A Feud for Fun and Profit

[NB: Note the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

I was doing my usual day’s end wrap up routine — shutting off the lights, checking the windows, reading the headlines to make sure the planet hadn’t blown up before I shut off my computer.

And this bullshit came up at Google News, just below the Epstein-Acosta coverage:

I’ve seen in my Twitter feed all day the hullabaloo about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ chief of staff’s remarks and the subsequent flurry of feedback between different factions among the House Democrats. Some of it is hotly reactionary, some of it is measured, and a lot of it swings wildly in between.

But that snapshot of my Google News front page is EXACTLY what the real problem is: the internecine conflict is a fulcrum on which the right-wing and foreign agents can act to divide the party at a time when it can least afford it.

And the right-wing media like Fox News is using that same point for its own amusement and profit.

Even neutral-to-left media is using the tensions to gin up clicks and increase readership.

They have zero interest in the manifold crises on which the entire spectrum of Democrats — from stick-in-the-mud conservadems to hot-under-the-collar progressives — must work together. The media is only in this for fun and profit.

Meanwhile there’s a wholly corrupt, malignant narcissist intent on undermining everything on which our country was founded. House Democrats need to quit their circular firing squad and get their heads together. They need to focus on that wretch and the debris field he’s making of our nation instead of allowing themselves to be used as a profit center by the media.

Focus on the fact only 86 House Dems have committed to supporting an impeachment inquiry. ~132 more votes are needed to pass a resolution kicking off the process.

We are now nearly 191 days into the 116th Congressional term. Trump continues to lock up children in cages and take babies from their parents at the border, leaving them in concentration camp conditions which wouldn’t be tolerated for dogs. He continues to trash the Constitution from threatening war to ignoring Supreme Court decisions. That an impeachment inquiry hasn’t already been launched reflects badly on the entirety of House Democrats, from Speaker Pelosi to the 2018 Blue Wave freshmen.

~ ~ ~

This weekend I have a couple of voters staying with me who identify as independents. They tend to vote for Democrats but they won’t commit to being Democrats. They’re 25 years old, college-educated, and they actually watched the Democratic presidential candidates debates a couple weeks ago, rushed home from work to make sure they caught both nights in full.

These young people are fed up. They’re worried, angry, disgusted. They want real and rational leadership, especially because they’re deeply concerned about the pace of climate change.

They are NOT impressed by the inability of House Democrats to pull themselves into a cohesive cohort to stop Trump.

The more senior House Dems need to understand social media presence and follower count may not convert to votes on the House floor now, but these convert to votes in primaries next year. They convert to many small donations online between now and November 2020 as well as shoe leather when canvassing and GOTV matter. These two independents visiting me are exactly the people who’ll be persuaded by what they read in their Twitter feed and watch at YouTube; they have the disposable income to make regular donations. They’re not impressed by representatives who suck up to corporations over individuals especially when there’s campaign donations involved. They’re impressed by accessible representatives who do their homework and then do their best to ensure government oversight.

They want House Democrats to get their act together and stop Trump.

None of the tweeted and reported bullshit I saw being slung between House Democrats gets them any closer to doing what the 2018 Blue Wave told Democrats needed to be done. I don’t have a good explanation for these young voters as to when House Dems will pull out of their navel-gazing spiral. I can only hope it’s soon.

This is an open thread.

419 replies
    • horses says:

      Respectfully, you’re dreaming. That’s simply not how modern professional Democratic Party politics works. There are outliers, who are willing to tell the truth, but they’re rare.

      Nobody gets elected or re-elected by telling the truth. You get elected by having a good story, which you conveniently forget once you get elected, because that’s your job security.

      And that’s what it’s about. Job security. Every prominent Democrat I’ve known was more concerned with keeping what they had than doing good.

      That’s how we got here. Ten years ago, when future Governor David Paterson was State Senate Minority Leader, he commmissioned a study that found that being in the majority, truly leading, was actual work.

      They abandoned the idea of being a majority for another decade, screwed it up, and screwed it up again, and then gave us Cuomo, who’s stable.

      I’m not a Democrat for reasons.

      • P J Evans says:

        And you feel qualified to tell *Rayne* what to do?
        Do you even have a clue what NN is, and what they’re doing, or are you just trolling?

        • Rayne says:

          horses has a whopping 29 comments under their belt since they published their first comment here in February this year. I’m not going to lose sleep over them.

          • Democritus says:

            One does not just come in and fuck with *Rayne*

            Seriously though, I know I’m newish but thanks for everything you guys do here to keep fighting for the truth and the good fight, and I’m sure I don’t know a tenth of it.

            Watching Malcolm Nance in AM Joy right now, and it is a dark time. It’s worth a google to watch


            Yay edits!

      • Rayne says:

        LOL That’s some heavy cynicism you’re carrying around. Surprised you can lift your hands to type under the crushing weight.

        Your perception of Democrats is very much shaped by living in New York state. You might think about living elsewhere before it sucks the remainder of your soul.

        • Observiter says:

          Please don’t bite my head off, and I’m not the enemy nor horses nor a blog contributor of your esteem. But perhaps the response to horses is a little heavy handed, hmm? I would say this to you, even if we were best friends and I knew you well. Thanks.

          • Rayne says:

            Welcome back to emptywheel. You didn’t look at the commenter’s history. I did. Thanks for your feedback. Have a nice weekend.

  1. RWood says:

    While the voters may be divided when it comes to Pelosi and her antiquated views vs AOC and her call for action, I don’t see anything that’s going to make a democrat or left-leaning voter suddenly change their mind, guzzle a quart of orange kool-aid and jump on the MAGA train.

    This internal division will however make itself more pronounced after the election, when the current house leadership tries to return to their usual incremental change approach. If that happens I hope the progressives in the House and Senate cry havoc and release the dogs on their asses.

    • Rayne says:

      It’s not whether independent voters will suddenly vote MAGA. It’s whether they turn out to vote at all. And in Michigan where we had a record undervote of 80,000 votes with Trump taking the state by a mere 10,000 votes, that discouragement by disillusionment is a realistic threat.

      We don’t have “after the election.”

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        Yes. Most definitely, yes.
        You and I seem to know similar Gen X and Millenials.
        They are not stupid, but what are they supposed to support? More waiting? More adulation of Mueller?

        How is any of that paying off debt or slowing climate change?

    • Phaedrus says:

      I canvassed for Bernie but voted Hillary, recognizing that Republicans are worse… but at some point, I give up. How can Dems say the oppose Trump and then fund his immigration atrocities? How can I, in good conscious, say I support good government and vote for a party that won’t impeach?
      For my own personal value, I have to draw a line – and for the first time since I was eligible, I won’t be voting Dem this year.

      [FYI, your username has been edited to match the spelling you used in a second comment of nearly identical content. Use the same username with the same spelling each time you comment here. /~Rayne]

      • bmaz says:

        Yeah, this is the exact type of supposedly “principled” obstinance that leads to Trump being reelected and him having the ability to replace at least one, and probably two, liberal SCOTUS justices and cement a radically right Supreme Court for 4-5 decades. Not to mention further stacking lower federal courts with extreme right wing young judges. You should rethink this opinion, these things matter. They matter a lot.

      • P J Evans says:

        You need to think about purity and what it did in 2016, because we can’t afford purity voting next year. (Why is it so often the Bernie fans who take this position?)

  2. michael whalen says:

    Seems like the ball is rolling. Sure, the main office is vulnerable, and Democrats control, (?) the House, so, let’s see, is there something we’re overlooking?

  3. OldTulsaDude says:

    The only way I can think of to motivate Pelosi is to threaten a boycott – of the 2020 elections. But that may not be necessary as she is doing a terrific job of sucking the wind from the resistance sails as it is.

    • bmaz says:

      That is the problem, Pelosi is sitting on her thumbs is to protect the 2020 election, but what she is doing is disillusioning the Democratic base, especially the young and minorities. And if the Dems are to win in 2020, those are exactly the groups that must turn out to vote.

      • OldTulsaDude says:

        Isaac Hayes had on his Wednesday show Harvard law professor Cass Sustein who stated that the phrase “high crimes and misdeamors” was in 1776 as easily understood as a concept like motor vehicle is today, that it was an ascertainable standard, that it meant egregious misuse of authority, that “high crimes and misdemeanors” is an articulable standard and once broached the House has no option but to begin an impeachment inquiry.

        Perhaps we should send the good professor to Pelosi’s office with a copy of his new book.

        • bmaz says:

          Heh, Chris Hayes, or the guy who wrote Shaft? Anyway, it is painful for me to agree with Sunstein, but he is right. On the other hand, he is yet another commentator who is down the Pelosi rabbit hole that “impeachment” is about removing Trump, when the only current question is whether to open an inquiry as an investigative tool.

        • bmaz says:

          I have no idea in the world who you are, nor what your question marks are about. Do better, and be more explicit and descriptive, if you want to enter a discussion here.

          • ItTollsForYou says:

            It appears jane’s message was put in the “website” field: “Why not impeach Bolton to start.”

            ???? indeed. See also Barr, Pompeo, Kavanaugh, etc.

            • bmaz says:

              Why? Because that is idiotic and a waste of precious time. Open an inquiry as to all of it and investigate. Saying “Oooh, let’s do Barr or Bolton first” is one of the dumber ideas in history. It is asinine.

    • Katherine M Williams says:

      “…focus on the fact only 86 House Dems have committed to supporting an impeachment inquiry. ~132 more votes are needed to pass a resolution kicking off the process.”

      I’m quite sure that if Nancy stated: “If I had the votes in the House I would be thrilled to start impeachment hearings”, she would get the votes.

      • bmaz says:

        Precisely. The holdup is because she and Hoyer are doing exactly the opposite and threatening the members who would otherwise so vote.

      • Rayne says:

        I doubt it. What I am certain of is that constituents aren’t doing enough to kick their recalcitrant representatives in the ass to get them on board with impeachment inquiry.

        I am certain that activists, too, are doing a shit job of messaging with media about the laggards. Like this week’s ‘Lights for Liberty’ protests — scanty media coverage, crappy messaging the media could skew away from protests about ICE-CBP abuses. At least these rallies had some warm bodies show up with meager local coverage. There has been nothing like it to demand an impeachment inquiry.

        Compare protests to date with the November 15, 1969, Moratorium March on Washington against Nixon and the Vietnam War on top of other anti-war protests of the era.

        It’s so easy to blame Pelosi. Too easy.

        • bmaz says:

          “It’s so easy to blame Pelosi. Too easy.”

          And yet, along with other issues, Pelosi deserves every ounce of blame being heaped on her.

          • Rayne says:

            Could have left it alone, buddy. Everybody here knows you and I don’t see eye to eye about the approach to the impeachment inquiry though we both agree an inquiry is absolutely necessary.

        • P J Evans says:

          I looked at that “Lights” page, and the didn’t even list the one they had in downtown L.A. – and there were few elsewhere in the city. (Apparently all organizers assume that everyone can easily get there and home again.)
          I also don’t appreciate organizing pages where the only way you can get *any* information is to sign up.

          • Eureka says:

            Same with the ones who facebook-only or -primarily (like they have scant info elsewhere or on twitter, which is used to drive people to fb for the real info). Forget it. Requiring sign-ups or fb use reeks of info-brokering.

          • Rayne says:

            It was so iffy that it borders on shady. Kind of like the crazy ‘Storm Area 51’ stuff.

            All that wasted energy could have been directed toward Democrats who are dragging their feet about an impeachment inquiry.

        • joejim says:

          These rallies, held at detention centers, make me crazy.

          In Seattle that’s 45 minutes by light rail from the city center to a vacant area where there’s just a big windowless prison, not even a strip mall, and not exactly on the map for news divisions.

          Its the second protest they’ve held at this nowhere locale this year, where there is zero chance of any of the organic factors happening which will swell a protest, no chance of a interesting disruption, or of crowd size growing because of supportive spontaneous passers by, or even people who can reasonably get 45 minutes out of town by 7 on an evening.

          Why would you not hold a protest/rally somewhere convenient and central? Where crowds are possible? Where people getting off of work could see the action and take part? Where some disruption to the normal flow of life becomes newsworthy and there’s spillover? Where there’s fresh blood?

          Don’t get me wrong, I’m an active volunteer at such a detention center, and care about drawing attention to the people there, I just don’t get why anyone would organize a rally at a location where precisely and only those on the committees who make the plans are the people attending, there are no interesting camera shots, and there’s zero chance of crossover and spreading the energy and convincing anyone of strength.

          Its been a long time since the Women’s March and I think there’s an awful lot of people who would like to be counted in a crowd that’s big and fat enough to impress Pelosi that there’s support and movement. Nobody makes an intelligent effort to make that happen in these environs. And yes, the Vietnam War era marches here were tactical and a series of them was meant to culminate in growing numbers, and did. People got together and talked about traffic and timing and fanned across town handing out leaflets leaflets and anyone in the city center knew there was going to be a demonstration somewhere nearby, not just at the most symbolic and sentimental locations.

          • Democritus says:

            Totally agree, they also need to stage protests on weekends and try to get the word out better, if only on social media since they can’t control tv.

            Far too many sparsely attended protests have been on weekdays.

            • P J Evans says:

              They need to think about getting protesters who work on weekdays and don’t want to drive 10 or 20 or more miles to an evening protest in an area they’re probably not familiar with, that may last a couple of hours, and then drive home and hope they can get enough sleep to function the next day. (In my area, mass transit service is much less after 6pm, or on weekends and holidays, and practically non-existent after 9pm.)
              Assuming everyone has FB or Twitter or some other big social-media platform is going to leave out a lot of people who might otherwise come out – especially on a weekend.

  4. Savage Librarian says:

    Thanks, Rayne. It is so distressing seeing all the discord and media manipulation. But it is also rewarding to hear about young people stepping up. Below are just some microcosm/macrocosm reflections.

    From the patterns that our senses assimilate daily, we routinely synthesize metaphors and analogies. The article below has some that struck me as particularly relevant to the current political environment.

    For example, not consigned to science alone, our democracy has its own three body problem, i.e. the balance among Congress, the Court, and POTUS. Who is the Sun? The Earth? The Moon? (IMO, if the Constitution is our guide, it appears that the Sun is Congress.)

    How will democracy evolve? What random mutations will prevail? What are the forces that will keep us on a healthy path? What will be the natural selection that reins in the chaos, allowing the best to endure?

    Maybe the following article will intrigue you as much as it did me:

    “Future – Would humans evolve again if we rewound time?” – By James Horton and Tiffany Taylor, The Conversation, 10 July 2019


  5. Peacerme says:

    I see AOC’s sounding off as a positive. Frankly the reason people of color might not feel invested is because they don’t hear their own voices and feelings. Listening to her around the immigrants was glorious because it was so authentic and heartfelt. Personal for her. The Dems play to middle for money, not because it’s representative. Because those moderate stances are not representative which is part of why we have such a small POC voting block. Same for the young. Those positions need a voice. Pelosi seems needs to validate those position and hold her ground if she feels she must. She does not need to dismiss. It’s not either fucking OR, it’s AND. The conflict is being created. Embrace the kernels of truth. Be authentic, lay out the discussion and use the dialectic. Don’t make me pull over this car!!!

    • fpo says:

      Agree with you on AOC and the so-called ‘squad,’ and would add the likes of Katie Porter, Dean from PA and other new members. The good news is they’ve gotten visible committee positions and with that, some decent media exposure; the bad news is that the growing perceptions of in-fighting leaves them wide open to the FAUX news, GOP/maga bullshit. They’re smart, motivated, attractive Dems – it’s no wonder they’re appealing to younger and minority voters, and more moderate and independent voters than is apparent right now, imo.

      Pelosi under estimates their value at her own peril. One only has to look at Biden’s trend line to appreciate that Dems in significant numbers want/value the ideas, energy and sense of urgency that they, in part, are bringing to the party.

      A ‘blue wave’ is a terrible thing to waste, Madame Speaker. And that’s exactly where this is headed if things don’t change.

            • Rayne says:

              He’s not been involved in political activism, doesn’t have the background to make recommendations like this. He needs to stay in his lane and I question his expertise in intelligence particularly wrt influence ops if he doesn’t understand how easy it is for GOP to fuck with the Dems with op-eds like he promoted.

