The last three days have been the BUSIEST IN CAPITOL SWITCHBOARD HISTORY. By almost double. This is working. Keep it up and please RT.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) February 2, 2017
Sen. Bob Casey's office tells me constituent correspondence is up 900% year over year, 80,000 pieces of mail on Devos nomination alone
— Dorey Scheimer (@DoreyScheimer) February 2, 2017
What’s on the agenda as we wrap up another busy week?
In case you missed it, Reuters’ Editor-in-Chief on “Covering Trump the Reuters Way“:
… To state the obvious, Reuters is a global news organization that reports independently and fairly in more than 100 countries, including many in which the media is unwelcome and frequently under attack. I am perpetually proud of our work in places such as Turkey, the Philippines, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Thailand, China, Zimbabwe, and Russia, nations in which we sometimes encounter some combination of censorship, legal prosecution, visa denials, and even physical threats to our journalists. We respond to all of these by doing our best to protect our journalists, by recommitting ourselves to reporting fairly and honestly, by doggedly gathering hard-to-get information – and by remaining impartial. We write very rarely about ourselves and our troubles and very often about the issues that will make a difference in the businesses and lives of our readers and viewers.
We don’t know yet how sharp the Trump administration’s attacks will be over time or to what extent those attacks will be accompanied by legal restrictions on our news-gathering. But we do know that we must follow the same rules that govern our work anywhere, namely:
– Cover what matters in people’s lives and provide them the facts they need to make better decisions.
– Become ever-more resourceful: If one door to information closes, open another one.
– Give up on hand-outs and worry less about official access. They were never all that valuable anyway. Our coverage of Iran has been outstanding, and we have virtually no official access. What we have are sources.
– Get out into the country and learn more about how people live, what they think, what helps and hurts them, and how the government and its actions appear to them, not to us.
– Keep the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles close at hand, remembering that “the integrity, independence and freedom from bias of Reuters shall at all times be fully preserved.”
Never be intimidated, but:
– Don’t pick unnecessary fights or make the story about us. We may care about the inside baseball but the public generally doesn’t and might not be on our side even if it did.
– Don’t vent publicly about what might be understandable day-to-day frustration. In countless other countries, we keep our own counsel so we can do our reporting without being suspected of personal animus. We need to do that in the U.S., too.
– Don’t take too dark a view of the reporting environment: It’s an opportunity for us to practice the skills we’ve learned in much tougher places around the world and to lead by example – and therefore to provide the freshest, most useful, and most illuminating information and insight of any news organization anywhere…
BTW, we've just been inundated with orders for our Frederick Douglass volume and can't figure out why. https://t.co/JiA0XvL2hc pic.twitter.com/dRqXJuPElR
— Library of America (@LibraryAmerica) February 2, 2017
Greetings from South Florida. I have been told by many friends that they are writing to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), aka That Little Twerp, about DeVos and the immigration ban. More than one has said that this is the first time they’ve written but it won’t be the last.
We all pretty much thought that Trump would be the death of the GOP and he may still be, just not in the way we thought he would.
This is not the way I wanted it to go because the collateral damage is going to be immense & take generations to fix. On the other hand, his going down in flames in November might well have been excused as “he was not really a Republican”. Even the main stream press has not been able to ignore how the GOP has bent the rules the last couple of weeks for the tangerine tantrum.
re: Reuters coverage. Wonkette used this illustration
@Schlemazel: Oh yeah, they own him and all he does now, lock stock and barrel. Of course, if Bush couldn’t irreparably damage the Republican brand, I’m not so sure Trump can either.
What’s this I hear about mass firings at the Secret Service? Steve Clemons was tweeting about it but then he got on a plane and there’s been nothing further.
anymore word on the purge at the Secret Service?
Today in Alternative Facts: Kellyanne Conway blames refugees for ‘Bowling Green massacre’ that never happened
And then there is this little technicality:
@qwerty42: Trump would like that picture.
While he should have, Boy George never drew the attention of as many people as Trump. There should have been a protest at least as big after his installation by the USSC.
They scheduled a procedural vote on DeVos at 6:30 AM. They’re such cowards.
Those were written responses. She had a week to research her answers and she still submitted a fake number that was easily debunked by checking the schools own board report.
She’ll fit right in with that administration.
Today in Alternative Facts: Kellyanne Conway blames refugees for ‘Bowling Green massacre’ that never happened .
J Michael Neal
@rikyrah: I don’t know about a purge, but the agent in charge in Denver was suspended for a social media post in which she said she wouldn’t take a bullet for Trump and expressed support for Clinton. Honestly, I think she needs to be suspended for that. I don’t like Trump, but the Secret Service needs to stay out of politics, and it’s her job to take a bullet for him.
@Schlemazel: Hey now. Boy George is a talented artist and a very funny man. Don’t use his name to describe the worst president in recent history except for the current one.
63.6 percent = 100 percent. alternative fact. getcher math correct, will ya?
@Kay: Just alternative facts, Kay.
@J Michael Neal:
The Secret Service does more than just protect a President, but yeah, she should not have said that.
@Kay: btw, congrats. looks like dscc/dnc finally catched (so much easier to spell) a clue from you and spent some money on putting the proverbial boots on the ground. mebbe you should run for dnc/dscc head post.
@Kay: She handed in her work at the last minute, cut and pasted answers without attributing. It’s like she copied off her best friend’s paper that morning on the school bus. Unbelievable. Education Secretary.
The virtual schools are notoriously bad, which is why Murphy asked for written responses on them. DeVos was asked about them over and over because they’re notoriously bad and she’s been promoting them for a decade. She knew this. It was hotly debated at her (live) hearing a week prior.
100% grad rate would immediately raise eyebrows. It’s unbelievable.
They really excel on shameless lying, the Trump appointees. The lies are just blatant- like “fuck you, I’m not even bothering to pretend”
@Kay: Well, you gave them 100% for lying. That oughta count for something, right?
The whole process has been like this. People are wondering why the Secretary of Education caught so much flak and it’s because she was so bad that she stuck out even among Trump’s low quality appointees.
It started immediately, before she even spoke. For-profit colleges are a big issue – they have a horrible track record and she supports them. The woman who ushered DeVos into the room and sat immediately behind her for the whole hearing is a lobbyist for the colleges. The crack researchers on Twitter identified the lobbyist and it went all to shit from there. Bobby Jindal’s political group had to spend half a million dollars to run ads defending the Secretary of Education , which is just unheard of.
She will be, without a doubt, the most unpopular Secretary of Education in the history of the United States. I called Portman in Ohio on her and couldn’t get thru calling about every 10 minutes my whole lunch- 6 times.
@Kay: 100%? Where’s her ambition?
.If privatised education has taught us anything, it’s that giving (and graduating) 110% is a bare minimum.
@J Michael Neal:
Nope. Look in the Frederick Douglass post. There is something about a purge at the Secret Service
I saw that but what I would like them to do is not “put” boots on the ground but hire people who already live there. I don’t understand why they hire someone from Kentucky and send them to Ohio, for example. No national business would do this. If the DNC were a national company and they needed a 32k lower level employee in North Carolina they wouldn’t hire someone who lives in Massachusetts and send them to North Carolina. They already have Democratic activists in these places. Hire them and train them. I feel like it’s a control issue- they’re hoarding power. Disperse. Decentralize. Dole out some authority. There’s some institutional barrier to getting this done that no one is admitting. Someone is protecting turf.
Reuters is being too kind. I suspect that when the Trump ship starts sinking badly, the Brownshirts will come out with a vengeance. I mean they’ve parroted Hitler on every other front. It will keep going there till something really bad goes down and something really good happens (let us hope I’m not referring to a President Pence as good cause that would be fire => frying pan).
@J Michael Neal: Take a bullet for Trump? I would not blame her to be tying her shoe at that moment.
@Kay: It’s telling that these nominees have no fear of perjury, and the administration and the CBC ignore the courts. Reveals not just their state of mind, but their background, the environment they come from. And they are willing to work under a man with an untreated, out of control mental illness.
I’m no Arnold Schwarzenegger fan (well, some of his movies are fun), but telling Trump they can switch jobs, and Americans can get a good night’s sleep was great.
If there is any justice, DeVos will be Trump’s Bork.
