It's Official
November 23, 2020 4:26 PM   Subscribe

 
It’s office shoe
posted by Going To Maine at 4:27 PM on November 23, 2020 [5 favorites]


Whoa; I was honestly not expecting this so soon.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:30 PM on November 23, 2020 [5 favorites]


Gee, I wonder what could have changed..

(on edit: link goes to an NYT article reporting that a large group of influential CEOs today sent a message to the administration.)
posted by Nerd of the North at 4:30 PM on November 23, 2020 [31 favorites]


The letter comes 19 days later than it should have.

And the letter is as sanctimonious, disrespectful, and self-serving as one might expect. Emily Murphy is a Karen right until the end.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 4:34 PM on November 23, 2020 [144 favorites]


Yes, that letter almost made me puke. Sorry to be so graphic, but it is not only not ok, it is an affront to democracy.
posted by mumimor at 4:39 PM on November 23, 2020 [29 favorites]


Gee, I wonder what could have changed..

Michigan also certified today giving Biden 270 certified electors. Her last fig leaf for not ascerting the election results went up in smoke. She either did this or got drawn into a long, costly legal battle that she was certain to lose, and there was likely personal liability attached to the battle as well.
posted by jmauro at 4:40 PM on November 23, 2020 [38 favorites]




My aunt spent her career as a civil servant at GSA before she retired a few years ago. I regard that fact that someone like Emily Murphy was put in charge of that critical agency as an offense to my family's history of civil service. What an awful letter, and I don't believe her protestations that she made her decisions independently for a single moment. Whether or not she received explicit instructions, she was absolutely working towards the Fuehrer.
posted by biogeo at 4:44 PM on November 23, 2020 [100 favorites]


More members of the new Biden Administration, from what we learned today:

Via NPR:

Janet Yellin as Treasury Secretary

Alejandro Mayorkas as DHS Secretary

Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence


Via NPR:

John Kerry as Special Envoy of Climate Change


Via CNN:

Antony Blinken as Secretary of State


Via CBS:

Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor


Via CBS:

Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
posted by darkstar at 4:46 PM on November 23, 2020 [25 favorites]


if all goes well I will never hear of any of these people again
posted by um at 4:49 PM on November 23, 2020 [115 favorites]


i read this serious analysis of how despite the gsa and MI news today why were all doomed and it is here
posted by lalochezia at 4:50 PM on November 23, 2020 [20 favorites]


Whether or not she received explicit instructions, she was absolutely working towards the Fuehrer.

Murphy claimed that she was not influenced by any member of the executive branch, but Trump said that he "[was] recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done". It could be Trump making himself the center of the process after the fact, as he often does, or it could be that, as many suspected, Murphy was waiting for Trump's say-so all along.
posted by jedicus at 4:50 PM on November 23, 2020 [14 favorites]


The game may be over (it has been for some time, practically speaking), but the losing team will continue to kick and scream and claim that rules and laws and reality itself were broken until the last camera shuts off.

Be prepared for things to continue to get weird. The butterfly net has not swept down over Rudy yet.
posted by delfin at 4:52 PM on November 23, 2020 [11 favorites]


AAWwwwwwww yiss
posted by nevercalm at 4:54 PM on November 23, 2020 [4 favorites]


Murphy herself started job-hunting a week ago (at least).
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:55 PM on November 23, 2020 [7 favorites]


METAFILTER: a large group of influential CEOs today sent a message
posted by philip-random at 4:59 PM on November 23, 2020 [5 favorites]


> What crazy stuff is left for him to try? Is he out of options yet?

Let me consult Saudia Arabia's glowing orb ... maybe war with Iran?
https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-iran-trump-int-idUSKBN27X026 Updated
Trump asked for options for attacking Iran last week, but held off - source
........................
> https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/israeli-prime-minister-visits-saudi-arabia-meets-with-crown-prince-and-pompeo-say-local-media/2020/11/23/63f3cab4-2d5f-11eb-9dd6-2d0179981719_story.html

> JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a secret trip to Saudi Arabia on Sunday, according to a Middle Eastern intelligence official, a watershed visit in the historically hostile relations between the two countries.

The meeting was initially reported by Israeli media and confirmed by the intelligence official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information.

“Only a small circle knew about the meeting,” the official said. “It was kept in a very small circle in Israel. Neither the foreign minister nor the defense minister knew about this.”

According to the Israeli publication Ynet, Netanyahu spent a few hours late Sunday in the Saudi coastal city of Neom, where he met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Netanyahu reportedly traveled with Yossi Cohen, the head of Mossad, Israel’s spy agency, a key figure in emerging efforts to broker diplomatic relations with the kingdom.
posted by sebastienbailard at 5:00 PM on November 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


Yeah - it's not time to relax, but I do think we can take a moment.

I have no doubt Trump will continue to burn it all down and salt the earth - the next couple of months are going to be a carnival of horrors the likes of which we've never before seen in American politics. And the fact that it was only his own incompetence (and that of his legal team) that kept his coup from succeeding means we have to continue to be vigilant every day, in every election, from the school board up through the presidency, from now on. The damage he's done, the damage this Republican Senate has done, is incalculable.

But for now. Just for a minute. I'm going to take a breath.
posted by invincible summer at 5:02 PM on November 23, 2020 [47 favorites]


In fact, I propose that "Emily" is a new kind of "Karen" or "Chad"; one who, in British colloquialisms would be a "jobsworth," as in, "I'm just doing my job," "I'm just following orders," etc.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 5:08 PM on November 23, 2020 [9 favorites]


Renovations to living quarters expected to be occupied by Trump and first lady Melania Trump are underway, ahead of when they'll be living there full time after the Jan. 20 inauguration, sources familiar with the planning told ABC News. - Secret Service members asked about protecting soon-to-be-former president Trump full time in Florida, Nov. 23, 2020. Previously: The Government's Bar Tab at Mar-a-Lago (May 1, 2019)
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:08 PM on November 23, 2020 [6 favorites]


I'm so excited not to know any of the names of the Cabinet (other than Yellen), and have it because they're career public servants and not scum-sucking trolls
posted by BungaDunga at 5:08 PM on November 23, 2020 [37 favorites]


> In fact, I propose that "Emily" is a new kind of "Karen" or "Chad"; one who, in British colloquialisms would be a "jobsworth," as in, "I'm just doing my job," "I'm just following orders," etc.

I kind of feel like the whole idea of using someone's name as a disparaging archetype is pretty shitty, and would like to see a lot less of it. We can't unring the "Karen" bell, but maybe we could stop trying to create new ones.

Except for Meredith. She knows what she did.
posted by tonycpsu at 5:12 PM on November 23, 2020 [189 favorites]


Because I find CNN's reader unreadable this is on-screen ocr's best guess as to the meat of the letter: (edited to replace unrecognized I's)
Dear Mr. Biden: As the Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration, I have the ability under the Presidential Transition Act of 1963, as amended, to make certain post-election resources and services available to assist in the event of a presidential transition. See 3 U.S.C. 102 note (the "Act"). I take this role seriously and, because of recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results, I am transmitting this letter today to make those resources and services available to you.

I have dedicated much of my adult life to public service, and I have always strived to do what is right. Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts. I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official including those who work at the White House or GSA-with regard to the substance or timing of my decision. To be clear, I did not receive any direction to delay my determination. I did, however, receive threats online, by phone, and by mail directed at my safety, my family, my staff, and even my pets in an effort to coerce me into making this determination prematurely. Even in the face of thousands of threats, I always remained committed to upholding the law.

Contrary to media reports and insinuations, my decision was not made out of fear or favoritism. Instead, I strongly believe that the statute requires that the GSA Administrator ascertain, not impose, the apparent president-elect. Unfortunately, the statute provides no procedures or standards for this process, so I looked to precedent from prior elections involving legal challenges and incomplete counts. GSA does not dictate the outcome of legal disputes and recounts, nor does it determine whether such proceedings are reasonable or justified. These are issues that the Constitution, federal laws, and state laws leave to the election certification process and decisions by courts of competent jurisdiction. I do not think that an agency charged with improving federal procurement and property management should place itself above the constitutionally-based election process. I strongly urge Congress to consider amendments to the Act.

As you know, the GSA Administrator does not pick or certify the winner of a presidential election. Instead, the GSA Administrator's role under the Act is extremely narrow: to make resources and services available in connection with a presidential transition. As stated, because of recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results, I have determined that you may access the post-election resources and services described in Section 3 of the Act upon request. The actual winner of the presidential election will be determined by the electoral process detailed in the Constitution.

Section 7 of the Act and Public Law 116-159, dated October 1., 2020, which provides continuing appropriations until December 11, 2020, makes $6,300,000 available to you to carry out the provisions of Section 3 of the Act. In addition, $1,000,000 is authorized, pursuant to Public Law 116-159, to provide appointee orientation sessions and a transition directory. I remind you that Section 6 of the Act imposes reporting requirements on you as a condition for receiving services and funds from GSA. If there is anything we can do to assist you, please contact Ms. Mary D. Gibert, the Federal Transition Coordinator.

posted by abulafa at 5:14 PM on November 23, 2020 [11 favorites]


I kind of feel like the whole idea of using someone's name as a disparaging archetype is pretty shitty

Fair enough—and I do agree, somewhat. Perhaps we'll have to use her full name instead.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 5:17 PM on November 23, 2020 [11 favorites]


Gee, I wonder what could have changed..

Maybe she opened her mail?
posted by dances with hamsters at 5:20 PM on November 23, 2020 [21 favorites]


Emily Murphy: I remind you that Section 6 of the Act imposes reporting requirements on you as a condition for receiving services and funds from GSA...

President-Elect: Emily? You can have my answer now, if you like. My offer is this: nothing. Not even the reporting requirements for Section 6, which I would appreciate if you would take care of personally.
posted by valkane at 5:22 PM on November 23, 2020 [34 favorites]


I do wonder how many other Emilys Murphy there are out there in the agencies of the United States Government who are going to try to slow-roll or undermine the transition. The ranks of die-hard Trump appointees have been thinned somewhat by purges and resignations, but I suspect that there are still a whole lot of dead-enders out there who know they have no future in a Biden White House who are going to be happy to gum up the works until Inauguration Day.
posted by tonycpsu at 5:25 PM on November 23, 2020 [13 favorites]


Isn't Biden's cabinet already assumed to be denied by the Darth McConnell?
posted by Liquidwolf at 5:26 PM on November 23, 2020 [8 favorites]


I kind of feel like the whole idea of using someone's name as a disparaging archetype is pretty shitty

Don't be a Trump.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:26 PM on November 23, 2020 [13 favorites]


After Emily decided not to show up for testimony in front of Congress, I really wish that they would have sent the Sergeant at Arms. One last opportunity to make an example of these people, which is now permanently missed.

She'll get to walk away from this, just like every other right-wing creep over the last four years, and that's just not right.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 5:28 PM on November 23, 2020 [35 favorites]


do not think that an agency charged with improving federal procurement and property management should place itself above the constitutionally-based election process. strongly urge Congress to consider amendments to the Act.

I mean she's not wrong about that, anyway. It's ridiculous that she had the power to hold things up this long.

Also what's wrong with Meredith, I'm a Meredith! Merediths are COOL.
posted by invincible summer at 5:28 PM on November 23, 2020 [24 favorites]


Isn't Biden's cabinet already assumed to be denied by the Darth McConnell?

All Norms are off. Especially that Shinkle one.
posted by valkane at 5:28 PM on November 23, 2020 [3 favorites]


The actual winner of the presidential election will be determined by the electoral process detailed in the Constitution.

I like the clarification she's making, just in case Biden didn't know, that she herself doesn't decide the election. As if somehow he might have believed she was the ultimate authority for deciding the next President.

There's also the faintest of suggestions there that Biden might not actually win the election once the process is fully completed.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 5:31 PM on November 23, 2020 [9 favorites]


> Also what's wrong with Meredith, I'm a Meredith! Merediths are COOL.

Meredith @ MeFiWiki
posted by tonycpsu at 5:31 PM on November 23, 2020 [11 favorites]


Darth McConnell, lol...is he still not answering questions about the mysterious disappearance of Mace Windu?
posted by sexyrobot at 5:31 PM on November 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


Oddly enough, I don’t believe her or Trump will stand out the way.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:31 PM on November 23, 2020


Her only offer to Democrats as of this morning was to set up an appointment to chat with her deputy for next Monday. It's obvious slow-walking was the game play this morning, and suddenly something changed.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:33 PM on November 23, 2020 [3 favorites]


I kind of feel like the whole idea of using someone's name as a disparaging archetype is pretty shitty

But Santorum is still fair game I hope
posted by Morpeth at 5:37 PM on November 23, 2020 [70 favorites]


Isn't Biden's cabinet already assumed to be denied by the Darth McConnell?

Well, Trump showed us how to get around that. Say hello to Acting Secretary Yellen, Acting Secretary Mayorkas, Acting Secretary Blinken...
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:37 PM on November 23, 2020 [19 favorites]


Another step forward in getting rid of the terrible, corrupt, whistleblower attacking, harasser defending, hypocritical, COVID research impeding, climate change denying director of the science agency I work for. I think we can survive after four years...four more years would have been fatal.
posted by sock_full_of_rocks at 5:38 PM on November 23, 2020 [16 favorites]


Twitter will hand @POTUS to Biden on Inauguration Day, even if Trump doesn’t concede
The presidential @POTUS Twitter handle will automatically transfer to President-elect Joe Biden the moment he’s sworn in at noon on Inauguration Day — whether or not President Donald Trump has conceded, the company confirmed to POLITICO on Friday.

Same goes for @whitehouse, @VP, @FLOTUS, and a handful other official accounts associated with the presidency.

“Twitter is actively preparing to support the transition of White House institutional Twitter accounts on January 20th, 2021,” Twitter spokesperson Nick Pacilio said in an email. “As we did for the presidential transition in 2017, this process is being done in close consultation with the National Archives and Records Administration.”
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 5:38 PM on November 23, 2020 [16 favorites]


I really hope Biden just lets those Twitter hanles go dormant. Twitter isn't the smelliest part of the dumpster fire, but is part of it.
posted by ocschwar at 5:41 PM on November 23, 2020 [58 favorites]


There's also the faintest of suggestions there that Biden might not actually win the election once the process is fully completed.

Being a former professional weasel-out-of-the-rules-lawyer, I noticed right away she didn't literally say she ascertained that Biden was the apparent winner, like the text of her duty says. She gave him some money.

Whether that was intentional because she doesn't want to get piled on by Trump and the literal Nazis, or it was intentional because that's not all her ascertainment triggers and they still want to sandbag, I have to believe that was absolutely intentional. The most natural way to begin that letter is "Mr. Biden: I'm pleased to inform you that persuant to my duty set forth in <reference>, I have ascertained <verbatim what the law says>." It took some careful rewriting to avoid saying that, I'm sure.
posted by ctmf at 5:42 PM on November 23, 2020 [32 favorites]


And the fact that it was only his own incompetence (and that of his legal team) that kept his coup from succeeding

What’s kept him from succeeding is that his opponent has a solid margin of victory across several states, in a decentralized system, and he doesn’t have a real case in any of them. If it were 2000 all over again, and it came down to a tiny margin in one state, a competent legal team might have stolen it. If Republicans truly thoroughly controlled every level of government they might have stolen it. Under the present circumstances, a competent legal team wouldn’t have bothered.

(Or alternatively, Trump did succeed, because the point was to convince some portion of his supporters forever that his loss was illegitimate.)
posted by atoxyl at 5:42 PM on November 23, 2020 [50 favorites]


...the point was to convince some portion of his supporters forever that his loss was illegitimate

...and to thereby shake them down for money every time he needs a new suit, forever into the future.
posted by aramaic at 5:45 PM on November 23, 2020 [14 favorites]


> Isn't Biden's cabinet already assumed to be denied by the Darth McConnell?

For what it's worth (which is not much when "it" is "the word of Republicans):
“He’s our president-elect. All presidents have a right to their Cabinet,” Murkowski said. “Our job, our role is to make sure that he selects folks that are … within the mainstream. And are good, qualified credible candidates. And if he does that, sure, I am going to work with him.”

[...]

And it might be in the GOP’s best interest not to derail Biden’s Cabinet picks in the first days of his presidency. Republicans will have more than a half-dozen competitive Senate seats in play in 2022 and at best a very narrow majority next year.

“It depends who they nominate. I always worked with the Obama administration. I supported Loretta Lynch. Ask my Republican colleagues,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who is up for reelection. “We want to make sure they’re good people. But we’ll give them a fair shake.”

“It will just require negotiation," said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a top McConnell ally. “If they want the Cabinet confirmed, they would be well advised to not nominate radical progressives and people that would have difficulty.”
The question becomes what they mean by "within the mainstream" vs. "radical progressives" according to a group of thugs for whom Hillary Clinton may as well have been Che Guevara, but I do think they'll start to feel the political heat if they're blocking people like Janet Yellen and Antony Blinken, both of whom have passed Senate confirmation on bipartisan votes in the past.
posted by tonycpsu at 5:47 PM on November 23, 2020 [13 favorites]


I trust everyone is ready to apologize for what they’ve said about Ms. Murphy, now that they’ve been informed of the stress her pets were under.
posted by chimpsonfilm at 5:49 PM on November 23, 2020 [22 favorites]


Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?
posted by Mchelly at 5:50 PM on November 23, 2020 [7 favorites]


I suggest "trumply" instead of a name, never capitalized.

Man, trumply sure took her sweet time, didn't she?
posted by InfidelZombie at 5:50 PM on November 23, 2020 [3 favorites]


I trust everyone is ready to apologize for what they’ve said about Ms. Murphy, now that they’ve been informed of the stress her pets were under.

No but I might be ready to take them into my possession for their protection. (Offer does not apply to Emily Murphy's family or staff.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 5:53 PM on November 23, 2020 [2 favorites]


Don't be a Trump.

Unkind to Mary.

I prefer "don't be a Cheeto".
posted by flabdablet at 5:55 PM on November 23, 2020 [2 favorites]


I’m not one to give a lot of weight to people’s titles, but “MR. Biden” ???? REALLY?
posted by bookmammal at 5:55 PM on November 23, 2020 [34 favorites]


I like trumpling(s). It has something mushroomy about it that seems appropriate.
posted by invincible summer at 5:56 PM on November 23, 2020 [8 favorites]


January 21,



Dear former GSA administrator Murphy,
posted by Ahmad Khani at 5:57 PM on November 23, 2020 [24 favorites]


I'm so tired that this is even a thing.
posted by bluesky43 at 5:58 PM on November 23, 2020 [18 favorites]


Are they are also making renovations at Rikers Island?
posted by interogative mood at 6:01 PM on November 23, 2020 [4 favorites]


If nothing else, "Emily" has a precedent from The Devil Wears Prada, as disparaging shorthand for both Miranda's actual suck-up assistant named Emily and for all other assistants ("Oh, is she your new Emily?")

If nothing else, we can give all of these Trumpoid lackeys the last name Bartleby.

[Congress] Please begin the transition. It is now Year 2 of the Biden administration.
[Emily Bartleby] ...I would prefer not to.
posted by delfin at 6:02 PM on November 23, 2020 [5 favorites]


I kind of feel like the whole idea of using someone's name as a disparaging archetype is pretty shitty

Fair enough—and I do agree, somewhat. Perhaps we'll have to use her full name instead.


I've always kind of cringed at the use of Karen as a disparaging archetype too -- I have two cousins-in-law named Karen who are very nice people and I hate to think of them having to deal with the jokes. I have a niece named Emily and a niece-in-law named Emily, so I hope that doesn't get used either.

Using the full name Emily Murphy is also problematic for me, because as a Canadian, when I hear that name I think of Emily Murphy the women's voting rights activist, author, and Canada's (and the British Empire's) first female magistrate.

Maybe we can come up with some kind of acronym, as has been done with TERF?
posted by orange swan at 6:03 PM on November 23, 2020 [18 favorites]


Ms Murphy might have made for herself a small place in history books by articulating a coherent rationale for her actions. Her letter would have become a necessary document guiding future administrators and would be referenced in law courses. Instead we have what Jessamyn fairly described as a "weird whiny email" in which she "goes on about her pets". Everybody who works for Trump is ultimately diminished.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:04 PM on November 23, 2020 [25 favorites]


Ultimately diminished is the least of what they're due but it's a fine start.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:05 PM on November 23, 2020 [5 favorites]


Fascinating, orange swan. Thank you for the link to her incredible profile.

(also, apologies all for the absurd derail)
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:06 PM on November 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


> Maybe we can come up with some kind of acronym, as has been done with TERF?

DERF: Democrat-Enraging Republican Functionary
posted by tonycpsu at 6:06 PM on November 23, 2020 [6 favorites]


Everybody who works for Trump is ultimately diminished.

I would have gone with "instantly".
posted by flabdablet at 6:07 PM on November 23, 2020 [8 favorites]


I can't believe I forgot about Meredith McIver. I must've blocked her out to avoid getting triggered by my own signature.
posted by invincible summer at 6:08 PM on November 23, 2020 [6 favorites]


DERF: Democrat-Enraging Republican Functionary

DORF: Democracy Obstructing Republican Functionary
posted by nubs at 6:08 PM on November 23, 2020 [18 favorites]


We can still pejoratively use "Hitler", right?
posted by DeepSeaHaggis at 6:10 PM on November 23, 2020 [16 favorites]


The word people are looking for is "fascist," as it lays out the cautionary tale for them of how Italian partisans made sure -- in order to make sure -- that there was a way of making sure that they could hang around in one way, and in one way only.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:11 PM on November 23, 2020 [25 favorites]


Being a former professional weasel-out-of-the-rules-lawyer, I noticed right away she didn't literally say she ascertained that Biden was the apparent winner, like the text of her duty says. She gave him some money.

Whether that was intentional because she doesn't want to get piled on by Trump and the literal Nazis, or it was intentional because that's not all her ascertainment triggers and they still want to sandbag, I have to believe that was absolutely intentional. The most natural way to begin that letter is "Mr. Biden: I'm pleased to inform you that persuant to my duty set forth in , I have ascertained ." It took some careful rewriting to avoid saying that, I'm sure.


Ex-civil servant here, albeit in Singapore. This precisely is what stood out for me. That this lady did everything but say this makes me... surprised. Out here, a taxpayer can easily contest letters such as this saying I don't want to hear your thoughts on this, I want $OFFICIAL_TITLE to grant me XX as stated under Law Y, Clause C.
posted by the cydonian at 6:11 PM on November 23, 2020 [40 favorites]


Antony Blinken as Secretary of State

What, Blinken gets the nod?
posted by doctornemo at 6:14 PM on November 23, 2020 [75 favorites]


John Kerry as Special Envoy of Climate Change

Wow, I didn't expected to see Kerry's name. I'm surprised no one else here has mentioned him. He ran for President after all.

Edited to add: and was also Secretary of State after HRC.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 6:25 PM on November 23, 2020 [5 favorites]


The game may be over (it has been for some time, practically speaking), but the losing team will continue to kick and scream and claim that rules and laws and reality itself were broken

Part of me wants it to end. Part of me wants to see Trump & co keep losing and losing and losing and losing. I am not yet sick of that.
posted by nubs at 6:31 PM on November 23, 2020 [8 favorites]


Yeah, of former Democratic presidential candidates who lost to Bush, Kerry isn't the first one I'd have thought of as the natural choice for Special Envoy of Climate Change.
posted by biogeo at 6:32 PM on November 23, 2020 [75 favorites]


I really hope Biden just lets those Twitter hanles go dormant. Twitter isn't the smelliest part of the dumpster fire, but is part of it.

It doesn't have to be. See for example the Canadian PM's account.
posted by Mitheral at 6:33 PM on November 23, 2020 [5 favorites]


If McConnell McConnells on the cabinet or really any other time, I want Kamala Harris to be the first VP in generations to pop the top on the full powers of her role in the Senate and cut Mitch out of the equation, making the Republicans take up or down votes on all the stuff he keeps off their plates so they don't have to go on the record.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:35 PM on November 23, 2020 [113 favorites]


Part of me wants to see Trump & co keep losing and losing and losing and losing. I am not yet sick of that.

Me neither, but I would suggest a change of venue to criminal court for the losing to continue.
posted by ctmf at 6:35 PM on November 23, 2020 [59 favorites]


The cabinet solution is obvious: Appoint Clinton to Undersecretary of State and then keep proposing people for Secretary of State. At least a few GOP senators will have to fall all over themselves voting yes. Once approved you can move them to any cabinet position. Rinse lather repeat.
posted by Mitheral at 6:42 PM on November 23, 2020 [43 favorites]


Does anyone else get the feeling that Trump will do most damage when he's out of office? He could spend a decade or two being an utterly destructive piece of shit.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:43 PM on November 23, 2020 [8 favorites]


He has no real money so at that point is just another ignorant blowhard in a sea of ignorant blowhards. If anything he'll be more divisive for the GOP than a harm to the process.
posted by Mitheral at 6:45 PM on November 23, 2020 [9 favorites]


The cabinet solution is obvious: Appoint Clinton to Undersecretary of State and then keep proposing people for Secretary of State.

If you really want to twist that knife the Clinton you’d appoint is Chelsea.
posted by mhoye at 6:53 PM on November 23, 2020 [33 favorites]


Does anyone else get the feeling that Trump will do most damage when he's out of office?

He’s going to be busy for the next few years trying to stay out of jail.
posted by mhoye at 6:53 PM on November 23, 2020 [9 favorites]


Back in May, living in Florida at that location may not be entirely legal (based on agreements to prevent permanent residents when converting Mar-a-Lago to a club): Trump made Florida his official residence. He may have also made a legal mess. (WaPo)
posted by channaher at 6:57 PM on November 23, 2020 [13 favorites]


Edited to add: and was also Secretary of State after HRC.

As in, the SOS who signed the Paris climate agreement in 2016.

Creating this position on the National Security Council for Kerry is like the biggest possible signal barring an actual fireworks display that the Biden administration intends to cooperate with the rest of the world on climate change.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:57 PM on November 23, 2020 [77 favorites]


[fixed link]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 6:59 PM on November 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


Twitter isn't the smelliest part of the dumpster fire, but is part of it.

Technology is as good or as evil as its ab|user.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 7:06 PM on November 23, 2020 [2 favorites]


Biden has said something along the lines of wanting to move the country forward when he becomes President, meaning he's not planning on prosecuting the Trump crime family (I believe he's also said he won't pardon him). BUT, he also said he wants the DoJ to be truly independent, and it will be up to the AG on what they would like to pursue and Biden will not influence or interfere.

So my eyes are on who gets the AG role. I was hearing some rumors about Amy Klobuchar a few weeks back, and I have some reservations about her, but I haven't heard anything else on it since. I'm kind of hoping he picks someone low profile, as he has been, which I think has been a very good choice on his part. I think any potential AG would almost need to be low profile.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:15 PM on November 23, 2020 [8 favorites]


I kind of feel like the whole idea of using someone's name as a disparaging archetype is pretty shitty

But Santorum is still fair game I hope


I mean, being a little shitty is the literal definition...
posted by Big Al 8000 at 7:16 PM on November 23, 2020 [9 favorites]


But Santorum is still fair game I hope

[Frank Zappa] People always tell me that my children's first names are strange. I tell them that it's their last name that'll get them into trouble.
posted by delfin at 7:19 PM on November 23, 2020 [13 favorites]


Sen. Elizabeth Warren's twitter:
Yesterday: Joe and Kamala unseated an incumbent president for the first time in a generation. On January 20, it’s time to deliver real, bold solutions. We need to rebuild trust in government. With a single executive order, @JoeBiden can lock the revolving door between government and industry, reduce lobbyist influence, and end conflicts of interest for executive branch personnel.

Six hours ago: Donald Trump’s anti-democratic actions are a stain on the United States—and on movements for democracy all around the world.
Now that we’ve won (even though we have a sore loser on our hands), it’s time to deliver bold solutions to turn the page on this dark time in our democracy.
Because we can’t just walk away from Donald Trump’s corrupt, swampy administration—we have to run away.


Pinned tweet w/embedded video, from Nov. 19: It’s time to deliver big, bold solutions for the American people. From canceling student debt to declaring the climate crisis a national emergency to centering racial equity in the fight against COVID-19, here’s what @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris can do on day one.

Embedded video (Thread reader link) summarizes Donald Trump's executive orders over the past four years, and what Biden and Harris need to do, because: "A timid agenda that further entrenches the wealthy and the well-connected will lead us to more division, more anger, more inequality and an even bigger hole to climb out of."
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:22 PM on November 23, 2020 [46 favorites]


Maybe it's just me but I feel like we've just hit the part of the 2020 movie where you think the villain is dead, the hero and the audience relax, and then the bad guy pops back up for a last attack. Anybody else feel like Ripley in Alien, and just waiting for that monster's hand to jut out from the shadows? Stay frosty yall.
posted by cashman at 7:30 PM on November 23, 2020 [64 favorites]


It seems like we have to acknowledge that we’ve all been traumatized by four years of Trump and his Fascist-enabling Republican Party, so that they will all get to live rent-free in our heads for a long time to come. That’s in addition to the need to stay vigilant.
posted by darkstar at 7:35 PM on November 23, 2020 [45 favorites]


Does anyone else get the feeling that Trump will do most damage when he's out of office?

Even after Biden’s inauguration — not to mention Trump and family’s Secret Service protection — the Presidential Transition Act of 1963 (GSA PDF) also gives the former President and Vice President six months worth of funds for “winding up the affairs of their office”:
SERVICES AND FACILITIES AUTHORIZED TO BE PROVIDED TO FORMER PRESIDENTS AND FORMER VICE PRESIDENTS

Sec. 4. The Administrator is authorized to provide, upon request, to each former President and each former Vice President, for a period not to exceed six months from the date of the expiration of his term of office as President or Vice President, for use in connection with winding up the affairs of his office, necessary services and facilities of the same general character as authorized by this act to be provided to Presidents-elect and Vice Presidents-elect [see Sec. 3 (a) in this PDF].

Any person appointed or detailed to serve a former President or former Vice President under authority of this section shall be appointed or detailed in accordance with, and shall be subject to, all of the provisions of section 3 of this Act applicable to persons appointed or detailed under authority of that section. The provisions of the Act of August 25, 1958 (72 Stat. 838 3; U.S.C. 102, note), other than subsections (a) and (e) shall not become effective with respect to a former President until six months after the expiration of his term of office as President.
As the Real President in Exile, the Donald will probably accept this transitional funding right up to June 20, 2021. Wonder if he’ll keep all of his receipts?
posted by cenoxo at 7:37 PM on November 23, 2020 [3 favorites]


...right up to July 20, 2021.
posted by cenoxo at 7:44 PM on November 23, 2020 [2 favorites]


Biden Deputy Campaign Manager Kate Bedingfield on Twitter:

Dot - and I cannot stress this enough - gov
posted by theory at 7:50 PM on November 23, 2020 [42 favorites]


Twitter will hand @POTUS to Biden on Inauguration Day

Maybe somebody here can explain this to a non-twitterer? Whenever I see his tweets quoted on media web-pages, the source is "Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump", not this official handle. Is @POTUS actually being employed also, like a mirror, or redirect of some kind?

Anyway, agree with ocschwar, hoping Biden just ignores the whole thing. If the President has something to say, he should address everybody at the same time, not just some subset of Twitter subscribers.
posted by Rash at 8:10 PM on November 23, 2020 [8 favorites]


It seems like we have to acknowledge that we’ve all been traumatized by four years of Trump and his Fascist-enabling Republican Party, so that they will all get to live rent-free in our heads for a long time to come.

This is so true. I already had an anxiety disorder, and this election has turned my brain to Swiss cheese. I won't feel safe until January.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:12 PM on November 23, 2020 [17 favorites]


(If anyone wants to download the actual PDF, looks like you can get the PDF from Politico. Has searchable text and everything.)
posted by kristi at 8:17 PM on November 23, 2020 [2 favorites]


Maybe somebody here can explain this to a non-twitterer? Whenever I see his tweets quoted on media web-pages, the source is "Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

There's the official government account @POTUS, look at @POTUS44 to see Obama's archived tweets. They are also subject to NARA. Then there's Trump's personal account which he uses to get around NARA and because well he's Trump
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 8:20 PM on November 23, 2020 [4 favorites]


So, 45 never actually uses @POTUS? If he did, those tweets would then be archived to @POTUS45?
posted by Rash at 8:25 PM on November 23, 2020


Yeah - it's not time to relax, but I do think we can take a moment.

Yup, where I'm at. I'm exhausted and I'm still worried about several other possibilities, but it does look like the overt Republican soft coup is a bust this time. But now there is the precedent of it having happened at all, so where do we go next?

Like immense relief that it isn't going well for the fascists stacked on top of deep dread in knowing they're going to try again.
posted by Lonnrot at 8:28 PM on November 23, 2020 [6 favorites]


I thought it was going to take the credit rating agencies politely coughing and holding up a sign that says "Tinpot regimes don't hold onto AAA ratings" so colour me (pleasantly) surprised. Onwards to better things. Finally.
posted by nfalkner at 8:30 PM on November 23, 2020 [4 favorites]


So, 45 never actually uses @POTUS? If he did, those tweets would then be archived to @POTUS45?
Looks like all he does on POTUS is reweet. POTUS45 was created this month and set to private, but I assume once Biden is President, all the tweets under POTUS go into POTUS45 and POTUS is wiped clean.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 8:32 PM on November 23, 2020 [2 favorites]


The Twitter joke account "New York Times Pitchbot" @DougJBalloon:

Nov 20 -- Certifying Biden’s win in California should be a formality. But in this Oakland natural wine bar, the tech bros aren’t so sure

Nov. 21 -- Biden is up by 20 points with 96% of the vote counted in Rhode Island. But, over calamari and coffee milk, Ocean State Dems will tell you they’re starting to get nervous

Nov. 22 -- Sidney Powell’s Love of Animal Prints Represents Perhaps the Most Questionable Political Fashion Choices Since Carter’s Cardigan

Nov. 23 -- Is Cocaine Having a Moment? Donald Trump Jr.'s coke-fueled performances have given the drug a cultural cachet it's lacked since the days of Mork & Mindy and Lawrence Taylor's fabled 1986 season
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:41 PM on November 23, 2020 [24 favorites]


now there is the precedent of it having happened at all,

You think? I mean, I think that's a good thing. They blew their one chance, their element of shock and disbelief. Next time everyone will be ready to combat that from the first second, and the courts will be all, "nope. been tried already."

Which does nothing to rid ourselves of the pieces of shit who think it's all fair game, play to win, fuck democracy. But I think it's going to be much more of an uphill climb next time compared to this one.
posted by ctmf at 8:47 PM on November 23, 2020 [9 favorites]


Rachel Maddow reported tonight that one of the things that T**** is doing on his way out is pulling out of the Open Skies treaty and destroying the US surveillance aircraft upon which it depends so that Biden can't rejoin.
posted by blue shadows at 8:51 PM on November 23, 2020 [11 favorites]


Looks like all he does on POTUS is reweet. POTUS45 was created this month and set to private, but I assume once Biden is President, all the tweets under POTUS go into POTUS45 and POTUS is wiped clean.

I believe the process is @POTUS is renamed to @POTUS45 and set to read only. A new @POTUS is created for the Biden Administration.
posted by jmauro at 8:51 PM on November 23, 2020


MetaFilter: if all goes well I will never hear of any of these people again
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:53 PM on November 23, 2020 [13 favorites]


President-elect Joe Biden and Vice president-elect Kamala Harris on Monday spoke to a group of Democratic and Republican mayors about working together across all levels of government to deliver economic relief to communities and combat the coronavirus pandemic as cases surge in the country. (CNN, Nov. 23, 2020) “All of you have been on the front lines from the very beginning, and as we head into this Thanksgiving in a very dark winter with cases and hospitalizations and deaths spiking, I want you to know that we’re here for you and we’re going to listen to you and work with you,” Biden said, speaking virtually to the United States Conference of Mayors in Wilmington, Delaware.

“It’s the first priority we’re going to have once sworn in,” Biden said. Biden spoke to the mayors about the distribution of a coronavirus vaccine, universal masking, expanding testing and delivering economic relief to cities and states.

posted by Iris Gambol at 8:54 PM on November 23, 2020 [10 favorites]


Folks around here are already joking that the Secretary of State will speak better French than the PM of Canada, damn he’s good.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 9:00 PM on November 23, 2020 [7 favorites]


But now there is the precedent of it having happened at all, so where do we go next?

Isn’t Bush v. Gore sort of precedent of it having happened? It’s certainly the reason I was worried about this sort of thing prior to the election. The more realistically scary outcome since the actual election results came in and were not 2000-close is that the damage done to the ability of Trump’s followers to live in the same world as everybody else with the same representative government is irreversible. And that outcome... we’ve probably already got to an extent. Though it is interesting to see the infighting that is going on on the Right as this falls apart.
posted by atoxyl at 9:37 PM on November 23, 2020 [5 favorites]


The Twitter joke account "New York Times Pitchbot" @DougJBalloon

DougJ, trolling since the early 00s.
posted by ryoshu at 9:40 PM on November 23, 2020 [2 favorites]


I suppose one could read what I said as pretty similar to what you said. I just mean my concern is less that if they tried the same thing harder they might win, and more how does one share governance of a country with people who seriously believed they were owed a win here?
posted by atoxyl at 9:41 PM on November 23, 2020 [3 favorites]


Rachel Maddow reported tonight that one of the things that T**** is doing on his way out is pulling out of the Open Skies treaty and destroying the US surveillance aircraft upon which it depends so that Biden can't rejoin.
posted by blue shadows at 12:51 PM on November 24 [+] [!]


This is alarming and stupid, and there should be public outcry and pressure. Here is a The Hill article with more detail on it, here is the same from CNN.

Useful quote from the second: "The treaty gave US allies and partners without sophisticated satellite capabilities a way to gather and share -- all the member countries could access imagery gathered on flights. ... Pentagon officials have told CNN that the US military intends to share some of its intelligence and reconnaissance data from assets such as satellites with European allies in order to help compensate for any loss of critical information from the cessation of Open Skies flights."

My take is, it was basically "you want this data? then pay me" back in May. I really, really hope they don't actually destroy the planes, and Biden should get back in this thing on day 1.
posted by saysthis at 10:03 PM on November 23, 2020 [5 favorites]


It's not too late to impeach Trump, or use the 25th Amendment to remove him from office on the (IMO perfectly justified) grounds that he's incapable of performing his duties. Republicans are letting him burn things down because they are the party of chaos.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:13 PM on November 23, 2020 [41 favorites]


... I really, really hope they don't actually destroy the planes

The statement of withdrawal from Open Skies that Rachel Maddow quoted used terms like "dispose of" and "liquidating". I wondered if that could mean "selling".
posted by valetta at 10:42 PM on November 23, 2020 [6 favorites]


(WRT the Open Skies treaty, see also related comments in the previous election thread.)
posted by cenoxo at 10:43 PM on November 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


anyway, I've finally allowed myself some proper celebration tonight. The war is over. The war ain't over yet. The war is never over. But we've at least got the eternal loser hiding out in his bunker with only fantasies left, which is all he ever had really -- the difference now being that more and more previously foolish and/or cynical supporters/enablers are fast disengaging themselves, discretely getting on with their mundane and disappointing lives ...

"We are discrete sheep—we want to see how the drove is going, and then we go with the drove."

(Mark Twain)
posted by philip-random at 10:50 PM on November 23, 2020 [2 favorites]


Isn't it a consequence of the certification of the results in Michigan ?
posted by nicolin at 10:51 PM on November 23, 2020


Trump agrees to begin transition as key agency calls Biden apparent election winner — President says he will continue to fight results as General Services Administration clears way for handover.; The Guardian, Sam Levin & Maanvi Singh, Tue 24 Nov 2020 15.17 AEDT:
The General Services Administration has declared president-elect Joe Biden the apparent winner of the US election, clearing the way for the formal transition from Donald Trump’s administration to begin after weeks of delay.

The GSA said on Monday that it had determined that Biden was the winner of the 3 November race after weeks of Trump refusing to concede and violating the traditions of the transition of power at the White House.

Trump said on Twitter [link] he had directed his team to cooperate on the transition, but vowed to continue fighting the election results, despite the lack of evidence of widespread voter fraud. Hours later, he said [link]: “Will never concede to fake ballots & ‘Dominion’.
...
After Murphy’s letter was made public, Trump tweeted [link], “We will keep up the good fight and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.

The Trump legal team dismissed the certification as “simply a procedural step” and insisted it would fight on....
posted by cenoxo at 11:25 PM on November 23, 2020 [4 favorites]


It seems like we have to acknowledge that we’ve all been traumatized by four years of Trump and his Fascist-enabling Republican Party, so that they will all get to live rent-free in our heads for a long time to come.

Nope. From now on, they pay rent.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 11:55 PM on November 23, 2020 [11 favorites]


Folks around here are already joking that the Secretary of State will speak better French than the PM of Canada, damn he’s good.

C'est vrai. Il parle couramment le français. (Old video of Blinken speaking in French with Laurent Delahousse for Journal de 20 heures)
posted by the cydonian at 12:16 AM on November 24, 2020 [4 favorites]


Maybe it's just me but I feel like we've just hit the part of the 2020 movie where you think the villain is dead, the hero and the audience relax, and then the bad guy pops back up for a last attack. Anybody else feel like Ripley in Alien, and just waiting for that monster's hand to jut out from the shadows? Stay frosty yall.

Counterpoint: "Wait. I think this guy's dead, but let's check for a pulse."

"OK"

"No pulse"

posted by mikelieman at 12:49 AM on November 24, 2020 [7 favorites]


If they archive Trump’s tweets to @POTUS45 it’ll undoubtedly provoke a malt-down.
posted by allium cepa at 2:01 AM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


C'est vrai. Il parle couramment le français. (Old video of Blinken speaking in French with Laurent Delahousse for Journal de 20 heures)"

Il parle très bien le français et ce qu'il dit est sensé, ce qui ne gâte rien.
posted by nicolin at 2:16 AM on November 24, 2020 [4 favorites]


Nope. From now on, they pay rent.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 3:55 PM on November 24 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]


I'm gonna put here what I put on IG stories, and it's a thing that I think deserves a moment of rent-free contemplation, with some links that you can click on but you don't really have to because I'm being honest, in service of denying rent or focusing collection efforts in the future.

"So. Dan Bilzerian is going bankrupt, and Dan Nainan is exposed and gone, and Trump gave up, and Billy Mitchell is losing his titles and getting sued... Good job, cancel culture. Keep it up."

I feel like... it's more than Trump just giving up. It's the 2010's. The world will not stop sucking, but in a very stark way, over the last few years, but especially with the fall of Trump, the particular way the 2010's had of sucking has been kind of killed in the face. Cardinal Fang has expressed what I wanted to say, and I hope I'm adding to the metaphor and fleshing it out with this comment. It's not just Trump, it's all he represents. They've been defeated. They aren't gone, but the mechanisms they used to gain power are being recognized and punished across many disparate spheres. That is not a small milestone.

From now on, they pay rent. May their money never be good here.
posted by saysthis at 3:42 AM on November 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


Nope. From now on, they pay rent.

Or they get a rent-free tombstone. Inscribed, of course, with some variant on THIS PLACE IS NOT A PLACE OF HONOR.
posted by acb at 3:46 AM on November 24, 2020 [12 favorites]


It's not just the new Secretary of State. The former Secretary of State and now climate emissary John Kerry "attended a Swiss boarding school as a child, learning to speak fluent French – which reportedly worked wonders in courting his wife, Teresa Heinz.”
posted by PhineasGage at 3:52 AM on November 24, 2020 [4 favorites]


With apologies to Kerry and many others, there is a joke. You call someone who speaks multiple languages, a polyglot. You call someone who speaks two languages, bilingual. You call someone who speaks one language, American.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:01 AM on November 24, 2020 [20 favorites]


Il parle très bien le français et ce qu'il dit est sensé, ce qui ne gâte rien.

Mais oui! Il est étonnant d’entendre des pensées complètement formées et qui ne sont pas ... mauvaises. 🙂
posted by the cydonian at 4:16 AM on November 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


If they archive Trump’s tweets to @POTUS45 it’ll undoubtedly provoke a malt-down.

I don't know about archiving, but I'm pretty sure @realDonaldTrump will be a suspended / deleted account shortly after January 20th. Twitter has already said they'll be ending his exception to the harassment and hate speech rules, and all we have to do is report a few hundred of his existing rule-breaking tweets.
posted by mmoncur at 4:50 AM on November 24, 2020 [10 favorites]


If they archive Trump’s tweets to @POTUS45 it’ll undoubtedly provoke a malt-down.

I think this Colt be a pun.
posted by apparently at 5:10 AM on November 24, 2020 [6 favorites]


I don't think it's a coincidence that it happened right after they lost Rush Limbaugh.
posted by lordrunningclam at 5:42 AM on November 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


Biden has said something along the lines of wanting to move the country forward when he becomes President, meaning he's not planning on prosecuting the Trump crime family (I believe he's also said he won't pardon him). BUT, he also said he wants the DoJ to be truly independent, and it will be up to the AG on what they would like to pursue and Biden will not influence or interfere.

Don't forget that regardless WHAT happens with the federal cases, there are still a handful of STATE cases building up here in New York, so SOMETHING'S gonna happen no matter what.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:44 AM on November 24, 2020 [13 favorites]


PhineasGage: "It's not just the new Secretary of State. The former Secretary of State and now climate emissary John Kerry "attended a Swiss boarding school as a child, learning to speak fluent French – which reportedly worked wonders in courting his wife, Teresa Heinz.”"

The Massachusetts senator attended a Swiss boarding school as a child, learning to speak fluent French –which reportedly worked wonders in courting his wife, Teresa Heinz, whose parents were Portuguese.


there's your non sequitur for the day.
posted by chavenet at 6:46 AM on November 24, 2020 [13 favorites]


Please keep your hands inside the boat. The swamp is still full of alligators.
posted by mule98J at 7:16 AM on November 24, 2020 [7 favorites]


I don't know about archiving, but I'm pretty sure @realDonaldTrump will be a suspended / deleted account shortly after January 20th.

I am a little skeptical on this. Presumably realDonadTrump makes Twitter money by increasing engagement and users. Typically a corporation will follow its pocketbook. And the left isn’t going to boycott Twitter over his continued presence on the platform.
posted by Room 101 at 7:28 AM on November 24, 2020 [6 favorites]


Speaking of Twitter....

As far as I can tell from following the hashtag, it looks like...over on Parler, someone came up with the idea to encourage people to vote for Trump as a write-in candidate in one of the Georgia Senate races, under the assumption that if enough people did it, Trump would win one of the Senate seats. It looks like they also came up with the hashtag #WriteInTrump to promote this, but...there are allegations that Parler censored that. So now they're all coming back to Twitter to spread that hashtag. Which has since been taken over by Democrats all posting "oh, no, don't throw me in the briar patch" type of responses.

....I honestly don't know which part of this story is the most ridiculous element.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:59 AM on November 24, 2020 [48 favorites]


The narrative that the President (or rather the President’s Twitter account) has “relented” is not necessarily true.
The General Services Administration is an independent agency and the President has no authority to order the Administrator to make or withhold this decision. @realDonaldTrump claimed shortly after the letter was made public that the President had “recommended” the decision. There is no reason to believe this. It is possible that the Administrator was determined to make this decision, and the President, facing a barrage of public and private opposition, felt it was in his interest to pretend he had endorsed the decision. The President continues to claim that he won the election and that he will prevail in court. The doomed coup continueth.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:02 AM on November 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


I really, really hope they don't actually destroy the planes

I hope they slow walk this shit just long enough that it lasts to Jan 2021.
posted by corb at 8:02 AM on November 24, 2020 [10 favorites]


Coincidentally, yesterday I ate my last piece of birthday cake. I've been eating cake all week.

Thank you, and you're welcome.
posted by loquacious at 8:04 AM on November 24, 2020 [29 favorites]


@GovernorTomWolf: Today @PAStateDept certified the results of the November 3 election in Pennsylvania for president and vice president of the United States.

As required by federal law, I’ve signed the Certificate of Ascertainment for the slate of electors for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

posted by tonycpsu at 8:09 AM on November 24, 2020 [22 favorites]


Key quote from the letter from Administrator of the General Services Administration:
“I strongly believe that the statute requires that the GSA Administrator ascertain, not impose, the apparent president-elect. […] I do not think that an agency charged with improving federal procurement and property management should place itself above the constitutionally-based election process.”
We can all agree on the importance of these things. Let’s move on to the next paragraph.
“As you know, the GSA Administrator does not pick or certify the winner of a presidential election. Instead, the GSA Administrator’s role under the Act is extremely narrow: to make resources and services available in connection with a presidential transition […] The actual winner of the presidential election will be determined by the electoral process detailed in the Constitution.”
Ah, so the things you were concerned about in the prior paragraph were completely imaginary because you lack the authority to determine the winner of the election and are merely entitled to allocate public funds specifically appropriated to assist a tentative transition process for the likely winner before the official process is concluded. Makes me wonder why you didn’t issue this letter earlier; delaying the funding could be actually quite harmful to the country
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:12 AM on November 24, 2020 [12 favorites]


someone came up with the idea to encourage people to vote for Trump as a write-in candidate in one of the Georgia Senate races

These are runoff elections. I thought the whole point was there are only two candidates per seat.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:25 AM on November 24, 2020 [6 favorites]


There is no reason to believe this. It is possible that the Administrator was determined to make this decision, and the President, facing a barrage of public and private opposition, felt it was in his interest to pretend he had endorsed the decision.

It's likely you will never know the truth. Both Donald Trump and Emily Murphy are known liars. Murphy lied under oath to Congress when she denied speaking to Trump about the FBI office case which she later had to correct to avoid perjury. So they already have a history of lying about their conversations with each other, covering each others backs.
posted by JackFlash at 8:27 AM on November 24, 2020 [25 favorites]


And it looks like Pennsylvania is done. Governor Wolf today signed the Certificate of Ascertainment for Biden.

With Georgia, Michigan and now Pennsylvania certified, Biden has at least 279 electoral votes, regardless of what happens in Arizona and Nevada. Those last two will certify next week.
posted by JackFlash at 8:34 AM on November 24, 2020 [26 favorites]


About fucking time.
posted by freakazoid at 8:38 AM on November 24, 2020 [12 favorites]


How does WI play in to that with the current recount tomfoolery around in-person absentee (i.e. early voting)? I mean, not that I expect it has any more merit than the rest of Trump's recount shenanigans, elections departments are sensitive to doing things the right way in general.

(And early voting? Really? That's the silver bullet? I could maybe see making a case that the special measures WI enacted to permit universal mail-in voting in the plague year were maybe not entirely in-line with the state constitution, but to the best of my knowledge early voting was completely normal. So they're going up against the thing that has been in place for years of elections and not the thing that was special this year? Quality legal representation, dudes.)
posted by Kyol at 8:45 AM on November 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


Fox News' Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson distance themselves from Trump -- The Guardian

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
posted by valkane at 8:49 AM on November 24, 2020 [12 favorites]


About fucking time

Note that I say this expression as "a B F T"
(kinda like if you were ordering a BLT).
    SPREAD THIS MEME

posted by Rash at 8:50 AM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


How does WI play in to that with the current recount tomfoolery

Biden wins even without Wisconsin, Arizona and Nevada.

At least in Wisconsin it's Trump's $3 million going into the pockets of poll workers, unlike Georgia where the taxpayers are footing the bill for a pointless recount.
posted by JackFlash at 8:54 AM on November 24, 2020


Meanwhile on Twitter (but banned on Parler): #WriteInTrumpForGA

It is impossible to tell how many people take this seriously, on either side.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:54 AM on November 24, 2020 [7 favorites]


It'll never happen but my ideal pick for Attorney General would be Mark Gonzalez.

He's the DA for Nueces county TX, which means Corpus Christi.

He's a former defense attorney, a former gang member, and as DA he started a cite and release program for petty crime, expanded and improved programs to keep people out of prison, and has in general been awesome.

It won't happen, but he'd be a great pick.

Instead we see that Biden is for some odd reason apparently devoted to making sure Rham Emmanuel is part of the Executive Branch.

After facing massive outcry and opposition to his original plan of making Emmanuel the Secretary of Transportation the Biden team has not given up on having him in the administration. Apparently they're hoping that they can avoid protest by giving the scumbag the post of Trade Envoy which is supposedly lower profile.

Why is Biden is so devoted to Emmanel, a man who was not only incredibly corrupt as mayor of Chicago but who also abused his office to help the Chicago PD try to cover up the cold blooded murder of Laquan McDonald, a Black teenage boy, at the hands of a white police officer.
posted by sotonohito at 8:55 AM on November 24, 2020 [9 favorites]


These are runoff elections. I thought the whole point was there are only two candidates per seat.

You have now put more thought into this plan than the Trumpists on Parler did.
posted by biogeo at 8:55 AM on November 24, 2020 [51 favorites]


I believe it's spelled “Parkour!”
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:56 AM on November 24, 2020 [5 favorites]


sotonohito: Where are you seeing this information? I've seen a lot of handwringing over Rahm Emanuel in recent days that seems purely predicated on rumors.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 8:59 AM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


You have now put more thought into this plan than the Trumpists on Parler did.

my fave hot-take on Parler is that is, in fact, a CIA (or maybe NSC) front, the goal of which is to attract all the maga-nazi-whatevers to one place ... and then slowly, carefully, subtly, begin to deprogram them.
posted by philip-random at 9:08 AM on November 24, 2020 [21 favorites]


The horses left the barn long before her disastrous handling of Amy Coathanger Barrett, but at least Feinstein won't be in a position to screw up anything else on the Senate Judiciary Committee during Biden's first term.

I would have preferred her stepping down and being replaced by literally any other California Democrat or perhaps a potted plant, but this is at least a faint glimmer of hope that our Congressional Democrats is learning.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:13 AM on November 24, 2020 [12 favorites]


Parkour

I'll rescue this orphaned joke by noting that my phone autocorrected "Parler" to "Parker", and I only noticed after hitting post but within the edit window.
posted by biogeo at 9:18 AM on November 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


These are runoff elections. I thought the whole point was there are only two candidates per seat.

Shhhhhhh. Never interrupt your enemy when they're making a mistake.
posted by invincible summer at 9:18 AM on November 24, 2020 [21 favorites]


It's likely you will never know the truth. Both Donald Trump and Emily Murphy are known liars.

Wait I think I've heard this one... You come to a gate, guarded by two guards. One is Emily Murphy and the other is Donald Trump.
posted by ctmf at 9:19 AM on November 24, 2020 [14 favorites]


I am a little skeptical on this. Presumably realDonadTrump makes Twitter money by increasing engagement and users. Typically a corporation will follow its pocketbook. And the left isn’t going to boycott Twitter over his continued presence on the platform.

Corporate hypocrisy knows no bounds but accounts that do nothing but verbatim tweet Cheeto tweets have already been suspended for content.

These are runoff elections. I thought the whole point was there are only two candidates per seat.

It may not have previously occured to you but at least some Trumpees are sort of divorced from reality.
posted by Mitheral at 9:20 AM on November 24, 2020 [8 favorites]


Two things I would like to read an explainer about, one from each side of the aisle:

So, if Parler's whole thing is not censoring nonsense, why are they censoring this particular piece of nonsense?

And why does it feel like the Biden administration is so interested in finding work for Rahm Emanuel?
posted by box at 9:21 AM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


So, if Parler's whole thing is not censoring nonsense,

That's not their thing. Their thing, that everyone understands but they're carefully NOT saying, is Parler is the place where being racist and fascist and threatening violence won't get you deleted. It's Twitter for "our" side. Now "they" will get to see what it's like to be "censored" while we gloat about it.

It's very childish, yes.
posted by ctmf at 9:28 AM on November 24, 2020 [13 favorites]


So, if Parler's whole thing is not censoring nonsense, why are they censoring this particular piece of nonsense?

Because they are a front for the Russian mob/government.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:28 AM on November 24, 2020 [12 favorites]


I'd like Feinstein to go in the next election and be replaced by Ted Lieu, Barbara Lee or Katie Porter.
posted by shoesietart at 9:29 AM on November 24, 2020 [19 favorites]


The Administrator of the General Services Administration cited the Bush v Gore situation as precedent for not providing funds for a transition process before legal challenges were complete. But that delayed transition in 2001 was cited by the 9/11 Commission as one cause of America's lack of preparedness for the attacks later that year. It seems to me that the law should have provided funding for both Bush and Gore's tentative transition teams, and should do so for similar situations in the future.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:32 AM on November 24, 2020 [13 favorites]


So, a flurry of EO's from January 20th until February to overturn as much bad Trump policy as possible and then an inevitable period of negotiating with terrorists (R's) until when? May? June? It's going to take at least a year to ferret out all the toxic R's installed throughout the government and then years to undo all of the bad faith policies both foreign and domestic. I'm curious how we progressives get the point across to the DNC that bipartisanship is not and an option.

The fact that Rham Emmanuel is being discussed in any role is infuriating, full stop. This tells me Biden is tracking back towards the center and not listening to Black Americans. If the incoming administration fucks this up and holds BLM and Stacey Abrams and other Black progressives at arms length then 2020 will be a disaster of the DNC's making. AOC and the Squad are the future and old white guys are the past. I'm taking a deep breath and I'm cautiously optimistic but I'm also Gen X and have watched the Dems fuck up time and again.
posted by photoslob at 9:34 AM on November 24, 2020 [36 favorites]


It's going to take at least a year to ferret out all the toxic R's installed throughout the government

Is it? Don't they all have civil servant non-political-appointee deputies ready to take their place in an acting role?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:36 AM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


It wouldn't surprise me if the person spreading all the "Rahm Emanuel is being considered for ___" rumors is Rahm Emanuel.
posted by theodolite at 9:38 AM on November 24, 2020 [31 favorites]


I also would rather have Ted in lieu of Senator Feinstein
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:39 AM on November 24, 2020 [24 favorites]


It wouldn't surprise me if the person spreading all the "Rahm Emanuel is being considered for ___" rumors is Rahm Emanuel.

