— Sad Trombone Sound (@Johngcole) March 12, 2017
Probably a more viable alternative, at the present moment:
It's Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale and the ACLU meeting is packed pic.twitter.com/TkX1DkMQyD
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) March 11, 2017
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — It had all the trappings of a campaign rally: the signs, the Bruce Springsteen songs on repeat, the clipboard-hugging volunteers in matching T-shirts.
But the 2,000-odd people in the University of Miami’s basketball arena were there to hear Anthony Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, try to recruit them into a legal army.
“It didn’t take a lot of work to fill this auditorium,” Romero said, as the screens surrounding him showed mass protests against President Trump. “People want to be deployed. They don’t just want to write you a check, or sign a petition. They want to be engaged. You want to be protagonists with us.”
The ACLU is spending millions of dollars on a plunge into grass-roots politics — a “People Power” campaign. It’s the newest and largest development from a sprawling “resistance” movement that regularly moves faster than the Democratic Party’s leaders can think and isn’t waiting on politicians for cues…
“We’ve seen this exponential growth in people becoming card-carrying members of the ACLU,” Romero said in an interview after his speech. “They’re younger. They’re in every state around the country. The biggest danger was in not doing something like this, where people get apathetic and they fall asleep.”
There’s little apparent risk of that, and the biggest organizations on the left, broadly defined, are staffing up to give it direction. The Center for American Progress is planning a grass-roots conference for “rising” activist groups in California next month, and an ideas conference in Washington one month later. Super PACs such as American Priorities have become promotion machines for the Indivisible movement, which in just a few months has begun to organize some local chapters as official nonprofit groups.
But no organization is transforming as quickly or as boldly as the ACLU. Since the 2016 election, it has tripled its membership to more than 1.2 million and raised more than $80 million, with plans to add 100 staff members to a team of about 300…
Here’s the ACLU website’s update. You can watch a recording of the whole session here.
More, from the Christian Science Monitor:
… The event marked a distinct strategic shift for the civil liberties group, which has traditionally focused on courtroom litigation. The ACLU’s new campaign, PeoplePower, is the organization’s first grassroots mobilization effort in its nearly 100 years of existence, leaders say, driven by a recent surge in membership and widespread activism efforts across the country in the months since President Trump’s election victory. Since November, group membership has tripled to more than one million, with more than 135,000 people signed up to take part in the PeoplePower campaign as of Saturday.
“Before, our membership was largely older and much smaller,” ACLU executive director Anthony Romero told Reuters. “Our members would provide us with money so we could file the cases and do the advocacy. What’s clear with the Trump election is that our new members are engaged and want to be deployed.”…
Speaking at the event on Saturday, Mr. Romero said priority issues for the campaign are immigration, free speech and religious freedom rights, civil and reproductive rights, and LGBT rights.
“We will bring all the lawsuits necessary to defend these rights,” he said, as reported by the Associated Press. “We’ll do the work in the courts. You do the work in the streets. People are motivated. They want to be engaged.”
The Resistance Training coincided with the ACLU’s launch of a new grassroots online organizing platform, PeoplePower.org, a tool to help people planning a local protest or rally connect and coordinate with others around the country. The site will also provide details of ACLU initiatives…
Apart from staffing The Resistance, what’s on the agenda as we start another week?
Well this is very encouraging. It’s great to see that many of us aren’t taking Trump’s overreaching laying down.
Bravo for my friends and neighbors who went. Somehow the memo missed me; I didn’t find out about it until it was over. Nevertheless, this is really encouraging.
(Note to Dave Weigel: Fort Lauderdale is 45 miles from the University of Miami.)
I was well enough that we attended a card writing party over the weekend. We ended up with more than 30 cards to be mailed Wed. If is insignificant in the scheme of things but it might actually frighten some of the Republicans if the deluge is large enough. I feel this whole effort needs to be ‘multi-pronged’ to hit as many elected reps (both GOP and Dem) regularly & in the places they live to never allow them to think they are not going to pay.
Its going to take a generation to clean up the mess they leave but the first step is to remove them from power to stench the bleeding.
Good Morning, Everyone ???
Winter’s revenge; March is cold, cold, cold. 23 degrees today and no low higher than freezing for the rest of the week. One day it will get as high as 50. Call it Global “Weirding” All of the Winter we didn’t get is coming now, and that makes me wonder if we will have an unusually cold April this time.
I actually tild the ACLU to do this years ago when they surveyed membershio! Yipee!
It’s snowing. 2″. It wasn’t supposed to snow, and it won’t last long, but it wasn’t supposed to snow at all. And now it’s going to be cold all week. “Global Weirding” is right.
Insomnia denied me a night of sleep. Onward with the day. Thanks for the fantastic ACLU story.
ACLU talk always reminds me of the speech in “The American President”
@OzarkHillbilly: It was 95 degrees here yesterday, good thing I spent most of the day closer to the coast.
Too early yet
What do you have against the aliens that you would ask such a terrible thing!? Now, if they were, in fact, the aliens in Alien’s, then, OK.
At a popular webcomic’s site comments section, any attempt to write the word bitch will immediately be posted as bongo.
It’s too much to hope that Wilmer can be substituted automatically, in WordPress, isn’t it?
Great news on the ACLU stuff.
Two to four inches of snow expected here. I hope to get home from work before it really starts messing up the streets. Even though it’s still very dark (thanks, DST) and very cold, I can still hear the spring birds singing. They must be as upset as I am at the time change.
