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March 03, 2017

Comments

I think what happens is that business schools go on at great length about the wonders of the market. And, especially, about how brilliant businessmen are. With the result that their graduates think they are so much smarter than government employees that nobody will ever catch them. Because they are just way too clever.

It must be a bit of a shock to them when that turns out to be wrong. But maybe they just chalk it up to bad luck....

Another point of view:

[...]
What's fascinating about the story is how it fails to identify a single person victimized by the Greyball tool other than the authorities who are unable to operate their stings. Meanwhile, as the story
does note, it's the Uber drivers who faced harassment and had their cars impounded or ticketed by authorities, which Uber then had to reimburse. And in other countries, Uber drivers (and passengers) had to worry about actual physical attacks from workers in the entrenched taxi cartels.
[...]

What Do You Call a Tool to Help Uber Avoid Gov't Stings? A Good Start.: Company used a secret method of getting around regulators trying to shut them down. If only the rest of us were so lucky.

Maybe the are assuming that under Republican control there will be no enforcement of rules or standards aor anything else.

Corrected link:

What Do You Call a Tool to Help Uber Avoid Gov't Stings? A Good Start.: Company used a secret method of getting around regulators trying to shut them down. If only the rest of us were so lucky.

I don't understand Reason's point of view.

Wasn't Uber violating the law in Portland? OK, Reason thinks it's an unwise law, but this hardly seems like a situation that justifies civil disobedience.

The salient feature of "civil disobedience" is that you break the law, publicly, and take the punishment for having done so. (Or, if you think the law was not only unwise but unconstitutional, fight it in court.)

Hiding the fact that you were breaking the law . . . doesn't qualify as civil disobedience.

It seems to me that the customers who think they have an account with uber but secretly do not have an action for fraud.

Corporations want to have the rights and privileges of persons, but they do not want any of the obligations and responsibilities that come with personhood.

Or, more accurately, that is what their owners and managers do and do not want for them.

It doesn't work.

Corporations want to have the rights and privileges of persons, but they do not want any of the obligations and responsibilities that come with personhood.

This just sounds so, so much like teenagers' view of adulthood: all about the benefits; nothing about the costs.

Except that (most) teenagers eventually grow up. And somehow I don't see a corporation doing so.

Huh, they came up with a real world version of hellbanning. That seems like a clever idea if you're targeting thugs beating up your drivers but downright criminal if you're targeting LEOs.

I've been working for big silicone valley tech companies for a while (most of you use them every day) and that means I've had to do time in the valley. I...do not like the valley. Tech culture in the valley is permeated with bullshit (yes, much more so than NYC or Boston). And where normal engineers have professional ethics, many valley engineers have this bizarre fusion of Ayn Rand and nanometer deep hipster faux Buddhism (a la Steve Jobs). Not all of them, but it is definitely more common than outside the valley.

One thing I've seen that I think might be at work at Uber is that some companies have a siege mentality. They're convinced that everyone on the outside who critiques them doesn't understand how they're changing the world for the better and must be evil. There's no possible reason for critique except evil. Soon enough, it is not just critics on the outside who are evil...that makes it really hard for folks on the inside who see ethical problems from doing anything about them.

I went to engineering school and both my parents were engineers. I learned about professional ethics at the kitchen table as well as at school. But when I brought up an ethical concern with my colleagues at a big valley tech company, one of them, a math postdoc literally said "oh, we can't think about stuff like that...I mean, where do you draw the line? cell phone mineral extraction is an ethical nightmare!". Which, fair enough, it is. But the existence of some ethical problems is not a license to ignore all others! At school, the engineering departments taught ethics and the math department didn't; a lot of the "engineers" writing code in the valley are math majors or folks otherwise disconnected from the culture and practice of engineering. No one has explained to them that they have broader responsibilities to society beyond doing what they're told -- they are an army of mercs, not unlike the wall street quants who come up with clever ways to blow up the economy or impoverish poor people.

