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May 09, 2019


Remember that scene in "Red Dawn, so beloved by pigfucking subhuman conservatives, in which Soviet paratroopers land on the grounds of the Colorado public high school and force it to go private charter at Kalashnikov-point and brainwash the students into arming themselves, hitting the hills as a field trip, and letting their parents go without health insurance and vaccinations:

Hey, the financial markets are rebounding, so no sweat, most of my holdings were up today despite my socialist veneer.

Do I seem like I'm sweating it?

I know Mnuchin (that can't be his name) and Kudlow are placing massive buy orders in offshore futures markets with taxpayer monies to celebrate the use of taxpayer monies in the freely manipulated markets, ya know, like the law stipulates.

I'm long radiation futures, mushroom cloud startups and shorting the Red Cross's blood banking capabilities because I don't think they are quite up to what is coming.

Remember when you were a toddler and you still believed that if you made a movement with one apparently causative hand that there would be a corresponding movement in the reality around you ..... a leak would fall from a tree, a cloud would cover the sun, or your Mom would appear in front of you, and you thought it was YOU, the magic you running the show.

This is how p works. He tweets. The financial markets, like a yoyo attached to the poisonous root of his tongue soar and collapse, seemingly at his will. His Beck. His Call.

He gives his family a little taste, maybe a close criminal thug associate as well, Kudlow of course, and they dial in futures contracts with each move of the Wizard's tweeting tongue.

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

Toto just sniffs out the dog shit stuck to his shoe.

There are priceless doodads on display at the White House.

We'll never find them again.

leaf. Shut up.

Joe Biden thinks THAT political party will experience an epiphany.

It's not going to be like he thinks:

Might even be worse that I think:

I assumed you were in the tree.

Last word, that.

That Alabama anti-abortion bill is not that bad since it allows a woman to abort up to the moment that she knows that she is pregnant (according to one of the main sponsors of the bill). So, just put that abortion procedure into your daily routine. The only damper is that a woman can't know anymore that she committed a murder of an innocent* which is the whole point of the excercise (we know that the fun of that is the main driving force for women).

*caveat: fetuses go straight to hell since they are unbaptized, so they are innocent only as far as secular law goes. Whether a fetus murdering his mother could be prosecuted by secular law** is open to debate though (apart from the question whether it is to be treated as a minor or an adult or whether it is to be considered a citizen since that is a birthright).
**According to rabbinic interpretation a fetus with murderous intent (rodef) can be killed in self-defense.

sure, the Alabama forced-delivery bill is a disgrace, but we have to admit: HRC wasn't perfect.

More alarming data on Antarctic ice loss:

Pregnant women without health insurance, both those whose choice it is to bring their pregnancies to term and those who do not, will search in vain for life-saving medical care for themselves and their fetuses, as a result of this outrage perpetrated by a rapist lout, whose unpaid for aborted fetuses during his squalid lifetime, if placed end to end, could serve as a cordon to keep the Other off his fully mortgaged, bankrupt properties:

Pregnancy, under murderous, subhuman vermin republican governance, is a pre-existing condition which may be used to deny coverage .... a pre-existing condition the mother does not know about until it has pre-existed long enough to enable republicans to not only deny insurance coverage but to punish 13-year old rape victims if they seek abortions or attempt to abort the fetus themselves by desperately sticking a republican-supplied gun ... which conservative filth use to kill darker, more mature fetuses with if those fetuses break into their homes or drive while black ... up their vaginas and pulling the trigger, and to jail doctors and other medical personnel who attempt to help the young raped woman in her predicament before she is forced by republican neo-Christian bedbugs to marry her rapist and then submit to the re-consummation of his rape fetish on her during their blessed conservative-supervised honeymoon at Niagara Falls, after enjoying a ride over the Falls, fetus-intact, in a barrel since laws prohibiting such pregnancy-interruptus behavior were struck from the books by pox-spreading libertarian/republican c&cks&ckers to reduce the regulatory state.

My suggestion for monitoring the thinning of the antarctic ice sheets is to strap the pregnant daughters and girlfriends of Alabama, Missouri, and Ohio state legislators (we'll not tell their wives about the girlfriends the former of whom are probably being anally violated by their Christian divorce counselors in motels on the outskirts of town) to the ice flows and we can observe whether these fine, upstanding republicans believe global climate change is a HOAX or an abortifacient.

Marilyn Monroe was forcibly brutally anally raped by a Hollywood producer as part of his "auditioning" procedures for her role in the movie "Scudda Hoo, Scudda Hay!", and now male republican trash are poohing-poohing the notion by female actresses that the movie industry might boycott Alabama as a prime backdrop for their productions, wondering how it is that America can employ the same barbaric cracker birth control methods across state lines and yet use commerce as a weapon like 'at.

Roll into this comment that I personally would prefer to see abortion as a rare event, but legal nevertheless, with certain restrictions and medical safeguards, which we now have to varying degrees, but not for long, and financial support, state supplied, for surviving fetuses well into their majority age, should they not be shot by conservatives well before that for exhibiting socialist tendencies.

Put that in your pipe, conservatives, and light the thing.

Then shove it up your virgin as&holes, and we'll call it love.

Marry me.

Next to go down the legal drain, all birth control methods outside of Elmer Gantry rogering a billy goat to maintain the proprieties.

Brett Kavanaugh is preparing a Valentine for Christine Blasey Ford proposing another gang roll in the hay, once the legal specifics are worked out.

murderous, subhuman vermin republican governance

John, indulge my curiosity. Think back to the middle of the last century, when Democrats' control of Congress was predicated on the racist Democrats from the Deep South. Did you think that all Democrats deserved to be denounced as racists, simply because they were tolerating the racists who kept them in power?

And how about during the New Deal, when the same dynamic played out?

Seems like consistency would require that. Certainly there were some seriously subhuman individuals in play. But I have a hunch that you wouldn't have. Am I worng?

We were talking about changing minds recently, and wj cited the change in public attitudes and legal status for LGBTQ people that has happened at what I admit is an astonishingly fast pace in this country, and worldwide, over the past few decades.

