", and then declare that border states are "incapable of maintaining public order". In the alternate reality the Fox News propagates, both of those are true. "American carnage", "bringing crime", "law and order president", etc.
posted by BungaDunga at 4:56 PM on October 31 [1 favorite]


The Toronto Star's Trump rally live-tweeter/fact-checker Daniel Dale covers tonight's one in Florida here. "Trump just prompted a CNN SUCKS chant out of his comments on the Pittsburgh massacre" which tells you what kind of a night this is.

The only drawback to Dale's scrupulous text-based approach is that without the occasional video clip, it's easy to underestimate how well Trump interacts with/manipulates these crowds of fans. Trump's pronouncements still sound "whacky" (to use his favorite word) to normal viewers, but they're keyed to meet the immediate expectations of his audience or elicit responses from it. (This was why he was taken so aback that his schtick wasn't going over reliably with the Future Farmers of America last week—"You're a hard crowd to figure," he confessed up front to them.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:56 PM on October 31 [17 favorites]


One other way to satisfy Posse Comitatus is to claim that states are refusing to deal with illegal immigration, and the violence being caused by illegal immigrants is infringing on Americans' constitutional rights. That is, to abuse the same exception that Eisenhower used to enforce desegregation in Little Rock.
posted by BungaDunga at 5:06 PM on October 31


fluttering hellfire: it is a pretty high bar, and appears to be limited to objection to "participation in war in any form."
wikipedia's source, DoD Instruction 1300.06 (2007) bars "selective" objection: "the individual's objections must be to all wars rather than a specific war," but that DoD Instruction has been reissued & cancelled by a 2017 revision, in the text of which I readily find no instances of "selective" modifying conscientious objection.
that is probably moot insofar as the mission is not one of war (ostensibly, and so far). moreover, troops assigned this mission have already enlisted, and so, subject to very limited exception, are likely ineligible.

separately, posse comitatus is unlikely to significantly restrict what those troops do in mexico.
posted by 20 year lurk at 5:18 PM on October 31 [3 favorites]


Well, back from my days in uniform with Sgt Alvarado and my squadmates Valcarcal and Flacco...they might have some problems with the troops using force against la rasa.

I would absolutely love, however, to see those bum fuck militia turds go up against my old infantry platoon. We fought some skinheads in Germany once without weapons, and it was a rout. My proudest moment under the flag.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 5:22 PM on October 31 [66 favorites]


moreover, troops assigned this mission have already enlisted, and so, subject to very limited exception, are likely ineligible.

They could still refuse. They would probably be subject to court martial, prison time, dishonorable discharge, loss of benefits, etc etc.
posted by zrail at 5:25 PM on October 31 [2 favorites]


Would this be grounds for Conscientious Objection? What if service members were to say fuck right off with this?

That is not how Conscientious Objectorship works. A Conscientious Objector is a lot more than someone refusing to follow orders they don't like.
posted by Miko at 5:27 PM on October 31 [15 favorites]


I don't know anything about them really, but there's a group called Courage To Resist that's trying to encourage and help individual service members to refuse to collaborate on the internment camps.
posted by contraption at 5:51 PM on October 31 [7 favorites]


A Conscientious Objector is a lot more than someone refusing to follow orders they don't like.

Well, there is also more to refusing to follow illegal orders than not liking them - there is an objective standard, although, as with many things in life, it may be hard to say exactly where the line is. Clearly, for example, an order to massacre civilians must not be obeyed, since it is an order to commit a war crime and a human rights violation.
posted by thelonius at 6:03 PM on October 31 [6 favorites]


Would this be grounds for Conscientious Objection? What if service members were to say fuck right off with this?

Soldiers are allowed, per the Uniform Code of Military Justice, to refuse to obey illegal or immoral orders.They don’t have to declare CO status, they can simply refuse to obey, and I hope they do. They may get charged, but “this order was illegal to give” is absolutely a defense.
posted by corb at 6:04 PM on October 31 [60 favorites]


Children of Mo. candidate who espouses anti-Semitism have a message: don’t vote for him
Emily West has a message for voters in Missouri House District 15.

Don’t vote for her dad.

“I can’t imagine him being in any level of government,” she told The Star on Monday.

Her dad is Steve West, 64, the Republican candidate for the Missouri General Assembly who made headlines after winning the GOP primary in August when word spread about his radio show and website through which he regularly espoused an array of bigotry including homophobia, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and outright racism.

“A lot of his views are just very out there,” Emily West said. “He’s made multiple comments that are racist and homophobic and how he doesn’t like the Jews.”

On Tuesday, her brother contacted The Star to say that he, too, was concerned about their father’s candidacy.

“My dad’s a fanatic. He must be stopped,” said Andy West, the middle of Steve West’s three children. “His ideology is pure hatred. It’s totally insane.
posted by octothorpe at 6:06 PM on October 31 [70 favorites]


...on the other hand, attempted conscientious objection might be an interesting way to probe the boundaries of the new religious liberty that apparently protects people from doing the jobs when they feel doing their jobs might conflict with some minor, tangential comment in their source of ethics that they take to be the lynchpin of their faith.

if i can refuse to sell a cake to a class of persons who do not abide by one of the rules articulated (in a passage i cannot even cite correctly in my legal filings) by a patriarch or prophet of the religion from which the religion informing my deep faith arose because to do otherwise would violate my religious freedom (aside: this is not what the cake shop case held, at all, but the received catastrophic gloss), then why wouldn't an order to turn my guns on la rasa in contravention of the explicit guidance of my god (i'm thinking "as you do to the least of these" but there are surely more, maybe better, passages) violate my deeply-held and sincere religious belief in striving to live up to that deity's standard?

i don't think that's the right direction to be pushing religious liberty, but maybe it is the kind of case recent trends in religious liberty activism and jurisprudence deserve.

isn't the duty of a soldier to refuse to carry out an illegal order codified in the uniform code of military justice? (on preview: whoops, thanks thelonius & corb) a drawback there is that it is difficult to know which illegal things are still illegal. so far, that something is illegal has not stopped the president from saying he'll do it, or everyone from repeating that he'll do it and workshopping viable approaches and objections, or his actually attempting to do it, or the courts from figuring out a way that it is okay that he did it.
posted by 20 year lurk at 6:14 PM on October 31 [4 favorites]


Gen-X with shitty Fox News boomer parents needs a support group. I'll bring donuts.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:26 PM on October 31 [59 favorites]


Forget about Oprah: Michael "Bae" Jordan is also getting out the vote in Georgia and is calling attention to #VotingWhileBlack.

Little Wallace all grown up and doin' good!
posted by TwoStride at 6:30 PM on October 31 [26 favorites]


Sacramento police say the "suspicious envelope" is not dangerous.

We had one of those in Charlotte yesterday. What it turned out to be will shock you!

‘Suspicious package’ that started uptown Charlotte bomb scare was a Journey cassette

Well OK, maybe not shock. Kinda funny actually.
posted by scalefree at 6:41 PM on October 31 [11 favorites]


The revised SCOTUS would probably favor an argument that posse commitatus doesn't apply to using military troops for a national security purpose at the geographic border, if not the already ludicrous 4th-Am-Lite "border zone" in which CBP and etc currently operate under relaxed strictures.

Or, not yet, anyway.

The political question doctrine could be used to avoid answering any of the philosophical questions about what national security really means.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:01 PM on October 31


I don't think I have seen this mentioned here. Mods, please delete if it's a dupe:

Beto received threats from pipe bomb suspect in April.

Per the article, he made the threats via Facebook, which may explain why he was arrested so quickly. The guy has (presumably) been under investigation by Capitol police for 7 months and FBI for 4.

Also, Cruz calls him a terrorist! I remain cynical as to why, but he said it.

And Beto made (yet another) quotable reported in the article that lets me live in the dream world (even if just for two seconds) that civility could be restored to America and to politics.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 7:02 PM on October 31 [2 favorites]


Cruz calls him a terrorist

Austin had a guy leaving/mailing package bombs all around the city a while back, and there was lots of mumbling about whether the guy should be called a terrorist, but Cruz went on TV and called the guy a terrorist, so Cruz calling this guy a terrorist has precedent.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:11 PM on October 31 [4 favorites]


if i can refuse to sell a cake...then why wouldn't an order to turn my guns...

The military has a certain amount of wiggle room regarding Constitutional issues because of the power goven the government in Article I to regulate the armed forces.

I'm not here to debate the morality or feasibility of refusing to follow an illegal order, just to refute the narrow point of error of thinking that that is the same as CO status. It's not.
posted by Miko at 7:14 PM on October 31 [6 favorites]


Holy moly: David Neiwert's Twitter thread on eliminationism (1 of 75, it's quite detailed and upsetting, but...wow, powerful). "“Eliminationism” is a term you need not just to become familiar with, especially in today’s American rush toward authoritarianism. This will be a long, illustrated thread explaining what it means, how it works, and why Donald Trump is now our Eliminationist in Chief."
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:22 PM on October 31 [50 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

// 6 days until Election Day //

** 2018 Senate:
-- AZ:
-- Ipsos poll has GOPer McSally up 48-46 on Dem Sinema [MOE: +/- 4.0%].
-- SSRS poll has Sinema up 51-47 [MOE: +/- 4.4%].
-- Fox News poll has it tied 46-46 [MOE: +/- 3.5%].
-- CA:
-- UC Berkeley poll has incumbent Feinstein up 45-36 on de León[MOE: +/- 4.0%].
-- Probolsky Research poll has Feinstein up 41-35 [MOE: +/- 3.3%].
-- FL: Ipsos poll has Dem Nelson up 49-44 on GOPer Scott [MOE: +/- 3.4%].

-- ND:
-- Trafalgar Group poll has GOPer Cramer up 49-39 on Dem incumbent Heitkamp [MOE: +/- 2.1%].
-- Fox News poll has Cramer up 51-42 [MOE: +/- 3.0%].
-- NJ: Vox Populi poll has Dem incumbent Menendez up 54-46 on GOPer Hugin [MOE: +/- 3.4%].

-- NV: SSRS poll has Dem Rosen up 48-45 on GOP incumbent Heller [MOE: +/- 4.8%].

-- TN:
-- Cygnal poll has GOPer Blackburn up 51-45 on Dem Bredesen [MOE: +/- 4.4%].
-- Fox News poll has Blackburn up 50-41 [MOE: +/- 3.5%].
-- IN:
-- Fox News poll has Dem incumbent Donnelly up 45-38 on GOPer Braun [MOE: +/- 3.5%].
-- Marist poll has Donnelly up 45-42 [MOE: +/- 5.5%].
-- MO: Fox News poll has Dem incumbent McCaskill tied 43-43 with GOPer Hawley [MOE: +/- 3.5%]. | KC Star reporting that out of state political consultants virtually ran Hawley's AG office.

-- TX: UT-Tyler poll has GOP incumbent Cruz up 47-42 on Dem O'Rourke [MOE: +/- 3.0%].

-- WI: Marquette poll has Dem incumbent Baldwin up 54-43 on GOPer Vukmir [MOE: +/- 3.2%].

-- MT: Gravis poll has Dem incumbent Tester up 48-45 on GOPer Rosendale [MOE: +/- 3.5%].

-- MT: Libertarian Breckenridge drops out, endorsing GOPer Rosendale. Breckenridge was polling low single digits, and Montana is heavy early voting, so probably a minimal impact.
** 2018 House:
-- ND-AL: Same Fox News poll has GOPer Armstrong up 55-33 on Dem Schneider. [Trump 64-28 | Solid R]

-- PA-16: Susquehanna poll has Dem DiNicola up 51-47 on GOP incumbent Kelly [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. [Trump 58-38 | Cook: Lean R] => I would love if this recent Susquehanna polling were accurate, but they seem a bit too good to be true.

-- NJ-07: [Clinton 49-48 | Cook: Tossup]
-- Monmouth poll has Dem Malinowski up 47-44 on GOP incumbent Lance in their standard turnout model. Low turnout, tied at 46; high turnout, Malinowski up 48-43 [MOE: +/- 5.2%].
-- Siena poll has Malinowski up 47-39 [MOE: +/- 4.6%].
-- ME-02: Emerson poll has Dem Golden up 47-46 on GOP incumbent Poliquin [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. [Trump 51-41 | Cook: Tossup] => RCV would apply to this race.

-- NH-01: Emerson poll has Dem Pappas up 48-46 on GOPer Edwards [MOE: +/- 4.3%]. [Trump 48-47 | Cook: Likely D]

-- MT-AL: Same Gravis poll has Dem Williams tied 48-48 with GOP incumbent Gianforte. [Trump 57-36 | Cook: Lean R]

-- NY-19: Survey USA poll has Dem Delgado tied 44-44 with GOP incumbent Faso [MOE: +/- 4.2%]. [Trump 51-44 | Cook: Tossup]

-- VA-05: Surprise endorsement of Dem Cockburn by former GOP Senator John Warner. [Trump 53-42 | Cook: Lean R]

-- IA-04: NRCC says it will not assist incumbent King's campaign, which is known to be short of cash. Siena poll is in the field right now, offering a chance to confirm if this one is really breaking late. [Trump 61-34 | Cook: Lean R]

-- VA-07: WP reports that Project Veritas, the James O'Keefe ratfucking operation, apparently infiltrated the campaign of Dem Spanberger. [Trump 51-44 | Cook: Tossup]

-- Crystal Ball: What districts might be bellwethers.

-- Rakich: Where candidates are out-performing their party.
** Odds & ends:
-- AK gov: Alaska Survey Research poll has GOPer Dunleavy up 43-42 on Dem Begich. When respondents who selected indy Walker, who dropped out of the race (not everyone watches the news), the result was Begich up 46-43 [MOE: +/- 4.4%]. [Cook: Lean R]

-- AZ gov: [Cook: Likely R]
-- Same Ipsos poll has GOP incumbent Ducey up 57-37 on Dem Garcia.
-- Same SSRS poll has Ducey up 52-45.
-- Same Fox News poll has Ducey up 55-37.
-- CA gov: Same UC Berkeley poll has Dem Newsom up 58-40 on GOPer Cox. | Downballot: Prop 6 (gas tax repeal): NO 56-40. Prop 10 (permit rent control): NO 60-35.

-- FL gov: Same Ipsos poll has Dem Gillum up 50-44 on GOPer DeSantis. [Cook: Tossup]

-- NV gov: Same SSRS poll has Dem Sisolak up 46-45 on GOPer Heller. [Cook: Tossup]

-- TN gov: [Cook: Likely R]
-- Same Cygnal poll has GOPer Lee up 59-36 on Dem Dean.
-- Same Fox News poll has Lee up 54-37.
-- WI gov: Same Marquette poll has Dem Evers tied 47-47 on GOP incumbent Walker. [Cook: Tossup] | Downballot: AG: GOP incumbent Schimel up 47-45 on Dem Kaul.

-- ME gov: Emerson poll has Dem Mills up 50-42 on GOPer Moody [MOE: +/- 3.5%]. [Cook: Tossup]

-- NH: Emerson poll has GOP incumbent Sununu up 51-43 on Dem Kelly [MOE: +/- 4.9%]. [Cook: Lean R]

-- CT gov: Emerson poll has Dem Lamont up 46-39 on GOPer Stefanowski [MOE: +/- 3.7%]. [Cook: Tossup] => Joe Lieberman has pledged to serve on a Stefanowski transition team, reminding us all that he is just the biggest piece of shit.

-- OR gov: Hoffman Research poll has Dem incumbent Brown up 45-42 on GOPer Buehler [MOE: +/- 3.7%]. [Cook: Tossup]

-- KS gov: Ipsos poll has Dem Kelly at 43, GOPer Kobach at 41, indy Orman at 9 [MOE: +/- 3.6%]. [Cook: Tossup]

-- OK gov: SoonerPoll has GOPer Stitt up 46-42 on Dem Edmondson [MOE: +/- 4.6%]. [Cook: Tossup]

-- MI gov: GOPer Schuette cancelling most ad buys, seemingly conceding likely defeat. This matters less for this race - Dem Whitmer has been consistently in the lead - than downballot, where Dems have a chance of taking both houses of the legislature.

-- Survey USA poll of NC downballot [MOE: +/- 6.0%], has Dem Earls leading for the Supreme Court with 44 over GOPer Jackson at 22, and pseudo-GOPer Anglin at 19. Earls is a civil rights lawyer, so this would be great. Ballot amendments:
-- Cap state income tax at 7%: YES 47-41
-- Right to hunt and fish: YES 64-29
-- Hijack governor's ability to fill judicial vacancies: NO 52-31
-- Hijack governor's role in election boards: NO 47-37
-- Strengthen rights of crime victims: YES 65-27
-- Require voter ID: YES 59-37
-- Good DKE roundup of ballot initiatives impacting voting rights.
** Averages & forecasts:
-- 538 generic ballot average: D+8.5 (50.1/41.6)

-- 538 House forecast (classic): 85.7% chance of Dem control

-- 538 Senate forecast (classic): 15.2% chance of Dem control

-- 538 governor forecast (classic): Dems favored to control 24.0 states.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:34 PM on October 31 [41 favorites]


So I have an analysis & prediction that together leave me with deeply mixed feelings. It gives me no joy to say this but I believe Beto will lose & when he does I know why. Simply put, he's too nice. He's a boy scout. It's his strength but it's also a weakness, one I fear will undo him. He absolutely refuses to go negative; on the very few occasions he's done so he's been obviously uncomfortable with it. I think it's possible to thread the needle of going negative without compromising his ideals, I just don't think he'll find that path in the next few days & it will cost him that last sliver of votes to push him past Ted.
posted by scalefree at 7:34 PM on October 31 [2 favorites]


Sorry that comment is so long. Next two days should be the last of the heavy polling results, I think.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:34 PM on October 31 [4 favorites]


I think Beto will (likely) lose because he's running against an incumbent Republican in Texas.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:36 PM on October 31 [61 favorites]


>> Donnelly open to legislation ending birthright citizenship

> I guess I'm reading Donnelly differently. To me, saying "I'll take a look at whether it's Constitutional" is a nice way of saying "no fucking way" without losing voters.


I tend to agree, and also, phew. This was one of two Senate campaigns I'd adopted to donate to. I certainly don't agree a Republican would be better. For one thing, Donnelly voted against Kavanaugh without even turning his decision-making process into national drama. I don't mean to retread the general "how much to support a moderate Democrat" question, but I am super interested in Donnelly. Indiana is really conservative in my experience. Last time I was there, the house three doors up had a Confederate flag hanging outside. So I've been watching nervously as his poll numbers decline slightly and really hoping he and the Hoosiers rooting for him can pull it off. If anyone knows a way to do phonebanking or texting voters from home for his campaign, let me know!
posted by salvia at 7:37 PM on October 31 [7 favorites]


I think Beto will (likely) lose because he's running against an incumbent Republican in Texas.

Sure but that's the lay of the land, not a strategic or tactical choice by Beto. If he wants to overcome that uphill terrain, the thing that can do it is going negative - but in a way that doesn't force him to compromise himself, which I believe is possible. Not going to argue the point further, I've had my say on it.
posted by scalefree at 7:45 PM on October 31 [1 favorite]


Sorry that comment is so long. Next two days should be the last of the heavy polling results, I think.

Chin up, it's only 7 days until the start of the 2020 campaign!
posted by Justinian at 7:49 PM on October 31 [27 favorites]


Clearly, you've forgotten about the numerous state races in 2019.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:50 PM on October 31 [24 favorites]


If they won't build his wall for him he'll just make it out of people.

Trump defends military presence on border and says 'I do try' to tell the truth
"We have to have a wall of people," Trump said, shortly after it was announced that they're going to send 10,000 to 15,000 troops to the border.
Not funny, guys. Not funny.
posted by scalefree at 7:52 PM on October 31 [7 favorites]


A++ to MonkeyToes for that link to the Eliminationism thread. I’m on mobile, so if someone could post the threadreader link, that would be awesome, and as said above, powerful.

*Content Warning*
It is harsh and triggering.
posted by daq at 7:52 PM on October 31 [13 favorites]


So I have an analysis & prediction that together leave me with deeply mixed feelings. It gives me no joy to say this but I believe Beto will lose & when he does I know why. Simply put, he's too nice. He's a boy scout.
Beto will lose because he's a Democrat running for statewide office in Texas, and Democrats have some work to do before they can win statewide in Texas. But Beto has over-performed any reasonable expectation. He's not going to lose because of anything he did wrong. He's going to lose because Democrats neglected Texas for a long time, and they're going to need a longterm strategy to mobilize their potential voters.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:55 PM on October 31 [46 favorites]


>>someone could post... that eliminationism thread at threadreader. on edit: content warning like daq said.
posted by 20 year lurk at 7:56 PM on October 31 [23 favorites]


(i'm thinking "as you do to the least of these" but there are surely more, maybe better, passages)

I'm thinking the passage that follows immediately after is super relevant:
Matthew 25:41-46
Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels.

For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink.

I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me.

Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee?

Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me.

And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.
But really there's a metric fuckton of religious doctrine about helping immigrants and it is not even a wacky hot take to say you can't call yourself a Christian and shoot migrants.
posted by corb at 8:07 PM on October 31 [51 favorites]


it's spelled la raza, FYI.
posted by aspersioncast at 8:12 PM on October 31 [8 favorites]


Gabriel Sherman tonight
posted by growabrain at 8:26 PM on October 31


thx, aspersioncast. noted. apologies.

old enough to remember when the people posing as the adults in the room conveyed their confident assessment that up to 10,000 al-qaeda "sleeper agents" were scattered throughout the american 'burbs waiting to be activated, i find david neiwert's eliminationism thread inexplicably silent on a decade or more of the reviling of muslims, and of patriots murdering sikhs. oh, and torturing a bunch of unpersons, glibly musing about "glassing" tehran from the presidential primary debate stage. but for that omission, a harrowing, excellent overview.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:43 PM on October 31 [5 favorites]


I am in a city/county just south of Indianapolis. If Joe Donnelly ends up holding his seat I will be flabberghasted. Nobody is excited about Joe Donnelly. If he loses it's a case where he did it to himself by being a waffling dipshit who waffles to the right.

All the excitement and work down here is being put into Liz Watson (IN, 9th District.)
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:53 PM on October 31 [1 favorite]


Days After Bomb Attacks, NRA Doubles Down on Demonization of Soros, Steyer, Bloomberg - Kara Voght, Mother Jones
Not even attempted assassinations have caused the NRA to throttle back on demonizing these targets of political violence. Moreover, the NRA tweet—accusing sinister billionaires of pushing an “elitist agenda on Americans”—fits a pattern of rhetoric that has historically been associated with anti-Semitism.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:04 PM on October 31 [13 favorites]


Abigail Spanberger, the Democratic candidate in VA-07 running against Dave Brat, is a former CIA officer. Project Veritas decided to have someone spy on her campaign posing as a volunteer to try to get some last-minute dirt. They were almost immediately outed after acting suspiciously and trying to finagle an in-person meeting with the candidate. Fucking idiots.
posted by nangar at 9:07 PM on October 31 [19 favorites]


Jesus, that Eliminationism thread. I report antisemites on Twitter most days, and these are the exact attitudes of every single one.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:19 PM on October 31 [21 favorites]


The elimination tweet needs a FPP of its own
posted by growabrain at 9:24 PM on October 31 [22 favorites]


I mentioned Dave Niewart in the last thread, he's been on this eliminationism beat for a long, long time. Can't reccommend reading his 2006 10 part series any harder. He saw the Republican party for what it was years ago and has cataloged every last step of the decent.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:26 PM on October 31 [49 favorites]


Nobody is excited about Joe Donnelly. If he loses it's a case where he did it to himself by being a waffling dipshit who waffles to the right.

As another Indiana resident, I PROMISE you I'm as critical of Donnelly as anybody. But like with Beto in Texas, if he loses it'll be because he has a D in front of his name more than anything else.
posted by Rykey at 9:31 PM on October 31 [8 favorites]


> Clearly, you've forgotten about the numerous state races in 2019.

Yep. Virginia has elections every year. Currently, Republicans have a one-seat majority in both houses of the state legislature. Next year, we're going to try to fix that. If Democrats turn out in numbers like we did last year – and I think we will – we should be able to do that.
posted by nangar at 9:47 PM on October 31 [9 favorites]


Oh yes. I never make predictions, but I am quite optimistic about a Democratic trifecta in Virginia.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:01 PM on October 31 [6 favorites]


Josie Duffy Rice, How to Punish Voters
Mr. Kemp’s attempts to prevent people from voting exemplify the familiar ways in which access to the ballot has been restricted for people of color across the United States. But voter suppression also happens in ways that aren’t as well-known, and are even more insidious. In particular, local prosecutors have increasingly brought criminal charges against black voters and community activists for small technical infractions. They’re sending the frightening message that casting a ballot is risky — a message that resonates even when the charges turn out to be baseless and the people charged are acquitted.

In a particularly disturbing case, Olivia Pearson, a grandmother and lifelong resident of Coffee County, Ga., found herself on trial this year on charges of felony voter fraud. It began six years ago, on the first day of early voting in Georgia, when a black woman named Diewanna Robinson went to cast her ballot. Ms. Robinson, then 21, had never voted before and didn’t know how to operate the electronic voting machine, reported Buzzfeed. She asked Ms. Pearson, more than 30 years her senior, for help. Ms. Robinson would later testify that Ms. Pearson informed her where the card went in the machine and told her to “just go through and make my own selections on who I wanted to vote for.” Ms. Pearson walked away before Ms. Robinson started voting.

Almost four years later, Ms. Pearson received a letter from District Attorney George Barnhill’s office, informing her that she was facing felony charges for improperly assisting Ms. Robinson. The city councilwoman and community leader was arrested and booked. She had never been in trouble with the law, but now she found herself facing up to 15 years in prison.
posted by zachlipton at 11:19 PM on October 31 [52 favorites]


Alright, since nobody else seems to be doing it, I'll go ahead and be the moron that does.

I think the stars will align, hell will briefly freeze over, and Beto will win.

I'll probably be wrong, but if not, then for future reference: I was the one who called it first (and WILL post a follow-up linking to this comment), am wearing his T-shirt here in random-ass Baltimore City, Maryland, where it'll make no difference, and based this prediction on nothing more than my years of service as an Austin resident from 1984-1990, which feeds into my gut feeling.

And those Texas (particularly El Paso) early voting numbers, particularly among the young. I feel like we aren't looking at those enough.

(I'll now proceed to go eat some goat cheese or whatever it is we're doing now.)
posted by CommonSense at 12:21 AM on November 1 [70 favorites]


Josie Duffy Rice, How to Punish Voters

The impersonal cruelty of vote suppression is one thing but this deliberate personal cruelty, upending a person's life & toying with it like a plaything for political gain is just criminal. It makes me deeply angry. These people weren't cheating the system, they were being citizens & these fuckers abused their power in the worst way imaginable just because they could. Fuck them. I wish very bad things upon them. Very bad things.
posted by scalefree at 12:51 AM on November 1 [37 favorites]


How to Punish Voters

Isn't there some way that the ACLU or League of Women Voters can bring lawsuits against these DAs for malicious prosecution? I would donate money to that effort in a second.
posted by msalt at 1:47 AM on November 1 [27 favorites]


Yeah, I am totally down with helping fund the countersuit against the DA.
posted by jadepearl at 1:54 AM on November 1 [10 favorites]


This is just getting out of hand. Yes, let's partner with the drug cartels to "pressure" the caravans into not coming here because it would cut into their profits. Maybe Congress should give the cartels a tax subsidy to make up the difference?

Border Patrol union president tells Fox News he wants drug cartels to ‘pressure’ migrant caravans to not come to US
The leader of the Border Patrol’s union suggested to Fox News that drug cartels should “pressure” migrant caravans out of coming to the United States.

National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd began the segment by saying agents are “excited” that President Donald Trump is sending troops to defend the border against the caravans of Latin American migrants making their way north through Mexico.

“He’s been forced to come up with innovative solutions,” Judd explained, “and the readily available solution for us is the military.”

This move, the Border Patrol union chief added, is “going to cut into the cartels’ profits and that could force the cartels to put pressure on these caravans not to continue to come.”

Last week, Fox News’ Jesse Watters claimed the Latin American migrants in the caravans rely on cartels to “smuggle” them into the United States.

“The drug cartels [are] basically acting like toll booth operators for America,” Watters said during the October 22 segment.
posted by scalefree at 1:57 AM on November 1 [12 favorites]


Now there's an ad. Preach, brother.

@future_majority Ask yourself: "What does America need right now? Absolute power or a balance of power?" Think about it.
Then, share why you're voting on Tuesday: Future Majority
[video]
posted by scalefree at 2:06 AM on November 1 [7 favorites]


Michael Lewis (journalist author of The Big Short about the Global Financial Crisis and other nonfiction works) interviewed on Radio New Zealand last weekend: ‘This is what happens when you turn the US government into a Will Ferrell comedy’ (~22min, .mp3 link) discussing various deteriorating systems in the executive branch under Trump, in the course of a book tour for a new book on the subject and general Trumpian unpreparedness to actually win the 2016 election, The Fifth Risk.
posted by XMLicious at 3:10 AM on November 1 [3 favorites]


Alright, since nobody else seems to be doing it, I'll go ahead and be the moron that does. What do we do in the opposite direction? Cruz wins by a hair, Gillum fizzles out, several races have suspicious results, etc? What’s the strategy behind electoral?
posted by The Whelk at 3:14 AM on November 1 [4 favorites]


But really there's a metric fuckton of religious doctrine about helping immigrants and it is not even a wacky hot take to say you can't call yourself a Christian and shoot migrants.

Sure, but anyone who can put that together can also put together that you can't support any part of the platform of the modern Republican party and call yourself a Christian, and that blindingly obvious fact has managed to slip by (or, more honestly, be intentionally ignored) by Republicans who call themselves Christian for decades. Hard to imagine this will be any different.
posted by IAmUnaware at 3:18 AM on November 1 [7 favorites]


But really there's a metric fuckton of religious doctrine about helping immigrants and it is not even a wacky hot take to say you can't call yourself a Christian and shoot migrants.

Jesus said pretty explicitly it would be easier for a camel to pass through a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven and the prosperity gospel followers have retconned it into being a small gate in Jerusalem that a camel just had to stoop down to enter into.
posted by PenDevil at 3:30 AM on November 1 [38 favorites]


Human Rights Group Calls For Investigation Of Giuliani, Trump Money-Laundering Scheme.
posted by adamvasco at 3:57 AM on November 1 [13 favorites]


Jesus said pretty explicitly it would be easier for a camel to pass through a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven and the prosperity gospel followers have retconned it into being a small gate in Jerusalem that a camel just had to stoop down to enter into.

The rot goes deeper than that - I remember hearing exactly that spin from a mainstream evangelical pulpit in the 80s. I used to think that sort of thing could be fixed from the inside, but the Trump era has convinced me otherwise.
posted by bcd at 4:28 AM on November 1 [9 favorites]


she was facing felony charges for improperly assisting Ms. Robinson.

If that's how election law is applied, then some of the stuff I've seen as a poll worker would merit the electric chair. One time I had to report a fellow poll worker to our precinct leader because I overheard him telling a voter, "If you vote for the Republican your taxes will go down; if you vote for the Democrat your taxes will go up."

(Disclaimer: I am not actually in favor of the death penalty.)
posted by Rykey at 4:33 AM on November 1 [9 favorites]


200K voters who have never voted before have cast a ballot in early voting in Texas. How do the pollsters model for that? I understand they do adjust for the landline effect.

I’m cautiously optimistic about the election. For two reasons: first, I’m exactly the pissed off suburban mom they sometimes talk about. Me and my peers have been volunteering up a storm, and to be honest I was not a regular midterm voter before 2016. Multiply me by a few thousand and that has to have an impact. Second, I’ve been texting voters and the enthusiasm is off the charts. I would ignore me! Many voters are not. One just followed up days later to tell me he voted for Sri Preston Kulkarni. I don’t know if this is typical, but feels like a good sign.

I want Beto to win so bad, but even if he doesn’t, think about the down ballot effect.
posted by rainydayfilms at 4:42 AM on November 1 [57 favorites]


The Alpha & Omega Prize for Contemporary Religious Art has just been awarded to John Gutoskey, whose painting individually commemorate victims from the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Florida. The website does not engage in both sider-ism. It opens:

This week, as U.S. President Trump's supporters either massacred, murdered or tried to bomb Americans, the Oakland Museum of California asked visitors, "Do you have faith?" That's why we created the Alpha & Omega Project for Contemporary Religious Arts to track and thank artists who provoke conversations about faith in America.

Plain speaking is a public virtue.
posted by stonepharisee at 5:10 AM on November 1 [35 favorites]


In election meddling related news, the UK National Crimes Agency has (finally) launched an investigation into Arron Banks and the funding for Leave.eu.
posted by PenDevil at 5:28 AM on November 1 [8 favorites]


Buzzfeed provides a solid overview on Russian information-warfare efforts, the Trump administration's passive response to them, and the tech sector's attempts to catch up with security: Russia Is Meddling In The Midterms. The White House Just Isn't Talking About It. Russia hasn't tried to hack voting machines in 2018, the government says, but its propaganda efforts are as active as ever.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:48 AM on November 1 [11 favorites]


Historical podcasting grandmaster Mike Duncan (History of Rome, Revolutions) writes a historical opinion piece for the Washington Post: This Is How Republics End
posted by absalom at 6:04 AM on November 1 [33 favorites]


The comparison to Afghanistan got me thinking. Let’s assume for the moment that that 15,000 troops number is not just Trump blustering in advance of an election. If I’m Mexico, what do I think about that? Do I treat this as the buildup to a war?

Also, under normal rules about asylum and who qualifies, directing drug cartels to attack a group of migrants (many of whom might not otherwise qualify) seems... counterproductive. No?
posted by eirias at 6:19 AM on November 1 [3 favorites]


The invasion is coming to our shores!! It’s world war Z!
posted by growabrain at 6:33 AM on November 1


This dovetails into the discussion of soldiers refusing an illegal order, For Trump, a ‘national emergency’ is anything he says it is — including the migrant caravan (WaPo):
President Trump declared a national emergency last week — in a tweet.
...
But Trump has filed no legal proclamation declaring a national crisis as required under a 1976 law enacted to rein in abuses of executive power by granting presidents additional authorities only in specific instances and for a limited time frame.

For Trump, the caravan is an emergency merely because he said so.
posted by peeedro at 6:42 AM on November 1 [11 favorites]


The website does not engage in both sider-ism.

I was unsure what is meant by this gloss. This is a great project and prize, but there's no reason to imagine it would engage in both-siderism. It's a blog about a personal project to promote contemporary religious art by two people who seem to be art collectors. The Oakland Museum, which is one of my favorite and most socially engaged museums in the nation, isn't an author of this statement - they just had an exhibit that the authors wanted to blog about, and they do keep a calendar of museums with religious art exhibitions. So it's neither a journalistic nor an institutional message, and there's no reason the blog authors would be obligated by any ethic to represent any "sides" other than their own. I mean I think it's great, but this falls within the realm of free expression and advocacy, which can be polemical if it wants to. These men are clearly arts leaders and I absolutely love their project and it will have a great impact. But it's not journalism because it's not journalism.
posted by Miko at 6:47 AM on November 1 [5 favorites]


The rot goes deeper than that - I remember hearing exactly that spin from a mainstream evangelical pulpit in the 80s. I used to think that sort of thing could be fixed from the inside, but the Trump era has convinced me otherwise.

I've noted before that in 1980, evangelicals had one of their own in the White House in Jimmy Carter, a man of apparently genuine piety, who once confessed to "committing adultery in his heart" by looking at other women with lust, and whose life since has been as close to sainthood as any public figure I can name.

And the so-called "moral majority" abandoned him in droves to vote for Ronald Reagan, who had already been divorced and remarried, which strict christian doctrine supposedly condemns.

They've always been hypocrites and fully prepared to sell out their so-called "values" in a devil's bargain to gain temporal power. Some predicted at the time that doing so would corrupt both the evangelical faith and politics alike, and boy howdy, has it ever.
posted by Gelatin at 7:03 AM on November 1 [75 favorites]


> But it's not journalism because it's not journalism.