I’ll believe in the surge in ACLU commitment if the noobs stick around after they find out they’re defending Nazis’ right to hold rallies.
@Schlemazel: Yes, but “stench” comes to mind when talking about them, so it’s understandable.
@rikyrah: Good morning.
@dr. bloor: It was mentioned yesterday morning that the American Nazi Party had their western HQ here in Glendale. I did some reading and the city tried to evict them, the ACLU defended that Nazis in their legal battles with the city.
@Baud: Oh, there you are. Here’s a picture.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: Pretty. What is it?
@Baud: It’s called the Friendship Bell*, it’s a gift from the Republic of Korea.
*It says “Friendship Bell” right on the front.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: that’s great! Where is it? Never mind ?
@rikyrah: Good Morning!
Yep, people are motivated. I went to my Democratic precinct meeting this weekend. A bunch of precincts from my county met at the same time as a group and then broke out into individual precinct meetings. The larger group almost completely filled the high school auditorium where we met, and I’d say 2/3 identified themselves as first-timers to a precinct meeting.
Our individual precinct group also had a lot of first-timers, including one registered independent who was checking out the Party as an avenue for concrete action. We worked up a living wage resolution to pass up the food chain, and made a concrete plan to meet every-other-month to hand-write post cards to sporadic voters within our precinct, educating on issues waaaay in advance of elections, and urging them to get out and vote as elections near.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: Nice. Between this and the Statue of Liberty, now I’m starting to wonder whether we’ve give anyone any gifts.
Trying to get as much work done today before tomorrow’s storm. I never seem to get as much done when I work from home (ie, tomorrow).
@Baud: Freedom, Baud, Freedom.
Ten degrees at my house at 700am.
Winter storm warning and blizzard watch tomorrow, 12-18″ of snow forecast. In Northern RI, we usually tend to the high side, more Central MA weather than Southern NE. Well, Central MA is looking at ~two feet.
I’ll go whine privately now
@dr. bloor: How very sad that every body has rights.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: Suddenly the bell seems inadequate.
Forecast for my Rt. 128 bordering suburb is for 12-20 inches, pus wind. Will make all preparations for prolonged power outage today. Losing power is the only real issue with a big storm.
We lived for 18 years, and raised our daughter, in Belmont MA. Lovely town, excellent schools; like most inner Boston suburbs, it’s gotten too expensive.
Joseph Welch lived there, and he founded the John Birch society and it’s headquarters were in Belmont, I think well into the 90s.
@Baud: It’s a pretty big bell.
I also went to see the lighthouse near the bell, the Banning mansion, the Drum Barracks, the USS Iowa(I didn’t go on board), and a park in the Baldwin Hills.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@efgoldman: we’ve had a pretty-much snow free winter in the Philly area. So we’re making up for it with about a foot predicted from tonight through Wednesday morning.
@OzarkHillbilly: not for long, if we are not vigilant.
Where did this snow come from? Also all over the budding tree branches. Thanks, Mother Nature.//
I hope the ACLU adds voting rights to their list.
Per the WAPo, Dolt 45’s budget calls for massive cuts to everything except Defense and Homeland Security; gota have money to build that wall that Mexico was going to pay for.
Is it protected free speech when the neo-Nazi rallies are organized by the government?
Given that congressional Republiklowns haven’t actually been able to pass a budget for years, I expect more continuing resolutions.
Earmarks and log rolling are supposedly gone, but several hundred congress critters are not going along with screwing their states/districts.
And a fine bunch of troops we will have, too! Consisting almost entirely of people who never got enough to eat, were inadequately educated, and come from neighborhoods rife with gangs and crime.
In WWI, one third of the young men called up were in such poor health due to malnutrition they could not serve.
23° here, warmer than this time yesterday, but 2-4 inches of snow expected, with an inch on the ground. The wild card will be the lake effect, because that can increase the snow totals by several inches in unpredictable ways. At least my poor plants are covered a bit.
Ah yes, the good old days.
Yeah, I don’t believe that’s why he voted for Trump. He’s 54 with chronic health issues. Even if Trump “brought back” coal jobs he would never be hired over a 22 year old. He knows that.
These people have to bend over backwards to explain their “reasoning” because “reasoning” had nothing to do with it. Just accepting their BS as gospel coddles them and is patronizing. They didn’t put the slightest bit of thought or effort into retaining their own health care benefits so now they will lose them. Oh, well. Hope those “lock her up chants” were worth it.
Scots to limeys – FU.
I’m pleased to say that my nephew has been working for the ACLU for several years now. Looks like it’s about to become a rather different organization.
@OzarkHillbilly: Precisely. These jerks are free-riders. They think, or pretend to think, that society just happens like dandelion seeds blowing onto a patch of dirt.
All these programs were in response to serious problems. Now that some of them are solved, they and their single helix friends pretend they aren’t needed any more.
@Kay: Yup, they thought hurting ‘the other’ would come with zero consequences to them.
If I remember my timeline correctly, didn’t the senate nuke the retirees’ health benefit program before the election?
Also a lone time cardy carrying member.
But just to start the week off on a low note from alt facts kellyann:
I just hope when I microwave popcorn the camera gets my good side:-)
@?BillinGlendaleCA: This pic is the reason* I went to the park in the Baldwin Hills.
*In addition to a really nice hike.
@Baud: @?BillinGlendaleCA: Most importantly, Freedom From Political Correctness!