This is my brief summary, echoing another BJ commenter, of that optimistic observation. In short: "Things can change back."

See, for example, Waterville, Maine, where the mayor is in the news again, rabble-rousing as usual. And I do mean rabble.

Seriously, you don't want your kids to be read to by a drag queen? Don't fucking take your kids to the fucking event. But the rabble's anthem is "freedom [sic] for me and not for thee," so no one else is free to go to that event without being harassed.

Once a long time ago, during one of the many statewide referenda we had in Maine on gay rights, I had a dream. I mean, a dream while I was sleeping, not in the MLK sense. I was in a
long line of people, waiting to be loaded onto the trains that were going to take us ... away.

Backwards into darkness: that's where they want to take us. They won't stop with abortion, or children in cages, or ignoring marriages rights in the State Department.

Backwards into darkness: that's where they want to take us. They won't stop with abortion, or children in cages, or ignoring marriages rights in the State Department.

I have to say, dramatic as this sounds, I completely agree. It's why I told my late husband (to his surprise) that I could barely watch the first series of the Handmaid's Tale, which he was happy to watch almost as dystopian sci-fi, whereas to me it seemed a perfectly possible future (and indeed present, in some of the world).

You mean, when I was an 8-year old RINO, in the middle of the last century?

I would hope so. Same, same for the racist southern Democrats, as opposed to the racist northern republicans, during the New Deal.

And yes, yes, judging folks of earlier generations by today's moral sensibilities is a sticky wicket.

This we are lectured by conservatives who claim THEIR values are universal, eternal, etched in tablets, unassailably inspired by unquestionable divinity.

All men are created equal. Since when? The beginning? Or when some politically incorrect Texan republican state rep finally decides by noon this Friday that this should be the case because not only does consistency demand it, but if he doesn't mend his racist ways, and all of the other ways, someone is going to stick a gun in his mouth and force him too.

Time's up. We aren't going to backslide yet again, James W. Crow.

But, were I a sentient adult in 1935, as opposed to a pre-fetal fetus in the imagination of my seven-year old mother, I would probably have shared many of the racist insensibilities of the era.

I may well be racist in some ways right this minute. I'll bet any black person could point those ways out to me.

Seems to me black folks should have burned me out of house of home then for the privations my racist dumbshitedness forced upon them, given universal, eternal values always held forth by "conservatives", and if I haven't figured it out after 240 years of foot-dragging bullshit, I should be burned out now, finally.

I don't expect consistency from human beings, least of all myself.

But I just want movement conservatives, who issue blanket accusations regarding everyone, all, who doesn't/don't abide by their program to shut the fuck up about their fake news bullshit consistency.

In the meantime, until they do, I'll speak fully enunciated English to them.

Not you, wj.

You are maddeningly consistent in all of the right ways.

wj asks John Thullen: Did you think that all Democrats deserved to be denounced as racists, simply because they were tolerating the racists who kept them in power?

I'm not John, but I'm borderline irritated by wj's question on several levels.

First and least: "murderous, subhuman vermin republican governance" is not the same as "all Republicans are racists".

Second: there's at least some difference between "tolerating" racists and encouraging them, let alone surrendering to them. FDR needed racist Southern Democrats to enact Social Security (against Republican opposition, mind you) so he tolerated them to the extent of leaving farm laborers and domestic workers out of the initial deal because those racist Southern Democrats wouldn't vote for anything that might benefit black people. But FDR did NOT drop the idea of Social Security altogether in order to please those racist Southern Democrats.

Third: those racist Southern Democrats are all Republicans now.

Fourth: neither John, nor you, wj, nor I were politically conscious at the time you speak of. So your question is at least ungrammatical.

Other than that, I think you're a fine Republican. Whether the racist Southern former-Democrats would agree, I beg leave to doubt.


"First": it is, however, routinely being used that way (OK, not always racist, but varying kinds of objectionable) by John. Which is what set me off.
"Third": sad but true.
"Fourth": Actually, I do have a few political memories of the 50s. Not to mention that Thurmond, et al were still around and toxic (as Democrats) during the 60s. But I'm open to suggestions for a more grammatical way to phrase my point.

As to your final point, the feeling is mutual. Although I am aware that, on raw numbers, they are winning at the moment. Sigh.

I confess I still find the level of, for lack of a better term, "self-parody" in this administration remarkable.

I was particularly taken by this:

Trump ... fully pardoned Patrick Nolan, a former Republican state legislative leader who pleaded guilty to public corruption charges in 1994 and served nearly three years in prison.
But hey, who cares about public corruption?

This should be good, by which I mean hack it, troll it, overwhelm it, turn in your conservative p-loving neighbors. Shut it down.

FDR needed racist Southern Democrats to enact Social Security

And current-day (R)'s need the current-day equivalents of mid-20th C racist southern Democrats to flush SS down the drain.

Backwards into darkness: that's where they want to take us.

On the evening of my personal great unhinging, which I spent communicating with all of my friends who suck and who I was trying to talk down off the ledge, a significant number of them were gay folks who were wondering what was in store for them.

Jobs, marriages, kids. Not in that order. Would they lose them, how hard would it be to hold on to them, what would it cost them.

What were they in for.

I don't know why it is so freaking hard for anyone to understand why Trump specifically, and (R) governance in general, is disturbing to a lot of people. It's simple.

Conservatives are afraid their country is changing. They might have to bake a cake for a gay wedding. Somebody might wish them Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. They have to press 1 for English.

Or, you know, they might be required to get health insurance. Their car might have to get more than 20 miles per gallon. The estate tax exemption might drop back below 10 million bucks.

Other folks are afraid of things like losing their kids, losing their marriages, losing their jobs and careers. Things like not being able to walk down the street without being harassed or assaulted by bigots.

Or maybe being grabbed from their home, or place of business, and being thrown in prison with no particular due process, to wait while they see if they will be thrown out of the country. They tell their kids who to reach out to if mom or dad doesn't come home from work.