#WriteInRahm
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:39 AM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


I don't think it's a coincidence that it happened right after they lost Rush Limbaugh.

When you've lost the pill-popping sex-tourist loud-mouth segment you're probably done.
posted by srboisvert at 9:40 AM on November 24, 2020 [6 favorites]


and then years to undo all of the bad faith policies both foreign and domestic

Eh, it will be a project, for sure, but easier than it sounds. Delegate it down to the people who know the score, the career SES's. Because they can probably provide you a list off the top of their heads by Friday. And legions of civil servants remember how to do it the old way.

If you've ever tried to make any change, no matter how good, in the government, you'd know just how much institutional inertia there is. Sometimes I feel like if I change one form, there will be people waiting for me to turn my back until they retire, and if I do, the old form will be back instantly. 4 years isn't NEARLY enough for change to stick. Say the word, it will be 2012 again.
posted by ctmf at 9:43 AM on November 24, 2020 [11 favorites]


So, if Parler's whole thing is not censoring nonsense, why are they censoring this particular piece of nonsense?

Because they are a front for the Russian mob/government.


Is there any evidence that Parler is a Russian front? Genuinely curious.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 9:44 AM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


#WriteInRahm

Well sometimes you do need the Kraken, if only to answer the "what are the evil people thinking" questions. Problem is containing it the rest of the time.
posted by ctmf at 9:46 AM on November 24, 2020




I also would rather have Ted in lieu of Senator Feinstein

From your mouth to god's ears. I so badly want to be optimistic and see the Biden administration turn things in a progressive and inclusive direction where govt works for everyone but I'm waiting for the inevitable wE NeEd bIpArTiSan nEgoTioNs rhetoric. I don't have senators that care about anything but making old white wealthy guys wealthier so I'm begging everyone to hold your Dem senator's feet to the fire.

EDIT: and please donate time and money to Fair Fight in GA!
posted by photoslob at 9:48 AM on November 24, 2020 [9 favorites]


The Administrator of the General Services Administration cited the Bush v Gore situation as precedent for not providing funds for a transition process before legal challenges were complete.

I'm sure this point has been well-made here already, but this is a shockingly disingenuous comparison. Bush/Gore 2000 featured a race that could not be decided because one state had a margin of victory of under 1000 votes; and the outcome of the election did actually depend on recount results, or on stopping recounts. No one could call the election. In 2020, we have a candidate, the President, who, despite having clearly lost the election, insists that it was stolen from him by an entirely imaginary conspiracy, and whose legal challenges, in service of finding at least three States to overturn, have proven to be meritless.
posted by thelonius at 9:53 AM on November 24, 2020 [19 favorites]


It seems like we have to acknowledge that we’ve all been traumatized by four years of Trump and his Fascist-enabling Republican Party, so that they will all get to live rent-free in our heads for a long time to come.

Yep, I've been traumatized. I'm going to acknowledge it, grieve, and move on.

Also, I'm gonna make it a point to reject all right-wing framing of anything. "Living rent-free in someone's head", "snowflake", "cancel culture", "social justice warrior".

I'm not training to be a psychopath, it's true, I get affected by things. But then I get over it. Fuck these people and fuck their culture.
posted by ishmael at 9:54 AM on November 24, 2020 [28 favorites]


Hopefully this means we can now focus on the real battle ahead, which getting much needed aid and relief to people still suffering from the effects of the coronavirus around McConnell's obstruction. That is every bit as life or death as anything involving Trump, who hopefully will be consigned to the "ashbin of history". Unfortunately, Trump was a particularly odious example of a long tradition in the Republican party that started with Nixon, of which the obstructionism of the McConnell and the Senate Republicans is but another example.
posted by eagles123 at 10:12 AM on November 24, 2020 [7 favorites]


The Administrator of the General Services Administration cited the Bush v Gore situation as precedent for not providing funds for a transition process before legal challenges were complete.

The other thing about Bush v Gore, and I realize that this is making me sound incredibly out of step with the new insane political reality, is that it was written fairly explicitly NOT to be taken as precedent. It's right there in the decision.
posted by Mchelly at 10:17 AM on November 24, 2020 [8 favorites]


(I know that that meant legally, rather than politically, but since all of these crazypants actions were meant to shore up their legal position, I think that it's worth saying)
posted by Mchelly at 10:20 AM on November 24, 2020


Wasn't that the stupidest part of the Bush v Gore opinion, though? I mean, it sets a different even worse precedent: that it's acceptable to say in an opinion that your crazy idea shouldn't matter to future cases. But if such a thing is admissible, then of course a later decision can say, "Well, we don't think this should set precedent, but we're totally going to ignore the bit in that earlier decision that said it shouldn't set precedent."
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 10:31 AM on November 24, 2020 [8 favorites]


Is there any evidence that Parler is a Russian front? Genuinely curious.
posted by Ahmad Khani


Yes
posted by lalochezia at 10:34 AM on November 24, 2020 [29 favorites]


"I have no doubt Trump will continue to burn it all down and salt the earth... " --posted by invincible summer at 7:02 PM on November 23

I initially worried about him launching nukes, and that's still possible, but I wonder if he's gonna try to 1812 the White House the Inauguration Eve. Order Jared, Ivanka, Don Jr & Eric to bring in some barrels of Kerosene.
posted by symbioid at 10:42 AM on November 24, 2020


It's going to take at least a year to ferret out all the toxic R's installed throughout the government

I mean it'll take some work, but Trump's admin has rather famously failed to fill a boatload of positions at every level. FWIW, Biden's team does have the advantage of a whole batch of seasoned politicos (the swamp!) who both know these positions exist and are likely willing to fill them with people whose qualifications extend beyond "good at kissing ass."
posted by aspersioncast at 10:48 AM on November 24, 2020 [10 favorites]


Speaking of, critical article on Ernest Moniz, Biden's possible pick for Secretary of Energy yesterday:
Moniz is on the board of one of the most polluting power companies in America, the Georgia-based Southern Company.

His firm Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) conducted research paid for by Southern California Gas (SoCalGas), which a state consumer advocate has since argued should be fined for using customer money to oppose climate progress.

Moniz presented the results at an event sponsored by Stanford University’s Natural Gas Initiative, which SoCalGas and other fossil fuel companies help fund as affiliate members. The initiative offers corporate members access to research “from inception to outcome”.

EFI also partnered with Stanford researchers on a report that explored opportunities to capture climate emissions from fossil fuel operations. One of the funders was the industry group the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative.

EFI’s advisory board is chaired by the former chief executive of British oil company BP, although it also includes distinguished climate experts and environmentalists.
posted by Lonnrot at 10:56 AM on November 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


Anthony Blinken has to be the first cabinet official to have "follow me on Spotify" in his Twitter bio.

(He makes innocuous roots rock with his band Ablinken.)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:56 AM on November 24, 2020 [8 favorites]


It could be Trump making himself the center of the process after the fact, as he often does, or it could be that, as many suspected, Murphy was waiting for Trump's say-so all along.

It could be, and almost certainly was, both things. She waited for the go-ahead but tried to cover that up, then Trump—always needing to be seen in command—screwed her. Nobody survives Trump with a shred of dignity, no matter how small.
posted by sjswitzer at 10:58 AM on November 24, 2020 [4 favorites]


Yes

Thanks for that thread! Didn't come up in my search.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 11:02 AM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


I initially worried about him launching nukes, and that's still possible, but I wonder if he's gonna try to 1812 the White House the Inauguration Eve. Order Jared, Ivanka, Don Jr & Eric to bring in some barrels of Kerosene.
Nah, if anything this election has proven the 'bullies are cowards' theory. There were a couple of times I thought he could pull the trigger and just start a real civil war with bullets, but instead, he chose a narcissist's passive aggressive strategy. The whining that things are unfair, trying to work the refs, sowing chaos, the steady pressure of alternate reality bullshit until your target just gives up.

Didn't fucking work.
posted by Horkus at 11:06 AM on November 24, 2020 [7 favorites]


One of the things I would like to see is a decrease in the number of political appointees in the government. This work is technical and requires institutional knowledge; bringing often-ignorant political appointees in every four years not only opens up the possibility for conflicts of interest (witness damned-near every Trump appointment) but also degrades the agency's ability to get their work done while the new administrators learn their jobs.

It also takes forever to vet and hire and get in place 4,000 people! That's too many!
posted by suelac at 11:09 AM on November 24, 2020 [17 favorites]


Order Jared, Ivanka, Don Jr & Eric to bring in some barrels of Kerosene.

More like incite his most dedicated supporters to do it. You know, to show their fealty. Why get his hands dirty (I know, I know)?
posted by sundrop at 11:17 AM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


One of the things I would like to see is a decrease in the number of political appointees in the government.

Mmmm... "decrease in number" I could live with. I see it like civilian control of the military. The appointee in charge should steer goals and strategic policy, with advice of and informed by the career force leaders who work for them. But the executive needs to be in charge of his departments.

If I ever halfway sympathized with Trump during this whole fiasco, it's when he fired people for defying him. I wouldn't put up with direct reports fighting me either.

(The difference is, I would listen to my direct reports when they felt strongly about things, so they would trust me and understand when they didn't always get their way. Not be an idiot egomaniac dictator.)
posted by ctmf at 11:28 AM on November 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


Twitter isn't the smelliest part of the dumpster fire, but is part of it.

Speaking of which, go visit Email a Dumpster Fire, Literally for all of your dumpster fire needs.
posted by JoeZydeco at 11:28 AM on November 24, 2020 [10 favorites]


After what has transpired in these last couple of decades, anyone who trusts ANY Republican in _any_ capacity should have their head examined.
posted by dbiedny at 11:37 AM on November 24, 2020 [20 favorites]


So why is no one talking about this: President-elect Biden Introduces Key Foreign Policy & National Security Team Members?

It's like watching The Avengers assemble in real-life!
posted by valkane at 11:45 AM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


Trump brags about Dow 30,000 at surprise news conference, leaves after a minute - CNBC

"President Donald Trump briefly emerged to tout the Dow Jones Industrial Average breaking 30,000 for the first time ever, and then vanished after a minute without taking questions."

Headline should read "Trump takes credit for Biden transition news."
posted by valkane at 11:53 AM on November 24, 2020 [40 favorites]


OVER 9000

LULZ WTF IS THIS SHIT HAHAHAHAHA
posted by loquacious at 12:04 PM on November 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


Add numerology to the list of Trump's many crimes.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:09 PM on November 24, 2020


The question is open as to how much pf Parler is "Russian front-end" and how much is focused around "gather as much usable data on chud nobodies as possible, including their real name, address and SSN" instead.

Personally, I would prefer to think that it's more of an FBI psyop project dedicated to honeypotting all the people who are screaming about cartridge boxes and trees of liberty right about now.
posted by delfin at 12:24 PM on November 24, 2020 [4 favorites]


The count of Joe Biden's popular vote total now exceeds 80,000,000.
posted by kyrademon at 12:38 PM on November 24, 2020 [11 favorites]


YouTube temporarily suspends, demonetizes OANN, Axios, Ashley Gold, 11/24/2020:
YouTube has barred One America News Network from posting new videos for a week and stripped it of its ability to make money off existing content after the Trump-friendly channel uploaded a video promoting a phony cure for COVID-19, YouTube spokesperson Ivy Choi tells Axios.

Why it matters: YouTube has been criticized for allowing OANN to spread misinformation using its platform, particularly around coronavirus and the election. This marks the Google-owned service's first crackdown against OANN....
More details in the article.
posted by cenoxo at 12:43 PM on November 24, 2020 [32 favorites]


Trump. Biggest. Loser. Ever.
posted by valkane at 12:43 PM on November 24, 2020


It's like watching The Avengers assemble in real-life!

Hopefully, unlike the Avengers, they won't commit war crimes all over Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East with this new Democratic administration.
posted by Ouverture at 12:51 PM on November 24, 2020 [15 favorites]


So, time to take bets: Does Trump issue a pardon to himself or resign and have Pence pardon him?
posted by Eddie Mars at 1:25 PM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


Biden unveils his administration as Trump's firewall crumbles -- CNN

"Trump offered his clearest indication yet that he understands his presidency is ending when he tweeted that he had told his team to do what is necessary "with regards to initial protocols." Yet given his past behavior, repeated denials of his defeat and attempts to shatter Biden's legitimacy, there will be serious questions over whether Trump will fully cooperate with the transition.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows notified West Wing staff in a Monday night email shown to CNN that the transition process to was formally underway. According to the email, Meadows has appointed liaisons in each office to be the point of contact for the transition and said that person should deal with the incoming team, citing the Presidential Transition Act of 1963.

Trump's remaining two months in office, during which he will retain the institutional power of the presidency, leave him plenty of time to try to sabotage Biden's administration.

Still, Trump's outrageous bid to disenfranchise the votes of millions of Americans is destined to fail because election officials and the courts in the states largely did their duty and rejected his baseless claims of fraud. During the President's most dangerous attack on the institutions of the US political system, the center held."
posted by valkane at 1:32 PM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


So, time to take bets: Does Trump issue a pardon to himself or resign and have Pence pardon him?

Neither. He just declares immunity from prosecution, much as Michael Scott declared bankruptcy: By yelling it into the void.
posted by argybarg at 1:33 PM on November 24, 2020 [8 favorites]


I think he's so over-confident -- in his innocence, in his ability to cover things up, in his ability to convince anyone of anything, in the loyalty of his cronies, etc. -- that he doesn't bother.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 1:33 PM on November 24, 2020 [8 favorites]


I agree. Ask yourself: Which does Trump dread more: Eventual consequences from his actions, or having to say out loud that he did wrong and may be in trouble?
posted by argybarg at 1:35 PM on November 24, 2020 [7 favorites]


Honestly? Neither.

Accepting a pardon implies acceptance of culpability. And that is something that Donald Trump simply does not do.

It would not help him avoid state-level prosecution, as well.
posted by delfin at 1:35 PM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


I was thinking earlier, while trying to take a nap (I haven't been sleeping well, I can only manage three hours before I wake up screaming like a character in an H.P. Lovecraft story) that one of the upsides of these last few weeks is that Jared Kushner was pushing for the President to hold more of his super-spreader rallies during this time of lame-duck shenanigans.

At least that didn't come to pass.
posted by valkane at 1:40 PM on November 24, 2020




It's amazing how a Fox News story about Trump doing something weird still has text that bothsides against "reporters".
posted by Fleebnork at 1:50 PM on November 24, 2020 [6 favorites]


Pretty sure the one-statement announcement was just Trump and Pence saying, "Look! Everything is great! Nothing is wrong! Look what we did!" Only, if anything, the stock market is responding to the oligarchy finally putting its foot down and ensuring the Biden administration can do their work.

For once I see no downside to simply ignoring this idiot's stupid plea for attention.
posted by Lonnrot at 1:52 PM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]



Headline should read "Trump takes credit for Biden transition news."


or as the Drudge Report currently has it:

STOCKS SOAR ON TRUMP EXIT
DOW TOPS 30,000
BACK-TO-NORMAL RALLY


it's almost a haiku.





though I did excise one last headline which lacks poetry: BIDEN RETURNS ESTABLISHMENT
posted by philip-random at 1:53 PM on November 24, 2020 [14 favorites]


It's amazing how a Fox News story about Trump doing something weird still has text that bothsides against "reporters".

Well, to be honest, Fox sees themselves as employees of the Trump White House, not actually reporters.
posted by valkane at 1:53 PM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


Avril Haines's wikipedia bio is, as they say, a journey:
After graduating from Hunter College High School, Haines traveled to Japan for a year and enrolled in Kodokan, an elite judo institute in Tokyo.[6] In 1988, Haines enrolled in the University of Chicago where she studied theoretical physics. While attending the University of Chicago, Haines worked repairing car engines at a mechanic shop in Hyde Park.[6] In 1991 Haines took up flying lessons in New Jersey, where she met her future husband, David Davighi. She later graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in physics in 1992.[8]

In 1992, Haines moved to Baltimore, Maryland, and enrolled as a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins University. However, later that year, Haines dropped out and with her future husband purchased at an auction a bar in Fell's Point, Baltimore, which had been seized in a drug raid;[6] they turned the location into an independent bookstore and café.[9] She named the store Adrian's Book Cafe, after her late mother; Adrian's realistic oil paintings filled the store.[9] The bookstore won City Paper's "Best Independent Bookstore" in 1997 and was known for having an unusual collection of literary offerings, local writers, erotica reading nights, and small press publications.[10] Adrian's hosted a number of literary readings, including erotica readings, which became a media focus when she was appointed by President Obama to be the Deputy Director of the CIA.
I recently reorganized my bookshelves by color.
posted by Caxton1476 at 2:02 PM on November 24, 2020 [37 favorites]


my fave hot-take on Parler is that is, in fact, a CIA (or maybe NSC) front, the goal of which is to attract all the maga-nazi-whatevers to one place ... and then slowly, carefully, subtly, begin to deprogram them.

I'm more inclined to think it is a glorious, ambitious bait-and-switch, or at least the write-in bit is. I mean, it is barely two weeks since the Gay Socialists for Communism moment. It would be masterful memetic engineering to harness the anger of low-information MAGAhats (but I repeat myself) to tip the Senate.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:12 PM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


Avril Haines's wikipedia bio is, as they say, a journey:

I find these parts pretty troubling:
In 2015 Haines was tasked with determining whether CIA personnel involved in the hacking of the computers of Senate staffers who were authoring the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture would be disciplined. Haines chose not to discipline them, overruling the CIA Inspector General.

During her years in Obama White House, Haines played a significant role working closely with John Brennan in determining administration policy on "targeted killings" by drones.

In 2018, Haines was an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump's controversial nomination of Gina Haspel to serve as CIA director.

Haines has consulted for a variety of for-profit entities with business interests related to American national security policy, including Palantir Technologies
She seems to have directly and indirectly supported the worst, most criminal elements of the American intelligence apparatus and its corporate partners.
posted by jedicus at 2:16 PM on November 24, 2020 [32 favorites]


I can totally see trump taking a blanket pardon, and continuing to claim innocence regardless of the legal implications. He could spin it to his followers as "making sure the radical left crazy Democrats don't trump up fake news charges against him". Probably claim it protects from state charges as well. It wouldn't work, but gumming things up and forcing courts to hold him in contempt would play bigly to his base and enhance the perception that he's being prosecuted for political reasons.

Plus, slow down the court cases - his best legal strategy at this point is probably to run out the clock and die before he gets convicted of anything. And the ratings! Can you imagine the media shitshow that would come from an intransigent trump defying the courts?

God, it's going to be nice to fully ignore that guy.
posted by mrgoat at 2:21 PM on November 24, 2020 [5 favorites]


I'm just looking forward to arguing about shit like this:

"Dude, I wish I lived in Europe, then I could buy my brandy at the grocery store!"
posted by valkane at 2:27 PM on November 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


On the Haines Brookings bio, affiliations were radically pared down from May to June, as noted in the Wikipedia entry and by the Intercept on June 26, 2020; Fairfax Security Solutions (possibly this LLC, founded in 2017) consultant and WestExec Advisors consultant also disappeared [The secretive consulting firm that’s become Biden’s Cabinet in waiting (Politico, Nov. 23) WestExec Advisors, which now looks like a government-in-waiting for the next administration, was founded in 2017].
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:33 PM on November 24, 2020 [5 favorites]


I'm looking forward to being able to listen to government officials speak without feeling like I've got something gross on me.
posted by invincible summer at 2:35 PM on November 24, 2020 [10 favorites]


I'm looking forward to not having 5-10 political FPPs bookmarked at any one time.
posted by Marticus at 2:39 PM on November 24, 2020 [18 favorites]


I misread a headline above as YouTube demonizes OANN and I was briefly excited that right-wing assholes (instead of people of color and Democrats) were being demonized for once. Sigh.
posted by Bella Donna at 2:47 PM on November 24, 2020 [7 favorites]


Which does Trump dread more: Eventual consequences from his actions, or having to say out loud that he did wrong and may be in trouble?

Interesting thought experiment. I don't see him as thinking about the future, in that way. How can a person dread what they have never faced, especially when they live moment to moment, the way that he does?

my fave hot-take on Parler is that is, in fact, a CIA (or maybe NSC) front

The Mercer family underwrites Parler. The Mercers bankrolled Cambridge Analytica and sponsored political entities behind Brexit, a populist movement pushed by the Russians to destabilize the EU. The Mercers are close to Trump and have brokered business dealings with numerous Russian oligarchs through the family business (RenTech), which is suspected of laundering money for them through Deutsche Bank. Rebekah Mercer was responsible for pushing Michael Flynn into a sensitive national security adviser position in the Trump administration, someone who has been caught (and is up for criminal charges for) lying about his out-of-school dealings with Russia and other foreign governments. As mentioned in this and previous threads, Parler is run by a CEO with close ties to high-placed members of the former Soviet Union, and the network was populated with GRU accounts from the get-go. It's probably safe to say that it is not a front for the CIA.

It is true that there isn't much in the mainstream media about this company, but hopefully that will change as Trump and those around him lose political influence, and they have to push their employer's agenda outside the usual outlets.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:49 PM on November 24, 2020 [31 favorites]


So far Biden's cabinet picks are not inspiring much confidence in me. CIA torture apologists, Wall Street stooges, and Rham Emanuel. He's assembling the same shambolic bunch of mostly elderly warmongers and billionaire bootlickers the Democrats always do, and the result will be exactly what it was when Obama did it: no real change followed by a right wing populist taking over.

I voted for him knowing I'd immediately have to start protesting against him, so I'm not surprised. I didn't think he'd make even the tiniest gesture to the left, and so far I've been correct in that too.

So I'm not surprised. Just disappointed and exhausted. Four years of Trump and now I've got to keep right on protesting without even a breather.

delfin You're putting **WAY** too much faith in the ability of people to comprehend complex things. Yes, technically and legally taking a pardon means admitting you did whatever. But that's not how most Americans, or Trump, perceive it. To them it just means Trump doesn't get punished, and that's always been Trump's big ego boost: doing wrong publicly and evading any penalty.

I don't say Trump absolutely will either pardon himself or do the two step where first he pardons Pence and resigns so Pence can pardon him. But the idea that he won't do it because taking a pardon means admitting he's guilty doesn't make sense because only lawyers and a few geeks like us actually care about the admitting guilt part of taking a pardon. No one else does.
posted by sotonohito at 3:02 PM on November 24, 2020 [20 favorites]


So far Biden's cabinet picks are not inspiring much confidence in me. CIA torture apologists, Wall Street stooges, and Rham Emanuel.

I generally agree with you but I don’t think Rahm is going to make it in. Now, if you want to be a little more paranoid about it, somebody on Twitter had the thought that Rahm’s name might have been floated to take the heat off some of the less-notorious-but-not-necessarily-all-that-much-better people who are actually getting appointed.
posted by atoxyl at 3:31 PM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


I know we hate the guy, but can we at least spell Rahm Emanuel’s name correctly? It’s really not that hard.
posted by hototogisu at 3:33 PM on November 24, 2020 [10 favorites]


Ernest Moniz, Biden's possible pick for Secretary of Energy

Needs more Hunter Lovins.
posted by flabdablet at 4:06 PM on November 24, 2020


Shall we compare Biden's picks with Trump's?

Not what we would choose, but, a whole lot fucking better.

Waiting for the continued posts from certain folks here about how these are just the worst.
posted by Windopaene at 4:24 PM on November 24, 2020 [19 favorites]


Well, this is ironic: Judge Emmet Sullivan Will Oversee Voting Rights Act Case Accusing Trump of Anti-Black Campaign to Overturn Election

I don't know whether it has a chance of going anywhere (I suspect not) but it's good that it's being brought, for the record if nothing else.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:25 PM on November 24, 2020 [8 favorites]


I'm just glad to see the backside of Betsy DeVos. And Stephen Miller. And Jared, and Ivanka, and Barr, and Pompeo and all of those folks.
posted by valkane at 4:49 PM on November 24, 2020 [26 favorites]


And McEnany and Conway and Pence and all those folks.
posted by valkane at 4:51 PM on November 24, 2020 [11 favorites]


I'm just glad to see the backside of Betsy DeVos. And Stephen Miller. And Jared, and Ivanka, and Barr, and Pompeo and all of those folks ... And McEnany and Conway and Pence and all those folks.

Freak.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:53 PM on November 24, 2020 [17 favorites]


And Mnuchin, and Wilbur Ross, and DeJoy, and Chad Wolf, and Elaine Chao and you get the picture.
posted by valkane at 4:53 PM on November 24, 2020 [8 favorites]


I think critiquing Biden's picks is fine and should not be taken as personal insult. Close scrutiny by activists (who, as a category, will by definition never be perfectly happy with everything) is part of the job when it comes to any federal civil service position.

Things are bad right now. The US has completely failed in its response to a global pandemic, a large chunk of the population has embraced fascist white supremacy, many people have lost their jobs or businesses and are about to lose their homes and a whole monster parade of climate disasters are ready to be unleashed basically everywhere. More than ever, a lot of us want to feel that there are competent, intelligent, informed people in positions capable of responding to these crises that even recognize them as such.

Yes, anyone is an improvement over Trumpist stooges and good riddance to the lot of them (every single one of them should be prosecuted), but Biden has inherited a country on the precipice. Business as usual won't work this time. Many things will fundamentally have to change regardless of Biden's unofficial campaign slogan.
posted by Lonnrot at 4:58 PM on November 24, 2020 [44 favorites]


I'm just glad to see the backside of Betsy DeVos. And Stephen Miller. And Jared, and Ivanka, and Barr, and Pompeo and all of those folks ... And McEnany and Conway and Pence and all those folks...

Bill Maher is problematic, but the other week he did an "in memoriam" vid for all those outgoing Trump folks and I just couldn't stop laughing. Because of how cartoonishly bad they are.
posted by ishmael at 5:00 PM on November 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


Shall we compare Biden's picks with Trump's?

No, because we're past that part now. The job now is to persuade Biden that taking climate change seriously must necessarily involve installing people who have demonstrably been taking it seriously for their entire careers.

"Better than Trump" is too low a bar. If that's the standard we're applying now, we're fucked.
posted by flabdablet at 5:05 PM on November 24, 2020 [39 favorites]


Kerry is not OK as the Climate Change Chief?
posted by Windopaene at 5:14 PM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


Waiting for the continued posts from certain folks here about how these are just the worst.

I think you can expect a continued and fierce battle for the direction of the Democratic party over the next year or so. I know that's my plan, in any case, and has been since Bernie lost and we formed a frankly seriously impressive coalition behind Biden.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 5:17 PM on November 24, 2020 [13 favorites]


I have no objection to Kerry. My concern comes from seeing a fossil fuel fossil shortlisted for Energy.
posted by flabdablet at 5:18 PM on November 24, 2020 [10 favorites]


I get that. But certain posters only reply to things that posit that Biden et al, are the worst things ever. Wait a bit, the post will come...

Very frustrating.
posted by Windopaene at 5:20 PM on November 24, 2020 [7 favorites]


This is why I love Democrats.

When we've won, we don't just gloat. We turn around and scrutinize the hell out of our elected officials to make sure they're doing their jobs. We hold our own people accountable.

It's just so refreshing to see after an entire administration where the President's supporters simply assumed that he was infallible that I had to mention it.

Carry on.
posted by MrVisible at 5:23 PM on November 24, 2020 [35 favorites]


and Wilbur Ross, and

I hope no one forgets to wake him on January 21.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 5:32 PM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


One of the reporters should have shouted a question at Trump: Mr. President, is the stock market rising in response to the wild success of your election lawsuits?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:35 PM on November 24, 2020 [5 favorites]


Southern Company is the third-largest power company in the USA. They produce mostly using natural gas, though they have some nuclear and some renewable. With the exception of Exelor, which is mostly nuclear, the list of largest polluting power companies and the list of largest power companies is very similar.
(Dropbox link to MJ Bradley report via LA Times)
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:40 PM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


Lonnrot ...Biden has inherited a country on the precipice. Business as usual won't work this time. Many things will fundamentally have to change regardless of Biden's unofficial campaign slogan.

Amen. It's been killing me that pundits and even anchors on the Enemies of the People outlets on cable news have been using phrases like “back to normal” all day, despite lots of hedging and qualifications.

Nothing is fucking going back to normal, even if all the telescoped and explicitly, openly-planned political violence were to turn out to be mostly talk and we were have a relatively-subsequently-smooth transition, so no one should be talking that way.

It's hard to face, but the election only being describable as a landslide in Trumpian bullshit terms has effectively removed the asterisk from the “President*” in President Trump. Whatever anointed him, even foreign interference, it's an accepted part of the machine now.

To give just one example, in matters of international trade any other country is now perfectly justified in the course of negotiating, and would be unwise not to really, act as if at any moment our political system will suddenly go all America-First “trade wars are easy to win” and to hence say to us (metaphorically, it's that the terms we get will be worse and more restrictive) “yeah so you're going to have to pay a few decades up front, your credit is shit now” and then make some deal later with China anyways when their negotiators simultaneously offer a slightly-more-lucrative debt-trap 43-year port lease deal in the bargain. Or something like that, because the PRC knows what it's doing and is not playing a radically different game from the “aid” and “development assistance” Western nations have so generously provided, out of the warmness of our soft power and military intelligence-gathering hearts, during the past century.

We're still the 800+-pound gorilla on the global geopolitical and economic stages, but by virtue of our own political system putting Trump in charge, giving him the nuclear launch codes, etc., with no institutional resistance, we have given away several hundred pounds of heft in exchange for magic MAGA beans, without getting the golden-egg-laying goose in return or however the hell the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale ends.

(800+-pound... colonialist-imperialist milking cow on the global stage? That gores people or kicks them in the head when it doesn't get what it wants maybe? I'm no pastoralist or dairy farmer but I think that would not even be a welterweight cow. Sorry, couldn't unmix my metaphors.)

And domestically we've given away so many other priceless, irreplaceable things which won't be coming back. Not cause for hopelessness, we can see it as a “once more to the breach” opportunity to fundamentally change things as Lonnrot says, but pretending that “everything's going back to normal” is a form of self-deception even many well-to-do people cannot afford now.
posted by XMLicious at 5:51 PM on November 24, 2020 [33 favorites]


Sen. Marco Rubio calls Biden’s national security team ‘polite & orderly caretakers of America’s decline’ (Politico, Nov. 24, 2020) “Biden’s cabinet picks went to Ivy League schools, have strong resumes, attend all the right conferences & will be polite & orderly caretakers of America’s decline,” he tweeted. “I support American greatness. And I have no interest in returning to the ‘normal’ that left us dependent on China.”

There were Ivy League grads in Trump's ever-revolving cabinet of horrors and circle of enablers, Rube. Trump boasts about his own Wharton School of Finance b.s. degree.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:54 PM on November 24, 2020 [6 favorites]


Trump has enthusiastically accepted the support of (gulp) Randy Quaid -- AVClub

"As cucked as most Republicans have been made by the prez, it’s probable that even his most vile bootlickers don’t want to take orders from Randy fuckin’ Quaid. (That said, there’s no way the day ends without Ted Cruz quoting Cousin Eddie, is there?) "
posted by valkane at 6:04 PM on November 24, 2020


Biden has not yet announced his Secretary of Defense. Although Michèle Flournoy (WP bio) is an experienced candidate, there are some serious objections to her:posted by cenoxo at 6:06 PM on November 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


The circus has not yet run out of elephant dung.

Jenna Ellis, alleged lawyer: NEW: PENNSYLVANIA, ARIZONA, MICHIGAN LEGISLATURES TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS ON 2020 ELECTION

(Translation: Courtrooms have actual _rules_ about lying. Public hearings do not. So it costs us nothing to drag yahoos, dingbats, cranks, paid operatives, liars, and dizzy bastards in front of microphones to read off the affidavits and allegations that we dared not actually present in the thirty-some failed hearings. That way it will look to the OANN audience as if we are actually doing something productive.)
posted by delfin at 6:14 PM on November 24, 2020 [21 favorites]


Well sometimes you do need the Kraken, if only to answer the "what are the evil people thinking" questions.

Isn't that what Andrew Sullivan is for? There is no need for Rahm to do anything other than spend the rest of his life day trading.
posted by srboisvert at 6:25 PM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


Republicans in Wisconsin (the Trump campaign is not a party) filed an emergency petition in the state Supreme Court to stop the final certification of election results (@zoetillman, twitter)

With link to filing. Contains this gem:
"As set forth below, the cities of Madison, Green Bay, Racine, Kenosha, and Milwaukee entered into agreements with a non-profit organization, the Center for Technology and Civic Life ("CTCL"), an organization funded with $350,000,000 by Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, a well-known activist and Democratic partisan, to take millions of dollars from CTCL to conduct the November 3, 2020 election in violation of Wisconsin law."
Well-known Democratic partisan, lol
posted by ctmf at 6:25 PM on November 24, 2020 [14 favorites]


Sen. Marco Rubio calls Biden’s national security team ‘polite & orderly caretakers of America’s decline’

It's a cute little line but I sure hope they patched his bugs after 2016 so he doesn't get stuck in a loop on his cute line like last time, since he's so clearly gearing up for 2024 already with his sad "I support american greatness" pandering. The magahats are not going to anoint Marco Rubio Trump 2.0 without the blessing of the original, and why would Trump ever give that to anyone who isn't himself?
posted by jason_steakums at 6:46 PM on November 24, 2020 [4 favorites]


To give just one example, in matters of international trade any other country is now perfectly justified in the course of negotiating, and would be unwise not to really, act as if at any moment our political system will suddenly go all America-First “trade wars are easy to win” and to hence say to us (metaphorically, it's that the terms we get will be worse and more restrictive) “yeah so you're going to have to pay a few decades up front, your credit is shit now” and then make some deal later with China anyways when their negotiators simultaneously offer a slightly-more-lucrative debt-trap 43-year port lease deal in the bargain.

I don't want to be a Trump defender but this has always actually been the case in international trade and America, as dumb as it has been lately, is not unique in its flakiness. The UK's current government is actually managing to put even Trumpian inconsistency to shame.
posted by srboisvert at 6:47 PM on November 24, 2020 [4 favorites]


Well-known Democratic partisan, lol

I’m not sure there is any political tendency in America that does not hate Mark Zuckerberg, except other tech executives, people who are directly beholden to him, and I guess whatever radical centrist types still exist in government despite having almost no real constituency.
posted by atoxyl at 6:51 PM on November 24, 2020


To be fair, charging six figures for dialysis might have been a step too far.
posted by flabdablet at 6:56 PM on November 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


Republican politicians that aren't dumb as a post love Zuckerberg because they can push him around incredibly easily to the point that he'll blatantly selectively enforce the rules in favor of conservative viewpoints, and he'll let all kinds of shady shit fly for the sweet ad revenue. Zuck's one of the GOP's biggest assets.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:59 PM on November 24, 2020 [10 favorites]


This is already a superthread, and I haven't read every word, but just in case--

On using names as epithets, "Trump" should be fair game because he's named after something that existed prior to him.
posted by JHarris at 7:02 PM on November 24, 2020 [3 favorites]




I hate to admit it, but I'm with JHarris here. The name Trump should go down in history with the likes of Judas Iscariot, Benedict Arnold and Ricky Schroder.
posted by valkane at 7:24 PM on November 24, 2020 [15 favorites]


Can we amend the pardon power? Like, let Congress overrule a pardon in 30 days, or snap back all convictions if the President who pardoned you is later convicted of a related crime? I know we have a lot of other important things to do, but.... an omnibus constitutional amendment fixing all this broken shit would be nice.
posted by Room 101 at 7:25 PM on November 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


(Sometimes un)fortunately, Constitutional amendments do require an overwhelming show of cooperation. Either two-thirds of both houses of Congress (the traditional route) must pass a resolution to amend, or two-thirds of the state legislatures must independently call for a convention* for amendment to be formed. In either case, three-fourths of the states (or 38) must independently ratify a proposed amendment for it to be adopted.

And in this day and age, try to get two-thirds of _any_ elected body to agree on anything other than, perhaps, whom a post office should be named after.

* There are those who have proposed the state-convention route, an "Article V Convention," to initiate a Constitutional Convention that would have potentially great leeway for altering things if, in fact, anything that they came up with could subsequently be ratified by 3/4 of the states. How great is the leeway? No one is really sure, as it has never been attempted and the justification, format and purposes of such a convention are delightfully vague. As such, most of those calling for it are the kinds of people who advertise on the Sean Hannity radio program and are classifiable as complete nutters who would adore a backdoor route to a theocracy, a division of the US into tiny militia-led fiefdoms, or perhaps both.
posted by delfin at 7:58 PM on November 24, 2020 [4 favorites]


The actual practical route to amendment of our Constitution is, instead, in the hands of the Judiciary Branch. Since the courts (leading up to SCOTUS) judge the Constitutionality of any legislation, changing opinions of justices can lead to longstanding Constitutional passages and amendments being viewed and interpreted differently.

For instance, the "right to privacy" as we understand it is not explicit in the Constitution or in its Bill of Rights. It evolved over time and through several rulings interpreting the Fourth Amendment, Griswold v. Connecticut, Roe v. Wade and Lawrence v. Texas being some of the foremost. Likewise, District of Columbia v. Heller mutated the general meaning of the Second Amendment significantly.

Unfortunately, the Constitution is rather blunt and direct when it comes to the pardon power:

...and (The President) shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

So there is precious little wriggle room there for justices to meddle around in, and with the current makeup of SCOTUS, that's probably a good thing.
posted by delfin at 8:10 PM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


And in this day and age, try to get two-thirds of _any_ elected body to agree on anything other than, perhaps, whom a post office should be named after.

Even that is no slam dunk these days. Nine Republicans voted against naming a post office for Maya Angelou in Winston-Salem, NC.
posted by JackFlash at 8:16 PM on November 24, 2020 [7 favorites]


Nine Republicans voted against naming a post office for Maya Angelou

JFC, talk about being on the wrong side of history.
posted by mrgoat at 8:21 PM on November 24, 2020 [18 favorites]


Unfortunately, the Constitution is rather blunt and direct when it comes to the pardon power

Not really, IMO.

I imagine that lots of questions remain to be answered, including:
1) Can Presidents pardon themselves?
2) Is a blanket pardon ("for all offenses X may have committed ...") effective?
3) Is prosecution by a State of the USA blocked if the suspect was potentially guilty of a similar Federal crime, for which they were pardoned?
4) If (1), (2), and (3) are answered in the affirmative, are there actually any State crimes that Trump could be charged with? That is, are there any State crimes whose elements cannot be found among any possible federal charges for which Trump pardoned himself?

As I said before, this is a real can of worms.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:22 PM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


On #3, I don't see how you would get around the dual-sovereigns principle that likewise bars the application of double jeopardy in such a case. Obviously the Court can make up new rules whenever it wants, but even those like Barty with a personal debt to T understand that cutting personal favors for an ex-president is not the reason such vast political machinery was set in motion to put them in place.
posted by Not A Thing at 8:37 PM on November 24, 2020


Even that is no slam dunk these days. Nine Republicans voted against naming a post office for Maya Angelou in Winston-Salem, NC.

A day or two ago, you were telling us how Trump was gonna turn this around and make us his bitch. Can you at least admit that Joe Biden is gonna be president?
posted by valkane at 8:46 PM on November 24, 2020


Can we amend the pardon power? Like, let Congress overrule a pardon in 30 days, or snap back all convictions if the President who pardoned you is later convicted of a related crime?

My idea was no lame-duck pardons, no pardons after an election loss.
posted by rhizome at 8:47 PM on November 24, 2020 [5 favorites]


> I do wonder how many other Emilys Murphy there are out there in the agencies of the United States Government who are going to try to slow-roll or undermine the transition

Found one.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:32 PM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


My idea was no lame-duck pardons, no pardons after an election loss.

If you're going to amend the constitution, why not just eliminate lame ducks altogether.
posted by StarkRoads at 9:35 PM on November 24, 2020 [15 favorites]


Nine Republicans voted against naming a post office for Maya Angelou in Winston-Salem, NC.
No problem naming a courthouse after Rush H. Limbaugh, Senior, though. (Not the Trump Presidential Medal of Freedom guy, The Third, but his grandfather, who was a judge, so I suppose it makes sense...)
posted by Charles Bronson Pinchot at 9:42 PM on November 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


Well, so far it's impossible to imagine choices for cabinet that could be any more Biden than what we have. Good resumes, technically competent, totally mainstream, and no suggestion that they'll be seizing the initiative and pushing bold policies. I was going to say "completely uninspiring" but I will say this, four years of Trump has made basic competence at least a bit inspirational.

I suppose Yellen might actually be useful if there's a big relief push--having a stodgy type at Treasury may sell it better than a firebrand. The risk is, like the early Obama years, that having this type of person means there's *not* a big push to do the right thing.

I know I'm not getting my wishlist of policies with Biden, especially not with this Senate, but I'm hoping for something somehow.
posted by mark k at 11:11 PM on November 24, 2020 [4 favorites]


Kerry is not OK as the Climate Change Chief?

Actually, Special Envoy ≠ Climate Chief (there’s likely to be a new domestic-focused “Czar” , too) and in general, given the all-encompassing nature of the climate emergency, I would even argue that the very idea of addressing it via a Chief/Czar is a backward, business-as-usual approach in the first place.

Worse, Kerry’s Pentagon-speak framing of the issue (“World War Zero”...) as first and foremost a “national security“ threat, with all the trappings of militarization that entails, bodes very badly for the kind of profound justice-based rethinking that needs to inspire the radical shift required across the board to urgently mitigate the cascading impacts that the world is facing. If a Kerry lead means that the other half of the Climate Task Force (AOC/Prakash) now please politely step out of the way and let the adults take charge, then that’s a huge looming problem. (Not to even mention the suffering that glorifying “net zero by 2050” so casually sweeps under the rug.)
posted by progosk at 11:23 PM on November 24, 2020 [11 favorites]


Why is Biden is so devoted to Emmanel, a man who was not only incredibly corrupt as mayor of Chicago but who also abused his office to help the Chicago PD try to cover up the cold blooded murder of Laquan McDonald, a Black teenage boy, at the hands of a white police officer.

Because Rahm Emmanuel is very good at raising money. The answer to "why is this mediocre and/or actively awful politician people dislike or even hate so powerful within the Democratic party" is always "they are very good at raising money." Nancy Pelosi is Speaker first and foremost despite being actively loathed by half the country and only moderately tolerated by half her own party because she is very good at raising money. Chuck Schumer's reign as Senate leader has been a series of strategic embarrassments, but believe you me, that man raises money.

This isn't limited to the Democrats, mind you: this is how it works in most political parties, where there's always a cabinet position or Ministry office for the loathsome dumbshit who nevertheless won a seat because he raised a ton of money for himself and only slightly less for the rest of his party. The Republicans only differ in that for them, being actively awful dumbshits is a feature rather than a bug one has to tolerate.

Kerry is not OK as the Climate Change Chief?

He's a passable choice at best, and very much in line with Biden in that he talks about consensus without recognizing that consensus politics have utterly failed. There are environmentally focused politicians who would be better choices, but Biden seems very determined to avoid picking fights.
posted by mightygodking at 11:32 PM on November 24, 2020 [9 favorites]


As for the Rubio line, about American decline, actually it's fairly reasonable if taken out of the original context and put into a wider one.

The United States, as an empire, is dying. The decline, when referring to the decline of this imperial power, is and will be irreversible. The Trump administration is one of the most graphic displays of this process. The election of Biden feels much like a brief episode of remission before the dying one finally succumbs to the irreversible process.

The good thing for us the rest of the world is that the 4+ years of Trump has given us the warning signs to get prepared if any of us had not started preparing yet. The process will be a long, slow, agonizing, and nasty one. It will take a long time for the carcass to decompose.

This also means that we will watch very carefully this current episode of remission, for the reason that this will be a brief, limited, yet valuable window into the future. What we see and experience during this period will be indicative of what comes next. Will the American people be able to reimagine themselves as something different? Which part of the legacy will they draw strength and inspiration from? What role do they imagine themselves to play on a wider worldwide stage? What moral value will they attach to the demise of a former power which formed the context and background for a large part of their ways of life? The next few years will not answer these questions but they will provide indicative signs.

This is important, for we know that the fate of America is not just America's alone. The dynamics is and will be played out elsewhere with variations. We must learn from this process, from the wisdom of the American people and from their errors. And furthermore we must be on the right side of history with you during this process, a process that is anything but value-neutral.
posted by runcifex at 12:09 AM on November 25, 2020 [17 favorites]


[A few deleted. A reminder that name-calling, slurs, and ascribing stereotypical characteristics to a place or group of people are not ok here. Please be mindful of the language used when commenting.]
posted by travelingthyme (staff) at 12:42 AM on November 25, 2020 [6 favorites]


To me it isn't that strange that Biden is choosing moderate/conservative people for his first cabinet. His situation is (hopefully) the opposite of Obama's: Obama had two years to get things done before the midterms, when the Tea Party came storming into congress, then six years of nearly nothing apart from executive orders and foreign policy. With some luck and a lot of hard work, Biden can get a Senate majority in 2022 and keep the House majority, paving the years for six years of rebuilding the American dream (And the first woman as president!!). But for the first two years, nothing will happen apart from executive orders and foreign policy. Biden has to pretend he thinks he can make deals across the aisle, and reach out and look all wide eyed and innocent when McConnell blocks everything, including a relief package to start up America after COVID19. A smart treasury, efficient and internationally popular people at State and Defence, and a rock solid DoJ are needed for those first two years, all to make the president look strong and stable.
A moderate cabinet is part of this.
Rubio's tweet is the first indication of the R strategy: make America fail, in order to make Biden & co. seem weak and impotent.
I'm not sure either strategy will work. It may just as well end up being a giant shitshow on both sides, with the media playing the part of the women knitting and yelling beside the guillotine.

On the other hand, I'm mildly optimistic about climate goals, for two reasons: many cities and states in the US want to move ahead regardless of what congress decides, and Biden can work with them. And the example of EU: Ursula van der Leyen and her commissioners are mainly conservative and moderate (like mainstream Democrats in the US), but because they are adults and not as beholden to the fossil fuel industry as US Republicans, they are taking climate change seriously and incorporating green policies into the recovery packages. basically, they want to be ahead when it comes to sustainable technology development and new forms of productivity. So it isn't impossible that the fossils in Bidens cabinet can have grown wiser over the last four years.
posted by mumimor at 1:45 AM on November 25, 2020 [29 favorites]


why not just eliminate lame ducks altogether

Or keep them lame; taking away a lot of executive discretion and requiring all actions to have the assent of the incoming administration (with the convention that this is given where reasonable), to prevent a Trump from selling the government for scrap and leaving a mass of deliberately lit oil-well fires for their successor.
posted by acb at 2:23 AM on November 25, 2020 [7 favorites]


If we're going to do some cleanup amendments to the Executive branch short of just eliminating the Presidency altogether (which is my favored solution, let's just directly elect a cabinet and skip having a pseudo-monarch), I'd propose we both completely eliminate the lame duck period (largely by eliminating the electoral college) and completely remove the power of pardon entirely.

Change up the rules for appeals, give the power of pardon to a board of judges, whatever. But giving Presidents the ability to just randomly pardon people is clearly a mistake.
posted by sotonohito at 4:52 AM on November 25, 2020 [11 favorites]


Trump plans to attend GOP election hearing with Giuliani in Gettysburg, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jennifer Jacobs & Justin Sink (Bloomberg News), 11/25/2020:
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump plans to travel to Pennsylvania on Wednesday for a meeting of state Republican lawmakers examining accusations of election impropriety, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Trump’s visit to Gettysburg for a hearing by the Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee was not listed on the president’s public schedule. He is expected to appear alongside former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has been leading a longshot legal effort in several states to reverse the results of the Nov. 3 election, the people said.

Mr. Giuliani’s efforts have gained little traction — and widespread derision — and the president’s appearance alongside his longtime private lawyer risks further tarnishing his legacy.
...
Wednesday’s event, which was reported earlier by CNN, is expected to include opening statements from the state senators as well as testimony from witnesses alleging fraud, in addition to a presentation from Mr. Giuliani.

“It’s in everyone’s interest to have a full vetting of election irregularities and fraud,” Mr. Giuliani said in a statement. “And the only way to do this is with public hearings, complete with witnesses, videos, pictures and other evidence of illegalities from the November 3rd election.”...
Clearly, we can expect the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
posted by cenoxo at 5:34 AM on November 25, 2020 [4 favorites]


> "... risks further tarnishing his legacy."

Is it even possible to tarnish pure tarnish?
posted by kyrademon at 6:11 AM on November 25, 2020 [15 favorites]


President Trump Will Attend Fake ‘Hearing’ in PA at the Wyndham Hotel to Save Face, New Civil Rights Movement, Sarah Toce, 11/25/2020 08:21 AM ET:
President Donald J. Trump is planning to fly to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Wednesday in an attempt to save his reputation, whatever is left of it, post-election 2020. He is expected to meet with a “handful” of Pennsylvania Republicans [*] to discuss the election results, which delivered him a loss roughly three weeks ago.

Katherine Faulders [ABC News, Twitter] reported that the “hearing” would take place at the Wyndham Hotel and that Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, would be in attendance for what they are dubbing a Republican “Majority Policy Committee.”
...
Hopefully their meeting won’t turn out the same way this one did at the Four Seasons Total Landscaping earlier this month.
*Apparently this will be a closed door meeting.
posted by cenoxo at 6:12 AM on November 25, 2020 [2 favorites]


Remember that Mitch is already planning to challenge Biden's cabinet picks at Senate confirmation, so having some established, respected names on the list is important.

That said, I'd love to see Biden appoint a couple of serious progressives with great ideas and the ability to present and defend those ideas, just to see Republicans get put on the spot publicly opposing ideas that most Americans want and need.
posted by martin q blank at 6:35 AM on November 25, 2020 [10 favorites]


If you want to use the national popular vote, and you want to eliminate/reduce the lame duck period, you need to get California, New York, et al to get their shit together and count faster.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:36 AM on November 25, 2020 [5 favorites]


If anyone's looking for a more detailed rundown of the Michigan fustercluck earlier this week, here's Politico's Tim Alberta with a long piece: The Inside Story of Michigan’s Fake Voter Fraud Scandal.

posted by soundguy99 at 6:45 AM on November 25, 2020 [17 favorites]


Please please please let it be the Wyndham Electrical Supply and HVAC
posted by Mchelly at 7:04 AM on November 25, 2020 [38 favorites]


> “Majority Policy Committee.”.

lol, that name. they're trying to do the thing the bolsheviks did — pick a name that implies you're the majority, even though you're not. it's just the bolsheviks were, like, actually good at that game. these guys, not so much.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:10 AM on November 25, 2020 [7 favorites]


METAFILTER: playing the part of the women knitting and yelling beside the guillotine.
posted by philip-random at 7:14 AM on November 25, 2020 [12 favorites]


: The Inside Story of Michigan’s Fake Voter Fraud Scandal.

excellent reportage which I was just about to link to. Really nails the The Emperor's New Clothes angle on Trumpism.

In the end, it wasn’t a senator or a judge or a general who stood up to the leader of the free world. There was no dramatic, made-for-Hollywood collision of cosmic egos. Rather, the death knell of Trump’s presidency was sounded by a baby-faced lawyer, looking over his glasses on a grainy Zoom feed on a gloomy Monday afternoon, reading from a statement that reflected a courage and moral clarity that has gone AWOL from his party, pleading with the tens of thousands of people watching online to understand that some lines can never be uncrossed.

posted by philip-random at 7:17 AM on November 25, 2020 [5 favorites]


I love this quote from the Politico article posted by soundguy99 about the vote counting in Michigan.

Trump to the MI state legislators he’d summoned to Washington:
“I don’t get it,” the president said, venting confusion and frustration. “All these other Republicans, all over the country, they all win their races. And I’m the only guy that loses?”
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:01 AM on November 25, 2020 [42 favorites]


@kaitlancollins: Trump’s planned trip to PA is off after a member of the campaign tested positive.

Looking forward to the Twitter version of the Gettysburg Aggress instead.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:40 AM on November 25, 2020 [12 favorites]


What we know about the Senate GOP Gettysburg election 'hearing' with Trump, Giuliani; Pocono Record, J.D. Prose (USA TODAY Network - PA State Capitol Bureau); Updated 10:52 a.m. ET Nov. 25, 2020:
...There have been conflicting reports late Tuesday and Wednesday morning about whether Trump would also be attending the meeting. A White House press pool report at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday said there were no public events listed on Trump's daily schedule and a White House official said there were no planned updates.
...
• State Sen. Dough Mastriano, R-Franklin County, who is not a member of the all-Republican committee, on Tuesday announced a “public hearing” featuring Giuliani...
• The event will be held today at the Wyndham Gettysburg hotel at 12:30 p.m.
• Mastriano’s office said the event will be livestreamed at policy.pasenategop.com [*].
...
*If it happens, the direct live-streaming link is Public Hearing on Election Issues at https://policy.pasenategop.com/112520/ .
posted by cenoxo at 8:43 AM on November 25, 2020 [2 favorites]


ProPublica: Trump Races to Weaken Environmental and Worker Protections, and Implement Other Last-Minute Policies, Before Jan. 20

Trump administration is rushing to approve dozens of eleventh-hour policy changes. Among them: The Justice Department is fast-tracking a rule that could reintroduce firing squads and electrocutions to federal executions.

Couldn't get these ghouls to lift a finger to stop COVID-19 until it became politically toxic to do otherwise, but the cruelty is the point, so bang-bang, zap-zap, says the raging toddler.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:10 AM on November 25, 2020 [19 favorites]


John Santucci, ABC News: Trump aide Boris Epshteyn who has been working with Rudy Giuliani says he has tested positive. Giuliani has been planning to go to PA today but given contact some believe this could impact this trip. [followed by a retweet from Boris Epshteyn confirming he has COVID-19.]
posted by cenoxo at 9:20 AM on November 25, 2020 [7 favorites]


If you have a google home device, just for fun you can ask it 'how many days until Joe Biden's inauguration?' and it will give you the appropriate answer.

It's 55.
posted by adept256 at 9:28 AM on November 25, 2020 [3 favorites]


The livestream of the Pennsylvania hearing is up. Nine chairs are visible.

There are currently three white men in suits, neither wearing masks nor six feet apart from each other, and a woman with a mask on her chain.

Ooh, one of the guys just gaveled in the session. Giuliani, let alone Trump, is nowhere to be seen.
posted by box at 9:36 AM on November 25, 2020


Ooh, someone just promised us Giuliani!
posted by box at 9:40 AM on November 25, 2020


Epshteyn was the aide who defended Trump's painting 'storage' scheme against accusations of self-dealing, and wrote (or, was credited with writing) the 2017 Holocaust Remembrance Day presidential statement which excluded any mention of Jews. Then he went to work for Sinclair Broadcasting. Strange he re-joined this miserable crew.
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:43 AM on November 25, 2020 [4 favorites]


Whether that was intentional because she doesn't want to get piled on by Trump and the literal Nazis, or it was intentional because that's not all her ascertainment triggers and they still want to sandbag, I have to believe that was absolutely intentional.

She’s a graduate of the University of Virginia Law School. No excuse.
posted by mmiddle at 9:44 AM on November 25, 2020 [1 favorite]


The Inside Story of Michigan’s Fake Voter Fraud Scandal

The scary thing is how close the US was to dictatorship. If these people had been Trump cultists, sycophants, or caved to pressure, there's little doubt that Trump would have been declared winner. Welcome Trump President for Life in 2021 and Emperor Donald the First in 2024, "with thunderous applause" from almost half of the population. It's not like this sort of thing never happened before. It is reassuring that those lines of defense held, but democracy should not depend on duct tape. The good guys won. But what will happen next time? Against smarter assailants? Strengthening the democratic process should be a priority.
posted by elgilito at 9:49 AM on November 25, 2020 [17 favorites]


Guiliani's mic is off at the Senate Majority Policy Committee faux legislative event.
posted by valkane at 9:53 AM on November 25, 2020 [1 favorite]


Or maybe the level is just really low?
posted by valkane at 9:55 AM on November 25, 2020


I can see/hear him ok, but connection breaks off.
posted by cenoxo at 9:59 AM on November 25, 2020


They fixed it.
posted by valkane at 10:00 AM on November 25, 2020


Heeere's Rudy: "All we ask it that you listen to the facts we're presenting and evaluate them."

He just called Gettysburg 'hollowed ground,' said there's been censorship by big tech, big networks, and big companies to take away our freedom of speech... several dimensions of voter fraud... very similar to WI MI NV AZ GA (sorry, I missed one) ... blames forged mail-in ballots... described Democrats as a party that is expert at voter fraud... Philadelphia and Allegheny County (where Pittsburgh is), observers didn't get to see mail-in ballots... long history of voter fraud in Philly... a common plan that started with the whole idear of having mail-in ballots... on Election Night, when I went to sleep, President Trump was leading... what are the odds that they all switched overnight? ... Evidence will show 682,770 mail-in ballots entered in Allegheny County and Philly that weren't observed by a Republican ... you could subpoena all the outer envelopes ... we want to disqualify 682,000 votes so that 74 million people aren't disenfranchised ... 26,000 ballots returned on the day they were mailed ... 'the crooks in Philadelphia only submitted 8,021 mail-in ballots from dead people' ... 'we're checking the records of the cemeteries around Philadelphia' ... 'Your election, because of these two counties and maybe one other, is a sham. It's a disgrace to your state.' (applause from the crowd) ... ''I know crooks really well. You give 'em an inch and they take a mile, and you give 'em a mile and they take your whole country. So now we'll proceed with the witnesses.'

