Biden / Harris Inauguration
January 20, 2021 6:41 AM   Subscribe

The inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris: Live camera feed from C-Span; live updates from CNN; NYT live updates; NYT live stream and analysis; The Guardian live updates; NPR coverage beginning at 11 a.m. EST; streaming beginning at 10:30 a.m. EST at bideninaugural.org.

(also see Metatalk Celebration Thread for fun and feels: Surely This)
posted by taz (1601 comments total) 92 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm under no illusions that the danger Trump poses to our Constitutional republic is over; nothing would be more in character for him than to try to create chaos from afield. Nor do I believe that Trump in himself constituted the entire threat; there are plenty of anti-democratic operatives still lodged in the Congress and the federal bureaucracy. Nonetheless, this is a good day. It will be easier, now...not easy, but easier...to work for a better world.
posted by Ipsifendus at 6:42 AM on January 20 [36 favorites]


Surely this.
posted by NotLost at 6:44 AM on January 20 [85 favorites]


Schedule from the NPR coverage link:
Noon ET: Swearing-in ceremonies followed by Biden's inaugural address. (Follow live analysis of Biden's speech here.)
2 p.m. ET: Wreath-laying at Arlington National Cemetery. Biden and Harris will be joined by former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
3 p.m. ET: Presidential escort to the White House followed by a virtual "parade" with scenes across the country.
7 p.m. ET: Press briefing with Biden press secretary Jen Psaki.
8:30 p.m. ET: Evening program hosted by Tom Hanks with musical performances by John Legend, Jon Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake and more.
posted by at by at 6:44 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


[Especially here before the inauguration kicks off, let's try to keep it a bit newsier and linkier and not fill up with too much chatter -- please feel free to make a celebratory metatalk for noise and joy!]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 6:44 AM on January 20 [8 favorites]


Hoping Biden's predecessor discovers the world's regrets were not, after all "too few to mention".
posted by rongorongo at 6:45 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


From Dr. Jill Biden's Twitter:

For the first time ever, there will be a special live broadcast of the Inauguration made especially for students and families.

You can tune in live at 10am ET on #InaugurationDay. To learn more, go to http://bideninaugural.org/youth.
posted by carrienation at 6:48 AM on January 20 [18 favorites]


Surely this...
Come join the celebration!
posted by nicoffeine at 6:52 AM on January 20 [6 favorites]


Hoping Biden's predecessor discovers the world's regrets were not, after all "too few to mention".

And if there's a place he can go when he's short on his dough.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 6:52 AM on January 20


My son asked if "the MeFites" would appreciate the little code project he spun up, a countdown clock, which we can see as either a timer for the end of a miserable four years, or for the start of four hopeful years.

Just 7,500 seconds to go as I post this...
posted by martin q blank at 6:55 AM on January 20 [51 favorites]


Official Biden/Harris Inauguration Playlist Features Kendrick Lamar, Bob Marley, MF Doom, Led Zeppelin

Confirmations in the morning
Nuremburg in the afternoon
Legal weed in the evening
posted by adept256 at 6:57 AM on January 20 [23 favorites]




The latest Ms. Pat episode is fun to listen to today.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:59 AM on January 20


[Added that metatalk link, nicoffeine!]
posted by taz (staff) at 7:00 AM on January 20


FACT SHEET: President-elect Biden’s Day One Executive Actions
- Rejoin Paris Agreement
- Roll Back President Trump’s Environmental Actions
- Extend Eviction and Foreclosure Moratoriums
- Extend Student Loan Pause
- Rejoining WHO
- Required mask wearing in all Federal buildings
- Launch a Whole-of-Government Initiative to Advance Racial Equity ("The president-elect will sign an Executive Order beginning the work of embedding equity across federal policymaking and rooting out systemic racism and other barriers to opportunity from federal programs and institutions")
- Reverse President Trump’s Executive Order Excluding Undocumented Immigrants from the Reapportionment Count
- Preserve and Fortify Protections for Dreamers
- Reverse the Muslim Ban
- Repeal of Trump Interior Enforcement Executive Order
- Stop Border Wall Construction
This is just for day one and there's actually a bunch more, I just want to stop typing and watch the inauguration.
posted by gwint at 7:02 AM on January 20 [148 favorites]


I just want to tell you all good luck. We're all counting on you.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:03 AM on January 20 [107 favorites]


> Official Biden/Harris Inauguration Playlist Features Kendrick Lamar, Bob Marley, MF Doom, Led Zeppelin

I approve of the MF DOOM track on the list, but it's a weird pull considering the US deported him a decade ago and he died effectively (if not literally) an expat.
posted by at by at 7:04 AM on January 20 [10 favorites]


My jaw like... clicked this morning. And I realised I've pretty much been clenching it since 2015. And it's finally starting to unclench.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:19 AM on January 20 [25 favorites]


Windstorms expected for tonight, as liberals exhale after four years and conservatives inhale in anticipation of the next four years.
posted by clawsoon at 7:20 AM on January 20 [14 favorites]


This is the happiest day of my life.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:26 AM on January 20 [9 favorites]


Trump Says Farewell at Airbase Send-Off, Leaves a Note for Biden

The White House made some curious choices for its invitation list. Several former Trump aides who became outspoken critics of the president received invitations, including financier Anthony Scaramucci, who was briefly the White House communications director in 2017, but by 2019 was publicly advocating for Trump’s impeachment.

Former Chief of Staff John Kelly and former National Security Advisor John Bolton and his deputy, Charlie Kupperman, were also invited. None of them attended.


Not even Pence went. He's probably still sore over those gallows. I've also heard that the invitations were you plus fives. Pretty thirsty. Awww no-one wants to go to his pity party.

Just fuck off.
posted by adept256 at 7:26 AM on January 20 [26 favorites]


Any news of any protests/unrest in other parts of the country? Not that I want to give them any more brain space than necessary, but I'm curious whether all the gung ho heroes are still pumped, or whether they felt the air go out of them when that helicopter actually took off from the White House lawn.
posted by penguin pie at 7:32 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Jim Sciutto, CNN: Supreme Court public information officer tells CNN”s @Arianedevogue that a bomb threat was called into the court, but the building has not been evacuated.

Low effort trolling, presumably.
posted by delfin at 7:35 AM on January 20


WRT the Capitol itself, what a difference two weeks and a new President makes.
posted by cenoxo at 7:40 AM on January 20 [4 favorites]


For the first time ever, there will be a special live broadcast of the Inauguration made especially for students and families.

Already, we see the positive impact of having a career teacher as First Lady. This is great, it's already better than the Washington Post coverage.
posted by LooseFilter at 7:40 AM on January 20 [19 favorites]




It's morning again in America.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:44 AM on January 20 [15 favorites]


gwint: "Capital Police hero Eugene Goodman escorting Kamala Harris to inauguration"

What a difference a fortnight makes.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:47 AM on January 20 [18 favorites]


That guy saved congress. That's not an exaggeration. He deserves that position of honor.
posted by adept256 at 7:52 AM on January 20 [107 favorites]




It's so weird seeing people in government who do good things getting praised and rewarded by those in power.
posted by zixyer at 8:03 AM on January 20 [45 favorites]


a bomb threat was called into the court, but the building has not been evacuated.

Is there anyone there to evacuate?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:05 AM on January 20


Did they play The Itsy Bitsy Spider for Pence's fanfare? No? ok
posted by StarkRoads at 8:05 AM on January 20 [5 favorites]


I still can't get over (and hope I never do) the image of Goodman gently pushing the insurrectionist just enough to get him to follow. And right before, that little look he does over his shoulder, where you can just feel the gravity of that moment. "Oh my god, there's....no one there. There's no one but me to stop all these people." I know we don't know what he's thinking but I just feel the terror in that moment.

And how he was able to think fast enough on his feet to lead them away...honestly tears me up. (And without fully getting into how complicated it is with the history of white aggression against black people and that Goodman was basically sacrificing himself to save democracy...there's just so much going on in this one moment.) I'm looking forward to reading a thesis at some point about the whole 2 minute sequence of events unpacking everything going on there.
posted by andruwjones26 at 8:05 AM on January 20 [140 favorites]


I'm going to burn my yellow ties in about an hour.
posted by nickmark at 8:06 AM on January 20 [5 favorites]


It is such a relief to see a government event where everyone is wearing masks! The only person I’ve seen on stage not wearing a mask is a literal baby. I feel like a comparison could be made there, but that’s not fair to the child.
posted by Ruki at 8:07 AM on January 20 [72 favorites]


Goodman is a combat veteran, and it showed. I too couldn’t watch without tearing up— most of us so rarely get to see that level of courage in action, much less a life/government saving act.
posted by blue suede stockings at 8:10 AM on January 20 [13 favorites]


I think the baby had a binky? Which is no protection against covid, but it's given me an idea about how Twitter can mark accounts that have been banned.
posted by adept256 at 8:11 AM on January 20 [8 favorites]


I just want to repost the link that carrienation shared, to the young Americans inauguration coverage--it's actually really interesting, I'm loving listening to Keke Palmer just chat with and ask stream-of-consciousness questions to the presidential history expert. They've talked about the Marine Band, who was his favorite vice-president and why, and Palmer keeps asking good, simple questions like 'why do we do this that way?' or 'why is that tradition important?' or 'of all the impractical things, why is there a concert band there?' Good stuff.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:12 AM on January 20 [10 favorites]


I'm going to burn my yellow ties in about an hour.

Forgive my ignorance, is this a euphemism?
posted by Braeburn at 8:13 AM on January 20 [7 favorites]


Anyone heard who the designated survivor is? Seems highly important this year given what's occurred, and most of Twitter seems to think its a current Trump cabinet member (given none of Biden's are yet confirmed). Come on noon EST!
posted by inflatablekiwi at 8:14 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


I'm watching the bideninaugural link and it sounds like they've got Capitol tour guides doing the commentary and may I just say I LOVE it.

(Also there's such a range of accessibility options for the livestream! I got a lil emotional over that.)
posted by kalimac at 8:14 AM on January 20 [6 favorites]


Senator Warren is wearing a pink Planned Parenthood scarf.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:16 AM on January 20 [56 favorites]


And without fully getting into how complicated it is with the history of white aggression against black people and that Goodman was basically sacrificing himself to save democracy...

I think we should get into some of the complication and observe that he was risking more than the Last Full Measure: a recurring theme in American white supremacy is not just murdering Black Americans—but specifically torturing them to death, especially defiant individuals who need to be made an example of, as acts of sublime and symbolic cruelty and terrorism.

That's what Goodman threw the dice on, and all the other BIPoC who faced the Putschisten that day, out of duty and concern for others.
posted by XMLicious at 8:19 AM on January 20 [35 favorites]


MetaFilter is a tough crowd for the idea of Putting Things Back, because smart thinking says Things were actually always rotten and we need to only move forward. But I feel we need rituals and we need continuity. Seeing Kamala Harris, imperfect or whatever, walk out to the Sousa music and the collective hoohah feels like we are all participating in a ritual that can be transformed, and I feel good today.
posted by argybarg at 8:20 AM on January 20 [68 favorites]


Senator Warren wore that same scarf in 2017.
posted by box at 8:20 AM on January 20 [9 favorites]


Madame Vice-President Elect! I teared up.
posted by Ruki at 8:21 AM on January 20 [16 favorites]


It's great that Biden can quickly undo some of the damage done by the previous president by issuing directives and instructions. But it's very telling that these changes have been and can continue to be made so easily by one person with no oversight. We really need to fix some of the gaping holes in governance and decision making that have been illuminated and exploited over the past four years (and many more).
posted by ElKevbo at 8:21 AM on January 20 [51 favorites]


argybarg -- exactly. We can take a few hours for the comfort of a ceremony (since that's the role ceremony plays in human cultures). I'm amazed at how much I'm comforted and enjoying watching this.
posted by kalimac at 8:22 AM on January 20 [13 favorites]


MeFi: I could not have survived the last four years without you. Knowing that there were other hostages to this terrorist president. Knowing that others did not underestimate his fascism and hate. Thanks for that and for the humor.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:24 AM on January 20 [174 favorites]


I have a nice yellow bowtie that I bought at Mount Vernon; it has George Washington's signature on it.

I am wearing it today to mark the return of a decent man -- and the arrival of a woman! -- to the White House.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:27 AM on January 20 [5 favorites]


FACT SHEET: President-elect Biden’s Day One Executive Actions

- Formally killing the Keystone XL pipeline as well.

Big news in Canada at least.
posted by bonehead at 8:28 AM on January 20 [41 favorites]


I'm a relatively new American, sort of. I arrived here in mid 2015 and haven't had much opportunity to be here without the Orange Goblin figuring largely in the news or on the lawns of some of my neighbors. Just wanted to join with dances_with_sneetches and say I appreciate you all, since I don't really know anybody else out here.
posted by aesop at 8:29 AM on January 20 [59 favorites]


We're all paying attention to the semiotics in play at this inauguration, I hope. Lots of purple, Michelle Obama (D) wearing purple-red, Laura Bush (R) wearing muted blue. Biden in a purple tie. Attention to detail in depth; the people running this show get it.
posted by mhoye at 8:29 AM on January 20 [19 favorites]


Roy Blunt just said this is the 59th inaugural ceremony. Biden is president #46. What were the other 13 about?
posted by rtimmel at 8:29 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Michelle Obama giving strong Sister Night/Angela Abar vibes (from HBO's Watchmen) here!
posted by adrianhon at 8:30 AM on January 20 [5 favorites]


second terms? third term for Roosevelt. (edit to add: Fourth term for Roosevelt)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:30 AM on January 20 [7 favorites]


i, for one, am really looking forward to hearing joe biden's "american carnage" speech.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:30 AM on January 20 [8 favorites]


There is an inaugural ceremony even if going from 1 term to your 2nd.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:31 AM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Roy Blunt just said this is the 59th inaugural ceremony. Biden is president #46. What were the other 13 about?

You get to have a second one if you get reelected, I assume
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:31 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Rtimmel, Some presidents have been inaugurated more than once.
posted by Chanther at 8:31 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


"Roy Blunt just said this is the 59th inaugural ceremony. Biden is president #46. What were the other 13 about?"

Second terms.
posted by jonathanhughes at 8:31 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Roy Blunt just said this is the 59th inaugural ceremony. Biden is president #46. What were the other 13 about?
posted by rtimmel at 10:29 AM on January 20 [+] [!]


The presidents are inaugurated after every election, even if they're incumbent.

EDIT sorry to pile on! Should have previewed.
posted by gc at 8:31 AM on January 20


Roy Blunt just said this is the 59th inaugural ceremony. Biden is president #46. What were the other 13 about?

I wonder if LBJ being sworn in aboard Air Force One after JFK's assassination counts.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:32 AM on January 20


(Polite reminder to fully preview before hitting post to keep the thread as readable as possible, rtimmel got six replies to their question...!)
posted by penguin pie at 8:35 AM on January 20 [6 favorites]


21 presidents have won 2nd terms (or more).

Perhaps he meant at the Capitol?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:35 AM on January 20


Mother of god, there’s a Space Force flag.
posted by argybarg at 8:36 AM on January 20 [8 favorites]


Here's a list of all inaugural ceremonies if anyone wants to find the discrepancy. It's not second terms.
posted by muddgirl at 8:36 AM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Hello, my fellow mefites, I am here today to preach unity after the brutal piling on of rtimmel.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:38 AM on January 20 [52 favorites]


I was a little hrm about Gaga apparently doing the anthem in 4 for some reason, but it turns out it's all kind of metric goofiness going on which I'm okay with and feels like a good metaphor for the bizarre push-and-shove time dilation of the last few years.
posted by cortex at 8:39 AM on January 20 [18 favorites]


Gaga does social distancing with style.
posted by adept256 at 8:40 AM on January 20 [12 favorites]


A bit of trivia. Lincoln did not run for reelection as a Republican. He accepted nomination from the National Union Party.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:40 AM on January 20 [12 favorites]


Pledge while doing the sign language! Boss
posted by inflatablekiwi at 8:41 AM on January 20 [37 favorites]


I'm not even American but a black, female firefighter signing the Pledge of Allegiance makes me proud to be American.
posted by penguin pie at 8:41 AM on January 20 [79 favorites]


Didn't expect a signed pledge of allegiance to be the point where I choked up but here we are.
posted by Happy Dave at 8:41 AM on January 20 [18 favorites]


I'm a little concerned Tehhund might be going to be at a loose end and perhaps fall into drink and despair. Is anyone going to check in on them?
posted by Rumple at 8:42 AM on January 20 [25 favorites]


Everyone who sings it seems to forget that the music for the Star-Spangled Banner was written in 6/4.
posted by emelenjr at 8:42 AM on January 20 [9 favorites]


Inaugural ceremonies mark the beginning of complete four-year terms, so presidents sworn in during the term (because of the death of preceding president) don't increase the count:

58*4 = 232; (there have been 58 complete terms up to today)
2021 - 232 = 1789, the year that Washington was sworn in as the first president.
posted by thecaddy at 8:42 AM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Aaaaaaaaaand, Vice President Harris.
posted by MattWPBS at 8:42 AM on January 20 [15 favorites]


And now the Inauguration passes the Bechdel Test
posted by jazon at 8:42 AM on January 20 [137 favorites]


Madam Vice President!
posted by inflatablekiwi at 8:42 AM on January 20 [7 favorites]


"All enemies foreign and domestic..."

Preach, Justice Sotomayor.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:43 AM on January 20 [66 favorites]


I'm going to burn my yellow ties in about an hour.

Forgive my ignorance, is this a euphemism?


Kinda. It's a bit of a deep cut (sorry I can't find the original comment that inspired it).
posted by nickmark at 8:45 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


And now the Inauguration passes the Bechdel Test

Well... half of the first of three requirements, anyway. But it's progress!
posted by clawsoon at 8:45 AM on January 20 [3 favorites]


The livestream for families is so good. Just...easier to watch and follow with great camera choices. Tighter closeups on faces, some audience shots but not so many distracting cutaways. ASL interpreters for everything.
posted by desuetude at 8:46 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


come brother sibling leftists and appreciate woody guthrie at the top of the patriotic medley.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:47 AM on January 20 [24 favorites]


That performance killed fascists
posted by Rumple at 8:48 AM on January 20 [15 favorites]


So long, it’s been good to know you...
posted by Melismata at 8:48 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


As bitter and angry as I am, as suspicious of the Democrats as I am, as much as I l have scoffed this morning at the endless parade of talking heads praising a "peaceful" transfer of power as five brigades guard the ceremony, I did not expect to get choked up when Vice President Harris took her oath of office.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:49 AM on January 20 [12 favorites]


IT'S OVER!
posted by adept256 at 8:49 AM on January 20 [14 favorites]


SURELY THIS!
posted by Ruki at 8:49 AM on January 20 [13 favorites]


President Biden
posted by inflatablekiwi at 8:49 AM on January 20 [10 favorites]


*exhales*
posted by Gray Duck at 8:49 AM on January 20 [11 favorites]


SURELY THIS.

POTUS46.
posted by MattWPBS at 8:49 AM on January 20 [13 favorites]


There we go.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:50 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Phew!!
posted by carmina at 8:50 AM on January 20


No words. Let's go fix the country now.
posted by Special Agent Dale Cooper at 8:50 AM on January 20 [6 favorites]


Our long national nightmare is over for the time being.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:50 AM on January 20 [5 favorites]


Hrm. Ten minutes early.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:50 AM on January 20 [12 favorites]


*unclenches*
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:50 AM on January 20 [6 favorites]


The sense of relief at President Biden and Vice President Harris is palpable.
posted by wierdo at 8:50 AM on January 20 [10 favorites]


Sniffling here.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:50 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


It's overwhelming. He repeated the oath of office and he actually means it.
posted by ssmith at 8:51 AM on January 20 [13 favorites]


Is it terrible that I'm happier that Trump is not president than the fact that Biden is? If they had sworn in a cheese sandwich right now, I'd be giddy.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:51 AM on January 20 [43 favorites]


Can't think of the last time if ever that I had a belt of rye at nine in the morning, but, well...

*glug*

...l'chaim everybody.
posted by cortex at 8:51 AM on January 20 [68 favorites]


Welcome, President Biden and Vice President Harris.

Oh my God it feels so good to type.

Congratulations, American MeFites, and all of us, frankly. This matters for the world, but none so much as those of you who now have Joe and Kamala at your helm.
posted by penguin pie at 8:52 AM on January 20 [16 favorites]


i literally never thought I’d live to see this day. and here we are!

i love you all.
posted by mochapickle at 8:52 AM on January 20 [21 favorites]


For someone whose fame was so closely tied to show business, in hindsight Trump messed up badly by slinking away and skipping the inauguration. He could have been part of the pomp and circumstance; the media would have gone wild over a transitional handshake no matter how insincere.

And now he's sitting somewhere watching the whole thing on TV, watching everyone joyously celebrating his rival taking over for him, with no one paying attention to him, and not even able to tweet about it. And he brought it on himself. So, for once in my life, thanks, Trump!
posted by Gelatin at 8:52 AM on January 20 [32 favorites]


There's a photo being much tweeted of Bernie Sanders sitting alone at the inauguration in a parka and diamond and chevron pattern knitted mittens. I commented that the photo was "the Berniest thing that ever Bernied" and Joyce Carol Oates retweeted my comment. Joyce Carol Freaking Oates, people.
posted by orange swan at 8:52 AM on January 20 [174 favorites]


thank fucking god
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:53 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Biden really does have an amazing smile. And wow is he smiling like hell right now.
posted by medusa at 8:53 AM on January 20 [21 favorites]


It's silly to be hung up on a magic ceremony but I feel calmer with the actual oaths spoken and completed. Part of it is knowing how much weight the lunatic right-wing puts on magic words and rituals; they'll be more reluctant to act with the spell successfully cast.
posted by Scattercat at 8:53 AM on January 20 [21 favorites]


What an amazing day for HBCUs
posted by NoMich at 8:55 AM on January 20 [8 favorites]


We can’t displace all the love of ritual and ceremony onto the Right. We all need it.
posted by argybarg at 8:55 AM on January 20 [18 favorites]


It's silly to be hung up on a magic ceremony but I feel calmer with the actual oaths spoken and completed. Part of it is knowing how much weight the lunatic right-wing puts on magic words and rituals; they'll be more reluctant to act with the spell successfully cast.

Those words mean that Trump has no power any more. Those words are, indeed, mangic, and undeniably serious.
posted by Gelatin at 8:55 AM on January 20 [57 favorites]


Slight shade thrown during his speech with his references to his predecessors who are there, and Carter who he spoke to the night before, as patriots who took the same oath. Slight shade.

Slight, in the same way an eclipse throws slight shade.
posted by MattWPBS at 8:57 AM on January 20 [40 favorites]


Yes, but we (or I at least) don't actually believe it means anything. It's just nice to have rituals and patterns to follow to soothe the monkey brain.
posted by Scattercat at 8:57 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


MAGA to GAGA
posted by clawsoon at 8:57 AM on January 20 [69 favorites]


Look at the wind blowing the President’s hair during the inaugural address! What crazy hair our President has.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:57 AM on January 20 [12 favorites]


Oh this speech! So calm, pragmatic and kind.
posted by freya_lamb at 8:57 AM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Biden just said that more Americans have died of COVID-19 than died in World War 2. I did not know that. HOLY SHIT.
posted by medusa at 8:58 AM on January 20 [45 favorites]


"My whole soul is in it."

Welling up. I believe him.
posted by widdershins at 8:58 AM on January 20 [32 favorites]


Its over!

Not yet - there’s a helluva mess to clean up, but this is a historic beginning.
posted by cenoxo at 8:58 AM on January 20 [7 favorites]


"Bernie’s mittens are made by Jen Ellis, a teacher from Essex Junction, Vt. She gave them to him 2+ years ago and was surprised when he began wearing them on the campaign trail. They are made from repurposed wool sweaters and lined with fleece made from recycled plastic bottles."

I love Vermont.
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:59 AM on January 20 [133 favorites]


It’s noon! Powers transfer from Former President Trump.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 9:00 AM on January 20 [20 favorites]


MAGA to GAGA

Giving America Grownups Again
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:00 AM on January 20 [48 favorites]


Boring, no American Carnage yet, c'mon President, it's a franchise, Joe, be the sequel
posted by Rumple at 9:00 AM on January 20


And now he's sitting somewhere watching the whole thing on TV

For those of you who had pathologically narcissistic parents (and have provided so much insight into Trump's character for me over the past four years), what do pathological narcissists do when the rejection is final and they've exhausted all possibilities for winning?
posted by clawsoon at 9:00 AM on January 20 [13 favorites]


I love how much Biden is talking about racial justice in his speech.
posted by medusa at 9:00 AM on January 20 [14 favorites]


Its over!

Not yet - there’s a helluva mess to clean up, but this is a historic beginning.


Absolutely. This is a good day, but brunch is still cancelled.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:01 AM on January 20 [9 favorites]


Bernie bringing his mail like the inauguration is just a stop on his errands is peak Jewish Dad Energy.
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 9:01 AM on January 20 [100 favorites]


When Biden, who is no longer campaigning, front-loads his speech by naming climate change and white supremacy as our common enemies, can we take him at his word?
posted by argybarg at 9:01 AM on January 20 [43 favorites]


what do pathological narcissists do when the rejection is final and they've exhausted all possibilities for winning?

They don't believe that it's over. They keep coming up with crazy schemes to win it back.
posted by medusa at 9:01 AM on January 20 [20 favorites]


2001 to 2021. From Osama bin Laden to Obama and Biden.
That's not snarky commentary, I believe in the healing powers that comes with transforming words.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:03 AM on January 20 [3 favorites]


what do pathological narcissists do when the rejection is final and they've exhausted all possibilities for winning?

They pretend none of it ever happened and never speak of it again. They also tell everyone who will listen that you're dead to them.
posted by cooker girl at 9:03 AM on January 20 [35 favorites]


I remembered just as Biden finished his oath that I have a small bottle of bubbly left from Christmas and I'm raising it to my American friends, and now Joe is talking about suffragettes and Kamala and there's something in my eye and suddenly the prosecco is salty.
posted by penguin pie at 9:03 AM on January 20 [11 favorites]


What is the pathway for unity for neo-Nazis and the people they want to exterminate? I'm not sure Biden's prescription of "listening to one another" is going to work.
posted by Ouverture at 9:04 AM on January 20 [6 favorites]


Accountability

Last 4 years
D: You're being divisive
R: 🖕Fuck your feelings🖕

Today
D: We need accountability
R: 💖☮️Unity!🌈✌️
posted by adept256 at 9:06 AM on January 20 [40 favorites]


They don't believe that it's over. They keep coming up with crazy schemes to win it back.

Which is why the second impeachment is so important.
posted by Gelatin at 9:06 AM on January 20 [24 favorites]


Biden on the failure of the white supremacist insurrection: "Not today. Not tomorrow. And not ever."

Bawling again.
posted by medusa at 9:06 AM on January 20 [40 favorites]


Muslim ban is going down! Path to citizenship for many undocumented people!

I can't be really enthused about Biden and Harris (although I am prepared to reevaluate if they rise to meet the times) but the sheer amount of terrible human suffering that is going to stop with the end of the ban and a path to citizenship - I can't feel anything but happy about that, and nothing will convince me otherwise.

We have some cheap champagne that we were going to break out to celebrate the election finally being over in 2016 and while I can't imagine it's improved by four years in the storage alcove, we're drinking it tonight.
posted by Frowner at 9:06 AM on January 20 [34 favorites]


New whitehouse.gov site already up!
posted by inflatablekiwi at 9:07 AM on January 20 [27 favorites]


What is the pathway for unity for neo-Nazis and the people they want to exterminate? I'm not sure Biden's prescription of "listening to one another" is going to work.

Maybe we could listen to the entire speech before snarking about it?
posted by wierdo at 9:07 AM on January 20 [40 favorites]


Here's the moment when whitehouse.gov changes hands.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 9:08 AM on January 20 [32 favorites]


"America has been tested, and we have come out stronger for it."
/doubt
posted by J.K. Seazer at 9:08 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


medusa: They don't believe that it's over. They keep coming up with crazy schemes to win it back.

cooker girl: They pretend none of it ever happened and never speak of it again. They also tell everyone who will listen that you're dead to them.

So ever crazier schemes until it suddenly stops one day and then it never happened?
posted by clawsoon at 9:10 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


“Well that was fucking weird.”
posted by Lord_Pall at 9:11 AM on January 20 [9 favorites]


What is the pathway for unity for neo-Nazis and the people they want to exterminate? I'm not sure Biden's prescription of "listening to one another" is going to work.

I think the point is that the majority on the other side aren't Nazis (old or new), and those are the people that it's possible to try and talk to from a starting point in reality.

Someone said it in another thread, but a lot of the Boomer Republicans are our parents or grandparents. We know there's people there who are good, compassionate people in parts of their lives. It doesn't help to just dismiss the entire conservative part of the population as Nazis.
posted by MattWPBS at 9:11 AM on January 20 [29 favorites]


( is how he should’ve started his speech for those unfamiliar with the joke)
posted by Lord_Pall at 9:12 AM on January 20 [10 favorites]


@Flotus yet to tweet but has 575k followers, and @Potus over 1.1m. Those are some good numbers for 10 minutes....
posted by inflatablekiwi at 9:12 AM on January 20 [4 favorites]


I'm just so grateful for a presidential speech I can watch all the way through with the sound on. I've spent the last 4 years either reading summaries/press coverage, or watching with the sound muted and closed captioning turned on.

I genuinely teared up for Kamala.
posted by gudrun at 9:13 AM on January 20 [34 favorites]




What is the pathway for unity for neo-Nazis and the people they want to exterminate?

My cynical/hopeful take is that if you can brainwash people that easily, our side just needs to get better at it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:15 AM on January 20 [6 favorites]


No escort for Garth?
posted by jazon at 9:15 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


@Flotus yet to tweet but has 575k followers, and @Potus over 1.1m. Those are some good numbers for 10 minutes....

@VP has 5.5m followers. Do those figures start from scratch with each POTUS/VP, or do they roll over?
posted by penguin pie at 9:15 AM on January 20


Garth Brooks?!
posted by medusa at 9:15 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Garth Brooks?
posted by desuetude at 9:15 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


He'll do just fine.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:15 AM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Garth Brooks?!

Unity!
posted by LooseFilter at 9:15 AM on January 20 [5 favorites]


Garth Brooks still got them pipes, and now I'm crying again.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:16 AM on January 20 [5 favorites]


Someone said it in another thread, but a lot of the Boomer Republicans are our parents or grandparents. We know there's people there who are good, compassionate people in parts of their lives. It doesn't help to just dismiss the entire conservative part of the population as Nazis.

However, perhaps we should prepare for some tough-love discussions with them, so as to help them understand that they allied themselves with Nazis, and that choice has consequences - one of which is "the rest of us kinda don't trust you right now, and won't until you get that that was kinda bad".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:16 AM on January 20 [47 favorites]


Oh no. Garth. This is not...uh, playing to your strengths.
posted by desuetude at 9:16 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


No escort for Garth?

Chris Gaines was supposed to do it but I guess he's a no-show.
posted by cortex at 9:16 AM on January 20 [39 favorites]


Ok at least he's not singing Achy Breaky Heart.
posted by medusa at 9:16 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


My cynical/hopeful take is that we have always had to share the country with a certain number of awful people, as every country has had to. We do the best we can.
posted by argybarg at 9:17 AM on January 20 [5 favorites]


In a pod deep in some lobbying firm's offices, Paul Ryan starts to come out of hypersleep
posted by jason_steakums at 9:17 AM on January 20 [22 favorites]


I prefer Obama's rendition.
posted by PatchesPal at 9:17 AM on January 20 [10 favorites]


Maybe we could listen to the entire speech before snarking about it?

Well, I just listened to the entire speech and I must have missed the part where he lands his repeated calls for unity with the people who want to kill people of color like myself.

I think what you read as "snark" is actually me being worried about my own material safety.

My cynical/hopeful take is that if you can brainwash people that easily, our side just needs to get better at it.

Yeah, that's my hope too.
posted by Ouverture at 9:17 AM on January 20 [13 favorites]


hmm. i'm not sure garth brooks singing amazing grace doesn't just cancel j lo singing guthrie right out.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:17 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


I can't sing with my throat this tight. I never listened to Garth Brooks, but...too much today.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:17 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


So is this what VE Day felt like to my grandparents?
posted by PhineasGage at 9:17 AM on January 20 [10 favorites]


As Laurie Andersen said, there will always be assholes. The trick isn't to get rid of them, it's to make it so they can't do any significant damage.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:18 AM on January 20 [39 favorites]


Can we stop the incipient intra-Left battle that always breaks out when we talk politics here?
posted by argybarg at 9:19 AM on January 20 [72 favorites]


Garth Brooks article - performed at Obama's as well, Republican fans already having another meltdown.

[Didn't seem to get the social distancing memo though with the hugs].
posted by MattWPBS at 9:19 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


I am loving the audio description.

They have been doing a fantastic job, straight through. It's really hard to do audio description on the fly.
posted by jenettsilver at 9:19 AM on January 20


@Flotus yet to tweet but has 575k followers, and @Potus over 1.1m. Those are some good numbers for 10 minutes....

Those accounts were set up a week ago under different names, then switched over just now.

See here
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:19 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Chris Gaines was supposed to do it but I guess he's a no-show.

Brooks has had a lot more success with his "Wayne Coyne" persona
posted by thelonius at 9:19 AM on January 20 [6 favorites]


"We braved the belly of the beast" - Amanda Gorman.

They left it to the poet to say it straight. *heart*
posted by penguin pie at 9:20 AM on January 20 [28 favorites]


@SecondGentleman live for Douglas Emhoff
posted by Is It Over Yet? at 9:20 AM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Am I the only person who thought Mr. Brooks' performance was not vocally very good? I mean, heartfelt and all, and I'm not trying to be a jerk about it.
posted by desuetude at 9:20 AM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Garth's jeans and shoes are probably not that complicated enough to have to negotiate down or up a staircase.

Hey, does anyone have a shot of what Ella Emhoff is wearing? Supposedly she was considering knitting a suit for the occasion, but I haven't seen her in a shot to be able to tell (and odds are she's probably wearing a large coat). Just wondering for the yarnies out there.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:20 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Oh no. Garth. This is not...uh, playing to your strengths.
"and now, to sing the Blackest song, the whitest boy" — Hrishikesh Hirway (@HrishiHirway) January 20, 2021
posted by The Bellman at 9:20 AM on January 20 [24 favorites]


Amanda Gorman is fucking amazing!
posted by medusa at 9:20 AM on January 20 [56 favorites]




The lawnmower kid meme has been updated. For some weird reason, that gave me more goosebumps than anything else today. Probably because I'm online and immersed in memes way too much. But it made the situation hit home: he's gone and gone for good.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 9:21 AM on January 20 [17 favorites]


Biden talks a big game.

Hold him to it, America.
posted by flabdablet at 9:21 AM on January 20 [17 favorites]


Anyone know what made everyone laugh as Brooks was leaving?
posted by punchtothehead at 9:22 AM on January 20


The lawnmower kid meme has been updated

Needs a "nothing of value was lost" caption
posted by flabdablet at 9:22 AM on January 20 [5 favorites]


SGOTUS is gonna be a bit unwieldy. Of course, Emhoff may have it worse in a potential future where FGOTUS simply won't fly from the tongue.
posted by linux at 9:23 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Amanda Gorman is KILLING it
posted by Rumple at 9:23 AM on January 20 [41 favorites]


"Would destroy our county if it meant delaying democracy."
posted by medusa at 9:23 AM on January 20 [10 favorites]


Senator Klobuchar remarked happily (and truthfully) at one point that “the sun is shining,” possibly throwing some shade at Trump for one of the first lies of his presidency.
posted by mbrubeck at 9:23 AM on January 20 [15 favorites]


I really liked some of the stuff that Biden said in his speech, especially with regards to climate change.

The repeated calls for Unity though? The instructions to everyone to turn down the temperature by having some "tolerance and humility" in our hearts? The claim that America has been tested and come out stronger? Look to today and tomorrow, and not the past?

The part where he claimed that our better angels have always defeated our demons and listed off stuff like the Civil War, WW1/2, and 9/11?

Our better angels won after 9/11, with GWB sitting behind him.

...

Flames. Flames on the side of my face. And disappointment. That speech can fuck off into the Sun, much like I will now fuck off from this thread as I know many are enjoying this time. I cannot share that joy with you, but I am glad that you have it, and hope you all have good days today.
posted by lazaruslong at 9:23 AM on January 20 [39 favorites]


I am looking forward to a president whose approval numbers move up and down in response to events and challenges instead of staying locked-in to predetermined battle lines drawn up before his term.
posted by migurski at 9:23 AM on January 20 [5 favorites]


I wondered if "everyone should sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one will make them afraid" was a stealth Hamilton reference (in addition to being a biblical reference) but "History has its eyes on us" a few lines later cements it. I associate that musical so strongly with the optimism of the Obama years... lovely for it to feel relevant again.
posted by Emily's Fist at 9:23 AM on January 20 [32 favorites]


Ha, the subtle "Hamilton" references.
posted by desuetude at 9:23 AM on January 20 [6 favorites]


"Now we assert: how could catastrophe prevail over us?"
posted by medusa at 9:24 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Is it too late to elect Amanda Gorman President?
posted by penguin pie at 9:25 AM on January 20 [15 favorites]


Amidst everything else, I'm going to say Amanda Gorman's recitation is the highlight of this event. Da-yum.
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 9:25 AM on January 20 [45 favorites]


FUCK YEAH, America’s National Poet Laureate got BARS!
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:25 AM on January 20 [12 favorites]


That...was amazing.
posted by JohnFromGR at 9:25 AM on January 20 [9 favorites]


Anyone know what made everyone laugh as Brooks was leaving?

From the C-Span view, he was scooting around the stage saying hi to all the ex-Presidents. Well, not ALL the ex-Presidents, of course.
posted by Ruki at 9:26 AM on January 20 [7 favorites]


I'm feeling joy, I'm feeling hope, but more than anything I'm feeling that the national debt is now a serious issue again
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:26 AM on January 20 [19 favorites]


I am eagerly awaiting the climactic moment in which Biden produces the Mighty Glowing Orb of Power and holds it aloft, so that all may view The Orb in its glory and cherish it.

All hail The Orb.
posted by delfin at 9:26 AM on January 20 [20 favorites]


TBH, when Garth said 'you at home', I actually have a les paul within reach in my lair. It's connected to a bluetooth amp, if I pick it up, it turns it on. For a moment, Garth and I were vibing. That's some fucking unity.
posted by adept256 at 9:26 AM on January 20 [27 favorites]


Amanda Gorman gives me as much or more hope than anything I've seen today.
posted by patternocker at 9:26 AM on January 20 [43 favorites]


FUCK YEAH, America’s National Poet Laureate got BARS!

She is the National Youth Poet Laureate, which is a separate position from National Poet Laureate. I expect to see her in that position someday, though!
posted by cooker girl at 9:27 AM on January 20 [26 favorites]


I liked when she alluded to Obama being a "skinny black kid"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:27 AM on January 20 [11 favorites]


And that was the moment where Garth Brooks truly became president
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:27 AM on January 20 [20 favorites]


Amanda Gorman captures the moment, in verse
About two weeks ago, the poet Amanda Gorman was struggling to finish a new work titled “The Hill We Climb.” She was feeling exhausted, and she worried she wasn’t up to the monumental task she faced: composing a poem about national unity to recite at President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s inauguration.

“I had this huge thing, probably one of the most important things I’ll ever do in my career,” she said in an interview. “It was like, if I try to climb this mountain all at once, I’m just going to pass out.”

Gorman managed to write a few lines a day and was about halfway through the poem on Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters stormed into the halls of Congress, some bearing weapons and Confederate flags. She stayed awake late into the night and finished the poem, adding verses about the apocalyptic scene that unfolded at the Capitol that day:

We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it,

Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.

And this effort very nearly succeeded.

But while democracy can be periodically delayed,

It can never be permanently defeated.
posted by medusa at 9:27 AM on January 20 [87 favorites]


We all have an amazing capacity to lift each other up when we're low. I'm going to try to lift someone up today.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:29 AM on January 20 [22 favorites]


I liked when she alluded to Obama being a "skinny black kid"

I took that as being a reference to herself, because the line right after refers to reciting before a president.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:29 AM on January 20 [26 favorites]


Speaking of subtle shade... (twitter.com)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:29 AM on January 20 [19 favorites]


Amidst everything else, I'm going to say Amanda Gorman's recitation is the highlight of this event. Da-yum.

I move that the recitation be recognized with a full daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn.
posted by medusa at 9:29 AM on January 20 [24 favorites]


*has inaugural bawl*
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:32 AM on January 20 [28 favorites]


I went looking for a video of Garth Brooks playing the inauguration on Youtube. Instead, I ended up watching a clean-cut guy in an SUV who says he was Garth Brooks' biggest fan ranting about how Garth Brooks turned down the opportunity to play Trump's inauguration but is playing Biden's and how he's therefore a supporter of pedophiles, alongside graphic descriptions of the alleged pedophile Hunter Biden laptop images. And how everybody who loves country music and America will now hate Garth Brooks.

If that's what Garth Brooks will be facing from his fans for doing this, I don't envy him. (Well, other than his giant piles of money.)
posted by clawsoon at 9:33 AM on January 20 [7 favorites]


Re: calls for unity. I liked Biden's statement that in past moments of hardship, "enough of us have come together to carry all of us forward." In other words, there are people who will never work towards democracy, justice, etc. - but they can't hold the rest of us back.
posted by Emily's Fist at 9:34 AM on January 20 [95 favorites]




The BBC America this morning was, for them, not making the shade subtle at all. 45 is out and you could hear the smiles on NPR the past few days.
posted by Slackermagee at 9:35 AM on January 20 [3 favorites]


I don't even remember what happened before the poem and could barely pay attention afterward. Amanda Gorman stole the entire day and made it look like something she just does on a random Wednesday afternoon. The rest of us could never.
posted by mdonley at 9:35 AM on January 20 [23 favorites]


Here's the full video of Amanda Gorman.
posted by PhineasGage at 9:36 AM on January 20 [32 favorites]


Press briefing with Biden press secretary Jen Psaki.

wait. the President can do that? Just send someone out to give a briefing????
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 9:36 AM on January 20 [41 favorites]


Flames. Flames on the side of my face. And disappointment. That speech can fuck off into the Sun, much like I will now fuck off from this thread as I know many are enjoying this time. I cannot share that joy with you, but I am glad that you have it, and hope you all have good days today.

You're not alone. It's a bittersweet day for a lot of organizers. But I hope the next two to eight years provide us with the momentum we need to make all of our communities, both offline and online, less white supremacist.

At least, we can all agree that this schadenfreude is extremely entertaining.
posted by Ouverture at 9:36 AM on January 20 [17 favorites]


Can we stop the incipient intra-Left battle that always breaks out when we talk politics here?

My money is on "NO."
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:37 AM on January 20 [21 favorites]


CSPAN is showing Biden leaving the stand to enter the Capitol Building and he's thanking each guard as he passes and it's like, fuck me that's probably the first time that's happened in four years. Why the hell should that have to be remarkable at all? But it is.
posted by at by at 9:37 AM on January 20 [34 favorites]


Chris Wade (@saywhatagain): Four years ago, I started saving the best of the incredibly bizarre, stupid and bad vibes photos being rapidly produced by the Trump administration to cathartically post today. Here is my Surreal Trump Photo Dump
posted by Going To Maine at 9:38 AM on January 20 [16 favorites]


(Ignorant non American here) Who was the voice over MC that sounded like Buzz Lightyear?
posted by rongorongo at 9:39 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


... from Former President Trump.

Surely you mean Florida man, Donald Trump?
posted by Buy Sockpuppet Bonds! at 9:39 AM on January 20 [39 favorites]


I genuinely occasionally struggled with the fear that the last four years were a Zeno's arrow situation, where we would forever approach but never reach the end of them.

I know we have so much work and pain ahead, but at this moment I am so relieved to once again take a breath in a world where Trump is not the president.

I mourn the many people who can't say the same.
posted by Riki tiki at 9:40 AM on January 20 [24 favorites]


TV cooking star Nigella Lawson, who tweets/emails out a recipe every day: "Well, yes, Bitter Orange Tart just happens to be #RecipeOfTheDay."
posted by dnash at 9:40 AM on January 20 [88 favorites]


ctrl/f "bowel movement" = zero hits. So I guess this is a reasonably fresh analogy:

"Trump is leaving the White House right NOW! Can you feel it? It’s a national bowel movement!"

found on my Facebook.
posted by philip-random at 9:42 AM on January 20 [8 favorites]


If you couldn't hear the message from Biden's speech, perhaps hear the message from the poet or the reverend, who each delivered a powerful statement on what is meant by unity. Love does not mean accept, it doesn't mean acquiesce, it means see the humanity in others, even when they are making it hard to find.

If you can't, that's fine, these are hard times for nearly all of us, but do maybe try not to shit on the people who can put in that work.
posted by wierdo at 9:42 AM on January 20 [129 favorites]


Here's the full video of Amanda Gorman.

Can you get a tattoo of a video?
posted by penguin pie at 9:43 AM on January 20 [46 favorites]


If that's what Garth Brooks will be facing from his fans for doing this, I don't envy him

Garth has been known-leftish forever. The lead single from his album The Chase, in 1992, is the epitome of early-90s mainstream progressivism, but it was an intentional statement. "Free to love anyone we choose," "we can all worship from our own kind of pew," "shelter over the poorest man's head." They know who he is, and they never cared before.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:44 AM on January 20 [38 favorites]


Biden leads with this call for unity: It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy, unity. Unity. In another January, on New Year's Day in 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the emancipation proclamation. When he put pen to paper, the president said, and I quote, "if my name ever goes down into history, it'll be for this act, and my whole soul is in it."

The unity of Lincoln signing the emancipation proclamation was not the unity of "lets make friends with fascists." It was the unity of let's form regiments of freemen and show these traitors the consequences of their actions.
posted by bdc34 at 9:44 AM on January 20 [56 favorites]


Remember when Garth Brooks wore a Barry Sanders jersey (for non-sportsfans, he's easily the best Detroit Lions player of all time) while playing a show in Detroit, and some people thought it was a Bernie Sanders endorsement?

Garth Brooks will be fine. Here's 'Amazing Grace.' He did a singalong thing at the end that might've worked better if the people in the audience weren't wearing masks. He might be the only person at the inauguration in jeans.
posted by box at 9:45 AM on January 20 [4 favorites]


He may have shown up in boots, but he certainly did not ruin the black-tie affair.
posted by solotoro at 9:47 AM on January 20 [22 favorites]


... from Former President Trump.

Surely you mean Florida man, Donald Trump?


REPUBLICAN Former President Trump

or REPUBLICAN Florida man, Trump

Whatever, just keep putting REPUBLICAN in front of his name. Forever.
posted by nushustu at 9:47 AM on January 20 [29 favorites]


I thought this day would never come. So glad it finally did. Delighted to welcome Biden and Harris to the highest offices in the land. This is America's Brand New Day. I'm so glad that we made it to today!
posted by Lynsey at 9:47 AM on January 20 [3 favorites]


if you rage-quit a ceremony stream like this because the President's speech is not stridently anti-Nazi and repercussion-focused enough for you, forgive me but I think you've let all the hatred and wrongness poison you a little. How could a sane president not give a strong nod to unity during this moment?

this goes beyond tough-crowd, people need to get a grip and realize there's a time to rant about the details of how the racist assholes need to be rounded up and punished and the f*cking inauguration ain't one of them. and I say this as someone who is perfectly capable of fretting about a more palatable and genteel flavour of fascism creeping in while we are busy rejoicing that the visibly ugly version just slunk away to a dark pit (for now). honestly, this seems so tone deaf to me. sorry to tone police, be as angry as you want today. have at er.
posted by elkevelvet at 9:48 AM on January 20 [150 favorites]


I know this is the Biden inauguration thread but how many hundreds, thousands were/are waiting to greet former President Trump in Florida??
posted by robbyrobs at 9:50 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


nushustu: "REPUBLICAN Florida man, Trump"

LOSER REPUBLICAN FLORIDA MAN
posted by chavenet at 9:50 AM on January 20 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I don't know what people expect here. I'm actually with them in that Trump and everyone associated with him, and all the people who supported him, need to face consequences. But what did people realistically think Biden was going to say or do about that here?
posted by star gentle uterus at 9:51 AM on January 20 [19 favorites]


Everyone who is from an international background or loves someone from an international bg felt it when Sotomayor mispronounced Kamala's name and she softly sighed and repeated it back correctly.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:51 AM on January 20 [58 favorites]


I know this is the Biden inauguration thread but how many hundreds, thousands were/are waiting to greet former President Trump in Florida??

TRUMP GREETED BY CROWD OF SEVERAL [fake]
posted by Gelatin at 9:52 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


I'm perfectly OK with not getting a leftist version of an "American Carnage" speech at this particular moment in history.
posted by soundguy99 at 9:52 AM on January 20 [40 favorites]


There's still so much wrong and broken, and we've lost so many and so much in getting here, and tomorrow we'll be back to fighting for the things we need to see happen, but for today at least I'm relieved and thankful to have made it this far.

Hopefully we're not anywhere near the end of this thread but going to pause for a little celebratory milk and cookies anyway.

🥛🍪🍪
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 9:53 AM on January 20 [18 favorites]


if you rage-quit a ceremony stream like this because the President's speech is not stridently anti-Nazi and repercussion-focused enough for you, forgive me but I think you've let all the hatred and wrongness poison you a little. How could a sane president not give a strong nod to unity during this moment?

Assuming you're talking about me, I listened to the entire speech and I thought parts of it were really good. Are you talking about someone else or...?

Primarily white/liberal communities seem to absolutely love the idea of listening to people of color unless we speak up in a way that rocks the boat or "ruins the vibe".

Can't some of us have mixed emotions?
posted by Ouverture at 9:53 AM on January 20 [24 favorites]


If you couldn't hear the message from Biden's speech, perhaps hear the message from the poet or the reverend, who each delivered a powerful statement on what is meant by unity. Love does not mean accept, it doesn't mean acquiesce, it means see the humanity in others, even when they are making it hard to find.

If you can't, that's fine, these are hard times for nearly all of us, but do maybe try not to shit on the people who can put in that work.


I was also heartened to hear all the speakers, including Joe Biden, refer explicitly to white supremacy and the threat it poses to unity and that it cannot be tolerated.

That said: I do fear that the unity called for will lead more attempts to pass things bipartisanly, which will fail utterly as it always does, because too many in the Republican party care more about tax cuts than then do about the collapse of democracy.