They've learned not to use fire hoses and dogs, apparently:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/03/us/california-father-ice-arrest-trnd/index.html

Just wanna say, besides where you been turbulence, that "this bizarre fusion of Ayn Rand and nanometer deep hipster faux Buddhism (a la Steve Jobs)", I will hold as aspirational for the next time I want to nail something at OBWI.

Yeah, go look at ugh's link, conservatives, and then go fuck yourselves.

Thanks Count, that's high praise coming from you!

Great stuff, but I don't think I'm alone when I want to ask Turbulence where this "silicone valley" is located.

Near the Gran Tetons, perhaps?

Okay, maybe I am alone in wanting to ask.

From my twitter feed:

The premise was cruelty. The ideology is cruelty. The big philosophical underpinning is cruelty. The policy is cruelty. The point is cruelty.

I think that sums up the approach of Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon to governing pretty well.

That reason piece is quite something. Several euphemisms for breaking the law are employed, it purports to know "the perspective of the lives of ordinary people," it says the NYTimes story didn't identify anyone "victimized" by the tool and yet notes the tool was designed to "trick the user into wasting time", bemoans that when the uber drivers were caught violating the law they were punished and poor uber "had" to reimburse them.

IMHO if reason wanted to make the reasonable underlying point that perhaps we should be cautious that regulators aren't in league with the "taxi cartels" (cartel? really?) to inhibit competition it could have done so without the snotty condescending "businesses breaking the law is great!" libertarianism bent. But then, it wouldn't be reason.

And so we can expect Trump to wiretap his Democratic opponents in the 2020 election, if he's running. Indeed, he sort of had Hillary wiretapped for the 2016 election, at least by proxy.

Once again, it's all projection by the GOP.

Some Uber drivers are not happy campers.

Who coulda' guessed.

It's a bit mystifying. Why bother to wiretap Trump, when you can just give him a Twitter account?

But I suppose if the motivation is just to drum up outrage, it doesn't actually need to make any sense....

As someone noted, if they wired tapped Trump, that meant they convinced a federal judge that they had probable cause to believe he was a criminal or an agent of a foreign power (or both). Of course, Trump probably thinks POTUS can order up wiretaps of whoever he wants.

This from TPM was sly:

Trump capped off his busy morning of tweets with a knock on Arnold Schwarzenegger, who announced Friday that he was leaving the “Celebrity Apprentice.”

"busy morning of tweets" hah! At the Mar-a-Lago no less.

This, also, too.

Today's tweets seem to me like an attempted distraction from the embarrassing events around Sessions at the end of the week. Which raises a rather disturbing thought.

Suppose, strictly for the sake of discussion, that there actually is something seriously embarrassing (never mind criminal) in the Trump relationship with Russia. What do you suppose would be his response when it got close to coming out?

Terrorist attack, to get the country to rally 'round? Possible. Although someone in the habit of looking ahead might consider that it would be a strictly temporary bandaid. (Unless you generated a succession of them....)

Start a war? Or at least a serious threat of one. Maybe pick out one of the rocks in the South China Sea that has been expanded to house a base.

Carpet bomb it back to an uninhabited rock! Shows how macho we can be, and increases tensions with China -- can't have an impeachment when the country is under threat of attack like that.

Would Trump actually do something like that IF he felt personally threatened? You be the judge.

"As someone noted, if they wired tapped Trump, that meant they convinced a federal judge that they had probable cause to believe he was a criminal or an agent of a foreign power (or both)."

This is just as factual as his crap. So when you say this every Trump supporter goes, see they just make shit up. I read both sides this morning and just shrugged. It is perfectly clear that Obama could have gotten any wiretap put in place he wanted, no judge would have had to be involved. And Trump could just be making shit up.

It is also clear from multiple sources that Obamas people were feeding stuff to the press/agencies to "protect it from being squashed when Trump gained office". Which just lends more credence to the claims that he was actively trying to create issues for Trump. So everyone believes either side of this they started on.

I couldn't possibly know from any actual evidence.