Y'all, this is really hard to listen to.
posted by box at 10:06 AM on November 25, 2020 [22 favorites]


"ProPublica: Trump Races to Weaken Environmental and Worker Protections, and Implement Other Last-Minute Policies, Before Jan. 20"

I have a close friend who works in the C-suite for a big company in a highly-regulated industry, and they're getting calls on the daily from the cabinet secretary who deals with their industry, as well as a bunch of that department's senior underlings. He said all the traditional Republican ideologues in the Trump admin who made a deal with the devil to get their specific hobbyhorse done are now racing to get those things rammed through.

(The sec'y keeps asking them, "Do you want to play ball with us on these new rules, or have to deal with the Biden administration?" in a threatening way, because they want the companies to use their lobbying muscle to help shove through the rule changes. The companies on the calls are all like, "We look forward to fully complying with whatever rules come out of the normal rule-making process," which is the polite way of saying, "Biden administration, but we understand you still have the authority to investigate us and threaten our licenses to operate for 65 more days.")
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:09 AM on November 25, 2020 [26 favorites]


Y'all, this is really hard to listen to.

Yeah it is. It's obvious they've convened this thing, at a hotel no less, so that Rudy can just make stuff up that he couldn't get away with in a courtroom, because perjury is a real thing.
posted by valkane at 10:10 AM on November 25, 2020 [19 favorites]


Rudy: "I think we may have actually won Virginia."
posted by delfin at 10:11 AM on November 25, 2020


Trump campaign says Michigan election hearing slated for next week. That's not happening - Detroit Free Press

"In a national news release, the campaign for President Donald Trump announced there would be legislative hearings in Michigan and other states across the country next week to examine the results of the 2020 election.

The problem: Michigan lawmakers say there are no election hearings next week."
posted by valkane at 10:12 AM on November 25, 2020 [5 favorites]


Rudy: "I think we may have actually won Virginia."

That's nice. I think I may have actually won the lottery and Mr. Universe.
posted by nubs at 10:13 AM on November 25, 2020 [38 favorites]


That person over Rudy's left shoulder looked like what I'd most generously describe as a quite minor Screwtape Letters demonoid.
posted by riverlife at 10:15 AM on November 25, 2020 [1 favorite]


Oh, there may well be "hearings" in Michigan like the one going on in Gettysburg right now. Which would involve a few Republican state legislators in a closed-door meeting with hand-picked speakers and "witnesses" to massive voter fraud, with absolutely no legal binding or authority whatsoever.

Official hearings? Not a chance in hell. But this is about perception, not reality; specifically, making sure that Trump's base perceive that they should keep sending him money.
posted by delfin at 10:17 AM on November 25, 2020 [12 favorites]


Democrats as a party that is expert at voter fraud

So good at it that Moscow Mitch kept his senate seat. Gimme a fuckin' break, man.

Also most documented attempts at voter fraud have been from Republicans.
posted by mrgoat at 10:21 AM on November 25, 2020 [16 favorites]


At the (current) absolute apex of the pandemic all of these hurf-durf Nazis are happy to gather at close contact in a smallish room with next to no protection. Because mah liberties, gold-fringe maritime law, Q, pedzofiles in pizza parlors!!1!, won't anyone think about white male law enforcement officers?1!?!1, etc., etc., et nauseatingly cetera. The parler folk who are so mad "I'll never vote again!", um ... Citizen, please proceed, I guess?
posted by riverlife at 10:28 AM on November 25, 2020 [1 favorite]


but democracy should not depend on duct tape.

Yeah, I would feel a lot better about the failure of this sloppy coup attempt if it hadn't mainly been stopped by the participants' general ineptness and the fact that they've all gone and given each other covid.
Speaking of which, there is about a 0% chance, considering about everyone in his orbit has tested positive, that Guiliani isn't covid positive, like, right now. Remember all the fevered sweating? I'll put $10 down on "Rudy tests + in next 2 days."
posted by sexyrobot at 10:33 AM on November 25, 2020 [14 favorites]


a common plan that started with the whole idear of having mail-in ballots... on Election Night, when I went to sleep, President Trump was leading... what are the odds that they all switched overnight?

The odds are quite good because that is the way Republicans designed it. They wanted to claim victory election night before all of the mail-in ballots were counted. The reason the mail-in ballots were counted later is because Republicans state legislatures wrote the rules so that mail-in ballots could not begin processing until election day.

It takes a lot of time to process mail-in ballots because you have to open the outer envelopes, remove the inner ballot envelope, then check signatures and then open the inner envelope. All of this could have been done before election day so that the processed ballots were ready to be counted as soon as polls closed, just like in-person ballots. They were not because Republicans wanted to claim that early lead, so it isn't odd at all that the lead changed.
posted by JackFlash at 10:33 AM on November 25, 2020 [30 favorites]


Pro Publica has a piece today about how the Trump administration is trying to get a bunch of regulations into place that will be very difficult to get rid of, and will cause untold harm before they are reversed.

Among which: Trump want to reinstate the firing squad and electric chair.

Also OMB has apparently identified 88% of its staff for Schedule F. Which means they could be fired the morning of the inauguration, and replaced with Trump political appointees, who Biden could not then easily get rid of.
posted by suelac at 10:38 AM on November 25, 2020 [12 favorites]


Last thing and I'll quiet down ... What these witnesses (and Republicans today writ large) are outraged about is that their privilege-all their special requests and wants-was not acceded to. Fundamentally, that heaven and earth were not moved for them to get their way, as they always have gotten it previously damn the cost. It's pathologically infantile, and this is what the latest tantrum looks like.
posted by riverlife at 10:44 AM on November 25, 2020


Why would it be hard for Biden to get rid of at-will appointees? If you reclassify employees as at-will so Trump can easily fire them during commercial breaks in his morning TV-watching routine it seems like Biden can fire them the next day just as easily.
posted by mark k at 10:45 AM on November 25, 2020 [5 favorites]


Even at-will appointees cannot be fired for political reasons, or so the reasoning goes. This is not the spoils system.

So if Trump does fire a bunch of people, they may be able to get their jobs back under the new administration, it will certainly result in a hugeass mess for both the agency and the staff.

But if Biden fires the political appointees-Schedule F folks for no reason other than they are Trumpies, that will spark off a huge legal battle that I suspect Biden won't want to get into on Day 2 of his term.
posted by suelac at 10:56 AM on November 25, 2020 [1 favorite]


It's a multi-part scheme:

1. Create a new civil service category that has (almost) no protection from being fired.
2. Put a bunch of scientists, lawyers, doctors, and other advisors into that group.
3. Fire them.
4. Put a bunch of Trump political appointees into that group, which has one very special protection: they can't be fired on the grounds of "political affiliation".

End result: the civil service is hollowed out and replaced with a bizarro-world Trump Deep State that the Biden administration can't easily get rid of.

It is absolutely horrible, and I fully expect hundreds if not thousands of civil servants to be fired shortly before January 20th.
posted by jedicus at 10:56 AM on November 25, 2020 [14 favorites]


Isn't firing the existing employees for their "not a trump political appointment" status, itself, a violation of that very same protection, and thus invalid?
posted by notoriety public at 11:08 AM on November 25, 2020 [8 favorites]


Ah, so it's like Trump does something clearly illegal but legally undoing it is slower. OK.

Are the hiring procedures for Schedule F such that you can actually fill hundreds of positions with Trump candidates in the 2-3 hour window?
posted by mark k at 11:08 AM on November 25, 2020 [2 favorites]


From CNN:

'The trip, which will be his first outside of the Washington area since Election Day, was not listed on the public schedule released by the White House on Tuesday night, but was being handled internally as an unannounced movement.'

My first thought when I read that: Trump has shit himself.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 11:12 AM on November 25, 2020 [9 favorites]


Isn't firing the existing employees for their "not a trump political appointment" status, itself, a violation of that very same protection, and thus invalid?

Very little is automatically reversed if found invalid. All those staff members would need to be contacted, invited to come back, possibly compensated for lost wages. Some percentage would probably have found other jobs and so would have to be replaced. I cannot imagine what the HR folks would be thinking, it would be insane. And federal hiring is not speedy, generally.

It would be a pretty significant effort, and would gum up any policy work the agency would otherwise be doing in the "honeymoon phase" after the inauguration.

... not that there's going to be a honeymoon phase this time.
posted by suelac at 11:17 AM on November 25, 2020


notoriety public: Isn't firing the existing employees for their "not a trump political appointment" status, itself, a violation of that very same protection, and thus invalid?

Have you not learned that It's OK If You're a Republican? And even though I'm sure Biden would talk of how horrible it was for Trump to have done so, it would be more horrible for him to go low also, so we'll move forward with employees as they are.
posted by nobeagle at 11:19 AM on November 25, 2020 [3 favorites]


So the Pennsylvania “hearing” and its evidently upcoming sequels in the Fox Cinematic Universe are the opposite of kangaroo courts... they're Potemkin courts, basically.
posted by XMLicious at 11:24 AM on November 25, 2020 [8 favorites]


Have you not learned that It's OK If You're a Republican? And even though I'm sure Biden would talk of how horrible it was for Trump to have done so, it would be more horrible for him to go low also, so we'll move forward with employees as they are.

And if Biden did decide to dismiss some Trump appointees on the grounds that they are unqualified/improper appointment, we can be sure that a Republican-dominated Senate or court system would allow him to exercise his executive prerogative and not once stoop to clutching pearls about “political purges”, because that would, after all, be bad faith.
posted by acb at 11:26 AM on November 25, 2020 [2 favorites]


Isn't firing the existing employees for their "not a trump political appointment" status, itself, a violation of that very same protection, and thus invalid?

I feel like the Biden administration could speed along a resolution to that too, since those employees would be able to file suit against the government which technically would be against the Biden admin, and the Biden admin can just immediately settle the suit in a way that gives their jobs back.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:30 AM on November 25, 2020 [2 favorites]


Live updates/comments from the Gettysburg hearing — Giuliani rages over ‘sham election’ as Biden set to make Thanksgiving speech, The Guardian, 11/25/2020.

The Independent is also streaming the live hearing on YouTube http://youtu.be/ohe2dQbNJwM .
posted by cenoxo at 11:31 AM on November 25, 2020 [1 favorite]


So now we'll proceed with the witnesses.

Ohhhh.... I see now. I thought this was going to be some Total Landscaping PR stunt, but they're literally trying to have their own kangaroo court that will pronounce them the winner. They should have invited some real USSC judges as "guests" though, so their "alternate court" would have some more credibility.
posted by ctmf at 11:35 AM on November 25, 2020 [3 favorites]


I feel like the Biden administration could speed along a resolution to that too, since those employees would be able to file suit against the government which technically would be against the Biden admin, and the Biden admin can just immediately settle the suit in a way that gives their jobs back.

See, this is what I'm talking about. What we've seen for the last four years is that the Executive Branch has pretty wide latitude to Just Do Things, and then the opposition is on the back foot of attempting legislative or court actions, but while those actions are slowly proceeding, in the meantime things are getting done.
posted by notoriety public at 11:35 AM on November 25, 2020 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I would feel a lot better about the failure of this sloppy coup attempt if it hadn't mainly been stopped by the participants' general ineptness and the fact that they've all gone and given each other covid.

Hitler's first attempt at a coup was a half-assed failure too.
posted by adept256 at 11:38 AM on November 25, 2020 [12 favorites]


Which means they could be fired the morning of the inauguration, and replaced with Trump political appointees, who Biden could not then easily get rid of.

That's underestimating the power of bureaucracy. I could find a way to re-fire every one of them and hire again. They'd all be on their probationary time. It would be a big nuisance, for sure.
posted by ctmf at 11:43 AM on November 25, 2020 [5 favorites]


they're literally trying to have their own kangaroo court that will pronounce them the winner. They should have invited some real USSC judges as "guests" though, so their "alternate court" would have some more credibility.

I'm wondering if the idea is to turn this fake-court thing into a premise for rallies, which grow and grow, and at which people are encouraged to build a traveling riot demanding consequences for Democrats.

Hitler's first attempt at a coup was a half-assed failure too.

"The past is prologue" has been running through my head lately. Republicans might not be succeeding in stealing an election this time, but I assume they're trying to find the weak spots to focus on next time. He's ostensibly there for foreign policy or something, but my fundamental sense of Stephen Miller is that he spent his years finding all kinds of weak spots in the laws that govern the President's actions. Maybe that's more of a Bannon thing, but it has felt apparent to me that the Trump presidency has been as much an execution on the conclusions of certain academic research.

So, which future is the present going to be a prologue for?
posted by rhizome at 11:44 AM on November 25, 2020 [15 favorites]


Hitler's first attempt at a coup was a half-assed failure too.

But they did get that book The Art of the Putsch.
posted by njohnson23 at 11:48 AM on November 25, 2020 [6 favorites]


I think key to the failure of the Republican coup is that they had telegraphed everything all year long, so election officials, the media and the public were all ready to respond appropriately. There were a lot of good resources detailing likely scenarios... that then happened, and were responded to in time (hopefully; we're not fully out of the woods yet, but Republicans as a party are ceding the presidential election to Biden, so I do not think there is reason to freak out about worst cases right now). If the red mirage had been a genuine surprise and Republicans had been more ruthless in seizing on that, if all the myriad ways Republicans tried to outright break the election were shrugged off, I do think things would have gone very badly. I am deeply relieved that they did not, but still very concerned about the numerous exploits in US democracy that Trump has exposed. If those aren't addressed in a serious way, we will be back here again. This was a near miss.
posted by Lonnrot at 12:11 PM on November 25, 2020 [9 favorites]


I'm bookmarking this Biden Inauguration Countdown Clock.
posted by PhineasGage at 12:19 PM on November 25, 2020 [5 favorites]


Hm, I wonder if all Trump's setting things on fire could be considered the federal crime of sabotage, even if he doesn't physically damage any property. It's kind of an abstract sabotage, maybe. Guess he should add that to the list of things to pardon himself for.
posted by ctmf at 12:22 PM on November 25, 2020


So, which future is the present going to be a prologue for?

The one we vote for.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:36 PM on November 25, 2020 [3 favorites]


> Lonnrot: "I think key to the failure of the Republican coup is that they had telegraphed everything all year long, so election officials, the media and the public were all ready to respond appropriately."

I have a slightly different take on this. While the preparation for GOP shenanigans was definitely helpful, I think the key fact here is that the margin of victory was large enough that it would have required enormous efforts and/or luck on the GOP side to flip the requisite number of electors. Specifically, they need to basically flip something like 3 states simultaneously to overturn the election, any fewer wouldn't do. And hence, this makes taking dramatic and risky moves in, say, Michigan much less appealing since everyone realizes it wouldn't really make a difference in the end. In fact, my theory about those Michigan canvassers who refused to certify did so and then backtracked quickly precisely *because* they knew that it would only be symbolic (i.e.: they did it because they knew it wouldn't really matter and then caved to pressure because, well, it wouldn't really matter). If it weren't symbolic, they would have had more institutional support and probably held their ground much more firmly.

On the other hand, if the margin was much closer and the situation was instead of having to flip three states simultaneously it was more like having to flip only one state (or, say, any one out of three states) in order to overturn the election, I think we'd be in much, much more dangerous territory. In that case, the incentives to take enormously risky, norm-breaking (and arguably illegal) maneouvers -- like having a state legislature just declare a slate of electors independent of the vote counts -- would be shifted dramatically. They'd also be sending people like Ted Olson rather than ol' Rudy and his clownshow into the courts. And Fox News, rather than grudgingly accepting the new Democratic administration, would be on 100% full-court press.
posted by mhum at 1:23 PM on November 25, 2020 [16 favorites]


In Florida in 2000, George W Bush's brother was governor and the head of the Florida chapter of Bush for President was the secretary of state. Imagine if Trump had those advantages in Pennsylvania.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:37 PM on November 25, 2020 [17 favorites]


I have a slightly different take on this.

I do as well. It was (a number of things but also) the "Deep State". That's a dumb sinister name for it, but it essentially describes everyone who still believes in their job and doing the right thing for the country. All the Republican-appointed judges nevertheless ruling against the ridiculous attempts, the Republican secretaries-of-state standing up for the process (and their own work), that one Republican Michigan canvassing board member -- they didn't have to do that. Rudy's got nothing but he's been pretty effective in manufacturing fig leaves to hand out at a furious pace. But nobody's buying.

So you know where they're going next in the long game. They've got local and state governments, they have successfully infiltrated law enforcement, they're in process of infiltrating the judiciary, what they don't have yet is the Pentagon and the civil service.
posted by ctmf at 1:38 PM on November 25, 2020 [5 favorites]


Trump pardons Michael Flynn.
posted by cenoxo at 1:44 PM on November 25, 2020 [8 favorites]


The Deep State isn't Democrat or Republican. It's for do your job the way it was meant to be done, serve the country and against win at all costs warfare. Turns out that disadvantages one party more than the other. Sorry.
posted by ctmf at 1:44 PM on November 25, 2020 [6 favorites]


Giuliani Says He Won't Seek A Third Term (NYT 2001)

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani said yesterday that he would not seek a third term but would still like to serve an extra three months to help the next mayor with the transition, if the State Legislature would permit him.

''The offer is there,'' he said during a hastily called news briefing, the first devoted specifically to politics since terrorists attacked the World Trade Center. ''If they want to accept it they can.''

Mr. Giuliani, who last week summoned the three remaining major-party mayoral candidates to announce his idea for an extended term, hinted at that time that if they rejected it, he would try to run for a third term, possibly on the Conservative line, a difficult and controversial move.

...

The mayor is barred from serving a third consecutive term under the city's term-limits law; any effort to amend that law or extend his term would require the approval of the Legislature.


Back then I may have been persuaded that he meant it. His popularity would never be better. Knowing what he's like now? I think he absolutely tried to leverage the tragedy of 9/11 into a third term. The way this article is framed, he graciously declined an invitation, but who was asking? When it was made plain to him it wasn't going to happen, he made it seem like someone else's idea. But, if it please you, maybe just three more months? FFS.

Remember this when people ask, what happened to Rudy? Nothing. He hasn't changed, he thought he could steal an election back in 2001 too.
posted by adept256 at 1:47 PM on November 25, 2020 [7 favorites]


Trump pardons Michael Flynn.

Doesn’t that mean he can be compelled to testify against Trump? He’s got no 5th amendment rights to worry about?
posted by photoslob at 2:01 PM on November 25, 2020 [11 favorites]


It was (a number of things but also) the "Deep State". That's a dumb sinister name for it, but it essentially describes everyone who still believes in their job and doing the right thing for the country.

Institutions saved us.

Institutions are people too, my friend
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:10 PM on November 25, 2020 [8 favorites]


Doesn’t that mean he can be compelled to testify against Trump? He’s got no 5th amendment rights to worry about?

Based on his attempt to withdraw his guilty plea, I would expect Flynn to lie through his teeth and say he had no recollection or even to outright deny that Trump had any knowledge of Flynn's traitorous actions.
posted by jedicus at 2:11 PM on November 25, 2020 [6 favorites]


What is the scope of the pardon? If Flynn lied about things for which he had been pardoned, wouldn't that generate new crime?
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 2:14 PM on November 25, 2020


replaced with Trump political appointees

Maybe Trump could file a gazillion people, but there’s no way he could hire a bunch of stooges. He can barely find enough people for his cabinet. Is he going to hire Jared for thousands of additional jobs?
posted by snofoam at 2:18 PM on November 25, 2020


Is he going to hire Jared for thousands of additional jobs?

No, he moves political appointees into civil service positions, thus giving them permanent status beyond the end of his administration. Where they can continue to pursue policies that benefit him, or at least that bog down the new administration.
posted by suelac at 2:24 PM on November 25, 2020 [1 favorite]


You transfer them all into the department of paint drying observation headquarters. It's a newly established office 150 miles outside Utqiagvik, Alaska.
posted by cmfletcher at 2:34 PM on November 25, 2020 [17 favorites]


No, he moves political appointees into civil service positions, thus giving them permanent status beyond the end of his administration.

I see. Still, unless it is something that could somehow be implemented by issuing a single tweet, I doubt they could organize this before January 20th.
posted by snofoam at 2:35 PM on November 25, 2020 [1 favorite]


paint drying observation headquarters

Bureau of Total Landscaping
posted by snofoam at 2:37 PM on November 25, 2020 [18 favorites]


You transfer them all into the department of paint drying observation headquarters. It's a newly established office 150 miles outside Utqiagvik, Alaska.

Isn’t that essentially what happened to the Bureau of Land Management under Trump?
posted by photoslob at 2:51 PM on November 25, 2020 [5 favorites]


Rudy's got nothing but he's been pretty effective in manufacturing fig leaves to hand out at a furious pace. But nobody's buying.

That's the vote after the vote. There are people who could make you president, Don, and they don't want to. You lose again, loser.
posted by ctmf at 3:00 PM on November 25, 2020


Isn’t that essentially what happened to the Bureau of Land Management under Trump?

The USDA had many operations moved to Kansas City in 2019. It was incredibly disruptive to the agency. Which was the intended result. Yet another bit of Trump sabotage which Biden et al will have to address. Though I'm not sure how they can fix it now that many families have moved and bought houses, and many other staffers quit.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 3:15 PM on November 25, 2020 [8 favorites]


The White House Gift Shop is having a sale. All things Trump.


Meanwhile you can preorder a Biden / Harris inauguration coin
posted by njohnson23 at 3:34 PM on November 25, 2020


This site just gives and gives. The marketing copy about the inauguration coin claims Kamala Harris is “America's First American Female of Black & South Asian Ancestry in U.S. History”

I mean, I doubt she’s the first?
posted by mochapickle at 3:40 PM on November 25, 2020 [19 favorites]


They also spelled inauguration "inaugurarion."
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 3:50 PM on November 25, 2020 [11 favorites]


Isn’t that essentially what happened to the Bureau of Land Management under Trump?

>The USDA had many operations moved to Kansas City in 2019.


Biden should move it to Helena. Montana with its small population would be a pretty easy state to tip Democratic.
posted by JackFlash at 3:51 PM on November 25, 2020 [10 favorites]


Doesn’t that mean he can be compelled to testify against Trump? He’s got no 5th amendment rights to worry about?

I’m more curious about the other charges he didn’t please guilty to, like the FARA stuff or the planned kidnapping. Can the feds not go back and charge him on those, statute of limitations notwithstanding?
posted by Room 101 at 3:58 PM on November 25, 2020


Previously: Executive Order on Creating Schedule F In The Excepted Service (Oct. 21, 2020) (Trump executive order aimed at increasing agency control of policy-related employees; more background at Ballotpedia); Trump executive order strips protections for key federal workers, drawing backlash (Politico, Oct. 22); Health agencies resist Trump civil service executive order (Politico, Nov. 3); 40 senators introduce bill to block Trump’s civil service reorg (Federal Times, Nov. 18) The bill would rescind Trump’s executive order and be retroactively effective Oct. 21, meaning that any conversions made between the executive order’s signing and the bill’s passage would be considered illegitimate. S.4907 - A bill to nullify Executive Order 13957, entitled "Creating Schedule F In The Excepted Service," sponsor: Sen. Peters, Gary C. [D-MI] (Introduced 11/18/2020)

And Sen. Warren put together that Trump executive order summary video (linked upthread), exhorting the new Administration to undo a lot of this stuff on Day 1 with more executive orders.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:00 PM on November 25, 2020 [13 favorites]


Sept. 20, 2019: California sued Friday to stop the Trump administration from revoking its authority to set greenhouse gas emission and fuel economy standards for cars and trucks, enlisting help from 22 other states in a battle that will shape a key component of the nation’s climate policy. (AP)
March 31, 2020: Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule
April 3, 2020: DOT and EPA Roll Back Obama-Era Automobile Fuel Efficiency Standards. The rule lowers the stringency of corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) and carbon dioxide emissions standards to increases of 1.5 percent each year between 2021 and 2026, down from the required five percent annual increases in stringency of the standards issued in 2012.
May 27, 2020: California Joins 22 States Suing Trump Administration Over Vehicle Emissions, Fuel Standards (CBS) California and 22 other states sued the administration of President Donald Trump on Wednesday to challenge new, less strict standards for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks.

Nov. 19, 2020: GM ups spending on Electric Vehicles and Autonomous cars by 35% to $27 billion (CNBC)
Nov. 23, 2020: Vehicle manufacturer General Motors (GM) announced Monday in a letter to environmental groups that it was withdrawing its support from Trump administration litigation aimed to revoke California’s right to set its own auto emissions rules. (Jurist.org) The letter was addressed to 11 environmental groups, including the Center for Biological Diversity, Conservation Law Foundation, Sierra Club and the Union of Concerned Scientists. GM CEO Mary Barra said the automaker was “immediately withdrawing from the pre-emption litigation and inviting other automakers to join us.”
Nov. 25, 2020: GM hands Trump one of his most important post-election defeats (MSNBC)

Statement by President-Elect Joe Biden on General Motors’ Announcement [...] GM’s decision reinforces how shortsighted the Trump Administration’s efforts to erode American ingenuity and America’s defenses against the climate threat truly are. [...] Perhaps most importantly, GM’s choice to work with the Biden-Harris Administration and California to advance these goals demonstrates a promising path forward for how industry, labor, government, and environmental organizations can come together to tackle big problems and make vital progress on behalf of the American people. That cooperation and shared purpose is central to my Build Back Better plan, which I had the opportunity to discuss with GM CEO Mary Barra and United Auto Workers President Rory Gamble last week alongside other top business and labor leaders. [...]

There is nothing beyond our capacity as a country when we work together. I look forward to working with GM and other U.S. manufacturers — as well as American workers — in the years ahead to take bold, progressive steps to meet the existential threat of climate change and create millions of union jobs.

posted by Iris Gambol at 4:34 PM on November 25, 2020 [15 favorites]


I'm really impressed with Senator Warren. Her releases have been so much more substantial than we've come to expect from politicians' offices and they provide something of a roadmap for the transition. I think a lot of other politicians could learn a lot from the way she builds support for her priorities without either attacking her colleagues or making the conversation all about herself.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:47 PM on November 25, 2020 [27 favorites]


The White House Gift Shop is having a sale.

The White House Gift Shop is a private, for-profit corporation based in Lancaster, PA, with no relationship to the White House or the US Government. It exists only as a web site, though it tries very hard to present itself as having some form of official relationship with the White House.
posted by biogeo at 5:05 PM on November 25, 2020 [21 favorites]


jesus h. balls that's hilarious
posted by rhizome at 5:18 PM on November 25, 2020 [1 favorite]


Did I miss mention of this in this post? From what I can tell, a state judge in PA (Republican Judge Patricia McCullough) issued an injunction halting any further certification of the vote by PA state officials, until a hearing could be held on Friday. It was apparently unrelated to any suit filed by Trump. PA's governor Wolf's administration asked the state Supreme Court to block the ruling, and in the meantime, the judge herself canceled the order. I watched the news (different channels, including Fox News) for at least 3 hours today and heard nothing of it. It popped up on Twitter of all places. Did I read that article right? It's been updated in the last hour.
posted by cashman at 5:22 PM on November 25, 2020 [3 favorites]


I did come across that story. Apparently it was a part of a suit about mail-in ballots, but the Governor had certified yesterday anyway. So I guess it's a kind of schism that got reversed and who knows what'll become of the case.
posted by rhizome at 5:34 PM on November 25, 2020 [2 favorites]


I'm really impressed with Senator Warren.

Me, too. An Obama campaign (also Dem Party in general) misstep was not harnessing his supporters' remarkable enthusiasm post-election (example - Obama's Lost Army, The New Republic, Feb. 9, 2017). I like how Warren's gone from her individual campaign to the "Warren Democrats" group. Together, they're congratulating/supporting/poking the incoming administration and working on the Georgia runoff elections.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:34 PM on November 25, 2020 [13 favorites]


Did I read that article right?

The Satan-worshipping Pedophile Cannibals on Mars must have gotten to her.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:45 PM on November 25, 2020


wow the no-music ziggy stardust biopic changed more than i thought
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:50 PM on November 25, 2020 [4 favorites]


I thought I was fairly well educated on colonial and U.S. history, and in the BLM era and before I've been one to readily say "slaves built this country", but I just came across a new-to-me fact I found startling, at https://slavevoyages.org/, a cooperative academic project centered around databases covering the Atlantic slave trade, intra-American slave trading, and African names of trafficked people (project in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, and partly CC BY-NC 3.0 US licensed, allowing free non-commercial re-use of some content when the source is also specified), which says in its introduction:
...what is often overlooked is that, before 1820, perhaps three times as many enslaved Africans crossed the Atlantic as Europeans. This was the largest transoceanic migration of a people until that day, and it provided the Americas with a crucial labor force for their own economic development.
That's to all destinations combined in what we would now call North and South America and the Caribbean.

So yeah, as said above of so wide a variety of issues, "Many things will fundamentally have to change..."
posted by Charles Bronson Pinchot at 5:57 PM on November 25, 2020 [9 favorites]


What happened in 1820? It doesn’t sync up with the banning of the importation of slaves.
posted by floam at 6:14 PM on November 25, 2020 [1 favorite]


I don't know for sure, but my complete guess would be that it's an inflection point in the data being used here to illustrate an overall characteristic, rather than a point in time tied to a historical event.
posted by Charles Bronson Pinchot at 6:29 PM on November 25, 2020 [3 favorites]


The Wikipedia entries on the British Slave Trade Act and the US Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves provide a decent introduction to what changed in Atlantic slave trade around 1807 and the years following.
posted by chortly at 6:36 PM on November 25, 2020


What happened in 1820? It doesn’t sync up with the banning of the importation of slaves.
posted by floam at 10:14 AM on November 26 [+] [!]


You inspired me to Google, and I found the Wikipedia article on the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves, which passed in 1807. It says:
While there are no exact figures known, historians estimate that up to 50,000 slaves were illegally imported into the United States after 1808, mostly through Spanish Florida and Texas, before those states were admitted to the Union.[14] However, South Carolina Governor Henry Middleton estimated in 1819 that 13,000 smuggled African slaves arrived every year.[15].
...
In 1820, slave-trading became a capital offense with an amendment to the 1819 Act to Protect the Commerce of the United States and Punish the Crime of Piracy. A total of 74 cases of slaving were brought in the United States between 1837 and 1860, "but few captains had been convicted, and those had retrieved trifling sentences, which they had usually been able to avoid".[17] Nathaniel Gordon, who was hanged in 1862, was the only person to be executed for illegal slave-trading in the United States.[17]
...
In addition, after the 1808 abolition of the slave trade to the United States, many Americans continued to engage in the slave trade by transporting Africans to Cuba. From 1808 to 1860, almost one-third of all slave ships were either owned by American merchants, or were built and outfitted in American ports.[18] It is possible that U.S. citizens "may have transported twice as many Africans to other countries such as Cuba and Brazil as they did to their own ports".[18]
So in short, I do not know the answer, but it looks like they smuggled quite a few in after 1807, and were then plugging loopholes until 1820? I would also guess recordkeeping suffered after it became a black market thing (and was probably never that reliable to begin with). To me, 1820 looks like an arbitrary cutoff date. This was also around the time the British Empire banned the slave trade and was plugging its loopholes.
posted by saysthis at 6:39 PM on November 25, 2020


Nathaniel Gordon, who was hanged in 1862

I wonder how much shit they named after him.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:27 PM on November 25, 2020 [6 favorites]


Slave voyages only goes up to 1851. A horrific datapoint from @michaelharriot:
In 1860, some white men made a bet that they could smuggle a ship filled with slaves into the US. This was a crazy bet because the importation of slaves had been outlawed for 50 years.

They did it.

They brought 115 Africans into Mobile Bay and set the ship on fire.
Part of a thread on how recent slavery is.
posted by Mitheral at 7:45 PM on November 25, 2020 [10 favorites]


As a long-time Wikipedia editor, who nevertheless believes earnestly in the mission and underlying idea of Wikipedia, I would reaaaaaally caution against quoting Wikipedia on anything having to do with race or colonialism without a pound-of-salt's worth of cross-checking and caveats. (see my first MeFi comment for just one salient reason; link to ~600cmt RBG obit thread)

I don't see anything obviously misleading in the above quotation but it's important to point out, given the context here, that the motivation for the abolition of slavery was not simply a virtuous "stann hup fer wots roight" change in the nature of colonialism or the British Empire and its successor states; in many places they just had an adequate supply of labor at a certain point and a greater degree of colonialist experience and sophistication indicated that an ostensibly-free racial underclass of laborers, without the cradle-to-grave feudalism-inflected nominal / notional obligation of the respectable slavemaster to the slave, was actually more efficient for oiling the nascent machinery of capitalism with blood. Hence, societal resistance to the nudgings of genuinely principled abolitionists ebbed, and the "The White Man's Burden" type (read even that article, and other ones summarizing universally negative academic and popular consensus towards racism and colonialism, with a skeptical eye!) propaganda / PR value pulled from the other direction.

Here's (American sociologist and historian) W.E.B. Du Bois on the subject of British abolitionism in 1943 (...unfortunately still paywalled and copyrighted until 2038, I think? Fuck you, Mickey Mouse. I think anyone with JSTOR access might be able to get the full Du Bois Foreign Affairs article there too, by searching on some of the text below):
The rise of liberal and philanthropic thought in the latter part of the eighteenth century accounts, of course, for no little of the growth of opposition to slavery and the slave trade; but it accounts for only a part of it. Other and dominant factors were the diminishing returns of the African slave trade itself, the bankruptcy of the West Indian sugar economy through the Haitian revolution, the interference of Napoleon and the competition of Spain. Without this pressure of economic forces, Parliament would not have yielded so easily to the abolition crusade. Moreover, new fields of investment and profit were being opened to Englishmen by the consolidation of the empire in India and by the acquisition of new spheres of influence in China and elsewhere. In Africa, British rule was actually strengthened by the anti-slavery crusade, for new territory was annexed and controlled under the aegis of emancipation. It would not be right to question for a moment the sincerity of Sharpe, Wilberforce, Buxton and their followers. But the moral force they represented would have met with greater resistance had it not been working along lines favorable to English investment and colonial profit.
posted by Charles Bronson Pinchot at 7:46 PM on November 25, 2020 [20 favorites]


The Flynn pardon news is upthread, but please know, Trump made the announcement via tweet several hours ago (the DOJ page hadn't updated as of 11:22 Eastern): "It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon. Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!" (CNN). An hour after that, Flynn responded by tweeting "Jeremiah 1:19," beside an American flag emoji. (BBC) [The verse runs, in the NIV, "They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord."]

CliffsNotes on Jeremiah, which begins With the single exception of the Book of Isaiah, which contains the works of more than one prophet, the Book of Jeremiah is the longest of the prophetic books of the Old Testament. Different view. Anyway, VP Pence regularly quotes Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." A framed copy of the verse hangs over the mantel of the vice president’s residence. (USA Today, Jan. 21, 2018).
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:37 PM on November 25, 2020 [1 favorite]


Nathaniel Gordon, who was hanged in 1862

I wonder how much shit they named after him.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:27 AM on November 26 [2 favorites +] [!]


Googling turned up nothing except this, which explains the process of his death in detail. Prisons didn't even want to execute him, and they moved up his execution time because he tried to poison himself, AFTER Lincoln gave him an 2-week reprieve to make his final arrangements. He seems to have died a rather undignified death. I am not so into the death penalty, but insofar as it was used on this man, he got exactly what was coming to him. Mundane, neglected, time given to make his peace which he spoiled, and then a failed suicide which they moved up the time for because fuck this guy, you die in the gallows, fuck you double for trying.

We have perhaps derailed this thread too far.

Here is a news from Reuters: U.S. grants ByteDance new seven-day extension of TikTok sale order: filing

Here is another of newses from Politico: House Dems subpoena ICE detention facility over allegations of medical abuse
The facility has been accused of sterilizing women without their consent.

It would be nice if Biden did things about these things.
posted by saysthis at 8:39 PM on November 25, 2020 [11 favorites]


Charles Bronson Pinchot > Here's (American sociologist and historian) W.E.B. Du Bois on the subject of British abolitionism in 1943 (...unfortunately still paywalled...)

Try alternate article link here (PDF) or here. Note that this article was published in 1943, hence the outdated term in its full title.
posted by cenoxo at 7:53 AM on November 26, 2020 [3 favorites]


Still, unless it is something that could somehow be implemented by issuing a single tweet, I doubt they could organize this before January 20th.

This. These people cannot hold the plot. McConnell loosely held the obstruction together long enough to stall out court positions until they could get their guys in, and that's pretty shitty. But AFAICT there is no long game with getting petty bureaucrats in place.
posted by aspersioncast at 7:57 AM on November 26, 2020


Meanwhile, Sidney Powell has released the Kraken.

It appears that the Kraken may not have very good proofreading skills, is prone to conspiracy theories, is not a big fan of having to provide evidence (preferring to claim that the vote-hacking systems were specifically designed to HIDE all evidence of their existence and actions), named at least one plaintiff who did not agree to be part of the suit, reuses affidavits that were already part of Lin Wood's dismissed lawsuit, and may or may not have actually filed anything yet.

Despite its legendary size, strength and tenticular fortitude, its main weapon appears to be hurling shit at a wall.
posted by delfin at 8:10 AM on November 26, 2020 [19 favorites]


(Also, the Q*berts are busy claiming that the filings' typos (such as managing to misspell 'District' in two different ways in the heading of the Georgia filing alone) are completely intentional, because they would draw in the dreaded Mainstream Media to make fun of them, which TRICKS the MSM into covering this Major Legal Milestone that they would otherwise intentionally try to sweep under the rug.)
posted by delfin at 8:13 AM on November 26, 2020 [3 favorites]


The header on the very first line of the very first page of Sidney's court filing:

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICCT COURT, NORTHERN DISCROICT OF GEORGIA, ATLANTA DIVISION

Only the best people ...
posted by JackFlash at 8:39 AM on November 26, 2020 [11 favorites]


delfin > Meanwhile, Sidney Powell has released the Kraken.

Sidney Powell’s Kraken filings (PDFs) for Georgia and Michigan are on her website Defending the Republic. More about her in Michael Flynn’s Lawyer Wants to Raise “Millions of Dollars” to Overturn the Election — “Over $500,000 must be raised in the next twenty-four hours.”, Mother Jones, Dan Friedman, 11/17/2020.
posted by cenoxo at 8:46 AM on November 26, 2020 [3 favorites]


Over $500,000 must be raised in the next twenty-four hours.

Always be grifting.
posted by JackFlash at 8:58 AM on November 26, 2020 [13 favorites]


That the last name of one of the alleged plaintiffs is Godwin is just almost too much irony to bear, but I'll muddle through.
posted by riverlife at 9:47 AM on November 26, 2020 [11 favorites]


It looks like after 1820 immigration from Europe increased a lot - by 1830 we are over the hundred thousand mark per year and it just kept increasing, while the most slaves ever brought over per year maxed at around 24,000. By 1850, the number is astronomically higher - 1.7 million persons per year. After 1820 is probably where “the largest transoceanic migration of a people” no longer would refer to the African slave trade but instead immigration of Europeans.
posted by floam at 10:08 AM on November 26, 2020 [4 favorites]


In the Northern Discroict of Georgia
On the trail of the Loincsome Pine
In the pale moincshine
Our hoircts entwined
When she coircved her name
And I covfefed mine...
posted by Cardinal Fang at 11:13 AM on November 26, 2020 [20 favorites]


That the last name of one of the alleged plaintiffs is Godwin is just almost too much irony to bear, but I'll muddle through.

Huh, I remember Godwin’s law. What happened? I’ve been guilty many times and look forward to granting Hitler exclusivity over that style of geopolitical evil in the future once again.
posted by floam at 1:44 PM on November 26, 2020


IIRC, Godwin himself suspended it, on grounds that Nazism had become unextinct.
posted by acb at 1:50 PM on November 26, 2020 [23 favorites]


Twitter Labels Sidney Powell's Website 'Unsafe' After Trump's Ex-Election Attorney Files Typo-Riddled Lawsuit, Newsweek, Alexandra Hutzler, 11/26/2020.

I’m not on Twitter and can’t test this directly, but it appears to be a Twitter content warning only. Submitting the URL “https://defendingtherepublic.org/” to online website checkers like Virus Total, Google Safe Browsing, and Norton Safe Web don’t show any problems.

OTOH, things look very bad in the online embarrassment checker.
posted by cenoxo at 2:12 PM on November 26, 2020 [4 favorites]


Ongoing and very long Twitter thread dissecting Sidney's first two filings (GA and MI):

Mike Dunford: Good morning, electoral lunacy followers. Welcome to what I suspect will be the 2020 equivalent of the Orly Taitz litigation: Sidney Powell Sues Everoyen For LAL Of Teh ThInGs

IANAL. But this appears to be a fairly even-handed teardown of Sidney's MI filing, digging into the content and allegations (or at least what he can decipher of it) more than the misspellings, crimes against document formatting and personal foibles.

"Seriously, using a dismissed complaint from a different case brought by different parties in a different court as evidence is exactly the kind of thing that I never thought a licensed attorney not named Orly Taitz would attempt."

A dissection of the GA filing may follow if he survives the MI one.
posted by delfin at 3:32 PM on November 26, 2020 [4 favorites]


Beginning of the Dunford thread, for clarity's sake.
posted by delfin at 3:43 PM on November 26, 2020 [4 favorites]


Pro-Trump Group Donor Sues Over Failure to Expose Election Fraud

"A pro-Trump group that promised to challenge the Nov. 3 election results and expose fraud was sued by a North Carolina money manager who donated $2.5 million to the cause but says he didn’t get his money’s worth.

Fred Eshelman, founder of Eshelman Ventures LLC, wants his money back, saying he 'regularly and repeatedly' asked for updates on the project but his 'requests were consistently met with vague responses, platitudes, and empty promises,' according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Houston federal court."
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:09 PM on November 26, 2020 [20 favorites]


Heh. He probably donated to Bannon’s wall fund too.
posted by Melismata at 4:11 PM on November 26, 2020 [8 favorites]


Donald Trump says he will leave White House if electoral college votes for Joe Biden -- The Guardian

"Asked if he would leave the White House if the college vote went against him, Trump said: “Certainly I will. And you know that. If they do, they made a mistake,” he said.

However, Trump said it would be “a very hard thing to concede” and declined to say whether he would attend Biden’s inauguration, which is due to take place on 20 January."
posted by valkane at 4:52 PM on November 26, 2020 [3 favorites]


Trump maintains election fraud, pledges travel to Georgia in first presser since election -- Politico

"The president continued to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the state’s election system, having previously claimed without evidence widespread fraud in the presidential election there. “I’m very worried about that,” Trump said. “You have a fraudulent system.”

“I think it’s very dangerous for the two people,” he said of David Purdue and Kelly Loeffler, the Republican senators contesting the two runoff elections that could tip the balance of the Senate. He then baselessly called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who has defended the state’s election process, an “enemy of the people.”
posted by valkane at 5:02 PM on November 26, 2020 [4 favorites]


Don’t leave Donnie, you’re the rightful President! Stay there until january 20 at 12:01!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:08 PM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]


Heh. He probably donated to Bannon’s wall fund too.

Fred "Easy Mark" Eshelman
posted by rhizome at 5:30 PM on November 26, 2020 [3 favorites]


And then after the college votes he'll say he'll leave when the House counts those votes. And then when they do that he'll say he'll leave when well you get the idea. He thinks he's got a chance still, but votes have been certified. Stick a fork in him, he's done.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 5:31 PM on November 26, 2020 [4 favorites]


Don’t leave Donnie, you’re the rightful President! Stay there until january 20 at 12:01!

Too soon, too soon. I mean I've been dreaming about the Secret Service dragging him through the Rose Garden but we can't talk about that yet.
posted by rdr at 5:46 PM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]


A photographic retrospective of how our last 4 presidents spent Thanksgiving Eve. -- The USA Singers on twitter

Spoiler: Clinton, Bush and Obama meeting the troops; Trump golfing.
posted by valkane at 5:53 PM on November 26, 2020 [4 favorites]


> the kind of thing that I never thought a licensed attorney not named Orly Taitz would attempt.
I'd been "enjoying" pulling threads on the Smartmatic -> Sequoia -> Dominion + Chavez/Castro conspiracy, but I've got to say I'm disappointed that it's warmed-over 2009 birther nonsense
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez may have been rigging our elections.... One of the founders of Smartmatic was in a very strange accident, in a small plane. Both engines gave way, and the plane fell from the sky. Interesting -- it was the sky over Caracas, Venezuela.
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 7:05 PM on November 26, 2020


He then baselessly called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who has defended the state’s election process, an “enemy of the people.”


Again, this is a staunch, lifelong Republican who, until a month ago, was a Trump supporter and considered one of the core, party elite. Who is now getting death threats from his own party and accusations of being literally an “enemy of the people” by the President of the United States, for no other reason than following the law in his elected role.

I’ve seen people thrown under the bus by Trump before, where he has turned on someone that was previously a supporter, but this has got to be one of the most Stalinesque examples of his whole administration.
posted by darkstar at 8:18 PM on November 26, 2020 [53 favorites]


I mean, talk about “cancel culture”...
posted by darkstar at 8:22 PM on November 26, 2020 [12 favorites]


Trump sits at the kids table for his Thanksgiving Press Conference -- Emily Nussbaum on twitter.

'I'm the President of the United States!': Trump flips out on reporter -- CNN video

President Trump condemned a reporter after being asked if he would concede the election if the Electoral College votes for Joe Biden.
posted by valkane at 9:22 PM on November 26, 2020 [15 favorites]


Well, that was something to watch...
posted by Windopaene at 9:41 PM on November 26, 2020


#TinyDeskDonald is trending:

Every day, a brave resistance agent would replace his desk with a slightly smaller one.”
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:01 PM on November 26, 2020 [22 favorites]


That Trump is raging over the #DiaperDon hashtag is probably a tell.
posted by PenDevil at 10:02 PM on November 26, 2020 [5 favorites]


LOL he looks like he should have three well-worn crayons and a coloring placemat.
posted by darkstar at 10:02 PM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]


Trump sits at the kids table for his Thanksgiving Press Conference -- Emily Nussbaum on twitter.

'I'm the President of the United States!': Trump flips out on reporter -- CNN video


Is it just me, or does this desk lack... gravitas? Stick a Presidential Seal on it, that will make it better! But then, the tiniest seal they could find, was too big and needed to stick above the surface level... oh fuck me it is too glorious I am grinning ear to ear. I wonder if the seal is attached with a big wad of blu-tac?
posted by Meatbomb at 10:10 PM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]


It's to make his hands look bigger.
posted by ctmf at 10:40 PM on November 26, 2020 [5 favorites]




I’m the president of the United States...

54 days
posted by rdr at 11:46 PM on November 26, 2020 [3 favorites]


I don't know how to feel about the implied discrimination against the young in marking small things, things usually associated with young people, and body images of the young, as inferior in value. I can't find one single instance where the infantilization of Trump actually helped with any progressive thinking or action. Not to mention the creepiness factor.

That desk is the least of your concerns.
posted by runcifex at 11:56 PM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]


I would argue that it isn't infantilization. It just looks stupid. Here at the end of his stupid administration.
posted by valkane at 12:04 AM on November 27, 2020 [5 favorites]


President Trump condemned a reporter after being asked if he would concede the election if the Electoral College votes for Joe Biden.

Just imagine if the reporter had asked him if he would concede the election when the Electoral College votes for Joe Biden.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 12:18 AM on November 27, 2020 [10 favorites]


We've seen a lot of stupid in the last couple of weeks. His lawyer can't keep his hair dye in check. Nor can he keep his hands out of his pants in a major motion picture. His law team can't decide who is actually on the team. And the one who is now off the team can't spell. I'm really not worried about the desk. But I gotta tell you, stupid shit like that desk picture changes peoples minds. Stupid peoples minds.
posted by valkane at 12:19 AM on November 27, 2020 [11 favorites]




I’m the president of the United States...Don't talk to me that way, you're a light weight.

His thing here is basic DARVO bullshit. It's something all abusive people use, and the only way to counteract it is to be aware of it, and not fall for it. Don't let them make you question what you know is right. Don't back down.
posted by valkane at 12:36 AM on November 27, 2020 [20 favorites]


It's as if the journalist had asked 'Mr. Trump, just who the fuck do you think you are?'
posted by Cardinal Fang at 12:42 AM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


I guess maybe it's a cultural thing, for I couldn't see anything particularly "wrong" or "othering" in that Trump-desk photo, other than Trump of course.

Also speaking as a stupid person myself who have done lots of stupid things and placed myself in lots of stupid situations, I guess stupidity is often overblown. Most stupidity isn't especially memorable or meaningful. Hilarious sometimes, and occasionally disastrous in a manifest and immediately tangible way, but most often banal, so easily intermingled with the banality of the evil kind.

I guess this is why I'm becoming more and more critical about stupidity and about the criticism of stupidity too. Stupidity can often be a perfect vehicle to deliver a massive amount of damage, as demonstrated by Trump who is still doing it (partly out of sheer habitual inertia).
posted by runcifex at 12:43 AM on November 27, 2020 [3 favorites]


You know, really smart people are a dime a dozen, too.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 2:27 AM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


valkane:
> Trump sits at the kids table for his Thanksgiving Press Conference -- Emily Nussbaum on twitter.
> 'I'm the President of the United States!': Trump flips out on reporter -- CNN video


The Donald, seated at his tiny Irresolute Desk (and witnessed by George Washington), must keep reminding himself of who he thinks he is. He’ll be shouting this when he boards the last outbound Marine One helicopter.
posted by cenoxo at 3:56 AM on November 27, 2020 [3 favorites]


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez may have been rigging our elections.... One of the founders of Smartmatic was in a very strange accident, in a small plane. Both engines gave way, and the plane fell from the sky. Interesting -- it was the sky over Caracas, Venezuela.

John Wilkes Booth's words as he shot Lincoln were misreported, and were actually “Sic Semper Tyrannosaurus”, indicating that he is buried beneath the Smithsonian's dinosaur collection.

Makes about as much sense.
posted by acb at 5:19 AM on November 27, 2020 [7 favorites]


I'm President of the United States. And I'm not gonna eat any more broccoli!
posted by flabdablet at 5:46 AM on November 27, 2020 [12 favorites]


I'm less concerned about the tiny table than I am about the mysterious white powder all over the carpet. Is it covid? Is it cocaine? (Is that the Official White House Coke Table?) Is it Mike Pence in his natural form? McConnell dust?
posted by sexyrobot at 6:44 AM on November 27, 2020 [8 favorites]


I have no doubt Trump will continue to burn it all down and salt the earth...

-- and poison the wells.
posted by y2karl at 7:27 AM on November 27, 2020


sexyrobot, I think that’s just lots of footprints, directional pile from the silky carpet. You can see where someone hastily vacuumed in front of the table to try to smooth it out.
posted by mochapickle at 7:37 AM on November 27, 2020 [2 favorites]


From Getty Images, here’s a larger, zoomable shot of the Diplomatic Room (and its carpet) showing where everyone walked around.
posted by cenoxo at 7:48 AM on November 27, 2020


It's to make his hands look bigger.

It seems like a lifetime ago when Donald Trump became the first presidential candidate in history to defend not just his hands but the size of his penis on national TV.
posted by JackFlash at 7:53 AM on November 27, 2020 [12 favorites]


This:

> Trump sits at the kids table for his Thanksgiving Press Conference -- Emily Nussbaum on twitter.
> 'I'm the President of the United States!': Trump flips out on reporter -- CNN video


...was DJT's actual staircase moment. That's what it looks like when things are ending.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:19 AM on November 27, 2020 [5 favorites]


I think this angle better demonstrates the diminutiveness.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:43 AM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


To the Donald, only he is Big: it’s the media that got small. For allegedly being the best-ever Artful Dealer, he forgot to not attack the media, and they’ve come back to bite him in the ass.
posted by cenoxo at 9:08 AM on November 27, 2020 [2 favorites]


You know, really smart people are a dime a dozen, too.

Really smart people are 0.83333333 of a cent.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 9:35 AM on November 27, 2020 [3 favorites]


That's 'just the rug' the same way that last big fart was 'just my chair squeaking.' I think it's Torgo's Executive Branch Powder.
posted by sexyrobot at 9:57 AM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


Spoiler: Clinton, Bush and Obama meeting the troops; Trump golfing.

To be fair only one of those people were experiencing a worldwide pandemic. Sure, the Cheeto would have been golfing regardless but you can't really fault him for not forcing/participating in a super spreader event in this particular instance.
posted by Mitheral at 10:00 AM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


Yet another trump suit DENIED. Jay O'Brien, CBS Florida: Scathing 3rd Circuit opinion rejecting Trump's appeal in PA.
"Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither."
posted by cashman at 10:00 AM on November 27, 2020 [23 favorites]


Here's an AP article about it, from 25 minutes ago: "US appeals court rejects Trump appeal over Pennsylvania race".
posted by cashman at 10:05 AM on November 27, 2020 [4 favorites]


Jesus. Even the Washington Generals are looking at Trump's legal team and telling them to pack it in.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:09 AM on November 27, 2020 [13 favorites]


The detail here is that this is the decision of a 3-judge panel rejecting Trump's team's appeal to amend the separate "Frankenstein" case a second time. Notable - all four judges were appointed by Republican Presidents.
posted by achrise at 10:17 AM on November 27, 2020 [3 favorites]


@nycsouthpaw: a beautiful end to the third circuit docket sheet -- the Trump campaign will have to pay Pennsylvania's costs for the appeal

I'm sure they'll get right on that.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:36 AM on November 27, 2020 [8 favorites]


At this point, part of me actually WANTS this case to be accepted by SCOTUS -- and crash and burn, 9-0.

The reaction when Trump's Masterstroke was so insane that even Clarence Thomas couldn't bring himself to go along with it would be precious.
posted by delfin at 10:47 AM on November 27, 2020 [3 favorites]


A Supreme Court emergency stay requires only one justice. The justice with jurisdiction over the Third Circuit which includes Pennsylvania is Sam Alito. That's who the Trump team will apply to.

Then it takes just four justices to decide to hear the case. Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh would do the trick.
posted by JackFlash at 11:07 AM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


Honestly, I would not be stunned if cert was not granted on this. Could Team Trump craft some sort of legal case that they might accept? Sure, but Rudy's Magical Mystery Case might not be it; it's been burned to ashes at every level, the 3rd Circuit openly stated "there is no reason for this case to have gotten THIS far," and it would not come close to overturning the election by itself.

There is the "this is the President of the United States asking for this" factor to consider, of course. But it is frivolous on its face. There is not even a hint of a legal issue to be disentangled, merely Rudy rubbing a MAGA lamp and praying for five robed genies to appear.
posted by delfin at 11:19 AM on November 27, 2020 [4 favorites]


this is rather what it says on the wrapper:

Dave Rubin 2020 Election Meltdown | From Cringe to Cope

painful at first ... but it gets better.


Dave Rubin being described as part of the "intellectual dark web".[19] ... a self-described lifelong Democrat, who by Nov-3-2020 had thrown in more or less completely with the Trumpian devolution.
posted by philip-random at 11:19 AM on November 27, 2020


Honestly, I would not be stunned if cert was not granted on this.

One day we will all look back and say that we wouldn't not have been stunned if cert hadn't been granted
posted by thelonius at 11:28 AM on November 27, 2020 [7 favorites]


Two bottom lines in the ruling:

II. THE DISTRICT COURT PROPERLY DENIED LEAVE TO AMEND THE COMPLAINT AGAIN
After one amendment, the District Court denied the Campaign’s motion to amend the complaint a second time. We review that denial for abuse of discretion. Premier Comp. Sol., LLC v. UPMC, 970 F.3d 316, 318–19 (3d Cir. 2020). But on any standard of review, the court got it right.

[ouch]

later,

III. NO STAY OR INJUNCTION IS WARRANTED
We could stop here. Once we affirm the denial of leave to amend, this case is over. Still, for completeness, we address the Campaign’s emergency motion to stay the effect of cer- tification. No stay or injunction is called for.
posted by ctmf at 11:51 AM on November 27, 2020 [7 favorites]


Paul Campos, LGM: Donald Trump and the limits of legal realism
As to the limits of legal realism, while there is great force to various arguments that the distinction between law and politics is greatly exaggerated by conventional legal and political rhetoric, that distinction isn’t completely empty. You have to give even the most contemptible Federalist Society hacks something to work with. (I know the judge who wrote this opinion slightly, and he’s a smart cookie with barely concealed SCOTUS ambitions, so he’s not somebody who was ever going to do damage to his long term career prospects just to do Donald Trump a service). That the Trump campaign can’t even manage to begin to leap a bar that’s almost on the ground illustrates how outrageous all this litigation is, and why the lawyers involved in it should be sanctioned and shunned.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:58 AM on November 27, 2020 [15 favorites]


Another Twitter thread (Akiva Cohen) detailing just how thoroughly the 3rd Circuit salted the earth around this case.
posted by delfin at 11:59 AM on November 27, 2020 [10 favorites]


Wow, the 3rd circuit opinion seems to have gone the extra mile, denying every possible assertion the campaign makes instead of stopping at the fatal ones, THEN throwing in some extra language sounding a lot like collateral estoppel and laches. I'm no lawyer, but to me it's a pretty clear "warning: stop now, seriously."
posted by ctmf at 12:16 PM on November 27, 2020 [6 favorites]


That Third Circuit judge was a Trump appointee. It's really hard to imagine this thing will get cert.
posted by suelac at 12:54 PM on November 27, 2020 [4 favorites]


There is a ton of understandable and legitimate fear on Metafilter about Republican-appointed judges, but it is important to stay grounded in reality. In the Twitter thread linked by delfin, Akiva Cohen says:
People NEED to stop assuming that judges appointed by Republicans are unqualified hacks. Are there some? Yes. Some of the nominees have been egregiously bad. But for the most part, Trump judges are judges. Committed to the law, & doing their best to follow it. Internalize that.
I think that is good advice.