Good unity: treating the people who didn't vote for you as people and citizens with rights.
Bad unity: doing nothing without their agreement, even when they are in the minority and they are really, really wrong.
posted by jb at 9:54 AM on January 20 [29 favorites]


Seriously, folks--it felt pretty dang clear the message was: let us unify against white supremacists and fascists.
posted by meese at 9:54 AM on January 20 [52 favorites]


I had an appointment an hour before the inauguration, and stopped at the grocery store on the way home so I didn't have to go out again, and so I was in the grocery store when Biden was inaugurated. There was a cascade of phones chiming as the push alerts arrived, and then a bunch of people muttering under their breath, "Oh thank God" and "yay!" and just sighs of relief.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:54 AM on January 20 [61 favorites]


I believe the phrase that's often used these days is "read the room."
posted by PhineasGage at 9:55 AM on January 20 [10 favorites]


The stream I am watching is about to move on to televising Biden's first official executive orders (or at least what they can televise).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:56 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


[Friendly reminder it's okay for people to report their own reactions to the speech, but also that the thread doesn't need to dwell on any one person's reaction; it's totally fine if some people didn't love it, but at the same time please let other people be relieved today if they want to.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:57 AM on January 20 [21 favorites]


On MSNBC Al Sharpton is praising Biden's speech.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:58 AM on January 20


The BBC just talking about how they can't move into the White House right away because they're still clearing it out and I'm imagining the level of glee with which people are throwing items into garbage bags at this very moment.
posted by penguin pie at 9:58 AM on January 20 [25 favorites]


My favorite part is knowing that somewhere Trump is seething and can't go tweet about it.
posted by nevercalm at 9:58 AM on January 20 [69 favorites]


I'd say we should keep the Trump Family's security deposit to cover the cleaning costs, but I'm sure that check bounced four years ago.
posted by PhineasGage at 9:59 AM on January 20 [14 favorites]


My favorite part is knowing that somewhere Trump is seething and can't go tweet about it.

My favorite part is how many people are choosing to not mention him. All he ever wanted was attention, and nothing else. Good or bad, he wanted attention.

I'm definitely on team that we shouldn't name He Who is Fucked by name or try to reference him at all.

Don't give him what he wanted. Let's forget about him.
posted by deadaluspark at 10:00 AM on January 20 [25 favorites]


you can't spell humanity without unity. and ham.
posted by chavenet at 10:02 AM on January 20 [87 favorites]


I plan on enjoying the luxury of never needing to think about what Trump thinks about anything. If I never hear about him past A) his conviction and B) his death I will be happy.
posted by argybarg at 10:02 AM on January 20 [25 favorites]


I don't think it was you Ouverture, it was someone who said they were leaving the thread, so not sure why they bothered. I hope there is plenty of room here for mixed feelings. We can be happy that our government just got a lot less fascist while also holding huge disappointments that we're so far away from socialist reforms that would give everyone free healthcare and education, income and access equality and so on.

Biden/Harris are so not the answer to all our problems. And it's okay to be so angry about how much worse things have gotten in the last 4 years that it's all you can express. People here should be prepared for a lot of pushback against the new administration.

But I hope everyone can recognize that there's a big difference between 45 and 46, in so many ways.
posted by rikschell at 10:04 AM on January 20 [16 favorites]


Ham the lunch meat or Ham, son of Noah? The country needs both.
posted by bdc34 at 10:05 AM on January 20 [5 favorites]


Don't give him what he wanted. Let's forget about him.

As long as various prosecutors, bankers, and Senators don't.
posted by Gelatin at 10:05 AM on January 20 [23 favorites]


Don't give him what he wanted. Let's forget about him.

I see what you're getting at I think, but the nuance I would like to add is that we shouldn't do him the favor of forgetting his outrages. I'd like to be sure that his name goes down in history as a synonym for failure, bigotry, and corruption. He does not deserve the refuge of obscurity.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:05 AM on January 20 [15 favorites]


When you move out of military housing, they make you come back and clean it yourself if you don't pass inspection. I'd like to see all 5 of them scrubbing, then failing inspection after inspection.
posted by ctmf at 10:06 AM on January 20 [35 favorites]


My favorite part is knowing that somewhere Trump is seething and can't go tweet about it.

I confess I am a very tiny bit sad I can't watch him melt down. It's undoubtedly a positive good for the world that he's shut down, but the pettiest part of me would like to see a little bit of meltdown tweeting, just the smallest bit, as a treat.
posted by phunniemee at 10:06 AM on January 20 [6 favorites]


cya later Trump you dumb fuck!!!

I get the he-who-shall-not-be-named idea but I don't agree with it- I'd much rather openly slander & mock that whole family & ideology for as long as necessary.
posted by stinkfoot at 10:06 AM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Pet peeve of mine:

It’s “Amazing Grace,” not “Amay. Zingrace.” And he did it on every damn verse.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:07 AM on January 20 [18 favorites]


Someone must have built a Trump bot that's faithfully tweeting the flood of steaming tripe that he would be producing if he could.
posted by penguin pie at 10:08 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


I confess I am a very tiny bit sad I can't watch him melt down.

pretty sure it goes something like this ....
posted by philip-random at 10:08 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Don't give him what he wanted. Let's forget about him.

I’m in a red district in Colorado. Just a few nights ago, a giant doublecab truck with two huge flags on it passed me on the highway, and I thought, really? You’re still flying giant MAGA flags on your massive truck after a coup attempt and days before an inauguration? You’re just going to keep doubling down and there’s much awfulness and nothing ever changes and—

On closer look, I saw it was an absolutely enormous rainbow flag paired with an American flag.

We have so much work to do, but this brings me hope.
posted by mochapickle at 10:09 AM on January 20 [163 favorites]


Watching the CSPAN feed maybe an hour behind, and my goodness, a large group of adults, noone's shouting, or screaming racist threats, or threats to kill, or breaking things, or knocking someone's lights out, or flinging poop, or stealing, or setting things on fire, or spitting a stream of the stupidest lies ever concocted, everyone looks civil and as if they think words do after all have meanings that make a shared sense. It's been a long four years.

Wishing you all the best of luck, American Mefites, you've really been through a lot. Struggle always continues after the happy ending, which is just where stories choose to pause before the next plot twist. All the best to all of you and thanks for Metafilter. Thank you mods as well.

The Obama's though! *starry eyes*
posted by glasseyes at 10:13 AM on January 20 [25 favorites]


The first face I saw when I turned on my TV was Lady Gaga and I felt so, so much better about everything. And I feel even better now.

That list of executive actions expected today hits a lot of the very same priorities I have shouted about needing to happen on day one.

It's not that everything is all okay and fine now. But it's a hell of a lot better than it was yesterday.

Thank you to everyone who pushed back against the horrors of the last four years.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:13 AM on January 20 [20 favorites]


On the "Unity" thing.

My mental map has Joe consciously playing Good Cop. He's the one trying to convince you that if you play nice and cooperate, things will go OK for everybody involved.

Bad Cop is being played by the Secret Service, FBI and Justice Dept. Good Cop knows he can't do his job alone without Bad Cop. He's tight with Bad Cop, stays coordinated, makes sure each knows what the other's doing. He can't ruin the role he's built up, so he's got to stay cool and nice. Publicly admitting his relationship to Bad Cop can only happen once, he's got to save it for when Bad Cop's finished his job.
posted by at by at 10:17 AM on January 20 [66 favorites]


With luck, future students of history will learn that Donald Trump was the last president to deny climate science. What they will not necessarily realize is that his other crimes were so vast and so numerous, that to the electorate of 2020, this was almost an afterthought.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:20 AM on January 20 [15 favorites]


I'm definitely on team that we shouldn't name He Who is Fucked by name or try to reference him at all.

"Individual-1"
posted by mhoye at 10:20 AM on January 20 [23 favorites]


I didn't vote for Biden in the primary, but having been a US citizen for the last 50+ years, I think it's important to realize that 74 *million* people voted for Trump. We don't need to privilege those people, but there's no way to run the country for the next 4 years and just ignore/dodge those people, even if we don't like what they say on Facebook. That's why being president is hard - your duty is to be president to everyone, even those 74 million a**holes. Offering a vision where some of them shake it off and rejoin the mainstream is by far the superior choice to othering them all and having them get pissed off and vote in a bunch of Trumpists in 2 years. I don't excuse Trump votes, but as said in the previous threads, if you are very plugged-in to politics and assume that Trump voters know all the things you know and still voted for him because they suck, it might be good to dig into some polls and writing about how informed the electorate is (not very). US politics is like sports teams for a ton of people: "My dad was a Republican and so am I, so I checked straight ticket and went back to work."

I have plenty of days where I want to rub this in their faces and say "now it's YOUR turn to cry!" but that isn't going to happen, plus that's the Trumpy way of doing things. I sure as heck couldn't find anything in the speech to criticize; the proof will be in what happens for the next 4 years. We should all push for our own personal version of the best possible future, but we have to realize that for many of us, 300+ million people probably don't share that exact vision and may be perfectly happy with some watered-down version.

I have some friends on Facebook who are already spitting out a constant stream of links to things Biden did (or will do) wrong along with "AHA! You SEE!! He's a CORPORATE STOOGE!" Which ... flawed yes, but I don't see that leading to any useful change.
posted by freecellwizard at 10:21 AM on January 20 [40 favorites]


I wish I could be happier about today’s events, but in truth I’m sad about the hundreds of thousands of lives warped, destroyed and lost over the past four years, and by the hatred, greed, ignorance and bigotry which continues to drive millions of people in the United States, Canada and all over the world and which will have to continually guarded against and fought in the hope of building a better world. THAT SAID...today is a day of celebration and I hope everyone reading this finds some measure of peace, optimism, happiness and/or schadenfreude in the knowledge that Donald Trump is no longer the President of the United States. Fuck that guy.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:21 AM on January 20 [12 favorites]


The Underpants Monster:

Maybe next you can do something about “through the per-o-lis fight.”
posted by argybarg at 10:23 AM on January 20 [14 favorites]


> I commented that the photo was "the Berniest thing that ever Bernied" and Joyce Carol Oates retweeted my comment. Joyce Carol Freaking Oates, people.

I managed to get Joyce Carol Oates confused with Joyce Kilmer (“I think that I shall never see / A poem lovely as a tree”, yes, I know I blaspheme—I will sacrifice a fatted calf to the poetry gods in penance) and thought to myself, “Welp, it's all over, the Rapture has begun, the dead have risen and they're already on Twitter.”

> I can't be really enthused about Biden and Harris (although I am prepared to reevaluate if they rise to meet the times)

Biden I kinda expect to be a caretaker, but Harris has a steely glint in her eye, and I think the whole former-prosecutor thing might be an advantage in post-insurrection times.

I enjoyed watching her bat around Trump's cabinet nominees like a cat playing with mice in 2017 (unfortunately, as the smart ones like Sessions realized and took advantage of with a smirk, the five-minute limit completely hamstrung her—otherwise she would have twisted their little heads off) and I actually gave her name to an early cold-calling pollster in 2019 as my presidential pick, before some prompting on specific issues which reminded me of Liz Warren.

Speaking of good cop / bad cop, it's too bad we can't say “nudge-nudge, wink-wink, Dick Cheney” to her without it being more insurrection, no matter how subtle; even though, if that was democracy, how could anything Harris might do in the next four years not be? Have to hope everything works out in 2024, I guess.
posted by XMLicious at 10:23 AM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Y'all, there has been so much coverage of the inauguration on Fox News and do you know what POTUS tweeted about it? NOTHING BECAUSE HE IS A GROWN ASS ADULT THERE TO DO A SERIOUS JOB GODDAMN
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:24 AM on January 20 [66 favorites]


Another Biden executive order: dissolving the 1776 commission, which just issued a very hot take on Martin Luther King (Jacobin, WaPo, CNN, Ibram X. Kendi). An excerpt:
"A radical women's liberation movement reimagined America as a patriarchal system, asserting that every woman is a victim of oppression by men. The Black Power and black nationalist movements reimagined America as a white supremacist regime. Meanwhile, other activists constructed artificial groupings to further divide Americans by race, creating new categories like 'Asian American' and 'Hispanic' to teach Americans to think of themselves in terms of group identities and to rouse various groups into politically cohesive bodies."
I'm looking forward to a Biden administration that includes a lot of sensitivity training about white privilege and critical race theory.
posted by box at 10:25 AM on January 20 [43 favorites]


When does it get arrested? When do any of the states or feds pull the trigger? It's been an hour and a half already!
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:26 AM on January 20 [10 favorites]


Bad Cop is being played by the Secret Service, FBI and Justice Dept. Good Cop knows he can't do his job alone without Bad Cop. He's tight with Bad Cop, stays coordinated, makes sure each knows what the other's doing. He can't ruin the role he's built up, so he's got to stay cool and nice. Publicly admitting his relationship to Bad Cop can only happen once, he's got to save it for when Bad Cop's finished his job.

I don’t know how true this actually is, but an ex-sailor once told me that it’s a bit of a Navy tradition for the XO to be an asshole so the Captain can look like Mr. Nice Guy.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:26 AM on January 20 [20 favorites]


Kickin' off my soundtrack with a surprisingly apropos sort of homecoming. Will move on to rage against the machine for sure.
posted by riverlife at 10:26 AM on January 20


I think we know what an antifa rally at the capitol looks like after today.
posted by adept256 at 10:27 AM on January 20 [23 favorites]


I confess I am a very tiny bit sad I can't watch him melt down.

Did you not see his shambling walk of shame to the helicopter? It was like watching a very bratty and greedy child being firmly lead to a parent teacher conference by a resigned but checked-out mom or parent figure, where he's feeling very sorry for himself - for being caught - but also a little sick to his stomach that he stole and ate all of the fundraising candy while also regretting he couldn't or didn't eat any more of that sweet fundraising candy before getting caught despite also wanting desperately to throw up but now he can't because it would be vivid proof that he indeed ate all of that fundraising candy.

I've seen serious perp walks for federal felonies that looked more upbeat and jaunty than that.
posted by loquacious at 10:27 AM on January 20 [29 favorites]


is peak Jewish Dad Energy.

There are a lot of things I am sad about and many things I am excited for. Bernie is my senator, we are all loving him in Vermont today (as in most days) but having an actual Jewish Dad as the Second Gentleman is really making me verklempt today.
posted by jessamyn at 10:33 AM on January 20 [73 favorites]


I don’t know how true this actually is, but an ex-sailor once told me that it’s a bit of a Navy tradition for the XO to be an asshole so the Captain can look like Mr. Nice Guy.

Yeah of the CO, XO, and Command Master Chief, one has to be Bad Cop. It's usually the XO, and the CMC plays Dad (sometimes encouraging, sometimes disappointed in you). When you get a screamer for a CO, the XO switches to Good Cop, complete with the "come on, I'm only trying to help you 'cause you know what will happen if the old man has to get involved" schtick.
posted by ctmf at 10:33 AM on January 20 [24 favorites]


I, too, twitched a bit at some of the unity calls, with the fear of "paper over the real problems" and "treat Ted Cruz as a worthwhile member of society" being the chosen method of "unifying."
But, an inauguration ceremony really can't start with Chris Evans in Captain America costume backhanding Mitch McConnell into a wall. (Satisfying though that is to imagine.)
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 10:34 AM on January 20 [39 favorites]


an actual Jewish Dad
Does he in fact look like Tom Hanks or is it because the mask has half his face covered?
posted by glasseyes at 10:35 AM on January 20


Former-President Trump: What? I thought you said the Army was going to stop the inauguration and put me in charge again!
The MyPillow Guy: Don't worry, My Lord... I have a cunning plan...
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:35 AM on January 20 [38 favorites]


I confess I am a very tiny bit sad I can't watch him melt down.

I would be very happy to see nothing of him again except for trials, convictions, and warnings of how bad America can be.

I don't want parodies. I don't want impersonators. I don't give a damn who plays him in the HBO prestige series, which I don't want to watch anyway. While I get the importance of humor and memory, I feel like we can do that without still giving him more oxygen and more attention. We've had that bastard in our faces for far too long already.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:40 AM on January 20 [55 favorites]


Over on the Biden Inaugural channel we're watching the Bidens and Harris-Emhoffs review gifts in the Capitol.
posted by mdonley at 10:41 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


[A]n inauguration ceremony really can't start with Chris Evans in Captain America costume backhanding Mitch McConnell into a wall

Respectfully, citation needed.
posted by riverlife at 10:41 AM on January 20 [23 favorites]


Having Garth sing was like whatever the opposite of a dog whistle is: Red Staters... relax. This is fine. You will be fine.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:41 AM on January 20 [14 favorites]


> Everyone who is from an international background or loves someone from an international bg felt it when Sotomayor mispronounced Kamala's name and she softly sighed and repeated it back correctly.

Yes. And also, I've been on other side of silently repeating the correct pronunciation along with "don't screw it up, don't screw it up" and yet...hearing the wrong pronunciation fall from my mouth anyway. (Still spontaneously cringing over specific incidents from 20 years ago that no-one else remembers yep.)

> It’s “Amazing Grace,” not “Amay. Zingrace.” And he did it on every damn verse.

Thisssss. I shuddered a little, hearing the tsk tsk of all of my childhood church choir directors.
posted by desuetude at 10:42 AM on January 20 [16 favorites]


But, an inauguration ceremony really can't start with Chris Evans in Captain America costume backhanding Mitch McConnell into a wall. (Satisfying though that is to imagine.)

This sentence is getting me through listening to Mitch McConnell speak right now.
posted by Ruki at 10:42 AM on January 20 [15 favorites]


Voice Teacher Sam Harris reacts to Garth Brooks - "Amazing Grace"

Short version: Sam didn't hate it and talks about what Garth seemed to be trying to do with his performance.
posted by Lexica at 10:45 AM on January 20 [5 favorites]


I just wish Garth had sung better in tune.
posted by LooseFilter at 10:46 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Lexica,

I think your brain might have gotten a few words confused, because it looks like his name is Sam Johnson, based on his youtube, which was a relief, because I felt compelled to be all "Not to be confused with the shitty Sam Harris."

Thankfully, he looks like he doesn't actually share a name with that dingus.
posted by deadaluspark at 10:48 AM on January 20 [4 favorites]


On one of the CNN updates I learned that the Spanish version of whitehouse.gov was taken down four years ago.

IT'S BACK.

La Casa Blanca

I have already learned some new vocabulary words. ("fiscal general" / "Attorney General")

My friends, I can actually look at whitehouse.gov again.



For four years, my newfound interest in geography shrivelled up, because thinking about how the head of the nation head sneered at the rest of the world filled me with shame and despair.

I feel like we can forge friendships again.

I am filled with gratitude.
posted by kristi at 10:50 AM on January 20 [48 favorites]


All I know is my deeply religious Democrat mother in a deep red state who loves Garth Brooks (second only to George Strait) cried with happiness hearing his performance. If Democrats in red states feel better and less alone in their beliefs because of it I'm 100% on board.
posted by downtohisturtles at 10:50 AM on January 20 [66 favorites]


I'd like to think that Garth Brooks is secretly a MeFite and is sadly following this thread.
posted by star gentle uterus at 10:50 AM on January 20 [23 favorites]


This sentence is getting me through listening to Mitch McConnell speak right now.

He sounds just like Beck Bennett.
posted by Melismata at 10:50 AM on January 20 [3 favorites]


[sorry, Sam Johnson, as deadaluspark points out. don't try to type and read at the same time, kids]
posted by Lexica at 10:51 AM on January 20


We'll always have La Casa Blanca
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:52 AM on January 20 [19 favorites]


People sing A-MAY-ZING because you can't really sing the letter Z in an appealing way. Try it.
posted by argybarg at 10:53 AM on January 20 [3 favorites]


I know this is the Biden inauguration thread but how many hundreds, thousands were/are waiting to greet former President Trump in Florida??

A large and enthusiastic crowd of bailiffs and debt collectors gathered in Florida to greet Donald Trump as he stepped from Air Force One for the last time. [FAKE]
posted by Grangousier at 10:53 AM on January 20 [10 favorites]


Bad Cop is being played by the Secret Service, FBI and Justice Dept.

Speaking of which, fresh news on that front this afternoon:

Feds Arrest Proud Boy Member Joe Biggs Over Capitol Riot
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:54 AM on January 20 [23 favorites]


A may zing race is my next username.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:59 AM on January 20 [13 favorites]


Brooks's performance was fine. It was a touch of informality and casual church that the ceremony needed. Plus, "a-may-zing" is a great and ancient Baptist tradition. One of the few church traditions that should be upheld.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 11:00 AM on January 20 [8 favorites]


I'm glad we have this Garth Brooks thread
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:01 AM on January 20 [38 favorites]


People sing A-MAY-ZING because you can't really sing the letter Z in an appealing way. Try it.

In rebuttal, may I simply say:

Zuh zuh zuh zuh zuh. Zuh zuh zuh. Zuh zuh zuh zuh zuh zuh zuh.
posted by box at 11:02 AM on January 20 [4 favorites]


People sing A-MAY-ZING because you can't really sing the letter Z in an appealing way. Try it.

(Well, technically, good singing diction would soften the 'z' quite a bit, more along the lines of 'a-mays-ing', and definitely would have no breathe in the middle of the word 'amazing'.)
posted by LooseFilter at 11:02 AM on January 20 [6 favorites]


I never noticed before how cool the trombone part of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” is.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:02 AM on January 20 [7 favorites]


Obama sings Amay ... zing grace.

Art is subjective. I learnt to play this song on guitar in the liturgy band at my catholic high school 30 years ago. I know it backwards. The version I played today with Garth when he invited me to join in was more Hendrix than Aretha. It may glue your cat to the cieling. Your cat's not wrong if they don't like it, they're wrong if they assert there's a right way to play it.
posted by adept256 at 11:03 AM on January 20 [16 favorites]


What's up with the red coats who just marched by? Who are they?
posted by antinomia at 11:04 AM on January 20


I never noticed before how cool the trombone part of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” is.


As a currently inactive trombonist (one is never a "former" trombonist), I can say that "The Stars and Stripes Forever" is a lot of fun to play.
posted by JohnFromGR at 11:05 AM on January 20 [19 favorites]


QAnon is melting down in real time.
posted by rednikki at 11:05 AM on January 20 [54 favorites]


I've never heard it as not A-mah-zing grace. It's supposed to go otherwise?
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:06 AM on January 20 [6 favorites]


What's up with the red coats who just marched by? Who are they?

They’ve been heading home from Yorktown for 250 years, and this is as far as they’ve gotten. ;)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:06 AM on January 20 [26 favorites]


I went looking for the American Carnage speech. Google brings up the whitehouse.gov page for it as the first result. It is now a 404, Page Not Found.
posted by clawsoon at 11:06 AM on January 20 [5 favorites]


The Fascinating Anatomy of the Presidential Motorcade — Going inside the safest and most dangerous place on the road., The War Zone, Tyler Rogoway, 7/22/2016.
posted by cenoxo at 11:10 AM on January 20 [7 favorites]


Re: our freshly invigorated intra-Left sparring, I warmly imagine us as a team trying to help each other climb a very high cliff. I find it helpful once in a while, when we reach a small foothold, to look back down the hill and take a brief moment's satisfaction at how far we've come - before continuing the arduous, important climb.

The guy trying to pull the rope down is a complete asshole and we don't need to talk about him. But it's also challenging when a member of our own team can't let some of us acknowledge our progress thus far, just for a couple of minutes while we catch our breath.
posted by PhineasGage at 11:10 AM on January 20 [55 favorites]


I am unreasonably angry that my local garbage truck isn't coming today, due to MLK day. The thrill of seeing it collecting the garbage around noonish was too great not to want and cherish.

Oh well, onward.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:12 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


What's up with the red coats who just marched by? Who are they?

Old Guard Fife & Drum Corp. They were preceded by blue coated members of the Commander in Chief's Guard (they're all US Army 3rd Regiment.)

I suspect a lot of people were confused b/c the CINC Guard flag looks a lot like the EU flag.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:13 AM on January 20 [4 favorites]


> What's up with the red coats who just marched by? Who are they?

Old Guard Fife & Drum Corps
posted by Westringia F. at 11:14 AM on January 20 [5 favorites]


Have none of you ever been to freaking church, good lord, those first three syllabus by garth were on point

here's a comparison https://www.youtube.com/watch/aaKf6P2nhKg
posted by Caxton1476 at 11:14 AM on January 20 [5 favorites]


QAnon is melting down in real time.

Imagine being one of those people who stormed the Capitol and realizing today that: (1) you have been or are going to be arrested by the FBI on federal felony charges; (2) you aren't getting a pardon; and (3) all of your fellow cultists have already denounced you as liberal impostors.
posted by star gentle uterus at 11:14 AM on January 20 [70 favorites]


International reactions

I like what the EU Commission President said (the US is back!).
posted by JenMarie at 11:15 AM on January 20 [3 favorites]


If you're not following Ella Emhoff (VP Harris's stepdaughter) in Instagram, you need to follow her on Instagram.
posted by schoolgirl report at 11:16 AM on January 20 [13 favorites]


License plate drama: the Presidential limo has the license plate “46”. But they were also prepared with a plate that said “47” in case Pence stepped in after January 6. Per Chuck Todd on NBC
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:16 AM on January 20 [50 favorites]


i already left but someone please let me know if the trump administration has a post-credits scene and i'll look for it on youtube
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 11:17 AM on January 20 [21 favorites]


and realizing today that:

This isn't a video game, or a Sunday football game. It's not over just because you went home. It's real, and you have really fucked your life up. And a felony conviction DOES mean you have to give up your guns, and you did it to your own damn self. For a phony grifter.
posted by ctmf at 11:18 AM on January 20 [60 favorites]


If I may quibble, he's a genuine grifter. He's a phony everything-else.
posted by wabbittwax at 11:21 AM on January 20 [30 favorites]


Earlier today in the insult thread I made a wordcloud of that fuckwit's utterances.

Since I have the software running already, here's the wordcloud of Biden's speech.
posted by adept256 at 11:22 AM on January 20 [27 favorites]


if the trump administration has a post-credits scene - here it is
posted by Lanark at 11:23 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Apologies for the length.

Amanda Gorman, "The Hill We Climb"

When day comes we ask ourselves,
Where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade
We braved the belly of the beast
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace
And the norms and notions
of what just is
Isn’t always just-ice.
And yet the dawn is ours
before we knew it
Somehow we do it
Somehow we weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn’t broken
but simply unfinished
We the successors of a country and a time
Where a skinny black girl
Descended from slaves and raised by a single mother
Can dream of becoming president
Only to find herself reciting for one.
And yes we are far from polished
far from pristine
But that doesn’t mean that we are
striving to form a union that is perfect.
We are striving to forge our union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colours, characters and
conditions of man.
And so we lift our gaze not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know to put our future first
We must first put our differences aside
We lay down our arms
So we can reach out our arms
To one another.
We seek harm to none and harmony for all.
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew
That even as we hurt, we hoped
That even as we tired, we tried.
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious.
Not because we will never again know defeat
But because we will never again sow division.
Scripture tells us to envision
That everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
And no one shall make them afraid.
If we’re to live up to our own time
Then victory won’t lie in the blade
But in all the bridges we’ve made
That is the promise to glade
The hill we climb
If only we dare.
Because being American is more than a pride we inherit
It’s the past we step into
And how we repair it.
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation
Rather than share it
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.
And this effort very nearly succeeded.
But while democracy can be periodically delayed,
it can never be permanently defeated.
In this truth,
in this faith we trust
For while we have our eyes on the future,
history has its eyes on us.
This is the era of just redemption.
We feared at its inception
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour
but within it we found the power
to author a new chapter.
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves.
So while we once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?,
Now we assert
How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was
but move to what shall be.
A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free.
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation.
Our blunders become their burdens.
But one thing is certain;
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children’s birthright.
So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with.
Every breath from my bronze pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
We will rise from the windswept northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution.
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,
we will rise from the sunbaked south.
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
and every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge
battered and beautiful.
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid,
The new dawn blooms as we free it.
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 11:25 AM on January 20 [183 favorites]


Have none of you ever been to freaking church, good lord, those first three syllabus by garth were on point

In every church I’ve ever attended, we’ve sung the words as written.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:27 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Have none of you ever been to freaking church, good lord

....no?
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 11:27 AM on January 20 [52 favorites]


Eponysterical
posted by wabbittwax at 11:28 AM on January 20 [32 favorites]


I'd quite like to go to freaking church. Sounds like fun.
posted by Grangousier at 11:32 AM on January 20 [20 favorites]


Tweet: Restoration of Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments to be ordered today at 5:15 pm

Which follows the expectation Biden would restore it. National Geographic article on the expected restoration.

One of the first things I did when Trump won in 2016 was donate to the Southern Utah Wilderness Association because I knew terrible things were coming. I can't tell you how ecstatic I am the monuments will be saved.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 11:36 AM on January 20 [83 favorites]


I don't want parodies. I don't want impersonators. I don't give a damn who plays him in the HBO prestige series, which I don't want to watch anyway. While I get the importance of humor and memory, I feel like we can do that without still giving him more oxygen and more attention. We've had that bastard in our faces for far too long already.

An appropriate way to dramatize these years would be to never show him onscreen. You'd witness all the people around him (and those looking up to him) acting without humanity, acting against the interests of the country, and acting against even their own self-interest. So many people choosing disgrace, for a void of a man.
posted by bendybendy at 11:38 AM on January 20 [55 favorites]


QAnon is melting down in real time.

The schadenfreude is great but the way the NYT article is written bugs me, like there's a normalizing tone in how it discusses Q's wild insanity.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:38 AM on January 20 [5 favorites]


My gosh, we have a female Vice President who was born in Oakland and is half Black and half Desi.
Just gonna let that be the Thought of the Day.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:41 AM on January 20 [29 favorites]


The staff notation should really settle the Amazing Grace debate. But it probably won't.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 11:42 AM on January 20 [8 favorites]


It's not that people don't sing "a-may-zing." It's that Mr. Brooks had a particularly strong emphasis on the ZING as a Very Separate Syllable. We often soften the z and elide it a little more.
posted by desuetude at 11:44 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


i already left but someone please let me know if the trump administration has a post-credits scene and i'll look for it on youtube

I'm waiting for it to fade to black, then a list of names with how much time they got in prison.
posted by adept256 at 11:44 AM on January 20 [23 favorites]


My gosh, we have a female Vice President who was born in Oakland and is half Black and half Desi.

I never thought I'd live to see a VP from Oakland.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:45 AM on January 20 [14 favorites]


no disrespect to the estate of laura branigan, but gloria as the soundtrack for the empty stage and the lone helicopter flying in and taxiing is glorious: "if everybody wants you why isn't anybody calling?"
posted by 20 year lurk at 11:45 AM on January 20 [31 favorites]


Like, a-mays-ziiiing GRACE. Rather than a-may ZING GRACE.
posted by desuetude at 11:47 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]






We’re having pancakes for dinner because why the fuck not.
posted by Happy Dave at 11:51 AM on January 20 [18 favorites]


> Also from The War Zone 1/19/2021, The Ultimate Guide To Surveillance Aircraft Available To Help Safeguard The Inauguration.

They should have handed out playing cards with silhouettes on them.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:54 AM on January 20 [3 favorites]


I'm waiting for it to fade to black, then a list of names with how much time they got in prison.

"Eric Trump never returned from a trip to Mexico to see a donkey show. He is rumored to be somewhere on the Yucatán living under the alias of José García after a white guy who couldn't properly pronounce his own name surfaced there."
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 11:54 AM on January 20 [12 favorites]


It's not that people don't sing "a-may-zing." It's that Mr. Brooks had a particularly strong emphasis on the ZING as a Very Separate Syllable. We often soften the z and elide it a little more.

For me it’s the giant pause in the middle of the word, as if “amazing” were two words instead of one.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:55 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


There are two notes on the one syllable "zing" so you do always hear an inflection, but Brooks *actually inhaled* between Amay and Zing. That's the unnecessary/annoying/overemphasized part.

I was IM'ing with my sister during the inauguration (oh happy day!), and she (who literally has a degree in vocal performance) called it to my attention and then I could not unhear it for the rest of the song.

But whatever, it was a nice ceremony to mark a profoundly important transition.
posted by mark k at 11:58 AM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: amazing beanplating
posted by kokaku at 11:58 AM on January 20 [55 favorites]


Today doesn't begin to undo the last four years, but it might be a start.

Hope is a good feeling. Being able to breathe a little easier is a good feeling.

We can enjoy today, and tomorrow we can push Dems to hold the right wing accountable for the carnage they've caused and the hundreds of thousands of deaths they are directly responsible for.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:59 AM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Ahmad Khani: "Apologies for the length.

Amanda Gorman, "The Hill We Climb"
"

No need to apologize, it's the perfect length.
posted by chavenet at 11:59 AM on January 20 [23 favorites]


Re: our freshly invigorated intra-Left sparring, I warmly imagine us as a team trying to help each other climb a very high cliff. I find it helpful once in a while, when we reach a small foothold, to look back down the hill and take a brief moment's satisfaction at how far we've come - before continuing the arduous, important climb.

The guy trying to pull the rope down is a complete asshole and we don't need to talk about him. But it's also challenging when a member of our own team can't let some of us acknowledge our progress thus far, just for a couple of minutes while we catch our breath.


I think the issue is this analogy falls apart because there really isn't one team. There are lots of different groups with very different priorities and equally divergent views of history, the current reality, and the future.

As a result, one group's idea of a small foothold or a brief moment's satisfaction is very different from another group's ideas of the same thing, never mind the far greater divergence in what all these groups view as reaching the summit. This dynamic becomes even more amplified and charged when there are stark differences in marginalization and privilege. Hell, there are groups that proudly used to do the marginalizing. Some still do.

But I don't think that this variety is inherently a problem. Politics and organizing are both ultimately systems of navigating compromises and persuading others who have different beliefs and priorities. Given what a lot of people of color, particularly organizers, have been through over the last three decades, I hope it is understandable that many of us can celebrate and worry at the same time (even if the proportions may be wildly different from the people who are feeling mostly unadulterated joy).

That said, the more executive orders Biden signs to overturn Trump's awfulness (and correct the awfulness that came before), I might just start feeling a small sense of joy sooner than later. Fortunately for my own health, it's looking like he will.
posted by Ouverture at 12:00 PM on January 20 [18 favorites]


For me it’s the giant pause in the middle of the word, as if “amazing” were two words instead of one.

I find that the giant pause happens because people frequently run out of breath if they hold that sustained whole note ("Amaaaaaaaaaaaaa-zing Gra-" (gasp) - "aaaaace.....") so it's a cheat some people do ("A-may" (sneak a breath) "zing grace....)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:00 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]




no disrespect to the estate of laura branigan, but gloria as the soundtrack for the empty stage and the lone helicopter flying in and taxiing is glorious: "if everybody wants you why isn't anybody calling?"

From a friend this morning:

Donald Trump
Don't you think you're gloatin'?
If everybody wants you
Why isn't everybody votin'?
You don't have to answer
Lead a fucking insurrection, ohh
Cause you're Donald Trump
posted by dlugoczaj at 12:03 PM on January 20 [11 favorites]


Metafilter: amazing beanplating

It is beanplating, but kind of not too, because small differences like 'mays' instead of 'mayzzz' and not breathing mid-word, help make the song and its text land more meaningfully to listeners; it's literally the sum of a bunch of technical differences, more than anything else, that makes one singer amazing and compelling and another kind of meh, even singing the same song with the same enthusiasm. Garth Brooks wasn't singing in his living room or in church, he was singing for the whole country, and so, you know, maybe some expectations aren't entirely misplaced? It just could have been a more effective performance, fairly easily (and more to the standard of Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, frankly).
posted by LooseFilter at 12:05 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


The whole soundtrack from the link 20 Year Lurk posted is just bonkers. Around the 21 minute mark, they climb into the plane while "YMCA" is playing. At 27 minutes, AF1 taxis and takes off to "My Way".

I've long suspected Trump's music / sound person absolutely hates their boss, and this just settles it. They got one last chance to stick the dagger in, and gave Trump the cheesy, dignity-free exit he deserved.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 12:05 PM on January 20 [9 favorites]


My Way was played at the 2016 Inaugural Ball
posted by fluttering hellfire at 12:07 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Is anyone else suddenly really tired, though? I'm relieved and a little less perma-tense now that it has Officially Happened, but whew.
posted by desuetude at 12:09 PM on January 20 [32 favorites]


At this point I'm resentful at saving anything else in my firefox trump2021 folder, but this (Why Donald Trump Will Never Admit Defeat by Judith Butler) is very good and for me an antidote to Beau of the 5th column's analysis quoted further up the thread; which analysis claims lack of privilege/education, not white supremacism bolstered by ahistorical myths, is an adequate explanation for trumpism. It really isn't, and in the face of the realities of voter suppression and gerrymandering by usa republicans, Beau's arguments are kind of insulting.

(Trump) is just not the kind of guy who loses, and if he does, then someone took what was rightfully his. But there is a further twist. The white supremacists who stormed the Capitol are also convinced not only that the elections were stolen, but their country as well, that they are being “replaced” ... their racism fights against the idea that they are being asked to lose their idea of white entitlement and supremacy. To this end, they transport themselves back in time to become Confederate soldiers, they occupy fantasy figures on video games with superhuman powers, they dress as animals and bear guns openly, reliving the “wild west” and its genocide of indigenous peoples.

... And it may also be that Trump’s own final killing spree, taking the lives of 13 people since federal executions resumed in July 2020, is another example of the readiness to kill that marks these final days. Where there is a ready-made refusal to acknowledge the loss of lives, killing presumably becomes easier.


Worth reading and a bit more of a clear-eyed analysis than many.
posted by glasseyes at 12:10 PM on January 20 [13 favorites]


I gotta say, as disrespectful as it was for Trump not to attend the Inauguration, I was so happy not to have to look at him. And who knows what nonense he might have tried. And even if he didn't try anything, no doubt he would have sat there, arms crossed, looking petulant.

Good riddance!
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 12:11 PM on January 20 [71 favorites]


Is there a place one can go to see what executive orders 46 is doing/done today? I'd love to see the filth starting to be raked back.
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:11 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


The first 3 years of Trump felt like 8, the last year felt like another 8.
posted by rikschell at 12:11 PM on January 20 [28 favorites]




In a pod deep in some lobbying firm's offices, Paul Ryan starts to come out of hypersleep

I'm a few hours late with my response, but Paul Ryan is there at the Inauguration. I'm not sure if we seated behind or in front of the President, but there are pictures of him hanging out talking to people below the dais before the ceremony started.
posted by sideshow at 12:14 PM on January 20


I mean, I know there's rejoicing today and a huge sense of relief but this strange reluctance to impute bad motivation to people who do bad things is going be a big element of the feared future political sanitisation talked about up thread. this is a ref to the quotes i posted above
posted by glasseyes at 12:15 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


rednikki: QAnon is melting down in real time.

From one of those links, the person who some think might be Q is saying:
We gave it our all. Now we need to keep our chins up and go back to our lives as best we are able. We have a new president sworn in and it is our responsibility as citizens to respect the Constitution regardless of whether or not we agree with the specifics or details regarding officials who are sworn in.
As we enter into the next administration please remember all the friends and happy memories we made together over the past few years.
It's literally "the real Q is the friends we made along the way." (And the friends who were made along the way are understandably pissed.)
posted by clawsoon at 12:15 PM on January 20 [71 favorites]


I gotta say, as disrespectful as it was for Trump not to attend the Inauguration, I was so happy not to have to look at him. And who knows what nonsense he might have tried. And even if he didn't try anything, no doubt he would have sat there, arms crossed, looking petulant.

Yeah, the mental space that available to chuckle about Bernie and his mittens would have been filled by images of Trump pouting. We definitely came out of this ahead.
posted by mark k at 12:15 PM on January 20 [45 favorites]


oh hey sorry I'm late, couldn't stop weeping that an openly bisexual person sang the national anthem at a presidential inauguration, among other things
posted by Cookiebastard at 12:17 PM on January 20 [50 favorites]


Bye bye doomscrolling.
posted by azpenguin at 12:21 PM on January 20 [12 favorites]


#HopeScrolling
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 12:22 PM on January 20 [25 favorites]


soundtrack: all those songs were also played at the pre-insurrection as interstitial spin-up music.
posted by 20 year lurk at 12:22 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


>> QAnon is melting down in real time.

> Imagine being one of those people who stormed the Capitol and realizing today that: (1) you have been or are going to be arrested by the FBI on federal felony charges; (2) you aren't getting a pardon; and (3) all of your fellow cultists have already denounced you as liberal impostors.

We should clink our beer steins full of their tears, but remember that Millenarian cults not only frequently get along just fine with the world not ending on the date foretold, but can often weather multiple cycles of lame excuses that a mistake was made in the Moon lawyer astrology calculations, just wait a sec, followed by another failed prediction.

And of course, QAnon's idol is the small, small, man, but is also the expert in lame excuses and repeated public failure to a degree that would lethally embarrass most sentient creatures with normal shame organs; so they're conditioned for this.
posted by XMLicious at 12:22 PM on January 20 [11 favorites]


Yeah, what are we going to do with all this free time?

EDIT: Okay, COVID doomscrolling is still a thing, but...
posted by Windopaene at 12:23 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: amazing beanplating

It's sung "beanplate-ing" not "beanplay-ting"
posted by jason_steakums at 12:23 PM on January 20 [104 favorites]


Garth Brooks was fine. Y'all need to chill out.
posted by all about eevee at 12:24 PM on January 20 [46 favorites]


This whole pronunciation derail is really tedious.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 12:25 PM on January 20 [77 favorites]


"A mirror just fell off my wall and busted. Thanks a lot, Biden"

(overheard on the internet)
posted by philip-random at 12:26 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


I liked Garth Brooks! It was kind of weird watching from home, with the crowd not miked and wearing masks, when he said "sing along" it just looked like everyone was kind of staring at him.
posted by Cookiebastard at 12:26 PM on January 20 [9 favorites]


Congratulations, America. All is not won, but at least all is not lost.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 12:26 PM on January 20 [15 favorites]


Where a skinny black girl
Descended from slaves and raised by a single mother
Can dream of becoming president
Only to find herself reciting for one.


I'm not the only one who saw this as a reference to Harris (and of course the poet laureate herself), yes??? I'm so confused by comments upthread that it was a reference to Barack Obama!
posted by MiraK at 12:26 PM on January 20 [13 favorites]


It's the infamous Democratic circular choiring squad.
posted by clawsoon at 12:26 PM on January 20 [78 favorites]


(we sang along at home.)
posted by Cookiebastard at 12:27 PM on January 20 [5 favorites]


Did not live thread today but I'd just like to add my personal (and quite universal): WHEW!
posted by sammyo at 12:27 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Millenarian cults not only frequently get along just fine with the world not ending on the date foretold, but can often weather multiple cycles of lame excuses

old enough to remember x day.
posted by 20 year lurk at 12:29 PM on January 20 [8 favorites]


This whole pronunciation derail is really tedious.

If this is what our infighting is going to look like, tap me in.

This is how I play it.
posted by adept256 at 12:29 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


The Daily 202: Amanda Gorman's first political memory was her mom reading her her Miranda Rights
Gorman: No one’s ever asked me that before! My first political memory? I would say it wouldn’t be anything like being at a protest or anything like that. It would be: When I was really young my mother would read me my Miranda Rights and make sure I knew them. My mom was not playing around.

When you are a black child growing up in America, our parents have to have what’s called ‘the talk’ with us. Except it’s not about the birds and the bees and our changing bodies, it’s about the potential destruction of our bodies.

My mom wanted to make sure I was prepared to grow up with black skin in America, and that was my first awakening to the political climate I was stepping into.

posted by Glinn at 12:30 PM on January 20 [78 favorites]


I'm not the only one who saw this as a reference to Harris (and of course the poet laureate herself), yes??? I'm so confused by comments upthread that it was a reference to Barack Obama!

It's Gorman, and Biden. The author, Amanda Gorman is the skinny black girl. And she can dream of becoming president. And she was reciting that poem, in front of a president, Biden. I mean, also Obama and Bush and Clinton really but, like, mostly Biden.
posted by nushustu at 12:30 PM on January 20 [8 favorites]


I'm okay with the calls for "tolerance and unity" as long as the context is, "hey nazi-esque alt-righter qanoners, or whatever you're calling yourselves today: put down your guns and quit using racist slurs and join us--all of us, even the ones you think are pathetic or useless--at the table, and we'll work together to build a country where we can all thrive."

I am NOT okay with it meaning "you just keep doing what you've been doing and that'll be okay." That's not tolerance and unity; it's submission.

We can move forward toward unity. We can even do some measure of setting aside the past. We can't do "eh, we'll ignore the harm you caused in past AND you get to keep doing more of it."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:30 PM on January 20 [23 favorites]


I'm glad I closed my PredictIt account after badly whiffing on the 2016 presidential election. I would have been wrong about almost everything since then.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 12:33 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Sorry to bug those here who may not read Metatalk: Can someone point me to the article (NY Magazine or Atlantic?) that (I'm pretty sure) was posted here somewhere, specifically about T's dealings in Manhattan real estate? It was a complete history of his dealings there and went into great detail. It may have been a full biographical profile, but it definitely went into all the ins and outs of his Manhattan, er, projects. It's hard to Google.

I'm looking for it because I remember the part where they describe how he just slunk away after the NY folks had enough of him, and I think there was a great quote along the lines of "he may yell and scream a lot, but he goes away quietly since he's such a coward." Thank you!!
posted by Melismata at 12:34 PM on January 20


I cautiously feel like I can move out of 2016 now. This has been the longest year ever.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:35 PM on January 20 [15 favorites]


I struggle to put words to feelings a lot, or to explain how I suss out logic, and I just want to say thank you, so much, to everyone who has beautifully talked about Biden's use of the word unity, and how unity doesn't mean forgetting, or allowing terrible things to continue to happen. I think a lot about forgiveness in Quakerism, and how it doesn't mean letting one who did wrong go without making amends; I see Biden's call to unity the same. Wrongs must be atoned for, and there's no promise of forgiveness, but there's trying, and there's banding together to protect the most vulnerable.
I'm going to be re-reading a lot of comments, I think, so I can use my words.
posted by kalimac at 12:36 PM on January 20 [25 favorites]


old enough to remember x day.

But, it lead to XXX Day, so being wrong was worth it.

Memberships are two for one now, if anyone wants to join up with Bob.
posted by sideshow at 12:39 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


> The author, Amanda Gorman is the skinny black girl.

So was Harris! Harris used to be a skinny black girl, Harris is descended from slaves, Harris was raised by a single mom, Harris dreamed of becoming president. I was confused by this comment upthread which said Obama was the skinny black kid (sic) being alluded to.

> And she was reciting that poem, in front of a president

Yes, this is the line which cast the preceding lines in new meaning (for me, at least). Until this line I had been thinking that the preceding lines only referred to Harris, but now the poet laureate was talking about herself. It was gorgeous, she was gorgeous, my heart is so full.
posted by MiraK at 12:39 PM on January 20 [9 favorites]


This whole pronunciation derail is really tedious.

How do I pronounce it? Like this.
posted by phunniemee at 12:39 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Hawaii is of course five hours behind DC and I'm pleased to report that at work today, virtually every morning message I've received has quoted Gorman. Every message I've sent, too.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:43 PM on January 20 [7 favorites]


I'm just surprised and relieved that there wasn't a last-minute blanket pardon for everyone involved in the capitol riots.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:43 PM on January 20 [26 favorites]


Megan Amram@meganamram
Today was the day Donald trump finally became president
8:48 AM · Jan 20, 2021·Twitter Web App
3.9K Retweets 484 Quote Tweets 49.4K Likes
posted by Ahmad Khani at 12:44 PM on January 20 [14 favorites]


Not taking any chances, the Secret Service is keeping everyone in their limousines today? Guess not...
posted by cenoxo at 12:45 PM on January 20


I'm just surprised and relieved that there wasn't a last-minute blanket pardon for everyone involved in the capitol riots.

Biden still became POTUS. One constant with Trump is that he has never ever come through for the little people he considers "losers".
posted by sideshow at 12:47 PM on January 20 [11 favorites]


Thank you all MetaFilter friends. I'm very isolated here and depressingly, my internet has been very wobbly today. But but I have been able to read and reload this thread, and thus follow what happened (and I went to town to buy soap during the President's inauguration speech, so I heard that on the radio, in his own voice). The speech was good, IMO.

If not for you, I would not have heard of Amanda Gorman's poem for days. How can someone be so young and so mature? What a poem for our age, for the ages.

When I was in the store, I bought a bottle of prosecco on impulse. Now I'm going to open it and bring a toast for America, congratulations friends! Now lets get back to work.
posted by mumimor at 12:48 PM on January 20 [68 favorites]


please let me know if the trump administration has a post-credits scene

INTERIOR OF TAXI: NIGHT

MAN (looking at watch)
Well, I'll give Trump twenty more minutes to concede, but that's it!
posted by dannyboybell at 12:51 PM on January 20 [29 favorites]


From one of those links, the person who some think might be Q is saying:
We gave it our all. Now we need to keep our chins up and go back to our lives as best we are able. We have a new president sworn in and it is our responsibility as citizens to respect the Constitution regardless of whether or not we agree with the specifics or details regarding officials who are sworn in.
Sounds to me like federal law enforcement spoke with Ronald Watkins, and his post is an attempt to avoid some serious legal trouble going forward....
posted by LooseFilter at 12:54 PM on January 20 [16 favorites]


Jon Stewart! I miss you!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:55 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


I'd like to be sure that his name goes down in history as a synonym for failure, bigotry, and corruption.

I stand by what I said previously on the subject.
posted by nickmark at 12:57 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Jon Stewart! I miss you!

Where is this airing? If you have a youtube link, I'd appreciated it. I tried a few different ones and can't find it.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 12:58 PM on January 20


Official Inauguration Youtube Feed

Jon Stewart did a small cameo right after the Bidens arrive at the WH
posted by mrjohnmuller at 1:00 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Where is this airing?

I'm finding it here.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:01 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Parades always make me teary. And I was a State Dept. brat, not a military brat, but seeing the DOD kids definitely got me.
posted by PussKillian at 1:01 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


https://bideninaugural.org/watch/ is showing all the things, in general.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:01 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


the author, Amanda Gorman is the skinny black girl.

Yes - and yes also that it was an allusion to Harris, and that the president is Biden, but also yes that it's Obama because it's a terrific reference to the 2004 speech that brought Obama to national attention ("The hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too").

Poetry is great like that! It's everything, all at once!
posted by nickmark at 1:06 PM on January 20 [63 favorites]


There is no unity without justice.
posted by Manic Pixie Hollow at 1:07 PM on January 20 [12 favorites]


I got my country back.
posted by clavdivs at 1:11 PM on January 20 [15 favorites]


I'm just surprised and relieved that there wasn't a last-minute blanket pardon for everyone involved in the capitol riots.

I imagine he was told that a sure fire way to convince any wavering Senator that he did, in fact, incite the insurrection would be to pardon everyone who took part...
posted by deeker at 1:12 PM on January 20 [8 favorites]


I got my country back.

As is, no warranty. Gonna be a fixer-upper, but she's got real good potential.
posted by ctmf at 1:14 PM on January 20 [36 favorites]


As is, no warranty. Gonna be a fixer-upper, but she's got real good potential.

Something something infrastructure week(s)
posted by Special Agent Dale Cooper at 1:22 PM on January 20 [11 favorites]


There' too much talking for me in this virtual parade/concert, but Andra Day singing "Rise Up" as a young girl skated across a BLM mural had me a little teary.
posted by tavella at 1:24 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


OK so now I managed to see some video.
Amanda Gorman is just amazing.

A good reminder that Lady Gaga can actually sing. But in a way I found Jennifer Lopez more moving. Part of it was the obvious that she is Hispanic and spoke in Spanish. But it meant a lot to me that she sang This Land is my Land, because as a military brat who went to progressive American schools long before I actually came to America, this has always been a song filled with hope and love. And for some reason, her cheesy rendition felt very authentic to me. For todays dreamers, that old folk version would perhaps be weird.

