One of the signal failures of the media throughout the Trump dumpster fire of a campaign was to focus on his words — parsing, shifts in terminology, trying to distinguish between lies and hyperbole, or simply providing theater criticism on his performances, connections to audience and so on. All the while, the critical information: what the combination of his ample history, the (few) clear positions he staked, and the people he hired revealed about what Trump would actually do as President.
That basic error is still with us, nicely diagnosed in this post by Robinson Meyer over at The Atlantic:
It works like this: Donald Trump, the president-elect himself, says something that sounds like he might be moderating on the issue. Then, his staff takes a radical action in the other direction.
Last week, Trump told the staff of The New York Times that he was keeping an open mind about the existence of climate change.
This was, as Meyer notes, treated as a major shift, given Trump’s earlier claim that global warming was a Chinese hoax. As a result, many slow learners touted this story (Meyer self-indicts here.) But, of course, Trump’s almost certainly intentionally vague statement —
“I think there is some connectivity” between human activity and the warming climate, Trump said. “There is some, something. It depends on how much.”…
both grants him almost unlimited freedom of maneuver and was almost immediately belied by what his transition team is actually doing:
A day after Trump talked to the Times, The Guardian reported that the Trump administration plans could cut all of NASA’s Earth science research….
…which, as many have already noted, is vital for ongoing climate monitoring and ongoing attempts to study the implications of human – driven global warming with the resolution needed to inform action.
Then there’s this:
Politico reports that the Heritage Foundation senior research fellow, Steven Groves, has been added to Trump’s State Department transition team. Just last week, Groves called for the United States to leave the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the overarching treaty that governs how the world organizes itself to address global warming. Groves also said the U.S. should move to “dismantle” domestic climate regulations.
Thus, a picture of a Trump administration policy on climate change: destroy the research infrastructure needed to study climate, and wreck both national and international prospects for action to address what a true existential crisis.
The moral, to use Meyer’s phrase, is that Trump is a master of the two-step, baffling the unwary (aka, seemingly, the entire New York Times staff) while proceeding behind that verbal smokescreen towards the worst possible choices. We need a much more vigilant press, and a brave one.
Image: Hieronymous Bosch, The Temptation of Saint Anthony (left panel detail), 1495-1515. Not an exact match to the post, but I’m kinda just looking for apocalyptic images these days, and this certainly works for that.
It’s hard to believe that Meyer would need to point out the two-faced nature of his rhetoric after everything we’ve seen, but evidently she does. My father, a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, cited Trump’s statement that there is “some connectivity” between human behavior and climate change as evidence that he is now moderating his tone. I was gobsmacked that he would fall for this ploy. The truth is that a lot of Americans (and especially Democrats) want to believe that the President is honorable and well-intentioned since he is after all President. The alternative is just so horrifying.
Это курам на смех
“A more vigilant press.” Thanks, I needed a good laugh today.
And we all want ponies for Christmas too. Realistically, we need a Plan B, because the press is doing what their corporate overlords want them to do.
Isn’t the Pentagon fully invested in Climate Change? Will they dump all the necessary planning/contingencies without a peep? I know, civilian control yadda yadda, but if the top brass believes in the evide3nce, they are forceful political players, sotto voce. Could the EPA etc. use the Pentagon as an ally in the political fights to counteract the wingnuts?
Mike in NC
Santa Trump will give us all a lump of coal in our stockings for Xmas. (Wasn’t that a campaign promise?)
@Poopyman: What’s your opinion of WaPo? I find they’ve done good work so far.
@p.a.: Yes, but the direction an agency takes, even one as huge and with as strong an entrenched career bureaucracy as DoD, is still very strongly shaped by the political appointees. DoD can probably maintain a strong defensive perimeter around their own work, but not necessarily an invulnerable one. And I don’t think they can do much for EPA, even if key career players were inclined to do so.
But I’d defer to Adam on such inside the rings speculation. I’m just a bathrobe blogger bloviating in my basement. (Actually the second floor, but who’s counting.)
The good people in denial are also part of our problem.