It’s great that switchboards are humming, but it’s getting frustrating not being able to get through. Like many Americans I want the opportunity to strenuously object to Trump, his nominees, his policies, and as much as anything his disgusting and thoroughly objectionable behavior.
She’ll be the James Watts of education.
A Good Cartoon and David Willis note this inkstain from Lisa Benson.
The ” bad guys” are the anti-Trump protesters with the No Nazis sign!
This is exactly what national (and international) businesses do. They promise a local area a number of jobs in exchange for tax benefits and then send their own employees in for the well-paying jobs.
It’s funny because DeVos is the “mainstream” GOP pick. She was backed by Jeb Bush and Pence. This isn’t the best Trump can do- it’s the best the entire Republican Party can do. I think some of the outrage is because it’s insulting to people in the field. She could not be certified as a teacher in Ohio yet she’ll be travelling around scolding teachers. She has no credibility, no earned authority. I feel for them. You’re toiling away learning your job and here comes the boss, leap-frogging over probably millions of people who are more qualified. They would have been better off with a principal from a strong elementary school. THAT would have been “bold” and “ground breaking”. Appointing a well-connected billionaire who has been a dedicated GOP hack for 30 years is the opposite of “bold”. It’s just ordinary corruption.
@Kay: It’s always about power and dominance with these people, and nobody knows more about power and dominance then the people raised at the teat of the Amway cult. They make the evangelicals look like pikers when it comes to shamelessness.
@J Michael Neal:
Like so much of what is happening today this is not a “normal” situation.
First, the agent is well within reason to consider Trump to be an illegitimate president. Second, he is a horrible person and the world would be much, much better off without him. I don’t think an agent should publicly state that he or she wouldn’t take a bullet for the president, and it would be appropriate for her to request reassignment. Still, I wouldn’t blame her at all for not taking a bullet to save someone who is threatening to do so much damage to this country, its citizens and residents, and the rest of the world.
As horrible as Pence would be as president, it would be better if he replaced Trump who was unfit and unqualified to be president on November 8 and nothing has changed.
The agent should have insisted on a change of assignment if she was assigned to protect Trump, and she should not have made any public statements about her willingness or unwillingness to take a bullet for Trump regardless of what her assignment was.
Meanwhile Falwell Jr. is to lead an education task force (he says he turned down Sec of Ed). It’s dedicated to getting rid of Title X and federal oversight of colleges that mishandle sexual assault, and ending the new regulations that give students and their Pell Grants a little protection against predatory fraudulent colleges.
Organizers aren’t really “well paid”, though. That’s part of the reason they should hire local. Local people won’t have to find housing, move for the job, etc. They’d get a better mix of people too. It skews toward 25 year olds because those are the people who will move for what is a 12 dollar an hour job. They could expand the possible hires- retirees, stay at home parents, 2 part timers sharing one job. It just baffles me. If you’re planning on organizing a rural, AA county in North Carolina wouldn’t it make the most sense to hire a rural AA North Carolinian who is already an activist Democrat? That person already knows every Democrat in the county. Instead they send a paid 25 year old from Indiana who then has to rely on the local people anyway. The first thing organizers do is meet with locals who are activists. Just skip that step.
Oh, this fucking Sebastian Gorka. NPR is interviewing him regarding yesterday’s statement that Israel should stop building settlements. Twice, he’s said this is good and is a change from the policy (read mistakes) of the past 8 years.
ETA: Now he’s saying vetting immigrants is nothing more than a 60-minute session at the border.
I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the thugs did this.
@TriassicSands: I remember a worrisome photo of Candidate Trump having 2 SecSvc agents cover/secure him on a stage, and one agent’s face was caught in the pic. It showed a perfect look of concern, concentration, action and observation that seems straight out of Hollywood casting.
The agent who went public with “won’t take a bullet” has the reputation of her peers to think about. Even in an age of James Comey, or that Navy Humvee flying a Trump banner.
@Kay: Agreed. It is a mystery. Wonder what Tom Perez would say about this.
And good morning, all.
@debbie: Yeah, the giant corporation I worked for did.
I’ve never understood it. For Kerry 2004 our campaign organizer was from Louisville Kentucky. So we had a Kentucky 22 year old asking for direction from Ohio 22 year old volunteers who live here and they all gave him shit because he drove a Volvo. It’s like “there’s that stranger! I know because he’s driving a Volvo!” He was the boss. Why? To make the job much harder? Is it like the Peace Corps? They send people into the hinterlands? It just reinforces the notion that they have to send liberals “in” to these places. We have liberals! Not a lot but enough to hire one.
Now they’re making tougher noises about Crimea at the UN.
All over the map…
@amk: Speaking as a union thug, I am insulted by your equating Republicans with us. We have morals. We have a code.
@Aleta: I think you mean Title IX. Title X is funding for education for the homeless. Of course, they could do that, too.
Breaking: Toomey apparently caved and voted for DeVos. Time to make every single one of these bastards pay. Hang every single R senator with their approval of these crappy, corrupt cabinet nominees
@debbie: I wouldn’t bother spending a lot of time on our “new” Israel policy. It will change next week, depending on which foreign head of state he met with. He probably made some kind of deal with Jordan, in which he traded his position on Israel. We all know by know that he’ll screw over the person he “won” with. Or that the screwing over will be the win. He’ll reverse himself so he can make another deal.
@Kay: yep. And they’ll do that especially in “swing” districts or places they feel they have the best shot at winning. Meaning in politics, where established relationships mean quite a bit, they’ve actually weakened the organization.
On the plus side, though, if you’re like my district, picking one activist from the existing party would lead to a family feud. They know each other too well and there are some cliques.
@Kay: purity pony. :)
What do BJers think about some foreign policy pros saying Trump amending Obama sanctions on Russia are simply those sanctions that are “affecting imports of US electronics” and not related to helping FSB? I am not feeling reassured.
@Peale: Cliques within the Democratic Party? Unpossible.
Gin & Tonic
@bemused: “Technical modifications” or not, rolling back those sanctions while a serious military offensive is going on *right now* in the Donbas, and while the town of Avdiyivka is a humanitarian disaster area sends a very clear signal to both Putin and Ukraine. Realpolotik cynics can say “optics”, but real people are dying real death and this administration says “eh”.
La Caterina (Mrs. Johannes)
@Jeffro: That was just the committee vote to advance. All the Repubs have to vote for a nominee in committee or they won’t advance to a vote in the full senate because all the Dems on committee are voting against advancing. It’s still a ling shot to flip Toomey, but I wouldn’t rule it out as he’s in a swing state.
Paul in KY
@qwerty42: The scumbag probably likes it.
@Kay: I think you had it right when you said it’s about hoarding power. Even the Obama ’08 organization did that. I spent a good bit of my volunteer time helping the person they parachuted in find her way around Hicksville, FL. I can understand why they’d want to bypass the local party organizations, but there were and are young folks in the area who are highly enthused and willing to work for next to nothing.
@J Michael Neal: I understand the feeling, but that is why you have a brain and reason and duty to check the emotion. A Federal Government employee and military members take an oath to the Constitution and to obey the lawful orders of your superiors. That is one’s duty. You might work for an ass, but he is the ass giving the orders (but when he screws up, you are not going to be particularly helpful in unscrewing the pooch and may avail one self of the reporting violations of law and regulations, as well as waste, fraud, and abuse.)
If you are a Secret Service agent, you are being paid to put your body between the bullet and POTUS, who ever POTUS is. Write and call your Senators and Congressman about the bad policies and laws and appointments, but you still have to do your duty. And Social Media is not your friend. (Stick to cat and puppy videos.)
Talking to reporters and outside whistleblowers is a risky strategy. If it is classified information, even retroactively classified, one could face prosecution under the Espionage Act and various conspiracy statutes. And the reason the Obama administration began prosecuting people after leak investigations is that not necessarily they were more aggressive in prosecutions, but that the investigatory agencies, especially using tools provided by the Patriot Act, became more adapt discovering evidence in communications made by social media, text messaging, cell phone calls, and internet communications with reporters and groups like Wikileaks. Reporters themselves were not necessary to prove the leak so refusing to reveal the source did not protect the source when the telephone company would cough up the records of who had been calling the reporter and who he or she had called. Finally, if you do it, you will have to accept the possible consequences since you will be dealing Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, and James Comey’s FBI. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kiriakou#Trial.2C_sentence_and_imprisonment
Iowa Old Lady
I’m still reeling over Kellyanne Conway’s fabrication of a “massacre” in Bowling Green to justify the Muslim Ban. I’m going to have to learn to absorb outrages more quickly.