I wonder if that this case and the VW emissions cheating was done with software somehow makes it less "real."
That's part of the goal. Outsourcing evil is fundamental to modern capitalism. If you have half a dozen entities involved, each one can pretend it's "just doing it's job" or "doing what it has to to survive".

"You be the judge."

Yes, he will.

Who is going to stop him? The Terminator was just fired:

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/03/trump-foreign-policy-elites-insiders-experts-international-relations-214846

When in doubt, let's ask the comedians what's going on, as Graham Greene called them:

http://mediamatters.org/video/2017/03/03/fox-s-greg-gutfeld-has-theory-democrats-colluded-russia-destroy-donald-trump/215552

Great stuff, but I don't think I'm alone when I want to ask Turbulence where this "silicone valley" is located.

Las Vegas (NSFW)

Then there's this on Sessions' testimony:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/federal-prosecutors-have-brought-charges-in-cases-far-less-serious-than-sessionss/2017/03/03/d4345396-003d-11e7-8ebe-6e0dbe4f2bca_story.html?utm_term=.a5ba4377910e

Equal justice under law....

I visit OBWI to keep abreast of current events.

I'm sure Marty agrees with me that it's nice to see some facts.

I have never been a great fan of Uber, Uber management or Jeff Sessions. No company with the possible exception of Draftkings/Fanduel, has so blatantly just broke the law in their attempts to massively take over a market. And not just the taxi laws, they ignore labor laws, take advantage of their drivers while creating the illusion that somehow replacing people that have jobs with part time under paid contract resources is good for anything and reinforcing the notion that everyone having multiple gigs rather than actual employment is not only good but something to be striven for in the future.

Sessions lied and should have to resign and be charged, just like Clinton should have been charged and forced to resign when she lied to Congress. Someone explain to me how that statement isn't true.

Clinton.

I'd actually love it if all the folks yelling about Her Emails would just bring the freaking charges, make the case, and be done with it.

Bring the damned charges.

But they won't, because there's too much political capital to be had in pretending that some vast Soros-funded latter-day Illuminati conspiracy protects her and her ill-gotten wealth.

Maybe the reason nobody is actually bringing charges is that there is no case.

Bring the damned charges or give it the hell up. Please.

I frankly doubt there is a solid case against Sessions for perjury. He's a sneaky little lying weasel, but that's not against the law, and perjury is really hard to prove.

What does need to happen is Sessions needs to get the hell out of the DOJ, because he has no, zero, nada, zilch credibility.

More on Clinton.

The House (R)'s spent years and millions trying to pin something on Clinton. They were unsuccessful. Give it a freaking rest.

She's not my favorite person, she and her husband have made an unseemly amount of money out of being plugged in, like every other person who holds national office appears to do. Apparently, it's one of the perks. That, and having ready access to lovely young ambitious people to sleep with. I'm sure she lies her head off every day, because it's what folks in her business do. When someone in the sorts of positions Clinton has held makes a public statement, I just always assume it's being made for some instrumental purpose rather than for its inherent truth value.

Politics and C-level corporate management. Both empires of bullshit. That's what the gig is.

Conservatives have been trying to get one or the other of the Clintons in jail for 25 years now. There is no part of their public or personal lives that has not been examined with seventeen microscopes.

Either there's nothing there, or they're just too good to catch.

In either case, enough is enough. I'm tired of having my tax dollars spent on it, frankly.

The (R)'s had their shot, over and over and over and over and over, for 25 freaking years. They couldn't make anything stick.

Either there's no there there, or we ain't gonna find it.

Give it a rest.

"The House (R)'s spent years and millions trying to pin something on Clinton. They were unsuccessful. Give it a freaking rest."

She lied to Congress as blatantly as Sessions did. If you don't believe Sessions should resign or be charged for it fine, I think they both should be held accountable for it.

Marty, check out the link in my 12:38 post. It appears that lying, or just misstating blatantly, to Congress does get prosecuted. Sessions hasn't gotten prosecuted, but then there has hardly been time.