The Republican's baseless fraud allegations undermine democracy. But so do allegations that all federal judges are unprincipled partisans. I mean, what's the point of filing a civil rights action if you're not gonna get a fair hearing?

It's also notable that Supreme Court justices tend to get more liberal as they get older. Just like with Fox News, the extremists have their knives out for Chief Justice Roberts due to his perceived disloyalty. They are also increasingly skeptical of Justice Gorsuch and even getting a little itchy about Justice Kavanaugh.

The point being, Trump's judicial appointees are going to do substantial damage. But most of them aren't actually corrupt, and they aren't going to overturn the election results and install Trump for a second term.
posted by lumpy at 1:20 PM on November 27, 2020 [9 favorites]


People NEED to stop assuming that judges appointed by Republicans are unqualified hacks.

I am quite comfortable is saying that the Republican appointed Supreme Court justices are unprincipled partisans.
posted by JackFlash at 1:38 PM on November 27, 2020 [22 favorites]


Well, sure, those ones…
posted by mazola at 1:41 PM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


> The Republican's baseless fraud allegations undermine democracy. But so do allegations that all federal judges are unprincipled partisans. I mean, what's the point of filing a civil rights action if you're not gonna get a fair hearing?

This is a shameful display of false equivalence. On the one hand, the President of the United States and an overwhelming majority of Republicans fought to disenfranchise people before the election and continue to push nonsense claims about voter fraud. On the other hand, some people online are saying mean things about some judges.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:56 PM on November 27, 2020 [17 favorites]


Most Republican-appointed judges are highly qualified hacks, who will devise impeccably erudite reasons for lawlessly stripping people of their rights. (The same is true of many Democratically-appointed judges of course; the obscenity of qualified immunity, civil asset forfeiture, and the plenary power doctrine, inter alia, is a stain on both parties.) In addition, even the shrinking number of federal judges who weren't grown in a Federalist Society lab are mostly former prosecutors who reflexively take the cop's side of any dispute and make factual findings to match. And the state courts, for the most part, are even worse.

The fact that even the hardest-right judges still demand some fig leaf of intellectual consistency before bending the law and facts to suit the powerful is probably going to save our sorry asses in this particular case, and we shouldn't lose sight of that. But neither should we lose sight of the fact that the US judiciary in the aggregate remains a sneering mockery of justice.
posted by Not A Thing at 2:10 PM on November 27, 2020 [27 favorites]


The problem is not that we should assume that all Republican-appointed judges are partisan hacks. Some are not.

The problem is that we can’t assume that any particular Republican judge is not a partisan hack. Because some of them most definitely are.
posted by darkstar at 3:52 PM on November 27, 2020 [12 favorites]


Even if conservative judges were mostly reasonable and fair judges, the Federalist Society, Mitch McConnell and the rest of the GOP and their rhetoric and political strategy around court appointments, the conservatives on the Supreme Court, rulings like Bush v Gore, Citizens United, Shelby v Holder... well, you can't exactly be faulted for withholding the benefit of the doubt.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:07 PM on November 27, 2020 [8 favorites]


A Supreme Court emergency stay requires only one justice. The justice with jurisdiction over the Third Circuit which includes Pennsylvania is Sam Alito. That's who the Trump team will apply to.

Then it takes just four justices to decide to hear the case. Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh would do the trick.


Only my not-a-lawyer understanding is that in the Pennsylvania case what the SC would actually be ruling on would only be Giuliani & team's ability to amend a previous complaint. Which is what that 3rd Circuit decision was about - despite the judges' full on smack down of the entire Trump campaign's claims and process, the specific issue decided was that the Trump campaign tried to argue that previous courts should have allowed them to amend a complaint and continue on, and the 3rd circuit said, "No, it was both legal and sensible that you were not allowed to amend."

So even if the SC takes this up, all they can actually do is say that the 3rd circuit was wrong and that the Trump campaign can start all over again with a newer version back in the lower federal courts. (And said amended version (more or less) has already been rejected by both state courts and in their first federal hearing.) IOW, the Pennsylvania case is inherently limited, there's no place in the ruling for the conservatives on the SC to decide to redo the election or not count mail ballots or whatever crazy shit the Trump campaign is asking for. All they can do is rule on a process that would send the Trump suit back down the line.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:18 PM on November 27, 2020 [6 favorites]


Meanwhile the Republicans in the PA state legislature introduce a resolution disputing the election results. These dudes are exhausting.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 4:23 PM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


So the SC taking up the Penn case would at most buy the Trump campaign time. Only the problem there is 1) the certified Penn presidential results have already been sent to the National Archives (this is as done as done can be) and 2) the only results not certified are the down-ballot results and on Monday November 30 (as in, this coming Monday) the Pennsylvania state legislature officially ends its term in order to legally "clear the way" for swearing in & seating the new legislature that has just been elected. If the election is "on hold" there is literally literally NO Pennsylvania House of Representatives and 1/2 the Pennsylvania Senate. (Meaning that "resolution" is performative bullshit, since it almost certainly won't get a vote before then.)

I feel pretty sure that the (Democratic) Pennsylvania executive branch would struggle on (heavy sarcasm) without an obstructive Republican legislature. (Yes I know they can only do much by terms of the Penn constitution. But I bet they'd be willing to give it the old college try if it came down to it.)

But so yeah, the SC has to make a ruling before Monday or they're de facto dissolving a state government.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:46 PM on November 27, 2020 [4 favorites]


From Getty Images, here’s a larger, zoomable shot of the Diplomatic Room (and its carpet) showing where everyone walked around.

For all that effort to keep the mic out of the shot, they didn't even bother using the boom to keep the mic stand out of the shot. Clowns put on a better show.
posted by mikelieman at 5:02 PM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


Sarah Cooper: "I'm the Law Mentor for Jenna Ellis"
posted by cashman at 5:13 PM on November 27, 2020 [4 favorites]


Dave Rubin being described as part of the "intellectual dark web".[19] ... a self-described lifelong Democrat, who by Nov-3-2020 had thrown in more or less completely with the Trumpian devolution.
posted by philip-random at 3:19 AM on November 28 [+] [!]


Slight derail, but for anyone who goes down the Dave Rubin rabbit hole, here are some things to know. He originally worked for The Young Turks, a donor-funded progressive news outfit run by Cenk Uyghur, but broke away to become a "free thinker" with his own channel and donors, and now is paid by Glenn Beck via Blaze TV. This summer, he bought this silly mansion for $5.2 million.

Just sayin'.
posted by saysthis at 5:16 PM on November 27, 2020 [5 favorites]


the 3rd Circuit openly stated "there is no reason for this case to have gotten THIS far,

It was beautiful the way the Court invoked and addressed "Futility".
posted by mikelieman at 5:23 PM on November 27, 2020


The problem is that we can’t assume that any particular Republican judge is not a partisan hack. Because some of them most definitely are.

I call this the "dog problem". Most dogs are perfectly fine, but some dogs are messed up in the head and will viciously attack you. The problem is figuring out which are the dangerous ones. At least with Judges you have a history of decisions to look at.
posted by mikelieman at 5:36 PM on November 27, 2020 [9 favorites]


> Dave Rubin being described as part of the "intellectual dark web".[19] ... a self-described lifelong Democrat, who by Nov-3-2020 had thrown in more or less completely with the Trumpian devolution.

He certainly has no regard for the social trends and people that made it possible to marry his husband or not worry too much about hate crimes.
video: " ... I absolutely supported Trump especially in the last couple weeks because I thought he was the best vehicle to just keep breaking this thing so we can try to rebuild something good but I have never once said that I'm a republican ..."
As far as I can tell, modern conservatives don't have a positive model of government - they can tell you what they're against, like laws that would fund school lunches or ban dumping chemical waste into upstream watersheds, they display public or private contempt for the suffering of others, but they can't describe even a cartoon model of how their ideal world would work.

My wife flagged that pull quote "keep breaking this thing so we can try to rebuild something good" as being a white-supremacist accelerationist talking point, although I don't know him enough to say.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:07 PM on November 27, 2020 [15 favorites]


independent.co.uk: Trump declares Twitter national security threat after #DiaperDon trends following meltdown at miniature table

US president demands fundamental change to internet in angry late-night tweets
...

“Twitter is sending out totally false ‘Trends’ that have absolutely nothing to do with what is really trending in the world. They make it up, and only negative ‘stuff’,” the US president tweeted without providing evidence in the early hours of Friday morning.

Mr Trump did not say which trending topic upset him, but following Thursday’s press briefing, which saw him furiously assail a reporter from behind a surprisingly small desk, the hashtag #DiaperDon surged towards the top of Twitter’s trending list in the US and UK.

“For purposes of National Security, Section 230 must be immediately terminated!!!” Mr Trump added, in reference to part of a 1996 law which protects websites from lawsuits over content posted by users. Any changes to these protections would fundamentally change how the internet works.

...
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:12 PM on November 27, 2020 [7 favorites]


Great. Let’s keep him focused on hashtags instead of selling state secrets to foreign powers or dismantling the civil service.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 9:20 PM on November 27, 2020 [15 favorites]


The national security threat...

IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE (W) HOUSE!!!

lol
What a pathetic human
posted by Windopaene at 9:29 PM on November 27, 2020 [6 favorites]


“For purposes of National Security, Section 230 must be immediately terminated!!!” Mr Trump added, in reference to part of a 1996 law which protects websites from lawsuits over content posted by users.

Section 230 revocation would only increase the rate of deplatforming the q/maga crowd but you do you, ya big dumb dildo
posted by jason_steakums at 9:30 PM on November 27, 2020 [8 favorites]


@FreshMouthed on Twitter:

“Trump at his miniature Resolute desk reminds me of this old SNL skit.”

As another commenter on that thread noted, “Replace the Hoberman sphere with a model of the coronavirus, and it would be a bit too on the nose for 2020.”
posted by darkstar at 9:55 PM on November 27, 2020 [3 favorites]


Breaking news, per CBS Sunday Morning tweet:

The Bidens will not only be bringing their two German Shepherds into the White House, but will soon also be getting a cat!
posted by darkstar at 10:18 PM on November 27, 2020 [23 favorites]


Let’s keep him focused on hashtags instead of selling state secrets to foreign powers or dismantling the civil service.
What if he's keeping us focused on hashtags... while he's dismantling the Oval Office's Resolute desk.
[Traditionally, outgoing presidents leave a note for their successor in a drawer of the desk. Can't see this guy doing that.]
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:36 PM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


...will soon also be getting a cat!

The spirit of Socks is purring.
posted by Rash at 10:39 PM on November 27, 2020 [5 favorites]


but will soon also be getting a cat!

rat infestation?
posted by philip-random at 10:42 PM on November 27, 2020 [7 favorites]


When they sit the cat at that tiny Presidential desk it will be ADORABLE!
posted by mmoncur at 11:32 PM on November 27, 2020 [25 favorites]


“Twitter is sending out totally false ‘Trends’ that have absolutely nothing to do with what is really trending in the world. They make it up, and only negative ‘stuff’,” the US president tweeted without providing evidence in the early hours of Friday morning.

I've often said I think Twitter will terminate @realdonaldtrump as soon as the Inauguration happens, but now I'm wondering if he'll delete his own account as part of his "Taking my ball and going home" plan.
posted by mmoncur at 11:34 PM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


The thing about Twitter dumping the mad orange emperor is that by the time they do it, it won't achieve anything any more. Il Douche has from now until January to keep on hammering home his message about having had the election stolen from him, and at this point the actual pathway by which that message reaches the minds of his huge population of fully committed marks doesn't really matter any more because it's already very very close to completely self-sustaining.

Having a substantial fraction of the US population lose all confidence in the integrity of its electoral system has to be horribly dangerous, especially when the only test that any of them would actually accept as demonstrating that the system has any integrity would be for it to disenfranchise enough citizens to return the Cheeto to office in 2024.

The way for the Biden Administration to minimize - not eliminate, merely minimize - the damage flowing from politics having been covfefed into pure kayfabe is to do everything within its power to facilitate the crushing of the entire corrupt family machine and all its hangers-on in the courts. If left with any financial resources available to them, the fuckers will form a festering abscess within the body politic that will burst four years from now.

It's really, really important for those of us breathing sighs of relief at the 2020 election result to understand just how deeply distressed the deluded wingnut faction is right now. Not for the purposes of soothing or pandering or "building bridges", but for correctly assessing just how much damage they can and will be motivated to keep doing, given the slightest opportunity.

Biden's instinct is to bring people together. I wish him all the best in that endeavour, but I think he's seriously underestimating the strength of the structural forces currently operating to maintain the irremediably deluded in their state of useful idiocy.
posted by flabdablet at 12:15 AM on November 28, 2020 [21 favorites]


> The national security threat...

IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE (W) HOUSE!!!

lol
What a pathetic human

This particular fuckup (and the associated Streisand effect) is hilarious, but imagine if he'd actually taken Covid and the associated breadlines this seriously.
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:01 AM on November 28, 2020 [1 favorite]


Traditionally, outgoing presidents leave a note for their successor in a drawer of the desk. Can't see this guy doing that.

I can totally see The Cheeto leaving a stream of consciousness rant to the "Usurper".
posted by Mitheral at 3:27 AM on November 28, 2020 [1 favorite]


He'll leave a soiled wet wipe.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:45 AM on November 28, 2020 [3 favorites]


I don't see Trump using a word like "usurper", though. It would be something more along the lines of "FAKE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN".
posted by Epixonti at 6:07 AM on November 28, 2020 [1 favorite]


I kinda expect him to just poop on the desk on his way out.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:17 AM on November 28, 2020


Hire some prostitutes to piss on it.

And, scene.
posted by box at 6:29 AM on November 28, 2020 [3 favorites]


It's really, really important for those of us breathing sighs of relief at the 2020 election result to understand just how deeply distressed the deluded wingnut faction is right now. Not for the purposes of soothing or pandering or "building bridges", but for correctly assessing just how much damage they can and will be motivated to keep doing, given the slightest opportunity.

Biden's instinct is to bring people together. I wish him all the best in that endeavour, but I think he's seriously underestimating the strength of the structural forces currently operating to maintain the irremediably deluded in their state of useful idiocy.
posted by flabdablet at 4:15 PM on November 28 [10 favorites +] [!]


So I remember the pre-election angle where people were saying Biden can be pressured to do the right thing. I'm over here in the #brunchisstillcancelled camp with my low expectations, but in the back of my mind is the hope, and fear, that Biden can be pressured.

I'm afraid not because the wingnuts may pressure him to compromise. I'm afraid the wingnuts may try to burn it all down at the slightest pushback. And I am not gonna sit here and say "Biden is like Lincoln" as a prediction of civil war, but it's true that Lincoln wasn't planning on emancipating the slaves at all when he was elected, he was just a basically right-thinking person dealing with a straight up slaver rebellion. What was he supposed to do? George McClellan took a year to get fired, and then was his opposition in 1864, and then was up in the polls until Lincoln was like "fuck it, Grant, get in there and meat grinder our soldiers and Sherman, get down there and burn their crops". I mean, I'm not scared of what Biden will do, I'm scared of what they will do and how Biden will react. The dude is not FDR, he's not Teddy Roosevelt, he's not a forceful personality with a vision to fight for. He probably wouldn't be a terrible president if this was 2004. He's someone who will do what he is required to do. He's up against the loopiest opposition party since before the Civil War, and I'm scared he's not gonna react until things get really bad.

I don't think we're in for another Civil War, but I think we don't get active intervention to make things better under a Biden administration unless they're REALLY shitty.
posted by saysthis at 7:36 AM on November 28, 2020 [5 favorites]


> I can totally see The Cheeto leaving a stream of consciousness rant to the "Usurper".

Requisite Downfall captioning
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:57 AM on November 28, 2020


Twitter thread from DJ Judd of CNN, covering a meeting of the Cobb County Georgia Republicans. Wherein RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel is trying to drum up enthusiasm for the Jan. Senate runoff elections and is getting interrupted and peppered with questions about the various fever dream conspiracies making the rounds - corrupted voting machines, recounts, why bother voting at all if the whole thing is a cheat, etc etc etc.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:39 AM on November 28, 2020 [14 favorites]


I could do with less doomsdaying and doompredicting.
posted by tiny frying pan at 8:41 AM on November 28, 2020 [19 favorites]


Trump set on veto of defense bill over renaming bases honoring Confederates

Treasonous loser stands with treasonous losers.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:44 AM on November 28, 2020 [14 favorites]


Trump set on veto of defense bill over renaming bases honoring Confederates

Between 1861 and 1865, white supremacist insurrectionists murdered 360,222 American soldiers.

In less than a year, Donald Trump's incompetent and failed response to COVID-19 has murdered over 260,000 Americans SO FAR.

So arguably, the Donald Trump presidency has been deadlier for this nation than the Civil War.
posted by mikelieman at 9:04 AM on November 28, 2020 [9 favorites]


Milwaukee County finished their part of Trump's $3 million recount. Biden gained 257 votes and Trump added 125 for a Biden net gain of 132. Oops.

Dane County (Madison) should finish their recount Sunday. Wisconsin does their certification Tuesday, signed by Democratic Governor Tony Evers.

Trump supporters filed a lawsuit with the Wisconsin Supreme Court last Tuesday to stop the certification. It is mostly a rehash of issues that the court had previously rejected so not likely to have success.
posted by JackFlash at 9:09 AM on November 28, 2020 [5 favorites]


> Trump set on veto of defense bill over renaming bases honoring Confederates


https://twitter.com/ericgarland/status/1332657660127289345
> President Trump is threatening to veto legislation to fund the military as one of his final acts in office unless a widely supported, bipartisan provision to rename military bases honoring Confederate military leaders is removed, sources say. https://nbcnews.to/39on8nk
7:08 AM · Nov 28, 2020·Twitter Web App

Eric Garland @ericgarland:

Because one of the provisions of the omnibus bill will expose offshore Russian Mob money laundering. So of course he will. Has nothing to do with Robert E. Lee.

MOB IDIOTS FROM QUEENS DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE CIVIL WAR. BUT THEY CARE ABOUT HOW TO LAUNDER MOB CASH.

Thank you for coming to my Toastmasters talk.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:27 AM on November 28, 2020 [21 favorites]


RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel is trying to drum up enthusiasm for the Jan. Senate runoff elections and is getting interrupted and peppered with questions about the various fever dream conspiracies making the rounds

Remember that she was known professionally her entire life as Ronna Romney McDaniel until Trump forced her to drop the middle name. So she erased her own family name in loyalty to the Dear Leader's bit of petty spite. It's a cult.
posted by JackFlash at 10:05 AM on November 28, 2020 [28 favorites]


Maybe we can come up with some kind of acronym, as has been done with TERF?

I feel like this is unfair to my good friend Joe Terf
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:32 PM on November 28, 2020 [1 favorite]


I didn't realize they were denying Trump-related nonsense on Sundays too. Just out - David Kaplan, ABC Pittsburgh:
BREAKING: PA Supreme Court dismisses lawsuit by Congressman Mike Kelly and candidate Sean Parnell attempting to invalidate PA's mail-in ballots. Cites how late this was filed as part of the reason they're throwing it out. Here's the final paragraph of Justice Wecht's concurrence:

"Having delayed this suit until two elections were conducted under Act 77's new, no-excuse mail-in voting system, Petitioners--several of whom participated in primary elections under this system without complaint---play a dangerous game at the expense of every Pennsylvania voter. Petitioners waived their opportunity to challenge Act 77 before the election, choosing instead to "lay by and gamble upon receiving a favorable decision of the electorate." Toney v. White, 488 F. 2d 310, 314 (5th Cir. 1973) (en banc). Unsatisfied with the results of that wager, they would not flip over the table, scattering to the shadows the votes of millions of Pennsylvanians. It is not our role to lend legitimacy to such transparent and untimely efforts to subvert the will of Pennsylvania voters. Courts should not decide elections when the will of the voters is clear."
posted by cashman at 3:50 PM on November 28, 2020 [24 favorites]


There are currently no cases pending in Pennsylvania that challenge the outcome of the presidential election. --Marc E. Elias on twitter.

Well that's that. Somebody tell Trump.
posted by valkane at 4:43 PM on November 28, 2020 [7 favorites]


NOT IT
posted by cashman at 4:56 PM on November 28, 2020 [3 favorites]


I would totally be it
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:05 PM on November 28, 2020 [6 favorites]


“Mein Führer… Steiner…”
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:45 PM on November 28, 2020 [13 favorites]


Seriously, I'd thoroughly enjoy walking President Trump through all of the thrown out lawsuits about the election. YES, ALL OF THEM, not just the ones in Pennsylvania.

This has to be an actual job, someone please call me about this.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:05 PM on November 28, 2020 [4 favorites]


I can't imagine that would be at all satisfying. Trump is not a normal person who reacts to things in a normal way, and I'm pretty sure he would not register the words coming out of your mouth as being true or applying to him.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:08 PM on November 28, 2020 [9 favorites]


In a shift that I found telling, Mark Levin's Twitter feed changed over from "THIS is the method by which we're going to win" to "the PA Supreme Court are the STALINIST TYRANTS who have blocked our victory" as its theme du jour.

The disciples are still in "la la la We're Totally Going To SCOTUS And Winning Everything" mode, of course.
posted by delfin at 6:15 PM on November 28, 2020 [3 favorites]


Trump is not a normal person who reacts to things in a normal way, and I'm pretty sure he would not register the words coming out of your mouth as being true or applying to him.

Honestly, it would be the sheer joy of pointing out how he lost and is therefore a loser and knowing he would stew over that for quite a while.

"What's that sir, you didn't lose, it was stolen from you? Really? You let sleepy Joe steal from you? That doesn't sound like a baller move, sounds weak. Like a loser."

Let me have this one thing, since all the pumpkin pie is gone.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:24 PM on November 28, 2020 [25 favorites]


Oh god, that convention of still calling former presidents "President" after their terms - he and his sycophants are gonna put so much extra mustard on the word in the most obnoxious way when referring to him.

I'm not going to be the least bit surprised if his set for Trump TV or whatever is a tacky gold Oval Office replica too.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:32 PM on November 28, 2020 [9 favorites]


The disciples are still in "la la la We're Totally Going To SCOTUS And Winning Everything" mode, of course.

I lasted four minutes and then I had to stop reading some of the responses of the disciples because trying to suss out their thinking process was making head hurt.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 6:32 PM on November 28, 2020 [1 favorite]



Oh god, that convention of still calling former presidents "President" after their terms


I am totally down with stopping custom that right now and having it apply to all currently living former Presidents. It's completely ridiculous to do and serves no purpose.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:44 PM on November 28, 2020 [12 favorites]


It is, quite simply, a loss of mind. Thursday my brother, who was born in 1955, shook his finger at me and declared "even JFK wasn't elected and you know it!". He was attending kindergarten at the time JFK became President.
posted by pee tape at 6:47 PM on November 28, 2020 [11 favorites]


Something something forty years of puppet media shouting at the top of their lungs "government is always bad unless conservatives control it, God is in control, only conservative Christian country-music-fan true believers are Real Americans, trickle-down economics helps everyone, moderation and compromise and negotiation are mortal sins, Democrats are evil maniacs, and everyone but us are filthy dirty biased liars."

After a while, the soap opera needs bigger and wilder twists to keep their attention. You know... baby-eating, cooking with bodily fluids, Communist infiltration, migrant army invasions, pedophilic pizza joints, Louie Gohmert, worldwide conspiracies, fake pandemics, fake Presidents, fake everything.

I don't find much about my own life to feel real any more, myself, but I at least try to color within the original lines.
posted by delfin at 7:14 PM on November 28, 2020 [20 favorites]


Oh god, that convention of still calling former presidents "President" after their terms

You’d think that after all the convention they broke they’d have no way to even try to use conventions but when you have no shame...
posted by WaterAndPixels at 10:18 PM on November 28, 2020 [1 favorite]


I am totally down with stopping custom that right now and having it apply to all currently living former Presidents. It's completely ridiculous to do and serves no purpose.


"I am plain John Adams. An ordinary citizen. Same as yourselves/."
posted by ocschwar at 9:25 AM on November 29, 2020 [3 favorites]


From twitter:

"We pulled off every trick in the GOP playbook to win this thing, gerrymandering, voter suppression, we even destroyed mail sorters and confiscated mail boxes to stop Dems for mail-in voting ... yet they STILL WON. There's only one logical explanation, the DEMS CHEATED."
posted by JackFlash at 10:28 AM on November 29, 2020 [29 favorites]


Trump says his election challenges probably won’t make it to the Supreme Court —CNBC

“Well, the problem is, it’s hard to get into the Supreme Court,” Trump said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” after host Maria Bartiromo asked him when he expected his challenges to make it to the justices.
posted by valkane at 10:32 AM on November 29, 2020 [2 favorites]


yet they STILL WON. There's only one logical explanation, the DEMS CHEATED.

I've got to imagine the "there is no evidence" line they keep getting beat over the head with is EXCRUCIATINGLY painful to them, because they HAVE evidence, tons of it. They KNOW FOR A FACT there was rampant cheating. Problem is, they know it because it was them and "know" they can't have been the only one. Impossible. Ergo, the Dems cheated (too). Same theory as "everyone breaks a law once in a while, it's impossible not to."

And it's driving them absolutely nutbars that they can't find that.
posted by ctmf at 11:06 AM on November 29, 2020 [20 favorites]


They can't show what they do have without going to jail, and can't find what they don't have. It's beautiful.
posted by ctmf at 11:08 AM on November 29, 2020 [9 favorites]


Well, it's not as if we don't know that they cheat. It's just that so much of it -- gerrymandering, purging voter rolls, closing polling places, disenfranchising minorities -- is in plain sight and, for various reasons, not considered to be actual crimes.
posted by delfin at 12:37 PM on November 29, 2020 [7 favorites]


For those of us having difficulty grasping the nuances, here’s a helpful website that lays out all the pertinent details of just how Biden cheated:

HowBidenStoleTheElection.com
posted by darkstar at 12:51 PM on November 29, 2020 [31 favorites]


Dane county (Madison) Wisconsin finished their recount. Trump picked up 45 votes. But with the 132 votes Trump lost in the Milwaukee recount, Trump ends up paying $3 million for a net increase to Biden of 87 votes.

It's easy to see how Trump has bankrupted his businesses. But as usual, it's really someone else's money he's losing.
posted by JackFlash at 2:30 PM on November 29, 2020 [15 favorites]


I’ve been pleased with how Biden-Harris are handling the transition, even though I wanted to see more offense, I realized that NOT engaging was the better choice.

All in on the Georgia Senate races!! The polls have both candidates tied right now. I’ve been praying every day for the two seats to go to Warnock and Ossoff.
posted by ichomp at 3:06 PM on November 29, 2020 [6 favorites]


Tweet from reporter Adam Klasfeld (who, incidentally, I've found very informative on the election court cases making the rounds):

INBOX

POTUS-elect Joe Biden and VP-elect Kamala Harris announce their senior White House communications staff:

@JRPsaki, Press Secretary (Jen Psaki)

@SymoneDSanders, Chief Spox for VP (Symone D. Sanders)

@KBeds, WH Comms Dir (Kate Bedingfield)

@K_JeanPierre, Principal Deputy Press Sec (Karine Jean-Pierre)

@pilitobar87, Deputy WH Comms Dir (Pili Tobar)

The senior communications team is all women.
posted by soundguy99 at 3:23 PM on November 29, 2020 [29 favorites]


Which is a first, btw.
posted by soundguy99 at 3:25 PM on November 29, 2020 [8 favorites]


Of all the shameful firsts, I'm glad the ones from this administration are heading in the right direction.
posted by jessamyn at 3:48 PM on November 29, 2020 [5 favorites]


The senior communications team is all women.

After four years of open misogyny, this is actually healing to see.

What a beautiful chance to right some wrongs. It seems the new admin recognizes that. I hope the new AG and DoJ will be able to deliver the justice we are so hungry for.
posted by ichomp at 3:57 PM on November 29, 2020 [7 favorites]


You might remember the new Principal Deputy Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, from this moment of peak of peak white guy bullshit.
posted by rdr at 4:01 PM on November 29, 2020 [17 favorites]


Well, looks like Lin Wood is telling people not to vote, so it's not all ratfuckery from the D side. Basically the "burn the boats you came in" double-down on overturning the Biden win? Make the only alternative the D trifecta.
posted by ctmf at 6:15 PM on November 29, 2020 [6 favorites]


Cool. Biden nominated Neera Tanden, who spends an inordinate amount of time shitting on the left in incredibly rude and nasty ways, to head the OMB.

There’s no way we’ll see any student debt cancellation now. My hope for the Democrats to be different lasted two weeks!
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 6:24 PM on November 29, 2020 [4 favorites]


[hey, let's not use the phrase "butt-hurt."]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 6:36 PM on November 29, 2020 [10 favorites]


Marc E Elias:

Here is the status of presidential election certification in the 6 key states:
☑️Georgia--certified, ongoing recount
☑️Michigan--certified
☑️Nevada--certified
☑️Pennsylvania--certified
➡️Arizona--certifying tomorrow
➡️Wisconsin--recount over, certifying tomorrow
posted by cashman at 6:41 PM on November 29, 2020 [19 favorites]


MisantropicPainforest: Cool. Biden nominated Neera Tanden, who spends an inordinate amount of time shitting on the left in incredibly rude and nasty ways, to head the OMB.

For what it is worth, Senator John Cornyn's (R-TX) spokesperson, Drew Brandewie, says if Republicans retain control of the Senate that Neera Tanden "stands zero chance of being confirmed." So, presumably only nominations to the right of Neera Tanden will be acceptable to a Republican controlled Senate. A failure by Democrats to win both Senate runoffs in Georgia will likely have a very significant effect on Biden's cabinet.
posted by RichardP at 8:30 PM on November 29, 2020 [8 favorites]


Trump said that Michael Flynn would certainly have a happy Thanksgiving, and we know it’s true because he had some highly beneficial interactions with Turkey
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:39 PM on November 29, 2020 [11 favorites]


There’s no way we’ll see any student debt cancellation now. My hope for the Democrats to be different lasted two weeks!

Tanden is very abrasive online but she's much more progressive than the alternatives being discussed. Her policies aren't particularly problematic.
posted by Justinian at 8:49 PM on November 29, 2020 [1 favorite]


And as RichardP says, it's quite possible Tanden is too progressive even to be confirmed!

It's hard to see how the structural advantages the Senate confers on Republicans can hold in the medium much less the long term. Simply announcing that one party will not be allowed to govern the country even if they win isn't going to prove viable.
posted by Justinian at 8:51 PM on November 29, 2020 [3 favorites]


So, presumably only nominations to the right of Neera Tanden will be acceptable to a Republican controlled Senate. A failure by Democrats to win both Senate runoffs in Georgia will likely have a very significant effect on Biden's cabinet.

LOL fine, everybody they won't confirm will just be "Acting X" then. We have some practice with that lately. I hope Biden tries it.
posted by rhizome at 9:02 PM on November 29, 2020 [9 favorites]


It seems to me that Tanden is getting labeled by self declared gatekeepers of the true left as quasi-Republican DINO just because she didn’t like Bernie Sanders and campaigned against him. I’m so sick of the cults of personality that are taking over our politics.
posted by interogative mood at 9:03 PM on November 29, 2020 [25 favorites]


What is the policy critique of Tanden? I'm really not being sarcastic. I haven't seen one from anyone to her left. Or her right, actually. Everyone just seems mad she said some mean stuff on twitter.
posted by Justinian at 9:06 PM on November 29, 2020 [3 favorites]


Tanden as history's greatest monster is exclusively a Rose Twitter Cinematic Universe invention. She's a pretty standard progressive well to Biden's pre-2020 left, but she worked for Hillary Clinton and didn't back down in fights with some extremely online leftists, so hating her has become a shibboleth.

I don't think she'd be eligible as an "acting" OMB director because that requires someone who's been confirmed by the senate for another position or a qualified civil servant, neither of which applies.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:30 PM on November 29, 2020 [12 favorites]


it's quite possible Tanden is too progressive even to be confirmed!

Cornyn spokesman Drew Brandewie said that Center for American Progress head Neera Tanden's past history of "disparaging comments about the Republican Senators whose votes she’ll need" made her confirmation highly unlikely.

And, good lord, we certainly know how much Republican senators disapprove of people who say rude things about their political opponents on twitter. Senator Collins will have concerns for sure.
posted by JackFlash at 9:49 PM on November 29, 2020 [17 favorites]


Rose Twitter Cinematic Universe

This is gold, Jerry. Gold.
posted by Justinian at 12:49 AM on November 30, 2020 [7 favorites]


I understood that reference.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:40 AM on November 30, 2020 [2 favorites]


So...once again, what is the complaint, from the left, about Neera Tannen?
posted by tiny frying pan at 2:12 AM on November 30, 2020 [1 favorite]


Out of morbid curiosity I did a Twitter search on 'Wisconsin'.

Leaving sports-related tweets aside, it feels like:

- 75% variants on OMG Trump paid $34,000 per vote for Biden to gain 82 votes!

- 15% claims of This is all irrelevant, the Wisconsin Courts will throw out all absentee ballots tomorrow (presuming that case succeeds where, what, 39 others have failed?)

- 5% retweets of borderline-delusional assertions that the recount found 200,000 missing Trump votes BUT THE MSM IS NOT REPORTING THIS!!!

- 5% sad (because they seem sincere) tweets from True Believers along the lines of Who do I call at the FBI because nobody seems to be stopping the Democrats in this massive fraud?
posted by Major Clanger at 2:44 AM on November 30, 2020 [2 favorites]


Here's a short piece on the Center for American Progress during Tanden's tenure.

To my mind the criticism of Tanden is the same as the criticism of all of these Biden people - they're at ease with American war-making, they are happy to work with the right and when there is actually the possibility of some action they don't support popular, effective policies like raising the minimum wage, expanding healthcare for working adults, etc. (Even if they tweet out support at election time, they don't actually take action when it might count.) They are the same kind of wealthy, connected people who will always have good healthcare and a stable retirement so they have absolutely no skin in the game in terms of the basic anti-poverty programs that about 75% of America needs at this point.

I think that two things are tending to obscure what's going on: the sheer relief accompanying the appointment of non-Trumpists who have some actual expertise rather than being hate-driven grifters and the fact that many of these people are GenX-ish and have acceptable social values. Neera Tanden in particular "feels" very accessible due to her internet presence.

I also think that we want to believe. Often when I hear people online describing various political figures, I think "If only these people really were as good as their supporters believe; their supporters believe in genuinely good politicians". We often ignore people's political connections and deeper, long-term history in favor of a few appealing tweets or because they have an interesting background.

Neera Tanden isn't going to call for revoking gay marriage or refuse to have unchaperoned meetings with men or tweet out a bunch of slurs or let us know that she has no understanding of the history of, eg, the Iran nuclear deal. She's just not. She's not stupid and she's not going to pretend to be stupid to appeal to the base. That is a huge improvement.

But the background of so many, many of these Biden appointees makes it seem likely to me that they are not going to fight and twist arms to get healthcare, retirement security and relief for the many, many of us who are hurting. If they've been buddying up to AEI wonks, for instance, they really are not likely to prioritize the wellbeing of the 50% of society that is getting more and more exploited and precarious.

It would be an extremely hard fight with the current political situation, but I don't think they're even going to try.,

I also think that a lot of mefites are basically doing okay and will probably basically do okay for another ten years or so until the shit really hits the fan. Some of us on here are actually rich - maybe not Kardashians but with big tech or professional money, The trouble with this is that many people have a lot in common socially with Tanden - professional, secure, educated, socially liberal - and don't actually see in their daily lives how much ordinary people are suffering. You cannot beat skin in the game and none of these people have it.
posted by Frowner at 3:11 AM on November 30, 2020 [48 favorites]


Tanden, also spelt Tandon.

I've heard the name before, lemme dig.

//Interesting wikipedia entry. I should have screencapped it.
posted by infini at 4:33 AM on November 30, 2020




Neera Tanden heads the crack team that powers Hillary Clinton's presidential bid. DT on the woman who's called "the wonk behind Hillary".

Her brother might be gay married with two kids and her mom was on welfare for two years after their father divorced her after abandoning her with two toddlers.
posted by infini at 4:45 AM on November 30, 2020 [2 favorites]


So over the weekend Biden was playing with his dog and suffered a badly twisted ankle; he made a quick run to the orthopedist and they discovered some hairline fractures in the ankle and he's in a boot cast for a few weeks. (I can sympathize - this is exactly and precisely how I broke my own foot about 8 years ago, with a super-strong ankle sprain. And I full-on broke it, it wasn't just a hairline fracture.)

Twitter reaction is about 30% "ha ha he's old", 40% "oh no Biden be careful we need you safe in January", and 30% "oh man, a President who not just plays with his dog but is transparent about his health, THAT FEELS SO GOOD".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:33 AM on November 30, 2020 [18 favorites]


Also, here's Tanden gunning for social security cuts in 2012:

“We should have savings on entitlements, and the Center for American Progress has put forward ideas on proposals to reform the beneficiary structure of Social Security — some of our progressive allies aren’t as excited about that as we are,” she explained. “But we’ve put those ideas on the table. We think that those are legitimate ideas that need to be part of a proposal where everyone’s at the table. We don’t just ask middle-class Americans to sacrifice. We ask all Americans.”

Plus she was big on chained CPI.

Now, 2012 and 2020 are different, but look, you don't need to be some kind of rocket scientist to understand that social security actually doesn't do enough given how many Americans can't afford to save meaningfully for their old age. You don't need to be a genius to understand that a program which already doesn't do enough should not be cut. I don't think it's too much to expect of Democrats that they not have a history of advocating social security cuts, because that's not some kind of bizarre, extreme position.

Frankly, it feels disgustingly out of touch for a wealthy, powerful person to advocate cutting a program that is the most important to the people who've had the hardest lives and have the least money.

A side note: One of the reasons I hate our government-by-the-rich is that these people either don't understand or don't care that if you're poor and doing really hard, precarious work, you can't work until you're eighty. Sure, you can be a professor until you drop in the traces, you can sit around at the think tank til your brain literally gives out, but if you've been lifting boxes and working double shifts since your teens, your body gives out. People who are seventy should not be working, especially poor people. They should be retired on adequate money.

In short, I personally think that advocating for social security cuts at any point after, oh, high school ought to disqualify you for appointments in a Democratic administration.
posted by Frowner at 5:45 AM on November 30, 2020 [40 favorites]


NYTimes Opinion:
1918 Germany Has a Warning for America
Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” campaign recalls one of the most disastrous political lies of the 20th century
It may well be that Germans have a special inclination to panic at specters from the past, and I admit that this alarmism annoys me at times. Yet watching President Trump’s “Stop the Steal” campaign since Election Day, I can’t help but see a parallel to one of the most dreadful episodes from Germany’s history.

One hundred years ago, amid the implosions of Imperial Germany, powerful conservatives who led the country into war refused to accept that they had lost. Their denial gave birth to arguably the most potent and disastrous political lie of the 20th century — the Dolchstosslegende, or stab-in-the-back myth.

Its core claim was that Imperial Germany never lost World War I. Defeat, its proponents said, was declared but not warranted. It was a conspiracy, a con, a capitulation — a grave betrayal that forever stained the nation. That the claim was palpably false didn’t matter. Among a sizable number of Germans, it stirred resentment, humiliation and anger. And the one figure who knew best how to exploit their frustration was Adolf Hitler.

Don’t get me wrong: This is not about comparing Mr. Trump to Hitler, which would be absurd. But the Dolchstosslegende provides a warning. It’s tempting to dismiss Mr. Trump’s irrational claim that the election was “rigged” as a laughable last convulsion of his reign or a cynical bid to heighten the market value for the TV personality he might once again intend to become, especially as he appears to be giving up on his effort to overturn the election result.
But that would be a grave error. Instead, the campaign should be seen as what it is: an attempt to elevate “They stole it” to the level of legend, perhaps seeding for the future social polarization and division on a scale America has never seen.
posted by mumimor at 5:48 AM on November 30, 2020 [27 favorites]


The other side of the problem with the Weimar Republic was that the left spent all the years fighting each other instead of creating an alliance the people could trust to make things work.

The good thing about Bernie Sanders running for the Democratic nomination twice is that we have a good idea about how many Americans support him. Not even a majority of Democrats, and thus very far from a plurality of all Americans. You have to go with the compromises that are realistic, and move the bar incrementally. What was realistic in 2012 is different from what is realistic now, when so many people value ACA, and the virus has made it clear for all how vulnerable old and disabled people are.

I get it, I vote as far left as is possible here. But last I checked, we got 14% of all the votes. Not enough to set the agenda, but enough have some negotiating power. Maybe that is not as obvious in a two party system, I don't know. But it is just as real.
posted by mumimor at 6:04 AM on November 30, 2020 [25 favorites]


It would help if the media stopped reporting every single stupid thing that he says.
posted by Melismata at 6:16 AM on November 30, 2020 [10 favorites]


Also, in re Democrats and Biden: I think that the Democrats should be proud of and support flagship Democratic programs like social security, medicaid and the NIH (and they should have stuck by the war on poverty programs). When Democrats weasel about these enormous, successful, high-impact programs, they give the impression that they too think government can't really do anything good and that just plays into the hands of the GOP. Why have half-measures Democrats when you can have full-on GOP?

It just creates cynicism when you have Paul Ryan on the one hand and soft social security privatizers/cutters on the other, and it leads people to believe that the Democrats, like the GOP, mainly care about wall street and the banks.
posted by Frowner at 6:27 AM on November 30, 2020 [18 favorites]


As an Indian, I can tell you that Indians have issues with class, prestige, power, and influence. Check any Indian paper's politics pages.
posted by infini at 6:58 AM on November 30, 2020


I have a one-and-done block policy on twitter and Tanden is blocked, so she must have said something idiotic in the past year or so.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 7:03 AM on November 30, 2020


> Plus she was big on chained CPI.

Yes, she's big on it -- so big that she literally said "a policy I disagree with" in the Tweet being cited as proof that she's big on it.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:03 AM on November 30, 2020 [3 favorites]


Twitter reaction is about 30% "ha ha he's old", 40% "oh no Biden be careful we need you safe in January", and 30% "oh man, a President who not just plays with his dog but is transparent about his health, THAT FEELS SO GOOD".

Also about 0.05% Qultists who think Biden's moon boot is to cover up the ankle bracelet he has to wear because he has been found guilty in super sekrit court and is waiting to be sent to Gitmo.
posted by PenDevil at 7:04 AM on November 30, 2020 [9 favorites]


Yes, she's big on it -- so big that she literally said "a policy I disagree with" in the Tweet being cited as proof that she's big on it.

Let me quote from the article:

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal think tank, found that the chained CPI “would cut Social Security retirement benefits by about 2 percent, on average.” The organization, nevertheless, said it would support the concept under certain conditions.

Tanden’s CAP, at the time considered to be the largest liberal think tank in Washington, also supported the idea and was a significant voice in favor of the administration’s plan. [....]

Indeed, in a report on Social Security solvency CAP released two years earlier, the organization cautioned that “Social Security... is showing its age,” and warned that progressive ideas like lifting the payroll tax “without addressing other problems in Social Security’s benefit design would be a mistake.” One of the solutions it proposed was the chained CPI.


Unless somehow CAP consistently produced policy recommendations that Tanden herself found totally anathema, if CAP was recommending chained CPI then she was cool with it.

All these Biden people are like that. When conditions change a bit or if they get a lot of pushback, they back down - she probably wouldn't say "yes let's have chained CPI in 2021 during a pandemic" - but they have a history of supporting cuts to major, important programs that have outsized benefits to low income Americans. Obama had a bunch of social security privatizer people in his administration, and himself seemed to be looking to privatize it at one point.

The thing is, it's great that when people make it clear that social security is a third rail they back off, but it's such a waste of our time. We should not have to be making phone calls and organizing to protect possibly the most successful and important US government program in our history. That program should be untouchable and only cranks and lunatics should be advocating for cuts. It should certainly be viewed as untouchable by anyone who wants a career in a Democratic administration. We should not have to be putting out fires all the time instead of making actual improvements.

Again, this isn't rocket science and Tanden wasn't some college libertarian in 2012. She was in her forties - old enough, as I know myself, to see retirement as a real thing that is on the horizon even if still distant.

Cutting social security is so dumb, in fact, that I don't trust anyone who has seriously advocated it. You have to have such bad first principles or be so stupid about economics or be so heartless to take that position in the first place that it signals a really fundamental character flaw.

I add that you have to look at people's friends and colleagues and their work history, not just what they put out on the twitters. Someone whose friends and colleagues are privatizers and cutters is likely to be a privatizer and cutter even if she doesn't parade down the street carrying a "let grandma eat cat food" sign.
posted by Frowner at 7:17 AM on November 30, 2020 [14 favorites]


Tanden isn't just someone who doesn't support M4A and wants to cut social security, she actively smears, slanders, and attacks those who do. She's hostile to them.

The nomination also shows that all the centrist dems complaining about mean online leftists really had no problem with the mean or online part.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:23 AM on November 30, 2020 [9 favorites]


I get it, I vote as far left as is possible here. But last I checked, we got 14% of all the votes. Not enough to set the agenda, but enough have some negotiating power. Maybe that is not as obvious in a two party system, I don't know. But it is just as real.
I’ve been wondering about trying to channel that energy into voting reform changing the two party system, but also whether that’d be a good idea. I’ve generally thought of that as a boon for allowing more competitive races without the need to consider a safety candidate and making it harder to smear a Democrat in a swing state with the most liberal candidate anywhere in the country. Lately, however, I’ve been wondering about the shy Trump voter hypothesis and the likelihood of a fairly large number of people voting for someone like that because they could be confident that their second choice vote for a more traditional Republican would count even if the extremist didn’t win.
posted by adamsc at 7:32 AM on November 30, 2020


FWIW, I'm a firm believer that meaningful political reform in the US is impossible without meaningful campaign finance reform.

So basically we're fucked.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:37 AM on November 30, 2020 [3 favorites]


> Unless somehow CAP consistently produced policy recommendations that Tanden herself found totally anathema, if CAP was recommending chained CPI then she was cool with it.

The report Bragman cites was published in 2010, while Tanden didn't succeed John Podesta as director of CAP until late 2011. Sometimes think tanks put out reports with provisions that not everyone in the organization agrees with. We can speculate about whether she personally signed off on this report, but there is no contemporaneous evidence of her advocating for chained CPI, forcing Bragman to try to ret-con in a disavowal of it as an endorsement.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:43 AM on November 30, 2020 [9 favorites]


"President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record."

Despite Slate's objections, I think a positive way to look at this is that Rahm Emanuel's mayorship during the cover up of the police murder of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager, is just the sort of centrist voice Biden needs in his administration to remain competitive in the 2022 midterms with moderate white voters who love the police and state-sanctioned, disproportionate violence against people of color.
posted by Ouverture at 9:38 AM on November 30, 2020 [4 favorites]


Yeah, if Biden's goal is to unite normie progressives and leftists against him, Rahm is the obvious choice.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:49 AM on November 30, 2020 [10 favorites]


I knew Rahm Emanuel was worthless years ago when he said "What voters want is reform!" without ever stating WTF that even means.
posted by PhineasGage at 9:56 AM on November 30, 2020 [1 favorite]


emanuel? emanuel? o come on!
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:11 AM on November 30, 2020 [3 favorites]


It seems like appointing as Transportation Secretary the person who got sucked into Elon Musk's scam for a Tesla Tunnel to the O'Hara airport is a bad idea. He has demonstrated bad judgement on transportation.
posted by JackFlash at 10:14 AM on November 30, 2020 [13 favorites]


He has demonstrated bad judgement on transportation

He's consistent, I'll give him that.
posted by flabdablet at 10:33 AM on November 30, 2020 [4 favorites]


Rahm Emanuel was the shitheel who got Sheila Bair from FDIC booted out of the bank bailout discussions in 2008 since her opinions involved letting the monied class eat their losses. He is the main reason why people lost faith in any kind of penance for financial crimes in the USA. Fuck him, he was easily the worst actor of the Obama team
posted by benzenedream at 10:38 AM on November 30, 2020 [21 favorites]


Is there anyone around who would tell Joe not to appoint Rahm Emanuel?
posted by ichomp at 11:12 AM on November 30, 2020 [2 favorites]


Chicago DSA is already mobilizing to try to stop this. Rossana Rodriguez is my alderperson and I am thrilled. link
posted by tiny frying pan at 11:36 AM on November 30, 2020 [7 favorites]


Joe and Zeke are close. I wonder if Zeke is putting any pressure on Joe to hire Rahm.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:39 AM on November 30, 2020 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, Attorney General Barr, squeezing every bit of juice out of his remaining time in power, is working hard on Making America Great Again by bringing back firing squads.
posted by darkstar at 11:45 AM on November 30, 2020 [2 favorites]




Via The Hill:

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), two prominent Senate progressives, voiced support Monday for President-elect Joe Biden’s controversial choice to head the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Neera Tanden.
posted by darkstar at 11:51 AM on November 30, 2020 [4 favorites]


I think the question of whether the co-founder and then second-in-command at CAP supported its report calling for CPI is somewhat secondary to the reason we care, which is that CPI means social security cuts. But we don't need CPI for that -- Tanden said so many times outright, eg in the aforementioned article: "I think the question really is: If we’re going to have a deal to address long-term deficit reduction, we need to put both entitlements on the table as well as taxes...We should have savings on entitlements, and the Center for American Progress has put forward ideas on proposals to reform the beneficiary structure of Social Security." So she definitely favored cuts less than a decade ago, just as Biden did. It wasn't a deal-breaker on Biden, evidently, and it needn't be for Tanden. But we need to keep in mind who these people were back in those ancient days when 2/3 of America was opposed to Social Security cuts, putting Tanden and Biden (and Obama, for that matter) to the right of 80-90% of Democrats at the time. The Democratic party has shifted since then, as have many of its leaders, but I still wonder whether these leaders are in the same relative position to their party as they were back then regarding wonky, out-of-public-view economic issues like Social Security budgeting or, say, everything the OMB does.
posted by chortly at 12:32 PM on November 30, 2020 [4 favorites]


McEnany Ignores Male Deputies While Railing Against Coverage Of Biden’s All-Female Comms Team --TPM

"White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was met with derision on Sunday night after she attacked the Washington Post for reporting on President-elect Joe Biden’s newly announced communications team made up entirely of women.

"However, she apparently forgot that her own deputies, Judd Deere and Brian Morgenstern, are male. In fact, much of TPM’s outreach to the White House has been fielded by Deere."
posted by valkane at 12:48 PM on November 30, 2020 [1 favorite]


Instead of Rahm maybe Biden should leave Elaine Chao in as Secretary of Transportation just to fuck with Mitch McConnell. I mean if we're going to have some terrible person on the job at least make it funny.
posted by interogative mood at 1:39 PM on November 30, 2020 [5 favorites]


She said "senior" WH press team. Apparently she's senior, they're junior. Which makes sense, just hope that wasn't a surprise to them that she didn't consider them "senior" staff.
posted by ctmf at 1:42 PM on November 30, 2020



emanuel? emanuel? o come on!
posted by 20 year lurk


Tragically under-rated comment.
posted by bcd at 1:56 PM on November 30, 2020 [3 favorites]


Not enthused about Rahm Emanuel either, but if the DOT continues to bankroll one state in particular, I'd prefer Illinois benefit rather than Kentucky.
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:49 PM on November 30, 2020 [2 favorites]


Via dKos: AZ certifies Biden’s win.

There is a video clip making the rounds from this:

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey reported, back in July, that he had changed the ring tones on his phone so that it would play "Hail to the Chief" when either Trump or Pence called him. There's a clip going around social media now, taken from the certification meeting, of Ducey shuffling through papers just before signing to certify. His cell phone rings - and the ring tone is "Hail To The Chief". Ducey takes it out of his jacket pocket, looks at it, and then sighs and switches off the ringer and goes back to certifying the count.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:34 PM on November 30, 2020 [38 favorites]


Trump team lawyer Joe DiGenova, appearing on the NewsMax Howie Carr show:

"Anybody who thinks the election went well, like that idiot Krebs who used to be the head of cybersecurity [for Trump]. That guy is a class A moron. He should be drawn and quartered. Taken out at dawn and shot."

This isn't just any right wing hothead spouting off. This is a lawyer that Trump has designated as officially speaking for him advocating violence on a recently fired government official.
posted by JackFlash at 5:04 PM on November 30, 2020 [14 favorites]


"Hail To The Chief".

Welp, that's another felony. Glad we caught it on tape. What number are we up to?
posted by sexyrobot at 5:05 PM on November 30, 2020 [2 favorites]


Say goodbye to Scott Atlas.
Scott Atlas turned in his resignation on Monday from his role as a special adviser to President Trump on the coronavirus, capping off a controversial tenure in which he gained considerable influence while pushing questionable approaches to combatting the pandemic.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:10 PM on November 30, 2020 [10 favorites]


Good riddance!
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:38 PM on November 30, 2020 [5 favorites]


MY PLAGUE SEEDING IS DONE HERE. NOW I CAN GO BACK TO STANFORD AND PLOT THE DESTRUCTION OF MEDICARE.
posted by benzenedream at 5:51 PM on November 30, 2020 [6 favorites]


Welp, that's another felony. Glad we caught it on tape.

....what's the felony?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:44 PM on November 30, 2020


Marc Elias getting the name-check by The White House Press Secretary. Twitter.
posted by valkane at 7:05 PM on November 30, 2020


Presumably the felony would have been attempting to subvert the legal certification of the vote, had Ducey taken the call.
posted by darkstar at 7:18 PM on November 30, 2020 [3 favorites]


He should have put it on speaker.
posted by ctmf at 7:27 PM on November 30, 2020 [4 favorites]


But it might have been Pence calling for a letter of recommendation.
posted by perhapses at 7:31 PM on November 30, 2020 [5 favorites]


From the NYT article linked by mumimor above:

The startling aspect about the Dolchstosslegende is this: It did not grow weaker after 1918 but stronger. In the face of humiliation and unable or unwilling to cope with the truth, many Germans embarked on a disastrous self-delusion: The nation had been betrayed, but its honor and greatness could never be lost. And those without a sense of national duty and righteousness — the left and even the elected government of the new republic — could never be legitimate custodians of the country.

In this way, the myth was not just the sharp wedge that drove the Weimar Republic apart. It was also at the heart of Nazi propaganda, and instrumental in justifying violence against opponents. The key to Hitler’s success was that, by 1933, a considerable part of the German electorate had put the ideas embodied in the myth — honor, greatness, national pride — above democracy.

The Germans were so worn down by the lost war, unemployment and international humiliation that they fell prey to the promises of a “Führer” who cracked down hard on anyone perceived as “traitors,” leftists and Jews above all. The stab-in-the-back myth was central to it all. When Hitler became chancellor on Jan. 30, 1933, the Nazi newspaper Völkischer Beobachter wrote that “irrepressible pride goes through the millions” who fought so long to “undo the shame of 9 November 1918.”

Germany’s first democracy fell. Without a basic consensus built on a shared reality, society split into groups of ardent, uncompromising partisans. And in an atmosphere of mistrust and paranoia, the notion that dissenters were threats to the nation steadily took hold.


This is not the first parallel I've read between the late 19-teens and today, along with a pandemic to boot. I'm getting more and more worried about what we will be facing in 15 or so years. Especially as I haven't seen any kind of proposals (substantive or otherwise) about what we are supposed to do, post-Trump, about the tens of millions of people among us living in a totally different reality, with no sign of the cult going away or even weakening.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:52 PM on November 30, 2020 [26 favorites]


Say goodbye to Scott Atlas.

Makes sense. He and Trump said the pandemic would be over the day after the election. The media were just making it up.
posted by JackFlash at 8:41 PM on November 30, 2020 [1 favorite]


While some leftists are complaining about Tanden, Biden is selecting an economic team that is "heavy on labor economists and champions of organized labor."
posted by PhineasGage at 9:43 PM on November 30, 2020 [5 favorites]


So, maybe Scott Atlas is smarter than we thought? He see's the writing on the wall. Best time to get out is now. Don't forget his name. Or maybe the Mercers cut him off.
posted by valkane at 10:06 PM on November 30, 2020


Trump raises more than $150 million by appealing to false election claims #catturd -- twitter (this time I got it right)
posted by valkane at 10:23 PM on November 30, 2020 [3 favorites]


Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certification of Arizona election results --AZCentral

"Why is he rushing to put a Democrat in office?" Trump asked, including a clip of Ducey discussing getting Senator-elect Mark Kelly sworn in as soon as possible. "Especially when so many horrible things concerning voter fraud are being revealed at the hearing going on right now."
posted by valkane at 10:29 PM on November 30, 2020 [1 favorite]


Sarah Cooper: The president is currently retweeting multiple tweets from a user named Cat Turd and Republicans are like, “Joe Biden’s cabinet picks are too progressive!”
posted by valkane at 10:59 PM on November 30, 2020 [16 favorites]


Washington Post on Neera Tanden. The emphasis is from attacks from the right. Apparently they don't like that she's a progressive that doesn't back down from a fight. In this they agree with her left critics on Twitter. People complain Democrats never fight for anything, then you get someone with opinions (like a public option instead of M4A) and complain when they don't go down meekly.

I checked out a tweet from her once. She'd posted something personal (about a family health problem IIRC) and it was flooded with self-identifying leftists telling her they hoped something bad happened and it was karmic justice. I decided I didn't need to be that online.

In a Biden administration she's going to push to the left. I get that people have a score with her, but that's the issue. Janet Yellen doesn't provoke anywhere near this level on animosity, and I'm a lot more worried about her instincts than Tanden's. She didn't just say she was open to austerity a decade ago, when the Republicans were threatening default. She fargin' raised interest interest rates late in Obama's term, despite no hint of it being necessary.