@The Truffle: I have liked their reporting compared to NYT, a low bar but still.
Это курам на смех
@p.a.:The threat to defund climate change research goes well beyond the EPA. It will affect every agency charged with monitoring the health of the nation’s public lands, natural resources, wildlife, ecosystems, and agriculture: NOAA, NPS, USFS, USFWS, BLM, USGS, NRCS, etc.
@The Truffle: Despite being the local paper, I stopped subscribing back in 2005, so it’s not like I see a whole lot of that paper. I do see the occasional article somebody may link to here, and you’re right, there was some good work done during this election. We’re considering re-subscribing, but really, it’s still another side project of a billionaire in another industry, which he may decide to chuck overboard at any time.
Besides wanting the kids to stay offa my lawn, I’d like to see a large, influential, independently owned and operated newspaper or media empire. (Yeah, I know. Murdoch & kids.)
Looks like St Anthony was tempted by the brown acid.
Major Major Major Major
I’m assuming that the worst thing on any topic that Trump says is what he means until shown otherwise.
@Major Major Major Major: No. You should assume that the worst that he says is the floor for the worst that he and his admin will do. Not the limit.
Major Major Major Major
@Tom Levenson: Um, there’s not much worse he can get than concentration camps, torture, cattle cars, stasi, and nuclear war–all things he’s mentioned.
@Major Major Major Major:
I’m assuming the worst thing I can conceive of on any topic is what Trump will do.
@Major Major Major Major: I guess. But still, in all “mundane” things…he has room to dig.
Major Major Major Major
@Tom Levenson: Oh, definitely. Fair enough. (Education, for instance.)
I just saw an MSNBC post on how angry Trump is at Kellyanne for dissing Rmoney publicly. Then I saw a posting of an article in the NYTimes about how “populist” Steve Bannon is in favor of restricting voting rights based on race. It’s either the shiny object distraction or coded normalization with these guys. I have no hope they will ever reform.
I think the suspicion that Trump says whatever the last person he spoke to is closer. Trump is also being drawn into the nut-right agenda, which he may or may not agree with. It doesn’t matter. They don’t care what kind of goofy stuff he *says* or tweets.
Oh, from WaMo:
@Это курам на смех:
A small glimmer of hope, perhaps? The AP’s standards VP has announced that they will only use the term “alt-right” if used in quotes or modified by “so-called” or “self-described.” In addition, it can only be used if it includes a definition that makes it clear that it is a white nationalist movement. Said they aren’t going to let these people define themselves and will report on them in ways revealing their actual beliefs and philosophy. This is a good thing.
The attack at OSU was a big news item this morning, but several hours earlier in the South Texas town of Palmview there was a multiple casualty shooting with one fatality at a grocery store.
@Poopyman: Large independently owned and operated newspaper sounds like the Washington Post. Yeah, I suspect Bezos is a similar shade of narcissistic sociopath as Trump, but your pickings are slim when you try to find a moral billionaire.
Need to update the classic poster from the 60s – replacing the first word with another which begins with a T.
Mike in NC
How long before Justin Trudeau declares that Canada will build a wall along their southern border, and the Americans will pay for it?
@bystander: well, I think what we’re seeing is the old shell game. I suspect Bannon is actually driving the bus. Everyone else is just happy to have caught the car. Reince got what he wanted, GOP in charge. Achievement fulfilled. Kellyanne got what she wanted, Clinton Destroyed. Bannon is looking to be the guy pulling the strings on a Fascist state and putting darkies of various hues and liberalism and its tolerance back on the shelf and white folks in charge. So that piece of work is still ongoing but we’ll see if this is true once something truly odious is trotted out for public consumption… my guess is a ban on Muslim immigration in the guise of fighting the terrorist threat will be the true indication of where we’re heading. The economic destruction of the American middle class and institution of Kansas nationwide is going tell us if Mitchy and Paulie are actually in charge.
For us that were scared shitless of what is going to be coming for us, economic shitstorm or brownshirts… not really much of a choice is there?