Paul in KY
@Kay: Either that kid had better pull up at HQ than any of your local people or maybe they considered it a lost cause & sent him as a sacrificial volunteer. Does sound strange.
Anyone heard anything about this special election in GA-6 (to replace Price)? Kos makes it sound winnable, but I’m not sure if I can trust that. Also there are three Dems running.
I think that would be an ex post facto law. But that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t try.
@Iowa Old Lady: Just close your eyes and say “emails” to yourself for 5 minutes. The feeling will pass.
@Iowa Old Lady: I think we’re all going to have to learn to absorb outrages and hack our way through thickets of lies more quickly. The outrages and lies work similarly to a denial of service attack, overwhelming our ability to process it all. They aren’t going to stop, so we have to adapt.
@liberal: Doubtful. Jon Ossoff should be able to win the primary, but special elections have low voter turnout.
@La Caterina (Mrs. Johannes): You really should see Toomey’s BS quote about how wonderful DeVos is – and that’s despite all this (via WaPo):
Bob Casey said even he was getting 900% the usual constituent contacts these days…Capitol Hill is so under siege that GOP MoCs are taking their phones off the hook and hiding from their voters…they’re canceling town halls…the Rs are going against not just the majority of American voters in many cases but even majorities in their own party (background checks for gun sales, just to name one instance)
This is due to big-donor Dark Money. Dark Money kept the GOP together all last year when the baton slowly passed to Trump…it had Cruz phone banking for the guy who slimed his dad and wife…it kept Rubio from going full-bore on Trump’s scandals…it got Jason Chaffetz back on board even though he “couldn’t look his wife and daughter in the eye” if he supported Trump. Now, it has clearly bought Betsy DeVos a cabinet seat despite her obvious incompetence and plaigiarism.
With this much money sloshing around, Rs don’t need to be responsive to their own voters, much less the needs of the country. With all this wacko Libertarian dough from the Kochs and Mercers and Thiel flying around, the imperatives of the .01% become everyone else’s imperatives, for the worse.
This has been building for quite a while and has many facets to it – like how Dark Money pays for, and is rewarded by, gerrymandering. But in the end, like with most things, this whole fucking mess…the fact that we are no longer a democracy…is about big-donor Dark Money.
I was never one to call, but I am trying to figure out how to do it everyday now.
Calling my Senators is easy, with regards to blocking nominees.
I need to figure out what to call my Rep about.
@JPL: Yeah, I know. The claim would be that Trump is so awful we could get our people out. Pretty reasonable to be skeptical about that, though.
@Iowa Old Lady: Just the facts Ma’am, just the alternative facts.
That could be a good thing if we get Democrats and aligned voters to actually turn out while the Republicans stay home.
@La Caterina (Mrs. Johannes): Of course he just won reelection while running away from Trump and promising to be a “check” on whoever was President. He also kept his granny starving, anti-Social Security views very quiet and local media took his press releases, rather than his reactionary voting record, as evidence that he has moderated. Voting for all of Trump’s cabinet nominees, particularly DeVos, Pruitt, Price, Mnuchin, Puzder show that the “moderation” was just a con. He got a lot of ads from the Koch brothers and a divided Democratic Party, the progressive faction that supported Joe Sestak, the populists working class that supported John Fetterman, and the establishment (which I think itself, in the form of Ed Rendell and Bob Casey, lacked enthusiasm) for Katie McGinity. http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20161118_Dissecting_the_Democrats_Pa__loss___We_failed_in_hearing_people__hearing_their_voices_.html
We should also not misunderstand and continue to underestimate Trump’s appeal to Northern White Working class. First, the “are they racist or they economically aggrieved” question is a false question. People become more racist and tribal as their economic situations and prospects decline. As they see their local opportunities disappear, and their communities decline, their resentment at those apparently doing well in cities and Government increases. Also the urge to kick down at those lower down the social order or who don’t look like you and your family and neighbors. Hence, Trump’s Muslim ban plays well with people whose only contact with Muslim Americans and immigrants from Middle East is what they see on Fox news and 15 years of wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. To the extent that Trump, Republicans, Toomey, et. al. can keep the narrative focused on “the Other,” they will win. John Fetterman teaches a good example of how to educate and reach people on how the “Ban” is a big con, that the real thing Trump is doing is taking the whole Government for the rich, and that Toomey’s vote for DeVos and the others is the proof of it and his his perfidy.
You’re right. We shouldn’t try because it won’t work anyway.
@OzarkHillbilly: Alternative facts, man. Alternative facts.
@liberal: There’s reason for optimism too.
More possible explanation of the Secret Service purge
I believe it.
@amk: Joy Reid is assuming that Republicans have any shame. They don’t and their supporters won’t demand that they decry anything Trump does — no matter how outrageous. Our side better be focused on flipping the Senate in 2018. The other side will support their Reps no matter what Trump does.
I couldn’t access this and many other websites on my phone. Any body have the same problem?
@Peale: I tend to think sending someone in as an organizer is a smart way to steer clear of the local turf wars and try to reseed dormant local groups. These aren’t permanent jobs, and when a local organization is doing well, they can move a non-local organizer to another community, where a local one may not be relocatable.
Spreading the word:
Easy action item from a friend: If you are disturbed about Steve Bannon’s presence on the National Security Council, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security is taking calls about Bannon’s appointment to the NSC. You can call 202-224-4751. You’ll get a voice mailbox as they are taking messages. You can just simply say that you strongly object to Bannon being on the National Security Council. The call takes about 45 seconds. Cut & paste to share.
@Paul in KY:
He was a lovely person. I called him the morning after the loss because I felt so bad for him. Then I was embarrassed because he was like “I’m okay… mom” :)
It wasn’t him I objected to. People pay attention to cars here so I admire anyone who cruises around in a Volvo :)
It’s just that it’s easy. Hire local. I know exactly who I would hire, even. My God, if she’ll work 40 hours a week as a volunteer imagine if they were paying her!
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Not quite – it’s always been tribes competing for jobs there. That’s how the steel mills run. Certain jobs are reserved for certain races. That’s why the my dad’s job on a platter mentality and why the region has been struggling to adapt to the new economy. And it’s also been pretty shitty in the Rust Belt economically too. My dad decided he needed to get out of Pittsburg in the ’50’s , the so called Golden Age, because the mills were closing.
Team Trump points to imaginary ‘Bowling Green Massacre’
02/03/17 08:00 AM—UPDATED 02/03/17 08:30 AM
By Steve Benen
Donald Trump and his White House team have had a fair amount of time to come up with compelling defenses for the president’s Muslim ban. So far, their rhetorical pushback isn’t going especially well.
Trump World said only 109 people were denied entry into the U.S. under the policy, but that number wasn’t true. They tried to argue President Obama did the same thing, but that wasn’t true, either. They said the policy had to be sprung on people in order to be effective, but that too wasn’t true. An Associated Press fact-check found a variety of other misstatements related to the controversial executive order.
But as the Washington Post noted, Kellyanne Conway appears to have taken her affection for “alternative facts” to a whole new level.
And if there had been a massacre in Bowling Green that went ignored by rascally news organizations, Trump’s White House counselor might have a credible point.
But the massacre “didn’t get covered” because it doesn’t exist.
This incident, which did get covered, is what Conway appears to be referring to: “In May , two Iraqi refugees living in Bowling Green, Ky., were charged with trying to send sniper rifles, Stinger missiles and money to the Qaeda affiliate in their home country. Neither of the men, Waad Ramadan Alwan, 30, and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 23, was charged with plotting attacks within the United States. A federal sting operation prevented the weapons and money from going to Iraq.”
The men were arrested, charged, and convicted. They’re both in federal penitentiaries now.
I checked out Washington Post this morning
Op-ed by BS, on how he can work with T
Headline: T plans to gut Dodd-Frank
And purity ponies who supported BS are
i) telling us how we need to understand T voters
ii) How our protests and phone calls amount to nothing and are counterproductive.