Sure, but it refreshing to see a public institution speaking forthrightly about the situation. Not all debate is in the newspapers and blogs. Calling out Trump supporters in public wherever possible is urgent work.
posted by stonepharisee at 7:16 AM on November 1 [5 favorites]


Poll: Nearly 4-In-5 Voters Concerned Incivility Will Lead To Violence (NPR, Nov. 1, 2018)
Roughly 80 percent of voters say they are concerned that the negative tone and lack of civility in Washington will lead to violence or acts of terror, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll conducted after the recent deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

But they are divided on who is the most to blame.
The divide will shock you!

Hah, no it won't. Dems and Independents mostly blame Trump, while Republicans are split whether Democrats in Congress or Mass Media are more to blame. Ellos viven en otro mundo, I mutter to myself almost daily. Truly, they live in another world.

Speaking of another world, Mexicans shower the caravan with kindness — and tarps, tortillas and medicine (Joshua Partlow for the Washington Post, October 26, 2018)
Everything Pedro Osmin Ulloa was wearing, from the black felt shoes with the gold buckles to the shimmery blue button-down, was as new to him as he was to Mexico.

The 30-year-old Honduran corn farmer and dogged sojourner in the migrant caravan was dressed head-to-toe in donated clothes. His 3-year-old son, Alexander, played with donated toys. And the rest of the family — his wife, his two brothers and a cousin — sat on the sidewalk eating beef stew and tortillas ladled out for them by residents of this bustling market town in Mexico’s southern Chiapas state.

“These people have been beautiful,” he said. “Everyone’s helping us out.”

Who is financing the caravan? There is no sign here of George Soros or the Russians. Instead, the responsibility of feeding, clothing and sheltering several thousand migrants has been embraced by the small Mexican towns along the route, with residents jumping into charity mode as if they are responding to a natural disaster. It was hard to walk a block in this town without seeing crates of free bottled water, tables packed with ham and cheese tortas or relief stations filled with medical supplies donated by the community to help the people on this grueling march.

“We’re supporting them 100 percent,” Rafael Trinidad, a municipal employee, said as he passed out sandwiches to migrants arriving along the main road. “At least here, they can feel good.”
Emphasis mine, because these are the role models the world needs to see, and Christians should be celebrating.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:18 AM on November 1 [99 favorites]


So apparently Carter Page has a TV show, America in the World With Carter Page, debuting this Saturday on One America News Network. (Which somehow gets distribution from companies like DirecTV and Verizon, despite peddling far right conspiracy theories and being enough of a rinky-dink operation that "Page signed his paperwork with the network Wednesday night".) And, "the broadcast this weekend will be a pre-midterms special, set to feature guest J. D. Gordon, another former Team Trump foreign-policy hand who also became a fixture in Trump-Russia controversy."
posted by mubba at 7:20 AM on November 1 [1 favorite]


t it refreshing to see a public institution

No, this is what I meant in that I think the gloss is misplaced. Alpha Omega Arts is not a public institution. It's a private project. I don't even think it's a private nonprofit, just a personal project. That's why we can't really draw any bigger lessons from it about what public institutions or journalists should or could do. This is in a totally different category of expression.

I agree, call out Trump everywhere you can, but this particular case isn't an example of what a news org or a nonprofit should or could do. Just what some individuals can do.
posted by Miko at 7:21 AM on November 1 [7 favorites]


Pompeo's ideological war on the State Department continues from within, Politico reports: Trump's State Department Eyes Ban On Terms Like 'Sexual Health'
U.S. diplomats may soon be prohibited from using the phrases “sexual and reproductive health” and “comprehensive sexuality education” under a proposal being floated to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, four people familiar with the issue said.

The proposal is being pushed by a handful of conservative political appointees at the State Department and other agencies, including Mari Stull, an adviser at State whose alleged mistreatment of career government staffers has already sparked multiple federal investigations.

It was not immediately clear what sort of direct policy changes, if any, could result from eliminating such terms, which have been used for years in domestic and international communications.

But changing the terms could lead to more contentious negotiations at the United Nations and other forums over language used for resolutions and agreements. It also could complicate matters for some non-governmental groups that receive U.S. funding and opt to stick with the traditional terms.[...]

Stull and another political appointee, Bethany Kozma, are behind the push to restrict the terminology, three of the people familiar with the issue said. The pair tried to initially put the proposal in a diplomatic cable to all embassies. But they switched it to a memo for Pompeo after career staffers warned they were circumventing protocol. Cables are typically signed by the secretary or one of his top deputies, and Pompeo could still send a cable if he approves the memo, one source said.[...]

Stull is a former lobbyist and wine blogger serving as an adviser in the State Department’s International Organizations bureau. She’s under investigation after facing allegations that she tried to create a blacklist of career staffers whose loyalty to Trump she questioned. Kozma is an adviser at the U.S. Agency for International Development who reportedly agitated against transgender rights before joining the administration.
Pompeo, as a Koch-funded conservative extremist and evangelical fundamentalist who doesn't allow exceptions for rape in his anti-abortion dogmatism, is doing to the State Department what he did to Congress as a Tea Party zealot.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:39 AM on November 1 [31 favorites]


> I mentioned Dave Niewart in the last thread, he's been on this eliminationism beat for a long, long time. Can't reccommend reading his 2006 10 part series any harder. He saw the Republican party for what it was years ago and has cataloged every last step of the decent.

Previous thread.
posted by homunculus at 7:43 AM on November 1 [10 favorites]


Less than a month after GOP Senator John Barrasso introduces bill to end EV tax credit (Karen Graham for Digital Journal, Oct. 10, 2018), Wired runs an EV hype article that isn't about Tesla: Chevy's Making an Electric Camaro to Dominate the Drag Strip. And if you want another reason to shout into the void, the context of the bill from John Barrasso (R-WY) might give you some of that fuel:
Right on the heels of the UN report on climate change, the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee unveiled legislation on Tuesday to end the $7,500 tax incentive for electric vehicles.

The legislation from Republican Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming would also impose “a federal highway user fee on alternative fuel vehicles,” which would then go into the Highway Trust Fund, according to a committee summary.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, federal fuel taxes of 18.4 cents per gallon of gas and 24.4 cents per gallon of diesel are the primary sources of revenue for the Highway Trust Fund. But with greater fuel efficiency and the growing number of electric vehicles on the road today, there has been a decline in federal fuel taxes collected.

“The electric vehicle tax credit largely benefits the wealthiest Americans and costs taxpayers billions of dollars,” Barrasso said in a statement. “My legislation levels the playing field for all drivers across America.”
Except EVs also improve air quality, which is good for all people AND animals AND the environment in general, Mr. Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

And in other coverage of either Barrasso's bill or another one, a Republican was whining about electric vehicle discounts only supporting rich people who buy Teslas, and I failed to check his political funding to see if any car companies, or any of the major oil and gas companies who have diversified their investments in recent years. (Then again, a 'new energy order' is threatening shareholder returns for oil companies, so we really should ride this Oil and Gas Train until the bitter, apocalyptic end. We don't want to upset the shareholders, or *gasp* invest more into decreasing our carbon footprints.)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:44 AM on November 1 [12 favorites]


Poll: Nearly 4-In-5 Voters Concerned Incivility Will Lead To Violence (NPR, Nov. 1, 2018)

The Onion beat them to this yesterday: Political Scientists Trace American Democracy’s Severe Polarization to Fucking Idiots On Other Side of Aisle “The analysis we conducted indicates the growing divide in political attitudes has been entirely caused by those dipshits in the other party,” said Dr. Stanley Pomeroy, adding that all these goddamn slobbering imbeciles and the biased media outlets they call news are primary drivers of the nation’s movement toward ideological extremes.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:45 AM on November 1 [17 favorites]


The only REAL answer is that they want the bots to remain.

My guess is that this is to keep Trump happy. He was distressed when they cleaned up his bot followers. I suspect nobody wants to know just how few people outside the media assigned to him due to his current role, actually care what he says.
posted by infini at 7:49 AM on November 1 [4 favorites]


The media loves to point to "extremism on both sides" as justification for the "both sides do it approach" that gives aid and comfort to the rising and increasingly open violent authoritarianism of the Republican Party.

But this morning I wondered, exactly what are Democrats proposing that's so extreme?
  • Expanding the popular and effective Medicare program so it covers all Americans?
  • Reversing the decades-long trend of paying for tax cuts by cutting college subsidies?
  • Suggesting the Border Patrol not run actual concentration camps?
  • Having Congress hold the President accountable for blatantly unconstitutional acts, starting with open violation of the emoluments Clause?
It's only a measure of how the media's relentless, gutless, and lazy bothesidersism has served to push the Overton window to the right that any of the above are even remotely controversial. As others have noted, most in Congress, even Democrats, seem to overestimate how popular Republican policies are, but when they're told honestly, the fact is, they are not. Which is, of course, what all this is about, as Republicans would not have to resort to vote suppression and roiling their base with violent racist rhetoric if they truly were capable of assembling a majority coalition.

Democrats who speak to the media need to push back on the notion that nothing being proposed by any democrat is extreme, and that only the Republican Party's steady march to fascism makes it even faintly appear so. Yes, this rhetoric may seem "partisan" and "divisive" but it's also true.
posted by Gelatin at 7:49 AM on November 1 [38 favorites]


The comparison to Afghanistan got me thinking. Let’s assume for the moment that that 15,000 troops number is not just Trump blustering in advance of an election. If I’m Mexico, what do I think about that? Do I treat this as the buildup to a war?

Nope, not really. It's just another crazy thing Trump is saying/doing, because that's what Trump does. The Mexican government so far has generally been quite obsequious to Trump, just kind of going along with whatever, in the hopes of getting an ok deal in the future.

In any case, the country has other thing in it's mind other than the US:
1) There's a new incoming president who will assume office in December.
2) He just canceled a partially built airport in Mexico City and the economy is getting a beating.
3) Mexico City (pop. 9 million) is without water until at least Monday due to infrastructure repairs.
4) The caravan is a huge issue in the country, independent of the US position, there's a lot of mixed signals about what exactly to do with the migrants and the security of the southern border.
5) The Mexican Supreme Court just ruled marijuana prohibition unconstitutional.

Those are the main headlines in Mexican newspapers today. I think the country is jumping a lot less to Trump's daily logorrhea.
posted by Omon Ra at 7:49 AM on November 1 [42 favorites]


The invasion is coming to our shores!! It’s world war Z!

I know this is just screaming into the void, but I honestly want these people to tell me:

Let's say, for argument's sake, there's an honest-to-god huge crowd of people somewhere who are actually, really fleeing violence and poverty. Who are so desperate to escape their circumstances that they're willing to leave the place they were born and raised, risking everything—even death—in the hopes of reducing their suffering.

How different would that group of people look and act from what we're seeing in the caravan? For that matter, how different does the caravan look and act from other images of we've historically accepted as "legitimate" refugees?

If your answer is "Not much"—and reason and available data dictate that it should be—then why are you being such a fascist asshole so hostile to the idea that these people are worthy of basic human rights and compassion? Why are you so ready to latch on to this bogus "invasion of the leprosy murderers" notion?

Oh, wait. It's the color of their skin. It's always the racism, isn't it.
posted by Rykey at 7:58 AM on November 1 [32 favorites]


“The electric vehicle tax credit largely benefits the wealthiest Americans and costs taxpayers billions of dollars,” Barrasso said in a statement.

Honestly, that's not wrong. I'm not sure the benefit of EVs justifies the credit either. The only reason this is hard to swallow is it's coming from someone who is otherwise perfectly happy to toss benefits to top earners. But road taxes tied to gasoline and credits for the people who least need them are unquestionably problem areas that ought to be addressed. The fact that this $7,500 could go to someone looking to buy a six-figure electric camaro ought to be something we as progressives look side-eyed at. Nobody buying that car at $92,500 is going to turn their nose up at it at $100,000, so as an incentive to reduce emissions this is non-functional.

A functioning congress could put a sliding scale on this benefit the way they do things like, say, the adoption tax credit. As your annual taxable income heads up in the six figures that diminishes and it's a fair way to help folks who need it more while still achieving its goal. EV credits could similarly be income based as well as inverse to the vehicle cost. A congress that didn't have a shrieking terror of anything resembling bureaucracy could switch the highway tax to a mileage-based tax rather than attaching it to gas.
posted by phearlez at 8:00 AM on November 1 [23 favorites]


I do not think we are that far away from a world where Trump does the ultimate nationalistic thing and just pulls out of the 1951 Refugee Convention.
posted by jaduncan at 8:06 AM on November 1 [6 favorites]


I do not think we are that far away from a world where Trump does the ultimate nationalistic thing and just pulls out of the 1951 Refugee Convention.

i suspect the only thing separating us from that world is that in ours, trump has no idea that the 1951 Refugee Convention exists
posted by murphy slaw at 8:07 AM on November 1 [123 favorites]


Trump: Republicans attacked as 'racist' only because they're winning - Caitlyn Oprysko, Politico
President Donald Trump on Wednesday pushed back against critics who have labeled him and others in the GOP as racist, telling an interviewer that such criticism is a sign that Democrats are growing desperate in their efforts to win back power in Washington.

“You know the word ‘racist’ is used about every Republican that’s winning,” he told Christian Broadcasting Network’s Jenna Browder en route to a campaign rally in Florida. “Anytime a Republican is leading, they take out the ‘R’ word, the ‘racist’ word. And I’m not anti-immigrant at all.”
The important take away here seems to be that Trump and the Republicans are self proclaimed winners.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:12 AM on November 1 [2 favorites]


It was in the auditorium at the University of Pittsburgh where I was able to hear first hand the stories of visiting Auschwitz survivors. I cried along with them.

I lived in Pittsburgh 1998 to 2002, it was my first home in the United States.
posted by infini at 8:13 AM on November 1 [30 favorites]


I was just curious what 5,000 people looks like, because I think it's not a lot of people, it just sounds like a lot. So, I looked up some images of 5,000 people. And in doing so I learned that in the story of the fishes and loaves, the number of people fed by Jesus was 5,000. Food for thought.
posted by M-x shell at 8:16 AM on November 1 [29 favorites]


“Kris has spent his career trying to prevent black people and poor people from voting,” he said. “That’s been your goal for decades.”

I heard this clip on 1A on my way to work this morning. Jeffery Toobin does what other journalists refuse to do, and that's to call out Kobach for his true motivations in clear, unambiguous language, without a hat tip to the fig leaf Kobach tries to cover himself with. Kobach tries to defend himself, but poorly. It is quite gratifying.

The commenters on 1A, who all agreed with Toobin, were asked by host Joshua Johnson what are reasonable regulations of voters, and responded with guidelines that could be used to determine if a requirement was reasonable, such as whether the requirement was more likely to suppress a vote than to prevent an ineligible voter. I screamed at the radio, "No, no, no. It isn't up to a citizen to prove she has a right; it is up to the government to use due process to deprive the citizen of her rights." I wish we had full-throated defenders of our rights to vote (on the Supreme Court, for instance, who recently judged it was mete and just that North Dakota prevents tribal members who don't have an address on their IDs from voting) but, alas, we don't.
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:19 AM on November 1 [19 favorites]




I've been to so many marches in the last couple of years that had more than 5,000 people. I think the March for Science as about that size in my city, the family separation protests were twice as big, the March For our Lives was three times as big, and the Women's March was 20 times as big. In all of those case there were dozens of simultaneous marches going on across the country multiplying those figures by in some cases a factor of 50.

I had no idea we were such a powerful force!

If only we'd gotten a fraction of the news coverage the caravan is getting...
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:23 AM on November 1 [25 favorites]


After being out of state last week, and catching up on all the followup from that trip, I finally voted this morning. My closest polling place is a small one, and has only been there for the last 2 years (I've lived in this part of town for the last 10). It was quiet, no line, no wait, and mostly construction workers on break at 9AM when they opened.
All smiles, all around.
I got to see Beto again yesterday, when he made a brief stop in Austin during his drive from Waco to San Antonio. Sounded a little hoarse, as he seems to most of the time, these days. He's like a Van de Graaff generator, arcing electricity all around and connecting with everyone. It was really different from the Pod Save America taping, which necessitated separation. He could have just crowd-surfed back to the vans.
Here are a couple pics: 1 2 3 .
posted by rp at 8:24 AM on November 1 [13 favorites]


The Parkland Effect on Youth Turnout - Nancy LeTourneau, Washington Monthly
A couple of conflicting headlines caught my eye recently.

“Record turnout? Not for millennials — just a third say they’ll vote” by Stephanie Perry, and
“The young don’t vote? This time they will” by John Della Volpe.

Those can’t both be true, can they? The key to understanding how people come to such opposite conclusions is included in the Perry headline when she says that “just a third say they’ll vote.” As I’ve written previously, that ignores history. If we add some historical context to the analysis, we learn that in the 2014 midterm elections, only 19.9 percent of 18-29 year olds voted.

If, as Perry suggests, just a third of millennials vote, that would be the largest turnout among young people since at least the late 70’s. According to Volpe, even that number is low.

The key shift, however, is not just about the issues. [from Volpe]
Issues alone do not lead to youth voter turnout. Changes in attitude must come first, and our studies show that there is a new attitude about the efficacy of political engagement that matches interest in issues that disproportionately affect the current young generation That’s why I am confident that the underlying factors are in place for what Teddy Landis, the student chair of the Harvard Public Opinion Project, refers to as a “youth wave.”
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:25 AM on November 1 [13 favorites]


where we received approval to run political ads posing as Vice President Mike Pence, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, and the Islamic State group. An attempt to place an ad posing as Hillary Clinton was denied.

So Facebook is partisan? Or bending over backwards to keep Trump happy?
posted by infini at 8:31 AM on November 1 [10 favorites]


To put the size of the caravan into perspective--and in case anyone needs a counter-example to show around in your own circles: the Cuban rafter story I talk about? That was 35,000 rafters in 1994. They were taken to Guantanamo Bay and a couple of other places for some processing--y'know, back before Gitmo was a prison. Ultimately most of them stayed here. That was seven or ten times the size of the caravan (depending on who's talking about the caravan today) and the ocean is a little harder to work in than the border. Turns out America handled it.

It was a news story at the time and it sure was a big deal in my life, but there's every reason to have forgotten about it if you were around back then -- because it turns out the country didn't burn down over it.

None of this is rocket science. The only real differences here are a situation easier to handle and a White House running on racism and cruelty.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:31 AM on November 1 [42 favorites]


Nobody buying that car at $92,500 is going to turn their nose up at it at $100,000, so as an incentive to reduce emissions this is non-functional.
Put another way, the tax credit functions as an incentive for companies to develop marketable electric vehicles, allowing those companies to recoup some of their R&D expenses, enter the market in a competitive position with traditional vehicles, and recoup some of their one-time start-up costs.

I don't believe in trickle-down economics, but when it comes to technology R&D, there are a lot of good reasons to believe that the development and mass-production of expensive electric vehicles is going to clear a lot of the barriers to producing cheap electric vehicles.

There are a lot of reasons for why the subsidies are capped -- once the vehicles start to sell well, the government's investment has basically paid off, and is sufficient to prove that the subsidies are no longer necessary.

Is this the best use of our tax dollars? I have no clue. But I don't really see it as a massive hand-out to the rich (especially compared to so many other things in the tax code).
posted by schmod at 8:32 AM on November 1 [20 favorites]


By the way, expanding on my "what exactly are the Democrats proposing that's so extremist?" comment earlier, it's worth noting that some time in the late 1980s or early '90s, Grover Norquist got Republicans to declare unilateral, ironclad opposition to the idea of raising taxes, ever, for any reason.

This doctrine was so pervasive that George W. Bush ran two entire wars on the national credit card (and understandably so; his failures in Iraq and Afghanistan were not popular, and would have been more so had Americans been presented with the bill up front, instead of in stealth mode via rising deficits).

Never, ever raising taxes an extreme position -- and only one of many -- but the so-called "liberal media" media just shrugged.

We grouse about Democrats conceding too much by adopting PAYGO and similar policies, but it's worth noting that on problem with they doing so is they don't get the benefit they should -- their commitment to fiscal responsibility is never noticed, let alone rewarded, while Republicans get away with only caring about the deficit when the Democrats are in charge without ever having their good faith questioned.
posted by Gelatin at 8:42 AM on November 1 [26 favorites]


The milblog Task & Purpose published a piece yesterday entitled "Advice For US Troops Sent To The Mexican Border In An Age Of Terrible Leaders" that suggests the risks being externalized onto junior leaders by the racist C-in-C. (All emphasis, below, is mine.)
We do not live in normal times, but rather in an age of morally compromised leadership. The Trump administration is preparing to send 5,000 U.S. military personnel to the United States’ southern border. There is no legitimate military purpose for this operation. Border crossings are near historical lows, and the so-called “caravan” of hungry, frightened migrants poses no risk to U.S. national security.

Instead, this operation is a political stunt. The administration aims to leverage the military’s credibility in support of its hysterical anti-immigrant propaganda campaign, which is itself a component of a partisan mid-term electoral strategy.

Junior military leaders thus begin in a morally hazardous position which will only grow worse with time. The purpose of this piece is to outline those hazards and to advise junior military leaders on how best to respond.
...and it really is that frank all the way through. It's good, I guess, that someone is laying this all out for the people affected, but also miserably offensive that these soldiers are being used as props like this at all.
1. You’re on your own…

Neither the Secretary of Defense nor any other senior military leader will whisper a word of objection to this political stunt.

Recall that Secretary of Defense James Mattis served as a prop when the president signed his Muslim ban at the Pentagon. Recall also that Mattis helpfully offered DoD facilities to support the president’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents when detained at the border.

To be sure, Mattis has a world-class press operation designed to leak selected postures of toughness which alight the internet. However, if you’ve bet your life that Jim Mattis will discover his spine in the face of presidential political exploitation, you’re already dead.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:48 AM on November 1 [67 favorites]


The military subreddits aren't talking much about the border deployment, but when they do they're very much aware this is a stunt.
posted by Jpfed at 9:05 AM on November 1 [12 favorites]


a “youth wave.”

See also, The National School Walkout
This Fall, The National School Walkout is working with other youth-led organizations on a nationwide High School Voter Registration Challenge. We’re asking every student in America to lead a team that will register every eligible student at their school.

Our organizers are working directly with student leaders and administrators to empower students to register their classmates offline at school-based events.
@davidhogg111 "Who's ready to walk out to vote November 6th at 10am to vote for leaders that actually give a fuck about young people?" [currently at 29k likes and 8.6k retweets in ~14 hours]
posted by Buntix at 9:06 AM on November 1 [43 favorites]


ZeusHumms: "Those can’t both be true, can they? The key to understanding how people come to such opposite conclusions is included in the Perry headline when she says that “just a third say they’ll vote.” As I’ve written previously, that ignores history. If we add some historical context to the analysis, we learn that in the 2014 midterm elections, only 19.9 percent of 18-29 year olds voted."

The additional context is - MOST people don't vote during the midterms. It's usually about 40% of eligible voters.

There has been some talk we might hit 50% turnout this year, which would be the highest for a midterm since the Taft administration.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:12 AM on November 1 [20 favorites]


Hah, it just occurred to me that Voting Day could be made a holiday simply through those who are able to take the entire day off to vote. Kind of a voting strike, maybe it gains steam, but it wouldn't take too many people taking the day off for business owners to start howling, and that's where the laws are made.
posted by rhizome at 9:26 AM on November 1 [8 favorites]


This thought is triggered by a recent column by Ross Douthat, one of the small-but-doughty band of conservatives ensconced in a safe space in the high tower of The New York Times. After dismissing some of those conservatives he no longer agrees with as “converts and apostates,” he urges his readers to turn instead to those “thinkers and writers who basically accept the populist turn, and whose goal is to supply coherence and intellectual ballast, to purge populism of its bigotries and inject good policy instead."
...
"A new Power is rising. Against it the old allies and policies will not avail us at all. There is no hope left in Elves or dying Númenor. This then is one choice before you, before us. We may join with that Power. It would be wise, Gandalf. There is hope that way. Its victory is at hand; and there will be rich reward for those that aided it. As the Power grows, its proved friends will also grow; and the Wise, such as you and I, may with patience come at last to direct its courses, to control it. We can bide our time, we can keep our thoughts in our hearts, deploring maybe evils done by the way, but approving the high and ultimate purpose: Knowledge, Rule, Order; all the things that we have so far striven in vain to accomplish, hindered rather than helped by our weak or idle friends. There need not be, there would not be, any real change in our designs, only in our means.”

And there you have it. Ally with the rising power (Sauron is making his ashen, desolate homeland, Mordor, great again) and use your wisdom to contain and guide it. Your old friends and allies are fools or weaklings. Go along with the inevitable, and you may shape the new world; oppose it, and you will simply fail and perish.
What Lord Of The Rings Says About #NeverTrump Conservatives
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:40 AM on November 1 [18 favorites]


The Wohl/Burkman conference has eclipsed the Kavanaugh hearing for clownshoes, obvious lying, makes no sense, etc.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:41 AM on November 1 [2 favorites]


Jesus said pretty explicitly it would be easier for a camel to pass through a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven and the prosperity gospel followers have retconned it into being a small gate in Jerusalem that a camel just had to stoop down to enter into.

The rot goes deeper than that - I remember hearing exactly that spin from a mainstream evangelical pulpit in the 80s.

I was taught that interpretation (at least, it was mentioned as a possibility) in a Jesuit Catholic high school in the mid-'80s. It apparently goes back at least as far as the 15th century, and maybe further.
posted by The Tensor at 9:42 AM on November 1 [14 favorites]


one of the small-but-doughty band of conservatives ensconced in a safe space in the high tower of The New York Times. After dismissing some of those conservatives he no longer agrees with as “converts and apostates,” he urges his readers

This is a majorly-trending conceit: never say "Republican," only "conservative."
posted by rhizome at 9:43 AM on November 1 [8 favorites]


> OnTheLastCastle:
"The Wohl/Burkman conference..."

What's this now?
posted by rhizome at 9:44 AM on November 1


"The Wohl/Burkman conference..."

What's this now?


It's still ongoing, so posting about it seems a bit premature/live-blogging-y, but if you want to follow along at home @Tierney_Megan and @willsommer are both live-tweeting the event.

Their 'witness' no-showed the event that was supposed to be about bringing their witness forward and now
Burkman and Wohl appear to have no idea how to spell their client's first name. They insist it's Carolyn — but then after reporters ask them, they say it's Carolyne with an E.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by cjelli at 9:48 AM on November 1 [8 favorites]


Those are the two people who fabricated the sexual assault claim against Mueller now being investigated by the FBI. They are holding a press conference. https://twitter.com/willsommer is there and tweeting about it.

These two people are going to prison, and I can't really encapsulate how badly they are handling things.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:48 AM on November 1 [32 favorites]


@willsomer The Q&A is getting heated! Jacob Burkman defends Jacob Wohl's age:

"Jacob is a child prodigy who has eclipsed Mozart."
posted by zakur at 9:54 AM on November 1 [11 favorites]


CNN Cools on Hiring Trump Alums

... CNN president Jeff Zucker has told people inside and outside the network that he’s not interested in hiring former officials he perceives as complicit in spreading falsehoods or spurious talking points, according to four people familiar with the conversations.”

*slow clap*
Thanks a lot, Zuck.
posted by petebest at 9:54 AM on November 1 [18 favorites]


The Wohl/Burkman conference has eclipsed the Kavanaugh hearing for clownshoes, obvious lying, makes no sense, etc.

BREAKING NEWS*: Jack Burkman's fly is down. 🚨🚨🚨

Now that their news conference is over, I'm waiting for an explanation of the giant inflatable rat in a Trump wig that was outside the venue.

* via Rightwing Watch's Jared Holt's Twitter thread
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:55 AM on November 1 [9 favorites]


I was just curious what 5,000 people looks like, because I think it's not a lot of people, it just sounds like a lot.

I like to compare with a sporting event when talking to people about crowd numbers.

"Did you see the Vikings game last Sunday? That's about 66,000 people in the stands."

Or, a bit more than 13 times the estimated size of the caravan.
posted by gimonca at 9:56 AM on November 1 [6 favorites]


Now that their news conference is over, I'm waiting for an explanation of the giant inflatable rat in a Trump wig that was outside the venue.

Activist Claude Taylor brought it.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:59 AM on November 1 [4 favorites]


Best question of the whole press conference:

Reporter: "Are you both prepared to go to federal prison?"

Jack Burkman: "No, we are not."
posted by Etrigan at 10:14 AM on November 1 [65 favorites]


There has been some talk we might hit 50% turnout this year, which would be the highest for a midterm since the Taft administration.

I took a peek at the early voting returns for my county. There's 560,418 registered voters in Pima County. They've received 220,510 (including a batch of 5,000 that came in this morning.) They're well on track to hit 50% here.
posted by azpenguin at 10:19 AM on November 1 [19 favorites]


the story of the fishes and loaves

At one time, I thought this story was about food & drink appearing out of thin air, instead of about people being prodded to share what they had, and realizing collectively that they had more than enough to go around. Seems relevant today.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:21 AM on November 1 [59 favorites]



Reporter: "Are you both prepared to go to federal prison?"

Jack Burkman: "No, we are not."


oh my god, I needed that laugh real bad. thank you.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:22 AM on November 1 [39 favorites]


I like to compare with a sporting event when talking to people about crowd numbers.

Exactly. There are more people in the stands of any random college football game (e.g. Ohio State's stadium holds 100k+) than there are in 1,000 refugee caravans.

It's all about the racism: 1-10 POC is "diverse"; 11-20 POC is "a lot"; and 20+ is too damned many for these folks.
posted by skye.dancer at 10:23 AM on November 1 [7 favorites]


(e.g. Ohio State's stadium holds 100k+)

And is the third-biggest in its own conference, go blue.
posted by Etrigan at 10:25 AM on November 1 [16 favorites]


From LitHub by Aleksandar Hemon:
... only those safe from fascism and its practices are far more likely to think that there might be a benefit in exchanging ideas with fascists. What for such a privileged group is a matter of a potentially productive difference in opinion is, for many of us, a matter of basic survival. The essential quality of fascism (and its attendant racism) is that it kills people and destroys their lives—and it does so because it openly aims so.

Witness Stephen Miller and Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance for illegal immigration” policy. Fascism’s central idea, appearing in a small repertoire of familiar guises, is that there are classes of human beings who deserve diminishment and destruction because they’re for some reason (genetic, cultural, whatever) inherently inferior to “us.” Every fucking fascist, Bannon included, strives to enact that idea, even if he (and it is usually a he—fascism is a masculine ideology, and therefore inherently misogynist) bittercoats it in a discourse of victimization and national self-defense. You know: they are contaminating our nation/race; they are destroying our culture; we must do something about them or perish. At the end of such an ideological trajectory is always genocide, as it was the case in Bosnia.
posted by Bella Donna at 10:30 AM on November 1 [33 favorites]


They're well on track to hit 50% here.

Another data point, from here in Philadelphia (where we don't have early voting, and where most registered voters are Democrats): there were 8,298 requests for absentee ballots in the 2014 midterms; there were 13,116 requests this year, the final deadline for requesting an absentee ballot having just passed. That's significantly less than in recent presidential years -- 2016 (~18,500 requests) or 2012 (~21,400 requests) -- but it's huge for a midterm election. Whether that will track with overall turnout is unclear; still, movement in the right direction.
posted by cjelli at 10:30 AM on November 1 [2 favorites]




Georgia GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Ditches Final Debate At The ‘Last Minute’ - Dominique Mosbergen, HuffPo
The final televised debate between Georgia gubernatorial candidates Stacey Abrams (D) and Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) has been canceled after the Kemp’s 11th-hour decision to pull out of the Sunday forum. He has decided to campaign that day with President Donald Trump in the city of Macon instead.

Abrams and Kemp, who are running neck-and-neck in the hotly contested race, each blamed the other for the cancellation, which organizer WSB-TV confirmed Wednesday.

“We regret that we had to cancel, but once Secretary Kemp pulled out at the last minute, the candidates could not agree to a new time,” Misti Turnbull, the station’s news director, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In a blistering statement, Abrams suggested Kemp was callously “breaking promises” to Georgians, while a spokesman for Kemp said Abrams had been “offered multiple days, times and venues” as alternatives for their dialogue and was “ducking Georgia voters because she can’t defend her extreme, radical agenda on live television.”
To be honest, this is not particularly surprising.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:35 AM on November 1 [5 favorites]


From Filter by Rory Fleming: There are over 2,000 elected local head prosecutors, most commonly known as district attorneys, in the United States. And overall, these powerful individuals do not care what people think about the War on Drugs. They are going to fight it anyway, and hope that the voting public doesn’t notice.

That is the conclusion of an exclusive investigation from Filter, which surveyed the top prosecutors of the nation’s 50 most populous counties. (We included incumbents, outgoing incumbents, incoming DAs and challengers, making 61 individuals in total.) The full results are presented in map, chart and table forms here.

... Many of the prosecutors surveyed have stated publicly that we must treat drug use as a “public health issue,” rather than a criminal justice one. But our findings show that the vast majority nonetheless support or implement practices that drive criminalization, inequality and large-scale human suffering.
posted by Bella Donna at 10:36 AM on November 1 [9 favorites]


I'd argue that part of the problem is that "the public" has a deep contradiction between what it says and how it votes. Partially that's because some of the people more opposed to the War on Drugs don't vote, but a lot of it is because the public will **SAY** they're opposed to the War on Drugs, but then they'll **VOTE** for a prosecutor who brags about the number of (black) people they've thrown in the slam on drug charges.

I suspect there's often simply a disconnect between what people claim to support and their baser thinking, or that they don't realize opposing the War on Drugs would necessarily mean opposing prosecutors who, well, prosecute the War on Drugs.

The American voter simultaneously likes git tuff talk on crime and claims to think the War on Drugs is bad. But when it comes to actually voting, they'll vote for a drug warrior every time. It's maddening.
posted by sotonohito at 10:46 AM on November 1 [8 favorites]


Partially that's because some of the people more opposed to the War on Drugs don't vote, but a lot of it is because the public will **SAY** they're opposed to the War on Drugs, but then they'll **VOTE** for a prosecutor who brags about the number of (black) people they've thrown in the slam on drug charges.

The parenthetical says it all. The American public may be turning against the War on Drugs That White People Like, but the War on Those People And Their Drugs will take a while to get past. A GOP incumbent here in Michigan just came out with an ad featuring a nice suburban-looking middle-aged dad talking about how his son died of an overdose, and the local Republican Congressman is in favor of treatment and early intervention to keep that sort of thing from hurting families. I will give you one guess what skin color is shared by everyone in that commercial.
posted by Etrigan at 10:52 AM on November 1 [15 favorites]


The NYT has dumped a cache of e-mails by Stephen Bannon, Breitbart Washington editor Matthew Boyle, Roger Stone, and Julian Assange that were "obtained" by anonymous sources: Read the Emails: The Trump Campaign and Roger Stone—Newly revealed messages show how the political operative Roger J. Stone Jr. sold himself to Trump campaign advisers as a potential conduit to WikiLeaks, which published thousands of emails in 2016 damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

(Maggie Haberman shares the byline with Michael S. Schmidt, Mark Mazzetti, and Sharon LaFraniere, so the usual caveats apply.)

This article's publication may explain, however, why Stone wrote a virulent, self-exculpatory opinion piece the Daily Caller this morning—The Treachery of Steve Bannon (archive.is link). "This is called “politics.” It’s not illegal."
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:00 AM on November 1 [25 favorites]


The NYT has dumped a cache of e-mails by Stephen Bannon, Breitbart Washington editor Matthew Boyle, Roger Stone, and Julian Assange that were "obtained" by anonymous sources

Oh boy, is it finally... Roger Stone's time in the barrel??
posted by Aubergine at 11:01 AM on November 1 [21 favorites]


"...the story of the fishes and loaves"

ZeusHumms: At one time, I thought this story was about food & drink appearing out of thin air, instead of about people being prodded to share what they had , and realizing collectively that they had more than enough to go around. Seems relevant today.