@bystander: I am not in favor of restricting voting rights by race, but if we’re going to go that way, I would say anyone with more than 75% Western European/Scandinavian blood should lose their voting rights. Their (including my) ancestors have fucked this country up enough already.
Kellyanne Conway told CNN today that Trump hasn’t exactly taken prosecuting Hillary off the table, it’s just that he is concentrating on other things right now.
@piratedan: Is there any real conflict between the Kansas-style economic policy favored by Ryan and McConnell and Bannon’s white nationalist social agenda? I don’t think there is.
Just remember that Donald Trump is a far worse person than he has shown. And he is surrounding himself with people who are as bad as he is. It is astonishing to me that he has actually managed to find people who are as evil as he is. Kellyanne Conway can sit there and lie with a straight face about anything he has said. I have no doubt that in another time, another place, she would be repeating lies about the latest atrocities committed by whoever she represents. Gingrich, Giuliani, Bannon, Sessions, I can imagine all of these people back in 1930’s pushing propaganda. Scary times. And we can’t rely on the media, the NYT couldn’t be bothered to investigate the finances of a guy running for POTUS WHO GREW UP IN THEIR OWN BACKYARD. And they still can’t!
@p.a.: I work as an environmental engineer for a branch of the military as a civilian GS employee. Our work is focused on compliance, and I specifically do the planning/programming/budgeting for env programs for an entire regions’ bases, while also serving as a regional SME for specific environmental media areas. Most of our work is about complying with various fed, state, and local permits and regs. That won’t really be impacted, and we do big-picture programming (in a budget/finance sense, not computer programming) on a 3-5 year cycle, so unlikely to see many changes to existing projects there. Some “nice to have” projects like archaeological and historical work will fall below funding lines, and priorities of what big money “MilCon” projects get funded will likely change, but simple env compliance and restoration/cleanup/CERCLA activities will be funded.
There are programs in some branches specifically addressing alternative fuels or climate research that could easily be killed (Navy has most of those IIRC), and we have various energy/water saving initiatives (some via Exec Orders) that could be ended.
Major Major Major Major
@Betty Cracker: National socialism does have the word ‘socialism’ in it, so maybe.
@Betty Cracker: I think the Kansas-style economy would actually be less of a total disaster with racist tax discrimination against non-whites, at least for the white people, so the policies complement each other somewhat. After they get Justice Kennedy off the court and replace him with a 5th vote for allowing anything Republicans want, anyway.
Trump may be insane, but he is not stupid.
Like all good salesmen, he knows how to talk enough to appear to promise something without actually committing himself to anything. To say what he knows the mark needs to hear to open their wallet, without binding himself to an irretrievable course.
So he is proichoice and proilife, antisemitic and pro Israel, a friend of the working man and a champion of unfettered capitalism. He will launch a massive new infrastructure program with tons of good paying union jobs, and crush the lazy unions and balance the budget. He will usher in an age of strict morality and let the good times roll.
@Bex: Neither Trump or Conway seems to care that having presidents personally make decisions on who to prosecute is a heavy step on the road to dictatorship. Sessions is going to do what they want, anyway, it is scary they don’t see any need to pretend it is his decision.
The Moar You Know
It’s killing me. Every person I know who is anti-Trump is refusing to do two things:
1. Stop listening to the guy and start watching what he’s doing
2. Stop blaming the GOP for losing and start looking at what the fuck Dems did wrong, because we’ve done a lot
Figure it out, people. He’s trolling the shit out of you and you KEEP FALLING FOR IT
@Chip Daniels: Trump may be insane, and the vast majority of our media may be morons for falling for the con over and over and over. Still, I have to think at some point they get tired of believing the Trump statement they want to believe only to have him do the exact opposite. It’s exhausting just watching the gullible fools. Most of them have to realize eventually that they’re being taken and get pissed about it, right? Some time in the next 4 years, hopefully before the Depression arrives?
It’s a natural response, if unhealthy. This is why the “white people, stop saying it’s going to be okay” type pushback since the 8th has been valuable. I had some sliver of hope, if you can call it that, when I and a number of other liberal relatives had this conversation over Thanksgiving, and all pretty much concluded that nope, there’s no silver lining here.