              I’d rather take the advice of Democrats who’ve won and done so in spite of the increasing odds against them.

          • Democritus says:

            Sigh, Malcolm why you do this! Thanks for the heads up, and I agree that bupkis bs and Democrats need to STOP listening to fucking Republicans on how to beat Trump.

            I am forever railing on the plethora of Never trump Republicans who populate most of the slots for critiquing Trump on television news shows, even on “liberal” MSNBC…

            I do listen to Malcolm on NatSec though, and I am extremely concerned about the far right spread in Europe, and I think his heart is in the right place.

  6. P J Evans says:

    I too am annoyed with those stories, and with all the Dem-bashing and both-sides stories, both in the media, and at places like the Great Orange Satan (AKA DailyKos, for the newer readers). Over at the GOS, it’s mostly from lurkers coming out of the woodwork, sometimes from brand-new members (who tend to get the hammer), but sometimes from people who have been active there for years.
    But I also wish Pelosi would get off the chair and talk with people who are pushing the hearings: she doesn’t have that much time to get those rolling, and she’s the one who can get people to sign on

  7. Vicks says:

    Haven’t these people ever played a team sport?
    Watched the history channel?
    Divide and conquer.
    It works every time if you let it.
    A lessor team with a well thought out playbook that plays as a single unit will almost always beat a “better” team who’s members are out there playing their individual game. Talented rookies may be superstars in their home town but are useless to a team in the big leagues if they are un-coachable
    Our lawmakers are acting like amateurs when their county needs them to put egos aside and do their freaking jobs.

    • Rita says:

      I like sports analogies.

      Years ago I coached a rec league co-ed softball team. The year before I coached the team, the team won only one game, by forfeit. The year I coached, we won all of our games. The one change I instituted was to tell the men on the team that they could only hit for homer runs when I gave the green light. Otherwise they had to hit ground balls. We won because not many could field hot grounders while most of the long fly balls were caught. They hated not hitting for home runs. Short term goal was just getting on base. Long term goal was winning. But we won.

      The goal should be to rid this country of Trump and Trumpism. At this point, both the election route and impeachment route remain viable alternatives. And oddly enough, what it takes to make either successful (popular support) makes both alternatives feasible.

    • bmaz says:

      These “talented rookies” are known as the squad and are AOC, Tliab, Pressley and Omar. They are not just stars in their hometown, they have become important nationwide. And, as for playing for the team, they all supported Pelosi for Speaker just for her to turn and shit on them. They have all supported party legislation in the House. The only real instance of them not doing so was a simple protest vote on the border bill (not because they were against it, but because it wasn’t strong enough) that came nowhere near to derailing it. Pelosi has let the Blue Dogs vote against legislation before without a peep. But these four women of color do it and Pelosi and the leadership she commands suddenly go off the rails.

      So, I am not sure what you are saying when you talk about talented rookies not playing team ball. Looks to me like they have caught on extremely quick and are leaving their mark while still honoring their duty to the party. Good for them. It is Nancy Pelosi who is discombobulated and out of touch, not them.

      • Marinela says:

        It appears Pelosi doesn’t have the votes for impeachment. Could it be that the house new subpoenas are intended for the house dems to pass the impeachment threshold?

        • bmaz says:

          No, that is ridiculous. It is NOT about having votes for removal, as Pelosi duplicitously argues, it is only about opening an inquiry to aid investigation and oversight. And the sole reason there are not enough votes for that is that Pelosi forbids it. It is entirely on her and Hoyer.

          • Marinela says:

            Wish I can understand why Pelosi handled the impeachment matter this way. Understand the frustration on the handling, I share it.
            Just want to figure out why. To me it makes no sense. She lost the momentum. One observation I would make, is that there was a Trump real conspiracy with Israel, it is obvious there was a quid pro quo to deliver for Israel on many policy fronts, and it appears Trump benefited from Israel intelligence in the 2016 election. Remember, Trump doesn’t give nothing for free, and he delivered to Israel on so many issues. It should be an investigation on Trump ties to Israel, are these Israel policies benefiting the regular American? I suspect the big donors that support Trump for Israel, are also supporting Pelosi and few other Dems. 2018 election changed the dynamic for dems, few of them are more “independent” from the old policies and big donors, and they behave truly as an opposition party. But there are not enough or these dems in the party.

            Also, why is Trump supportive of Pelosi? It doesn’t add up, unless there is a deal between Pelosi and Trump already. Was the calculation that she will still start impeachment inquiry, but with momentum gone, it will guarantee it goes nowhere?

            • Americana says:

              I don’t believe Israel was Trump’s ace in the hole in 2016. Trump delivered what he delivered to Israel (entirety of Jerusalem, Golan Heights to Israeli sovereignty) in advance of the 2020 election thus trying to maintain the evangelical vote for himself as well as grow his base based on promises kept to Israel. Trump does seem to have plans for building projects w/a Russian Chabad Jew, plans which only make sense if Trump gives Israel more land. To me, Trump’s interactions w/Israel are more commercial in nature and the quid pro quo is less about him receiving intelligence (or any other) assistance but rather Trump receiving preferential commercial treatment by the Netanyahu government whenever the construction begins (after Trump leaves office to eliminate his conflict of interest).

              Russia was Trump’s ace in the hole for 2016 and will be again in 2020. Not only do the Russians provide Trump w/intelligence insights into his campaign, they’re also providing the internet army of trolls and bots Trump needs to run his social media-based campaign.

              I find your last comment heinous about Trump supporting Pelosi because there “is a deal between Trump and Pelosi already”. Trump is gaming everyone in the Democratic party, one way or another, and Pelosi is no different. There’s nothing ethically questionable about their relationship. It is an adversarial relationship, full stop.

      • Vicks says:

        I’m saying you leave the bullshit in the locker room. This is not the time to publically look for validation and ask the fans to pick a side.
        These folks need to man and women up and show the world how the party that embraces diversity in all areas including culture and IDEAS gets shit done!

        • bmaz says:

          WTF does that even mean? They were elected to represent their constituents that voted for them and do what they think is right, not bend over for the geriatric bullshit of Pelosi and Hoyer. The energy of the base is with them, not the old scolds shitting on them.

          • Vicks says:

            Quit being an asshole.
            Comment on the words that I actually wrote instead of some bullshit translation in your head.

            • bmaz says:

              Oh, I missed this earlier. Sorry about that. You want to call me an asshole? Fine. Screw you. And, once again, I read your words and took them at face value. You consistently want to blow bunk and then act like you did not. That is disingenuous pleading.

              • Vicks says:

                Your first attempt to reframe the argument and try to make it about Pelosi vs the squad showed your weak hand.
                Bullies are tiresome Mr. bmaz we have real enemies out there and making enemies of each other is doing much of their work for them.

                • bmaz says:

                  I am not bullying you, and I read your comments in the plain English they were written in. What is “tiresome” is your constant whining that your words don’t say what they said. Beyond that, move along and solve all your pet problems afflicting you from your “real enemies”.

          • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

            I hear you on that whole ‘geriatric bullshit’ angst. In spades.

            However, consider:
            AOC’s Congressional district population = 802,000
            AOC born 1989.

            Tlalb’s congressional district population = 706,000
            Tlalb born 1976. Jimmy Carter was president,

            Ayanna Soyini Pressley’s congressional district population = 733,000 (2010 census)
            Pressley was born in 1974.

            Ilhan Omar’s MN congressional district has a population of about 708,000.
            Omar was born in 1982.

            Pelosi was born in 1940.
            Which means that she was 42 when Ilhan was born, and 49 when AOC was born.
            Steny Hoyer was born in 1939.

            Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell is one of two Senators representing 4,460,000 souls. He was born in 1942.

            One of McConnell’s deputies is John Thune of S. Dakota, who is among the youngest GOPers, born 1961.
            He is one of two senators representing South Dakota’s 880,000 souls.

            IOW, Thune (Sen GOP) represents about half of the number of people that any of the four younger Dem House members represent (assuming that you divide the S. Dakota population by 2 senators).

            And McConnell’s state has about 4 – 6 times the number of constituents of any of those younger House members.

            The nation is becoming ungovernable due to:
            Electoral College
            Widespread population (and economic!) disparities among legislative districts – when 465 members of the House are doing twice the heavy lifting of any senator from N Dakota, S Dakota, WY, Idaho, MT, you have a situation that is becoming unmanageable.

            Pelosi is not responding to that underlying dynamic. Nor is Hoyer. Trump and those who wish America to be feckless and inept are exploiting these fracture points.

      • Greg F says:

        I very much approve of “the squad” even though I don’t live in any of their districts. They have played “nice” with Speaker Pelosi. Her trivializing them when they have millions of followers is a big mistake. I have supported their campaigns a bit — especially when they receive DEATH THREATS!
        I have started writing the rep. of NY’s 14th District as AÖC, since she doesn’t live far from Oyster Bay. She’s the “Mistress of the Salmon Salt”! (Quicklime girl… quicklime girl…) I also like Isaac Hayes – and Chris!

        • bmaz says:

          Holy shit, that may have been the first BOC reference on this blog that I did not make! And Tyranny and Mutation is one of the best albums ever. So good. As too, all their early albums are.

          • Greg F says:

            Glad you’re a fan, too. I have seen them in concert more times than any other band. Always a great time. Cheers!

            • bmaz says:

              Completely. I first saw them in hight school when they had the laser show that supposedly put people’s eyes out (like mid 70’s). It did not me, but holy crap were they great. Mind boggling so. Last saw them maybe 4 years ago, in a large bar venue here. They still ripped it up. Are coming again in late September, and I intend to go.

              • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

                As if to hammer home my earlier point, you saw that band first about the time that Pressley was born, and about 7 years before Ilhan Omar was born.
                And at least 15 years before AOC was born.

                Let that sink in.

                • bmaz says:

                  They are the future. And they are smart, diverse, and awesome. We are no longer the future, but can darn well recognize it and support it. That is why I care so much about these four. And not just them, but Katie Porter and a host of others that are making their marks. It is wonderful to watch.

                  • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

                    Agree emphatically.
                    But I’m alarmed that today, news of:
                    (a) poll results ‘going around to Dem strategists*’ that ‘socialism’ is political poison
                    (b) Lindsay Graham goes on Fox News to denounce these young Congresswomen as ‘socialists’. No coinkeydink.

                    *debasement of word ‘strategist’ methinks, but I digress..

                    • Tracy Lynn says:

                      As I was driving around today I passed a Tesla with a bumper sticker that said, “No Socialism.” I wondered if it was a meme — there was no identifying organization, just a red, white, and blue bumper sticker with the words “No Socialism.” Trolls are working on a couple of different levels these days.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      As bmaz has described, these four women of color are on Pelosi’s team. She is not reciprocating their loyalty. She seems to be doing a Rahm Emanuel: acting as if they, being liberal, have nowhere else to go so they should shut up and follow.

      That’s not what the party needs, it’s not what put these four women – and others, like Katie Porter in Orange County, CA – in office. It’s not what will bring in the votes in 2020.

      As BobCon says below, Pelosi seems to be following the establishmentarian courtiers beloved by the Dem’s big donors. They like what their donations have achieved. For them, having the GOP and Dems look like opposite sides of the same coin is peachy. The changes implied in the campaigns of Warren and AOC are immensely unwelcome.

      Fundamentally, AOC is a problem for establishment Dems because she is the future of the party. She is as smart as she is photogenic, and her priorities are still with the people who voted for her and need her to work for them.

      • Eureka says:

        Speaking of Warren, “President Elizabeth Warren” is trending right now on the twitters, and that is great.

        • Tommy D Cosmology says:

          I would be very happy with Warren at the top of the ticket, but I see Harris doing a more entertaining job of tearing tRump a new A-hole in the debates. She is a prosecutor and I hope she prosecutes.

          Warren has great experience and will regulate the TEA-banging bigots (pounding their fists, claiming to be taxed enough already); but Harris will drag them out, call them what they are, and more forcefully than any of the others IMO.

          • Eureka says:

            Funny that you say that, Tommy– I had just remarked on Harris’ appeal via “Big Prosecutor Energy” in a longer comment at the bottom of the page.

            Warren/Harris would be a complementary team in certain regards, yes.

            • RWood says:

              Not saying I’m 100% in favor of such a ticket, but I could maybe see myself voting that way if things continue to evolve.

              Is Harris considered centrist enough to balance out Warren? And there’s always the number one question when it comes to VP’s. What if POTUS dies? Does Harris have what it takes to be Commander in Chief?

              • bmaz says:

                I feel bad saying it, but not sure a two woman ticket is a good idea quite yet, even while saying yes Harris has what it takes either way. The Dem field is uniformly impressive. To such an extent that Biden may be the least compelling.

                • RWood says:

                  True. I forget there are still some out there that let gender, (or sexuality), get in the way of a decision that is not affected by it one way or another. I like a lot of what Mayor Pete is saying, but I don’t think the country is ready to support a gay president yet.

                  To the original question: Most view Harris as a centrist and I must say I do as well. Is the ticket going to be a Progressive for POTUS with a Centrist VP, or V/V you think?

                  • P J Evans says:

                    The bigger problem is inexperience – but he’s going to go farther, I’m sure.
                    (There’s a strong suspicion that Buchanan was gay.)

                • Jockobadger says:

                  I hate to say it, but I agree, bmaz. I guess that makes me a bit of a dinosaur, but I don’t know if we’re ready for that and we MUST win this election. I’ll go with Warren and anyone. Fuck that, I’ll go with any of them. I wish Biden wasn’t sucking the air out of the thing, too. Sorry about the rant.

                  I love the squad and I pray to Goddess that the Dems will sort themselves out wrt to an impeachment inquiry. They bloody well need to get it done soon. It’s like they’re immobilized by what? Fear? Of? I just do not understand Pelosi/Hoyer’s thinking – actually, I think I do, but don’t fucking like it.

                  We need a strong Woman President to whip this country back into shape. JHC

              • Eureka says:

                To be clear, that’s not a ticket I am advocating. I like Warren; the comments about Harris were in the context of a “personality” that people are craving in the absence of justice (or a sense that justice is not being done right now wrt Trump et al.). Harris is, however, a good questioner in session. We shall see what happens…

                ETA: and obviously if that’s the ticket that shows up, that’s the one that gets the vote.

  8. Tom says:

    Nancy Pelosi is banking on the outcome of the 2020 election as if it’s the rich uncle who’s expected to die and leave her all his money.

    • Bri2k says:

      I get roasted whenever I say this over on TPM, but I think it’s foolish to put all the eggs in the 2020 election basket. We know 2016 was “interfered” with and nothing’s been done to secure the next election.

      I say go at them every way possible. An impeachment inquiry will bring all Trump’s crimes out into the open and might actually dominate a few news cycles.

      By the way, did anyone else notice how that Pence thing at the detention center took the focus off Epstein? This is how they play. It’s all just the Apprentice writ large to them.

      • bmaz says:

        There is no reason to get roasted, at TPM or anywhere else, for those perfectly reasonable thoughts.

  9. Troutwaxer says:

    Not much to add on this, but I’m a Liberal Democrat in my mid-fifties and Pelosi is looking more and more like part of the problem. She is the Neville Chamberlain of our times.

    • Geoff says:

      It’s already way late, and she shows no signs of budging. Meanwhile, I see her lining up behind a Biden centrist moderate BS fail campaign, which will crush the youth vote. I fear this all ends very badly. We wont survive a trump re-election.

      • RWood says:

        Will it crush it, or will it embolden it?

        The younger voters I talk to intend to vote blue no matter who gets the nomination, but if a centrist is forced on them I think we can expect them to let their displeasure be known.

        This it’ll-destroy-their-will-to-vote line of thinking has me confused. It’s tantamount to calling them stupid. As if they are too dumb to see the consequences of another trump term. I don’t see that in them. If anything I see the opposite. They know it’s their time and they know the results if they fail to act.

        A big reason for the 2016 outcome was this insight by the younger voters. They outvoted the over 65 age group for the first time and the numbers say it will be even more-so in 2020.