If you really think allying with Republicans to block her appointment is a good idea, I hope you have a realistic idea who the replacement might be.
posted by mark k at 11:20 PM on November 30, 2020 [15 favorites]


I kind of support Biden appointing Sen. Toomey for a Cabinet position to get a Senate majority, and so there is a Democratic incumbent in PA in the 2022 Senate race. He will need to pull every trick in the book to get things done in the next two years.
posted by ichomp at 11:30 PM on November 30, 2020 [7 favorites]


If you really think allying with Republicans to block her appointment is a good idea, I hope you have a realistic idea who the replacement might be.

It's a large world, and there are tons of people out there who are both experienced and reasonably centrist, yet also have never called for cutting Social Security and are in other ways plausibly to the left of Tanden. For instance, The Prospect has been doing a good run-down of reasonable left-ish candidates for various cabinet positions, while also attacking bad candidates. Their article criticizing Bruce Reed, for instance, discusses a number of perfectly plausible alternatives for OMB, many of whom would also probably have an easier time being confirmed than Tanden. They include Gene Spirling (as establishment as you could ever ask for), Ann O'Leary (former Hillary staffer), Boushey (just picked for AEC), John Jones, and Bill Spriggs. How many of these folks has anyone heard of before? That's the point -- there are a lot of plausible people out there to pick from, and many of them are imperfect yet better than Tanden, Reed, and various other objectionable folks we probably also haven't heard of. Criticizing Tanden is a perfectly reasonable, pragmatic thing to do, and at this point might still even have some effect, like the early and hard criticism of Reed did.
posted by chortly at 12:08 AM on December 1, 2020 [11 favorites]


The startling aspect about the Dolchstosslegende is this: It did not grow weaker after 1918 but stronger. In the face of humiliation and unable or unwilling to cope with the truth, many Germans embarked on a disastrous self-delusion

It's worth noting that as the second Iraq War devolved into the disaster many of its critics predicted it would be, the conservatives who had advocated for the war and dismissed critics' arguments tried to pivot to a Dolchstosslegende, claiming that George W. Bush and the troops were somehow "betrayed" by Democrats and others who didn't support the war. Fortunately, the Bush Administration's incompetence was a little too well known and the ways the Iraq War failed were a little to close to the predictions for the narrative to take hold, but it wouldn't surprise me if conservatives, as usual, want to cast blame elsewhere for their own failures.
posted by Gelatin at 4:59 AM on December 1, 2020 [12 favorites]


Atlas is a special government employee with 130-day detail, which will expire this week, so don't read too much into his resignation.
posted by amarynth at 5:55 AM on December 1, 2020 [7 favorites]


> Criticizing Tanden is a perfectly reasonable, pragmatic thing to do, and at this point might still even have some effect, like the early and hard criticism of Reed did.

The left reacted negatively to Bruce Reed. Bruce Reed wasn't chosen. Therefore, the left's negative reaction to Reed had an effect. Yet Neera Tanden, whom the left also hates, was chosen. Is there some part I'm missing that establishes a believable causal chain here?

Gene Sperling also supported chained CPI during the Obama era, and I'm not aware of any point on which he differs from Tanden that doesn't boil down to a Twitter beef between her and some Jacobinite. Biden clearly feels that Tanden's skill set is a better fit at OMB, and given how feckless guys like Pete Orszag and Jack Lew were in that role under Obama, I'd rather have a media-savvy vocal fighter in a role that has so much interaction with a likely GOP-led Congress while the economists focus on economist things.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:17 AM on December 1, 2020 [3 favorites]


“It’s like putting Chelsea Clinton in the office,” said Kurt Ehrenberg, Sanders’ former longtime political strategist in New Hampshire. “She’s clearly not a friend of the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party.”

That kind of tips their hand that this is not about policy and is really about hating the Clintons.
posted by octothorpe at 6:48 AM on December 1, 2020 [14 favorites]


Trump attorney issues call for violence against truth-telling former election cybersecurity official
Washington (CNN)An attorney for the Trump campaign on Monday issued a call for violence against Chris Krebs, a former cybersecurity official who was unceremoniously ousted from his post by President Donald Trump after he rejected the President's unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud.

Joe diGenova, an attorney for Trump's campaign, said during an appearance on "The Howie Carr Show": "Anybody who thinks the election went well, like that idiot Krebs who used to be the head of cybersecurity. That guy is a class A moron. He should be drawn and quartered. Taken out at dawn and shot."

A source familiar with Trump's election challenges said diGenova is believed to still be helping Rudy Giuliani, Trump's attorney, in challenging the presidential election results.
Telling the truth as a public servant is now grounds for execution in the waning weeks of the Trump regime.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:14 AM on December 1, 2020 [14 favorites]


“It’s like putting Chelsea Clinton in the office,” said Kurt Ehrenberg, Sanders’ former longtime political strategist in New Hampshire. “She’s clearly not a friend of the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party.”

Dr. Chelsea Clinton has a master's in Public Health and a PhD in International Relations. In other words, she is far more qualified for a job at the White House than almost anybody in the Trump administration.
posted by hydropsyche at 7:38 AM on December 1, 2020 [41 favorites]


It’s about policy but it’s also about Tanden’s vocal hostility to the left. Many centrist dems share her policy but they’re no where near as aggressive toward the left as Tanden is.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:39 AM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


And what vocal hostility is that, I'm honestly curious. Cite?
posted by tiny frying pan at 7:50 AM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


"He should be drawn and quartered. Taken out at dawn and shot."

Not coincidentally, Bill Barr is pushing the Justice Department to approve electrocution and firing squad to execute federal prisoners -- as his last act in office. What kind of fucked up person chooses that as his final legacy in public office?
posted by JackFlash at 7:58 AM on December 1, 2020 [9 favorites]


> And what vocal hostility is that, I'm honestly curious. Cite?

Well, she deleted a thousand tweets recently, including many very hostile toward Republicans, but also presumably some where she was either attacking members of the Berniesphere or defending herself against attacks from them. One of the more higher profile exchanges is documented here.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:59 AM on December 1, 2020 [2 favorites]


On preview: It’s about policy but it’s also about Tanden’s vocal hostility to the left. Many centrist dems share her policy but they’re no where near as aggressive toward the left as Tanden is.

Agree, 100%. I'm just throwing shit against the wall, but I'm super familiar with Neera Tanden's background and online presence and I think one of the many reasons Tanden was picked - aside from standard party loyalty and successfully climbing the ladder within - but also because she has a big following and because has been a reliable antagonizing force to the left wing of the party.

I think dems are aware that more people than ever will now be heavily criticizing decisions from *inside* the party, that a very vocal left wing exists and is here to stay in the Sanders and AOC/Bowman/Cori Bush/Justice Dems wing who are very good at Online Shit, very good at spreading awareness digitally, and they want someone with the PR, comms, influencer chops to fight back on their behalf.

The idea that she was chosen because she is "progressive" is laughable, we are talking about an administration that claims "black lives matter" but *insists* on giving a guy who covered up a police shooting a job, for Reasons. No one is getting chosen because of their progressive politics, these are strategic decisions for maintaining business as usual as much as possible. I think some bones will be thrown but they'll be tiny, means-tested, convoluted in the way that we've become used to in the last 30 odd years - certainly not enough to get a mass of people from "angry and/or disillusioned by lesser of two evils" to "excited and thankful for the democratic party positively changing my life". I genuinely hope I'm wrong, and hope to revisit this post in a year and go "damn I really had no idea" but I'd be willing to bet a medium amount of money that they won't do shit, and that we'll see Tanden doing something that she is excellent at, which is defending the democratic party from the left.
posted by windbox at 8:01 AM on December 1, 2020 [6 favorites]


One of the more higher profile exchanges is documented here.

I...don't get it. Maybe I don't get the finer points but I haven't seen anything yet to substantiate what is claimed here.
posted by tiny frying pan at 8:08 AM on December 1, 2020 [3 favorites]


It's a large world, and there are tons of people out there who are both experienced and reasonably centrist, yet also have never called for cutting Social Security and are in other ways plausibly to the left of Tanden

Yes, this.

There are a lot of candidates for most of these positions who would be competent and who have no austerity track record. The chatter amongst left progressives is that Biden may be setting himself up for an austerity administration, which is going to be disastrous for ordinary people in the wake of the pandemic. When I see him choosing people (including Yellen) who hang around with social security cutters and have a history of proposing austerity measures, I wonder why and it does not make me feel confident.

Tanden is famous because of her internet presence. Just because she's a famous Democratic face does not mean she's above reproach and must be defended at all costs.

"Should Biden appoint people who have advocated for cuts to the single most successful and beloved Democratic program or should he appoint people who have not" is not some kind of far left debate.

The Democrats are going to be dead in the water if they give us an austerity program because there simply aren't enough upper middle class socially liberal professionals to carry them to victory if they don't defend and expand vital, popular, already-existing social programs. I'm not talking about "the Democrats need to move significantly left to remain relevant" because I think that's an unproven assertion* but we're not talking about that. We're talking about Medicare, social security and other very basic safety net stuff.

Trump could have won the election if he'd sent people a check every month during the pandemic. That wouldn't have made him a leftist, it would have made him someone who provided desperately needed support to the average American. But all his GOP frothing at the mouth couldn't overcome the obvious crisis. Similarly, if we're sitting here in 2024 with a vastly deteriorated economy and cuts to social security, medicare, etc, the Democrats will lose.

I will tell you something that I think is a bit of a personal bellweather: I am an ameliorationist, I have always pulled the lever for Democrats no matter how much I despise them and I have been pretty much tipped over into clinical anxiety and depression during the past four years. As I read about some of the austerity policies and pro-cop rhetoric that have been floated by people adjacent to Biden, I started to be less afraid of a Trump second term because I began to worry about how bad a Biden term would be. I have never felt that way in my life. And I mean, obviously I voted for the Democrats and I still on balance think that a functioning NIH, etc, are bottom line things that make a difference regardless of everything else, but floating up from my subconscious was "what if it takes a post-Trump Democrat to cut social security and medicare"?

Bill Clinton really fucked us over on international trade, a lot of environmental legislation and gutting welfare**. (And around 1997 he was discreetly meeting with a task force about social security privatization; he spun on that, possibly because of the Lewinsky thing.) It was Clinton who paved the way for Trump, if you like, because Clintonite policy cut away all the supports for the working and middle classes. People didn't pay attention at the time because of course he was just cutting welfare and people on welfare were considered either lazy or victims of welfare itself, so naturally anything would be better, and they didn't pay attention on trade because it was complicated and scary and the effects wouldn't be felt for five or ten years anyway.

The policy changes that happened during the Clinton years were disastrous. They precipitated the great unwinding of this country. But because they were put in place by a socially liberal Democrat and they were background stuff and stuff that happened to other people (welfare recipients, foreign factory workers) we mostly just let it go.

I remember very well because that was when I cut my teeth, activism-wise, and you could not convince people that the trade and welfare stuff was going to be a huge economic disaster for ordinary Americans.

If you stood up for welfare and against NAFTA (and if you knew what the Uruguay round of the GATT negotiations were) you were treated like a complete nut back then. Frankly it reminds me of the response to left skepticism of Biden appointees. People really, really want to believe that things will be fine and that the Biden administration is going to do as much as it can to advance a progressive agenda, no matter how many dodgy connections and how dodgy a history Biden appointees have. People believed that about Clinton and he wrecked so much about this country.

Someone is not actually a good appointee just because they're better than more right-wing choices or better than the Trump administration. I feel like we get offered a choice between a punch in the face and a kick in the shins and when we naturally choose a kick in the shins we get manipulated into saying that a kick in the shins is a positive good.

*But I bet they could win for a generation on Medicare for All and a jobs program.

**Welfare would have been a really handy backstop in 2008 and during the pandemic. American welfare wasn't very good, granted, but it provided a wage floor - bosses are at least going to pay people better than welfare does. Just like having asylums for the mentally ill was pretty bad, but kicking them out to starve and freeze in the street was worse.
posted by Frowner at 8:29 AM on December 1, 2020 [22 favorites]


So there's nothing you can point to for her vocal hostility towards the left that is well known? I can't find anything.

She fired her CAP newsroom ThinkProgress for unionizing and they were no longer "profitable".

She pushed a Sanders staffer for asking about Clinton's Iraq War support

She spearheaded attack videos against Sanders - who else in the democratic party has "progressive" think tanks making attack content about them by their own party apparatus? Show me.

She fights with the Sunrise Movement/GND activists on bolder climate measures, she fights about Medicare for All and it's (presumed) lack of public support.

Perhaps all of these things or some of these things like GND, M4A, Bernie, etc are not your bag - fine! But either people's heads are under a rock or they are straight up ignoring the fact she has made a name among the left as queen of "Better Things Aren't Possible, Actually". These examples aren't even tip of the iceberg, just what I was able to throw together in a few minutes.

In 2016 she failed to condemn Hillary Clinton as a witch.

Actually forget everything I said, you're right, there is simply no other reason to criticize Tanden and you have everyone totally nailed. Love 2 have nuanced discourse!
posted by windbox at 8:29 AM on December 1, 2020 [7 favorites]


I'm sure a full dossier will be posted here shortly by folks who are so invested in the idea that she's a terrible pick, and don't doubt there are worse examples of her tweeting in a hostile manner when she was acting in a capacity as a campaign official. From what I've seen of her TV appearances, she seems like someone who can turn that off in a setting that requires more restraint (e.g. when acting as the head of a federal agency) but I would like her to retain at least some of the sharpness of her critiques when she's engaging with congressional Republicans. If she's truly the bully she's accused of being, then that can only come in handy when engaging with other bullies.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:30 AM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


Also, I take back "heads are under a rock" - I think that knowing Neera Tanden's background with fighting progressives is a very inside-baseball/online thing. The point though is that the dynamic exists and it's one that she propagates, and it's far beyond "Clinton ally = bad!!!" She's a fighter, it's her job, she's good at it and I suspect it's one of the many reasons she was hired.
posted by windbox at 8:38 AM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


She's a fighter, it's her job, she's good at it

Let's not kid ourselves, if Tanden was fighting for Medicare for All there's no chance in hell she would be anywhere near a Biden administration.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:45 AM on December 1, 2020 [6 favorites]


President fails to nominate people who support policies he opposes. Film at 11.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:01 AM on December 1, 2020 [7 favorites]


And Biden's lack of support for M4A during a pandemic is just wrong. At least show that you've acknowledged neoliberalism won't save us from plague and mass unemployment.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 9:05 AM on December 1, 2020 [4 favorites]


Yeah, Biden pretty explicitly didn't run on Medicare for all, none of his nominees seem to contradict that. This is what people voted for.
posted by octothorpe at 9:05 AM on December 1, 2020 [2 favorites]


President doesn't nominate people who support policies he opposes.

Is the President who opposes those policies is still owed the votes of people who support those policies?
posted by MrBadExample at 9:07 AM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


She likes the public option, not M4A. I'm hoping she'll fight for the public option. This would be great, even in the middle of the pandemic. It'd be a big step in the right direction.

Advocating for M4A is great. But given we're not getting that this administration, I'm a bit bemused by the vigorous determination to replace Tanden with people who don't publicly fight for anything, 'cause they haven't ruffled your feathers.
posted by mark k at 9:14 AM on December 1, 2020 [4 favorites]


When do you expect to vote for Biden again? He has stated he won't run in '24. He is the candidate the Dems selected to oust Trump. His platform was pretty clear.
If you plan to vote for a Republican representative in '22 to oppose him you won't get M4A either.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:14 AM on December 1, 2020 [3 favorites]


> And Biden's lack of support for M4A during a pandemic is just wrong. At least show that you've acknowledged neoliberalism won't save us from plague and mass unemployment.

I'd amend this to say that anything less than universal coverage during a pandemic is wrong, and while I'd prefer we got there via M4A, the prospect of abolishing private insurance that duplicates what M4A provides will be a much heavier political lift. M4A polls well until you start mentioning replacing private insurance, and if you're not doing that, then it's really not the M4A as put forth in Sanders' bill, and starts to look indistinguishable from a public option.

I would prefer a President who could try to mold public opinion and put pressure on Congress to support it, and would have voted for such a President in the primaries if I'd lived in an early primary state, but Biden's the guy who won, so he gets to decide whether to take the risk or try a safer play to move toward universal coverage.

> Is the President who opposes those policies is still owed the votes of people who support those policies?

Against the guy who's spent most of his non-Fox-news-watching and non-hate-Tweeting hours trying to dismantle the ACA? Yeah, he was owed those votes.

Against primary oponents who were running on more robust solutions to deliver universal coverage? No, he wasn't owed those votes, and he wouldn't have gotten mine if my preferred candidates had lasted long enough.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:17 AM on December 1, 2020 [12 favorites]


After Trump Att’y Calls For His Death, Former DHS Official Warns That He Has Good Lawyers -- TPM

"A lawyer for President Donald Trump said Monday evening that a former DHS official who’s debunked myths about election fraud shot be “drawn and quartered” and “shot.”

And on Tuesday morning, the former official — the recent director of DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Chris Krebs — said he was exploring his legal options in response to the comment."
posted by valkane at 9:20 AM on December 1, 2020 [16 favorites]


She likes the public option, not M4A.

It's worth noting that during the Obamacare debate, Republicans complained that private insurance plans wouldn't be able to compete with a public option, because they had to make a profit where the public option wouldn't.

Astonishingly (well, not really), the so-called "liberal media" framed this stance as a criticism of the Democrats' plans and not a self-confessed indictment of the system Republicans were trying to protect.

Republicans also noted, probably accurately, that a public option would likely be the thin edge of the edge for establishing universal government-paid health care.
posted by Gelatin at 9:21 AM on December 1, 2020 [14 favorites]


He has stated he won't run in '24.

No, he has not. You can claim he has been ambiguous about it but that's all.

In October, The Associated Press reported that when “asked whether he would pledge to only serve one term if elected, Biden said he wouldn’t make such a promise but noted he wasn’t necessarily committed to seeking a second term if elected in 2020.”

“I feel good and all I can say is, watch me, you’ll see,” he told the AP. “It doesn’t mean I would run a second term. I’m not going to make that judgment at this moment.”
posted by JackFlash at 9:23 AM on December 1, 2020 [3 favorites]


If you look at the left side of this pic... you can see crews are making a lot of progress on the Biden inauguration grandstand on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the north lawn of the WH. -- Jim Acosta on twitter
posted by valkane at 9:29 AM on December 1, 2020


MrBadExample: " President doesn't nominate people who support policies he opposes.

Is the President who opposes those policies is still owed the votes of people who support those policies?
"

The election was last month and Biden did get more votes.
posted by octothorpe at 9:32 AM on December 1, 2020 [2 favorites]


It's good to remember the contrast:

Number of Biden Positions to be Filled By People Explicitly Chosen To Destroy Their Department : 0
Number of Trump Positions Filled By People Explicitly Chosen to Destroy Their Department : All
posted by benzenedream at 9:41 AM on December 1, 2020 [30 favorites]


The debates about M4A are kind of beside the point since there won't be any legislation passed if the Senate turns out the way it does regardless of any presidential administration's preferred policy.

However, Biden could forgive federal student loans on day 1. I think that's less likely to happen given the people he's picked to be in his administration. I hope I'm wrong.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:44 AM on December 1, 2020 [5 favorites]


President doesn't nominate people who support policies he opposes.

Isn't this the same guy whose team made public overtures to Republicans about potentially integrating some of them into his cabinet all in the name of "diversity of ideology?"
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:46 AM on December 1, 2020 [5 favorites]


I worded my previous comment poorly. Rather than the President, I should have been referring to the party. But still, Is the situation now “Well, Biden won, die mad about it and by the way if the Democrats lose Congress in the midterms it’s all your fault?”
posted by MrBadExample at 9:48 AM on December 1, 2020 [2 favorites]


"A lawyer for President Donald Trump said Monday evening that a former DHS official who’s debunked myths about election fraud shot be “drawn and quartered” and “shot.”

IMO, that should be enough to disbar an attorney.
posted by scottatdrake at 9:53 AM on December 1, 2020 [25 favorites]


> I worded my previous comment poorly. Rather than the President, I should have been referring to the party. But still, Is the situation now “Well, Biden won, die mad about it and by the way if the Democrats lose Congress in the midterms it’s all your fault?”

You've retracted one straw man and substituted another. There's been no "bend the knee" talk here from anyone who's advocating a wait-and-see approach before grabbing the torches and pitchforks, and if President Joe Biden isn't aggressively pushing for universal healthcare and massive direct monetary relief to people who need it, then please save a pitchfork for me. Until then, complaining about the hire of an insufficiently-progressive OMB director doesn't say much of anything about what specific policies Biden will or won't support, and doing so primarily based on some mean tweets just looks silly.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:57 AM on December 1, 2020 [11 favorites]


Atlas is a special government employee with 130-day detail, which will expire this week, so don't read too much into his resignation.

What I read into it is that Atlas and Trump have decided the pandemic is over so there is no need to extend his "130 day detail." I'll note that the Trump administration is still in charge for the next 50 days. Biden can do nothing to help.

Not that I think Atlas is any loss, but it indicates that the Trump administration is done with covid.
posted by JackFlash at 10:18 AM on December 1, 2020


>Isn't this the same guy whose team made public overtures to Republicans about potentially integrating some of them into his cabinet all in the name of "diversity of ideology?"

It's a short list of names in your linked article, which was published back in mid-October and which acknowledged, to wit:
Past presidents including George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have all done the same. But that tradition died with President Donald Trump
Anyway, among the names checked in that once-hot goss, only Meg Whitman appears to have survived through to Politico's November 7th follow-up, unless F3 is failing me.

Electoral-Vote also name-checked Whitman on their short list for Secretary of Commerce, a position that tends to be a safer place to park a GOP token:
This is also a pretty good place to put a Republican appointee, since the job largely involves pursuing things that Republicans like. A Republican running the Labor Department, by contrast, or Treasury, would be considerably less acceptable to the Democratic base.
I suspect most Dems would rather see Pat Toomey plucked from his Senate seat for just such a thing. EV touches on that strategy as well.

I recommend checking out EV's other Cabinet spitballs, all of which appear to have the advantage of having been written since Biden won the election.
posted by armeowda at 10:49 AM on December 1, 2020 [2 favorites]


Perhaps all of these things or some of these things like GND, M4A, Bernie, etc are not your bag - fine!

No! I simply have never fucking heard of her so she ain't "famous" to me. It's not too much to ask that people leveling accusations against any public figure to refer to some evidence, so thank you.
posted by tiny frying pan at 11:06 AM on December 1, 2020 [11 favorites]


"A lawyer for President Donald Trump said Monday evening that a former DHS official who’s debunked myths about election fraud shot be “drawn and quartered” and “shot.”

IMO, that should be enough to disbar an attorney.


I filed a disciplinary complaint with the DC Bar over it this morning. It seems like a pretty clear violation of DC Rule 8.4: "It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to: ... (d) Engage in conduct that seriously interferes with the administration of justice".

The comments on the rule explain that 8.4(d) includes "offensive, abusive, or harassing conduct that seriously interferes with the administration of justice." Since these statements were explicitly made in relation to ongoing lawsuits and investigations, that would seem to interfere with the administration of justice, especially when the lawyer's client is the President.
posted by jedicus at 11:28 AM on December 1, 2020 [41 favorites]


AP NewsAlert: Barr Tells AP That Justice Dept. Hasn't Uncovered Widespread Voting Fraud That Could Have Changed 2020 Election --Josh Wingrove on twitter
posted by valkane at 11:30 AM on December 1, 2020 [16 favorites]


....it indicates that the Trump administration is done with covid.

Vaccines were announced, and a press conference claiming credit swiftly followed. Done and done.

Trump, I think, is probably reporting his true beliefs when he claims that he saved millions of lives by "closing the country" when he restricted some travel to the US in the Spring, that the number of cases is high only because of our best-in-the-world testing, that the Warp Speed or whatever they've called it funding and approval regime is directly responsible for the creation of the vaccines; so, Trump cured your hoax virus. This leads to his favorite topic, how the fake media doesn't report this and he doesn't get credit for saving us from coronavirus and it is very unfair, the kind of thing that really horrible people do.

The man announced that the virus was over, didn't he, even before the election? So I of course expect nothing from him, but one would have hoped there would be some kind of residual initiative coming from non-Presidential actors in the administration to try to do something to react to the deteriorating situation. But it seems that they all only care about not angering Trump.
posted by thelonius at 11:50 AM on December 1, 2020


Seems like we're kinda stretching for things to argue about at the moment on MeFi. The Toddler Tyrant is clearly on his way out, but our cortisol levels are still so high we're all on edge.
posted by PhineasGage at 11:50 AM on December 1, 2020 [16 favorites]


AP NewsAlert: Barr Tells AP That Justice Dept. Hasn't Uncovered Widespread Voting Fraud That Could Have Changed 2020 Election

Et tu, Brute...
posted by Cardinal Fang at 11:50 AM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


"Where's my Roy Cohn?"
posted by JackFlash at 11:51 AM on December 1, 2020 [7 favorites]


Somewhat cautiously optimistic article on Yellen that I include mainly because the bulk of it is about people on the bottom bar of the K-shaped recovery who are watching the US collapse in real time. I agree with Frowner and others above that if Biden implements an austerity administration (as seems likely, but I hope my pessimism is unfounded), that will compound ongoing disasters. The fundamental disconnect with reality that wealth and racial privilege afford people in the US has hit a breaking point. Reality has to be acknowledged. Attempts at sweeping the ugliest parts of this mess under the rug will not go well this time. The scale here is just too wide and the damage too deep to try and simply gaslight the rest of us again. Adhering as closely as possible to a business-as-usual approach will accomplish nothing except lightly braking on US fascism for two to four years before we have another Fascism - Yea or Nay referendum that doesn't end with Not-Fascism winning mostly by sheer luck in spite of the many, many explicitly illegal tactics employed by Fascism to secure a win through cheating.

People need material aid. Accidentally wrote an essay I decided to delete but can be boiled down to an ethical argument: that any society worth living in owes help to those members who need it. Whether someone supports or opposes this argument does actually matter and is actually obvious in how they speak and what they do. Failing to recognize this distinction right now is a potentially fatal political mistake.
posted by Lonnrot at 11:54 AM on December 1, 2020 [6 favorites]


But yeah, we're all drowning in stress. Here is a less dire analysis of another, overlooked cabinet position. Most of which are themselves rather controversial picks I am personally opposed to - that the Exxon Tiger or Aslan are even under consideration is shameful.
posted by Lonnrot at 11:55 AM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


Why would Biden implement an austerity administration? No-one is doing that anywhere else in the world. While there are different views on the level of social benefits and stimulus needed, everyone seems to agree it needs to be. For two reasons: it is now widely acknowledged that austerity was a mistake. And the COVID crisis is worse than anything we have seen since WW2, where stimulus, benefits and a whole Marshall plan was seen as the right thing to do, and it was, it created the West as we once knew it, until it was broken down by Reagan, Thatcher and their friends.
posted by mumimor at 12:02 PM on December 1, 2020 [13 favorites]


Why would Biden implement an austerity administration? No-one is doing that anywhere else in the world .

If people owe you money because you're a multinational that does that sort of thing, you want your money, and you don't want anyone to slink away. Damn the economy, damn the people, damn human lives: you want your fucking money.

And that is why certain finance guys want austerity.

Also, having the government successfully provide for human needs undermines belief that the capitalists should be in charge of that and injures their ability to rescind it in the future. Plenty of the Wall Street folks—including some in Biden's orbit—have no desire to see the neoliberal arrangement be seriously shaken, even during these trying times.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 12:14 PM on December 1, 2020 [5 favorites]


So now neoliberals oppose the government successfully providing for human needs, and there are "people in Biden's orbit" who feel that capitalists and not government should be in charge?

Name them. Because it sounds to me like you're describing -- accurately -- Republicans.
posted by Gelatin at 12:19 PM on December 1, 2020 [3 favorites]


Yamiche Alcindor: Trump campaign now going after AG Barr. Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis say this: "With all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn’t been any semblance of a Department of Justice investigation."

An image of the Trump Legal Team's 2-paragraph statement is there at her tweet. I'm not going to even bother transcribing it. You already know it's just the latest evidence that there's no honor amongst thieves.
posted by cashman at 12:24 PM on December 1, 2020 [7 favorites]


FFS my sweet socialist friends. Read Biden's platform. It's vastly different from Obama's.
posted by PhineasGage at 12:52 PM on December 1, 2020 [10 favorites]


Spotted: AG Barr has arrived at the WH, our crew tells us. -- Jim Acosta on twitter
posted by valkane at 12:52 PM on December 1, 2020 [2 favorites]


Read Biden's platform long ago. I would venture most people here have.
posted by tiny frying pan at 12:53 PM on December 1, 2020


Here's Larry Summers, effing Larry Summers, becoming a deficit dove now: A Reconsideration of Fiscal Policy in the Era of Low Interest Rates (PDF).
posted by PhineasGage at 12:55 PM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


The HBO miniseries damn well better be a dramedy.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:02 PM on December 1, 2020


> Here's Larry Summers, effing Larry Summers, becoming a deficit dove angling for a consultant gig in the Biden administration now: A Reconsideration of Fiscal Policy in the Era of Low Interest Rates (PDF).

Fixed.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:06 PM on December 1, 2020 [7 favorites]


Giuliani denies report that he discussed pardon with Trump -- Politico

"The former New York mayor was reportedly under investigation by federal prosecutors and has drawn scrutiny for his dealings in Ukraine."
posted by valkane at 1:34 PM on December 1, 2020


3-minute video of Georgia's Gabriel Sterling, Voting Systems Manager for the Georgia Secretary of State's office:
"Outraged Georgia election official decries threatening rhetoric against election staff: "Mr. President...senators, you have not condemned this language or these actions. This has to stop! We need you to step up—and if you're going to take a position of leadership, show some."
I hope this goes viral, because that's pretty much it in a nutshell. This has to stop. All the nonsense, all the threats, all the ridiculousness that is going on right now. It has to stop.
posted by cashman at 2:14 PM on December 1, 2020 [32 favorites]


Maybe, finally, this is our generation's "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" moment?

[On edit.] Nah, probably not. (sigh)
posted by PhineasGage at 2:31 PM on December 1, 2020 [3 favorites]


Spotted: AG Barr has arrived at the WH, our crew tells us. -- Jim Acosta on twitter

Barr has made his poison pill move: he made John Durham a special counsel to continue the "investigation into the investigation" of Russia's interference in the 2016 election. That means Durham will likely continue to produce material for conservative conspiracy theories during Biden's presidency.
posted by jedicus at 2:43 PM on December 1, 2020 [3 favorites]


^"Barr elevated Durham to special-counsel status on Oct. 19 but disclosed the move in a letter Tuesday to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. [...] Durham’s ongoing probe has produced just one prosecution so far: a mid-level FBI attorney named Kevin Clinesmith who pleaded guilty to falsifying an email used to obtain a surveillance warrant against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Sentencing memos are due in that case on Thursday with sentencing scheduled for Dec. 10."
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:23 PM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


...you can see crews are making a lot of progress on the Biden inauguration grandstand on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the north lawn of the WH...

So is the Donald a GOT fan? Barring green fire, what electoral voting schemes, legal trickery, or executive actions might he attempt in the remaining election timeline (pdf) to delay/deny Biden’s electoral vote and inauguration?

While it seems that Trump is running out of options, I’m wary of believing anything he says. Now that he’s facing the biggest failure of his life — on a world stage, no less — his compulsive lying, misdirection, and vindictive attacks will kick into high gear.
posted by cenoxo at 3:24 PM on December 1, 2020


FFS my sweet socialist friends. Read Biden's platform.

My learned colleagues, may I introduce into the discussion the notion that the previous actions and supported policies of elected official over nearly a half-century in office might have some small value in predicting their future policies and actions?
posted by MrBadExample at 3:27 PM on December 1, 2020 [8 favorites]


Yeah I am willing to see what he does but unwilling to just assume everything will be fine based on the platform alone. To me that is a far more reasonable stand than just taking a good platform at face value.
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:32 PM on December 1, 2020 [4 favorites]


Read Biden's platform long ago. I would venture most people here have.

Read in Yoda's voice.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:34 PM on December 1, 2020 [13 favorites]


Justice Department investigating potential presidential pardon bribery scheme, court records reveal -- CNN

"The case is the latest legal twist in the waning days of President Donald Trump's administration after several of his top advisers have been convicted of federal criminal charges and as the possibility rises of Trump giving pardons to those who've been loyal to him."
posted by valkane at 3:36 PM on December 1, 2020 [22 favorites]


Holy. Fucking. Shit.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:47 PM on December 1, 2020 [3 favorites]


What is Barr trying to do? Does he think he can save his own ass by turning on trump? Now?
posted by mrgoat at 3:51 PM on December 1, 2020


What is Barr trying to do? Does he think he can save his own ass by turning on trump? Now?

It's a bold move Cotton, let's see if it works.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 3:54 PM on December 1, 2020 [4 favorites]


Vaccines were announced, and a press conference claiming credit swiftly followed. Done and done.

Unless, as part of 45's burn it all down strategy, he finds some way of delaying fast track approval. I suggested this to spouse last night and offered to make a bet. Spouse refused.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 3:58 PM on December 1, 2020


Justice Department investigating potential presidential pardon bribery scheme, court records reveal

Legal-twitter is abuzz with tea-leaves being read, and the best hypothesis I've heard is that Lev Parnas is the gift that just keeps on giving.
posted by mikelieman at 3:59 PM on December 1, 2020 [5 favorites]


I would not be surprised if Barr kept some investigations into Trump simmering on the back burner for leverage and at this point he just doesn't give enough of a shit about a Trump who is rapidly shedding political power to put his thumb on the scale and keep the investigation from ramping up.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:10 PM on December 1, 2020




What is Barr trying to do? Does he think he can save his own ass by turning on trump? Now?

he's a discrete rat. If nothing else, I'm reading this as a sign that the ship is now irrevocably sinking.
posted by philip-random at 4:21 PM on December 1, 2020 [2 favorites]


> he’s a discrete rat.

dunno it seems pretty clear to me that barr’s a continuous rat
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 4:54 PM on December 1, 2020 [36 favorites]


So I assume you can get a pardon for the crime of trying to bribe the president to get a pardon? I’ll be disappointed if this only gets to a two-level meta-pardon. (Something something 9-dimensional chess)
posted by inflatablekiwi at 4:54 PM on December 1, 2020 [4 favorites]


Barr Tells AP That Justice Dept. Hasn't Uncovered Widespread Voting Fraud That Could Have Changed 2020 Election

Yeah that's odd for sure. Wonder what the grift is (because there always is one). I don't doubt it's true, there's just nothing in it that benefits Barr any by saying it in public.

He can't think he can "distance" himself from all Trumps crimes at this late stage because hahahaha no. He's not that stupid.
posted by ctmf at 4:59 PM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


So I assume you can get a pardon for the crime of trying to bribe the president to get a pardon? I’ll be disappointed if this only gets to a two-level meta-pardon.

"yields pardon when preceded by its quotation" yields pardon when preceded by its quotation.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 5:07 PM on December 1, 2020 [10 favorites]


It's pardon-quines, all the way down.
posted by bcd at 5:10 PM on December 1, 2020 [2 favorites]


Would Trump try to bribe himself to obtain a self-pardon? I fear the answer is yes.
posted by Crane Shot at 5:10 PM on December 1, 2020 [9 favorites]


by my read of the authorizing memo, barr's statement that dhs and doj have investigated is an implicit assertion that doj/dhs determined that "there are clear and apparently-credible allegations of irregularities that, if true, could potentially impact the outcome of a federal election in an individual state," although nothing clear and apparently-credible appeared in any of the many campaign filings (as far as i have seen) -- which, one would assume would have been among the best things to have included -- and although doj & dhs have so far found nothing. i further infer that such implied investigations are ongoing. barr's statement that no fraud was found "on a scale that could have effected the outcome" is likewise an implicit assertion that fraud has been found on a smaller scale (though that scale was not authorized by the memo).
posted by 20 year lurk at 5:14 PM on December 1, 2020


Trump Has Discussed With Advisers Pardons for His 3 Eldest Children and Giuliani — Rudolph W. Giuliani, who is promoting baseless claims of widespread election fraud, talked about a pardon with President Trump as recently as last week., New York Times, Maggie Haberman & Michael S. Schmidt, Dec. 1, 2020 (Updated 8:00 p.m. ET):
President Trump has discussed with advisers whether to grant pre-emptive pardons to his children, to his son-in-law and to his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, and talked with Mr. Giuliani about pardoning him as recently as last week, according to two people briefed on the matter.

Mr. Trump has told others that he is concerned that a Biden Justice Department might seek retribution against the president by targeting the oldest three of his five children — Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump — as well as Ms. Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner, a White House senior adviser....
Line forms on the Right, please take a number.
posted by cenoxo at 5:15 PM on December 1, 2020 [8 favorites]


Oh Lord, please let this dumbass go down in history as the President who was so corrupt that he had to pardon his whole family AND his attorney.

I know, the judgment of history seems like such a thin source of comfort when you’re going through said history. But in thirty years, it will make a difference when we can look back on the Trump era with such clear, unambiguous signs of corruption tied to his legacy.
posted by darkstar at 5:22 PM on December 1, 2020 [22 favorites]


He can't think he can "distance" himself from all Trumps crimes at this late stage because hahahaha no. He's not that stupid.

Sure he can - he's been a heavy-hitter Republican lawyer and government employee for decades. Until and unless there is "FBI raids your home and office" levels of proof that he participated in and/or had clear and undeniable knowledge of Trump's crimes, there will be plenty of corporations and law firms and conservative think tanks that would be perfectly happy to hire (or at least pay hefty consultant fees to) him. This one tiny bit of resistance is all they would need to claim that he's "reasonable" and "honest" and "law-abiding."
posted by soundguy99 at 5:27 PM on December 1, 2020 [7 favorites]


Line forms on the Right, please take a number.

NO CREDIT — CASH ONLY!
posted by cenoxo at 5:34 PM on December 1, 2020 [6 favorites]


For the last couple of months, the Q*berts have been cooling rapidly on Barr because he hasn't been elevating Hunter's laptop to the DoJ's top priority, he hasn't been exposing and prosecuting the Bidens for crooked financial deals with Ukraine and China, he hasn't had Hillary frogmarched, he hasn't ordered Durham to drop an October Surprise regarding Biden and Obama's corruption, yadda yadda. If you don't fulfill the Prophecies of Q every day, your allegiance is in doubt, you know?

The instant that he announced "we've found no fraud that would flip the election," he became a permanent part of the Deep State Cabal to them, corrupted and compromised and treasonously conspiring with the Democrats and their Communist string-pullers.

So maybe he figured that he ought to at least give it a try, for once. For novelty or appearance's sake.
posted by delfin at 5:37 PM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


Oh Lord, please let this dumbass go down in history as the President who was so corrupt that he had to pardon his whole family AND his attorney.

And too stupid to remember that a federal pardon still leaves you open to state and city prosecution....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:45 PM on December 1, 2020 [7 favorites]


Mr. Trump has told others that he is concerned that a Biden Justice Department might seek retribution against the president by targeting the oldest three of his five children — Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump

Poor Tiffany. Can't even get a share of the family pardon.
posted by JackFlash at 5:51 PM on December 1, 2020 [11 favorites]


"I am hearing from two reliable sources that Trump is planning to make a long speech or release a long statement about the "witch hunt" and how he and his family were targeted and harassed for years and then announce pardons for his family and others consistent with Flynn pardon." -- Don Winslow on twitter
posted by valkane at 5:54 PM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


C'mon Trump Lindsey needs a big ol' pardon hug
posted by benzenedream at 6:02 PM on December 1, 2020 [2 favorites]


Poor Michael Cohen. Here's Trump about to pardon people left, right, and center - or at least right and center - but Cohen's ship has already sailed. There's nothing he can offer Trump. No pardon for you.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:11 PM on December 1, 2020 [2 favorites]


He’s lost the election, so perhaps the Donald wants to ‘spend more time with his family’ (outside of prison, that is).
posted by cenoxo at 6:13 PM on December 1, 2020


Sidney Powell has filed another lawsuit to overturn the election in Wisconsin demanding "security camera recording of all rooms used in the voting process at the TCF Center."

The TCF Center is in Detroit.
posted by JackFlash at 6:13 PM on December 1, 2020 [32 favorites]


Oh...

*Picard facepalm gif*
posted by darkstar at 6:20 PM on December 1, 2020


Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus — Clown Car
posted by cenoxo at 6:27 PM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


Okay, but state and local charges aside, can he really just issue a broad, blanket pardon for everything under the sun (past AND future?? Idk) for his family members, and...that's it? There's nothing anyone can do about such a blatantly, obviously corrupt action?
posted by triggerfinger at 6:37 PM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


Must've looked at the map and couldn't differentiate the mitten from the oven mitt...
posted by JoeXIII007 at 6:39 PM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


The TCF Center is in Detroit.

At this point it's either intentional for some 419-scam-adjacent reason or straight-up sabotage by the people "helping" her write these.
posted by ctmf at 6:39 PM on December 1, 2020 [5 favorites]


Blanket pardons are within the president's powers. Nixon received one.

Now, THEREFORE, I, GERALD R. FORD, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.
posted by emelenjr at 6:51 PM on December 1, 2020 [4 favorites]


And thank Congress for not doing shit about it afterward. Trump can pardon any federal crime at any time in the past (not the future), whether it has come to light or not, without even specifying what the crime is. Whether he can do it for himself is another question (probably yes, but nobody has ever tried).

What gets more interesting is that offering or providing a pardon in exchange for something of value counts as bribery. But he could pardon himself from the bribery. One would hope that would shock the conscience enough such that the Biden DOJ would prosecute and get it tested in court.
posted by Room 101 at 6:54 PM on December 1, 2020 [4 favorites]



"yields pardon when preceded by its quotation" yields pardon when preceded by its quotation.
posted by Recursive Novelist Thomas Pynchon
posted by lalochezia at 6:55 PM on December 1, 2020 [10 favorites]


Also, I would not be at all surprised if the DoJ bribery for pardons thing was given the green light by Bill Barr to give Trump cover to issue a blanket pardon to his kids, who are probably implicated in some way (bonus for Bill Barr - it makes him look nonpartisan!)

As bad as bribes for pardons seems, I bet it pales in comparison to some of the other illegal shit they've done, and it's easier for them to justify a pardon for accepting bribes than it is to justify something like some knowledge of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi by MBS or something (not saying they had knowledge of that, just throwing it out as an example of the kinds of worse things they could be involved in).
posted by triggerfinger at 7:01 PM on December 1, 2020 [2 favorites]


As Comey's nonsense dominated the end of the 2016 election, so too should this Barr investigation into pardons have dominated the tail-end of the 2020 election. Obscene that it only begins to ooze out now.

(ETA: Or, per triggerfinger's point immediately above, this is just another obscene iteration of RepublicanFascist ratfucking to muddy the waters of the real shit they actually did, which will eventually ooze out and should have been the subject of the tail-end of the 2020 election.)
posted by riverlife at 7:05 PM on December 1, 2020 [2 favorites]


Blanket pardons are within the president's powers. Nixon received one.

I don't think the validity of the blanket pardon was ever challenged, which means we don't actually know whether it would have been found to be effective. Personally, I don't think blanket pardons for unspecified misdemeanours can be coherent: surely a pardoner needs to know what they're pardoning.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:13 PM on December 1, 2020 [4 favorites]


Personally, I don't think blanket pardons for unspecified misdemeanours can be coherent: surely a pardoner needs to know what they're pardoning.

I'm pretty sure Trump knows.
posted by JackFlash at 7:16 PM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


Self-Pardons: The President Can't Pardon Himself, So Why Do People Think He Can?, Lawfare, Philip Bobbitt, 6/20/2018:
...A self-pardon by the president is incompatible with the provision of Article II, Section 3 that “he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” and the provision of Article II, Section 1 that “executive power shall be vested in a President.” (Professors Jed Shugarman and Ethan Leib have presented a different argument regarding self-pardons and the Take Care Clause, available here.)

When a president pardons another person for a federal crime, he is in fact executing the law—the law of the Constitution’s pardon power—despite the fact that he is relieving that person from the execution of the federal penal code. But when the president pardons himself, he assumes a power that is incompatible with, rather than a supplement to, the application of the federal criminal law. That is because as chief law enforcement officer, he could put himself beyond the applicable law simply by withholding his consent to his prosecution by the department he controls while he is president—and then assure himself that he could not be convicted after his term ended—or after impeachment—because he could pardon himself prospectively. Thus the law could not, in the face of such a pardon, be “faithfully” executed, because the pardon itself might be an expression of chicanery and subterfuge—in short, of bad faith.

In such circumstances, the pardon is granted not to temper the criminal law or to reconcile political dissidents, as envisioned by the Framers—see, for example, Federalist 74 and remarks by Edmund Randolph at the Philadelphia Convention—but to execute an intrigue by which the law is thwarted. The self-pardon might even then amount to an element of the crime for which he is pardoned....
More in the article.
posted by cenoxo at 7:18 PM on December 1, 2020 [7 favorites]


"At a White House Christmas party tonight, President Trump told guests, “It’s been an amazing four years. We are trying to do another four years. Otherwise, I’ll see you in four years.” -- Kaitlan Collins on twitter

also: "Trump claimed he won the election “but they don’t like that.” He asked if people were watching the “fraud hearings” — meaning the events Rudy Giuliani has held w/ state legislatures. “Honestly, this is a disgrace,” Trump told the room."
posted by valkane at 7:19 PM on December 1, 2020 [2 favorites]


Lou Dobbs Accuses Bill Barr of Being ‘Compromised’ and Part of the ‘Deep State’ -- The Daily Beast

"The pro-Trump TV personality, who has been one of the loudest boosters of the president’s baseless “rigged” election narrative, kicked off his program Tuesday evening by erupting at the attorney general for admitting the Justice Department has been unable to find any proof to back Trump’s claims that President-elect Joe Biden “stole” the election."

“For the attorney general of the United States to make that statement, he is either a liar or a fool or both,” he exclaimed. “He may be, um, perhaps compromised. He may be simply unprincipled. Or he may be personally distraught or ill!”
posted by valkane at 7:33 PM on December 1, 2020 [7 favorites]


It would have been kinda cool if some democratic poll watchers or whomever with standing would have challenged the closest red state using some Tom Steyer money in the same way Rudy and team are doing it, claiming voter fraud and that Biden should have been the winner. They probably would have had a case.
posted by perhapses at 7:43 PM on December 1, 2020


Okay, but state and local charges aside, can he really just issue a broad, blanket pardon for everything under the sun (past AND future?? Idk) for his family members, and...that's it?

Only if he does it in front of a flag with a gold fringe.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:45 PM on December 1, 2020 [3 favorites]


Lou Dobbs Accuses Bill Barr of Being ‘Compromised’ and Part of the ‘Deep State’ -- The Daily Beast

"The pro-Trump TV personality, who has been one of the loudest boosters of the president’s baseless “rigged” election narrative, kicked off his program Tuesday evening by erupting at the attorney general for admitting the Justice Department has been unable to find any proof to back Trump’s claims that President-elect Joe Biden “stole” the election.


Yabut Lou Dobbs is on Fox, which (since the moment they flipped Arizona to Biden) has stood revealed as part of the corrupt liberal fakesteam media. All the real news now comes from ONAN, and this will be the case until later this month when they let a note of ambivalence creep into their report of the president* defecting to Russia. Then they will be persona non grata and the only real news source will be that guy with the beard who records them YouTube videos from the cab of his F150.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:52 PM on December 1, 2020 [2 favorites]


cenoxo, thank you so much for that article, and I read the article he linked as well. Great, great stuff. In anything goes 2020 it's about as much comfort as I could ask for that Trump won't be able to pardon himself (and if you read the second article, his family or Giuliani either). Of course we all worry that he'll do it and then put up such a stink and fight that the impetus will be for it to just be let go, but I hope people stand firm.
posted by cashman at 7:55 PM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


"Watching trumpworld turn on Bill Barr who ruined himself for trump is really something" -- Molly Jong-Fast on twitter

Includes video clip of Roger Stone calling out Bill Barr. The world just keeps getting weirder.
posted by valkane at 8:04 PM on December 1, 2020 [9 favorites]


Every time Lou Dobbs speaks, I yearn for a button on my desk that would open up a trapdoor under his feet.
posted by delfin at 8:24 PM on December 1, 2020 [13 favorites]


As for Sidney Powell, my current theory is that she's trying to break the world speedrun record for disbarment, but they haven't pulled the trigger on that yet and so she's having to try more and more outlandish stunts.

Friday, Kraken IV: The Tentacling will be released, featuring references to voter fraud, the Captain and Tennille, the Reverse Vampires and some ordinary household bleach.
posted by delfin at 8:27 PM on December 1, 2020 [3 favorites]


It would have been kinda cool if some democratic poll watchers or whomever with standing would have challenged the closest red state

No need to encourage bothsides-ism.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:44 PM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


Of course if he pardons those people then they can’t plead the fifth amendment and refuse to testify against Trump. Since they can’t incriminate themselves. Also if they lie during that testimony they can go to jail for perjury.
posted by interogative mood at 8:47 PM on December 1, 2020 [7 favorites]


The Justice Department is investigating a potential crime related to funneling money to the White House or related political committee in exchange for a presidential pardon.

I just know this is going to be something dumb, like his Susan B. Anthony pardon, and it involves cashing in a pile of one dollar coins.
posted by JackFlash at 8:47 PM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


Every time Lou Dobbs speaks, I yearn for a button on my desk that would open up a trapdoor under his feet.

my yearned for button would result in something more like this

WARNING: link is to man's head exploding in gory extravagance
posted by philip-random at 8:54 PM on December 1, 2020 [4 favorites]


So I assume you can get a pardon for the crime of trying to bribe the president to get a pardon? I’ll be disappointed if this only gets to a two-level meta-pardon.

"yields pardon when preceded by its quotation" yields pardon when preceded by its quotation.

posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon


comrade rntp

the lack of quote marks around that first paragraph, and your persistent use of capitals in your name, has raised serious questions about your commitment to the glorious anti-capital crusade.

your forthcoming explanation of these irregularities is much anticipated.

signed
the gacc oversight committee.
posted by Pouteria at 8:54 PM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


With his pardon now in his back pocket, Flynn promotes a statement calling for ‘limited martial law’ to enforce a Trump second term. -- Hari Kunzru on twitter

Mike Flynn calls on Trump to declare martial law to hold a redo election. This man is a complete disgrace and enemy of democracy and the American republic. In a democracy this amounts to sedition. In a democracy what is worse than a call to overthrow the state? -- Josh Marshall on twitter
posted by valkane at 9:11 PM on December 1, 2020 [19 favorites]


There's nothing anyone can do about such a blatantly, obviously corrupt action?

He can be impeached and remov..... lol, I can't even with a straight face.
posted by mrgoat at 9:20 PM on December 1, 2020 [6 favorites]


Someone convince Trump he's only helping Biden by pardoning himself. Then Biden won't have to face the country and tell them why he doesn't have the guts to prosecute.
posted by ctmf at 9:27 PM on December 1, 2020


So yeah, our country has a fatal bug.

All it takes is 52 people in the right political roles (President, VP, and half of Senate) and there’s no recourse to punish the President for blatantly committing federal crimes.
posted by darkstar at 9:31 PM on December 1, 2020 [15 favorites]


It takes a 2/3 vote in the senate to remove an impeached official, so a mere 36 people. And I'd replace the VP with the AG on your list — the VP isn't really involved, but the AG has to say, well, there's nothing the DOJ can do while the president is in office, impeachment and removal is the only recourse to a bad president.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:48 PM on December 1, 2020 [8 favorites]


Trump, I think, is probably reporting his true beliefs when he claims that he saved millions of lives by "closing the country" when he restricted some travel to the US in the Spring, that the number of cases is high only because of our best-in-the-world testing, that the Warp Speed or whatever they've called it funding and approval regime is directly responsible for the creation of the vaccines; so, Trump cured your hoax virus. This leads to his favorite topic, how the fake media doesn't report this and he doesn't get credit for saving us from coronavirus and it is very unfair, the kind of thing that really horrible people do.

Trump exaggerates, always. That's all he does. Even before he decides to tell the truth or to lie, whatever it is will be blown way out of proportion. Every noun, verb, and adjective that comes out of his mouth is accompanied by a superlative. It's part of being a pathological liar, who, as someone once said, would like to you about what time it is, just for the practice. He has always been like this, and I don't see any indication that it's gonna ever change.
posted by rhizome at 10:02 PM on December 1, 2020 [5 favorites]


It's worse than that, rhizome - he is a bullshitter. Truth and falsity just does not enter into it at all, he does not consider the truth value of what he says. It is all bullshit, all the time.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:07 PM on December 1, 2020 [26 favorites]


cashman — Phillip Bobbitt has an impressive bio (WP) and sounds like a voice of reason. Here’s a list of his other Lawfare articles.
posted by cenoxo at 10:19 PM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


> What is Barr trying to do? Does he think he can save his own ass by turning on trump? Now?
Laying the insider groundwork for Barr 2024?
posted by runcifex at 11:55 PM on December 1, 2020


Poor Tiffany. Can't even get a share of the family pardon.

I know, right? Plus, I heard she still has to go to Barron's exorcism.
posted by sexyrobot at 12:05 AM on December 2, 2020 [1 favorite]


he is a bullshitter. Truth and falsity just does not enter into it at all, he does not consider the truth value of what he says. It is all bullshit, all the time.

Not considering it doesn't rule out completely buying into it all the same.

With Trump, I've always had the sense that what he constantly spouts is not so much bullshit as horseshit: he's paying no attention to the truth value of what he says, and he never makes any attempt to check the truth value of what he says, but he does show every sign of actually believing in whatever delusional horseshit is squeezing itself out of that weirdly anal mouth of his in any given minute.
posted by flabdablet at 12:10 AM on December 2, 2020 [6 favorites]


> Would Trump try to bribe himself to obtain a self-pardon? I fear the answer is yes.

Only if he can use campaign funds.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:17 AM on December 2, 2020 [5 favorites]


signed
the gacc oversight committee.
posted by Pouteria at 8:54 PM

i’ll have you know that my devotion to the (hang on, let me google) to the geographical area coordination center is not to be doubted.

you’re playing a dangerous game, comrade, a dangerous game.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 4:18 AM on December 2, 2020 [5 favorites]


a dangerous game, comrade, a dangerous game.

does the recursion never end, never end?
posted by lalochezia at 4:53 AM on December 2, 2020 [5 favorites]


> does the recursion never end, never end?

as marx illustrates, we avoid infinite recursion by making sure that we have both a base case, consisting of the relationships directly connected to the processes of commodity production, and a superstructural case, which must always approach the base case.

okay that's probably enough of that
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 5:20 AM on December 2, 2020 [3 favorites]


flabdablet > With Trump ... he does show every sign of actually believing in whatever delusional horseshit is squeezing itself out of that weirdly anal mouth of his in any given minute.

Shortly before his 2016 election (which he also claimed was rigged against him), the Donald explicitly promised: "In this journey, I will never lie to you. I will never tell you something I do not believe." His lies are the only ‘truths’ he can accept, along with the unique idea that he cannot contradict himself.
posted by cenoxo at 5:45 AM on December 2, 2020 [1 favorite]


No, Trump can’t pardon himself. The Constitution tells us so., Washington Post, Opinion by Laurence H. Tribe, Richard Painter, Norman Eisen; July 21, 2017 [alternate link]:
Can a president pardon himself? Four days before Richard Nixon resigned, his own Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel opined no, citing “the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case.” We agree.

The Justice Department was right that guidance could be found in the enduring principles that no one can be both the judge and the defendant in the same matter, and that no one is above the law.

The Constitution specifically bars the president from using the pardon power to prevent his own impeachment and removal. It adds that any official removed through impeachment remains fully subject to criminal prosecution. That provision would make no sense if the president could pardon himself....
Other examples and precedents in the article.
posted by cenoxo at 6:04 AM on December 2, 2020 [3 favorites]


I mean, the guy’s violated the Emoluments Clause since day 1. Of what recourse is an unenforced law?
[honest question]
posted by rp at 6:11 AM on December 2, 2020 [15 favorites]


I mean, the guy’s violated the Emoluments Clause since day 1. Of what recourse is an unenforced law?

At the very least, Democrats should fire back that they let Trump get away with violating the Emoluments Clause, openly, and from the first day of his presidency, any time Republicans claim to be the real defenders of the Constitution.

(Similarly, Democrats should respond with scoffing contempt when Republicans put on their deficit hawk act beginning with Biden's presidency, and point out, every time, that the Republicans never care about deficits when a Republican is president or their own priorities, like tax cuts, are on the line.)

Maybe after repeating it often enough (memo to Democrats: That's the key component of messaging, thank you very much) even the so-called "liberal media" will stop at least pretending to take Republicans seriously when they say it.
posted by Gelatin at 6:16 AM on December 2, 2020 [20 favorites]


No, Trump can’t pardon himself. The Constitution tells us so.