They're afraid of those things because, for a lot of their lives or the lives of people they know, those things have been a tangible threat. A reality. Those thing actually happened to people.

It's not a given that they won't happen again. Lots of folks would be perfectly happy for them to happen again. Some of them happen now, today.

This is not hypothetical stuff.

I'm not John, but I'm borderline irritated by wj's question on several levels.

Me, too. The question has a certain "when did you stop beating your wife" quality to it.

But in essence, insofar as nearly all white folk were objectively racists at the time, the answer is, "Yes."

So, what's the point?

Also, too: The New Deal coalition was a pretty rickety ad hoc affair arising out of the historical backwash of the Civil War and the emergency of the Great Depression. By the second half of the 30's the southern Dems, in cooperation with the GOP, were pretty much effectively blunting the more liberal aspects of the New Deal (cf John Nance Garner).

As has been brought to your attention more than once, the current GOP is taking on an ideological rigidity that is simply frightening. Good old fashioned "moderate republicans" such as yourself are going to get run over or run out of the party.

They have to press 1 for English.

Even here is lefty California, I have never encountered this. I get offered the option of pressing 2 for Spanish. But English is the default, requiring no action on my part.

Are there really places where that isn't true? One has to wonder why anyone would have a different default.

As has been brought to your attention more than once, the current GOP is taking on an ideological rigidity that is simply frightening. Good old fashioned "moderate republicans" such as yourself are going to get run over or run out of the party.

Yeah, I know. Frightening, not to mention insanely self-defeating in even the medium term. (Just to be clear, the fact that it will, I am sure, eventually be self defeating does not by any means reconcile me to the damage they are trying to do in the short term.)

I suppose it makes me a real conservative that I am standing athwart the changing GOP yelling "Stop!" ;-)

Are there really places where that isn't true?

Between the ears of Trumpies.

Just to follow on Russell's WRS-worthy comment, it very much reminds me of a conservative friend's declaration that Obama was ruining the country. This was near the end of Obama's second term in office before the 2016 election. Mind you, we were on our way to a beer festival on a retired battleship that hosts regular tours and special events - special events like beer festivals.

Do they do stuff like that in ruined countries? Things were looking pretty good for us that day!

At any rate, when pressed for specifics on how mean-old and/or super-incompetent President Obama was ruining the country, there was something like, "Well, he's just ruining it!" Realizing that wasn't a good answer, there were some follow-ups on points of disagreement or things that didn't go perfectly, all of which fell well short of anything like ruination. Stuff along the lines of Black Lives Matter leaders getting to go to the White House or the AG not prosecuting so-and-so whom no one who didn't watch Fox News everyday could even name.

There's no there there. It's gay, Muslim, baby-killing turtles all the way down.


Well put. An earlier classic that I remember was casual reference to "Obama phones".

The 2016 version of this was throwing about the term, "crooked Hillary", with the clear intonation that nothing else need be said.

It's gay, Muslim, baby-killing turtles all the way down.

Close. It's gay, Muslim, baby-killing, black turtles all the way down.

Which is to say, that while there are some (a depressingly large number, actually) people who have sincere objections to one or another specific policy or action by the government -- especially under Democrats. But there are also a lot who think the country is going to hell in a handbasket, but cannot actually come up with a specific policy or significant action that's bad. Beyond not liking who they see as in charge -- i.e. not them or people like them.

Are there really places where that isn't true?

when phone trees first started offering Spanish, you did have to 'press 1 for English'. but that was in the 80s.

and you still have to choose your language on many ATMs.

it doesn't bother me in the slightest. because i'm not afraid of other languages

Secretary of State Gene Simmons, formerly of the diplomatic logistics think tank, Kiss, briefs reporters in the State Department briefing room, and brings them up to date on his plan to eat Iranian children and upchuck their shredded viscera all over conservative Americans who like that sorta thing:

But first, a policy statement (you'll scroll down a bit:

having a
"Press 1 for a sexy French female voice"
would go a long way to solving these problems.

Might create others, though.

Press 2 if you want this option to be available.

On the DNC 'server':

I appreciate the emptywheel link, and I very much appreciate all the work that Marcy Wheeler et al do in decoding the endless stream of toxic BS that we are flooded with every day.

All of that said, here is the situation as it presents itself to us:

The POTUS and principals in his campaign solicited materials that had been obtained illegally in an effort to damage Clinton. The materials had been obtained by, or were held by, Russian nationals connected to the Russian government. The POTUS' campaign reached out to many of those folks directly, and also to Wikileaks as an intermediary source, to obtain those materials and/or align their campaign efforts with the deliberate release of those materials by others.

Having done all of that, the POTUS then repeatedly attempted to obstruct investigations into all of that mess. He was prevented from doing so only by the reluctance of the people who reported to him to expose themselves or the POTUS to criminal liability.

Much of this is in the public record.

Current DOJ policy prevents folks in the DOJ from indicting a sitting POTUS. So Mueller declined to do so.

The Constitutional remedy for dealing with malfeasance by the POTUS is impeachment. That requires the House to initiate the process, and then the Senate to adjudicate. The political calculation, no doubt 100% correct, is that the Senate will never, ever, ever find this POTUS guilty of any impeachable offense. So the House appears disinclined to begin the process, at least not without conducting further investigation.

Further investigation is currently being stonewalled by the executive. Not just stonewalled, but the authority of Congress to even conduct investigation has been called into question.

Resolving all of this will require months if not years of legal wrangling, because our form of government prefers that process to guillotines. Which is, all things considered, a net positive.

It's highly likely that nothing further will come of the Mueller findings. It's highly likely that the people currently in jail for the various and numerous crimes committed by the Trump campaign will be pardoned.

It's more than reasonably likely that Trump will be POTUS until January 2025. Because a lot of people think he's great, and if there is one thing the man knows how to do, it's sell a turd. That, and cheat.

My assumption is that we're on our way to being, at best, a second rate country. Rich and with lots of guns, but the rest of the world is going to find a way to work around the likes of us. Because we consent to be governed by a belligerent criminal fraud, and because people basically just don't like dealing with assholes if they don't have to.