Most of the Pentagon’s political clout comes from its support by elected wingnuts. None of these people are going to go to bat for it over climate change. And between the usual sucking up to politicians and the number of wingnuts in the military who probably do believe it’s a liberal hoax, it shouldn’t be hard to find people to replace any general who makes too big an issue out of it.
One of my biggest fears is I will have to send my children to a public school where the curriculum is written by these demons and their limitlless flow of bullshit.
Major Major Major Major
@The Moar You Know: How is what he’s doing any different from what he’s been saying for a year and a half?
@Chris: I was encouraged by talking to some wealthy Dems I know, who are totebaggers supreme, condemn It unreservedly.
@The Moar You Know: Umm…this entire post is about what he’s doing, not what he’s saying. The point Tom and Robinson Meyer were making is that even when Trump seems to acknowledge climate change, he’s busy behind the scenes trying to make sure we don’t fund climate research. So, no, we’re not falling for it. Everyone agrees we need to be super vigilant.
@Major Major Major Major:
Yeah. It was, at best, schmuck bait then, and it’s schmuck bait now.
@Betty Cracker: well… I’d say one, doesn’t give a shit what color your skin is, they just want to make sure that you don’t have much opportunity for upwardly mobile economic opportunity… very “democratic” cementing of social strata if you prefer… the other pretty much wants to ensure that the only people who could possibly change socio-economic strata are white people. Not even nuanced racism, just an enforcement of the “social norms” that lay out who is “acceptable” and who isn’t, perhaps tolerating our “new liberal socio-economic” reality but just don’t expect to have the same opportunities if you stray from racial and strata norms a real 1984 reality where some of us are allowed to be more equal than others.
the former is the GOP goal (apparently) and the latter is the one that Bannon and his ilk seem prepared to go after. How does Trump handle it? Who the fuck knows because I’m sure that he doesn’t think at that level AT ALL.
By the same token, the fact that they came out and announced that they wouldn’t be prosecuting Hillary makes me worry for her all the more.
I think there is a difference Betty. A Kansas-style economic agenda main goal is to minimize the tax burden of the wealthy and corporations. If white people get hurt in the process it’s their own damn fault for not pulling themselves up from the bootstraps. A white nationalist economic agenda doesn’t care about how big government is. The goal is to maximize the redirect of tax dollars and government resources from programs that might help blacks and other minorities to programs that help mostly white folks. So a white nationalist agenda would protect Medicare and social security, block grant Medicaid, ramp up agricultural subsidies and rural infrastructure projects while starving funds for urban housing, higher education, food stamps, and other social programs that might disproportionately help blacks. You would also see tax plans plainly written to maximize benefits to homeowners in red states and rural areas
So a white nationalist agenda will be a lot less ideological about economic theory and much more cynical and divisive then the typical conservative platform.
At this point I am beyond exhausted. The seeming ease with which all of this is happening and the absolute inability of any one to stop it.
Major Major Major Major
@Yoda Dog: They also just said they’re not so sure he meant it when he said he wouldn’t prosecute.
ETA: @Archon: This is one of the reasons that ‘working with Trump on infrastructure’ or whatever is morally repellent.
We are still fighting the Civil War aren’t we after 150 years?
The Bosch image is terrific. The full image even more so.
I wonder if Dali was somewhat inspired by this.
Major Major Major Major
@schrodinger’s cat: And they were fighting it for a hundred years before Ft. Sumter.
@D58826: Of course you’re exhausted. People are trying to sprint a marathon. It’s crazy.
@Major Major Major Major: Obama Presidency was the Cold Civil War and now its going to be Reconstruction 2.0.
@Bex: They will continue to threaten it but it will never come to that. Assuming the recount will be insufficient to overturn the result, there’s no upside to going after Clinton, only downside (newsflash: the end result won’t change given that results in MI, WI and PA would all need to change).