I’ll say it again..
He’s the Secretary of EXXON….
the rest of this means absolutely nothing to him.
Persecution of Putin opposition a test for Tillerson
Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia, talks with Rachel Maddow about dangers political opponents of Vladimir Putin face, and the increased anxiety with Putin admirer Donald Trump in the White House and Putin friend, Rex Tillerson installed as Secretary of State.
Suburban sunbelt districts are just a matter of time. So are small city/rural midwestern industrial districts going the other way.
@rikyrah: guessing lickspittle tweety let her get away that?
Team Trump puts Iran ‘on notice,’ won’t explain what that means
02/02/17 04:49 PM—UPDATED 02/02/17 05:00 PM
By Steve Benen
Mike Flynn, Donald Trump’s controversial National Security Adviser, appeared in the White House press briefing room to make a brief statement yesterday, declaring, “As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice.”
The president himself added on Twitter this morning Iran “has been formally PUT ON NOTICE for firing a ballistic missile.” Press Secretary Sean Spicer used the same phrase this afternoon with reporters.
The trouble is, no one seems able to say what “on notice” means in the context of U.S. foreign policy. Sure, we remember Stephen Colbert’s “on notice” board, but when it comes to the White House, it remains an unexplained mystery.
@schrodingers_cat: Fuck ’em.
I am done with Wilmer. He seems to be a benign mirror image of Bannon. Still a destroyer, with un? -intended consequences.
On the bowling green massacre thing… Don’t take the bait. Or take it but realize it needs to be gently wiggled off the hook. Its very much intended to increase coverage around the issue. I guarantee KAC wants to be called a fake-news liar. She wants to say “my goodness, so these animals that Trump’s eo would have kept out didn’t get to kill all the innocent people they wanted to, are you disappointed by that? Sometimes I think the leftists and their media are disappointed by that.”
This is the game, IMO, and its why I think we don’t only have to resist hard but smart.
@Elizabelle: I don’t think he is benign. His actions since his primary wins have been to wreck the Democratic party from within.
@rikyrah: Thank you. Phone call made. Easy peasy.
Just One More Canuck
@ThresherK: “Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything. 14% of people know that.” – Homer Simpson
I probably sound like a tin foil hat wearer but Devine is another Manafort. The targets of the Russian hacking at the beginning were the Wilmer crowd.
If s/he’s doing a good job, a “keep up the good work” is in order (and probably sorely appreciated!)
If s/he’s doing a lousy job, remind the Rep that 2018 is coming up and you intend to not only vote but donate your time, $$$, and talents to whomever best represents your views
@amk: You know he did. Kevin Drum calls out Chris Matthews. (Wonder if Matthews let it go because he was confused if there had been a massacre? More likely he wasn’t listening, though. As is his wont.)
Why Did the News Media Cover Up the Bowling Green Massacre? Why???
They’re gaslighting us. How dry do we keep our powder?
I agree. I was being sarcastic. There’s an awful lot of defeatism being trotted out and I think at least some portion of it isn’t exactly organic.
Gin & Tonic
@Elizabelle: His picture is next to “useful idiot” in the dictionary.
@MomSense: BS is Putin’s backup. FSB must have had a contingency plan don’t you think. T’s win was like shooting the moon in a game of hearts. BS would have continued undermining HRC’s agenda had she won by attacking her from the left.
P.S. Even right now they are undermining or at least trying to undermine the resistance.
State Department differs with White House on Holocaust statement
02/03/17 09:20 AM—UPDATED 02/03/17 09:33 AM
By Steve Benen
It never occurred to me this would still be a story a week later, and yet, here we are.
According to Politico’s report, the State Department’s Office of the Special Envoy on Holocaust Issues “prepared its own statement for International Holocaust Remembrance Day.” As it has in the past, the department’s statement commemorated the Holocaust’s Jewish victims.
The White House chose to issue its own statement, which obviously went in a different direction.
@MomSense: You are not a tinfoil hat wearer.
You are a pink pussyhat wearer (and knitter! Go tricoteuses!)
Wilmer was a hard lesson for the Democratic party, but best to learn it now.
I adore the idea of the cowardly Marco Rubio starting to sweat.
The Secret Service will absolutely do their best to protect Trump. It’s their sworn duty, and the assassination of Trump would unleash untold disorder and violence while setting a terrible precedent in American politics.*
*Until the first time he lays hands on the nuclear football. Then the closest agent will shoot him in the head.
TPM has a write up of her whining that it was an honest mistake. She’s trying to deflect from her lie.
These people need to catch up to the fact that they are not in campaign mode any more. Every lie will be highlighted and called out now, they are the man, and everyone is gunning for them, even the fawning DC courtiers are being forced to notice the lies.
@rikyrah: Just cut and pasted this onto FB and Twitter – thanks!
@schrodingers_cat: What’s FSB? Is it Fucking Steve Bannon?
@Elizabelle: Putin’s spy organization.
At this point, ignoring the purity ponies is probably for the best.
1. They’re either ratfuckers for the other team
2. Or they’re easy marks for the ratfuckers
If you know they’re number 2, then you can try to bolster them to do something actually productive instead of mope and whine, but for those in category 1, arguing with them is just a waste of time, pisses off legitimate Bernie Bros who are now in the fight with use, and serves to demoralize our side.
@Elizabelle: of course, the mofo didn’t call out her lie. Being ignorant, one can possibly overlook, though he is supposed to be a fucking ‘journo’, but utter lack of curiosity ? He couldn’t ask her what ‘massacre’ was that and could she tell the viewers? Overpaid white hacks.
@schrodingers_cat: Yeah, maybe time for some pink hats to go shout at Mr. Shouty. He is a fucking loose cannon, and his followers swallowed a lot of rightwing lies, whether they want to believe it or not.
@schrodingers_cat: Oh. Thanks.
They lie casually. Every day. Remember how they said Trump was tired after a long day so lost his shit with Australia? It was 5 PM. These are the same people who made a meme out of Clinton not having “stamina”. Clinton’s health was given 13X the coverage that Trump’s unfitness for the job was given. So the bullshit worked and it’s still working. Why would they quit?
He can opine as much as he likes, but only his loyal acolytes give a shit about what he has to say.
Fuck Wilmer, we don’t care what you have to say.
Two interesting data points on the immigration EO:
1. Gallup polled it and both the ban on people from specific countries and the ban on refugees had a majority in opposition (one was 55% and the other was 59%, but I don’t recall which was which). This result almost certainly was influenced by the immediate and nationwide protests. (Just like opinions on the ACA were affected by the Tea Party.) One more reason to keep up the protests and pressure.
2. I saw the Gallup numbers in a sports story this morning in the WaPo, which focused on the U.S. National Soccer Team’s (entirely negative) response to the EO. When it’s getting covered in the sports pages, that’s good news.
I hate to nitpick on ethics since now we have no ethical standards at all, but the entire Trump Family stood behind those bullshit “folders” that supposedly proved they had transferred property to The Boys.
Propublica said nothing had been filed in the states where the business interests were located.
Were they lying again? At what point does their credibility just become a total joke? Are we at 90% lies from these people now?
I think the protests may have actually moved public opinion towards the refugees. “Keeping us safe from scary terrorists” used to be a gimmee for the GOP. It should be more popular. That should be slam dunk territory. They’re under-performing on fear-mongering.
That doesn’t actually make her unique. This is virtually every government department that isn’t military or law enforcement (though even then, we’ll see how long that lasts). The people in the State Department, EPA, HUD (Christ, especially HUD) are going to spend the next four or eight years being ordered around by people who don’t know a fucking thing about the job and are certain they can do it better than the people who’ve made a career out of it.
(This is, to be clear, not exceptional in and of itself – all departments are run by political appointees – but they usually have enough sense to pay attention to their underlings. This is the GOP “experts are all pointyheaded elitists, anyway” ethos on steroids).
Gin & Tonic
@Elizabelle: New name for KGB. It stands for “Federal’naya sluzhba bezopasnosti” or “Федеральная служба безопасности” which translates as Federal Security Service (Russian doesn’t use initial capital letters as much as English.)
Unearned. Like everything else he gets. I’m actually relieved the propaganda corps didn’t release fake numbers. You know they will. KellyAnne and Spicer will be out there lying to beat the band.