We're obliged to put up with him, because we elected him, and we don't have the fucking simple political will to throw him the hell out.

The rest of the world is under no such obligation.

Trump is not an anomaly. Trump is what the US looks like now. To the rest of the world, and also here at home. He's the POTUS because he won the freaking election. He remains POTUS because the political will to remove him does not exist.

I put the odds of him winning in 2020 at better than even. He is as popular as he was the day he was elected, he has apparently unshakeable support within the (R) party, the economy is basically holding up, and he now has all of the advantages of incumbency. Short of a disastrous war or the economy imploding, he has every ingredient needed to do well.

Win or lose, 40% or more of the country thinks he is the cat's meow.

And that is where we are.

Much much shorter me:

Trump is a crook. A criminal. Mueller delivered the evidence of that to the DOJ and Congress, signed and sealed, with a cherry on top.

The DOJ will do nothing with it. The Senate will do nothing with it. The House will dither around at trying to do something with it, but they can't seem to summon the muscle to make it stick.

The institutions that exist to prevent people like Donald J Trump from retaining the office of POTUS are so far proving to be insufficient to the task.

Maybe we can vote him out, but that assumes that a sufficient number of people want him out. Given the advantages he brings to the contest, it might need to be a pretty strong majority. And that may not be on offer.

And there it is.

I'm supposed to feel upbeat on Friday. So much for that!

Here's a headline for ya:

Trump wants his border barrier to be painted black with spikes. .

Makes you proud to be an American, doesn't it.

What a frightened, ridiculous people we have become. Frightened, ridiculous people, with money and guns.

Today in Arlington MA. Second time in a week.

Because Jews will not replace us. Ask any very fine person you might happen to meet.

None of this, of course, has anything to do with the POTUS' language or behavior.

This week in New Haven.

Because scary towel-head camel-jockey terrorists in our midst.

None of this, of course, has anything to do with the POTUS' language or behavior.

I'm not going looking for this stuff, I'm just reading my news feed, hoping to find some funny cat videos.

I disagree on one point with russell. I consider it unlikely that there will be many pardons for those already behind bars because most refused to fall on their swords for their boss and thus are considered traitors to Him.
Apart from that, iirc a pardon would mean that they could not refuse anymore to testify against Him. Btw, could a POTUS pardon someone again for violating the obligations incurred by a first pardon?

I consider it unlikely that there will be many pardons for those already behind bars

Then they're fncked. Too bad for them, they knew he was a scorpion, they shouldn't have played the frog.

Doesn't do anything to change the rest of the situation.

The horse of a different color's patootie wants the openings in the wall to be smaller, but presumably still large enough to to pass tacos INTO pigfuck America and permit automatic gunfire to leave this, our benighted land of assholes, in the other direction:

A recently coined word: "Progressive"

What he is trying to tell us is that the bodies are buried in Teddy's Panama Canal dig ... in the basement. You first, Mr President:

"hoping to find some funny cat videos."

Grumpy cat wasn't displaying the requisite amount of prosperity gospel happy talk, so always-wrong f*cker Larry Kudlow gave the order to off him:

That order went out from the White House at the same time as the orders to the republican base for the Mosque arson and the rabbi's keep-the-home-fires-burning celebration.

So, conservatives, republicans, libertarians whatever you are calling yourselves today, you've been stockpiling military grade weaponry for decades to combat tyranny in blessed America.

Well, now's your chance.

You have opposable thumbs, am I right, or is that too sciency?

First thing you do, is take those thumbs out of your asses.

But wait, that's not the target the guns are for, are they?

I didn't think so.

I put the odds of him winning in 2020 at better than even. He is as popular as he was the day he was elected, he has apparently unshakeable support within the (R) party, the economy is basically holding up, and he now has all of the advantages of incumbency. Short of a disastrous war or the economy imploding, he has every ingredient needed to do well.

All that's true. However low an opinion of him we here have, there's a (depressingly) large portion of the population that either likes what he does (or, more often, says), or just likes the reality TV show he is providing.

HOWEVER, it should be noted that, unlike every other President in my lifetime, his popularity has never cleared 50%. And, since his first week in office, not even 45%. This with, as you say, an economy which is doing quite well -- despite his best efforts. Considering how narrow his margin of victory was, even a tiny shift in a couple of places could see him gone.

It should also be noted that incumbency is mainly an advantage when people at the margins can see that you are accomplishing something for them. There may not be as many swing voters like that as there once were, but there are still enough. And from the polls, not to mention 2018 election results, a lot of them (including a lot who said "Why not give him a try?") are seriously underwhelmed.**

Certainly the Democrats need to avoid anything like overconfidence. A lesson I hope they have taken from last time. But provided they do, I'd say that Trump's reelection odds are more like 1 in 3, possibly lower.

** That's now. If the trogdolites succeed in their effort to get abortion laws like Alabama's sustained, even some Trump fans will, I suspect, decide they aren't as enthused about winning the culture wars as they were about fighting them.

as always: national polls are of extremely limited use when talking about the Presidency. the President is not elected by a national poll, or a national vote.

russell and wj, you're talking as if the election will be held without shenanigans. Gerrymandering, hackable, generally unreliable machines, voter suppression (closing of polling places, impossible hours, etc.), foreign interference -- and if all of that doesn't quite work, we'll get the mere accusation of cheating as an excuse to disqualify the results. Not a single bit of it will surprise me from this crew.

And, wrs at 10:49, although I'm trying to keep a bit of a hold on the fact that the rest of us are not going to go back into the darkness quietly. Closets are dark, back alleys are dark, a lot of us still remember those days, and I hope a lot of younger people, who might in other circumstances be oblivious to the gains because they take them for granted, are seeing firsthand that they can be taken away in a blink.

...and if all of that doesn't quite work, we'll get the mere accusation of cheating as an excuse to disqualify the results.

It definitely won't surprise me if Trump says exactly that. But I'm reasonably confident that power will get transferred regardless.