        A savvy speaker would recognize this and embrace the freshman that can fire up that group, but instead she dismisses them and fails to take the action they so desperately demand of her. She still thinks that money=votes, when there is ample evidence that this is no longer true. I shake my head every time the news reports on who brought in the most campaign cash. This is not something the grassroots candidate worries about. Cash does not equal votes for them, followers do. Something grandma doesn’t understand.

        The squad are doing what their voters, and the younger generation/future of the DCC want. If anything they should shout louder.

        • Rayne says:

          “This it’ll-destroy-their-will-to-vote line of thinking has me confused.”

          It worked in 2016. As I said, a record undervote of 80K — eight times more people than the win margin necessary couldn’t pull the lever for either Clinton or Trump though they had no conflict about the rest of the ballot. The same thing could happen in the opposite direction, an undervote for down ticket races.

          Imagine any of the Democratic POTUS candidates stuck with a GOP House and Senate because a particular group constituting a swing margin felt conflicted about Congressional candidates.

          • RWood says:

            I see your point. But I also think that much of that stay-at-home attitude happened because they were assuming she would win anyway. After all, the polls and everyone else were saying so. So why not abstain and fire a shot across the bow of the SS Clinton?

            Now they know better. I don’t think the lessons of 2018 have gotten through to the leadership as much as they need to, but from talking to the young voters I know, it has with them.

            • Rayne says:

              They only have to game a percentage equal to margin of error to pull off successful influence without kicking up early detection and intervention. They used all manner of tricks last time, might even have wildly overshot. Some of their work was proof-of-concept to be honed for use in 2020.

              Young voters like the ones visiting me this weekend may be far more savvy about the influence ops but they are still neophytes when it comes to political machinations. If they weren’t they wouldn’t be asking me a passel of questions; imagine the rest of their cohort who won’t have access to answers directly from a human.

              • RWood says:

                It’s both encouraging and worrisome isn’t it? You’re glad they are asking questions, but you wonder who or what prompted them to ask them?

                For the ones I talk to the blame goes to Trump. And when they seek out counterpoints to his BS they naturally look for people from their own age group. That leads them to AOC, who leads them to the rest of the freshman, who then leads them to Warren or other progressive candidates.

                Another thing I see is that, once enlightened, they turn to SM to spread it to their friends. (I wish Ockham was still around as he and I discussed this “epidemic-like spread” in relation to another subject.) But going viral with a political issue is now a big thing, one that Nancy doesn’t get yet. The kids understand that as well. After all, they have grandparents of their own, and I doubt they are on twitter.

                They know that to get to Trump they might first have to vote for grandmas candidate. But once that candidate is in office, they damn well better listen, or its off to the nursing home with them next time around.

                If you can ask your young ones what their friends think I’d be interested to hear it.

                • bmaz says:

                  Trust me, William Ockham is still very much around, he just does not comment as much lately.

                  • RWood says:

                    Heh. “Feel-real” temp of 97 where he’s at. With a humidity of 57 I bet he’s indoors and therefore has no excuse! :)

            • Mainmata says:

              I agree with you. In addition to the points you made about complacency about an HRC win (not to mention all of the other stuff (Russians, FB, WikiLeaks, Comey, etc.) contributing to her loss, we also have the hideous record of Trump and the GOP Congress since January 2017. I am in touch with Millennials and younger and they find Trump (and most of the GOP) to be nothing less than monsters that must be stopped. There is an additional factor that few ever mention, which is what kind of mental and physical state will Trump be in this time next year. He’s already pretty much an incoherent mess much of the time. Will he even be an effective candidate? I’m pretty sure he will refuse to engage in any debates with the Democratic candidate.

              That said, I happen to be on the side of getting more effective HOR inquiries underway. If that can be accomplished with Pelosi calling for impeachment hearings, all the better. We all know that those hearings won’t be concluded before the election but they could elicit a load of useful information for the re-election of Democrats and the presidential candidate, of course.

              • bmaz says:

                Exactly. That is why talk of articles of impeachment and Senate trial is absurd. It is about getting the facts out before the voters decide. The investigative tool set of an inquiry is all that is needed.

        • Phaedrus says:

          I know I’m late to the game… I’m a strategic Dem voter. I have serious problems with them, they’re not lefty enough for me, and the Republicans are unthinkable.
          But, honestly, this dust up is the last straw. I watched as Dems sidelined my candidate last presidential election (Bernie – I still voted Clinton), I watched as the DNC shoved a progressive chairman aside. I’m done. There just isn’t room in the party for Progressives, and the Dem’s aren’t fighting Trump.

          • Rayne says:

            Michigan had a record undervote in 2016 of 80,000 voters who didn’t pick any candidate at the top of the ticket — in essence, doing exactly what you’re choosing to do, Mr. Two-Comments-at-Emptywheel.

            The margin by which Trump won Michigan was 10,000 votes.

            If you’re making your decision right now — given the choice between anyone else and the man who is responsible for the deaths of 3000 Americans in Puerto Rico alone in addition to the installation and operation of concentration camps at the border which put children in cages and traffics infants — you are a critical part of the problem this country faces.

            But it’s more likely you. Mr. Two-Comments-at-Emptywheel, are a provocateur intent on harassing this site and its community with such tripe.

          • P J Evans says:

            Eff that purity voting. It’s what got us Tr*mp.
            I’m farther to the left than a lot of Dem legislators. But I still vote blue, as I have for most of the last 50 years – because it’s the only way I have to move them left. Voting third party, or not at all, is just like giving the GOP votes.

  10. BobCon says:

    One of the interesting things that AOC, Amash and Warren have done is broken with the traditional fundraising machinery that both the Democrats and GOP embrace. One of the big failings of modern reporting is to grossly underplay how much time almost all members of Congress spend on the phone every single day chasing down contributions from big donors, following up with big donors, and so on.

    This has three big effects. One is to grossly overemphasize the power of big donors. The second is that it shrinks the amount of time for legislating — who has time to read the Mueller report when they have to spend four hours a day fundraising? The third is that it shrinks the pool of candidates to ones who can perform this kind of telemarketing. To a large extent, the ennervated state of the Democrats (and the complete soulless state of the GOP) is a result of this system.

    Switching to heavy grassroots fundraising strategy breaks this system up, but the system doesn’t like the challenge — it increases the pressure on leaders and the rank and file to defend the system itself, rather than defend the best interests of the party. More time going after Trump in a unified assault on the unfairness in US society means less time protecting niche interests.

    Warren has taken a step farther, and has broken with the traditional campaign media consultants. Again, it is grossly underreported how skeezy their business is. Typically they take a 10% to 15% cut of all ad money off the top. That is money that not only immediately disappears from the campaign with no effect, it is money that is not being spent on other means of outreach. Warren is gambling that she can maximize her fundraising by shrinking her consultant overhead and doing much of this work in house.

    Any shift away from traditional media consultants is also a major threat to the system. They are also deeply embedded in campaigns due to revolving doors, and they are major donors themselves. When they threaten to walk away from media buys they can get due to connections with consolidated media companies, they threaten the viability of candidates. They use this leverage to prop up the status quo, and they fear the rise of candidates who can operate without them.

    Pelosi and Schumer’s deep connections to these parts of the industry go a long way to explain why they act the way they do. But anyone who focuses too much on Schumer or Pelosi themselves risks missing the bigger threat — what really needs to happen is dismantling the longstanding fundraising and media consulting systems, or else another Pelosi and Schumer will only rise to take their place.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Warren and AOC are on the progressive track, and that scares establishment Dems more than AOC and her cohort being young turks. They represent institutional as well as generational change, which would upend the party’s hierarchy and donor base.

      It would probably send the Blue Dogs to the Republican side of the aisle. Given that they are already a fifth column that keeps the party more centrist than its base, that would be a good thing.

      It would require, however, that they be replaced with more progressives in order to maintain a still tenuous majority. The Dems need that as much as they need to rid the Senate of McConnell and his majority. Without that, a Dem president could do much, but not nearly enough.

      • BobCon says:

        The point I want to stress is that the vague centrists don’t exist without the machinery surrounding them. Seth Moulton comes out of the machinery of corporate money, professional fundraisers, and consultants, and he is going to push their point of view above all else.

        On the whole we’re better with them than the GOP, but nothing will change until the machinery is replaced. Democratic voters need to recognize that the machinery doesn’t really care who is in power — the machinery gets paid regardless.

      • spiny says:

        I think there is little danger of the blue dogs becoming actual rank-and file Republicans. It is a side effect of the Republican party going off the rails- In almost all cases, a blue dog that switches parties would easily lose a Republican primary. That is one of the reasons I think Democrats can safely call the bluff of a lot of these conserva-democrats, who are mostly just careerists looking to save their own skins anyways.

        • bmaz says:

          That strikes me as exactly right. I guess my point is, it is unseemly how Pelosi and Hoyer coddle the Blue Dogs, but then dump on the young progressive women of color. The Blue Dogs actually do screw up legislation, AOC and her “squad” have never done that.

          • RWood says:

            The current wage bill is a great example of the danger the blue dogs represent.

            Not that it’ll ever go anywhere of course.

        • Democritus says:

          Ohhh, great argument and I can’t help but think you are right also.

          Filing away for future arguments! :-)

    • Democritus says:

      God I love Warren, and that puts DCCC’s embargo on Democratic polling firms in a even brighter light.

      I read up on the Saban asshole the other night and was not amused. I imagine other big donors are equally dirty.

      It’s like that Murdoch quote on why across the ocean loads of Donors wanted Brexit.

      “I once asked Rupert Murdoch why he was so opposed to the European Union. ‘That’s easy,’ he replied. ‘When I go into Downing Street they do what I say; when I go to Brussels they take no notice”

      • Rayne says:

        I’ll caution you not to get entities and missions confused.

        — Senator Warren is right in that she wants to remove corporate and foreign influence from campaigning as POTUS.

        — DCCC’s mission is to support the re-election of Democratic House incumbents; they are using the means they have legally available to them. They don’t have to support businesses that work against their mission. If DCCC’s mission should change to a more ethical and legal benchmark, better House Dem incumbents will have to change its rules.

        Personally, I think any candidate intent on primarying a House incumbent must go into it with their eyes open. They are owed nothing by the existing Democratic incumbents. They need to raise money and find resources which aren’t in conflict with the incumbent, on top of having a more compelling message, outreach, and mission to offer constituents — kind of like AOC compared to Crowley.

        • RWood says:

          If HB-1 is passed in the first 100 days (and it damn well better be), how do you think that will adjust the game-plan of these candidates looking to challenge an incumbent?

          Or for that matter, the incumbents defense from such a challenger?

          • Rayne says:

            I assume you mean H.R. 1 passed by the House during the 116th Congress; if so, that bill will be dead if it isn’t passed by the Senate before the 116th Congress adjourns.

            No idea what happens after that because a new version may not be identical; it could be changed in conference committee if the Senate under the 117th Congress has its own but different bill.

            • RWood says:

              Yes, a new version of HR-1. (I’m day-drinking now :))

              On the subject of bills, I wonder how many of the 200+ (?) bills sitting on McTurtles desk will be re-born?

              I imagine that a third are actual bills they would like to see passed. A third are wanna-be bills they know have little chance, and the rest were for show knowing McTurtle would never consider them.

              If I were an AOC with a new Dem President and House Speaker, I’d be watching very closely to see which ones make a comeback.

              • Rayne says:

                We’ve been arguing away here about conservadem Blue Dogs and the inability to get an impeachment inquiry off the ground because only 86 Dems will commit to voting for it. This, compared to the successful passage of +200 bills sitting idle in the Senate, tells you the bills can get passed in the next Congress *IF* a Democratic majority takes the Senate; the bills have already passed the conservadems’ scrutiny.

                As I have pointed out in a number of posts, we need to focus on the 20 GOP senate seats up for re-election. If we were to replace them all with Dems the Senate could be veto-proof no matter who is president.

        • Democritus says:

          I get the difference between DNC and DCCC, but I’m faaaar from an expert. I get the brass knuckle reasons behind it but I worry it’s there precisely to prevent the next rep Pressley from breaking through on the left especially when the district is the right population for that. I know we need conservative Democrats, but not in every district.

          And I get it that we don’t want waves of astroturfed fake challengers like Jill Stein but I think the Party, but with this where progressives be able to get in going forward. I’m one of those people who is also chaffing a bit at a need for generational handover but again, but not my focus and I was all for a Pelosi speakership at the time.

          Ugh hope this makes sense since I’m having a bad day to put it mildly. And to be clear, I’m far from an expert, especially on the party machinery, and am well aware of just how much I don’t know. Which is far, far more than I do know.

          But I hope we all continue to get off our ass and call congress and work to make the country better.

          And vote Democrat in 2020 in overwhelming numbers hopefully :)

          • Democritus says:

            Just reread second paragraph with an editing fail and I’m gonna stop posting today, lol. I think the Party would be better as a whole if it didn’t automatically extend such protection to all members. Incumbents have enough advantages, this is just swampy to me.

            Like I said, it’s not something I raise too often because it makes the Democratic Party look just like the stereotype of the Chicago machine and corrupt.

            Though good god, when you have a kleptocratic fascist white supremacist party on the other side in the GOP 8 mean it’s really not my focus. Except I keep talking about it to clean up my previous replies so sigh.

            How about that Megan Rapinoe!

    • orionATl says:

      bobcon –

      “…Warren has taken a step farther, and has broken with the traditional campaign media consultants. Again, it is grossly underreported how skeezy their business is. Typically they take a 10% to 15% cut of all ad money off the top. That is money that not only immediately disappears from the campaign with no effect, it is money that is not being spent on other means of outreach. Warren is gambling that she can maximize her fundraising by shrinking her consultant overhead and doing much of this work in house….”

      “traditional media consultants”. to which i would add as well “political consultants”, those that advise a candidate, for example, “oh, just talk about the economy, don’t mention trump’s behavior”. these are the cynical mofkrs that turn democratic politicians into mush and give birth to candidates’ political poppycock. there is no more destructive element in the democratic party electioneering universe than these guys; they really should be banned. instead they are often welcomed by a clueless campaign intimidated by “what should we do and how can we avoid criticism” in a public campaign.

      i think the reason they have so much clout is because a lot of candidates for office do not have a clear political viewpoint inside. they are willing to go public and run; they are willing to put in endless hours of tedious meeting and greeting; they have the egos to tolerate slurs, but they don’t have any strong political intuition or imagination.

      • BobCon says:

        A big factor with the campaign consultants is the degree to which they branch out to PR work for corporations and interest groups.

        They don’t want to advise their candidate to take a strong stand on climate change because they’re worried about getting a contract with a power company alliance, they don’t want be tied to a strong pro-labor candidate because they’re worried about a contract with Target….

    • Democritus says:

      Just wanted to say it again, what a great comment. I’m sure to the many commentators like earl etc who already know this already, but for those of use who don’t, including the lurkers out there, thanks!

      I wish there were easy to read primers on how some of the machine politics etc work. Which I am sure neither political party would be interested in being public in an easy to understand fashion lol. I should go look for a book, I’m sure there are many to choose from.

      We have faaaar too much corruption and dark money floating around, and our cultural promotion of greed often turns my stomach. No one needs their own fucking super yacht.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Donald Trump recently on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:

    “I see a young woman ranting and raving like a lunatic on a street corner.”

    He meant it as a slam and as a complement, in that he compared her to mid-20th century Argentina’s First Lady, Eva Peron, or at least the version of her portrayed in the film or stage musical, Evita. Perhaps he is secretly hoping that AOC’s career will be as short as that of the Argentine beauty and advocate for Latin America’s poor, who died of cancer in 1952, at age 33.

    AOC comes up in two book reviews of Tim Alberta’s, “American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War.” The Guardian’s Martin Pengelly describes it as, “a history of the Republican party from the nomination of…John McCain in 2008 to midway through Trump’s first term. It contains scenes likely to cause controversy in the press and in the party itself.” He quotes former RNC head Michael Steele calling Trump, “a motherfucker…defiling the White House.”

    Less objective is Lloyd Green, counsel for opposition research for Poppy Bush’s 1988 campaign, who served in his DoJ (under Bill Barr) from 1990-92. Reasonably accurate in his facts, Green is hyperbolic in his analogies. He compares the “transformative” Trump to “the deity on the sixth day of creation,” who has recast the GOP in his own image.

