Mike Pence is "a little rattled" after this week:
And morale, in general, is low:
More on Pence:
Mike Pence is "a little rattled" after this week:
And morale, in general, is low:
More on Pence:
Conservative Charles Sykes is back with another interesting op-ed:
If there was one principle that used to unite conservatives, it was respect for the rule of law. Not long ago, conservatives would have been horrified at wholesale violations of the norms and traditions of our political system, and would have been appalled by a president who showed overt contempt for the separation of powers.
But this week, as if on cue, most of the conservative media fell into line, celebrating President Trump’s abrupt dismissal of the F.B.I. director, James Comey, and dismissing the fact that Mr. Comey was leading an investigation into the Trump campaign and its ties to Russia. “Dems in Meltdown Over Comey Firing,” declared a headline on Fox News, as Tucker Carlson gleefully replayed clips of Democrats denouncing the move. “It’s just insane actually,” he said, referring to their reactions. On Fox and talk radio, the message was the same, with only a few conservatives willing to sound a discordant or even cautious note.
The talk-show host Rush Limbaugh was positively giddy, opening his monologue on Wednesday by praising Mr. Trump for what he called his “epic trolling” of liberals. “This is great,” Mr. Limbaugh declared. “Can we agree that Donald Trump is probably enjoying this more than anybody wants to admit or that anybody knows? So he fires Comey yesterday. Who’s he meet with today? He’s meeting with the Soviet, the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov! I mean, what an epic troll this is.”
Given the enthusiasm of the president’s apologists, it is likely that much of Mr. Trump’s base will similarly rally to him as it has in the past.
And here's the crux of the piece:
That was a remarkable admission, but it is also a key to understanding what is happening on the right. While there are those like Sean Hannity who are reliable cheerleaders for all things President Trump, much of the conservative news media is now less pro-Trump than it is anti-anti-Trump. The distinction is important, because anti-anti-Trumpism has become the new safe space for the right.
Here is how it works: Rather than defend President Trump’s specific actions, his conservative champions change the subject to (1) the biased “fake news” media, (2) over-the-top liberals, (3) hypocrites on the left, (4) anyone else victimizing Mr. Trump or his supporters and (5) whataboutism, as in “What about Obama?” “What about Clinton?”
For the anti-anti-Trump pundit, whatever the allegation against Mr. Trump, whatever his blunders or foibles, the other side is always worse.
But the real heart of anti-anti-Trumpism is the delight in the frustration and anger of his opponents. Mr. Trump’s base is unlikely to hold him either to promises or tangible achievements, because conservative politics is now less about ideas or accomplishments than it is about making the right enemies cry out in anguish.
This form of conservatism has been what took up a good chunk of our morning here. "Are liberals pissed? Good." That's what we're dealing with. That's what conservative media figures are selling. That's what Trump supporters want.
Apparently Comey does want to testify, but in public.
In other Mike Pence News, Mike Pence made an idiot out of himself with this particular tweet, in which he sounds like he's either romantically interested in horses, or really likes eating horse skin:
Probably my favorite response, just for all the details on the various side columns:
Exactly. The lie was him pretending to know what the fuck is going on... which is about the most embarrassing kind of lie I can think of.
Or until their team finally loses. In the Roman sense.
Apparently Comey does want to testify, but in public.
I try to avoid watching anything political unless I have insomnia, but I might set my alarm for that one.
This part of the Sykes piece from above jumped out....
As the right doubles down on anti-anti-Trumpism, it will find itself goaded into defending and rationalizing ever more outrageous conduct just as long as it annoys CNN and the left.
In many ways anti-anti-Trumpism mirrors Donald Trump himself, because at its core there are no fixed values, no respect for constitutional government or ideas of personal character, only a free-floating nihilism cloaked in insult, mockery and bombast.
Just what level of absurdity/illegality will it take for the GOP to say 'enough'? Is there a level?
I suppose Trump ordering bombing runs on American cities might do it, if those cities have Republican voters in any numbers in them .