Why hasn't Clinton been prosecuted? I have trouble seeing the Republicans in Congress just giving her a pass, if there was any evidence. (Not sure I'm buying Russell's thesis that they would rather make political hay out of accusations.)

Marty, you have completely blown your credibility in all manners Clinton. That's what you get for crying "wolf" over and over, and failing to deliver the actual wolf.

I'll be kind, and assume that you are deluded. And not in an entertaining way, either.

WRS: if the fire-breathing RW congress couldn't get charges brought, there's nothing there. Get over it.

first, my credibility in all things Clinton is irrelevant. There is, in all of the links, certainty that she lied to Congress. I am also sure that she, nor Sessions, will get charged for it. She never resigned, he may or may not, but every Dem official should give it a rest. They already staked out their position.

He should resign because he staked out his.

I am not in a position to provide the links but he is a weasel. They just don't have the standing to call him on it.

I think they both should be held accountable for it.

fine with me.

my point is that "holding Clinton accountable" has been a (R) talking point, campaign promise, fund-raising slogan, reliable career builder, fast track to increased visibilty and cool committee appointments, and general professional hobby for, like, 25 years.

if there's a case, bring it and get on with it.

IMO there's too much wiggle room to bring a criminal case against sessions. he should go because he's too compromised at this point to lead the DOJ. that's not an advisory position, it's pretty hands-on. it needs somebody who is not obviously partisan and not obviously mendacious.

re: Clinton.

The issue at hand is Jeff Sessions, right?

Marty, as he always does, clearly illustrates russell's point about the Clintons being handy as political capital. Without being able to cry "A CLINTON ONCE DID SOMETHING!" Marty et al would be forced to deal with the bullshit that's oozing out of his own goddamned party. And that would be uncomfortable.

Don't make me come back here.

"The issue at hand is Jeff Sessions, right?"

no my issue is every D politician acting so self righteous while demanding his resignation. I don't think his need to resign is even at issue.

In the spirit of open threadedness, somone told me this week that the reason we built on 180 f-22s is that it loses its stealth capabilities if it gets wet. Permanently.

no my issue is every D politician acting so self righteous while demanding his resignation.

Of course. It has nothing at all to do with the fact that you are unwilling to countenance criticism of your party without jumping up and down about how some Democrat somewhere once did something.

sigh, yes that's the problem. I cant stand those critiques of a guy I don't like, didn't want appointed and would be happy if he would resign.

I hate to admit it, because I think Marty's attitudes towards the Clintons is deluded and in fact borderline demented, but he has consistently said since Trump (who he didn't support or vote for) nominated Sessions, that the latter was an appalling pick and he hoped that he would not be confirmed. Fair's fair.

That's "attitude" singular, and really it's his attitude towards Hillary.

trump has now cleared the way for me to finally, after all these decades of strangled freedom, to purchase a coal-burning automobile.

I'm opting for the the high-sulphur bitumunous coal engine.

It's a convertible for ease of littering.

Yes.

Just so you run it on coal from Wyoming. You wouldn't want to get coal from Appalachia -- gotta back stab Trump's supporters there after all. Because unless someone loses (and they're handiest), Trump won't have won. And he's all about winning.

Marty's attitude toward Hillary Clinton is hard to interpret any other way but this: Hillary is so despicable that Marty would not vote for her even to stop He, Trump.

It's an attitude not unique to Marty. I know people in real life who blame He, Trump's rise to power on the Democrats' perverse insistence on nominating someone as despicable as Hillary.

People like that can kiss my ass, of course. I have more respect for outright fascists, racists, and plutocrats who straight-up supported He, Trump because of his fascist, racist, and plutocratic tendencies. Such people may be anything from stupid to evil, but at least they don't hide behind the pretense that He, Trump is somebody else's fault.

--TP

Well, there was an election and the choices were Darth Vader, Jabba the Hutt, Jar Jar Binks...