And if for some reason, Trump should completely lose his mind and seriously threaten this, Obama will just pardon her in advance of anything. But again, it would be beyond stupid for Trump to do this. He will bloviate and threaten to rile up his base, get the liberal fools are mad, and get the supine press to chase the shiny ball, but will eventually make some anodyne statement of “country needs to come together” & the media will lap it up to note how ‘gracious’ Trump is being.
And if in some fantasyland the results are overturned, Clinton becomes President and its moot.
NYT headline: Combative Populist Bannon found his man in Trump. What a wonderful love story, wonder how it ends.
@p.a.: My understanding is that the military has its own land surface satellites, so doesn’t so much need NASA for its climate change observations (except prob. the weather sats right now). A number of former weapons modelers switched to climate modeling when the money began to go in that direction, with the advantage of access to the DoD’s big computing power. To hazard a guess, climate change research would continue (related to military objectives) but perhaps the independent or academic-minded research would become even less funded than now.
Just curious. Did she actually say “prosecuting?” It would be monstrous to appoint a special prosecutor to re-investigate whatever it is that Trump and company fantasize might be investigated, but I don’t see any presidential authority to actually charge Clinton with some offense and then prosecute her.
Actually, there are political scientists and contemporary political historians who call the period of time from LBJ to John Roberts as the Second Reconstruction.
We are definitely in another phase of nullification. The Republican Party’s organized obstruction was the beginning and now we are going to see it on steroids.
I see no reason why we can’t pay attention both to what Trump says and what his people do. Trump demonstrates daily, in new and colorful ways, he’s neither fit nor qualified to serve as President. Why should we ignore that?
@schrodinger’s cat: Starting to wish to secede.
Major Major Major Major
@Keith G: What about the notion that Reconstruction never ended?
Another headline from Vichy Times: World of Potential Conflict for Developer President. I wonder how much the loser of the popular vote paid the publishers of NYT for doing his dirty work for him.
Developer [email protected]Keith G: Jim Crow 2.0 then, when the gains of the Reconstruction were rolled back.
@Brachiator: Didn’t the law that authorized the use of special prosecutors lapse after Ken Starr?
@Aleta: My town and county voted heavily for HRC as in she got between 60% to 80% of the vote.
The avalanche has already started; It is too late for the pebbles to vote.
— Ambassador Kosh, “Babylon 5”
@Brachiator: It would be great if the American Bar Association would rebuke her for suggesting that the President has the authority to prosecute. She’s a lawyer, she should know better.
Tissue Thin Pseudonym
@goblue72: I wouldn’t bet on a pardon. For all of the reasons why a prosecution would be stupid on the part of Trump, I could see Clinton deciding that a martyr role is one she could embrace.
According to the Wiki:
However, niceties of the law are irrelevant to the Donald. Trump’s motto echoes that of King Louis XIV:
‘L’etat c’est moi’
Iowa Old Lady
@Brachiator: We are all Kosh.
Things I have done today: posted a comment on WaPo that Chris Cillizza is a frivolous idiot and makes me consider cancelling my subscription every time I see his name (on his list of who the Dems will run in 2020).
Donated $10 to Foster Campbell’s Louisiana Senate campaign (I highly doubt he will win, but 51-49 is better than 52-48).
Donated $10 to Oliver Willis’ GoFundMe for a progressive media platform independent of corporate media.
Cancelled a Hulu subscription I never use to help pay for the donations.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym: I agree. I don’t think there will be a pardon or a prosecution.
@Mary G: Good on Willis. God, we need that so bad.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym:
Uh, no. Clinton would probably not be convicted of anything, but the costs of a legal defense would be pointlessly expensive, and would damage both Clintons with respect to their charities and other works. Outside of ancient religion, being a martyr confers few benefits.
On the other hand, a pre-emptive pardon by Obama would damage him politically, at least for the short term, and provide more ammunition for ignorant voters who want to associate corruption with the Democrats.
Man, I hope you folks are right. I can’t help but think these people are perfectly nasty and petty enough to try it if they can. Both the mafia taking over and their rabid electorate who’re the only voices that will matter now. With a concerted national effort to suppress the vote in future elections, like they’ve done very successfully here in NC already, they don’t think they’ll need to even bother giving lip-service to non-deplorables and fear losing power. I understand the president doesn’t have the authority to prosecute but wouldn’t Sessions hypothetically?