Now if you want to worry that some of his fans will take action in support of those accusations, I'd give that a higher probability. Although, again, I doubt it will be anywhere close to enough to keep/restore him to office. A hassle to smack down, perhaps, but a serious threat only in their own minds. Give themselves a new Lost Cause to be nostalgic over.

Sometimes, victory comes in bits and pieces. Looks like some of Barr's redactions are going to get un-redacted.

P and Pence have ordered NASA missions to Ultimate Thule, where conservative republican vermin purity remains unpolluted by basic human decency in the far corner of the universe and can be mined and transported to Earth:

as always: national polls are of extremely limited use when talking about the Presidency. the President is not elected by a national poll, or a national vote.

Very true. But why assume anyone is relying on national polls when stuff like this is available?

I picked 3 states at random (NOT!!!) to look at Rump's net approval:

Pennsylvania: -7%
Michigan: -10%
Wisconsin: -13%

I know it's early, but that's reason for hope.

russell and wj, you're talking as if the election will be held without shenanigans.

Not me.

Among the advantages of incumbency are an AG who is fond of the phrase "nothing to see here". Just for starters.

the rest of us are not going to go back into the darkness quietly.


Think back to the middle of the last century, when Democrats' control of Congress was predicated on the racist Democrats from the Deep South. Did you think that all Democrats deserved to be denounced as racists, simply because they were tolerating the racists who kept them in power?

And how about during the New Deal, when the same dynamic played out?

Seems like consistency would require that. Certainly there were some seriously subhuman individuals in play.

This is false equivalence, wj. Yes, the Democrats did rely on the racists to stay in power, but they were were by no means universally, or even mostly, supporters of racist agendas. I can go into detail, but all you really need to remember is that there was a Dixiecrat revolt, which sort of suggests that maybe the Southerners weren't in full control of the party.

Unfortunately, today's Republicans, certainly 95+% of its politicians are firmly behind Trump's corrupt, racist, ignorant policies. I don't think the situations are comparable.

Pre-Big Sort and post-Big Sort.

Clearly, as the time rapidly approaches, the most effective way to get close enough to the conservative movement in order to gain its trust and poison, stab, machete, and shoot it, is to appear ignorant, stupid, not too up on current events, perhaps altogether bereft of sentience:

Say "duh" and "search me!" a lot and listlessly shrug your shoulders when non-thinking with them in their group-think cult tanks. Maybe scratch your private parts absentmindedly with one of them cogitating expressions on your face like maybe all of the facts have escaped you. Whatever you do, don't utter the words "jejune" or "disintermediate", or "ironic", or "second opinion" in their presence or they turn on you ferociously like a body snatcher sniffing out a single glandular squirt of empathy.

"Whatchamacallit" should be the only noun you will require to communicative with them, but make sure to pull on your forelock and mutter "Yes, my Lord" when they order you to lick their faces and other hard to reach areas of their biology.

This will spark their great admiration of your non-existent knowledge in all areas of expertise, which will gain you the confidence of their higher ups and allow you to advance to hobnob where their knowledge and smarts deficit is most egregious.

When they mention the "Democrat Party", socialists, man-on-dog liberals, just say "Fuck, em!" and at that moment conservative filth will let down their guard completely at your display of psychopathic dimwittedeness and you can lunge in for the sure kill.

Now, personally, this would not be MY method of liquidating the American conservative movement, considering how time consuming it would be, and frankly, it's a little late in the day for such piecemeal measures, so don't you worry.

Nuking them from space is a superior idea. Maybe we can invite the top million of the filth to Burning Man in the high desert and when they torch the sculpture a nuclear device of some awful mega-tonnage will go ka-blam and fry them right down to the cellular level.

We'll tow a statue of a pantsless Robert E. Lee out to the site, while wearing hazmat suits, to serve as a marker of what needs to be done from time to time in American history.

We'll preserve their fetuses, however, and attempt to raise them to be normal human beings, unless of course this entire conservative nutcase phenomenon turns out to be nature, not nurture, a matter of all them indelible, inexorably hate-seeking chromosomes doing their worst with any intervention short of absolute ruthlessness being all there is for it.

Word to the wise to women contemplating undergoing an abortion after being raped by a republican stranger of perhaps a republican relative closer to home.

Don't let on to your rapist or his buddies at church about your intentions in that direction because conservative law enforcement and jurists will entertain leniency, and perhaps even high fives from Brett Kavanaugh, for your rapist if the latter divulge the who, what, when, and why of your intentions so they may punish you and, well, murder your doctor.

Furthermore, conservative religious wedding cake bakers will offer discounts to conservative rapists who wish to marry their victims and make honest, but compliant and submissive women of them.

Conservative wedding planners are all over this trend as they are now offering honeymoon discounts to selected resorts for conservative rapists and their blushing, hemorrhaging, and handcuffed brides.

At Mar-a-Lago, for example, well, p will let his fingers do the walking, especially at the orphanage-cum-pizza basement joint off the lobby housing kidnapped Central American children AND now, the new market, dusky kids unwanted by conservative palefaces.

Kinda makes me sorry my tax dollars have been used by the U.S. Navy to make the world's sea lanes safe for the cruise ship industry to sail without the threat of torpedo attacks:

The counties in question should accept the migrants/refugees and besides making them at home, heavily arm and train them in paramilitary guerilla self defense and readiness for the coming savage Civil War conservatives are quickly laying plans for across this great land of ours.

Is He, Trump worth impeaching?

Lindsey Graham, that weasel among lemmings or vice versa, proudly thinks not. He, Trump may be a crook, with traitors for servants and racists for supporters, but Little Lindsey will loudly claim that's not worth impeaching Him over.

Nancy Pelosi, who may not think it's possible to win over any of the MAGA maggots but fears that "swing voters" will be put off by the sight of a grandmother spanking He, Trump's fat ass with a rolled-up copy of the Constitution, has said in so many words that Dear Leader isn't worth impeaching. A charlatan, however crooked, is only worth impeaching when even His most gullible dupes finally agree, you see, and never mind whether any sentient cactus that understands simple Anglo-Saxon words like "would" or "be" or "king" thinks it's long past time for impeachment.