Tenar Arha (same Tenar, more Nameless Ones)
My rep in Massachusetts is holding a telephone town hall tonight and I have questions about how this works.
1) What’s it like? A conference call/Skype session in an auditorium?
2) should I get there early? It’s scheduled to start at 7… an hour? More? (I’ve seen the news about other recent town halls).
3) It’s my first event of this type with a Representative, because not a joiner. What should I be doing? (I guess I should prepare a “just in case there’s an opportunity” question, but there’s so much).
uh uh uh
Formerly known as the KGB, which Vlad used to be the head of, once upon a time.
@schrodingers_cat: Wilmer is the new Lieberman!! Not of the party, but willing to destroy it.
It’s not working anymore, they are getting hammered everyday, his approval numbers are already nose diving. They don’t have the benefit of Hillary there to distract the media, it’s all Shitgibbon all the time, his Twitler bullshit, his unqualified nominees, his lies, Spicer and Spokes Cobra’s lies, his fucking up the simplest of tasks like the Holocaust Remembrance statement. Even the stuff that is supposed to drown out the previous day’s fuck ups is not succeeding in getting yesterday’s bullshit flushed down the memory hole. It turns out that when you are the focus of all the attention, (his greatest wish come true), there is still enough time too revisit the old shit, and enough people pissed off about it to keep them engaged and watching. The WH correspondents may chase a new shiny object everyday, but enough people and media are still kicking up a stink that the stories aren’t just disappearing. Where we are getting fucked is on the EO and the stuff congress is doing to undo the 20 th century. He’s losing, but so are we. His erstwhile allies in the business community are just waking up to the fact that he screws everyone he deals with, everyone, so now that is another front he will have to fight. There is one thing I can guarantee, when the money becomes unhappy, Ryan and the rest of the spineless pieces of shit that make up the republican majorities will turn on him. you don’t mess with the moneymen.
@schrodingers_cat: I think BS was the Russian plan. Trump was much more like a “holy shit, that happened; might as well change the plan completely since Americans were so dumb.”
Remember, Devine was with BS from early on. The Manaforts and Pages only joined Trump after he had basically won the nomination. Manafort originally came onboard to manage the convention.
OF COURSE, they were lying again, Kay.
98% of the time, Kay.
Gin & Tonic
@hovercraft: You know, fuck her. They wanted to play in the bigs, so here you are. This is like when the rookie gets a 98 mph fastball an inch under his chin and the pitcher just shrugs. That’s life now, you don’t like it, go back to fucking Podunk.
I think it’s a bad idea to introduce this notion that people don’t need training and experience.
It devalues work. The premise behind this is amazingly arrogant. It says that people learn NOTHING of value from YEARS of experience. Why stick with anything and bother to get good at it? Why go out of your way to haul your ass to the community college after work? DeVos just got hired with a 30 year old bachelor’s degree and no training or experience of any kind after that.
You know what it is? It’s elitist. It says certain people can do any job. Part of DeVos’ duties will be traveling to places like Cleveland and telling displaced workers to “skill up for the 21st century” She did NONE of that. Their actions conflict directly with their scolding lectures. it’s the height of elitism. It’s based on some inherent notion of superiority.
@Kay: Or not. I’ve been fear mongered to believe this may be the end of language.Nobody believes anybody. “Had we deteriorated to the level of dumb beasts?” Yes.
Now you listen up, and you listen good. Because I am only going to tell you this about elebenty more times. You keep that dry powder dry. You unnerstand? Dryer than dry, dammit! That powder better be so dang dry that when the time comes for it to not be dry any longer you will respond, “But sir! It’s too damned dry!”
And I will reply, “Correct, PFC Wannamaker! Fore that is how we must keep it!”
@Corner Stone: Things I don’t want to hear
2. Game theory
@hovercraft: I got tired of typing my post about not taking Conway’s bait, but the mlk bust equivalence was entirely predictable too.
Everything they say is designed to undermine the idea of truth and objectivity itself and force people to fall back on what’s in their hearts. That tweet actually means “yes, I uttered what you call a untruth, for the same reasons the liberal media uttered the untruth about mlk bust.” What those reasons are is deliberately obscured, to one side it means she is saying she is claiming to have made an honest mistake, to the other side she is saying she is deliberately lying because this is a war and she’s on the side of the whites.
I went to school with the straussians.
White House Aide Won’t Say If Trump Even Considers Islam A Religion
By Allegra Kirkland Published February 3, 2017, 10:04 AM EDT
A senior White House aide refused to confirm that President Donald Trump believes that Islam is a religion in a Friday NPR interview.
Sebastian Gorka, a former Breitbart national security editor who left his post as a Fox New contributor to become a deputy assistant to Trump, first evaded the question and then said he couldn’t speak for the President.
“Morning Edition” host Steve Inskeep mentioned that Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn last year referred to Islam as a “cancer” that “hides behind being a religion” before asking point-blank if the President considered Islam a religion.
Gorka said that the press paid insufficient attention to two speeches Trump gave on the campaign about “radical Islamic terrorism” and that the addresses “tell you everything you need to know.”
“What is the phrase he uses again and again? It’s not Islam,” Gorka said. “It’s not a discussion about Islam as a religion or not a religion; it’s about radical Islamic terrorism. We are prepared to be honest about the threat; we’re not going to white it out, delete it as the Obama administration did. We understand that groups like ISIS have a religious verbiage. Their justification for violence is always religion.”
“Forgive me, I understand what you’re saying, but does the President believe that Islam is a religion?” Inskeep pressed.
“I think you should ask him that question,” Gorka replied. “I’m not a spokesperson for the President. I’m a deputy assistant to him. But I would say that’s a misreading of everything he said in the last 18 months.”
Gorka was a paid policy consultant to the Trump campaign who officially joined the administration in January.
The inherent notion of superiority=inherited wealth
Can’t wait to see what the new Iran sanctions are! It’s like they somehow want WWIII or something.
Ivanka did NOT divest either.
Ivanka Trump Also Promised to Resign From Family Business, And Hasn’t Filed Paperwork
President Trump’s eldest daughter said she’d give up management of her businesses. We checked.
by Derek Kravitz and Al Shaw
ProPublica, Feb. 2, 2017, 3:24 p.m.
PS-what about Kushner?
People’s opinions on issues are affected by the opinions of others around them. (There’s longstanding work in communications theory on this, although really it’s not a surprise.) The second thing nearly everyone heard about the EO was that there were protests about it everywhere, essentially instantly. That had to move the needle.
hedgehog the occasional commenter
@rikyrah: Done! Thanks.
Trump Is Getting Advice On Women In The Workplace…From Two Guys
By Kristin Salaky Published February 3, 2017, 9:57 AM EDT
President Donald Trump will be advised on women in the workforce — by two male executives.
The Trump administration has selected two male CEOs to advise Trump on women in the workforce as part of a meeting with business leaders Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Doug McMillon, chief executive of Wal-Mart, and Mark Weinberger, chief executive of EY, will advise Trump on the issues, though it’s not clear what exactly they’ll be discussing. Additional topics include “regulation” and “infrastructure,” according to the Journal.
The meeting is part of the “President’s Strategic and Policy Forum” led by Stephen Schwarzman, chief executive of the private equity group Blackstone.
Travis Kalanick, CEO and Co-founder of Uber, was also part of this group but announced Thursday that he would no longer participate after backlash against the ride-sharing company.
Going forward the focus should be the Republican party. It is clear what T or those behind him want.
Destruction of American institutions and global prestige. This is not good for American businesses in the short or long term.
hedgehog the occasional commenter
@schrodingers_cat: Screw Wilmer and the unicorns. I. Am. Done. With. Them.
Major Major Major Major
@hovercraft: if he’s not a spokesman for the president why is he out there acting as a spokesman for the president.
It’s not even GOOD gaslighting. We’re being led to the slaughterhouse by a bunch of nincompoops.
@schrodingers_cat: While I do not want to distract you from the gaslighting, it is clearly time for some Game Theory, y’all.
On Trump holding on to his businesses, this is good: Trump Is Violating the Constitution
@Corner Stone: I have a book called, Chicken from Minsk, which is full of clever math/physics puzzles. That should help me right?