About the choice of songs for the Trump-exit thing. Trump has consistently been about the dark mirror. Every single thing he has said, tweeted or done has been a sinister reversal of something meaningful and important. The birther stuff. The talk about fake news. The snake poem. The call for the death penalty for innocent youths. And even down to the choice of music, where he has consistently appropriated music with the exact opposite meaning of that he gives it.
Some day I might write 10.000 word about this, but right now my keyboard is killing me. (So thank my keyboard ;-))
posted by mumimor at 1:27 PM on January 20 [23 favorites]


The parade across America has me unexpectedly weepy. I love all the stories about connecting despite everything going on, and the window into all these communities and organizations coming together.
posted by Torosaurus at 1:27 PM on January 20 [11 favorites]


As is, no warranty. Gonna be a fixer-upper, but she's got real good potential.

*slaps roof*

You can fit a whole lotta hope in this bad boy.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:29 PM on January 20 [47 favorites]


Aw, this is like the Parade of States from the DNC, where I'm oddly patriotic and I love our weirdo states! I'll have to go back and watch from the start.
posted by kalimac at 1:29 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Ctrl+f "the horse has left the hospital."

Really? No one? Not one "you dumb fucking horse" joke? Metafilter, I expected better.
posted by brook horse at 1:33 PM on January 20 [22 favorites]


As is, no warranty. Gonna be a fixer-upper, but she's got real good potential.

She's tore up plenty, but she'll fly true.
posted by vers at 1:34 PM on January 20 [31 favorites]


I just tuned in and this parade is getting to me. I love this country, let's do this together.

(By this I mean punch fascists.)
posted by muddgirl at 1:34 PM on January 20 [12 favorites]


Someone made the horse joke in MetaTalk. I laughed.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:37 PM on January 20 [5 favorites]


I got my country back.

I got my country back (yeah)
Those Q Anons don't know how to act (yeah)
Forty five just snuck right out the back (yeah)
AG James'll get him on his tax
posted by bfranklin at 1:37 PM on January 20 [5 favorites]


I'm looking at Amanda Gorman's twitter feed, which is pretty great. For the reading she wore a ring with a caged bird in honor of Maya Angelou that Oprah Winfrey gave her, and she asked Lin-Manuel Miranda if he noticed the Hamilton references.
posted by trig at 1:38 PM on January 20 [12 favorites]


Someone made the horse joke in MetaTalk. I laughed.

Oh hat tip to Mchelly then. I was worried for a moment there.

Let me include this one as well.
posted by brook horse at 1:38 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


> An appropriate way to dramatize these years would be to never show him onscreen. You'd witness all the people around him (and those looking up to him) acting without humanity, acting against the interests of the country, and acting against even their own self-interest. So many people choosing disgrace, for a void of a man.

Trump is extremely protective and litigious about his brand -- his name and his face. It'll be impossible to make a docudrama about the Trump presidency without his explicit approval, which I assume will be attached with demands that reduce it to a ludicrously fictitious hagiography.
posted by at by at 1:38 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


National Archives launches website for Trump Presidential Library - POLITICO (politico.com)
The National Archives and Records Administration launched a website for the Donald J. Trump Presidential Library on Wednesday, shortly after President Joe Biden's inauguration.

The new site features a compilation of archived White House websites and social media accounts used by Trump administration officials, such as the @POTUS and @FLOTUS Twitter handles. It also has information on how to access Trump administration records.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:40 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


> An appropriate way to dramatize these years would be to never show him onscreen. You'd witness all the people around him (and those looking up to him) acting without humanity, acting against the interests of the country, and acting against even their own self-interest. So many people choosing disgrace, for a void of a man.

Trump is extremely protective and litigious about his brand -- his name and his face. It'll be impossible to make a docudrama about the Trump presidency without his explicit approval, which I assume will be attached with demands that reduce it to a ludicrously fictitious hagiography.


Or simply wait until after he dies.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 1:42 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


[ Judge Judy gif ]
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:43 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]



Trump is extremely protective and litigious about his brand -- his name and his face. It'll be impossible to make a docudrama about the Trump presidency without his explicit approval


It is my understanding that, insofar as the work is not libellous, Trump has no say over any biography, whether documentary or fiction. His approval is not necessary, just as it was not necessary for countless prior biopics (or docudrama, as in The Social Network). This is a basic first amendment right.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 1:45 PM on January 20 [29 favorites]


Who can afford the court costs though?

(Probably not twice-impeached ex-president, but...)
posted by Windopaene at 1:46 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


> An appropriate way to dramatize these years would be to never show him onscreen. You'd witness all the people around him (and those looking up to him) acting without humanity, acting against the interests of the country, and acting against even their own self-interest. So many people choosing disgrace, for a void of a man.

Trump is extremely protective and litigious about his brand -- his name and his face. It'll be impossible to make a docudrama about the Trump presidency without his explicit approval, which I assume will be attached with demands that reduce it to a ludicrously fictitious hagiography.

Or simply wait until after he dies.
this, or make him spend and grind. entail him in endless, fruitless actions that are ruinously expensive
posted by Caxton1476 at 1:48 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Trump is extremely protective and litigious about his brand -- his name and his face. It'll be impossible to make a docudrama about the Trump presidency without his explicit approval, which I assume will be attached with demands that reduce it to a ludicrously fictitious hagiography.


I mentioned in a megathread ages ago that some people here, and in Germany, can't pronounce Trump. Instead they say something like Drumpf, which I think is the original family name. Just saying. BTW, many of these people are pro-trump. I don't know what that means, but it does have some interesting connotations...
posted by mumimor at 1:48 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Who can afford the court costs though?

Amazon Prime.
posted by nobody at 1:48 PM on January 20 [18 favorites]


An appropriate way to dramatize these years would be to never show him onscreen. You'd witness all the people around him (and those looking up to him) acting without humanity, acting against the interests of the country, and acting against even their own self-interest. So many people choosing disgrace, for a void of a man.

Basically like an adult from a Peanuts special. All off-screen Trump would say is "wah wah wahwah wah wah" and everyone (especially the NYT) would pretend to know what he was saying.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:48 PM on January 20 [19 favorites]


Not thrilled about the announcer’s use of the phrase “dream deferred” to refer to postponing the Olympics.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:48 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Harris is swearing in her replacement and the GA Senators.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:50 PM on January 20 [36 favorites]


How did they film the Parade Across America? These are clearly filmed professionally? Did they just hire local camera crews to film there? Did they send crews all over the US to film? Did a lot of these group travel to a single location for filming? (I'm mainly talking about a lot of the drill teams who have multiple cameras/angles).
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 1:50 PM on January 20


And Bernie is still wearing those mittens in the chamber.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:51 PM on January 20 [11 favorites]


I did not think I would feel this emotional. I thought I topped out when I saw the Obama inaugural and more importantly his victory scene in Grant Park. I was there. That was my first time being able to vote after becoming a new citizen in Jan 2008.

But this tops it. Both the fact that I am seeing a half-Tamilian as a VP; and the inauguration of Biden amidst all the absolute malarkey of the last 14 days.

I knew that Trump was not going to quietly; but I don't think that insurrection was something I thought I would ever see. Coming from a country that routinely witnessed post election (and pre election and election day) violence; I never thought I would see that here. Too see that Confederate Flag being paraded in the halls of Congress is probably the most haunting image I will take away from the last 4 years.

I really hope that the calls for unity and the need to carry on does not stop the process of holding EVERYONE responsible for the insurrection to account. If this is not done; I fear the coming near future. There has to be consequences.
posted by indianbadger1 at 1:52 PM on January 20 [55 favorites]


Do you remember how scared some of were that Obama would be assassinated on Inauguration Day? Today I felt the same, and in a way much more so. I am so relieved.
posted by mumimor at 1:55 PM on January 20 [43 favorites]


There's just much broken that it's going to take years and years to fix it all. The important thing, though, is the destruction has stopped.
posted by tommasz at 1:55 PM on January 20 [5 favorites]


Kamala Harris has now sworn in three new Democratic senators: Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff of Georgia and Alex Padilla of California.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?508140-1/us-senate-democratic-senators-sworn&live

Schumer is now majority leader, and is acting as such.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 1:58 PM on January 20 [68 favorites]


There’s a press briefing tonight! Unless something changed in the past seven days when this article was published, the last formal press briefing was March 11, 2019.

Edit: OMG, it’s 2021, not 2020. Ha! Nevermind.
posted by Ruki at 1:58 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Schumer, just now in the senate: [DEEP EXHALE] "I need to catch my breath—so much is happening."
posted by Ahmad Khani at 2:00 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Jimmy Carter, 96, Misses His First Inauguration in 44 Years as He and Rosalynn Send 'Best Wishes' — Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn "look forward to a successful administration," a spokesperson for the Carter Center [*] said, People, Jen Juneau, 1/20/2021.

*Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter's Remarks on President Joe Biden's Inauguration Day; Jan. 20, 2021, The Carter Center.
posted by cenoxo at 2:01 PM on January 20 [38 favorites]


> I'm just surprised and relieved that there wasn't a last-minute blanket pardon for everyone involved in the capitol riots.

He doesn't pay contractors who get their jobs done. He's going to feel even less indebted to the thousands of little people who failed him.
posted by at by at 2:03 PM on January 20 [12 favorites]


> I went looking for the American Carnage speech. Google brings up the whitehouse.gov page for it as the first result. It is now a 404, Page Not Found.

For those who missed it, archive.org has a copy.
posted by at by at 2:04 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


I got my country back.

As is, no warranty. Gonna be a fixer-upper, but she's got real good potential.
posted by ctmf at 3:14 PM on January 20


Good Bones
by Maggie Smith

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.
posted by joannemerriam at 2:07 PM on January 20 [120 favorites]


I'd saved a picture of Trump with "This American carnage ends right here and right now" in my gloating folder to post on Facebook, and my wife said she didn't want to see or hear him again so I deleted it.

Our daughter was born in the same hospital as Vice President Harris and is pretty psyched about that.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:10 PM on January 20 [8 favorites]


VP Harris: "The Chair lays before the Senate two certificates of election for the state of Georgia, and a certificate of appointment to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of former Senator Kamala D. Harris of California. [laughter][continued laughter, applause] Yeah, that was very weird."

About 18:05 in the CSPAN feed here.
posted by punchtothehead at 2:10 PM on January 20 [45 favorites]


Damn, Carter sounds terrible. So sad. He is a good man. Hope his spirit continues.
posted by Windopaene at 2:10 PM on January 20 [7 favorites]


You’ve got to clean out the infection before the wound can heal.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:11 PM on January 20 [5 favorites]


I'm glad he got to see this day though.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:11 PM on January 20 [39 favorites]


He's 96 and he's upright. That's a damn good start.
posted by delfin at 2:12 PM on January 20 [46 favorites]


they dress as animals and bear guns openly

For a moment I thought that a bear gun was some grotesque hybrid that just emerged from the Qsphere, the level-boss following Pepe The Frog and Naziroquai in the procession of monsters of the sleep of reason of the Covfefecene.
posted by acb at 2:16 PM on January 20 [18 favorites]


One of many lovely things about today has been seeing just how much Kamala has enjoyed the whole thing. The look on her face as she made her oath was a thing of beauty.
posted by penguin pie at 2:16 PM on January 20 [35 favorites]


The Walls Are Closing In on Donald Trump – Mother Jones (motherjones.com)
Despite Trump’s best efforts to cash in on the presidency, his company, the Trump Organization, has not fared well these past four years. His Scottish golf clubs, an increasingly important component of Trump’s portfolio into which he has poured $400 million since 2006, have been hemorrhaging cash. Revenues have been slipping at many of his US properties. And that was before the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on the hospitality sector. “It’s going to be very, very tough to keep the boat afloat,” the manager of Trump’s Chicago hotel told investors in October.


I wonder if a Russian bank will step in.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:16 PM on January 20 [9 favorites]


I'd saved a picture of Trump with "This American carnage ends right here and right now" in my gloating folder to post on Facebook, and my wife said she didn't want to see or hear him again so I deleted it.

Wife her!
posted by cenoxo at 2:16 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


We should clink our beer steins full of their tears, but remember that Millenarian cults not only frequently get along just fine with the world not ending on the date foretold, but can often weather multiple cycles of lame excuses that a mistake was made in the Moon lawyer astrology calculations, just wait a sec, followed by another failed prediction.

True, though they often do so by decaying to lower-energy forms, as, for example, the Seventh-Day Adventists did. So we may expect less ranting about imminent military executions of Satan-worshipping liberals and such.
posted by acb at 2:19 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Definitive video record.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 2:19 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Memberships are two for one now, if anyone wants to join up with Bob.

Also, they come with membership of an exclusive Mastodobbs instance.
posted by acb at 2:21 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


We should clink our beer steins full of their tears, but remember that Millenarian cults not only frequently get along just fine with the world not ending on the date foretold, but can often weather multiple cycles of lame excuses that a mistake was made in the Moon lawyer astrology calculations, just wait a sec, followed by another failed prediction.

True, though they often do so by decaying to lower-energy forms, as, for example, the Seventh-Day Adventists did. So we may expect less ranting about imminent military executions of Satan-worshipping liberals and such.


And maybe we'll get some breakfast cereal out of the whole deal.
posted by LionIndex at 2:21 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Biden signing Exec Orders now. First is masks in Federal Properties, then they ushered the press out. There was a tall stack to get through next.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:24 PM on January 20 [15 favorites]


One of many lovely things about today has been seeing just how much Kamala has enjoyed the whole thing. The look on her face as she made her oath was a thing of beauty.

She has the best ability to communicate joy while wearing a face mask of anyone I've ever seen!
posted by rogerroger at 2:24 PM on January 20 [23 favorites]


I got my country back.

As is, no warranty. Gonna be a fixer-upper, but she's got real good potential.

Built on an Indian burial ground. Probably cursed.
But it comes with a free Frogurt!
posted by wabbittwax at 2:26 PM on January 20 [7 favorites]


Is the Frogurt cursed?
posted by kirkaracha at 2:27 PM on January 20 [11 favorites]


The toppings contain potassium benzoate
posted by wabbittwax at 2:28 PM on January 20 [7 favorites]


(that's bad)
posted by wabbittwax at 2:29 PM on January 20 [9 favorites]


She's tore up plenty, but she'll fly true.
*tear*
Well fuck, after literally everything else that's what finally got me.
posted by Horkus at 2:29 PM on January 20 [10 favorites]


CBS News, 1/20/2021 — Watch Live: Biden signs executive actions on COVID, climate change, immigration and more.

Fountain pen, at the Resolute Desk.
posted by cenoxo at 2:30 PM on January 20 [21 favorites]


Just a couple of hours on the job and Biden has already signed 17 executive orders on immigration, environment, financial relief, covid response and human rights. Biden has a top notch staff of experienced government servants to coordinate this and get things done.

On Trump's first day he signed just one executive order to cripple Obamacare and then took the rest of the week off to play golf. We are fortunate that Trump is extraordinarily lazy and hired incompetent fumbling cronies or things could have been much worse.
posted by JackFlash at 2:31 PM on January 20 [88 favorites]


This is notable because the other guy used Sharpies?
posted by wabbittwax at 2:31 PM on January 20


Fountain pens are a bit of a challenge to use?
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:33 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


When does it get arrested? When do any of the states or feds pull the trigger? It's been an hour and a half already!

If anything substantial happens before the next mid-terms I'd be shocked.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 2:34 PM on January 20


The World to America: From now on, put it in writing; even then it's cash up front.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 2:35 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


If you need any more reason to be happy Kellyanne Conway is also getting booted, these candid videos from her daughter are chilling.
posted by argybarg at 2:38 PM on January 20 [15 favorites]


Fountain pen, at the Resolute Desk.

In the Whitehouse? Wouldn't they need a few days to deep-clean it and rip out and replace potentially compromised electronics?
posted by acb at 2:38 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Vatican intervened to spike US bishops’ Biden statement release
The U.S. bishops’ conference held back a statement on incoming President Joe Biden Wednesday morning, after officials from the Vatican Secretariat of State intervened before the statement could be released.

The statement, from conference president Archbishop Jose Gomez, took uncompromising positions on abortion, gender, and religious liberty, warning that the Biden administration’s policy agenda would advance “moral evils” on several fronts...

Some sources said there was concern in the Vatican that a statement from Gomez seen as critical of the Biden administration might seem to force the pope’s hand in his own dealings with Biden, who will be the second Catholic president of the United States, and the first in 60 years.
Pope Francis sends greeting to President Biden, contrasting with sharper message from head of U.S. bishops
In a message of “cordial good wishes” to President Joseph R. Biden Jr. after his installation as the 46th president of the United States, Pope Francis assured him of his prayers “that Almighty God will grant you wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high office.”

He told the president that he prayed that “under your leadership, may the American people continue to draw strength from the lofty political, ethical and religious values that have inspired the nation since its founding.”

“At a time when the grave crises facing our human family call for farsighted and united responses,” the pope wrote, “I pray that your decisions will be guided by a concern for building a society marked by authentic justice and freedom, together with unfailing respect for the rights and dignity of every person, especially the poor, the vulnerable and those who have no voice.”...

The Vatican released the text of the telegram at 6.15 p.m. Rome time (noon Eastern time) on Jan. 20, immediately after the swearing-in of Mr. Biden as only the second Catholic president in U.S. history and of Kamala Harris, the first woman and first person of color to serve as vice president.
posted by clawsoon at 2:38 PM on January 20 [19 favorites]


We are fortunate that Trump is extraordinarily lazy and hired incompetent fumbling cronies or things could have been much worse.

That was for the cameras. Mitch was marching a parade of unqualified judges into lifetime appointments while Trump played bumblefuck.
posted by adept256 at 2:38 PM on January 20 [36 favorites]


This is notable because the other guy used Sharpies?

Yes.

Fountain pens are a bit of a challenge to use?

A normal pen signature was too thin for the always self-promoting Donald.
posted by cenoxo at 2:47 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


I'm a little concerned Tehhund might be going to be at a loose end and perhaps fall into drink and despair.
Yeah the last 4 years were totally chill and sober for me and the future is going to be really tough since the only problem we're facing is watching MetaFilter's center-left spar with MetaFilter's left-left. /s
posted by Tehhund at 2:48 PM on January 20 [204 favorites]


Yeah the last 4 years were totally chill and sober for me and the future is going to be really tough since the only problem we're facing is watching MetaFilter's center-left spar with MetaFilter's left-left. /s

I'm really sorry I can't favorite this ten million times.
posted by mumimor at 2:52 PM on January 20 [23 favorites]


I'm really sorry I can't favorite this ten million times.

I took the unicode codepoints for the milk and cookie emojis and multiplied them by 10,000,000. So for you, Tehhund, in hexadecimal, a hearty 0x12D371FFF80 0x129AC89D100 0x129AC89D100.
posted by Riki tiki at 3:04 PM on January 20 [18 favorites]


If that CBS News Biden EO signing link is stale, it’s also on YouTube.
posted by cenoxo at 3:06 PM on January 20


I do so look forward to not having to care about what the US President is doing every single day.
posted by bonehead at 3:07 PM on January 20 [69 favorites]


Since we're already on an office supply derail:
"The Vatican released the text of the telegram at 6.15 p.m. Rome time..."?

Does anyone know anything more about this? I'm guessing it's just a vestigial naming convention, but I'm imagining the Pope skulking down to a dusty room full of ancient equipment in order to tap out secret Morse code messages on a direct line to the White House.
posted by yeahlikethat at 3:08 PM on January 20 [10 favorites]


Yeah the last 4 years were totally chill and sober for me and the future is going to be really tough since the only problem we're facing is watching MetaFilter's center-left spar with MetaFilter's left-left.

Oh, don't worry that things are going to be too boring. Already the worthless New York Times is running stories about how Biden is an inauthentic American and a security risk because he has a Peloton bike. We can only hope he never puts on a brown suit.
posted by JackFlash at 3:08 PM on January 20 [9 favorites]




Seeing Bernie in his outfit I am trying to imagine what a Bernie inauguration would be like and I really have no idea but I'd be interested to know.
posted by srboisvert at 3:10 PM on January 20 [14 favorites]


And maybe we'll get some breakfast cereal out of the whole deal.

While there's some interesting paralellels here, what with the satanic panic and vague thrashing about for some kind of morality and bodily purity weirdness I don't think we're going to get bran flakes out of this one.

We're more likely to get purified, ritualistic energy drinks, male libido enhancing sugar pills, weird video gamer furniture and maybe a bunch of overt gun worship or something.

Wait, hold up. I'm pretty sure this is how Zardoz happened.

Are we sure Sean Connery is actually dead? Are we really sure, or is he on ice somewhere waiting on a thousand year alarm clock?
posted by loquacious at 3:11 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


A look inside Biden's Oval Office (WaPo): Andrew Jackson's out, Cesar Chavez is in.
posted by neroli at 3:13 PM on January 20 [19 favorites]


Pro-Trump rallies at state capitols were complete duds, thank goodness.

Three cheers for demoralization.
posted by clawsoon at 3:13 PM on January 20 [28 favorites]


And deplatforming: most of these people were organizing on Facebook and Twitter by default and couldn't make the jump to more esoteric platforms.
posted by Scattercat at 3:15 PM on January 20 [23 favorites]


Speaking of Andrew Jackson being out: the new administration has a lot of important things to do, but I hope a Harriet Tubman $20 note is somewhere on the list.
posted by Chef Flamboyardee at 3:16 PM on January 20 [58 favorites]


If you need any more reason to be happy Kellyanne Conway is also getting booted, these candid videos from her daughter are chilling.

I know this thread isn't about that and I don't wish for anyone's good feelings to be derailed but holy freaking moly that was horrific to watch. When/if you have the mental space to watch and share (and only if you do, because it's triggering AF)... that video needs to be spread far and wide. That is a child in very real danger.
posted by treepour at 3:17 PM on January 20 [24 favorites]


Impressive list of executive orders, including rejoining WHO and the Paris Agreement. Firing/"resigning" of Trump's corrupt cabinet members on day one.

I wonder if the previous occupant was so lazy that he thought all his last-minute fuckery was going to stick. So far, Biden and his team are wasting no time to start repairing the damage.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 3:18 PM on January 20 [10 favorites]


Pro-Trump rallies at state capitols were complete duds, thank goodness.

I saw more Nickelback fans than MAGA hats today in DC

lol
posted by clawsoon at 3:21 PM on January 20 [5 favorites]


They're finding out now that no Trump2 is coming.
They're just waking up,
I know just what they'll do.
Their mouths will hang open a minute or two,
then the Q's down in Qville will all cry, "Q Who?'
posted by dnash at 3:21 PM on January 20 [32 favorites]


Since we're already on an office supply derail:
"The Vatican released the text of the telegram at 6.15 p.m. Rome time..."?

Does anyone know anything more about this? I'm guessing it's just a vestigial naming convention, but I'm imagining the Pope skulking down to a dusty room full of ancient equipment in order to tap out secret Morse code messages on a direct line to the White House.


Maybe it was sent by encrypted messaging service Telegram.
posted by saturday_morning at 3:22 PM on January 20


I know this thread isn't about that and I don't wish for anyone's good feelings to be derailed but holy freaking moly that was horrific to watch.

This has been a horrific sidebar during at least the last six months. The children in this relationship are innocent victims. But I can't see we at MetaFilter can do anything about it. (unless someone is a personal friend of the family, then I guess some of us have useful experiences).
posted by mumimor at 3:27 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


From the raw HTML of the new whitehouse.gov website:

<!-- If you're reading this, we need your help building back better. https://usds.gov/apply -->
posted by clawsoon at 3:28 PM on January 20 [99 favorites]


Three cheers for demoralization.

"Hip hip!"
"..."
"Hip hip!"
"..."
"Hip hip!"
"..."
posted by StarkRoads at 3:31 PM on January 20 [17 favorites]


From what I read, anyone Claudia's reached out to for help has said no because of her parents.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:32 PM on January 20


Now if they'd go back to Drupal for Whitehouse.gov
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 3:32 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


Haven't we been through enough?
posted by Riki tiki at 3:33 PM on January 20 [14 favorites]


Seeing Bernie in his outfit I am trying to imagine what a Bernie inauguration would be like and I really have no idea but I'd be interested to know.

Every single item of clothing he is wearing from underwear and socks to his natty brown corduroy three piece suit is hand made and donated by someone. His socks? The finest reclaimed wool. His underwear? Hand processed, spun and woven hemp grown in America's good soil. Even the buttons on his shirt and suit are hand carved from sustainably harvested, walnut, recycled from someone's historical family furniture or a naturally fallen tree. His shoes are also hemp, soled with finely reworked and processed bicycle tires and inner tubes.

Around his neck and shoulders dangle a dozen different homey and comfortable looking hand-knit scarves because he couldn't choose just one and agonized for days selecting them from the hundreds of donations. He is wearing his wonderful emotional support mittens. On his head is a jaunty hand knit woven beanie with a ridiculous pompom in improbable colors with his silver hair sticking out from under it in all directions, complicated but unfussy.

There seems to be a utility bill stuffed into his jacket pocket. Media pundits grab a screen shot and zoom in and marvel at how low his heating bill is and if we really want a President who puts on a sweater before he turns up the thermostat.

If you're still having trouble picturing the scene, imagine that Mr. Sanders has had a busy day going from what appears to be a bluegrass or fiddletunes concert in the park in winter to a funereal for the death of maple syrup itself in a Unitarian church with plans to chop a bit of wood later and make some cider, and he spends most of the inauguration looking mostly uncomfortable with the pomp and circumstance and would rather roll up his sleeves and get to work.

He looks like a kindly old comfortable grandpa that makes children's toys in his woodshop but has a secret taste for enjoying the occasional Phish concert live taping in his workshop on some rather nice but inexpensive high fidelity bookshelf speakers while sitting next to a cast iron stove, sipping a cider and maybe puffing on a little home grown cannabis.
posted by loquacious at 3:36 PM on January 20 [58 favorites]


I wonder who wrote the letter that was supposedly from Trump? Because you know he didn't, if it was "generous".
posted by tavella at 3:37 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


"Generous" with obscenities, self-pity, and typos, maybe.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 3:41 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


That guy saved congress. That's not an exaggeration. He deserves that position of honor.

There's a decent chance that guy saved the republic. He deserves all the honours they can bestow on him.

Incidentally, I don't know if it's that well remembered outside of Canada, but six years ago an armed gunman got into the Houses of Parliament (after killing Nathan Cirillo, an honour guard at the National War Memorial). The attack was stopped by the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Commons, Kevin Vickers. Three months later, Vickers was the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:45 PM on January 20 [63 favorites]


We are a nation starting to head back to science and facts and reason. I can't find adequate words to describe how much hope that instills.

During his VP years, I have to imagine that Biden sat in on a lot of meetings about the developing climate crisis. When he was on the Inauguration stage, he probably understood more than any other person — but perhaps Barack Obama — the magnitude of the problems that this country and the world face.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 3:46 PM on January 20 [10 favorites]




I really want Bernie’s mittens to be on a string running through his coat sleeves.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:49 PM on January 20 [64 favorites]


I watched the ceremony in a mental state I've usually only experienced while waiting for exam results or the outcome of relatives' major surgeries. I have plenty of opinions about Biden's and Harris's records, but son of a bitch if my heart didn't somersault when Harris took her oath. I wish my grandmother had lived to see that, and feel surreally lucky that it happened in my own lifetime.

A windstorm is ripping its way up my street, having begun just as Biden was starting his address. It's helping with the catharsis somewhat.

The work continues. Thank God.
posted by peakes at 3:52 PM on January 20 [17 favorites]


*has inaugural bawl*

ok. *sob* ok. whew. *sniffle*

*has inaugural bowl*


... *squints, look around, grabs ideologically-suspect leftishist*
*(and, putting on shades)*...

*has inaugural brawl*
posted by 20 year lurk at 3:52 PM on January 20 [16 favorites]


Because I don’t mind a laugh at my own expense: until today I thought Lady Gaga was British. Because “lady”. I have heard her songs. I have seen a Star Is Born. I am not making this up.
posted by freecellwizard at 3:55 PM on January 20 [51 favorites]


until today I thought Lady Gaga was British

Sorry, no, that’s Madonna.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 3:57 PM on January 20 [33 favorites]


Sorry, no, that’s Madonna.

See now you just got rid of Trump, why you gotta go pissing off the UK already?
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 4:00 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


You can see the official announcement of each executive action as the occur on the briefing room page of whitehouse.gov . #1: Freeze all new regs until the Biden Admin can review. #2. Join the Paris Accord.

#2 is joy to read in its brevity.
posted by mono blanco at 4:04 PM on January 20 [12 favorites]


Jen Psaki bio.
posted by cenoxo at 4:06 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


I wonder who wrote the letter that was supposedly from Trump? Because you know he didn't, if it was "generous".

I'm assuming Trump left a signed copy of one of his books and several dozen secret strategic cheeseburgers stashed at various places in the furniture.

Unfortunately he forgot where they are but knows they're still there, somewhere.
posted by loquacious at 4:08 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Oh look, a press secretary doing their job! I'd forgotten what that was like!
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:11 PM on January 20 [13 favorites]


I'm liking Jen Psaki. I like the response to how they can combat disinformation. Truth, data, sharing information when hard to hear and even when not meeting expectations!
posted by inflatablekiwi at 4:17 PM on January 20 [9 favorites]


46,

This is a very generous letter. Maybe the most generous letter of all time. People are saying they've never read a more generous letter.

-Best President Ever
D Trump
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:18 PM on January 20 [28 favorites]


I am getting weirdly emotional about this press briefing. Psaki is so direct and responsive to the questions. And her opening remarks, and the reference to the “Biden-Harris administration.” Intentionally inclusive and respectful. I am verklempt.
posted by prefpara at 4:18 PM on January 20 [20 favorites]


Jen Psaki mentioned it was also gracious....
posted by inflatablekiwi at 4:19 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Biden is requiring the use of masks and social distancing in all federal buildings, on federal lands and by federal employees and contractors.

Can this also be enforced on members of Congress? I guess they can (and will) just ignore it since there are no penalties attached. Although it may provide some relief to staff members who are ridiculed into removing their masks by their asshole bosses.
posted by JackFlash at 4:19 PM on January 20


At the bottom of the other Jen’s current C-SPAN page, note her previous briefings from 2014.
posted by cenoxo at 4:20 PM on January 20


I LIKE JEN PSAKI SO MUCH.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:21 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


Yeah, she had a lol moment where habit clearly had her saying “President Obama” so it ended up coming out as “President O’Biden.”
posted by prefpara at 4:21 PM on January 20 [18 favorites]


I don't understand. Jen Psaki has not done the press secretary's job of calling reporters horrible people. What is happening?
posted by argybarg at 4:23 PM on January 20 [14 favorites]


Can this also be enforced on members of Congress?

Congress is a separate branch of gov't.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 4:24 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


President O'Biden? She should have checked her notes twice for any Irish references. To be sure, to be sure.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 4:25 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Jen Psaki is serving CJ Cregg of The West Wing realness, and I am here for it.
posted by dnash at 4:27 PM on January 20 [28 favorites]


>Biden is requiring the use of masks and social distancing in all federal buildings, on federal lands and by federal employees and contractors.

Can this also be enforced on members of Congress?


Pelosi enacted a fine for not wearing one in the House. We'll see what happens in the Senate.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:28 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]




How long until we get fan art of adorable anime representations of Jen Psaki?
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 4:30 PM on January 20 [5 favorites]


The list of anti-immigration regulations that were slated to go into effect if Trump stayed in office is stomach churning (twitter). The Muslim ban is officially revoked. Nobody serious thinks this is a panacea and we are now full of glee and rainbows, but think of the objectively good things that have happened today.
posted by ChuraChura at 4:37 PM on January 20 [33 favorites]


I'm sure someone's working on that right now and I'm sure she'll make an adorable fox behind a podium!
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:37 PM on January 20


I recommend not googling Jen Psaki memes. Eww...
posted by inflatablekiwi at 4:38 PM on January 20


Do you want a moment of laugh out loud joy? Check out VP Harris swearing in the three new senators.
posted by mono blanco at 4:42 PM on January 20 [17 favorites]


Senate confirms Avril Haines as director of national intelligence, the first Biden Cabinet level nominee confirmed. One done, 23 more to go....
posted by inflatablekiwi at 4:42 PM on January 20 [13 favorites]


Nobody serious thinks this is a panacea and we are now full of glee and rainbows, but think of the objectively good things that have happened today.

It's a step backwards from codified xenophobia, but ICE is still getting funded, even if their guidelines of operation may be narrowed. Again, acknowledging that we can celebrate progress, whilst still pushing for accountability.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 4:43 PM on January 20 [7 favorites]


Most of those memes seem to be in Russian, so...

?
posted by Windopaene at 4:48 PM on January 20


Avril Haines is confirmed already! Going to be a great honeymoon.
posted by sammyo at 4:50 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Today is a very good day. I would not change anything about it.

Grateful for everyone for pushing and getting us to this day.
posted by ichomp at 4:51 PM on January 20 [5 favorites]


Capital Police hero Eugene Goodman escorting Kamala Harris to inauguration

I feel like I need to express this somewhere. I've seen a few people on Twitter, etc., describe the now-famous photo of him pointing as angry, or stern, or taking no shit. And yeah, his body language says "I'm telling you what to do and I expect you to listen." But his face looks scared.

And here's the thing: He did what he did anyway. He was frightened, but it only showed in his lifted eyebrows and slightly wider eyes. He intentionally led these men away after him knowing damn well they'd kill him if it occurred to them to do it. Knowing, probably, that if they realized he was scared that he was done for.

And every time I see the damn video of him using himself as bait, I start crying because I am so scared for him in that moment. I know that bravery is doing something that needs doing despite the fact that you're scared. I've just never seen it in real life, in such dire circumstances.
posted by tllaya at 4:56 PM on January 20 [144 favorites]


"just walked into a coffeeshop here in aotearoa new zealand and everybody behind the counter, not really knowing me but knowing i was american, erupted in spontaneous applause " - Amanda Palmer

Yes, we're all incredibly happy for you all
posted by mbo at 5:01 PM on January 20 [31 favorites]


Avril Haines is confirmed already! Going to be a great honeymoon.

Too early to say. McConnell still has not agreed to the new organizing resolution for the senate. He's holding out for a guarantee not to ditch the filibuster. Until the new organizing resolution is passed, Republicans still hold a majority on all committees. That means they can hold up any nominee in committee indefinitely. Only the most moderate of nominees are going to get through.

This showdown between Schumer and McConnell is critical. But, as usual, Republicans can just stall forever.
posted by JackFlash at 5:05 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


I saw Eugene Goodman's eyes go back and forth today as he walked, and I swear I saw the PTSD that will be with him forever. I can't imagine how that episode will haunt him.
posted by argybarg at 5:07 PM on January 20 [21 favorites]


tllaya, I was thinking along the same lines today. Goodman could have not done that, and no one would have known or blamed him. He was brave and smart, and he kept the Capitol insurrection from being a bloodbath.

I hadn’t been able to watch the video of that interaction yet, but I did it this evening. It was so much worse than I realized. That crowd looks like it was going to lynch him; it’s just stomach turning.

Today was a good day, and a much different one than we would have had without the actions of Eugene Goodman.
posted by punchtothehead at 5:08 PM on January 20 [20 favorites]


If not electing a fascist idiot is an accomplishment, then we deserve the accolades, I guess. It's kind of depressing that so many countries manage to do that on the regular without having to be congratulated though.
posted by at by at 5:08 PM on January 20 [7 favorites]


YOU GUYS.

Jan 20, 2025, is also MLK Day.

Is it jinxing it to hope that will also be the day that we swear in our next Black president?
posted by basalganglia at 5:08 PM on January 20 [13 favorites]


...bravery is doing something that needs doing despite the fact that you're scared...

Heroism is endurance for one moment more.
George F. Kennan
posted by cenoxo at 5:10 PM on January 20 [16 favorites]


at by:

So many countries manage to bring absolute electoral nightmares on their own heads, and endure corruption that makes daily life an agony. Perhaps in some abstract sense decent governance should be a default in human societies, but it sure isn't. I say we celebrate it.
posted by argybarg at 5:10 PM on January 20 [17 favorites]


Q: Whose official portrait is the literal definition of "We're back, baby?"

A: Jen Psaki's
posted by vverse23 at 5:22 PM on January 20 [16 favorites]


The nice thing about a Bruce Springsteen in this setting is that he doesn't have to pretend to care about big themes and the nature of our country. This is him in his element.
posted by argybarg at 5:32 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


Watch the ‘Celebrating America’ inauguration concert hosted by Tom Hanks (YouTube).
posted by cenoxo at 5:32 PM on January 20 [10 favorites]


So many countries manage to bring absolute electoral nightmares on their own heads...

I heard the news in the days after the insurrection here that Kyrgyzstan elected Sadyr Japarov as prime minister, a man who until he ran for office was in prison for allegedly kidnapping a political opponent. It made me feel less alone, that the Kyrgyz could either elect a declared criminal, or the preceding government who would instead have presumably framed him if he's innocent and deserves the popular support.

(Then I'd swear I just heard a story on the radio today which reminded me of this, about a US state senator or state representative who kidnapped his wife or ex-wife but was re-elected anyways, but I find nothing googling.)
posted by XMLicious at 5:33 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


The concert special begins with Bruce Springsteen... and I'm now on sobbing spell #4 for the day. It's ok...each time, I feel the pressure knob of anxiety click down one more time.
posted by dnash at 5:35 PM on January 20 [8 favorites]


Aaaaaaannnd breathe out.

Can't honestly say I feel particularly elated or the urge to party right now. Mostly just the exhausted relief of 'thank fuck that shitfest is over, now onto the clean-up and repair job, and hopefully learning some hard lessons from it all'.

I mean, great day, and very grateful to all those who worked hard to bring it about. Enjoy your moment, you sure earned it.

But that was waaaaaay too close a call to be anything but seriously rattled by the whole show.
posted by Pouteria at 5:36 PM on January 20 [11 favorites]


Thanks, everybody. I'm hoping to remember to give some more money to MetaFilter when I wake up tomorrow.
posted by MtDewd at 5:37 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


It’s like the old joke about the man who hits himself with a hammer because it feels so good when he stops. It’s all relative.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:39 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Go to sleep early tonight and wake up late tomorrow. The poor Donald probably won’t do either one.
posted by cenoxo at 5:42 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]




"The statement, from conference president Archbishop Jose Gomez, took uncompromising positions on abortion, gender, and religious liberty, warning that the Biden administration’s policy agenda would advance “moral evils” on several fronts..."

HAHAHAHAHA, fuck these guys. The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops. (St. Athanasius) Continue to fucking insist on abortion as your guiding light and hew ever-closer to the GOP, and ignore THE VAST MAJORITY OF TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, and SEE HOW THAT WORKS OUT. Like by the Vatican spiking your dumbfuck statement.

"The Vatican released the text of the telegram at 6.15 p.m. Rome time..."?
Does anyone know anything more about this? I'm guessing it's just a vestigial naming convention, but I'm imagining the Pope skulking down to a dusty room full of ancient equipment in order to tap out secret"


No, you can still send actual telegrams! A couple of major awards in the US notify recipients by telegram, because telegrams can all be delivered at once and with delivery receipts, and are delivered by an actual dude going to the actual location at a specific time! You're allowed to use any characters you want, now, though -- you don't have to say "STOP" and they basically just cost the delivery fee. (It's like an e-mail that someone prints out and delivers by hand, on fancy paper.)

(When I was born 40 years ago, my grandfather was in Saudi Arabia for work, and telephones were not available, so my grandma sent a telegram! And my grandfather sent one back! They're in my baby book and it's kinda neat. Everyone else got long distance calls, but there are two telegrams pasted in the book.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:45 PM on January 20 [46 favorites]


I am on record as being like fuck Jon Bon Jovi, but I am totally here for this ‘Here Comes the Sun’ cover.
posted by box at 5:47 PM on January 20 [12 favorites]


The ASL interpreter on the Celebrating America special is a joy to watch.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:48 PM on January 20 [10 favorites]


You're allowed to use any characters you want, now, though

Gasp! Emojis? I don't actually text very much, but I might have to get into telegraphy.
posted by XMLicious at 5:48 PM on January 20


And it gets sunnier and sunnier as it goes on! Literally!
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:48 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


The next SNL skit needs to be Psaki just really being competent, and all the press just being confused and reflexively combative, as if they have no idea how to handle that novel strategy.
posted by ctmf at 5:48 PM on January 20 [50 favorites]


When Biden, who is no longer campaigning, front-loads his speech by naming climate change and white supremacy as our common enemies, can we take him at his word?

The most welcome surprise from Biden has been his consistent focus on climate change. I think he's the first president who, from the beginning of his term, has a true understanding of the magnitude of the problem, and a real will to work on it.
posted by nosewings at 5:50 PM on January 20 [21 favorites]


Shit's also gotten a lot more real, climate-wise, than it was twelve or twenty years ago.
posted by at by at 5:52 PM on January 20 [11 favorites]


There really is an ancillary benefit to having all the creative, well-connected people on your side, specifically when it's time to put together a show. The corresponding production with Scott Baio and Ted Nugent isn't much to think about.
posted by argybarg at 5:54 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


I've been to some decent parties in my time, but I'm sure I've never been to a party as awesome as the parties must be when a bunch of ASL interpreters get together and have a dance party.
posted by Tsuga at 5:54 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


The ASL interpreter on the Celebrating America special is a joy to watch.

I love watching expressive ASL interpreters and she is fantastic!
posted by ElKevbo at 5:58 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


The ASL interpreter on the Celebrating America special is a joy to watch.

We're watching the audio described version (thanks again to Alensin for shouting out the accessible versions in the MetaTalk thread).
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:59 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


It's still sinking in that we won't have to put up with the daily barrage of abuse and gaslighting from Trump and his insufferable cronies anymore, and that Mitch is the minority leader. Fewer pardons than I expected--some potential for truth and reconciliation.

Onwards and upwards. But tonight, me and the cats are gonna party.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:02 PM on January 20 [21 favorites]


Audio description for the Justin Timberlake number:

"The street just *happens* to be full of dancers."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:03 PM on January 20 [14 favorites]


The Black Pumas!
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:11 PM on January 20 [5 favorites]


Both @FLOTUS and @POTUS are tweeting. I repeat incoming presidential tweets....stand by.....oh.....they are sane and encouraging and normal tweets. Huh. That’s a thing.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 6:12 PM on January 20 [7 favorites]


....Boy, I thought it was going to be the Foo Fighters that got me most in the Celebrating America night, but then they had to go and round up a bunch of Broadway folks for "Seasons of Love" and come on, I worked in theater for ten years, I cannot resist that....


OH GOOD GOD THEY JUST SEGUED INTO "LET THE SUN SHINE IN" FROM HAIR ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:17 PM on January 20 [31 favorites]


José Andrés talking about food insecurity and World Central Kitchen!
posted by box at 6:20 PM on January 20 [7 favorites]


"We need longer tables, not higher walls."
-- Chef José Andrés
posted by dnash at 6:23 PM on January 20 [69 favorites]


INAUGURATION IN SPAAAAAAAACE!
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:23 PM on January 20 [9 favorites]


It would be nice if the cold open for SNL is Kate McKinnon singing “Hallelujah”. But this time, ending with a reminder that we didn’t give up.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:31 PM on January 20 [20 favorites]


Kaaamaalaa! John Legend singing Nina Simone! Tearing up like Amanda Gorman.
posted by box at 6:35 PM on January 20 [7 favorites]


Despacito guy!
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:38 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


And he got SO EXCITED just getting to say the word!
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:38 PM on January 20


Re: our freshly invigorated intra-Left sparring

This is the way. Couple of months ago, Scottish national treasure Frankie Boyle tweeted, “In many ways, the Labour Party is the natural choice to run a bitterly divided country full of people who hate each other”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:44 PM on January 20 [31 favorites]


Watch Live: Biden signs executive actions on COVID, climate change, immigration and more.

Reminder that from the beginning IMPOTUSx2 thought being president was a weekends-off kind of deal: "I mean my day one is gonna be Monday because I don’t want to be signing and get it mixed up with lots of celebration."
posted by kirkaracha at 6:46 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Here’s Barack, George, and Bill!
posted by box at 6:48 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


I like that they showed the Bidens dressed up in the house watching the show on TV. At least they sorta got to dress up for something.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:54 PM on January 20 [7 favorites]




i have the biggest stupid grin on my face after they had a group singalong to "lovely day"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:56 PM on January 20 [7 favorites]


"Firework" with fireworks is the pure sincerity I need after living through the last four years.
posted by minervous at 6:57 PM on January 20 [16 favorites]


One of my kids goes to a college in Massachusetts. They went with in-person teaching last fall, and tested every body on campus every week. This was handled by a group called the Broad Institute, who worked with 42 colleges in Mass. to do their COVID testing . They turned around tests with a high rate of accuracy at an amazing pace.

Tonight the school announced they had a 0.03% (or maybe 0.003?) positivity rate out of 70,000+ tests last fall. I feel really good about sending him back for the spring.

And I feel good about America's future, because the guy who runs the Broad Institute is apparently who Biden picked to be the new Secretary of Science and Technology. Yay, science!!
posted by wenestvedt at 6:58 PM on January 20 [40 favorites]


but then they had to go and round up a bunch of Broadway folks for "Seasons of Love" and come on, I worked in theater for ten years, I cannot resist that....

It just reminds me how big Disney fucked up replacing B.D. Wong with Donny Osmond for the singing parts in Mulan.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:58 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


That was a v serious firework show.
posted by box at 6:59 PM on January 20 [7 favorites]


ARE OBAMA, BUSH, AND CLINTON AT THE WOMEN'S MILITARY SERVICE MEMORIAL???? I THINK THEY ARE!!!!!! I did my junior year research paper in high school on women's military service in WWII and I interviewed my grandma who was a Navy WAVES recruit, and in my research I learned about the women raising funds for it, and that was the first my grandma heard about the memorial, and she got SUPER FIRED UP and recruited every friggin' Catholic on the East Coast to build it, and she attended the dedication shortly before her death. She was never prouder of anything in her entire life. Everyone in my family has a little model of the Women's Military Service Memorial from when it was dedicated, in a place of honor. Mine is placed in front of my grandma's Navy service flag from her funeral, which she willed to me after I researched her service.

I am crying my eyes out and this is the best thing that has ever happened.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:01 PM on January 20 [111 favorites]


I like how Rachel Maddow said they used ALL the fireworks in America for that show, so if you need fireworks, you're out of luck.
posted by perhapses at 7:06 PM on January 20 [9 favorites]


From Twitter: "This whole production is like America reminding itself who it really is after a nasty break up."

Yep. That's literally everything that's happened today.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:07 PM on January 20 [45 favorites]


I like how Rachel Maddow said they used ALL the fireworks in America for that show, so if you need fireworks, you're out of luck.

They know it still won't be safe to have large crowds in July, so they just used the lot.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:10 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


INAUGURATION IN SPAAAAAAAACE!

Complete with zero-gravity hair!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:13 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Just one good thing after another:

Biden administration allows users to choose their pronouns on remastered website
As part of the website revamp that occurs during presidential transitions, the White House changed its contact form. The form now allows individuals to select from the following list: she/her, he/him, they/them, other, or prefer not to share. Those who select other also have the option to write-in what pronouns they use.
'That's Cesar Chavez!': Bust of civil rights icon behind President Joe Biden stirs excitement
“Placing a bust of my father in the Oval Office symbolizes the hopeful new day that is dawning for our nation,”Paul Chavez, Chavez’s son and president of the Cesar Chavez Foundation, said in a statement. “That isn’t just because it honors my dad, but more importantly because it represents faith and empowerment for an entire people on whose behalf he fought and sacrificed.”

One of Biden’s White House officials, director of the Office of Intergovernmental Relations Julie Chavez Rodriguez, is the granddaughter of Chavez.
It all makes me glad.
posted by kristi at 7:14 PM on January 20 [50 favorites]


@jordanklepper
Whoever was in charge of gathering fireworks should get on vaccines.
posted by ctmf at 7:22 PM on January 20 [39 favorites]


The Best Local Inauguration Bernie Memes We Saw Today | DCist (dcist.com)

Pretty funny, unless you're from the area. In which case it's hilarious.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:24 PM on January 20 [8 favorites]


PBS did a nice little interview of Gorman here. She has aspirations to be president, penguin pie
posted by lab.beetle at 7:32 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Can we get José Andrés to coordinate the vaccine roll out? At this point I think he's the best choice.
posted by mollweide at 7:33 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


Can we get José Andrés to coordinate the vaccine roll out?

Oh dear lord if I could get a saffron-infused vaccine wafer dipped in liquid nitrogen so I breathe smoke after becoming immune to COVID-19 and then wash it down with a crisp Vinho Verde I think that would be okay so yes
posted by Riki tiki at 7:51 PM on January 20 [23 favorites]


Trump left the District this morning so the Chief Usher welcomed the Bidens to the White House. Then they fired him.
posted by rdr at 7:54 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


I'm very glad to see that, it would have been nuts to keep a Trump minion in the heart of the White House. Would have been an information pipeline right to the Trump camp and I am sure a source of leaks to rightwing media. They should also fire the other Trump employees he brought in, if they haven't resigned.

I don't know if Angella Reid will want to return, but if not I hope they ask her for recommendations.
posted by tavella at 7:58 PM on January 20 [20 favorites]


They had to, he was a clear security risk.

I've seen comments on how hard it will be to find all the "burrowed" Trump people, but couldn't you just insist on reviewing the list of everyone hired in the last four years in a given agency and have those people vetted for Trump connections? Some will just be regular hires but anyone who worked with Trump or had associations could be targeted to fire.
posted by emjaybee at 7:58 PM on January 20 [17 favorites]


Just wrapped up the celebration show airing here in Phoenix. Wow, those fireworks!
posted by darkstar at 7:59 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Mentioned on Maddow, it seems like this is a weird coverup for no real reason.

Army falsely denied Flynn’s brother was involved in key part of military response to Capitol riot
The general’s presence during the call — which has not previously been reported — came weeks after his brother publicly suggested that President Donald Trump declare martial law and have the U.S. military oversee a redo of the election. There is no indication that Charles Flynn shares his brother’s extreme views or discharged his duties at the Pentagon on Jan. 6 in any manner that was influenced by his brother.
I'm tempted to write in "M'Lord" as my pronoun, but that sounds like I'm making fun of the concept.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:01 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: “OH GOOD GOD THEY JUST SEGUED INTO "LET THE SUN SHINE IN" FROM HAIR ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”
Not gonna lie, I mostly held it together all day for the sake of the little one, but “Let the Sunshine In” got to me. To see all those different kinds of people — Americans one and all — singing and dancing their hearts out in celebration, made my eyes well up with tears.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:07 PM on January 20 [10 favorites]


They should also fire the other Trump employees he brought in

Biden Fires NLRB General Counsel After He Refuses to Resign
posted by ctmf at 8:07 PM on January 20 [31 favorites]


it would have been nuts to keep a Trump minion in the heart of the White House

Damn, I didn't even think of this—this is how the spoils system gets started. It's a perfectly reasonable thing for Biden to do, and an appropriate precaution, to extirpate Trump hires, but then the next Republican administration will simply use the same rationale as an excuse, and either subsequent Democratic administrations will have to start turning the other cheek and being the adults at some point or it will take forever to wind down again.
posted by XMLicious at 8:09 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


I DID think of this, being a civil servant and directly affected. Presumably all the Trump minions are either appointees or employees of the White House, not career civil servants. If they were, Biden could not fire them without cause and due process.