@?BillinGlendaleCA: Love it.
@D58826: That’s not doubling down. That’s dealing with reality by coming up with an entirely new evidence-free accusation. Just like her boss.
ETA: It’s called the Distraction Defense.
@D58826: At this point, I almost want Obama to say there is still a bug in the White House and three high level staffers who are leaking information to him. Let them spend six months trying to find it all.
I think we “noobs” are smart enough to understand what we’re getting into. Someone who at this point in history would refuse to join the ACLU because they might have to defend a Nazi rally in Skokie some day is like someone who didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton against Trump because she gave speeches to Goldman Sachs. It’s called cutting off your nose to spite your face.
So a huge group of people get to pretend these programs come out of thin air and just vote according to who wears a hard hat better. This is life or death for Clyde but he refuses to let facts get in the way of a GOP vote. Not even “facts”- Trump was clearly a lying fraud, he’s been lying his entire adult life- spotting that has nothing to do with a college degree or reading policy papers. The problem is they admire bad people- dishonest people who rip other people off. People who get scammed always think the scammer will rip people off in a way that benefits them. They’re not naive. They’re hoping the scam works in their favor.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@Baud: Wasn’t there a disinformation campaign like that against Stalin, causing him to get suspicious of and then execute many of his key people?
I said, “Be careful, his scotch-taped tie is really a camera.”
@Kay: Right– that’s the classic con game. “We’re screwing the rubes, and you’re gonna get a piece of the action.”
He isn’t on the retiree coal program. He’s on Medicaid. If I had been interviewing him I would verify if he even ever had a coal job.
The only person I feel sorry for in that piece is the nurse practitioner. Now she has to look for work.
@MattF: well here is something I think we can all agree on
And that she is not Inspector Gadget.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: That park is really a nice little gem that not enough people around the area are aware of. I know I didn’t know about it until several years ago until I went with my older brother and his kids up there one day. And at the time I lived in Inglewood, less than 5 miles from it.
@Chyron HR: good one
@Baud: Didn’t Biden hide it in the light switch in the cabinet room. You know the one that the Trumpers could not find to urn on the lights!!!!
If I’d been president I definitely would have left the place all bugged up for Trump.
People always think it’s trusting, nice people who get conned. That hasn’t been my experience. It’s people who think someone else will get screwed in a way that benefits them. It’s exactly how you said it – they see it as entry into a smart, savvy group. Trump will make “deals” and it doesn’t matter who gets the short end because Trump told them they were in the special “in” group who would benefit. They’re usually really cynical people who believe in zero sum like it’s a religion.
It’s cheaper to produce and haul coal east from Wyoming than to use local coal in eastern Kentucky.
@Kay: That’s exactly right! The best con games tell the rube they are “in on it.”
Because it’s kinda true: you can’t cheat an honest man.
Trump is itching to massively redecorate.
Here’s an event (What Can I Do Now) in St Louis next Sunday I’ll be at where the MO Democratic Party will be outlining their 2018/2020 strategy and 20-30 advocacy organization who are looking to fecruit citizen activists will be making brief presentations. It is sponsored by the Gateway Democrats. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/what-can-i-do-now-networking-for-a-better-future-tickets-31375197059?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&utm-source=strongmail&utm-term=listing.
Perhaps a few folks here would be interested. You do need to register for a free ticket since there are limited seats.
@prob50: I had only been through the Baldwin Hills on the way to LAX. I saw the park on some the hiking sites. It’s a really nice park. They have that really nice lawn area at the top of the hill, I was wondering if they had anything on what used to be there*.
*It used to be a reservoir whose dam broke and the flood ended up killing 5 people.
@Aleta: White House is gonna become the Gold House.
@Tripod: I don’t pretend to know anything about coal except for The Road of Anthracite, but: Do Wyoming and the Appalachias have the same quality of coal?
ETA: I think mountaintop removal mining is going to turn WV into a giant poisoned runoff site, and as level as Kansas. Even with that, it’s easier (cheaper) to get the stuff from Wyoming. If my summation is correct, shouldn’t the right be celebrating the free market at work?
@Baud: Thanks, I still have some work to do on that one.
What struck me was the population decline. These voices are the stay behinds – the Democratic voter pools left with the jobs.
There is no leftist populist messaging that will work on these parts of rural America.
From the WaPo article in the Bannon post: “In the three years before he became Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon lived as a virtual nomad in a quest to build a populist political insurgency…”
Hey, he succeeded! Not in the way he planned, but he succeeded!
In Kellyanne’s fevered brain, television watches YOU!
Exactly. What they want is a Right Wing Tardis to take them back to something which never existed. Pretty much the definition of conservative.
I think we are living through one of those Darwinian adaptive events; we are leaving behind a lot of people who can’t hack the current pace of societal change. They were raised and acculturated to be an uncomplaining cog in the machine, and now what is needed is people who are flexible enough to adapt to job requirements as those change.
I was incredibly fortunate to land in a place where my skills are scarce. Had I pursued a more conventional career, I would have wound up like so many of my peers; much more secure and comfortable… until laid off without any hope of finding a job like that again.
Flexibility is what saved me from that.
Commenter Mnemosyne’s Giant Evil Employer has postponed, indefinitely and without any real explanation, the Malaysian release of Beauty and the Beast pending an “internal review”. Dang it, I was planning to go see that movie!