Until a few seconds ago, I had never considered the second interpretation of that "miracle".
And, yes, it is relevant.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 11:04 AM on November 1 [65 favorites]


More encouragement for servicemembers to refuse illegal or immoral orders at military-focused liberal rag Task and Purpose.
posted by contraption at 11:06 AM on November 1 [9 favorites]


the public will **SAY** they're opposed to the War on Drugs, but then they'll **VOTE** for a prosecutor who brags about the number of (black) people they've thrown in the slam on drug charges.

I can't find it with a quick google but (I am pretty sure it was) Vox printed a piece once talking about how once you told people that the death penalty was racist they liked it better. Presumably people in that case were primarily white folks but I take nothing for granted anymore.
posted by phearlez at 11:07 AM on November 1 [4 favorites]


Jesus said pretty explicitly it would be easier for a camel to pass through a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven and the prosperity gospel followers have retconned it into being a small gate in Jerusalem that a camel just had to stoop down to enter into.

...I was taught that interpretation (at least, it was mentioned as a possibility) in a Jesuit Catholic high school in the mid-'80s. It apparently goes back at least as far as the 15th century, and maybe further.


That interpretation might hold water if not for practically everything else Jesus said in the New Testament, from "blessed are the poor" to "I was hungry and you did not feed me" to "sell all you own and give the money to the poor."

I was taught by Jesuits, and trained to spot that kind of sophistry. I'm sad to see any Jesuits were pushing it instead, unless it was as an example of "here's the kind of bogus Biblical argument that doesn't stand up to even casual scrutiny."
posted by Gelatin at 11:07 AM on November 1 [29 favorites]


Found it.
posted by phearlez at 11:08 AM on November 1 [6 favorites]


If you need a palette cleanser, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Dean Phillips (MN-03) in "Constituents in Trucks Getting Coffee" (spoiler: they don't get coffee)
posted by nathan_teske at 11:12 AM on November 1 [5 favorites]


“We regret that we had to cancel, but once Secretary Kemp pulled out at the last minute, the candidates could not agree to a new time,” Misti Turnbull, the station’s news director, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

So the station rewards Kemp's bad behavior by canceling the event entirely. They could have held the even with an empty podium, noting Kemp chose to campaign with Trump instead (something I'm sure Abrams would have been glad to remind Georgia voters at every opportunity).

By canceling, the station denies Abrams, who has done no wrong and already faces an uphill battle due to Kemp's electoral shenanigans, a platform to address the state's voters. The station should not have made the appearance dependent on her agreeing to Kemp's last minute, self serving change.
posted by Gelatin at 11:20 AM on November 1 [84 favorites]


That interpretation might hold water if not for practically everything else Jesus said in the New Testament, from "blessed are the poor" to "I was hungry and you did not feed me" to "sell all you own and give the money to the poor."

FWIW, the version I've always heard was that the gate was so small the camel (or merchant or whatever) could fit through, but you'd have to leave behind all the bags and money and supplies that the camel was carrying because those wouldn't fit through. It was, as the story goes, the last ditch way to enter the city after the gates were closed at night.

(I guess back then they didn't have ropes to pull supplies in afterwards?)

The interpretation, then, was that the rich could enter heaven but they'd have to discard everything else, and with that they wouldn't really be rich any more, would they? So just go and feed the poor, you knuckleheads.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:27 AM on November 1 [20 favorites]


@IAStartingLine [video]: Steve King blows up at questioner who pressed him on the Pittsburgh massacre #IA04
posted by zachlipton at 11:36 AM on November 1 [27 favorites]


> only those safe from fascism and its practices are far more likely to think that there might be a benefit in exchanging ideas with fascists. What for such a privileged group is a matter of a potentially productive difference in opinion is, for many of us, a matter of basic survival. The essential quality of fascism (and its attendant racism) is that it kills people and destroys their lives—and it does so because it openly aims so. Witness Stephen Miller and Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance for illegal immigration” policy...

Uncle of Stephen Miller: Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Is What Happens When Hate Is Legitimized
posted by homunculus at 11:38 AM on November 1 [17 favorites]


Steve King blows up

Blatant false advertising, although I guess it was nice to see him mad.

Noteworthy: "I knew you were an ambusher when you walked in the room." You can practically hear the triple parentheses around "ambusher."
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:43 AM on November 1 [37 favorites]


I'm so tired of cops just falling all over themselves to remove people who are asking plain questions without even slightly "making a scene" that would otherwise be used to justify their removal. So, they lean entirely on just taking orders directly from the politician who's there to answer questions. It's just such transparent bullshit.
posted by odinsdream at 11:55 AM on November 1 [18 favorites]


By canceling, the station denies Abrams, who has done no wrong and already faces an uphill battle due to Kemp's electoral shenanigans, a platform to address the state's voters.

By canceling at the last minute, he fucked her schedule and stopped her from optimizing her time in the crucial last days of the election. Now the station is forcing her to reschedule yet again and drop other things. It's classic run down the clock bullshit, with a side helping of "you are beneath my notice" racism.
posted by benzenedream at 11:55 AM on November 1 [45 favorites]


Jesus said pretty explicitly it would be easier for a camel to pass through a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven and the prosperity gospel followers have retconned it into being a small gate in Jerusalem that a camel just had to stoop down to enter into.

What I remember learning is that this was probably a second-century typo/misunderstanding, and that Jesus actually said a rope, not a camel. The Greek words for rope and camel are almost homophones and are one letter off. Rope makes a hell of a lot more sense to me, but you know, I'm not a fucking Bible scholar.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:57 AM on November 1 [26 favorites]


[If we're really excited about bible exegesis of this particular phrase, I'd bet it'd make a good FPP!]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 11:58 AM on November 1 [46 favorites]


All I know about this Jacob Wohl saga is that his Chuck Tingle commemoration is going to be amazing.
posted by delfin at 12:02 PM on November 1 [30 favorites]


> From Filter by Rory Fleming: There are over 2,000 elected local head prosecutors, most commonly known as district attorneys, in the United States. And overall, these powerful individuals do not care what people think about the War on Drugs. They are going to fight it anyway, and hope that the voting public doesn’t notice.

Speaking of the War on Drugs: Why Everything About the Trump Administration’s New Opioid Video Campaign Is Wrong
posted by homunculus at 12:03 PM on November 1


Ratfucked In The Butt By My Own Bogus Intelligence Operation
posted by murphy slaw at 12:04 PM on November 1 [52 favorites]


From Johnstown, PA, where Stephen Miller's Yiddish-speaking immigrant ancestors found their American dream. You can't pick your relatives, but if they are fascists, you can drag them masterfully... while blowing your nose.
posted by Scram at 12:06 PM on November 1 [5 favorites]


If you had any question about the type of rocket surgeons we're dealing with here:
TPM's Tierney Sneed:
The signature of the accuser on the affidavit is a docusign
posted by murphy slaw at 12:09 PM on November 1 [18 favorites]


So . . . NYT Stone emails article is trying to exonerate Stone by portraying him as just the same lying grifter he's always been, attempting to bilk Mercers of money through the Trump campaign? Seems like classic Stone self-shade to hide something and/or inflate his weird ego.
posted by Harry Caul at 12:11 PM on November 1 [3 favorites]


"giant inflatable rat"
We have one of those here, I believe called "Scabby" that goes up at pickets till the cops take it down because it's "intimidating" to scabs. A beautiful thing, an inflatable rat, used wisely.

Anyway, I hope this isn't too chatfiltery, but I wanted to say a couple of things. Firstly, I don't know how I'm going to manage the tension of the next week, and I'm over on another continent, so good luck to all of you.

Secondly, I thought it might be of interest that as a young person, albeit a continent away, I've been told to vote in the US elections a dozen times from a dozen sources. I remember one podcast in 2016 making such a request, tentatively (MBMBAM), now I find myself under a deluge of the same. Social media, videos, music, you're really pushing the GOTV message hard.

If the youth vote doesn't come out, I don't think it'll be because you didn't tell them to vote enough. It'll be barriers, or a failure to convince people it matters. It surely can't be ignorance. I shouldn't have any idea which states require pre-registration, but I keep getting told, and how to submit a postal vote, and to take a friend, and so on.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 12:15 PM on November 1 [18 favorites]


@weijia: NEW: At 4:15pm today, @realDonaldTrump is expected to announce a plan to deny asylum to migrants trying to cross the border between ports of entry. As it stands now, they’re apprehended and still given a chance to make a case.
posted by zachlipton at 12:17 PM on November 1 [4 favorites]


As Trump attacks the refugee caravan "invasion" on Twitter ("Many Gang Members and some very bad people"), the Pentagon plans to deploy 5,200 14,000 active-duty troops to U.S.-Mexico border to halt migrant caravan (USA Today, Newsweek)

The caravan of a few hundred weary, desperate people who have walked many hundreds of miles?

The home of the brave.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:24 PM on November 1 [24 favorites]


NYT Read the Emails: The Trump Campaign and Roger Stone

Marcy Wheeler drags the Grey Lady: "The NYT doesn't even get the timing of Stone's tweets correct. Come on, NYT, four bylines on that story."

She also notes, "One thing that's interesting abt these emails is that Stone doesn't think we should see what emails they were using -- for example, whether Treacherous Bannon was talking WikiLeaks from the campaign domain or not."; and astutely points out, "I find it rather telling that neither the NYT nor Roger Stone want to tell us what domains anyone but Boyle was using. It's ... a really important part of the story, folks."

So . . . NYT Stone emails article is trying to exonerate Stone by portraying him as just the same lying grifter he's always been, attempting to bilk Mercers of money through the Trump campaign?

I'm not sure I totally buy Stone as the NYT's source. Stone telling Bannon to have Rebekah Mercer channel funds through his shady C-4 political org sounds like it could violate election/campaign finance laws if any of those e-mails originated from official campaign domains. That would be a hell of a limited hangout. I could easily see Bannon, having cooperated with Mueller as recently as last Friday, CNN reports, deciding to burn bridges with him.

Also, ABC has an update on Roger Stone's former friend Jerome Corsi and the Special Counsel: Conspiracy Theorist Becomes Key Figure As Mueller Builds Case

"Self-proclaimed conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi returned to Washington, D.C., again this week for more closed-door meetings with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators, and on Friday is scheduled to make a second appearance before the federal grand jury probing Russia interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, ABC News has learned."

Team Trump is reaching the stage in which they're discussing who'll be the fall guy, like in The Maltese Falcon.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:38 PM on November 1 [9 favorites]


It'll be barriers, or a failure to convince people it matters. It surely can't be ignorance.

It's also that the opportunity cost for voting can be higher for them because their lives are, as a general tendency, more interestingly chaotic, lively, and active than older people's. In part because they just are, and in part because almost everything in the adult world is new to them.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 12:38 PM on November 1


> That interpretation might hold water if not for practically everything else Jesus said in the New Testament, from "blessed are the poor" to "I was hungry and you did not feed me" to "sell all you own and give the money to the poor."

I think, though, that understanding why this nonsense resonates with right-wingers is useful for understanding right-wing epistemology in general. I posit that this is how conservatives, reactionaries, and fascists determine how to interpret texts (or statements about the world more generally):
  • First, determine what statement about the world the right-winger would prefer to be true. In this case, the statement is something like "it's okay to be rich when others are poor" or "it's good to be rich and bad to be poor"
  • Next, examine the text in question (in this case, Matthew 19:23-26).
  • The appropriate reading of this text is whatever reading affirms the preferred statement.
  • One can then make additional statements about the world based on this interpretation of the text; in this case, one can infer that there existed a gate in Jerusalem called "the eye of the needle" through which a man with a camel could pass, but with difficulty. The lack of other evidence for the existence of this gate — indeed, the presence of evidence that this gate doesn't exist — is irrelevant, because the fact that the existence of this gate would lend credence to the preferred reading of the text is itself rock-solid evidence that the gate existed.
We can generalize from this to an explanation of other, apparently nakedly counterfactual, right-wing beliefs. For example, when we, you and I, consider the question of whether or not it is legal for asylum-seekers to cross the southern border, or the question of whether or not it's legal to deny asylum-seekers the right to cross the southern border, we might refer to legal texts governing the process of seeking asylum. Under right-wing epistemology, though, we instead start from our preferred outcome — we don't want asylum-seekers crossing at the southern border — and then infer that because we would prefer to deny asylum-seekers access, it is therefore illegal for asylum-seekers to cross and legal for us to stop them. It is now unnecessary — indeed, unhelpful — to consult any legal text whatsoever; the only things we could find there are either statements that affirm our preëxisting preferences (which are useless details, because we already know the truth) or else "fake facts" that can be explained away through postulating, and thereby demonstrating, the existence of evidence against those fake facts.

Here are other examples where this epistemological strategy finds use:
  • We like the statement that Hillary Clinton is a criminal, therefore it is known that she is running a pedophile ring out of the nonexistent basement of a D.C. area pizza joint.
  • We like the statement that Barack Obama is unamerican, therefore he was born in Kenya. Moreover, the birth certificate saying he was born in Hawaii is therefore an obvious forgery.
  • We are Christian and we like what the Trump administration is doing, therefore what the Trump administration is doing is Christian. The naked antichristianity of Trump's behavior is explained away to appeals to historical statements about nongodly rulers producing godly results, much like the "eye of the needle" statement is explained away through the claim that there must have been a gate in Jerusalem by this name.
  • We would prefer that the United States be a de jure Christian nation, ideally a Protestant one, and therefore we can from our preference infer that the Constitution defines the United States as a Christian, Protestant nation.
  • We would like it if Nazi atrocities could be pinned on the left, therefore the Nazi government was a left-wing government.
  • We would like it if Jews were evil, therefore Jews have horns on their heads.
In short, preferences held by the members of their group themselves generate evidence of the correctness of those preferences, and anyone who says otherwise is willfully and perversely denying what is plainly true.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 12:45 PM on November 1 [80 favorites]


"Secondly, I thought it might be of interest that as a young person, albeit a continent away, I've been told to vote in the US elections a dozen times from a dozen sources. "

This reminds me. One FB post I saw from a late-millennial of my acquaintance was a forward that basically said "stop telling us to vote all the time. We're just getting pissed off and it makes us not want to vote. We KNOW about voting but I'm probably not going to vote because you've annoyed me. Shut up already." My friend agreed. And... well... I don't know what to say to that.

I'm Gen X and I'm getting all the GOTV messages as well, and I ignore them because I am gonna vote. I don't ever miss voting, period. It is slightly annoying to be bombarded but I know the messages are for a good cause and they will be over soon. (For now.) I kind of feel like anyone who wouldn't vote because they resent the onslaught of reminders is probably looking for an excuse not to vote. It's frustrating. And upsetting.

I hope most folks are able to see past their own personal annoyance and do what needs to be done.

(I know you weren't saying what my friend did. Your post just reminded me of this thing that has been bugging me since I saw my FB friend's post. )
posted by litlnemo at 12:47 PM on November 1 [12 favorites]


@Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon: I completely agree. One of the surest hallmarks of extremism is that they begin a debate by assuming what they are trying to prove.
posted by M-x shell at 12:50 PM on November 1 [7 favorites]


In short, preferences held by the members of their group themselves generate evidence of the correctness of those preferences, and anyone who says otherwise is willfully and perversely denying what is plainly true.

Something we all need to be watchful for in ourselves, as well.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:50 PM on November 1 [32 favorites]


This reminds me. One FB post I saw from a late-millennial of my acquaintance was a forward that basically said "stop telling us to vote all the time. We're just getting pissed off and it makes us not want to vote. We KNOW about voting but I'm probably not going to vote because you've annoyed me. Shut up already." My friend agreed. And... well... I don't know what to say to that.

People say the same things about anti-smoking commercials. And yet, the demographics they're targeted to consistently show lower rates of smoking based on exposure to the commercials.
posted by Etrigan at 12:51 PM on November 1 [34 favorites]


@HillaryClinton, 3:34 PM - 5 May 2016
FACT: Donald Trump would end birthright citizenship.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:52 PM on November 1 [53 favorites]


This reminds me. One FB post I saw from a late-millennial of my acquaintance was a forward that basically said "stop telling us to vote all the time. We're just getting pissed off and it makes us not want to vote. We KNOW about voting but I'm probably not going to vote because you've annoyed me. Shut up already." My friend agreed. And... well... I don't know what to say to that.

I got yelled this at me while phone-banking, basically. It was a "I'm not going to vote for Democrats, and now that I've gotten a text AND a phone call, I'm really not!"

Which just...made no sense to me? "Your party has reached out to me, so I'm super not voting for you!"

(I've gotten a few mailers addressed to me as a "Conservative Christian Voter", which, wrong on two counts there, bud, which did in fact, piss me off, but it's not like that's what going to make me not vote for the GOP candidates.)
posted by damayanti at 12:53 PM on November 1 [6 favorites]


@HillaryClinton, 3:34 PM - 5 May 2016
FACT: Donald Trump would end birthright citizenship.


She called it early. She should probably change her name to Cassandra, for all the good that did her and the rest of us.
posted by lydhre at 12:55 PM on November 1 [59 favorites]



This reminds me. One FB post I saw from a late-millennial of my acquaintance was a forward that basically said "stop telling us to vote all the time. We're just getting pissed off and it makes us not want to vote. We KNOW about voting but I'm probably not going to vote because you've annoyed me. Shut up already." My friend agreed. And... well... I don't know what to say to that.


I suspect that this person probably wouldn't have voted anyway. They wouldn't plan for it and then, whoops, forgot about it and the polls close in five minutes.

In my experience, people who are all "WELL, if you hadn't tried to give me a "meat is murder sticker", I would have had a BEAN burrito, but now I am going to eat MEAT, see what you've done" are really just looking for a justification for what they're planning to do anyway. They feel some nagging guilt, don't want to do the thing but are not able to take emotional responsibility for what they actually want to do.

I think they're a pretty small percentage of the population in any case, and it looks like a HUGE percentage of younger folks (compared to the usual midterm situation) are going to vote, so actually I'm feeling more "well done fellow kids" than anything else.
posted by Frowner at 12:55 PM on November 1 [59 favorites]


> One of the surest hallmarks of extremism is that they begin a debate by assuming what they are trying to prove.

This statement is false, because I certainly wouldn't prefer it to be true.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 12:56 PM on November 1 [8 favorites]


This reminds me. One FB post I saw from a late-millennial of my acquaintance was a forward that basically said "stop telling us to vote all the time. We're just getting pissed off and it makes us not want to vote. We KNOW about voting but I'm probably not going to vote because you've annoyed me. Shut up already." My friend agreed. And... well... I don't know what to say to that.

My Millennial-age roommate and I had a conversation recently where he also may be shedding light on the "why people don't vote" mindset - he was basically channeling peeps-Chili Chidi from The Good Place, and was all "nothing matters and the world is going to hell and society is collapsing and even if we do change the population of the House of Representatives it won't matter because global warming will drown us all in 20 years anyway so nothing's going to make any difference and playing video games is the only thing keeping me sane right now".

However, every third sentence he would fall all over himself to say "but don't worry, I'm still going to vote anyway." He knows it's a civic responsibility, even though there seems vanishingly little impact.

I think that trying to ascertain the One Weird Trick that will get a given generation to vote is a fools' errand; everyone is different, and in conclusion Millennials are a generation of contrasts. ....And so are Gen-X and Boomers for that matter.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:56 PM on November 1 [19 favorites]


People say the same things about anti-smoking commercials. And yet, the demographics they're targeted to consistently show lower rates of smoking based on exposure to the commercials.

And plenty of online alt-righters are saying "you libs complaining about Nazis has turned me into a Nazi." It's good old-fashioned why-are-you-making-me-hit-youism.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:57 PM on November 1 [46 favorites]


Which just...made no sense to me? "Your party has reached out to me, so I'm super not voting for you!"

I don’t see what’s not to get. Do you like cold calls from telemarketers? That’s what you are, and that’s what you’re doing. People don’t like that.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:58 PM on November 1 [19 favorites]


Less snarkily, I think the point I'm belaboring isn't that they start from the premises and work backwards, rather that they start from the premises, work backwards, and genuinely believe in the real existence of whatever entities are necessary to make this strategy work. It's a fantastic process, in that it takes fantasies and makes the fantasies really truly real to the person entertaining them.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 12:59 PM on November 1 [7 favorites]


@HillaryClinton, 3:34 PM - 5 May 2016
FACT: Donald Trump would end birthright citizenship.


"A woman gets pregnant. She's nine months, she walks across the border, she has the baby in the United States, and we take care of the baby for 85 years. I don't think so." - Donald J. Trump, 16 September 2015

Not exactly Miss Cleo, guy straight-up told everyone.
posted by FakeFreyja at 12:59 PM on November 1 [23 favorites]


Speaking of The Maltese Falcon, Roger Stone would make a nice Wilmer.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:03 PM on November 1 [4 favorites]


she has the baby in the United States, and we take care of the baby for 85 years. I don't think so.

This in conjunction with the fact that we are permanently kidnapping hundreds or thousands of migrant children suggests that there is no interest in or intention of these children living to old age.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:03 PM on November 1 [11 favorites]


I'm probably not going to vote because you've annoyed me

Seriously, don't fuck people who don't vote, if only because they appear to be impaired.
posted by schadenfrau at 1:03 PM on November 1 [13 favorites]


I like to compare with a sporting event when talking to people about crowd numbers.

Exactly. There are more people in the stands of any random college football game (e.g. Ohio State's stadium holds 100k+) than there are in 1,000 refugee caravans.


For me it's helpful to think of live music venues. For example, the Summit in Houston, which is now Lakewood Church, holds 15,000-20,000 people. I've regularly been in smaller venues with around 5,000 people and it didn't feel like many at all.

But, like, this caravan is a quarter the size of the weekly turnout at ONE CHURCH in Houston.
posted by threeturtles at 1:03 PM on November 1 [5 favorites]


Less snarkily, I think the point I'm belaboring isn't that they start from the premises and work backwards, rather that they start from the premises, work backwards, and genuinely believe in the real existence of whatever entities are necessary to make this work. It's a fantastic process, in that it takes fantasies and makes the fantasies really truly real to the person entertaining them.

Cognitive dissonance is a hell of a drug.

It's significant, though, that this process would be a lot easier for them if anything they believed actually was true. Conservatives jump through these counterfactual magical-thinking hops because they have to. Climate change is real. Tax cuts do not increase revenue. Iraq had no nuclear weapons program worth speaking of. America was not founded as a christian nation. Seeking asylum is legal immigration.

On and on, they have to believe, or pretend to believe, in nonsense because the facts do not support their positions. Chrysotom's admonishment is well taken, but reality truly does have a liberal bias.

It's high time the so-called "liberal media" stopped equating belief in nonsense, however sincere, with actual facts, or the fact that conservatives stubbornly refuse to believe in reality as "controversy."
posted by Gelatin at 1:03 PM on November 1 [8 favorites]


"A (Scottish) woman gets pregnant. She's nine months, she walks across the border, she has the baby in the United States, and we take care of the baby for 85 years. I don't think so." - Donald J. Trump, 16 September 2015
The Mirror Abides.
posted by Harry Caul at 1:04 PM on November 1 [20 favorites]


Which just...made no sense to me? "Your party has reached out to me, so I'm super not voting for you!"

I don’t see what’s not to get. Do you like cold calls from telemarketers? That’s what you are, and that’s what you’re doing. People don’t like that.


Yeah, I actually feel this, and trust me I'll save my extensive complaining for the fucking-fuck thread(s), but I have come to very extremely dislike politics-as-actually-practiced. Don't worry, fellow MeFites, I am absolutely voting this Tuesday - in fact I may mail my ballot this afternoon - but I sincerely wish all the phone bankers, text bankers, canvasers, and pamphleteers would shut up Shut Up SHUT UP already.

To me, it merits consideration how we could make this less fucking annoying. Not so much for the "well I was GOING to vote until you CALLED me" guy, but more for people who start with a moderate/low level of engagement, get extremely annoyed, and end up actively refusing to engage further. Those people seem reachable to me and... maybe not always with the current tactics.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 1:07 PM on November 1 [18 favorites]


Metafilter The World We Want to Live In: I hope most folks are able to see past their own personal annoyance and do what needs to be done.
posted by notyou at 1:09 PM on November 1 [2 favorites]


This reminds me. One FB post I saw from a late-millennial of my acquaintance was a forward that basically said "stop telling us to vote all the time. We're just getting pissed off and it makes us not want to vote. We KNOW about voting but I'm probably not going to vote because you've annoyed me. Shut up already." My friend agreed. And... well... I don't know what to say to that.

Really? Seems obvious to me. Every hour on the hour you comment on that post "Don't give me $20."
posted by phearlez at 1:09 PM on November 1 [30 favorites]


To make matters worse, in a previous thread, we learned that facts aren't always true.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:12 PM on November 1


"A woman gets pregnant. She's nine months, she walks across the border, she has the baby in the United States, and we take care of the baby for 85 years. I don't think so." - Donald J. Trump, 16 September 2015

Which is hardly a departure from standard Republican dogma. They give it the slightest thought only as long as it's inside the mother, and after that point they don't think they should need or want to help take care of it at ALL.
posted by delfin at 1:12 PM on November 1 [8 favorites]


she has the baby in the United States, and we take care of the baby for 85 years. I don't think so.

Quite the child development expert, there.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 1:13 PM on November 1 [21 favorites]


I don’t see what’s not to get. Do you like cold calls from telemarketers? That’s what you are, and that’s what you’re doing. People don’t like that.

I mean, I've already voted, and if I ever get another fucking text message from any political campaign ever again it'll be too fucking soon. I do not even answer unknown numbers anymore, for any reason. I wish I wish I WISH there were a way for me to communicate to the campaigns I otherwise whole heartedly support that they are wasting their goddamn time and annoying the shit out of me besides.

My husband donated to Beto (we're in MA) and he's been getting multiple text messages a day. WE VOTED. WE'RE NOT EVEN IN TEXAS. I CAN ALSO SEE THE POLLS, THANK YOU. Aughhhh.
posted by lydhre at 1:13 PM on November 1 [13 favorites]


"I'm not going to vote because you're annoying me and I hate cold calls–so THERE".

I thought the point of having to be 18 to vote is so theoretically you might be a grownup. My nine-year old asked me the other day how come 18, it's not fair (she wants to vote :) and I did my best to explain that she's spending these years getting the knowledge and wisdom to make good decisions that really matter. That seemed to satisfy her.
posted by maniabug at 1:14 PM on November 1 [19 favorites]


To me, it merits consideration how we could make this less fucking annoying. Not so much for the "well I was GOING to vote until you CALLED me" guy, but more for people who start with a moderate/low level of engagement, get extremely annoyed, and end up actively refusing to engage further. Those people seem reachable to me and... maybe not always with the current tactics.

The only turnout metric that matters is whether you vote, and more broadly than that, the only metric that matters is whether a strategy nets more voters than it loses. If you're annoyed and you vote, that's a winning strategy. If annoying you such that you don't vote turns out five other people who otherwise would not have voted? That's a winning strategy.

I find the calls annoying too, but I believe they're a net good for society.
posted by cjelli at 1:15 PM on November 1 [14 favorites]


I hear you on the annoyance factor, but these Georgia voters sure seem happy to have Michael B. Jordan knocking on their doors [video]. Same for Oprah. Not sure that solution scales though.
posted by zachlipton at 1:16 PM on November 1 [20 favorites]


It's also that the opportunity cost for voting can be higher for them because their lives are, as a general tendency, more interestingly chaotic, lively, and active than older people's.

I'm Gen X but I doubt things have changed that much. It was difficult to get people in my college to vote and there was minimal opportunity cost. There were registration drives right in front of the library and dining halls as well as other major areas and while the polling place wasn't on campus, it was a short, free bus ride away. And either the young Democrats or Republicans would arrange for a car ride if you couldn't take the bus for whatever reason.

And still a lot of people just shrugged. I'll buy that their lives may be chaotic and active but there was way less opportunity cost than the people I've seen in my working class neighborhood.
posted by Candleman at 1:18 PM on November 1 [7 favorites]


Trump is as we speak holding a "press conference" to spew bullshit about immigration. MSNBC isn't even carrying it, rightfully judging it more a racist rant meant to influence the midterms than an actual policy presser. But CNN is doing CNN and giving him free airtime for his midterm ad.
posted by Justinian at 1:21 PM on November 1 [5 favorites]


It's a gripe I have with the McCaskill Campaign. They're just pulling the same turfs out of Minivan and sending people back all the time instead of concentrating on voters who weren't home the first time or have already signed our postcard.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 1:22 PM on November 1 [3 favorites]


I'm Gen X but I doubt things have changed that much. It was difficult to get people in my college to vote and there was minimal opportunity cost.

That, and Clinton v Dole was not exactly an exciting election.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 1:23 PM on November 1


The only turnout metric that matters is whether you vote...

I guess what I'm saying, though, is that that is a very campaign-centric perspective, and it may have negative externalities. I mean yes, I absolutely concede that a particular campaign's priority is to increase turnout (well... the Democrats anyway), but surely it would be good for the broader system if the people who voted were also willing to engage more generally, yes? Like, going to town halls and writing their representatives and maybe volunteering in the community and stuff? That's the kind of thing that I fear is discouraged by the constant aggressive blanket messaging, even to people who have already committed to voting, even to people who have already voted.

I'm not saying I have the perfect solution, and again I certainly don't advocate disengaging as a response, but I do suspect it's a real problem in contexts that extend beyond Nov. 6.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 1:24 PM on November 1 [4 favorites]


If I could have one goddamn wish (that wasn't something sadly unrealistic like "no more racism") it would be that the current flaming dumpster fire of evil and corruption would make people realize that exciting is bad. Boring competence is good.
posted by Justinian at 1:24 PM on November 1 [78 favorites]


Seriously, don't fuck people who don't vote, if only because they appear to be impaired.

I just want to push back on this. I know a metric fuck-ton of anarchists who aren't planning to vote, but who have been doing some serious work on improving the lives of the least fortunate in our society. There are a lot of people who don't think that the state is redeemable, and they're not idiots, they just have a different view on the primacy of mutual aid and voting in our current system than folks here do. Especially in hard blue or hard red districts/states, or for uncontested races, 'just voting' is not the end-all and be-all. It's important overall, yes, but that doesn't mean that everyone who isn't hasn't thought about their actions.
posted by corb at 1:25 PM on November 1 [14 favorites]


No matter how outraged you are and think they should be with you, most low propensity voters still aren't going to vote. Else they wouldn't be low propensity in the first place. But the goal isn't to get everyone to vote, it's to get more to, and to reach a critical mass to change the outcome.

Those GOTV messages are reaching all types, and not every low frequency voter will be the spiteful douchebro or budding 4channer. Some will be the 23yr old new mom who just now realizing Republicans really will throw her and her newborn off her parent's health insurance, or the 19 year old student who really didn't know how to find their polling place.

If you encounter the douchebro type, the practical thing is to say, "Well, I hope you change your mind, and have a nice day" and move on. Or if it's someone close to you, "Well, I want you to know your decision disappoints me greatly" and move on to find someone persuadable.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:26 PM on November 1 [17 favorites]


Not sure that solution scales though.

how do we scale hugs. must find way to scale Michael B. Jordan hugs.
posted by gwint at 1:27 PM on November 1 [8 favorites]


I accept the pushback on the "impaired" part but I still think we shouldn't fuck them
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:27 PM on November 1 [18 favorites]


'just voting' is not the end-all and be-all. It's important overall, yes, but that doesn't mean that everyone who isn't hasn't thought about their actions.

Voting is necessary but not enough. A lot of otherwise well-meaning people are ignoring the "necessary" part.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:27 PM on November 1 [21 favorites]


One of the smartest things local politicians did in my area in 2012 was change their pre-election spam robo-calls. We still got them, but instead of a get out the vote message most of them were "Hi, I am [politician]. I get you have more on your mind than the election right now, so I'm just going to read off a list of passable roads and public charging stations in your area and then let you get on with your day." Right before the election, some of the messages noted the polling stations were still open, but many were on generator power so don't be discouraged if you don't see everything lit up.

If they'd stuck to the pre-hurricane script, I expect a lot of people would have felt like not voting out of spite.
posted by Karmakaze at 1:28 PM on November 1 [8 favorites]


@JoshDorner: Very important context here is that the Trump administration has been preventing people from reaching ports of entry, turning them away, or otherwise stopping them from making their claims lawfully. This seems designed to escalate that issue. They've already been sued over this.

@seungminkim: Trump, from the White House, says "we will not allow our generosity to be abused by those who would break our laws." Friendly reminder that applying for asylum is part of the *legal* immigration process.

@DLind: "We want them to come into our country, very much" is going to make its way into a lot of asylum applications in the next 6 months. From people. Who have applied. For asylum. Legally. Because they can do that. Legally. After coming to the US.

@DLind: Donald Trump just announced that as of a couple of days ago they're no longer releasing people. That bears no resemblance to any policy I've heard about. What HAS been reported is that ICE is releasing people FASTER, with LESS guidance.
posted by zachlipton at 1:31 PM on November 1 [16 favorites]


and they're not idiots

Disagree, and I think impaired works just fine. They may have reasoned themselves into doing what they want but at the end of every election one of the candidates takes the office. You can think of it as choosing between being shot in the head or shot in the arm but one way or the other the shot is fired whether you take part in the choice or not. Or you've talked yourself into thinking it's between one arm and the other in which case congrats on your privilege but that's not true for everyone and yay that you don't care about them I guess? I guess I would agree that the word to describe that line of thought isn't idiot but it's no more complimentary.
posted by phearlez at 1:33 PM on November 1 [13 favorites]


corb, I hear you, but at this particular moment in history, I don't see much difference between "I'm not voting but helping in other ways because the state is irredeemable" and a kind of accelerationism. Which is maybe exactly what your anarchist friends want. But I'm personally not interested in an interregnum of fascism in order to eventually get to a utopian paradise.
posted by gwint at 1:33 PM on November 1 [65 favorites]


And still a lot of people just shrugged. I'll buy that their lives may be chaotic and active but there was way less opportunity cost than the people I've seen in my working class neighborhood.

I lived for a long time in a working-class neighbourhood with consistently strong turnout -- whether a midterm or a presidential year, there'd always be a line and a wait no matter the time of day (though much longer lines in presidential years, and part of that line was usually due to at least one broken voting machine, because lol budgets for maintaining such things). It's only anecdotal, but I believe that turnout was due to a lot of people in that neighbourhood feeling like their local representatives really did work for them. It was common knowledge that you could go to local pols and get help. Even if you weren't a voter yet you could get help for a variety of situations -- I'm forever grateful and loyal to a particular rep who was able to help in an immigration situation in which I was involved. The person she helped wasn't a citizen, and couldn't vote -- but I've sung that rep's praises ever since.

This was in a city, but I have family in rural places and it's the same, when they feel that their representatives do concrete, tangible stuff for them. But fewer younger people, many of whom are mobile and move around a lot, have that kind of personal hey-a-politician-did-a-real-thing experience. Because The Youngs don't vote, there's not much policy directly aimed at them, and they don't yet have interests to which representatives can appeal, like meaningful tax cuts, since many don't make much, or property tax/mortgage benefits, since lol who among us is ever going to be able to afford to own anything ever. GOTV efforts aimed at young voters often end up pandering to them or annoying them or both, and they rarely see anything tangible, just celebrities and endless mass texts. So why vote? (Especially those who live in big cities like mine, with the unreliable transit and the multi-hour long lines and the broken voting machines/locked polling places/missing voter rolls/etc etc etc).

No one's proposing any meaningful action on student loans. A lot of young people don't yet intimately know the horror of navigating health insurance thanks to being on their parents' plans still, but they know that no one's proposing much meaningful action on health care. People are talking at them all the time, but no one's saying much that's useful to them in the short or even mid-range timeframe.
posted by halation at 1:34 PM on November 1 [6 favorites]


But why not both? How is taking 45 minutes to vote impairing their "doing some serious work on improving the lives of the least fortunate in our society."
posted by jetsetsc at 1:38 PM on November 1 [25 favorites]


but no one's saying much that's useful to them in the short or even mid-range timeframe.