You are awesome, Mary G. You are my WWMGD
I notice that this blog uses the term ‘shitgibbon’ a lot. While evocative, I know a word that would sting more – Loser. We should call Trump Loser every chance we get, because that’s what really gets under his skin. He’s all about winning, and always manages to reframe a loss as a win, at least for him. So call him Loser Trump. Make it an integral part of his name, like Motorist Rodney King. Loser Trump.
@Yoda Dog: I don’t think they’ll prosecute because I don’t think it helps them. I’d be more worried about less famous people being targeted than Clinton.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Trump’s big three so far contradict each other, so I expect once in office Trump policies will just be as confusing and a lot of Trump Admin (if that word can be used) internal policy disputes projected on to liberal groups. And of course the plastic spork in the back purges of the dominance struggle losers like with Christi.
I would not be suprised if at some point one Trump cabinet offical rapes another on national TV.
@Joyce H: I have no idea what shit gibbon means, or what gibbons have done to FPers here to be compared to the loser of the popular vote.
@Brachiator: Yes! The perfect quote for our times.
Everyone seems to be missing the biggest reason Obama won’t pardon Clinton. You have to admit guilt to accept a presidential pardon. She has no guilt to accept, therefore a pardon is off the table.
Voting rights in states that take it seriously should be O.K., i.e. those run by Democrats.
But states run by Republicans, who want to screw over likely Democratic voters, will have free reign to do as they please.
It’s in the urban dictionary now! Originally a response to Trump stupidly claiming that Scotland had approved the BREXIT vote.
md S Oregon
I’m a 71 year old grandmother making do on less than $1600/mo, I have called my congressman, Greg Walden, before and after Thanksgiving. I have sent his number along to friends who have Indigenous blood in them, and given his number to friends and teachers who are watching this horror show happening. My son is an ELCA pastor who participated with 500 other clergy at Standing Stone.
The truly annoying thing about climate change and CO2 reduction is that there is technology out there that can turn carbon dioxide into other chemicals (not greenhouse gases) and nobody has been paying attention to it for almost FIFTY years (not to mention all the other patents and applications that have followed since). I feel like Sir Harry King in Terry Pratchett’s novels
@Baud: The chants of “Lock Her Up!” and his neremburg rallies (which he says he wishes to continue) haunt me. It helps them because it will prove to the nutcases that they’re serious and that shitgibbon-Loser was right (as The Leader is always right) about Hillary being “crooked.” I agree it doesn’t make sense, to us, but we’re not insane. Its just turtles all the way down after January 20th, Im afraid.
I don’t think that Nixon admitted guilt for any Watergate related crimes.
@Yoda Dog: It won’t help them if she’s acquitted. They won’t take that risk. And they don’t have to prove anything to the nutcases anymore. They can keep them in less politically risky ways.
Good article by Richard Reeves on the Brookings Institute website: Middle America’s malaise helped Trump to victory, but he has no cure
@Mary G: thanks for posting this, Mary! I’ll try to keep posting my own stuff as well.
I think I mentioned in an earlier thread, but just to recap:
– I called my Senators and Rep to tell them “NO CHANGES” to Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare
– I’m about to send $50 to Campbell’s Senate campaign (thanks to Mary for the reminder!)
– I’m not going to fund Oliver Willis, as I think we need to strengthen the larger platforms we already have for progressive media…will think on that for a bit, but it probably means subscribing to TPM (instead of reading the articles for free) and at least one other outlet
– and I wrote to several bloggers and columnists today, asking them to help stop this thing at the EC. I called it “drawing to an inside straight”, but it really is our last best chance before settling in for four years of…living dangerously? Living as a Russian client state? Watching our safety net get shredded in service of the Kochs/Mercers?
@Baud: @Baud: You’re probably right. Jesus, I hope so. I am NOT despairing and I will fight the good democratic fight to the bitter end but I can’t help but fearing the absolute worst.