Back in 1992, the cartoon was originally released uncut by the censors. But someone must have complained about the moment when LeFou falls into a pigsty, because that moment was missing late in its theatrical run. (It’s there on the DVD, oddly enough.) The current speculation is that the Giant Evil Corp is again concerned about LeFou, but for a different reason.
Interesting that you would mention that. At the time (1963) I lived on the other side (East of La Brea, dam, and the currnt park are on the West) of Baldwin Hills, and on the day the dam broke I was up on the dam side hunting lizards with 2 friends (for extra credit points for our 8th-grade science class with Mr. Holly). At some point I started whining about being thirsty, tired and dirty, etc., so we split and walked down La Brea to Coliseum St., where friend Joel lived. By the time we got there water was rushing down La Brea and starting to overflow the sidewalks. We had not a clue the dam had broken. Joel always said I saved his life, but the dam didn’t initially burst on the side where we were hunting, but rather on the Northern frontal section, so I never really felt I saved him, although we probably would have gotten a little wet had we stayed up there any longer.
And I will totally and steadfastly deny any allegations that I might have engaged in any terrorist scheme or activity to bring the dam down.
Less BTU and sulfur out west. Some plants will mix from different fields depending on their set up and transport costs.
I75 down from Detroit then over to Savannah Ga is the current geographic price point divider for hauling coal east.
Eastern coal is 5 times the cost at mine mouth. Add in older, lower volume load outs and the costs of hauling it out of the mountains.
There is Metalurgical coal production in Penn and northern WVA that got clobbered when the Chinese busted steel. That has some future, assuming dipshit doesn’t fuck us in the global steel market.
Freedom Caucus member points to emergency rooms for uninsured
03/10/17 03:35 PM—UPDATED 03/12/17 08:47 AM
By Steve Benen
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), a member of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, talked to CNN’s Erin Burnett this week about health care, and his intention to kill the Affordable Care Act. The host pointed to a Republican voter, featured on an earlier segment, who’d be dead if it weren’t for “Obamacare.” She asked for his reaction.
DeSantis proceeded to complain about the reform law anyway, before turning to a familiar GOP refrain:
The host pointed to the fact that woman in question had $1 million in cancer treatments, adding, “You’re not going to get that by showing up in an emergency room.”
DeSantis then changed the subject.
@prob50: I got curious and went to Wikipedia and looked up the Baldwin Hills dam disaster and I stand corrected. It states that the initial point of the leakage began on the East abutment, so maybe we were in more danger than I have believed all these years.
White House: Job totals were ‘phony,’ but they’re ‘very real now’
03/10/17 04:16 PM—UPDATED 03/11/17 08:19 AM
By Steve Benen
The job numbers for February were released this morning, and the data was very encouraging: the U.S. economy added 235,000 jobs in February, with an unemployment rate of 4.7%. The White House, not surprisingly, is thrilled that the job market Donald Trump inherited from his predecessor is this strong as the new administration gets underway.
That is, if the president actually believes the data. Trump spent months telling Americans not to believe official jobs reports, so it was hardly a surprise when a reporter asked White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer about whether Team Trump accepts the latest job figures or not. Spicer replied, with an unusually broad smile:
Look, I realize it was a lighthearted moment, and my point is not to sound like a killjoy, but we can’t really have a credible political discussion if the president – and the president alone – is supposed to tell us when the jobs numbers are real and when they’re not, as if it’s our job to simply accept Donald Trump’s strange declarations as fact.
As the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent added, “It’s key that Trump explicitly told Spicer to recite this line to the press corps. He’s telling them who gets to say what’s true.”
Gee, whatta surprise.
I have no sympathy. At all.
Trump sparks new controversy with U.S. Attorney dismissals
03/13/17 08:00 AM
By Steve Benen
On the surface, the idea that a president would replace an existing slate of U.S. Attorneys with his own federal prosecutors doesn’t seem controversial. U.S. Attorneys serve at the pleasure of a president, and there’s ample recent precedent for new administrations nominating new prosecutors soon after Inauguration Day.
But as is often the case with Donald Trump, there’s nothing routine about developments that unfolded late Friday and over the weekend.
Let’s start with the basics. On Friday afternoon, 46 Obama-era federal prosecutors were told to submit their resignations – and clean out their offices before close of business. These federal prosecutors weren’t given advance notice or any kind of explanation. To be sure, they knew this was a possible outcome, but they’ve been working under the Trump administration for nearly two months, overseeing a series of ongoing federal cases.
And while Trump’s authority to make this decision is not in doubt, there are all kinds of questions about why the president made this call at this time. As Rachel noted on Friday’s show, and NBC News reported over the weekend, there’s one U.S. Attorney in particular that’s drawing more attention for good reason.
White House’s claims about Flynn are falling apart under scrutiny
03/13/17 08:30 AM—UPDATED 03/13/17 08:55 AM
By Steve Benen
The fact that Donald Trump relied on a foreign agent as a top campaign adviser – and a trusted member of his inner circle – during the presidential campaign looks bad. Not necessarily stop-the-presses bad, but the fact that the Republican was paying Michael Flynn while Flynn was also paid by Turkey is a tough controversy to simply explain away.
What’s becoming a far more serious story is Team Trump lying about all of this now.
The Flynn controversy has long been bizarre. Trump and his aides have never been able to explain why they brought on someone with close ties to Putin’s Russia to advise the GOP candidate ahead of the election. They also haven’t explained why it took a few weeks for Trump to fire Flynn after the Justice Department told the White House Flynn was lying about his communications with a Russian official.