    I buy transformative, in that for its own reasons, the GOP has become Trump and all his works. I’ll pass on the deity part. Green betrays his oppo research background, too, in this apples-to-oranges comparison: “[T]he fix was in at Fox News for Trump during the Republican primaries, in a manner akin to the Democratic National Committee putting its thumb on the scales for Clinton.”

    Fox News pretends to be a news organization, while acting as a propaganda arm of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. The DNC is avowedly partisan and is the formal governing body of the Democratic Party. As I said, Lloyd Green worked for Bill Barr.


    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Josh Dawsey has a better summary of Alberta’s book (his title also suggests he’s a fan of Dr. Strangelove):

      Alberta depicts Trump as a transactional, cynical and cunning person, who understands what his supporters want by consuming large amounts of media and watching how Republicans failed in the past….Trump offers perks to gain support, threatens foes with the wrath of his supporters and makes cold, narcissistic calculations to keep power.

      I think Trump watches so much TV because it does not require him to think, only to ingest. He is bored, out of his depth, and functionally illiterate. And he is obsessed with press coverage of his Greatness. Murdoch’s Faux Noise willingly obliges.

      Trump’s cunning is feral, but superficial and deeply ignorant. His cynicism knows no bounds. Nor does his willingness to lie in order to destroy others and to build himself up. He admits no restraint, which fits neatly with the ideas of Bill Barr, Dick Cheney, and their patrons.

      The Dems seem unwilling to recognize and respond to that. They are just waiting for him to leave, so that they needn’t change whatever it is they do, which is likely to ensure that he never leaves.


      • Democritus says:

        For worse or worse-er-est, Trump after ingesting all of our cultural bS, or milieu if I want to sound fahncy, he was able to intuitively craft a message and then DRIVE public sentiment towards him. Mostly by capitalizing on peoples fears, hatred and grievances.

        The Democrats could be going out crafting a narrative of where Trumps evil will lead us in the long run and how to fight back, and trying to appeal to our nobler sides, the sacrifices of our forefathers, and whoa we as Americans see our selves as defenders of freedom, but they aren’t.

        We need more Democrats to sack up and LEAD to put it crudely.

      • Eureka says:


        …which is likely to ensure that he never leaves.

        The escalating pace of direness thrives in a medium of laconical chaos.

        Leah McElrath had a great thread recently on both the need for and ease of (as Trump provides the material) aggressive, offensive messaging, which would help stop some of the bloodletting.

        • Eureka says:

          Found it. Whole thread works together, lots of other good parts:

          Leah McElrath: “If I were advising @SenSchumer or @SpeakerPelosi about how to deal with the unique threat of Trump as a malignant narcissist, I would recommend their doing the EXACT OPPOSITE of what they’re doing. Democratic leadership is literally doing everything wrong. 1/x”

          “Democratic leadership should be on the news and social media EVERY DAY attacking Trump’s corruption. Every. Single. Day. It doesn’t even matter if there is a cohesive strategy (Trump doesn’t have one), they just need to keep him on his heels. There is SO much material. 8/x”

          • Rayne says:

            What really frustrates me is how bloody bad House Democrats are at messaging and communications. The very few who are effective at messaging are bashed as nerds by old school Dems the overwhelming majority of Americans never see.

            They don’t even see that the opposition knows who the best Democrats are at messaging — they identify them by their constant attacks on them because the best Democrats make them look really bad without breaking a sweat.

            Just so frustrating.

            • Eureka says:

              Yes, so frustrating. It’s like they are trying to skirt the obvious. This is a No-rocket-scientists-need-apply situation on many levels.

  12. Mike Kretzler says:

    I’m forty years older than those young voters in the story and I’m with them completely. Well past time for the D’s to get their stuff together.

    • bmaz says:

      Yeah, I am in that same boat with you, and agree completely. Also, hi Mike, and welcome to Emptywheel. Please join in more often, and it is a pretty good discussion forum.

  13. dimmsdale says:

    OK, I have my own ideas about the Pelosi-AOC situation, but since it’s an open thread, can I pose a question? Are we regarding it as a done deal that Barr has managed to circumvent, smother, or halt the various investigations (e.g. SDNY) into Trump’s crime family and his corporation? (Which is to say, all those investigations that Mueller shunted off to various other Justice Department districts, or whatever they’re called?) Is Tish James (NY State Attorney General) and/or other state attorneys-general the only available source of justice for us at this point?

    • Tom says:

      Mimi Rocah referred to this on her Twitter feed; i.e., that the investigation into Trump Org apparently stopped around the time that Barr became AG. But Asha Rangappa says on her Twitter account that these reports are not necessarily accurate.

        • dimmsdale says:

          It was Mimi’s tweet that prompted me to ask here in the first place. I have been, all this time, looking to those ancillary investigations (ancillary to the Mueller report, I mean) to provide some sense of definitive justice being meted out, and the prospect that they will not be able to go forward is causing me a lot of distress. So, another question: what would we look for, for indications that the various investigations have been curtailed?

        • Democritus says:

          Bmaz you might enjoy this :
          Amy Siskand at Nancy after Nancy cracked open her party to allow a feeding frenzy on the more progressive members by the GOP and media because she was pissed at them for not playing nice.


          Nancy a leader needs to lead, even when they are pissed and don’t want to take the high road. I’m sick of eating every word I laid out defending her against attacks from the left. (I’m venting if we as a party need to fall in line we should, but I see no need to not criticize Nancy in ways that are helpful.

          I have started writing out so many comments on Nancy and end up not posting because I worry about who I am eventually helping by posting more divisive arguments, but FFS IMPEACH THE ASSHOLE then hold the inquiry in the fact finding stage until there is sufficient evidence.

          I have few doubts that high crimes have been committed,

          Imagine if the Democrats had the courage to go out and try to lead public opinion like Warren or the “squad” does.

          The activists and in my area TONS of kids, like teenagers, worked their asses off for 2018 and Nancy is thanking them with a shit sandwich.

          Who says we will have free and fair elections in 2020. Though maybe if people were afraid they were currently under an investigation and impeachment inquiry they would be more leery of proceeding with whatever their current ratfuckng dirty tricks for 2020.

          I feel like we are blowing our last shot and I get worried. I literally have to worry I won’t survive that long, if Trumps keeps unwinding the progress we have made with extending insurance protections/ healthcare access and human rights.

  14. BobCon says:

    In my ongoing fuming at the NY Times, I have another log to throw on the fire.

    Pence went to a couple of border camps to see conditions, and despite efforts to breeze through, the media saw horrifying conditions. The Washington Post, CNN, NBC etc. had deeply disturbing reports.

    And yet on today’s NY Times has… nothing. The best they could manage on nytimes.com was a little wire copy that doesn’t appear in any of their own reporting.

    I wonder if they were left out of the reporter pool, which is why they’re refusing to cover it in a snit, or if some editor decided it deserved absolutely no mention. Regardless, it’s shameful.

    • Democritus says:

      I’ll add it to my bookmark folder for when I get in debates with people who are like what do you have against the NYT?

      A FUCKING LOT! Lol 😂

      They help build the comfortable mirage that lets people ignore the real evils in this world. Epstein has been known about for ages. So was Kevin Spacey, Weinstein, R Kelly, Dan Schneider at Nickelodeon, people just looked the other way. Especially so if the victims were any type of minority.

      • BobCon says:

        If you don’t already have it, you can add the Times ignoring the Miami Herald scoop on Epstein that broke on November 27 2018, and not mentioning it until they dumped a story on page 11 on November 30.

        If it’s someone else’s scoop, it doesn’t count as news.

        • Democritus says:

          Oh I do, and also a good number of my bookmarks are Marcy’s tweets etc calling out their bs.

  15. Democritus says:

    So Nancy’s against “the squad” calling the Democrats lack of leadership out, but she, the leader, does the same through her deputy chief of staff Hamill? And highlights other factions?

    She opened up tat dispute for Trump to walk into and exploit yesterday, NOT AOC? Nancy also is the leader there and the one who should know better. But she already ensured that no polling firm will work with any other primary challengers with the fucked up DCCC embargo.

    I really try to swallow my frustrations at Nancy, and for months defended and even backed her caution on impeachment prior to the release of the report, but my patience is empty. I still am not trying to go out and make hay that will help the GOP, but people need to wake the fuck up.

    Who say we will even have free and fair elections, or that it won’t get worse?


    From Greg Greene (GREAT twitter follow for us civvies trying to keep up)


    Nancy still better be planning on retiring for 2020, while we need craftiness we also need some fucking courage.

    Who says that this is not our last chance to get things put right before we end up some sick version of the Fourth Reich on this side of the pond.

    Read this from Sarah Kendzior:

    “In 2017, Pelosi — along with Barr, Steve King and other GOP cronies — helped get a man who kept hundreds of migrants as slave laborers released from prison. The migrants he held captive included children and rape victims. Her stance on migrants should be viewed in this context.”


    These kind of deals with the devil for power are what got us Trump and the slow rise of cynosure over idealism. The Democrats leadership has a moral Obligation to go out and drive public sentiment to release the concentration camps we have building up for further profit by oligarchs and Kleptocrats.

    Not hope everyone connects the dots on their own and gets outraged and come to the Democrats.

    Nancy needs to stop following the polling and start leading.

    • Rayne says:

      “But she already ensured that no polling firm will work with any other primary challengers with the fucked up DCCC embargo.”

      Pelosi is NOT the DCCC. The DCCC is a separate political entity from the House Speakership, though the House Speaker appoints the DCCC’s chair. Aim your fire at Cheri Bustos who is the current DCCC chair.

      Nor is the DNC = DCCC. DNC’s co-chair Tom Perez has had a problem with pre-Bustos DCCC with regard to a House race in Texas.

      • bmaz says:

        This is a problem that a lot of the Bernie people had (and still have), they conflated every screwed up thing to the DNC and Wasserman Schultz (who, granted, was terrible), when most of the injustice they perceived was really by state party rules.

        • Rayne says:

          This is a key issue I believe was pointedly used to weaken the Democratic Party’s unity. Many of the Bernie bros online were really Bernie bots created to heighten the friction about Sanders’ refusal to grasp party operations.

          It’s this same tension I see becoming a tool for manipulation. Fox News and other right-wing outlets getting so much pickup on Google News is proof it could work.

      • Democritus says:

        Thanks for that info Rayne. I really don’t know who is doing what short of what I’ve been reading so I appreciate it.

        I usually don’t bitch too much about it since while I find it short sighted, I also like to aim my fire out at the GOP.

  16. orionATL says:

    rayne has focused the key issue of the dems weakening of their party’s effectiveness and and public perception of its strength where it belongs – on the individual members of the jouse who are democrats.

    i recently described my conversion some years earlier from contempt for, to tolerance of, “blue dog” dems. it should be obvious, but clearly is not to some hotheads, that a democratic house working together now and in 2020 is more important than any one righteous political victory. merely consider this – a dem house gets to control a dem legislative agenda + re 2020, i never see it mentioned but i am confident that, had secretary clinton been elected, she would have been impeached immediately + the house gets to control tax and budget + a dem house gets to investigate profound political corruption, including most importantly the long-running and highly effective republican voting disenfranchisement schemes that are making dems a permanent minority party as far as federal (and many state) elections are concerned. “there are more things in heaven and earth dear horatio than are dreamt of in your philosophy…”

    here is some historical perspective on pelosi’s leadership from a former house dem. in my view there is nothing stupider in the democratic world right now then attacking the most competent and visible leader the party has as senile and politically cowardly, but Democrats have a recent history of that kind of idiocy.


    then too, it might even be wise for dems clamoring now for immediate impeachment to demonstrate some faith and confidence in the concern and the political knowledge that many millions of voters, who clearly had already “impeached” the president in their minds, demonstrated with their november 2018 votes delivering the greatest voting setback to republicans since the 1970’s.

    if you’re looking to bury some s.o.b, it’s probably best to make sure you don’t end up burying yourself as well.

    • bmaz says:

      What a load of simpering shit. Nancy Pelosi can go straight to hell. She is a disgrace to her office and the Constitution of the United States. The blue tide in 2018 was engendered by reaction to Trump and a desire to have accountability. Pelosi, in return, is acting like a geriatric coward afraid of her own fucking shadow. “Impeachment in their minds” is ludicrous.

      And you STILL perpetuate the the craven Pelosi fiction that “impeachment” is about removal as opposed to having an inquiry as an investigative tool. It is a lie and bogus framing. If one cannot stand up for the Constitution now, then when? We should worry more about political electoral expediency of a bunch of cowardly jackholes in Congress? When those cowardly jackholes are always on a two year election cycle, when will it ever be convenient for them to do their duty as demanded by their oath of office, or is it all good that they just fuck that off, Orion? Because that is just pitiful if that is your opinion. Truly pitiful.

      • orionATL says:

        i remind you again, bmaz that this is the same intemperate, foolish, ahistoric, destructive rhertoric you were using in 2016. it got your party nowhere then and will get it nowhere now.

        i note also that more I provide some analytical opposition to your viewpoint, the more intemperate you become. why don’t you see if you can provide some historical fact and some analytical support for your position in this discussion. or are pejorative adjectives all that you are able to offer?

        • bmaz says:

          Is this simpering cowardly horseshit all YOU have to offer? It appears to be. I have relentlessly explained the basis of my position, and have done so for months. For you to deny that is absurd and dishonest.

          And I have no idea what you are talking about as to 2016, I assume that is just more fabricated shit you are pulling out of your ass. And it is totally absurd. If you are such a political coward and betrayer of the Constitution, maybe this is not the right blog for you.

          • orionATL says:


            you really, really, don’t like to be challenged, do you bmaz? you capacity to twist words is worthy of a courtroom defense.

            and no, you don’t provide muchmsubstantial in the way of analysis. you mostly just keep trying to climb out of your familiar rhetorical gutter but slipping back in – “coward”, “craven”, and “constitution” don’t seem to fit together as an argument. that kind of steaming hot rhetoric reminds me too much of the pious sophistry of judicial watch. calm your frustration and try putting together an argument rather than a harangue.

            • bmaz says:

              I do not mind being challenged. I just don’t like you LYING out of your ass that I have not addressed this over months. I have, and you know it. You are lying when you intone that I have not. You have turned into a contrarian troll, and can go straight to hell. Also, too, get lost political coward. I am done with your nonsense.

            • Rayne says:

              Knock it off. It won’t be bmaz who puts you into a time-out. Ad hominems and attacks on contributors/moderators/editors here isn’t permitted and you bloody well know that after years here.

              Set a better example than continuing to poke at bmaz instead of concentrating on the topic and the issues.

              • orionATL says:

                uh, oh. i get the subliminal message now. it’s time for a truce so the discussion doesn’t end up as a boxing match.

                • Rayne says:

                  Pretty sure the average community member here wouldn’t interpret my comment as subliminal.

                  EDIT: And upon reading some of your other comments made within the hour you can chill out in auto-moderation until you get a hold of yourself.

                    • P J Evans says:

                      fuck that shit – some people have a harder time dealing with shift keys than others. You don’t know people.

                    • bmaz says:

                      Agree with PJ. Orion has been around a long time, and the use of lower case has often been the case. It is not a problem in the least.

                    • Democritus says:

                      As someone who became disabled in middle age, typos, writing etc become much more difficult and dictation has become better, but even editing all the errors from homonyms etc is tiring and often hard especially if you can’t see the whole comment and you are the type to edit sentence structures. (Thank you guys for the edit feature here!)

                      Then dictation is also a PIA if you like to use odd words or speech patterns.

                      The longer the comment the more I find myself sometime getting lazy and instead of spelling out all logical steps I followed to get from point a to point b, and just hoping people can follow my arguments even without spelling everything out explicitly because it’s just tiring.

                      In other words, capitalization is such a small thing to pick at.

        • Democritus says:

          We have concentration camps in our country is being overrun by fascists.

          It is time to stand up, Nancy is lackluster by in almost every quality of leadership I have been taught.

          Nancy is the one who is not only in leadership, but is literally THE speaker, and yet she cracked open her own party for a GOP feeding frenzy.

      • OldTulsaDude says:

        If I may add, an impeachment inquiry is not discretionary based on political whim but a mandatory obligation if “high crimes and misdemeanors” have been alleged, which is precisely what part II of the Mueller report alleged.