I cant stand those critiques of a guy I don't like,

Whatever dislike you have is made irrelevant by the fact that you leap to their defense, whenever a liberal criticizes them.


I cant stand those critiques of a guy I don't like, didn't want appointed and would be happy if he would resign.

Pray, tell, what then are the "correct" critiques of mr sessions?

Pretty sure "I can't stand those critiques" is a sarcastic statement (genus: exasperated).

Repeal the 13th Amendment!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/03/05/thousands-of-ice-detainees-claim-they-were-forced-into-labor-a-violation-of-anti-slavery-laws/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_pn-detainees-801am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.3d5dd2237a57

What happens in Texas where people don't think pregnancy is a medical condition.

Jesus. This is an actual thing:

"Under ICE’s Voluntary Work Program, detainees sign up to work and are paid $1 a day. The nationwide program, ICE says, “provides detainees opportunities to work and earn money while confined, subject to the number of work opportunities available and within the constraints of the safety, security and good order of the facility.”"
"Detainees work for up to eight hours a day, 40 hours a week, cleaning bathrooms, showers, toilets, windows, patient rooms and staff offices, waxing floors, and preparing and serving meals. ICE says detainees “shall be able to volunteer for work assignments but otherwise shall not be required to work, except to do personal housekeeping.”"

i mean, what the hell?

GEO Group, operators of the private ICE detention facility.

DJT has been very, very good for them.

The documentary "13th," available on Netflix, is very important regarding the private prison question.

How many conservatives, republicans, and trumpaloozas will those private prisons hold?

We're gonna need MORE prison capacity.

In fact, we should declare the space taken up in Mar-a-Lago and the trump tower by these enemies of our once-great country nationalized and now part of the federal prison system.

Just for something a little different, how about a relatively positive take on the US today. Here, from an optimistic leftist

So the idea that Trump will somehow successfully relitigate the role of immigrants, minorities, gays and women in American society is scary but absurd. He may continue the Republican campaign to restrict voting rights. He may seek to overturn Roe v. Wade (supported by 70 percent of the American public). He may promote prejudice against Muslim Americans. Such actions may in fact be cheered on by his hard-core supporters. But he will ultimately fail, because what he wishes to do is both massively unpopular and runs against the grain of legal precedent and institutional norms.
It's all too easy to focus on the negatives; and negatives there certainly are. But if we lose the bigger picture, that's the road to despair. Which would be a mistake.

I also found this interesting. When it comes to Trump's wall, It’s Not the Money, It's the Land.

Apparently, even with Kelo, taking land for something like this isn't trivial. Especially when you have to deal with lots and lots of land owners.

Tony P.: I wouldn't have voted for Clinton because her stance on foreign policy has been extremely militaristic and belligerent. She voted in favour of the Iraq war and hasn't learned anything since - there was rarely an intervention she didn't like and didn't want expanded. Now such a position is often adorned with euphemisms like "hawkishness" and "toughness" but all I see lots of destroyed lives.

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/04/hillary-clinton-really-loves-military-intervention

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/28/us/politics/hillary-clinton-libya.html?_r=0

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/24/magazine/how-hillary-clinton-became-a-hawk.html

I wouldn't have voted for Clinton because her stance on foreign policy has been extremely militaristic and belligerent

As so often in politics, you can find yourself in the position of having to choose between bad and worse. Granting that Clinton was bad on this, do you really see Trump as better? A man whose lifelong response to opposition (or even just disrespect) is to lash out? Now with the power of the US military to lash out with.

Yeah, it would be nice to have a choice who you actually like on an issue that is important to you. But that wasn't on offer. If you refuse to take "less bad", you share responsibility for "worse" if it happens.

I wouldn't have voted for Clinton

all I see lots of destroyed lives.

Since you're not eligible to vote here (from what I gather) perhaps you should explain how you're dealing with your own country's hawks or Putin puppets, and what you're actually doing there, instead of what you theoretically might have done if you cared about the future of the United States, and had a stake in it.

wj,
Not just the land. Assuming it's really going to all be solid concrete 35-50 feet high -- Trump's usual description -- there will be violations of the Endangered Species Act, water treaties with Mexico, and will probably put either New Mexico or Texas in violation of their water compact for Rio Grande tributaries.