Jan. 13 1974 NYT dispatch:
We're not doomed.
This course is correctable. If this country goes down in flames, it won't be the 2016 election that caused it. It'll be people not doing enough in reaction to the 2016 election.
I know cynicism is the lifeblood of the Internet, but cynicism is a coward's justification for apathy.
I may be a cynic, but I'm not apathetic. Yesterday I call both my rep and senator to let them know I think there should be a special prosecutor to investigate Trump's ties to Russia, and I can't wait to vote in the midterms.
This might be a repost, but I can't resist.....this shit just writes itself.
Who are Trump's lawyers?
-Trump's lawyers: Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
wait for it......
Chambers & Partners Names Morgan Lewis as Russia Law Firm of the Year
May 02, 2016
Looks like Pence's role in this shit stain was bigger than we were initially led to believe:
He asked Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein to draft a letter documenting Mr. Comey’s shortcomings to leave the impression that it was Mr. Rosenstein’s judgment and not his own that led to the dismissal — an idea that was reinforced by Vice President Mike Pence, who was part of the small group of advisers who planned Mr. Comey’s ouster in near secrecy.
On Thursday, Mr. Trump himself vaporized every version of the Comey story his defenders, including Mr. Pence, had labored so earnestly to put forward. “I was going to fire Comey — my decision. There is no good time to do it, by the way,” Trump told the “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt. “I was going to fire regardless of the recommendation” made by Mr. Rosenstein, he said.
In a sharp reversal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has cleared a way for a company to seek permits to develop a massive copper and gold deposit near the headwaters of a world-class salmon fishery in southwest Alaska.
As part of a court settlement with the Pebble Limited Partnership, the EPA agreed to begin the process of withdrawing proposed restrictions on development in the Bristol Bay region, an area that produces about half of the world's sockeye salmon.
The agreement, signed Thursday but released on Friday, comes four months into the Trump administration, which supporters of the proposed Pebble Mine hoped would give it a fairer shake than they believed they received under President Barack Obama.
The mining industry has seen promising signs from the administration, including a willingness to take a different look at projects and to review regulations seen as overly burdensome, said Luke Popovich, a spokesman for the National Mining Association.
That doesn't sound like you're a true cynic, either.
My sense of humor is pretty dark and cynical, but I find pure cynicism to be as blind as pure optimism, and much more harmful.
I'd bet there are people who've been saying something similar to that since 1777.
The reality is that we're probably not that special. This country has survived a Civil War, The Great Depression, two World Wars, the brink of nuclear war, Presidents being assassinated, a President resigning, and countless other crises.
The only battle that may be lost is your own internal one, and even that one is still up to you.
No, we have the warm and emberous glow of the internet to huddle around until then.
I don't completely agree with Jacob, the 'American Experiment' isn't over . . . but it's hard to not see some value in the idea that we may in fact be in some sort of peak oil in terms of how the experiment is able to appropriately and correctly respond to new pressures in a world that has experienced as much growth and change as rapidly as it has over the last few generations and will continue to face without, sooner than later, changes to how we carry it out that will be difficult to carry out. Lemon difficult. My worry is that those will only take place at a point in time when they become necessary forced moves, made too late for other better options to be viable. I know that's vague and half-baked, but, I'm . . . kind of half-baked right now, and it's . . . it's just a vague feeling, and . . . um . . . yeah.
The genie that is the empowerment of the racists and Nazis and anti-science and anti-freedom types is not going back into the bottle. Wars end, depressions end, diplomatic crises end. Dead or quit presidents can be replaced. But Trump supporters - and the culture that lets them flourish - will still be with you after Trump is gone. 59 million Americans are not going to suddenly change their ways. Your country will survive, but it will be full of the sort of people who vote for someone like Trump, and they will be under the impression that their racism or sexism or bigotry or anti-intellectualism is now acceptable.
If your parents or siblings or FWB's voted for Trump and you're on the outs with them now, will that change when Trump is gone? Will they?