Periodic reminder that Hillary gave many speeches about a range of issues, but the media never covered it because the slow-rolling Trump disaster generated better ratings. Then they turned around and complained that she never spoke about important policies.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 1:41 PM on November 1 [86 favorites]


I just want to push back on this. I know a metric fuck-ton of anarchists who aren't planning to vote, but who have been doing some serious work on improving the lives of the least fortunate in our society. There are a lot of people who don't think that the state is redeemable, and they're not idiots, they just have a different view on the primacy of mutual aid and voting in our current system than folks here do.

Voting doesn't take very long. It need not, and in times like these in particular, should not be your only form of action. But it is a necessary form of action, and it happens to be the tangible action that's happening right now.

If your anarchist friends honestly believe they can both start and complete the revolution before November 6th, then sure, no need to vote, but if they think our system is still going to exist next week, voting is itself an important form of mutual aid. Serious work to help people in need is wonderful, but that happens at mass scale through the political process too. Are they voting for Medicaid expansion or for candidates who support it? Are they submitting public comments against Medicaid work requirements and the Public Charge Rule? Or are they just washing their hands of anything they can't personally do themselves?
posted by zachlipton at 1:41 PM on November 1 [58 favorites]


Daily Beast: ‘Homeland Security’ Ignores White Terror, DHS Veterans Say—As far-right terror attacks mount, DHS is concentrating on a migrant caravan 1000+ miles away—and some FBI veterans say the bureau isn't taking white supremacy seriously enough.
Five veterans of the Department of Homeland Security told The Daily Beast that DHS, created in the wake of al Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks, has long considered far-right radicalism to be the FBI’s purview. But the FBI has competing priorities. Four bureau veterans interviewed by The Daily Beast gave a range of responses, spanning from either considering it important but less so than fighting jihadist terror to, in the words of one retiree, “the lowest priority.” (The FBI, for its part, insisted to The Daily Beast that its “top priority remains protecting the United States from terrorist attacks, both international and domestic.”)

Under Donald Trump’s presidency, experts say the threat has only grown–and without commensurate efforts to mitigate it. DHS gutted an interagency task force that represents the only federal effort at preventing radicalization for any form of terrorism. White supremacy was among its targets. “What we’ve lost here is the creation of infrastructure to prevent the threats of the future,” said George Selim, a senior Department of Homeland Security official who ran the task force before his retirement in summer 2017.[...]

Since assuming office in December of 2017, Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen mentioned white supremacist terror just four times in public statements—three in response to prodding from Democratic lawmakers asking her to both condemn and prioritize the threat from it. By contrast, she has mentioned Islamist terrorist groups like ISIS and al Qaeda in public over 16 times as Homeland Security Secretary. Nielsen tweeted six times about migrant caravans; she has never mentioned the far-right terror threat on Twitter.

Additionally, an interagency entity led by DHS and the Bureau and designed specifically to help collect tips to prevent attacks like the one in Pittsburgh is deeply understaffed, and only got a director several months ago, according to a law enforcement official who works closely with the office.
Further to this, NBC reports: Trump Admin Will Apparently Not Renew Program To Fight Domestic Terror—The Trump administration had already canceled a grant for a group that fights white supremacist terror. The DHS put the Obama administration–era Countering Violent Extremism Grant Program on hold as soon as Trump took office, eventually cancelling several grants and getting into political disputes with some other recipients who wound up withdrawing. The DHS Office of Terrorism Prevention Partnerships now appears to have decided against continue the program after its funding runs out in July 2019.
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:41 PM on November 1 [24 favorites]


corb, do you think that Trump being elected rather than Clinton has affected your anarchist friends’ battle in any way? If it has, why wouldn’t they be interested in having a say in their arena?
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 1:43 PM on November 1 [5 favorites]


Justinian: If I could have one goddamn wish [...] it would be that the current flaming dumpster fire of evil and corruption would make people realize that exciting is bad. Boring competence is good.

I can't decide on the right riff in response, Justinian. "But her emails ... " is too obvious, "Oh man I miss Obama" is too sad, "Remember when we had sane Republicans like George H. W. Bush?" is too easy to dispute. But yes, I remember George W. Bush rubbing on a monkey's paw to wish that people would stop calling him the worst President, and I never thought I'd see the day.

gwint: I don't see much difference between "I'm not voting but helping in other ways because the state is irredeemable" and a kind of accelerationism.

Yeah, I complained about the Trotskyist in Facebook feed in the Fucking Fuck thread - it's very noticeable that they want to throw bodies on the wheels and grind things to a halt, but those happen to be other people's bodies.
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:43 PM on November 1 [7 favorites]


Anyway, Trump just said that a rock thrown by the caravan will be "treated as if it was a firearm."

They're going to do everything they can to make a massacre.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:45 PM on November 1 [23 favorites]


@ddale8: Trump warns that if any migrants throw stones or rocks when they get to the US border, "We will consider that a firearm. Because there's not much difference."

This is the kind of talk that already has led to murder.

@chrisgeidner: tl;dr: Nothing is happening. Trump: "We will be doing an executive order sometime next week." This is such an appalling news conference of made-up allegations and imaginary legal principles.

@mattyglesias: I really think cable news producers need to do some self-scrutiny here. CNN is just airing, without editing or commentary, Trump making up a lot of weird slanders about the Democrats.
posted by zachlipton at 1:46 PM on November 1 [46 favorites]


I find it astonishing the lack of context regarding the physical challenge that the caravan is facing. I think most people don't realize just how big Mexico is (about three times the size of France). The caravan is at present traveling through Matias Romero in Oaxaca. They are walking to Mexico City. From there they are probably going to go north towards Reynosa. That's a distance of about 1,500 km (932 miles) in total. Assuming they are traveling around six hours every day, it's going to take them more than fifty days to reach the border. Some crisis indeed.
posted by Omon Ra at 1:48 PM on November 1 [29 favorites]


"I told the military: consider a rock a rifle."

God help the caravan and us.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:49 PM on November 1 [30 favorites]


Less snarkily, I think the point I'm belaboring isn't that they start from the premises and work backwards, rather that they start from the premises, work backwards, and genuinely believe in the real existence of whatever entities are necessary to make this strategy work.

I think this last thing is the key part. We all privilege our principles and try to remake the world around them, and when the law contradicts our deeply held principles, we seek to rewrite the law and in the meantime find ways of reinterpreting the law to support our principles. That's actually a fair and just way to live in the world. What's weird about the right is how it bases this practice on textual literalism: the bible is literally and unchangeably true, the constitution is a single literal and unchangeable document, Limbaugh or Fox or Trump are to be dittoed, etc. It's not just hypocrisy that they found their beliefs on the immovable and literal interpretation of documents that they willfully and persistently misread and reinterpret whenever it suits their deeper beliefs, with absolutely no awareness of this hypocrisy. I think more fundamentally, the insulation of their beliefs from external evidence requires the creation and worship of literal documents to misinterpret, since that gap between the meaning of the bible/constitution/news-item and their beliefs is what allows them to avoid entering into the messy world of evidence, logic, argument, facts, etc. I'm sure literary critics or political psychologists have worked this out better somewhere, but somehow the creation of the urdocument that is worshipped and almost willfully misunderstood is foundational to the process of living in an anti-truth bubble despite all of our efforts to puncture it. It really is a strangely powerful tool.
posted by chortly at 1:51 PM on November 1 [5 favorites]


There are a lot of people who don't think that the state is redeemable, and they're not idiots

They are literally idiotes, a word defined in ancient Athenian democracy. They are focusing on individual-scale action and neglecting one of their duties as members of their polity.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:52 PM on November 1 [69 favorites]


Somebody needs to get Trump on record agreeing that these new camps are places where they can concentrate the immigrants. 'Cause that's what they are. But he needs to say it.
posted by Justinian at 1:55 PM on November 1 [4 favorites]


I'm airing this under a ton of important shit already, and it's a more broadly topical than news, but Grace Lavery's piece at the blog of the LA Review of Books, "Grad School As Conversion Therapy," really deserves a read, tying together, as it does, the style of eliminationist rhetoric, the distinction between ideas and threats, trans erasure, the complicity of liberal institutions, Foucauldian parrhesiastes, liberal academics, and the fascists who love them.
"Meanwhile, blurring the line between harassment and hate speech has been one of the signal strategies of the ethnonationalist movement that currently encompasses the federal government, and it is remarkable that so many people in colleges and universities have fallen for it. Because of the distinctiveness of the trans position — the distinctiveness, that is, of entailing a change in referential pronoun on the part of a third party — trans people have been made into a convenient scapegoat for the idea that a group (or generation, or class) of people are forcing others to change the way they are speaking. That the phantom authority in question is simply good sense — that it makes sense to refer to trans women as “she” because, well, we look, speak, act, dress, and identify as women, and many of us have estrogen rather than testosterone in our bodies — can be ignored in favor of the paranoid fear that someone else is coming to dispossess us of our language.

And once that fear has been established in relation to trans people, it can be expanded indefinitely: indeed, in our current political climate, an anxiety about trans people serves just that propagandistic purpose. For a clear example of how the victimization of trans students mutates, through the careful manipulation of conservative media, into a wholly abstract debate about the nature of free speech in which liberal academics rush to wax lyrical about the spirit of liberal tolerance represented by the famous Skokie case, we need look no further than the despicable machinations of Reed’s kindred spirit, Milo Yiannopoulos."
posted by octobersurprise at 1:58 PM on November 1 [8 favorites]


A week ago Friday, I early voted in Indianapolis, and was in and out in probably half an hour. Today, a friend of mine in nearby Brownsburg waited three hours for her turn. She voted, though, and I trust she did the right thing.
posted by Gelatin at 2:03 PM on November 1 [5 favorites]


"I told the military: consider a rock a rifle."

Can i presume this means that open-carry of rocks will be allowable and in fact impossible to regulate based on their current understanding of the 2nd amendment?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 2:05 PM on November 1 [31 favorites]


if any migrants throw stones or rocks when they get to the US border, "We will consider that a firearm. Because there's not much difference."

Not much difference? Really? Great! When do the mandatory handguns-for-stones exchanges across the USA begin?
posted by Rykey at 2:05 PM on November 1 [15 favorites]


Trump is trying to make out as if the troops will be standing vigilant on the border, in actual fact they'll be doing a bunch of logistics for the CBP.
posted by PenDevil at 2:11 PM on November 1 [5 favorites]


I'm kind of doubting the active duty military will get close to firing a shot, not that trump has any clue about all the logistical maneuvers or personnel distinctions. But worry about the fascists in the CBP who will take his dictum to heart and shoot up innocent crowds for nothing.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:19 PM on November 1 [6 favorites]


CBP gets an instant manpower boost without having to directly hire people or pay for it.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:21 PM on November 1 [2 favorites]


My husband donated to Beto (we're in MA) and he's been getting multiple text messages a day. WE VOTED. WE'RE NOT EVEN IN TEXAS. I CAN ALSO SEE THE POLLS, THANK YOU. Aughhhh.

You can just reply STOP to the text or block the number.
posted by schoolgirl report at 2:22 PM on November 1 [7 favorites]


So as soon as there’s video of military personnel detaining immigrants who is going to uphold the law against them?
posted by gucci mane at 2:27 PM on November 1 [1 favorite]


I don't want to get too into a derail here about GOTV efforts, but I just gotta say my brain has been brewing up a theory that lots of people approach voting as if it were an act of late-capitalist consumer choice: carrying only individual significance, expressing a facet of personal identity, and done only for the benefit of the candidate. So if a restaurant that sold only cheese sandwiches kept calling you and asking you to buy cheese sandwiches, your appropriate refusal to do so would theoretically only impact you & the restaurant. No one else would be denied cheese sandwiches if you didn't buy them. If that restaurant really wanted you to be a customer, it might even start making sandwiches you prefer, like PB&Js.

But voting isn't an exchange like this. In the US, not voting doesn't really have the power to change the system. It actually benefits the status quo when people don't vote, because it makes it less likely that conditions will change. Our political system maintains stability when voting turnout is low. Not voting has wide impacts on the community, and it's usually those in a more precarious position than the abstainer who will feel those effects. Populations that don't vote find themselves further marginalized by the political system because candidates are going to aim their messages at those who do vote. Not voting won't force politicians to listen to you, take your concerns seriously, or change policy positions on the slim hope that you might change your mind about voting. In the US, there's no level of voter turn out low enough to have an election vacated or delegitimized. Finally, voting for a candidate or party doesn't have to be an identity. You don't have to approve of everything they do or affiliate with all their positions. Sometimes you really do have to choose the lesser of two evils because those differences could mean life & death for people who aren't you. Voting doesn't foreclose other options like striking, protesting, mutual aid, etc.

I think too many people tend to think of voting in the same atomized framework they think about consumption. They don't want to "buy" an imperfect product, or they feel like when they "buy" a candidate or party, they're letting that choice impose an identity they don't like. Choices in the marketplace are supposed to be sexy & cool, and most political candidates are square & dorky. Of course the idea of "boycotting" the system until it offers the exact "product" the consumer/voter wants has no traction. Once non-voters remove themselves from civic life, civic life further marginalizes them because no one is engaging the system to represent their interests.

Also, accelerationism is just a bad idea and I'm increasingly convinced it's inaccurate.

So, if people are contacting you asking you to vote, please remember a lot of them are volunteers who are already nervous about annoying people. The best way to get off those call lists is to vote, and let the next person who calls you know you already voted so they can mark you as such in their system. I don't think people who volunteer to phonebank are trying to annoy you or force something on you. It's likely that you get those calls in the first place because you took the time to register with a political party, and now that organization is doing what it is meant to do by turning out all likeminded voters.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 2:28 PM on November 1 [95 favorites]


@mattyglesias: I really think cable news producers need to do some self-scrutiny here. CNN is just airing, without editing or commentary, Trump making up a lot of weird slanders about the Democrats.

They aired hundreds of hours of empty podium and uncut raw feed from every one of his rallies.

They're doing this on purpose to help him and help Republicans and their own ratings. They've already done the scrutiny, and affirmatively decided they cared much more about ratings and ad dollars than democracy.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:29 PM on November 1 [20 favorites]



I'm kind of doubting the active duty military will get close to firing a shot, not that trump has any clue about all the logistical maneuvers or personnel distinctions. But worry about the fascists in the CBP who will take his dictum to heart and shoot up innocent crowds for nothing.


Bloody Sunday really didn't work out so well for the Tsar in the long run but Trump wouldn't know that.
posted by dilettante at 2:31 PM on November 1 [1 favorite]


Bloody Sunday really didn't work out so well for the Tsar in the long run but Trump wouldn't know that.

Yeah, but the U.S. public has a really good track record of not caring how many people die in cruel slaughters as long as they're "foreign."
posted by Kitty Stardust at 2:50 PM on November 1 [3 favorites]


I think too many people tend to think of voting in the same atomized framework they think about consumption.

The American cult of individualism kicks ass. (Our own asses. All the time. See also: climate change.)

Writing Postcards to Voters, I add stuff like, "Your vote is your voice in our democracy - please vote, and be HEARD" and Obama's "In the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it” (from his 2008 caucus speech).
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:03 PM on November 1 [15 favorites]


I wish I wish I WISH there were a way for me to communicate to the campaigns I otherwise whole heartedly support that they are wasting their goddamn time and annoying the shit out of me besides.
I've spent something like forty or fifty hours over the last couple weeks making calls. I'm taking a break from making calls right now. And I've also entered data from a lot of calls which is, let me tell you, a process.

Nearly all Democratic/progressive campaigns use NGP VAN, a privately owned for-profit company. They've got a canvassing app, MiniVan, which is actually pretty usable, but their database management system, VoteBuilder, is really complicated to work with and suffers from poor data modeling. You can enter an "already voted" or a "stop calling me" or a "you're wasting your time" in a bunch of different ways which means it's really, really hard to generate new call lists which exclude everyone who's given any of those responses.

Given this messiness, campaigns are erring on the side of too much contact rather than too little. Cjelli has the right of it - the calculus is that people are more likely to be reminded into voting than annoyed out of voting.

As frustrated as you are by being contact multiple times, the volunteers and staffers calling you are likely just as frustrated. They don't want to bother anyone, know that they will end up bothering people anyway, and if they're like me, they've got phone anxiety to boot. Please be as kind as you can.
posted by galaxy rise at 3:07 PM on November 1 [64 favorites]


My husband donated to Beto (we're in MA) and he's been getting multiple text messages a day. WE VOTED. WE'RE NOT EVEN IN TEXAS. I CAN ALSO SEE THE POLLS, THANK YOU. Aughhhh.

You can just reply STOP to the text or block the number.


Former Beto campaigner here. We got trained never to remove someone until they explicitly asked for it. You may need to do it more than once if you're in datasets that haven't synced properly, uncommon but it does happen.
posted by scalefree at 3:10 PM on November 1 [8 favorites]


You can just reply STOP to the text or block the number

They come from different numbers. I mean, this is never in any way going to stop me from voting or donating or what have you, but I do understand why some people might get frustrated and overwhelmed. When I still used to answer the phone I’d tell the campaigns to stop calling me thank you because they already had my firm support and they would take me off that list and ANOTHER number from the same campaign would call.

I know it’s hard work. I appreciate volunteers. I just wish there were a universal button for “I am a Democrat who votes in every election including town ones and you have my support and yes I promise to vote as early as I can and tell everyone to vote and donate just please please please use your energy elsewhere”.
posted by lydhre at 3:14 PM on November 1 [7 favorites]


@SiegelScribe: In a surprising twist, the GOP's @NRCC attacks Florida Democrat challenging climate-friendly @RepCurbelo for alleged ties to "dirty coal money." The NRCC told me their logic for the ad, which critics says is deceptive considering typical GOP support for fossil fuels: It's all local politics. Sea level rise threatens Curbelo's district, located on the tip of Florida. "Every ad we run is district specific."

So the Republican Party does acknowledge climate change when they're worried their constituents might have concerns about being underwater, but not when it's time to actually do anything?
posted by zachlipton at 3:15 PM on November 1 [15 favorites]


So, maybe a stupid question...the army can't detain anyone, but can they shoot people? None of the articles I have read about this have mentioned that point, and it worries me.
posted by vim876 at 3:17 PM on November 1 [4 favorites]


> Daily Beast: ‘Homeland Security’ Ignores White Terror, DHS Veterans Say—As far-right terror attacks mount, DHS is concentrating on a migrant caravan 1000+ miles away—and some FBI veterans say the bureau isn't taking white supremacy seriously enough. ... Further to this, NBC reports: Trump Admin Will Apparently Not Renew Program To Fight Domestic Terror—The Trump administration had already canceled a grant for a group that fights white supremacist terror.

The Democrats should make this into a campaign issue: "Republican's shield white supremacists" or something to that effect.
posted by homunculus at 3:19 PM on November 1 [4 favorites]


> absalom:
"Historical podcasting grandmaster Mike Duncan (History of Rome, Revolutions) writes a historical opinion piece for the Washington Post: This Is How Republics End"

Wow, chilling.

"Writing decades later, in the midst of the final civil wars that destroyed the republic, the historian Sallust reflected on the beginning of the end of the republic, noting, “It is this spirit which has commonly ruined great nations, when one party desires to triumph over another by any and every means, and to avenge itself on the vanquished with excessive cruelty.”
posted by dreamling at 3:24 PM on November 1 [43 favorites]


But yes, I remember George W. Bush rubbing on a monkey's paw to wish that people would stop calling him the worst President, and I never thought I'd see the day.

And now ... "petebest: A Political Diorama in One Comment"

1981: Jesus this Reagan guy is evil AND stupid. Can't wait til he's voted back to hell
1985: (no entry)
1990: Really? A war for oil, by an oilman ... Just - right out there?! These guys are going down.
1992-96: Di- did he just give that to the Republicans? Jebus. They have really gone batshit.
2000: No way. You have *got* to be shitting.
2001: Great.
2003: I don't even. WORST. AMERICA. EVER.
2004: /deadpan_underbite
2008: finally
2009-2016: veggie-corndogs-and-soda montage in the style of an Apple commercial
2016: (inchoate screaming)

fin
posted by petebest at 3:27 PM on November 1 [61 favorites]


So, maybe a stupid question...the army can't detain anyone, but can they shoot people? None of the articles I have read about this have mentioned that point, and it worries me.

You're asking if the apparatus of state violence can shoot people? The answer throughout history is "only if they're allowed to or are told to or want to."
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:29 PM on November 1 [14 favorites]


You may need to do it more than once if you're in datasets that haven't synced properly, uncommon but it does happen.

Ohh hooohh. Do NOT get me started on being in datasets that haven't synced properly! I mean ... Amirite?!
posted by petebest at 3:33 PM on November 1 [4 favorites]


So folks in Georgia are reporting cops using traffic stops to suppress the vote.
posted by suelac at 3:34 PM on November 1 [21 favorites]


You can just reply STOP to the text or block the number

They come from different numbers.


Blocking won't help, texts are sent from the volunteer's own phone so each contact attempt will likely come from a new number. STOP may work; I never texted so I'm not sure.
Incidentally you may notice the calls & texts come from your area code if your number's an out of state one. That's on purpose. The generous interpretation is that it helps create a bond, talking/texting with someone who has similar roots as you; less generously it fools you into thinking it's a friend or family member from home calling on a new phone.
posted by scalefree at 3:36 PM on November 1 [1 favorite]


I'm asking if this particular apparatus of state violence (the Army, not CBP) can legally shoot people at the border (i.e. whether that falls under the category of law enforcement things they at least nominally aren't supposed to be doing), not whether they have the capacity to.
posted by vim876 at 3:37 PM on November 1


I'm asking if this particular apparatus of state violence (the Army, not CBP) can legally shoot people at the border (i.e. whether that falls under the category of law enforcement things they at least nominally aren't supposed to be doing), not whether they have the capacity to.

It's only illegal if they're punished. Who'll do that?
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:40 PM on November 1 [6 favorites]


[Fixed the link, carry on.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:40 PM on November 1 [2 favorites]


Apparently someone has been killing activists in Ferguson. The police are investigating the latest death as a suicide, even though the victim had apparently packed an overnight bag and was founding hanging from a tree by sheets that didn’t belong to the family, using knots he didn’t know how to make. The other two activists were found dead in burned out cars.

A Facebook post using the word “lynched” was taken down.
posted by schadenfrau at 3:47 PM on November 1 [83 favorites]


Not voting won't force politicians to listen to you, take your concerns seriously, or change policy positions on the slim hope that you might change your mind about voting.

I mean... to a certain extent, voting doesn't do that either, in the current system? Money is what gets politicians to take your concerns seriously. And Millennials-and-under, as a group, do not have money.

It's a chicken-and-egg problem, in that plenty of young/first time/intermittent voters will vote for a person who is supposed to Do The Thing (whatever Thing may be), and even if the person gets elected, suddenly there are reasons that Thing can't happen/is not politically feasible/we have to keep our powder dry... anyway, Thing doesn't get done. It's happened since before Obama, and it's happened since, and every time it happens, people end up disillusioned. I don't mean to rehash the endless "why the Democrats are the worst" debate, but dang, I don't necessarily blame Millennials-and-under voters for feeling ignored and forgotten and basically saying "fuck this, I don't have the time." Particularly since, while I appreciate that voting is supposed to be an in-and-out, under-an-hour effort, in a lot of places, it's not. I've lived in college towns and big cities and the only time voting took me less than an hour was when I was living in a suburb with a whole lot of white people. (Edited to add: and it actually still took me, personally, longer than an hour all told, because I had to rely on public transit buses.) Yes, everyone should vote, but we know it's harder for some people than others, and we know we have a broken system that results in a lot of people getting ignored, and all the robotexts and phonebanks in the world can't help us annoy our way out of that problem.

(And while it is absolutely true that Clinton's actual policy messaging got ignored in 2016, I meant the "pols aren't talking about [X]" comment to refer to the current election. I don't follow every race, but in the ones I do follow, there could be a little more attention paid to youth-oriented policy, for sure.)
posted by halation at 3:47 PM on November 1 [3 favorites]


"Writing decades later, in the midst of the final civil wars that destroyed the republic, the historian Sallust reflected on the beginning of the end of the republic, noting, “It is this spirit which has commonly ruined great nations, when one party desires to triumph over another by any and every means, and to avenge itself on the vanquished with excessive cruelty.”

Reminds me of Rorty's u/dystopian fiction piece for NYT in '96 (how did he know? . . and how did he guess 2014?)
'Fraternity Reigns' . .written from a distant (100 years?) future after all that we are experiencing is passed.
Except of course for climate change, which wipes away the 100 years in the future part.
posted by Harry Caul at 3:51 PM on November 1 [2 favorites]




On Election Day I plan on putting a sign on my front door: "I voted. Thanks for checking."
posted by jointhedance at 4:37 PM on November 1 [3 favorites]


Orrrr you could put up a GOP sign and then when they canvas you talk to them for an hour.
posted by Justinian at 4:40 PM on November 1 [28 favorites]


I recommend no signs and just sheltering in place.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:47 PM on November 1 [19 favorites]


From the link

Jones had packed an overnight bag found on the patio, suggesting that he trusted and had planned to leave the house with the person who killed him, McKinnies said.

...

Darryl Gray, a prominent St. Louis activist and a friend of McKinnies, said Ferguson activists are often harassed and threatened via text and social media. Gray said he found a package inside his car earlier this year. Bomb squad investigators determined it wasn’t an explosive — the package contained a 6-foot-long snake.


So, harassed and then catfished, to his death.

Jones’ mother, Melissa McKinnies, disagrees. Soon after his death she posted photos on Facebook of her deceased son, with the words: “They lynched my baby.” Facebook took down the posting, but not before it began trending on social media sites such as Twitter and Reddit

Facebook's corporate governance insticts are just disgusting. Some activist shareholder should file a derivative suit to the effect that a policy of overlooking criminality is going to damage the company sooner or later. Maybe it will get dismissed. Who cares. The company's arguments to achieve that will be damning.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:49 PM on November 1 [22 favorites]


Politico, As Trump fumed about immigration, some media outlets cut away
Tapper was having none of it.

“We brought out that speech live because we were told by the White House that the president would be introducing a new proposal, a new policy when it came to asylum. That's not actually what happened,” Tapper said shortly after CNN cut away from Trump. “That’s not the first time that this White House has not been honest, but it’s obviously very disappointing when we bring you the news because we were told the president was going to be presenting the policy and he just regurgitates the same speech he gives every night on the campaign trail.”
...
Citing his record of untruths, MSNBC chose not to carry Trump’s remarks at all.

“Because he’s used immigration in blatantly political ways, and in an abundance of caution, we’ve decided to monitor those remarks, fact-check them against his rhetoric and record on immigration, and bring you the important news from them,” Nicolle Wallace, the host of “Deadline White House,” told viewers as Trump spoke.
...
“They are clearly not policy remarks or policy announcements,” tweeted Barbaro, whose podcast reaches millions of listeners monthly. “They are deliberate attempts to inflame the electorate before the midterms. Just happens to be from the White House.”
Is our media learning? Slowly, but a tiny bit. And it's such a dumb thing because if Trump had signed a piece of paper instead of giving his stump speech and saying "we will be doing an executive order sometime next week," it would have been Officially News and made headlines outside of Fox, but he can't help himself.
posted by zachlipton at 4:51 PM on November 1 [64 favorites]


You may need to do it more than once if you're in datasets that haven't synced properly, uncommon but it does happen.

listen pal, don't make me come over there and sync your datasets for you...
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 4:56 PM on November 1 [4 favorites]


Orrrr you could put up a GOP sign and then when they canvas you talk to them for an hour.


"Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em"
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:59 PM on November 1 [32 favorites]


You can just reply STOP to the text or block the number
They come from different numbers.
Blocking won't help, texts are sent from the volunteer's own phone so each contact attempt will likely come from a new number. STOP may work; I never texted so I'm not sure.

Incidentally you may notice the calls & texts come from your area code if your number's an out of state one. That's on purpose. The generous interpretation is that it helps create a bond, talking/texting with someone who has similar roots as you; less generously it fools you into thinking it's a friend or family member from home calling on a new phone.
There are some things to clarify here:

First, from one of Scalefree's earlier comment, with some campaigns you have to be very explicit with the stop message. "I don't think I want to receive these texts any more" or even "Hell, no not voting for Beto. Cruz all the way!". The first probably would not get you off the texts, and the second we were instructed to mark them as strong Cruz supporter, but do not remove.

Along with that, even when you are explicit, you may still get one or two more. This is, typically, a sync issue. I recommend telling/texting the second person that you want off the list and have already told someone else that. One of the Slack channels for Beto volunteers is just for text volunteers. A significant amount of traffic was people telling the Volunteer Managers someone has been contacted who requested no further contact. I am sure the VMs also got a ton of DMs about that.

Also, removing people from Beto's text list was SUPER easy. Of all the things involved with the behind-the-scenes maintenance volunteers did, removing people was by far the easiest, partially because some steps of the maintenance were now n/a and some were no longer mandatory to archive and move on.

As to the phone numbers, they are different every time, so yes blocking one ain't going to help. They are not, however, the volunteer's phone number, at least for the Beto campaign. I can't speak for Adrienne Bell's campaign because I signed up to do it and in the process, I was going to have to send the texts from my phone.

I know that last sentence sounds weird, so I will explain. Texting for Beto really meant firing up a web browser and clicking a button anywhere from 100-500 times to send the texts to the phone. (I believe you have to manually do that part to comply with robocall laws.) This is...not fun on a computer. It's why I passed on doing it for Bell, b/c I can't imagine trying to do the same on a phone. I would assume it is not attached to the actual volunteer's number for any professional campaign for a whole host of reasons, but I can't verify.

I just want to stress that again, though. Texts from Beto's campaign, at least are not from the volunteer's actual cell number. If anyone was on the fence about being a texting volunteer for a campaign in the future, don't go into it assuming your personal info will be used.

I am not so sure about area code thing. I had to go all the way back to 10/14 to find one that was close to my area. Because of volunteering for them, I usually get at least one text a day from the campaign. Now, I did notice all of the area codes were Texas, which makes sense.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 5:07 PM on November 1 [7 favorites]


Since Daniel Dale's taking the night off, live-blogging tonight's Trump rally in Missouri falls to Shareblue's Caroline Orr. He's just started a weird caravan rant: "That's a big caravan. They underestimate the crowds. They want to underestimate the crowd...Have you seen how tough these young men - mostly strong, tough young men. Thees are not angels."
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:27 PM on November 1 [1 favorite]


Have you seen how tough these young men - mostly strong, tough young men. These are not angels.

He's parroting his defense of calling for the deaths of the central park five. Do not for one second think he doesn't want a bloodbath.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:31 PM on November 1 [36 favorites]


> Incidentally you may notice the calls & texts come from your area code if your number's an out of state one. That's on purpose.

So there's a couple of problems. I get called by spammers ALL DAY who are using this technique. And my area code happens to be a few timezones off from where I actually am, so they start at 6AM my time.

I don't know if I can understate how bad the phone spam problem is if you have it. The techniques are literally indistinguishable from people who are trying to scam you up until you are actually able to tell me that you aren't looking for any money, you just want to know if I'm going to vote. Is your policy to also not leave any messages? Because I'd honestly be happy with a message asking for my support. I'd even call back! But if you don't leave one - again, I have only less reasons to answer the phone from further unknown numbers.

If you all called from an actual traceable number, one that showed up as the org or candidate you actually represented, I'd be a hell of a lot more likely to answer, and answer happily. If you are masking who you really are from the beginning, I'm going to assume ill intent, and I may react rather negatively. Seriously, if everyone who actually wanted something from me allowed the name of the organization they represented to come through, I'd be a lot more likely to answer. Not that the called ID is foolproof - it can be spoofed - but at least I'd know it wasn't someone trying to hide who they are from the get go.
posted by MysticMCJ at 5:36 PM on November 1 [21 favorites]


One upside to living in Adam Schiff's district, besides having Adam Schiff as my rep, is that I have been canvassed a grand total of 0 times in 10 years.
posted by Justinian at 5:41 PM on November 1 [3 favorites]


And to be clear, I'm not suggesting that volunteers personal phones be IDed. I guess... responsible spoofing? I don't really know what the answer is, but a rotating barrage of unknown numbers from the area code of where I moved away from ain't it.
posted by MysticMCJ at 5:41 PM on November 1 [4 favorites]


Have you seen how tough these young men - mostly strong, tough young men. These are not angels.

Hey Mafia Don, you left out the word "brown."
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:42 PM on November 1 [1 favorite]


I don't know if I can understate how bad the phone spam problem is if you have it. The techniques are literally indistinguishable from people who are trying to scam you up until you are actually able to tell me that you aren't looking for any money, you just want to know if I'm going to vote. Is your policy to also not leave any messages? Because I'd honestly be happy with a message asking for my support. I'd even call back! But if you don't leave one - again, I have only less reasons to answer the phone from further unknown numbers.

I remain unconvinced this is actually happening. Esp. given the other inaccuracies I corrected in the comment. When texting for Beto, our time frame each day that we were allowed to text was such that I could not text during the work week. It was something like noon to 5 p.m. central, so that we weren't texting too early to someone in Hawaii or too late to someone in New York, from a legal standpoint.

I'll see if I can find an answer on the not leaving voicemail. Calling back is definitely a non-starter, since phone banks are very limited times.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 5:58 PM on November 1 [2 favorites]


I am not so sure about area code thing. I had to go all the way back to 10/14 to find one that was close to my area. Because of volunteering for them, I usually get at least one text a day from the campaign. Now, I did notice all of the area codes were Texas, which makes sense.

Just going by my own experience with this. I've gotten both calls & texts from Beto's campaign that matched my out-of-state area code. Seemed a bit on the nose to be coincidence. I remember the bit about the web dialer, maybe they used outdials matching areas, or maybe it was a slightly freaky coincidence.
posted by scalefree at 6:04 PM on November 1


We all hate phone spam. I can totally relate. But the subject was about Trump proclaiming himself a nationalist. Priorities, people. Priorities.
posted by sjswitzer at 6:05 PM on November 1 [14 favorites]


At this rate he may soon be proclaiming himself King of the Pillow Fort.

@christinawilkie “I’ve kept more promises than I’ve made,” Trump just told the crowd in Missouri. Hmmm.
posted by scalefree at 6:12 PM on November 1 [20 favorites]


@BrianKarem NOW: POTUS claims human trafficking is the worst it's ever been in 500 years...I will not comment further.
posted by scalefree at 6:14 PM on November 1 [42 favorites]


(That said, effective strategies to end this madness are relevant. But this one is a bit of a rabbit hole, maybe.)
posted by sjswitzer at 6:20 PM on November 1


I was thinking that this might be a way to communicate to those who don't understand the whole Rabbi Loren Jacobs / Jews for Jesus story.

Pence featured a rabbi who believes that the victims of the Pittsburgh massacre are going to receive eternal punishment for not having accepted Jesus. At the same time, the rabbi believes that the shooter will go to heaven if he is born again in Jesus.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:20 PM on November 1 [25 favorites]


Pence featured a rabbi who believes that the victims of the Pittsburgh massacre are going to receive eternal punishment for not having accepted Jesus. At the same time, the rabbi believes that the shooter will go to heaven if he is born again in Jesus.