A 50-foot-tall concrete wall built across some of the arroyos in Arizona and New Mexico isn't a wall, it's a badly-designed dam. Parts of it are going to disappear the first time a North American Monsoon thunderstorm dumps six inches of rain in the proper place, and the resulting flash flood hits the wall.

Since you're not eligible to vote here (from what I gather) perhaps you should explain how you're dealing with your own country's hawks or Putin puppets, and what you're actually doing there, instead of what you theoretically might have done if you cared about the future of the United States, and had a stake in it.

sapient, I think you're forgetting once again that we can say whatever we want here, whether it's theoretical or not. And I cannot imagine why you say "if you cared about the future of the United States", when it's perfectly clear that everybody who takes the trouble to comment here cares about the future of the United States, and for some reason or other (if my own case is anything to go by) feels they have a stake in that future. As you presumably know, my own stance is much closer to Tony P's and wj's (and your own) than to novakant's, and I tried to fight Marty and McKinney on the right and NV on the left about the fact that they should vote for HRC instead of not voting for Trump, but their decision was not to, and that was their right. And it's novakant's right to say what he wants, and put a perfectly rational view, even if it's one with which many of us disagree.

Now. I've had a completely hijacked day for various reasons, so haven't read the Sunday papers yet and may not be able to until around Tuesday (driving up to the North Country tomorrow). However, I have the Observer (Sunday stablemate of the Guardian) in front of me, and I see that half its front page and two whole pages (of a broadsheet newspaper) are on the subject of Cambridge Analytica etc. So, although I haven't read them yet, I link to the separate pieces below in case any of you are interested.

Front page (doesn't appear to be the whole thing): https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/mar/04/cambridge-analytics-data-brexit-trump

From inside, piece I:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/mar/04/nigel-oakes-cambridge-analytica-what-role-brexit-trump

Piece 2:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/mar/04/cambridge-analytica-democracy-digital-age

novakant,

I fervently hope that in a long and happy life you never have to choose between surgery and chemotherapy. And I especially hope that if (FSM forbid) you are ever faced with that awful choice you do not reject both unsavory alternatives in favor of acupuncture or something.

It is of course your right, as GftNC points out, to make your own choices for your own reasons. And it is not my place to judge either your choices or your reasons -- as long as their consequences apply only to you and not to me.

That works both ways, of course. How and why I vote the way I do affects you as well as me, so you are perfectly entitled to judge right back at me. Have at it. History will have the final say anyhow.

--TP

wj / tony p.:

Maybe I can make it clearer this way: I am very close with some people from the ME - it would be a bit hard to explain to them that I would have voted for somebody who has a track record of wanting to bomb the sh@t out of them. So it's a red line for me, but it should be for everybody.

sapient:

How am I dealing with our hawks?

Well, I don't vote for them.

Everybody has a stake in the future of the US and is affected by US FP, there is nothing theoretical about it. I am less bothered about the elections in Costa Rica - though I wish them all the best.

Maybe I can make it clearer this way: I am very close with some people from the ME - it would be a bit hard to explain to them that I would have voted for somebody who has a track record of wanting to bomb the sh@t out of them

I can certainly understand the difficulty. But when the alternative is someone who not only enthuses about bombing them, but thinks we should have (and should in the future) stolen their oil to pay us back for the bombs we expended . . . ? Might make the explanation a little easier.

sapient, I think you're forgetting once again that we can say whatever we want here, whether it's theoretical or not.

Does that apply to me too? Apparently not, and thanks for the reminder.

So it's a red line for me, but it should be for everybody.

That's fine. Perhaps you're more impressed by the way Donald Trump treats people in and from the Middle East. I hope that he doesn't harm people in the way I believe he will.