Nothing will change Little Lindsey's mind, because he lost it somewhere around the 4th tee. Nancy might change her mind, but not before Moderate Marty does.

The punditocracy keeps talking as if "ordinary Americans" view "politics" the same way they view chess: a boring game among pointy-headed nerds that has nothing to do with "real life". To the pundits, impeachment is just a political gambit -- to be judged solely on whether it leads to mate in 7 against the best defense, or not. Sweeping away the pieces and breaking the board over your opponent's head -- the He, Trump Defense -- is something the pundits imagine "ordinary Americans" will find entertaining at best, understandable at worst.

As a cynic, I say: if the pundits are right, "ordinary Americans" will deserve everything that's coming to them in the next 2, or 6, or 60 years. But: as a bleeding-heart liberal, positively seething with good will toward those "ordinary Americans", I would gladly spare them the comeuppance, even at the cost of pundits' furrowed brows.

Nancy: stop waiting for the Revelation that will finally liberate "moderates" from their slavish devotion to "bipartisanship", let alone for the 2x4 upside the head it will take to deprogram the MAGA cultists from their worship of Individual_1, the 5th Avenue shootist who can do no wrong in their eyes.

ITMFA. The Republic you save may be your own.


I think any discussion about whether impeachment is worthwhile requires asking: Given that actual removal is not in the cards, what is gained by impeachment? (Now if something surfaces that looks like it might actually convince some Republican Senators, that's a different discussion.)

On one hand, it makes the point that at least part of Congress takes its responsibilities seriously. On the other hand, having the Senate fail to convict will get hyped as validation that there was never anything there. And that includes scenarios where a majority of the Senate votes to remove, just not 2/3. After all, if it was a huge win to lose the popular vote by 3 million, surely it would be a huge win to only have 65 Senators vote to remove him....

Given that actual removal is not in the cards, what is gained by impeachment?

Impeachment is the remedy that is available, and failing to make use of it is a concession of your own powerlessness.

Plus, it brings demands for evidence and testimony within the bounds of powers explicitly and unambiguously granted to Congress, in black letters, by the Constitution. Which cuts the whole "we will only comply with what is necessary for legislative purposes" hogwash off at the pass.

If the Senate fails to convict, then they can own that. At least the House will have done what is in their power to do.


Or, what Tony said.

Not only WRS, but consider this: conventional wisdom has it that impeachment is pointless because it will die in the McConnell Senate, but goo-goo legislation which McConnell's Senate will never even take up will somehow score points for the Dems.

Conventional wisdom is nuts.


I want a serious smoking gun before the House impeaches. Recordings of Trump; clear-cut tax fraud; something on that order. Enough that the Senate Republicans will pay a heavy electoral price if they acquit.

Meanwhile, Calhoun lives!

Dear Texas: go ahead and try it on. It didn't work out so well last time, but maybe this time you'll have better luck.

You surrendered your sovereignty in 1845, dudes.

I want a serious smoking gun before the House impeaches

Trump told McGahn to fire Mueller. So says McGahn. Under oath.

You need tax evasion?

Enough that the Senate Republicans will pay a heavy electoral price if they acquit.

"A heavy electoral price"? OK: what's a heavy electoral price when it's at home?

Best I can figure, it amounts to this: even semi-sentient friends and neighbors of the MAGA maggots decide to vote for the Democratic opponents of those Senate Republicans. He, Trump shooting somebody on 5th Avenue might accomplish that. Maybe. If those semi-sentient friends and neighbors of the MAGA maggots actually hear about it.

But I come back to my own point: House Dems think they can get somewhere with "swing voters" by passing popular bills that embody a "positive vision", even though McConnell and his fellow GOPers in the Senate won't even take them up. And yet they think an impeachment will turn off "swing voters", because the Senate will never convict.

Democrats have always been clever enough to outwit themselves.


Impeachment is the remedy that is available, and failing to make use of it is a concession of your own powerlessness.

Alternatively, impeachment when you know it won't go anywhere is a concession that you are powerless to do anything which would accomplish something. I don't personally have any objection to impeachment proceedings. I just think there are other, more productive, ways to extract damning information about Trump, his cabinet, and all his works.

Trump told McGahn to fire Mueller. So says McGahn. Under oath.

But Mueller didn't get fired. He finished the investigation. I want something stronger than attempted obstruction, especially when it's one witness. Sans recordings or something in writing, the vast largely-uninterested public will accept Trump saying, "McGahn misunderstood."

If a failed impeachment proceeding is the best that we've got against the Trump administration and its policies, we're doomed.

"Extracting information" reminds me of my annoyance any time Bob Woodward talks about "ruhporting". For decades now, I've heard him use "ruhporting" as a name for the process of gathering information. English being my second language and all, I always thought of "reporting" as the process of disseminating information.

It also reminds me of an old joke about the wacky professor who excitedly announces to his colleagues that he has invented a reading machine. "How does it work?", they ask. "It uses a suction cup to turn the pages", he answers. "Does it convert the printed text to some digital format?" "No. It just reads." "Oh, you mean it speaks the text aloud!" "No, it just reads." And so on.

The point of impeachment hearings is not to "extract" information and shove it straight into the Congressional record. The point is to lay out the "information" that even people who can read nothing longer than a tweet already know, and make such a dog-and-pony show of it that C-Span outdraws Fox News in every "demo". The point is to make He, Trump's lickspittles in the Congress froth at the mouth and say increasingly stupid things. The point is to lead public opinion, not cower to some pundit's notion of it.

Despicable as Dick and Dubya were, they were "leaders" in the operative sense that they led a public which couldn't spell Iraq, much less find it on a map, one year, to back their splendid little war on Iraq the next.

Democrats need to lead.


It is too early to impeach. They might finish it this year, almost certainly before the election. I would think just after Christmas to start, maybe even March 1. Then the hearings would have "new" revelations in the headlines every day until the election.