Nah, a quick generation or two and they'll learn to shut the fuck up and sit the fuck back down like they have at least twice before in our past. Just gotta be quick with the newspaper on the nose.
Shit . . . it just occurs to me that no one reads newspapers anymore.
You tell me. When was the last time you had a sane conversation with a Trump supporter?
We. Are. Done.
People can pretend that we've weathered worse, that this is just some sort of hiccup, it's just a bump in the statistics, we'll come to our senses sooner or later.
There's no going back from this.
Our democracy is literally out of our control.
Remember how the American public was warned about how there were Russian intelligence efforts crowding up chatrooms and seeding apathy about the US democratic process?
Thank goodness none of us behave like that in here, right? That would look bad.
It's stunning to me that anyone could think that THIS is the worst behavior a sizable chunk of the American population has exhibited, EVER.
We live in a country where black people were once property. Where in recent history, women were essentially property. Where a fragment of our population was able to violently abuse anyone different with impunity. Because not nearly enough people gave a damn.
Yeah, it sucks that progress isn't an exponential curve of increasing positivity, It's more of a two steps forward, one step back kind of system. And with even a cursory examination of history, you can see that's how it always has been.
Anyone with the view that this is the end, that things are so bad today that recovery is impossible, needs to GROW THE FUCK UP.
Life's tough. Suck it up. Get a bowl of ice cream, hug a kitten and then do something about it.
WARNING: 100% BOONE POST AHEAD
It just seems to me that apathy and claims of the American experiment being over is a ridicuously privileged thing to say. We, a bunch of (mostly, I assume, with few exceptions) straight white dudes on the internet, have that luxury. We can sit back and decry how we don't recognize this country, or how hard it is to have conversations with Trump supporters, or how this country has become poisoned, and there's no coming back from this. Meanwhile, the people whose rights are actually under attack now - LGBT, POC, and women - are doing what they've always done. Rolling their sleeves up and getting to work. They don't have time for apathy.
Since we've been having this discussion over the past couple of days, I've been thinking about this interview/podcast with Dan Savage in the immediate aftermath of the election last year. In that podcast, he broke down crying as he discussed all the things LGBT people faced - in our lifetimes! - and how he refused to go back to that, even though he knew what was at stake. And I've thought a lot about that.
I've also thought about what writers like Jamelle Bouie have said, and the reading I've done about the end of Reconstruction, the development of Jim Crow, and Jim Crow at the turn of the century in this country. We can talk about brother shooting brother all we want, and the horrors of slavery (and we should), but it still sickens me to think that we would have lynching parties in this country. Entire towns would show up to watch someone be executed. And yes, that's part of our human nature, and yes, we should talk about that. And Bouie has written a lot about how we may be facing the dawn of the end of a second Reconstruction, a pushback against 60 years of progress. And to think about that scares me. It pushes me towards pessimism.
But pessimism is what they want. Pessimism is how they win.
And yes - I do think we need to have tough conversations with Trump supporters. By we, I don't mean the media. By we, I don't mean the nation as a whole. I mean us - white people. We should be out there standing in solidarity and fighting and showing up and putting our bodies on the line. But we also need to take up the slack of having these difficult conversations with our white relatives and people we know on an individual level, because that's the only way we change minds. And yes, it is possible. I've done it. I've seen it happen. Have I turned every Trump supporter I've talked to into a raging Obama voter? No. But I've been able to at least get them to see the other side, if only for a moment. And moments like those add up. Moments like those are everything.
This was a tough week. Real tough. But we gotta keep moving forward, inch by inch. It's what we've always done. We may stumble. We may fall.
But before I quote Man of Steel, I'll quote Hamilton instead: "I may not live to see the glory, but I will gladly join the fight."
told u this was a boone post.
My thing (cause for pessimism) is this: Despite all that shame, despite all that discomfort, and despite people already changing their stories as far as who they voted for (Who knew Johnston or McMullin totally won the Presidency in 2016?), once they're in that voting booth, 99.75% of them are still going to punch the button for whoever has the "R" next to their name. No. Matter. What.