Sapient, I think you're forgetting that my remark was in response to your suggestion that novakant say what you wanted him to say, rather than what he wanted to say.

And so to bed. Til tomorrow or Tuesday, y'all.

Sapient, I think you're forgetting

I'm very forgetful. Again, thanks. Goodnight.

But he will ultimately fail

But what will be damage between now and then?

And what about all the people who are basically all in for Trump?

A 50-foot-tall concrete wall built across some of the arroyos in Arizona and New Mexico isn't a wall, it's a badly-designed dam.

It's dumb-assery and political theater. Which doesn't mean it won't get built, at least some of it.

Public policy in the US has left the world of tangible reality far behind. We're in fantasy land now.

Trump has multiple priorities -- or, at least, multiple talking points for his base. But, as gets clearer by the day, he doesn't have people who can effectively turn them into laws. So which happens first depends on the priorities of the folks who do have the requisite expertise. Which is to say Congress.

It appears, for the moment, that Congress' priority is the ACA repeal. (Tax cuts are a close second, but will take longer.) Without, since they can't agree amongst themselves, replace. At which point, Trump's base starts hurting. Bad.

Trump has multiple priorities -- or, at least, multiple talking points for his base. But, as gets clearer by the day, he doesn't have people who can effectively turn them into laws. So which happens first depends on the priorities of the folks who do have the requisite expertise. Which is to say Congress.

It appears, for the moment, that Congress' priority is the ACA repeal. (Tax cuts are a close second, but will take longer.) Without, since they can't agree amongst themselves, replace. At which point, Trump's base starts hurting. Bad.

Public policy in the US has left the world of tangible reality far behind. We're in fantasy land now.

Actually, we're in civil war. For most of us, it's nonviolent, and I hope that it stays that way. But let's not be having rhetoric that ruins our side.

With respect and thanks to all here.

Sad!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/inside-trumps-fury-the-president-rages-at-leaks-setbacks-and-accusations/2017/03/05/40713af4-01df-11e7-ad5b-d22680e18d10_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_trumptumult-830pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.7dee25373473

wtf? are we supposed to feel sorry for trump because his life has become complicated and frustrating?

being POTUS is not like being the boss of your own family-owned-and-run private business. you have 300 million bosses. it's freaking hard, orders of magnitude harder than building a high-rise, or running a TV show, or selling your name as a brand to slap on consumer goods.

which is all that Trump had done prior to running for office.

you can't tell people what to do and expect them to jump. you can't run around shooting your mouth off and not expect push-back. a lot of people are going to disagree with you and generally tell you you suck, and you aren't going to be able to go run and hide from it in your gold-plated apartment or golf course hideaway.

he wanted the job, now he's got it. he needs to get his shit together and get busy. turn off the tv, put the phone down, get off of twitter, quit reading breitbart and watching fox, and get the hell to work.

quit complaining about everybody saying bad things about you, and get to work. get shit done.

yeah, being POTUS is really freaking hard. quit bitching and do your job.

I can't believe we have almost four more years of this BS ahead of us.

and yes sapient, i agree, it's basically a mostly non-violent civil war at this point. two nations trying to pretend to be one.

novakant,

Just to be more direct (and in no way disrespectful), what do your ME close friends think of Donald Trump? How do you explain him to them?

I too have friends abroad, and they're freaking out.

Love,

he wanted the job, now he's got it

Actually, I don't think so. The more I see, the more I think his plan/desire was to run, build up a fan base (no, not a figure of speech; exactly that), lose, and then spend years and years giving speeches/rallies to hordes of adoring fans who believe he was cheated out of the Presidency. For big, huuuge, bucks.

He was OK with losing the election, because his fans would believe that he won. And the cash flow would prove it.

The best laid plans....

The more I see, the more I think his plan/desire was to run, build up a fan base (no, not a figure of speech; exactly that), lose...

According to Howard Stern, apparently a long-time friend of Trump, Trump's goal was to finish second in the race for the Republican nomination. Then squeeze NBC for more money for The Apprentice.