As a political tool it's enough to talk about it every day between now and then.

The point is to lead public opinion, not cower to some pundit's notion of it.


And so very depressing.

"As a political tool" is chess analysis.

But if Nancy Pelosi wants to keep playing chess instead of trying to save the Republic, we should pass Marty's advice on to her.

It's not like He, Trump's flying monkeys can do much damage to "ordinary Americans", the Constitution, or the planet between now and Christmas, is it?

BTW, I wish Pelosi would stop telling The American People that "only Congress can declare war" and say it explicitly and publicly to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


Then the hearings would have "new" revelations in the headlines every day until the election.

If that's the way Pelosi is playing it, I tip my hat to her.

Of course, if she is playing it that way, the last thing she can do is say so.

Play it .. and say it.

Dumb fuck:

Traitorous, dangerous dead fuck. Not dumb, however. Diabolical. Death sentence, firing squad levels of diabolical.

The Border as diversion from the conservative movement's sequel to Red Dawn.

27 of Trump's nominees to the federal bench have declined to affirm Brown vs Board of Education. Jeffrey Rosen, his nominee for deputy AG, likewise declines to affirm Brown.

Brown vs Board of Ed is one of the cornerstones of modern civil rights legislation.

Is there a positive, or even neutral, way to interpret this refusal?

I cannot imagine that there is. But IANAL, so I hope to God I am wrong. This is the first time I have heard of this shocking fact: has it received much coverage in the US?

Is there a positive, or even neutral, way to interpret this refusal?

libertarian theology holds that BvB impinges on freedom of choice.

Wow. Trump is appointing judges who want public schools to be racially segregated?

I thought that sort of overt racism was over.

Is there a positive, or even neutral, way to interpret this refusal?

Two possible neutral interpretations:
1) they think separate can be equal -- and if it isn't, it's the fault of those on the short end.
2) they don't think equal justice for all is required by the constitution.

A positive interpretation is more challenging. But I suppose:
- We're positive that we shouldn't have to worry about what happens to "those people"

What there isn't is a Christian interpretation....

good news everybody!

Canada and Mexico no longer pose national security threats to the US!

Ya remember when lying, thieving, vermin conservatives, we know who the filth are, told us that republicans have no intention of banning birth control as well as abortion:

Oh, the language is muddy, is it? Subhuman conservatives always, coyly, keep the language muddy until they do precisely what they say they are going to in Federalist Society meetings closed to the press for the past 70 years, since the Federalist Society changed its name from the John Birch Society.

Republicans plan to increase the birthrate in America by raping their wives, their mistresses, and under-aged girls and keeping them in legal prison until the sacred fetus, at the very least their sperm half of it, are delivered.

All females in Ohio must begin carrying loaded semi-automatic pistols and shoot any vermin republican who wants sovereignty over their bodies in the faces bodies.

I'm going to be in Ohio in a few weeks.

wj, couldn't you just lose it over republican conservatives threatening BvB?

Would it hurt you to just throw up your hands and say screw the sunshine both sides part of the argument, which doesn't exist?

If you are planning on turning into John Brown at the last minute over this stuff, time is running out.

I write this in full confidence of your basic, essential humanity.

Think of yourself as the pilot of the Enola Gay.

Some things just need to be done.

Ya remember when . . . [they] . . . told us that republicans have no intention of banning birth control as well as abortion.

Well, you always knew opposition to abortion had nothing to do with avoiding killing a "human being". Because if that was the goal, they would have been fighting hard for universally available, free, contraception. Or even mandatory contraceptive implants for every girl from puberty. But somehow, that never seemed to be a priority.

So I'm still thinking about this. Is this in confirmation hearings? What normally happens in judges' confirmation hearings? Are they usually asked to affirm the precedent of famous foundational cases? I think I've heard of some in the past questioning whether, for example, Roe v Wade is "settled law", was that in the same kind of situation? Although like everyone else I am all too familiar with the swell of overt conservative opinion on the abortion question, like Pro Bono I find it incredible that these people are prepared to say out loud, or imply, that they are against the desegregation of schools. But if there is no reasonable explanation, I am afraid this may be an astonishingly graphic illustration of Janie's prophecy upthread about America being taken back into darkness.

The only hope, I guess, is that in the 2020 campaign, the Dems manage to really put the message across powerfully: the Republicans are hoping to segregate schools and outlaw abortion. If they do put it across successfully, that should be enough to get them over the line.

What I'm about to say feels like a series of truisms, but if it were that simple we wouldn’t be where we are.

I thought that sort of overt racism was over.

It is never over.

“We” (the human race) will never see the last of the kind of overt racism that Clickbait's election both relied on and freed from the closet. It never goes away, it just goes underground when the pendulum swings, and maybe the rest of us get complacent, or maybe (thinking of Shaw's play Back to Methuselah, on which I did my PhD thesis) we just don't live long enough to learn these lessons effectively.

It's a weird, schizy time we're living in, where on the one hand we've come so far that gay people can get married, and on the other we're seeing a revival of the worst kind of viciousness toward every kind of group that isn't straight, white, male, and well off, and one by one, the dismantling of the steps along the way to our present, relatively less dark social customs (in some places). It brings to mind the notion of outrunning your headlights, which we hear about a lot here in snowmobile country.

Not to say we shouldn’t have been pushing forward on all these fronts, but we didn’t bring everyone with us, and I’m pretty sure that’s impossible anyhow. To me the most depressing thing (well, other than everything else) is related to what TP wrote last night about shaping public opinion instead of cowering before it. The power- and money-brokers on the right have spent decades to get us to the point we’re at right now. Kavanaugh and all those judges who won’t affirm Brown didn’t just pop out of Athena’s brow the other day. Those anti-abortion bills didn’t just get churned out at some right-wing legal chop shop last week. This stuff has been in preparation for a very long time.

Why doesn’t our side know how to do that?

(Rhetorical question.)


I'm reminded of a quote from Solzhenitsyn: “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.