BREAKING: you can now donate to the Bowling Green Massacre Fund…
…and it’ll lead you straight to the ACLU donation page. =)
Major Major Major Major
@Corner Stone: I hadn’t seen SC’s comment yet, and I do generally dislike the preponderance of ‘gaslighting’ use even as I spontaneously use the word myself. What are some synonyms?
As for the game theory thing, what the everloving fuck was that all about? It read like a coke-fueled 19-year-old at 3am had been reading bad spy thrillers. And why did so many people share it? And who was it even by?
Kay, have you seen more detail on this? Is it clear they’re hiring people and sending them places vs hiring locals? What I read I wasn’t clear on the specifics.
@schrodingers_cat: OMG. They got to you. They got to SC.
Major Major Major Major
He’s with us on everything but the continued existence of a recognizable country!
@Major Major Major Major:
They need to keep asking his people about this, because the non answers are exposing them for what they are.
Trump tweets about terror attack that wasn’t, but still has nothing to say about attack on Muslims
By Joan McCarter
Friday Feb 03, 2017 · 10:20 AM EST
Friday morning a guy wielding a machete ran toward a group soldiers and security guards outside the Louvre in Paris and was promptly shot. No one other than the would-be attacker was harmed. Popular vote loser Donald Trump wakes up to that news and, of course, pulls out his phone. Not to call Paris. To tweet.
Which is about as true as the Bowling Green massacre. When a real massacre happens, though, radio silence. Probably because of who was attacked.
On Sunday night, a gunman opened fire on a mosque in suburban Quebec City, leaving six people dead and many others wounded. Local authorities have since charged 27-year-old Canadian citizen Alexandre Bissonnette with murder and attempted murder for his alleged role in the attack. […]
On Trump’s famed social media accounts, a bullhorn the president often uses to communicate with millions of followers, the attack in Quebec City does not appear to have been mentioned at all.
Trump’s personal Twitter account has posted 16 times since the shooting, and the official POTUS account on the same service tweeted or retweeted other messages 30 times. Neither mentioned the Quebec City attack as of Wednesday afternoon. During the same period, a Facebook account linked to Trump posted at least 20 times. It also had not mentioned the shooting by Wednesday.
But no, the “administration” insists, the Muslim ban isn’t about Muslims.
@Major Major Major Major: Someone shared it here like it was a gospel type revelation and my first reaction was, “That dude sounds stupid”.
That was my first encounter of it but it got hammered far and wide the next couple days. It was awful enough to be funny at first, but then the “time for some game theory” meme caught and I was powerless to resist.
@Gin & Tonic: She wants everyone to go after Zeke Miller for his tweet about the MLK bust being removed, but she’s not saying that he immediately corrected the tweet and apologized for it.
This morning she’s also saying that Trump’s appointment of a woman to be Deputy Director of the CIA was the first appointment of a woman to that position. That’s wrong, Obama appointed Avril Haines who served in that position(2013-2015). Most people couldn’t get away with this level of lying and/or incompetence at their jobs.
They are using the welfare attack against immigrants.
To specify, I believe what used to be known as the KGB was broken in two after the fall of the USSR. FSB carries on what used to be the KGB’s foreign operations, SVR carries on their domestic ones. Presumably this was done to follow the standard most liberal democracies have of “don’t combine the central government’s foreign intelligence and homeland police arms into one body.”
(By contrast, GRU, the KGB’s military counterpart, has never been broken up and continues to function to this day. From what I understand, they’re supposed to be the really super-hardcore types in the bunch).
@Corner Stone: What do you think of this theory, that I am just gaslighting you using a distraction. Are you game?
@hovercraft: I’m still not sure what the U.S. needs to get smart about when it’s one guy with a knife. In France.
ETA, if we’re going to have policy changes because some guy in France has a knife…holy shit the whole culinary scene is about to become radicalized.
Btw great long read: We Should Have Been Afraid of “Brave New World, not 1984”
Neil Postman’s books are just awesome – insightful as all get out. Glad to see his son’s cast in the same mold.
Major Major Major Major
@Corner Stone: it was completely asinine. There was a Slate article that was 50% a hilarious polemic against it that then lapsed into a polemic against the Democratic Party for not seeing Wilmer’s obvious greatness. I would have shared it if I could somehow have only shared the first half. It’s by an author who always manages to get me that way. Every article, first half well-written, incisive take on the issue, second half Hillary-bashing.
@schrodingers_cat: I generally don’t find distraction in playing games. However, in theory, when the world collapses we may have more time to play neath the gas lit torches.
Putin’s goal is simple. Revenge. He wants the United States to be the laughing stock of the world, just like Russia became after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Someone may have mentioned this already, but Frederick Douglass’s autobiography is available online at Gutenberg . Not that you wouldn’t want to own and display your very own printed version.
@hovercraft: Welfare worked to reelect Reagan, terror to reelect Bush. They’re sticking with the classics.
Trump keeps lunging toward that poor woman beside him at the table while he is speaking. She must be deathly afraid he’s going to try and kiss her. It’s bizarre.
FYWP won’t let me edit, so let me correct that – FSB is the domestic one, SVR is the foreign one.
FYWP is the most mysterious of their agencies, but reliable analysts believe it to be the Kremlin’s attempt to create a sort of digital gremlin that went horribly wrong, killed all its handlers, broke out of its containment facility, and now infests innocent blogs all over the world by inflicting non-lethal but immensely frustrating acts of mischief.
@Just One More Canuck: Well played.
I agree completely with all of this – I’m just saying that it’s been a staple of right wing ideology for years if not decades at this point, and that it seems to be especially prevalent under Trump. I find it odd, therefore, that DeVos is the one who’s getting singled out. Not that she doesn’t richly deserve it.
@Chris: And another well-played to you.
House Republicans vote to expand gun access for mentally impaired
02/03/17 10:07 AM—UPDATED 02/03/17 10:26 AM
By Steve Benen
When an American suffers from a severe mental illness, to the point that he or she receives disability benefits through the Social Security Administration, there are a variety of limits created to help protect that person and his or her interests. These folks cannot, for example, go to a bank to cash a check on their own.
If congressional Republicans have their way, these impaired people will, however, be able to buy a gun. USA Today reported:
While GOP proponents of the bill argued that it’s unfair to limit the rights of the mentally disabled, Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), among others, explained, “These are not just people having a bad day…. These are people with a severe mental illness who can’t hold any kind of job or make any decisions about their affairs.”
This did not prove persuasive to Congress’ far-right majority, which supported the measure that enjoyed the enthusiastic backing of the National Rifle Association.
another day, another drama. twitler sanctions Iran.
guess his ODS is incurable .
Nancy Letourneau pointed to this yesterday.
The Trump administration wants to revamp and rename a U.S. government program designed to counter all violent ideologies so that it focuses solely on Islamist extremism, five people briefed on the matter told Reuters.
The program, “Countering Violent Extremism,” or CVE, would be changed to “Countering Islamic Extremism” or “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism,” the sources said, and would no longer target groups such as white supremacists who have also carried out bombings and shootings in the United States.
In other words, Trump doesn’t think you should concern yourself with the people like this:
Image of Dylan Roof.
Instead, he wants you to be fearful about the fact that you have a 1 in 3,638,587,094 chance of being killed by a terrorist refugee.
Major Major Major Major
@Chris: fun fact: WordPress powers (for lack of a better term) a plurality of the world’s websites, IIRC.
I fucking love that closing phrase. Dude, in matters of counterterrorism, you are the U.S. Anything that goes tits-up right now is on you, not Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama or the Lamestream Media or some amorphous vaguely defined “liberal elite.” You’re not in opposition anymore.
@Tenar Arha (same Tenar, more Nameless Ones):
I don’t know the specifics of your town hall, but usual a “telephone” town hall is not something you go to. Instead, you call a telephone number that is set up to allow many people to be on a conference call. You can hear the main speaker(s) in real time, and there may be some (primitive) capability to get in the queue to ask a question or make a comment.
As I said, I don’t know the specifics of your situation. Maybe your rep is combining a telephone town hall with a physical meeting. Seems like you should get more information before you go to the physical location. If it were me, I’d stay home and listen on the phone.
Major Major Major Major
@Chris: it just makes me think of Get Smart. Remember Get Smart?