The story got worse last week when Flynn retroactively registered as a foreign agent, which sparked a series of questions. Trump asked a foreign agent to be White House National Security Advisor? Did the president not consider why this might be a bad idea?
As if this weren’t quite enough, the story keeps getting worse. The Washington Post reported late Friday:
I saw a rumor that Arnold Schwarzenegger might run for Senate in California. He says he is NOT going to run and posted something on Facebook to that effect.
What I found interesting is that he says he’s going to focus his political efforts on redistricting reform. He thinks gerrymandering has had a negative effect on our country and wants to push for independent redistricting commissions like they have in California. I haven’t heard anything about this before, but I’m all for that kind of thing. It’s a much more sane way to determine districts.
Has anyone heard anything about it? Seems like something Republicans wouldn’t like, so I’m not sure how much support he’ll get from his fellow Republicans.
House Intelligence Committee to Trump: Hand Over the Evidence
by David Atkins
March 12, 2017 8:00 AM
This could get interesting:
Here’s how this went down. Some unnamed aide stuck a typically baloney Breitbart article into Trump’s reading material, claiming that Obama personally ordered a wiretap on Trump during the campaign. Trump, being the reactive hothead he is, not knowing how to sift good information from bad and not understanding that the President doesn’t actually have the power to “order a wiretap”, freaked out on Twitter before going golfing again. The White House communications team tried to figure out how best to contain the damage, and came up with the idea of punting to Congress to have them “investigate” whatever flights of fancy the President decided to ignorantly tweet about.
But Congress isn’t playing ball. Not even Republicans on the intelligence committee are interested in bailing Trump out of his own self-inflicted mess.
Trump’s team now has less than 24 hours to come up with some sort of plausible evidence backing up their claims. That will be difficult, because everyone knows Trump has no evidence. Either intelligence agencies aren’t/weren’t surveiling Trump associates for Russia connections, or there was enough evidence of wrongdoing for federal judges to issue a FISA warrant despite the obvious gravity and political sensitivity of the target. Neither option is good for Trump. The President’s team cannot prove a negative, and they can’t legally get access to FISA court records pertaining to themselves.
When I heard that little exchange the other day, I was reminded powerfully of the 60 Minutes interview with Trump and Pence, right after the VP selection was announced and aired just before the GOP convention. This part of the conversation stood out:
IOKIYAR writ large, loud, and often.
The Wingnut Who Wants Warren
by D.R. Tucker
March 13, 2017 4:10 AM
POLITICAL ANIMAL BLOG
A right-wing folk hero is being created in real time.
It will not matter that this fellow was, for a time, “anti-Trump.” He will fall in line and obey now, just like right-wingers always do. In return, he will be showered with hosannas and donations, feted by Fox and blessed by Breitbart.
Who is the right wing’s new king?
If you’re donating to the likes of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, you’re no “centrist.” However, progressives should pay very close attention to this race, and not blithely assume that Kingston cannot win the general election if he obtains the Republican nomination. Scott Brown (and Donald Trump) proved that flukes can happen–and it is a guarantee that the right will do everything in its considerable power to remove Warren from the Senate. The right feels the same way about Warren that the left feels about Trump–and wingnuts will regard Kingston as their best chance to terminate Warren’s political career with extreme prejudice.
Warren has proven to be a key part of the anti-Trump resistance. Will she be able to resist this crackpot challenger? We’ll find out soon enough.
The NYTimes has a piece like this, too. Farm family where all the grown children are addicts. Except they’re a farm family who inherited the ground in 1993 and the Ohio county where they live has 4.1% unemployment.
There’s more going on here than economics. As far as assets, the farm family are probably one of the wealthier families in that county – why didn’t their kids go to college?
That sounds like one nasty storm.
Can the ACLU Stop Trump?
New legal director David Cole thinks he knows how.
by Gilad Edelman
On a sunny afternoon in the first week of January, I met David Cole at his office at Georgetown Law Center. In a few days, he would officially take over as national legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union—but first he had to finish grading exams. Tall and gangly, with wire-rim glasses and unfussy clothes a size too big for his skinny frame, Cole looks every bit the public interest lawyer and professor he has been for nearly three decades. At fifty-eight, he has a permanently tousled mop of thinning gray-brown hair and an open, boyish face that breaks easily into a grin.
It was lunchtime, so we headed down to the cafeteria. Around mouthfuls of tuna sandwich, Cole ruefully recalled his expectations for the ACLU job when he accepted it last summer. “I, like everybody else, thought that Donald Trump didn’t really have a chance,” he said. Hillary Clinton would win the presidency and pick Antonin Scalia’s replacement, and Cole would get to spearhead the ACLU’s effort to move the law to the left under the first liberal Supreme Court majority since the 1970s. “And no memos were written on ‘What if Trump wins?’ ”
You know what happened next.
“On November 8, the job completely changed,” Cole said. “Suddenly, instead of thinking about incremental ways to advance the law in a more progressive direction, we’re in full defense mode.”
Trump’s election made certain jobs matter much more than they would have in normal times. Cole’s is one of them. As a candidate, Trump specialized in constitutionally suspect policy proposals: criminalizing abortion, “national stop-and-frisk,” mass deportations, a Muslim registry. Democrats in Congress simply don’t have the numbers to stop Trump from following through, and Republicans don’t appear interested. That means the only plausible place to challenge him is through the legal system.
sorry, but that has always been just a glib aphorism. Fake charities cheat trusting, honest people all the time, for example
@rikyrah: 24 hours to cough up the evidence or else what? John McCain will write a sternly worded letter to the Wall Street Journal?