This is my periodic reminder to not expect rational behavior from irrational people.
posted by mikelieman at 6:22 PM on November 1 [7 favorites]


It was (barely) plausibly deniable trolling.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:24 PM on November 1 [3 favorites]


Now that Trump's Missouri rally is done, here are a few highlight's from Caroline Orr's live-tweet:
—Once again, Trump floats the conspiracy theory about outside groups funding the migrant "caravan": "Does anybody think by accident they're just forming? Does anyone think it's by accident? I really think somebody was involved... someone not on our ledger."
—"Women want security. They need security. They want jobs, they want homes, but they need security. Women need security," the admitted sexual predator tells the Missouri rally.
—Crowd at Missouri rally is chanting "Lock Her Up."
Trump is smiling.
—"You must reject the Democrat [agenda] of anger and hatred and division and fear," Trump tells Missouri rally.
no really, he actually said that. without a hint of irony. 🙃
If this rally seemed comparatively subdued, Trump's scheduled two for tomorrow, two on Saturday and on Sunday, and three on Monday.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:32 PM on November 1 [6 favorites]


@BrianKarem NOW: POTUS claims human trafficking is the worst it's ever been in 500 years...I will not comment further.

Without hearing the context, this strikes me as Trump trying unsuccessfully to remember and repeat the frequent claim made by some right-wing anti-human-trafficking groups that, notwithstanding the abolition of chattel slavery, there are nevertheless more people in the world held as slaves today than at any previous time in history, speaking purely in terms of total numbers. It's the sort of claim that helps them raise support for their groups but that relies on pretty specific unstated assumptions and leaps.
posted by The World Famous at 6:33 PM on November 1 [1 favorite]


@kylegriffin1: Trump just said that the pipe bomb mailings and Pittsburgh shooting stopped his momentum in the midterms: "Now, we did have two maniacs stop a momentum that was incredible. Because for 7 days, nobody talked about the elections. It stopped a tremendous momentum."

There's video.

"How can I make the death of 11 people in a hate crime all about me?" is the question Trump has asked himself every day since it happened.
posted by zachlipton at 6:39 PM on November 1 [40 favorites]


Masha Geessen, After the Pittsburgh Shooting, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society Receives an Outpouring of Support
During the first week of the Trump Administration, Mark Hetfield, the president of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), sent the President’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a copy of a file. It documented Kushner’s grandparents’ immigration to the United States. Like many Jews who fled the pogroms in the Russian Empire, the Kushners were what’s known as “resettled” by HIAS. Resettling meant more or less the same thing then that it does now: processing visas, finding a community that would welcome new immigrants, arranging transportation, insuring that a family has a place to live and access to basic services, and insuring the continuity of those services until new arrivals are, well, resettled. Back in early 2017, Hetfield wanted to put HIAS on Kushner’s radar: in addition to providing resettlement services, both in the United States and in other countries with displaced people, HIAS also lobbies for raising the so-called ceiling—the maximum number of refugees admitted to the U.S.

Hetfield never heard back from Kushner: not then, and not after a shooter—apparently moved by his hatred of HIAS and refugees—opened fire at the Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, killing eleven people. In the wake of the shooting, HIAS has not heard from President Trump, either, nor from Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, even though HIAS is a State Department contractor. “We’ve heard from civil servants, but not institutions,” Hetfield told me. “There has been no offer of support. Not even an acknowledgment.”
Jared has plenty of time to chat with the Saudi Crown Prince though.
posted by zachlipton at 6:45 PM on November 1 [40 favorites]


The greatest Massachusetts political ad of the year: Be a Masshole - vote Yes on Question 3 and for trans rights (language NSFW and NSFYankeesFans). Special bonus fact: Filmed at the Porter Cafe in West Roxbury.
posted by adamg at 6:47 PM on November 1 [12 favorites]


A federal judge on Thursday rejected a last-ditch attempt to block North Dakota’s requirement that voters have a residential address.

The judge, Daniel L. Hovland of the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota, wrote in a brief, two-page order that it was simply too close to Election Day to do so. He noted that “federal courts are unanimous in their judgment that it is highly important to preserve the status quo when elections are fast approaching.”
The law is expected to block as many as 5,000 mostly Native American voters from voting and is widely considered to have been constructed deliberately for that purpose.
posted by Nerd of the North at 6:51 PM on November 1 [25 favorites]


Note that Hovland is the same judge who initially held the law to be an unconstitutional infringement on the right to vote, so this was definitely not his preferred outcome.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:55 PM on November 1 [10 favorites]


Also:
Mark Gaber, senior legal counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, said he and the other lawyers were reviewing their options. He emphasized that Judge Hovland’s order concerned only the request to block the law before the election, and had no bearing on the ultimate outcome of the challenge to the law’s constitutionality.
Mr. Gaber urged Native Americans to go to the polls on Tuesday and, if turned away for lack of identification, to demand a provisional ballot. The Campaign Legal Center and other groups could then ask the courts to order that the provisional ballots be counted.
“The court’s concern was with creating confusion before the election,” he said. “Those same concerns don’t apply after the election is over.”
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:56 PM on November 1 [14 favorites]


so this was definitely not his preferred outcome


Then it’s a fucking stupid decision.

It’s saying that maintaining an unconstitutional status quo is more important than securing justice.

It’s basically giving carte blanche for any unscrupulous actor to engage in unconstitutional vote suppression, just so long as they do it near the election. They’re guaranteed to be allowed to get away with it, because forestalling their evil acts might be too disruptive or confusing.
posted by darkstar at 6:58 PM on November 1 [20 favorites]


On a recent episode of the podcast In The Thick, they dig a bit into the serious possibility that there has been some weird shit related to the formation of what's being called the caravan, and how it's been supported on social media as it makes its way up. It's worth a listen. They make a good case that it's actually received some very suspicious support from botnets that go back to Russian and other far right groups.

In no way is this to say the people in the caravan aren't genuine at all. But, the publicity and logistics of it are extremely unusual, according to local news and people who kinda know this stuff in and out there.
posted by odinsdream at 7:04 PM on November 1 [4 favorites]


That wouldn’t surprise me at all. I suspect it wouldn’t take much social engineering effort at all to “flash mob” a group of quite sincere and desperate refugees/migrants to coalesce at a particular place and time. Once the group starts to form, very little effort would be needed to keep it growing and mobilized.
posted by darkstar at 7:09 PM on November 1 [3 favorites]


Then it’s a fucking stupid decision.

I'm not saying the circuit precedent that dictates it is good, just that it's not something he as a district court judge has the authority to overturn. For once in these cases, it's not the result of a Republican judge looking for an excuse to let a suppressive law stand.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:09 PM on November 1 [6 favorites]


True - his decision merely reflects the precedent. I should have said more accurately that it’s a stupid federal court precedent.
posted by darkstar at 7:12 PM on November 1 [2 favorites]


Politico: Inside The Trump Administration’s Rudderless Fight To Counter Election Propaganda—The administration is letting individual agencies respond to foreign governments’ attempts to undermine U.S. elections.

Earlier this afternoon, Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen tweeted, "Just concluded briefing @POTUS with @FBI and @ODNIgov on steps @DHSgov and our partners are taking to protect #Election infrastructure. We are working with state and local election officials to ensure that every vote counts and will be counted correctly."

To which Politico cybersecurity reporter Eric Geller replied, "I repeatedly asked the White House for details of this meeting, which was described on his schedule as an "election integrity" meeting. The White House didn't give me anything."

But the Trump White House has declared November "Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month".
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:26 PM on November 1 [9 favorites]




AZ Senate race news: Sinema endorsed by Green Party Senate candidate
The Arizona Green Party's U.S. Senate candidate told 12 News Thursday she is getting out of the race and throwing her support to Democratic Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema.

The decision, just five days before the election, could remove a potential obstacle for Sinema in her toss-up race against Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally.

The Green Party candidate, political newcomer Angela Green, has garnered up to 6 percent of the vote in recent polls. Polling averages show McSally and Sinema separated by a point or two.

posted by gwint at 7:38 PM on November 1 [27 favorites]


Better late than never but note that something like 60% of ballots have already been cast.
posted by Justinian at 7:46 PM on November 1 [14 favorites]


(GREEN: Getting Republicans Elected Every November.)
posted by Justinian at 7:46 PM on November 1 [41 favorites]


KHQ TV:
Just one week until the Midterm election and a Spokane Valley representative up for reelection finds himself under federal scrutiny after a manifesto distributed by him was leaked to the public.

The four-page document, titled "Biblical Basis for War" was originally reported by the Spokesman-Review. It's a radical Christian call to arms, outlining 14 steps for seizing power and what to do afterward in explicit detail. It calls for an end to abortions, an end to same-sex marriage, and if enemies do not yield and everyone obey biblical law, all males will be killed.
Matt Shea, of Washington HD-04A. More from the Seattle Times.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:53 PM on November 1 [27 favorites]


From the Riverfront Times, the progressive weekly in St. Louis: Vote for Claire McCaskill, You Liberal Dipshits. It opens,
Listen up, hippies: November 6 is not the primary. This is a real-ass election day. You can whine about how you’d like more choices or a viable third party or whatever, but if you are any type of lefty and you aren’t voting for Claire McCaskill, you are also a raging moron.
posted by Justinian at 7:55 PM on November 1 [98 favorites]


I am becoming more convinced by the hour that the origin of the caravan is legit a right wing operative.
posted by Slackermagee at 7:56 PM on November 1 [2 favorites]


Masha Geessen, After the Pittsburgh Shooting, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society Receives an Outpouring of Support

An ex-girlfriend of mine posted this week that HIAS was the agency that resettled her and her family in the US in 1991 just as the Iron Curtain was falling. She was much more grateful than Jared.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:57 PM on November 1 [16 favorites]


HIAS was the agency that resettled her and her family in the US in 1991 just as the Iron Curtain was falling

Gary Shteyngart too.
posted by gwint at 8:01 PM on November 1 [4 favorites]


I am becoming more convinced by the hour that the origin of the caravan is legit a right wing operative.

It's not. I've read and listened to reporting from the caravan. They're real refugees, fleeing real violence and instability in failing Central American states. Most of the people in it are not aware that a US election is coming up, or that every single American has heard of them, or that there are troops massing on the border. This caravan isn't even that special - there have been several of them, all of them generally dispersing and petering out in Mexico. The only difference is that this one came together at just the right moment to be seized on by Republicans desperate for a October hate-object to rally their most horrible and reliable voters.
posted by theodolite at 8:05 PM on November 1 [64 favorites]


Just a reminder, I had a bunch of "RED HAT = HATRED" yard signs made up. They look pretty good. Pittsburgh MeFites are welcome to one each while supplies last. MeMail me if you want one.
posted by M-x shell at 8:05 PM on November 1 [26 favorites]


I'm not saying the individuals aren't real. Trump told his supporters to expect and love the upcoming October surprise. Now he complains that it's being wasted and something about payroll?

It's like a bizarro world Le Carre novel. Next act is some shady evangelist org that's a relic from the cold war being name dropped from the Rose garden after five minutes of "why is my surprise walking so slow?!"
posted by Slackermagee at 8:19 PM on November 1 [1 favorite]


But the Trump White House has declared November "Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month".

Oh good, infrastructure week is now a month? And the election is in a few days? What could possibly go wrong?
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:22 PM on November 1 [9 favorites]


Well, this thread is really psyching me up for canvassing on Saturday.

When I first registered to vote, I was in Chicago, and I was shocked and amused by the number of phone calls I got concerning my vote (and this was the 80s). I was called 3 times on election day and asked if I needed help getting to the polls! I was 18 and I could walk a few blocks. It cracked me up and actually made me feel kind of important.

Please be kind to the volunteers who are asking about your vote. You are important to them.
posted by maggiemaggie at 8:27 PM on November 1 [33 favorites]


I am becoming more convinced by the hour that the origin of the caravan is legit a right wing operative.

No. Just no. The caravan is the latest in a series going back several years, organized & sponsored by a refugee humanitarian group called Pueblo Sin Fronteras, which is around 15 years old. Apparently they need to fire their media director & hire someone who can do the job, but as far as I've been able to tell they're completely legitimate organization with a long history.
posted by scalefree at 8:28 PM on November 1 [50 favorites]


I'm not saying the individuals aren't real. Trump told his supporters to expect and love the upcoming October surprise. Now he complains that it's being wasted and something about payroll?

If you want to prove nefarious activity surrounding the caravans you'll have to start with Pueblo Sin Fronteras. Show that they're not what they seem, that they've been infiltrated or coopted & you'll have the backbone of a strong case to build on. Without that you'd only be showing you haven't done your homework.
posted by scalefree at 8:34 PM on November 1 [8 favorites]


All the focus on voting has impacted me, and I always vote. Now, I'm having nightmares where I wake up in a cold sweat thinking I forgot to vote :-) This is the way it should be. People should feel shame if they don't vote.
posted by xammerboy at 8:43 PM on November 1 [12 favorites]


My intuition is that Trump shouldn't be able to legally deploy large number of troops to the border to stave off a non-existent threat. I keep expecting a congressman or general to say "no - you can't do that." Is my intuition wrong? Or is my intuition right, but no one is stepping forward?
posted by xammerboy at 8:58 PM on November 1 [5 favorites]


On what basis wouldn't he be allowed to move troops to the border? They can't be forcibly quartered in civilian homes, sure, but apart from that?
posted by Justinian at 9:01 PM on November 1 [4 favorites]


ProPublica, Inside a Trump Project that Failed. Spoiler: The Trumps Still Won.
By the fall of 2006, estimated costs were soaring toward $300 million. Two general contractors had dropped out. Liens were being filed for millions in unpaid bills. And more than 40 percent of the condos remained unsold, after dozens of buyers had canceled their reservations and pulled out. The projected completion date had slipped into 2009.

Related proposed tough terms to rescue the venture, including a provision that would eliminate the Trump Organization share of the profits and replace it with a fee for each condo unit sold.

Donald Trump Jr., 28 at the time, was furious.

“I hate related,” he wrote a Trump Organization colleague on Sept. 9, 2006. “this is b/s. I do not think we could have been more clear with these assholes less than 3 weeks ago and they are already back to the flat structure nonsense and connot consider giving trump a piece of the backend,” he vented to in-house attorney Diamond. “They must think we are the dumbest people on the fucking block.”
Well you said it, man.
posted by zachlipton at 9:05 PM on November 1 [9 favorites]


On what basis wouldn't he be allowed to move troops to the border?

It sort of looks like an act of war to me, which would need congressional approval? Also, intuitively, I wouldn't think the president could deploy troops for a demonstrably false reason (the migrant threat). Really, I'm not sure, but it feels wrong, like banning travel from countries that promote terrorism when there is no evidence of those countries promoting terrorism? I find in many cases, it's legal to do things for no reason, or any reason, but not for demonstrably false reasons (e.g. You can be fired for no reason, but you can't be fired for missing work when you haven't).
posted by xammerboy at 9:24 PM on November 1 [1 favorite]


This is basically the military parade the guy wanted.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:35 PM on November 1 [35 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

// 5 days until Election Day //

** 2018 Senate:
-- AZ: OH Predictive insights poll has GOPer McSally up 52-45 on Dem Sinema [MOE: +/ 4.0%]. => OHPI has been consistently right of anyone else polling AZ - I don't think anyone else has ever had a McSally lead above 2. | Green candidate drops out, endorses Sinema. She was polling 4-5%, but Arizona is a heavy early vote state, so probably will not matter much. Can't hurt, though.

-- FL:
-- Cygnal poll has Dem incumbent Nelson up 50-48 on GOPer Scott [MOE: +/ 4.4%].
-- SSRS poll has Nelson up 49-47 [MOE: +/ 4.3%].
-- St Pete Polls has Nelson up 49-47 [MOE: +/ 2.0%].
-- Trafalgar poll has Nelson up 49-47 [MOE: +/ 1.9%].
-- OH: Cygnal poll has Dem incumbent Brown up 52-42 on GOPer Renacci [MOE: +/ 4.4%].

-- TN:
-- SSRS poll has GOPer Blackburn up 49-45 on Dem Bredesen [MOE: +/ 4.3%].
-- Emerson poll has Blackburn up 52-44 [MOE: +/ 4.0%].
-- WV:
-- Research America poll has Dem incumbent Manchin up 45-40 on GOPer Morrisey [MOE: +/ 4.9%].
-- Emerson poll has Manchin up 47-42 [MOE: +/ 3.2%].
-- TX: Emerson poll has GOP incumbent Cruz up 50-47 on Dem O'Rourke [MOE: +/ 3.7%].

-- PA: F&M poll has Dem incumbent Casey up 50-35 on GOPer Barletta [MOE: +/ 6.0%].
** 2018 House:
-- VA-10: GMU poll has Dem Wexton up 54-43 on GOP incumbent Comstock [MOE: +/ 6.5%]. [Clinton 52-42 | Cook: Lean D]

-- AK-AL: Alaska Survey Research poll has indy/Dem Galvin up 49-48 on GOP incumbent Young [no MOE listed]. [Trump 53-38 | Cook: Lean R] => This one might be too good to be true.

-- NM-02: Carroll Strategies poll has GOPer Herrell up 47-42 on Dem Torres Small [MOE: +/ 2.8%]. [Trump 50-40 | Cook: Tossup]

-- WV-03: Emerson poll has GOPer Miller up 52-45 on Dem Ojeda [MOE: +/ 5.5%]. [Trump 73-23 | Cook: Lean R]

-- 538: Dems and the suburbs.

-- NYT has GOP leaking bad internals as they prepare for finger pointing.

** Odds & ends:
-- CO gov: [Cook: Lean D]
-- Keating-OnSight-Martin poll has Dem Polis up 50-42 on GOPer Stapleton [MOE: +/ 4.3%].
-- Magellan Strategies poll has Polis up 45-40 [MOE: +/ 4.4%].
-- FL gov: [Cook: Tossup]
-- Same Cygnal poll has Dem Gillum tied 47-47 with GOPer DeSantis.
-- Same SSRS poll has Gillum up 49-48.
-- Same Trafalgar poll has Gillum up 43-42.
-- GA gov: [Cook: Tossup]
-- Cygnal poll has GOPer Kemp up 49-47 on Dem Abrams [MOE: +/ 4.4%]. | Downballot: AG: GOPer Carr up 53-45 on Dem Bailey. SOS: GOPer Raffensperger up 47-45 on Dem Barrow.
-- UGA poll has it tied 47-47 [MOE: +/ 4.4%]. Downballot: SOS: Barrow up 42-41.
-- MN gov: Survey USA poll has Dem Walz up 49-41 on GOPer Johnson [MOE: +/ 5.3%]. [Cook: Likely D] | Downballot: AG: Dem Ellison up 44-40 on GOPer Wardlow.

-- CT gov: [Cook: Tossup]
-- Emerson poll has Dem Lamont up 46-39 on GOPer Stefanowski [MOE: +/ 3.7%].
-- Sacred Heart poll has Stefanowski up 40-38 [MOE: +/ 4.3%]. => Note that this is the first poll that has Stefanowski up, and Sacred Heart is apparently new to polling. Grain of salt, I think.
-- NM gov: Same Carroll Strategies poll has Dem Lujan Grisham up 51-46 on GOPer Pearce. [Cook: Lean D]

-- PA gov: Same F&M poll has Dem incumbent Wolf up 59-33 on GOPer Wagner. [Cook: Likely D] => This total blowout, combined with solid Casey performance in the Senate race is in the range where it starts reducing GOP turnout, which might explain the good House numbers we've seen from Susquehanna. Also could have implications for the state legislature, where Dems have an outside shot at each chamber.

-- OH gov: Same Cygnal poll has Dem Cordray tied 43-43 with GOPer DeWine. [Cook: Tossup]

-- SD gov: Mason-Dixon poll has GOPer Noem up 43-40 on Dem Sutton [MOE: +/- 4.5%].

-- DKE summary of the governors' races. Current polling has Dems on track to pick up 10 seats.

-- Governing Magazine look at big state Supreme Court races. Progressives could land some important seats.
** Averages & forecasts:
-- 538 generic ballot average: D+8.5 (50.3/41.8)

-- 538 House forecast (classic): 85.0% chance of Dem control

-- 538 Senate forecast (classic): 15.2% chance of Dem control

-- 538 governor forecast (classic): Dems favored to control 24.0 states.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:43 PM on November 1 [24 favorites]


I mean, yes, it feels wrong, but the president can deploy troops for demonstrably false reasons without Congressional approval. It's perfectly legal to move the troops the way he is.

What he may be hoping for- U.S. soldiers shooting migrants- is much less likely to be legal*, but even if it happened, I don't believe the consequences he himself would suffer would be any sort of legal penalty.

*Military officers seem to think shooting at rock-throwers would be illegal:

Mark Hertling
FWIW, there is no leader in the military - Officer or NCO - who would allow a soldier to shoot at an individual throwing a rock. They know that violates the rules of engagement, the law of land warfare & the values those in the military believe. It would be an unlawful order.
But there will be a lot of soldiers out there, and it wouldn't take many to cause trouble.
posted by Jpfed at 9:44 PM on November 1 [8 favorites]


If you missed it above in the wall of text, Survey USA poll has Ellison up on Wardlow 44-40 in the Minnesota AG race. Previous Survey USA in Sept was tied at 41.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:45 PM on November 1 [8 favorites]




They want to underestimate the crowd...Have you seen how tough these young men

The strongest military nation on the planet is facing an existential threat from 3000 mothers, fathers, and children 1500 miles away, on foot.

What a sad sack bunch of cowards and paranoids.
posted by benzenedream at 10:25 PM on November 1 [83 favorites]


One Second Before Awakening: "I think in general these politics threads on here are composed of roughly:"

Oooh, which one am I?
posted by Chrysostom at 10:45 PM on November 1 [7 favorites]


You a BadAssMuthaFucka Chrysostom
posted by awfurby at 10:52 PM on November 1 [25 favorites]


On the topic of texts from the Beto campaign, my friend posted screenshots that her CAT is getting texts from the campaign in addition to the ones she's already getting under her own name. So they're taking her cat off the mailing list...
posted by threeturtles at 10:53 PM on November 1 [7 favorites]


WP:
The White House is growing increasingly concerned about allegations of misconduct against Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, according to two senior administration officials, and President Trump has asked aides for more information about a Montana land deal under scrutiny by the Justice Department.

Trump told his aides that he is afraid Zinke has broken rules while serving as the interior secretary and is concerned about the Justice Department referral, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter. But the president has not indicated whether he will fire the former Navy SEAL and congressman and has asked for more information, the officials said.
Man, when *Trump* thinks you're corrupt....
posted by Chrysostom at 11:06 PM on November 1 [22 favorites]


xkcd has a handy map of midterm challengers. The bigger the name, the higher the office and the higher their chance of success. There's a lot of blue.

"To edit the map, submit your ballot on November 6th."
posted by zachlipton at 11:08 PM on November 1 [38 favorites]


Trump told his aides that he is afraid Zinke has broken rules while serving as the interior secretary and is concerned...

So by my calculations, we’re about a day from him tweeting about how that’s all a bunch of made up Fake News, two days from a statement about how much faith the White House has in Zinke, and about a week and half til he gets somebody to fire Zinke for him. (Oh, and about three weeks from complaining about having to fire such a great guy.)
posted by Weeping_angel at 11:30 PM on November 1 [13 favorites]


-- TX: Emerson poll has GOP incumbent Cruz up 50-47 on Dem O'Rourke

BETOMENTUM
posted by Justinian at 12:28 AM on November 2 [4 favorites]


It's only illegal if they're punished. Who'll do that?

Yeah. I don't like to be a downer, but it seems like people have forgotten we all saw armed troops shooting unarmed people and people with rocks and signs for reasons of "border security" which did not hold up to international scrutiny, just a few short months ago. IIRC, the Trump administration explicitly condoned it.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 1:19 AM on November 2 [8 favorites]


Texans of MeFi tell us what is happening on the ground. I do desperately hope.
posted by jadepearl at 1:20 AM on November 2 [5 favorites]




The White House is growing increasingly concerned about

Like they care. They just want to start a news cycle. Everybody's at least as bad as Zinke (maybe), so they can be jettisoned from time to time and replaced with hey! someone not quite as championship bad as those dudes. Last time it was whatshisface.
posted by rhizome at 1:29 AM on November 2 [2 favorites]


Author David Neiwert on the outbreak of political violence: Expect “an intense period of terrorism.” Expert on right-wing terror expects “a lot more of this type of violence,” no matter who wins the midterms

I am always reminded about this fantastic comment on the blue by warbaby about Right-wing violence back in 2010.
posted by PenDevil at 1:33 AM on November 2 [25 favorites]


Moderate liberal blogger Kevin Drum points to a disgustingly racist Republican scare ad, calling it the next Willie Horton and noting that it came not from an outside group but from the Republican Party itself, and that the ad accuses not a particular candidate but all Democrats of wanting to let illegal immigrants in to murder people, then asks:
So why aren’t Democrats doing the same thing to Republicans? Hell, Democrats don’t even have to be racist to do it. They don’t have to lie. The subject could be pre-existing conditions or corporate tax cuts or DACA or tearing infants away from their mothers. There are loads of totally legitimate subjects that could be dramatized and stuck squarely on the back of the entire Republican Party. So where are they?

Good question. Democrats should tie Trump's disgusting behavior to the Republican Party that benefits from it and at least tacitly supports it. Republicans succeeded in changing Democratic politicians' behaviors with their decades-long propaganda campaign -- demonizing the word "liberal," for instance -- and it's high time Democrats made Trump's brand of ugly, sexist, racist authoritarianism toxic for all Republicans. No amount of "appealing to voters affected by economic anxiety" is worth the imperative to punish bad behavior.
posted by Gelatin at 3:26 AM on November 2 [18 favorites]


'So why aren’t Democrats doing the same thing to Republicans? Hell, Democrats don’t even have to be racist to do it. They don’t have to lie. The subject could be pre-existing conditions or corporate tax cuts or DACA or tearing infants away from their mothers.'
[...]
Good question. Democrats should tie Trump's disgusting behavior to the Republican Party that benefits from it and at least tacitly supports it. [...] No amount of "appealing to voters affected by economic anxiety" is worth the imperative to punish bad behavior.


This is just a guess, but maybe they figure the Maybe-Trump voters are already convinced of the badness of the behavior, but need a reason to vote Dem rather than not vote at all? Hence the focus on improving systemic problems rather than slinging mud at a literal walking pile of mud? And maybe they figure the Always-Trump voters will assume a Dem ad is lying about anything issues-related, and will either assume the same thing or won't care about (or will feel pride in response to) a Dem ad about the bad behavior.

Not saying it's necessarily a winning strategy, of course. But OTOH, it does seem like a good play for SOMEbody to visibly be the grown-ups in the room.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 3:52 AM on November 2 [7 favorites]


On the phone banking thing--at least around here, for the past two elections, phone bankers could either choose to use their own phones, or a cheap burner cell phone with a local area code. I've gotten multiple calls from a few numbers, which I'm pretty sure are the campaign phones; I've just gone ahead and entered them in as "Campaign" in my phone.

So we're not spoofing a local number (since it is actually coming from a local number, as opposed to being made to look like it is). And actually hard coding the location into the burner phones isn't possible (I think maybe you can only do that with landlines, but I could be wrong).

Anecdotally, I've noticed higher success rates from people using a semi-local number. We're in NH, so folks calling with Maine or MA area codes. It doesn't look like a spam call, because it's not the local area code, but it's close enough that people realize it's actually someone from the area.

Also, at least for my campaign, the magic box you want to be in to stop getting calls is "Refused". If you say "I'm voting for Democrats, you have my support, I promise", our goal is to get you to come into volunteer. You *also* want to say "Please stop calling me."
posted by damayanti at 4:45 AM on November 2 [1 favorite]


If you want to see scenes from the ground on Texas, I recommend Anne Helen Petersen.
posted by tofu_crouton at 5:07 AM on November 2 [7 favorites]


I am always reminded about this fantastic comment on the blue by warbaby about Right-wing violence back in 2010.

Oh shit, and now the Sov Cit movement is advising the Oval Office and "The Terrorists are coming from INSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE!"

Really. I never really thought about how all the crackpot, right wing extremist nuts are now running the government. I'm more terrified than ever.

There's a non-zero probability that we'll hear "Mueller's courtroom has a gold-fringed flag, and that means Admiralty Law, which has not authority here."
posted by mikelieman at 5:35 AM on November 2 [3 favorites]


Not saying it's necessarily a winning strategy, of course. But OTOH, it does seem like a good play for SOMEbody to visibly be the grown-ups in the room.

Be the rational grown-ups in the room after winning an election, but first do whatever it takes to win. Appeal to emotion, attack the opposition, scare people into voting if you have to ( hint...you do ).

Then govern like adults.
posted by rocket88 at 5:48 AM on November 2 [5 favorites]


MetaFilter: Listen up, hippies

So, it's Friday, and you're an awesome person, and most of the world is pretty swell so don't forget to smell the rose doughnuts today! Go you! Yes!
posted by petebest at 5:49 AM on November 2 [23 favorites]


The only difference is that this one came together at just the right moment to be seized on by Republicans desperate for a October hate-object to rally their most horrible and reliable voters.

And since the lazy media picked up on Trump waving a shiny new hate object at them as always, it should be imperative for decent people who speak to the media to point out that very fact -- there's nothing unusual about these desperate people seeking asylum in the US except that the Republicans desperately need a new racist appeal to gin up their base.

The only reason we're talking about the caravan at all apart from "how can the richest nation in the world help these poor people" is Republicans going all in on racism.
posted by Gelatin at 6:11 AM on November 2 [7 favorites]


Trae Crowder, my favorite person who talks/sounds like me, speaking the words that matter. Transcribed as best I could, with snips, by yours truly. Check out the video, it's great. Fuck people who don't vote, I'm sure they're nice and they make nice apple crumbles or whatever but this shit matters.

Hey y'all, hope everybody had a good Halloween and whether that hangover you're nursing is from too much chocolate and peanut butter or too much Jager and regret, either way I've been there and my heart goes out to you.

...

We know how we got here. We know what happened in 2016. Right? The most popular story is that it was my people. Poor white people. Rural Americans. They've done this to the rest of us. Right?

Yea, naw. See, you can blame my people for a lot of things... But Trump's presidency ain't one of them in my opinion.

First of all, when you blame poor white people for it, it lets all the other white people off the hook. Statistically Trump won every demographic of white person. So when you blame all this shit on Billy Bob that lets William Robert Esq. skate on by guilt free and that ain't right.

But secondly, it don't really even matter. It's irrelevant who all voted for Trump and why... Or it would have been if Democrats would have voted too. If Democrats would have voted like they did in the two elections prior then Trump would have lost and none of this shit would have mattered.

...

So where were you at? And for a lot of Democrats the answer in 2016 was 'home'. They thought they could sit at home and keep their conscience clean and it wouldn't matter 'cuz Trump wouldn't win anyway. Well, like Mike Tyson said "Everybody's got a plan 'til you get punched in the mouth".

...

Hopefully that woke some Democrats up in this country. If there's one silver lining from all this Trump bullshit I hope it's that it will illustrate to certain types of progressives in America that you can't take yourself out of the game and then get mad when the other team shits on the 50 yard line.

...

And if you're one of those people who say your vote doesn't matter because of where you live: Go tell that shit to Roy Moore. Go find Roy Moore in some Birmingham Waffle House screaming at the hash browns about the devil and tell him a liberal vote doesn't matter in the South. I bet he has a different perspective right about now.

And if you're sitting here listening right now and thinking "Trae, it's my vote, no one else's and if I don't feel that my Democratic candidate properly reflects my progressive values I'm under no obligation to cast my vote for them and that's just how it is. It is my right as an American."

And you're right. If you're thinking something like that you're 100% right. You are correct about all that.

But I'm'a ask you, and I've aked it before:

Do you want to be right or do you want to fucking win? It's crunch time baby, it's here. This is all it is. It's all of us together. There's no other plan. There's no other strategy. You have to vote on or before Nov. 6 and we can turn this ship around. That's it.

posted by RolandOfEld at 6:15 AM on November 2 [85 favorites]


Following up on what Gelatin linked to above (Kevin Drum discussing an ad that I guess was aired last night), here's WaPo: Trump’s new immigration ad was panned as racist. Turns out it was also based on a falsehood. The whole thing centers on Luis Bracamontes, convicted of killing two deputy police, and the ad says "Democrats let him into our country... Democrats let him stay". But his actual history was of repeatedly coming in and being deported by administrations of both parties. After the killings, he was arrested/captured and never got free since then, so it's yet another stupid argument of "Murders by non-citizens are umpty times worse because they could have been deported first" (even though this guy was).

The "let him in" part (referring to someone who in fact snuck in) shouldn't be missed -- there is a sizable number of Americans, including the president himself, who truly believe that zero illegal entry could be a reality if only the shackles were off or whatever. This is a fascist notion because it always justifies more and more egregious enforcement. There have been plenty of border crossings even under this administration, Donald has been upset with his underlings about this, and he's just going to keep asking for more fascism until the country is somehow "closed".
posted by InTheYear2017 at 6:34 AM on November 2 [12 favorites]


Be the rational grown-ups in the room after winning an election, but first do whatever it takes to win. Appeal to emotion, attack the opposition, scare people into voting if you have to ( hint...you do ).

Then govern like adults.


But more than that, don't fall into the trap of presuming the only time one needs ot influence voter opinion is in the runup to the elections. As The Atlantic pointed out, Newt Gingrich did much to damage American politics, but one of the the ways he was successful in amassing Republican power is to relentlessly propagandize, including badmouthing Democrats at every opportunity. And it worked, to the point that the foundation he laid helped pave the way for Trump.

Democrats absolutely can not afford to unilaterally disarm in the face of constant Republican aggression. They need to tell the wavering Republican voter that they are casting an affirmative vote for racism and violence by pulling the R lever even if all they want is more tax cuts. There can be no room for so-called "moderates" like Susan Collins to pretend that their lockstep votes don't enable all the unpopular Republican policies their voters don't want.

(Here's a Fresh Air segment with the author of that Atlantic piece.)
posted by Gelatin at 6:37 AM on November 2 [16 favorites]


Trump’s new immigration ad was panned as racist. Turns out it was also based on a falsehood.
"The ad also failed to mention that in 1998, Bracamontes was arrested on drug charges in Phoenix, then released by the office of then-Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio “for reasons unknown,” the Bee reported."
posted by mcdoublewide at 6:39 AM on November 2 [62 favorites]


Be the rational grown-ups in the room after winning an election, but first do whatever it takes to win. Appeal to emotion, attack the opposition, scare people into voting if you have to ( hint...you do ).

Then govern like adults.

But more than that, don't fall into the trap of presuming the only time one needs ot influence voter opinion is in the runup to the elections. As The Atlantic pointed out, Newt Gingrich did much to damage American politics, but one of the the ways he was successful in amassing Republican power is to relentlessly propagandize, including badmouthing Democrats at every opportunity. And it worked, to the point that the foundation he laid helped pave the way for Trump.


So... not govern like adults, then.

Every Republican Speaker who served under a Democratic President since the 1950s has either shut down the government or impeached that Democratic President, and Paul Ryan is such a child that he managed to shut down the government under a Republican President. The abyss beckons. Let's not advocate jumping in without even bothering to gaze first.
posted by Etrigan at 6:50 AM on November 2 [15 favorites]


Texas volunteer report. I spent two mornings canvassing this week. The first one made me concerned about the volunteer effort, as my local office person was kind of clueless and my walk list wound up having a bunch of already-canvassed houses on it.

Yesterday my housemate and I hit a primarily African American neighborhood a couple of miles south of us – a high priority area that had been little-canvassed. Most of the people who opened their doors had already voted and they got a happy dance of thanks. Woot!! We met a couple of friendly huskies; I had my pant leg bit by a german shepherd. We talked to a few people who were meh on voting. In response to some hemming and hawing about lines, my roommate pulled the "I took my mom who's a heart patient to vote" card, and resistance turned to plan-making :) It was a great shift.

The number of voters in my county has remained high, lagging 2016 a bit, but far more than 2014. Word is that university students have been voting like crazy at uni polling places.

There has been a big uptick in anecdotal reports of Beto sign theft, and I've been sad to see the Beto signs outside polling places disappear or be hidden by another sign placed directly in front.

So, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, but I have my customary despair on hold for now.
posted by tingting at 6:57 AM on November 2 [62 favorites]


Quartz: Melania Trump Spent One Day In Cairo and the Hotel Bill Was Over $95,000

"Melania Trump’s stay in Cairo during her October trip to Africa cost taxpayers $95,050, according to federal spending records. The US first lady and her entourage racked up the tab at the Semiramis Intercontinental Cairo, which offers rooms starting at $119. The hotel’s presidential suite can be rented for $699, which includes $156.50 in taxes, per the property’s website. A spokeswoman for the first lady says Trump was in Cairo for six hours and didn’t actually spend the night at the hotel."

“I really don’t care, do u” truly is Melania's motto.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:57 AM on November 2 [51 favorites]


On preview, what Burhanistan said about the border troop maneuver being basically a substitute for Moron's military parade.

On the debatably lighter side, I laughed out loud at this embellishment of Jeff Fart Fortenberry's yard sign. The remainder of the article, not so much.
posted by yoga at 7:01 AM on November 2 [4 favorites]


Oh, one last Texas anecdote. I organized a Vote Forward letter-writing afternoon at my job on Monday. 5 of us prepared and sent 100 letters to AZ district 8. It was incredibly satisfying to drop that bundle into the mailbox. Evidently over a million letters were sent by volunteers working with that org.
posted by tingting at 7:01 AM on November 2 [16 favorites]


So... not govern like adults, then.

No, I never said not to govern like adults; Democrats are committed to do so, even though it gives Republicans a tactical advantage, and it's worth conceding that tactical advantage to be the one party capable of running the country.

What I said was to never let up on defining Republicans by the bad behavior they indulge in all the time. Democrats can govern like adults and not leave it to a media that isn't liberal at all to point out the truth about Republicans at every opportunity.

So govern like adults, but give up the false and foolish notion of "comity" or that the Republicans who stole a SCOTUS seat operate in good faith, ever. Govern like adults, but point out every time Republicans block measures the American people want. Govern like adults, but don't like creeps like Paul Ryan get away with mealymouth condenmnation of Trump's rhetoric while using Trump to advance his own agenda. Govern like adults, but make it clear to voters which party does and which party refuses to.

Your point about Republican speakers is excellent. Since the so-called professional political press seems to have the institutional memory of goldfish -- or pretends to -- Democrats should point out that Republicans weaponized the government shutdown to benefit their own political power at the cost of the nation's well being, because that is who they are.

Newt Gingrich is not a popular figure, but he should be hung around the necks of the party that operates by his strategy. Republicans will whine about guilt by association, but it's they who chose to do the associating.
posted by Gelatin at 7:08 AM on November 2 [10 favorites]


The audio from that Fartenberry call is just batshit. I managed about five minutes of highlights and it's both frustrating and pathetic the way the pol's handler keeps spewing this I'm threatening you but doing my best to make it sound like we're just talking politely. Kohen seems to also think it's just sad, since after the CoS drops the do you want me to do this? he just politely and with a hint of this is the best you can manage, huh? in his voice comments that it would be terrible optics for Fortenberry. But there's a full fifty-five minute recording available and it is proof I could never succeed in that area of academics because I'd have made it about 90 seconds in that call before working my way through the @effinbirds quotation list.
posted by phearlez at 7:13 AM on November 2 [7 favorites]


" A spokeswoman for the first lady says Trump was in Cairo for six hours and didn’t actually spend the night at the hotel."

Suddenly this makes Trump's claim to Comey (in Comey's book) that he just flew to Russia, changed clothes and left without even sleeping seem...is this a Thing the rich do?
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:25 AM on November 2 [3 favorites]


Blocking won't help, texts are sent from the volunteer's own phone so each contact attempt will likely come from a new number. STOP may work; I never texted so I'm not sure.

Stop (and just stop, not 'stop texting me' or the stop sign emoji) gets one more autoreply confirming an opt-out and your name taken off the list. I've seen it in action.

The texts I got from Openprogress were local to where I currently live, but not where I grew up. I'm getting the idea that when I text out, it's within the state I'm campaigning for. The difference is that Open Progress has campaigns open for a lot of different states - they're probably pushing the local angle as much as possible.

Other stuff about the texting experience: I'm doing a lot of state senator and attorney general races, which I think gets a lot less hostility than the Senate/Governor/Representative races, because honestly people don't know what their state senator or attorney general does. Still, the stories I heard from the Texas volunteers the last few days made me stay away from volunteering for that race.

Thinking up good 'no, really, I'm a human responding to this' reponses is possibly the hardest part. Telling them that my cat's name is Beatrix Kitters seems to help. So do minor punctuation errors.

The texting software I'm using doesn't allow images through. I'm very glad that it doesn't allow images through. I'm also super glad I'm doing this on the computer instead of trying this on my phone, since it's just so much faster to get out the RR.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:25 AM on November 2 [4 favorites]


Texans of MeFi tell us what is happening on the ground.

Beto and Cruz both came through my neck of the woods last week. Here's how Justin Miller with the Texas Observer saw it:
The View From Louie Gohmert-Land: Fear and loathing on one side. Hope and inspiration on the other. East Texas is a microcosm of Beto-Cruz race.

Voter registration in my county has hit a record. I'm pretty sure we can thank Michaela for that. Turnout is at record levels as well.

I'm getting texts constantly. I do not mind at all.

I think tingting said it very well: I, too, have put my customary despair on hold for now. If nothing else, I am reveling at the palpable fear my Republican neighbors are pretending they don't feel.
posted by mcdoublewide at 7:31 AM on November 2 [38 favorites]


The Wohl/Burkman conference has eclipsed the Kavanaugh hearing for clownshoes, obvious lying, makes no sense, etc.

Further obvious lying from Wohl (via @GossiTheDog): "Jacob Wohl tweeted this photo of the ‘Mueller accuser’ (left), who failed to turn up to his press confidence. You can just stick it into Google Images to get her face, since that exact photo is old, already online and.. his girlfriend." (Pic 1; Pic 2)

As for more competent rat-fucks, though, James O'Keefe's Project Veritas has struck Beto's campaign: "“Nobody needs to know” Beto Campaign Appears to Illegally Spend Funds on Supplies for Caravan Aliens, Campaign Manager Says “Don’t Worry”"

This video-sandbagging of low-level staffers is showing up in the likes of Breitbart, Free Republic, Townhall, and Zero Hedge, so expect it to make its way upstream through the rightwing noisemachine ecosystem. (Sean Hannity tweeted about it last night.) It'll probably hit Fox and then Trump's speeches before the weekend's over.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:33 AM on November 2 [13 favorites]


The texting software I'm using doesn't allow images through. I'm very glad that it doesn't allow images through.

Man, no kidding. Considering the punitive cost some plans (paygo ones in particular) assign to data, image sending would be practically an act of hostility.
posted by phearlez at 7:39 AM on November 2


Beto and Cruz both came through my neck of the woods last week . . .

Voter registration in my county has hit a record. I'm pretty sure we can thank Michaela for that. Turnout is at record levels as well.

I'm getting texts constantly. I do not mind at all.

I think tingting said it very well: I, too, have put my customary despair on hold for now. If nothing else, I am reveling at the palpable fear my Republican neighbors are pretending they don't feel.
-- mcdoublewide

Fellow East Texan here . . . yeah, I have put my despair on hold as well. I am getting texts from Beto volunteers daily, and it makes me HAPPY to finally see a Democratic campaign not only run well, but run at all in this area. I voted early, last week, and there was a crowd there. Middle of the day on a week day -- a crowd of people voting. And while my stalwart conservative neighbors have Cruz signs up, just down the street there are plenty of Beto signs in evidence.

I have hope.
posted by Annabelle74 at 7:39 AM on November 2 [26 favorites]


Man, no kidding. Considering the punitive cost some plans (paygo ones in particular) assign to data, image sending would be practically an act of hostility.

I was more thinking of the guy who tried repeatedly to send me a dick pic, made sure to tell me it was a dick pic, and then got angry when he heard that images don't go through. You can still harass volunteers plenty without using images, but it's easier to scan a message when it proves to be just a mass of vitriol than unsee an image.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:43 AM on November 2 [9 favorites]


Texans of MeFi tell us what is happening on the ground.

My wife, first time registered voter in Texas, got a very nice hand-written postcard encouraging her to vote Dem. So there's that (we plan to take care of it today.)
posted by Cyrano at 7:44 AM on November 2 [29 favorites]


The audio from that Fartenberry call is just batshit. I managed about five minutes of highlights and it's both frustrating and pathetic the way the pol's handler keeps spewing this I'm threatening you but doing my best to make it sound like we're just talking politely.

The Congressman's Chief of Staff straight up commits extortion towards the end of the recording.

"Frankly, we have a First Amendment opportunity to basically put you out there in front of everybody and even put this clearly as 'why is a professor liking vandalism.' We can do that publicly. Would you like that?"
posted by The World Famous at 7:47 AM on November 2 [9 favorites]


we all saw armed troops shooting unarmed people and people with rocks and signs for reasons of "border security"

When Trump said rocks are also guns, I immediately thought of the Palestinian protest at Israel's border, and how some protesters were armed with rocks, some using slingshots, which can be quite deadly. I absolutely thought he was purposely conflating the two events to further cement the "migrants are terrorists" trope.

Sure, it's possible to turn a rock into a deadly weapon, but Trump seemed to be suggesting that people plus the presence of rocks nearby equals deadly terrorism.
posted by xammerboy at 7:48 AM on November 2 [10 favorites]


The really crazy thing is that I don't think it can qualify as extortion since you have to be trying to get something for it to be extortion. It's never clear to me exactly what this clown is angling for except perhaps to intimidate. But why they would seems baffling. My understanding is that Fartënbully has a comfortable double-digit lead, and how does a CoS not have something better to do for an hour? I assume that's part of why the prof is so politely nonplussed; he seems to not have any clue why someone would do something this bone headed for zero possible gain.

The cruelty is the point, I guess.
posted by phearlez at 7:52 AM on November 2 [8 favorites]


Suddenly this makes Trump's claim to Comey (in Comey's book) that he just flew to Russia, changed clothes and left without even sleeping seem...is this a Thing the rich do?

While racking up a 100,000 bill at a hotel ( Hmmm... The Trumps are in the hotel business, aren't they? ) that $SOMEONE_ELSE pays for. Seems like something the corrupt rich will do.
posted by mikelieman at 8:00 AM on November 2 [9 favorites]


Sure, it's possible to turn a rock into a deadly weapon, but Trump seemed to be suggesting that people plus the presence of rocks nearby equals deadly terrorism.

Turns out that throwing rocks is an American Tradition. As is shooting the rock throwers dead, well not necessarily the rock throwers

The May 4 Shootings at Kent State University: The Search for Historical Accuracy
Yelling and rock throwing reached a peak as the Guard remained on the field for about ten minutes. Several Guardsmen could be seen huddling together, and some Guardsmen knelt and pointed their guns, but no weapons were shot at this time. The Guard then began retracing their steps from the practice football field back up Blanket Hill. As they arrived at the top of the hill, twenty-eight of the more than seventy Guardsmen turned suddenly and fired their rifles and pistols. Many guardsmen fired into the air or the ground. However, a small portion fired directly into the crowd. Altogether between 61 and 67 shots were fired in a 13 second period.
posted by mikelieman at 8:10 AM on November 2 [12 favorites]


That's the other part that confuses me. How do you rack up a $95,000 hotel bill at a hotel where the most expensive room is $700? That's cover 135 rooms at the $700 rate. Even if she rented an entire floor it wouldn't be that much.

What else was involved in that hotel stay?
posted by sotonohito at 8:11 AM on November 2 [15 favorites]


What else was involved in that hotel stay?

Governmental contract bill padding, obviously. I wonder how many foreign government do the same thing when staying at a Trump branded property? If Congress gave a damn about Congressional Prerogatives, they'd be all up in the Executive Branch for this, but you know. Lapdogs.
posted by mikelieman at 8:14 AM on November 2 [7 favorites]


Justinian: Orrrr you could put up a GOP sign and then when they canvas you talk to them for an hour.

I think I'm just ruining the joke, but from my limited experience with a local Democratic canvassing effort, the canvassers are given a list of names and addresses, including likely party affiliation, which are mostly Dems, some Declined to State, and a few stray Republicans (usually when there's a Democrat living there, which was the child of the Republican, in the one time that happened to me). And you're told to keep conversations to 3 minutes max, so you don't get bogged down talking to people who just want to talk.


In Governors' Elections This Year, Republicans Have A Lot To Lose (NPR, Nov. 2, 2018)
We tapped our network of political reporters and editors across the country to bring you an analysis of every one of the 36 gubernatorial races in 2018. Here's what they said.

Over the past decade, Republicans have made historic gains on the state level. Heading into the election, they control two-thirds of the governors' mansions. But this year the GOP is playing defense.

In the two years since President Trump's election, Democrats have found their energy. Party turnout during the primaries was high, and looking forward to the general election, Democrats could pick up more than a dozen gubernatorial seats and have the chance to become the majority.

And there is more than state policy on the line. With the 2020 census, new congressional districts will be drawn and in most states, whichever party is in control can decide where the lines go.

Also, some Democrats could make history as "firsts." In Georgia, the state could elect Stacey Abrams who would be the country's first female African-American governor. Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum could be Florida's first African-American governor. And in Colorado, Jared Polis could be the first openly gay governor elected in the country.
A pretty good overview of all of the Governors races.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:15 AM on November 2 [14 favorites]


The discussion about rocks versus rifles seems to be neglecting an important aspect: where are they throwing rocks from? It's pretty clear the caravan isn't just going to be allowed to cross the border. If it's from across the border then is trump advocating open cross border exchanges? I realize trying to parse his inflammatory horseshit can be a fool's errand, but that "order" is going to stick in some young foolish soldier's head anyway.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:15 AM on November 2 [6 favorites]


When Trump said rocks are also guns, I immediately thought of the Palestinian protest at Israel's border, and how some protesters were armed with rocks, some using slingshots, which can be quite deadly. I absolutely thought he was purposely conflating the two events to further cement the "migrants are terrorists" trope.

So when the caravan reached the Mexican border the gates across the road were closed & it got a bit messy, a couple of the refugees legitimately threw rocks at Mexican police/military. I believe this is authentic video of the incident even though it's posted through a sketchy YouTube account.
posted by scalefree at 8:22 AM on November 2


I don't do hope. I do know that I'm doing a conference call with Beto's campaign this evening. I also know that we'll be at an event with him in E Austin on Sunday. It all feels a lot like 2008, in a lot of ways. There's definitely a groundswell, in a way I've never seen before, but there's also been a surge of Cruz signs in the last couple weeks.
Despair isn't useful, either, but if El Paso, Houston, and Dallas are turning out like we are here, there may be hope. I've gotten thankful texts back from campaigners. We are knocking on doors. Bugging everyone we know, making sure they've voted.
I also know that in the 24 hrs since I posted the pics on imgur that I linked yesterday, there have been 4 comments, all typical-negative, dissent-sowing type bullshit. Which made me realize that I'd left them public. Bots? I dunno. But.
The noise machine is real, and loud. We need people. Turning out like never before. Rule #1 for making a difference is showing up. Yesterday I got a note from the machine shop boss I'd mentioned back in 2016, the kind of guy you'd exepect to be wearing a red hat if you went by appearances, that he'd donated, voted, and reached out, and I can't wait to get back to hanging out and cutting metal with him again. There's a lot going on here, and I know how big a bubble Austin is, and how big Texas is, but if Beto loses, something is seriously wrong with all of us.
posted by rp at 8:23 AM on November 2 [17 favorites]


What else was involved in that hotel stay?

Yeah, that's basic business. Oh, you're rich? That intangible item will be $500, not $6. Try to argue otherwise.
posted by Melismata at 8:24 AM on November 2 [3 favorites]


The Role Harassment Plays in Climate Change Denial - Rebecca Leber, Mother Jones
Many of the same patterns have appeared when extremists attack other targets.

The link between hate groups and climate denial is complex and anecdotal at best, with little research examining the overlap between the two. But there is enough anecdotal experience to prompt prominent figures who study and advance science and policy to see a connection. In an interview with Mother Jones, [environmental activist Tom Steyer] said he sees the intolerance and hyperpartisanship that has marked the GOP as fundamentally connected with the party’s “willingness to directly lie” on climate change science.

“Climate change was really one of the seminal points for the Republicans because they decided they could straight-up lie,” he said in a phone interview. “When you look at the kind of violent and dehumanizing rhetoric that the president has indulged in, it’s entirely consistent with the idea that there is no cost to lying, there is no cost to really attacking the basic interest of the American people. So I think climate was the template.”
...
Katharine Hayhoe, a Texas Tech climate scientist and self-identified evangelical Christian, often invokes her faith in explaining the need to act to slow down the progress of global warming. Often prominent deniers invoke their faith to advance fossil-fuel-friendly talking points—think Scott Pruitt, who invoked God to justify burning fossil fuels. Hayhoe, who also finds herself facing harassment for her work, draws on her religion to make a moral case to act on the scientific evidence, not bury one’s head in the ground. A scientist alarmed by the impacts of climate change, she has also observed that the anger surrounding the climate debate may have its roots in similar impulses present in other toxic debates. “I think that right now we’re facing a time of tremendous change in race, gender, socioeconomic status, and privilege. It’s especially frightening if you feel you’re going to lose from the change.
Emphasis mine.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:30 AM on November 2 [18 favorites]


The discussion about rocks versus rifles seems to be neglecting an important aspect: where are they throwing rocks from?

if you're talking about "throwing rocks", you've already ceded a stupid point to trump. these people are seeking asylum. why the fuck would they throw rocks?
posted by murphy slaw at 8:30 AM on November 2 [39 favorites]


Apple News Gaining Dedicated 'Election Night' Tab With Real-Time Results

Something else we can set up on one of our screens in our Election Night living/war rooms. They will use AP data to create real-time infographics, etc.

"All of these infographics and results data will automatically update every minute,"

But I obsess at an average of three refreshes per minute!

"and there will still be a manual page refresh option to force an immediate update."

Oh, whew.

Apple says that having a wide range of various news sources was necessary to ensure that all voters were informed about the election, no matter their political leaning. The company also notes that all of the Election Night coverage is not being driven by algorithms, and the November 6 update will see an "all-hands-on-deck" situation for the Apple News team.
posted by mikepop at 8:31 AM on November 2 [7 favorites]


I realize trying to parse his inflammatory horseshit can be a fool's errand, but that "order" is going to stick in some young foolish soldier's head anyway.

Far more likely and more importantly: it'll stick in some foolish voter's head. As you say, it's horseshit, totally designed to further demonize and misrepresent this group of people in desperate need. Whatever it takes to solidify Republican power.
posted by Rykey at 8:40 AM on November 2 [9 favorites]


if you're talking about "throwing rocks", you've already ceded a stupid point to trump.

This is (in addition to being hella racist) pure Overton Window shifting. They're 1000 miles out, and Trump is saying that rocks will be answered with bullets. When they're 500 miles out, "Shoot back at people throwing rocks" will have been adopted by Republicans as the slightly-right-of-center point, and Trump will say that any threatening movement will be answered with bullets. When they're 250 miles out, the GOP and its bought-and-paid-for pundits will soberly assert that the threatening-movement test is reasonable, and Trump will say that attempting to cross the border will be answered with bullets. When they're within sight of the border, Fox et al will be talking about how perfectly reasonable it is to gun down individuals attempting to invade the homeland, and Trump will say that merely approaching the border is an unconscionable incitement.
posted by Etrigan at 8:40 AM on November 2 [57 favorites]


And on Preview, to avoid abusing the Edit function:

To add to what Etrigan said, it also sets the stage for justifying what I fear will be the inevitable violence directed at the caravan (either by the troops, ICE, CBP, or some random "volunteer" border protection outfit). It's straight out of the authoritarian playbook: When an authoritarian leader says "If you do X, I will do Y," they're pretty much forecasting that they will do Y no matter what, then claim that X happened. Provoking X, in fact, is pretty common.
posted by Rykey at 8:49 AM on November 2 [31 favorites]


With more military being sent to the border, history will just repeat itself:

Washington Post, Samantha Schmidt (April 6, 2018): How the tragic killing of an American teenager halted the military border presence in 1997
It was a cloudy afternoon in May 1997, on a desolate hill of rugged desert and alfalfa fields along the Rio Grande known as “El Polvo,” Spanish for dust. Esequiel Hernandez Jr., a high school sophomore who had just turned 18, ventured out with his herd of 43 goats near his family’s home, guiding them through the brush to graze. As usual, to protect his flock from wild dogs or coyotes, he carried with him his .22-caliber rifle.
In the distance, something moved. Approaching him were four heavily camouflaged U.S. Marines, armed with M-16s, looking for drug smugglers.
The encounter that followed would leave Hernandez, an American citizen, shot in the chest by a Marine corporal. He bled to death, receiving no medical aid. Military officials said the Marine team shot the teenager after he twice fired his rifle in their direction and was raising his gun for a third time, according to Washington Post coverage at the time. Relatives of Hernandez, along with the Texas Rangers who investigated the case, doubted that the teenager ever saw the hidden Marines.
While the circumstances of the shooting would be disputed for years, it spurred an immediate uproar and came to symbolize the dangers of an armed military presence on the border. By July of that year, following local protests, the Pentagon suspended military patrol of the border.
Guardian (May 1, 2018) Border patrol violence: US paid $60m to cover claims against the agency with accounts of wrongful death and injury settlements.
All told over the 12-year period studied, the treasury department cut a check to settle a claim against CBP every 32 hours on average, for a grand total of more than $177m, when $116m in claims related to employment or property are taken into account.
Guardian (May 2, 2018): Fatal encounters: 97 deaths point to pattern of border agent violence across America

I was looking for the story about Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, who, in 2012, was killed in Mexico by a border control agent who fired across the border from Arizona 16 times, in response to "allegedly thrown rocks".
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 8:56 AM on November 2 [39 favorites]


Yeah, it's groundwork for covering up an unprovoked massacre. It's hard to disprove "somebody threw a rock."
posted by contraption at 8:56 AM on November 2 [22 favorites]


More updates from Texas, early vote totals in the big counties; i.e. where Houston, San Antonio, Austin and Dallas/Ft. Worth are, which is about 70% of the state population, are showing numbers between 30-40% of ALL registered voters having cast early ballots, by day 10 of early voting. Today is the last day of early voting in Texas, and we may surpass the number of early votes cast in the 2016 presidential elections. We are leaps and bounds above what normally sees in a midterm.

I suspect the numbers of people on actual vote day are going to be lower than expected, because I think the GOTV early campaign has been wildly successful.

In other news: STUDY: Over the past 3 months, guest panels on Sunday shows have been overwhelmingly conservative. The charts make it easy to visualize how marginalized the voice of the left really is.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:22 AM on November 2 [26 favorites]


Texans of MeFi...

Houston: It's kind of great and crazy making. I feel like YAY/OMG back and forth constantly. Our house is trashed. The dining table is where the unfolded clean clothes go and husband and I are pretty much getting dressed right there now.

It's gorgeous outside. I was sad I did not reach my goal of knocking 1000 doors in October. I had to pick up a work shift and missed the last two days so I only got to 700 something. I'm not even in the big leagues for that, but that's a lot for me. For November I'm at 100 so far. I hope to be at 500 by election day. I'll canvass with Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly (fyi almost all links are facebook links) for my congressional candidate Saturday afternoon! I hope to fit in two other canvasses that day. I'm plotting my canvasses in my calendar with alerts so I hit as many as I can. My knee hurts I may rest some today (Friday).

Husband has been driving people to the polls. He left before 7AM this last day of early voting. He comes back with the best stories of people just being adorable. He has also been making these shorts about people we meet and why they are voting for Beto and what they think people can do to help. This project make me love this diverse city more than I even thought I could. Here's two of my favorites, Amina and Shannon.

A close friend in Austin is travel canvassing outside of Austin to help knock on doors in smaller communities because Austin is already saturated.

A high school girl made a political statement out of her homecoming mum (Texas mums previously). She got Beto's picture from a negative mailer. They have yet to make him look bad.

One of my favorite clips from the live streams: Beto arriving in San Antonio Gilbert Garza park to a mariachi band. This is how it feels to be at one of these things. Joyful just like that.

I am not without my concerns. The voter machines switching to Cruz is a real problem and causes a lot of anxiety It begins to shift from fyi news story into voter suppression ("voting is hard, rigged, not worth it").

I still knock on a lot of doors where people say some variation of 'never heard of him,' or 'I just don't vote anymore.' And it feels like a gut punch. The voter suppression is imbedded here. It will be why, if we lose. We are 49th and sometimes 50th in voter turnout by design. The turn out seems great, but still doesn't seem to be enough. We are just trying to keep going and do as much as we can so we will never say "what if" when it's over.
posted by dog food sugar at 9:25 AM on November 2 [69 favorites]


Fox News Sunday has more left-right balance than Meet the Press. What in the actual hell, NBC.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:27 AM on November 2 [10 favorites]


@Susan_Hennessey "The most powerful nation on Earth is now reduced to conducting nation state deterrence through internet memes. It'd be funny if it wasn't so scary and pathetic."

- quoting a Trump tweet which is a hagiographic pic of him with 'SANCTIONS ARE COMING / NOVEMBER 5" written on it in the Game of Thrones font. [real]
posted by Buntix at 9:34 AM on November 2 [7 favorites]


AP: US Reimposes All Iran Sanctions Lifted Under Nuclear Deal
The sanctions will take effect Monday and cover Iran’s shipping, financial and energy sectors. It’s the second batch of penalties that the administration has reimposed since President Donald Trump withdrew from the landmark deal in May.

With limited exceptions, the sanctions will penalize countries that don’t stop importing Iranian oil and foreign companies that do business with blacklisted Iranian entities, including Iran’s central bank, a number of private financial institutions and state-run port and shipping companies.
Mnuchin and Pompeo made this joint announcement today, the latter declaring, “Maximum pressure means maximum pressure” (which sounds about as clear "Brexit means Brexit").
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:37 AM on November 2 [4 favorites]


Agence France-Presse: Nigerian army posts Trump video to justify shooting protesters.
Nigeria’s army has posted a video of Donald Trump saying soldiers would shoot migrants throwing stones to justify opening fire on a group of Shia protesters this week.
posted by adamg at 9:40 AM on November 2 [33 favorites]


these people are seeking asylum. why the fuck would they throw rocks?

because they're people, and whenever there's a sizeable group of hungry/exhausted/frustrated people trapped in a desperate situation, there's a non-zero chance at least one of them, or some small number, might react in a desperate way. people snap or get angry or panic -- any person could. and the military units being sent to the border, also being people, are also prone to reacting badly, which is why escalating the situation by having anyone carrying arms is just a spectacularly bad and cruel idea.

it is of course possible that, whether or not anyone throws anything, the allegation could be used as a pretext for a massacre. but even if people throw things (which is not that unlikely), shooting shouldn't be a possible response.
posted by halation at 9:42 AM on November 2 [21 favorites]


This got buried yesterday. It seems Bad. John Bolton just gave an “Axis of Evil” speech about Latin America
National Security Adviser John Bolton just gave a modern-day “Axis of Evil” speech, this one focused on three countries in Latin America.

In a 30-minute address at Miami Dade College’s Freedom Tower, Bolton said the Trump administration will take a hard line against Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua by sanctioning the countries and cutting off diplomatic relations with them until they meet US demands.

“This Troika of Tyranny, this triangle of terror stretching from Havana to Caracas to Managua, is the cause of immense human suffering, the impetus of enormous regional instability, and the genesis of a sordid cradle of communism in the Western Hemisphere,” Bolton said. “Under President Trump, the United States is taking direct action against all three regimes to defend the rule of law, liberty, and basic human decency in our region.”

Bolton’s speech seems intended to usher in a new era of US relations with Latin America. It portends a massive escalation in US foreign policy: one where America is trying to dictate how three sovereign countries should operate.
Note the absence of Bolton at today's Iran sanctions announcement. Right wing media was reporting that he's upset the government isn't taking a harder line because they'll be waivers for "friends and allies" to let them buy Iranian oil anyway. Sounds like he's mad about that and decided to go thrreaten some other countries instead.
posted by zachlipton at 10:08 AM on November 2 [21 favorites]


That Bolton "Troika of Tyranny" speech terrifies me. The last thing Latin America needs is a return to the 20th century pattern of the US deposing leftist governments at the behest of capital and then installing bloody dictators.

Cuba was pretty much the only nominally socialist country that made it out of that nexus of violence with their sovereignty in tact, and I'd hate to see them falter now.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 10:22 AM on November 2 [18 favorites]


Unfortunately, Trump's team could simply point to stuff like this that circulated in early 2016 and say "well, THEY did it, so....."

Ah, yes, I remember canvassing a lot of neighborhoods for the Clinton/imgur-user-hardpass 2016 ticket.
posted by Etrigan at 10:24 AM on November 2


The inclusion of Nicaragua confuses me. I thought the Nicaraguan government was already cracking down on leftist student types (where cracking down = shooting, disappearing, etc), after the govt tried to fuck with benefits and people were like “hey that’s the last straw.”
posted by schadenfrau at 10:24 AM on November 2 [3 favorites]


> This Troika of Tyranny, this triangle of terror

Come ON, writers! This is a low-budget parody of "Axis of Evil" and it is beyond ridiculous.
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:28 AM on November 2 [25 favorites]


That's the other part that confuses me. How do you rack up a $95,000 hotel bill at a hotel where the most expensive room is $700? That's cover 135 rooms at the $700 rate. Even if she rented an entire floor it wouldn't be that much.

I have some insight into visits like this and there's a lot more that go into them than just renting rooms. Additional space is needed for offices, meeting rooms, hold rooms, equipment storage, vehicle storage, etc - the logistics are insane and can take weeks to prepare (and were similarly crazy for previous administrations of both parties). Whether all that overhead is really needed is a fair question, but it's not uncommon.
posted by photo guy at 10:29 AM on November 2 [24 favorites]


The inclusion of Nicaragua confuses me. I thought the Nicaraguan government was already cracking down on leftist student types (where cracking down = shooting, disappearing, etc), after the govt tried to fuck with benefits and people were like “hey that’s the last straw.”

He's talking to the low-information middle-aged and elderly - people who know nothing about Nicaragua except that the Sandinistas were in power at one point.

It's part of the same MAGA deal which has all these near-zombie eighties political ideas and figures resurfacing. It's about appealing to the youth or semi-youth of the older right-wing base.
posted by Frowner at 10:33 AM on November 2 [13 favorites]


Additional space is needed for offices, meeting rooms, hold rooms, equipment storage, vehicle storage, etc - the logistics are insane and can take weeks to prepare (and were similarly crazy for previous administrations of both parties).

Let 'em meet in a Starbucks like normal people.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:33 AM on November 2 [3 favorites]


This Troika of Tyranny

I doubt Bolton's boss knows what a Troika is, but I'm sure his boss's boss knows.
posted by bcd at 10:35 AM on November 2 [35 favorites]


It's hard to disprove "somebody threw a rock."

If a rock is considered as dangerous as a rifle, merely holding one while looking angry is sufficient to be met with deadly force. Think it's hard to disprove "somebody threw a rock?" How hard will it be to disprove "someone was holding a rock?"

Making rocks equivalent to guns is permission to shoot anybody and everybody, full stop.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:36 AM on November 2 [22 favorites]


This Troika of Tyranny, this triangle of terror

this threesome of threat, this trio of trouble, this triple scoop of scurrilousness
posted by murphy slaw at 10:40 AM on November 2 [28 favorites]


Good news, everyone! @srl: Breaking news: A federal judge ordered Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp to guarantee people flagged as non-citizens through Georgia's "exact match" system can vote in the 2018 election. This is a win for voting rights groups that sued. It deals with a portion of the 53,000 people on the voter registration suspense list. Overwhelming majority of 53,000 were not flagged for citizenship. They were flagged because their information didn't match with SSN database.

The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is very happy.

More good news, everyone! Four members of the Rise Above Movement white supremacy group have been indicted for attacking protesters at political rallies in California last spring. This follows charges against another group of RAM members for rioting in Charlottesville.

Weird news, everyone! In which HBO would like to be excluded from this narrative, @blackmon: Here's the statement HBO sent BuzzFeed News regarding President Trump's Game of Thrones-related tweet/meme: “We were not aware of this messaging and would prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes.”
posted by zachlipton at 10:41 AM on November 2 [75 favorites]


He's talking to the low-information middle-aged and elderly - people who know nothing about Nicaragua except that the Sandinistas were in power at one point.

I looked, since I was surprised too, but the Sandanistas are -- along with Daniel Ortega! -- back in power. Why do the figures of the Eighties keep coming back to haunt us?
posted by Quindar Beep at 10:43 AM on November 2 [4 favorites]


We were supposed to all be killed by that false nuclear attack report Petriov stopped in 83 so now reality has to keep looping back to the 80s until it happens.
posted by The Whelk at 10:46 AM on November 2 [60 favorites]


With limited exceptions, the sanctions will penalize countries that don’t stop importing Iranian oil and foreign companies that do business with blacklisted Iranian entities,

Can't this be trivially evaded by having some brand new foreign company buy all the Iranian output and reselling it at a 5% markup?
posted by msalt at 10:49 AM on November 2 [2 favorites]


In the 20th century, the US tended to intervene in Latin American countries once they started nationalizing industries the US had a hand in, or started instituting land reform that took back land from US corporations. Are the governments of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua currently doing anything like this, or anything that would otherwise threaten US commerce? I think this is the best way of predicting whether Bolton's speech is a harbinger of catastrophe or just empty nostalgic rhetoric.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 10:52 AM on November 2 [10 favorites]


Can't this be trivially evaded by having some brand new foreign company buy all the Iranian output and reselling it at a 5% markup?

Sounds like a job for Trump Oil
posted by flabdablet at 10:53 AM on November 2 [3 favorites]


Vox, Lind, Border Patrol agents now have to ask everyone they catch if they’re part of the caravan. This started yesterday, and similar guidence was issued in the spring when another caravan happened. The answer will be "no" for quite some time though, as the lead group of the remaining portion of the caravan is in Oaxaca and will take at least six weeks to reach the border at its current pace.
posted by zachlipton at 10:59 AM on November 2 [10 favorites]


With limited exceptions, the sanctions will penalize countries that don’t stop importing Iranian oil and foreign companies that do business with blacklisted Iranian entities,

Can't this be trivially evaded by having some brand new foreign company buy all the Iranian output and reselling it at a 5% markup?


I'm sorry, your solution to sanctions on foreign companies that do business with blacklisted Iranian entities is to found a foreign company that does business with blacklisted Iranian entities?
posted by Etrigan at 10:59 AM on November 2 [3 favorites]


ZeusHumms: [Talking on denying climate change] It’s especially frightening if you feel you’re going to lose from the change.

This just made me think of the five stages of grief. If that's appropriate to apply to the grieving the slow death of the world as we know it, I can see people broadly going through denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.


Buntix: @Susan_Hennessey "The most powerful nation on Earth is now reduced to conducting nation state deterrence through internet memes. It'd be funny if it wasn't so scary and pathetic."

- quoting a Trump tweet which is a hagiographic pic of him with 'SANCTIONS ARE COMING / NOVEMBER 5" written on it in the Game of Thrones font. [real]


This is some gradeschool memery, which is probably a good thing for the country. I posted this (with more context) in the The social media Fordlândias thread, but per the article Why are populists winning online? Social media reinforces their anti-establishment message (Clara Hendrickson and William A. Galston for The Brookings Institution, April 28, 2017)
Marine Le Pen’s National Front is well-known for its digital prowess, with an office in Paris dedicated exclusively to managing the party’s social media presence and aggressively launching online campaigns that include viral hashtags, memes, and animated videos.
Trump relies on reposting other people's memes and trying to jump onto bandwagons that rolled out years back. I only hope he spends more time picking the right dank meme to own the libs, and less time actually making real decisions that are further ruining this country.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:03 AM on November 2 [8 favorites]


I looked, since I was surprised too, but the Sandanistas are -- along with Daniel Ortega! -- back in power. Why do the figures of the Eighties keep coming back to haunt us?