        Failure to open an inquiry is tantamount to failure to uphold the oath, which itself is impeachable.

        • RWood says:

          Why would the GOP Senate vote in favor of Pelosi’s impeachment when she is doing, or should I say not-doing, everything they want?

          Fun thought though: Harness the GOP Senate to get Pelosi out of the way in order to promote a speaker that will actually start an impeachment inquiry. Sounds like a bad political thriller.

  17. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The Blue Dogs do not want Democrats to be Democrats. They want them merely to be sufficiently Republican lite that they look like an opposition party – but do not act like one. Not much room in even a big tent for both.

    Ms. Pelosi is as opposed to an impeachment inquiry as she is to impeachment and trial. Focusing on the latter hides the former. She appears to be concerned mainly with maintaining establishment Dems as the establishment, and not merely as a receding wing of the post-LBJ party. In today’s corporate and GOP worlds, that condemns the middle class and many more to perpetual exclusion.

    The glorious thing, though, is that Warren and AOC, among others, are modeling what the Dems could look like and do without so many big, no-change-for-me donors. That’s a world a lot more people could live in without being so afraid of the knock on the door.

    • orionATL says:

      “…The Blue Dogs do not want Democrats to be Democrats…”

      1. the important thing about blue dog Democrats is that they often vote Democrat. that can be useful. otherwise you have a situation where there is a Republican house (for years).

      what is so hard to understand about that political reality?

      2. “…The Blue Dogs do not want Democrats to be Democrats…”

      suppose we take that sentence and do this: The ______ ______ do not want Democrats to be Democrats. 

      then fill it in this way: “The righteous progressives do not want Democrats to be Democrats.” 

      it should be obvious to you that this is the supposedly conflicting (but actually not so much) set of perspectives that we faced when adams and jefferson were going at each other.

      • bmaz says:

        This is just more cowardly and stupid nonsense. Yes yes, the only way Democrats can be Democrats is some centrist corporatist baloney as exposed by Nancy Pelosi. Sure, that’s the ticket.

        • orionATL says:

          is it possible that there are Democrats who do not agree with your viewpoint at all? it seems so bmaz. that is why pelosi can’t move easily.

          we do have an election reform bill, an lgbtq bill, a border funding bill passed and a number of important committee investigations ongoing. that seems like making government work.

          as opposed to making speeches about abstract issues like “we must act to save our beloved, abused constitution” where the constitution is simply being used, once again, by some political rhetoritician in an attempted putdown.

          • bmaz says:

            Ah yes, another load of cowardly simpering shit. The oath of office is to defend and protect the Constitution, not pass a bunch of show bills that never make it past Mitch McConnell’s front door. And if Pelosi and her geriatric fellow leaders can’t do both, they should retire.

            And if you think “acting to save our beloved, abused constitution” is some “abstract” and/or “rhetorical” issue, then you are a shitty citizen. Seriously fuck off, I am through with you. Bye.

      • fpo says:

        For the sake of conversation, and allowing for the continued havoc that will be wreaked by this administration and its supporters on this country between now and the 2020 election, let’s suppose by some combination of hard work, good fortune and electoral college dumb luck, a Warren or Harris is elected.

        Do we think that for one minute Pelosi would get their support or endorsement for continued House leadership? Biden probably would – but I’m not convinced he’ll motivate the voters the Dems need to win in 2020. If she sticks to the current course, Pelosi will not have demonstrated leadership consistent her elected duties, let alone a true leader’s ethical and moral obligations vis-a-vis what’s been documented in the MR – and elsewhere.

        “Clamoring for impeachment” is not opening a formal impeachment inquiry. Opening a formal inquiry does not necessitate a House vote in favor of impeachment. A formal inquiry would provide all voters with the facts about an individual they are considering to run the country, facts they likely will not ever know otherwise.

        It was that ‘bunch of hotheads’ that can take credit for much of the success in 2018. And the forced turnovers in the Cabinet and Admin committees, including the likes of Acosta and Pruitt. Right now, status quo is not something they want to talk about, let alone endorse.

        OT – thanks BobCon for the ‘fundraising machinery’ comments. Right on the $$$.

        • Rayne says:

          This — “Opening a formal inquiry does not necessitate a House vote in favor of impeachment” — is absolutely wrong or poorly worded. Being specifically delineated in the Constitution, impeachment is a formal process beginning with an inquiry separate from regular and ordinary oversight; it can’t be recognized as distinctive and separate without formal House approval of an impeachment inquiry. The results of the inquiry may (and should) result in a vote for/against impeachment, which does not necessarily lead to a trial, conviction, and removal by the Senate.

          As for the 117th Congress: Pelosi may not be the Speaker; the Speaker is chosen by the House’s majority caucus, not the White House. There shouldn’t be any endorsement from the White House no matter which party takes the White House or the House because of the necessary separate and co-equal nature of the branches of government.

          • fpo says:

            Yes & thanks for the clarifying. A ‘no’ vote would be unlikely, assuming an inquiry was initiated and productive – but in light of the last two years, stranger things have already happened.

            Point taken RE POTUS ‘endorsements’ – meant to convey that Pelosi’s ‘hands off’ strategy, if it continues, will be (and already is) out of whack with the sentiments and inclinations of progressive-leaning D voters and a 2020 POTUS-elect.

            Interesting concept, that separate & co-equal thing…we should try it here sometime. ;))

      • P J Evans says:

        The Blue Dogs vote R whenever they can. Look at Lipinski, Cuellar, Costa: they’re not reliable votes for the Ds.

        • bmaz says:

          Right, exactly. And they do so, or threaten to do so, in ways that kill otherwise good legislation. And Pelosi continuously protects them. But these four cast throw away protest votes that are nowhere near killing the bill, and Pelosi shits on them. A host of other Dems, such as white man Lloyd Doggett of Texas also voted against the aid bill. Did Pelosi and her machine attack any of them? Nope, just AOC and the Squad.

            • orionATL says:

              trump praises pelosi to mark her and thereby further encourage
              dem discord, including distrust and dislike of pelosi. trump and his advisers understand very well, what some Democrats do not – that pelosi is currently the strongest dem voice against him in the nation.

    • Democritus says:

      That, and really what BobCon said is just so on the money IMO, and it’s not surprising I like it so much since it mirrors a lot of my own thoughts of late on the value of these donors who would sell out large swaths of the Dems constituencies. Though I had no idea how a lot of the mechanics behind the scenes worked and having him fill in those details helped a few thing click even more, in re the DCCC polling embargo.

      If only by NOT having Dems out driving moral arguments as you see AOC doing to such great effect.

      • bmaz says:

        BobCon and Earl are both spot on. I’ll just add that what Pelosi is doing is NOT the change that Democratic voters turned out for in 2018. And it will literally kill the interest of young voters, voters of color and women for 2020. Pelosi is not protecting the electability of Dems for 2020, she is seriously killing it.

        • OldTulsaDude says:

          Could not agree more. Pelosi is pouring sand on the embers of a blue revolution when she should be fanning the flames to stand up to corruption of the American oligarchy.

        • RWood says:

          You touch on another line of BS that gets me fired up; giving Pelosi any kind of credit for the blue wave. When I see this in the MSM I want to kick my screen.

          Trump and young people voting were the main factor of 2016. Someone should draw Nancy a picture explaining that.

    • Rayne says:

      Sadly, it does take money to run against a corrupt GOP which has zero compunction about taking money from foreign entities laundered through organizations like NRA. Can’t have it both ways, no fundraising and a majority-winning team under current rules and legislation.

      It should be an openly-stated mission on the part of the Democratic Party to undo the damage of Citizens United, remove the existing avenues for foreign influence through laundered campaign contributions, and reform campaign financing so that it correlates with the population of districts/states.

  18. drouse says:

    I want to bring up a point that was made by Adam Silverman over at Balloon Juice. He pointed out that in his experience, societies that undergo this much turmoil never make it back to the way things were. This is very much his area of expertise. So in very real sense there is no going back, there is only going through. Pelosi is clearly wants to maintain the old order even though it’s quite obvious that it went all Humpty Dumpty on us. It is also clear(to me at least) that we have been in a cold civil war for at least thirty years or more and there is no way that the right will acquiesce to anything that relinquishes their gains. So what’s it going to be Dems?

    • P J Evans says:

      I’ve been unhappy with Dem “leadership” for years. It’s part of why I have a pitchfork in my closet. (And a Jolly Roger that I made myself. I can do it again, and do it better.)

  19. BobCon says:

    One of the curious things about Pelosi is that when she was first elected, she was very much in the mold of AOC. In the late 80s she and Barbara Boxer were known for being outspoken media magnets and for pushing an activist, progressive agenda.

    In the early 90s, something changed, and she became very programmed. Still liberal, but much more of the cautious, stilted communicator she is know as today. I believe this happened before the 1994 disaster that brought Gingrich to power, but I am sure ’94 contributed to the Pelosi we know today.

    Which is not all bad — she can keep the parliamentary machinery running, she did a good job keeping the House Dems on an even keel prior to the 2018 elections.

    But I think she has misread the lessons of the majority changes of ’94, ’06, ’10 and ’18 by thinking solely about the Democratic perspective, and failing to think about why the GOP took control, It’s led to a fundamentally conservative (small c) approach that thinks people will vote Democratic as long as the GOP exposes itself, and avoids defining principles. Ironically, the Democrats benefitted when she took on Trump over the budget early this year, but she has refused to take a stand any more. She has no platform, and it’s going to continue to hurt her until she does.

    • P J Evans says:

      She looked like she was going to get things moving, and then she … stopped, for no apparent reason. Was she threatened in some way by the GOP-T or the WH? We can’t tell from here; all we can see is that pullback when she should have continued pushing forward.

      • Bub says:

        Agree with this, something has changed with her since early May. While obviously not as dramatic it reminds me of Cruz and Lindsay Graham.

  20. orionATL says:

    bmaz @2:39pm

    of course. that was foreordained. but rayne did advertise “a feud for fun and profit”.

    for the record, i’ve always felt you were a guy with a good heart, bmaz. but on advice of counsel, i’ll stop there. 😁

  21. mrtmbrnmn says:

    That old battle axe Pelosi reminds me of the sour old coot on the front porch yapping at the neighborhood kids to “Get off my lawn!!”
    Or better (worse?) yet: Her resemblance to George Wallace standing in the schoolhouse door trying to hold back the future.
    Definitely not a good look for the sclerotic, cowardly and corrupt Donorcrats. That ship be sinkin’.

  22. ken melvin says:

    Bernie and Bros didn’t like Dems; thought, may have believed, that they and their Bernie represented a majority; weren’t really Dems but wanted to take over the Democratic Party; … were echoes of the Tea Party, … of my way or the hiway, …a would be a Tyranny by a Minority. The party and the nation are in need of a big picture candidate, not little picture sorts who believe that LGBT issues, Race, … are the most important issues. Such thinking played a role in Trump’s being able to appoint a 30- 40 year string of Federalist Society judges to the Federal Bench. In the long term, Climate Change and all the consequences thereof may even be bigger than the courts; another biggee is income distribution — a workable economic model — in this Technological Age; … Instead, we have, in these most complex of times, a President who doesn’t do complex elected by those demanding simple assed answers for complicated problems and those: who couldn’t find it in their hearts to vote for the much better qualified democratic candidate, who didn’t understand that their not voting for Hillary amounted to their voting for Trump. Popularity is a most potent drug; each of the Four represents their district and, like Bernie, maybe, maybe, 15-20 % of the general public. To think that they represent a majority is to be delusional. Everyone in the party has a voice, and this is as it must be, but, in a democracy, no one gets their way all the time.

    • P J Evans says:

      little picture sorts who believe that LGBT issues, Race, … are the most important issues

      Spoken like a straight white male with a good income and no need to live paycheck to paycheck.
      Race and gender feed into income inequality – that’s what Bernie doesn’t get, and I’m not sure Biden gets it either.

    • bmaz says:

      What a load of bunk. None of them said they had to get “their way all the time”. Seriously, this is your response? If so, it is patently dishonest. All they asked was to be able to express their, and their constituents’, voices without being shut down, belittled, and demeaned as they have been. If you cannot accept that, too bad. It is a brave new world, you might think about becoming enlightened enough to join it.

  23. Martin Lydick says:

    I’m in my mid 60’s & my mother is in her mid 90’s. Both of us solid progressive democrats. Both committed to voting for the eventual democratic candidate. And both of us are convinced that the current democratic leadership doesn’t have the stomach for the fight that needs to be fought, now and in the future.
    The Republican Party has been fighting a no-holds barred war for years now and the democratic leadership is still hung up on this “civility” thing. Phooey.
    Democratic voters, and all voters of good conscience, need to vote in droves, kick these republican fascists to the curb, stomp ’em, and leave their bones to bleach out under the sun.
    Otherwise, just like the Third Reich, we will have our comeuppance.

  24. drouse says:

    The problem is that in Pelosi’s world, she has done all she has to for these upstarts. They became media darlings during the election so she had to cough up some better than usual committee assignments,but that’s as far as she feels obligated.Now they are supposed to sit down and shut up and follow God’s anointed plan. Otherwise known as the seniority system. It seems to me that we have just one or at most two election cycles to prevent a slide into fascism on top of environmental collapse.We don’t have time for the traditional paying of dues. The clock is ticking and we are failing the future.

      • drouse says:

        From what little I’ve seen of AOC in committee hearings, she forgoes the usual time eating grandstanding and just goes for answers to pointed questions.

          • bmaz says:

            Drouse is right. That is exactly what she does. So too does Katie Porter. It is remarkable how well both frosh members conduct themselves. The difference is that Porter was a disciple of Warren and a law professor, AOC none of that. And, yet, she is killer in her examination. Anybody that thinks she is not a real, not just a social media, star is nuts.

            Adding, all four of the “Squad” women new members have proved themselves to be rather kick ass. And so has Katie Hill from CA and Madeline Dean from PA.

            • Eureka says:

              Yep, bmaz and fpo (up above), Dean and the California Katies and other frosh are impressive. Dean’s had some important oversight moments. Also works on mitigating persistent chemicals– PFAS (and relateds), earlier at state level.

              Good thread here has defense spending bill (NDAA) amendments by Deb Dingell, Chris Pappas, Dan Kildee and others as well:

              David Schultz: “THREAD: The House just passed its annual defense bill, and there are a LOT of amendments attached that would change the way PFAS is regulated. Want to hear about all of them? Here we go:”
              “Another big one from @RepDean would force the military to develop PFAS-free firefighting foam by 2023 and stop using PFAS foam by 2025. [link to amendment pdf] The White House specifically objected to this one in its veto threat.”


              FDA: Sampling finds toxic nonstick compounds in some food

              • Democritus says:

                PFAS’s are far too overlooked and I didn’t know she was looking into that. I’ll have too read more about her (Dean).

                We just need people willing to stand up and do the right thing, PFAS dangers, pollutions, corruption etc shouldn’t be a moderate v progressive issue.

  25. Eureka says:

    Great post, Rayne. They need to stop feeding the media/ enemies junk food nugget sugar-highs and get a real plan of action together.

    Also I agree with your youngs, as do most I know– Trump is blighting our life-years, and we expected the waves to take him out. I wonder if that is why there are not more protests, as you had noted in comments as one of the contrasts with Vietnam/Nixon-era public behavior. Is it just that everyone is sapped? Remember how buoyed we all were on election night?

    My hunch on the House efforts slow-down was that people like Nadler were waiting on getting the impeachment inquiry power to do subpoena enforcement actions, etc. Regardless of what they do, all we can do is keep at the reps to convert more to Yeses…

    In the meantime, I think this is also part of Harris’ increasing popularity– that people are craving justice and she has Big Prosecutor Energy going on.

    • Rayne says:

      I’m sure one key reason there aren’t more protests is economics. Stagnant wages over a couple decades combined with skyrocketing health care costs and out of sight rent make it difficult for workers to take time away for rallies. This is where adequate effective planning comes in.

      In re Nadler: something’s moving inside the House Judiciary Committee. IIRC more than half the Dems on the committee have said they support an impeachment inquiry. Clearly somebody in the right-wing media ecosystem is worried because they made a full-court press on this reflected in Google News:

      The left needs to get the committee’s back and push hard against the right-wing propaganda.