What he could do if they were is transfer them to another position of equivalent paygrade. Even then he'd have to be careful he wasn't constructively committing an adverse action against them, like putting them in a place with no promotion opportunities if they had them before, etc.

Trump did try to strip civil service protections from a whole whack of senior people a while back, but I think that ultimately didn't get off the ground.

The spoils system is not coming back.
posted by ctmf at 8:15 PM on January 20 [13 favorites]


BTW Mr. Andrés I know that was probably an insulting culinary travesty of a joke and I apologize but can I please have a vaccine anyway?
posted by Riki tiki at 8:17 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


Damn, I didn't even think of this—this is how the spoils system gets started.

Well, no, this is how it continues. It's a problem! Given what we know about Trump - that he bribes people, that he's compromised, that he compromises others - Biden would have been crazy not to fire a Trump appointee with that level of access. It's also possible that Biden had a particular reason to fire Harleth; I would expect appointees to that role to have been thoroughly vetted, but Trump was in control of the approval process, so.

But going forward, it would be great if the Biden administration could increase the level of posts occupied by professional civil servants, and reduce the number of appointees. I think at some level you may run into Constitutional problems, though? The spoils system is practically baked into the US's system of government.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:17 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


Most federal employees are classified as civil service, rather than appointed (or White House employees), and enjoy the protections ctmf describes. I do think most "direct personal service"-type employees are chosen by the president rather than civil service.
posted by praemunire at 8:19 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Well, Trump already started it by firing Angella Reid, who was not brought on as a ideological pick, before that Obama had kept on the Chief Usher from Shrub, who moved on to DHS.
posted by tavella at 8:21 PM on January 20 [5 favorites]


(The CRS report summary covers it all briefly, if anyone wants to dig into the topic further.)
posted by praemunire at 8:25 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Joe Biden inauguration: World reaction — Leaders from around the world react as the transfer of power takes place in Washington, DC., Al Jazeera, 20 Jan 2021:
Joe Biden has been sworn in as president of the United States, following his election victory over Donald Trump last year.

Here are some of the global responses to Wednesday’s transfer of power in Washington, DC. This list will be updated as more reactions from leaders around the world come in...
While we’re waiting for President Biden’s first speech to the United Nations, a still, small voice tells me it will NOT be ‘America First’.
posted by cenoxo at 8:27 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


I'd like to know what their real, unofficial, unfiltered reactions were. I bet there would a bunch of creative names for Trump in there.
posted by ctmf at 8:31 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


The firing of NLRB Counsel Robb is already being criticized by management-siders as “divisive”, etc. But when you fire a hyperpartisan crony who has been undermining the explicit mandate of the organization he’s a part of, it’s not a divisive or partisan move. It’s a simple effort to pull things back to some standard of normalcy. Unions are praising the firing.
posted by darkstar at 8:33 PM on January 20 [50 favorites]




I really love this bit:
Through the Dodd-Frank Act, Congress gave the CFPB’s director significant independence by barring the president from firing her over political disagreements. In 2020, though, the Supreme Court found this protection unconstitutional. Kraninger supported that decision, which paved the way for her termination on Wednesday. Had the court upheld the agency’s independence, Kraninger could have remained in office through the end of 2023.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:37 PM on January 20 [22 favorites]


Trump left the District this morning so the Chief Usher welcomed the Bidens to the White House. Then they fired him.

I guess you could say it was... *removes sunglasses* ...the fall of the house's Usher.

[I'll get me coat.]
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:39 PM on January 20 [105 favorites]


Well, Trump already started it by firing Angella Reid, who was not brought on as a ideological pick, before that Obama had kept on the Chief Usher from Shrub, who moved on to DHS.

Angella Reid was fired by Trump because she was a Black woman. Now Biden has fired Harleth (and within hours of the inauguration, huh, he must have been a real asshole). Trump has politicized that position. Fuck him so, so hard.
posted by Melismata at 8:42 PM on January 20 [14 favorites]


So with the spoils system stuff—is there any way a future Nationalist administration and Congress could simply vastly balloon the number of political appointees, or make everyone they care about in the executive branch White House staff, while starving the budgets that pay career civil servants?

Or, are we relying on people of good conscience stopping them again? Unfortunately, the domestic enemies have the formidable talent of not caring if the country goes to hell. Trump had jackhammers for demolishing America; the next ones may have explosives.
posted by XMLicious at 9:01 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


a final sampling of Drudge Report lead links:

HE'S GONE...
DISGRACED DONALD FLEES TO FLORIDA...
SKIPS INAUGURATION IN WAR-TORN CAPITAL...
'Unwell' Appearance...
Nation Exhausted...
The Don Revokes Lobbying Ban After Promising to 'Drain the Swamp'...
Extends clemency to sports gamblers and rappers...
Boon for well-connected fraudsters...
Secret Pardons for Self, Family?
Supporters will find life different at extreme corners of Web ...
QAnon believers grapple with doubt, spin new theories: 'We all got played'...


as a friend put it earlier today, "My hope now is that American political news returns to being merely annoying and disappointing."
posted by philip-random at 9:19 PM on January 20 [10 favorites]


is there any way a future Nationalist administration and Congress could simply vastly balloon the number of political appointees, or make everyone they care about in the executive branch White House staff, while starving the budgets that pay career civil servants?

Of course they can do that. The protections against it are legislative, from Congress, and can be undone by Congress. It couldn't be otherwise.
posted by mark k at 9:28 PM on January 20 [5 favorites]


Marc E. Elias @marceelias
Joe Biden is the President.
Partying face

Kamala Harris is the Vice President.
Partying face

Goodnight.
Sleeping face

It has been a routine for me to send these each night to assure people that this day would come. After today, I think they are no longer needed.

Congratulations everyone.
8:57 PM · Jan 20, 2021·Twitter Web App
1.6K Retweets 128 Quote Tweets 18.3K Likes
posted by Ahmad Khani at 9:49 PM on January 20 [9 favorites]


as a friend put it earlier today, "My hope now is that American political news returns to being merely annoying and disappointing."

"We now return your to your regularly scheduled American problems."
posted by clawsoon at 9:54 PM on January 20 [12 favorites]


This is the funniest thread of all time
@kept_simple: what's a dumb trump moment that you remember that many of us may have forgotten?

This one made me howl, I missed it when it happened, I guess.

Still looking for when he dumped the whole container of fish food in the koi pond.
posted by ctmf at 10:00 PM on January 20 [19 favorites]


The International Bobblehead Hall of Fame here in Milwaukee has announced a Bernie Sanders Inauguration Day Bobblehead, shipping in May, so that you can always remember his coat and mittens.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:06 PM on January 20 [14 favorites]


Slate: Biden Has Already Fired Three of Trump’s Worst Appointees


Truly terrible people and good riddance! Their departures alone will materially improve a lot of people’s situations.
posted by darkstar at 10:09 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


fwiw, dumping the remainder of the koi fish food is SOP; Shinzō Abe dumped the remainder of his box first and rump followed suit.
posted by porpoise at 10:10 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Slate: Biden Has Already Fired Three of Trump’s Worst Appointees

The NLRB lawyer was given the opportunity to save face and resign, and instead decided to play stupid games.

He won the stupid prize he deserved.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:44 PM on January 20 [9 favorites]


Still looking for when he dumped the whole container of fish food in the koi pond.

As porpoise said, let's leave that one alone. It was the correct amount of food, Abe told him what to do and he did it properly. It might have seemed like a ton of food but that was a BIG koi pond and they can handle it.

I hate to defend anything about *rump but I want us to be on the side of facts.
posted by mmoncur at 10:50 PM on January 20 [17 favorites]


The thing about Trump is that, even when he does something right, it looks wrong.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:54 PM on January 20 [18 favorites]


Ah, that's too bad. That was my favorite.
posted by ctmf at 10:56 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Last week I dropped into a strange waking dream and when I emerged I had one take-away from the experience:

covfefe...
covfefe...
...did he just mean "kerfuffle?"



Maybe he only ever heard that word and never saw it written out, but then when everybody lost their minds wondering what the fuck he was trying to say he was too proud to admit a vocab lacuna or ask anybody. So where is he now, covfefewise, assuming I'm right and kerfuffle's what he meant? Does he know he had an actual word in mind and just misspelled it severely? No, right? How could he? He'd have to ask somebody about it. He's going to go to his grave wondering what the hell happened that time.
posted by Don Pepino at 11:02 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


The full tweet was "Despite the constant negative press covfefe" which sure seems like he meant to say "coverage", but it became emblematic of Trump's inability to admit to the slightest mistake.
posted by Merus at 11:13 PM on January 20 [8 favorites]


the Spanish version of whitehouse.gov ... IT'S BACK.

I mean who would want to be called the Second Gentleman when they could be called El Segundo Caballero?
posted by straight at 11:22 PM on January 20 [87 favorites]


re: covfefe

Is it the consensus now that he meant to twat out "kayfabe" (/ˈkāˌfāb/)? Or was it just a butt twat?
posted by porpoise at 11:25 PM on January 20


HE'S GONE...
DISGRACED DONALD FLEES TO FLORIDA...
SKIPS INAUGURATION IN WAR-TORN CAPITAL...
'Unwell' Appearance...
Nation Exhausted...
The Don Revokes Lobbying Ban After Promising to 'Drain the Swamp'...
Extends clemency to sports gamblers and rappers...
Boon for well-connected fraudsters...
Secret Pardons for Self, Family?
[*]
Supporters will find life different at extreme corners of Web ...
QAnon believers grapple with doubt, spin new theories: 'We all got played'...


*I added a comment wrt this ‘Secret Pardons’ article in the previous thread.
posted by cenoxo at 12:10 AM on January 21


porpoise: re: covfefe Is it the consensus now that he meant to twat out "kayfabe" (/ˈkāˌfāb/)?

No.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:21 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


It was the wrong sort of lying and cheating:
China announces sanctions against 'lying and cheating' outgoing Trump officials
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:23 AM on January 21 [9 favorites]


He won the stupid prize he deserved.

One could say, he fucked around and found out.
posted by Ghidorah at 12:28 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


Day 1 Press Briefings: Trump admin vs. Biden admin [unmute: Sean vs. Jen].
posted by cenoxo at 12:54 AM on January 21 [16 favorites]


"We need longer tables, not higher walls."
-- Chef José Andrés


Let me share a dream I had, I was back in 2011 helping the clean up after the floods that hit my city. And Jose was there! He cried out 'BRING ME A TON OF BEANS AND A CEMENT MIXER!' and we all had the most amazing beans. I woke up and the house was full of the aroma of the chilli I had in the slow cooker.

I love that guy.
posted by adept256 at 1:25 AM on January 21 [22 favorites]




In the mean time, for J20, I once again came within inches of being nailed in the face with a tear gas canister at an anti-ICE protest at the ICE facility in Portland. Absolute chaos tonight. Not sure if Biden being president is going to calm things down with these sorts of crowds.
posted by gucci mane at 1:40 AM on January 21 [7 favorites]


It doesn't help that seditionous tool Josh Hawley is holding up the DHS appointment over "concerns" regarding immigration policy.
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:52 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


"We need longer tables, not higher walls."
-- Chef José Andrés


A slight derail from the inauguration, but food insecurity in the U.S. just makes me particularly angry. Because if I had to pick just one resource that we have in so much abundance that there’s no reason at all for anyone to ever have less than plenty of, it’s fucking food. We, the People, are sitting on millions of pounds of cheese like a dragon on her gold hoard. Our food waste is estimated to be 30 percent or more of the total supply. We could easily afford to just give every school kid free lunch regardless of their family’s income. It’s just exploding pants levels of ridiculous that anyone in the US should ever go hungry for even a day.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:54 AM on January 21 [73 favorites]


That time he lied about his dad being born in Germany. He was trying to impress that he was actually friends with Merkel and he was very fond of Germany, after all, his father was from there.

There was absolutely no reason to lie about this. No one asked, no one cares. And anyone with a phone needs four seconds on wikipedia to disprove it. Why did he do it?

Because he is a liar. Lying isn't a verb for him, it's what he is. It is his nature, he can't not lie.

BTW, friends with Merkel? He called her stupid. She's a professor of quantum physics, and she rescued Europe from economic collapse. Just Trump projecting again. And being a misogynist, naturally.

Anyhow, fuck off Trump you dumb fucking liar.
posted by adept256 at 2:34 AM on January 21 [30 favorites]


> The NLRB lawyer was given the opportunity to save face and resign, and instead decided to play stupid games.

If someone tasked with undermining workers' rights can't appreciate being fired by an employer without just cause, there's no helping them.
posted by at by at 3:18 AM on January 21 [65 favorites]


How's that unity and facts thing going?
By rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, President Biden indicates he’s more interested in the views of the citizens of Paris than in the jobs of the citizens of Pittsburgh. This agreement will do little to affect the climate and will harm the livelihoods of Americans. @SenTedCruz
Oh.
posted by fullerine at 3:25 AM on January 21 [14 favorites]


Siri, what's the precise value for how much staggering mendacity, xenophobia, tone deafness, gall and cynical bullshit can you fit in 280 characters?
posted by Happy Dave at 3:42 AM on January 21 [16 favorites]


It doesn't help that seditionous tool Josh Hawley is holding up the DHS appointment over "concerns" regarding immigration policy.

Someone should point out to Hawley that since the word "immigration" does not appear in the US Constitution or any Amendments, as a Defender of the US Constitution and with the authority of the 9th and 10th Amendments, he should be opposing ALL federal immigration legislation as unconstitutional.
posted by mikelieman at 3:47 AM on January 21 [8 favorites]


Congratulations. Strangely I feel nothing.
posted by dmh at 4:12 AM on January 21 [2 favorites]


I’m overjoyed to see that President Biden got to work on his first afternoon signing seventeen executive orders, including reversing his predecessor’s decisions to abandon the WHO and the Paris Climate Accord.

... wait... seventeen... the seventeenth letter...

HOLY SHIT JOE BIDEN WAS Q THE WHOLE TIME
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:14 AM on January 21 [43 favorites]


*unmasking.gif*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:31 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


The International Bobblehead Hall of Fame here in Milwaukee has announced a Bernie Sanders Inauguration Day Bobblehead, shipping in May, so that you can always remember his coat and mittens.

Wait they run the Hall of Fame for the thing that they produce and sell? Vertical monopoly! Biden, break up Big Bobblehead!
posted by jason_steakums at 4:48 AM on January 21 [13 favorites]


I do so look forward to not having to care about what the US President is doing every single day.

It's funny, I'm in the UK, and during the Obama administration I would occasionally think to myself: "I really should pay more attention to what Obama's up to because we've only got a limited time with him at the helm and it's all just happening in an orderly fashion without me being aware of it, and the time's slipping away so I should pay attention while it lasts, and appreciate it."

Little did I know.

So yeah, now I'm torn between paying real attention to Joe and Kamala to really appreciate them, and just enjoying the fact I don't have to.

Also: As someone else said above, I love that there's a real emphasis on it being the Biden AND Harris administration, not just the Biden administration.
posted by penguin pie at 4:58 AM on January 21 [12 favorites]


I wouldn't be surprised if they are laying the groundwork for Biden to leave the office, whether as an expected event or an unexpected event. And I don't think that's a bad thing! It shows teamwork, and planning, both of which have been in short supply for the last four years.

It also lifts Harris up in her own right, which is a signal in and of itself. She is likely to be the most active and important Vice President in history, and will need every bit of social capital that America can provide.
posted by notoriety public at 5:12 AM on January 21 [29 favorites]




I wouldn't be surprised if they are laying the groundwork for Biden to leave the office, whether as an expected event or an unexpected event. And I don't think that's a bad thing! It shows teamwork, and planning, both of which have been in short supply for the last four years.

Yup, that's always been my assumption. It's an electoral Trojan Horse, where you vote for an old white man and (eventually) get a young black woman, which is a great way of breaking down that barrier whereby we only choose to be led by people who look like the leaders we've had before, that holds back progressive leadership of all kinds.

Calling it a Trojan Horse makes it sound bad, but I think it's a wise, shrewd move, and not particularly deceitful - you just use Biden's platform to get people used to see Harris looking Presidential and she becomes his natural heir that much more smoothly.
posted by penguin pie at 5:19 AM on January 21 [18 favorites]


...Is it just me or is Biden, like, a 'better' man than he was back in, oh, say the time of the Clerence Thomas hearings? And what I mean is I have the distinct feeling he recognizes that he's a white guy and though the putative (and factual financial and political) majority - de-emphasizing that and focusing on bringing along those not in the 'majority' benefits everyone? . .. and this development is laudable - even though I expect at any minute to f*cking hate him again, just because...

But his organization, his competence, his knowledge of how to get things done in Washington and his desire to do good (not merely to be MIGHTY POTUS - all make me hope.)

(on Preview: I wouldn't be surprised if they are laying the groundwork for Biden to leave the office... And I don't think that's a bad thing! It shows teamwork, and planning, ... It also lifts Harris up in her own right,...
posted by notoriety public at 5:12 AM on January 21 [+] [!]


If she can rise with the occasion (and I believe she can - not only because of her past but because of her present: I have the impression she is surrounded by people who want her to succeed _for the whole country's sake_ and she appears to be smart enough to recognize that and profit from it.)
posted by From Bklyn at 5:21 AM on January 21 [12 favorites]


> Someone should point out to Hawley that since the word "immigration" does not appear in the US Constitution or any Amendments, as a Defender of the US Constitution and with the authority of the 9th and 10th Amendments, he should be opposing ALL federal immigration legislation as unconstitutional.

Since the 9th can also be interpreted to mean that only citizens have rights, I'm disinclined to prompt him to actually read the fucking thing he fetishizes so much.

In any event, it's a tiresome waste of effort to use moral consistency to corner any member of the right-wing into rhetorical gotchas. They exploit the transient memory of the public, only uttering what is expedient to them in the moment, up to and including denials of what they had previously said on record, and they have rarely if ever had to face consequences for doing so.
posted by at by at 5:22 AM on January 21 [7 favorites]


Newsweek Exclusive: Official Fear of Trump Froze Intel Agencies, Led to Capitol Riot
...behind the stunning inaction is a hidden story of an insurrection caused by the very fear that Donald Trump, crazed and unpredictable in his final days in office, might provoke an insurrection.

Fear of what President Trump might do—order the armed forces into action to hold on to power, federalize the National Guard under his control, or even declare martial law—was so palpable and threatening to many that they became paralyzed.

And what is more, in two years of domestic-threat reports distributed by Homeland Security to State and local partners, some 5,600 reports exclusively obtained by Newsweek, never once is the term "Trump supporters" used. "Domestic violent extremists" of every possible variety are scrutinized and monitored, including "white supremacists." But the idea that the threat to America might be the president's own militia? Officials say that to issue such a report, to have one show up in the news media—or worse, on Donald Trump's desk—would risk a storm of retribution.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:26 AM on January 21 [28 favorites]


If the mods allow, perhaps these historic audio recordings will help settle the vital national issue of Amazing Grace (WP) once and for all:
  • YouTube > ‘Amazing Grace‘ first/earliest/oldest/original recording – 1922 by ‘Original Sacred Harp Choir’.
  • Library of Congress > Audio Recordings > Search Audio Recordings > Amazing Grace. Here’s just one of thirty-seven results: Amazing grace; Carl Smith, Carter Sisters, Mother Maybell; 1952.
Forever and ever, amen.
posted by cenoxo at 5:27 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


...Is it just me or is Biden, like, a 'better' man than he was back in, oh, say the time of the Clerence Thomas hearings? And what I mean is I have the distinct feeling he recognizes that he's a white guy and though the putative (and factual financial and political) majority - de-emphasizing that and focusing on bringing along those not in the 'majority' benefits everyone? . .. and this development is laudable - even though I expect at any minute to f*cking hate him again, just because...

I say this with no cynicism, but Biden is showing that he's a real politician. Not the stereotype of a politician, who says one thing and does another - he's showing that he's actually able to do the job of politician, a job that involves listening to people, representing people who you may not look like or agree with, and trying to make the country the best it can be.

I'm here for it.
posted by LSK at 5:29 AM on January 21 [55 favorites]


This Reddit user posted his story of how his ex, who is a qanon, attacked him during the inauguration.
Less than 5 minutes after the inauguration, she pounded on the door, didn't wait for a response, and rushed in screaming incoherently. She threw herself at me, scratching at my face so it bled. I'm a foot taller than her, big strong guy, but I was so taken aback that someone who has never for a moment been violent or abusive could suddenly be trying to do me harm. I tried to hold her hands back but she started kicking, so I pushed her away ran out of the room to the bathroom and locked the door.

The bathroom door locked, I grabbed my meds and toiletries. My documents and most of my clothes were already in the car. I could hear her running around the house ranting about how I was glad the pedophiles won. When I sensed a moment of calm, I went directly to my car and drove to a hotel an hour away. I am not going back ever, even to get the few clothes I left.
Wow. This must be happening all over the nation. I mean reality isn't lining up with the fantasy, they must be losing their shit. How are we going to help these people? I know one of the ways people leave cults is through the ultimate self-harm. I'm really worried about them.
posted by adept256 at 5:36 AM on January 21 [22 favorites]


This is the funniest thread of all time
@kept_simple: what's a dumb trump moment that you remember that many of us may have forgotten?


Those of us who have the task of explaining the Trump years to generations to come, will have a hard job. We are talking about a president who rejected pretty much any facts or truths - but about whom the most tall and incredible tales will invariably prove verifiable. Did the man really despise windmills? Try to buy Greenland? Suggest that Seoul be moved? Recommend nuking a hurricane or preventing forest fires by removing leaves from trees? Did he make his case for Republican senators in Georgia by suggesting he was probably the only one who liked cucumbers? Did he insist that he be given one more scoop of ice cream than his other dinner guests? Was there a team designated designated to tape together the official documents he ripped up? Did Australia hang up on him on his first foreign call? Did he try to sell the Norwegians a plane that existed only in a video game -and claim the F22 fighter was invisible? Did he suggest Californians were running out of water because they were shipping what they had out to sea to feed endangered fish? Did he stroll ahead of the 92 year Queen Elizabeth because - like Melania - she was walking too slowly? Did he order his secretary of state to finish the salad he (Trump) had left on his plate? Did he really throw toilet paper into a crowd of Puerto Rican hurricane survivors? Did he arrange a surprise meet-up between the parents of a British teen run over by a US diplomat - and the diplomat? Did he misinterpret a briefing about "depleted uranium" to understand that the US nuclear stockpile was depleted? Did he (repeatedly) lecture rally crowds about the dangers of insufficiently powerful toilet flush mechanisms? Did his staff really reduce his briefing summaries from "no more than 3 bullet points" to "no more than 2" Did he claim the moon was part of Mars? Did he chide a 7 year old for having a belief in Santa Claus that was "pretty marginal"? Did he give a thumbs up in a photo shoot with the family of a child orphaned in a mass shooting? Did he make a list of "shithole countries"? Did he tip in an entire container of fish food into a koy carp pond in Japan? Did he regale an audience of boy scouts about a cocktail party he has been to with the "hottest people in New York"? Did he walk out of a signing ceremony after forgetting to sign anything?

[sigh] ... Yup!
posted by rongorongo at 5:43 AM on January 21 [109 favorites]


If Qanon victims take their lives, they number among the victims of the murder-by-malfeasance and murder-by-neglect justly attributed to Donald Trump, his enablers in politics and the media, and anyone who knowingly used his lies to further their accumulation of money and power. This includes the many thousands of Americans and others impacted by the uniquely intense and persistent American epidemic, caused by the demonization of basic public health measures as a sign of a sinister disloyalty.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:43 AM on January 21 [15 favorites]


Way upthread, freecellwizard said:

I don't excuse Trump votes, but as said in the previous threads, if you are very plugged-in to politics and assume that Trump voters know all the things you know and still voted for him because they suck, it might be good to dig into some polls and writing about how informed the electorate is (not very). US politics is like sports teams for a ton of people

I'm not really looking to open a debate here – I think we all deserve a moment of relief and celebration. I'll say my bit, and be done.

But we're gonna have to solve this problem eventually – so I would like to invite more knowledgeable MeFites to post an FPP about this topic.

I understand and agree that Trump voters are largely low-information voters.

But that doesn't change the moral calculus for me – it just kicks the can down the road. In an era of near-universal internet access, they could know the things that we do – if they wanted to. Apparently, they don't want to.

(This is generally true. I acknowledge that not everyone has the free time to invest in self-education, or a culture around them which encourages and rewards such habits.)

It seems to me that we have a civic duty to educate ourselves about the questions on our ballots, including the social and political context around them. And if we're unable to do that, then we should abstain from voting on that question.

If someone fails this responsiblity, then I hold them morally accountable for the failure. Because, as the last four years have made blindingly obvious, it's dangerous when people abdicate this duty. That's why it's a duty – a solemn responsibility which should be taken seriously. Not an optional nice-to-have.

I guess the question (that I would love to see addressed in an FPP) is this:

Given the firehose of information and disinformation that's available to all of us, why do some people use it as a way to learn about new ideas, while others use it as a way to validate and reinforce their existing prejudices? The former tendency brought us the Great Enwokening. The latter tendency brought us Trumpism.

I imagine that psychology (including personality theory), sociology, pedagogy, and political science (among other fields) have something to say here.

And, the million-dollar question: how might we encourage people to believe in this civic duty? How can we make the position that "my ignorance is as good as your knowledge" socially unacceptable?
posted by escape from the potato planet at 5:51 AM on January 21 [14 favorites]


A widespread question among awakening followers of Q is, if Q was fake, why did Trump quietly praise it instead of condemning it?

Why indeed. Donald John Trump deliberately gaining support via the dissemination of false claims? It just seems out of character
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:54 AM on January 21 [9 favorites]


Watching his performance in the campaign and so far as President-elect and President, it's worth remembering that, whatever his shortcomings, Joe Biden has been a successful politician for a very long time.

He was elected to local office in 1970 when he was 28 years old, then served six terms in the Senate, and has been part of three winning Presidential campaigns, most recently at the top of the ticket. Turns out, he's learned some stuff, and he's gotten pretty good at this "politics" thing!
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 5:54 AM on January 21 [24 favorites]


> Why indeed. Donald John Trump deliberately gaining support via the dissemination of false claims? It just seems out of character

Sadly, the un-President wasn't alone in his willingness to peddle QAnon horseshit for political gain (via):

KatzOnEarth:
No one:

Absolutely no one:

Seriously, zero people:

Jacobin: Hey could you get me 2,000 words two weeks after the Capitol riot on how QAnon isn’t that bad

[screenshot of Jacobin saying precisely that]

[screenshot of @dril's iconic "gotta hand it to them" tweet]
@SimonBalto: An article in Jacobin today describes QAnon as “a true Rainbow Coalition.” The amount of intellectual violence that inheres in such a claim—such an abomination—is astonishing. One of those days where I’m proud they rejected a pitch from grad-school me.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:23 AM on January 21 [33 favorites]


At this point Jacobin has become largely a bunch of Leftist trolls.
posted by PhineasGage at 6:46 AM on January 21 [10 favorites]


Like, it's not even difficult to write an article about QAnon that comports with radical socialist/Marxist orthodoxy that doesn't read like "whelp, maybe they have a point?" drivel.

If QAnon became a repository for and diversion from anxieties stemming from neoliberal policy - such that its adherents were tricked in to a ridiculous quasi-epistemology chasing neoliberal elites for their supposed but wholly unreal satanistic child-abusing ways, precisely as a distraction from the objective conspiracy of emiseration, proletarianisation and exploitation - there exists a ground for real socialists to explain how a fake conspiracy obscured the real conspiracy and explain to the rubes that their efforts would be better spent attacking elites qua elites (rather than elites qua fucking nonsense stories).

I mean, I shat that out with one eye and at least half my attention on episode 2 of Lupin on Netflix. It's got fucking subtitles. Where's my fucking commission to write it up?
posted by deeker at 6:53 AM on January 21 [27 favorites]


The problem is that the Jacobin set really wants to believe that Trump's ascendancy was due to a populist uprising against policies that undercut the Rust Belt, no matter the mounds of evidence that it was about bigotry of every stripe, and thus his followers are temporarily embarrassed socialists who need only be given the good word. Hence the attempts to dig through the shitpile that is QAnon in the fervent belief that there's got to be a pony there.
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:00 AM on January 21 [47 favorites]


I'm just going about my day but every now and again it hits me that not only is Trump not President, he's also not on Twitter. Can you imagine how much less enjoyable this would be with him carping from the sidelines in all caps every two minutes, and his supporters getting stoked up by him again and again?

The delicious side dish is knowing how much this must have thrown his post-office plans off (supposing he ever deigned to imagine himself out of office, I guess).
posted by penguin pie at 7:05 AM on January 21 [41 favorites]


I just want to add that Trump's 2016 win wasn't all about racism. There was a lot of straight-up misogyny.

I think that misogyny against Harris shaved points off of Biden's victory, and even added to McCain's 2008 loss. (The latter is not equal to saying that Palin was competent)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:08 AM on January 21 [55 favorites]


Agreed. I feel so much calmer now that he is not tweeting.
posted by all about eevee at 7:08 AM on January 21 [10 favorites]


The problem is that the Jacobin set really wants to believe that Trump's ascendancy was due to a populist uprising against policies that undercut the Rust Belt, no matter the mounds of evidence that it was about bigotry of every stripe

This is because if it's all about economic anxiety, they don't have to do any introspection about their own complicity in various forms of oppression. It's the refuge of people who want to externalize responsibility for every bad thing; who cannot accept their own.

There's a reason it appeals to the people it appeals to.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:16 AM on January 21 [28 favorites]


Dances_with_sneetches: you’re not wrong. Even now I am worried that Republicans could seize power in eight or even four years if Harris is the candidate, as I expect, purely for that reason. I have been a feminist all my life, but for now I would rather have a sure bet at safe, sane Democratic leadership than a woman in the position, if that is indeed what it takes. Maybe 2054?
posted by Countess Elena at 7:18 AM on January 21 [8 favorites]


Also, Jacobin is straight trash, but I'm still privately seething at the absolute shitshow of ableism on the left that was "Joe Biden's stutter means he has dementia."

Every single person who shared those doctored videos or confidently spread that bigoted bullshit should be deeply, deeply ashamed of themselves, and they should never be taken seriously when they make claims to social justice. They are also straight trash.

And there's a lot of them. I have zero hope that they will ever even acknowledge the shittiness of what they did, and who they chose to be.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:19 AM on January 21 [53 favorites]



That was a v serious firework show.

They were incredibly loud, and at first I was scared. Then I realized. I was already in bed, but I am so sorry I missed them; they must have been spectacular. I had been hoping to go to the roof of a friend's building near the ballpark, but it would've been hard to Uber back and forth.
posted by jgirl at 7:20 AM on January 21


I think the dream is that Biden stands again in four years, wins, then stands down after a respectable interval, handing Harris a decent remaining term.
posted by penguin pie at 7:20 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


I think he hasn't decided what he wants to do in regards to four years from now. I thought he was planning on not running again and letting Harris run instead, but I guess that has changed and he's keeping his options open.
posted by all about eevee at 7:27 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


Jacobin: "QAnon-ers are correct about a lot of things. Recent revelations like those surrounding the Jeffrey Epstein scandal indicate that a lot of wealthy elites are, in fact, members of a pedophilic cabal. "

In the same way the Charles Manson saga indicates that a lot of Beatles fans are trying to start a race war
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:29 AM on January 21 [27 favorites]


Biden's going to have to do about eight years worth of work in his first term just to repair the damage done by the previous tenant. My hope is that he puts every ounce of energy he has into doing that and chooses to go out on top as the best one-term President we've ever had (not that the competition is that strong with guys like Polk and Bush 41 being put out there as leading the pack.)
posted by tonycpsu at 7:31 AM on January 21 [8 favorites]


I think the dream is that Biden stands again in four years, wins, then stands down after a respectable interval, handing Harris a decent remaining term.

--

I think he hasn't decided what he wants to do in regards to four years from now. I thought he was planning on not running again and letting Harris run instead, but I guess that has changed and he's keeping his options open.


I probably mean my dream, not his!
posted by penguin pie at 7:34 AM on January 21


The delicious side dish is knowing how much this must have thrown his post-office plans off (supposing he ever deigned to imagine himself out of office, I guess).

His post office plans are still going fine, though
posted by StarkRoads at 7:34 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


...Is it just me or is Biden, like, a 'better' man than he was back in, oh, say the time of the Clerence Thomas hearings? And what I mean is I have the distinct feeling he recognizes that he's a white guy and though the putative (and factual financial and political) majority - de-emphasizing that and focusing on bringing along those not in the 'majority' benefits everyone?

I agree with LSK that Biden is an excellent politician, but I'm also here to remind all our younger viewers that some of us Boomers are capable of learning.
posted by ALeaflikeStructure at 7:36 AM on January 21 [43 favorites]


A well documented examination (by N. Shirazi and A. Johnson of Citations Needed) to help distinguish “unity and healing” rhetoric from the real work of repair and accountability that lies in store for any actual “union with purpose” (cit. A. Gorman): The “Healing” Con: How Warm and Fuzzy Appeals for “Unity” Are Used to Protect Power.
posted by progosk at 7:42 AM on January 21 [2 favorites]


He's changed his opinions over time as he has received new information, which is NORMAL for people to do.
posted by all about eevee at 7:43 AM on January 21 [60 favorites]


It's an electoral Trojan Horse,

It's also good personnel development, if they work together on everything. He's an old hand, she's a relatively new senator. She's essentially learning presidenting by apprenticeship. Plus his decisions will be better for bouncing them off her, with her very different background.
posted by ctmf at 7:53 AM on January 21 [31 favorites]


Indeed, ctmf! They do say that the first job of a good executive is to prepare a succession plan, and having as your deputy a person who's very skilled and just needs their shot seems to fit that precept well.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:56 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


I genuinely can't tell whether this is parody or not, but I am enjoying the new Twitter account Has Biden Done Anything Yet?
posted by PhineasGage at 7:58 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]




PhineasGage: Based on the author's personal feed, I can confirm that is not parody.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:03 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


Biden inheriting nonexistent coronavirus vaccine distribution plan and must start 'from scratch,' sources say

The Biden administration has promised to try to turn the Covid-19 pandemic around and drastically speed up the pace of vaccinating Americans against the virus. But in the immediate hours following Biden being sworn into office on Wednesday, sources with direct knowledge of the new administration's Covid-related work told CNN one of the biggest shocks that the Biden team had to digest during the transition period was what they saw as a complete lack of a vaccine distribution strategy under former President Donald Trump, even weeks after multiple vaccines were approved for use in the United States.

"There is nothing for us to rework. We are going to have to build everything from scratch," one source said...

Criticizing the "lack of cooperation" from the Trump administration as an "impediment" for the new administration, White House Covid coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters on Wednesday that he was still confident that the administration can meet its 100 million vaccine shots in 100 days target.

posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:17 AM on January 21 [23 favorites]


I saw that #BidenErasedWomen was trending, and it turns out that on day one he signed an executive order not only opposing discrimination on the basis of gender identity, but also including the phrase "It is also the policy of my Administration to address overlapping forms of discrimination. "

The hashtag is some bullshit, but that is genuinely a pretty impressively progressive thing to have on your desk for day one.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 8:23 AM on January 21 [42 favorites]


How can they be that shocked about it? Were they really not aware of T’s incompetence?
posted by Melismata at 8:23 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


Twitter account Has Biden Done Anything Yet?

The argument that Biden could use executive order to enact Medicare for All is specious. The law allows targeted populations (which I suppose could be anyone with COVID) to be covered, or "pilot programs". The courts would not see a new nationwide shift to Medicare as a pilot program.

The COVID exception would fly a little more easily, but would last a relatively short period of time.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:25 AM on January 21 [5 favorites]


I feel like it's a mixed bag; if Trump had a plan, it would be terrible and possibly hard to undo.

(Not to ignore that it's basically committing manslaughter or criminal negligence or what have you on a massive scale to not even attempt to manage a pandemic and everyone involved deserves to rot in prison forever. )
posted by emjaybee at 8:30 AM on January 21


He's not wrong.

Rand Paul Suggests Biden’s Address Painted GOPers As ‘Liars’ And ‘White Supremacists’ | Talking Points Memo (talkingpointsmemo.com)
The Kentucky lawmaker said he interpreted Biden’s call to “reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured” as an attack on the GOP.

“Well, that’s another way of saying, all of my opponents manufacture and manipulate the truth and are liars,” Paul said. “He just said it in a nicer way. But that was really the gist of what he was telling us.”
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:36 AM on January 21 [38 favorites]


Twitter account Has Biden Done Anything Yet?

He didn't cancel all student loan debt, but delaying repayment and setting interest to zero percent on the first day in office is no small matter, especially after four years of Betsy DeVos. Frustrations are palpable, but social media also makes one-click cynicism a little too easy.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:36 AM on January 21 [35 favorites]


The Kentucky lawmaker said he interpreted Biden’s call to “reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured” as an attack on the GOP.

If the clown shoe fits...
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 8:40 AM on January 21 [58 favorites]


“I’m thinking, how did we get the race for the most important office in the free world to sink to such depths, and how could anyone in my party think that this clown is fit to be president?” - notably non-intellectually-disingenuous person Senator Rand Paul speaking about Donald Trump, 2015
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:47 AM on January 21 [14 favorites]


Were they really not aware of T’s incompetence?

I don’t think Trump ever has a plan for anything. When confronted with a problem, he relies on his gut instinct, stable genius, superior deal-making ability, and rambling speech to give a quick ‘answer’, then constantly adjusts lies and exaggerates as needed to make himself look good.

His staff, never knowing exactly what he wants or when he may change his mind, are kept in a constant state of gaslighted confusion and must go back to him for a fresh ‘answer’ (rinse and repeat). His ego thrives on this.

In the end, little is actually accomplished, but he still claims complete victory and steals credit for anything that looks like a solution.
posted by cenoxo at 8:58 AM on January 21 [9 favorites]


"I never, ever cheated. I don't condone cheating. But I would sometimes spread misinformation. This is a great tactic. Misinformation can be very important." - Rand Paul speaking to a group of medical students, 2013
posted by box at 9:07 AM on January 21 [28 favorites]


Can Biden actually sign an executive order and cancel student loan debt?

Because if he can but hasn't then I don't think giving him credit for half ass measures is productive.

If he can't and the best he can do is setting interest to zero and delaying repayment than I'll take that and thank him.

But if he has the power to do more but is refusing to do so ten he needs to explain to us why he has chosen to leave us saddled with debt.

Especially since the most well known reply he had to people asking about student loan debt was rude, dismissive, and indicated he had no interest at all in helping.

Direct quote:
The younger generation now tells me how tough things are. Give me a break. I have no empathy for it. Give me a break.
So given his past contemptuous and blunt dismissal of the problem I think it is critical to know if what he has done represents the actual limit to what he can do via executive order or if he is choosing not to do more.

Either way an explanation would be a good idea.
posted by sotonohito at 9:17 AM on January 21 [2 favorites]


The Kentucky lawmaker said he interpreted Biden’s call to “reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured” as an attack on the GOP.

If the clown shoe fits...


Well, quite.

If I gather together ten people and say, "I can get along with some of you perfectly well but, unfortunately, some of you are just liars with whom I cannot," and one of the ten days, "hey, you guys, he just called all of us liars," I'd expect the honest people I was addressing to look at the shouty one kinda shifty...
posted by deeker at 9:17 AM on January 21 [13 favorites]


Direct quote: The younger generation now tells me how tough things are. Give me a break. I have no empathy for it. Give me a break.

Snopes discusses this and it isn't obvious that this quote derives from any discussion about student loans or the difficulties that millenials have with loans, but is rather a comment about participation in the civil rights movements of the 1960s. Do you have more context?
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:22 AM on January 21 [13 favorites]


"One of you is the murderer," announced Poirot.

""Calumny!" cried the Colonel, "he just called us all murderers!"
posted by deeker at 9:23 AM on January 21 [24 favorites]




Yeah, everything that ever will be has already been on “The Simpsons”. But this is a bit on the nose.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:31 AM on January 21 [14 favorites]


He didn't cancel all student loan debt, but delaying repayment and setting interest to zero percent on the first day in office is no small matter, especially after four years of Betsy DeVos. Frustrations are palpable, but social media also makes one-click cynicism a little too easy.

And more to the point, Biden suspended repayment for a substantial period of time: ~9 months, which is likely to last through the worst of the pandemic. Biden has been clear that he would prefer to cancel student loan debt via legislation rather than executive action, and 9 months allows time to see if that approach works. If it doesn't, then he should be held to account and return to executive action.

And this may be imputing more complex strategizing than the evidence supports, but it's possible that a very long suspension period will make popular support for cancellation grow. When the current suspension period ends, payments will have been suspended for something like 18 months in total. That's long enough that people can really see how much of a difference both the money and the psychological effects make. Roughly a quarter of US adults have student debt, and even well-off borrowers are not going to want to go back to making payments after a year and a half.
posted by jedicus at 9:33 AM on January 21 [31 favorites]


Did he make his case for Republican senators in Georgia by suggesting he was probably the only one who liked cucumbers?

I assumed you had covertly dropped in a random comparably-goofy lie among all the truths for giggles because I didn't remember this one at all. Alas, reality is more fucked up than you can match, apparently, because this did happen and I just missed it among the sheer deluge of preposterousness we had to live through every day.
posted by jackbishop at 9:38 AM on January 21 [9 favorites]


Biden has been clear that he would prefer to cancel student loan debt via legislation rather than executive action, and 9 months allows time to see if that approach works. If it doesn't, then he should be held to account and return to executive action.

Also, you just know if he tries via executive action that some Republican asshat is going to tie up the executive action in the courts leaving students in a state of flux until some 6-3 decision that's basically "fuck everyone".
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:40 AM on January 21 [17 favorites]


"Oh I'm a Republican asshat who has a tort because now instead of my punishing payment plan I'll never get out from under I get saddled with a relatively sane IRS bill because the forgiveness counts as income!"
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:41 AM on January 21 [2 favorites]


Outright canceling student loan debt is pretty much de facto free college going forward wherever federal loans can cover the costs, right? That does seem like the kind of thing that would get firmly slapped down in the Supreme Court if it's done by the executive rather than legislatively. Like even if it wasn't a Republican Supreme Court.

I absolutely believe it should be done, but I don't think there's a quick and easy way to do it without Congress.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:43 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


A clear conscience sleeps much better, Mr. Rand Paul.
posted by ctmf at 9:44 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


Can Biden actually sign an executive order and cancel student loan debt?

I seriously doubt he can. And, if he actually can, there needs to be some planning/discussion/work on dealing with the technical/economic details. Just flipping a switch to cancel that amount of debt will have serious knock-on effects. It's not impossible, though, and I seriously hope it eventually happens.

There's also the issue of what, if anything, can be done about the umpteen millions in student loan debt held by private loan servicers. Not all student loans were through the government, and lot of students ended up consolidating loans via private lenders. If nothing can be done for them, we're still facing a huge number of young people saddled with student loan debt. And they haven't had the help of forbearance during COVID, either. Private servicers weren't required to do forbearance. It's been business as usual for them.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:44 AM on January 21 [9 favorites]


Anyone who says you're singing "Amazing Grace" wrong is a poseur unless they're singing it like this.
posted by straight at 9:45 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


He can't sign an executive order canceling student loan debt or to create Medicare for All or to enact the Green New Deal. If he could enact the entire progressive agenda without consequence by singing executive orders, he would be signing many, many, many more orders than he currently is.
posted by all about eevee at 9:48 AM on January 21 [6 favorites]


singing executive orders

(shoutout to cortex)
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 9:51 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


“Well, that’s another way of saying, all of my opponents manufacture and manipulate the truth and are liars,” Paul said.
Close, Sentator. Try: "Well, that's another way of saying, all people who manufacture and manipulate the truth are my opponents." Criticial reading and comprehension skills can be quite a tool to guide your thinking, sir!
posted by Brak at 9:53 AM on January 21 [17 favorites]


Can Biden actually sign an executive order and cancel student loan debt?

This is a debate. A simplistic version of the issues filtered through my garbled memory:

- There are various provisions for cancelling student debt in the legislation, none of which end with "or the president just decides to do it."
- But since ~2009 the government is now the lender, so the lender can just say not worth collection. The executive branch administers the loans so it's up to them.
- This ambiguity is a byproduct of getting the government fully in the loan business, which made financial sense (governments borrow money cheaply) but didn't go through other implications.

I feel the correct answer is "no" and that a lot of people saying otherwise would be upset with the president getting similar levels of discretion to bypass the intent of legislation otherwise.

My feelings are not legal arguments, of course.
posted by mark k at 9:54 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


Regarding Trump's fondness for cucumbers in Georgia: The guy seemed more unhinged than usual during the speech, also bragging about the US's hydrosonic missles and lashing out at the politicians he was supposed to be there to support. So it could have been one of his nonsequitur soundbites but I still suspect that the cucumbers line was an intentional shout-out to the qanons.
posted by at by at 9:56 AM on January 21


Metafilter: My feelings are not legal arguments, of course.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:56 AM on January 21 [18 favorites]


Outright canceling student loan debt is pretty much de facto free college going forward wherever federal loans can cover the costs, right?

aside from some 2 year degree programs, where is this happening now?
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 10:09 AM on January 21


The Higher Education Act grants the Secretary of Education (and thus the President) broad authority on federal student loans, including cancelling them.

From a press release from Warren's senate office:
Congress has already granted the Secretary of Education the legal authority to broadly cancel student debt under section 432(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1082(a)), which grants the Secretary the authority to modify, "... compromise, waive, or release any right, title, claim, lien, or demand, however acquired, including any equity or any right of redemption."
This will certainly be challenged in the courts if exercised as a violation of the takings clause or some other constitutional trap, but he has the power to do it!
posted by dis_integration at 10:11 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


singing executive orders - I am campaigning hard for best typo of the day.
posted by all about eevee at 10:12 AM on January 21 [14 favorites]


The [Medicare] law allows targeted populations (which I suppose could be anyone with COVID) to be covered, or "pilot programs"

I've got people in my family below 65 who have full coverage via Medicare because of renal failure. I've always wondered if there could be a backdoor path to at least full catastrophic coverage for the US via adding conditions to the list. Like adding Covid, broken limbs, heart disease, cancers of all sorts, etc.

I don't know enough about the law as it currently is. Could Biden start such a list without having to revisit the law?
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 10:13 AM on January 21 [2 favorites]


This will certainly be challenged in the courts if exercised as a violation of the takings clause or some other constitutional trap, but he has the power to do it!

I'm not saying it wouldn't happen or there isn't anybody that meets the qualifications, but who would have standing to bring a case to court?
posted by LionIndex at 10:14 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


If student loans are on hold until September now, then it will have been what, 18 months since anyone has been obligated to make a payment by then? I'm not sure how that all starts back up for so many people after so long dormant, just in practical and political terms. Is any elected leader champing at the bit to be the one who insists that everyone's ruinous debt repayments begin again?
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:16 AM on January 21 [2 favorites]


I'm not saying it wouldn't happen or there isn't anybody that meets the qualifications, but who would have standing to bring a case to court?

I dunno, standing is obscure to me. But the banks who hold the debt and earn interest on it, for example. I pay my loans through Navient, which is a private company, even though they are federal student loans. Presumably forgiving the debt would put them out of business (good riddance)
posted by dis_integration at 10:19 AM on January 21 [6 favorites]


I'm a teeny tiny little bit stunned at assertions that there's only one way to sing a song but -
at the New Room in Bristol (link goes to online PDF with option to download) I'm sure there's an exhibit showing a letter from John Newton, who wrote Amazing Grace, describing his conversion. Once we're out of lockdown I'll go check if I'm right about that memory.

The New Room, as well as including a working chapel, is a wonderful and accessible historical site in the middle of town center shops. Bristol as a whole has some wonderful, low key Methodist landmarks.
posted by glasseyes at 10:22 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


(oh whoops, sorry jedicus, I missed your comment where you made the same point, but better)
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:24 AM on January 21


Is any elected leader champing at the bit to be the one who insists that everyone's ruinous debt repayments begin again?

You'd be surprised.
posted by all about eevee at 10:35 AM on January 21 [7 favorites]


Is any elected leader champing at the bit to be the one who insists that everyone's ruinous debt repayments begin again?

You'd be surprised.


Like you would have to ignore some guy named Joe Biden's legislative history for one.
posted by srboisvert at 10:39 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


Given the craven, ruinous risk avoidance in the student loan market (they're bankruptcy proof!), seeing the loans magically wiped out by executive order would be... delicious. And, dare I say it, just.
posted by kaibutsu at 10:40 AM on January 21 [17 favorites]


I wonder what sort of secret contracts Harleth and other appointees signed for Trump? I think it's safe to assume he signed a non-disparagement clause, but there's probably other agreements, both from the appointment, and holdovers from being in management at a Trump company.
posted by ryanrs at 10:42 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


aside from some 2 year degree programs, where is this happening now?

Not sure about how federal loan limits have kept up with cost increases since I graduated, but I've got a four year degree that's all federal loans and I graduated in '07. I'd imagine it's still doable depending on the school, I did a mix of Stafford subsidized and unsubsidized with some Pell Grant at a state school.

The Higher Education Act grants the Secretary of Education (and thus the President) broad authority on federal student loans, including cancelling them.

Thank you for posting this! That answers most of my questions. If it survives legal challenges it would be a little ridiculous if Congress passed something with that big of a loophole that it could effectively provide free college unintentionally, but I don't know that "Congress didn't think it through in 1965 so you can't do that" is an argument that would have much sway with the courts.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:45 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


I'm a teeny tiny little bit stunned at assertions that there's only one way to sing a song

This misunderstanding has been repeated across multiple comments, but no one in this thread has said that there's only one way to sing "Amazing Grace," or that Brooks sang it wrong; several of us have simply commented that he sang unexpectedly poorly for a professional musician singing for a very, very large audience at a very, very important occasion, in a way that the previous two singers did not.

If you enjoyed his performance: great! You are not wrong. If, however, you found his singing technically sloppy and lazy: great! You are not wrong, either.
posted by LooseFilter at 10:46 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


Colman Domingo: Are you political, Mr. Gaines?
Forest Whitaker: No, sir.
Colman Domingo: Good. We have no tolerance for politics at the White House.
--The Butler
posted by Melismata at 10:53 AM on January 21 [2 favorites]


If you enjoyed his performance: great! You are not wrong. If, however, you found his singing technically sloppy and lazy: great! You are not wrong, either.

Well, that wraps that topic up then.
So did anyone else think the piano mix was way too low on John Legend's Feeling Good?
posted by netowl at 10:56 AM on January 21 [8 favorites]


I'm smiling at all you. Trump's gone, happy days, and there shall be rejoicing in all the land(s)
posted by glasseyes at 11:11 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


it could effectively provide free college unintentionally

It's doubtful that the intention was ever to create the current student loan system, where easy access to fafsa loans has pushed tuitions up and up and up and thus loan amounts up and up and up. College was cheap in 1965, and especially so at public institutions. Johnson's intention with the act was to make college more available to lower income students, but the net effect was to drive up tuition and create generations of indebted. I don't think anybody anticipated the current student loan crisis when they drafted that bill.
posted by dis_integration at 11:20 AM on January 21 [17 favorites]


aside from some 2 year degree programs, where is this happening now?