Accountability isn’t going to be a concern for any of the GOP with their hands on the levers of power until they lose their grip on the levers of power.
As an aside, this is a public service announcement:
Punching Nazis is wrong. You’ll hurt your hand. Use a baseball bat instead.
Yes, perhaps even worse than the famed “Idiot Wind”, and truly a real stinker.
My middle son sold a car he has yesterday. It’s a piece of junk but it runs so he offered it for 500, listed all the problems with the car. all these people calling him were like DISPUTING the problems with the car. He hates talking to people and he knows a lot about cars so he changed the ad to “text only” :)
It’s those wheeler dealer people. They would not accept what is actually an honest offer
What the f-ck did Weigel forget now?
Ooh, nice! Kind of like “The Joker is Wild” episode of M*A*S*H.
But you don’t get the visceral thrill of punching Nazis.
@Yarrow: I saw a spot the Governator cut, it was good and he’s right.
@PaulW: True, but given that the Nazis are trying to replace the ACA with Die-In-A-Fire-Care, are you willing to risk breaking your hand?
wasn’t that a trick Sinclair pulled on G’Kar?
It’s rare, but definitely good. The Governator actually appears to have grown up a bit since his term ended, although I couldn’t see voting for him for anything. But that goes for just about any Republican at this point.
looking back I’m not sure if I ever voted for an “R” in my life, although I think I might have voted for Dick Riordan once (for Mayor of L.A.) – maybe, but not really sure now.
@Kay: Good point.
For anyone interested, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts is an extraordinary look at addiction, from a doctor who is on the front lines of this problem.
GOP congressman sees ‘shadow government’ conspiracy involving Obama
03/13/17 09:30 AM
By Steve Benen
Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) has a habit of saying some pretty silly things. After the Obama administration decided to treat contraception access as preventive health care, the Pennsylvania Republican said the move was comparable to 9/11 and the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Last weekend, Kelly spoke at a local GOP Lincoln Day Dinner in his home state, where the congressman found a new way to complain about the former Democratic president.
As Republican conspiracy theories go, this is quite odd, but the story became even stranger when Kelly tried to explain what he meant.
let’s talk about how Trump voters admire bad people. Because this is a problem. Policy aside, “horrible people” are not that hard to spot. Honestly, if you saved them from Trump wouldn’t they just hire other bad people?
It’s not “college education” at work here. It’s misplaced admiration. If you’re sitting around cheering these people for lying aren’t you just a person who admires liars? Thinks they’re “smart”?
I should add: the postponement was apparently decided on by the GEC’s people here, but a lot of foreign reporting is — wrongly — calling it a ban issued by the Malaysian government.
@montanareddog: That’s a fraud; not a con.
Yes: I got sucked into the Wounded Warrior scam out of the kindness of my heart. But I got out when my research indicated their very low return rate. Kind of the way the Pink Ribbon scam blew up.
Nigerian emails, Bernie Madoff, Amway; they are all about some secret scheme that pays off incredibly. It is greed that pulls people in.
That’s what I was talking about.
Trump? He’s a con. And they voted for him anyway.
@Amir Khalid: Maybe Mnemo will complain to the head mouse while she’s at his World.
My guess is that the GEC thinks that the government might have a problem and doesn’t want any negative publicity or a fight about it. That said, you’re right about the foreign reporting being wrong.
Gin & Tonic
@Kay: I read that piece. Dad drives the remaining son to his probation appointment in a Chevy Tahoe with leather seats. That’s a $50,000 car.
The article is supposed to make me feel sympathy, I think. I don’t.
Yes, absolutely pass on the scam-artists. If so inclined, choose the Disabled Vets organization. They’ve been around and helping much longer and have a good, solid reputation.
You’re right about that other stuff – don’t forget to include Pyramid Schemes. The “greed” factor runs all of them.
CNN trolling tRump? Tonight’s documentary on Putin titled The Most Powerful Man on Earth.
(For the literal-minded I know in a democratic system of checks and balances etc etc…)
@prob50: That’s a great story.
Unbelievable! I just read over at Kevin Drum that Mulvaney is claiming that Obama manipulated the unemployment numbers. As Drum says,” FFS!” “These folks just don’t stop. Everything is a conspiracy and Barack HUSSEIN Obama is behind every conspiracy. He’s the most diabolical super villain in the history of the world. Next, we’ll hear that Obama secretly wiped out the population of entire countries in genocidal acts worse than Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot all put together. Satan reports to Obama.
The real villains in all this are the spineless members of the Republican Party who won’t do anything to rein in Trump. Well, them and the cretins who voted for Trump hoping he’d do all the things that both Trump and the GOP were saying they wouldn’t do and also all the things that they wish he would do but he can’t (like make King Coal the god of American energy again).
This is so much worse than I thought it would be and I thought it would be a disaster.
It’s like getting a forecast for a Category 5 hurricane and when it arrives it’s a Category 11. Nigel would be impressed.