      • Eureka says:

        Oh that RWNJ reaction set is interesting, thank you for hosting it on your twitter. I was planning a call anyway, will add consideration of that into my thoughts. LMFAO ‘censure’ yeah right. Those are not, uh, the winds I’ve felt blowing by…

      • Eureka says:

        Meant to update this with Monday’s weather report. One HJC dem headed to the Mueller Vault (again); another with an op-ed speaking to all (I imagine party leadership and those who haven’t come forth yet for an inquiry to be significant audiences):

        Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon: “Happy Monday! I am currently on my way to the Department of Justice to look at some of the underlying evidence of the #MuellerReport. I wanted to share with you all what we have on the agenda today.(embedded video)”

        Abraham Gutman🔥: “.@RepDean: “President Trump may not take our constitutional system of government seriously – but we must… ultimately, an impeachment inquiry is not about a particular president. It is about the presidency.” (links to the below)”

        Rep. Madeleine Dean: It’s time for an impeachment inquiry

          • bmaz says:

            Madeliene Dean is fantastic. Scanlon too, though I have not seen as much of her as Dean. Dean, as is Katie Porter, is really no less “radical” as the Squad members. But Dean and Porter are white, and the Squad are not. Guess who Trump attacks?

  26. Vicks says:

    I disagree, as someone on the “squad” said, “everyone has a role.” Thier role, as several people have mentioned is to bring energy and optimism into the party and with that, a slew of new and engaged voters.
    I’d respectfully like to ask some of the people that have been Pelosi bashing to take a step back for a moment.
    Approximately 31% of Americans identify as Democrats and of those less than 50% consider themselves liberal. Most of these people are college educated whites with females outnumbering men. There is a lot of support for the progressive agenda on this site and I wouldn’t be surprised if the demographics match right up.
    It is important to keep in mind that despite the volume and excitement on social media, true liberals are still a minority in the Democratic Party
    Pelosi is far from a fool. She is fighting for the majority of democrats AND independents who don’t have the stomach to support an AOC but could potentially could be led to the water for a drink (as long as they are assured they won’t be thrown in against their will.)
    The point to my ramble is both Pelosi and “the squad” are on the same team. Both have roles that are vital to getting people onboard so we can win this thing. Both need to suck it up and figure out a way to end the drama.

    • bmaz says:

      This is bunk. The “Squad” supported Pelosi for Speaker, and if they had not she might not be the Speaker. The Squad” has never killed any piece of legislation Pelosi wanted, nor, like the Blue Doges, have they ever threatened to. They are not shitting on Pelosi, she is cravenly and inexcusably, shitting on them. And she can go straight to hell for doing so and abdicating her duty and oath of office as to the Constitution. Nobody criticizing Pelosi needs “to take a step back” fort anything. She needs to get her cowardly and feeble ass out of the way.

      And while you blithely claim she “is not a fool”, what she appears to be fighting for is rote political expediency while effectively sanctioning and accepting the cancer killing the Constitution and the separation of powers that protects its checks and balances. If you are blithely good with that, then I have nothing whatsoever for that. If protecting and defending the Constitution is too nebulous for you, and you are more interested in sheer political expediency, that is a pretty shitty viewpoint.

      • Vicks says:

        Again you are interjecting your imagination into my words to reframe the argument.
        I did not say if I agreed or disagreed with either the squad or Pelosi. I said they represent two distinct parts of the Democratic Party. Both are important, and for the good guys to win both must be heard. Pelosi represents the positions of most Americans and you aren’t going to change that by wasting your time and energy trying to start pissing contests with people that already agree with you.

        • bmaz says:

          Naw, I read your words just fine. Blah blah blah same team, Pelosi is fighting for all Dems. Except she is not doing that whatsoever. Dems turned out in the numbers and manner they did in 2018 because they wanted change and accountability for the executive branch. Pelosi is obstructing both goals, and insulting the young women of color who were elected to further the change and accountability the voters wanted. And that does not just come from social media or blogs, it is what engaged Dems say in meetings in my local district, which has moved more liberal over the past years, but is no bastion of wild eyed progressism.

          • Vicks says:

            I guess I need to add “process them” when I ask you for the third time to READ MY WORDS before you comment.
            You claim in a reply just INCHES below my comment I wrote “Pelosi is fighting for all dems?”
            I wrote “Pelosi represents the position of the MAJORITY of Americans” includimg the dems that are moderate to conservative.
            You know, the ones that were responsible for flipping the house in 2018.
            Again, I am NOT picking a side, I am simply pointing out that lawmakers dismissing the majority and insulting their leader is just as stupid as dismissing and insulting the members and aspirations of “the squad”.

  27. Wm. Boyce says:

    I’ve just scrolled through the comments, and perhaps I missed it, but what’s different now is Twitter. The creature-in-chief communicates almost solely by it, the new members of Congress rely upon it, and it does NOT facilitate communication. It fosters battles, snark, pithy punchy lines, and not much else.
    The problems that we face as a country demand thought and research to come up with legislative solutions. The Repugs appear to have no interest in this, but the Dems should. It is not achieved through social media.
    To quote Jaron Lanier, one of the pioneers of virtual reality:
    “Many things about social media have changed over the years, but the basic form was already around when I got into computers in the late 1970’s. The social media we had back then amounted to little more than commenting… There wasn’t any of voting for favorite posts, nor did algorithms customize your feed.’
    ‘But I noticed something horrifying all those years ago. Sometimes, out of nowhere, I would get into a fight with someone… We’d start insulting each other, trying to score points, getting under each other’s skin. I just stopped using the stuff (social media) because I didn’t like who I was becoming.”
    (Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now)
    This is a key observation for the decline in discourse that is killing our country. We are a nation that doesn’t read much any more because we have “smart phones,” and increasingly dumb people.

    • fpo says:

      Putting aside the use of social media by POTUS and legislators – and I agree re ‘more legislating, less tweeting’ – I see the use of social media in political engagement as analogous to the use of underground papers in the 1960s. For activists, they were essential vehicles for the discussion and dissemination of values, ideas and calls-to-action by opposition groups, with the express goal of changing (e.g., government) behavior.

      It would be hard to argue with the impact of the peace movement of the 1960s – it was central to ending the war in Vietnam. The anti-nuclear movement, environmental activism in the US (think Earth Day), etc., hard to imagine they wouldn’t have embraced social media as a means to better communicate and effect meaningful change.

      A recent example would be the Lights for Liberty immigration protests which took place in over 700 cities across the US. I’m sure they had more than their share of snarky/combative/just plain dumb comments/posts on social media – but the July 12th events were a remarkable success by any measure – and social media played a vital role in that. Would MSM have helped that cause? How about Faux News?

      Haters are gonna hate. Period. And yes, if you find yourself becoming one at the hands of your social media activity, give it a rest – or hang it up. As for ‘dumb people,’ I suppose we start with the educational system in this country and the need for re-evaluation and reform therein. But from personal experience, I find more and more time is devoted to reading – and much of that spurred by something I might have read on social media – or right here on EW.

      • Wm. Boyce says:

        While I see your point about what were formerly called “smart mobs,” (remember the Battle of Seattle in 1999?)
        social media is used far more to tweet idiocies, rather than for anything useful like organizing demonstrations.

        The latest and most disappointing example, for me, was Rep. Jayapal (Dem – Washington) tweeting something to the effect of Ms. Pelosi “not being used to someone having a larger Twitter following than her.”

        What exactly has that to do with anything? But it reads well on Twitter, doesn’t it? And that’s my point – otherwise intelligent people shoot their mouths off aimlessly, creating nothing but hostility, and further lessening the chance of effective action.

        • fpo says:

          Timely subject – it seems the Resident and Pelosi are having a bit of a tweet spat today. Not the first nor the last, to be sure. Brings everything down to a 5th grade level so all can join in.

          While he’s not up to the “otherwise intelligent” standard, ironically the Resident’s Twitter tirades, while far from aimless, do create their fair share of hostility. But they will likely also contribute to his departure in 2020 – having provided everyone with a window on a very troubled soul, unqualified, overwhelmed and unfit for the job.

          And to that end, I’ll be most appreciative of Twitter. Idiots and all.

    • Americana says:

      I agree various social media platforms can be a huge problem for conducting political discussions. Twitter isn’t designed to analyze policies. Twitter is little more than playing a game of telephone. Jaron Lanier is right, there’s something about much social media that leads to social interactions that are less than optimal and are far more aggressive than what might occur face to face.

      I often engage in phone town halls w/both parties but I rarely am allowed on to the phone lines w/the Republicans because my questions are simply too challenging. For instance, the last 5 times I’ve had my Republican senator call, I’ve asked questions about health care and how the Republicans plan to deal w/health care once most American companies aren’t providing health care benefits to their employees. This would mean there’s little upward pressure from corporate HR organizations intent on providing comprehensive health care plans. That kind of question never gets on the air. I’ve tested other kinds of questions that are red meat to Republicans, sure enough, I get on for those pointless questions.

  28. Tommy D Cosmology says:

    Here’s a theory, feel free to punch holes in it, but I think it has some merit:
    1) Pelosi is a good person who wants the best outcome.
    2) These things take time and timing.
    3) The most damage to the Republicans would occur when it is closer to the election, and then to fire all the guns when it is too late for Trump to be effectively replaced on the ticket.

    • bmaz says:

      I’ll be happy to shoot that “here’s a theory” thing:

      It is a load of simpering crap.

      Please go re-learn the lesson that Will Rogers imparted decades ago about the Democrats, and then rethink your support of Pelosi’s dereliction of duty and oath of office. Thank you.

  29. drouse says:

    Pelosi and the entirety of the Dem leadership are grossly misreading the historical moment. The problems we’re having are not just us but global. Hungary, Brazil, the Philippines, Turkey ect., all backsliding on liberty and representative government. Not to be jingoistic, but if we can’t hold the line here with all our advantages, what chance do countries that lack the guarantees of our legal system have? Is it really going to come down to a choice between Kleptocratic rule Russian style or the Orwellian system the Chinese are building? We’re dithering our way into one or the other.

    • harpie says:

      3:03 AM – 10 Jul 2019

      We have obtained a secret audio recording of a Moscow meeting between three Russian operatives and a close aide to Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini negotiating a plan to pump money from a Russian oil deal into Salvini’s far-right Lega party [BuzzFeed]
      This tape provides the first hard evidence of Russia’s clandestine attempts to fund Europe’s nationalist movements, and the apparent complicity of some senior figures from the far right in those attempts [link]

      • Democritus says:

        Check out the Malcolm Nance segment from AM JOY. This is what I’ve been worried about for a while now and everyone would tell me I was alarmist.

        I mean, it IS something to be alarmed about it!

  30. I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

    Reading through the post and the comments, here are a couple of my thoughts. First, where are the Trey Gowdy types in the Democratic House? He led the Hillary Hearings with a vengeance, with minimal material to work with. The amount of material available to Democrats is overwhelming. Trump is an unindicted co-conspirator with respect to the crimes to which Michael Cohen pleaded guilty. What the #%~! are they waiting for? You pick up followers by leading.

    Second, I harken back to the start of the second US Iraq war. Every bone in my body told me that CheneyBush was making huge blunders every inch of the way. Yet part of me hoped that there really was some super secret information available to CheneyBush that justified what they were doing.

    That is exactly how I feel now about Pelosi and the Democrats in Congress now. They are making huge blunders as far as I can tell. Is there some super secret information available to them that places their inaction in a different light? I’m not going to bet any money that there is, even though I wish there was such information.

    • bmaz says:

      Agree completely. Sadly, think there is no more tangible basis for the current Dei leadership course of action than there was Bush and Cheney back then. It is simply who they are and what they want to do.

  31. Observiter says:

    The stuff being put out is clearly nonsense and tactical. What would be better than make the House Democrats look like there is infighting, especially by progressives. Someone appears interested in doing whatever they can to regain the seats lost in 2016.

  32. d4v1d says:

    There are two aspects to leadership. One is to keep the cats in a herd, the other is to move that herd in one direction or another. So far, the AOC contretemps shows that she hasn’t mastered the second part. Boehner and Ryan were more effective at this, despite the feral cats in their herd. But Ryan wasn’t supposed to be speaker, Kantor was except one of the feral cats got him.

    (Then there’s the real reason Pelosi is speaker, she can raise money like no one else – this is Washington DC after all, and without cash, dems will be hard pressed to maintain status quo, never mind make gains. Is Pelosi concerned about playing to voters? Or donors? A bet by Pelosi on the voters would look risky to anyone in her position. I’m sure her bet is to let Warren or Harris prosecute Trump in 2020.)

        • bmaz says:

          In fairness, there were early rumors she was a little slow getting her local in district operation up and running for constituent services and whatnot, but haven’t heard that lately. Also in fairness, my Congress critter, and one I supported in an immediately adjacent district have skeleton offices here, and run most through their DC offices. They still do a good job for their constituents, but calling their local shop usually gets a voicemail request. My guy, Greg Stanton, is also new, so I give him a break; the other one, Ruben Gallego, has been around longer, and should have a more robust local shop. But he is still very attentive and responsive to his constituents, even if from DC. And he is back here often.

          • r helder says:

            …and both stanton and gallego support beginning an impeachment inquiry, as does my representative, justin amash. we need to get more of them so motivated, to force pelosi to begin an inquiry.

            • bmaz says:

              Heh, doubt it was overly significant, but I had rather long conversations with both of their offices as to opening an inquiry.

  33. harpie says:

    This is how Trump is using this shit to divide us:

    5:38 AM – 14 Jul 2019

    There’s a lot of repellent stuff in these tweets, but it’s interesting that Trump presumes Ayanna Pressley (born in Chicago), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (born in NYC), and Rashida Tlaib (born in Detroit) were not born in the USA. [screenshot, three tweets]



  34. David B Pittard says:

    Opposing viewpoints by commenters can help less informed readers like me catch the drift of arguments that I had little noticed but may be significant. I am bothered by the lack of restraint at times, due to frustration with perceived ignorance of others demonstrated by ad hominem and dismissive sarcasm. References to positions previously taken or presented by some commenters leave me uninformed; reference to date, article of various trains of thought would be unhelpful as I have no time for such research; if it has been said before, it could be reposted, perhaps edited, or presented as a position paper on separate issues somewhere on this site or elsewhere. I am here to learn, not to watch a fistfight. Not that anyone owes this to me, but I don’t want to be taking sides based on anything but issues and only then when given convincing arguments. If it is too much to suffer fools gladly and patiently restate a train of thought, then realize that those who come to this website late are ignored, those who are ignorant are being despised rather than educated. A sophisticated understanding and a recognized voice on this site is a terrible thing to waste.

  35. ken melvin says:

    Am I right? The Dems took the house by winning seats in red districts, not by winning seats in blue districts. Fighting and winning an intraparty war is not the same as winning the battle for the house, the Whitehouse.

    • bmaz says:

      And what is it you think the voters in those districts wanted? The same old feckless shit and lameness from the Dems they elected, or the accountability and action they desired? I am pretty sure from your past comments that your answer is…a lot of things. I would also note that some of the districts picked up were not truly red, but purple and slowly turning blue. Take Orange County for instance, it used to be hard red, but has been getting bluer every year. And now they have Katie Porter, who is extremely progressive, arguably as progressive as AOC and the “Squad”. And, man, has she been fantastic.

      • P J Evans says:

        I’d vote for a more liberal Dem if one was available in my fairly-blue district. (The first rep we had after redistricting was a “reach across the aisle” almost-a-Blue-Dog. The current one is only a little better; he’s for impeachment, but he’s a back-bencher and has almost no presence even in the district. (The one before the redistricting was Henry Waxman.))

        • bmaz says:

          I liked Waxman, he was often extremely effective. Lieu is decent though, but has nowhere near the clout Waxman did. Or did the district shift and you no longer have Lieu?

          • P J Evans says:

            The district shifted north – it’s now the west half of the San Fernando valley. We got Howard Berman, and then he was defeated by Brad Sherman. (I’d like someone like Lieu as my rep.)

            • bmaz says:

              Ah, thanks. I figured as much. Lieu is far junior to where Waxman was, but he is pretty damn good. Sherman….meh.