Lots of public four year schools. The ones you don't hear about. And you can get another $20K per year for grad school. Including various business programs of dubious value.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:23 AM on January 21




From an Elsewherian, congratulations America, and good luck!

Also, just wanted to share that someone made a website where you can put bernie in places using google maps street view:
bernie-sits.herokuapp.com
posted by bitteschoen at 11:34 AM on January 21 [13 favorites]


I linked this in the MeTa too but it seems worth repeating here: Colin Powell, though flawed, yesterday gave a really inspiring, hopeful interview to Katty Kay of BBC World News about attending the inauguration, being the son of Jamaican immigrants (heritage shared with Harris!), being educated in US public schools, and advancing in life through opportunities provided by the US military, and how it all relates to the nature and future promise of the US:
“a bunch of ruffians and other crooks and bums tried to see if they could overtake us, and they couldn't.” (video, ~5¼ min)
The BBC only put a tiny bit of it online, but the above link goes to the Internet Archive's Television News Archive project where it was captured in full, and transcribed, thanks to MeFi's Own™ brewsterkahle (ultimately, he organized it all.) The way the archive works is, as each segment ends, you have to click on the next segment to continue viewing.
posted by XMLicious at 11:36 AM on January 21 [7 favorites]


Now that the Trump administration has begun to recede into history, I am idly wondering about some of the physical artifacts that will represent this chaotic four years.

First is the Trump Presidential portrait; commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery.

The National Portrait Gallery's commissioned paintings of Barack and Michelle Obama generated quite a bit of interest in 2018, even though there was not an official unveiling ceremony at the Trump White House, for obvious reasons.

Once the Donald/Melania Trump portraits are completed and revealed, will there be a ceremony? What will the docents and curators have to do to prevent vandalism or possible violence in the gallery area where the Trump paintings are displayed?

Second are the museum exhibits that will describe the events of January 6th. What 1/6/2021 remnants will join the 6531 artifacts from 9/11/2001?

Can plexiglass displays contain the hate and pain, along with Nancy Pelosi's shattered office name plate?

Or will they be a mild curiosity for seventh-graders to shuffle past in 2041, somewhere near this file cabinet scarred by Nixonian paranoia and corruption?
posted by JDC8 at 11:54 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


It is a little funny for someone like Colin Powell to talk about ruffians and crooks. It is really depressing that people earnestly believe him and give him a venue to successfully launder his reputation. It reminds me of the recent fawning treatment of George W. Bush for calling out people attempting to steal an election.

There are plenty of accomplished people of color who have better views and analyses of the last few weeks and as an added bonus, they aren't saddled with the minor flaw of participating in the worst foreign policy disaster and white supremacist oppression in recent memory.
posted by Ouverture at 11:58 AM on January 21 [15 favorites]


I don't know that "Congress didn't think it through in 1965 so you can't do that" is an argument that would have much sway with the courts.

I love Warren but she is definitely an advocate and not an analyst on this topic.

Reminds me a bit of the whole the card says moops argument made by right wing nuts that Obamacare should be nullified because of basically a bit of sloppy phrasing. That was too much for even this Supreme Court:
The Court found the plaintiffs' interpretation to be "the most natural reading of the pertinent statutory phrase." Nevertheless, the Court found the statute as a whole to be ambiguous, and that "the pertinent statutory phrase" ought to be interpreted in a manner "that is compatible with the rest of the law." The majority opinion stated: "Congress made the guaranteed issue and community rating requirements applicable in every State in the Nation. But those requirements only work when combined with the coverage requirement and tax credits. So it stands to reason that Congress meant for those provisions to apply in every State as well."
(via Wikipedia)

I'm not saying Warren is being that ridiculous, but it's at least unclear that any good faith court would say Congress, by overlooking a 1965 section that had different intent during a 2009 funding change, to have accidentally delegated vast amounts of its constitutionally granted commerce and legislative powers to the Executive Branch and let them provide free college if they feel like it. It's almost totally unimaginable that this court would do it.
posted by mark k at 11:58 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


It is a little funny for someone like Colin Powell to talk about ruffians and crooks. It is really depressing that people earnestly believe him and give him a venue to successfully launder his reputation.

It's not that I think Colin Powell is anything other than a Bush II lackey, and therefore a crusader for Western imperialism and a paragon of white supremacy, it's just that I think that particular interview is a stopped clock moment for him.

Just as, while the Allies did lots of completely horrifying things, including war crimes and crimes against humanity, during WWII, some of the criticisms directed by Allied leaders against Nazi Germany were eloquent and on point.

But, I should have accompanied the above links with more direct criticism of Powell, as I did in the MeTa thread; the times certainly demand we do not elide any of it, so thank you Ouverture.
posted by XMLicious at 12:08 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]


Is there a non-paywalled link to the executive orders with simple explanations? Ideally, with links to the orders themselves; news sites hate linking to official versions of anything.

I'm trying to figure out which order or orders could be interpreted by Qanoners as "open season on Trump supporters." Is that just wild "Alex Jones made it up" propaganda, or is there something buried in one of the orders about, I dunno, removing personnel who don't comply with the new ethics code, or something like that?
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:09 PM on January 21


Trump has an impeachment lawyer. It is this guy.
posted by all about eevee at 12:10 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


I mean. I still do and probably will always love Colin Powell for the time before he fell from grace and toed the Cheney/Rove line. There was a brief moment before he collapsed under pressure and said what they wanted him to say, when he famously flung the briefing book down and declared it "bullshit." I have never been able to fully forget that even after he yellowcaked himself to lying neoconservative liar hell. To this day I've never been able to fully despise Colin Powell.

But wtf is with this "this will never happen again" bullshit?

Hello! Okay, yes: this exact insurrection format with these exact idiotic "optics" will probably not happen again, true enough. But the fuckers who made it all possible are still in congress! the footsoldiers are still out there in their millions and they're still getting radicalized and propagandized right now today.

The civil war happened and now that precise thing will never happen again. this is because it is no longer the eighteen hundreds. But since we all said "this will never happen again," and we mollycoddled the racists, we got Jim Crow and lynch mobs, we now have a thoroughly corrupt domestic policing corps based on the KKK we decided wasn't enough of a problem to pay attn to, and we just had the opening salvo of Act II of the civil war we said would never happen again. This is Civil War II, Electric goddamnit Boogaloo and you should pay the hell attention!

Do we really get to heave a sigh of relief because by a huuuuuuge piece of luck a single capitol police officer willing to risk his own life happened to be in front of the mob that was headed for the senate chamber and thus the vice president and congress are all still alive? That means we're done? whew, sigh of relief, back to bizniss as usual, Colin Powell?

Remember how we had the voting rights act for years and years and then in the last couple of decades it got chipped away and finally thrown out entire and now it's impossible to have a fair election in this country? Are we done, Colin Powell? Did the situation that made the voting rights act necessary "never happen again?"

Remember how Jews have been getting killed for centuries because of something called "the blood libel" about how they're cannibal kideaters? And then we fought WWII and closed the concentration camps? Did that mean "it would never happen again?" NO! We "neveragained" ourselves into a peaceful slumber and now we have a giant doomcult in this country relying on the same exact piece of moronic insane bullshit propaganda to mark anybody they like for death.

YES! You were educated in public schools and you succeeded in life and that was great! Can we look at that and think, "welp! Done forever!" NO! Because can that happen for kids today who are just exactly like you were then? FUCKING NO, COLIN POWELL! It's like you missed the whole charter schools movement and Betsy Devos and every other damn thing that's happened in education since you were 17! HELLOOOOOO COLIIIIIIN!

Let's you remember the time long ago when you were able to recognize bullshit and call it what it is. Let's go back to that time, Colin Powell. THAT should happen again. jesus h christ.
posted by Don Pepino at 12:11 PM on January 21 [37 favorites]


> Reminds me a bit of the whole the card says moops argument made by right wing nuts that Obamacare should be nullified because of basically a bit of sloppy phrasing. That was too much for even this Supreme Court:

Except there's no such incompatibility between canceling some or all student debt and the rest of the law. The ACA was designed make healthcare more available and affordable. Eliminating the mandate and tax credits would have done the opposite. The Higher Education Act, meanwhile, was intended to increase access to education, and canceling student debt will do precisely that.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:11 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


some of the physical artifacts that will represent this chaotic four years
Surely the just-removed Diet Coke button is essential.
posted by neroli at 12:16 PM on January 21 [7 favorites]


Is there a non-paywalled link to the executive orders with simple explanations? Ideally, with links to the orders themselves; news sites hate linking to official versions of anything.

Don't know about where to find third-party summaries, but here's where the whitehouse posts the text of all its executive orders (among other things, but you can filter by "presidential actions" if you don't want to see the handful of press releases mixed in. There are two or three pages of them so far.
posted by nobody at 12:22 PM on January 21


It's not that I think Colin Powell is anything other than a Bush II lackey, and therefore a crusader for Western imperialism and a paragon of white supremacy, it's just that I think that particular interview is a stopped clock moment for him.

Yeah, I agree with you that it is compelling for that fact.

But like you said, it is important to specifically articulate those flaws out for people with power, at least out of a sense of respect for the millions who have suffered in order for those powerful people to get even more power. We do this all the time in this community for rightfully disgraced musicians and filmmakers; I see no reason why "decorum" should be a shield fo people who have caused massive harm to millions or billions of people.

Otherwise, we have people posting anti-Trump articles from David Frum and hugging George W. Bush without any sense of memory for the harm they have caused (and from a more American-centric lens, helped usher in Trump).
posted by Ouverture at 12:23 PM on January 21 [7 favorites]


there's no such incompatibility . . . The Higher Education Act, meanwhile, was intended to increase access to education, and canceling student debt will do precisely that.
.


The funding change was absolutely not intended to make free college available to everyone if the president felt like it--IIUC it included specific conditions when debt could be cancelled by the executive branch, so clearly they didn't intend "or under any other circumstance if you feel like it" to be the guiding principle.
posted by mark k at 12:31 PM on January 21


The Higher Education Act, meanwhile, was intended to increase access to education, and canceling student debt will do precisely that.

Cancelling existing student debt would help the economy, with most of the repercussions being "companies that make their money off predatory debt-juggling shenanigans" will go out of business. (Or, some of them will. Plenty of predatory debt-juggling in other venues.) But other than a few people who are still in school while struggling with existing student debt issues, it doesn't specifically give more access to education.

Ending future student debt, as opposed to cancelling the existing ones, would remove a whole lot of money from the college industries, and that would not (directly) serve to increase access to education. Someone has to pay for schools, teachers, and the administrations that make them function.

That "someone" doesn't need to be students, but making it work without them takes more than cancelling a substantial portion of student payments. I'm all for "the federal gov't pays for higher education for anyone who can pass the entry exams." I'm pretty sure that can't be established by an executive order, and, sigh, would probably be folded into a huge budget package.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:32 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


I have been a feminist all my life, but for now I would rather have a sure bet at safe, sane Democratic leadership than a woman in the position, if that is indeed what it takes. Maybe 2054?

I've always assumed I won't live long enough to see a woman as president. If I was going to birth a child today, I have always assumed my grandchild wouldn't live long enough to see a woman as president.

Kamala as VP is as good as it may get! If this is what it takes, I'll take it.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:34 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]


Otherwise, we have people posting anti-Trump articles from David Frum and hugging George W. Bush without any sense of memory for the harm they have caused (and from a more American-centric lens, helped usher in Trump).

I guess part of my thinking was also that, if a reader's spider sense isn't triggered by advancing in life through opportunities provided by the US military, then expounding on the Bush Administration of two decades ago might not make much difference.

But that's not really true—lots of people weren't around for that or were young, or weren't tuned in to politics yet, or haven't dug into the dynamics between the military-industrial complex and everything else. And just in general for me to let up on the pressure on any level is slacking on Overton Window stuff; not now, when we can give no quarter.
posted by XMLicious at 12:37 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


the banks who hold the debt and earn interest on it, for example. I pay my loans through Navient, which is a private company, even though they are federal student loans.

You're a little confused (by a confusing system). Before 2010, most people got their federal loans through the FFEL program, in which the federal government served as the ultimate guarantor of private loans. While the amount of these loans still outstanding is substantial in absolute terms, they now only represent a small proportion of total federal student loans outstanding.

Most such loans now outstanding are Direct loans, which were originated and are now owned by the federal government. (Also the feds bought a huge amount of the FFELs back in the last financial crisis as the market for securitization froze.)

Navient is a spinoff of the old Sallie Mae. I don't believe it originates any loans any more. What it does do is service loans--do the day-to-day work of billing, collection, etc. Navient is one of several companies that does this work for BOTH the federal government's own loans and for holders of loans originated under FFEL. Navient is probably the servicer of your loans, not the owner, and does not earn interest on them--just collects that interest for the actual holder of the loans.

A mere servicer generally has no property interest in the loans it services, and hence no takings clause claim. There might possibly be a breach of the servicing contract if there were no more loans to service, but I suspect (without knowing) that federal procurement law already makes provision for governmental contracts for cancelled programs. (Note that unless all loans going forward were auto-forgiven, this might not even be an issue, since new loans will still need servicing.) So this is not a problem for Direct loans, nor for the substantial amount of FFEL loans now owned by the federal government.

A FFEL loan holder (these days, mostly securitization trusts, but also some companies you probably haven't heard of) would unquestionably have the makings of a takings clause if the federal government tried to forgive those loans. However, this is an easy one to solve: almost any FFEL borrower can consolidate their loans into the Direct program (meaning that the government pays off the existing loan and makes a new loan to the borrower to cover it), whereupon the loans could be forgiven without a taking issues under the paragraph above. The loanholder doesn't get to refuse. I don't think the feds can force auto-consolidation, but as a practical matter, they could get it done.
posted by praemunire at 12:42 PM on January 21 [12 favorites]


I've been thinking back to the Bush 2 administration a lot lately. Like I had it in my mind that Sarah Palin and the Tea Party were the most important touchpoints post-2000 for the growth of the MAGA/Q cult, but I forgot all about how direct the line from post-9/11 Toby Keith style populist Republicanism and the swiftboating of Kerry was to the current mess.

I also forgot just how much a lot of us worried about GWB unconstitutionally retaining power after two terms. That was definitely a thing that a lot of us here were concerned about at the time and it's not like it was a worry made up out of nothing, the GOP was already laying authoritarian tracks down.

Also, in addition to making the effort to not let the horrors of Trump erase the horrors of GWB in the public eye, it's important to make sure the stupidity of Trump doesn't make us forget that GWB was just a straight up god damn idiot. I just feel like that gets lost in perspective too.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:51 PM on January 21 [14 favorites]


> Is there a non-paywalled link to the executive orders with simple explanations?

It doesn't include links to the original orders' phrasing, but the simplified descriptions of the 17 executive orders Biden signed yesterday at electoral-vote.com are:

1. Asks Americans to wear masks for 100 days and requires it on federal property
2. Stops the U.S. from leaving the WHO and appoints Anthony Fauci head of the U.S. delegation
3. Creates a COVID-19 czar/king/pharaoh with authority on production and distribution of vaccines
4. Extends the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until March 31
5. Extends the pause of student loan payments until Sept. 30
6. Rejoins the Paris climate accord
7. Cancels the Keystone XL pipeline and over 100 other Trump actions on the environment
8. Terminates Trump's 1776 commission and directs agencies to review their racial policies
9. Prevents workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity
10. Requires noses belonging to noncitizens to be counted
11. Strengthens DACA
12. Allows visitors from the seven majority-Muslim countries Trump banned
13. Undoes Trump's expansion of immigration enforcement within the U.S.
14. Halts construction of the Great Wall of Trump
15. Extends deferrals of deportations of Liberians until June 30
16. Requires executive branch employees to sign an ethics pledge
17. Directs OMB to modernize regulatory review and undoes Trump's approval process

(Electoral-vote.com includes a link to a CNN list with slightly more detail.)

With a sufficiently intense persecution complex, several of them could be interpreted as "open season on Trump supporters," but obviously none of them are anywhere close to that really.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 12:51 PM on January 21 [28 favorites]


Surely the just-removed Diet Coke button is essential.

Neroli, that box seems to have moved to a side table, shown in one of the photos here and here

It might not be the same call box Trump had on the Resolute desk, I guess, but it looks similar.

(On preview: looks like you shared a link to similar pictures upthread as well.)
posted by emelenjr at 12:53 PM on January 21


The Trump fanatics and GOP people really don't seem to understand the concept of the "unity" Biden is asking for. He's not saying "hey we respect your insanity let's be friends", he's saying "the insanity is over, drop it and we can be friends".
posted by chaz at 12:55 PM on January 21 [35 favorites]


The question of the power of the President to cancel student debt under the law should be tested in the courts. In order to do that, the President should cancel student debt. Let's not do the Obama-era thing of pre-negotiating or trying to figure out in advance what the reasonable interpretation of the law is.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 12:58 PM on January 21 [5 favorites]


With a sufficiently intense persecution complex, several of them could be interpreted as "open season on Trump supporters," but obviously none of them are anywhere close to that really.

Number 16, though.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 1:00 PM on January 21 [6 favorites]


I have been a feminist all my life, but for now I would rather have a sure bet at safe, sane Democratic leadership than a woman in the position, if that is indeed what it takes. Maybe 2054?

I've always assumed I won't live long enough to see a woman as president. If I was going to birth a child today, I have always assumed my grandchild wouldn't live long enough to see a woman as president.


I remind myself that Hilary beat Trump by 3,000,000 votes and I am confident that there will be a woman president soon.
posted by PhineasGage at 1:02 PM on January 21 [22 favorites]


There is something to be said for not sending a maximalist interpretation into the John Roberts wood chipper as one of your first acts, however. That's easily solved by expanding the Court, which I support, but failing that, I would want to prioritize other very important centerpieces of Biden's agenda and reserve a fight over what is probably at best a 50/50 chance of being upheld for later this year. The executive actions already taken and those to come can stanch the bleeding until then for many people who are having financial difficulties due to the pandemic, student debt obligations, etc.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:03 PM on January 21 [8 favorites]


Colin Powell never had any actual integrity. He had a carefully constructed and false public image of being a man of integrity.

When the US military committed a war crime in My Lai the US military ordered him to cover it up and he did without hesitation.

That is who Colin Powell is. He has no integrity, he's just good at looking like he does on TV.
posted by sotonohito at 1:10 PM on January 21 [22 favorites]


Also, in addition to making the effort to not let the horrors of Trump erase the horrors of GWB in the public eye, it's important to make sure the stupidity of Trump doesn't make us forget that GWB was just a straight up god damn idiot. I just feel like that gets lost in perspective too.

Unfortunately, to a great degree it's simply America=horrors; so I don't know if two-party political calculus will ever allow it, but we would do well to admit and publicly discuss horrors under Obama (and Biden) as well (e.g. the Saudi-led, US-armed war in Yemen where a hundred thousand children have starved to death so far, which no consequence-free chopping-up of a Washington Post reporter was necessary to see.)

I've said before in these megathreads... I really think that, if everyone simply started calling Trump supporters white nationalists consistently, and openly talked about white supremacy and racism and the rest, I believe Trumpists would probably accept it and go along without too much fuss and we could discuss many issues with them more clearly. Paradoxically, it seems like it's the segments of the public (probably the white public and white supremacist institutions) more ostensibly and genuinely opposed to racism and white supremacy who are preventing open discussion of those topics.

I feel like the thing to do, as soon as it was apparent that Biden had really won the election by a firm margin, was for every official and media source to cut through the crap and go cold turkey on white lies and euphemisms and indirect speech about the status quo, because something like that will be necessary for rapprochement with nationalist voters.

But that didn't happen, at all; instead it actually seems like the level of bullshit slightly increased over the baseline, because people don't really want to talk about the events of the last half-decade, or their implications, and what is happening currently.
posted by XMLicious at 1:14 PM on January 21 [9 favorites]


Fauci is giving a press conference right now. He's ... speaking freely!

He was just asked a question, was Amazon approached about vaccine distribution before the Biden admin. His reply, '(paraphrasing) 'I don't know. That's something I can't guess at, Oh by the way, we'll be saying we don't know if we don't have an answer from here on'.

Listening to him him now, how well he knows this subject, I'm so furious that they muzzled this guy. Because he made Trump look bad, hurt his petty little ego.

Welcome back Fauci!
posted by adept256 at 1:22 PM on January 21 [94 favorites]


It reminds me of the recent fawning treatment of George W. Bush for calling out people attempting to steal an election.

When people acknowledge one of their political opponents for doing a good thing, that's not "fawning." Acknowledging that Colin Powell or George W. Bush may have something valuable to say about the moral decline of their own political party (even if we think it was already morally corrupt to begin with), and may in fact be better situated than us to reach the people who most need reaching, is not the same thing as forgiving them for their sins, and it's really not the same thing as "fawning." Most people are perfectly capable of recognizing that individual political leaders are human beings who can do both good and bad things, and discussing one positive thing that someone like Bush or Powell has done doesn't mean people have forgotten the other, monstrous things they did with the power they were entrusted with by the public. We should be able to have a conversation about the things leading political figures say and do without being required to include a disclaimer every single time denouncing all the things that that person has done that we disagree with during their entire career.

I personally find this rhetorical trick to be insulting and damaging to this community, and it is a continuing pattern of behavior I would like to see end.
posted by biogeo at 1:24 PM on January 21 [92 favorites]


Yep. Colin Powell is not speaking to US. He's speaking to THEM. I don't like the guy either, but if he can convince even one Trumpie to change their mind, it's worth it.
posted by monospace at 1:28 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]


Now Jen Psaki is speaking (link above). Fauci took questions, and the levity with the press... they were joking and laughing together. In a press conference! It was like they were working together. Not bitter opponents. I forgot what this was like. If you decided to skip it, reconsider - the mood has completely changed.
posted by adept256 at 1:31 PM on January 21 [13 favorites]


> Trump has an impeachment lawyer. It is this guy.

Source? Nevermind, found one.

Hate to say I called this one, but I kinda did. Butch Bowers is a little more above-board than what I envisioned, at least. He also has relevant experience, such as consulting with North Carolina Governor McCrory as he planned the sweeping gender discrimination law HB2 which caused billions of dollars in economic damage to the state before business interests backed his (successful) Democratic opponent in the 2016 election. And was counsel to South Carolina's Governor and Lt. Governor before impeachment committees and multiple ethics commissions... there's long been a lucrative industry defending Republican officeholders from the consequences of their own malfeasance, and Butch is in on it.
posted by at by at 1:35 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]


I mean, I'd rather the press and the White House be bitter enemies than bosom buddies. They shouldn't be just another arm of the White House press department, they should be... journalists, you know?

Not that I long for the days of Trump, but I'm worried about an overcorrection.
posted by Imperfect at 1:56 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: Not that I long for the days of Trump, but I'm worried about an overcorrection.
posted by PhineasGage at 2:09 PM on January 21 [18 favorites]


I would love to understand what kind of damage that causes.

MeFite A: Observe, right wing extremists are being extreme.

MeFite B: Conservative Public Figure has said these extremists are bad.

MeFite C: CPF is an irredeemably awful person. By posting something allegedly good they've done, you are complicit in their war crimes.

MeFite B: *becomes defensive*

MeFite C: *derail intensifies*
posted by jedicus at 2:10 PM on January 21 [48 favorites]


I felt that in the interview he was being honest and straightforward about his current perspective if not about his career, and so hearing someone embedded in Republicanism and the military-industrial complex voice those things resonated for me.

Even if it doesn't resonate with everyone, as I have said already, we should take time also to rejoice while airing our legitimate disagreements about whether we, here give two hoots about the views of an accessory to war crimes/war criminal, because it is but another sign that the Republicans have only just begun to tear themselves apart.
posted by deeker at 2:13 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


[If the same three of you are going to hobbyhorse this thread into insisting other people denounce specific American politicians who are, yes, arguably war criminals, in incredibly specific ways for the 10,000th time, or else people trying to have a different conversation are bad and doing it wrong, I am going to hand out days off. People are allowed to have other discussions, and the war crimes of past administrations have been discussed many thousands of times on this site.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 2:20 PM on January 21 [77 favorites]


Peter Alexander, White House correspondent at NBC News, asked the US president: “What do you say to Americans, who are watching you right now, who are scared?”

Erupting in anger, Trump unleashed a tirade: “I say that you’re a terrible reporter. That’s what I say. I think it’s a very nasty question and I think it’s a very bad signal that you’re putting out to the American people.”


That's the way things were happening. Don't like the question? Abuse the reporter. I mean 'Hey pres, people are scared, what do you think?' That's not a difficult question. That's a gift, a pure softball. Politicians shine when they are given these opportunities. Trump pisses all over it.

When I said they were working together, I mean it appeared they know their roles and were performing them competently, for the combined effect of informing the public. Which is the entire fucking job they should both be working towards. It is different and it's very welcome.
posted by adept256 at 2:20 PM on January 21 [48 favorites]


Ted Cruz: "By rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, President Biden indicates he’s more interested in the views of the citizens of Paris than in the jobs of the citizens of Pittsburgh. This agreement will do little to affect the climate and will harm the livelihoods of Americans."

AOC: "Nice tweet Sen. Cruz! Quick question: do you also believe the Geneva Convention was about the views of the citizens of Geneva?

Asking for everyone who believes US Senators should be competent and not undermine our elections to incite insurrection against the United States."
posted by JackFlash at 2:25 PM on January 21 [107 favorites]


OK, so I am slowly chewing through the Newsweek article posted above, which I strongly recommend. Maybe it is worth it's own FPP? There are so many insane details in there, like this:
1:57 PM: The National Security Council (NSC) tweets a routine meeting that White House National Security Advisor has with U.S. Southern Command head Adm. Craig Faller. It says they discuss importance of Latin America and the Caribbean, ongoing regional missions, counter-narcotics operations, promoting democracy, and outcompeting America's adversaries." (Emphasis added)
I have many questions. But the first is: can there be any legitimate reason for an acting DHS Secretary to be travelling abroad a few weeks before a new president is inaugurated?
I can accept that Pompeo is out there (and enjoy that he is disinvited). Theoretically, a Secretary of State will have serious stuff to do every minute of their term. But what would a DHS Secretary be doing? And specially someone recently appointed with no legitimate business out there? Isn't he supposed to be in charge of homeland security?

I'm only about half through, but IMO this is great reporting, that can aid the impeachment process.
posted by mumimor at 2:32 PM on January 21 [5 favorites]


I recommend the Behind the Bastards episode on Ted Cruz if you consider him just another asshole Republican. It's not just that he's wrong, or that he's intensely dislikable even by his own allies (though both are true).

He is a dirty player who wants the presidency, and right now he's trying to change "Ted Cruz supported the coup" into "Ted Cruz is another Republican pushing back on climate reform".

How awful a human being do you have to be that "I want us to ignore climate change" is the laundered version of your narrative?
posted by Riki tiki at 2:36 PM on January 21 [27 favorites]


The thing that really pisses me off about Cruz's idiotic Paris tweet is that sea level rise does not give a shit whether you're a Democrat living in an apartment on Biscayne Bay or a Republican living on Palm Beach, the water is coming just the same. The increasingly frequent polar vortex gyrations that bring literal arctic air south (and leave the actual arctic barely if at all below freezing in the process) affects Pittsburgh the same as Philadelphia and the same as Pennsyltucky.

Neither weather nor climate affects people only of certain political views. It's just a completely asinine thing to argue about. It's as stupid as someone in London wondering aloud if Hitler is really that bad in the middle of the fucking Blitz or someone refusing to take shelter as they watch a mile wide tornado head directly toward them from their front porch even after the roof has flown off their neighbor's house.
posted by wierdo at 2:42 PM on January 21 [10 favorites]


Another outtake from the Newsweek article:
2:24 PM: President Trump tweets: "Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!"

2:24 PM: The Washington Post reports that on Parler and Gab, right-wing friendly social media sites, Trump followers urge the crowd in Washington to find and accost Vice President Pence ... Within minutes, the chant arose from factions of the mob at the Capitol: "Where is Pence?"
This is after the mob has breached the Capitol. Which the President must know, since he is the goddam president, at this point one mile from the Capitol, with access to all the information.
posted by mumimor at 2:44 PM on January 21 [18 favorites]


I feel like that bullshit tweet about the citizens of Paris is on the same level as the "censorship" cries on well-earned Twitter bans. It's not that these hardened politicians with their many degrees are making these simple mistakes about laws. They're not. (Well, probably Lauren Boebert or Klan of Green Gables are.) What they're doing is serving a helping of grievance to their base. The foolish will swallow it. Everyone with a couple more braincells will pretend to believe it for the sake of their real goals, which have nothing whatsoever to do with freedom.
posted by Countess Elena at 2:49 PM on January 21 [19 favorites]


It's not that these hardened politicians with their many degrees are making these simple mistakes about laws. They're not.

Of course they're not. Cruz is a Princeton and Harvard Law grad.

Cruz is just making a cynical pitch to his supporters that he regards as ignorant rubes, figuring they are too dumb to know different. It's quite insulting.

When Cruz was a law student, he refused to allow anyone in his study group who wasn't from Princeton, Harvard or Yale. He's quite the elitist and condescending to anyone he perceives as beneath him.

AOC is calling him out on this.
posted by JackFlash at 2:57 PM on January 21 [34 favorites]


Neither weather nor climate affects people only of certain political views. It's just a completely asinine thing to argue about. It's as stupid as someone in London wondering aloud if Hitler is really that bad in the middle of the fucking Blitz or someone refusing to take shelter as they watch a mile wide tornado head directly toward them from their front porch even after the roof has flown off their neighbor's house.

Yes, but what if your company makes Hitler's munitions and you want him to keep buying them? That's all this 'debate' is about, can a handful of uber-rich investors in and owners of massively polluting industries continue to write their own laws, and pass the costs of their billions of profits on to the people?
posted by chaz at 3:04 PM on January 21 [3 favorites]




It's also pretty mind-bendingly stupid that Cruz picked Pittsburgh. I mean, it's not a polluting steel and coking plant town anymore. At least when I lived there ten years ago, it felt more like a medicine, education, banking, and tech services economy. I'm not sure the BLS numbers are exactly in line with my mental model, but they also don't seem way out of line. So, what does Cruz think he's doing using "Pittsburgh," a pretty solidly Democratic city with an economy unlikely to be negatively affected by the Paris Agreement, in a state he doesn't even represent? I mean, why not pick Houston, which seems to have an economy based largely on the energy sector and especially on oil?
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 3:30 PM on January 21 [5 favorites]


Joe Biden: Janet Yellen needs a Hamilton musical.

Dessa: Here you go.
posted by box at 3:32 PM on January 21 [11 favorites]


why not pick Houston,

Alliteration.

Cruz knows very well that the Paris agreement has nothing to do with Paris, and that Pittsburgh doesn't make coke.

He's just trying to say Dems are Paris (fancy, snobby, looks down on average folk) and I'm Pittsburgh (American, down to earth, realistic).
posted by chaz at 3:34 PM on January 21 [9 favorites]


Literally the first alliterative city that popped into his mind, maybe? It's not about accuracy, it's about familiarity... people think of Pittsburgh as an industrial city, doesn't matter if that's still true.

But yeah, the most effective rhetorical choice would probably have been to say that Biden was more concerned about Paris, France than Paris, Texas.
posted by Riki tiki at 3:35 PM on January 21 [8 favorites]






Cancer Cruz from Craptown.
posted by adept256 at 3:37 PM on January 21


Non-Pittsburghers may have forgotten that Cruz is parroting a Trump talking point from when he left the climate agreement in 2017. Cruz said Pittsburgh because Trump said Pittsburgh. That's it.
posted by muddgirl at 3:39 PM on January 21 [7 favorites]


It's rich of Ted to talk about whose opinions we care about more when he tried to steal my Pittsburgh vote and flush it down the toilet. No forgiveness for that pious fascist taintlouse.
posted by Chef Flamboyardee at 3:41 PM on January 21 [23 favorites]


It's unfortunate people are giving Cruz oxygen in public discourse. The only thing we really need to hear from him is "guilty/not-guilty, your Honor" for his role in an attempted coup.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 3:41 PM on January 21 [7 favorites]


The last one for this thread
8:46 PM: Maj. Gen. Omar J. Jones IV, Commanding General, Joint Force Headquarters - National Capital Region & US Army Military District of Washington, tweets for the first and last time of the day: "I am not the commanding general for DC National Guard. I am a regular Army officer and currently command the Military District of Washington. Thank you."

The tweet is misleading, for he is the joint force commander for the overall military command responsible for "defense support of civil authorities" in the District and commander of Joint Task Force–National Capitol Region (JTF-NCR), which was activated in March 2020 to prepare for all military contingencies in Washington, DC.
We'll have an impeachment thread, I guess, and here, I'm thinking of some of the co-conspirators
posted by mumimor at 3:41 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


Oh, that's a pretty good explanation, pemberkins. That's probably where he was going with it. Cruz heard that history rhymes, so this is his rendition of "My name is Ted Cruz and I'm here to say/the climate isn't changing in a major way."
posted by Riki tiki at 3:42 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]


@JohnFetterman: Pittsburgh > Seditionists who comb their hair with buttered toast
posted by tonycpsu at 3:42 PM on January 21 [11 favorites]


We should really have some kind of department for securing our country. Wait, "country" isn't quite Nazi enough. Maybe "homeland." Something something homeland security?

While we're at it, maybe have a multitrillion-dollar department for national security?
posted by kirkaracha at 3:59 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


Thanks everyone for reminding me about Trump's stupid talking point. At least the angle seems clearer now. [vomiting face emoji]
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 4:00 PM on January 21


Enter one more person of interest to the accountability tally:

Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn denies his relationship with brother Michael Flynn played a role in military’s response to Capitol attack

Army Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn, the brother of disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn, on Thursday defended his actions in the U.S. military’s deliberations over how to respond to the assault on the Capitol, saying he was on a key call for only four minutes and denying that he lied to staff about it.

Flynn also rejected that his relationship with his brother, a retired Army general who suggested that former president Donald Trump should “re-run” the presidential election and could declare martial law, had any role in his response...

The comments came after Flynn issued a statement to The Washington Post on Wednesday that stated he had been in the room during a tense call in which other agencies responding to the deadly riot on Jan. 6 pleaded for the National Guard to intervene immediately. The Army had denied for days Flynn’s involvement in the meeting, including in writing.
(emph. added)

Army falsely denied Flynn’s brother was involved in key part of military response to Capitol riot

The Army’s initial denial of Flynn’s participation in the critical Jan. 6 meeting, despite multiple inquiries on the matter, comes as lawmakers demand transparency from the Defense Department in the aftermath of one of Washington’s gravest national security failures, which left one police officer and four rioters dead, the Capitol desecrated and the lives of Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress endangered.

The episode highlights the challenge for the Army in having an influential senior officer whose brother has become a central figure in QAnon, the extreme ideology that alleges Trump was waging a battle with Satan-worshiping Democrats who traffic children. Michael Flynn, who previously ran the Defense Intelligence Agency and left the Army as a three-star general, has espoused QAnon messages, and QAnon adherents are among those who have been charged in connection with the attempted insurrection. In November, Trump announced he had pardoned Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

posted by They sucked his brains out! at 4:01 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]


We'll have an impeachment thread

I've just heard that Mitch is asking for a February 14 start to the trial, which is um, romantic. Though Mitch doesn't have control of the calendar does he? Regardless, we want confirmations done. That's important. I recall that part of the 9/11 commission identified delays in senate confirmation in national security roles contributed to deficiencies in preparedness. Which is a pretty shitty blame-your-predecessor move. And 9/11 was in, well, september.

Anyway, we're still arresting people, evidence is still being collected. The actual senate itself, the physical place where the trial will be held, is the crime scene. The prima facie evidence is damning, but even a surface level investigation is bound to reveal more evidence, and that will take time. Why was Trump watching it on TV and doing nothing, we need to talk to people about that, get statements.

We also can't leave the trial for too late in the day. People will move on, there'll be other issues. Strike while the iron is hot. People's well justified anger is still fresh, and we'll need that.

So february 14. I don't trust Mitch, I have dim views of his motives. But it seems like a good date, not the romantic kind of date you'd expect though.

Seriously Mitch? Valentine's day and those are your plans? It's not like you can gift corruption again this year.
posted by adept256 at 4:04 PM on January 21 [5 favorites]


Oh, wow. I hadn't even really thought about this until just now. But there's going to be a real trial in the Senate this time. With witnesses. And Trump himself can be subpoenaed.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 4:09 PM on January 21 [17 favorites]


The Flynn article doesn't have anything suggesting Flynn's brother did anything improper or is otherwise known to be a batshit crazy seditionist and cut-rare quisling who likes Russian autocrats better than the Democrats.

The army lying about this in writing is crystal clear though. So even if his brother is a straight arrow, the corrupting infecting people and spreading from the top is undenaiable. "Shit, this general has a brother openly preaching a coup, and he met with Trump just days ago, and we weren't aggressive enough stopping an attempted coup, we better lie about stuff so people trust us more!"
posted by mark k at 4:10 PM on January 21 [3 favorites]


I want to see him testify on TV.

This concludes my pony-list.
posted by Horkus at 4:13 PM on January 21 [5 favorites]


Fox News is showing footage of "Antifa Leftists" burning American flags. If there was ever a brain in that organization, it has left the building.
posted by nicoffeine at 4:14 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


Huh. Signs of of spine? [Politico]
Senate Democrats are signaling they will reject an effort by Mitch McConnell to protect the legislative filibuster as part of a deal to run a 50-50 Senate, saying they have little interest in bowing to his demands just hours into their new Senate majority.
[ . . .]
“Chuck Schumer is the majority leader and he should be treated like majority leader. We can get shit done around here and we ought to be focused on getting stuff done,” said Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.). “If we don’t, the inmates are going to be running this ship.”

“It would be exactly the wrong way to begin,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). “We need to have the kind of position of strength that will enable us to get stuff done.”
posted by mark k at 4:18 PM on January 21 [30 favorites]


And Trump himself can be subpoenaed.

Bannon can be subpoena'd - and with a pardon granting him immunity, he can't use the 5th to get out of testifying.

That should be the approach to all Trump's pardoned cronies: Get them all on a witness stand ASAP.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 4:23 PM on January 21 [16 favorites]


Bring back the hard filibuster. No more declaring it and everyone respect it. Make them stand up, tell the American people why they don't want the lives of said Americans to be improved and make them piss in a bucket in front of all Americans while they do it.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 4:23 PM on January 21 [37 favorites]


Man, why would anyone give Mitch anything? At this point, every single time McConnell asks for something, the only response should be "nobody gives a fuck what you want. You're the minority leader. Sit the fuck down." For two years.
posted by nushustu at 4:27 PM on January 21 [37 favorites]


“If we don’t, the inmates are going to be running this ship.”

I admire a man who can mix a good metaphor.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:28 PM on January 21 [34 favorites]


Bring back the hard filibuster.

You can't bring back something that never existed. The "talking filibuster" was never a thing - when Senators held the floor with the phone book or Hoyle's Rules, it was because they knew that the filibuster would fail - that the votes for cloture were there, and so they were looking to hold the floor to prevent the call for cloture.

The problem has been that there's been a reluctance to call cloture votes, and that needs to stop - if McConnell wants to claim that the Republicans will hold the line, Schumer needs to call the vote and put him to the test - and force GOP Senators to stand on the record.
posted by NoxAeternum at 4:40 PM on January 21 [15 favorites]


"I yield the floor to the Senator from Kentucky whose miserable existence is a contributing cause to the deaths of 400,000 of our citizens."

"Which one?"

"The older one."
posted by ocschwar at 4:53 PM on January 21 [37 favorites]


You can't bring back something that never existed. The "talking filibuster" was never a thing - when Senators held the floor with the phone book or Hoyle's Rules, it was because they knew that the filibuster would fail - that the votes for cloture were there, and so they were looking to hold the floor to prevent the call for cloture.

Cool. Do that. Let Schumer say they're preserving the filibuster and that if Republicans feel so strongly about something they can fucking prove it.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:04 PM on January 21 [9 favorites]


Bannon can be subpoena'd - and with a pardon granting him immunity, he can't use the 5th to get out of testifying.

Trump and his cronies are all going to suddenly have the memory of a goldfish - Iran-Contra style.
posted by Mitheral at 5:05 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]


Words matter, part 1 - Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, CNN:
"To me, words matter, and I think that's kind of what made this inauguration that much more sentimental and special. We've seen over the past few years the ways in which the power of words has been violated and misappropriated," she told Cooper. "And what I wanted to do was to kind of reclaim poetry as that site in which we can re-purify, re-sanctify not only the Capitol building that we saw violated, but the power of words, and to invest that in the highest office of the land."
Words matter, part 2 - Biden wants to remove this controversial word from US laws (also CNN):
Biden's proposed [sweeping immigration bill], if passed, would remove the word "alien" from US immigration laws, replacing it with the term "noncitizen."

It's a deliberate step intended to recognize America as "a nation of immigrants," according to a summary of the bill released by the new administration.
posted by kristi at 5:19 PM on January 21 [46 favorites]


This transition, we've learnt that they weren't reluctant to share information about vaccine distribution plans. They just didn't have a plan to share. This was the most immediate problem, but what else has been neglected? We'll learn about this too. DOE handles storage and disposal of nuclear waste. This was Rick Perry's job, a man who campaigned on eliminating this department, and when he became head of that department expressed surprise when he learnt that he was responsible for all the nuclear weapons. Maybe when the new staff are looking for the plans for nuclear waste management, they find a filing cabinet, and it's full of depleted fuel rods.

They haven't been doing their jobs for four years, we've only seen a little bit of the neglect so far. How much is irreversible? The elation of the inauguration is wearing off, and we're about to learn how fucked things have become.
posted by adept256 at 5:24 PM on January 21 [11 favorites]


Just catching up, but however annoying I often find the Jr. Marxists at Jacobin, that article is a lot more nuanced than the characterization it was receiving upthread.
posted by aspersioncast at 5:25 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


Just catching up, but however annoying I often find the Jr. Marxists at Jacobin, that article is a lot more nuanced than the characterization it was receiving upthread.

QAnon is not something that needs nuance - it is something that needs open, unabashed opposition.
posted by NoxAeternum at 5:45 PM on January 21 [15 favorites]


> Trump and his cronies are all going to suddenly have the memory of a goldfish - Iran-Contra style.

This is worth amplifying. You can compel them not to lie (admittedly Trump under oath is going to be an interesting exhibition), but that's not the same thing as compelling them to provide useful information.
posted by at by at 5:46 PM on January 21 [5 favorites]


Absolutely, no argument. But I want to see them claim mental infirmity while AOC grills them with their own tweets under oath. On TV.

Like the Benghazi thing.
posted by Horkus at 5:51 PM on January 21 [22 favorites]


Remember when they quizzed Hillary over 4 deaths in Benghazi for 11 hours. How about 5 deaths in the Capitol, that probably deserves at least an equal amount of scrutiny. We have a few questions, so sit down, this may take a while.
posted by adept256 at 5:51 PM on January 21 [23 favorites]


[Torture jokes are gross, please don't.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 6:02 PM on January 21 [18 favorites]


Biden's proposed [sweeping immigration bill], if passed, would remove the word "alien" from US immigration laws, replacing it with the term "noncitizen."

I get that this is a good move, and I'm super-pro-immigration (I would open all borders) - but as a science fiction fan, I got a huge kick out of being a "resident alien" when I lived in the US.
posted by jb at 6:03 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]


Strangely I feel nothing.

Neither do I.

That can't be good.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:23 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]




Man, why would anyone give Mitch anything? At this point, every single time McConnell asks for something, the only response should be "nobody gives a fuck what you want. You're the minority leader. Sit the fuck down." For two years.

It would be nice if Schumer could do this but he can't with a 50-50 Senate. First they have to pass an organizing resolution which defines the rules for the current session of congress. The VP doesn't get to vote on the resolution so Schumer needs at least one Republican to agree to his rules. Good luck finding one without McConnell's approval.
posted by JackFlash at 6:57 PM on January 21 [5 favorites]


CNN:
When Dr. Anthony Fauci returned to the White House briefing room on Thursday, he did so without the sour reality of a hostile president watching him from feet away in the Oval Office.

"I can tell you, I take no pleasure at all in being in a situation of contradicting the President," Fauci told the room, appearing nonetheless to take some pleasure in no longer having to dance around President Donald Trump's turbulent ego.

"The idea that you can get up here and talk about what you know, what the evidence, what the science is -- let the science speak," he added. "It is somewhat of a liberating feeling."
Fauci, echoing the feelings of 80 million Americans.
posted by darkstar at 6:58 PM on January 21 [29 favorites]


I’d have to imagine that the requirement for an “organizing resolution” doesn’t mean that they could never move forward in doing the work of the Senate. It has to be convention, right? I mean, if the Senate were ever truly so hamstrung by an intransigent 50-50 split, there has to be some way to have the VP to help break the logjam.

Or is it truly the case that 50 Senators could completely stymie the Senate from doing ANY — even the most trivial — business at all?
posted by darkstar at 7:02 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


Emphasis added.

Gaps in Trump’s Pardons: How the Biden Administration Can Still Pursue Justice (justsecurity.org)
The pardon for Paul Manafort (on Dec. 23, 2020), is illustrative. By its own terms, the pardon covers only the crimes “for his conviction” on specific charges and not any other crimes (charged or uncharged). Specifically, the pardon is solely for the crimes of conviction — eight in the Eastern District of Virginia and two in the District of Columbia. That leaves numerous crimes as to which Manafort can still be prosecuted, as in Virginia there were 10 hung counts. In Washington, the situation is even more wide open. In that district, Manafort pleaded to a superseding information containing two conspiracy charges, while the entire underlying indictment — containing numerous crimes from money laundering, to witness tampering, to violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act — now remains open to prosecution as there was no conviction for those charges.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:04 PM on January 21 [15 favorites]


There is an organizing resolution in place now, it’s just that it puts the Republicans in the majority on most of the committees. Once you get stuff to the floor, you’re good to go, but it’s more difficult to do so if you don’t control the committees.

(I say there’s one, but I can’t find it.)

Also you’d like to get Becerra, Warnock and Ossoff onto some committees at some point.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:07 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


Ah, yes — thank you. It hadn’t occurred to me that they already have a Republican-friendly organizing resolution. And that’s McConnell’s leverage: if he doesn’t like what Schumer is offering, then he can fall back on the status quo.
posted by darkstar at 7:10 PM on January 21


Someone please talk me down from soul-crushing rage and despair about McConnell. I want to go back to feeling hope. Is there any hope?
posted by meese at 7:24 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]


Thought I had just now. "I wonder what Trump did today? Oh, I know longer have to care!"

My facebook feed is full of Bernie memes (some of which are ones I've circulated). There's so much work to be done but wow, it feels so nice to actually feel joy at silly political memes instead of underlying dread. Now I can laugh just to laugh instead of laugh to keep from crying.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 7:26 PM on January 21 [16 favorites]


Organizing resolutions aren't in the constitution, so I'd assume it is just tradition that the VP can't vote on them. But a 50-50 split is a pretty delicate situation and probably not the best time for norm-breaking if it can be avoided.
posted by Not A Thing at 7:30 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


Thought I had just now. "I wonder what Trump did today?"

Oh, he is crashing hard like the worst heroin withdrawal ever. He's been addicted to Twitter for over 10 years now, rarely without an hourly fix, tweeting 34,000 times in just the last four years, about 24 times a day. He's been cut off cold turkey and it must be killing him.
posted by JackFlash at 7:35 PM on January 21 [18 favorites]


probably not the best time for norm-breaking if it can be avoided

Nah. Republicans broke norms for the last four years. Time for some new ones if our country is to be saved.
posted by Mister Cheese at 7:54 PM on January 21 [16 favorites]


Actually, more than four years. If McConnell can hold up votes on Obama's appointments for two years, and work to slow his agenda down for eight, we are looking at 12 plus years of norm breaking. Bipartisanship can return when Republicans aren't fomenting insurrection.
posted by Mister Cheese at 7:59 PM on January 21 [29 favorites]


With Fresh Obstructionist Demands, McConnell Dares Dems To Blow Up The Filibuster

Yes, Mitch, please tell Joe Manchin you will not let him chair his own committee
posted by leotrotsky at 8:04 PM on January 21 [11 favorites]


I believe Trumpists would probably accept it and go along without too much fuss and we could discuss many issues with them more clearly.

I don't think this works. Many of them really don't know they're white nationalists, and still balk at the accusation. Self-awareness isn't a strong suit with these people.

QAnon is not something that needs nuance - it is something that needs open, unabashed opposition.

I don't think that was some amazing article (I mean it cites the Intercept twice FFS), but I also don't think the cherry-picked Twitter quote was at all representative of the argument. Like the first actual pull-quote the publication itself chose to highlight was "To combat the appeal of QAnon, you have to understand that you’re not dealing with a political movement, but with a cult." So I think they agree about opposing Qanon? And I've heard more-or-less this exact argument multiple times on this very site?

Like I say, I don't much care for the Jacobin, and probably won't reread this or share it. But I did read the entire article, and I kinda got the sense a lot of people tweeting about it . . . didn't.
posted by aspersioncast at 8:10 PM on January 21 [5 favorites]


Good luck finding one without McConnell's approval.

Murkowski? She sounds at the end of her rope with the Republican Party. I probably would, too, if I was in her shoes.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:11 PM on January 21 [3 favorites]


Fauci looked years younger in that briefing.
posted by jgirl at 8:15 PM on January 21 [13 favorites]


Breaking norms has become the norm.

Time to give Repubs a taste of their own medicine.

If they never feel serious pain for their ill deeds, they will never stop doing them.
posted by Pouteria at 8:17 PM on January 21 [10 favorites]


it's important to make sure the stupidity of Trump doesn't make us forget that GWB was just a straight up god damn idiot.

As was Reagan.

I just feel like that gets lost in perspective too.

Hagiography is a hell of a thing.
posted by flabdablet at 8:28 PM on January 21 [10 favorites]


I wonder If this could work:

Cruz and Hawley endangered the physical safety of members of the House.
So, subpoena them before the House to explain themselves. While they're in the House, under oath, getting grilled, call the Senate into session, and get enough shit done to put McConnel in his place.

Not a normal thing to do, but fuck the norms.
posted by ocschwar at 8:47 PM on January 21 [24 favorites]


Encouraging news, via dKos: Attorney Michael Ellis, the Trump loyalist who 'burrowed' into a critical job as the top attorney at the NSA, was placed on administrative leave Wednesday evening, pending an investigation into whether his last-minute assignment violated staffing regulations.
posted by darkstar at 9:00 PM on January 21 [14 favorites]


If anyone has links to intelligent commentary about China's sanctioning of Trump administration officials almost the moment they left office, I am very interested in reading analysis and discussion of that, but I don't have the vaguest idea where to look for it!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:22 PM on January 21 [3 favorites]


The problem has been that there's been a reluctance to call cloture votes,

You know, I thought I understood this, but it turns out I don't. Cloture sounds to me like the Previous Question in Robert's Rules, which takes 2/3. But also under Robert's Rules, each member can only speak for so many times for so long on any motion anyway. So eventually you get to a vote even if you have to listen to a lot of blathering on the way.