@Major Major Major Major: Where is he on the proposed gutting of Dodd-Frank.
After approaching two decades of Mooslem, Mooslems everywhere, I think the potency of this one has been greatly diminished. They tried to scare people into rejecting Obama twice, but he won. Hillary was not defeated by the notion that she couldn’t keep us safe, it was other things that cost her, Comey, Russia, MAGA ,gender, race and most of all stupid gullible morons. Incompetence on the level already being displayed by this band of morons, combined with the real hurt people will suffer, are going to be hard to distract people from. They would need a massive attack, and the democrats could rightly say, Obama kept us safe.
@OzarkHillbilly: If W was the cyanide in the headache remedy, I hope/fear Trump will be the weight loss candy named AYDS.
@hovercraft: After re-reading the twit, I am starting to wonder if maybe he and Mark Burnett have a new TV series coming out as a reboot of the Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 show Get Smart. And this is somehow free PR for it.
GET SMART U.S.
Starring Donald J. Trump as Maximum Smart. Also starring Ivanka Trump as Agent 69.
The duo travel around the US looking for brown or swarthy type threats while also scouting new hotel locations. Product placement hijinx abound as they threaten different companies with sanctions if they don’t go along with their investigations.
@Major Major Major Major:
The 2008 movie with Steve Carell? Yeah, I saw that one.
… sorry, I’ll get off everybody’s lawn now.
does Dolt45 know how to read?
people are seriously asking this.
a comment from a discussion on another blog:
Major Major Major Major
@schrodingers_cat: my news search isn’t turning anything up, but lots of items about how he’ll be ‘debating’ Ted Cruz about Obamacare. Helpful!
@Major Major Major Major: Hey! I was typing! That’s not really a remarkable coincidence but at the same time it does make me kind of question my whole worldview and purpose for being.
I’ve seen a couple of tweets in the past 12 hours about a purge of managers at the secret service. Anyone see anything about that??
This has been going on with the fundigelicals for a while now. The Persimmon Piss-Ant is playing right along with them. If Islam is not a religion, then there are no 1st Amendment rights to those American citizens practicing Islam. Therefor they would not have any guaranteed religious civil rights.
@Major Major Major Major: Isn’t Wall Street millyunahs and billyunahs his pet issue
I know, but that’s what he’s finding so unfair about this whole presidenting gig, people keep looking to him to fix shit, then when he does they bitch about his fixes. It was so much more fun and easier when he just got to lob grenades.
@Major Major Major Major:
Maxell Smart was a lovable bumbling buffoon whose heart was in the right place, and he always bumbled into the right place. This moron’s intentions are bad, and he is a malicious, vicious evil doer.
Trump and his Republican allies cling to the ‘paid protester’ myth
02/03/17 10:46 AM
By Steve Benen
Progressive activists have been very active in Colorado of late, pressuring Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), among others, to break with his party’s far-right agenda. “It’s just been a fire hose,” the Republican senator said this week.
But Gardner doesn’t seem especially moved by the public outcry. The CBS affiliate in Denver reported, “Gardner said his office is getting so many calls and emails, his has staff assigned to do nothing except respond to them. In one night, his office received 3,000 voicemails. Many of them were from what Gardner calls paid protesters from other parts of the U.S.”
I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest the protesters have been paid, but it’s apparently the assumption Gardner is making to dismiss the progressive activism in his home state – which Donald Trump lost by five points in November.
The conservative Coloradan isn’t alone. Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) press secretary told the Miami Herald the senator’s office was unconcerned with “paid protestors.”
First, I’m deeply amused by the very idea of “professional anarchists.” I also wish that had been the name of my band in high school.
Second, this is common in authoritarian thinking. When the public rallies in support of the leader, those citizens deserve to be celebrated. When the public rallies in opposition to the leader, those citizens should be dismissed as corrupt and ignored.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques:
That’s how the steel mills ran. There really aren’t any here anymore (well, maybe one or two owned by USX, but vastly smaller and with very small crews). Most of the steel industry here now is only finishing mills and they are small. But the mentality still exists, as my neighbors parrot this stupidity about bringing back big steel in all their crowing about Dolt 45. As I keep saying to them, what Big Steel? The mills shut down thirty years ago and the land they sat on sold and developed. The old Homestead works is a giant shopping mall/entertainment complex now.
Saw the original ones in the Frederick Douglass post. Then, I posted something up above from someone who surmised that Secret Service must report illegal activity that they witness, but Dolt45’s PRIVATE GOON SQUAD DOES NOT.
Outside of that, nope..nothing else yet.
The game theory one cracks me up at this point. I’ve seen people use it before posting pet pics. Or a toddler doing something silly. (Not Trump. Some other toddler.)
@Jeffro: Yeah. Saw that. Now resolved to read Brave New World. On my screen.
To all: thanks for the info on FSB. Much obliged.
So, now, they can determine what IS and IS NOT a religion?
Mel Brooks would never allow the shitgibbon anywhere near his material, Get Smart is a classic, and he knows the anything he touches turns to shit. Maybe Brooks would consider writing a new series for them, EVERYTHING THEY TOUCH TURNS TO SHIT
Oh you young uns ;-(
I’ll be 50 this year so now I can claim to have the wisdom of one whose life is already half lived. The TV series Get Smart was so much better.
@rikyrah: Soon they will be telling us that Judaism is an ethnicity. Hindus are devil worshipers.
@rikyrah: I really hope when Trump goes down it takes all the Trump family and hangers-on with them.
In more upbeat news, Nordstrom dumped Ivanka Trump’s clothing line.Said it wasn’t performing well.
@Yarrow: I’m going to the DNC Open Forum in Detroit tomorrow. They’re asking for questions in advance — I’ll send one about their hiring strategy for organizers, and see what we can find out.
So, basically, somebody took Trump by the hand like he was a sulky six-year-old and forced him to make an official call to Canada after the massacre, but nobody can make him tweet if he doesn’t feel like it.
Christ, what an asshole.
Major Major Major Major
@schrodingers_cat: sure is! You’d think he would be out in front of this, not promoting a teevee debate about healthcare.
@hovercraft: I just meant that it made me think of that, sheesh. I was certainly not comparing Donald to Maxwell.
@Major Major Major Major:
That was always one of my pet peeves about Wilmer, he has his hobby horses, but basically ignores everything else. The world could be on fire and he’ll be out there railing about millionaires and billionaires. He lacks the ability and or the desire to walk and chew gum. That said I guess it’s appropriate that two powerless attention whores should debate Obamacare, no one will care, and it will be meaningless to everyone but their followers.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@rikyrah: Firing the managers because they dared allowed am employe of their grumble about Beloved Leader sounds about the speed of this clown factory.
@Yarrow: the important thing is that Republicans be included in the “all the hangers-on.”
Trump and the Republicans
Trump and the Republicans
Trump and the Republicans
The Republicans and Trump.
That’s usually how it goes.
The movie does have some funny moments, like the terrorist mastermind trying to make a nuclear blackmail threat to the U.S. government only to be put on hold. “You have reached the United States Department of Homeland Security. For threats against the continental United States, press 1. For threats against Hawaii, press 2. For threats against Puerto Rico…”
Gin & Tonic
@schrodingers_cat: You know, if they declare Scientology not a religion, I may go along.
@Corner Stone: Didn’t Mark Burnett introduce Trump yesterday at the prayer breakfast?
Question: Is there any organized campaign to boycott Mark Burnett shows? I haven’t heard of one. Seems like a good idea. He’s part of the problem.
People might want to go to this site…it is for technical problems but in the dropdown menu for “what problem did you encounter” there is a checkbox for “malicious user”. So I clicked on it and described it as Kellyann Conway lying about Bowling Green. Also included Chris Matthews as not malicious but unacceptable.
Well, devil worship is a religion, kind of.
Neiman Marcus follows Nordstrom’s.
at some point, ivanka might realize her dear daddy is turning her brand too into shit.
Curious that the VA lists but no longer pictures its approved ‘symbol of belief’ for government headstones of Muslims.
Wikipedia seems not to mention the “copyright violation” the VA claims and has no problem picturing the symbol.
Major Major Major Major
@Chris: satanism has absolutely been found to be a religion, in numerous first amendment cases.
Fredrick Douglass’ autobiography is also available for the Kindle for free at Amazon.