Sure he can. He's just got to write it up and sign it. The constitution says he can't take foreign emoluments either, but he's still doing it. The real question is if a court would honor the pardon, which is probably a crapshoot on what judge the case is before.
posted by mrgoat at 6:31 AM on December 2, 2020 [14 favorites]


Laurence Tribe et al.'s analysis on self-pardoning is probably correct as a matter of law. But Trump's still going to do it, as there is zero downside for Trump. In order for the pardon to be challenged, Trump would likely have to be indicted by Biden's DOJ for a federal crime that took place while Trump was in office (or earlier if Trump really goes hog wild). Trump would then challenge the indictment, and it would have to wind its way up through to the Supreme Court, either before the trial or maybe even after a conviction is rendered. All this while, Trump will be howling to the court of public opinion, and with this Supreme Court, there's no certainty they wouldn't allow the pardon to stand even if it came to all of that.
posted by Room 101 at 6:31 AM on December 2, 2020 [8 favorites]


My favorite argument is that the Constitution says POTUS "shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons". You can't grant something to yourself, that's not what "grant" means, nobody has ever bestowed something upon themselves. You can look further for more reasons, but "you can't grant something to yourself" is straightforward enough on its own.
posted by BungaDunga at 7:59 AM on December 2, 2020 [1 favorite]


I know it won't happen, sadly, but I really think the Biden administration should take up Trumps emoluments clause violations. It's much easier for most people to understand than the whole Russia and Ukraine stuff. The guy is corrupt and he is getting domestic and foreign parties to pay up for favors at his personal businesses.
That would be what Republicans, religious leaders, conservative talkshow hosts and not least conservative judges would have to defend, rather than something political going on in some places far away.
posted by mumimor at 8:00 AM on December 2, 2020 [9 favorites]


Emoluments violations aren't actually crimes though. I'm not sure what the Biden administration would do with them, other than maybe insist that they be repaid?
posted by BungaDunga at 8:01 AM on December 2, 2020


Are they not crimes? That is insane.

I've mentioned before here on the blue that the reason corruption is so relatively rare in Denmark lies 300 years (or something) back. The king back then decided to end corruption, by making it a capital offence. And everyone who was caught, wether it was his best friend or a lowly parish leader was harshly punished, if not always with death, then at least with 25 + years in what we would call a labour camp. It worked, and left a legacy where most people see corruption as very very bad. I personally like it that way.
Unfortunately our last right wing government slightly moved the scale on this, but we are still one of the least corrupt countries.
posted by mumimor at 8:09 AM on December 2, 2020 [7 favorites]


The "emoluments" thing forbids accepting gifts, even if they're not actually bribes. Bribery is definitely illegal, but giving the President a present because you want him to like you isn't. Any emoluments that Trump got from overseas powers, as long as they were just gifts and not bribes, aren't criminal.

If they're bribes, then it doesn't matter whether they were emoluments. Bribery law got severely narrowed by SCOTUS quite recently so that might be a real challenge too. It's legal to bribe someone into setting up a meeting or making a call for you.
posted by BungaDunga at 8:11 AM on December 2, 2020 [4 favorites]


Oh. Here a public servant can't even accept a birthday present worth more than about 100 dollars. I don't think the punishment is harsh if it is at that level, but it is there.
posted by mumimor at 8:17 AM on December 2, 2020 [4 favorites]


he is a bullshitter. Truth and falsity just does not enter into it at all, he does not consider the truth value of what he says. It is all bullshit, all the time..

the root of populism, I'm coming to think. Whether from the political left, right or wherever -- it's a politics driven by telling people what they want to hear (the popular thing) which is even true sometimes, but that's beside the point and it won't be true for very long ... because who wants reality? It tends to hurt, demand struggle and sacrifice, and sometimes it smells really bad.

So yeah, populism wants bullshit.
posted by philip-random at 8:25 AM on December 2, 2020 [8 favorites]


I really think the Biden administration should take up Trumps emoluments clause violations. It's much easier for most people to understand than the whole Russia and Ukraine stuff. The guy is corrupt and he is getting domestic and foreign parties to pay up for favors at his personal businesses.

The Russia and Ukraine stuff isn't hard to explain -- he cooperated with -- or at least tolerated and encouraged -- foreign interference -- Russian interference! -- with the election because it benefited him, and asked a foreign leader to do him a political favor as an obvious condition for something they desperately needed.

Trump was asking foreign parties for favors for his political benefit, which is much, much worse.

(That leaves aside, of course, any other ways Trump might be compromised to the Russians or other foreign powers.)

It's only "difficult to understand" because the so-called "liberal media" avoids describing Republican actions in plain terms, as it's so bad as to sound biased.
posted by Gelatin at 8:26 AM on December 2, 2020 [19 favorites]


Here a public servant can't even accept a birthday present worth more than about 100 dollars. I don't think the punishment is harsh if it is at that level, but it is there.

There are definitely laws like that in the US - I'm in a public trust position and get reminded of this constantly (and the limit is much lower in my agency, we can't even accept a free meal). Even the whiff of a conflict of interest could get you in serious trouble.

They absolutely should go after the emoluments violations but I am not holding my breath that anything will happen.
posted by photo guy at 9:08 AM on December 2, 2020 [1 favorite]


There are rules on disclosure and acceptance of gifts here too.

But the emoluments violations tend to be fees for services--an ambassador stays at a Trump property. Maybe they get an expensive suite and pays list price. It's not a gift, it's a business transaction. It's seedy as hell, and violates all sorts of conflict of interest rules, but IIUC most of those tend to be non-criminal until you have a quid pro quo.

The issue with framing this just as "emoluments" is that part is not a crime. It's a constitutional rule. The remedy for violating it is to stop violating it.

Crimes like bribery are covered separately, as BungaDunga says.

It's only "difficult to understand" because the so-called "liberal media" avoids describing Republican actions in plain terms, as it's so bad as to sound biased.

Indeed.
posted by mark k at 9:12 AM on December 2, 2020 [3 favorites]


The Obama administration didn't prosecute GWB for war crimes. It feels super optimistic to hope his Veep, upon becoming president will try and nail Trump to the wall for like, the emoluments clause or the Hatch Act, or.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:45 AM on December 2, 2020 [8 favorites]


Trump's unprecedented. If America doesn't want his style to become part of the new normal, I believe they (whoever they ends up being) do need to go after him, at least make a show of having him pay for his myriad abuses of office.

Personally, I'd love to see him get impeached again. Twice in one term. That would be unprecedented.
posted by philip-random at 9:56 AM on December 2, 2020 [9 favorites]


Funny you should mention the Hatch Act, because while it may be an obscure law, it's an obscure law designed to make it illegal for the Executive Branch to use its political power you get re-elected. That's exactly the kind of thing that demands to be prosecuted, or you're just handing your political opponents a weapon to use against you next time they take power.

Obama made a serious mistake with his "look forward, not backward" approach. But it's likely that the incoming administration knows it -- even Obama came to realized he couldn't trust McConnell to bargain in good faith (or more accurately, could trust him to act in bad faith), and might be less forgiving of Trump's authoritarian offenses.

(Speaking of bad faith, we have the example of Trump's impeachment, in which the prosecutors laid out an ironclad case of Trump's guilt and the Republicans simply refused to accept it; we should of course be prepared for the same for any prosecution of actual, verifiable violations of black-letter law.)

Biden probably knows that the perception that Obama was soft on the perpetrators of the 2008 recession cost the Democrats votes that went to Trump.

On top of that, Democrats are not in a forgiving mood. At all.

None of which guarantees that Biden won't let Trump off the hook, but it stands to reason that, having promised to restore normalcy, Biden also recognizes that he, to say nothing of the country, stands to benefit from holding Trump accountable for actual, demonstrable criminal activity. It feels super pessimistic to suggest that he'd let Trump slide just for laughs.
posted by Gelatin at 10:08 AM on December 2, 2020 [7 favorites]


> The Obama administration didn't prosecute GWB for war crimes. It feels super optimistic to hope his Veep, upon becoming president will try and nail Trump to the wall for like, the emoluments clause or the Hatch Act, or.

I do think some of that was peculiar to Obama, who was determined throughout his presidency to try to find common ground with nihilists and appeal to the better angels of devilish people. He also understood how the actions of the first Black president would be perceived as compared to if a white president had done the same, and presumably decided that it wasn't worth harming progress toward other goals.

I come down more on the fiat justitia ruat caelum side of that decision, but I can at least understand that it's not a simple trolley problem, and that all the support in the world he would have received from liberals for going after Bush and his henchmen wasn't going to help him with the Olympias Snowe, Susans Collins, and Johns McCain he was hoping to get on his side for important legislative victories. (It turns out nothing would have gotten them on his side, but that wasn't apparent to many at the time, nor was it apparent that there would ever be a 60th Democratic vote in the Senate to break GOP filibusters.)

Biden may have some of the same inclinations to not undermine his agenda with what at least 40% and as much as 50% of America will view as score-settling, but there are some important differences.

One is that it's become clear that even the Republicans who have hung with him for political reasons don't actually like him, and would happily launch him into the sun if the political incentives changed. I can imagine a scenario where the GOP sees a repudiation of Trump as politically useful, even as most of them continue to pursue Trumpist policies.

Another important difference is that Biden has personal motivations to go after Trump that extend beyond a desire to have justice done. The personal attacks probably bounce off, but everything he's done and is currently doing to gum up the works is going to hurt Biden politically, because there's really no honeymoon period for new Presidents, and a lot of the things that Trump has set in motion will take months if not years to undo.

Finally, let's not forget that Biden's Biden is going to be "Kamala the cop", whose disgust for Trump is one of a small number of earthly objects visible from space. I get the sense that Biden has grown to view Kamala not only as a great political asset, but someone he will genuinely seek counsel from.

With all of that said, I do agree that it's more likely than not that Trump avoids being charged with any federal crimes, but if the last four years have taught us anything, it's that we should expect the unexpected.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:25 AM on December 2, 2020 [11 favorites]


The problem with prosecuting Trump is that you also need to go just as hard after the people who have enabled him, the people who have supported his denials of reality, the people who consider any opposition to be not only irrelevant but illegitimate, and the people who are eager to pick up where he left off.

And if that was somehow accomplished via divine intervention, the Senate would no longer have a quorum.
posted by delfin at 10:29 AM on December 2, 2020 [2 favorites]


Shortly before his 2016 election (which he also claimed was rigged against him), the Donald explicitly promised: "In this journey, I will never lie to you. I will never tell you something I do not believe."

This was also a lie!

I will quibble with Meatbomb a little, because I think the distinction between liar and bullshitter relies on The White Man's Intent excuse, where it's only a lie if the person can be proven to have said a false thing on purpose. This standard has to beat the defense of "I didn't mean it that way," which is logically and legally impossible unless the person, in advance, says they're going to lie about The Thing At Issue.

I won't go so far as to call liar and bullshitter synonyms, but it's hard to say which one is a subset of the other.
posted by rhizome at 10:29 AM on December 2, 2020 [1 favorite]


the Donald explicitly promised

Ah ha ha holy shit, remember "The Donald?" What a life we're living.
posted by rhizome at 10:30 AM on December 2, 2020 [5 favorites]


The problem with prosecuting Trump is that you also need to go just as hard after the people who have enabled him

That's a feature, not a bug.

As I'm fond of pointing out, Nixon's former Attorney General, John Mitchell, did prison time.
posted by Gelatin at 10:34 AM on December 2, 2020 [8 favorites]


Biden also could order the IRS to comply with the New York State subpoena of Trump's tax returns.

(If I were him, I'd also say "For four years, Trump promised he'd release his tax returns. So here they are.")
posted by Gelatin at 10:43 AM on December 2, 2020 [5 favorites]


Unredacted Mueller report first please.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:44 AM on December 2, 2020 [10 favorites]


Nixon's former White House Counsel, Chuck Colson, also did time.

Then he became a born-again Christian and George W. Bush gave him a medal. Which Trump lackey will aim for the same kind of redemption arc? For some reason, I'm thinking Rick Gates.
posted by box at 10:50 AM on December 2, 2020 [3 favorites]


Biden is a pragmatist, and the reasons pragmatists like him and Obama support "forward, not backwards" is not out of some principled commitment to ideals of justice, but because in the year 2021 (or 2009), launching a prosecution of Trump (Bush) would anger and polarize the center-right Republicans with whom they hope to work in order to pass covid relief and other bills (bailouts, ACA). Faced with that immediate cost, which would make passing bills they need today distinctly harder, pragmatists like Biden or Obama are strongly incentivized to just let it all slide and focus on the problems at hand. That's the fundamental logic, and the reason why, no matter what Biden personally feels, his administration is likely to choose not to prosecute the past whenever they are given that opportunity.
posted by chortly at 11:15 AM on December 2, 2020 [5 favorites]


Slate takes a look at "What Happened When Other Countries Prosecuted Former Leaders?"
posted by PhineasGage at 11:23 AM on December 2, 2020 [3 favorites]


Biden is a pragmatist, and the reasons pragmatists like him and Obama support "forward, not backwards" is not out of some principled commitment to ideals of justice, but because in the year 2021 (or 2009), launching a prosecution of Trump (Bush) would anger and polarize the center-right Republicans with whom they hope to work in order to pass covid relief and other bills (bailouts, ACA). Faced with that immediate cost, which would make passing bills they need today distinctly harder, pragmatists like Biden or Obama are strongly incentivized to just let it all slide and focus on the problems at hand. That's the fundamental logic, and the reason why, no matter what Biden personally feels, his administration is likely to choose not to prosecute the past whenever they are given that opportunity.

I think your description is likely accurate for how Obama and Biden see themselves.

That said, your description reveals the fatal flaw in Obama and Biden's self-conception.

...launching a prosecution of Trump (Bush) would anger and polarize the center-right Republicans with whom they hope to work in order to pass covid relief and other bills (bailouts, ACA)

In order for their position re: "looking forward, not backward" to be a reflection of pragmatism, this has to be a realistic possibility. It never was. So while they may see themselves as pragmatists, I think they are hopelessly naive in the face of overwhelming evidence of permanent intransigence on the part of the death-cult realpolitik obsessed GOP.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:30 AM on December 2, 2020 [16 favorites]


Biden has indicated that he is powerless to interfere if NY takes Trump to court. (Hint, hint).
posted by mumimor at 11:30 AM on December 2, 2020 [3 favorites]


That reasoning is just flatly wrong, though. Republicans won't work with Democrats at all, ever - "bipartisanship" is a delusional belief that shouldn't be motivating anyone at this stage. Prosecuting Trump et al is one of the problems that needs to be addressed.
posted by Lonnrot at 11:31 AM on December 2, 2020 [19 favorites]


Biden is well aware that Trump's criminal acts were done at least in part in order to cement his political position (just like Nixon's, many of whose advisers, as already noted, were convicted of and imprisoned for various crimes). Biden is also aware that he can't trust the co-called "centrist" Republicans, a lesson he learned when the Obama Administration made numerous concessions on Obamacare and got not a single Republican vote (not to mention when McConnell promised not to verify the briefing he'd received on Russian interference but to deny it in order to undercut Obama).

Not to mention, as pointed out, that letting Trump get away with crimes he committed openly would anger and polarize his own voters, who, as I mentioned, are not at all in a forgiving mood.

So the "pragmatic" thing to do, regardless of one's principled commitment to ideals of justice or lack thereof, or how eager one feels Biden is to sell out the 80 million people who voted for him, would be to root out the corruption that Trump has so far gotten away with so that future authoritarians know their ambitions will be constrained by law.
posted by Gelatin at 11:33 AM on December 2, 2020 [4 favorites]


Biden is also aware that he can't trust the co-called "centrist" Republicans

I really, really don't think this is true. Biden has made it clear that he sincerely believes he will be able to work with the GOP in a bi-partisan fashion to govern. As that Guardian article points out, "This is beyond naive. It’s delusional."
posted by lazaruslong at 11:38 AM on December 2, 2020 [9 favorites]


Seriously, the analysis that "Oh Biden will act just like Obama in 2008" presupposes that Biden has learned nothing at all since then, up to and including crimes that Trump committed to bolster his re-election, some of which he was impeached for and involved Biden's own family, is so politically naïve as to not have perceived the anger his voters (and Vice President) holds for Trump, or is so eager to sell his voters out that he just doesn't care. I suggest that none of these possibilities fit the available facts.
posted by Gelatin at 11:40 AM on December 2, 2020 [3 favorites]


I mean, it's not really analysis though. It's what Biden has said, over and over. Idk what to tell you.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:42 AM on December 2, 2020 [4 favorites]


Personally, I'd love to see him get impeached again. Twice in one term. That would be unprecedented.

He's already a one-term impeached popular vote loser (twice!). How much more winning do you need?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:43 AM on December 2, 2020 [3 favorites]


Ah ha ha holy shit, remember "The Donald?" What a life we're living.

Some of us have kept the faith and continued to use "short-fingered vulgarian."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:44 AM on December 2, 2020 [8 favorites]


maybe he has learned different things from the available facts than some of us have. maybe his set of facts varies...
posted by 20 year lurk at 11:45 AM on December 2, 2020 [3 favorites]


Biden has made it clear that he sincerely believes he will be able to work with the GOP in a bi-partisan fashion to govern

So none of Biden's statements as to the policies he intends to enact are to be trusted, but anodyne, entirely expected, and politically popular statements about "reaching across the aisle" are to be taken as gospel.

For decades, the so-called "liberal media" has defined "bipartisanship" as "doing what Republicans want." But it's a double edged sword. Assuming he gets a razor-thin Senate majority of 50 Democrats plus Kamala Harris to break the tie, he'll need to abolish the filibuster to get anything passed at all. And to do that, he'd be in a stronger position if he publicly reached out to Republicans -- sincerely or otherwise -- only to have McConnell act like the partisan jackass Biden has every reason for him to be. Then, more in sorrow than in anger, Biden can blame Republicans for the outcomes.

So again, given the choice between "Biden just can't wait to sell out his voters" and "Biden has some idea how politics is done," I choose the latter.
posted by Gelatin at 11:52 AM on December 2, 2020 [15 favorites]


This also assumes that the voters of Georgia actually elect Jon Ossoff to something, despite their having voted against him multiple times already.

Third time’s the charm! ❌ ❌ 🍑
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:56 AM on December 2, 2020 [5 favorites]


Biden has made it clear that he sincerely believes he will be able to work with the GOP in a bi-partisan fashion to govern


Joe needs to be able to say this with a Phil Hartmann smile.

Which means we need to organize huge street protests so Joe can always point out the window and say "deal with me or deal with them".
posted by ocschwar at 11:56 AM on December 2, 2020 [5 favorites]


So none of Biden's statements as to the policies he intends to enact are to be trusted, but anodyne, entirely expected, and politically popular statements about "reaching across the aisle" are to be taken as gospel.

I haven't said anything about Biden's policy statements, so idk what you're talking about there. Haven't really given that question much thought, but I'd reckon that his statements on the policies he hopes to enact reflect his sincere beliefs that he will be able to enact those policies. That is insane.

As to the second part...if you really don't think that Biden believes what he has been saying re: bipartisanship, then I have no idea what to tell you.
On the campaign trail last year, Biden repeatedly promised a GOP "epiphany" after Trump was out of the way.

"With Donald Trump gone, the fear of retribution has been taken away," Biden told donors, according to Bloomberg News. "If we win as big as we possibly can, there's going to be a great, great epiphany that's going to take place, as we Catholics say. And they're going to begin to wonder about whether or not if they take me on and lose by just being obstructionist."

...
Biden last week expressed confidence that he could work with Republicans on issues like health care.

“Why? Because I think they're seeing the reaction of the American people,” he told reporters soon after casting his own ballot last month. “Overwhelmingly, the American people think drug prices are too high.”

Biden promised that one of his first actions would be calling Republicans to say: “We've got to figure out how we're going to move forward here. Because there are so many things we really do agree on.”
...
Former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday forcefully pushed back against criticism that he is naïve to think Democrats can work with Republicans in Congress after President Donald Trump leaves office.

And he said the reason Obama was unable to use the bully pulpit to increase the popularity of his signature health care law was "because everything landed on President Obama's desk but locusts at the time, he had no time to explain the Affordable Care Act."
Biden told Reid that "you can shame people to do things the right way."
...
He believes that once Trump is gone, Republicans on Capitol Hill will return to the low-key, courteous mien that Biden remembers (or thinks he remembers) from his long career in the Senate. Rather than relentlessly attacking these Republicans, Biden has chosen to reach out to them. This bipartisan comity may well deliver the White House to Biden. But the flop of his Supreme Court appeal also suggests that if he wins, he’ll struggle to turn his theory of politics into real success.
Biden sincerely believed that upon winning the election, the GOP would be free of Trump and therefore have an "epiphany" that would result in cooperation with the Biden administration to govern. That is what he has made clear, over and over and over again, for years. And it is hopelessly naive bordering on delusional.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:02 PM on December 2, 2020 [20 favorites]




I don't know how much we can read into Biden's current communications - there's no benefit into getting into a public twitter fight with Trump compared to what Biden can do after he's sworn in.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:22 PM on December 2, 2020 [6 favorites]


I'm not sure political adversaries adopting "this election cannot be legitimate" is 'good now' for any party involved. I'll echo what I said when Puerto Rico's independence vote was stymied by a "don't vote" campaign: what other forum do these people intend to seek victory? Armed insurrection?
posted by pwnguin at 12:57 PM on December 2, 2020 [1 favorite]


Well, since Lin Wood (hero of the day at this Stop the Steal rally, filer of Krakens, Q*bert, pretty bad lawyer and all-around dim bulb) declared today that attendees should surround Gov. Kemp's house and "honk their horns" until Kemp declares a special legislature session to overturn the election, "encourage" him to resign and then "lock him up," after deleting his morning tweet in which he explicitly endorsed Trump declaring martial law in America...

...yes, armed insurrection is precisely what they have in mind. Trying to enact via force and intimidation what they cannot enact by voting, which (after all) is a grand Southern tradition, I hear. It is merely a matter of watching how loudly they toot that particular horn in the short term.

You know the phony preacher in a lot of old movies, the Bible-thumping demagogue sweeping a flock of dimwits forward to CLEANSE THE FILTH AND EVIL for his own personal gain? That's Lin Wood. He and Powell have it in mind to become Q-A and Q-B.
posted by delfin at 1:23 PM on December 2, 2020 [9 favorites]


Yeah, what sebastienbailard said. Trying to take as gospel Biden's public comments on bipartisanship is just silly. This is POLITICS. This is NEGOTIATING. Take a breath. We all need to push on our topics of interest in the public sphere, but the back and forth here - "will he or won't he stick it to Mitch" - is like pretending we're playing ping-pong, without an actual ball. Let Biden take office, let him make nice noises to play to the media and the public, and then let's see what happens when the Republicans jam him.
posted by PhineasGage at 1:47 PM on December 2, 2020 [20 favorites]


Personally, I'd love to see him get impeached again. Twice in one term. That would be unprecedented.

i wouldn't worry - he's going to be unpresidented soon enough anyway
posted by pyramid termite at 1:57 PM on December 2, 2020 [7 favorites]


...yes, armed insurrection is precisely what they have in mind. Trying to enact via force and intimidation what they cannot enact by voting, which (after all) is a grand Southern tradition

I've been participating in the Annenberg Election Study for months and hooo-boy did today's questionnaire have some doozy's. Specifically, several questions asking about taking the law into your own hands and some totally batshit insane questions about covid. I LOL'd at a few of the questions and then realized they were asking because some people actually believe some insanely dangerous stuff.
posted by photoslob at 2:00 PM on December 2, 2020 [10 favorites]


some people actually believe some insanely dangerous stuff.

And we have a culture, I suppose partly influenced by the importance of freedom of religion, where many people seem to think that What They Believe is inviolable and sacrosanct. It's epistemically sealed off from interference. If they hear a story about 5G attacks on voting machines or Hugo Chavez making Covid in a lab or whatever, and it seems appealing and plausible ("logical") to them, they may bring it into the charmed circle. Then, good luck getting them to abandon it.
posted by thelonius at 2:23 PM on December 2, 2020 [9 favorites]


This also assumes that the voters of Georgia actually elect Jon Ossoff to something, despite their having voted against him multiple times already.

Third time’s the charm! ❌ ❌ 🍑


Not counting runoffs, this is Ossoff's second election. Counting runoffs, it's his 4th. I don't really believe that people in large numbers are splitting this ticket. Warnock and Ossoff both have a good chance of winning, especially if the Republicans continue this ludicrous charade and convince people not to vote.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:15 PM on December 2, 2020 [9 favorites]


The unofficial motto of hard-right dingbat forums like Free Republic has been "Civil War 2 approaches, keep your powder dry" for as long as they have existed. "Militias" were forming back in the Clinton era, declaring that government overreach had gone too far and Second Amendment remedies could be necessary. Clown shows like the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters predated the Proud Boys, and are still just as armed and dangerous. Lone wolf morons multiply into online packs of morons with ease, and madness like QAnon spurs it on. The President has spouted conspiracy theories for his entire term, deemed mail-in votes "inherently fraudulent" all summer long, and has doubled, tripled, quadrupled, and so on on his allegations that the election was "stolen" from him.

Just like his claims to his faithful that America itself has been "stolen" from them. They are putting forth half-assed legal filings, one after another, almost as if they have no intentions of actually winning that way. (This includes both Rudy's Magical Mystery Case and the Krakens of Q-A and Q-B.) They are de-legitimizing elections all over America, including the ones that might let them cling to SOME form of power if they win one of them next month in Georgia. They are holding "hearings" filling the heads of both attendees and online OANN-watchers with "evidence" that the fraud is real. And they are now telling them that military force is called for, that the entire framework of elections in America is fraudulent, that Republicans are also in on the graft and corruption, and that it is up to the "patriots" to hold the line. They are eliminating the non-violent options of protest against the crime that they are insisting is happening.

A full-on war is not coming. We know that. (The flakes among us are never the most numerous, but they are usually the loudest.) The vast, vast majority of these people will spew invective all over the message board of their choice and angrily call into talk radio and rage about COMMUNIST TAKEOVERS on the Editorial page of your local newspaper.

But these people are being steered towards violent action. Ask Governor Whitmer whether such things should be taken seriously. Or Gabby Giffords. Or the President who throws around "treason" and "enemy of the people" like words don't mean anything.

And it is up to all of us to try to steer them back.
posted by delfin at 3:26 PM on December 2, 2020 [18 favorites]


Do the twentieth-century Nazis taking over the Weimar Republic count as a “full-on war”? Because there seems like an awful lot of headroom for really bad stuff underneath “less than a full-on war”.

I'm also thinking that it might not necessarily have been much of a better thing for Germany itself if their Nazis had fallen just short of taking over...
posted by XMLicious at 4:12 PM on December 2, 2020 [4 favorites]


if their Nazis had fallen just short of taking over...
That's actually if their Nazis had fallen just short of being elected into power.
posted by Harry Caul at 4:26 PM on December 2, 2020


Yes, I know that the Nazis were initially put into power through the normal operation of the Weimar Republic's political system. “Taking over” isn't a faulty description of that.

Trying to enact via force and intimidation what they cannot enact by voting, which (after all) is a grand Southern tradition, I hear.

Don't buy into even the echoes of the noble-slash-goofy “Lost Cause” mythology, though.

The Confederacy were not merely “Dey tuk er jerbs” insurrectionists. They were also what during the last half-century would be called a “state sponsor of terrorism”—specifically, one that successfully orchestrated the assassination of the President of the United States. The Great Migration away from the twentieth-century Klan and the Jim Crow South was a mass movement of internal refugees, like the reaction to the rise of ISIS in Middle Eastern polities.

Let's not count our chickens before they're hatched.
posted by XMLicious at 4:31 PM on December 2, 2020 [7 favorites]


one that successfully orchestrated the assassination of the President of the United States

Yea, but he was a Republican, so now they're just trying to undo their mistake.
posted by pwnguin at 7:11 PM on December 2, 2020


A drunk woman is Giuliani's star witness in Michigan. It looks like a Saturday Night Live skit. About half way through even Giuliani realizes she shitfaced.
posted by JackFlash at 7:19 PM on December 2, 2020 [32 favorites]


i’ll have you know that my devotion to the (hang on, let me google) to the geographical area coordination center is not to be doubted.

you’re playing a dangerous game, comrade, a dangerous game.


the general administrative control council will hear of this.
posted by Pouteria at 7:54 PM on December 2, 2020 [2 favorites]


These people need to face legal consequences for this bullshit. How can it possibly be legal to continue to make false claims about a nonexistent, multi-state, multi-county, cross-party election fraud conspiracy theory. It’s long last time someone was charged with perjury, or making false statements, or be on the receiving end of a lawsuit, or something.

It’s insane that the whole election infrastructure of multiple states is occupied dealing with false statements of these provocateurs.
posted by darkstar at 8:01 PM on December 2, 2020 [20 favorites]


This also assumes that the voters of Georgia actually elect Jon Ossoff to something, despite their having voted against him multiple times already.

Third time’s the charm! ❌ ❌ 🍑


I think they have a good chance of winning as well. I don't see Ossoff's previous losses are Goergians voting against him, but as how close Perdue is to losing the state.

Warnock and Ossoff both have a good chance of winning, especially if the Republicans continue this ludicrous charade and convince people not to vote.

I'm in several postcard and phonebanking groups and both Warnock and Ossoff have a lot of volunteers across the country. People know how important it is to flip the Senate.
posted by ichomp at 8:04 PM on December 2, 2020 [5 favorites]


It’s long last time someone was charged with perjury,

IINM, a court has to actually agree to hear the case and swear people in before there can be perjury.

Most of these filings have gotten nowhere near that point to date; they've mostly been thrown out.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:07 PM on December 2, 2020 [4 favorites]


There are 49 days to go and I bet we're going to see many more articles like this: Inside Ivanka Trump’s failed attempt to have Congress secure her legacy
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:20 PM on December 2, 2020 [3 favorites]


Speaking of Ivanka, she got deposed on Tuesday as part of the lawsuit on the misuse of Trump’s 2017 inauguration funds.
posted by darkstar at 9:00 PM on December 2, 2020 [8 favorites]


Press Briefing by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, WhiteHouse.gov; December 2, 2020 [in which the Businessman Donald receives top billing for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine]:
...You heard Moncef Slaoui say a vaccine normally takes anywhere from 4 years to 25 years. He said that in an interview last week, and this was in 10 months. It’s remarkable progress, but we still want to make sure that it comes as fast — as expeditiously, but as safely as possible, because we know by — that each day that passes, there are more American lives at stake. So we want to make sure it comes out as quickly as the data allows it to.

And we will have 40 million doses by the end of the year, which is a tremendous achievement — not just to have gotten a vaccine in this time, but to have produced 40 million in advance. It’s — having a businessman as President, it’s the Trump vaccine....
Find a crowd that’s going somewhere and get in front of it.

If only there was an equally effective vaccine against bullshit.
posted by cenoxo at 6:41 AM on December 3, 2020 [8 favorites]


Turns out that a businessman as president is uniquely qualified to take credit for others' work.
posted by biogeo at 6:56 AM on December 3, 2020 [20 favorites]


The Trump vaccine? So, a vaccine against all things Trump? Sign me the fuck up.
posted by Too-Ticky at 6:57 AM on December 3, 2020 [12 favorites]


You heard Moncef Slaoui say a vaccine normally takes anywhere from 4 years to 25 years. He said that in an interview last week, and this was in 10 months.

Well, once the president* stopped pretending the virus would magically go away in April, he spent a lot of time promising the imminent arrival of a vaccine, “probably by November.” So what we can glean from this is that vaccine could be created in less than eight months, but if not in that time, it would be at least 2024 before one could be produced. Ideally during primaries season of 2024. Definitely not in one or two or three years, though; that is folly.

Incidentally, the usual suspects and bots are divided between doomsaying that obviously something created this quickly is not effective and kvetching that some politicians they don’t like will get it first. The most amusing take I have seen was someone who warned everyone, “If someone tries to give you this vaccine, make them explain what is in it. If they can’t or won’t, make them take it first.”

Life is so simple when you live in a Scooby-Doo cartoon, where the public health doctor is unmasked as Old Man Witherspoon who owns the old mill. I enjoy the conceit that everyone waiting for a vaccination has a solid enough grasp of organic chemistry and pharmaceutical compounds to judge the efficacy.

“Say, doc, what’s in this stuff anyway?”

“Er, pyrilamine maleate and dextromethorphan hydrobromide are the active ingredients.”

“Wait! Those are an antihistamine and a cough suppressant respectively! Charlatan! THIS IS COUGH SYRUP!”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:27 AM on December 3, 2020 [9 favorites]


it’s the Trump vaccine....

I'm okay with that as long as we call it the Trump virus. You take the the mumps vaccine for mumps and you take the Trumps vaccine for the Trumps.
posted by JackFlash at 8:25 AM on December 3, 2020 [9 favorites]


it’s the Trump vaccine....

Yeah, Kayleigh, I don't think that's gonna stick.
posted by OHenryPacey at 8:33 AM on December 3, 2020 [4 favorites]


Ex-Presidents fill leadership vacuum as Trump ignores worsening pandemic -- CNN

"As President Donald Trump ignores America's slide into a tragic winter and obsesses over his false claims of a stolen election, three of his predecessors are volunteering to bare their arms on camera to build confidence in the vaccines that could finally end the pandemic.

The effort by former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, which was reported by CNN's Jamie Gangel, is sure to infuriate the current commander in chief. Trump is claiming the lion's share of credit for the unprecedented speed of development of several vaccines -- despite his neglect of other aspects of the public health disaster that has killed more than a quarter of a million Americans."
posted by valkane at 9:54 AM on December 3, 2020 [15 favorites]


Bloomberg reporter Emma Kinery:
JUST IN: Madison, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Supreme Court won’t hear Trump election lawsuit, likely dooming state court case seeking to overturn loss
posted by cashman at 10:11 AM on December 3, 2020 [12 favorites]


where would they rate in the vaccine priority otherwise?
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:11 AM on December 3, 2020


where would they rate in the vaccine priority otherwise?

Health care providers are first priority. But Clinton and Bush are both in their mid-70s so would be next in line. Obama is only 59 and healthy so would be in one of the lowest tiers.

But the public relations benefits would suggest that all three getting their vaccinations on live TV would be of great value in getting the general population to get vaccinated. Nevertheless, shitty Republicans, who don't care how many they kill, would be sure to squawk if Obama jumped the queue, even if it would save lives, particularly among distrustful African Americans.
posted by JackFlash at 10:21 AM on December 3, 2020 [5 favorites]


[OTOH,] Why Trump taking credit for the Covid-19 vaccines could be a good thing — After he leaves office, he can help convince his supporters to get vaccinated for Covid-19., Vox, Brian Resnick, 12/1/2020:
...But you know what? Let Trump take credit for these vaccines.

And not because he’s been an actual champion of science, scientists, or the regulatory process. Let him take credit because it may serve a greater good: convincing his Republican followers to trust and take the vaccine when it becomes broadly available. That, ultimately, could save many lives....
Would Trump get publicly vaccinated along with Bush, Clinton, and Obama?
posted by cenoxo at 10:23 AM on December 3, 2020 [1 favorite]


Would Trump get publicly vaccinated along with Bush, Clinton, and Obama?

Of course not. Trump has has told everyone he has superior natural immunity due to his fighting off the disease and he wouldn't want to indicate weakness by getting vaccinated.

But I would enjoy seeing a crying Trump getting a sucker and a Mickey Mouse Band-Aid.
posted by JackFlash at 10:27 AM on December 3, 2020 [3 favorites]


Would Trump get publicly vaccinated along with Bush, Clinton, and Obama?

No. But I bet Biden would.
posted by valkane at 10:28 AM on December 3, 2020 [4 favorites]


No. But I bet Biden would.
He should.
posted by mumimor at 10:29 AM on December 3, 2020 [9 favorites]


Trump won’t affirm that he still has confidence in Bill Barr -- Aaron Rupar on twitter

Includes video of Trump lying. But you knew that.
posted by valkane at 10:37 AM on December 3, 2020 [2 favorites]


Biden is already vaccinated. If he's not, then I have no clue why.
posted by tiny frying pan at 10:51 AM on December 3, 2020


Good article re: Michael Flynn's urging for martial law that lays the entire Republican project bare:
The military is not some repository of Real American sentiment—Donald Trump enjoys broad disapproval in the armed forces, including at the officer level, so it's not likely the army or navy will participate in the president's plot to overturn the election. But this stuff is metastasizing on the right. It's a natural extension of the Republican Party's growing belief that any democratic process that ends with a Democratic candidate getting elected is by-definition illegitimate. This is what was beneath the push from numerous Republican-led state legislatures in the last couple of cycles to strip their governors' offices of their powers in the lame-duck period before a Democrat could take office and wield them. Never mind that a majority of citizens had voted to give it to them. This is what's lurking under the voter-suppression tactics, and the post-election push to throw out the votes in predominantly Black cities. These Americans are not considered full citizens, in that they should not have the right to determine who the president is. Their participation in the polity is fraudulent.

Meanwhile, those preaching calm over the last few weeks have not merely ignored the guiding principles of the Trump era: never assume there is a bottom to the shameless depravity, and never bet against that shamelessness being rewarded. (This is a guy who has never faced consequences for a single thing he's done, and who continually gets things he does not deserve. Why would that stop now?) These Savvy Observers suffer from a failure of imagination. The increasingly deranged conspiracies propping up Trump's tantrum have had the desired effect: millions of the Republican rank-and-file do not believe Biden's (fairly decisive) win was legitimate. Very few Republican officeholders have openly acknowledged Biden's win—even if, as we were reminded by Senator Ron Johnson today, they very well know the truth and just regard speaking it as "political suicide"—and that number does not include anyone in congressional leadership. The official position of the Republican Party is that the outcome is in doubt and in need of investigation.
posted by Lonnrot at 11:07 AM on December 3, 2020 [11 favorites]


Biden is already vaccinated. If he's not, then I have no clue why.

Because it's not approved or distributed in the US yet? What am I missing?
posted by mark k at 11:10 AM on December 3, 2020 [13 favorites]


Biden is already vaccinated. If he's not, then I have no clue why.

Because he understands science - the government is simply not hiding some proven effective vaccine from the public for reasons. These are new vaccines for a new virus. They take time to create and time to test for safety - hell, given the fact that there is no way to know what any long term effects of the vaccine will be (because it's new), in a saner time I would totally understand if the 78-year old leader of a global superpower thought it best to hold on getting vaccinated and just make everyone around him keep masking up and sterilizing.
posted by soundguy99 at 11:20 AM on December 3, 2020 [4 favorites]


octothorpe This is what people voted for.

Eh. I'd argue most people voted for "holy shit anyone but Trump!" rather thanvoting specifically for Biden and his policies.

But, seriously, if Biden is so devoted to an "ideologically diverse" cabinet he intends to invite in a Republican, I really don't think it's too much to demand that at least one genuine leftist be invited in as well is it?

Or does ideological diversity, like the vaunted big tent, extend infinitely to the right while not covering anyone even slightly on the left?

If Republicans are welcome in Biden's administration but leftists aren't then I think a lot of leftists will be done forever with the Democrats.

Good luck winning in 2022 if Biden drives away the left and Trump isn't on the ballot as the big Fascist boogeyman to terrify us into compliance.
posted by sotonohito at 11:27 AM on December 3, 2020 [16 favorites]


[For the UK,] Revealed: EVERYTHING you need to know about Pfizer's Covid vaccine. What could the logistical challenges of delivering it be? Who will get it first? And where will people get it?, Luke Andrews & Joe Pinkstone for MailOnline, Daily Mail, 2 December 2020. Long and detailed, includes charts, infographics, maps, tables, etc..
posted by cenoxo at 11:28 AM on December 3, 2020


I understand that generally Presidents often “take credit” for things that happen during their administrations. But for Trump, the irony here is off the scale.

First, this is a guy that has made an art form out of shirking responsibility, pointing fingers, shifting the blame, and generally avoiding accepting the consequences of his own decisions.

Secondly, he specifically spent months downplaying the virus and undermining efforts to develop a Federal response. He is on record as saying that he intentionally downplayed its severity. And his actions have, at every turn, showed his contempt for even the most basic forms of prevention, such as mask-wearing and social distancing. Not to mention that his own sociopathic, idiot son-in-law is reported as saying that the virus was a blessing in disguise, because it would disproportionately harm blue states.

Then finally, we get to the speed with which the vaccine was developed. Yes, he signed off on “Warp Speed”. But this was not some courageous, innovative stand taken despite some groundswell of opposition to doing so. He literally had zero opposition to the idea, and everybody urging him to do it. He delayed months before he did it. And ultimately, it only required his signature.

He didn’t contribute any momentum, political capital, innovative thinking, stakeholder management, or anything else to the process. He — literally — barely had to lift a hand. All of the hard work was done by other people, and much of it despite him.

His contribution was literally the least he could possibly do, to give permission for pharmaceutical companies to work faster with available funding. There is not a person in my neighborhood, from the least politically savvy to the most tuned-in, from the average working Joes to elite academics, who wouldn’t have done it. His contribution was the lowest common denominator of decency and common sense that anyone in his role should have been expected to do.

biogeo really hit the nail on the head, above:

Turns out that a businessman as president is uniquely qualified to take credit for others' work.
posted by darkstar at 11:31 AM on December 3, 2020 [27 favorites]


People have already received a vaccine in trials. Now that we know it's effective, it would absolutely boggle my mind if Biden and Harris haven't been vaccinated, as they are two of the most important people in the country right now. I assume it has already happened, nevermind any possible photo op about it later.
posted by tiny frying pan at 11:41 AM on December 3, 2020


Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks says he will challenge Electoral College results -- USA Today

"Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., says he will challenge the tally of Electoral College votes when Congress officially certifies the results of the presidential election on Jan. 6.

The move, while unlikely to succeed, has generated praise from the president."
posted by valkane at 11:43 AM on December 3, 2020 [2 favorites]


...But you know what? Let Trump take credit for these vaccines.

And not because he’s been an actual champion of science, scientists, or the regulatory process. Let him take credit because it may serve a greater good: convincing his Republican followers to trust and take the vaccine when it becomes broadly available. That, ultimately, could save many lives....


Yes, because there's such a long list of Trump actions that have contributed to the greater good.

Trump vaccine

Would you like Freedom Fries with that?
posted by hangashore at 11:51 AM on December 3, 2020 [2 favorites]


Michael Flynn's urging for martial law that lays the entire Republican project bare

Keep in mind that for a permanent minority party like the Republicans, authoritarianism isn't just a tendency, it's an absolute requirement for their survival. Democracy is death to them.
posted by JackFlash at 11:56 AM on December 3, 2020 [21 favorites]


Maybe I'm too vindictive, but if a Trump cultist won't take the vaccine unless it has Trump's name on it? In that case I'd say we should call it the Biden vaccine to keep them from getting it.
posted by sotonohito at 11:59 AM on December 3, 2020 [5 favorites]


Nah. It's still important to get them to take the vaccine, because there will always be people with e.g. compromised immune systems that can't take it.
posted by mrgoat at 12:07 PM on December 3, 2020 [7 favorites]


That is exactly why I am concerned, JackFlash. Republicans are increasingly openly acknowledging that democracy is an existential threat to the survival of the party after decades of in-effect rigging elections through gerrymandering and voter suppression. The overt, openly corrupt power grabs like trying to hobble the USPS and discard mail-in votes, getting state electors to flip for Trump regardless of election results or directly attempting to get state officials to secretly overturn the election are part of a growing desperation to dismantle US democracy in order to establish permanent minority rule. The hysteria over voter fraud and election meddling is all projection. That it is reaching fever pitch with an active propaganda campaign to sow distrust of the entire electoral process and calls for martial law and rejecting the vote results entirely is frequently funny to watch in specific instances but extremely worrying as an overall trend. We should all understand by now that they won't deescalate. It doesn't matter if individual Republicans feel like this is madness if they also feel that saying so would be political suicide. There's a sizable percentage of the US population who feel that the presidential election was fraudulent. They understand emotionally where the Republican trends are going and want to accelerate the movement into authoritarian white supremacy and fascism. It is alarming to watch, and the lack of a serious public response is not reassuring.

Republicans have probably not succeeded in their attempt at overthrowing US democracy this time, but their base isn't going away and most elected (R)s will probably walk away from all this entirely unscathed, so there's no doubt they'll keep going further down this path. This is the Republican party. There is no saving it. They have been playing with fire for decades by doubling down on the Southern Strategy and building an increasingly radicalized, far-right base. If we can consider The Squad a distinct movement within the Democratic party in response to decades of neoliberal dominance, QAnon looks an awful lot like something similar within Republicans. Only the former are actual people motivated to make essentials like housing, healthcare and basic social safety nets available for all and the latter is a top-down movement guided by propagandists directing followers toward a white Christian ethnostate based on absolutely bananas, insultingly stupid lies.
posted by Lonnrot at 12:25 PM on December 3, 2020 [26 favorites]


Via dKos: White House DOJ Liaison banned from DoJ for pressuring personnel to gain access to sensitive information, offering high-level career positions to political allies without consulting DoJ leadership, and for interfering with hiring processes.
posted by darkstar at 3:05 PM on December 3, 2020 [11 favorites]


Also via dKos:

New Georgia Poll:

Warnock leads Loeffler 52% - 45% and Ossoff leads Perdue 50% - 48%

posted by darkstar at 3:09 PM on December 3, 2020 [20 favorites]


We say there’s a Trump vaccine and a Biden vaccine, and let people choose which they want. (Spoiler alert...)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:04 PM on December 3, 2020 [2 favorites]


Biden is already vaccinated. If he's not, then I have no clue why.

Biden has yet to receive the vaccine, of course, as it has not been released. It's boggling to think otherwise.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 4:17 PM on December 3, 2020 [10 favorites]


It doesn't matter if individual Republicans feel like this is madness if they also feel that saying so would be political suicide.

Oh, hey, speaking of:

Will Saletan: Lindsey Graham says the GA runoffs, which would keep him in control of the Judiciary Committee, are crucial to shielding Trump's family from scrutiny: "If you want to protect his family from another round of Mueller investigations, we need to win Georgia."

Mr. "If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed, and we will deserve it" is now reduced to "please, please vote in Georgia so that IVANKA and JUNIOR are protected from scrutiny." Why we should feel like they would be in danger if they are scrutinized is left as an exercise for the reader.

However, there is an interesting development happening. The Q*berts are so all-in at this point that they're openly drawing Republican fire -- and returning it. I saw someone refer to "BreitFox" unironically this morning and nearly shat myself laughing. So now Fox News, Bill Barr, and BREITBART FREAKING "NEWS" are leftist Deep State conspirators? But of course they are; any deviation from Trump Is Lord, Fraud Is Real, Hold The Line is a loyalty test failure and proof of conspiracy now.

Lin Wood spent his Stop the Steal rally last night declaring that people shouldn't vote for Perdue and Loeffler "because they haven't earned your vote yet." The likes of Newt Gingrich, even as he posts Trump's FRAUD! claims approvingly, are pushing back.

Am I going to wake up tomorrow and Newt Gingrich will be a Chavez collaborator and a Fellow Traveler?
posted by delfin at 4:30 PM on December 3, 2020 [19 favorites]


I don’t think anyone was suspecting that Biden would have subverted the regulatory process to get a vaccine before it’s released. It’s just that it doesn’t seem like an impossibility to imagine that the President-Elect and VP-Elect might have been given an advance dose, simply because their health is a matter of national security. In the same way that experimental treatments might be released in special cases.
posted by darkstar at 4:31 PM on December 3, 2020 [1 favorite]


For those still interested, Biden's popular vote total now surpasses 81,000,000 votes, and his lead over Trump is now greater than 7,000,000 votes.
posted by kyrademon at 4:39 PM on December 3, 2020 [22 favorites]


It doesn't matter if individual Republicans feel like this is madness if they also feel that saying so would be political suicide.

For a token few, there's the flip side of Upton Sinclair's “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it”—also helps if Donald Trump says nasty shit about a man's wife repeatedly: I added this to the “Denounced” column of the Wikipedia article Republican reactions to Donald Trump's claims of 2020 election fraud earlier today—
Joe Scarborough, FL-1 (1995-2001)—now a cable news host for MSNBC; on December 1, 2020, characterized the actions of Trump et al as an attempted coup d'état, using the legal term "four corners" for the degree to which the combined activities fit the definition of a coup22
Other interesting stuff I came across while doing research:posted by Charles Bronson Pinchot at 4:54 PM on December 3, 2020 [7 favorites]


The joke going around with our Romanian friends and family is "The US would never have these issues with its elections and transfer of power if there was an American embassy in Washington. The Americans would intervene."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:55 PM on December 3, 2020 [30 favorites]


Lol, historically the Americans intervening in the transfer of power hasn't got a great track record for the intervened.
posted by mrgoat at 4:58 PM on December 3, 2020 [1 favorite]


(To help myself understand how jokes in Romanian work, I find it is helpful for me to imagine an extra bit added to the end that says something like "But it doesn't matter. Nothing matters. We will all be cheated and ground down until we die broken and defeated.")
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:01 PM on December 3, 2020 [24 favorites]




I think the Asian conservative immigrants will find themselves on the wrong side of history. I'm not sure how to win them over but it gives me hope the younger generation is progressice and better informed than their parents.
posted by ichomp at 5:44 PM on December 3, 2020 [3 favorites]


Trump to restart foreign deals, breaking a post-presidency norm — A return to overseas dealmaking raises new ethical issues no ex-president has ever confronted. Trump’s sprawling global company is private and increasingly reliant on foreign lenders., Politico, Anita Kumar, 12/01/2020:
After he leaves the White House, Donald Trump is expected to do something no president before him has done: cut multimillion dollar deals with foreign governments and companies for his own private business.

Trump’s namesake company plans to resume foreign real estate projects, likely luxury hotels, as it grapples with a tarnished brand in the United States and the need to pay off hundreds of millions of dollars of debt, according to three people familiar with the plans, not to mention past public statements from Trump's children. Company officials have already vowed to look into more developments in India and will be expected to give a second look to projects they had considered in China, Turkey, Colombia and Brazil before Trump entered office.

The arrangement is already being criticized as one that could be used to pay back Trump for his policies as president or to influence U.S. policy through a former president — and possibly a future presidential candidate....
The revelation that the Donald would use his presidency for personal profit may be shocking, shocking news to some people, but look on the bright side. There’s no stronger incentive to get Trump to leave office A$AP than the prospect of new fools marks suckers clients (or banks) willing to give (or lend) him their money.
posted by cenoxo at 5:47 PM on December 3, 2020 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: Nothing matters. We will all be cheated and ground down until we die broken and defeated.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:52 PM on December 3, 2020 [16 favorites]


Biden asks Fauci to stay on Covid team, become chief medical adviser — Fauci has been in his NIAID role dating to Ronald Reagan's administration and has grown to become one of the most trusted authorities on the coronavirus across both parties., Politico, Matthew Choi, 12/03/2020:
...Speaking with CNN's Jake Tapper [link], Biden said he spoke with the country's top infectious disease expert earlier in the day, asking him to remain in his position leading the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Biden also asked Fauci to serve as his chief medical adviser and on his Covid team....
posted by cenoxo at 6:05 PM on December 3, 2020 [5 favorites]


Wait, ricochet biscuit... Are you Romanian?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:42 PM on December 3, 2020 [1 favorite]


I am not, but I worked closely with one for a decade. I can recall the basic pessimism and glumness well enough to give a good account of myself when moroseness I called for.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:53 PM on December 3, 2020 [2 favorites]


I lived in Transylvania for a year in the mid nineties. Can relate.
posted by jessamyn at 7:01 PM on December 3, 2020 [5 favorites]


Trump’s return to overseas dealmaking as a private businessman raises a new set of ethical issues no ex-president has ever confronted... [he] will have to decide how to balance a political past with a desire to make money.

And Trump will be no exception, insofar as he will not so much "confront" ethical issues so much as not notice them. Why are we pretending he would at any point even consider "ethical issues", let alone "balance" anything? He is incapable of doing either! Stop writing a complex inner life for a person who doesn't have one!
posted by BungaDunga at 7:21 PM on December 3, 2020 [28 favorites]


Trump/GOP started the day 1-40 in court.
Partying face

Trump/GOP ended the day 1-42 in court.
Partying face

Goodnight.
Sleeping face

-- Marc Elias on twitter
posted by valkane at 7:25 PM on December 3, 2020 [5 favorites]


For those still interested, Biden's popular vote total now surpasses 81,000,000 votes, and his lead over Trump is now greater than 7,000,000 votes.

A person should not win by over 7,000,000 votes and still have to fight for the presidency, yet here we are. A person should not win by over 7,000,000 votes and still have the electoral college be in question, yet here we are.
posted by tllaya at 7:39 PM on December 3, 2020 [31 favorites]


Republicans are increasingly openly acknowledging that democracy is an existential threat

Well I mean it's literally in the name. They don't want this to be a democracy (in the name democratic party), they want it to be a republic. In which they are the representatives of the people (in small text: who don't get a say, we represent them by deciding for them what's "best for the country").

They as a rule say it as "democrat party" because democratIC sounds too much like a good thing. We should start calling it the democracy party, to make explicit what the republic party is against.
posted by ctmf at 7:55 PM on December 3, 2020 [13 favorites]


This is a good opportunity to recommend this book: How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America

I'm about halfway through right now and it's provided a LOT of helpful context for these times.

I bring it up here because...

They don't want this to be a democracy (in the name democratic party), they want it to be a republic.

Leading up to the civil war it was exactly the opposite. The republican party was formed to save the union from the southern oligarchs who had taken over the democratic party.

An extreme and aristocratic element taking over an existing political party and trying to take over the country to promote it's white supremacist worldview? Seems familiar.....
posted by VTX at 8:22 PM on December 3, 2020 [14 favorites]


This is a good opportunity to recommend this book: How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America

I've recently discovered the author, Heather Cox Richardson, and she if fantastic. She does a daily EXTENSIVE FB post on the day's antics and a twice weekly hour long video where she talks about the recent Trump buffoonery/Biden and Harris items or she'll do a deep dive on American History. I could listen to her talk about stuff ALL DAY. Her works are def on the top of my list of media to consume. I swear I learned more in an hour of her talking than I did in a month of American History.
posted by Twain Device at 11:29 PM on December 3, 2020 [22 favorites]


Richardson’s daily post day on Facebook is recommended, yeah! It’s usually posted between midnight-4am EST, just FYI
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:52 PM on December 3, 2020 [6 favorites]


Those who don't like Facebook can find most of the same contact from Prof. Richardson on Substack (you don't have to subscribe; just click on "let me read it first").
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:55 AM on December 4, 2020 [11 favorites]


Well for the record, since the entirety of my direct experience with Romanians is as the majority of the youthful hotel staff on the handful of occasions I've needed to stay overnight in London during this century, my impression of Romanians is as incredibly bright-eyed, energetic, hard-working, enthusiastic, polite and considerate people.

Though I supposed the people I've actually met have probably all been purged and deported through Brexit by now and consequently likely match the description above to a tee in 2020. Life finds a way.
posted by Charles Bronson Pinchot at 2:52 AM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]


Heather Cox Richardson (WP bio) on:
• Facebook — Heather Cox Richardson
• GoodReads — Heather Cox Richardson
• Salon — Heather Cox Richardson
• Substack — Letters from an American
• Twitter — Heather Cox Richardson (TDPR), @HC_Richardson
We’re History — blog
posted by cenoxo at 8:05 AM on December 4, 2020 [13 favorites]


Legal MeFites, aid my thinking here :

1)Accd. to the 'unitary executive'-style thinkers, the sitting President cannot commit a crime; if he's prez, it's legal whatever it is.

2)Acceptance of a presidential pardon is essentially receiving clemency - you must accept guilt (or be convicted) of the crime first, in order to receive it.

How can he pardon himself?
posted by pseudophile at 10:13 AM on December 4, 2020


Who’s going to stop him?
posted by MrBadExample at 10:14 AM on December 4, 2020 [4 favorites]


He'll do it, but it will just be a lie. I mean, we know his M.O. The question is, what will the courts do?
posted by valkane at 10:19 AM on December 4, 2020 [2 favorites]


"I pardon myself, bigly, in perpetuity, for all the crime-ing, and it's amazing, and a lot of people are saying I should have done it before, and also Ivanka, and the other two, and Slenderman. This is probably the most important words I have ever been speaking, and when they look at the evidence, I will be president again, someday, maybe in two weeks."
posted by valkane at 10:24 AM on December 4, 2020 [15 favorites]


Here’s one of HCR’s nicely done posts from Letters from an American on December 2, 2020:
Yesterday evening, Trump’s disgraced former National Security Advisor, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn-- whom Trump recently pardoned after he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak before Trump took office-- retweeted a news release from a right-wing Ohio group called “We the People Convention.” That release contained a petition asking Trump to declare martial law, suspend the Constitution, silence the media, and have the military “oversee a national re-vote.”

The petition ends with a threat of violence, calling on Trump “to boldly act to save our nation…. We will also have no other choice but to take matters into our own hands, and defend our rights on our own, if you do not act within your powers to defend us.”

University of Texas School of Law Professor Steve Vladeck pointed out that “The Uniform Code of Military Justice defines as ‘sedition’ one who, ‘with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of lawful civil authority, creates, in concert with any other person, revolt, violence, or other disturbance against that authority.’…”

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley today pointedly distanced the military from talk of a coup. “Our military is very very capable… we are determined to defend the U.S. Constitution,” he said. “No one should doubt that.” A defense official told Military Times that the idea of Trump declaring martial law and having the military re-do the election is “insane in a year that we didn’t think could get anymore insane.”

He spoke too soon. This afternoon the president released a video of himself making a speech he said was “maybe the most important speech I’ve ever made.” It was a 46-minute rant...
More details in her post, followed by reference links and sources. Bravo!
posted by cenoxo at 10:27 AM on December 4, 2020 [9 favorites]


He'll do it, but it will just be a lie. I mean, we know his M.O. The question is, what will the courts do?

Trump has six right-wing Republicans on the Supreme Court, including three whom he personally appointed. What do you think?
posted by JackFlash at 10:38 AM on December 4, 2020 [3 favorites]


You know the two promises Trump must have asked for from his appointees:

1) rule for me in a bush v gore situation (which is why he's so desperate to get a case before the SC)
2) allow sweeping pardon powers
posted by benzenedream at 10:48 AM on December 4, 2020




What do you think?