But Ortega today is pretty different than the Sandinistas of yore - IIRC he's super anti-gay and he's definitely enriching himself, so he ought to be popular with the right if they only knew.
posted by Frowner at 11:04 AM on November 2 [5 favorites]


the lead group of the remaining portion of the caravan is in Oaxaca and will take at least six weeks to reach the border at its current pace.

It's not like that's going to stop them from shooting unrelated people in the face for the heinous crime of not being white in the presence of armed white people.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:04 AM on November 2 [16 favorites]


So why aren’t Democrats doing the same thing to Republicans? Hell, Democrats don’t even have to be racist to do it. They don’t have to lie. The subject could be pre-existing conditions or corporate tax cuts or DACA or tearing infants away from their mothers. There are loads of totally legitimate subjects that could be dramatized and stuck squarely on the back of the entire Republican Party. So where are they?

Because if Democratic voters responded to this kind of drama they'd probably already be Republicans.
posted by srboisvert at 11:14 AM on November 2 [16 favorites]


In other news: STUDY: Over the past 3 months, guest panels on Sunday shows have been overwhelmingly conservative. The charts make it easy to visualize how marginalized the voice of the left really is.

Worse yet, too often the panel shows have a member of the news media, not a pundit or politician, to fill the ostensible "liberal" (or "reality based," if you please), side. In one of the previous threads I noted that NPR did so a couple of times recently for its Friday politics roundup, pairing a conservative hack with a journalist. Besides not actually airing a liberal opinion, that construction also tacitly, and falsely, concedes the conservative slander that the media is liberal.
posted by Gelatin at 11:17 AM on November 2 [23 favorites]


John Bolton just gave an “Axis of Evil” speech about Latin America

Also, Bolton praises Brazil's Bolsonaro as a 'like-minded' partner (Politico). “The recent elections of like-minded leaders in key countries, including Iván Duque in Colombia and, last weekend, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, are positive signs for the future of the region, and demonstrate a growing regional commitment to free-market principles, and open, transparent and accountable governance,” Bolton said. His conclusion that "the righteous flame of freedom will burn brightly again in this hemisphere" sounds like he's more interested in flames and burning than freedom.
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:18 AM on November 2 [19 favorites]


The Washington Post's David Fahrenthold reports: "BREAKING: Federal judge denies @realDonaldTrump's attempt to stop discovery process in "Emoluments Clause" lawsuit by DC/MD A.G.'s. Will allow AGs to get documents showing foreign-government customers at Trump Hotel D.C. Story coming soon..."
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:27 AM on November 2 [63 favorites]


It's part of the same MAGA deal which has all these near-zombie eighties political ideas and figures resurfacing. It's about appealing to the youth or semi-youth of the older right-wing base.

Leaked transcript (fake) of an upcoming Trump speech:
My fellow Americans,

WOLVERINES!!!

Thank you, and God bless America.
posted by Gelatin at 11:28 AM on November 2 [7 favorites]


“This Troika of Tyranny, this triangle of terror stretching from Havana to Caracas to Managua, is the cause of immense human suffering, the impetus of enormous regional instability, and the genesis of a sordid cradle of communism in the Western Hemisphere,” Bolton said. “Under President Trump, the United States is taking direct action against all three regimes to defend the rule of law, liberty, and basic human decency in our region.”

So does that mean Trump is really more of a regionalist or, gasp, a globalist?
posted by The World Famous at 11:30 AM on November 2 [8 favorites]


Because if Democratic voters responded to this kind of drama they'd probably already be Republicans.

Yet after two years of being subjected to exactly this kind of drama daily we're seeing relatively massive midterm voter turnout.
posted by edeezy at 11:33 AM on November 2 [3 favorites]


Update: @HBO: How do you say trademark misuse in Dothraki?

Why does everything have to be so weird?
posted by zachlipton at 11:34 AM on November 2 [33 favorites]


Vanity Fair, Emily Jane Fox, Michael Cohen Says Trump Repeatedly Used Racist Language Before His Presidency. Shocking, I know, but I was wondering when we’d hear from Cohen.
During our conversation, Cohen recalled a discussion at Trump Tower, following the then-candidate’s return from a campaign rally during the 2016 election cycle. Cohen had watched the rally on TV and noticed that the crowd was largely caucasian. He offered this observation to his boss. “I told Trump that the rally looked vanilla on television. Trump responded, ‘That’s because black people are too stupid to vote for me.’” (The White House did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)

This conversation, he noted, was reminiscent of an exchange that the two men had engaged in years earlier, after Nelson Mandela’s death. “[Trump] said to me, ‘Name one country run by a black person that’s not a shithole,’ and then he added, ‘Name one city,’” Cohen recalled, a statement that echoed the president’s alleged comments about African nations earlier this year.
...
The conversation wended its way back to the show’s first season, which ended in a head-to-head between two contestants, Bill Rancic and Kwame Jackson. “Trump was explaining his back-and-forth about not picking Jackson,” an African-American investment manager who had graduated from Harvard Business School. “He said, ‘There’s no way I can let this black f-g win.’” (Jackson told me that he had heard that the president made such a comment. “My response to President Trump is simple and Wakandan,” he said, referring to the fictional African country where Black Panther hails from. “‘Not today, colonizer!’”)
posted by zachlipton at 11:38 AM on November 2 [21 favorites]


Meanwhile in Idaho, some elementary school teachers decided that dressing up like Mexicans and a border wall was a good idea.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:39 AM on November 2 [6 favorites]


Because if Democratic voters responded to this kind of drama they'd probably already be Republicans.

Yet after two years of being subjected to exactly this kind of drama daily we're seeing relatively massive midterm voter turnout.


The discussion is about whether, as a large-scale campaign strategy, Democrats should be saying "All Republicans are bad and want you to [insert issue here]!" in the manner of "A vote for [local Democrat] is a vote for Nancy Pelosi, who wants to let foreigners live in your basement!" Maybe your area is different, but none of the Democratic candidates I'm seeing are using anything like that. They're being very specific about how their opponent voted against protections for pre-existing conditions or the like. The Democratic Party apparatus isn't spending a lot of effort tying Republicans to Trump.
posted by Etrigan at 11:40 AM on November 2 [3 favorites]


Because if Democratic voters responded to this kind of drama they'd probably already be Republicans.

Revelations of the Trump Administration putting kids in cages proved massively unpopular and forced the Administration to at least pretend to change the policy.

Republicans are right now lying consistently about their efforts and plans to eliminate guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions.

DACA is popular, and the Republicans, not the Democrats, looked bad (not that the "balanced" media didn't give it the old college try) when Paul Ryan backed down to the wingnut Freedom Caucus and didn't even pass a law that could have gained majority support, citing a nonexistent "Hastert Rule."

The corporate tax cuts are such a flop that even the Republicans aren't running on them.

For each of the subjects Drum mentioned, there's a a policy that Democrats favor and is popular, and a Republican position that is not. Drawing contrasts between oneself and one's political opponents is essential (a lesson sadly forgotten after the "triagulation" of the 1990s, which all to often validated Republican framing). There's no reason at all for Democrats to point out all the time that Republican positions are not popular, and that Republicans know it because they lie about those positions all the time.
posted by Gelatin at 11:40 AM on November 2 [2 favorites]


Another reason Democrats shouldn't adopt the nastiest tactics of the Republicans:

Among the lower-information voters I know, they respond a lot to perceived personality. I know someone who initially really liked Sarah Palin - possibly because she's a woman, among other things - who shifted to a hard dislike of her because Palin turned out to be such a meanie. I think Palin's "palling around with terrorists" line was one thing that caused this shift.

Hillary was up against an unprecedented decades-long smear campaign, and in spite of that, she got 3 million more votes than the other guy - and my recollection is that she emphasized solutions, positive things we could get behind. So did Ocasio-Cortez. Beto's doing the same thing - and whether he wins or not, he's already garnered way more support than anyone thought possible in Texas. And let's not forget the positive messages emphasized by the Obama campaign.

I think embracing nastiness and vicious negativity would risk alienating a lot of people who sometimes vote for Democrats. I think the voters who like negativity and smearing and "owning" the other side are already voting for Republicans, and likely to stick with the zero-sum party rather than the everybody-can-prosper-together party.
posted by kristi at 11:41 AM on November 2 [29 favorites]


> It portends a massive escalation in US foreign policy: one where America is trying to dictate how three sovereign countries should operate.

Who wrote this line? America trying to dictate the behavior of three sovereign countries is an escalation? Three would be a big decrease from all of them, the standard state of affairs.

Can't this be trivially evaded by having some brand new foreign company buy all the Iranian output and reselling it at a 5% markup?

Sounds like a job for Trump Oil


That's adorable, like a Trump business could operate where they had to pay for shit in full, in advance. They couldn't even handle net30 if their lives depended on it.
posted by phearlez at 11:41 AM on November 2 [11 favorites]


“[Trump] said to me, ‘Name one country run by a black person that’s not a shithole,’...

The United States of America?
posted by The Tensor at 11:43 AM on November 2 [49 favorites]


The Democratic Party apparatus isn't spending a lot of effort tying Republicans to Trump.

NPR very recently talked to a Democratic strategist who said that the Democrats don't need to make that point, as Trump is busy making it for them.

His subtext was close to "never interrupt your enemy when they are in the process of making a mistake."
posted by Gelatin at 11:43 AM on November 2 [5 favorites]


Not to abuse the edit window:

I mean, yes, of course, call out Republicans on their lies and on all the actions they take against the well-being of Americans. Be honest. Be explicit. Be clear.

But some voters are really turned off by dirty politics. I think Democrats stand to gain more by avoiding outright nasty, dirty tactics.
posted by kristi at 11:44 AM on November 2 [3 favorites]


This Troika of Tyranny, this triangle of terror

this threesome of threat, this trio of trouble, this triple scoop of scurrilousness


And, of course, the puppies of purgatory.
posted by phearlez at 11:45 AM on November 2 [4 favorites]


Tweet from the NYTimes TV Critic, James Poniewozik
I'm not even going to RT that Sanctions meme, but does anyone in the WH even watch Game of Thrones?

In GoT, winter is a DISASTER. Nobody wants it! It's not a weapon. It's not, like: "Get ready, sucker, I'm bringing some WINTER down on your ass!"
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:52 AM on November 2 [30 favorites]


If memory serves me correctly, it was Adlai Stevenson who quipped to the effect that Republicans complain that accurate descriptions of their agenda is dirty politics.

Let's conduct a thought exercise. Fill in the blank, in, say, Mitch McConnell's voice:

"Tax and ________ liberal."

"_____ killing regulations."

"San ________ values."

"________ media."

Not hard, was it? Republicans have spent decades crafting a focus grouped message that they push consistently in order to mask their agenda of transferring the other half of America's wealth to the top 10%, and even we have absorbed these messages, agree with them or not.

I am not suggesting Democrats engage in Gingrichian name-calling (his infamous memo advised his acolytes to insert insults and slanders of Democrats into practically every sentence they uttered).

I am suggesting that Democrats point out that Republicans have an agenda, and it is not popular. We should not let Republicans get away with pretending they are against this-or-that aspect of Trump's agenda, when electing that Republican helps trump's agenda get enacted will-they-or-nil-they.

Republicans really do want to cut taxes for the rich and slash Social Security and Medicare.
Republicans really do want to make all students say christian prayers in school.
Republicans really do want to eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions.
Republicans really do want to make abortion illegal everywhere in the US.

How do we know? They told us so themselves. It's totally fair play if Democrats help spread that message too.
posted by Gelatin at 11:55 AM on November 2 [46 favorites]


Re: Boltonisms I like "Trigon of Turpitude," myself

WOLVERINES!!!

I'm sorry, is the idea here that Trump would be on the Wolverines' side? Because I'm thinking maybe Red Dawn is not going to be included in this particular iteration of the 80s revival

In GoT, winter is a DISASTER

yeah, on the other hand, their media tie-in messaging really is shit, since, after all, the biggest bad guy in GoT is climate change
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:00 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


In GoT, winter is a DISASTER. Nobody wants it! It's not a weapon. It's not, like: "Get ready, sucker, I'm bringing some WINTER down on your ass!"

I mean... Winter King does that.

But that’s okay because as bad as the Democratic machine is, at least none of them are Jon Snow.

...uh, right?
posted by curious nu at 12:09 PM on November 2


Gavin Newsom took an adjacent theme (zombie army of MAGAhats) and ran with it for a terrific Halloween ad.

And I'm with kristi that I don't want to see Democrats using Republican smear tactics and dirty politics (though I do want them to defend themselves if attacked - John Kerry didn't, to his loss). The Republicans are bad. I know they're bad. As far as I am concerned, "GOP" stands for "Gross Old Perverts." I want the Democrats to tell me how they can make my life and other Americans' lives better.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 12:19 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


I am not suggesting Democrats engage in Gingrichian name-calling (his infamous memo advised his acolytes to insert insults and slanders of Democrats into practically every sentence they uttered).

How finely do you think you can draw a line between Newt Gingrich's campaign tactics and Newt Gingrich's governance tactics? Gingrichian name-calling worked. Do you think everything except that will work?
posted by Etrigan at 12:22 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


It's been interesting to watch the various campaign ads here in MN this cycle. I've mostly seen ads for Dean Philips followed by an ad for his opponent, Eric Paulsen. The tone of the ads contrast starkly and feels something like, "Hi, I'm Dean Philips and I'm running for congress because I think Minnesota is great and I want to help make it better!"

Followed by a Paulsen ad where the theme is, "DEAN PHILIPS WANTs TO MURDER YOUR FAMILY!!!!!"

I quipped to my wife, "You know, I've seen a lot of movies and that experience has convinced me that I know who the bad guys are in this one."

You don't have to pay much attention to the ads to realize that the pro-GOP ads are all varying degrees of dishonest, extremist, fear-mongering, and hostile. Since they pretty much always run back-to-back, the contrast is really stark and makes the GOP ads all the more distasteful.

The problem is that campaign ads are really designed to convert anyone to their side but to get those who already agree with them to go out and take action (IE: Vote). So while it certainly has the effect Dems are hoping for on me, I wonder if the same is true for conservatives.

Now that I think about it, it reminds me of this scene from the fantasy book "Dies the Fire". Shortly after an apocalyptic event our protagonists encounter a group that has adopted a bunch of aggressive and even openly evil looking symbols. The main protagonist observes that everyone thinks they're the hero and the symbols they use reflect that. So if you see someone trying to make themselves appear as the "bad guys", there is something really really messed up going on there and they want nothing to do with it. Even most of the symbols and icons that the Nazis used only really seem evil in retrospect due to their association with Nazis.

The GOP seems to be making themselves look like the bad guys on purpose. I don't know if it will help or hurt their cause but it can't be a good thing.
posted by VTX at 12:26 PM on November 2 [7 favorites]


538:Gender Might Be Shaping Democrats' Senate Chances

To which I reply, glad you could join us in figuring out the goddamn obvious. Is it a real wonder that after the Kavanaugh debacle and the outright hostility against women the two most at risk incumbents for the Ds are McCaskill and Heitkamp?

I am glad this is being brought up, obviously, but it's as usual a harsh fucking reminder that being a woman in politics is HARDER.
posted by lydhre at 12:29 PM on November 2 [28 favorites]


Because if Democratic voters responded to this kind of drama they'd probably already be Republicans.

And if there's one lesson for our currently divided electorate, it's that the two main parties' members have completely different worldviews that require completely different strategies to win approval.

For example, NBC: Democrats Refuse To Take Trump's Home Stretch Bait—Analysis: As the president launches a wide array of policy proposals and political attacks, his opponents have stuck to their script.
[M]ost of the party has pushed back — gently — without rushing to cameras to fight on cultural issues at a time when they believe they have the upper hand in the battle for control of the House and are still in the hunt for several Senate races within the margin of error in recent polling.

"It’s clear that President Trump is engaged in a cynical political effort to distract voters in the final days of this election, but our candidates have remained focused on what voters care about most — pocketbook issues like the cost of health care and protections for people with pre-existing health conditions," Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said over email. "While the President is reduced to scare tactics, Democrats are fighting to help the families they represent."

It's not a coordinated strategy so much as a collective assessment that it's smart to avoid obvious traps Trump is laying obvious in an increasingly desperate attempt to knock Democrats off their message.

In other words, Democrats are in array.[...]

Democrats say that their low-key reactions are a data point demonstrating their ability to be a responsible governing party if voters give them control of the House. They see a president making the contrast obvious for them with his behavior over the final weeks of the campaign.
Meanwhile, in the Fox News bizarro universe, Mark Penn tells Fox & Friends, "Each party throws insults at each other, but President Trump also throws issues at Dems. Right now, Democrats are just hurling insults. They need to learn to take on the issues."
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:30 PM on November 2 [13 favorites]


Fox News was blaring in the break room today (long story), and there was a segment talking about the various celebrities going door-to-door in Georgia. There was video of Pence at making a campaign speech for Kemp, and after going on about Hollywood Liberal EliteTM, he name dropped Oprah...paused.. and people boo'ed her! Everyone here looked up aghast at the TV.

Someone's out of touch with America but I don't think it's the Abrams campaign.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 12:30 PM on November 2 [20 favorites]


I want the Democrats to tell me how they can make my life and other Americans' lives better.

You're already convinced. Meanwhile, working-class non-rich people are voting for the party of the wealthy because that party appealed to their emotions, not their intellect.
If you can't get the politically disengaged, low-information voters to vote for you, then you will lose.
posted by rocket88 at 12:31 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


How finely do you think you can draw a line between Newt Gingrich's campaign tactics and Newt Gingrich's governance tactics? Gingrichian name-calling worked. Do you think everything except that will work?

As the Atlantic article and Fresh Air episode I linked made clear, Newt Gingrich cared more about amassing power than in effective governance -- a characteristic shared by the likes of Ryan and McConnell, with similar poor results. Democrats believe in good governance, and again, that's an imbalance worth keeping in a world where the Republicans couldn't govern a bake sale, but they don't get the opportunity to exercise it as often as they should, because they don't define their opposition well enough. And even then only in the context of a political campaign, while Republicans do it all the time. Of course Gingrichian name calling worked; that's part of my point. Republicans have a consistent message defining their opposition, honestly or otherwise; Democrats's don't.

But as I said, all Democrats have to do is point out that Republicans advocate a whole slew of unpopular positions. They don't need to call them, for example, traitors, even though that's arguably true for several (Trump, Nunes, Rohrabacher, and McConnell).

More to the immediate point, it isn't as if unilaterally disarming will cause the Republicans to give up their advantage. That Republican ad Kevin Drum cited was close to blood libel. And the Republican Party created that ad saying all Democrats want to flood the US with murdering illegal immigrants.

Against that, pointing out that Republicans themselves run away from their own positions in public hardly seems like dirty pool, or Gingrichian scorched earth. It's simply the truth -- but one that the media won't point out, and so most voters never realize. I'd actually agree that it's the media's job to look at actual Republican policy and not simply what Republicans say it is, but, well, here we are. Someone should say it.
posted by Gelatin at 12:37 PM on November 2 [8 favorites]


For a change of pace, Daniel Dale's live-tweeting a rally Obama's holding for Andrew Gillum and Bill Nelson. It's refreshing, to say the least. He denounces the fundamental unconstitutionality of Trump's proposed cancellation of birthright citizenship, he condemns the political stunt behind Trump's ordering send troops to the Mexican border, and he calls out the GOP's record and links it to the distractions of Trump's fear-mongering. And there's no fact-checking involved.

Another interesting contrast is that unlike Trump, Obama hasn't purged his rally's attendees of the opposition. He's confident enough to deal with protestors, e.g. "Obama after a protester interruption: “Why is it that the folks who won the last election are so mad at all the time? ...I mean, like, when I won the presidency, at least my side felt pretty good. ...It tells you something interesting...they're gettin' ginned up to be mad.”"
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:48 PM on November 2 [68 favorites]


And just to be clear, Gelatin, I agree with you - Democrats should absolutely point out all the many things the Republicans have done and are doing that are deeply unpopular. I'm just saying that I think that being adult, and avoiding frothing, and generally coming across as a reasonably nice person while making those points, is more likely to win more voters than trying to mimic Republican lows. I feel like I've seen some comments in the most recent threads saying, basically, that Democrats can't win unless they adopt the worst excesses of Republican obnoxiousness; I'm pushing back against that.

"pointing out that Republicans themselves run away from their own positions in public hardly seems like dirty pool, or Gingrichian scorched earth." I agree completely.

(And I know it's annoying to hear tone policing, and I get why, and agree that telling someone with legitimate anger to turn down the volume is often harmful - but I DO think how we present ourselves matters, and says something about us. I, personally, would rather vote for the nice person than the obnoxious person, and I think that holds even more true for independents and lower-information voters. And frankly, I don't think it's a coincidence that people who genuinely care about others - and therefore typically act nicer - are more likely to advocate for things like minimum wage hikes and universal health care. Adopting the worst behaviors of callous Republicans isn't going to win votes for caring politicians or their policies.)
posted by kristi at 12:51 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


Just for fun on a Friday afternoon. Daily Beast, Jacob Wohl’s Fake PI Firm Ghosted on a Previously Homeless Woman Looking For Her Stolen Truck: At the same time he was trying to frame Robert Mueller, the Trump-loving huckster took on another case. It, too, has gone poorly.
posted by zachlipton at 12:52 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


I have various theories about Dale just being about an inch from the brink of madness so his editors were like TAKE A BREAK
posted by angrycat at 12:58 PM on November 2 [22 favorites]


Doktor Zed: "Meanwhile, in the Fox News bizarro universe, Mark Penn tells Fox & Friends, "Each party throws insults at each other, but President Trump also throws issues at Dems. Right now, Democrats are just hurling insults. They need to learn to take on the issues.""

If Mark Penn says the Democrats are screwing up, I feel much better about what they are doing.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:04 PM on November 2 [30 favorites]


I want to be absolutely clear that I do not accept that "accurately but consistently defining your political opposition" and "nasty Gingrichian name calling" are the same thing. I don't see where I advocate "frothing." Just because Republicans think it's mean to point out the truth about them doesn't mean we have to be mean about doing so. We can be nice as pie -- "I'm sure you care about people with preexisting conditions, bless your heart, but you still voted to take their insurance away." (Again, that Republican position is unpopular enough with voters that they lie about it all the time.)

Democrats absolutely can be nicer than Republicans, but they totally must define Republicans by what they stand for, because the so-called "liberal media" won't (but will transmit the Republicans doing same to Democrats). The stakes are too high to unilaterally disarm.

Democrats don't need to slander Republicans, but they need to define them, and not just when it's election time. Democrats must make the contrast between what they and Republicans stand for clear in voters' minds, simply by pointing out what policies Republicans enact.

Republicans used the phony Tea Party to get Democrats to, foolishly, run away from Obamacare. Lately Democrats have seemed to be better about advocating positive policies. Shouldn't Republicans have to explain why they want to take away insurance from millions of Americans? Shouldn't Democrats point out that Republicans always talk about cutting Social Security and Medicare when they're in office (we have tapes!), even though they lie about it on the campaign trail?

I totally agree that the tone of this message matters, but my point is that Democrats aren't delivering this message now at all, and in these times they can no longer afford not to.
posted by Gelatin at 1:05 PM on November 2 [9 favorites]


all Democrats have to do is point out that Republicans advocate a whole slew of unpopular positions.

Okay, I have to ask: Do you live in the United States of America? If so, do you own a television, or access any other website in existence?

Democrats do this constantly. Hillary Clinton did this for every stupid policy utterance that Donny From Queens managed to fart out between schoolyard insults. I've seen Democrats running commercials saying "Here's what Joe Republican said about covering pre-existing conditions last year... Here's what he says now..." in four different campaigns in the Detroit media market alone, and I'm pretty sure that I'm forgetting at least two more campaigns that have done it.

More to the immediate point, it isn't as if unilaterally disarming will cause the Republicans to give up their advantage.

I genuinely do not understand what "disarming" is supposed to mean here. Are not lying or not calling Republicans "traitors" "unilaterally disarming"?
posted by Etrigan at 1:06 PM on November 2 [33 favorites]


The Republican Party and their ideology as a whole is unpopular, that’s why they lost the popular vote.
posted by gucci mane at 1:10 PM on November 2 [8 favorites]


@annalecta: White House quietly granted an ethics waiver not on @OfficeGovEthics' public waiver list to the DOJ Solicitor General next in line to oversee the Trump-Russia probe if Rosenstein is fired or resigns, waiving rules that may have kept him from overseeing it due to ties to the probe

The waiver is because of his previous employment at Jones Day.
posted by zachlipton at 1:14 PM on November 2 [17 favorites]


Reuters, Twitter deleted over 10,000 accounts seeking to discourage voting: "Twitter deleted more than 10,000 automated accounts posting messages that discouraged people from voting in Tuesday’s U.S. election and wrongly appeared to be from Democrats, after the party flagged the misleading tweets to the social media company."

I love that this is apparently the responsibility of the Democratic Party instead of Twitter's own staff.

----

Bloomberg, Trump Car Standards Rollback Knocked for Faulty Analysis, in which automakers think the administration's effort to rollback fuel economy regulations is nonsense.
posted by zachlipton at 1:19 PM on November 2 [25 favorites]


Good news dept: ACLU of Kansas says they have transportation covered for folks in Dodge City who are unable to reach the sole polling place that was moved out of town.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:20 PM on November 2 [48 favorites]


No, they don't do it constantly. They do it during elections, as your own examples point out.

Between elections, Republicans keep on defining Democrats, and in what we probably all agree are phony terms, but ones repeated constantly, in ways that the so-called "liberal media" broadcasts wittingly or otherwise.

Democrats don't have that kind of consistent messaging, which is what I mean by "unilaterally disarming." And without stooping to lies or insults in the way Republicans do, Democrats need it, and right now, because Republicans have at least a 40 year head start.
posted by Gelatin at 1:20 PM on November 2 [7 favorites]


(Not to abuse the edit window, Etrigan's examples make me wonder if the media cynically downplays what Democrats say about Republicans during election season as mere "campaign rhetoric," which gives another advantage to Republicans for sticking with their messages constantly.)
posted by Gelatin at 1:24 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


Bloomberg, Trump Car Standards Rollback Knocked for Faulty Analysis, in which automakers think the administration's effort to rollback fuel economy regulations is nonsense.

Similarly from The Atlantic, The Trump Administration Flunked Its Math Homework. I'd like to think, because the mistakes that were made were so obvious and fundamental, it was an inside job by career EPA staff so that the regulatory rollback would be easily scuttled in the courts... but who knows anymore.
posted by peeedro at 1:24 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


> National Security Adviser John Bolton just gave a modern-day “Axis of Evil” speech

...Ortega today is pretty different than the Sandinistas of yore - IIRC he's super anti-gay and he's definitely enriching himself, so he ought to be popular with the right if they only knew.

Maybe the plan is for Nicaragua to end up with nuclear weapons? I think that's how the Axis of Evil thing works: we pay Halliburton and its ilk enormous amounts of money in the course of very expensively and pointlessly invading one country and then one or both of the other ones acquire nuclear weapons in response.

Then Donald Trump gets elected and tells the world how beloved by his people the nuclear-armed dictator's successor is and legitimizes his status as a nuclear power. But obviously they can just do that part all at once this time.
posted by XMLicious at 1:32 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


@tparti: Trump in W.Va.: "They all say, 'speak about the economy! speak about the economy!'" Then adds that talking about the economy isn't always as exciting even though it's doing well.

I love when Trump does this stuff, which he does often: publicly announces the exact talking point every half-sensible person in his party keeps telling him to say and dismisses it. He knows exactly what he's doing. Paul Ryan's people want him to say some stuff about the jobs numbers (hope nobody at the rally has access to information about the stock market), but he knows that it's the racist stuff that gets people cheering, so he says more racist stuff.

Meanwhile, Obama is in Florida and is playing Gallant to Trump's Goofus by repeating the one and only thing that should come out of Democrats' mouths between now and election day: "they're coming to take away your health care; go vote." @PeterSullivan4: Obama says he thinks Republicans would succeed at repealing ObamaCare if they win on Tuesday. "If they win this Tuesday they'll finally succeed," Obama says while campaigning in Florida.

I am serious. If a Democrat is asked for directions to the bathroom this weekend, the correct answer is "the Republicans are going to take away your health care; please vote against them."
posted by zachlipton at 1:38 PM on November 2 [49 favorites]


Democrats don't have that kind of consistent messaging,

So -- earlier today:
Worse yet, too often the panel shows have a member of the news media, not a pundit or politician, to fill the ostensible "liberal" (or "reality based," if you please), side. In one of the previous threads I noted that NPR did so a couple of times recently for its Friday politics roundup, pairing a conservative hack with a journalist. Besides not actually airing a liberal opinion, that construction also tacitly, and falsely, concedes the conservative slander that the media is liberal.
That's true! The media tends to under-represent Democratic politicians and views.

Given that, I'm not sure how you can square the idea that the media has a conservative bias in whose views it presents with the idea that Democratic politicians are at fault for not consistently messaging on issues. How would we know? Messaging that isn't aired is the same as not messaging, in terms of what we hear, but the two have wildly different causes.
posted by cjelli at 1:42 PM on November 2 [11 favorites]


To be perfectly honest - anything that Michael Cohen could reveal about Donald Trump is counterbalanced in my head with the fact that Michael Cohen nevertheless worked for Donald Trump for twelve years.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:51 PM on November 2 [27 favorites]


etrigan: I'm sorry, your solution to sanctions on foreign companies that do business with blacklisted Iranian entities is to found a foreign company that does business with blacklisted Iranian entities?

Yes. Because the U.S. is powerless to sanction companies that don't do business in the U.S. or use U.S. banks. Those kind of sanctions put big multinationals in a squeeze, because they don't want to lose their U.S. business.

But it does nothing about companies set up for this purpose, which of course would avoid connections to the U.S. and work only as a conduit between Europe, Africa, Asia and Iran.
posted by msalt at 1:51 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


VA-07: WP reports that Project Veritas, the James O'Keefe ratfucking operation, apparently infiltrated the campaign of Dem Spanberger. [Trump 51-44 | Cook: Tossup]

There's a followup, Va. GOP official hinted that Project Veritas had a spy in Democrat’s campaign. A member of the state GOP's governing board of tweeted a bunch of times that Project Veritas had infiltrated the Spanberger campaign before the campaign confronted the woman who had been posing as a campaign volunteer:
The timing raised suspicions among Democrats that [GOP official Mark] Hile had prior knowledge of the scheme – a potentially scandalous transgression for someone in a party leadership position. Hile’s wife, Anita Hile, is a vice chairwoman of the Henrico County Republican Committee.

But Hile said he merely made a lucky guess that Project Veritas, which has been targeting Democrats running in midterms across the country, would eventually focus on Spanberger.
posted by peeedro at 1:56 PM on November 2 [9 favorites]




Daniel Dale is live-tweeting/fact-checking Trump's West Virginia rally here and here.

Trump's bragging about the new economic numbers aside, it's pretty standard in terms of mendacity and fear-mongering. Dale notes this is new, though: “Trump, for the first time at a rally, says they could lose the House: "It could happen. Could happen." He says: "And you know what you do? My whole life, you know what I say? 'Don't worry about it, I'll just figure it out.' Does that make sense? I'll figure it out."”

Trump tweet which is a hagiographic pic of him with 'SANCTIONS ARE COMING / NOVEMBER 5" written on it in the Game of Thrones font. [real]

To which @Masie_Willaims responds, "Not today."

Honestly, I have no idea why Bill Shine thinks he can take on Millennials in a contest of memes. That generation has been forged in the fires of always-online social media and will skewer his dank memes before he even sees the blade.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:02 PM on November 2 [20 favorites]


NBC News produces an internal document they call "The Book" for election night, a big report on everything at stake, competitive races, quick bullet points on interesting races organized by poll closing times, and more. And this year, they've been kind enough to post it online [pdf] so everyone can channel their inner Steve Kornacki.

Pair this with @Taniel's whatsontheballot.com, which packs 407 races of interest into a spreadsheet, including significant state and local candidates and referenda.
posted by zachlipton at 2:16 PM on November 2 [28 favorites]


@GregStohr: BREAKING: Supreme Court rejects Trump administration, won't stop next week's trial over decision to include citizenship question on the 2020 census. Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch dissent.

@KlasfeldReports: See you in court bright and early on Monday for trial! Proceedings start that morning at 9:30 a.m. Watch this space. #Census2020
posted by zachlipton at 2:21 PM on November 2 [33 favorites]


I don't like to overly pimp it, but I do have my own elections tracker, which I'll be trying to keep current on election night.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:24 PM on November 2 [66 favorites]


did Kavanaugh recuse himself on this one or did he vote with the majority?
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:26 PM on November 2


Steve King seems to have realized he might be in trouble and has rushed an ad onto the air. He didn't bother to run any until now, and apparently he wasn't planning to run any, because someone noticed that it's a recycled ad from his 2014 campaign.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:27 PM on November 2 [10 favorites]


@GregStohr: BREAKING: Supreme Court rejects Trump administration, won't stop next week's trial over decision to include citizenship question on the 2020 census. Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch dissent.

I love the comment on this that simply says, "What of Beer Boy?"
posted by JenMarie at 2:30 PM on November 2 [23 favorites]


Since SC justices virtually never recuse themselves it seems likely he voted with Roberts.
posted by Justinian at 2:32 PM on November 2


State Rep's Outline for Killing Non-Believers In Holy War is Referred to FBI
Five-term Washington state Rep. Matt Shea has been circulating a manual for holy war in the United States, the Seattle Times reported.

The four-page document, titled “Biblical Basis for War,” goes point-by-point over how a Christian theocratic movement could – and should – exterminate its opposition in a battle to win a hypothetical holy war.

At the outset, Shea’s holy army would issue terms of surrender to its enemies. The demands include “stop all abortions,” “no same-sex marriage,” “no idolatry or occultism,” “no communism,” and “must obey Biblical law.”

If the rest of the country refuses to “yield” to these terms, the document advocates a final solution: “kill all males.”
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:37 PM on November 2 [27 favorites]


But Ortega today is pretty different than the Sandinistas of yore - IIRC he's super anti-gay and he's definitely enriching himself, so he ought to be popular with the right if they only knew.

Please, no.

Ortega is the same now as he has been for the last forty years - a corrupt, murdering man who raped his own stepdaughter, who had to flee the country for her safety and who has still not been able to get justice. There was no magic time when Ortega was good. He has always been bad. There were times when he was not as successful at consolidating power, but he has always been what he is.

The reason the Trumpists are going hard on Nicaragua, however, is not because they know anything about it - it's because they are trying to reach Hispanics like me who would throw a fucking party if Ortega was toppled, and they just don't fucking understand that there is literally nothing, even an Ortega-toppling-party, that will ever make us forgive them.
posted by corb at 2:39 PM on November 2 [26 favorites]


CNN, Pentagon rejected request for troops to act as emergency law enforcement at border
When the Trump administration first asked the Pentagon to send troops to the southern border, they wanted them to perform emergency law enforcement functions, CNN has learned.

The Pentagon said no.

According to two defense official familiar with the request, the Department of Homeland Security asked that the Pentagon provide a reserve force that could be called upon to provide "crowd and traffic control" and safeguard Customs and Border Protection personnel at the border to counter a group of Central American migrants walking to the US border to request asylum.

The Pentagon rejected the request on October 26, according to one of the officials, even as it signed off on providing DHS with air and logistics support, medical personnel and engineers.