Not to derail, I guess I just need to read the Senate's actual rules, but it sounds like they're only in this mess because of some janky work-around in the first place.
posted by ctmf at 9:26 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


If anyone has links to intelligent commentary about China's sanctioning of Trump administration officials almost the moment they left office

Biden administration calls China sanctions on Trump officials 'unproductive and cynical' | Reuters (reuters.com)
China’s move to sanction former Trump administration officials was “unproductive and cynical”, a spokeswoman for President Joe Biden’s National Security Council said on Wednesday, urging Americans from both parties to condemn the action.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:30 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


So eventually you get to a vote even if you have to listen to a lot of blathering on the way.

Unless someone tries to postpone indefinitely or lay on the table, which would be even harder than defeating the previous question, taking a majority for the secondary motion instead of just 1/3 opposed to the previous question.
posted by ctmf at 9:31 PM on January 21


Breaking norms has become the norm.

Wait, so this "nuclear option" involves (1) straight up bringing a clearly stupid, incorrect point of order; (2) having the chair (correctly) rule against the point of order; (3) appealing the decision of the chair, which only takes a majority, to get a clearly incorrect result; (4) we're stuck with that clearly incorrect result for life because precedent?

No wonder sovereign citizens get the idea it's all fun and clever language games.

Ok then, agree to whatever McConnell wants, then reneg on it next week. Why the hell not. The rules clearly mean whatever we want them to mean whenever it's convenient.
posted by ctmf at 9:51 PM on January 21 [14 favorites]


Cloture sounds to me like the Previous Question in Robert's Rules, which takes 2/3. But also under Robert's Rules, each member can only speak for so many times for so long on any motion anyway. So eventually you get to a vote even if you have to listen to a lot of blathering on the way.

So, under the Senate rules, there's unlimited discussion on proposed bills (like the death of Alexander Hamilton and the career of Michael Bay, you can blame this on Aaron Burr.) To stop this, Senators can vote for cloture - to limit discussion. But if the cloture vote fails, discussion continues.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:02 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]


So, under the Senate rules, there's unlimited discussion on proposed bills

Well there's the problem right there then. There's a rule proposed by someone who has either never been in a business meeting or never wants to get anything remotely controversial done ever.
posted by ctmf at 10:10 PM on January 21 [11 favorites]


Here's a good one, and it's real, not from the Onion:

"Boris Johnson’s spokesman unable to say why PM was more angry about ‘part-Kenyan’ Barack Obama removing Churchill bust from Oval Office than he is about Joe Biden doing the same."

Back in 2016 Johnson said that the snub was due to "part-Kenyan" Obama's "ancestral dislike of the British Empire." Today he says about Biden that "it's up to the president to decorate as he wishes." Well then.
posted by JackFlash at 10:12 PM on January 21 [52 favorites]


"Obama's "ancestral dislike of the British Empire.""

Oh my God, I had completely blocked this particular line of bullshit out of my memory, you've opened a wormhole to 2009 in my brain and all kinds of bullshit is flooding back.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:16 PM on January 21 [14 favorites]


Setting aside the whole basket of racist bullshit that the Kenya thing is all about, I'm just a little bewildered at the implication that Kenya and America don't share an ancestral dislike of the British Empire
posted by jason_steakums at 10:26 PM on January 21 [78 favorites]


I feel like I should check if my family came from Kenya now.
posted by ctmf at 10:30 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


Where can you see Lions? Only in Kenya...
posted by Windopaene at 10:33 PM on January 21 [13 favorites]


Where can you see Lions? Only in Kenya...
posted by Windopaene at 2:33 PM on January 22 [1 favorite +] [!]


Oh but we can sealion anywhere!

We need to have a conversation about the deficit, but we can't do that with all the incivility on the left. /sealion

See?

Brought to you by The Deficit (TM). Sea lion anywhere, conveniently and with no mess, for free! Order now!
posted by saysthis at 11:01 PM on January 21 [3 favorites]


Where can you see Lions? Only in Kenya...

That portal is definitely earlier than 2009. 2005, maybe?
posted by nat at 11:01 PM on January 21 [5 favorites]


Yes, I'm old. Been here for a while...
posted by Windopaene at 11:07 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


Well there's the problem right there then. There's a rule proposed by someone who has either never been in a business meeting or never wants to get anything remotely controversial done ever.

The actual history of the Senate, use of the filibuster, and supermajority requirements in parliamentary bodies in general might surprise you then.

Short version: These rules work more or less fine--often for centuries--until they don't.
posted by mark k at 12:31 AM on January 22


never wants to get anything remotely controversial done ever

Right, Aaron Burr, totally uncontroversial figure in early American politics.

The Senate rule that makes the least sense to me in a modern context is the 2 per state one. Why you would ever have an even number of people vote on anything? But then you have to remember that Senators were originally appointed, not elected, and there weren't any political parties at the time anyway. The tiebreaker is the VP because coequal branches, checks and balances, etc.

That's why original intent is such a silly idea. Even apart from the fact that not even Scalia is a medium with access to Jimmy Madison's innermost thoughts, our world would be nearly unrecognizable to the dudes who wrote the darn thing.

(But really, two per state is pretty silly.)
posted by basalganglia at 12:41 AM on January 22 [7 favorites]


In isolation, yes the rule of two per state for the Senate seems silly but that's exactly why the House of Representatives exists. It's originally meant to match the population distribution which is why there are more CA reps than AK reps but unfortunately they kneecapped it by limiting the number of total reps to 435 in 1929. And population changes in the last hundred years have really caused an imbalance where some congressional districts carry far more people than in others. And Gerrymandering.

But to balance the fact that the House is based on populations, the Senate is built as two senators per state so that states with smaller populations could have an equal voice. I don't disagree with the rationale at all. I think it would be better if it felt like the House and the Senate were equal with each other rather than having the Senate exert so much power over the House.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 12:56 AM on January 22 [5 favorites]


Masha Gessen elaborates on Amanda Gorman’s framing of democracy (archived).

“ The focus on the future is a direct response to the rhetoric of the outgoing President, who called on his mob to transport the country back to an imaginary past and forced Americans to live in a present without end. To write about the future, Gorman also has to write about the past. “Being American is more than a pride we inherit, / it’s the past we step into / And how we repair it,” she says, in an elegant rebuke to the rhetoric of return-to-normalcy: “We will not march back to what was / But move to what shall be.” Again, she stresses that the promise of American democracy is still there, still yet to arrive.”
posted by progosk at 1:11 AM on January 22 [17 favorites]


Senate is built as two senators per state so that states with smaller populations could have an equal voice

I know. But why not 3 per state? That way at least you have a fighting chance of not needing a tiebreaker.

The Senate-as-upper-house thing is definitely a holdover from the baked-in disenfranchisement of the Constitution. Like the Electoral College. The framers really didn't trust the will of the people. It's the fundamental paradox (hypocrisy?) on which this country is built. Like Gorman says, way better than I.
posted by basalganglia at 1:30 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


3 per state? That's 150 senators. You'd still need a tiebreaker.

Edit: I mean, yes, it's less likely that there's be a tie but it's still an even number.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 1:37 AM on January 22


I took the point to be that opting for two per state ensures that there will always be an even number of senators, regardless of the number of states (which hasn’t always been fifty, and hasn’t always been an even number).
posted by tractorfeed at 1:47 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


I think that, no matter what, the writers of the constituion always assumed that those in power would be rich, white, men. No matter the form of that power structure, the fact that people who are not rich, white, men have been achieving higher levels of power with each generation means that those who had traditionally wielded it tend to fight back and obstruct. We could have a parliamentary systme, or a wildly different structure to the House and Senate, or something else entirely, the changing faces of those who hold power spurs the reactionary response from those who used to hold power. The way I see it, no matter way, there was always going to be a Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley and Lindsey Graham. Because before them there was Strom Thurmond. The dragons hoarding their golden power at all costs.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 1:47 AM on January 22 [15 favorites]


Add a state or three and you can make it odd with three senators per state, but it's still somewhat undemocratic. I kinda like the way the UK initially nerfed the house of lords, where the body could delay legislation but not prevent it entirely.

Given the power of the executive, the senate would still have significant power to keep the smaller states of whatever political persuasion from having their interests completely ignored through their role in confirming appointees.
posted by wierdo at 1:48 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


Can anyone please bring some hope into the current situation where I have been under the impression that the dems having the house, senate and presidency would be somehow an advantage and yet here we are STILL wringing our hands over the antics of Turtle McConnell??
posted by like_neon at 2:11 AM on January 22 [13 favorites]


The ACA passed during Obama's first two years (when the Dems had control of all three). And even though the Repubs got control of the Senate in 2010 and then the White House in 2016, they still weren't able to get rid of it.

Even though the Senate is 50/50 now, we do have a Dem tiebreaker. The fight isn't easy but there's a real chance a lot of good can be done in the next two years. And even if the 2022 midterms mess things up, some of that good may still be resilient to the harm the Republicans wish to do.

Obviously, I cannot predict anything but maybe that's enough to give you some hope.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 2:23 AM on January 22 [9 favorites]


Short version: These rules work more or less fine--often for centuries--until they don't.

I blame the current fashion of not challenging people to duels as the reason the Senate rules failed. It's the out-of-band mechanism that the Framers had to enforce norms. It's pretty much the reason the Constitution is so very poorly written.

Just imagine if when McConnell tried to steal Garland's US Supreme Court seat, Chuck Schumer called him out and demanded satisfaction.
posted by mikelieman at 3:12 AM on January 22 [9 favorites]


I don't disagree with the rationale at all.

I sure do. Land shouldn't get a vote. It's an archaic holdover from slaver days.
posted by Justinian at 3:13 AM on January 22 [27 favorites]


the Senate is built as two senators per state so that states with smaller populations could have an equal voice. I don't disagree with the rationale at all.

Yeah, I also disagree with this emphatically. This doesn't give people an equal voice. It gives them a grotesquely disproportionate voice.

It means that California (with an estimated population of 39,368,078, according to Wikipedia) gets one Senate vote for every 19,684,039 people.

Meanwhile, each Wyoming (population 582,328) gets one Senate vote for every 291,164 people.

In other words, a citizen of Wyoming has 67.6 times as much representation in the Senate as a citizen of California.

How on earth is that democracy? It's a huge part of the reason that we're in the pickle we're in. This system is massively biased to favor the interests of rural areas.

Citizens of rural areas deserve representation, of course – but they don't deserve 67.6 times as much representation.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 3:28 AM on January 22 [63 favorites]


All I'm going to say is that I'll reference my earlier comment that no matter the structure of the system, rich, white, men desperately clinging to power would still fuck it up for the rest of us. We can argue on how that system should be but ultimately it's people who created them and there will always be imperfections that get exploited over time by those in position to exploit.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 3:36 AM on January 22 [5 favorites]


the Senate is built as two senators per state so that states with smaller populations could have an equal voice. I don't disagree with the rationale at all.

Yeah, I also disagree with this emphatically. This doesn't give people an equal voice. It gives them a grotesquely disproportionate voice.


I’m keen to hear a plausible solution. The Constitution is not easy to amend.
posted by leotrotsky at 3:51 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


I think the only solutions are (1) amend the Constitution (which, as you note, is a tall order), or (2) get a new Constitution.

I always have to refresh myself on this, but an amendment can be proposed by either 2/3 of Congress, or by 34 of the 50 state legislatures.

The proposed amendment must then be ratified by 38 of the 50 states.

It seems vanishingly unlikely that we'll ever clear either of those hurdles. It essentially requires a large number of states to vote to reduce their own representation in the Senate.

I, too, would love to hear realistic solutions – but I'm afraid that this anti-Democratic system cannot be corrected within the existing Constitution.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 4:03 AM on January 22 [3 favorites]


Reading your discussion, I came to think of how our democracy has evolved over time.

Denmark got its first democratic constitution in 1849, during the second wave of revolutions in Europe (maybe the US civil war was also part of that second wave?). At the time, they created two chambers, and only men with independent wealth could vote. And then came 104 years where the system was constantly contested and altered. We had our own civil war -- and we lost almost half of the country*. There were two coup attempts, one in 1877 which was succesful for a while (15 years), and one in 1910, which failed. "Women and servants" were given the right to vote in 1915 (though in practice not until the end of WWI, in 1918, and from then on, the proces of constructing the welfare state slowly began. Don't mention the war (WWII), when democracy was obviously challenged by the German occupation. The "upper" chamber was shut down in 1953, and only from then on have we had a truly stable democracy on the national level. We are still working on the issues at local and regional levels.

I think a lot of European countries have similar histories -- France is at their fifth republic now, also established during the fifties, and with similar waves of revolution and reaction in its history. The point is, other democracies for better and for worse, see themselves as systems that can and should be changed in accordance with the changes in circumstances. It seems to me that the US was on the same trajectory, with lots of amendments, but then was thrown off the path with the ending of Reconstruction. (The dates are even almost the same! We were all thrown off the path then). Other countries struggled back and eventually amended their constitutions, but the US didn't. I mean prohibition, what kind of a huge distraction was that?

Prohibition points to the role of religion. We actually have a state church in Denmark as does the UK, but religion plays a much smaller role in politics in Europe, except for Poland. And no-one counterfactually imagines the constitutions are inspired by God somehow. So we don't have pathetic Supreme Court judges hiding their anti-democratic ideology behind their faith, although the Polish government is working towards it.

We do have corrupt politicians and all that, this is not about Europe being better than the US. I'm just curious about how all democracies have gone through changes but the US is stuck with some elements that may have made sense when the nation was founded, but are really blocking development now. Maybe you had too much winning?

*This has only recently begun to be understood by historians as a civil war, I learnt in school it was a war with the Prussians, and was very surprised when I much later found out where Prussia is. The Prussians helped one side and then annexed them. It's like if the South has seceded and then the rest of the US instantly pretended they never knew those guys anyway while the UK took them back.
posted by mumimor at 4:22 AM on January 22 [32 favorites]


America’s anti-democratic Senate, by the numbers (Vox, FWIW): If the United States chose its leaders in free and fair elections, Republicans would be firmly out of power.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 4:26 AM on January 22 [7 favorites]


The proposed amendment must then be ratified by 38 of the 50 states.

That's always going to be the catch-22 of this issue. The states that stand to lose power by changing the allocation of senators are exactly the states that would have to vote to ratify an amendment to do that.
posted by octothorpe at 4:37 AM on January 22 [7 favorites]


Bannon can be subpoena'd - and with a pardon granting him immunity, he can't use the 5th to get out of testifying.

That's not quite true, according to this WaPo opinion piece:

That only works to the extent that the pardon does indeed foreclose the possibility that your testimony will be used against you in a criminal prosecution. A presidential pardon, for instance, only applies to federal crimes; if the conduct could also be prosecuted as a state crime, the witness can refuse to testify about it. The same is true if a governor pardons someone for committing a state crime, but there remains a risk that the person could be prosecuted by the federal government for the same conduct.
posted by mediareport at 4:40 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


I see people are discussing the disproportionate nature of Senate representation, and can't help but notice that people are overlooking the House of Representatives, which does have a more proportionally-accurate representation of the population.

That was intentional, as was the fact that the House and Senate working in tandem and having the different powers which they have. Consider:

The House, and only the House, has the authority to impeach a seated official.
The Senate, and only the Senate, has the authority to oversee the resultant trial.

Consider the most recent impeachment. If the Senate had had the authority to actually impeach, instead of the House, the disproportionate representation would surely have killed such an act. That is why the House, a more closely-accurate representation of the population, is given the authority to impeach an official. But conversely, if the House had the authority to try in an impeachment, it would be an unstable situation - we would never know whether so-and-so was acquitted because he just so happened to have 2 more reps from Kansas or whatever on his side.

And don't forget that there are several tasks which the House and Senate need to work on together. Both parties need to agree on the final draft of the laws which are forwarded to the President to sign - so even if a Senator introduces a bill, it needs to go through the House for approval first before it goes to the President.

So yes, you're correct that having only two senators from each state leads to some strangely disproportionate representation. But that's why we have the House, and that's why both the House and the Senate need to work together for most of what they do.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:10 AM on January 22 [6 favorites]


not even Scalia is a medium with access to Jimmy Madison's innermost thoughts

These days he could just ask. What we need is a medium to ask Scalia what Madison said.
posted by Grangousier at 5:21 AM on January 22 [11 favorites]


> If anyone has links to intelligent commentary about China's sanctioning of Trump administration officials almost the moment they left office, I am very interested in reading analysis and discussion of that, but I don't have the vaguest idea where to look for it!

The Financial Times has a piece* written with their usual straightforwardness.

My takeaway is that the part Americans are hung up on -- former officials are no longer welcome in China -- is attention-getting but probably the part with the least impact (to paraphrase Matthew Pottinger's quote in the article: "nanny-nanny poo-poo, who'd want to visit a bunch of stinkybutts anyway nyeah!"). What's more germane is the sanction on any company that hires them, and especially the signal to future US officials that if they cross China they, too, may see themselves forced into early retirement.

Reading between the lines elsewhere (not mentioned in the Financial Times piece) I suspect that there is an aggregate of grievances behind these sanctions, one of the unspoken issues being that Trump's administration had been considerably warmer to Taiwan while it pushed back China, particularly over the most recent two years, and China wants that trend reversed immediately. After all, no matter how much the US criticizes China about their actions in Hong Kong, Xinjiang and elsewhere, it can't actually do anything about it, but the US can shift their diplomatic policy with consequences, and that's what China can't abide.

*FT's paywall applies. You can get around it by googling "china sanctions trump officials ft" and clicking relevant links.
posted by at by at 5:29 AM on January 22 [4 favorites]


Also, you can complain about equal representation in the Senate all you want, but it is expressly forbidden in the Constitution to even amend it to take out equal representation. That door is closed, even beyond "lots of states voting to reduce their own power".
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:35 AM on January 22 [4 favorites]


Then the only thing to do is for the Democrats to do a Dakota and split a populous liberal-leaning state into two. (North and South California? East and West Massachusetts?) That and/or grant statehood to DC and/or Puerto Rico.
posted by acb at 5:37 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


For anyone hoping for a new Constitution to solve our structural problems, please keep in mind that any new Constitution (barring violent revolution/civil war) would be written and approved by the same voting population and pool of leaders we have now. IT COULD GET MUCH WORSE (imagine a Constitution written to get the votes of Boebert and Cawthorn). I say better the devil we know than the devil we don't know. DC Statehood is the first step, and after the failure of the National Guard on the 6th, seems potentially doable.
posted by rikschell at 5:45 AM on January 22 [21 favorites]


> East and West Massachusetts

East Massachusetts would stand a chance of going Republican.
posted by at by at 5:46 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


We don't need to bend the rules to help more people vote. If we're going to make new rules, let's have a national standard for paper-based ballots, a law against gerrymandering, and get a standard early voting program out to every state, so voting is in the same places with the same rules year after year.

That's important for us as a democracy, regardless of politics.

Speaking from my own politics, until all those reforms are in place, how about democrats let the organizers from Georgia run the national campaigns?
posted by nicoffeine at 5:50 AM on January 22 [18 favorites]


Broke: abolish equal representation

Bespoke: get rid of all the states every ten years and make 48 new ones equal in population to each other. (Alaska and Hawai'i can stay where they are).

(This is not a serious proposal.)
posted by Jeanne at 5:51 AM on January 22 [12 favorites]


leotrotsky the problem is worse than merely the challenges of amending the Constitution.

The Founders really ratfucked us with the Senate. Not only is it an evil and anti-democratic institution it is the only part of the Constitution that explicitly cannot be changed or amended without unanimous consent from all states.

Also we can't merge states unless all the states being merged agree.

Also we can't split states without the assent of that state legislature and Congress. So splitting NYC into five states won't happen either.

Adding new states sounds good, but DC has some possible Conditional hurdles. And anyway it's a temporary measure are best.

What worries me is that since the Constitution is so rigid in the matter it may be the end of America.

Maybe we could try reducing the Senate to a ceremonial role, but that'd also require a Constitutional amendment since the Senate has powers explicitly granted to it in the Constitution.

If the regressive rural population was mindful of the disproportionate power they have and respectful of the majority people like me would still hate it but the problem wouldn't be big enough to make the majority population consider ending America

But the rural population is spiteful and takes malicious joy in passing measures to hurt the majority and blocking measures that the majority favors.

It won't be soon but I think it will ultimately result in America ending.
posted by sotonohito at 6:08 AM on January 22 [5 favorites]


I thought this post was about the inauguration? Why are there dozens of comments about Senate rules?
posted by tiny frying pan at 6:13 AM on January 22 [9 favorites]


get rid of all the states every ten years and make 48 new ones equal in population to each other.

You can buy the map!
posted by 1970s Antihero at 6:14 AM on January 22 [10 favorites]


Capitol Police investigating after congressman discovered carrying a gun when attempting to go on the House floor, CNN, Annie Grayer, January 22, 2021:
US Capitol Police are investigating an incident in which a Republican lawmaker was stopped from bringing a concealed gun onto the House floor on Thursday, sources told CNN, the first time a member of Congress has been discovered with a firearm by the metal detectors now set up outside the legislative chamber.

Rep. Andy Harris, of Maryland, set off a metal detector outside the House floor on Thursday and an officer soon discovered it was because he was carrying a concealed gun on his side, a Capitol official told CNN. The officer sent Harris away, prompting him to ask fellow Republican Rep. John Katko, of New York, to hold his weapon.

According to a press pool report, Katko refused to hold the gun for Harris, saying that he did not have a license. Harris then left the area and returned moments later, walking onto the House floor without setting off the magnetometer....
posted by cenoxo at 6:31 AM on January 22 [12 favorites]


I thought this post was about the inauguration? Why are there dozens of comments about Senate rules?

There were about 36 hours when people were happy in a politics thread, and we all know that’s not the Metafilter way.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:40 AM on January 22 [34 favorites]


CNN:
President Joe Biden is expected to sign two more executive orders on Friday -- one focused on expanding assistance to Americans in need and the other on raising the minimum wage to $15 for the federal workforce -- as he continues his swift efforts to overturn his predecessor's policies.

The first executive order seeks to provide help to those who are struggling to buy food, missed out on stimulus checks or are out of work.

...The other is geared toward improving the jobs of federal workers and contractors, which was among the President's campaign commitments. It lays the groundwork for requiring contractors to pay a $15 hourly minimum wage and to provide emergency paid leave by the end of Biden's first 100 days. It also directs agencies to determine which federal workers are earning less than that minimum and develop recommendations to promote bringing them up to $15 an hour.

...The first order calls for the Department of Agriculture to consider enhancing Pandemic-EBT benefits by 15%, which would give a family with three children more than $100 in additional support every two months. The program, part of the relief packages Congress passed last March, provides funds to low-income families whose children's schools have closed to replace the free or reduced-price meals they would have received.

Also, the order directs the department to consider allowing states to boost food stamp benefits for about 12 million Americans who did not receive an earlier increase in their emergency allotments.

And the President is asking the agency to look into revising its Thrifty Food Plan, which is the basis for determining food stamp benefits, to better reflect the current cost of a healthy basic diet.
posted by darkstar at 6:43 AM on January 22 [14 favorites]


The Empty Boasts Gap
In his latest New York Times column, Ezra Klein makes some important points: If Democrats want to avoid losing their slim House and Senate majorities in the next midterm cycle, they need to do big, noticeable things that make people's lives better -- and that will probably require them to nuke the filibuster in the Senate. [...]

Klein makes a point about President Obama's policies being slow to deliver benefits (Obamacare) or delivering them so subtly that voters didn't notice:
The Obama administration believed that if you got the policy right, the politics would follow. That led, occasionally, to policies that almost entirely abandoned politics, so deep ran the faith in clever design. The Making Work Pay tax credit, which was a centerpiece of the Recovery Act, was constructed to be invisible — the Obama administration, working off new research in behavioral economics, believed Americans would be more likely to spend a windfall that they didn’t know they got. “When all was said and done, only around 10 percent of people who received benefits knew they had received something from the government,” says Suzanne Mettler, a political scientist at Cornell. You don’t get re-elected for things voters don’t know you did.
Klein is right -- you don’t get re-elected for things voters don’t know you did. But Trump almost got re-elected for things he didn't do but his voters thought he did. [...]

Biden isn't likely to do anything of the sort by 2022 or 2024. Even highly charismatic Democratic presidents -- Obama, Clinton -- don't pound their chests and tell you they solved all your problems when they didn't. Republicans are much better at this, and have a much more effective propaganda machine to reinforce their messaging.

That puts Democrats at a disadvantage. They need to deliver results because they won't simply insist that they already delivered them.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:50 AM on January 22 [23 favorites]


CNN (different article):
The themes [for Biden’s focus] next week will be "Buy American," with a Monday executive order beefing up requirements for government purchases of goods and services from US companies; equity on Tuesday, coupled with a push to eliminate private prisons; climate on Wednesday with an executive order kicking off regulatory actions reestablishing the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and combating climate change; health care on Thursday, a day on which Biden will rescind the so-called Mexico City Policy blocking federal funding for non-governmental organizations that provide abortion services; and immigration on Friday, when Biden plans to sign executive orders focused on border processing and refugee policies and establish a family reunification task force.

February will focus on what's identified in the calendar document as "restoring America's place in the world."
posted by darkstar at 6:52 AM on January 22 [8 favorites]


I’m keen to hear a plausible solution. The Constitution is not easy to amend.

Ditch the filibuster. The filibuster is a tradition of Senate procedure and not in the Constitution at all. This is what McConnell & Schumer are arguing about right now.

Jamelle Bouie (NYT), Adam Serwer (The Atlantic), and (I believe) historian Kevin M. Kruse, among others, have been discussing this on Twitter, pointing out that the filibuster itself didn't exist at all for years, it was a creation of the Calhoun-era Senate to give the slave states disproportionate power.

While this of course doesn't address the core issue of an unbalanced distribution of power inherent in the Senate, in practice it would almost certainly result in compromise from red-state Senators - if their choice is to either participate in creating bipartisan bills in order to get a piece of the pie or to get nothing and get steamrolled by simple majority anyway, eventually some will break, and in the meantime the Dems can pass whatever they need to.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:55 AM on January 22 [15 favorites]


Fauci’s definitely feeling liberated...

CNN:
Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday that the lack of truthfulness from the Trump administration regarding the Covid-19 pandemic "very likely" cost American lives.

"Particularly when you're in the situation of almost being in a crisis with the number of cases and hospitalizations and deaths that we have -- when you start talking about things that make no sense medically and no sense scientifically, that clearly is not helpful," Fauci, the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said on CNN's "New Day" Friday.

Asked by CNN's John Berman if the lack of candor over the last year and lack of facts, in some cases, cost lives, Fauci said, "You know, it very likely did."
posted by darkstar at 7:01 AM on January 22 [14 favorites]


Metafilter: Why are there dozens of comments about Senate rules?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:05 AM on January 22 [8 favorites]


> I, too, would love to hear realistic solutions – but I'm afraid that this anti-Democratic system cannot be corrected within the existing Constitution.

I don't know how realistic it is (probably not very), but there is a fully constitutional fix that requires no amendments: pack the union. That is, create a lot of tiny states out of Washington, DC.
posted by Turd Ferguson at 7:13 AM on January 22 [5 favorites]


ABCNews.go: McConnell proposes Impeachment timeline
He wrote that his proposal includes a "modest and reasonable amount" of additional time for sides to prepare arguments -- laying out a proposed timeline that the writ of summons would be filed Jan. 28, followed by a Trump response by Feb. 4 and a pretrial brief due from the former president by Feb. 11.

... Earlier Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that the House and Senate are "ready" to proceed with Trump's second impeachment trial, but she said transmission of the articles is being held up by questions about how the trial would work.

"I’m not going to be telling you when it is going ... they are now ready to receive, but there are other questions of how a trial to proceed. But we are ready," she said. "It will be soon, as I said you will be the first to know."
posted by darkstar at 7:16 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


If you want to fix the Senate in one amendment, you don't need to mess with equal representation. You could "promote" it to a more traditional upper house by stripping away it powers, such that it could only delay but not prevent legislation.

Short term: Biden won a relatively narrow victory, the margin in the House is not large, and the Senate is tied. There's no way around this being tough, but it's so much better than the alternatives.

I feel it's worth remembering how little the Republicans did with much larger majorities and friendly courts. It's just what they did was so often malicious that magnifies the impact.

I like this aim big mode and people shouldn't let up, but in this situation what actually counts as overperforming? I haven't thought in those terms much, if we get this relief bill and a follow up, a $15+ minimum wage, and a confirmed Biden cabinet that can administer the nation, deliver the vaccines, and undo some of the worst environmental and labor regulations that would be a good 2 years. And might give a chance for not having the Republicans back in control in 2022.
posted by mark k at 7:16 AM on January 22 [5 favorites]


Maybe we could try reducing the Senate to a ceremonial role, but that'd also require a Constitutional amendment since the Senate has powers explicitly granted to it in the Constitution.

Pack the Union
: A Proposal to Admit New States for the Purpose of Amending the Constitution to Ensure Equal Representation
Congress should pass legislation reducing the size of Washington, D.C., to an area encompassing only a few core federal buildings and then admit the rest of the District’s 127 neighborhoods as states. These states — which could be added with a simple congressional majority — would add enough votes in Congress to ratify four amendments: (1) a transfer of the Senate’s power to a body that represents citizens equally; (2) an expansion of the House so that all citizens are represented in equal-sized districts; (3) a replacement of the Electoral College with a popular vote; and (4) a modification of the Constitution’s amendment process that would ensure future amendments are ratified by states representing most Americans.
It's kind of a fever dream but it or something like it is probably the only way to avoid America locking up completely.
posted by Mitheral at 7:22 AM on January 22 [4 favorites]


electoral-vote.com: Biden declares war (on Covid-19)
[On Thursday, Biden] signed 11 more executive orders in an effort to combat the pandemic.

The first three pandemic-related XOs, signed on Wednesday, include one that encourages mask-wearing in most of the country and requires it on federal properties, a second that stops the United States' withdrawal from WHO and appoints Anthony Fauci as head of the American delegation, and a third that creates the position of COVID-19 response coordinator. Here's a rundown of the additional XOs added on Thursday:

*Invokes the Defense Production Act to accelerate PPE and vaccine production
*Instructs FEMA to fully reimburse states for National Guard personnel/emergency supplies
*Instructs FEMA to create federal vaccination centers
*Creates the Pandemic Testing Board to expand COVID-19 testing capacity
*Establishes a program to help develop treatments in response to pandemic threats
*Commits resources to collection and sharing of COVID-19 data
*Instructs the Dept. of Education to develop guidelines for safely reopening schools
*Instructs OSHA to develop guidelines for emergency standards, and to enforce worker safety requirements
*Creates the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force to make sure all are treated fairly
*Announces support for a "Global Health Security Agenda"
*Requires masks in airports, and on most trains, planes, and buses. Visitors to the U.S. must test negative for COVID-19.

In contrast to most of the XOs issued on Wednesday, none of these reversed Trump-era XOs, because the Trump administration basically had no pandemic plan. That is the sort of thing that will happen when: (1) an administration is staffed by people of limited capability, and (2) that administration decides that downplaying/ignoring a pandemic is their best move, politically. Neither of these things is true of the Biden administration, and underscoring the point that there is a new team in town, and one with a plan, Thursday's XOs were supplemented with a 200-page strategic plan for curtailing COVID-19.
posted by darkstar at 7:25 AM on January 22 [26 favorites]


We do have corrupt politicians and all that, this is not about Europe being better than the US. I'm just curious about how all democracies have gone through changes but the US is stuck with some elements that may have made sense when the nation was founded, but are really blocking development now. Maybe you had too much winning?

A friend of mine suggested that the U.S. Constitution was like Aristotle's collected works in that it was too brilliant for its own good. It was so good that it convinced people it had all the answers and didn't need to be fixed.

I don't think that's quite right. But I don't think it's entirely wrong either. The Constitution was a very revolutionary document, and it did a lot of things right. Even people like me who think the Constitution is badly written and ought to be replaced more or less entirely at this point ought to acknowledge that the Constitution was an incredible advance for human liberty.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 7:29 AM on January 22 [8 favorites]


If the idea is that continuing population shifts from rural to urban areas result in a Senate perpetually run by low population states and a House and Presidency decided by high population states, the high population states have a lot of leverage to get constitutional changes made to the Senate's power or at least get legislation passed - in this situation the low population states will be even more dependent than they are now on federal funding and on business connections to larger economic centers. And there is a harsh but effective lever there. I don't feel good about the idea because there are a lot of people in every state no matter its politics who don't deserve to be collateral damage in that fight but if there's a way to take care of the most vulnerable while absolutely squeezing the rich in low population states? You'd see compromise. Like the HB2 boycott writ large.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:32 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


electoral-vote.com: Biden’s Inauguration TV ratings were bigger than Trump’s.
posted by darkstar at 7:33 AM on January 22 [17 favorites]


The Hill: Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Friday that the House will deliver an impeachment article against President Trump to the Senate on Monday.

Also The Hill: Only five or six Republican senators at the most seem likely to vote for impeachment, far fewer than the number needed, GOP sources say
posted by darkstar at 7:37 AM on January 22 [4 favorites]


Politico:
Senate Republicans are coalescing around a long-shot bid to dismiss the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump before it even begins, relying on a disputed legal argument that says putting an ex-president on trial is unconstitutional.

Interviews with more than a dozen GOP senators revealed broad support for the claim that the Senate has no constitutional authority to put a private citizen on trial, which could translate into a substantial number of votes to scrap the trial altogether. The issue came up several times during a Senate GOP conference call Thursday afternoon, according to multiple senators.
posted by darkstar at 7:40 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


Only five or six Republican senators at the most seem likely to vote for impeachment, far fewer than the number needed, GOP sources say

If the Democrats bring a-game evidence and testimony to the trial I think this will grow. What's frustrating is that it's going to take significant time for the Biden DOJ to start dragging white supremacist terror groups through the legal system and I think a lot of what we'll discover in that process would be relevant and helpful to a successful conviction of Trump in the Senate. I believe much worse will come to light for him in relation to the insurrection over the next couple of years, with the Senate trial long in the rear view mirror.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:49 AM on January 22 [8 favorites]


JFC DC has its own problems thank you very much, and splitting every neighborhood into a state is as patently absurd as when liberals talk about California seceding or moving all the techbros to Wyoming. Can we maybe just get statehood first?
posted by aspersioncast at 7:53 AM on January 22 [28 favorites]


Why does anyone care what Senate MINORITY Leader Mitch McConnell proposes? Is this just the "liberal media" doing its thing of always amplifying Republicans and minimising Democrats or does the Minority Leader have some actual role to play in seeing the timeline?

I thought we won and Schumer, as Senate Majority Leader, was in charge of the calendar.
posted by sotonohito at 8:00 AM on January 22 [9 favorites]


CNN has an article on McConnell and the filibuster and the power sharing agreement that bugged me so much I put down my breakfast and wrote to my Senators:
Please encourage Senator Schumer to hold firm on the filibuster and resist Senator McConnell's attempts to weaken the Democratic majority.

Americans have seen the catastrophic results of Republican obstructionism clearly in the past few months. If Democrats make it clear that Sen. McConnell is demanding unfair and unwarranted concessions, Americans will understand that Republicans are once again interfering in the progress we voted for.

Please remind the public when you speak that Democratic senators represent 41 million more people than Republican senators, and it would be deeply unjust to let the Republican minority quash the urgent business the Democratic majority is ready to enact.

Please urge Sen. Schumer to do everything he can to preserve the strength of the Democratic majority.

Thank you for EVERYTHING you do for us, Senator.
The awesome historian Heather Cox Richardson has an outstanding post on the history of the filibuster and what's happening now - which also includes this intriguing note:
a big source of FNC’s income is not advertising, but rather cable fees. FNC is bundled with other channels, so many people who do not want it pay for it. Today on Twitter, lawyer Pam Keith noted that a simple regulatory change ending this sort of bundling would force FNC and similar channels to compete on a level playing field rather than being able to survive on fees from people who might not want to support them.
I'll have to save writing my Congressfolk about that one for tomorrow.
posted by kristi at 8:04 AM on January 22 [27 favorites]


sotonohito: Why does anyone care what Senate MINORITY Leader Mitch McConnell proposes?

Because a policy is still in place that has to be voted out of the way (so to speak), and Mitch is blocking it by managing his GOP colleagues.

Basically, he deliberately jammed himself inside a revolving door that the rest of America needs to get through. Before committees can be reassigned, and bills considered, and peaches impeached, the damn guy has to agree to it.

I hate him so, SO much.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:16 AM on January 22 [28 favorites]


If the regressive rural population was mindful of the disproportionate power they have and respectful of the majority people like me would still hate it but the problem wouldn't be big enough to make the majority population consider ending America

But the rural population is spiteful and takes malicious joy in passing measures to hurt the majority and blocking measures that the majority favors.

It won't be soon but I think it will ultimately result in America ending


Well, I’m glad we’re not overreacting, at least.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:22 AM on January 22 [7 favorites]


It's kind of a fever dream but it or something like it is probably the only way to avoid America locking up completely.

Do we really need two Dakotas, Carolinas or Virginias?
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:27 AM on January 22 [4 favorites]


Seriously, though.

1. Our society is increasingly urbanized, which means exposure to different types of people. Almost every state has cities. Cities have more people, more diverse people, and tend to be more liberal. Indianapolis 30 years ago was radically different than the same city today. Look at Nashville, or SLC as compared to 30 years ago.

2. Our society is increasingly interconnected, helping to eliminate the historical geographic isolation that had produced and nurtured regressive social mores. If you were a white kid in Mississippi in 1950, you might not even see a problem with segregated water fountains.

3. At the risk of jinxing it, Trump feels like a dead cat bounce for a whole bundle of bad ideas. How many folks under 40 do you think will be planning on voting for a Republican in the next decade?

4. If you get a jobs/ infrastructure plan that addresses the red drift you see in the Rust Belt, and you nurture the blue shift that already took Virginia and Arizona and Georgia! for North Carolina and Texas, how is that not an enduring majority?
posted by leotrotsky at 8:33 AM on January 22 [7 favorites]


sotonohito: Why does anyone care what Senate MINORITY Leader Mitch McConnell proposes?

What Really Happens When There's a 50-50 Split in the Senate?
posted by soundguy99 at 8:35 AM on January 22 [3 favorites]


splitting every neighborhood into a state is as patently absurd as when liberals talk about California seceding or moving all the techbros to Wyoming. Can we maybe just get statehood first?

The DC neighbourhood states is a temporary measure to get state level votes. Once the constitution is modified to be more population representative the DC neighbourhood states are collapsed into a single state. It has to be done in that order to get the 2/3 majority of state votes required by the current constitution. IE it's an end run around the land votes of the current system to get rid of land voting because the land won't vote to remove their own votes.
posted by Mitheral at 8:37 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


5. Our society is less religious, and becoming so at an accelerated rate. The politicization of religion by right evangelicals has poisoned the brand for many many young people.

The ability of a few religious extremists to drive and control the narrative and the voting behavior of large swathes of our population to push for regressive political positions has never been weaker.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:42 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


If the regressive rural population was mindful of the disproportionate power they have and respectful of the majority people like me would still hate it but the problem wouldn't be big enough to make the majority population consider ending America

Well, then, it's a good thing that we have the House to offset the Senate, isn't it? Just like it was intended to do for precisely that reason?

Come on, dude.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:42 AM on January 22 [4 favorites]


How many folks under 40 do you think will be planning on voting for a Republican in the next decade?

A bunch? Honestly, genuinely, I think changing this relies on interrupting the tech-assisted radicalization and disinformation pipeline, and I don't see it happening. How many people -- young people -- believe, unquestioningly, that the entire Democratic party is covering up child trafficking? How many believe the line that pro-choice laws are racist? That trans rights are anti-feminist? Seems like a lot, by my reckoning.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:50 AM on January 22 [13 favorites]


But the rural population is spiteful and takes malicious joy in passing measures to hurt the majority and blocking measures that the majority favors.

6. This feels like a variation on folks throwing rocks at “flyover states”. The sociopaths who invaded the Capitol weren’t a bunch of farmers, they were suburbanite small business owners and mid level managers. Heck, white folks in cities don’t vote *that* much different, it’s all a matter of degree.

There’s plenty of idiots all over.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:51 AM on January 22 [22 favorites]


How many folks under 40 do you think will be planning on voting for a Republican in the next decade?

A bunch? Honestly, genuinely, I think changing this relies on interrupting the tech-assisted radicalization and disinformation pipeline, and I don't see it happening. How many people -- young people -- believe, unquestioningly, that the entire Democratic party is covering up child trafficking? How many believe the line that pro-choice laws are racist? That trans rights are anti-feminist? Seems like a lot, by my reckoning.


Right, but if you look at US voting preferences cross-tabbed by age group, they are dwarfed by folks who are on the other side.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:54 AM on January 22 [3 favorites]


The DC neighborhood plan is a nonstarter. It's a great example of something that TECHNICALLY follows the rules but breaks every norm, every spirit of the law, and so by the time you're done, both sides have completely thrown norms out the window and the system is forever broken so why did you even bother technically following the rules (to say nothing of the fact that the people with the power to enact such a plan would never go that drastic).

It's awful to have to reform a broken racist system according to the rules of the broken racist system, but unfortunately you can't fix things by making them MORE broken (unless you're ready for mass bloodshed which frankly more and more people are).
posted by rikschell at 8:56 AM on January 22 [8 favorites]


Once the constitution is modified to be more population representative the DC neighbourhood states are collapsed into a single state.

Only if they expressly agree to do so (same with Super Dakota and Most Virginia), and why would they?
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:59 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


darkstar posted a CNN link about Biden "raising the minimum wage to $15 for the federal workforce", and it made me wonder what the current minimum wage is for federal workers.

My brief search suggests it's just $7.25 an hour?!? - Ah, no, Obama raised it to $10.10 in 2014.

According to Federal Times (2019), even state or city laws setting a higher minimum wage don't apply to federal workers.

Biden's order will require federal contractors to pay that $15 minimum wage, too.

I am applauding. I am truly grateful to Biden for getting something approaching an actual paycheck into the pockets of the people who work hard keeping the country running.
posted by kristi at 9:00 AM on January 22 [23 favorites]


How growing urbanization has driven political polarization is carefully dissected and presented in this smart paper, The Density Divide, by Will Wilkenson:
I weave recent research in political science, economics, psychology and more into an account of political polarization and the rise of populist nationalism as a surprising and overlooked side-effect of urbanization.

I claim that we’ve failed to fully grasp that urbanization is a relentless, glacial social force that transforms entire societies and, in the process, generates cultural and political polarization by segregating populations along the lines of the traits that make individuals more or less responsive to the incentives that draw people to the city. I explore three such traits — ethnicity, ideology-correlated aspects of personality, and level of educational achievement — and their intricate web of relationships. The upshot is that, over the course of millions of moves over many decades, high density areas have become economically thriving multicultural havens while whiter, lower density places are facing stagnation and decline as their populations have become increasingly uniform in terms of socially conservative personality, aversion to diversity, and lower levels of education. This self-segregation of the population, I argue, created the polarized economic and cultural conditions that led to populist backlash.
posted by PhineasGage at 9:01 AM on January 22 [13 favorites]


Do we really need two Dakotas, Carolinas or Virginias?

If we had 50 Virginias we wouldn't be in this mess. I'm just saying.
posted by os tuberoes at 9:14 AM on January 22 [4 favorites]


I see people are discussing the disproportionate nature of Senate representation, and can't help but notice that people are overlooking the House of Representatives, which does have a more proportionally-accurate representation of the population.

I don't think people are overlooking the House of Reps. That's the only reasonably democratic house (gerrymandering notwithstanding). The House should be the one that's totally in charge.


Well, then, it's a good thing that we have the House to offset the Senate, isn't it? Just like it was intended to do for precisely that reason?

Why are we giving so much credit to founders who created a democratic legislative body that somewhat offsets the frighteningly non-democratic legislative body THAT THEY ALSO CREATED?
posted by el gran combo at 9:18 AM on January 22 [5 favorites]


Does the minimum wage EO apply to tipped employees who were previously getting a measly $2.13/hr?
posted by Mitheral at 9:30 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


Only five or six Republican senators at the most seem likely to vote for impeachment, far fewer than the number needed, GOP sources say

Yup
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 9:32 AM on January 22




The DC neighbourhood states is a temporary measure to get state level votes. Once the constitution is modified to be more population representative the DC neighbourhood states are collapsed into a single state.

The State of Chevy Chase, e.g., might be reluctant to give up its two Senate votes.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:36 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


Does the minimum wage EO apply to tipped employees who were previously getting a measly $2.13/hr?

The executive order only applies to federal employees and contractors. I doubt there are a whole lot of tipped federal employees, but there may be some contractors.
posted by JackFlash at 9:36 AM on January 22 [3 favorites]


Thanks for explaining the rationale Mitheral; I continue to agree with rikschell that it doesn't stand a chance, and don't think it would be a great idea even if it did.

Whereas DC statehood very much does; it's immensely popular here in the district, and fairly popular among Democrats in general. H.R. 51 was rejected on a purely party-line vote last time, and Holmes Norton just reintroduced it to the 117th Congress - with Dems in control of the Senate it stands a very real chance of passing this time around.
posted by aspersioncast at 9:37 AM on January 22 [6 favorites]


A bunch? Honestly, genuinely, I think changing this relies on interrupting the tech-assisted radicalization and disinformation pipeline, and I don't see it happening. How many people -- young people -- believe, unquestioningly, that the entire Democratic party is covering up child trafficking?

I don't have time to find the peer-reviewed research on how people under 30 are FAR better at evaluating sources of information compared to those over 30, but it's there. If someone has it in hand, that would be great.

How many believe the line that pro-choice laws are racist? That trans rights are anti-feminist? Seems like a lot, by my reckoning.

I either don't understand this or haven't heard this. I thought pro-choice laws were less racist than anti-choice laws? And I thought trans rights were feminist? Help me through these two and what you mean. I honestly and earnestly don't get what you are saying.
posted by Snowishberlin at 9:39 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


I thought pro-choice laws were less racist than anti-choice laws? And I thought trans rights were feminist? Help me through these two and what you mean. I honestly and earnestly don't get what you are saying.

These are two of the insidious lies that far-right bad actors tell to make progressive goals sound regressive. And they work on a lot of people. They may sound unbelievable, but when combined with the (so-called) "facts" that usually accompany them (which I will neither repeat nor link here) they are, evidently, seductive to a lot of people.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:45 AM on January 22 [8 favorites]


You have to read it through Bad Brain.

Democrats want black people to abort their black babies.
Democrats want men to use women's toilets.
Etc.
posted by phunniemee at 9:45 AM on January 22 [7 favorites]


(I will add I have been told both of these "facts" in complete seriousness. See synonyms at "BLM is about killing cops.")
posted by phunniemee at 9:47 AM on January 22 [6 favorites]


These are two of the insidious lies that far-right bad actors tell to make progressive goals sound regressive.

Oh, ok! Thanks! I just maybe hadn't heard that kind of propaganda or lie.
posted by Snowishberlin at 9:48 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


When I worked at Planned Parenthood in the 90s we would regularly have protestors with signs reading "Stop Killing Black Babies."
posted by cooker girl at 9:59 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


The National Journal is reporting that Biden did not fire the head usher at the White House. Trump fired him just as he was leaving and sent the butlers home so that there would be no one to greet the Bidens when they arrived at the White House. More Trump petty grievance bullshit. "Can we have unity now?" Republicans ask.
posted by JackFlash at 10:05 AM on January 22 [56 favorites]


C-SPAN briefing is live.
posted by cenoxo at 10:06 AM on January 22


The State of Chevy Chase, e.g., might be reluctant to give up its two Senate votes.

Given what we know about about the historical state of Chevy Chase, we can expect some truculence.
posted by Sockdown at 10:11 AM on January 22 [4 favorites]


Given what we know about about the historical state of Chevy Chase, we can expect some truculence.

And some ruining of Community.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:17 AM on January 22 [22 favorites]


Dems are drafting a plan to deposit in accounts $300 per month for every child under 6 and $250 per month for every child under 18 -- and it would be permanent.

This would replace the unwieldy child tax credit with direct cash deposits of $3,600 and $3,000 per child. Dems are getting smarter with highly visible benefits rather than hidden in taxes.
posted by JackFlash at 10:21 AM on January 22 [54 favorites]


Why would he fire the Chief Usher? Yes, I know whom we're talking about, but from what I can tell he’s a T loyalist...
posted by Melismata at 10:40 AM on January 22


So he can hire him back at a Trump property, I assume.
posted by muddgirl at 10:43 AM on January 22


Jack flash, is that info coming from the briefing happening right now or do you have a source you can link?
posted by VTX at 10:43 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


It's the same reason he hired him as the chief usher in the first place. Once you've found someone who is willing to supply your narcissistic kibbles you gotta hold on to them as long as possible.
posted by muddgirl at 10:44 AM on January 22


> So did anyone else think the piano mix was way too low on John Legend's Feeling Good?

I totally did! That's one of my favorite songs, and was coincidentally exactly what I was singing after a bottle of champagne the night that they called Pennsylvania for Biden, and I thought Mr. Legend's performance was amazing and perfect, but I was momentarily confused when I saw him playing a piano that I couldn't hear.
posted by desuetude at 11:01 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


dKos: Farmworker groups say Biden's immigration plan 'fundamentally different' than any previous president; urge support to make it a reality.

dKos: Senate confirms Lloyd Austin, the nation's first Black defense secretary.
posted by darkstar at 11:13 AM on January 22 [9 favorites]


Biden continues his rooting out of Trump cronies. Wednesday he fired Peter Robb, the General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board, after he refused to resign.

Thursday he fired Deputy General Counsel for NLRB Alice Stock after she refused to resign.

In her letter refusing to resign she wrote "I would have expected a more civil and professional approach to the transition from this administration." Can we assume that by "this administration" she means Trump? Naw, she's just another whiny Trump sycophant.
posted by JackFlash at 11:14 AM on January 22 [18 favorites]


But were they fired like dogs?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:18 AM on January 22 [6 favorites]


We criticized Obama for being too friendly to Republicans and letting too many Bush appointees hang on. Folks, I don't think Biden is going to make the same mistake.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:19 AM on January 22 [32 favorites]


Maybe Robb and Stock should have banded together with fellow lawyers to create some kind of organization that could use their combined power to resist terrible things like at-will employment.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:20 AM on January 22 [53 favorites]


Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on the system that constrains me to have to extend good faith trust despite knowing full well that you can't be trusted. Fool me three times, hey, screw you, we're done playing that game now.
posted by biogeo at 11:23 AM on January 22 [22 favorites]


Good one, Tony.
posted by JackFlash at 11:23 AM on January 22


I welcome this new and frankly unanticipated aspect of Biden’s governance. Smiles and unity for people of good faith, wave after wave of bold Executive Orders fixing problems and righting wrongs, and immediate and unrepentant termination of troublesome Trump toadies.

I had not expected him to be this forceful a champion for good right out of the gate. It gives me greater hope for some of the other progressive goals later on, once we get the wheels of legislation moving.
posted by darkstar at 11:24 AM on January 22 [50 favorites]


The sociopaths who invaded the Capitol weren’t a bunch of farmers, they were suburbanite small business owners and mid level managers.