I'll leave the connection as an exercise for the reader.

Okay, Zeus's brow, Athena was the one who popped out. Bad metaphor in any case. What the heck, it's a blog comment.

On the brighter side, we have this

Okay, Zeus's brow, Athena was the one who popped out.

Close enough.

Jane FTW at 6:34.

There has been for some time a trend for judicial nominees to refuse on ‘principle’ to comment on particular SC decisions during nomination hearings (which has become part, I think, of Federal Society training/doctrine for lawyers) in order to avoid providing ammunition against their confirmation.
This is coupled with a firm declaration that as a judge they will, of course, respect precedent. We have seen in recent years that such declarations are effectively meaningless when it comes to SC justices being bound by the principle of stare decisis.

It is only very recently that such a refusal now includes BvB.
The pretext is, of course, ‘if I answer that you’ll then ask me about Roe v Wade’. But it is also clear that BvB is no longer secure in a future Republican dominated Court.

At least one Republican representative has principles:

Slate has had a series of good articles on the dangers of court packing. This is the latest:

The abandonment on the Blue Slip process (the respecting of which is why Obama left some many Federal court vacancies infilled - which Trump is now filling at a record rate) is every bit as troubling as any given Supreme Court appointment, but garners a minute fraction of the public attention.

What Nadler said.

“They are now taking the position that the Justice Department can’t hold the President accountable, since they say no President can be indicted, no matter what the evidence, as a matter of law. And now they are saying that Congress can’t hold the President accountable. That means the President is above the law, and that’s intolerable in a democratic society. We cannot permit that kind of arrogation of power.”

Thank you, Nigel, for the explanation @12.19. Once I read it, I realised I knew it, but clearly there is currently a limit to the amount of backstory I can keep in my head at any one time. So, leaving aside the LGBT changes (just for the moment, for the sake of this argument as being more recent, less-embedded public attitudes): manoeuvring toward no Roe v Wade and no B v BofE, and a president above the law - a pretty good definition of a not-so-slow-moving coup.

Since this is an open thread, here's a good article by Robert Wright:

"How the New York Times is making War with Iran more likely"

I'm afrsid they'll never learn, though.

All of us can play this stupid fucking game:

Warning: I've had any number of comments censored by "moderators (Stasi fascist conservatives)" at "The American Conservative" and in the past at "Red State".

Several of my letters to the editor at the conservative Rocky Mountain News (now a dead item) in past decades disappeared into the censor's circular file, though a few were published, after which I received death threats from Christian conservative vermin, one instance of which was investigated by the FBI.

My high school newspaper columns were censored by school authorities. When I worked in public information and journalism, editors and copy readers dared to censor my grammatical peculiarities, with RED pencils, no less, and which are protected by the literal, God-given, blood-soaked words of the Bill of Rights, ain't they?

I'm a victim. Me own sainted mother shushed me once with the threat that if I couldn't say something nice, then don't say anything at all.

Who did she think SHE was ... Joe Stalin?

It now occurs to me, thanks to the filthy whining victims in the conservative bowel movement that I want justice, I want my First Amendment rights restored, recognized, and licked clean by conservatives in every instance.

How brutal of a violent, savage revolution in this country do I have to answer with against conservative vermin suggesting the same to satisfy their martydom, in order to satisfy MY need to have every word of MINE heard and quite frankly appreciated, if not memorized and taught as gospel in religious schools to the awe-struck open minded offspring of cannibal conservatives?


I'm going to complain to the White House, that's what!

I'm going to request that they give a proper burial to Mr Khashosggi's body parts they have been feeding, without identifying such on the menu, to smirking amateur sports champions and calling it a Happy Meal.

Or at least serve body parts during meals without a hint of political bias. Those athletes can choke down some Milo with fries too, can't they?

As a show of good faith that censorship shall never be practiced again in this, our Bellmorian free society.

I find this fascinating:

Investor's Business Daily discontinued one of the most right wing in the dumper for p editorial pages in the country.

As we approach the most decisive election in the same all-of-U.S.-history during which p claims he has been the greatest President.

Maybe the denizens of that sribbling nest of vipers decided they'd better hide so we can't find them to mete out punishment.

This was par for the course:

Meanwhile, this brief note in the "news" section, (all the news that's fit to print and then lie about on the opinion page) page A-2 in today's weekly copy of the paper:

"Arctic Circle temp hits high

Ardhangelsk, Russia, recently hit 84 degrees vs the average of 54 degrees. The record-breaking temperatures around the Arctic Circle comes as Hawaii's Mauna Loa Observatory saw carbon dioxide measurements of 415 parts per million in the atmosphere, the highest in at least 800,000 years. The data points to increased carbon dioxide emissions heating up the Earth as 18 out of the 19 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000."

I suspect they are heading for higher ground.

We'll find them.

Maybe the denizens of that sribbling nest of vipers decided they'd better hide so we can't find them to mete out punishment.

Probably a lot simpler than that. The market has hit the skids, thanks in no small part to Trump's trade wars, and their readers know it. So continuing to praise Trump would not go down well. Pissing off their subscribers is just bad business.

Or perhaps they incline, at least in Trump's case, to "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.:

NPR OR assures me that all the rubes in flyover country are perfectly fine with Trump's trade war, because they're all very concerned about forced intellectual property transfers.

the tech industry thanks them for their sacrifice.

the "OR" has no place in my comment and i wish it would die.

Sticky fingers:

Same here:

p tweeted that he used his fingers as birth control until the day after he announced his candidacy for President, and when that method failed, he OFFERED to pay to abort the fetuses of his dozens of illicit sexual assault victims during his lifetime, out of the kindness of the cold-blooded hearts of whomever he was married to at the time, but he never, NEVER followed thru on those payments, well .... maybe a few times, via Deutsche Bank any good, fake, right-wing Falwell Christian piece of shit would not, being a pro-self deal maker.

Most conservative republican fetuses are traitorous Russian spies.

There was a time, a long time, during my life, when conservative republican jagoffs would have blackballed and executed all of them for the crime.

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