The request was turned down because the Department of Defense felt that active duty troops do not have the authority to conduct that type of mission unless they are granted additional authorities by the President.
posted by zachlipton at 2:41 PM on November 2 [29 favorites]


So, let me get this straight. The Pentagon knows what it's doing, and Trump doesn't. Huh.
posted by Melismata at 2:47 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


At Carson City event, Donald Trump, Jr. warns against 'apathy'
“If they get in on November 6th and take over the House or the Senate, God forbid, you will not recognize America,” Guilfoyle said. “So I’m asking every fearless patriot out there to get out and get your friends involved… Otherwise you are going to get the Star Wars bar scene.”
She's used this line at least a couple of times that I'm aware of, and it's so fucking racist I can't even. From the last time:

@petridishes: achieve this so we can have a figrin d’aan and the modal nodes concert on the mall please
posted by zachlipton at 2:53 PM on November 2 [42 favorites]


The star wars bar scene literally has two characters kicked out because they don't serve their kind here!!
posted by BungaDunga at 2:55 PM on November 2 [40 favorites]


Wait does that mean we get '77 Harrison Ford because that is really a large point on our side
posted by angrycat at 2:58 PM on November 2 [40 favorites]


just like "taco trucks on every corner" it's simultaneously incredibly racist and "um, yes please I would like that very much thank you"
posted by flaterik at 3:00 PM on November 2 [72 favorites]


like, I get what he's saying, but for most people who've seen Star Wars but aren't superfans, the cantina scene is their favorite part
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:01 PM on November 2 [18 favorites]


The request was turned down because the Department of Defense felt that active duty troops do not have the authority to conduct that type of mission unless they are granted additional authorities by the President.

So, um, the Pentagon used this as an opportunity to squeeze Trump to give the military more legal authority? Of course it did.
posted by The World Famous at 3:02 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


Don Jr. definitely sees himself as one of the dudes smirking in the background as Darth Vader chokes the guy with a disturbing lack of faith
posted by theodolite at 3:04 PM on November 2 [10 favorites]


So, um, the Pentagon used this as an opportunity to squeeze Trump to give the military more legal authority? Of course it did.

In what way could they state that they did not have sufficient legal authority without it being interpreted as asking for more?
posted by Bovine Love at 3:05 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


Remember, Donny Jr. is the one managing Trump's trust which doesn't require divestment on the pretext that Donny Jr. isn't involved in politics.
posted by JackFlash at 3:07 PM on November 2 [16 favorites]


Peru admitted more migrants in a single day than are in the entire caravan. Bloomberg, Peru Admits More Than 6,700 Venezuelans in New Daily Record
The number of Venezuelans entering Peru set a new daily record of 6,708 on Wednesday, exceeding the number of migrants in the caravan making its way toward the U.S that’s become a target for President Donald Trump ahead of the critical midterm elections.
posted by zachlipton at 3:25 PM on November 2 [25 favorites]


Please, if the Trumps are any 1977 movie, it's Smokey and the Bandit. Trump, Sr. is Buford T. Justice, toilet paper stuck to his shoe. Trump, Jr. Is Junior, clueless but concentrating as hard as he can.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 3:34 PM on November 2 [11 favorites]


Re.: The Troika of Tyranny. I hope I'm wrong, but I feel they are looking for a war, and have realized Iran is too big of a mouthful.
One problem with the Iran sanctions, as EU sees it, is that a group of nations don't give a shit about US sanctions and they deal with Iran all they want. Making them influential in Iran, which is not ideal. Even Iran would rather trade with Europe than with Russia and China, but that's where we are leaving them. And then of course the ongoing point that Saudi Arabia is as least as crooked and destructive as Iran, but is not sanctioned.
I wish we could all loose our dependency on oil and those countries.
posted by mumimor at 3:36 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


A war with a South American country? There's no way that would be covered by the AUMF (which should have been repealed a decade ago as it is.)
posted by Justinian at 3:55 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


It's a bit of a joke that I post all of Krugman's columns in the NYTimes. I don't, really. But now I'm posting the whole text of his latest comment for your last-minute persuasion of friends and thanksgiving entertainment. For the mods: it's a short comment and I feel it needs to be read in its entirety, regardless of wether someone can get past the NYT firewall. It sums up a lot of stuff we've been discussing, and he is a Nobel-prize winning economist.
During my first year as an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times, I wasn’t allowed to use the word “lie.”

That first year coincided with the 2000 election, and George W. Bush was, in fact, being systematically dishonest about his economic proposals — saying false things about who would benefit from his tax cut and the implications of Social Security privatization. But the notion that a major party’s presidential candidate would go beyond spin to outright lies still seemed outrageous, and saying it was considered beyond the pale.

Obviously that prohibition no longer holds on this opinion page, and major media organizations have become increasingly willing to point out raw falsehoods. But they’ve been chasing a moving target, because the lies just keep getting bigger and more pervasive. In fact, at this point the G.O.P.’s campaign message consists of nothing but lies; it’s hard to think of a single true thing Republicans are running on.

And yes, it’s a Republican problem (and it’s not just Donald Trump). Democrats aren’t saints, but they campaign mostly on real issues, and generally do, in fact, stand for more or less what they claim to stand for. Republicans don’t. And the total dishonesty of Republican electioneering should itself be a decisive political issue, because at this point it defines the party’s character.
What are Republicans lying about? As I said, almost everything. But there are two big themes. They lie about their agenda, pretending that their policies would help the middle and working classes when they would, in fact, do the opposite. And they lie about the problems America faces, hyping an imaginary threat from scary dark-skinned people and, increasingly, attributing that threat to Jewish conspirators.

Both classes of lie are rooted in the real G.O.P. agenda.

What Republicans truly stand for, and have for decades, is cutting taxes on the rich and slashing social programs. Sure enough, last year they succeeded in ramming through a huge tax cut aimed mainly at corporations and the wealthy, and came within one vote of passing a health “reform” that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, would have caused 32 million Americans to lose health coverage.

The G.O.P.’s problem is that this agenda is deeply unpopular. Large majorities of Americans oppose cuts in major social programs, while most voters want to raise, not reduce, taxes on corporations and high-income individuals.

But instead of changing their agenda to meet voters’ concerns, Republicans have resorted to a strategy of deception and distraction. On one side, they have gone full black-is-white, up-is-down on policy substance. Most spectacularly, they are posing as defenders of protection for people with pre-existing conditions — protection that their failed health bill would have stripped away, and which they are now trying to take away through the courts. And they’re claiming that Democrats are the ones threatening Medicare.

On the other side, they’re resorting to their old standby: race-based fear.

But selling racial fear was easier in the 1980s and early 1990s, when America really was suffering from high levels of inner-city crime. Since then, violent crime has plunged. What’s a fearmonger to do? The answer is: lie.
The lies have come nonstop since Trump’s inauguration address, which conveyed a false vision of “American carnage.” But they have gotten ever more extreme, culminating in the portrayal of a small caravan of refugees still 1,000 miles from the border as an imminent, menacing invasion — somehow full of diseased Middle Eastern terrorists.

And now there’s the added insinuation that sinister Jewish financiers are the real culprits behind this invasion. Because that’s where people doing this kind of thing always end up.

The crucial thing to realize is that these aren’t just ugly, destructive lies. Beyond that, they shape the G.O.P.’s nature. It is now impossible to have intellectual integrity and a conscience while remaining a Republican in good standing. Some conservatives have these qualities; almost all of them have left the party, or are on the edge of excommunication.
posted by mumimor at 3:59 PM on November 2 [88 favorites]


There's no way that would be covered by the AUMF

But remember, Trump said "Middle Easterners" were sneaking into the caravan. Voila, it's part of the War on Terror (tm).

(I mean, obviously not, but there are already so many examples of blatant misuse of the AUMF that... what exactly would happen if they misused it again? Nothing)
posted by thefoxgod at 3:59 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


"VOTE R FOR RACISM"
posted by growabrain at 4:05 PM on November 2 [12 favorites]


Reuters: The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday rejected for now a bid by the President Donald Trump’s administration to block a trial in a lawsuit filed by young activists who have accused the U.S. government of ignoring the perils of climate change.

A good result for now, but there are some indications it may be short-lived.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:12 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


It is now impossible to have intellectual integrity and a conscience while remaining a Republican in good standing.

That has been true for 25 years. What is now possible is to state it in a major newspaper.
posted by M-x shell at 4:15 PM on November 2 [16 favorites]


Police nab man suspected of anti-Semitic arson
Police have a man in custody for setting eight fires throughout Williamsburg, including in front of an Orthodox Jewish seminary.

On Friday, a series of fires were set in the south section of Williamsburg, including in front of Yeshiva Beth Hillel of Williamsburg.

Seven other locations, allegedly in front of other yeshivas and synagogues within the predominantly Hasidic community, had fires set in front of and inside trash cans. The damage was minor, police said.
posted by zachlipton at 4:16 PM on November 2 [12 favorites]


So, uh, MetaFilter. I know self-promotion is frowned upon and all but this is more of an announcement so. Offered as a counterpoint to the 12 "oh but it's hard to mail in a ballot" stories, although in all fairness, I am An Old.

Last Thursday I attended my Naturalization Ceremony and became a US citizen.

Last Friday I registered and voted because you can register on the same day in Maryland if you're doing early voting, and there's actually a question on the current ballot about same-day registration on the actual Election Day as well.

(Even if I had had any misguided notions about "oh it's a safe state, my vote doesn't matter," one look at the local races and the Questions on the ballot would have cured me of that right quick. Yes it matters. So maybe that's another way to convince people unwilling to vote in 'safe' states: Choosing the sheriff matters, and while you're there you might as well vote for the senator too, kind of thing.)
posted by seyirci at 4:24 PM on November 2 [230 favorites]


Last Thursday I attended my Naturalization Ceremony and became a US citizen.

Congrats! Sorry about the mess, we're working on it.
posted by Justinian at 4:26 PM on November 2 [81 favorites]


seyirci! Welcome! I am glad to be a co-citizen with you, and I thank you for voting!
posted by kristi at 4:50 PM on November 2 [13 favorites]


Even if I had had any misguided notions about "oh it's a safe state, my vote doesn't matter," one look at the local races and the Questions on the ballot would have cured me of that right quick.

I know Jealous has a slim chance, but that was one of the reasons I came out, aside from the smaller races. I wanted to show that even if Hogan wins, there are people like me who are not happy about his lack of support for public transportation.
posted by numaner at 4:54 PM on November 2 [10 favorites]


> Last Thursday I attended my Naturalization Ceremony and became a US citizen

Yay! Thanks for not breaking up with us during this awkward period!
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:54 PM on November 2 [34 favorites]


High five from another MD voter here! Welcome to the crabbiest state, seyirci.
posted by sperose at 5:05 PM on November 2 [9 favorites]


Welcome to the party, pal!
posted by kirkaracha at 5:10 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


welcome aboard, seyerci!
posted by 20 year lurk at 5:16 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]


[Welcome seyerci and maybe further congratulators can take it to metatalk or memail hereinafter instead of continuing in this thread!]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:18 PM on November 2 [17 favorites]




Democrats absolutely can be nicer than Republicans, but they totally must define Republicans by what they stand for, because the so-called "liberal media" won't (but will transmit the Republicans doing same to Democrats). The stakes are too high to unilaterally disarm.

Democrats don't need to slander Republicans, but they need to define them, and not just when it's election time. Democrats must make the contrast between what they and Republicans stand for clear in voters' minds, simply by pointing out what policies Republicans enact.


This is what I've been trying to say regarding Beto, that he's so wedded to his concept of a purely positive campaign that he's unwilling to do this for fear of fanning the flames of division. It showed in his first debate; I think it made him look uncertain, weak. Somebody convinced him of it, he was more willing to go there in the second debate & I think it showed.
posted by scalefree at 5:23 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]




yeesh, that Tom Perez interview... I think that's best summed up as:

"Let me try to address your point."

(spends next paragraph not addressing the point.)

Not something to read if you are trying to retain some optimism.
posted by MysticMCJ at 5:48 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


Daily Beast: Senate Intel to NRA: Hand Over Documents on Your Russia Trip
The Senate intelligence committee has asked the National Rifle Association to provide documents on its connections to Russia—including documents related to a 2015 trip some of its top leaders made to Moscow. That’s according to two sources briefed on the committee’s activities.[...]

In December 2015, [Maria Butina's Right to Bear Arms] group sponsored an NRA delegation to come to Moscow for a week. NRA dignitaries also met with another influential Russian, the former deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin. Torshin subsequently came under U.S. sanctions; Rogozin had been under sanctions since 2014.

Former NRA President David Keene and soon-to-be president Peter Brownell were both on the trip. Accompanying them were Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke; NRA donors Jim Gregory and Arnold and Hilary Goldschlager; and Jim Liberatore, the president and CEO of the Outdoor Channel.
Meanwhile, the lawyer for Natalie Sours Edwards, the FinCEN senior adviser who leaked SARs on Butina, Manafort, and the oligarch-linked Prevezon Holdings, tells federal court that his client "felt an obligation to bring forward" to reveal these to Buzzfeed because "certain pieces of information were not being handled the right way and were not being brought to the attention of the people who should know it". (Reuters)
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:52 PM on November 2 [9 favorites]




Interesting twitter thread

“White women, what are your white women friends and family saying about 45? People I'm friends with who are white are an unrepresentative sample,”

glance at a moment results , White women still with Trump are older, single issue abortion voters, and/or marinating in Fox News/ Facebook paranoia factory all day.
posted by The Whelk at 6:39 PM on November 2 [11 favorites]


All the white women I know can't stand Trump.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:55 PM on November 2 [9 favorites]


popping back in to report that, following my upthread criticism of the neiwert eliminationism twitterthread's omission of a decade+ of islamophobia, and following the urging of T.D. Strange (& w/ homunculus' previously), i've read 8 of 10 chapters of eliminationism in america, and so add my hearty endorsement, notwithstanding earlier-expressed concern, which i stand by, so far. reading the series of essays is, in my experience, most like reading dee hock's bury my heart at wounded knee or naomi klein's the shock doctrine, insofar as each carefully recounts betrayal and atrocity upon betrayal and atrocity over and unbelievably over again and again, a bludgeoning barrage of separate-but-similar horrors. or being jumped into a gang of historians. so, as i say too often here, it is terrible, and good to know.
posted by 20 year lurk at 6:56 PM on November 2 [17 favorites]


All the white women I know can't stand Trump.

Because of geographical clustering. Sadly enough, white women as a whole will once again vote for Trump if he makes it to 2020.
posted by Justinian at 6:59 PM on November 2 [12 favorites]


Accompanying them were Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke;

*click*
Ooohhhhhhh! He was supposed to be their Ollie North! Huh. That is some weird shit.
posted by petebest at 7:10 PM on November 2 [2 favorites]




ELECTIONS NEWS

// 4 days until Election Day //

** 2018 Senate:
=> FWIW, these Harris Interactive polls seem kind of wacky.

-- AZ:
-- Harris Interactive poll has GOPer McSally up 48-42 on Dem Sinema [no MOE listed on any of these Harris Interactive polls].
-- Vox Populi poll has Sinema up 47-32 [MOE: +/- 3.7%].
-- CA: YouGov poll has incumbent Feinstein up 36-29 on de León [MOE: +/- 3.1%].

-- FL:
-- Harris Interactive poll has GOPer Scott up 47-46 on Dem incumbent Nelson.
-- Vox Populi poll has Scott up 48-43 [MOE: +/- 3.7%].
-- IN: Harris Interactive poll has Dem incumbent Donnelly tied 42-42 with GOPer Braun.

-- MO: Harris Interactive poll has Dem incumbent McCaskill up 46-44 on GOPer Hawley.

-- MT: Harris Interactive poll has Dem incumbent Tester up 48-41 on GOPer Rosendale.

-- NJ: Stockton U poll has Dem incumbent Menendez up 51-39 on GOPer Hugin [MOE not listed].

-- NV:
-- Harris Interactive poll has Dem Rosen up 46-43 on GOP incumbent Heller.
-- Gravis poll has Rosen up 47-45 [MOE +/- 3.5%].
-- PA: Muhlenberg College poll has Dem incumbent Casey up 54-40 on GOPer Barletta [MOE +/- 5.5%].

-- TN: ETSU poll has Dem Bredesen tied 44-44 with GOPer Blackburn [MOE +/- 4.0%].
** 2018 House:
-- CA-45: Siena poll has Dem Porter up 48-46 on GOP incumbent Walters [MOE +/- 4.6%]. [Clinton 50-44 | Cook: Tossup]

-- IA-01: Siena poll has Dem Finkenauer up 46-39 on GOP incumbent Blum [MOE +/- 4.9%]. [Trump 49-45 | Cook: Lean D]

-- NY-27: Dixie Strategies poll has GOP incumbent Collins up 45-38 on Dem McMurray [no MOE listed]. [Trump 60-35 | Cook: Lean R]

-- CA-48: TPStrat Research poll has GOP incumbent Rohrabacher up 51-42 on Dem Rouda [MOE +/- 4.7%]. [Clinton 48-46 | Cook: Tossup]

-- CA-49: Survey USA poll has Dem Levin up 51-44 on GOPer Harkey [MOE +/- 5.4%]. [Clinton 51-43 | Cook: Lean D]

-- NC-09: Controversial statements from GOP candidate Harris emerged where he said Jews and Muslims needed to convert to Christianity to reach Middle East peace. [Trump 54-43 | Cook: Tossup]
** Odds & ends:
-- AZ gov: [Cook: Likely R]
-- Same Harris Interactive poll has GOP incumbent Ducey up 57-36 on Dem Garcia.
-- Same Vox Populi poll has Ducey up 54-46.
-- CA gov: Same YouGov poll has Dem Newsom up 53-34 on GOPer Cox. Downballot: Prop 6 (repeal gas tax): NO 47-34. Prop 10 (allow rent control): NO 42-33.

-- FL gov: [Cook: Tossup]
-- Same Harris Interactive poll has Dem Gillum up 48-44 on GOPer DeSantis.
-- Same Vox Populi poll has Gillum up 53-47.
-- ME gov: Slingshot Strategies has Dem Mills at 55, GOPer Moody at 38, indy Hayes at 7 [MOE not listed]. [Cook: Tossup] => It's less than a week until the election, and you're still doing a registered voters poll? [eyes emoji]

-- NV gov: [Cook: Tossup]
-- Same Harris Interactive poll has Dem Sisolak up 46-44 on GOPer Laxalt.
-- Same Gravis poll has Sisolak up 46-44.
-- PA gov: Same Muhlenberg poll has Dem incumbent Wolf up 58-37 on GOPer Wagner. [Cook: Likely D] => Seems to confirm yesterday's F&M poll. Could have major implications for PA legislature.

-- IA gov: U of Iowa poll has Dem Hubbell up 44-40 on GOP incumbent Reynolds [MOE: +/- 4.5%] [Cook: Tossup]
** Averages & forecasts:
-- 538 generic ballot average: D+8.3 (50.5/42.2)

-- 538 House forecast (classic): 84.8% chance of Dem control

-- 538 Senate forecast (classic): 15.7% chance of Dem control

-- 538 governor forecast (classic): Dems favored to control 23.9 states.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:16 PM on November 2 [20 favorites]


These racist appeals do not work on me, because I am not racist (Alexandra Petri, WaPo)
It is rude and wrong of people to insinuate that I am racist just because what motivates me to come to the polls are:
1) creepy ads that demonize all immigrants,
2) ominous warnings about The Caravan that Fox News has covered 24/7 in a way that makes me believe invaders are coming for my lake house, or
3) the president shouting the word “NATIONALIST” while my dog whimpers in agony.

The mere fact that what inspires me to vote is the idea that the president wants to dramatically undercut the 14th Amendment doesn’t make me racist. At best, it would make me — Golly, what is the word? — racially tinged! Racially charged. Daubed with the faintest racial chiaroscuro.

I’m not racist. I don’t care if you’re blue, green, purple — you are not welcome in this country. I don’t see color. Or rather, I would prefer not to see color.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:22 PM on November 2 [28 favorites]


I wonder if we could get the Schoolhouse Rock people to license The Great American Melting Pot to the Democratic Party to use for their theme song.  It'd be a great way to troll the Republicans, especially if you updated the video to be more inclusive. And if they spoke out against Schoolhouse Rock? What sort of monsters are you?  Hell, there's a whole series of relevant numbers that should probably be leveraged as responses to tweets.

That's only half-joking, for what it's worth. I honestly think they should be emphasizing the messages we all grew up on, and introducing the latest generation to civil discourse like Schoolhouse Rock. We in Gen-X marinated in it, and I'd like to see it similarly visible today; I think we'd all benefit to be reminded of those lessons.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 7:22 PM on November 2 [7 favorites]


[Let's not do yet another round on "how many white women support Trump" -- the twitter thread is worth looking at, otherwise Tuesday we'll have data rather than anecdata.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:27 PM on November 2 [15 favorites]


"JOHN COX FOR GOVERNOR"

Cox's ads in CA are basically "There's too much traffic, it's too crowded, and housing costs are way too high. If you elect John Cox that will change." I have a hard time not reading that as "Everybody wants to live here but if you elect me, John Cox, I vow to make California so shitty that nobody wants to be here any more."
posted by Justinian at 7:29 PM on November 2 [19 favorites]


-- TN: ETSU poll has Dem Bredesen tied 44-44 with GOPer Blackburn [MOE +/- 4.0%].

This is super interesting to me. Most of the polls I've seen have had Bredesen lagging behind the Trumpette Blackburn. But ETSU is the 1st District, which is very red upper East TN. We haven't had a Democratic Congressperson in over 140 years. I just moved back to the area last year, and I've been surprised by how many Bredesen signs I've seen around. More than Blackburn for sure. Bredesen has also been campaigning HEAVILY in this area. He was at the hip coffee shop in my town last week, and will be in Johnson City (home of ETSU) on Monday. I can't speak to comparative methodology... but if ETSU was showing the race this close, I'm feeling a flutter of hope.
posted by kimdog at 7:37 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


New York Daily News: New York DMV to yank license plate over anti-Semitic acronym used by neo-Nazis.


[fake]And on the line, we have the plate's registrant, Paulie from Queens:[/fake]

[fake]Radio Host: Paulie, you have described yourself as... [/fake]

[real] "an average conservative who is still friendly with a childhood Jewish friend. "

Paulie from Queens: “Sure, They’re not all a part of the Zionist-Occupied Government.” [/real]
posted by mikelieman at 7:37 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


New York Daily News: New York DMV to yank license plate over anti-Semitic acronym used by neo-Nazis.

this is almost certainly due to the wide sharing of Three Months Inside New York's Alt-Right (Commune) which I recommend to everyone for seeing what this looks like in a big urban metropole.
posted by The Whelk at 7:41 PM on November 2 [12 favorites]


Alexandra Petri really nailed this bit:

I’m not racist. I don’t care if you’re blue, green, purple

This is what they always seem to go with..."I don't care if you're green, or purple..."

Well, you know what? I'm just going to put this right out there. If you are GREEN? Or PURPLE? I care. I actually care a lot. I'm going to have some questions. And they may not be very P.C. I'm going to be, like..."So, where are you from? Uh huh. Yeah, Wisconson, okay...but I mean...where are your *people* from? You know, ethnically? Like, what planetary system?"

What I *don't* find so interesting is any normal homo sapiens skin color. And it's a little weird that the "I'm not racist" people always go with green and purple. Like they need to show off how not-racist they are with examples from Star Wars or Guardians of the Galaxy. It feels a bit like overcompensation.
posted by uosuaq at 7:56 PM on November 2 [30 favorites]


they say it cause there's so social structure against, 200 years of structural, cultural and economic racism against, or mass institutionalized violence against, people with green skin.
posted by The Whelk at 7:57 PM on November 2 [18 favorites]


The EPA's Climate Change Page Is Just Gone Now
A report released this week by the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative reveals that the removal of climate change information from the EPA website is set to be a long-term policy of the Trump administration.
posted by adamvasco at 7:58 PM on November 2 [17 favorites]


Like they need to show off how not-racist they are with examples from Star Wars

Oops.
posted by petebest at 8:02 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


@petridishes: achieve this so we can have a figrin d’aan and the modal nodes concert on the mall please

I'm so disappointed in the lack of Photoshops
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:13 PM on November 2


Three Months Inside New York's Alt-Right (Commune)

Has this already been posted here? Worth quoting:

"I replied that the antifascists may be right—the only way to stop Spencer is to take away his platform. Paul agreed completely: 'They think they’ll give him enough rope to hang himself with, but he won’t.'"

"The three of them had recently flyered Prospect Park, but complained it didn’t get any media attention, which they rely on for recruiting."
posted by reductiondesign at 8:13 PM on November 2 [7 favorites]


I just wanted to drop some links for GOTV texting operations happening this weekend that are still accepting volunteers. All are done from a laptop using a web browser, not your personal phone:

Open Progress - Lots of CA House races, some Dem AG races, NC House races. Once you're in the system (takes about 15 minutes to go through the steps and be trained), you can pick open campaigns at will. Uses Knock, which strikes me as one of the better texting tools.
Resistance Labs - Many different races, some are good and some are frankly wastes of time, so worth taking a moment to be strategic. Once you're in the system, you can fill out a form to be added to whatever's running. Uses Hustle, which is not one of the better texting tools.
Indivisible - The group near you is probably hosting a local event too, but you can signup with that link to call or text from home.
NextGen - I haven't texted them this cycle, but did some GOTV texting for them on Election Day 2016, and it was great. It was a really hot list of young engaged people (people would respond back with "yay NextGen" and the like) and I reached a couple people who directly needed some help voting (looking up their polling place location/hours, talking through ID requirement issues, etc...) so it felt particularly productive. They'll be setup to provide rides to the polls too. Uses Relay, which is one of the better texting tools.
posted by zachlipton at 8:32 PM on November 2 [27 favorites]




This is what they always seem to go with..."I don't care if you're green, or purple..."

I noticed long ago that we have African American, Asian American, Native American, but us white folk just get to call ourselves "Americans" like we own the term.  It's a convenient way of classifying people by color without actually saying it.  I've since—off and on anyway—used European* American instead of claiming whiteness where conversations warrant it.  It feels like cheating to get to claim the eponym American all for myself just because I'm Caucasian.  This silly need to classify our fellow Americans on a hyphenated basis makes no sense, but I figure why not at least make it consistently nonsensical.

*Or more commonly say my ancestry makes me Northwest Asian.  Separate continent, yeah right—not on a pragmatic basis, certainly.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 8:41 PM on November 2 [9 favorites]


Do you need a smile tonight, friends? Watch Rep. John Lewis dance to 'Happy' at an Abrams event in Georgia.
posted by TwoStride at 8:58 PM on November 2 [35 favorites]


I'm off European American because there used to be a nationalist crank who would write letters to the editor of the San Jose Mercury News in the 80s and 90s, and always always used that term. He may have been the President of the European American Association (San Jose Chapter). Google isn't helping here, sadly.
posted by rhizome at 8:58 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


Yeah, "European heritage" is the rallying cry of racist Twitter.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:14 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


BREAKING NEWS

Donald J Trump's October Surprise just dropped. If Jeff Sessions & Rod Rosenstein are both fired, next in line to oversee Mueller is DoJ Solicitor General Noel Francisco.

Next-in-line Mueller supervisor got White House ethics waiver in April
A senior Trump administration official in line to become special counsel Robert Mueller’s new supervisor if there’s a Justice Department shakeup secured White House approval earlier this year on what critics say is a potential ethics hurdle that could have kept him from assuming the high-profile role.

Solicitor General Noel Francisco has long been considered a likely candidate to oversee Mueller’s Russia probe if Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is fired or quits. But the 49-year-old conservative lawyer has also been dogged by conflict of interest concerns because he previously worked as a partner at Jones Day, the same law firm that represents Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in the Russia probe.

Officials at the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington have been arguing for months that to oversee the Mueller probe, Francisco would require a White House waiver to circumvent a Trump executive order that decreed employees must recuse themselves from work on any matters involving previous employers going back two years.

Turns out, Francisco actually got a White House waiver of that type in April. It’s not clear what triggered the waiver or if it had anything to do with Mueller’s investigation, but a senior Justice official on Friday downplayed its significance and insisted the department isn’t aware of any impediments to Francisco taking over responsibility for managing the Mueller probe if Rosenstein left his position.
posted by scalefree at 9:18 PM on November 2 [9 favorites]


I sometimes describe myself as a Saltine-American. It conveys (in a self-aware way, I hope) whiteness, blandness and a play on words with 'cracker.'
posted by workerant at 9:23 PM on November 2 [8 favorites]


And it's a little weird that the "I'm not racist" people always go with green and purple. Like they need to show off how not-racist they are with examples from Star Wars or Guardians of the Galaxy.

I think more of the Drazi from Babylon 5, myself. "You're fighting and dying over a stupid piece of cloth!"
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:25 PM on November 2 [12 favorites]


Hollywood celebrities aim to fire up young voters with election telethon. It will be a two-hour livestreamed telethon on Monday in which no money will be raised, but people will call into a celebrity phone bank to pledge to vote.

This seems unlikely to be particularly effective, but there are worse things to do with a Monday night.
posted by zachlipton at 9:31 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


As it happens, Tucker Carlson is going to be speaking at a megachurch in Houston this Sunday. I didn't know dude got speaking gigs at churches, but it makes sense that he does. Voting is worship or some shit.

Jesus says otherwise.

More on topic, best of luck for the midterms everyone!
posted by iffthen at 10:21 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


What else was involved in that hotel stay?

Just to remind people:
The NYPD estimated it costs between $127,000 and $146,000 per day to protect Mrs. Trump and Barron while President Trump is out of town, according to the New York Times.
And she would stay for months...

What exactly was the total cost of the African safari when her hotel bill in a city she was in for less than 6 hours is nearly $100,000? That's just her freaking hotel bill. What was the total cost of the 6 hours, which probably included shutting down part of the city's airport? This is public money that might otherwise go to schools and roads and food programs. Same with Trump every time he goes to Mar a Lago. It's unspeakably grotesque.
posted by xammerboy at 10:26 PM on November 2 [19 favorites]


While it's true that reading into early voting patterns is haruspicy, Jon Ralston in Nevada is the closest thing we have to a modern haruspex. According to what he's been saying the blues in Clark County have been bringing down the hammer the last couple of days. Dems in Vegas are on fire. So I'm feeling a bit better about Rosen and Nevada!

Sounds like the Reid Machine had one more election in 'em. Or perhaps the Culinary Workers Union is flexing a little old-time labor muscle.
posted by Justinian at 10:39 PM on November 2 [10 favorites]


A picture from Ralston's twitter: 2 hour lines for voting in heavily Dem parts of Vegas.
posted by Justinian at 10:44 PM on November 2 [16 favorites]


it's a little weird that the "I'm not racist" people always go with green and purple. Like they need to show off how not-racist they are with examples from Star Wars or Guardians of the Galaxy.

Not weird at all. It's completely consistent with a worldview where anybody who doesn't look like their family tree is rooted in northern Europe is automatically some kind of alien.
posted by flabdablet at 11:27 PM on November 2 [13 favorites]


I hate the green/purple/whatever thing. I just figured out why. What I’ve usually heard is “I don’t care if they’re black, brown, green, or purple...”. The thing is, people aren’t green or purple. So if, someone is green or purple, whatever they are, they’re not a person. And they equate that with black and brown people. It’s de-humanizing.
posted by Weeping_angel at 11:50 PM on November 2 [55 favorites]


Those in a flailing "I wanna do SOMETHING" state over anti-Semitism: consider participating in the "Show up for Shabatt" movement this weekend. This is a hashtag-spawned thing in response to Pittsburg, encouraging people,to attend a Shabatt service this weekend in particular - non-Jews too, as a show of support.

A synagogue in Brooklyn was tagged with Nazi graffiti Thursday night, so I decided to hit it up on my way home as a show of support. Encouragingly, it looked like about 100 other people had the same idea - the guy sitting next to me said that it was never that crowded during that particular service. He was bemused, but touched, that I was a non-Jew there to show support.

(Also, if you can swing it, hit up a service designed for kids, like I did - they tend to be shorter, there's way more singing, and there is a low level of happy chaos from all the kids that makes it impossible to be sad. The rabbi really knew how to work the under-9 demographic in the service I went to as well.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:24 AM on November 3 [31 favorites]


Last night there was a mass shooting in a Tallahassee hot yoga studio. Three dead, including the shooter, of a self-inflicted wound, four more injured, some critically. Who knows how many traumatized.

They released his name, which I couldn’t stop myself from googling. There’s this site called The Heavy that for some reason always has a run down of mass shooters. This time the run down is that he was 40, white, former military. He’d attended FSU (as well as a university in NY) and when he did he was a member of Republican and Conservative Facebook groups. He’d been unemployed possibly since 2013? And in 2014 he was arrested for “battery.”

And yet the motive is currently “unknown.” But it’s not, not really. He was an angry white man who bought into the entitlement, anger, and resentment of the right, and he lashed out. Probably at a woman.

I immediately googled “Republican terrorism” and got a bunch of IRA results. That should change.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:54 AM on November 3 [56 favorites]


Just a small observation that really annoys me. Trump steals. In public view. The most recent use of a GoT meme in a tweet, the use of "Happy" at a recent rally. The constant use of "You can't always get what you want".

I doubt any of these artists or copyright owners have received requests for use or fair compensation.

It's theft.
posted by michswiss at 6:07 AM on November 3 [23 favorites]


Well, for public performance of most pieces of music, the license is obtained semi-automatically from licensing clearinghouses. If whoever/whatever organization in charge of the music for rallies and such pays dues to ASCAP or whichever other catalogue that has those pieces in their list, they're legally covered.

Of course that's an "if," I don't know. Also, it would be nice to ask the original recording artist, of course, even if not legally required.

I've no idea about the meme-use of the Game of Thrones material, though. I did note in passing that it's a riff on the motto of a house of nobility, and that's one of the things American citizens can't hold or claim—titles of nobility—so the optics is... interesting there.

(I'm not saying use of the meme equates to claiming a noble title; it's just that the association struck me as thoughtless.)
posted by seyirci at 6:36 AM on November 3 [5 favorites]


Tom Bonier (CEO TargetSmart)
At this point in 2014, voters under the age of 30 had cast 849,876 votes. This year?

2,347,864 voters under the age of 30 have already voted, and counting.
posted by chris24 at 6:50 AM on November 3 [58 favorites]


Yeah, not to add too much to a slight derail, but under current US copyright law, use of music by a campaign at a rally is usually covered by licensing fees paid by the venue to a performing rights organization.

RIAA overview on use of songs in political campaigns.

PDF link to an overview by ASCAP (one of the big US performing rights orgs.)

Note that artists and rights holders are not without legal resources to tell a campaign to knock it off even if use of the song is technically legal. But (IANAL) I think this only applies after a song has been used by a campaign.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:50 AM on November 3 [4 favorites]


If you ever encounter someone talking about an "illegal immigration crisis" please just show them this chart-- illegal border crossings have dropped 90% over the last decade and a half (via this WaPo article)
posted by gwint at 6:51 AM on November 3 [19 favorites]


Next-in-line Mueller supervisor got White House ethics waiver in April

Last night's The Rachel Maddow Show (I think this is the clip, full show transcript should show up here) expressed confidence that Jeff Sessions, at least, will be leaving office after the midterm election no matter the electoral outcome, in connection with this development.
posted by XMLicious at 6:56 AM on November 3 [2 favorites]


The most recent episode of TRMS, sans adverts, is reliably posted for viewing (and downloading) within hours of initial airing here. (Web page title is "Listen to episodes" but content is video.
posted by perspicio at 7:32 AM on November 3 [5 favorites]


The Boston Globe reports 14 members of the Jewish group IfNotNow were arrested for a sit-in over white nationalism at the headquarters of the Massachusetts Republican Party in Boston. A Republican official called the protesters "a disgrace to the Jewish people" and said the guy who slaughtered 11 Jews in Pittsburgh was "anti-Trump." For some reason, he did not mention that the reason the guy was "anti-Trump" was because Trump wasn't enough of a Nazi.

Also, the story is oddly constructed: It starts with the Republican kvetching about the protesters before answering the question of why there were protesters to begin with. The Globe's usually better than that.
posted by adamg at 7:33 AM on November 3 [22 favorites]


(I'm not saying use of the meme equates to claiming a noble title; it's just that the association struck me as thoughtless.)

We can, and do, know what appeals to Trump. If it’s thoughtless, it’s only because the impulses that drive his simple mind cannot be considered thought.
posted by mammoth at 7:57 AM on November 3 [