@Kay: I think the celebration of stupidity is what has been lethal to this country. Its not just a problem confined to the right end of the ideological spectrum. Its just worse there. Ignorance is rewarded, obtuseness is celebrated. I will give you some examples
1. Reality TV
3. Fox News
4. Climate change deniers
5. Political Punditry of the centrist kind
6. Entire Republican Party
7. A section of the BS brotherhood.
The preeminent position that the United States has enjoyed since WWII and the relative geographic isolation, country the size of a continent with not too many neighbors, has enabled these tendencies. But with T’s election these tendencies seem to have reached a kind of a civilizational tipping point.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@TriassicSands: And Kellyanne Conway is saying she has no way of proving Obama didn’t bug trump, and this apparently is not a joke, though I can’t get the video to play and don’t see it mentioned elsewhere
ETA: Chuck Todd: “She’s not just good at her job, she’s a good person”
Jim, Foolish Literalist
this is the bit I was looking for
I’m just in the job of spreading crackpot conspiracy theories that I know are bullshit that undermine trust in our norms and institutions and appeal to the paranoia and ignorance of our racist paranoid base
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Dear Lesley, both those “yeah”s should be “no, you weren’t”s
But these only work if you have the right type of tin-foil hat on and sip of the Special Kool-Aid.
This woman seems to lack both brains AND shame.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: If you are a centrist Punditubbie wilful obtuseness is rewarded.
Trump’s budget chief thinks Obama admin ‘manipulated’ jobs data
03/13/17 10:30 AM
By Steve Benen
A great video montage made the rounds over the weekend showing Donald Trump, before he was elected president, talking about the unemployment rate. It’s a jarring video for a reason: the Republican not only dismissed the nation’s unemployment rate as “phony,” he acted as if only an idiot would believe the official data.
It was, to a very real extent, one of the core messages of his campaign: right-thinking people should listen to Trump and treat the unemployment rate as a ridiculous fiction. That is, until last week, when the GOP president and his team decided the phony number is now “real” – because Trump says so.
Obviously, this is absurd, but as it turns out, the president isn’t the only one saying nutty things about U.S. job data. Take the new director of Trump’s Office of Management and Budget, for example.
Now, one might expect this kind of nonsense from Trump or some random conservative blowhard on Twitter, but Mulvaney is the nation’s budget director – and he really ought to steer clear of ridiculous conspiracy theories.
How harmful are immigrants? Let’s see. In 2016 Intel Science Talent Search, 33 of 40 finalists had immigrant parents https://t.co/bQ4dqBYl8O
— Clyde Haberman (@ClydeHaberman) March 12, 2017
When truth is not your friend…
Rep. Steve King doubles down on his racist tweet. “I meant exactly what I said.” https://t.co/SYwTyHyK6s pic.twitter.com/CX8M5dZUYu
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) March 13, 2017
@rikyrah: I say let Steve Keep talking, every utterance he makes just highlights the stupidity of his claim. Please proceed, Congressman.
Tom Price: Republicans will use right-wing hackwork to pretend Trumpcare won’t take insurance away from millions. https://t.co/hfvlzPYALf
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) March 13, 2017
Your reference to the “free market” reminded me that we haven’t heard anything about China and Mexico on trade from Trump in recent weeks. His base was livid about all those jobs Mexico and China were supposedly stealing and, I imagine, were jumping for joy with his proposed protectionist tariffs, so why did he drop this issue? Presumably China bought Trump out with property and trademark approvals, having realized early on that he’s a “paper tiger,” and the recent visit by the Mexican foreign minister makes me think that they managed to buy Trump out too.
Anyhoo…Dems should hammer Trump on this as yet another sign that he’s a faux populist and abandoning his base. It is very strange that this issue fell by the wayside after January. Is this deliberate or does it just me that the administration has the attention span of a gnat?
@prob50: Thanks, ultimately knowledge is power and truth is power. Other great powers too, thought they were immune to reality and could make up their own. They were wrong, you can postpone the reckoning only for so long if you continue to live in a fool’s paradise.
Tom Price: Republicans will use right-wing hackwork to pretend Trumpcare won’t take insurance away from millions.
Critics have rightly noted that Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price lied on Meet the Press Sunday when he predicted “nobody will be worse off financially” under the American Health Care Act. This and other comments from leading Obamacare-repeal architects will haunt them for years if they somehow pass AHCA into law.
But Republicans have been making false promises about health care reform for years. The newsier tipoff from Price was that Republicans are going to promulgate their health care lies with dishonest right wing think tank analysis projecting that AHCA will cover more people than currently have insurance under the ACA.
“I think we’ll have folks that are evaluating this and modeling this come out and say, ‘yes, indeed, this plan will in fact cover more individuals than are currently covered,’” Price told NBC’s Chuck Todd.
This is part and parcel of the GOP’s preemptive effort to discredit the Congressional Budget Office, which is expected to score AHCA as a humanitarian catastrophe. But, to be clear, it is bullshit. Credible analysts, on both the left and the right, project that AHCA will cause millions of people to lose their insurance. The only question is how many millions. Republicans in Congress want to paper over an ongoing and growing public relations fiasco with the health care equivalent of voodoo economics. Consider yourselves warned.
A woman at our Indivisible Alta-Pasadena meeting mentioned this People Power thing yesterday. Very cool. As I’ve become more involved in attending meetings of activist groups I’ve noticed that the most common 4 letters spoken are undoubtedly “ACLU.” So many of the people who have been doing the work for decades have some sort of affiliation with them. So I’m glad to see them taking a lead.