      • bmaz says:

        So what?? They also took out (as in Joe Crowley for AOC, Mike Capuono for Pressley) far more moderate long term Dems in the process. Because they stood for change and accountability. So, just blithely saying they won in Dem districts is disingenuous. And, I note that you do not address Katie Porter, and a host of others that are as progressive as the “Squad 4”. You are making a fallacious argument. 2018 did not happen because Dem voters want the feeble sitting on her thumbs timidity that Nancy Pelosi is engaging in, not to mention demeaning and trivializing of the very change agents they voted for. The argument that such is the Dem vision to deal with Trump and the problems facing this country is ludicrous.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Ms. P, Steny and their peers seem willing to lose the next election in order to maintain control over their party and its base of wealthy donors. That would seem to be selfishness of Trumpian proportions.

          The Blue Dogs are a problem. But simply kowtowing to them while dissing their party’s left would be a marvelously unproductive strategy. The resultant eventual open warfare would benefit no one but the wealthy and the GOP.

          If, “Change? No, We Won’t,” is their slogan, the Dems will again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. We will all pay the price for that.

    • bmaz says:

      Seriously. Max is so aggressive and wild that he will make mistakes Vettel could otherwise capitalize on. Lewis not so much. At this point, Leclerc should be the top driver at the Scuderia. Then bring Alonso back and dump Vettel.

      • quebecois says:

        From what I’ve seen this year, Max has matured, mellowed down just enough. Leclerc is superior to Vettel these days. I don’t know about Alonso, what would motivate him to come back to a team that is run by incompetents. Dumping Vettel would be warranted, I’d go for talent, Norris is wonderfully talented.

        • bmaz says:

          Ha! As you know, I am just a long time Alonso fan. And it sucked to see him end his F1 days in horrid equipment. He can still seriously drive a car, and would immediately be one of the best drivers on the grid again. But, agree, he is unlikely to return.

        • quebecois says:

          I was reading a few minutes ago that Vettel took complete responsibility for the crash. He got out of his car and went immediately to Verstappen, shook his hand and offered him his apology.

  36. Democritus says:

    Marcy retweeted a great thread on the nature of Epsteins abuses and power imbalances etc. worth a read.

    The description of the thread she linked via is:

    “This thread is a devastatingly brilliant breakdown of #Epstein and others like him.

    Not crimes against “young women”, not crimes of “prostitution” – sex crimes against children. Full stop.”


  37. Bay State Librul says:

    Infinite Jest?
    Let’s have the boldness of youth mixed with the wisdom of maturity?
    Forgive us father, for we have trash talked.
    Our real enemy is the legal community that has left the building.
    David Foster Wallace must be overjoyed, having just witnessed a “Federer Moment”
    Worry not, The Dems will win in 2020, but Trump will declare a mistrial by way of a “rigged election.”

    • Sonso says:

      Nice reference to DFW, on this (almost) sad day for FedFans. However, you point up my greatest fear for the future: Trump will lose, Repiglicans will hold the Senate, and Il Trumpolino refuses to vacate the premises. Does this potential/actual constitutional crisis precipitate violence in the streets and the final sundering of our democracy? My teeth are worn down…

      • Wm. Boyce says:

        Again, the past repeats itself. What was the big right-wing myth of 1999? Bill Clinton was going to declare “martial law” and stay on in office. I heard that over and over and it was a myth then as Trump staying on if he loses is now.

        • Sonso says:

          Circumstances and characters are wildly different in 2020 than in 1999. There will be a state-by-state challenge from Trump anywhere he thinks the vote tally is too close. As he is doing constantly, he will foment division, and even violence. To game out the situation is not being frothy, IMHO, as every norm is being breached in the very long run-up to the election.

  38. harpie says:

    7/10/19 The White House Wants To Send Asylum Seekers To Guatemala. This is Probably Illegal
    [This is a guest post from Eric Schwartz, the president of Refugees International. He previously served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration]

    In a particularly egregious violation of law and common decency, the Trump White House is pressing U.S. diplomats to negotiate a “safe third country agreement” with Guatemala. This is a terrible idea which, if implemented, will put the lives of thousands of Central Americans at great risk. It is a violation so serious, that as a former assistant Secretary of State in charge of implementing refugee and migration policies, I took the unusual step of writing a [6/29/19] letter to the State Department’s Acting Legal Adviser Marik String [link] […]

    July 12, 2019 Trump Is Poised to Sign a Radical Agreement to Send Future Asylum Seekers to Guatemala
    Jonathan Blitzer

    Early next week, according to a D.H.S. official, the Trump Administration is expected to announce a major immigration deal, known as a safe-third-country agreement, with Guatemala. For weeks, there have been reports that negotiations were under way between the two countries, but, until now, none of the details were official. According to a draft of the agreement, which The New Yorker has obtained, asylum seekers from any country who either show up at U.S. ports of entry or are apprehended while crossing between ports of entry could be sent to seek asylum in Guatemala instead. […]

    JULY 14, 2019 Guatemala postpones Trump summit, says will not sign ‘safe third country’ deal
    https:// http://www.reuters.com/ article/us-usa-immigration-guatemala/guatemala-postpones-trump-summit-says-will-not-sign-safe-third-country-deal-idUSKCN1U90G8

    […] In a statement, Guatemala said the planned meeting between Morales and U.S. President Donald Trump this week had been postponed until the Guatemalan Constitutional Court had ruled on legal challenges. Last week, five former senior officials appealed to the court to block any agreement with the United States that would declare Guatemala a ‘safe third country.’ […]

      • Vicks says:

        According to Reuters Guatemala says isnt going to happen and the trump admin is saying it’s postponed
        I don’t quite get the first/third country thing. On one hand it I read that all it takes is for there to be a bilateral or multilateral agreement made between the countries yet in other places it states that Mexico for example, can’t “qualify” as a safe first country in its current condition.
        Who establishes the safety of a country?

        • harpie says:

          Here are the next 2 paragraphs in the first link:

          […] A safe third country agreement is an exercise in responsibility-sharing between two governments on the handling of asylum claims, and the United States currently has only one such agreement—with the government of Canada.

          Under the arrangement, asylum seekers from any part of the world who enter Canada but then travel to the United States to seek asylum may be returned to Canada for asylum adjudications.

          Conversely, those who enter the United States and then travel to Canada to seek asylum may be returned to the United States.

          In other words, the agreement ensures that the asylum seeker’s claim is considered in the country that the asylum seeker has entered first.

          Because nearly all Salvadoran and Honduran asylum seekers transit Guatemala before approaching the U.S. border, a safe third country agreement between the United States and Guatemala would enable U.S. officials to force asylum seekers from El Salvador and Honduras into Guatemala. Presumably, their asylum claims would be considered in Guatemala by Guatemalan officials.

          • Vicks says:

            Sorry I wasn’t clear.
            That was part of what confuses me.
            I don’t know whether the word “safe” should be taken literally. On one hand I am reading “Mexico is not a safe first country for immigrants” and then it goes on to explain that because of Mexico’s own inability to curtail crime it can’t reasonably be expected to be able to protect asylum seekers. If this is the case Guatemala’s poverty rate and high crime rates makes it impossible to believe they have the resources to take on this responsibility either.
            On the flip side there are people speaking as if all two countries have to do to create a safe first or third country is draw up and sign an agreement. In this version it doesn’t seem to require logic or concern for the safety of the typically vulnerable people.
            Now it seems we have the Trump admin skipping over the requirement for another country to even agree.
            It seems like there there should be some governing body that would prevent what seem to be obvious opportunities for corruption and mistreatment of asylum seekers?

            • bmaz says:

              Oh, you were “not clear” eh? What a shock. You often are not. And then take it upon yourself to admonish well informed moderators here what they “should” have taken from your words. You want to pull that bunk with me again, I’ll be ready. I would suggest a different path. But that is entirely your choice.

              • vicks says:

                I always go back and check what I have written when there is a reply that surprises me.
                In this case there was one reply that indicated understanding of my original question (and gave me a helpful answer) and another reply that made me realize I could have been clearer. It isn’t the first time I have acknowledged this on your site and I’m sure it won’t be the last.
                Your replies were a surprise because instead of in anyway indicating confusion you used the opportunity to misquote and embellish my words and repeatedly attempted to create the illusion this was a battle and I was advocating for the side you didn’t approve.
                You were tearing it up all weekend Mr bmaz, and not just with me. I hope you find peace with whatever is ailing you and can quickly go back to using your super-powers only for good.

                • bmaz says:

                  Honestly, I do not need your bullshit “peace”. Nothing is ailing me other than jackass commenters that think they run this blog and ought to decide what we believe, report and say. I did not misquote you whatsoever.

                  If you want to continue this bunk, keep at it and you will be gone. I am VERY tired of your horsemanure.

                  I have a day job with things that keep me up at night. It is certainly NOT your stupid inanity. So, seriously, take that crap and shove it. You are in the wrong place to pull that. And screw you and your self imposed and desired “powers for good”. Place that where the sun never shines. You are in a fast lane for the next exit. So go find your own freaking “peace”.

        • harpie says:

          UNHCR-United Nations Refugee Agency
          “We provide life-saving aid + protection to #refugees and people forced to flee”

          This is the Agency which should have been, but has NOT been consulted or even made aware of this new Trump administration attempted work-around.

          UNHCR has a new message out about this:
          2:13 PM – 15 Jul 2019

          New U.S. asylum restrictions:
          – excessively curtail the right to apply for asylum [check]
          – jeopardize the right to protection from refoulement [check]
          – are not in line with international obligations [check]

          links to:
          UNHCR deeply concerned about new U.S. asylum restrictions 15 July 2019

          […] This measure is severe and is not the best way forward. […]

    • Democritus says:

      I was watching AM Joy, to be clear that I’m no expert on Central America, I think and a guest was explains the president of Guatemala’s brother is a charged narcotrafficker and the country had a extensive history of ethnic violence against indigenous Mayans.

      Link to President Morales wiki


      • harpie says:

        Yes, thanks. I meant to highlight this part of the New Yorker article:

        “This reads like it was drafted by someone’s intern”—but it does offer an exemption for Guatemalan migrants, which might be why the government of Jimmy Morales, a U.S. ally, seems willing to sign on.

        Guatemala is currently in the midst of Presidential elections; next month, the country will hold a runoff between two candidates, and the current front-runner has been opposed to this type of deal.

        The Morales government, however, still has six months left in office. A U.N.-backed anti-corruption body called the cicig, which for years WAS [my emphasis] funded by the U.S. and admired throughout the region, is being dismantled by Morales, whose own family has fallen under investigation for graft and financial improprieties.

        Signing an immigration deal “would get the Guatemalan government in the U.S.’s good graces,” Stephen McFarland, a former U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala, told me. “The question is, what would they intend to use that status for?” […]

    • harpie says:

      5:47 AM – 15 Jul 2019

      Hearing that admin is about to announce “interim final” regulation—ie going into effect ASAP—that would bar asylum to anyone who traveled thru another country to reach US (see @Haleaziz piece from earlier).
      It faces pretty steep odds in court. [Buzz Feed 6/28/19 link]

      Unlike 2018 asylum ban, INA doesn’t explicitly contradict this. But it does provide for SPECIFIC CASES to bar someone from asylum for going thru a 3rd country—like “safe 3rd” diplomatic agreement, or “firmly resettling.” Easy to argue Congress saw those as exceptions to the rule.

      Text up here:
      5:51 AM – 15 Jul 2019

      We have the DHS regulation barring asylum for immigrants who pass through another country before entering the U.S. and don’t apply for asylum there. [link]

    • harpie says:

      I should have also posted the following, retweeted by Dara Lind:
      7:29 PM – 12 Jul 2019

      VOA obtained a draft “implementation plan” of a pending US-Guatemala “safe third country” agreement. Some takeaways:
      1) Up to 1,250 asylum-seekers could be returned per week.
      2) The UN Refugee Agency has been left in the dark.

      links to:
      US-Guatemala Asylum Deal Advances Without UN Refugee Agency

      • harpie says:

        From the article:

        […] What the agreement would do A safe third country agreement, if signed by both countries, would block most asylum seekers from seeking refuge in the United States if they pass through Guatemala first.
        A geographic barrier between Mexico to the north, and El Salvador and Honduras to the south, Guatemala is a common pathway for global asylum seekers traveling from Central and South America toward the U.S.
        In a statement released Friday, Eleanor Acer, director of Human Rights First’s Refugee Protection program, said,
        “Guatemala comes nowhere near meeting U.S. legal requirements for a safe country for refugee returns,”
        and called any such agreement “legally absurd” and “highly dangerous” to asylum seekers fleeing persecution. […]

        U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, whose primary purpose is “to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees.” […]

        A draft “implementation plan” obtained by VOA, which details a procedural timeline from apprehension and processing of asylum seekers to their screening, removal and reception in Guatemala, references the U.N. refugee agency several times.

        But the news comes as a surprise to UNHCR. Sibylla Brodzinsky, a spokeswoman for UNHCR in the Washington office, told VOA on Friday, “The UNHCR has not been part of discussions of a potential agreement between the two countries.”

      • harpie says:

        How many people? At one point, during the proposed removal process, the document states that the U.S. government “will facilitate the return up to 10 FLIGHTS [my emphasis] of 125 aliens each to Guatemala per week,” to which the official asked, “Where is this number coming from and when will it begin?”

    • bmaz says:

      Oh, this is fucking perfect. You drop a link here, with no explanation or context, to your own barely visible Daily Kos unregulated and unedited community user post.

      We do not permit abject link whoring here Ken. And I am not sure you would have the knowledge to really comment on such legal matters even if we did. You are headed down a bad slope here Ken. If that is what you want, we can accelerate it.

      • P J Evans says:

        33 comments in two years – he’s barely present there. That kind of thing is why I stopped commenting: lurkers (or newbies) who show up and are sure they have All The Right Answers and everyone else is Wrong.

        • bmaz says:

          Heh, ooof. We honestly do not try to be dicks here, but the sheer amount of baloney that comes our way is insane. And that is the baloney, not counting the attacks. You folks see a mere fraction of it, and you would not like to see the rest of it, it is bonkers. As to Ken, we have never been keen on link whoring, but if someone wants to try, they darn well better bring real context.

          • Democritus says:

            I think PJ was complimenting you for the housekeeping you and Rayne do :)

            And if not, fuck em you keep us honest and even if you bark loudly it’s because you are protecting the perimeter so to speak. False positives always occur and should be understandable. Most of us know this I’m sure.

          • P J Evans says:

            Not stopped here because of that – I was a little busy doing other stuff the last couple of years, and it took its toll on things like attention span. (Redd was right about chemo-brain.) But I stopped commenting at Kos because too many people throw flags when you disagree with them. (Today there was a post about how we need to admit all the territories plus DC as states and increase the size of the house, and in the past I’ve pointed out that the House has a limit on how many members because of the physical size of the chamber.)

  39. Jan says:

    AOC did something that spoke to me about the uselessness of “outrage” on teevee. Correct me if I’m wrong (and I hope I am) but – watching questions from journalists to a number of Congresspersons after their ‘tour’ of a migrant detention centre, one relayed how a migrant(s) told them of how they were replied to by a border guard when they asked for water – ‘ drink from the toilet’ was the answer.
    Next thing I see AOC on camera getting into a car all outraged that “migrants are drinking from toilets”. The treatment of migrants does not have to be exaggerated, it’s quite inhumane.
    Someone tell me I’m being too persnickety, but facts matter.

    • bmaz says:

      You are not wrong, and AOC is not the only person to say that, she just has the biggest platform. There were other members there with her, and they back her up.

      • Jan says:

        People forced to drink water from a toilet, in the USA. I really don’t know what to say. :-(

    • Jan says:

      I see that what I’m stating can be misinterpreted. ⊙△⊙
      That is to say, I hope migrants are NOT drinking toilet water – but there has to be a factual report, not just outrage and hearsay. They are either drinking toilet water, or some ignoramus guard told them to in a flippant and cruel remark.
      I can just picture RWNJ’s pointing to “fake news” – if you see what I mean.

      • P J Evans says:

        The toilet has a sink on top, with a water tap – but those aren’t always working. And the guards don’t care: they get paid anyway.