@janeform: Thank you! Please report what you find out if you get a chance.
@OzarkHillbilly: We need to hammer them on the White Nationalist/Nazi connection, at every turn, from now to eternity.
GOP Politician: Republican values…
US: Republicans literally put Nazis in the White House
GOP Politician: Democrats are the worst…
US: Remember that time when Republicans openly worked with Nazis
Etc. x infinity
Well, the crescent and star one (number 17) is still there. Huh. Curious.
Also, I love that Thor’s Hammer is an option.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
I don’t think it’s having the vapors and grandstanding observing “Trump is clearly incompetent, quite possibly has dementia” gets threw to the Trumptalriat far more than “Trump is a racist”. We do want to win this one for real and as Obama says “teaching moment” were we can show the Conservatard mind what is wrong with this thinking (the subtext being “only a damn senile fool is a racist, so are you a racist?”)
QFT. Yes. This. And don’t forget:
Republican President Trump
Donald Trump, Head of the Republican Party
Repetition works. Let’s keep tying them together. Republicans = Trump.
@Yarrow: I brought a Mark Burnett boycott up to the grabyourwallet folks, but it didn’t seem to go anywhere. They didn’t bother to add it to the FYI tab.
Reader comment by David from Australia, on Paul Krugman column (Donald the Menace) in the Fuck the Fucking New York Times:
And never releasing any tax returns.
@Yarrow: Will do.
Yes, curious indeed, as the blank one is the only one which mentions the word Islamic.
Major Major Major Major
@NotMax: it’s there for me.
@NeenerNeener: Well, maybe they’re more focused on actual Trump properties and businesses. Mark Burnett is once removed. I wonder if there’s another group/organization that would take it up?
Burnett has to have dirt on Trump. That’s why he didn’t release anything from Celebrity Apprentice and clamped down hard on everyone who works or has worked there. He’s a big part of this problem. I think he needs to feel consequences.
@OzarkHillbilly: oh, so that’s what the “Bowling Green massacre” references in my FB feed were all about! I can’t keep up with all the alt-history flying around.
@Major Major Major Major
#98? All the way down at the bottom?
Major Major Major Major
@NotMax: I stopped scrolling in the teens when I saw the one labeled “Muslim.”
Gin & Tonic
@NotMax: #17 shows for me, #98 says it’s copyright-restricted.
Didn’t go through all the comments, but two thoughts about why the DNC might import workers to other states : There may be a somewhat complex vetting process, and/or the complexities of legit employee status. There may be training that these people receive that the party can’t insure without physically sending a trainer. Just a thought. Probably it is just stupid bureaucratic stupidity. I wonder who one could ask about it?
Gin & Tonic
@NotMax: Anyway, it’s not a recent development. Here’s a nearly 10-year-old discussion of the topic.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@Bupalos: Turn it on her
“The Band the Monkeys already apologized for the Bowling Green Massacre. As was concluded at the time it was a pure misadventure, badly wired amps and one of the caterers happened to be Muslim. Can we allow the victim’s some closer Kelly?”
She has her alternative facts, so can we.
@Gin & Tonic
I plan to check back from time to time to see if #17 gets whitewashed under the new regime.
@schrodingers_cat: Wilmer and his rabid cult are my enemies.
Tenar Arha (same Tenar, more Nameless Ones)
@Chris: Oh, you mean “What is sexism for $1000 Alex?”
But seriously, DeVos is absolutely thoroughly unqualified & a quid pro quo hire, but women always get more tripped up by the unconscious requirements to be qualified & perfect compared to men. Ben Carson or Pudzer or Mnuchin or Price all fail to pass from lack of qualifications or lying or corruption, but I’m guessing there’s much less vitriol focused towards them. DeVos is actually a “bigger & better target” simply because she’s a woman.
Major Major Major Major
@Tenar Arha (same Tenar, more Nameless Ones): people are also more viscerally affected by the idea of somebody like that at Education instead of HUD (which they’ve never heard of) or Energy (what do they even do?).
@schrodingers_cat: I would include actions before and during the primary as well. I think he was part of the rodent procreating for Trump from day 1.
@Betty Cracker: If so, what should we be doing? Giving a Dem candidate money?
@Tenar Arha (same Tenar, more Nameless Ones):
I assumed she’d been selected, in Trumpian fashion, at least partly because she was a woman and teaching is a stereotypically womanly thing to do. Just like Carson was picked for HUD because he’s black and it’s stereotypically thought of by people like the POTUS as the black people department. At least DeVos isn’t a total newcomer to the educational scene (though her previous contributions have all sucked), and she doesn’t have an equivalent to that priceless “Dr. Carson doesn’t feel he’s qualified” quote to be hammered with.
@rikyrah: busy signal! Yay! I’ll keep trying. Thx.
@Mustang Bobby: right. thanks.
@Kathleen: Hope to hell most Democrats have better sense than that.
“WWIII impends! Trump turns America over to the Nazis! QUICK! Attack Bernie Sanders!”
What the flying fuck, y’all. Do you really REALLY want to be who Chapo Trap House says you are? ‘cos you are acting exactly like they say you do.
Hey, you can’t protest!!! Only we are allowed to protest!!!
@gene108: oh, yes! I’m wondering the same thing. Maybe investigations? Guess it depends which committee they sit on.
If that’s the over/under, I’m betting the over.
@Immanentize: Does this mean he runs for re-election next year on the Purity Ponies for Wilmer ticket?
@schrodingers_cat: Hey! You have been talking to my fundie relatives and co-workers, haven’t you !
@Gin & Tonic: 1) “I’m the bestest hitter ever!!! I’m gonna hit 1.000!!!”
2) “Waaaaaaahhhh!!!! It’s not fair to throw me curveballs in the strike zone!!!!”
@Captain C: No. Not even to piss you guys off. Someone’s gotta be the grown-ups.
We need new blood, and not just to transfuse into Peter Thiel to keep him immortal in New Zealand ;P
@Kay: I was able to leave a message for Portman today, first time this week. Wednesday I started daily faxing. Those at least get through.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques:
Pittsburgh rocks now, though. There was a hell of a rough patch in between the 1950s and now, but, its a great place to be. And they aren’t interesting in bringing steel back.
@Yarrow: my two cents on hiring organizers from outside- satby is exactly correct that bringing in outsiders allows for systemic renewal and an end run around non-functional local party members and moribund structures. As an organizer for Obama08 I was sent to organize our campaign in two very red counties. The local dems were all about picnics and cocktail parties, and not at all about doing the hard work of canvassing and phonebanking. They just drew the line at that. We were successful because we were able to bring in a whole lot of entirely new people, inspired by Barack Obama, who were willing to do it all. The locals actually rejected new people and wouldn’t even sign them up when they offered to volunteer. Maybe my experience was unusual, but I don’t think so.
@Kay: Please. I fail to see why your evaluation of the situation is self evidently correct, and that of the DNC is wrong. How about, instead of your view, the DNC thinks that the local activists you keep touting are already there. Doing what they are doing. Maybe the notion is that actually hiring them just means, to put it bluntly, that they will continue to do what they were already doing for free, only they will get now get paid for it. In other words, by bringing in an outsider, they actually adding one new activist to the area. Rather than just giving an already existing activist in the area a title and a little more dough. Also, the existing activists may already have full time jobs, or are collecting Social Security or some other pension, and so they can’t just shift over to working for the DNC. Also, the existing activists might, again, to put it bluntly, not really be doing such a great job. But, as you say, the outsider will consult, of course, if he or she is any good at all, with the existing activists anyway. So, again, there is addition, rather than mere promotion. Now there is a new set of eyes looking at the problem, and that scoffed at 25 year old outsider may have some new ideas (as well as know how to use a smart phone, and what social media is!) to add to the experience, viewpoint and ideas of the locals. Rather than just the same old ideas, the same old leadership, running the show. Funny, you talk about decentralization, and bringing in new people, and not protecting “turf,” but you think hiring 25 year olds, fresh out of college, eager, all up to date on the latest currents, studies, notions, data, theories, and technologies, enthusiastic, idealistic, uncorrupted and unjaded, and sending them across one State border (as between Ohio and Kentucky, in your first example), is a disaster. Seems to me that your insistence on the locals is the real “turf” protection.