@schrodinger’s cat: and this here is why I don’t subscribe to the NYT: they call Bannon a “combative populist.” That’s some world-class obfuscation right there. The man’s an anti-Semitic racist nationalist, and calling him a populist insults both history and truth. From Wikipedia: The People’s party, more commonly known as the Populist party, was organized in St. Louis in 1892 to represent the common folk—especially farmers—against the entrenched interests of railroads, bankers, processers, corporations, and the politicians in league with such interests. That does not sound like Steve Bannon to me.
That’s correct. The assumption, never seriously challenged, is that the President can pardon (read ‘absolve’) an American citizen even without there having been a trial. Not sure they could absolve someone who hasn’t even had actual charges brought against them.
I once thought Obama should pre-emptively pardon Clinton, for her safety and as a final FU to Trump. Now, I don’t think that is the answer…it’ll just put more blood in the water for these never-ending rage-a-holics…it is, in a way, a reward for their insane behavior.
@Brachiator: Nixon would have been impeached if he hadn’t resigned. He didn’t have to admit, or not admit, anything.
@Lizzy L: He’s no more a populist than I am a reindeer. He throws some populist bullshit out there for the same morons (both voters and media) that got Trump elected – my favorite quote of Bannon’s was something along the lines of “we’re going to throw a trillion dollars into infrastructure, rail, ports, roads, factories, and see what sticks”.
Setting aside that what he really means is “throw a trillion dollars in tax breaks at wealthy people for doing the projects they were already planning on doing, and/or throw it at them in useless, budget-busting boondoggles”, how the fuck is just “throwing a trillion dollars” at something a plan? Is the NYT saying you have to be a moron to be a populist? Does math not count for “populists”? It’s all very confusing, but then again I was spoiled by Obama – he sure did like to actually think things through, that rascal!!
A pardon would be admitting guilt and bending to shitloser’s bullshit narrative. That we must never, never do.
@The Moar You Know:
Why can’t we listen and look and be offended?
I don’t think Clinton would accept a pardon, and I doubt Obama will offer one.
Jim Foolish Literalist
@Jeffro: I think Chaffetz has already said they plan to continue committee hearings/investigations, and there’s nothing Obama or anyone, that I’m aware of, can do about that. If it hurts them in polls, they’ll stop.
I guess CHaffetz thinks he’s smart than Trey Gowdy. I think Gowdy’s an overrated partisan hack, but Chaffetz is one dumb, smarmy little fuckwit. Trying to imagine a NFLTG HRC going in front of a Chaffettz committee.
@Jeffro: Now I am curious as to what I was actually thinking of
Seems aprapo for the times although Personally I would go with something from Hieronymus Bosch every time. Its how I feel
For an apocalyptic image that might fit better, how about Dürer’s Four Horsemen? I’ll leave it to others to figure who is Death, Famine, War, and Pestilence.
@schrodinger’s cat: That headline is a story line for a Margaret Atwood dystopian bromance.
I would love for Obama to pardon Kerry, Clinton, Rice and Powell, the only ones as far as I know that used non-State Department email systems for general messages. With that, and my pony, I would also like Obama to can Comey’s fucking ass.
@Jim Foolish Literalist:
Chaffetz certainly thinks he’s smart enough to wriggle out of answering Dems’ calls to open an investigation about Trump’s conflict of interest.
What good would pardoning Hillary Clinton do? Is it really going to stop Chaffetz from investigating her anyway? Is it really going to stop Sessions from indicting her anyway? They will take the blanket pardon up to the Supreme Court and claim it is unconstitutional. Even if the Supreme Court eventually rules in Clinton’s favor, the sideshow distractions still go on for years while sucking up the investigative oxygen away from all the scams the Trump administration is pulling.
Since there doesn’t seem to be much hope for getting one anytime soon, we need to kick up a rukus every time they pay attention to the sideshow and ignore the terrible actions.
A pardon given and accepted implies a crime has been charged and the recipient of the pardon has pled guilty. That is how Ford pardoned Nixon, who had not yet been criminally indicted. And it would stop an indictment.