Trump may have started out with plans not to win, but once it became a real possibility of course he wanted to win. A mean, jesus, President of the US effin' A, why not?

Of course, he probably thought the only part of the job was what he saw on the TV. And that as POTUS he would just order up things and they would be done and he could play golf on the weekends. And that "winning" meant he was popular and loved and could go around giving speeches to rallies like the campaign.

That none of those things are true just enrages him, I imagine. Hence what we see on a near daily basis from him.

Actually, I don't think so.

own goal.

too bad, he won. time for DJT to grow the f*** up and deal.

his supporters, too.

he's got a (R) house and senate, is likely to have a co-operative SCOTUS, has mostly the cabinet he wanted.

time for him to start making america great again. early signs are not enouraging.

In case of doubt blame a typo and say that the word is 'grate' not 'great'. On that part he definitely delivered byond the call of duty already.

'beyond' not 'byond' (which sounds like a Scandinavian secret agent: Byond, Jógvan Byond, Faroese Section of Her Danish Majesty's Special Service).

"Byond, Jógvan Byond, Faroese Section of Her Danish Majesty's Special Service"

Lutefisk. Shaken, not stirred.

Don't you shake that fish at me!

[changing topic]

Josh Marshall points out the absurdity of having the Congress investigate the alleged wire tap.

[one more]

The Internets get a laugh about a see-through border wall. Yes, there is such a thing as transparent aluminum (sort of).

too bad, he won. time for DJT to grow the f*** up and deal.

If a man has reached age 70 without growing up, it seems unlikely that he will do so now. Even assuming that he is emotionally capable of it, which I beg leave to doubt.

wj, I take your point.

Trump's kind of Marines...

Add this to the many reasons for ARTICLE I, SECTION 8, CLAUSE 12...

Will Congress investigate it? Over to you, Reps. Chaffetz and Thornberry. Do your nation proud.

Adding, I guess the Marines are not part of the Army, and thus might not fall under that clause of the Constitution.

If you want to get a really good look at that particular issue, I recommend Task and Purpose's article on the matter. Specifically, the comments.

Note: I do not recommend wanting to get a really good look at that.

What if I don't read the comments?

...you'll get a bit more and closer perspective than the articles you posted. The comments are unfortunately the, ah, distinctly-more-informative part of that article, but T&P is aimed at a military audience, so it is offering a different perspective than the civilian articles and a bit more detail in certain directions.

Ah, the comments were about what I expected. People are lovely on the internets, and in real life, it seems, even in the Marine Corps. Semper feh.

I don't wish to know that.

ral - so good to see a reference to the Goon show!

Hey cleek - so good to see you back!

GftNC, I'm glad you appreciate it, although I had mixed feelings about posting that comment as the subject (above) is far from a joke.

Very proper sentiment, ral, but don't forget: this is an open thread. By introducing the Goons, you allowed those with the memory of them a moment of delight. One of my favourites, from the last Goon Show of All:

SEAGOON: What are you doing down here?

ECCLES:
Everybody's got to be somewhere.

SEAGOON:
Yes, but who are you?

ECCLES:
Oooh, da hard ones first, eh? Now, I don't want you to spread this around ... but I'm the coal man.

SEAGOON:
Coal man? It's three in the morning.

ECCLES:
Yup. Never too late to be a coal man.

Ah blessed memories, even without the voices, and not just of the genius Spike Milligna, that well-known typing error. I think the Pythons, the Goodies, and all surrealistic comedians since, rightly and openly acknowledge their debt.

I hear the voices in my head. :-) Er, that is, I have a very vivid auditory memory.

Nancy Smash!

This White House has more drama among rich people than a Jane Austen novel. In fact, I'm told the Secret Service code names for President Trump and Bannon are "Pride" and "Prejudice."

Family values

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/06/politics/john-kelly-separating-children-from-parents-immigration-border/index.html?sr=twCNN030717john-kelly-separating-children-from-parents-immigration-border0133AMVODtopPhoto&linkId=35186612

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