Bill Buford's excellent Among the Thugs: The Experience, and the Seduction, of Crowd Violence, about football hooliganism, makes the same point. The rioters have to be able to afford to take the time off and travel expenses. It's a great examination of crowd psychology .
Violence is their antisocial kick, their mind-altering experience, an adrenaline-induced euphoria that might be all the more powerful because it is generated by the body itself, with, I was convinced, many of the same addictive qualities that characterize synthetically-produced drugs.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:34 AM on January 22 [13 favorites]


Want to understand the GOP’s problem? Look at its newly elected extremists.
WaPo opinion piece. Compares the right end of the Republican Party to the left end of the Democratic Party.
The most ambitious Republicans, even those who are themselves quite smart and well-educated, see their path to success as pandering to the dumbest and most deluded people in their party. Witness Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas (Princeton, Harvard Law) and Josh Hawley of Missouri (Stanford, Yale Law), who made themselves leaders of the effort to overturn the presidential election, promoting what they absolutely, positively know are lies about widespread fraud.
But wait, you may say, aren’t there equivalents on the Democratic side? Don’t they have their own extremists? There’s a profound difference, which is that the people in Congress who are far to the left — especially those who get the most attention — spend more time thinking about policy in a given week than the likes of Cawthorn and Boebert have in their entire lives.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y), for instance, is a social media star, but she also has a lengthy policy agenda, including workers’ rights and the Green New Deal. Rep. Katie Porter (Calif.) has gone viral with videos in which she wields her whiteboard against hapless corporate executives in hearings, but those are confrontations in which she uses her deep understanding of economics and finance to show — with math! — how profiteering hurts consumers and workers.
posted by mumimor at 11:40 AM on January 22 [46 favorites]


Jack flash, is that info coming from the briefing happening right now or do you have a source you can link?

VTX, I just saw this story from the Washington Post: Senior Democrats drafting plan to give parents $3,000 per child in Biden stimulus
posted by kitarra at 11:51 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


The Constitution is not easy to amend.

The Constitution is no longer real. Slavery was never actually banned—we socialized the costs and privatized the profits. Congress doesn't have to formally declare war and in the twenty-first century the AUMF even allows executive-branch-initiated omni-war. You can participate in a foreign military's attack against the United States (Trump's “Russia if you're listening...”) with no “levying war” treason consequences. The Emoluments Clause means nothing, impeachment of a president followed by any material measures ensuring the safety of democracy requires an armed insurrection first (we hope there will be more from the Senate this time, at least), and collaborators with the insurrection who hold office face none of the consequences specified in the Constitution.

We can keep pretending it's real anyways, and be a nation-sized dignity wraith in a crumbling and deliquescent reality we can't see because we're covering our eyes, or we can make new rules.
posted by XMLicious at 11:58 AM on January 22 [15 favorites]


Some very welcome (and underreported, so far) news:

America Is Complicit in Yemen Atrocities. Biden Says That Ends Now.
posted by carrienation at 12:01 PM on January 22 [38 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos we have a bunch of people linking to why Supreme Leader McConnell still wields power despite us "winning" and the entire history of the last two years proving over and over that the Senate is where the real power is and the House is basically unable to get things done.

Telling me in a condescending way that the presence of the lesser house of Congress somehow makes up for the Senate empowering the most regressive portion of the Kentucky population and giving them total and unquestioned control of what bills are permitted to be passed is not exactly going to convince me that it is right and proper for America to continue to be ruled by the worst people in the tiny state of Kentucky while the majority is told to pound sand.

The existence of the House does not excuse the Senate and does not help avoid the problem that a majority will not tolerate being dictated to by a minority forever.
posted by sotonohito at 12:05 PM on January 22 [8 favorites]


Congress doesn't have to formally declare war

Fun fact: The last countries the United States declared war with were Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania on June 5, 1942. They were allies of Nazi Germany and had declared war on the US first.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:08 PM on January 22 [7 favorites]


Things like "make every DC neighborhood a temporary state" etc are dream-plans for fixing the issues the U.S. has with non-democratic representation. They are good ideas in a sense, and there is nothing particularly wrong with discussing them, partly because it helps point up what the problem is.

But let's face it, they are never going to happen in real life. In real life, we need plans for dealing with the situation as it is.

I've mentioned several times over the years--to nearly unanimous boos--a few practical ways we can deal with this now, without waiting for the constitutional amendment to change the makeup of the Senate. You know, the one that will never be coming.

The Constitution was written the way it was for a reason. It was designed to give small states a disproportionate amount of representation. You can like that or not (I don't) but nevertheless it is an immutable fact and you're going to make progress by acknowledging that and figuring out how to work around it, rather than denying it or putting your energy behind fantasy solutions.

Here are a few of my solutions, for your consideration:

- The Democratic Party needs a real, well-funded, well-organized, national effort to reach out to more voters in "Red" states. That means more outreach to rural voters, exurban voters, etc etc etc. It's not just policies but funding, organization, people, etc. Just for example, well funded, well trained Democratic candidates in many more places.

-> You don't need to win everywhere or change everyone's mind. Shifting just 5% of Republican voters to vote in a different direction would have a huge national impact.

-> There are tons of Democratic and leftist ideas and initiatives that are potentially very, very appealing to rural and small-state voters. But . . . you've got to figure out how to sell them. What we are doing now isn't working.

-> Rural areas are far, far more diverse politically than usually give credit. Republicans have a lot of "safe" seats that are 55/45 or 60/40. Those are opportunities.

-> I don't know if this is a truly 50-state initiative or more targeted. Not every small state is destined to be forever Red or even mostly-rural, for example. Maybe you concentrate more effort in a few promising areas. Regardless, you don't just abandon places. I've lived 25 years in a 55/45 type state, and the Democratic Party their feels completely lifeless, inept, and abandoned. You CAN'T DO THAT.

- Remove the current ban on earmarks Earmarks ("pork") have an understandably bad reputation. But . . . earmarks are how you make deals and get legislation passed. The fact that we don't have earmarks now is the single biggest reason Congress is completely logjammed.

A logjammed Congress benefits Republicans overall--just look at the past 12 years. OK, the past 28 years. Being able to get things done, operate government properly, pass budgets, pass compromise bills, etc etc all benefits Democrats in the long run.

Earmarks are basically dollars going to one particular state. This is the lowest common denominator, the language that every politician (and every human) understands. Republican politicians understand it best of all.

If you want to get those few Republicans to defect--those few needed to get something done, something passed--earmarks are the way to get it done. McConnell has been able to keep an iron grip on his caucus in large part because there is nothing the Democrats can offer an individual member that makes it worth their while to defect.

Earmarks are that thing.

We need them. To make Congress work again.

Earmarks aren't evil. What they amount to, is the majority gives away 1-2% of the total budget of any given proposal to the minority, in order to garner (enough of) the minority's support to allow the proposal to move forward.

You can look at it as, big urban states give away a small percentage of a given budget to the small, rural states in order to get projects done that benefit everyone. So the small, rural states benefit a little more than they should. That's more than worth it to get the overall project done--because it benefits everyone, in every state.

- Of course, move forward with statehood for DC and Puerto Rico with all possible speed.

- Of course, move forward with proposals to reduce gerrymandering, increase voting among all groups, reduce voter suppression, etc.

These are things that could actually be done in the next 2-4 years, and would actually make a big dent in the significantly reducing the home court advantage the Republicans enjoy thanks to the Constitution.
posted by flug at 12:10 PM on January 22 [62 favorites]


XMLicious, you're not wrong about the rules we have. But "we can make new rules" is really hard, considering 70 million people voted for Trump and they'd like new rules that are an authoritarian nightmare while a lot of us would like new socialist rules that level out income inequality, etc., and there are many who are happy with the status quo. There's just no easy path to fair new rules. There's only building a movement of increasing political pressure while trying to de-escalate violence enough that new rules come before genocidal bloodlust.
posted by rikschell at 12:13 PM on January 22 [4 favorites]


Things are definitely going to be really hard.
posted by XMLicious at 12:13 PM on January 22 [2 favorites]


Telling me in a condescending way that the presence of the lesser house of Congress somehow makes up for the Senate empowering the most regressive portion of the Kentucky population and giving them total and unquestioned control of what bills are permitted to be passed is not exactly going to convince me that it is right and proper for America to continue to be ruled by the worst people in the tiny state of Kentucky while the majority is told to pound sand.

By the same token, telling us all that Mitch McConnell's existence is a herald of the impending downfall of this government is not exactly a calm and measured way to advance one's argument.

I mean, I agree with you about how Mitch McConnell's hold on the Senate has been detrimental. However, I don't feel that this is ipso facto a sign that the whole system is therefore flawed - rather, I feel that it is a sign of multiple other factors:

1. That the Democrats need to get their shit together and present a much better opposition to the Republicans during the midterms,
2. That we generally need to get much better about encouraging greater voter turnout, both with legislation and with community outreach, and
3. Mitch McConnell is basically just a huge dick.

Fixing the first two situations, and getting people to wake up to the third, would also correct the power imbalance you're seeing, and would do so much more efficiently and without having to rewrite the Constitution.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:22 PM on January 22 [9 favorites]


[Couple comments deleted. This thread has been going kinda everywhere, but now I'm asking that people rein things in. Let's bring it back to concrete Biden/Harris actually-happening current stuff here, and split off all the rest. If you want to talk about changing the Constitution, please make a thread for that. If you want wide-ranging spitballing about possible things that could happen, horrible or idealized, please make separate threads if they warrant discussion, or go have that general conversation in Chat or elsewhere, so we can bring this one back into a narrower focus on what's actually happening with the new administration. Thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:26 PM on January 22 [57 favorites]


-> I don't know if this is a truly 50-state initiative or more targeted. Not every small state is destined to be forever Red or even mostly-rural, for example. Maybe you concentrate more effort in a few promising areas. Regardless, you don't just abandon places. I've lived 25 years in a 55/45 type state, and the Democratic Party their feels completely lifeless, inept, and abandoned. You CAN'T DO THAT.

This. If the Democrats announced the Green New Deal would be union manufacturing bringing $30/hr jobs to the Appalachians then Kentucky, WV, and PA would go bright blue in a generation.

Democrats may have the whole wokeness thing down but their organized labor stances and support for organizations thereof are lacking. For every AOC you have on a picket line with teamsters, you have another that should have ran as an Eisenhower Republican.

Don't just hand out. Work with companies to setup new manufacturing bases. Get this money into the hands of people immediately through paid training transitioning into work. Get them used to their $30/hr positions in green manufacturing and support manufacturers through smart moves. None of this Solyndra burning half a billion to lower the 3% unemployment of Fremont CA a tenth of a percentage point bullshit. You want federal cash? You're going to go where we need it to be.

Start pulling back the tax credit so that only US manufactured panels and cells can qualify. 10% tax deduction for US manufactured cells (i.e. Texas), 10% for US manufactured panels, another 10% for panels from a qualified manufacturing revitalization zone (i.e. Appalachians, rust belt). A lot of these people are proud. Get these people opportunities to go out and earn a decent living for their families, to feel like they truly earned it, that the country is finally owning up to its side of the bargain and that they're not just looking for a hand out.

Also, we have all this infrastructure that's going underutilized and we need to have reasons and economic activity to be able to justify and afford to maintain it. Getting these poorest counties much needed tax income will only help the situation and could provide the renaissance back to the '50s that these people always wanted without the nationalism and racism.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 1:37 PM on January 22 [31 favorites]


I love Jen Psaki so much. Yesterday she got asked if Biden is going to redo the colors on Air Force One. She said it hadn't come up in the last 24 hours and would circle back to it. Today she said, "the president has not spent one minute thinking about the colors on Air Force One...."
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:51 PM on January 22 [51 favorites]


Oh, and then she just got asked where the Churchill bust is and she said, "Oh, that's the plane of today! I'm going to have to follow up on that." LOVE HER.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:07 PM on January 22 [46 favorites]


jenfullmoon, was it a British reporter?

It's Churchill or bust: now Britain's culture warriors are looking to Washington | Boris Johnson | The Guardian (theguardian.com)
Incidentally, has a single American reporter based in London ever wondered whether there is or isn’t a bust of FDR or Eisenhower or Mickey Mouse in Downing Street? Don’t be ridiculous. Only complete irrelevances could concern themselves with such irrelevances, which is why the precise coordinates of the Churchill bust are such a perennially hot topic in UK Westminster discourse, where ways to announce your own smallness are apparently cheaper by the dozen.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:21 PM on January 22 [22 favorites]


But wait, you may say, aren’t there equivalents on the Democratic side? Don’t they have their own extremists?

I'm concerned about the both-sides language that the mainstream media and social media are already quickly returning to, and how that will affect Biden's efforts to get his term started. Not to mention that our country just barely squeaked past a presidency that these media outlets almost helped turn into a dictatorship, by profiting from handing Trump free airtime to get installed and to promote his fascist agenda.

Beyond that, there are clear differences in the characteristics of what Boebart/Cruz/etc. do, whose work consists of emphasizing sedition and violence against the state as-policy, in comparison with the "opposite" side of AOC/Porter/etc., who push for ideas that you might not personally agree with, but who also don't call for the violent overthrow of the government or invalidation of 81 million votes along the way, either. These media are not helping, when they let the still unarrested traitors of the House and Senate commit acts of violence of various scales against Americans, without much commentary or reportage.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:31 PM on January 22 [19 favorites]


ChurchHatesTucker: I just ran it back and Of COURSE it was!

I feel compelled to compile Jen Psaki press conference snark quotes now. This is great.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:46 PM on January 22 [7 favorites]


I'm concerned about the both-sides language that the mainstream media and social media are already quickly returning to,
I agree, but the quoted opinion piece is exactly not that. It is pointing out that those equivalencies are false.
posted by mumimor at 3:08 PM on January 22 [5 favorites]


For those who haven't seen it, the Churchill statue thing is News in Britain because back when Obama moved it out of the Oval Office, now-PM Boris Johnson (at the time a columnist) made a big stink about how because Obama is half Kenyan, he has an "ancestral dislike of the British Empire" (paraphrase) that motivated the move. But now that Biden has done the same thing, he is hypocritically silent about it. (Maybe it's Biden's Irish ancestry this time.) The British Left are pointing out what a racist Johnson is, which is why it's a story that British journalists are asking about.
posted by biogeo at 3:10 PM on January 22 [13 favorites]


Boris Johnson (at the time a columnist) made a big stink about how because Obama is half Kenyan, he has an "ancestral dislike of the British Empire" (paraphrase) that motivated the move. But now that Biden has done the same thing, he is hypocritically silent about it. (Maybe it's Biden's Irish ancestry this time.)
The Irish, of course, being notable for their ancestral love of the British Empire..
posted by Nerd of the North at 3:15 PM on January 22 [25 favorites]


Obama moved it out of the Oval Office

He didn't! Bush just gave back the one that Blair had loaned him. The one Trump brought into the Oval Office was a different bust.
posted by BungaDunga at 3:16 PM on January 22 [11 favorites]


I hope the bust is now on loan to Kenya.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:17 PM on January 22 [9 favorites]


Good bloody luck finding anyone in the world, inside or outside of the UK, that can't lay claim to some ancestral dislike. The sun never sets on people's resentment for the British Empire.
posted by Riki tiki at 3:20 PM on January 22 [12 favorites]


Good bloody luck finding anyone in the world, inside or outside of the UK, that can't lay claim to some ancestral dislike. The sun never sets on people's resentment for the British Empire.

Hell, Gandhi was a hero to millions but ask about him in Africa and what they remember is how disdainful and racist af he was to them during the time he was living there.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 3:32 PM on January 22 [4 favorites]


Some years ago, I was traveling in London and stopped by to look at Buckingham Palace. It was so strange because even though I'm a bit of an Anglophile, something burbled up inside me and I felt utterly compelled to salute with a middle finger.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 3:33 PM on January 22 [7 favorites]


For the love of all that is holy give me something, anything other than constitutional fan fiction.

Dems are drafting a plan to deposit in accounts $300 per month for every child under 6 and $250 per month for every child under 18 -- and it would be permanent.


Is this for real? Do we know what kind of chance this has of becoming law?
posted by medusa at 3:55 PM on January 22 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I mean, it's not like America lacks its own historical beef with the British Empire... Fortunately for international relations, most people are perfectly capable of remembering and honoring their history while not being stuck in it. Unlike far-Right politicians worldwide.
posted by biogeo at 3:58 PM on January 22 [3 favorites]


Get these people opportunities to go out and earn a decent living for their families

I agree with this, a green-new-deal clone of the CCC, essentially. But be forewarned...some of the biggest trumpers I know personally are retired state workers with nice pensions after a lifetime of decent employment. Giving those rust-belt folks jobs (again, I think we should) absolutely does not guarantee them becoming democrats.
posted by maxwelton at 4:27 PM on January 22 [6 favorites]


a green-new-deal clone of the CCC

I thought that Obama should've done this when he took office.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:36 PM on January 22 [5 favorites]


He might be well-disposed towards Great Britain...

Johnson is technically an educated person, but that is literally boggling my little brain.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 5:10 PM on January 22 [8 favorites]


I feel compelled to compile Jen Psaki press conference snark quotes now. This is great.
posted by jenfullmoon


Epony-has-anyone-seen-them-both-in-the-same-room?

(And yes, it is great.)
posted by bcd at 5:18 PM on January 22 [5 favorites]


And the New York Times is asking the hard hitting questions, like why did Biden wear a Rolex to the inauguration?

The paper of record, everyone.
posted by NoxAeternum at 6:01 PM on January 22 [18 favorites]


"And the New York Times is asking the hard hitting questions, like why did Biden wear a Rolex to the inauguration?"

Ugh. How much you wanna bet that if Bernie were President they'd be attacking him for being too frugal?

I want to live in an alternate dimension where double standards simply don't exist.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 6:04 PM on January 22 [5 favorites]


(Not to defend it too strongly, but for what it's worth it's an article in the Style section. It's not trying to pass itself off as real news commentary.)
posted by nobody at 6:22 PM on January 22 [4 favorites]


Scroll down on that Rolex link for Rage Kitty.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:25 PM on January 22 [2 favorites]


I would really like Jen Psaki to commission 1,400 or so golden miniatures of Air Force One with Churchill's cigar sticking out of the cockpit, and give one out each day to the "Plane or Bust" journalist who wasted the most of humanity's time with a trivial question. Hopefully with a reorder four years from now.
posted by Riki tiki at 6:44 PM on January 22 [7 favorites]


(Not to defend it too strongly, but for what it's worth it's an article in the Style section. It's not trying to pass itself off as real news commentary.)

I don't care that it's in the Style section, the whole culture war aspect of the article is utterly unacceptable, period. It's getting fucking tiresome reading the argument that Democrats choosing to wear something other than sackcloth shows that they are "out of touch" over and over, and the author of the piece should be made ashamed of it.

For a better take on inaugural watches, this Bloomberg reprint of an enthusiast's writeup on the history of Presidential Rolexes shows how to do this right.
posted by NoxAeternum at 6:44 PM on January 22 [25 favorites]


Is this for real? Do we know what kind of chance this has of becoming law?

Washington Post summary of direct checks to children.

Short version seems to be that this would expand but also replace tax credits currently given. Might run $120B (I assume net increase) but would reduce child poverty by estimate 50%. A lot of discussion is perceived that doing this by check is better politics than doing it by tax credit.`

Seems to be a serious idea and not one or two congresscritters seeking attention. There will be many serious ideas floating around so who knows what might happen.

Might be worth writing your reps if you're excited by it!
posted by mark k at 6:47 PM on January 22 [17 favorites]


NC Vates on Twitter: (twitter.com)
President Biden, what time is it?

[looks at Rolex] It's time for a President who pays for his own things with money left over after paying taxes, and who doesn't force the govt to pump money into his businesses.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:06 PM on January 22 [51 favorites]


And the New York Times is asking the hard hitting questions, like why did Biden wear a Rolex to the inauguration?"

Ugh. How much you wanna bet that if Bernie were President they'd be attacking him for being too frugal?

I want to live in an alternate dimension where double standards simply don't exist.


On the plus side, it seems like we now have exactly zero patience for this shit, which I think the NYT will be hearing shortly in spades.

Like Mitch McConnell trying to screw around with Democrats in Congress, we’re not back where we were before Trump, and there’s a shift that a lot of folks haven’t realized yet.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:36 PM on January 22 [10 favorites]


NYT: Trump and Justice Dept. Lawyer Said to Have Plotted to Oust Acting Attorney General
The Justice Department’s top leaders listened in stunned silence this month: One of their peers, they were told, had devised a plan with President Donald J. Trump to oust Jeffrey A. Rosen as acting attorney general and wield the department’s power to force Georgia state lawmakers to overturn its presidential election results.

The unassuming lawyer who worked on the plan, Jeffrey Clark, had been devising ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark.

The department officials, convened on a conference call, then asked each other: What will you do if Mr. Rosen is dismissed?

The answer was unanimous. They would resign.

The question remains... how many Republicans are going to ride this train all the way to the station?
posted by nicoffeine at 7:51 PM on January 22 [11 favorites]


Add Jeffrey Clark to the list of seditionists conspiring to overthrow the government.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 7:56 PM on January 22 [19 favorites]


The date is set.

Schumer: Trump impeachment trial to begin week of Feb. 8 (apnews.com)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial for Donald Trump over the Capitol riot will begin the week of Feb. 8, the first time a former president will face such charges after leaving office.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the schedule Friday evening after reaching an agreement with Republicans, who had pushed for a delay to give Trump a chance to organize his legal team and prepare a defense on the sole charge of incitement of insurrection.

The February start date also allows the Senate more time to confirm President Joe Biden’s Cabinet nominations and consider his proposed $1.9 trillion COVID relief package — top priorities of the new White House agenda that could become stalled during trial proceedings.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:25 PM on January 22 [12 favorites]




Like Mitch McConnell trying to screw around with Democrats in Congress, we’re not back where we were before Trump, and there’s a shift that a lot of folks haven’t realized yet.

I also think there has been a shift. Republicans are gonna Republican, their strategies and rhetoric have not changed in the slightest.

But over the past two months I see Dems naming and calling out the lies and putting the blame back on the GOP, which they hadn't done before. I don't know if the average voter is following this but there is an effort to not let the GOP write the entire narrative.
posted by ichomp at 9:59 PM on January 22 [19 favorites]


My brief search suggests it's just $7.25 an hour?!? - Ah, no, Obama raised it to $10.10 in 2014.

Well, apparently congress has not caught up with the program yet because GS-1 step 1, 2, and 3 are still below that.

(Not that I have ever seen a GS-1 in practice, we hire right-out-of-high-school kids at GS-2 here.)
posted by ctmf at 10:11 PM on January 22 [4 favorites]


I’ve got a long memory. No Republican is ever going to be let off my personal hook for rowing the Trump boat just because they jumped off at the last minute. It’ll take a hell of a lot of work for them to redeem themselves, if they can.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:21 PM on January 22 [15 favorites]


I am seriously chilled at that 2.24pm timestamp of Trump denouncing Pence's ...'Courage'? and it electrifying Gab & Parler and almost immediately leads to the mob chanting "where is Pence?"

Clearly the Secret Service did their jobs as none of their principles were hurt or found, but surely they had the same info as anyone watching right wing web forums from December. These people believed they were being called to support a revolution a la 1776, and they were then launched at Capitol Hill by their President. Yet we are meant to believe after Charlottesville that they would peacefully protest?

This makes NO sense, roll on the impeachment if only to get some info on behind the scenes LACK of decision making. (OK, I'd also like Mango Mussolini to be held accountable but, ya know, I'm realistic having observed from afar him blowing through nearly all your guardrails and not even facing the naughty step as a result!)
posted by Wilder at 10:34 PM on January 22 [7 favorites]


more interested in the views of the citizens of Paris than in the jobs of the citizens of Pittsburgh

Senator, I know Pittsburgh. And I can tell you that Pittsburgh would love nothing more than to punch you right in your face.

p.s. Pittsburgh hasn't been a Bessemer-converter town for a long time, but they do remember the Homestead massacre.
posted by away for regrooving at 11:13 PM on January 22 [10 favorites]


mumimor > ...the likes of Cawthorn...

Madison Cawthorn says he was armed in Capitol during mob's invasion, Asheville Citizen Times, Paul Moon, Jan. 8, 2021:
Claims that he was armed inside the halls of the Capitol on Jan. 6 has Rep. Madison Cawthorn and rules surrounding weapons inside the Capitol facing scrutiny.

The Republican freshman congressman representing Madison, Buncombe and 17 other Western North Carolina counties described his evacuation from the House floor as “the closest I’ve ever been to 9/11” in an interview with the Smoky Mountain News Jan. 7.

Fortunately, I was armed, so we would have been able to protect ourselves,” Cawthorn said.

> Boyle column: Madison Cawthorn the insurrectionist

While laws banning the general public from carrying guns on Capitol grounds — regardless of whether they are registered with D.C. authorities of if the owner holds a valid concealed-carry permit — are clear, rules for lawmakers on where guns are permitted are murky...
More in the article.

Representative Cawthorn (R) North Carolina (WP bio, U.S. House website, campaign website) also spoke briefly at the Save America March rally in Washington, D.C., January 6, 2021.
posted by cenoxo at 2:56 AM on January 23 [3 favorites]


what a jerk
posted by mumimor at 3:53 AM on January 23 [3 favorites]


Such a jerk.
Yeah, so I'm sitting inside, on the House floor making a Constitutional argument based on the way our Constitution is written. I knew it wasn't going to overturn the election, but I just wanted to make sure that we were not setting a precedent that just because of a national emergency, you can’t circumvent the Constitution and go around state legislatures to pass laws for elections in different states.

[...]

In my mind I was not thinking, wow, Republicans are out there storming, Constitutionalists are out there, storming. I said, “There is this disgusting and pathetic group of people who are storming the Capitol.”

I have no problem calling that out, even though a lot of those people probably would've voted for me. No problem calling that out, because I just, I can't support that.
"Oh you know, I was just in there lying about election law to court the votes of the people who buy these lies, lying to them that democracy has been subverted and the election stolen, but also I totally denounce the ones who believed me and reacted exactly the way we've culturally conditioned them to react if democracy were actually subverted and the election actually stolen."
posted by jason_steakums at 5:46 AM on January 23 [22 favorites]


And Cawthorn’s bio on house.gov is still highly misleading approaching Hilaria Baldwin levels of duplicity.
Madison was homeschooled in Hendersonville. He received a full ride ROTC scholarship to NC State and was also nominated to the U.S. Naval Academy by Rep. Mark Meadows in 2014.

Madison’s plans to serve in the U.S. military were derailed that year after he nearly died in a tragic automobile accident
received a full ride ROTC scholarship to NC State = attended one semester of “Patrick Henry College” and dropped out in his second semester.

nominated to the U.S. Naval Academy= each MOC can nominate up to five candidates but they still have to be accepted. He was not accepted. Previously he framed it as “his plans to attend Annapolis were derailed...”

More info about this charming person here
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:09 AM on January 23 [16 favorites]


He might've received a full ride to NC State, but he washed out of right-wing incubator Patrick Henry College after one semester of unwanted sexual behavior.

The Ignominious Deceits of Madison Cawthorn (The Nation), in which we learn that Rep. Cawthorn is a serial liar about his education his military history his business the Paralympics. I'm going to go out on a very sturdy limb and say that he might be lying about his gun toting as well.
posted by box at 6:15 AM on January 23 [12 favorites]


Republicans just really like idiots to represent them.
posted by mumimor at 6:15 AM on January 23 [12 favorites]


I've been calling every House member asking for Cawthorn's expulsion (I'm in his district, which has been gerrymandered by the always-illegal NC GOP). I have 29 more calls to make. I've had a lot of positive feedback! But of course the wheels of justice and government grind very slowly. I'd love it if you contacted your own rep and amplified my message! I'd rather have no representation in the House than have this evil phony patriot in there. The guy bragged on Instagram about getting to see Hitler's vacation home, how it was on his bucket list for a long time (he deleted the post once it started drawing attention). It's not easy to contact every House member. The system is only set up for you to contact your own rep. But when your own rep is a literal Nazi...
posted by rikschell at 6:16 AM on January 23 [34 favorites]


I keep seeing Harris referred to as the "first South Asian woman vice president." Isn't she the first vice president of any Asian descent?
posted by NotLost at 6:40 AM on January 23


>Republicans are gonna Republican, their strategies and rhetoric have not changed in the slightest.

Yup:

https://twitter.com/mikeduncan/status/1352615441114558465
Marco Rubio@marcorubio
· Jan 22
A radical leftist agenda in a divided country will not help unify our country, it will only confirm 75 million Americans biggest fears about the new administration
8:53 AM · Jan 22, 2021·Twitter Web App
Mike Duncan@mikeduncan
I cannot emphasize enough how much current GOP messaging guarantees we remain on the path to full blown civil war.

To actually lower temperatures, Republicans leaders need to tell their followers Democrats won the election, have a right to govern, and that, however much we oppose them, they are not in fact monsters hell bent on destroying America.

Instead their message is "Continue indulging in your most paranoid fears. Don't be fooled into complacency. Democrats hate you. Everything bad that has happened is their fault. You are right to be terrified of them and what they are doing."

I'm not saying any of this is unexpected. Or that people like Rubio will pause for even a moments reflection and do what I'm suggesting. I'm just saying *if* we're going to get off the road to civil war, that's how it's going to happen.
posted by sebastienbailard at 6:43 AM on January 23 [29 favorites]


"Continue indulging in your most paranoid fears. Don't be fooled into complacency. Democrats hate you. Everything bad that has happened is their fault. You are right to be terrified of them and what they are doing."

Fear is all they have. There will never be a majority for their actual policies, which are: take from both the middle class and the working class and give to the very rich.
They have clearly demonstrated again and again that they don't give a s*** about law and order or the troops or fiscal responsibility (whatever that is). So the only thing they have left is fear of other Americans and of other nations. And some people (70+ million) are conditioned to be afraid from early childhood. It is part of their culture. As someone who grew up in a mostly conservative family, it took me so long to find out. But I found out.
posted by mumimor at 6:56 AM on January 23 [11 favorites]


it's a self-fulfilling prophecy - if they keep down the path they've been going, they will get the enemy they've feared

they want to rewind to the 50s and fight the 60s all over again so this time they can win

what they don't understand is they will not only lose, but they will just about guarantee a soft corporate fascism that will seem left, but will be oppressive for those who don't fit in
posted by pyramid termite at 6:59 AM on January 23 [5 favorites]


Fear is all they have. There will never be a majority for their actual policies, which are: take from both the middle class and the working class and give to the very rich.

I keep thinking about how very weird it is that we're just in a moment in history where geography and culture and political preference and intentional disenfranchisement have aligned juuuust right to make the balance of power after elections a coin flip. It can't be sustainable, it's such a delicate balance.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:00 AM on January 23 [3 favorites]


Heather Cox Richardson recently shared the suggestion (from Pam Keith, I believe) that Fox News would lose a substantial amount of income if cable companies were required to unbundle their channel offerings since they're effectively being paid by people who don't want Fox but get it anyway.

I created a MoveOn petition based on that suggestion for the incoming Senate Commerce chair. Feel free to sign and pass on if so inclined.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:32 AM on January 23 [13 favorites]


I don't think it's weird that it's so closely balanced. One acquires political power by, as somebody upthread noticed, by paying off people to support you. Paying off MORE people for support than are absolutely minimally needed, is wasting profits. So the strategy is to assemble the minimal winning coalition and keeping the rest. However, sometimes you guess wrong, and don't give yourself enough margin, or somebody gets greedy at the crucial moment and sees an opportunity to change sides to the other coalition where they could get a little bit more.

What I think is happening here is that the Republicans overplayed their hand, and thought they could get away with more than they could, and it's rebounding on them. But that won't teach them any lessons other than "be more careful next time".
posted by notoriety public at 7:39 AM on January 23 [3 favorites]


Fox News would lose a substantial amount of income if cable companies were required to unbundle their channel offerings since they're effectively being paid by people who don't want Fox but get it anyway.

It's been ages since I've had cable, but the last time I was considering it, I had read a major reason cable rates kept climbing was ESPN kept charging more for their channel.

Fine — I'm not interested in sports, can I get cable *without* ESPN? The answer was 'no'.
posted by rochrobbb at 7:51 AM on January 23 [7 favorites]


I keep seeing Harris referred to as the "first South Asian woman vice president." Isn't she the first vice president of any Asian descent?

I think so, but in current American parlance, Asian (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Laotian etc) and South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi etc) are distinct. Race is a social construct that changes over time and in different social contexts. Would Joe Lieberman have been the first Vice President of Asian descent? 🤔
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:54 AM on January 23 [2 favorites]


can I get cable *without* ESPN

Maine tried to force the cable companies to unbundle, but it was overturned as a violation of the first amendment rights of the cable operators. It will have to happen at the federal level.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:00 AM on January 23 [4 favorites]


Fox News would lose a substantial amount of income if cable companies were required to unbundle their channel offerings since they're effectively being paid by people who don't want Fox but get it anyway.

If the result is that only Fox true believers even pay for Fox, then Fox will be even more reliant on their money. Sure, it may be a smaller pot of money, but the incentive to play to their most rabid fans to stop them jumping ship to buy an OAN subscription instead could be even greater.

it was overturned as a violation of the first amendment rights of the cable operators. It will have to happen at the federal level.

The feds can't violate the first amendment any more than Maine can?
posted by BungaDunga at 8:03 AM on January 23 [3 favorites]


Last night I was thinking about XMLicious's comment upthread about bringing back earmarks, and it occurred to me that:

1. I'd much rather give the senator from some deep red state a pork development complex and get modestly progressive legislation passed than have gridlock - for one thing, people in the red state will actually get paid to work at the complex, so it's not a total waste.

2. If you can't give your constituents any material benefit, all you can give them is adrenaline. No earmarks, no pork development complexes and all you can do to make them happy is whip them into a frenzy of hatred.

3. If we do have to accept GOP legislation, I'd like there to be an actual price - they have to shell out for some Minnesotan project.

We need to get out of the realm of abstraction. Abstract politics just makes things stupider and stupider because the argument is always on a moral terrain where politicians don't have to present any concrete arguments, they just recite their fever dream fantasies to the crowd.

~~
On that note, when I hear Madison Cawley talking about how he was armed so he could have "protected" people in the Capitol, I tend to wonder just who he would have shot if a bunch of armed partisans had broken in.
posted by Frowner at 8:27 AM on January 23 [35 favorites]


I think we all know the answer to that.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:42 AM on January 23 [5 favorites]


Originally bundling by cable companies was presented as: if we don’t do this, no one will subscribe to “local access channels” and they would go off air.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:55 AM on January 23


I tend to wonder just who he would have shot if a bunch of armed partisans had broken in.


I think we all know the answer to that.


probably himself in the groin
posted by philip-random at 8:55 AM on January 23 [16 favorites]


Would Joe Lieberman have been the first Vice President of Asian descent? 🤔

What?
posted by Comrade_robot at 9:16 AM on January 23 [4 favorites]


Mumimor is right about the Republican Party, and Monty Python may have put it best:

"Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again..."

"Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, and nice red uniforms..."

Oh, wait, they were talking about a different group of violent fanatics wearing red.
posted by PhineasGage at 9:21 AM on January 23 [4 favorites]


dKos: New management goes further in cleaning house at Voice of America
One of Biden’s first moves on Inauguration Day was to request the resignation of Michael Pack, the CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which oversees VOA and four other networks. On Biden’s first full day in office, Pack’s interim replacement took the next step, removing the director and deputy director Pack had installed at VOA in recent months.
posted by darkstar at 9:22 AM on January 23 [18 favorites]


dKos: Trump's extraordinary efforts to overturn the election: A timeline

It’s even more damning, seeing it all listed out like this.
posted by darkstar at 9:42 AM on January 23 [14 favorites]


Love the color coding.
posted by Melismata at 9:45 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


Politico:
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer agreed Friday night to a two-week delay of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, allowing the chamber to focus on confirming President Joe Biden's Cabinet and coronavirus relief.
posted by darkstar at 9:52 AM on January 23 [2 favorites]


Politico: More house-cleaning, as two more Trump appointees are fired from the Middle East Broadcast Network:
Victoria Coates, who was hired as the president of the government-funded Middle East Broadcasting Networks in the waning days of Donald Trump’s presidency, has been fired by the Biden administration, she told POLITICO.

Her deputy at the network, senior vice president Rob Greenway, got a call on Friday from his colleague Kelley Sullivan telling him that she had been notified in an email that she was acting head of MBN effective immediately and that his employment was terminated. U.S. Agency for Global Media is MBN’s parent organization.
The President and the Sr VP of MBN terminated. Biden’s not kidding around.
posted by darkstar at 9:59 AM on January 23 [8 favorites]


Politico: Biden DOJ nixes last-minute Trump administration memo on LGBTQ rights
The Justice Department has taken its first major step under President Joe Biden to reverse the Trump administration’s resistance to expansion of rights accorded to LGBTQ Americans.

Greg Friel, the lawyer just named to oversee the Justice Department’s civil rights division on a temporary basis, issued a directive Friday revoking a 22-page memorandum a Trump appointee released earlier this week taking a cramped view of a major Supreme Court decision last year that longstanding federal law protects LGBTQ individuals from discrimination at work.
Hoping to see much more of this in the coming months, as Biden’s new appointees and their deputies right the ship and chart a new course in their various organizations.
posted by darkstar at 10:04 AM on January 23 [16 favorites]


Turns out I was wrong about the senate organizing resolution. I had thought that it required a simple majority to pass, but actually, it can be filibustered requiring 60 votes to approve.

So McConnell is treading some dangerous ground by threatening to filibuster the organizing resolution unless Schumer agrees to guarantee not removing the filibuster. That means that Schumer will be forced to nuke the filibuster just to get an organizing resolution passed. To do this is a rules change requiring a simple majority and VP Harris' vote breaks the tie.

And it seems that Manchin is on board with doing this if necessary, at least to a limited extent. Regarding Schumer refusing to put a filibuster guarantee in the organizing resolution Sen. Joe Manchin told reporters Wednesday "Chuck has the right to do that, he’s the leader."

So if McConnell doesn't cave, Democrats might have 51 votes with Harris to nuke the filibuster for the organizing resolution. That doesn't mean that Manchin will be on board for eliminating all filibusters, but it would be a step in that direction.
posted by JackFlash at 10:07 AM on January 23 [16 favorites]


Why Mitch McConnell Dumped Donald Trump (newyorker)
After the Capitol assault—and after losing his perch as Majority Leader—the senator finally denounced the outgoing President. Was it a moral reckoning or yet another act of political self-interest?

/spoiler alert. All you need to know is that it's Mitch McConnell.
posted by bluesky43 at 10:16 AM on January 23 [22 favorites]


Yeah, I don't know why the VP wouldn't be able to break a tie on an organizing resolution. It's just a regular resolution (or really a few resolutions). Here are two of the resolutions from last Congress: S.Res. 12 for the majority, S.Res. 13 for the minority.

There's nothing Schumer can say or do now about the filibuster that a majority of the Senate wouldn't be able to undo later anyway.

If the filibuster got blown up [for resolutions, not for bills, but resolutions don't become law, they should be able to just pass with a majority anyway] in response to an effort to keep the filibuster, that'd be like rain on your wedding day.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 10:23 AM on January 23 [5 favorites]


And the New York Times is asking the hard hitting questions, like why did Biden wear a Rolex to the inauguration?
I really hope the Biden administration doesn't fall into this stupid trap of responding to this kind of stuff. I mean, really NYT? move on.
posted by bluesky43 at 10:24 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


I really hope the Biden administration doesn't fall into this stupid trap of responding to this kind of stuff. I mean, really NYT? move on.
Biden press secretary Jen Psaki is not playing. When asked why Biden wasn't prioritizing Republican issues in the name of unity, she said: "Is unemployment insurance not a Republican priority? Are schools opening safely not a Republican priority?"
I will stan this lady until the end of time. This is how you be a deft press secretary.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:28 AM on January 23 [76 favorites]


I really hope the Biden administration doesn't fall into this stupid trap of responding to this kind of stuff. I mean, really NYT? move on.

Related: Psaki: "I can confirm for you here: the president has not spent a moment thinking about the color scheme of Air Force One."

They're good at this.
posted by BungaDunga at 10:35 AM on January 23 [26 favorites]


Oh, Jen will respond. It will just be hilarious.

From yesterday, the response about the Churchill bust: "Oh, such an important question! It's the plane of today! I will follow up on that. It is something that may certainly be existing in the complex. I am very familiar with the bust. We will circle back with you if there is more to update you on that."
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:36 AM on January 23 [11 favorites]




Last night I was thinking about XMLicious's comment upthread about bringing back earmarks

I think this might be referring to my comments about the spoils system possibly coming back? Or maybe flug's excellent comment about earmarks?

I was thinking more along the lines of how, at some points in the nineteenth century, like every postmaster position in the country would be awarded to a campaign donor or vote wrangler after every election.

But in addition to all of the very good points which flug and Frowner make about earmarks, perhaps bringing back earmarks would be a way to fend off resurgence of the spoils system and other deterioration to the civil service.
posted by XMLicious at 11:06 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


Thank you for the clarification, JackFlash. Yeah it seemed incomprehensible that a 50-50 split could conceivably prevent the Senate from even setting up their own organizing rules, much less passing legislation.

I understand that Schumer is trying to be deft here, but I’m glad to know that, if McConnell does try to pull the worst of intransigence, that Schumer and Harris can eventually just roll over him if necessary (though it would require nuking the filibuster, at least for resolutions).
posted by darkstar at 11:14 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


I don't know why the VP wouldn't be able to break a tie on an organizing resolution. It's just a regular resolution (or really a few resolutions). Here are two of the resolutions from last Congress: S.Res. 12 for the majority, S.Res. 13 for the minority.

The resolution only requires a majority vote, but that's only assuming it gets to a floor vote without a filibuster requiring 60 votes.

Under normal circumstances the Majority and Minority leaders hammer out a deal and then the organizing resolution is passed by unanimous consent, not even a recorded vote. But of course these are not normal times and McConnell respects no norms.

So Schumer is faced with an unprecedented filibuster on the organizing resolution. There's that word again, "unprecedented." And McConnell really doesn't want to risk nuking the filibuster on what should be a routine resolution -- but there's Cruz and Hawley.
posted by JackFlash at 11:22 AM on January 23 [5 favorites]


Naomi Biden shares about her father, Hunter Biden, in a Twitter thread, and I'm not crying, you're crying.
posted by meese at 11:47 AM on January 23 [25 favorites]


... Which I thought was recent, but apparently was posted in 2020, but I guess it's still a good palate cleanser after so much about the Republicans in Senate.
posted by meese at 11:49 AM on January 23 [2 favorites]


Many many years ago I had the chance to speak with journalist Brooks Jackson, who went on to co-found FactCheck.org at the Annenberg Public Policy Center. This was back in the previous century, but he was worried even than about the impacts of gerrymandering, Buckley v. Valeo's removal of spending limits by individuals on their own campaigns, and other changes that were already diminishing the power of political parties over their own members. The ban on earmarks came much later but just exacerbated the problem. Jackson correctly foresaw that when the major political parties have less leverage over their members it can allow and eventually encourage the most extreme politicians.
posted by PhineasGage at 11:52 AM on January 23 [4 favorites]


Kevin McCarthy says “Everybody across this country has some responsibility” for the Jan 6 attack on the US Capitol.

Your kid says "Everybody in this household has some responsibility for the missing cookies from the cookie jar.
posted by JackFlash at 11:55 AM on January 23 [46 favorites]


Justice Department, FBI debate not charging some of the Capitol rioters
Federal law enforcement officials are privately debating whether they should decline to charge some of the individuals who stormed the U.S. Capitol this month — a politically loaded proposition but one alert to the practical concern that hundreds of such cases could swamp the local courthouse.
Sounds like an opportunity for an economic stimulus package to me. I would love to see evidence on the number of George Floyd protesters law enforcement agencies declined to charge vs. how many they end up letting walk from an attempt to overthrow the government.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:07 PM on January 23 [39 favorites]


If Schumer has to dump the filibuster for resolutions to pass it, can't he pass one that diminishes Republican power even further than the power sharing agreement McConnell is angling for? If so I really hope that's part of the threat.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:08 PM on January 23 [6 favorites]


Justice Department, FBI debate not charging some of the Capitol rioters

Here’s How the Capitol Mob Violated Federal Criminal Law These people committed a "cartoonish avalanche of crimes."

Everyone who went into the Capitol should be charged at a minimum with knowingly entering a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority (18 U.S.C. § 1752).

the practical concern that hundreds of such cases could swamp the local courthouse

That's what plea bargains are for. "More than 97 percent of federal criminal convictions are obtained through plea bargains, and the states are not far behind at 94 percent."
posted by kirkaracha at 1:00 PM on January 23 [38 favorites]


McConnell is just as much an author of the insurrection as Cruz or Hawley. More even, since he's been an accomplice of the Trump Crime Family since before the 2016 election. His name should be first on the list of the expelled.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:48 PM on January 23 [10 favorites]


Justice Department, FBI debate not charging some of the Capitol rioters

Literally the next headline after this is: More than 2,700 arrested at widespread Russian protests in support of opposition leader Navalny

Without saying we should be more like autocratic Russia, I do think we should have the capacity to charge all the actual rioters who stormed the Capitol building. Is that really too much to ask?
posted by snofoam at 1:53 PM on January 23 [2 favorites]


glonous keming posted Capitol rioter charged with threatening to 'assassinate' Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, above:

Threatening government officials of the United States is a felony under federal law. That Wikipedia article notes that "Threatening federal officials' family members is also a federal crime."

Extremely disturbing charging document; this man has been arrested.

I have just written to my legislators asking them to exercise their oversight function to investigate how many violent threats have been made against legislators in recent years and what law enforcement's response has been, and to consider legislation making it a higher priority to prosecute those threats swiftly and vigorously:
If violent threats were taken seriously and prosecuted, the past four weeks - and the past four years - might have unfolded very differently.
I served on a jury that convicted a man of making a death threat. It's a law that's on the books; it should be enforced.
posted by kristi at 1:56 PM on January 23 [40 favorites]


Senate Republican threatens impeachments of past Democratic presidents | Trump impeachment (2021) | The Guardian (theguardian.com)
After a brief moment of bipartisan sentiment in which members from both parties condemned the unprecedented attack on Congress as it met to formalize Biden’s victory, a number of Senate Republicans are opposing Trump’s trial, which could lead to a vote blocking him from future office.

“If it is a good idea to impeach and try former presidents, what about former Democratic presidents when Republicans get the majority in 2022?” Cornyn, a 19-year veteran of the Senate who last year tried to distance himself from Trump when it seemed his seat was at risk, tweeted at majority leader Chuck Schumer.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:31 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]


“If it is a good idea to impeach and try former presidents, what about former Democratic presidents when Republicans get the majority in 2022?”

That's a threat to disqualify, uh, Jimmy Carter from holding office? The other two are already disqualified. Convicting either of the others is a pure Cadaver Synod.
posted by BungaDunga at 2:36 PM on January 23 [18 favorites]


LOL, I suppose Jimmy Carter should be worried.
posted by dirigibleman at 2:36 PM on January 23 [3 favorites]


They will absolutely try to impeach Obama. But we cannot worry about that now.
posted by tiny frying pan at 2:38 PM on January 23 [6 favorites]


I guess you could disqualify Obama from running for some other elected office, but come on, there's only one former President with ambitions to run for elected office again. This is a dumb bullying own-the-libs threat from John Cornyn- can you imagine them getting together in 2022 and somberly choosing not to impeach Obama based on their dedication to upholding this so-called norm?
posted by BungaDunga at 2:43 PM on January 23 [6 favorites]


Without saying we should be more like autocratic Russia, I do think we should have the capacity to charge all the actual rioters who stormed the Capitol building. Is that really too much to ask?

The US response to the first Confederate insurrection was milder, I think, than the standard sort of response in places where insurrections and coups happen regularly. It was inadequate anyways, as evidenced by the January 6th Putschisten carrying Confederate flags (and of course by a century-plus of postbellum history and treatment of BIPoC Americans); but the twenty-first century United States wants a yet milder response than to the Civil War.
posted by XMLicious at 2:43 PM on January 23 [5 favorites]


Trump was impeached while he was still president, he just hasn't been tried yet.
posted by InfidelZombie at 2:50 PM on January 23 [26 favorites]


Frowner > ...when I hear Madison Cawley talking about how he was armed so he could have "protected" people in the Capitol, I tend to wonder just who he would have shot if a bunch of armed partisans had broken in.

That depends on Cawthorn’s definition of ‘armed partisan’. After his Save America March speech (and during the subsequent Capitol attack), Cawthorn said the insurrectionists were antifa paid by the Democrats:
Far-Right Rep. falsely claims 'Democratic machine' paid insurrectionists – after urging them to threaten lawmakers; Raw Story; David Badash, The New Civil Rights Movement; January 18, 2021:

U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn claims "the Democratic machine" paid the Capitol insurrections who attempted a coup on January 6 to overturn the election, after having told Trump supporters to "lightly threaten" lawmakers. The North Carolina freshman Republican made his false claim in the middle of the insurrection, when he took the time to call in to the radio show of a top Trump ally, Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk.

I believe that this was agitators strategically placed inside of this group — you can call them antifa, you can call them people paid by the Democratic machine — but to make the Trump campaign, the Trump movement, look bad," said Congressman Cawthorn, a far right grenade thrower who has already aligned himself with the QAnon crop of incoming House Republicans. "And to make this look like it was a violent outrage, when really the battle was being fought by people like myself and other great patriots who are standing up against the establishment and standing up against this tyranny that we see in our country."....
Cawthorn has Donald Trump’s doublespeak ability down pat, which qualifies him for a place in a Trump 2024 campaign (if there is one). If he and other far right, self-admitted, proselytizing, Biden-Stole-The-Election congressional members are carrying and/or keeping guns within the Capitol building, aren’t they an obvious threat to normal proceedings?
posted by cenoxo at 2:51 PM on January 23 [4 favorites]


Biden stole the kishka.
posted by ackptui at 3:29 PM on January 23 [3 favorites]


If it is a good idea to impeach and try former presidents, what about former Democratic presidents when Republicans get the majority in 2022?

As InfidelZombie noted, IMPOTUSx2 was impeached while he was still president, but I'll play! Which specific presidents are we impeaching for which specific offenses?

For example, let's impeach zombies Reagan and George H.W. Bush for illegally bypassing laws passed by Congress forbidding support of the Contras, helping the Contras sell cocaine and crack in the US, and selling arms to a country designated as a terrorist supporter while saying they don't negotiate with terrorists.

Let's impeach George W. Bush for lying us into an illegal invasion of Iraq where we're still stuck nearly 17 years later, killing hundreds of thousands of people. Or for mismanagement and bungling the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, including appointing a Judges and Stewards Commissioner for the International Arabian Horse Association as the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

I'm pretty sure all those examples are either violations of specific laws or failures of doing the job of president.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:30 PM on January 23 [23 favorites]


Cawthorn having a gun on the House floor is absolutely a violation of the rules of the House. He has demonstrated that he will violate the rules of the body, and he should be expelled.

(Congresspeople are allowed to have guns in their office, but not on the floor.)