@Mary G: Thanks for the encouragement and the links, Mary G. I just did the same! I also emailed Ohio Dems to tell them I wanted to part of their planning meetings in December.
@Jim Foolish Literalist: OK, that made me smile. Hillary would eviscerate
Jason “How can I look my daughter in the face if I support Trump” “Oh, well, I support Trump” Chaffetz. I’d pay to see that.
@Brachiator: Conway did not use the word “prosecute.” She answered Bash’s question (Bash used the word “prosecute”) by saying how “magnanimous” Trump has been to Clinton and that he did not necessarily want to “drag this out.” Drag this out obviously means prosecute. This clip is on Crooks and Liars. They called it a veiled threat.
A pardon given and accepted implies a crime has been charged and the recipient of the pardon has pled guilty. That is how Ford pardoned Nixon, who had not yet been criminally indicted.
I actually think that the people surrounding the Shitgibbon are worse, they know what they are doing, the shitgibbon is out to get as much money out of us as it can, revenge on the people that voted against it is a bonus. For it’s minions screwing us is the goal.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Mary G: @debbie: I think the CW is that Chaffetz is waiting for Orrin Hatch to finally die, or maybe retire, so he can step up to the Big Club. I’ve seen rumors that Evan McMulllen (sp?) might challenge him for that seat. I’m sure Mcmullen will be no better, or not much, better than Hatch when votes are counted, but I would love to see Chaffetz’s ambitions stepped on.
@hovercraft: We’re going to have to be just like the whingers. Relentlessly and mercilessly pressure mainslime media.
I think that President Obama should pardon Melania Trump for her immigration violations.
In fire. It ends in fire.
Agreed. He is the man behind the curtain. The tell? His complete lack of interest in publicity.
My guess is that Cheney and Rove themselves would balk at the plans Bannon is going to honey-dip and force feed to the public through an easily manipulated Trump and his courtiers.
Yeah he was.
Snarkists might like this: Trump May End NASA Climate Change Studies So Rich Folks Can Flee Earth For Outer Space
… and more; worth a look (fun picture) and it has links.
J R in WV
Your first sentence directly contradicts your second sentence, and none of what you say has anything to do with the reality of pardons. You should stop talking about thing you have no experience with, or knowledge of.
Nixon was never indicted for any crime, much less convicted. So Ford’s pardon, which took effect the moment he signed it, was effective before there was even a criminal investigation, much less an indictment or conviction.
Obama could write a pardon, hand it to Hillary Clinton, and Hillary take it and put it in a safe deposit box in the Cayman Islands, for use only if Loser Trump persecutes her. He can’t actually prosecute her, I don’t think, as she hasn’t committed any crime, as opposed to Loser Trump, who could be convicted of a ton of crimes the day after he takes office.
All of this talk of staffing and planning reminds me of when Dubya and Cheney claimed the White House and how they staffed up with some big time anti-Russian experts and also completely dropped the whole hunt for bin Laden that Clinton had been doing.
It’s not passing the baton so much as restarting and then playing a completely different game using the same board game pieces.
Been doing a lot of mental utilitarian calculations about a Trump administration and sheesh are they depressing. US climate change policy changes are the worst. (Lives lost worldwide in the 10**8 to 10**9 range over the next two hundred years with rapid full policy reversals. Estimated.)
One thing activists need to get comfortable with is metaphorical monkey-wrenching, at all scales. (Not real, unless impossibly well-disguised; that doesn’t end well in the US, e.g. Galleanist anarchists) Slowing the slide into fascism (not being entirely hyperbolic), and preventing catastrophic changes to climate change policy are both key IMO.
@Mike in NC:
I figured that would happen when Trump won and they wanted to stop mass immigration to Canada.
Major Major Major Major
It should be noted that Prop 61 was opposed by the San Francisco Democratic Party, Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club, Stonewall Democrats, almost all labor groups, Kevin Drum, and all but three California newspapers offering endorsements, most of which said they were sad to have to endorse against it because they hated big pharma, but that it just wasn’t a good proposition.