I think if we've moved from "Trump is gonna short circuit the election" to "Trump is gonna get his pardon forced through after he loses" then we've made progress.
posted by valkane at 10:56 AM on December 4, 2020 [13 favorites]


Trump loves to win but keeps losing election lawsuits -- AP

"For a man obsessed with winning, President Donald Trump is losing a lot.

He’s managed to lose not just once to Democrat Joe Biden at the ballot box but over and over again in courts across the country in a futile attempt to stay in power. The Republican president and his allies continue to mount new cases, recycling the same baseless claims, even after Trump’s own attorney general declared the Justice Department had uncovered no widespread fraud.

“This will continue to be a losing strategy, and in a way it’s even bad for him: He gets to re-lose the election numerous times,” said Kent Greenfield, a professor at Boston College Law School. “The depths of his petulance and narcissism continues to surprise me.”
posted by valkane at 11:14 AM on December 4, 2020 [5 favorites]


Petulance and Narcissism is my Robert Smith cover band, btw.
posted by valkane at 11:23 AM on December 4, 2020 [15 favorites]


i don't care who votes for you
i'll petition to exclude
when i sue and sue and sue
it's friday: i'm in court
posted by 20 year lurk at 11:40 AM on December 4, 2020 [24 favorites]


NEW: Trump is seeking an "emergency" appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court of a case he lost on November 25 in Bucks County, PA. At issue is 69 votes.

Before you ask, I have no idea.

Trump and his allies are 1-42 in court. -- Marc Elias on twitter
posted by valkane at 11:49 AM on December 4, 2020 [6 favorites]


i'm told (by colleague who declined an invitation to write an amicus brief) that the application for writ of injunction in the PA Kelly case is pending before alito, who yesterday gave respondents six days to file response. i don't find that order/schedule published anywhere, but a new amicus brief was added today. by my count that schedule runs past the elector-appointment safe harbor day dec. 8.
posted by 20 year lurk at 11:59 AM on December 4, 2020


Petulance and Narcissism is my Robert Smith cover band, btw.

Petulance, Narcissism, Nash, & Young
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:44 PM on December 4, 2020 [4 favorites]


Biden won by over 7,000,000 votes. Even the far right Supreme Court justices know their building would burn if they did anything to overturn Biden's victory.
posted by PhineasGage at 12:45 PM on December 4, 2020 [4 favorites]


At issue is 69 votes. Before you ask, I have no idea.

I'm guessing that they are just looking for a victory anywhere, no matter how small, so they can then scream about all the other "fraud" still uncovered. At this point it isn't not about winning -- they know they can't win -- it's about public relations and running their grift to maximize donations.

Trump has already gotten $170 million in his slush fund that he can use in the future however he likes, paying himself and his kids million dollar salaries.
posted by JackFlash at 12:45 PM on December 4, 2020 [4 favorites]


Trump has six right-wing Republicans on the Supreme Court, including three whom he personally appointed. What do you think?

I think they would strike his pardon in an instant, because the ability for a president to self-pardon destroys the SC's power. A president could do whatever they want all term long and the court could say it's illegal all night long, but what does it matter? Prez just pardons on the way out the door and all his illegal stuff stays.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 1:02 PM on December 4, 2020 [4 favorites]


box > ...He's Doing Exactly What Someone Would Do if They Were Planning a Coup...

Perhaps ECOMCON or a variant thereof?

Distract your enemy with controversies, diversions, feints, and lies until they have no idea what your real intentions are. Suddenly declare a national emergency with irrefutable proof blaming the Traitorous Left and their Communist masters for subverting the election. Impound all state vote certifications and temporarily freeze the electoral college process before they vote. Order an official investigation to identify, arrest, and jail/exile all ‘perpetraitors’ (sic). Drain the swamp of disloyalists on both sides of the fence, rewrite any troublesome laws, re-educate the population, and hold new presidential and congressional elections in two years from an exclusive field of true patriots. America’s Great New Day dawns.
posted by cenoxo at 1:12 PM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]


NEW: Trump is seeking an "emergency" appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court of a case he lost on November 25 in Bucks County, PA. At issue is 69 votes.

He strenuously objects.

He's Doing Exactly What Someone Would Do if They Were Planning a Coup...

"The one area of genuine uncertainty related to whether Team Trump could convince the military to deploy active duty troops domestically"

Only one area? I have "NO RAGRETS" running through my head as I read this. "Except for everything else, it's a perfect strategy."
posted by rhizome at 1:22 PM on December 4, 2020


Petulance, Narcissism, Nash, & Young

from suite: rudy who lies:
it's getting to the point where i'll need some evidence
(i've been lying)
some affidavits can only get us so far
(i'm still trying)

dye my hair, hold my beer, i keep hollering
that they're doing frau-au-au-au-aud!
with apologies. that one was harder. i'll see myself out.
posted by 20 year lurk at 1:29 PM on December 4, 2020 [6 favorites]


I've been thinking about Rudi-toot-toot after some of the videos I've seen today.
posted by MtDewd at 2:01 PM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]


I think they would strike his pardon in an instant, because the ability for a president to self-pardon destroys the SC's power. A president could do whatever they want all term long and the court could say it's illegal all night long, but what does it matter? Prez just pardons on the way out the door and all his illegal stuff stays.

You aren't thinking like a Republican. They would not strike his pardon - they'd find a way to let it stand, but ensure that it is never considered precedent for anyone else, until the next Republican President wants to do the same thing, then it would be okay again. Institutions will not save us.

It's never about principles with these people. It's only power, and the Grift of The Day, and if you wanna do basically anything in service of those two masters, It's Okay (If You're A Republican).
posted by lazaruslong at 2:15 PM on December 4, 2020 [12 favorites]


They would not strike his pardon - they'd find a way to let it stand, but ensure that it is never considered precedent for anyone else

Ironically, there's precedent for this, in Bush v. Gore.
posted by mrgoat at 2:23 PM on December 4, 2020 [7 favorites]


@ShaneGoldmacher: Sara Gideon ended her losing campaign for Senate in Maine with $14,810,136.25 in the bank

@AJentleson: As the dust settles on Democrats' downballot failures, it's becoming increasingly clear that the attempt to throw activists under the bus is a panicky attempt to cover for inexplicable, systemic failures by Democratic leaders and campaign committees.

@jbouie: Democratic leadership ran the campaign they wanted — “ignore trump, health care, health care, health care” — fell flat on their faces, and now are looking for any plausible scapegoat.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:53 PM on December 4, 2020 [8 favorites]


There is some sort of concerted effort in the right wing blogosphere to provide crowdsourced "evidence" that is then "vetted" (how?).... of the "election fraud" beyond these deranged hotel/local govt hearings.

I'm sure it will get traction sooner or later as it's all over parler.

I'm not going to link the domain names because they are fairly low impact at the moment and I don't want to up their metrics/visibility if you go to the site where everyone tweets , to @ HIT * underscore * EVIDENCE, an account set up in May 2020 (hmmm!) there's a link to their site. If yo do so, do so from an anonymous/not logged in window as you don't want these people influencing your twitter algorithm. If you do send stuff, send screenshots - we don't want to give them impressions on twitter

It would be great if there was some effective pushback on this JAQing off stuff. It would be better if someone found out who organized it. It would be even better if the top "approved" (dark green) samples were debunked somehow in a parallel site. I'm quite sure the signal:noise is poor - some of the stories are rants on youtube or instances of single-voters voting when they hadn't done so, but the gish gallop "pile on" is a very effective tool.

Don't give these idiots oxygen, but do pass it on to ppl who like investigating the right-wing noise machine.
posted by lalochezia at 3:01 PM on December 4, 2020


Well, Trump loses another in Nevada. In this bizarre case the six Trump electors sued the six Biden electors.

From the Nevada district judge:
"Based on this testimony, the Court finds that there is no credible or reliable evidence that the 2020 General Election in Nevada was affected by fraud."

"IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Contestants' contest is DENIED and this case is DISMISSED with prejudice. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that contests shall pay Defendants' costs."
posted by JackFlash at 3:37 PM on December 4, 2020 [15 favorites]


credible or reliable evidence

See, they're moving the goalposts again.
posted by thelonius at 4:24 PM on December 4, 2020 [3 favorites]




Altogether, just on Friday, Trump lost five lawsuits -- Nevada, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Arizona -- a new daily record for losses.

In Wisconsin the judge wrote: "It can be easy to blithely move on to the next case with a petition so obviously lacking, but this is sobering. The relief being sought by the petitioners is the most dramatic invocation of judicial power I have ever seen. Judicial acquiescence to such entreaties built on so flimsy a foundation would do indelible damage to every future election."

posted by JackFlash at 6:27 PM on December 4, 2020 [28 favorites]


The next thread needs to be titled It's Still Still Still Still Still Still Still Official!
posted by delfin at 6:34 PM on December 4, 2020 [5 favorites]


Ironically, there's precedent for this, in Bush v. Gore.

Which Trump tried to use the other week
posted by rhizome at 6:44 PM on December 4, 2020


CBS: The House on Friday passed a bill decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level, a sweeping measure that aims to reduce racial inequities in drug arrests. The measure, which would remove marijuana from the list of federally controlled substances and expunge federal convictions for non-violent marijuana offenses, now goes to the Senate, where it is unlikely to pass.

Adds more fuel to the fire for the GA Senate races, for sure.
posted by darkstar at 7:44 PM on December 4, 2020 [10 favorites]


The Trump campaign released their Federal Elections Commission financial disclosure yesterday. So far since the election they have spend $9 million on their lawsuits. But they have received $207 million in contributions, mostly from small donors, a fabulous return on investment.

It's all about the grift, folks. Trump knows his presidency and real estate career are in tatters. His future is all about working the MAGAs like a televangelist. He can pull in hundreds of millions a year doing almost no work. It's rather astonishing. He could become the richest huckster in history, putting amateurs like Jerry Falwell to shame.
posted by JackFlash at 8:06 PM on December 4, 2020 [17 favorites]


The Hill: Biden officially clinches Electoral College votes with California certification.
posted by darkstar at 9:41 PM on December 4, 2020 [6 favorites]


ABCNews: President-elect Joe Biden is poised to nominate Dr. Vivek Murthy to serve as surgeon general, a key role in the government's coronavirus response, multiple sources told ABC News. He will be elevating Murthy, a key member of his coronavirus advisory team, to the position he previously held in the Obama administration, according to the sources familiar with his plans.
posted by darkstar at 9:46 PM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]


CDC director acknowledges a new administration will soon be in charge, CNN Politics, Jason Hoffman, 12/4/2020:
Seated next to Vice President Mike Pence, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Robert Redfield made it clear that he recognizes President Trump lost the election and a new administration will soon be in charge.

Redfield praised the work of the men and women of the CDC, noting that they will continue to guide the nation’s response to coronavirus, “after we’re gone,” referring to himself and the vice president.
...
Pence then thanked CDC staff and Redfield specifically for the work he has done leading the agency, but made no mention of any sort of new administration or change in leadership....
posted by cenoxo at 10:00 PM on December 4, 2020 [3 favorites]


Remember "A drunk woman is Giuliani's star witness in Michigan".

Turns out Mellissa Carone is a real piece of work. She just go off two years probation for obscenity and computer crimes -- which is rather ironic since she was testifying about alleged computer crimes.

Carone was convicted of sending videos of Carone and her boyfriend having sex to her boyfriend's ex-wife. She confessed to investigators that her goal was to send the ex-wife "over the top." She continued her harassment for two years even in defiance of a court personal protection order.

When Carone and the ex-wife crossed paths outside the courtroom, Carone drove around the parking lot twice yelling "Fuck you" with her middle finger extended out the window.

Only the best people ...
posted by JackFlash at 10:21 AM on December 5, 2020 [18 favorites]


Hopefully this is the last gasp of a fascist institution which needs urgent overhaul, or am I being naive?
ICE investigators issued a subpoena this week demanding BuzzFeed News identify its sources — an extraordinary attempt by the government to interfere with a news outlet acting under the protections of the First Amendment.
posted by adamvasco at 10:33 AM on December 5, 2020 [5 favorites]


And speaking of conspiracy lawsuits ...

Senator Ron Johnson today is promoting the case of Sharyl Attkisson who is suing the Obama administration for spying on her. (Why Obama would be interested in spying on Attkisson is a mystery). Attkisson was a former reporter for CBS who now has a show on Sinclair Television which among other things promotes anti-vaxx conspiracies.

She claims that the FBI infiltrated her computer with a keylogger to spy on her. As evidence she submitted a video showing her text literally disappearing from the screen even as she typed. The Office of the Inspector General determined that what she was observing was due to a sticky Backspace key. I'm not kidding.

This is being promoted by a Republican Senator. The conspiracists are not going away with Trump. Biden can expect endless harassment for the next four years. Trump will turn the conspiracy enterprise into a golden goose of grifting which is exactly what he was planning to do four years ago when he unexpectedly won the election.
posted by JackFlash at 11:07 AM on December 5, 2020 [16 favorites]


White House communications director Alyssa Farah resigns, CNN, Jeremy Diamond & Maegan Vazquez, December 3, 2020. In a statement, Farah said she will be "leaving the White House to pursue new opportunities. It's been the honor of a lifetime to serve in the Trump administration over the last three and a half years."
posted by cenoxo at 11:09 AM on December 5, 2020 [2 favorites]


Trump calls Georgia governor to pressure him for help overturning Biden’s win in the state -- Wapo

"President Trump called Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Saturday morning to urge him to persuade the state legislature to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state and asked the governor to order an audit of absentee ballot signatures, the latest brazen effort by the president to interfere in the 2020 election.

Hours before he was scheduled to hold a rally in Georgia on behalf of the state’s two GOP senators, Trump pressed Kemp to call a special session of the state legislature to get lawmakers to override the results and appoint electors that would back him, according to a person familiar with the conversation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private call. He also asked the governor to demand an audit of signatures on mail ballots, something Kemp has previously noted he has no power to do."
posted by valkane at 11:36 AM on December 5, 2020 [12 favorites]


Only six more weeks of ever-increasing frantic swinging!
posted by rhizome at 2:29 PM on December 5, 2020 [4 favorites]


He also asked the governor to demand an audit of signatures on mail ballots, something Kemp has previously noted he has no power to do."

Kemp's being very, very cagey about that.

His own words: As I told the President this morning, I’ve publicly called for a signature audit three times (11/20, 11/24, 12/3) to restore confidence in our election process and to ensure that only legal votes are counted in Georgia. #gapol

So what gives? Well, Kemp is calling for the audit to happen but specifying that Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger is the one who would have to order it. "He has not done that; I think it should be done," he insists, washing his hands of the matter.

Of course, both Kemp and Raffensperger know that it's a moot point anyway. Not only have the signatures been compared already, but:

Once the signatures are matched, the ballots are separated from the signed envelopes, which are stored for 24 months.

Even if signatures were compared again, there is no way to determine who any invalidated ballot went to because the ballots are already separated from the signed envelopes.

“We have a constitutional right in Georgia to a secret ballot. They verify it’s you, then they separate your ballot so they don’t get to see who you voted for,” (Sec. of State's general counsel Ryan) Germany said.


So, this is all a pissing contest:
TRUMP: Use the political machine to tilt this election for me.
KEMP: Brad has to do that.
TRUMP: I said, do it.
KEMP: I said, I can't.
TRUMP: Fine. Openly cheat for me, then.
KEMP: I won't do that.
TRUMP: Then do the other thing.
KEMP: I can't do that.
TRUMP: KEMP IS A RINO!
posted by delfin at 3:01 PM on December 5, 2020 [7 favorites]


I just saw an NPR headline I won't even link to. Something about Pence calling this "a season of hope" and I just realized I was down to my last even. Y'all I am all out of evens and there's months of this shit left. I just can't even.
Can I get more evens somewhere?

I'm almost out of bleach wipes, too.
posted by sexyrobot at 3:09 PM on December 5, 2020 [8 favorites]


Rudy Giuliani, November 8th, Four Seasons Total Landscaping:

"Networks don't get to decide elections, courts do," Giuliani said.


Rudy Giuliani, December 4th, Fox News:

"The simple fact is, we don't need courts," Giuliani declared. "The United States Constitution gives sole power to the state legislature to decide presidential elections."

I wonder what changed his mind?

(In about a week, watch this space for "We don't need state legislatures. Individual electors can decide for themselves to give this election to President Trump, no matter what state laws say.")

NARRATOR: They can't and won't.
posted by delfin at 3:37 PM on December 5, 2020 [14 favorites]


[Citing a CNN interview with Jake Tapper,] Biden says he will join former presidents and publicly get coronavirus vaccine, The Hill, Jordan Williams, 12/04/2020: “When Dr. [Anthony] Fauci says we have a vaccine that is safe, that's the moment in which I will stand before the public and say that.”

Kamala Harris will also take the vaccine once the FDA approves it.
posted by cenoxo at 4:04 PM on December 5, 2020 [8 favorites]


I wonder how dangerous it would be to heckle Trump in Georgia tonight.
posted by rhizome at 4:09 PM on December 5, 2020


You don’t need to shout anything, just take in a (lame) duck call.
posted by cenoxo at 4:46 PM on December 5, 2020 [5 favorites]


Monitoring the GA rally is like watching the term cognitive dissonance being defined in real-time.
posted by valkane at 4:52 PM on December 5, 2020 [1 favorite]


How Pfizer’s Vaccine Works, New York Times, Jonathan Corum & Carl Zimmer, 12/5/2020. A quick explainer with simplified illustrations.
posted by cenoxo at 5:07 PM on December 5, 2020 [3 favorites]


Governor Kemp is the former Secretary of State. So he knows as well as anyone that you can’t do a signature audit anymore. It’s a physical impossibility, because the ballots are no longer paired with the signatures, as noted upthread.

Kemp is making a big deal of repeatedly calling for an auditing process that he knows is impossible to perform.

These people should be launched into the sun.
posted by darkstar at 5:15 PM on December 5, 2020 [20 favorites]


So he knows as well as anyone that you can’t do a signature audit anymore. It’s a physical impossibility, because the ballots are no longer paired with the signatures, as noted upthread.

Well, I suppose you could audit the signatures alone and if you find at least 10,000 that are fraudulent, then you could argue that the results of the election are in question. But they have already checked the signatures once and they they ran their audit/recount. No significant discrepancies were found. There is no evidence of anyone getting a ballot fraudulently.
posted by JackFlash at 5:22 PM on December 5, 2020 [1 favorite]


Trump: I said I don’t want to wait till 2024, I want to go back three weeks -- Acyn Torabi on twitter

Going back in time three weeks is probably a more plausible strategy for Trump than the stuff his lawyers are attempting in court. -- Brad Heath on twitter

Fact check: True (White heavy check mark) Marc Elias on twitter
posted by valkane at 6:14 PM on December 5, 2020 [3 favorites]


It occurs to me that all this "try everything, no matter how despicable" makes sense, in a way, when I think of certain people I know. These are the parents who "work the refs" and "get in the opponent's heads" ...in a kids sports league. It's the "I'd be a fool not to if it might work" thing - the reason they can hate people "getting handouts" but take full advantage of every loophole themselves. They don't care how it looks, only what they can get for themselves.

The scary thing I just realized is, if it looked like we were going to lose an armed conflict, I have no doubt in my mind Trump would go all-in with nukes. Same "if it might work, I'd be a fool not to try it" theory. And now he's trying to metaphorically nuke democracy because it's beating him.
posted by ctmf at 6:39 PM on December 5, 2020 [7 favorites]


Sarah Cooper: He’s calling the names of members of the Georgia legislature. He’s pressuring them on national tv. This is insane

Which classifies this nicely as a naked power flex.

"If you think you can go back to 'normal,' you can't. This is my party now. You will help me with what I want or I will ruin you and train what was your base to hate you."
posted by delfin at 7:00 PM on December 5, 2020 [2 favorites]


He’s calling the names of members of the Georgia legislature. He’s pressuring them on national tv. This is insane

Trump: "Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?"
posted by JackFlash at 7:05 PM on December 5, 2020 [4 favorites]


Speaking of Trump’s Three Stooges Elite Strike Force, the dubious legal qualifications of Jenna Ellis (WP bio) are examined by the New York Times 12/3/2020, Wall Street Journal 12/3/2020, Washington Post 11/28/2020, and the Daily Mail 12/4/2020.
posted by cenoxo at 7:13 PM on December 5, 2020 [2 favorites]


Trump’s Georgia rally was supposed to pump up Loeffler and Perdue. It ended up being a grievance-fest -- Aaron Rupar, Vox

"Trump paid lip service to the importance of voting while at the same time insisting the election was stolen from him."

"The Georgia rally came hours after Trump reportedly phoned Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and asked him to convene a special session of the legislature to overturn the election results. Kemp reportedly turned Trump down, and perhaps as a result, Trump attacked him a number of times throughout his speech, at one point telling his fans “your governor should be ashamed of himself.”

"Then, toward the end of the rally, Trump outlined the desperate two-front battle he’s trying to fight to overturn the election, saying “hopefully our legislatures and the United States Supreme Court will step forward and save our country.”
posted by valkane at 7:25 PM on December 5, 2020 [3 favorites]


These are the parents who "work the refs" and "get in the opponent's heads" ...in a kids sports league.

Way back in the day I used to umpire for junior local-level baseball. Gave it away because of the unbelievable agro and abuse we copped from some parents and coaches.

With one or two exceptions the kids were never the problem, it was always the adults. The kids were there just for some fun and socialising, most of them didn't really care much if they won or not, it was just a day out with friends for them.

Other umpires left too, and it was a real problem for the league. We were volunteers, giving up our weekends to do it, just so the kids could enjoy the game like we did when we were kids. But the league admin never took any real action to stop it happening. So we never went back. A few parents pulled their kids out of it too for the same reasons.

Still feel sad about that, decades later. I was an average player at best, mainly good at catching fly balls. But I was a good umpire and enjoyed it. :(
posted by Pouteria at 7:34 PM on December 5, 2020 [12 favorites]


That we still have 45 days to go is agonizing. For superb, informed perspective on this mayhem and how bad it might get, I highly recommend following historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat (Twitter), the author of Strongmen: From Mussolini to the Present.
posted by PhineasGage at 8:01 PM on December 5, 2020 [4 favorites]


I watched most of that Georgia thing. It's Trump University all over again. And we know how that played out.
posted by valkane at 9:17 PM on December 5, 2020


Well, he’s managed to pull in nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in the past month by milking this grift.

At this rate, he might just be able to pull himself out of debt before they have to drag him out of the White House.

I guess the only thing good that can be said about this is that every dollar his gullible supporters are sending him is one less dollar sent to support some other Republican like Loeffler and Perdue.
posted by darkstar at 11:37 PM on December 5, 2020 [8 favorites]


Just 27 congressional Republicans acknowledge Biden’s win, Washington Post survey finds (Dec. 5) A 3-question survey, of all 249 Republicans in the House and Senate:

1. Who won the election?
Joe Biden - 27
Donald Trump - 2
Unclear/No answer: 220

2. Do you support or oppose Trump’s continuing efforts to claim victory?

Oppose - 9
Support - 8
Unclear/No Answer - 232

3. If Joe Biden wins a majority in the electoral college, will you accept him as the legitimately elected president?
Yes - 32
No - 2
Unclear/No answer - 215

Just 27 congressional Republicans acknowledge Joe Biden’s win over President Trump a month after the former vice president’s clear victory of more than 7 million votes nationally and a convincing electoral-vote margin that exactly matched Trump’s 2016 tally. Two Republicans consider Trump the winner despite all evidence showing otherwise. And another 220 GOP members of the House and Senate — about 88 percent of all Republicans serving in Congress — will simply not say who won the election.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:38 PM on December 5, 2020 [17 favorites]


It occurs to me that all this "try everything, no matter how despicable" makes sense, in a way, when I think of certain people I know.

It's got more of a "The One Secret Trick The Judges Don't Want You To Know About" SovCit flim-flammery feel to it. Their legal arguments that skips right over "controversies and cases" standing and the need for "particularized and concrete injuries", so when they get to actual courts with real Judges, they get smacked down fast with, "You don't have standing, so we don't have jurisdiction, now go away."

So they file the same shit in a different court. From the opinions, the folks at the circuit level are all done with their shit.
posted by mikelieman at 11:38 PM on December 5, 2020 [4 favorites]


Incidentally, the SNL cold open parody of the Giuliani hearing roughly captures the insanity of the actual hearing.
posted by darkstar at 12:21 AM on December 6, 2020 [2 favorites]


Watching the linked videos in that Vox piece, Loeffler spoke for 30 seconds, handed the microphone over to Perdue who tried and failed to speak over the chants of “Fight for Trump” for another 30 seconds. Just...not a good look for either of them, Perdue especially looked ineffectual.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:46 AM on December 6, 2020 [3 favorites]


Trump’s Final Days of Rage and Denial -- NYT

"With six weeks until he leaves office, Mr. Trump remains as unpredictable and erratic as ever. He may fire Mr. Barr or others, issue a raft of pardons to protect himself and his allies or incite a confrontation overseas. Like King Lear, he may fly into further rages and find new targets for his wrath.

“If there are these analogies between classic literature and society as it’s operating right now, then that should give us some big cause for concern this December,” said Mr. Wilson, the Shakespearean scholar. “We’re approaching the end of the play here and that’s where catastrophe always comes.”
posted by valkane at 7:10 AM on December 6, 2020 [2 favorites]


Historian and J. Edgar Hoover biographer Beverly Gage's dispiriting look at what might lie ahead:

"McCarthyism was never defeated. Trumpism won’t be either.
Censure brought down a crusading anti-communist senator but fired up his followers
."
Though we now think of McCarthy as one of the most hated men in American politics, even in 1954 he retained a passionate base of support, with about a third of the public backing his anti-communist campaign. Once the Senate voted against him, the tale of how he had been victimized by a corrupt and self-interested Washington establishment helped fuel the far right’s grievance politics — and spark what would become the modern conservative movement. Far from bringing an end to McCarthyism, the 1954 Senate vote mainly pushed it out of Washington, and a new generation of right-wing activists took up his cause.
posted by PhineasGage at 7:32 AM on December 6, 2020 [7 favorites]


From PhineasGage‘s upstream link to historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat‘s Twitter thread:
Donald Trump is once more walking away from failure at a profit — The US president’s supposed coup is more like a corporate bankruptcy.
New Statesman, Quinn Slobodian, 12/1/2020

At the end of history, Donald Trump appeared to be going bankrupt. As the Cold War came to a bloodless finale on the rubble of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the tycoon was presiding over a dissolving empire. Having entered the club of billionaires a year or so earlier, by August 1990, Trump owed $3.2bn to banks, $69.5m to subcontractors, and was involved in 111 court cases, as his Atlantic City casinos teetered on the brink.

It looked like a long face plant from the penthouse – except it wasn’t. Seeing how Trump rebounded from that loss sheds light on what he is doing now and prompts the thought: maybe his stubborn refusal to fully acknowledge his election defeat on 3 November – his numerous legal challenges and his accusations of fraud – is more like a bankruptcy than a (half-hearted) coup.
...
What happened in Atlantic City in the early 1990s is happening again in Washington, DC as Trump uses the resources of the state and the donations of his supporters to carry out a legal crusade that would seem quixotic and pointless were it not for the fact that it could line the pockets of those involved.

The contributions Trump raises now will carry over to a future run for office. The longer the contestation of the election is dragged out, the more lucrative it is for the litigants....
More in the article. What does Donald Trump love, need, and protect more than anything else? Follow the money greed.
posted by cenoxo at 9:31 AM on December 6, 2020 [8 favorites]


Mefi lawyers - when does collateral estoppel or res judicata start to bar these things from even getting hearings? Is it because they keep rotating different ostensible plaintiffs? Most of these lately have been coming down to "asked and answered in Michigan" or "See Pennsylvania; same"

I guess it's a feature of the system, you can sue anyone for anything you want. Maybe we need an analogy to the SLAPP statutes for sore losers gumming up the legal system.
posted by ctmf at 10:20 AM on December 6, 2020


"He may fire Mr. Barr or others, issue a raft of pardons to protect himself and his allies or incite a confrontation overseas."

Iran, anyone?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 10:28 AM on December 6, 2020 [1 favorite]


Barr has made his poison pill move: he made John Durham a special counsel to continue the "investigation into the investigation" of Russia's interference in the 2016 election. That means Durham will likely continue to produce material for conservative conspiracy theories during Biden's presidency.

The idea is that by appointing him special counsel Biden is trapped, he can only be removed for cause.

I think Biden should just fire him on day one. Show Republicans he's not going to be a wimp. Durham is a U.S. Attorney like all the other U.S. Attorneys who are political appointments and traditionally all resign on the first day of a new administration. The new president has the privilege of appointing his own U.S. Attorneys, as always.

Special prosecutor can't be fired except for cause? Here's your cause -- 'cause it all bullshit. What are you gonna do about it? Impeach me, ha ha?
posted by JackFlash at 10:45 AM on December 6, 2020 [21 favorites]


[Folks if you're dropping big news into this thread, please include some sort of a citation b/c with this administration it can be indistinguishable from ironic joking.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:24 PM on December 6, 2020 [8 favorites]


Trump says Rudy Giuliani has COVID. -- Kyle Griffin on twitter
posted by valkane at 12:25 PM on December 6, 2020 [2 favorites]


CNN: "Giuliani has tested positive for covid, Trump says. He has been speaking indoors maskless while trying to overturn the election results".
posted by cashman at 12:25 PM on December 6, 2020 [4 favorites]


The president is now indulging the Dilbert guy’s authoritarian fantasizing... What a disgraceful chapter in American history his presidency has been. -- Christian Vanderbrouk on twitter
posted by valkane at 12:28 PM on December 6, 2020 [5 favorites]


Iran, anyone?

I know that bombs dropping isn't subject to theory, but the thing that that reassures me about an idea like this is exactly how I feel about teasing confrontations with China: these countries have been around for at least 10x longer than the US -- as I look it up, Iran had named kingdoms 6,000 years ago! -- they've seen the Trumps of history come and go for eons. China knew they only had to wait a handful of years until he was gone, and even if Trumpism caught fire it would likely only be a few decades before the pendulum swung the other way. And that's before you even get to handling Trump himself, which I'm pretty sure they also have a lot of baked-in experience doing. I'm sure Iran is similar.

Has Iran even had any instances of belligerence since the Iran-Iraq War ended 30+ years ago? Wikipedia seems to indicate that it hasn't.

CNN: "Giuliani has tested positive for covid, Trump says. He has been speaking indoors maskless while trying to overturn the election results".

A study from South Korea came out this week that identified transmission over longer distances than you might already think, in a restaurant with ceiling air-conditioners. If I'd been near Rudy in the past couple of weeks, I'd be concerned. I mean, I'd be concerned anyway if I had found myself that close to Rudy in general, but throw COVID-19 into the mix and it's just a bad idea all around.
posted by rhizome at 12:58 PM on December 6, 2020 [1 favorite]


How Rudy Giuliani didn't get covid until now is the more interesting question. They're likely getting a #SARSCoV2 monoclonal antibody ready for infusion. This treatment an affinity for politicians and friends, including Trump, Christie, and Carson. Otherwise very hard to come by. -- Eric Topol on twitter

And I thought the new Dune wasn't coming out until next year.
posted by valkane at 1:07 PM on December 6, 2020 [2 favorites]


If I'd been near Rudy in the past couple of weeks, I'd be concerned. I mean, I'd be concerned anyway if I had found myself that close to Rudy in general.

No word yet from the CDC whether covid can be transmitted by fart. Regardless, looking at the side-eye from Jenna Ellis, she still wishes she were wearing a mask.
posted by JackFlash at 1:17 PM on December 6, 2020 [9 favorites]


Welp, Rudy may be in the special treatment club, but Carone's gonna find out how much they think of her.

I'm actually surprised Rudy got it, because Special Treatment Club isn't already passing out vaccines in secret to key people, so they can go around pretending covid isn't a thing risk-free?
posted by ctmf at 1:40 PM on December 6, 2020 [1 favorite]


Sarah Cooper: "Rudy Guiliani’s covid diagnosis proves that the virus can travel from bat to human back to bat"
posted by cashman at 2:59 PM on December 6, 2020 [14 favorites]


(rhizome: To be clear, my point was that Trump might pick a fight with Iran, not the other way around.)
posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:12 PM on December 6, 2020


Sorry, but...

David Bedard@bedizzle

“Rudy Giuliani has been taken to Walter Reed Pool Supplies.”

posted by bonobothegreat at 3:25 PM on December 6, 2020 [43 favorites]


I'm so angry when I think about all of the people that plague ghoul exposed to COVID in the last few weeks. How dare he?
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:34 PM on December 6, 2020 [8 favorites]


ZenMasterThis: Mine too. :) Point being that it's not likely to be Iran for a lot of reasons.
posted by rhizome at 4:44 PM on December 6, 2020 [1 favorite]


dKos: Joe Biden to nominate Medicare For All proponent Xavier Becerra to be next HHS secretary
posted by darkstar at 5:30 PM on December 6, 2020 [22 favorites]




There’s been no confirmation she will be on Biden’s COVID-19 team, but the Winter Covid surge is the ‘worst event that this country will face,’ White House health advisor Birx says, CNBC, Tucker Higgins, 12/6/2020:
Dr. Deborah Birx warned on Sunday that the escalating coronavirus surge is likely to be the most trying event in U.S. history, as hospital systems around the country strain to combat its mounting daily death toll.

“This is not just the worst public health event. This is the worst event that this country will face, not just from a public health side,” Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said during a masked appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” [YouTube, 12/6/2020].
...
On Wednesday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield said that the coming months will be “the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation.”...
If so, that would exceed the 1918-20 Spanish Flu pandemic (which started in the United States).
posted by cenoxo at 8:33 PM on December 6, 2020 [2 favorites]


Arizona Legislature shuts down after Rudy Giuliani possibly exposed lawmakers to COVID-19, Arizona Republic, Maria Polletta, 12/6/2020:
The Arizona Legislature will close for a week "out of an abundance of caution" after Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, possibly exposed several Republican lawmakers to COVID-19.

The president announced Giuliani had tested positive for the virus Sunday afternoon, less than a week after the former New York City mayor visited Arizona as part of a multistate tour aimed at contesting 2020 election results. The 76-year-old was later admitted to Georgetown University Medical Center.

Giuliani had spent more than 10 hours discussing election concerns with Arizona Republicans — including two members of Congress and at least 13 current and future state lawmakers — at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix last Monday. He led the meeting maskless, flouting social distancing guidelines and posing for photos.

Giuliani also met privately with Republican lawmakers and legislative leadership the next day, according to lawmakers' social media posts....
Truth, lies, and people’s lives are irrelevant: only Donald Trump matters. Modesty prevents Ghouliani from mentioning his $20,000/hour expertise and judgment.
posted by cenoxo at 9:57 PM on December 6, 2020 [6 favorites]


that would exceed the 1918-20 Spanish Flu pandemic (which started in the United States).

The USA's daily COVID-19 death toll is now greater than the number who were killed by the 9/11 attacks. It's as if there were planes falling from the sky and killing people every day across America, in increasing numbers, and the government isn't just failing to act: at many levels it's sabotaging prevention efforts. I don't know what could have been done in normal times, but even if the US had kept its rate to Canada's, more than 60% of those people could have been saved.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:12 AM on December 7, 2020 [28 favorites]


Tangentially, Saturday on MSNBC Ali Velshi was talking about Obama's anti-defund-police comments and he hemmed and hawed about what a supposedly complicated issue it is, and how many caveats you need to make in discussing it.

Obama and Velshi are both very smart, principled guys (all right, in Obama's case not Nobel-Peace-Prize-deserving levels of principled but as we've seen you can do much, much worse for a U.S. president) but I think a serious issue is that the Nazis/nationalists/Trumpists are doing what amounts to a Gish gallop with reality itself—doing so many things that are so stupid, so fast, that it's hard even for very smart people to keep up.

Now, with such a prominent milestone reached as the daily covid death toll exceeding immediate casualties from the 9/11 attack, the argument seems pretty straightforward to me, and of a self-inflicted reductio ad absurdum sort: let's just, for a moment, entertain the zany bad-faith suggestion that “defund the police” is actually a proposal to completely abolish police departments and even community policing, which it isn't.

We can actually look at places where there isn't/wasn't policing for comparison. From 1991 to 2006 there was no central government, and rampant warlordism, in Somalia. But I'll bet you that, despite the fact they were also dealing with the aftermath of genocide, the mortality rate from crime was lower than what the US is experiencing in December 2020 from covid.

(I didn't find any hard numbers in a cursory search, but I'll make a further bet that not only do they exist, the US government itself has produced them: there's actually a special office of the State Department, OSAC, dedicated to analyzing risks to diplomatic personnel and related tasks.)

So the people who are muppet-flailing about “defund the police”, who are also okay with their fellow travelers not wearing masks because FREEEEDOM! and consequently willing to disdain the simple, proven remedy to a 9-11-per-day public safety and health problem (and with most allowing themselves to be led by the nose after an effectively-magic-potion-while-its-still-vaporware covid vaccine in lieu of the simple proven remedy to what will total at least more than half a megadeath—not that vaccines aren't effective, of course: the point is that the half-megadeath is a gladly-paid-by-someone-else price in exchange for the paltry reward of the aesthetic faux-manliness and... maybe a teensy bit of comfort? When people just wearing masks would have also greatly reduced the cost and complexity of the vaccine development and administration process.), are completely full of shit.

The frantic, desperate (and still dangerous) contortions of Nazism as it feels complete domination over society within its grasp are opening up new opportunities for combating it.

Interesting, new-to-me, extremely useful vocabulary word in that Wikipedia article: “eristic”. Evidently directly from Plato, ἐριστικὴ τέχνη, this being a criticism of a specific technique of Sophistry, the attempt to discredit the argument of one's interlocutor by any means necessary.
· I'm a bit agape/agapē/ἀγάπη at the moment, as I don't know how I possibly overlooked the entire existence of this word during the past three decades, having even studied some Plato at my Catholic college in both the general education program and non-major philosophy courses, and where my undergrad degree was written in Latin, and on top of that this sort of thing and amateur study of rhetoric is, as the Brits would say, my cup of tea.
· I was thinking I might get my first tattoo ever, as a response to the ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ / Melon Labia / Identity Evropa / gun-nut bozos, but I'd just end up looking like another Nazi. Goddamn Nazis ruin everything. I guess some small number of Classics majors and/or fans of opposing Xerxes or fans of the letter ‘Ω’ (why doesn't it show up on the American version of Sesame Street more?) get that tattoo too.

posted by XMLicious at 4:33 AM on December 7, 2020 [2 favorites]


Giuliani hospitalized with covid... cable news portraying a race for all the people he's just met with all over the country to take appropriate measures, plus a clip from last week of the piece of shit trying to insist that a woman sitting right next to him take her mask off.

I've idly mused over the last year or so: since Trump is obviously the Antichrist, which White House officials are the Four Horsemen? When, after the superspreader event, Pence still kept campaigning, I had him pegged as Plague, but obviously it's Giuliani.
posted by XMLicious at 4:41 AM on December 7, 2020 [7 favorites]


Alayna Treene, Axios: "There's talk within Bidenworld of the president-elect ditching the typical flourish of arriving in Washington ahead of his inauguration on an Air Force plane, pulling in instead on the same Amtrak train he rode to & from Delaware for 30 years as a senator"
posted by cashman at 5:21 AM on December 7, 2020 [30 favorites]


Arguably, we've already exceeded the 1918 toll. The death rate in the US has been decreasing with improving heath care, medical technology, etc. and according to these tables it's now about 1/3 the rate in 1918. 675,000 people in the US died of the Spanish flu and if modern health care advances could have made it likely that only 1/3 of them would have died them the death toll would have been only 225,000, which is less than have died from COVID.

(I'm not a medical professional, so I don't know if this is actually a valid comparison, but the advances in medical technology have to be significant to some degree.)
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:37 AM on December 7, 2020


I recall reading somewhere that a lot of 1918 flu deaths were opportunistic infections that penicillin would probably have helped with, so that's quite possible.
posted by BungaDunga at 8:04 AM on December 7, 2020 [1 favorite]


OT, but every time I see the title of this post, all I can think of is Debbie Downer at Walt Disney World. “By the way, it’s official. I can’t have children.”
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:29 AM on December 7, 2020 [4 favorites]


ditching the typical flourish of arriving in Washington ahead of his inauguration on an Air Force plane, pulling in instead on the same Amtrak train he rode to & from Delaware for 30 years as a senator

I'm all for some grand, non-traditional entrance of some sort, but by rail reminds me of Lincoln's arrival in Washington (keyword to be avoided this time: furtive).
posted by Rash at 8:43 AM on December 7, 2020 [6 favorites]


Really hoping the rumors that Biden intends to help Brix rehabilitate her image by giving her a government job are false.

Anyone who toadied for Trump should be ridiculed and excluded from civil society for the rest of their lives. Brix sacrificed her reputation as a serious medical researcher to help Trump. She should never be welcome anywhere again, especially not in a Democratic administration.
posted by sotonohito at 8:45 AM on December 7, 2020 [14 favorites]


She and the rest of the covid downplaying toadies should get government jobs: gravediggers, morgue attendant, freezer truck workers -- there are lots of opportunities.
posted by benzenedream at 9:45 AM on December 7, 2020 [12 favorites]


Biden nominates Dr. Vivek Murthy to reprise role as US surgeon general, CNN; Arlette Saenz, Jeff Zeleny and Kate Sullivan, 12/7/2020.
...a role Murthy held under the Obama administration. As he's set to return to the same position he held from 2014 to 2017, Murthy is expected to have an expanded portfolio, two sources familiar with the matter tell CNN, as the President-elect's team crafts their plans to tackle the coronavirus pandemic....
After reading his WP bio, Dr. Murthy sounds like an excellent choice.
posted by cenoxo at 10:54 AM on December 7, 2020 [3 favorites]


Armed protesters alleging voter fraud surrounded the home of Michigan’s secretary of state (WaPo, Dec. 7, 2020) Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson had just finished wrapping string lights around her home’s portico on Saturday evening and was about to watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” with her 4-year-old son when a crowd of protesters marched up carrying American flags and guns. [...] Although the group dispersed with no arrests when police responded just before 10 p.m. Saturday, Michigan state officials accused the group of “terrorizing” Benson’s family.

“They shouted baseless conspiracy theories about the election, and in videos uploaded to social media, at least one individual could be heard shouting ‘you’re murderers’ within earshot of her child’s bedroom,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy (D) said in a joint statement on Sunday. “This mob-like behavior is an affront to basic morality and decency.”

posted by Iris Gambol at 11:24 AM on December 7, 2020 [18 favorites]


These are the people who claimed the breakdown of civility when Sara Sanders was POLITELY asked to leave a restaurant.
posted by archimago at 11:31 AM on December 7, 2020 [22 favorites]


“Mob-like behavior”


Er, no...it’s an actual armed mob.

We can call things what they are.


(On edit: culling additional text added on edit.)
posted by darkstar at 11:45 AM on December 7, 2020 [11 favorites]


I think it's that "describe ___ as poor conduct (and perhaps the person will choose to change their behavior), rather than as an identity (which a person will cling to, desperately)" bit.

Biden picks California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to lead Health and Human Services (NBC, Dec. 7, 2020) President-elect Joe Biden on Monday picked California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, and created three new senior White House positions intended to signal a more aggressive response to Covid-19, including addressing its disproportionate impact on Black people and Latinos.

[Becerra was talked about as a replacement for Sen. Harris, and four years ago, Gov. Jerry Brown chose Becerra to replace Harris as state attorney general. Becerra won his 2018 re-election bid, and his current (and final, by law) term would've ended on January 2, 2023].
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:08 PM on December 7, 2020


Given the tough decision he’s facing to replace Harris, Newsome probably wishes Biden would pick a couple more top Californians for his Administration.
posted by darkstar at 2:49 PM on December 7, 2020


Zeynep Tufekci has a good piece on the Republican coup attempt. It's worth reading in full, but a choice excerpt:
What starts as farce may end as tragedy, a lesson that pundits should already have learned from their sneering dismissal of Trump when he first announced his presidential candidacy. Yes, the Trump campaign’s lawsuits are pinnacles of incompetence, too incoherent and embarrassing to go anywhere legally. The legislators who have been openly pressured by Trump don’t seem willing to abide the crassness of his attempt. States are certifying their election results one by one, and the General Services Administration―the agency that oversees presidential transitions—has started the process of handing the government over to President-elect Joe Biden. If things proceed in their ordinary course, the Electoral College will soon vote, and then Biden will take office.

But ignoring a near catastrophe that was averted by the buffoonish, half-hearted efforts of its would-be perpetrator invites a real catastrophe brought on by someone more competent and ambitious. President Trump had already established a playbook for contesting elections in 2016 by casting doubt on the election process before he won, and insisting that he only lost the popular vote due to fraud. Now he’s establishing a playbook for stealing elections by mobilizing executive, judicial, and legislative power to support the attempt. And worse, much worse, the playbook is being implicitly endorsed by the silence of some leading Republicans, and vocally endorsed by others, even as minority rule becomes increasingly entrenched in the American electoral system.
Or, as I have been colloquially expressing it to friends, if I attempt a bank robbery and it doesn't work out, I don't get to shrug and walk away, no hard feelings. Neither should overt attempts to overthrow the election be ignored or laughed off. At the very least, the more brazen power grabs like Graham's attempt at overthrowing the Georgia election have to be prosecuted or the consequences of inaction will come back to bite us all.
posted by Lonnrot at 3:02 PM on December 7, 2020 [36 favorites]


There's talk within Bidenworld of the president-elect ditching the typical flourish of arriving in Washington ahead of his inauguration on an Air Force plane, pulling in instead on the same Amtrak train he rode to & from Delaware for 30 years as a senator.

There's also apparently talk in Trumpworld of him seizing some of that flourish by departing Washington on Air Force One the morning of the inauguration, taking it to Maralago, and holding a rally there to upstage Biden's swearing-in.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:20 PM on December 7, 2020 [1 favorite]


pulling in instead on the same Amtrak train he rode to & from Delaware for 30 years as a senator.

Dig it, especially if he uses it to get attention to a new plan to join the rest of the world in giving a shit about efficient mass transportation. What I don't like is giving the chuds the obvious spectacle opportunity of blocking the tracks.

Unless he also promises to fucking obliterate the MAGA truck on the track with anti-tank missiles, then crash through the flames with a speeding train. Then I'm 180% on board. Think of the ratings! Trump would eat his own liver.
posted by ctmf at 3:30 PM on December 7, 2020 [8 favorites]


If you didn't think Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger was a rat, after he and his wife received death threats from the MAGA heads, he dutifully went back to the Republicans for a second helping of warm shit.

As a dutiful Republican, today he wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal claiming that Trump is just running the Stacey Abrams playbook. Both sides, you know. What a pile of Republican crap.

He says that just like Trump, Stacey Abrams refused to concede. This is an absurd distortion of the truth. Abrams did say they she would not "concede" but did say that “I acknowledge that former Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be certified as the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial election" which is not like Trump at all.

The reason she would not say "concede" is because she was unwilling to concede that her opponent Kemp had not unfairly influenced the election. At that time her opponent Kemp had Raffensperger's job, Secretary of State, which meant that he oversaw his own election. And he used his position as SoS to disqualify the voting registrations of tens of thousands people in African American districts.

Raffensperger also says that just like Trump, Abrams sued the state. But Abrams did not sue to overturn the election like Trump. As stated above, she freely acknowledged the results. What she sued for was to reform voter registration, ballot access and ballot counting for, not the present election, but future elections.

Raffensperger is a standard contemptible asshole Republican faithfully pumping out Republican disinformation.
posted by JackFlash at 4:15 PM on December 7, 2020 [38 favorites]


I guess it's a feature of the system, you can sue anyone for anything you want. Maybe we need an analogy to the SLAPP statutes for sore losers gumming up the legal system.

Could he be declared a vexatious litigant?
posted by triggerfinger at 5:03 PM on December 7, 2020 [3 favorites]


One would think so, except they keep coming up with different "plaintiffs" (who are secondary to the same-every-time legal "brains" of the operation.) They've probably got a bench full of lawyers willing to get disbarred over it too (for a suitable price, of course). The gullible magas are paying in more than any fines or costs. We're going to have to go through up to 70 million individual lawsuits unless we figure something out.

This has been the strategy for quite a long time, just never applied to elections until now. Refuse to lose. You only need to get lucky once, they have to get lucky *every* time.
posted by ctmf at 5:24 PM on December 7, 2020 [4 favorites]


Is this a big deal? This seems like a big deal.

Trump administration officials passed when Pfizer offered in late summer to sell the U.S. more vaccine doses.
Trump administration officials passed when Pfizer offered in late summer to sell the U.S. government additional doses of its Covid-19 vaccine, according to people familiar with the matter. Now Pfizer may not be able to provide more of its vaccine to the United States until next June because of its commitments to other countries, they said.
Now, of course, the entire Trump admin is more focused on lawsuits than the pandemic.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:35 PM on December 7, 2020 [12 favorites]


This seems bad.

The Marines And The Racist Porn Actor Who Tried To Start A ‘Modern Day SS’ (HuffPo)

All told, the new court documents — along with leaked Iron March messages obtained by anti-fascist activists — paint a frightening portrait of American extremist terror. They show white supremacists finding spaces to organize online and in the military, where they discuss moving to regions where they think they can make inroads among predominantly white populations.

The documents also offer evidence of these white supremacists either surveilling Black Lives Matter demonstrations or discussing how to kill the protesters taking part. Prosecutors allege that on two occasions this summer in Boise, Idaho, one of the neo-Nazi defendants was spotted silently stalking the demonstrations from his car, driving slowly near anti-racist protesters gathered in the state capitol. He later allegedly texted one of the other defendants about forming a “death squad” to massacre Black Lives Matter activists.


I am genuinely worried that there is no way to walk this back and that we are heading down a path that leads to something very bad.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:43 PM on December 7, 2020 [14 favorites]


Federal judge dismisses Sidney Powell lawsuit that sought to overturn Trump loss in Georgia., CNBC, Kevin Breuninger & Dan Mangan, 12/7/2020:
  • A federal judge quickly dismissed a lawsuit filed by conservative attorney Sidney Powell that sought to overturn President Donald Trump’s election loss to Joe Biden in Georgia.
  • The dismissal, and an earlier one Monday in a similar case in Michigan, are further blows to Trump’s long-shot effort to deny Biden a victory next week in the Electoral College.
  • The ruling in Georgia came less than 90 minutes into a hearing in Atlanta federal court, where Powell had claimed that Trump was the victim of massive ballot fraud related to Georgia’s use of Dominion voting machines.
...and another one bites the dust.
posted by cenoxo at 7:13 PM on December 7, 2020 [6 favorites]


Trump administration officials passed when Pfizer offered in late summer to sell the U.S. more vaccine doses.
...Now Pfizer may not be able to provide more of its vaccine to the United States until next June because of its commitments to other countries, they said.



If this means that millions of Americans have to wait several additional months before they can get vaccinated, it will almost certainly result in tens of thousands of additional, preventable deaths on top of what will likely already be close to a half-million deaths from Covid-19.
posted by darkstar at 7:30 PM on December 7, 2020 [11 favorites]


I am genuinely worried that there is no way to walk this back and that we are heading down a path that leads to something very bad.

Me too. I have been praying for our country every day and night. I am being 100% serious that the next 2 years are the battle for the soul of our nation and it has only started.
posted by ichomp at 10:02 PM on December 7, 2020 [1 favorite]


Raffensperger, the groveling gobshite. From 2012 to 2017, Kemp purged more than 2 million voters from the registration rolls. (Georgia's entire population = around 10 million people.) That, and the chicanery the man got up to in 2018, resulted in his election "win": 50.2% (1,978,408 votes), to Abrams' 48.8% (1,923,685 votes). What's more, the current SoS could be more sensitive to allegations of impropriety during that race - Raff's own election stats, 51.9% (764,855 votes) to Barrow's 48.1% (709,049), squeak like a rusty hinge, too.

Trump administration officials passed when Pfizer offered in late summer to sell the U.S. government additional doses of its Covid-19 vaccine
... in favor of backing the Moderna vaccine: The National Institutes of Health may own intellectual property that undergirds a leading coronavirus vaccine being developed by Moderna, according to documents obtained by Axios and an analysis from Public Citizen (June 25, 2020); Moderna gets another $472m in US gov’t aid for vaccine trials, the US drugmaker had received $483m in April for early-stage human trials for a coronavirus treatment. (July 27, 2020). The worst possible call w/r/t the public good is the Hauptmotiv of the departing administration.

WaPo, Dec. 7, 2020: Trump asks Pennsylvania House speaker for help overturning election results, personally intervening in a third state. President Trump called the speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives twice during the past week to make an extraordinary request for help reversing his loss in the state, reflecting a broadening pressure campaign by the president and his allies to try to subvert the 2020 election result. The calls, confirmed by House Speaker Bryan Cutler’s office, make Pennsylvania the third state [after Michigan & Georgia] where Trump has directly attempted to overturn a result since he lost the election to former vice president Joe Biden.

WaPo, Dec. 7, 2020: Biden to name retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as defense secretary. Austin, 67, rose to become a four-star general in the Army and retired in 2016 as the chief of U.S. Central Command, a role from which he oversaw U.S. military operations across the Middle East for three years. If confirmed, Austin would be the first Black Pentagon chief.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:31 PM on December 7, 2020 [11 favorites]


meanwhile...
Melania has built a tennis pavilion.
Critics lashed out, calling the photos insensitive.
In response, [Melania] Trump tweeted encouraging “everyone who chooses to be negative & question [her] work at the White House to take time and contribute something good & productive in their own communities”.
posted by mumimor at 12:34 AM on December 8, 2020 [2 favorites]


Love all, Mr. President.:
The White House tennis court has been a favorite outdoor recreation area for many presidents and their families. Tennis courts were first installed in the Theodore Roosevelt years on the near south side of the West Wing. The court was moved further south around 1910, to where the swimming pool is today, and were enjoyed by the Wilson daughters and Coolidge sons, among others. Florence Harding hosted the first women's tennis exhibition at the White House. And it was on the old White House tennis court that Calvin Coolidge, Jr. got a blister after playing without socks, which led to his death by blood-poisoning at the age of 16.

Later, a small court was built in its present location. Nancy Reagan held a fund-raiser tournament here. George HW Bush enlarged this court in 1989. In 2009, Barack Obama had basketball court lines painted and removable baskets added so that he could play full-court basketball.
From the White House Museum, “the unofficial virtual museum of the president’s residence“. Apparently this website hasn’t been updated since Obama’s second term, but it has many interesting photos from previous administrations.

And yes, there’s also a putting green: see the aptly titled page Play It Where It Lies, Mr. President.
posted by cenoxo at 4:29 AM on December 8, 2020 [1 favorite]


So an hour ago, the Texas AG announced that he is filing a suit directly with the Supreme Court today, challenging the election results and the BoE's of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. No word yet whether the case will be heard, but today is the deadline for states to certify their vote counts.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:30 AM on December 8, 2020 [4 favorites]


So an hour ago, the Texas AG announced that he is filing a suit directly with the Supreme Court today, challenging the election results and the BoE's of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. No word yet whether the case will be heard, but today is the deadline for states to certify their vote counts.

Is this the big test, then? The Supreme Court could just....declare the election invalid and install Trump on a 6-3 split of Trump loyalists?
posted by Frowner at 7:35 AM on December 8, 2020 [1 favorite]


I'm not any sort of law-talking person, and I don't know if state AGs generally have the privilege to jump directly to the Supreme Court on some sort of original-jurisdiction grounds, but I'd think they're going to have a hell of a time arguing that they have standing (much less on a federal question). None of the elections in question are in Texas, or immediately connected to things going on in Texas, so it's outside the purview of Texas's attorney general.
posted by jackbishop at 7:36 AM on December 8, 2020 [9 favorites]


Is this the big test, then? The Supreme Court could just....declare the election invalid and install Trump on a 6-3 split of Trump loyalists?

Obviously, institutions will not save us and anything could happen, but the Supreme Court doesn't get to decide elections. It doesn't get to decide if a vote was fair or not. Ultimately, congress has that ability since they get to count the electors votes. If someone (like Biden) gets more votes, it doesn't matter if the Supreme Court thinks the election was rotten to the core; it doesn't have the power to prescribe remedies like saying the other guy won or congress can't count those electors.

In addition, those conservative justices are already sitting on the court. They already are protected for the rest of their lives. They don't need a President Trump, and in fact, he would prevent their ability to look like their fighting for constitutional principles against the tyrant Biden. So, not only do they not have the power to do anything about the election, they don't have the desire either.

So, no, Texas AG suing means absolutely nothing to anyone.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 7:43 AM on December 8, 2020 [3 favorites]


the Texas AG announced that he is filing a suit directly with the Supreme Court today, challenging the election results and the BoE's of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

This officially just stopped being funny or clowish in any way: we are living through an active, no-shit, full-on attempted coup.

None of the elections in question are in Texas, or immediately connected to things going on in Texas, so it's outside the purview of Texas's attorney general.

Not that the outcome is moot, but things are pretty fucking bad when the AG of one of the nation's largest, wealthiest and most politically influential states even says something like this, let alone takes this action; we're in uncharted waters, folks:
Paxton, an outspoken advocate of President Donald Trump, claims the states “flooded their people with unlawful ballot applications and ballots” and ignored rules for how such ballots need to be counted, according to a press release announcing the litigation.

“Trust in the integrity of our election processes is sacrosanct and binds our citizenry and the States in this Union together,” Paxton said in the statement. “Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin destroyed that trust and compromised the security and integrity of the 2020 election.”
Things are already, past tense, profoundly broken. Biden will not be able to govern as fully legitimate in the minds of millions of Americans, because right now, tens of millions of Americans think that the coup has already happened and that Trump is the victim and the Texas AG is heroically trying to stop it. I know we all know this, but for some reason this piece of news and this action by this specific cowardly, lying state AG is the thing that made the framing in my brain finally stop trying to force any normalcy (or hope of return to normalcy) onto what's happening now, during this transition of power.