As for Cawthorn's repugnant assertion that the rioters were antifa, he'll be getting pushback from the people who were there - that Garret Miller charging document I posted above (again: content warning, very disturbing) describes a man proud to brag about what he was doing and what he had done and unwilling to let his actions be attributed to anyone else. It includes this:
After acknowledging his participation in the pro-Trump riots, multiple individuals commented to MILLER's Facebook account. One individual tried to blame Antifa for the riots, but MILLER countered, "[Y]ou don't think we should have stormed the capital [sic]?"

...

In addition to his Facebook posts, MILLER also posted about his activities on the Capitol on Twitter. ... In one tweet, an individual posted, "The people storming The Capitol are not Patriots. They are PAID INFILTRATORS," to which MILLER responded, "Nah we stormed it."
posted by kristi at 3:34 PM on January 23 [14 favorites]


The GOP with and without Trump is a dangerous animal.

They are dangerous when they’re in power and even more vicious when they’re not.

When I see people talking about “the next time Republicans get a trifecta” I am speechless. The next time that happens it will be the end of our country. Either the GOP survives or the U.S. as a democratic country survives.
posted by ichomp at 3:47 PM on January 23 [19 favorites]


As for Cawthorn's repugnant assertion that the rioters were antifa, he'll be getting pushback from the people who were there...

I'm also pointing out to anyone who needs pushback on the “it was actually antifa!” count that this is what Russian media has been pushing this whole time.

(Middle link above is an interview given by Vernon Jones to the state-owned Sputnik News—formerly Voice of Russia and RIA Novosti—Jones being the telecom exec turned Georgia Democrat turned Republican this month. He whines about not being invited on CNN as a guest commentator and says that the Democrats supported antifa and BLM terrorizing Americans, and does anyone even really need to read it to know what the rest is?)
posted by XMLicious at 4:31 PM on January 23 [3 favorites]


I've been reading George Conway's opinion piece in the WaPo.
The inclination to give a former president a pass is understandable. We don’t normally charge former presidents with crimes — indeed, it has never happened — though it’s because they normally aren’t criminals.
posted by MtDewd at 4:46 PM on January 23 [18 favorites]


METAFILTER: Jimmy Carter should be worried.
posted by philip-random at 4:53 PM on January 23 [3 favorites]


Surprised and disappointed that IMPOTUSx2 hasn't been indicted by New York at least.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:03 PM on January 23 [3 favorites]


Surprised and disappointed that IMPOTUSx2 hasn't been indicted by New York at least.
Feel the same but also have a deep down feeling that maybe pinning hopes on that was just that, hoping.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 5:05 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]


NY et al. may be waiting for the impeachment trial to play out.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:14 PM on January 23 [6 favorites]


Surprised and disappointed that IMPOTUSx2 hasn't been indicted by New York at least.

...and, given his recent decision to go after Republicans who "betrayed" him, we all might want him to be free for a little while longer so he can finish ruining the GOP. The guy is on the verge of creating his own rump party, which may pretty much wreck the GOP on a federal level.

Let him set the GOP on fire, then nail him.
posted by aramaic at 5:32 PM on January 23 [5 favorites]


Trump and Justice Dept. Lawyer Jeffrey Clark Said to Have Plotted to Oust Acting Attorney General

This Jeffrey Clark guy is quite a piece of work. Turns out he is the same guy who filed the DOJ case against E. Jean Carroll who is suing Trump in a civil lawsuit for defamation regarding sexual assault. Clark argued that the DOJ had to defend Trump in a private civil case because in defaming the woman to protect his reputation Trump was "acting within the scope of his office as President of the United States."

Jean Carroll said today "This is the chump who filed the DOJ case against me, saying it was the President's job to slander women."

The federal judge handling the proceedings threw out Clark's ridiculous claim, booting the DOJ out of the case. The suit is still pending in civil court. It will be interesting to see Trump take the stand in his own defense.
posted by JackFlash at 6:11 PM on January 23 [12 favorites]


Yes. I can't really describe how it feels like we as a country are underreacting to a coup. I hope this is a case of the wheels of justice and government turning slowly rather than the insurrection being swept under the rug.

Of course the most unsettling thing is that so many Americans want or would have no problem with a king.
posted by ichomp at 6:14 PM on January 23 [10 favorites]


Surprised and disappointed that IMPOTUSx2 hasn't been indicted by New York at least.

Yo, Tish James has her hands a little full right now handling the NRA, she'll get to this in a bit.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:22 PM on January 23 [13 favorites]


Of course the most unsettling thing is that so many Americans want or would have no problem with a king.

Everyone, in their heart of hearts, agrees on the perfect form of government: an immortal, omniscient autocrat who agrees with them.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:23 PM on January 23 [17 favorites]


Yo, Tish James has her hands a little full right now handling the NRA, she'll get to this in a bit.

So, what's Cyrus Vance's excuse?
=^)
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 6:36 PM on January 23


And of course now the FBI and DOJ are wringing their hands over whether to charge everyone who entered the Capitol. Pretty sure someone had this on their BINGO card. (SL WaPo)
posted by aspersioncast at 6:38 PM on January 23 [4 favorites]


Yes, that John Dean.

John W. Dean on Twitter
Americans cannot get a fair Senate Impeachment trial of Trump’s insurrection with insurrectionists on the jury. Senators Hawley, Cruz, Graham, Johnson and others who pushed the big lie are co-conspirators and should not sit in judgment of Trump, rather they MUST BE DISQUALIFIED!
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:52 PM on January 23 [59 favorites]


So, what's Cyrus Vance's excuse?

Well, he's kind of shitty. I suppose that's more of an explanation rather than an excuse per se, though.
posted by mightygodking at 7:05 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]


Watching MeFi wait for the hammer of justice to fall on the Turnip crime family feels disturbingly similar to watching Qultists wait for the Storm. Especially all the parts where folks are coming up with rationales for why it hasn't happened yet.

If it's going to happen, it's going to happen. If it's not, it won't. The timing isn't up to any of us. Let it go. Pinning all your hopes on it is not good for you.
posted by flabdablet at 7:16 PM on January 23 [37 favorites]


This Jeffrey Clark guy is quite a piece of work.

Not just the E. Jean Carroll matter, mentioned above. He represented BP in the Deepwater Horizon disaster. He also, practiced law without a valid license just last year. No wonder Trump liked him.
posted by bcd at 7:20 PM on January 23 [8 favorites]


Watching MeFi wait for the hammer of justice to fall on the Turnip crime family feels disturbingly similar to watching Qultists wait for the Storm.

except in our case the storm has already happened - we all watched it - and now we're wondering if anyone's going to get our republic off the rooftop and back into a decent shelter
posted by pyramid termite at 7:34 PM on January 23 [17 favorites]


The federal judge handling the proceedings threw out Clark's ridiculous claim, booting the DOJ out of the case. The suit is still pending in civil court. It will be interesting to see Trump take the stand in his own defense.

Some more detail. The DOJ grabbed the case out of the NY courts because the NY courts had scheduled Donald Trump submitting a DNA sample to compare against the stains on Carroll's dress, and apparently totally innocent people do everything they can to avoid giving DNA samples that would prove their innocence.
posted by mikelieman at 8:31 PM on January 23 [3 favorites]


Also... Another reason Trump really wanted the DOJ to take over. He's out of money and he's still got the lawyers-who-expect-to-get-paid on the case, and they're now stuck on the case watching the billable hours stack up, knowing that it's all going into uncollectable debt.

Partners don't get credit for those kinds of cases w.r.t. their bonus plans, do they?
posted by mikelieman at 8:34 PM on January 23 [6 favorites]


Mr. Kellyanne has some thoughts.

Opinion | The potential charges against Donald Trump - The Washington Post (washingtonpost.com)
But here’s the rub: With Trump, there’s so much to investigate criminally that one special counsel can’t do it all. Could you imagine one prosecutor in charge of addressing Trump’s finances and taxes, his hush-money payments, obstruction of the Mueller investigation, the Ukraine scandal, and post-election misconduct, for starters? It would be an impossible task for one team. One special counsel’s office couldn’t do it all, not in any reasonable amount of time, and it’s important for prosecutors to finish their work as quickly as possible. Three or four special counsels are needed. Under the regulations, each would be accountable to the attorney general.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:36 PM on January 23 [5 favorites]


I can't shake the feeling that something very ugly* will come out of the GOP and that short of rewriting the Constitution, expulsions, or a Nuremberg style trial, we are going to be held hostage to them as they try their hardest to turn back the clock.

*No, they haven't updated their playbook in decades. But the kind of scorched earth speech they are making and the fact that NEO NAZIS are sitting in Congress have me very worried.

If we had a fair and functioning democracy, the way the GOP goes out of power would be the voters punishing them for crimes. Yet... voters never have.
posted by ichomp at 10:15 PM on January 23 [17 favorites]


If it's going to happen, it's going to happen. If it's not, it won't. The timing isn't up to any of us. Let it go. Pinning all your hopes on it is not good for you.
If it be now, ’tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come—the readiness is all.

—Hamlet, Act V, Scene 2
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:51 PM on January 23 [12 favorites]


If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done slowly.

Grindingly, inexorably, competently slowly. Slowly to the point of absolute tedium. So slowly that it's still going on years and years after it's stopped even flogging the magahats up to a dull red.

(scene: some time in 2037)

"Say, do you remember Donald Turnip?"

"Donald who? ...oh yeah, that guy. Whatever happened to him?"

(checks google)

"Huh. Looks like he's still in court."
posted by flabdablet at 1:27 AM on January 24 [9 favorites]


Ultimately this is about money.

The surface argument of Trump loyalists is that they want to take small donations from people and shun corporations. They can better sell the True Patriot Confidence Scheme if they talk about not taking corporate money. But the real reason they want to be tied to Trump is they want a piece of the dark money Trump apparently has access to.

I don't think a majority of Senate Republicans are straight up nazi or klan members, so they aren't fighting some existential battle in their own heads. The rest of the GOP is split between a hopefully significant number of actual patriots who made an oath to the constitution, and the rest who simply think it's a safer bet to depend on corporate money.

What I hope is happening is that the dark money is going away. Some criminal organizations do have patriotic sensibilities, and more than that, nobody wants to be near the hottest potato at every major intelligence service in the United States. That won't stop dark money from nation-states, but if Biden's call to NATO on his first day is any signal, it's that nobody is planning on sending Putin a dozen roses. The pro-democracy protests in Russia are not an accident. There is a shitload of held back intelligence now crossing the Atlantic, in both directions.

Signs of this could be more pro-democracy activity in Russia, and how hard Senators flip for impeachment. Whatever Buttigieg said to Rick Scott before his confirmation hearing certainly got Rick's attention.

No one can see into the future, but I do think a day of reckoning may still in the cards. Getting rid of Trump and his immediate criminal network is now the easiest way for a lot of powerful people to get back to normal.
posted by nicoffeine at 5:07 AM on January 24 [7 favorites]


Watching MeFi wait for the hammer of justice to fall on the Turnip crime family feels disturbingly similar to watching Qultists wait for the Storm. Especially all the parts where folks are coming up with rationales for why it hasn't happened yet.

Surely this...
posted by leotrotsky at 5:37 AM on January 24 [6 favorites]


I can't shake the feeling that something very ugly* will come out of the GOP and that short of rewriting the Constitution, expulsions, or a Nuremberg style trial, we are going to be held hostage to them as they try their hardest to turn back the clock.

*No, they haven't updated their playbook in decades. But the kind of scorched earth speech they are making and the fact that NEO NAZIS are sitting in Congress have me very worried.

If we had a fair and functioning democracy, the way the GOP goes out of power would be the voters punishing them for crimes. Yet... voters never have.


Everyone thinks of the Beer Hall Putsch, and worries this is the beginning of something. I think that’s backwards. Hitler tried violence, and when that didn't work he turned to winning power politically. Which WORKED.

Here you have the opposite. This is a group that were already rejected politically (over and over again), so they turned to violence. They don’t have a fallback here that produces anything they want. Their conspiratorial belief structure doesn’t allow for compromise. The majority of Americans don’t agree with their message, and the more they turn to violence, the less popular they are (and more attention they get from federal law endorsement).

What’s their play? They’ve got no winning move. Imagine they “succeed” and injure or kill a Congressperson or a Governor. How does that play out? The Feds descend and give everyone involved a very bad day. Even more resources get poured into prosecuting Right Wing extremism. It’s an extinction burst, a dead cat bounce.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:46 AM on January 24 [28 favorites]


It’s an extinction burst, a dead cat bounce.
posted by leotrotsky


Eponysterical.
posted by Melismata at 5:57 AM on January 24 [6 favorites]


What I hope is happening is that the dark money is going away. Some criminal organizations do have patriotic sensibilities, and more than that, nobody wants to be near the hottest potato at every major intelligence service in the United States. That won't stop dark money from nation-states, but if Biden's call to NATO on his first day is any signal, it's that nobody is planning on sending Putin a dozen roses. The pro-democracy protests in Russia are not an accident. There is a shitload of held back intelligence now crossing the Atlantic, in both directions.

Signs of this could be more pro-democracy activity in Russia, and how hard Senators flip for impeachment. Whatever Buttigieg said to Rick Scott before his confirmation hearing certainly got Rick's attention.


Imagine you are a career intelligence officer. You are underpaid and your victories are never seen publicly. You do this job because you believe in this country and its ideals. Now imagine you’ve spent the last four years working under an obviously compromised by a foreign power* President who dismisses the value of your work and questions your patriotism. Imagine you’ve spend four years thinking of how to go after the folks who betrayed your country for pieces of silver and the folks who made it happen.

Now imagine you get a new President, and he tells you to protect your country and get to work.

I have to imagine the Intelligence services are fucking gleeful to screw over Putin in every possible way.

*and remember you know in detail how bad this foreign leader is. Every tortured dissident.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:59 AM on January 24 [25 favorites]


I realized that, although I've been talking about other places where insurrections happen frequently and the insurrectionists are responded to with finality—duh, of course that actually describes the United States when the insurrectionists are BIPoC or white people on the side of BIPoC. So I made an FPP about John Brown.
posted by XMLicious at 6:04 AM on January 24 [5 favorites]


...and I should add, it’s not like CIA or NSA are a bunch of angels. I certainly don’t agree with everything they’ve done, and they’re clearly self-interested as an organization like all political entities.

But I guarantee you they see themselves as good guys, and folks generally don’t stay in the public sector for the money. These are folks who, generally speaking, believe in their mission. ...and they are motivated.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:06 AM on January 24 [8 favorites]


Watching MeFi wait for the hammer of justice to fall on the Turnip crime family feels disturbingly similar to watching Qultists wait for the Storm.

Not to mention the days of In Mueller We Trust.
It might take a lot of continued public pressure for anything at all to happen.
posted by trig at 9:01 AM on January 24 [8 favorites]


ABC News: Biden’s early poll numbers show high support in honeymoon period
posted by darkstar at 9:08 AM on January 24 [4 favorites]


Watching MeFi wait for the hammer of justice to fall on the Turnip crime family feels disturbingly similar to watching Qultists wait for the Storm.

Yes, there is truth to this. I get the concern about appearing partisan and that every president from now on will be impeached, tried, and thrown in jail by their opposition party. Cornyn said he's going to do that, explicitly.

But convicting Trump is not ~ fanservice to the Dem base~ For the protection of our country itself Democrats are going to HAVE to do some very partisan things.
posted by ichomp at 9:18 AM on January 24 [16 favorites]


Good lord, the press is back to normal. But six Biden-critical headlines in a row, WaPo??

Fight over the rules grinds the Senate to a halt, imperiling Biden’s agenda
Tests of Biden’s leadership, and GOP’s willingness to cooperate, come quickly
Biden is firing some top Trump holdovers, but in some cases, his hands may be tied
Anarchists and extremists divide the left as Biden term begins (Then underneath, a big photo with caption: Protesters burn a “Biden for President” flag Wednesday outside the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement building in Portland.)
What Biden should do: Writers from left, right and center offer ideas
Civil rights leaders say they won’t let up on Biden
posted by Melismata at 9:50 AM on January 24 [4 favorites]


nicoffeine: "What I hope is happening is that the dark money is going away."

I agree. I think we will see some changes in illegal contributions, pretty quickly.

About a month ago, historian Heather Cox Richardson wrote about the Corporate Transparency Act that had been included in the defense bill:
The National Defense Authorization Act this year does something else, though, that seems to me of far more importance to the president than the naming of military bases.

It includes a measure known as the Corporate Transparency Act, which undercuts shell companies and money laundering in America. The act requires the owners of any company that is not otherwise overseen by the federal government (by filing taxes, for example, or through close regulation) to file a report that identifies each person associated with the company who either owns 25% or more of it or exercises substantial control over it. That report, including name, birthdate, address, and an identifying number, goes to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The measure also increases penalties for money laundering and streamlines cooperation between banks and foreign law enforcement authorities.

America is currently the easiest place in the world for criminals to form an anonymous shell company which enables them to launder money, evade taxes, and engage in illegal payoff schemes. The measure will pull the rug out from both domestic and international criminals that take advantage of shell companies to hide from investigators. When the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists dug into leaked documents from FinCEN this fall, they discovered shell companies moving money for criminals operating out of Russia, China, Iran, and Syria.

Shell companies also mean that our political system is awash in secrecy. Social media giants like Facebook cannot determine who is buying political advertising.
And, as Representative Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) noted, shell companies allow “foreign bad actors” to corrupt our system even more directly. “[I]t’s illegal for foreigners to contribute to our campaigns,” he reminded Congress in a speech for the bill, “but if you launder your money through a front company with anonymous ownership there is very little we can do to stop you.”

We know the Trump family uses shell companies: Trump’s fixer Michael Cohen used a shell company to pay off Stormy Daniels, and just this month we learned that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner approved a shell company that spent more than $600 million in campaign funds.
The new requirements in the NDAA apply not just to future entities, but also to existing ones.
(emphasis mine, not hers)

Trump vetoed the NDAA. Congress overrode that veto (IIRC, for the first and many only time).

Note that that means enough REPUBLICANS were okay with the Corporate Transparency Act to override Trump. (They may have mostly wanted to get the defense bill in place, but they got the CTA as well.)

Also, I think Biden's going to actually enforce sanctions against Russia and Russian agents for illegal interference, and that will affect the money flow as well.

If the Russians can't use the NRA to funnel money to Republicans, if Russian agents are sanctioned (and IIRC those sanctions include freezing assets), if foreign agents can't hide themselves from advertising laws that apply to Facebook and Twitter, if shell corporations of all kinds face some serious scrutiny - that will change things a lot.

Personally, I'm not surprised that Trump hasn't actually been indicted yet. There are a ton of details and issues of timing that I'm not privy to, but I imagine there's plenty going on behind the scenes. It's been four days since Biden took office, after being shut out of essential transition processes by an extraordinarily hostile administration. He took exactly as much time as he needed to ask for resignations of "burrowed" Trump loyalists before firing them. He's the kind of guy who will do things by the book - which takes a little time - and be reasonably cautious that he's got things in place before moving forward. In the meantime - four days - he's gotten plenty of things done.

I don't expect the new administration to be perfect, but I do expect them to do things mostly competently, mostly quickly, actually legally for a change, and mostly with good political smarts.

The Senate impeachment trial is yet another area where lots of complex negotiations are tied together, with McConnell gumming up progress, as usual; I think Schumer is trying to find the best way to proceed without hamstringing the Senate right away, and I think they'll move forward as soon as they can. (Mid-February is that latest I've heard, I think?)

I think, three months from now, we'll have seen the beginnings of consequences for Trump, for others in his administration, and for accomplices in and out of Congress. And I think the new CTA will change things significantly, probably in ways that won't get a lot of coverage in the press. I'd like to see some high-profile trials of money launderers, myself; that would help the national conversation.
posted by kristi at 10:05 AM on January 24 [45 favorites]


Also, to correct myself, it's not just McConnell threatening to thoroughly obstruct Biden - and proper functioning of the government:
Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson has suggested that the Senate will not confirm Biden’s Cabinet appointments if the Democrats proceed with the Senate trial to decide whether Trump is guilty of inciting the deadly riot on the Capitol on January 6. Johnson is explicitly threatening to prevent the confirmation of “the Biden admin’s national security team” if the trial proceeds.
(Once again, Heather Cox Richardson, Letters from an American)

If Schumer and the Senate think it's best for the country to get some essential cabinet members confirmed so they can do their job, and think it's worth postponing the impeachment trial a few weeks to get that done, I think a lot more blame falls to the unpatriotic, oath-of-office-breaking Trump loyalists than guy-facing-the-obstructionists Schumer.
posted by kristi at 10:27 AM on January 24 [13 favorites]


Johnson is explicitly threatening to prevent the confirmation of “the Biden admin’s national security team” if the trial proceeds.

Geez whiz, Ron “visited Moscow on July 4th” Johnson, I wonder why that particular focus?
posted by leotrotsky at 11:04 AM on January 24 [27 favorites]


Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson has suggested that the Senate will not confirm Biden’s Cabinet appointments if the Democrats proceed with the Senate trial.

Confirmations only require 51 votes, which Democrats have if they all stick together.
posted by JackFlash at 11:10 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]


I disagree, Melismata - those WaPo headlines and stories all seem quite appropriate as a new administration takes office and meets opposition. I found each of them illuminating, even if the actual facts are infuriating.
posted by PhineasGage at 11:29 AM on January 24 [7 favorites]


Comrade_robot: Israel and Palestine are in Western Asia, but people do not associate Israeli or Palestinian heritage with “being Asian”. It is similar to how South Asian is distinct from Asian in American parlance.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:56 AM on January 24


Justice Department, FBI debate not charging some of the Capitol rioters

Let's play compare and contrast.

From that article:
“If an old man says all he did was walk in and no one tried to stop him, and he walked out and no one tried to stop him, and that’s all we know about what he did, that’s a case we may not win,” one official said.

Ahmaud Arbery walked in and walked out of a house under construction and no one tried to stop him and he was murdered by people who considered themselves law enforcement adjacent for this "crime." It took massive outcry and action to get his murderers arrested. There's a good chance his murderers will walk, if precedent is any indicator.

Next example (not in that article): Riley June Williams, 22, is accused of stealing a laptop from Rep. Pelosi's office and attempting to sell it to Russian intelligence. A US Magistrate Judge released Williams into the custody of her mother, with travel restrictions and an ankle monitor.

Kalief Browder, 17, was accused of stealing a backpack that allegedly contained an iPod Touch and a camera from a private citizen. His accuser repeatedly changed key details of his story; no evidence that Browder committed the crime has ever surfaced. Wikipedia describes what happened after he was accosted by police best:

Seventeen hours after the arrest, Browder was interrogated by a police officer and a prosecutor. The following day, Browder was charged with robbery, grand larceny, and assault. Because he was on probation, Browder was not released. At his arraignment, he was charged with second-degree robbery and bail was set at $10,000; with a bail bondsman, the amount needed was $900. Browder's family could not raise this amount and borrowed money from a neighbor. When his family met with a bail bondsman to post his bail, they were told that, since he was on probation from his prior felony conviction, his probation officer had placed a probation violation hold on him so posting bail would not get him released from jail anyway. He was taken to jail at Rikers Island to await trial and resolution of his pending probation violation.

Out of what looks a lot like pure malice because he refused to plead guilty to crimes he didn't commit, he was incarcerated for nearly 3 years -- much of it long after prosecutors knew they couldn't prove their case. Although he was eventually freed, the trauma he had endured while incarcerated damaged him, and he killed himself.

I had a lot more examples I wanted to add, but every time I read about Browder, John Crawford, Eric Garner, Mike Brown (a young man whom an NPR correspondent called a "thug" and whom a Times reporter advised readers "was no angel" in contrast to both the media's and, apparently some prosecutors', attempts to paint insurrectionists as good ol' real Americans who maybe got carried away a little bit), and Breonna Taylor, I just can't take it.

Letting any of these rioters walk will send a horrific message of empowerment to the rightwing in this country and a horrific message of further "You ain't shit" devaluing to BIPOC.

It's hard to believe Marvin Gaye's Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) was released nearly 50 years ago, when so many of the verses apply 100% to the world we're in today.
posted by lord_wolf at 12:06 PM on January 24 [81 favorites]


Interesting article in Salon about cognitive dissonance generally, but one bit stood out to me as possibly explaining Trump's floor support.

How cognitive bias can explain post-truth
But then a funny thing happened. Thirty-seven percent of them yielded to the majority opinion. They discounted what they could see right in front of them in order to remain in conformity with the group.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:33 PM on January 24 [10 favorites]


Trump jumps into a divisive battle over the Republican Party — with a threat to start a ‘MAGA Party’

Do it! I feel conflicted because I want him to have bigly success at disrupting the Republican Party, but i also want him to be convicted of 1,000 crimes, lose everything and spend the rest of his life in jail. Is there a way to get both?
posted by snofoam at 2:33 PM on January 24 [14 favorites]


Martin Wolf in the FT: "The American republic’s near-death experience: Donald Trump was just a symptom and the US is still in danger from those who peddle lies in place of truth."
If US politics unfolds as seems likely, there will be more Trumps. One of them, more competent and ruthless, may succeed. If that is to be prevented, US politics must now shift to respect for truth and an inclusive version of patriotism.

Rome was arguably the last republican superpower. But the rich and powerful destroyed that republic, bringing forth a military dictatorship, 1,800 years before the US was born. The US republic has survived the test of Trump. But it still needs to be saved from death.
posted by PhineasGage at 2:38 PM on January 24 [10 favorites]


But then a funny thing happened. Thirty-seven percent of them yielded to the majority opinion. They discounted what they could see right in front of them in order to remain in conformity with the group.

Fuck am I grateful Trump never became the majority opinion and his approval stayed under 50% the whole time.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 2:40 PM on January 24 [6 favorites]


I want him to have bigly success at disrupting the Republican Party.

I have mixed feelings about this. While seeing the party fracture would be great, it seems to me they're likely to just cave and give him whatever he wants because they know a third party will kill them. That means electing more loonies like the reps from CO and GA.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 2:59 PM on January 24 [6 favorites]


Hey, don't forget my rep, NC11's Madison Cawthorn!
posted by achrise at 3:16 PM on January 24 [3 favorites]


Donald Trump was just a symptom

I’ve heard this over-simplification a lot. The truth is he was both a symptom AND a cause
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:18 PM on January 24 [16 favorites]


That's a threat to disqualify, uh, Jimmy Carter from holding office? The other two are already disqualified. Convicting either of the others is a pure Cadaver Synod.

Being convicted after impeachment also, IIRC, strips post presidency benefits like SS protection and pension so there is still an effect to impeaching term limited ex-presidents even if they don't want to run for other federal offices.
posted by Mitheral at 3:31 PM on January 24


Rome was arguably the last republican superpower. But the rich and powerful destroyed that republic, bringing forth a military dictatorship, 1,800 years before the US was born. The US republic has survived the test of Trump. But it still needs to be saved from death.

Where would the Oxbridge set be without their facile analogies drawn from superficial familiarity? America doesn’t have an agrarian crisis with the illegal occupation of public land preventing the establishment of landed citizens to provide military service for a rapidly expanding state. The connections between Republican Rome and contemporary America are so tenuous as to be effectively useless.
posted by leotrotsky at 3:37 PM on January 24 [10 favorites]


"History doesn't repeat itself, but it often rhymes."
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:45 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


The connections between Republican Rome and contemporary America are so tenuous as to be effectively useless.

The impossibility of sustaining your original political ideals after you go down the road to being a military and colonial superpower is the broad comparison I'd go for. But of course the way that plays out is very different here and now than it was for the Roman Republic.
posted by thelonius at 3:49 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


I am no poet, but the rich and powerful destroyed that republic definitely seems to rhyme...
posted by PhineasGage at 3:54 PM on January 24 [7 favorites]


Guys, there’s no need to argue, we can simply ask the esteemed Col. Sanders to provide us a 3-piece Auspices Meal and we will be able to tell the future for sure.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:00 PM on January 24 [12 favorites]


surely little caesar's got something to say about rome ...
posted by pyramid termite at 4:31 PM on January 24 [3 favorites]


Fauci spills the tea about dealing with Trump (Rolling Stone link that recaps it, original NYT link within).
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:34 PM on January 24 [5 favorites]


Is there a way to get both?

1. Let DJT and his minions form a national political party and register with the FEC
2. Watch silently as they idiotically break laws moving money around to fund it
3. Wait for the first big rally announcement
4. Arrest Trump the day before the rally
5. Enjoy
posted by nicoffeine at 4:38 PM on January 24 [5 favorites]


Major national powers in the Western world have been comparing themselves to Rome, with varying levels of plausibility, for at least 1500 years, why stop now?
posted by biogeo at 4:58 PM on January 24 [4 favorites]


Rocky Mount officer says he and colleague fired for participating in U.S. Capitol riot.
(Remember those two Virginia police officers who posted selfies from in the Capital Building during the insurrection? They got fired. Plus the local BLM Franklin County chapter founder, Bridgette Craighead, has been fielding interviews from across the globe!)

“We were both terminated,” wrote Thomas “T.J.” Robertson, who until Friday morning was a sergeant with the Rocky Mount Police Department.
Robertson shared an excerpt from a letter citing “conduct unbecoming an officer” as the reason for his firing. The letter states he will be terminated Tuesday.
The town is giving the officers the chance to resign before that date, “or in my case retire,” Robertson wrote Saturday. “I will not be resigning. I’ll fight this at every step.”

...On Jan. 13, federal authorities charged Robertson, 47, and Fracker, 29, with a misdemeanor of knowingly entering a restricted building without authority to do so to engage in conduct that disrupts government business; and a petty offense of engaging in disruptive conduct in the Capitol in order to interfere with a session of Congress.
posted by bluesky43 at 5:15 PM on January 24 [7 favorites]


AP reports a source says that Sarah Sanders plans to run for governor of Arkansas which she plans to formally announce on Monday.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 6:16 PM on January 24 [4 favorites]


dKos: Under Biden, State Department reportedly set to process thousands of Afghans stranded after aiding U.S. military
posted by darkstar at 6:53 PM on January 24 [32 favorites]




Politico: Bernie Sanders says Dems will use reconciliation to pass Covid relief ‘as soon as we possibly can’

Politico: Dick Durbin says absolute protection of Senate filibuster 'a non-starter’
posted by darkstar at 7:14 PM on January 24 [13 favorites]


Glad to see the Dems are keeping Senator Sanders in the loop about what they plan to do
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:46 PM on January 24 [4 favorites]


Zuckerberg's Biden problem
Its most obvious problem is the potential repealing of Section 230.
This is a small but crucial piece of legislation that prevents companies like Facebook from being sued for the things people post.

Joe Biden has said he wants it removed. In fact, in that same New York Times interview from a year ago he said he wanted it "revoked immediately".

That could spell disaster for Zuckerberg. Suddenly all the things people post, all of the defamatory and fraudulent things people say - would be the responsibility of Facebook. It's hard to see how Facebook functions in its current form without Section 230.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:13 PM on January 24 [14 favorites]


CBS News: Biden expected to repeal Trump's transgender military ban as soon as Monday
posted by darkstar at 8:18 PM on January 24 [21 favorites]


CNN: Pretty good short video showing all of the changes Biden has made to the Oval Office decor.
posted by darkstar at 9:17 PM on January 24 [3 favorites]


I was a little hrm about Gaga apparently doing the anthem in 4 for some reason, but it turns out it's all kind of metric goofiness going on.
Music theorist Adam Neely wants to talk about Lady Gaga's star spangled - but mixed meter - banner. I love how every chord, breath and note of her performance was very carefully planned (we see how awed Neely is over "C flat minor over E double flat" - or the splitting of the word "land" into 2 notes) yet most of us notice only how the song made us feel.
posted by rongorongo at 11:34 PM on January 24 [11 favorites]




Rocky Mount officer says he and colleague fired for participating in U.S. Capitol riot.
,....
Robertson wrote Saturday. “I will not be resigning. I’ll fight this at every step.”


They took selfies inside the capitol building. Robertson is quoted in the complaint as saying; “CNN and the Left are just mad because we actually attacked the government who is the problem and not some random small business ... The right IN ONE DAY took the f***** U.S. Capitol. Keep poking us.”

They're policemen. They're white. Maybe I'm being naive but I still don't see how Robertson is going to skate on this one. I don't see how the court, which is in the District of Columbia not North Carolina, can let this one slide. Also as I understand it, if you are federally charged, then you take the plea. If they're not offering a plea, then get your affairs in order.
posted by rdr at 12:04 AM on January 25 [17 favorites]


'Section 230' can't exist in its current form - it was written for a different internet/ an earlier version of the internet - if the events of the last five years don't make that abundantly clear, uh I'll have what your having. And who seriously gives a rats heiny if it costs some tech Billionaire loses a couple points on their robber-baron fortune?
posted by From Bklyn at 12:07 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


'Section 230' can't exist in its current form - it was written for a different internet/ an earlier version of the internet - if the events of the last five years don't make that abundantly clear, uh I'll have what your having. And who seriously gives a rats heiny if it costs some tech Billionaire loses a couple points on their robber-baron fortune?

Section 230 allows MeFi to exist. If someone comes up to cortex saying one of us defamed them? Right now he tells them to piss off because S230 means he isn't liable. If S230 was repealed cortex would have to either just remove whatever is being threatened or defend the suit. If cortex has to defend the suit do they have/ask the user for indemnity? MeFi is already cash strapped at the best of times little alone dropping six figures to fight a suit.

Hard cases make bad law and destroying S230 would be the biggest example of that. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater would destroy a lot of the user posted Internet, good or bad.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:28 AM on January 25 [14 favorites]


You're Wrong About Section 230 Of The Communications Decency Act

ETA: Section 230 protects us. Right wing billionaires would sue MetaFilter to smithereens. Like Peter Thiel did to Gawker.
posted by Horkus at 5:32 AM on January 25 [8 favorites]


You're Wrong About Section 230 Of The Communications Decency Act

A bunch of people already debunked this facile propaganda in a dedicated thread. Do we need to cut and paste it here too?

Fun fact: the Internet's foremost Section 230 advocate believes it immunizes Amazon against product liability claims, and is horrified that courts disagree.
posted by Not A Thing at 6:07 AM on January 25 [6 favorites]


Just because Section 230 protects sites like Metafilter, doesn't mean it is a perfect law that doesn't need to be reformed. We can have a more nuanced discussion about it than keep-or-destroy.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 6:17 AM on January 25 [9 favorites]


dKos: Dominion Voting Systems is suing Rudy Giuliani for $1.3 Billion.

This is in addition to their separate lawsuit against kraken attorney Sidney Powell for the same amount.
posted by darkstar at 6:20 AM on January 25 [13 favorites]


I'm not advocating the discarding of section 230, I am advocating for it's reformation (hence, "...in its current form"). And I do understand its utility, but it's use has morphed as the environment it was designed to foster has changed, dramatically...

This was, I found, a good podcast on the subject, The Lawfare Podcast: Jonathan Zittrain on the Great Deplatforming.
posted by From Bklyn at 6:46 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Dominion is suing Giuliani for $1.3 billion. You should really take a look at the court filing. It's a thing of beauty, unlike any court filing I've ever seen. Every page is screen shots of Giuliani on TV and podcasts and tweets pimping gold coins and snake oil supplements and "cybersecurity" services in between making wild accusations about Dominion.

Dominion is going to make the case that Giuliani is doing all of this as a big grift to sell crap to his gullible listeners. That's important because it indicates malicious intent. And to prove it they point out that Giuliani explicitly did not make the same claims inside the courthouse that he made outside the courthouse because he knew they were lies and subject to sanctions by judges. In fact Giuliani stated in a court hearing that he is not alleging fraud, the exact opposite of what he says on the courthouse steps.

It's a great court filing and Giuliani should be sweating.
posted by JackFlash at 7:11 AM on January 25 [66 favorites]


Section 230 allows MeFi to exist.

This is crazy stuff, completely without foundation or evidence. It's exactly the same as the Trumpists who stubbornly insist that there is voter fraud without a shred of evidence to support it. It's time to stand up and stop supporting billionaire capitalists like Zuckerberg and Dorsey who are corrupting our political system for profit.

We've had 200 years of media that has survived just fine without a Section 230 exemption. There is nothing special about Facebook and Twitter that requires them to be treated in an unprecedented and exceptional manner. They are just like every other media company and should be treated like one.
posted by JackFlash at 7:17 AM on January 25 [3 favorites]


The history of why 230 came into being is interesting and straightforward and speaks to this. In short, CompuServe did no moderation and when they were sued the lawsuit was thrown out because the courts said they were like a distributor and couldn't be held responsible. Prodigy on the other hand did do moderation so they lost their lawsuit because they didn't do a good enough job. 230 was put in place to let companies do some moderation without fear that they were going to be penalized for doing a poor or inadequate job.

230 isn't perfect but solutions have to amend it rather than going to the status quo ante.
posted by mmascolino at 7:38 AM on January 25 [17 favorites]




Some of us were actually around for all that, which it why it's incredibly infuriating to be told that we're making claims akin to Trump's voter fraud claims. All that kind of shit does is make me ignore anything else a person has to say on the topic.

For most of the history of newspapers, they printed their own work and at least somewhat carefully vetted (for things that would trigger liability for defamation etc, not necessarily factual accuracy) letters to the editor and op-eds. That is in no way remotely similar to the way sites on the Internet host and moderate user discussions.

There's definitely an argument to be made for reform now that companies are using algorithms to promote specific pieces of content, bury but not delete others, and not just moderating, but it's sure as shit not as simple as repealing section 230 entirely unless you think every remaining forum for discussion should be like Usenet's alt hierarchy, which was already a morass of shit 20 years ago.

Like, I'm sorry you missed it, but the CDA and other telecom/Internet-related laws passed around that time, with all their parts, good, bad, and unconstitutional, were passed for a reason, not just because Congress felt like they had to do something to feel relevant. They had been pretty happy to be irrelevant for the decade since ECPA, after all.
posted by wierdo at 7:59 AM on January 25 [11 favorites]


230 isn't perfect but solutions have to amend it rather than going to the status quo ante.

Amazingly, most Section 230 critics agree - the Stratton Oakmont v. Prodigy ruling was damaging, and we have no desire to go back to that. The point that we make is that the broad interpretation of 230 by the courts has led to a number of perverse results, like the fact that a publisher exerting ex ante editorial control of their content can claim 230 indemnity because that content was sourced from a "user". Or that a real estate listing provider can't be held accountable for allowing ads that violate the Fair Housing Act, since it's the service users creating the ads.

(I recently saw a 230 defender claim, in complete sincerity, that Section 230 had nothing to do with advertisements. They apparently didn't realize that "user generated content" is a category much broader than just comments, and that it encompasses things like advertisements.)

Many Section 230 critics do not want to see sites like Metafilter made liable for comments, and it is arguing in bad faith to say we are. There are genuine issues with Section 230 (not surprising given it's a 25 year old law written in the infancy of the Internet Age), and they're not going away.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:02 AM on January 25 [5 favorites]


For most of the history of newspapers, they printed their own work and at least somewhat carefully vetted (for things that would trigger liability for defamation etc, not necessarily factual accuracy) letters to the editor and op-eds. That is in no way remotely similar to the way sites on the Internet host and moderate user discussions.

Batzel and other rulings have established that the pattern you established for newspapers is indemnified by Section 230. Which is part of the problem.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:06 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


The Dominion court filing re Giuliani that JackFlash posted is extremely readable and while it focuses on Rudy’s slander regarding Dominion, it’s a good primer on the allegations of voter fraud in general. Every person who marched on the Capitol should be required to read it.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:06 AM on January 25 [4 favorites]


"Jim Acosta: I've never seen Trump this alone." Did we decide "increasingly isolated" is MeFi-Shortcut #38 or #17?
posted by PhineasGage at 8:17 AM on January 25 [11 favorites]


It's official.

Live updates: Biden lifts military transgender ban; House to deliver Trump impeachment article to Senate - The Washington Post (washingtonpost.com)
President Biden signed an executive order Monday fulfilling a campaign promise to overturn a ban on transgender people serving in the military. President Donald Trump largely barred their open service in 2017, announcing the decision in a tweet.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:26 AM on January 25 [17 favorites]


Per that Post update, Senators Toomey and Portman (Rs) have both announced that they will not be seeking re-election in 2022. So is this how we keep a tally of possible R votes to convict Trump in the Senate?
posted by LooseFilter at 8:31 AM on January 25 [3 favorites]


Some more legal reform that may help as much as tweaking 230 - I feel like it's a little too easy to get a defamation suit dismissed for political speech. There is absolutely a line that needs to be drawn there to avoid silencing critics, but the amount of straight up lying - ahem, sorry, "rhetorical hyperbole" - you can do without fear of legal reprisal needs to be tightened up. Lot of conservative media folks and politicians out there making a pretty penny off of "rhetorical hyperbole".
posted by jason_steakums at 8:36 AM on January 25


"Jim Acosta: I've never seen Trump this alone." Did we decide "increasingly isolated" is MeFi-Shortcut #38 or #17?

I think to be sure we’d first need to decide on the shortcut for “Senior Republican elected official very concerned, but only on background, not on the record.”

We’ll be needing a lot of those for the impeachment trial.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:40 AM on January 25 [3 favorites]


The Supreme Court declared the emoluments cases against former President Trump moot on Monday because he is no longer in office.

So rather than ruling on the facts they are basically telling any president that they are free to break the law as long as they can run out the clock. The case has been going since 2017.
posted by JackFlash at 8:43 AM on January 25 [48 favorites]


The Supreme Court declared the emoluments cases against former President Trump moot on Monday because he is no longer in office.

So rather than ruling on the facts they are basically telling any president that they are free to break the law as long as they can run out the clock. The case has been going since 2017.


Holy cow, that is a terrible ruling.

Please add expanding the Supreme Court to the pile, Joe. If somebody steals your lunch or Supreme Court seats without consequence, they’ll do it again.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:47 AM on January 25 [25 favorites]


In addition to Pat Toomey and Rob Portman, Richard Burr (R-NC) is also retiring from the Senate.

Richard Shelby is 86, and Chuck Grassley's 87, and neither has announced that they're running (or, for that matter, that they're not running)--the only older people in Congress are Dianne Feinstein and Don Young, who's so old that one of his pre-Congress jobs was looking for gold.
posted by box at 8:51 AM on January 25 [2 favorites]


The Supreme Court declared the emoluments cases against former President Trump moot on Monday because he is no longer in office.

It's been clear for a while that the only remedy against a sitting President is impeachment and conviction, so this is not a surprise to me.
posted by dis_integration at 8:52 AM on January 25 [4 favorites]


Chris Hayes has an interesting/informative podcast with Kara Swisher that includes discussion of Section 230.

We have a lot to get to with legendary tech journalist Kara Swisher this week: the deplatforming of President Trump, the conservative obsession with Section 230 (what even is Section 230), why Parler went dark (what even is Parler), and why some Republicans would rather complain about losing Twitter followers than address the deadly attack on the Capitol.
posted by bluesky43 at 8:53 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Link to PDF of Dominion's complaint against Giuliani for others having trouble with CNN's embedded reader.
posted by flabdablet at 8:53 AM on January 25 [4 favorites]


Republican official flashes rifle when woman asks county to denounce Proud Boys in online meeting — ‘I was just going to show rifle and show that I fully support Second Amendment,' the official says, The Independent, Gustaf Kilander (Raleigh, NC), 1/23/2021:
A Republican county commissioner [Ron Clous] in Traverse City in northern Michigan picked up a rifle and held it in front of his webcam in response to a woman asking the county to denounce the Proud Boys during a live-streamed public meeting.

Around 100 people have signed a letter calling for Grand Traverse County Commissioner Ron Clous and commission Chairman Rob Hentschel to resign after the incident. The author of the letter, Traverse City lawyer Michael Naughton, told the Traverse City Record-Eagle that “a public official acting in a public capacity brandishing a weapon to a person making public comment is anathema to our Constitutional rights".

Commission Chairman Rob Hentschel said the action in that context was "not threatening" and added: “I think if a person sees a gun and regardless of context feels intimidated, I would be concerned for their mental health.”

It was during a meeting on Wednesday that Mr Clous said he was responding to Keli MacIntosh from Traverse City who was commenting on a second amendment resolution passed by the board in March and challenged what she said was the board's support for the far-right group the Proud Boys. Ms MacIntosh asked commission Chairman Rob Hentschel to denounce the group. That's when Mr Clous stepped away from his computer and sat back down holding what appeared to be a kind of hunting rifle...

[Twitter w/screenshot]
More in the article.

Is a virtual threat the same as face-to-face? Imagine (it’s easy if you try) a F2F government meeting where you ask a question, then an official leaves the room, goes to their office, and returns to the meeting, silent and brandishing a gun.

Guns speak louder than words.
posted by cenoxo at 8:59 AM on January 25 [23 favorites]




That's terribly facile. The court case had gone on for four years.

It would be like somebody going to trial for attempted murder, and the judge declaring a mistrial because the victim had later died from unrelated causes and was no longer available to testify.
posted by at by at 9:08 AM on January 25 [4 favorites]


Or this response: So you cannot prosecute a president while they’re in office. Then you cannot prosecute them because they are no longer in office.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:10 AM on January 25 [27 favorites]


Commission Chairman Rob Hentschel said the action in that context was "not threatening" and added: “I think if a person sees a gun and regardless of context feels intimidated, I would be concerned for their mental health.”

Opposite. Opposite. Opposite.
posted by tiny frying pan at 9:11 AM on January 25 [17 favorites]


When I flashed my gun at that bank teller I was just trying to make small talk!
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:14 AM on January 25 [12 favorites]


So you cannot prosecute a president while they’re in office. Then you cannot prosecute them because they are no longer in office.

"That's some catch, that Catch-22," he observed.
"It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed.
Yossarian saw it clearly in all its spinning reasonableness. There was an elliptical precision about its perfect pairs of parts that was graceful and shocking, like good modern art, and at times Yossarian wasn't quite sure that he saw it at all, just the way he was never quite sure about good modern art…

― Joseph Heller, Catch-22 (1961)
posted by flabdablet at 9:17 AM on January 25 [11 favorites]


It's been clear for a while that the only remedy against a sitting President is impeachment and conviction, so this is not a surprise to me.

Have they run "we can't convict Trump on the articles of impeachment because the voters should decide in 2024" up the pole, yet?
posted by thelonius at 9:22 AM on January 25 [14 favorites]


I'm sure the GOP position is that we should probably hold off on any government decisions until the voters weigh in on 2024, assuming they weigh in with the right decision
posted by jason_steakums at 9:52 AM on January 25 [6 favorites]


That's terribly facile. The court case had gone on for four years.

It would be like somebody going to trial for attempted murder, and the judge declaring a mistrial because the victim had later died from unrelated causes and was no longer available to testify.


What is this? It's nothing like that. Standing in any case requires an injury (the harm caused), a causation (the person you're suing it is the proximal cause), and redressability (what can the court do to make it right?). Without all three the case lost its standing and is rendered moot. When you go into a civil court case you have to spell out to the judge exactly what you want if you win. If the judge can't give you that, what's the point of the rest? In our case the plaintiffs wanted Trump to be restricted from running a business in violation of the emoluments clause while he is President. He's no longer president, therefore, they can't offer redress.

It's not on the court to speculate "what if" because then every scammy asshole is going to rock up to court with some barely legal scheme and ask if they'll be prosecuted. The controversy has to be live.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:55 AM on January 25 [9 favorites]


The door might be open for his competitors to sue for retroactive damages though, which would be nice.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:01 AM on January 25 [7 favorites]


So if I'm understanding it correctly then it's on the plaintiff's to file a different suit in which they seek a different remedy that the court can enforce. Awarding damages I suppose.

I don't know exactly what that would be though as I'm not a lawyer.
posted by VTX at 10:03 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


The controversy has to be live.

The reason it became moot (not live) was because of a four-year court delay. Among others, the Supreme Court sat on it for almost a year.
posted by JackFlash at 10:05 AM on January 25 [6 favorites]


So if I'm understanding it correctly then it's on the plaintiff's to file a different suit in which they seek a different remedy that the court can enforce. Awarding damages I suppose.


How do you quantify that? How do you quantify the loss of business to yourself when your competitor us the President of the United States and your customers are taking rooms at his hotels to curry favor?
posted by ocschwar at 10:11 AM on January 25 [2 favorites]


How do you quantify that? How do you quantify the loss of business to yourself when your competitor us the President of the United States and your customers are taking rooms at his hotels to curry favor?

You find an example case, have them sue for a dollar, and litigate it to set the precedent.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:19 AM on January 25 [3 favorites]


The moot dismissal of the emoluments cases is unsigned and without noted dissent. I have to believe the Justices understand the ruling to be as absurd as I do, and they only selected it as a compromise to avoid something even worse, from the perspective of either the conservative or the liberal wing of the court.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:48 AM on January 25


It's not like he's barred from federal office (yet). If he's elected again, they have to bring a different suit that sits around for 4 years only to be tossed out again when he hopefully leaves office?
posted by muddgirl at 10:49 AM on January 25 [2 favorites]


But hey, they’ve certainly given new energy to the Republican senators’ claims that they can’t judge the conduct of a President after he’s left office. If the Supreme Court can’t do it, how could the Senate?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:50 AM on January 25 [2 favorites]


Like, that's checks and balances? How did we get such a powerful executive branch? The answer is complete abdication of responsibility from the other two branches.
posted by muddgirl at 10:50 AM on January 25 [10 favorites]


Presumably the case is moot because Donald gave away all his ill-gotten cash to orphans while I wasn’t looking
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:51 AM on January 25 [3 favorites]


CNN: White House staff welcomes new first family: 'The residence has life again'

Warm-and-fuzzies about the Bidens settling in...
"The residence has life in it again," a White House source told CNN of the energy inside. "It's the honeymoon period where everything feels new."

There were nighttime movie binges in the White House movie theater, complete with snacks from the White House kitchen cooks, many of the Bidens' five older grandchildren piling into the seats to watch, said another source familiar with the activities. The increased activity was met with pandemic precautions, including mask wearing.

On Sunday, the first dogs arrived from Delaware, where they had been waiting until things were unpacked and settled enough to allow a comfortable entry for the two German Shepherds at their new pad.

"Champ is enjoying his new dog bed by fireplace and Major loved running around the South Lawn"
Cute photo of the first doggos!
posted by darkstar at 11:03 AM on January 25 [10 favorites]


CNN: Senator Leahy expected to preside over the Impeachment Trial, not Chief Justice Roberts

WaPo: Biden looking to "speed up" efforts to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill
posted by darkstar at 11:07 AM on January 25 [9 favorites]


CNN: Senator Leahy expected to preside over the Impeachment Trial, not Chief Justice Roberts

"The Constitution says the chief justice presides when the person facing trial is the current president of the United States, but senators preside in other cases, one source said."
posted by kirkaracha at 11:11 AM on January 25 [5 favorites]


that "one source said" is weird. a casual glance at the constitution confirms that it is, indeed, true that art. 1, section 3 says "When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside...." it is a fact that does not require expertise to confirm or construe.
posted by 20 year lurk at 11:20 AM on January 25 [5 favorites]


"The Constitution says the chief justice presides when the person facing trial is the current president of the United States, but senators preside in other cases, one source said."

Not exactly. In impeachment cases not involving the president, the vice-president, acting as the president of the senate, can choose to be the presiding officer. But typically the VP delegates their authority to members of the senate except where they need to break a tie vote. Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr both presided over impeachments while vice-president.

I'm pretty sure Biden and Harris don't want to get directly involved in this impeachment for good reason.
posted by JackFlash at