If I may put in a bleg request, one thing I would really love to see (possibly from a front-pager or guest poster) is a post about the next step of Organizing the Orgs. We have several Indivisible groups in the area, as well as OfA, PeoplePower, SwingLeft, SisterDistrict etc. As an admin (sort of leader) of our Indivisible group, I’m trying to figure out how to connect/coordinate with all the other groups for maximum effect. I’m supposed to be meeting with a kick-ass organizer who was just hired by POP! (Progressives Organizing for Pasadena…an off-shoot of the group that organized for minimum wage) soon, but I’d love to read if anyone here has any tips or links.
Curious, I just checked the We the People petitions page on the White House website. On January 20, 2017, the first Trump era petition was created calling for Trump to produce his tax returns so we can all see some of his important financial details. The way the petitions are supposed to work is simple (created by the Kenyan Usurper):
1. Create the petition
2. It has 30 days to gather 100,000 signatures.
3. If it reaches that goal in the time allotted, there will be an official response from the White House (not Trump, but the White House) within 60 days.
We’re nearing 60 days; another week or so and we’ll be there. Is there anyone who thinks there will be a substantive response that addresses the core issue of the petition?
The petitions were a good idea. (I think the Obama administration came up with the idea, but they could have pre-existed his administration; I don’t know, though it doesn’t sound like something the Bushies would think up. More accountability? Not likely.)
There are currently seven petitions that have reached the 100,000 signature threshold. That first petition has 1,079,903 signatures. It opened strong, slowed a little, then caught fire and raced past a half million and then a million. At this point, it is essentially dead, i.e., new signatures are few and far between. But my guess is this is probably the most signatures that a We the People petition has ever gotten. Anyone want to bet on the seriousness of the response from the White House?
The second petition deals with divestiture. It has over 300,000 signatures. I honestly don’t understand why it too doesn’t have over a million signatures. When you go to the website you see those two petitions (taxes and divestiture) side by side. Anyone interested in Trump’s taxes ought to want him to divest himself of his scampire, but for some reason more than 700,000 people thought his taxes mattered but not his using the White House to enrich himself. Strange.
@rikyrah: Of course, it’s not a good thing that King is racist, but I think it is good that he’s now saying what he actually thinks.
Wasn’t he another one of the RWNJ in Congress before his current gig?
@rikyrah: One possible dodge is that the R bill will encourage employers to drop healthcare benefits for employees, so workers will have to ‘go public’. If that happens, then, yeah… more people will be covered by the new bill than the old bill. The critical question, needless to say, is how many people would drop O-care coverage because they can’t afford coverage under the new system.
I think it was on Twitter this AM that Mexico has approved a bunch of Trump copyrights.
@D58826: Yeah. Turns out that Trump is a cheap lay.
@TriassicSands: They don’t know what divesture means?
@D58826: Same thing happened with China. 38 trademark approvals, I believe. I’m not a populist so the whole line about how the US is shipping jobs overseas to Mexico and China never resonated with me, but it was a big part of Trump’s stump speech, and there are enough populists in the party that if they wanted to make hay of Trump selling out working people for his own personal profit they could. What was the name of that Congressman from Ohio who wanted to replace Pelosi as minority leader in the house? Tim Ryan? This should be his bread and butter.
@WereBear: Only Americans, or is that Europe too?
It’s likely the DC cherry blossoms will be affected by the snow and some not bloom; I’m not happy, but since it’s happened it will seem symbolic. Tourism affected even more.
J R in WV
In general, WY coal is high sulfur low btu steam coal. Some WV coal is like that, but much of what is still being mined here is metallurgical coal for steel making, which is mostly exported to countries which still make a lot of steel from ore.
The mountain top removal mines have become less common, the biggest one is near our neighborhood, maybe 15 or 20 miles away as the crow flies, and it is about done with, as they have mined out the area they have permitted.
I worked with state regulators until about 10 years ago, and the mining engineers I worked with said then that they thought there was about 15 years more mining left. The coal is mostly mined out, which along with the cheaper natural gas is driving the mines to close. There will be some residual mining for a long time, but smaller mines, fewer miners, highly automated.
A good friend’s daughter and son-in-law relocated to Nova Scotia to work opening a huge new mine there, yes, the same mountain chain runs into the Atlantic with similar coal seams up there. This mine will be under the ocean, running out to sea. He started as a regular coal miner but kept getting additional certifications and licenses, and now is in charge of safety development for a large and progressive company, setting up safety and training for a new operation.
@Neldob: Europe had a different system of evaluating so I’d have to dig to find that. I do know that such conscripts had to have a certain number of teeth to eat the army chow; and many did not qualify under that rule.
Look at all the people who are turning down training. This person gets it.
J R in WV
He’s really smart, but from a family in the coal field who has depended upon coal for jobs for several generations. So he did the best he could to improve his employability, first working in a non-union mine, IIRC a Massey Coal operation… not Upper Big Branch, but the same company owned his mine. But he learned all he could and then job a job at a union mine as an electrician, a good promotion.
Now he’s a company man, no longer in the union, but able to tell which companies are decent to work for… pretty sure the miners at his company are UMWA members!
Divestiture is where Trump gets rid of all the business interests that create conflicts of interest. I think any reasonable ethicist would say that what Trump has done is a joke.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: And people claim that Kellyanne is a lawyer. If so, where did she graduate from, Trump-U?
@satby: We’ve been getting occasional (very light) bands of lake-effect snow in NoVA this winter. Oh, we’re in a drought, also too.
It’s not right. :-/