And there's not much for it but to hang on tight while we shelter in place, and hope that the violence that is frustratingly, seemingly unavoidably nascent will not actually fully materialize, and that we will somehow talk ourselves back from the edge of this cliff.
posted by LooseFilter at 7:48 AM on December 8, 2020 [29 favorites]


Also, I suppose if they really expected it to work, they would have done it sooner. So it's probably more GOP grandstanding.

A depressing thing that has happened over my lifetime: I have gone from expecting the courts to be partisan and biased against anyone not wealthy, white, male and conservative to expecting them to be actively crooked.
posted by Frowner at 7:49 AM on December 8, 2020 [10 favorites]


It allows the Texas AG to put it on his resume when he runs for Governor.

Which is basically what all of this is about: posturing and positioning for personal advantage after the dust settles, and Biden is in the White House. Every one of the Republican enablers are doing this either for money or influence.

The cultist followers may be true believers, but the leaders and provocateurs are in it for the grift.
posted by darkstar at 7:54 AM on December 8, 2020 [6 favorites]


I don't know if state AGs generally have the privilege to jump directly to the Supreme Court on some sort of original-jurisdiction grounds

Nothing to do with state AGs. When one state sues another state, it goes straight to the Supreme Court.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:00 AM on December 8, 2020 [2 favorites]


So, no, Texas AG suing means absolutely nothing to anyone.

To clarify my fear, this is what I now disagree with. While I agree that legally this is very likely to go nowhere at all, I think these actions today will have exactly the effects intended, and are not mere grandstanding--and it's dangerous to dismiss them as such. What Trumpists are doing now is creating a narrative, a false reality, that will be the rallying cry for future acts of "resistance" and violence from America's extreme political right (both professionally in government, and socially in everyday life). This is the weaving of the story of the "victim", a new foundation upon which to lay their many free-floating grievances; it's nurturing the same story and psychology that has allowed Lost Cause theology to continue to convince millions of Americans that the traitorous South were really the victims in the American Civil War, and that White Supremacist God continues to be on their side.

This is providing a story to rationalize feelings of unearned entitlement to power and social privilege and to justify ongoing grievances. It is stupid and absurd on the face of it, but that just tells me that the obvious reason(s) to do this are not the actual ones. The actual reasons the Texas AG is doing this are already being effective right now, helping to create and strengthen a false narrative that is essential for Trump (and Trumpists) to hold onto some power (cultural, since they lost a lot of the practical power), and to provide fuel for continued resistance to normalcy and the rule of law.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:03 AM on December 8, 2020 [25 favorites]


The Texas AG is currently under investigation by the FBI. This lawsuit is his public request to be pardoned by Trump.
posted by valkane at 8:11 AM on December 8, 2020 [17 favorites]


The Texas AG is currently under investigation by the FBI. This lawsuit is his public request to be pardoned by Trump.

Cause and effect are as likely the reverse: Trump knows that the Texas AG is under investigation, and had a call made to order him to do this if he wants to be considered for a pardon. People keep assuming that Trumpists just offer actions up of their own accord, and I think it's much more likely that mob boss Donald is picking up the phone and making offers that people can't refuse.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:18 AM on December 8, 2020 [9 favorites]


another way of looking at it:

Trump blows a hole in the GOP on his way out

As his presidency comes to a close, Trump has not only imprinted his smash-mouth style on the GOP, he has wrenched open the schism between the activist class and the elected class, according to interviews with more than a dozen Republican Party officials and strategists in the states.

“This is Hatfield and McCoy stuff, but it’s McCoy on McCoy, or Hatfield on Hatfield,” said Michael Brodkorb, a former deputy chair of the Minnesota Republican Party. “To see activists across the country really just with pitchforks and torches at the capitols … it’s just bonkers.”


and so on.

I don't pretend to know how this will all play out in either the short term or the long. Though one metric sticks out like a speed bump on a freeway, which is that the so-call Trump Base (60-70 million people?) is a hard thing to ignore in terms of winning future elections. Which begins to explain why so many Republican elected officials have been silent about Trump's resounding loss for so long. Not exactly doing anything toward overthrowing the result, but neither are acknowledging it. They're hedging their bets.

Thanks, Obama*.

* which is actually quite relevant here. Trumpism grew out of the Tea Party movement, which itself didn't really galvanize until the SHOCK of a black man being elected president really settled in.
posted by philip-random at 8:19 AM on December 8, 2020 [4 favorites]


Trumpism grew out of the Tea Party movement, which itself didn't really galvanize until the SHOCK of a black man being elected president really settled in.

The Tea Party wasn't a grass-roots organization of people sincerely concerned about the deficit? You don't say.
posted by Gelatin at 8:25 AM on December 8, 2020 [6 favorites]


The actual reasons the Texas AG is doing this are already being effective right now, helping to create and strengthen a false narrative that is essential for Trump (and Trumpists) to hold onto some power (cultural, since they lost a lot of the practical power), and to provide fuel for continued resistance to normalcy and the rule of law.

Yep, they are really creating an alternate universe for their cult following. Anyone treating all of the baseless Trump/GOP legal challenges as a waste of time and money or a grift is missing the point.

All their cases getting dismissed or thrown out just allows them to be able to say they're victims of a corrupt judicial system, after they lost the election because of what they say is a corrupt electoral system. These people have no conscience. They do not care about America beyond whatever it is they want to turn it into.

It is quite fucked up. Every day I am dismayed (understatement) at how silent so many people in power are about the gravity of what's happening. Do they not see it? Or do they think it's better to not give it airtime? I can't tell.
posted by wondermouse at 8:44 AM on December 8, 2020 [13 favorites]


So it's probably more GOP grandstanding sedition. FTFY.
posted by sexyrobot at 8:46 AM on December 8, 2020 [7 favorites]




Biden to name retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as defense secretary.

Which is a violation of the law that established the Department of Defense. The law requires the secretary to be a civilian, at least seven years since active duty in the military. Austin retired just two years ago.

Trump broke this law when he appointed General "Mad Dog" Mattis as secretary which required congress to issue a special waiver of the law. Now, it seems, Biden is doing the same.

Seriously, couldn't they find a civilian Democrat anywhere who could run Defense?
posted by JackFlash at 8:53 AM on December 8, 2020 [8 favorites]


The waiver rule is actually part of the National Security Act of 1947 that set up the SecDef position, so it’s not breaking the law to ask for a waiver. Rather, it’s built into it as a legal option.

Link to text of the Act.
posted by darkstar at 8:58 AM on December 8, 2020 [2 favorites]


Seriously, couldn't they find a civilian Democrat anywhere who could run Defense?

As I said to a fellow former military member elsewhere:
The fact that the US military is one of the most trusted institutions in American society is really both dangerous and the root of this type of decision-making. Biden wants to shore up the non-controversial nature of his administration and what's more non-controversial than the military, right?

The sooner we can leave the "US military are the real and greatest heroes!" behind, the sooner we can get a society where civilian competency is prized and cultivated.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 9:04 AM on December 8, 2020 [9 favorites]


Oops...that was the original Act, but it isn’t the dispositive one. It doesn’t have the most recent amendments related to the 7-year limit and the waiver process. :(
posted by darkstar at 9:04 AM on December 8, 2020 [1 favorite]


Just to correct my erroneous earlier comments: the original (1947) requirement was for a ten year disqualifying period for the SecDef to be a recent commissioned officer. It was reduced in 2008 to seven years. But there is no specific provision in either of those laws that explicitly permits a waiver.

But, on the principle that whatever legislation Congress can pass, it can un-pass, Congress passed a waiver (signed into law by the President) to the seven-year disqualifying period for Mattis, and is expected to do so for Austin.
posted by darkstar at 9:16 AM on December 8, 2020 [1 favorite]


This is precious, from the Texas Attorney General's lawsuit:

The probability of former Vice President Biden winning the popular vote in the four Defendant States—Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—independently given President Trump’s early lead in those States as of 3 a.m. on November 4, 2020, is less than one in a quadrillion, or 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000. For former Vice President Biden to win these four States collectively, the odds of that event happening decrease to less than one in a quadrillion to the fourth power (i.e., 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,0004)

Not impressed. Needs more zeros. I am disappointed he didn't say one in a brazillian.

Seriously, these guys are high on their own supply.
posted by JackFlash at 9:20 AM on December 8, 2020 [29 favorites]


Where is the complaint actually posted? If that's representative of the math they're using, well, one doesn't need an expert witness to poke holes in it. Literally any undergrad who has taken a probability class can explain the flaw in multiplying those probabilities.

(I assume there's equally dubious math behind the individual-state calculations. Without knowing their method I'd hazard they're working from assumption that the ballot distribution is uniform over time and are calculating the likelihood of a purely random ordering of a fixed set of ballots having the Biden votes piled at the end; obviously flawed since the order in which votes came in was dependent on factors intertwined with the likely content of those ballots, specifically the factors of urbanity and mail-in/absentee status.)
posted by jackbishop at 9:39 AM on December 8, 2020 [3 favorites]


Link (PDF) to the Texas AG’s lawsuit.
posted by cenoxo at 9:53 AM on December 8, 2020 [2 favorites]


Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin must all be very bothered by the need to pay for lawyers in this obviously stupid case, in a time of crisis.
posted by mumimor at 10:36 AM on December 8, 2020 [1 favorite]


We all knew something would happen today (and over the next week), but I admit I am uneasy at how far down Paxton's lawsuit is getting buried in the news, so far. I wouldn't place bets on the SC flipping the election for Trump now, but Republicans have not exactly been quiet about that being one intended outcome. Even if it isn't the primary goal right now, it's still a serious thing - it further muddies the waters and advances the fascist narrative. Part of the Trumpist (and IRA) playbook is to exhaust opponents with a neverending firehose of bullshit so that all information becomes suspect and public attention is unable to focus long enough to stop you from taking openly corrupt action. That this is largely being shrugged off as yet more clownshow shenanigans where it's not being ignored altogether is a little concerning. It might be a pile of absurd nonsense, but it will still have a corrosive effect on US democracy.

Every day I am dismayed (understatement) at how silent so many people in power are about the gravity of what's happening. Do they not see it? Or do they think it's better to not give it airtime? I can't tell.

Me too. I have stopped waiting for a "moment" when everyone will recognize what is happening. It isn't coming. There will always be a percentage of those in positions of power/wealth/privilege who are happy to deny uncomfortable realities as long as they aren't directly affected. I really think the majority of Democratic leaders do not recognize the dangers at all. I don't know why - American exceptionalism, reliance on mythical norms, belief that laws have power in themselves regardless of enforcement, just pure absolute privilege, I don't know. That US culture is so invested in both bullying and white moderate avoidance-of-discomfort compounds the problem. "Ignore the bullies" has always been terrible advice that only enables bullying, and it isn't helpful when swapping bullies for fascists either.
posted by Lonnrot at 10:41 AM on December 8, 2020 [11 favorites]


Without knowing their method I'd hazard they're working from assumption that the ballot distribution is uniform over time and are calculating the likelihood of a purely random ordering of a fixed set of ballots having the Biden votes piled at the end.

That's exactly how they are calculating, but it certainly isn't random. Republican strategy, which they openly discussed months ago, was to get an early lead and then declare victory. To do so, they discouraged Republicans from using mail-in ballots. They then further had the legislature change the rules so that mail-in ballots could not be pre-processed before the close of the polls on election day. Mail-in ballots take longer to process because you have to open envelopes and verify signatures.

So Republicans deliberately skewed the ballot results across time and then turn around and complain that the ballots are not normally distributed across time as proof of fraud.
posted by JackFlash at 10:46 AM on December 8, 2020 [30 favorites]


Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin must all be very bothered by the need to pay for lawyers in this obviously stupid case, in a time of crisis.

Not if you are U.S Rep Mike Kelly. The State of PA had to file a response to counter his attempt before SCOTUS to throw out ALL of the mail-in ballots in PA.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 10:49 AM on December 8, 2020 [3 favorites]


Seriously, couldn't they find a civilian Democrat anywhere who could run Defense?

For all their positions filled so far, they really, really want people who are highly experienced with long, distinguished records. They also really need to appoint someone who is BIPOC to one of their top positions, which have so far mainly gone to white people. Like all employers trying to fulfill these two things, they find themselves stuck, particularly if they aren't willing to think outside the box on the first condition. So instead of relaxing their representation or their experience criteria, they are trying to relax the ethical one. This is of course a mistake; the proper solution to this conundrum is to relax and expand the experience/credentials demands, which would open the scope to lots of great BIPOC candidates. But so far, the incoming administration has been very reluctant to do that, which is probably in part why so much of their top leadership (top staffers, top Cabinet positions) are white.
posted by chortly at 11:05 AM on December 8, 2020 [5 favorites]


An election, considered in the abstract, is assumed to a contest between two reasonable people with different political views. The Democrats are operating under this assumption. It’s not necessarily easy to realize that your opponents are actually not reasonable people. It’s also not easy to realize and accept that the political system itself is not reasonable and operating in a fair and just manner. Cognitive dissonance is rampant in this country. Trump couldn’t lose the election is the thought at the foundation of the right’s actions. And this view is promoted by the Republican powers that be, though they probably don’t believe it. On the left it appears to be that they just want to get back to normal, whatever that is, and avoid accepting the view that we as a country have gone mad. I have never trusted politics as a social system. The last five years have just confirmed my bias.
posted by njohnson23 at 11:28 AM on December 8, 2020 [2 favorites]


I am uneasy at how far down Paxton's lawsuit is getting buried in the news, so far [ . . . ] Part of the Trumpist (and IRA) playbook is to exhaust opponents with a neverending firehose of bullshit

Burying shit like this and basically ignoring it is a way of combatting the firehose. This is of course at odds with the instincts of everyone posting here, for whom staying informed and publicizing misdeeds is a virtue. That doesn't always work in our favor, though.

It's a tricky balancing act (because you don't want them to slip something past you that you could have stopped). Getting to the point where this stuff is treated as laughable but not important would be a sign of progress.
posted by mark k at 11:44 AM on December 8, 2020 [8 favorites]


> Literally any undergrad who has taken a probability class can explain the flaw in multiplying those probabilities.

Pardon my ignorance (100-level stats class at best) but I thought the probability of multiple independent events occurring is the product of those individual probabilities. Is there a quick/simple explanation of why that is flawed in this case?

Not to give credence to how they got those probabilities per state in the first place...
posted by onehalfjunco at 12:01 PM on December 8, 2020


Getting to the point where this stuff is treated as laughable but not important

Treated as such by who, specifically, though? Using passive voice to indicate some kind of abstract, reasonable consensus about the world is now a dangerous habit. There is no normative, rational ‘us’ in public discourse anymore, the adults have left the room; objective truth has been rejected as an applicable concept; there is now only the fight to define perceived reality and have the most people believe your specific narrative. Welcome to hyper-reality.

As long as tens of millions of Americans think this laughable farce is true, this laughable farce will be deadly serious in its consequences.
posted by LooseFilter at 12:06 PM on December 8, 2020 [8 favorites]


Pardon my ignorance (100-level stats class at best) but I thought the probability of multiple independent events occurring is the product of those individual probabilities. Is there a quick/simple explanation of why that is flawed in this case?

There's so much wrong JackFlash might have been thinking of something else, but one reason is that election results across different states are absolutely not "independent" results in the statistical sense. They are heavily correlated.

For example, the odds of four coin flips in a row being is (1/2)4 = 1/16 , but the odds of four days in row being above the average yearly temperature for a given location is much closer to 1/2.
posted by bcd at 12:16 PM on December 8, 2020 [7 favorites]


Ignoring events like this does nothing to stem the spread of disinformation, though - it cedes the narrative to the propagandists, since only their platforms are publishing information about it. I have watched and waited with growing frustration for Democrats to understand this and reached the conclusion that many simply never will. Do people think this is what deplatforming is? Deplatforming is not simply ignoring things. It is refusing to give the veneer of respectability to harmful ideologies - it works to stem the spread of harmful information by relegating it to the fringe, without any institutional respectability attached. Harmful ideology can still be addressed directly, but deplatforming is all about refusing to allow it to set the terms for how it is addressed. That lets us discuss why ideologies or actions are harmful without legitimizing them or presenting them as "debates" between multiple, equally reasonable views. It doesn't work when the harmful propaganda is bundled with bogus legal actions by one of the two ruling parties in a major country acting to overthrow its entire electoral process. By that point, it is too late to be a useful tactic and the potential danger is too high to ignore.

This story is getting some traction now, and is likely to rise in visibility. But the larger problem is genuinely scary to consider. I think large numbers of people who fell down the fascist propagandist rabbit hole are simply lost. They will never come back to any kind of consensus reality. I have no idea what one does with that, but "ignore it and allow propagandists to continue radicalizing them" can only end in tragedy. Many of the specific instances in all this have been funny, the legal arguments for overturning the election are absurd - but they are achieving the intended damage by sowing distrust in the electoral process, in the judicial system, in journalism and in general agreement that citizens are not enemy combatants. Republicans have been clear about their intentions. Maybe they won't get to overthrow US democracy in time for Christmas like they hoped, but they still intend to.

The propaganda has to be reined in by regulations. The Republicans acting to overthrow the election have to face charges. Can either of those things even partly happen with the current obstructionist gridlock, let alone Democratic leadership's reluctance to do anything helpful? I'm not very hopeful. So what will happen? This will get worse, unchecked. It is just scary and exhausting. I don't know how the US can recover from this, but it will require leadership actually stepping up to acknowledge the situation. Acting as if Republicans are a legitimate party who will adhere to laws and norms that can be checked by institutions if lines are crossed is gaslighting at this point.
posted by Lonnrot at 12:36 PM on December 8, 2020 [16 favorites]


1. What specifically do you want people to do?
2. Who do you want to do it?
3. Do they currently have the power to do it?

So far, the states have been winning the lawsuits; they’re 49-1. [The 1 was about a length of time to cure defective signatures.]

Joe Biden is building his administration because he knows he’s going to be President in January and so he’s focusing on his actual job, and not following random kooks down whatever made-up rabbit hole of the day.

Barr’s DOJ seems unlikely to start prosecuting a bunch of people right now. You gotta wait on that.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:51 PM on December 8, 2020 [8 favorites]


NEWS: President-elect Joe Biden is nearing a final decision on his selection for attorney general, with Alabama Sen. Doug Jones now seen as the leading contender, three sources familiar with the discussions tell @mikememoli, @kwelkernbc, @carolelee and me. -- Geoff Bennet on twitter
posted by valkane at 12:59 PM on December 8, 2020 [2 favorites]


Ignoring events like this does nothing to stem the spread of disinformation, though - it cedes the narrative to the propagandists

So the question is always comparing the two courses of action. Not ignoring them also amplifies their message and grants it power and importance.

I was actually coming to post this (paywalled) Josh Marshall comment addressing the question of "What should we do?":
The short answer, I believe, is nothing. The reality is that Joe Biden will be President in six weeks. What is central in politics is action, exercising power, changing facts on the ground through the exercise of legitimate power. Persuasion has its place. It is quite important. But the most powerful persuasion is the effective exercise of power. Show me, don’t tell me.
I'm not sure this is right--it's new territory--but this is consistent with places where fascists have been delegitimized recently, like Greece. The corollary is the biggest threat to continued democracy is Mitch McConnell, not some corrupt AG in Texas pulling a stunt.

I am pretty skeptical that going back and forth on "you stole the election, no, you stole the election" is going to do anything but make both sides look equivalent. Conversely, a debate that goes "you stole the election" with "Hey, we just ended the pandemic and the economy is booming!" is winnable.

The propaganda has to be reined in by regulations. The Republicans acting to overthrow the election have to face charges

Yes. But I think only if you can do this without making it the focus of the White House or the news cycle. Everyone should be treated as a petty crook, which is what they are, more than capable of being handled by the normal workings of the DoJ.
posted by mark k at 1:20 PM on December 8, 2020 [4 favorites]


Seriously, couldn't they find a civilian Democrat anywhere who could run Defense?

Politico: Biden’s reliance on retired military brass sets off alarm bells
posted by ActingTheGoat at 1:41 PM on December 8, 2020 [1 favorite]


Why should Massachusetts be left out of all the fun? Yesterday, five Republicans who lost elections last month (three for congress, two for state rep), filed a suit in federal court demanding a judge either throw out all the votes cast before Nov. 3 - and not just in their races, but in every race in the state - or order an all new election. Their complaint reads like they took all the other Trumpish complaints filed across the country and squeezed them into one near indigestible wad. And like in all those other cases, the judge raked them over the coals at a hearing today. They filed pro se, so no lawyers risk any sort of sanctions.
posted by adamg at 1:46 PM on December 8, 2020 [7 favorites]


I recall many concerns about electronic voting systems - for example, vulnerabilities discovered in this audit of a Diebold system in ~2006.

Certainly, I had low confidence in the security of the presidential election 4 years ago.

Is there opportunity in this current insanity for legislative effort towards improvement in things like audibility, security hardening, and improvements to our voting infrastructure that have long been underfunded and left to piecemeal implementation by states?
posted by another_20_year_lurker at 1:51 PM on December 8, 2020




Seems like opportunity to give any sane republicans (or other unicorns) a face-saving out of banding together to defend our vote/democracy.... But avoiding further undermining the percieved legitimacy of this year's election by the current crop of crazy people could be a tricky political needle to thread.
posted by another_20_year_lurker at 1:59 PM on December 8, 2020


Election Law Experts Say Lone Star State’s ‘Dangerous’ Stunt Has ‘No Chance of Success’ at Supreme Court, Law & Crime, Matt Naham, 12/8/2020 [to wit]:
  • "The nature of the action Texas hopes the Supreme Court will hear contains a laundry list of grievances that concludes Joe Biden had a “less than one in a quadrillion” chance of overcoming Trump’s lead as of Nov. 4—which was before the mail-in ballot count poured in."
  • "No merit and no chance of success."
  • "insane"
  • "There is zero chance this will work."
  • "utter garbage"
  • "Dangerous garbage, but garbage."
  • "Texas doesn’t have standing to raise these claims as it has no say over how other states choose electors."
  • "craziest case of them all"
  • "It’s just unbelievable to any sane, normal person who understands the structure of our constitutional system and how it functions."
  • "It’s more than a little telling that Kyle Hawkins — the Texas Solicitor General, who represents the State before #SCOTUS — is not on the filings.
  • "...chalk this up as mostly a stunt — a dangerous, offensive, and wasteful one, but a stunt nonetheless.
  • "Every lawyer who signed this brief should be sanctioned and disbarred. Even someone who doesn’t know any statistics should know this is wrong."
References, links, and details in the article.
posted by cenoxo at 1:59 PM on December 8, 2020 [12 favorites]


Supreme Court rejects GOP bid to overturn Biden's victory in Pennsylvania

"In a one-line unsigned order, the high court left intact a decision from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that tossed out a lawsuit led by Republican Congressman Mike Kelly challenging a 2019 law that expanded mail-in voting in the state.

"The application for injunctive relief presented to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court is denied," the order said."
posted by faineant at 2:01 PM on December 8, 2020 [21 favorites]


Not sure there is 'No Chance of Success'. Maybe less than one in a quadrillion.
posted by MtDewd at 2:14 PM on December 8, 2020 [11 favorites]


NEWS: President-elect Joe Biden is nearing a final decision on his selection for attorney general, with Alabama Sen. Doug Jones now seen as the leading contender...


So, any word on whether Doug is a “Rule of Law, Equal Protection, Due Process”-type or a “Look Forward not Back”-type?

Because honestly, the most important three things the incoming AG needs to focus on is

1. Addressing systemic racism in the justice system,
2. Addressing voter disenfranchisement, and
3. Sorting through the massive corruption that permeated nearly every level of the Trump regime.*


(*Seriously. At this point, I couldn’t even accept without a doubt that the Rose Garden renovation was completely free from grift.)
posted by darkstar at 2:18 PM on December 8, 2020 [10 favorites]


Why should Massachusetts be left out of all the fun? Yesterday, five Republicans who lost elections last month (three for congress, two for state rep), filed a suit in federal court demanding a judge either throw out all the votes cast before Nov. 3 - and not just in their races, but in every race in the state - or order an all new election. Their complaint reads like they took all the other Trumpish complaints filed across the country and squeezed them into one near indigestible wad. And like in all those other cases, the judge raked them over the coals at a hearing today. They filed pro se, so no lawyers risk any sort of sanctions.

Holy cow, that suit DOESN'T include Dr. Shiva? The guy who claims he invented email, lost the Republican primary by a ton, then kept robocalling everyone in the state (not just his district) telling people he should be a write-in in the general? And then tried to sue in the wrong court, past the deadline? I can't tell who is copycatting who anymore.
posted by Melismata at 2:26 PM on December 8, 2020 [5 favorites]


In yet another suit (I think, but I'm losing track of them.) — Outgoing Trump White House Sues Incoming Biden White House to Disenfranchise Wisconsin’s Most Diverse Counties, Law & Crime, Adam Klasfeld, 12/7/2020:
The outgoing White House’s desperate efforts to steal a second term in office reached new heights with a new lawsuit on Monday against President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President elect Kamala Harris, seeking to disenfranchise Wisconsin’s most diverse areas.

Lame-duck President Donald Trump and his soon-to-be ex-vice president Mike Pence both signed onto lawsuits filed in Milwaukee Circuit Court pestering judges to overturn the Badger State’s election—but only for Milwaukee and Dane Counties, where most of the voters of color live....
More in the article, including copies of the Trump-Pence Milwaukee and Dane County complaints.
posted by cenoxo at 2:26 PM on December 8, 2020 [10 favorites]


So, any word on whether Doug is a “Rule of Law, Equal Protection, Due Process”-type or a “Look Forward not Back”-type?

He looked back far enough to convict two KKK members that bombed a black church in 1963. I hope he goes after the neo-KKK with the same vigor.
posted by benzenedream at 2:43 PM on December 8, 2020 [21 favorites]


"SCOTUS HAS DOCKETED THE TEXAS LAWSUIT!"

Lawyer @BoozyBadger explains why that doesn't mean anything yet.

TL;DR: It's a required procedural move confirming the Texas application conforms to requirements.
posted by Mitheral at 2:52 PM on December 8, 2020 [1 favorite]


Holy cow, that suit DOESN'T include Dr. Shiva?

RIGHT?!
posted by jessamyn at 3:02 PM on December 8, 2020 [2 favorites]


Michigan Federal Court DENIES Republican motion to maintain and preserve election data and machines for inspection. Trump and his allies are now 1-51 in post-election litigation. -- Marc Elias on twitter
posted by valkane at 3:07 PM on December 8, 2020 [10 favorites]


This is providing a story to rationalize feelings of unearned entitlement to power and social privilege and to justify ongoing grievances.

It doesn't matter what democrats do, republican Assholes will fabricate whatever narrative they want. So being on the defensive -- "Oh, we don't want to encourage them" -- is a losing game. The "fringed flag" supporters of Donald Trump want to try for the US Supreme Court with a case dismissed by the PA Supreme Court?"

I'm reminded of Morgan Freeman in The Dark Knight:
Lucius Fox : [to Reese] Let me get this straight, you think that your client, one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the world, is secretly a vigilante, who spends his nights beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands, and your plan is to blackmail this person?

[Reese's face falls and Fox smiles]

Lucius Fox : Good luck.
posted by mikelieman at 3:30 PM on December 8, 2020 [3 favorites]


Also, I suppose if they really expected it to work, they would have done it sooner. So it's probably more GOP grandstanding.

i don't think the texas lawsuit is grandstanding, i think it's an attempt to "justify" non-cooperation, nullification, congressional hi-jinks or anything else, including secession

i don't think it will get quite that far, but these people are playing with fire - they're going to find out that radicalizing the alt-right into action is going to blow up on them as well as the democrats - what they're going to find out is they have no control over these people or the outcome
posted by pyramid termite at 3:33 PM on December 8, 2020 [6 favorites]


Literally any undergrad who has taken a probability class can explain the flaw

I actually think they're being as clownish as possible SO THAT they can't actually win. It's all theater, both for the masses and for the audience of one. It's got to be frustrating for the conservative judges - look, I'm trying to help you here, but you've got to give me something to go on.

But plausible deniability is not Trump's style. Not good enough. You have to prove you're loyal by totally humiliating yourself as a toady willing to choose him over your own integrity.
posted by ctmf at 3:39 PM on December 8, 2020 [2 favorites]


jackbishop: I assume there's equally dubious math behind the individual-state calculations.

If you're curious you can read Dr. Cicchetti's declaration, which is included in the appendix to Texas's motion for expedited consideration (which filed along with the earlier linked motion). See PDF pages 20-29 (appendix pages 1a - 10a) in the motion for expedited consideration. His methodology is appalling bad, unbelievably so for his claimed credentials.
posted by RichardP at 3:43 PM on December 8, 2020 [2 favorites]


So for context, according to purged Trump official Chris Krebs, there wasn't any foreign or domestic hacking activity related to the election before, during, or after election day.

In the course of documenting the above fact for an English Wikipedia article I came across an unrelated thing which seems of interest from a geopolitical and military standpoint, and certainly when there was 2016 hacking, and online non-hacking military and state election interference from Russia in 2020: in the Russian Wikipedia article on the Russian internet is an uncited statement which Google translate renders as: “In March 2019, it became known that the Russian Armed Forces had begun to create an autonomous Internet. The closed system for the exchange of digital information has received the name MTSS (multiservice transport communication network) and will not have traffic exchange points connecting it with the world Internet.

Part of the reason I find this interesting is that I've read many non-US military tactics preparing for conflict with the US are focused on rapidly cutting apart military and civilian communication networks, so this would seem to be a step towards trying to ensure similar tactics are less effective toward the Russian military, while maintaining compatibility with hardware and software designed for general internet use in the rest of the world.
posted by Charles Bronson Pinchot at 3:52 PM on December 8, 2020 [1 favorite]


Can universities revoke the degrees they gave these people? Clearly they either didn't earn them or are using them for evil.
posted by ctmf at 3:53 PM on December 8, 2020


Diplomas totally should end in, ...provided you use these powers for good and never for evil. With great education comes great responsibility. But unfortunately it's probably too late to go retroactive with that.
posted by XMLicious at 3:56 PM on December 8, 2020 [5 favorites]


I would totally do that if I were the university. What, it's not "the norm"? Of course, then the big ones like Harvard/Yale/etc. would have a problem fairly applying the policy, what with all the war criminals.
posted by ctmf at 4:06 PM on December 8, 2020 [2 favorites]


But I think only if you can do this without making it the focus of the White House or the news cycle. Everyone should be treated as a petty crook, which is what they are, more than capable of being handled by the normal workings of the DoJ.

The AG is definitely going to have to be the kind of person who is willing to take up the task of investigating all the corruption and not care about being vilified for it. Biden absolutely needs to stay out of it, for a number of reasons, and let the AG take all the heat. Not sure if Doug Jones is or is willing to be more of a pitbull type (unlike my state AG, Keith Ellison, who seems to revel in it). I hope he (or whoever is chosen) is.
posted by triggerfinger at 4:11 PM on December 8, 2020 [3 favorites]


Speaking of which, via RawStory:
New York’s attorney general tells The View how Trump will try to ‘avoid justice’ — but he won’t get away with it

New York Attorney General Letitia James is hot on the heels of President Donald Trump and his family, and she told “The View” that pardons won’t protect them.

The attorney general’s office has been investigating the Trump Organization after the president’s former lawyer Michael Cohen testified before Congress, and James vowed that process would continue no matter how Trump’s election challenges play out.

... “It’s important to understand he’s pardoned from federal crimes,” she said. “He is not pardoned from state crimes. Last year I introduced a bill in the state legislature which would close the pardon loophole so that individuals such as the president of the United States would not evade justice. It’s important we have this check on presidential powers and that the state legislature, I’m so happy they passed that bill and it’s the law in the state of New York. President Trump cannot avoid justice in the great state of New York.”
posted by darkstar at 4:16 PM on December 8, 2020 [14 favorites]




As for the ridiculous statistics used to support the Texas lawsuit, perhaps the plaintiffs could first calculate the statistical probability of losing 51 out of 52 lawsuits...

...because if we (incorrectly) treat them as independent, then I put the likelihood at something like (coincidentally), 1 in 4 quadrillion.

Or perhaps they could similarly calculate the odds of losing 50 votes to repeal Obamacare, which (coincidentally) is in the same ballpark.
posted by darkstar at 4:35 PM on December 8, 2020 [5 favorites]


I'll take "Things I Never Thought I'd see on Fox News" for 500, Alex:

(from the article ZenMasterThis linked above)
Despite dozens of failed court cases and a lack of evidence pointing to widespread voter fraud throughout the election, Trump and his supporters maintain the belief that the election was rigged.
posted by mmoncur at 4:39 PM on December 8, 2020 [3 favorites]


Their belief in the conspiracy despite the lack of evidence is just a microcosm for a lot of other things that many Republicans take on faith, without evidence, from “trickle-down economics” to “abstinence-only sex ed”.

They really tipped their hand when the party leaders decided that its only platform this year was to support Donald Trump. It makes it hard to argue that you’re a party of principles and policy and not just a personality cult.
posted by darkstar at 4:49 PM on December 8, 2020 [18 favorites]


Holy cow, that suit DOESN'T include Dr. Shiva?

Don't worry: He currently has TWO suits against MA Secretary of State Bill Galvin: One alleging that the secretary's office used its frightening power over Twitter to make the platform suspend Dr. Email's Twitter account at critical points during his campaign for the Senate, the other alleging that his statistical analysis of election results, when coupled with the fact he is a household name in MA and his Republican primary opponent (who won the primary) was not means Galvin obviously committed fraud and made all the voting machines outside Franklin County tilt to the no-name Republican guy. Doc Shiva is also pro-se'ing himself in court, having fired his lawyer. The judge in the second case (who is also the judge in the first case) rejected his demand for an emergency order to block certification and have a hand recount. Here's where it gets fun: Although he sued the secretary of state over certification, it turns out that in Massachusetts, it's the governor and the governor's council (don't ask, it's a Massachusetts thing) that do certification. Also, they certified the results last week.
posted by adamg at 5:51 PM on December 8, 2020 [5 favorites]


Rebekah Jones @GeoRebekah
The judge who signed the search order of my house was appointed by Governor Desantis and sworn in less than a month before he signed that warrant. In civil court. He's not even a criminal court judge. It was one of his first actions as judge.
posted by Mitheral at 5:51 PM on December 8, 2020 [18 favorites]


... “It’s important to understand he’s pardoned from federal crimes,” she said. “He is not pardoned from state crimes. Last year I introduced a bill in the state legislature which would close the pardon loophole so that individuals such as the president of the United States would not evade justice. It’s important we have this check on presidential powers and that the state legislature, I’m so happy they passed that bill and it’s the law in the state of New York. President Trump cannot avoid justice in the great state of New York.”

I think it's important to point out that this would not have been possible without a 2018 slate of DSA-supported candidates successfully primarying a bunch of shitty turncoat Democrats who caucused with the Republicans in the New York State Senate. Most of those unseated Democrats had a huge percentage of constituents who didn't even realize their representatives were basically Republicans until this campaign drew attention to it.

Local politics folks! It matters, a whole lot!
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:24 PM on December 8, 2020 [38 favorites]


"Last year I introduced a bill in the state legislature which would close the pardon loophole so that individuals such as the president of the United States would not evade justice. It’s important we have this check on presidential powers and that the state legislature, I’m so happy they passed that bill and it’s the law in the state of New York. President Trump cannot avoid justice in the great state of New York.”

Not to be the turd in the punch bowl, but aren't there Ex Post Facto considerations here?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:31 PM on December 8, 2020


Not to be the turd in the punch bowl, but aren't there Ex Post Facto considerations here?

No. Here's an article about what the new law says. It does not make something formerly legal that Trump did newly illegal. It merely says "New York’s criminal laws continue to apply to individuals who receive a presidential pardon and also have a connection to the president."
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:50 PM on December 8, 2020 [8 favorites]


But couldn't Trump successfully argue that he did those things expecting that his pardon would get him off scot-free, therefore ex post facto?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:56 PM on December 8, 2020 [1 favorite]


I'm not a lawyer but that doesn't make any sense to me. A crime is still a crime even if a future pardon could theoretically get you off for it. Not to mention I'm pretty sure the crimes in question were mostly committed before he even became president.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:59 PM on December 8, 2020 [2 favorites]


Oh God, that would be the most White Man's Intent excuse ever.
posted by rhizome at 7:08 PM on December 8, 2020 [17 favorites]


i don't think it will get quite that far, but these people are playing with fire - they're going to find out that radicalizing the alt-right into action is going to blow up on them as well as the democrats - what they're going to find out is they have no control over these people or the outcome
posted by pyramid termite


These kind of idiots have always made the same mistake throughout history. They think they can whip the irrational mob violence lurking within humanity into a murderous frenzy, remove its shackles and sic it onto their enemies, and only their enemies. Somehow they will always be able to keep control of it and make sure it will never turn back on them or their allies.

And they are always wrong. That is not how irrational violence works. Once you let it loose, it is no longer under anybody's control.
posted by Pouteria at 7:11 PM on December 8, 2020 [6 favorites]


Via dKos: FL GOP lawyer — and DeSantis appointee — resigns govt. post over DeSantis’ raid of Rebekah Jones' home.

Twitter link to his account with a photo of his letter.
posted by darkstar at 7:14 PM on December 8, 2020 [22 favorites]


Both via dKos... Warnock & Ossoff (& Abrams) really pulling in the star power:

Star Trek actors come together for a fundraiser.

Original cast of Hamilton reunite for a fundraiser.
posted by darkstar at 7:28 PM on December 8, 2020 [8 favorites]


In addition to the Hamilton fundraiser, Lin-Manuel is also doing a second fundraiser 3 days later with Pearl Jam. I'm trying to picture that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:37 PM on December 8, 2020 [6 favorites]


Trump/GOP started the day 1-49 in court. Partying face

Trump/GOP ended the day 1-51 in court. Partying face

Goodnight. Sleeping face
-- Marc Elias on twitter

Happy Safe Harbor Day all you Mefites!
posted by valkane at 8:46 PM on December 8, 2020 [5 favorites]


For anyone else who needed their memory jogged, Rebekah Jones is the Florida state government employee, a specialist in statistics and geographic information systems, who set up a covid tracking website for the state which was too accurate and so was purged from her government job, then set up a private web site tracking the data. In the Miami Herald: [FL governor] DeSantis publicly said I’m not a data scientist, I’m not a computer scientist and I wouldn’t even know what to do if I saw a database, and now he’s accusing me of hacking one.

So the material import of the Florida government and “law enforcement” authorities raiding her home, pointing guns at her and her husband and their kids, and seizing her laptop and phone, is that they now can attempt to extract the names and communication details of Jones's former colleagues in the Florida state health department and other agencies who helped her set up the two tracking web sites and access public data.

The lawyer who resigned in darkstar's link above wrote, Even if the facts alleged are true, I would still call her a hero.
posted by XMLicious at 9:02 PM on December 8, 2020 [23 favorites]


The probability of former Vice President Biden winning the popular vote in the four Defendant States—Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—independently given President Trump’s early lead in those States as of 3 a.m. on November 4, 2020, is less than one in a quadrillion, or 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000. For former Vice President Biden to win these four States collectively, the odds of that event happening decrease to less than one in a quadrillion to the fourth power (i.e., 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000)

For the curious, the "Cicchetti Declaration" for this alleged statistic can be found in the following SCOTUS docket filing for the Texas lawsuit*. Note the references on pp. 8-9 and read Dr. Cicchetti's full declaration in the Appendix pp. 1a-10a:
https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/22/22O155/163048/20201208132827887_TX-v-State-ExpedMot%202020-12-07%20FINAL.pdf
Have at it MeFi statisticians, and let us know what you think.

*(H/T to Reddit/yrdz)
posted by cenoxo at 9:43 PM on December 8, 2020


So the material import of the Florida government and “law enforcement” authorities raiding her home, pointing guns at her and her husband and their kids, and seizing her laptop and phone, is that they now can attempt to extract the names and communication details of Jones's former colleagues in the Florida state health department and other agencies who helped her set up the two tracking web sites and access public data.
Remember, kids, when setting up a new computer, if you are given the option always use filesystem level encryption unless you don't mind its contents being readable by anyone who comes into physical possession of the device. It's not a panacea and might not protect you against an adversary with significant resources at their disposal but it's still a good practice (but only one of several that are required -- it's no good to encrypt your main data store and then make cleartext backups, for instance.)

There are some decent guides on privacy and security practices floating around, mostly aimed at journalists, but the advice can apply to to many other types of people as well.
posted by Nerd of the North at 10:20 PM on December 8, 2020 [5 favorites]


Have at it MeFi statisticians, and let us know what you think.

Any court that rules on a supposed "roll of the dice" bullshit play is gonna be hurtin fer certain. These are made-up numbers for a made-up argument. They have no concrete evidence, and no matter what "algorithm" of justice they think they're playing out of Texas, it's just that one guy trying to avoid going to jail. The Texas AG I mean, not Trump. Though him too.
posted by valkane at 10:24 PM on December 8, 2020 [1 favorite]


I mean, reddit can rules lawyer and do all kinds of math, but it ain't the orbit of Jupiter, and Biden got more votes. Legally. Certified.
posted by valkane at 10:29 PM on December 8, 2020


The King of Trump TV Thinks You’re Dumb Enough to Buy It -- NYT

"Chris Ruddy, the C.E.O. of Newsmax, has found a business opportunity in feeding Trump supporters the fantasy that the president could still win the election."

Newsmax TV scores a ratings win over Fox News for the first time ever - CNN

"The win, fueled by conservative viewers who are disappointed by the election results, happened Monday evening. In the key 25- to 54-year-old demographic prized by advertisers, "Greg Kelly Reports" on Newsmax out-rated "The Story with Martha MacCallum" on Fox."
posted by valkane at 10:34 PM on December 8, 2020


The first complete nonsense in the "Cicchetti Declaration" is this opening premise:
For both comparisons I determined the likelihood that the samples of the outcomes for the two Democrat candidates and two tabulation periods were similar and randomly drawn from the same population.
The two candidates and periods there are Clinton 2016 and Biden 2020. If you start with the assertion that any statistically significant difference between those results must be fraud you have redefined 'democracy' in a pretty drastic way.
posted by bcd at 10:37 PM on December 8, 2020 [14 favorites]


The Nevada Supreme Court 6-0 AFFIRMS lower court decision DISMISSING Trump Election Contest.

Nevada is DONE. Partying face

Trump and his allies are 1-51 in post election litigation. -- Marc Elias on twitter

That's two swing states down just today.
posted by valkane at 10:44 PM on December 8, 2020 [10 favorites]


Today, at his “vaccine summit,” Trump claimed credit for the “miracle” of the coronavirus vaccine and suggested that he, rather than the experts, had had a better sense of the timeline for its availability. In his remarks, he quickly veered to the election results, again insisting that he had won the election and urging Republicans at the state level or the Supreme Court to find the “courage to do what everybody in this country knows is right” and to award him a second term. [...]

This morning we learned that the Trump administration is requiring states to share with federal registries the names, birthdates, ethnicities, and addresses of the people they vaccinate against the novel coronavirus. This requirement seems like a federal intrusion into a patient’s right to privacy, and another attempt to force states to gather information on undocumented Americans, which will almost certainly make them afraid to get the vaccine. There is also a shortage of money for distribution. While the government has poured money into developing a vaccine, Congress has not appropriated any money for getting out the word about the vaccines, hiring people to give them, or making sure people get both of the shots they need. State officials estimate they will need $8.4 billion to distribute the vaccine. - Letters from An American, Dec. 8, 2020

Politico, about the 'vaccine summit' the vaccine makers declined to attend: The White House event was predicated as a signing ceremony for an executive order designed to pressure vaccine manufacturers to prioritize shipments within the U.S. over other countries — although the order didn’t appear to have any legal teeth.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:30 AM on December 9, 2020 [6 favorites]


Newsmax TV scores a ratings win over Fox News for the first time ever - CNN

I don't think we get Newsmax down here, but from what I hear it's pretty bad. If they're getting better viewer numbers than Fox it's some Lost Cause BS: Newsmax tells them Trump won, and that's literally more important to them than anything else Fox can give them.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:15 AM on December 9, 2020 [1 favorite]


Biden picks Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge for HUD secretary, Tom Vilsack to lead Agriculture (NBC, Dec. 8, 2020) If confirmed, Fudge, 68, would be the first Black woman to lead the department in decades. Patricia R. Harris under President Jimmy Carter was the first. Fudge, who has been an advocate for fair labor practices, and civil and human rights, had long been a top contender for the position. However, Fudge, who serves on the House Committee on Agriculture, and her allies were pushing for Agriculture Secretary. [...] Fudge represents one of Ohio’s majority-minority districts, making it a safe seat to fill for Democrats. House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., had supported Fudge for a top position and earlier Tuesday said he would “look for her to be in the Cabinet.”

Vilsack, 69, served as the United States Secretary of Agriculture from January 2009 until January 2017; from 1999 to 2007, he was the governor of Iowa.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:17 AM on December 9, 2020 [5 favorites]


From Letters from An American, Heather Cox Richardson, 12/8/2020 (as noted in Iris Gambol’s comment above):
Texas sues states Biden won in Supreme Court, seeking to delay Electoral College vote, The Hill, Harper Neidig, 12/08/20:

• Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) responded to Paxton's lawsuit with a statement posted on Twitter, slamming his complaint as a "publicity stunt." ... "The erosion of confidence in our democratic system isn't attributable to the good people of Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia or Pennsylvania but rather to partisan officials, like Mr. Paxton, who place loyalty to a person over loyalty to their country ... The Michigan issues raised in this complaint have already been thoroughly litigated and roundly rejected in both state and federal courts — by judges appointed from both political parties. Mr. Paxton's actions are beneath the dignity of the office of Attorney General and the people of the great state of Texas."

• Katie Byrd, a spokeswoman for Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr (R) — “With all due respect, the Texas Attorney General is constitutionally, legally and factually wrong about Georgia.”

• Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) — "These continued attacks on our fair and free election system are beyond meritless, beyond reckless -- they are a scheme by the President of the United States and some in the Republican party to disregard the will of the people -- and name their own victors."

• Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul (D) — "I feel sorry for Texans that their tax dollars are being wasted on such a genuinely embarrassing lawsuit. Texas is as likely to change the outcome of the Ice Bowl as it is to overturn the will of Wisconsin voters in the 2020 presidential election."
posted by cenoxo at 6:18 AM on December 9, 2020 [15 favorites]


I love the phrase 'with all due respect', especially when there is very little due.
posted by MtDewd at 6:44 AM on December 9, 2020 [7 favorites]


> • Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) — "These continued attacks on our fair and free election system are beyond meritless, beyond reckless -- they are a scheme by the President of the United States and some in the Republican party to disregard the will of the people -- and name their own victors."

I think we owe it to Shapiro to include the emoji flourishes from his personal tweet for posterity in addition to the sanitized official version:

@JoshShapiroPA: The continued attacks on our election are beyond meritless, beyond reckless. It is a scheme by 🤡 the sitting president & his enablers 🤡 to disregard the will of the people. It’s not serious & it will not stand.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:14 AM on December 9, 2020 [12 favorites]


goatse emoji or gtfo
posted by thelonius at 7:40 AM on December 9, 2020 [2 favorites]


Announcer: Two outs bottom of the ninth and Babe Trump, with just one strike left on him, raises a tiny finger pointing at the bleachers. The pitch is on its way. . . . he swings: strike three! That's the game.
Just a moment. Trump's lawyers are arguing it was a homerun. The ball is still in the catcher's mitt. Trump is sitting on home plate and banging the bat in the dirt. He says he doesn't have to run the bases because he would just return here anyway. How about that?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:32 AM on December 9, 2020 [12 favorites]


Texas sues states Biden won in Supreme Court, seeking to delay Electoral College vote,

Are they aware that if the Electoral College doesn't vote the Speaker of the House becomes President on inauguration day? Heellooo President Pelosi!

Yes I know they aren't sincere
posted by Mitheral at 9:53 AM on December 9, 2020 [5 favorites]


Ken Paxton is the subject of an FBI investigation and angling for his own preemptive pardon.
posted by maurice at 10:01 AM on December 9, 2020 [4 favorites]


Are they aware that if the Electoral College doesn't vote the Speaker of the House becomes President on inauguration day

it'll just be lawsuit after lawsuit, until someone stops lawsuiting
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 10:03 AM on December 9, 2020


NYT: Even in Defeat, Trump Tightens Grip on State G.O.P. Lawmakers
Kim Ward, the Republican majority leader of the Pennsylvania Senate, said the president had called her to declare there was fraud in the voting. But she said she had not been shown the letter to Congress, which was pulled together hastily, before its release.

Asked if she would have signed it, she indicated that the Republican base expected party leaders to back up Mr. Trump’s claims — or to face its wrath.

“If I would say to you, ‘I don’t want to do it,’” she said about signing the letter, “I’d get my house bombed tonight.”
Paul Campos, LGM: Edge of Tomorrow
We’re living in a political Escher drawing, in that if you look at our system one way Donald Trump’s slow-motion coup attempt continues to be a farcical failure, that can’t even scrounge up one (public?) dissent from the neo-Confederate reactionaries he’s put on “his” Supreme Court, but if you look again it’s evident some really terrible things are happening, that are further poisoning an already-poisoned political culture.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:14 AM on December 9, 2020 [11 favorites]


Melania Trump 'just wants to go home' -- CNN

"While the President is busy figuring out a way to stay in the White House, the first lady is determining what to put in storage, what goes to Trump's New York City digs, and what should be tagged for shipment to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida."

"She just wants to go home," said another source familiar with Melania Trump's state of mind. Asked how the first lady feels about rumors her husband might announce a 2024 bid, the source added: "That might not go over well."
posted by valkane at 11:43 AM on December 9, 2020 [7 favorites]


Any notion that Melania Trump might be splitting from her husband can be put to rest. She is full on the MAGA bandwagon. Saturday she was in Georgia campaigning in a Trump rally.

"President Trump continues to fight for you every single day," the first lady told the crowd. "Do not let your voices be silenced. We must keep our seats in the Senate. It is more important than ever that you exercise your right as an American citizen and vote."

"Under my husband's leadership our borders are safer, global terrorists have been destroyed and historic peace deals in the Middle East have been made," she said on Saturday. "Our nation is respected again and our allies are now doing their fair share globally."

"President Trump has brought jobs back to the American people and opportunities for women have expanded in our workforce," she said.

"Our economy has soared and unemployment has shrunk. When a global pandemic hit the United States in January, my husband put the American people first, and now under his administration and because of our amazing medical capabilities and resources, we are closer than ever to a vaccine that will save billions of lives."


Not to nitpick just one thing in that pile of crapola, but "save billions of lives"? There are only 7.5 billion on the planet. Trump is going to save half of them? Seems she shares the Trumpian habit of ridiculous exaggerated self-promotion.
posted by JackFlash at 11:58 AM on December 9, 2020 [8 favorites]


Any notion that Melania Trump might be splitting from her husband can be put to rest. She is full on the MAGA bandwagon. Saturday she was in Georgia campaigning in a Trump rally.

Anecdotal, but I've heard a lot of NYC gossipy folks reporting that the reason she didn't come down to DC for months after the inauguration was to renegotiate her prenup - and that part of the deal was that she had to provide him with full support in public.

If it's like his other prenup, there'll probably be a time limit involved. I'd assume nothing. Doesn't mean she's not still a horrible MAGAhead in her own right, though.
posted by Mchelly at 12:05 PM on December 9, 2020 [5 favorites]


Rep. Katie Porter (D) via Twitter thread, sets out to expose McConnell’s hypocrisy and sabotage of a bipartisan Covid-19 relief bill.
When I came to Congress, I knew I had a responsibility to pull back the curtain for the American people and expose corruption in real time. So, I’m filling you in on Senator McConnell’s attempts over the last 8 days to tank a *bipartisan* COVID relief bill.

You may have heard that Democrats and Republicans have agreed upon spending $900 billion to fund another round of small business loans, support hospitals and essential workers, and help the 10 million people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

Everyone at the negotiating table—including Senate Rs—has agreed to a compromise. Except one. Mitch McConnell is refusing to bring it to the floor unless it wipes away all COVID-related lawsuits filed that “allege injury or death” due to corporate negligence.

These lawsuits represent the worst of the worst examples of disregard for human life—cases filed on behalf of nursing home patients and grocery store workers who died because the company in charge of keeping them safe prioritized cutting costs over protecting them.

The same McConnell who said that President Trump is “100% within his rights” to pursue baseless lawsuits alleging election fraud is now refusing to pass urgently-needed relief unless it strips those same rights from the most vulnerable among us. This must be exposed.
(Emphasis mine.)
posted by darkstar at 12:28 PM on December 9, 2020 [37 favorites]


BBC reporting that Hunter Biden has confirmed he is under investigation for his taxes. I mean it literally has nothing to do with the transition or the new administration, but *sigh* guess we'll see how much the media is prepared *not* to be distracted now the election is over.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 1:28 PM on December 9, 2020 [3 favorites]


[derail]
Are people with dark personality traits more likely to succeed?
‘Dark’ personalities come in various shades, but at the core of all of them is a tendency to callously use others for personal gain. What is it that these types of people are really gaining, though? Might a benevolent approach to life and others be even more advantageous?
[Oh, not a derail, you say...?]
posted by PhineasGage at 1:40 PM on December 9, 2020 [2 favorites]


Election results under attack: Here are the facts — A compilation of the misinformation, disinformation and many rejected legal challenges by Trump and his allies to try to overturn votes, Washington Post, Ann Gerhart & Jake Crump, 12/9/2020. Trump's claims vs. reality as explained in the article:
  • Was voting software from Dominion compromised?
  • Did software misallocate 6,000 votes in Antrim County (Michigan)
  • Has the federal government investigated or found any evidence of voting fraud?
  • Were there enough voting errors to overturn results in any state?
  • Were representatives from both parties allowed to observe counting of votes in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia?
  • Did election officials manipulate signature-verification machinery (Nevada)?
  • Does video show suitcases stuffed with ballots or standard storage (Georgia)?
  • Were thousands of ballots mishandled in Maricopa County (Arizona)?
  • Was there any evidence of mishandled ballots, voter persuasion or inadequate observation of counting in Wayne County (Michigan)?
  • What happened with the postal worker’s allegation of ballot tampering in Erie (Pennsylvania)?
  • Did video capture a woman stuffing ballots in Philadelphia?
  • Did mail-in voting create an opportunity for widespread fraud?
posted by cenoxo at 1:41 PM on December 9, 2020 [4 favorites]


I love Katie Porter. I'm hoping she's our next Senator when Harris' slot opens up.
posted by mark k at 2:01 PM on December 9, 2020 [7 favorites]


Better yet, Feinstein's.
posted by Gelatin at 2:04 PM on December 9, 2020 [14 favorites]


Porter is doing what I have literally begged other elected Democrats to do and next time anyone asks what exactly I want/expect when I talk about how Democrats fail to communicate, I will just point at this. This is how you speak publicly about Republican obstructionism. Clearly stating what specifically McConnell opposes and how that opposition is bringing down yet another attempt at passing more financial relief demonstrates plainly where the fault lies and for what frankly evil reasons.
posted by Lonnrot at 2:09 PM on December 9, 2020 [25 favorites]


With case pending in state court, Wisconsin is only state to miss election safe-harbor deadline, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Molly Beck & Associated Press, 12/9/2020:
...Every state but Wisconsin appears to have met a so-called safe-harbor deadline set by federal law, which means Congress has to accept the electoral votes that will be cast next week, locking in Biden's victory. The safe-harbor provision protects states against challenges in Congress through certifying the results of the election and resolving legal challenges in state courts by the deadline, which was Tuesday.

Wisconsin election officials still have a case pending in state court that wasn't resolved by the safe-harbor date, in addition to the federal actions that are still pending.

RELATED: The Wisconsin lawsuits filed by Donald Trump and his allies: Where the cases stand, 12/9/2020.
posted by cenoxo at 2:17 PM on December 9, 2020 [2 favorites]


Okay - can someone who is more knowledgeable about the law explain exactly what might happen insofar as Texas' suit against four other states, especially since three of those four states have made the safe-harbor deadline? And what 17 other states saying they support Texas means?

I mean, I know it's ridiculous, but what is the likelihood that SCOTUS could take it seriously? Does the safe-harbor deadline mean that it's too late to change the outcome so this whole thing is pointless? What might actually happen?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:02 PM on December 9, 2020 [1 favorite]


Rep. Katie Porter, with her Whiteboard of Justice™, rules; visions of Senator Porter or State Attorney General Porter are kind of dazzling. And now Gelatin's inspired a daydream about Biden inviting Feinstein for some BS Admin role and freeing up that seat, which is putting me in a more charitable frame of mind about state-pol poaching in general.
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:23 PM on December 9, 2020 [12 favorites]


Rep. Katie Porter, with her Whiteboard of Justice™, rules; visions of Senator Porter or State Attorney General Porter are kind of dazzling. And now Gelatin's inspired a daydream about Biden inviting Feinstein for some BS Admin role and freeing up that seat, which is putting me in a more charitable frame of mind about state-pol poaching in general.
posted by Iris Gambol


I definitely have a new superhero, and her whiteboard is quite the weapon! Thank you for that one!

And poaching? No worse than what the other side has ever done, ever. I'm for it!
posted by Snowishberlin at 3:31 PM on December 9, 2020 [3 favorites]


Okay - can someone who is more knowledgeable about the law explain exactly what mi