Even in 2020. DEFINITELY in 2018.
Because no matter how evil or incompetent or flat-out insane Trump's administration gets, it's still better than another Democratic President in their minds. I'm not saying they're absent conscience...I'm saying they believe many liberal ideas are genuinely evil (though more accurately they believe what right wing media has told them liberal ideals are is genuinely evil) and would destroy the country, their communities, and their families if they were implemented.
Republicans just had a three-day gathering where Trump and 2018 were the hut-button topics:
With the Comey firing and Russia investigation dominating the headlines, there were also moments of discomfort. During a welcome reception Wednesday, a national committeeman took the stage and, perhaps jokingly, referred to those assembled as “comrades," drawing grimaces.
At times, the RNC appeared to take pains to obscure any dissent about Trump. On Thursday, RNC members gathered for a closed-door breakfast meeting to discuss issues confronting the committee. Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, fearing leaks, implored attendees to turn off their phones and not record the proceedings. She also asked RNC and hotel staffers to leave the room.
McDaniel warned the group that reporters were covering the event and trying to eavesdrop in the hopes of writing negative stories.
McDaniel's aides insisted the move was typical. Yet some members felt she was going too far to project a united front.
Here's the thing (with Alec Baldwin): Trump is stupid. He's smart, but he's stupid. He's too stupid to have come up with this Russia thing - whatever it is - on his own. Remember, he once described his pre-teen son at "good at the cyber." Someone probably explained hacking to him once, but who knows if it sunk in?
And we've already seen multiple people with connections to Russia. Flynn. Sessions. Manfort. etc.
Preibus and Ryan were party leaders. There's no way they didn't know something was going on.
That word "loyal" is being thrown around again:
Mr. Trump and his advisers have asked some people whether they believe Mr. Kelly, the former New York police commissioner, would be “loyal,” language similar to what he used in questioning Mr. Comey’s effectiveness, according to people briefed on the discussions. In Mr. Kelly’s case, they said, the White House appeared to be trying to assess whether he would seek to advance his own image, as Mr. Trump accused Mr. Comey of doing.
Mr. Kelly declined to comment on whether he had spoken with the president about the job. He is said to be seen as outside the top tier of candidates because the job is a 10-year appointment and at 75, he is older than many of the other prospects.
As police commissioner, he also had a combative relationship with the F.B.I., with the two agencies frequently engaged in turf wars. He was widely disliked among agents who felt he constantly worked to undermine the F.B.I., creating a legacy of mistrust.
Some anecdotes to Wisconsin's voter fraud:
MILWAUKEE (AP) — State Sen. Mary Lazich was adamant: The bill Republicans were about to push through the Wisconsin state Senate, requiring that voters present identification at the polls, would do no harm.
“Not a single voter in this state will be disenfranchised by the ID law,” Lazich promised.
Five years later, in the first presidential election held under the new law, Gladys Harris proved her wrong.
By one estimate, 300,000 eligible voters in the state lacked valid photo IDs heading into the election; it is unknown how many people did not vote because they didn’t have proper identification. But it is not hard to find the Navy veteran whose out-of-state driver’s license did not suffice, or the dying woman whose license had expired, or the recent graduate whose student ID was deficient — or Harris, who at 66 made her way to her polling place despite chronic lung disease and a torn ligament in her knee.
She had lost her driver’s license just before Election Day. Aware of the new law, she brought her Social Security and Medicare cards as well as a county-issued bus pass that displayed her photo.
Not good enough. She had to cast a provisional ballot that ended up not being counted.
In the end, Wisconsin’s 10 Electoral College votes went to Republican Donald Trump, who defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton by roughly 22,000 votes. But the battle over voter ID laws continues.
Under the Wisconsin law, voters must present a driver’s license, state ID, passport, military ID, naturalization papers or tribal ID to vote. A student ID is acceptable only if it has a signature and a two-year expiration date. Those who do not have their ID can cast a provisional ballot that will be counted only if they return with the proper ID within a few days of the election.