      • bmaz says:

        PJ is right, that is really how the devices are constructed. And it is extremely easy for the bowl to work without the sink working. These contraptions are ubiquitous in common jails and prisons, and they often don’t work right there either. But they are in normal cells, not in holding pens with hundreds.

        And, Jan, there has been a “factual report”. From members of Congress who went there, saw it, and testified about what they saw. Including AOC who insisted on being put under oath to testify about what they saw. So, please, what exactly more is it you want?

        So, no, I am not sure I see what it is you mean?

        • Jan says:

          Actually no, I didn’t know there was testimony or a report, all of what I witnessed was on teevee. It was confusing. I’m not glad that migrants in detention are drinking toilet water – I am watching all of this from the outside, and actually hoped it couldn’t be true, and was worried that people were exaggerating ( although there is no need to), and that it would serve to minimize the inhumanity that is taking place. I’m glad to learn it is all documented – although I’m not glad to know it’s as bad as it is.
          I guess I will shut up now.

            • Jan says:

              Okay. Well, to be frank – I want you all, need you all, to get it right, absolutely right, no missteps and no mistakes.
              Better? lol

      • Democritus says:

        Go pound sand, oh no what if we don’t critique the concentration camps in the appropriate fashion.

        Never again is now. This is how it starts, but look I’m sure you will be a very good German Jan.

    • harpie says:

      Laura Rozen Retweeted https://twitter.com/BenAdamsO_O/status/1150797156623814658
      8:59 AM – 15 Jul 2019

      […] David Boies rises to speak. Boies says he wasnt prepared to speak so he will be brief. He says one victim is here in court and will speak.
      Boies supports the suggestion of witness interference. He introduces Annie Farmer, a victim. She speaks.

      “I was 16 years old when I had the misfortune of meeting Jeffrey Epstein…

      Through a cracking voice, she argues for detention. Judge Berman asks if JE was sexually inappropriate. She says yes but declines to share details.
      Courtney Wilde now makes a statement.

      I was sexually abused by JE at the age of 14. Please keep him in jail. “He is a scary person.”

      On that dramatic note, Judge Berman concludes the hearing. Decision on bail is set for Thursday. /end

      • bmaz says:

        I’ll be honest, as scummy of a jerk as Epstein is, this it complete bullshit. That is testimony and statements appropriate for a sentencing, NOT a bail hearing. David Boies is an asshole. Maybe he should get his ass out of criminal court and go back to shilling for Liz Holmes and her Theranos fraud.

      • P J Evans says:

        I’d say he’s a flight risk. He has money, he has “friends”, we don’t know how many other foreign passports he has, and he has a motive to flee the US permanently.

      • Bri2k says:

        I just wanted to thank you for posting this. Often I see details in the feeds that don’t make the news. You may call yourself a harpie but I think you’re a gem.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Epstein is, indeed, a considerable flight risk. If he has been a multi-millionaire pedophile predator for decades, he has not been caught – except for his 2008 plea deal – because he prepares and he corrupts.

      He will have money stashed in many places, enough in each place to live on and to corrupt the locals for as long as needed. He has the resources to have multiple passports, unofficial methods of international travel, and friends in high and low places to support and cover for him. He has the restraint of a sociopath and all the motivation in the world to use them.

      • bmaz says:

        Yeah. My understanding is that pre-trial services has already recommended detention. I think his chance of release by Berman are close to nil.

    • harpie says:

      8 hours ago Marcy retweeted Sam Spandino:
      7:40 PM – 15 Jul 2019

      BREAKING 🚨@VickyPJWard just revealed on @Lawrence that #JeffreyEpstein was connected to/ managing money for Adnan Khashoggi, uncle of Jamal, from whom @realDonaldTrump bought the yacht Trump Princess.
      @QueenWillRock wrote a song called Khashoggi’s Ship about it! […]
      Epstein claimed to be “Finding money” for Khashoggi, possibly stolen money- have heard the bounty hunter claims in the past. Any other leads on this?

      8:47 PM – 15 Jul 2019

      Along with anything else, that would explain the intelligence angle.

  40. harpie says:

    Well, HALLELUJAH!!!
    9:10 AM – 15 Jul 2019

    GOP Rep. Will Hurd to @camanpour on Trump’s comments: “I think those tweets are racist, and xenophobic. They’re also inaccurate. The four women he’s referring to are actually citizens of the United States…It’s also behaviour that’s unbecoming of the leader of the free world.”
    Asked about the lack of Republicans standing up to Trump over the comments, Hurd said, “It’s concerning to me that there are people that think that’s okay, that kind of behavior, that kind of behavior is ok.”

    • Badger Robert says:

      I don’t think Hurd can remain a Republican for much longer. He will probably have to run as an independent.

  41. orionATL says:

    my god! how lucky can democrats get?

    just when Alexandria ocasio-cortez’s chief of staff was springing his little trap on unrighteous house members and leaders, who should ride to the warring democrats’ rescue but Donald j. trump, our commander-in-chief? thank god for idiot pandering politicians.

    not only that, but representative al green, a black house member, has vowed to file impeachment documents based on the racism of trump’s attack on the four young house members. this can get pelosi out of the bind she was in and puts the responsibility for starting his impeachment inquiry squarely on the shoulders of dear president.



    • bmaz says:

      This is a lie, propagated by Fox News and Trumpers, you have lit on to pile bullshit on AOC in conjunction with Fox, Trump, and Pelosi. Seriously, what is wrong with you people?

      • Vicks says:

        Not trying to stir shit up but Al Green DID go on record with the tweet this A.M saying he was going to force a vote and most outlets are carrying the story as well.
        The timing might be as good as it’s going to get, the outrage could force Pelosi (depending how you view things) out of her f-ing bunker or give her the cover she has been waiting to magically appear from these investigations
        Too soon to tell of course, Al Green is not exactly who I would have pictured being the hero after two limp attempts but no one else is doing jack so who knows, there IS momentum this could be the start of things coming together for the good guys.

        • Rayne says:

          It’s a mistake to force a vote. There are ~132 House Dems needed yet and who have yet to come out in support of an impeachment inquiry let alone impeachment. Unless Rep. Green has canvassed and obtained support from the additional 132 for an inquiry let alone canvassed and received commitment from 218 needed to pass the resolution, it won’t pass and Trump will claim it as vindication.

          Further, without an inquiry to make the case before passage of impeachment moves to the Senate for a trial, the GOP-majority can simply claim there’s no grounds for a trial let alone conviction and removal.

          The case must be built first. They did it for Nixon and Clinton and it worked the way it should. It just shouldn’t take this damned long to get an inquiry off the ground.

          • OldTulsaDude says:

            I apologize if this is a break in protocol but sometimes I think a history refresher is needed. The following is from the group website for Constitutional Rights Foundation about how the phrase High Crimes and Misdemeanors came to be used.

            “The convention adopted “high crimes and misdemeanors” with little discussion. Most of the framers knew the phrase well. Since 1386, the English parliament had used “high crimes and misdemeanors” as one of the grounds to impeach officials of the crown. Officials accused of “high crimes and misdemeanors” were accused of offenses as varied as misappropriating government funds, appointing unfit subordinates, not prosecuting cases, not spending money allocated by Parliament, promoting themselves ahead of more deserving candidates, threatening a grand jury, disobeying an order from Parliament, arresting a man to keep him from running for Parliament, losing a ship by neglecting to moor it, helping “suppress petitions to the King to call a Parliament,” granting warrants without cause, and bribery. Some of these charges were crimes. Others were not. The one common denominator in all these accusations was that the official had somehow abused the power of his office and was unfit to serve.”

            Where is the impeachment inquiry, Madam Speaker?

            • Rayne says:

              Thanks, this is helpful. Many people understand that “high crimes and misdemeanors” are whatever Congress says they are, but the history helps the general understanding that some of these charges may not be unlawful but clearly to reasonable persons awful and unbefitting the executive.

        • bmaz says:

          Yeah, I agree with Rayne here. This is a really bad idea. No vote is going to pass until Pelosi says it should. If she said so tomorrow, it would pass tomorrow. But, as long as she remains adamant to suppress and oppress such a vote, it just won’t happen. And a forced vote from a back bencher from Texas isn’t going to fly, and will just look stupid.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Verisimilitude is the hallmark of good propaganda. Rep. Al Green, 72, a Democrat from Texas and long-term NAACP stalwart, has previously filed articles of impeachment on Trump. They went nowhere and he withdrew them. Made him a good candidate to be named the one to file them again.

      Doesn’t mean he will, only that Trump’s racist acts should be an item in any articles actually filed. The real question is whether the Dems will start an impeachment inquiry. Just the facts, m’am, is what the Dems should be out to get.

      • orionATL says:

        thanks, e. of h. –

        i wondered about this possibility – an ally taking some pressure off Pelosi. we’ll see in time how sincere the effort. but if nothing else, a timely feint. any vote actually scheduled and held should be interesting.

  42. harpie says:

    Assange news:

    12:27 PM – 15 Jul 2019

    SCOOP: New documents obtained exclusively by CNN reveal that Assange received in-person deliveries, potentially of hacked materials related to the 2016 election, during a series of suspicious meetings at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
    The documents — hundreds of surveillance reports and visitor logs — build on the possibility that couriers brought hacked files to Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy, a possibility raised by special counsel Robert Mueller in his report on Russian meddling. [more]

    • orionATL says:

      here is a link that actually works:


      zack carter’s article, which would be embarrassing to a conscientious journalist, is a political attack masquerading as news coverage – typical of the lightweight Huffington post crap. carter stirs together the u.s. house of reps conflict with ny state’s taking-care-of-us-good-old-boys corruption. he sniff’s smelling salts while waxing about the injustice of it all. and of course the villain is, as she was with the Republican party all thru the 2018 campaign season, is the only strong democratic voice countering trump – speaker nancy pelosi. what idiots!

      he defends chakrabati but hides the essence of that conflict which amounts to mutual name calling in which chakrabati insulted another “woman of color”, deletes tweets, and pretends it’s a just all a misunderstanding. carter nominates the “victims” and “bad guys” in all of this too and fro according to his personal (or as likely, his editor’s business/corporate) bias.

      what reportorial clap–trap.

  43. Tom says:

    Reading the “Autobiography of Mark Twain” in which he describes how his friend and fellow satirist, David R. Locke, who wrote under the name “Petroleum V. Nasby”, once gave a public lecture in which he scornfully responded to the racist attitudes of his time by recommending that, in Twain’s words, “… the Scriptures be so altered … as to make them pleasantly conform to men’s notions—thus: “Suffer little white children to come unto me, and forbid them not!”

  44. earlofhuntingdon says:

    EW noted on twtr that, “it’s remarkable what a xenophobe [Trump] is for a guy whose family is so new to America.”

    I would put that into the convert being more Catholic than the pope category. Same with Stephen Miller. Part of his family has been in the US an even shorter time. He is so xenophobic, he must think the country ran out of room before his family came over and is afraid they’ll be tossed out again. (An attitude the State Dept and other elites shared at the time.)

    In reality, it doesn’t work that way except in their small minds.

    • Tom says:

      What matters to Trump is money and whatever allegiance he may feel towards his grossly perverted ideological conception of the U.S.A., it must be literally only skin deep. With his embrace of thugs, dictators, and murderers such as Putin and Kim Jong-un and his attitude towards dark-skinned immigrants, he demonstrates his complete lack of understanding–if not outright rejection–of everything that America should stand for.

  45. harpie says:

    9:38 AM – 16 Jul 2019

    JUST IN: @NewYorkStateAG informs Judge Furman in SDNY that the parties have negotiated an agreement on an order permanently blocking the citizenship question on the #2020Census, and barring delays on the survey, now that the White House dropped its bid.
    “PERMANENTLY ENJOINED from including a citizenship question on the 2020 decennial census questionnaire…”
    Read the proposed order in this 4-page doc: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6200408-NYAG-Census-7-16-19.html []

    • harpie says:

      Yes. Zoe Tillman with more:
      11:50 AM – 16 Jul 2019

      […] Here’s the judge’s full order barring Roger Stone from posting “on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook in any way on any subject, including but not limited to forwarding, liking, re-posting, or re-tweeting anyone else’s statements, articles, posts, or tweets” [screenshot] [link]

      Two hours after the judge barred Roger Stone from posting on Instagram his wife posted a photo of the two of them after the hearing — the judge placed limits on what family members/surrogates could say on his behalf, but there’s a bit more gray area […]

    • harpie says:

      Here’s ABC’s twitter thread about the whole thing as it happened:
      12:22 PM – 16 Jul 2019

      Speaker Pelosi on House floor:
      “These comments from the White House are disgraceful … these comments are racist. How shameful to hear him continue to defend those offensive words – words that we have all heard him repeat not only about our members, but about countless others.” [VIDEO]
      Pelosi: “Every single member of this institution, Democratic and Republican, should join us in condemning the president’s racist tweets. To do anything less would be a shocking rejection of our values and a shameful abdication of our oath of office to protect the American people” [VIDEO] [continues]

  46. Democritus says:

    Chris Hayes had a nice tribute to him, his wife clerked for Stephens.

    ETA reply fail to PJ


    Fuck Trump


    “If the present pace of such prosecutions continues, the fiscal 2019 total will be 162, compared to 221 last year,” TRAC’s report states.

    The Obama administration dramatically ramped up such prosecutions, climbing threefold from 85 cases in 2009, the year the 44th president took office, to more than 260 during his final year in the White House.

    While those prosecutions held steady in the first year under President Donald Trump, TRAC’s analysis of Justice Department data says they have taken a dramatic plunge every year since.”

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The special cruelty and gaslighting at the Home Office started when Theresa May was Home Secretary. Those attributes seem to be favorites of neoliberals and neo-fascists, who are now coalescing into the same political faction.

    • harpie says:

      From that same Courthouse News article:

      […] Before criticism over the deal ended his tenure, Acosta pushed policies at the Department of Labor that pushed to divert resources from the mission of combating human trafficking. TRAC notes that individual U.S. attorneys have discretion over which cases to bring, but that prosecutors have increasingly declined referrals of cases involving child sex trafficking.
      Before his resignation, Acosta’s Labor Department threw up hurdles to limit authority to certify visas and proposed an 80% budget cut to the International Labor Affairs Bureau, charged with combating human trafficking and child labor domestically and internationally.

      Acosta’s work for Epstein was his resume.

        • P J Evans says:

          The video clips show Tr*mp behaving as he has more recently: grabbing women, making remarks about their looks, and generally behaving like the p*g we know he is. They also show that he *wanted* Epstein’s friendship – possibly to get some of the money Epstein’s “friends” had.

  47. harpie says:

    The President is DESPICABLE

    2:48 PM – 17 Jul 2019

    Days suggesting Ilhan Omar should go back to Somali, Trump spreads unfounded conspiracy theories about her:

    “There’s a lot of talk about the fact that she was married to her brother. I know nothing about it … I don’t know but I’m sure that somebody would be looking at that.” [VIDEO]

    • P J Evans says:

      And too damned many Dems are still unwilling to say so in public.
      (And also about his habit of lying with “a lot of talk about” or “some people are saying”.)

    • harpie says:

      3:00 PM – 17 Jul 2019

      this loaded question and Trump’s predictable answer is a perfect snapshot of how MAGA media drives narratives

      Emerald Robinson of One America News Network:
      [Chief White House Correspondent for @OANN.
      “Politics is downstream of culture, and culture is downstream of religion.”]
      2:52 PM – 17 Jul 2019

      BREAKING on @OANN:
      I just asked @realDonaldTrump whether Ilhan Omar would be investigated for alleged marriage fraud. His reply:

      “There’s a lot of talk about the fact that she was married to her brother. I know nothing about it.”

      • P J Evans says:

        I don’t know *any* current society where marrying your sibling is permitted. (I think that the last one that did that was ancient Egypt, and a lot of the time there it was half-siblings.) That statement is not only a despicable lie, it tells us that Tr*mp would have done that if he believed he could get away with it.

      • harpie says:

        Three items about OANN:
        6/15/19 Trump has a new favourite news network – and it’s more rightwing than Fox The US president has started giving plaudits – and access – to One America News Network, an obscure TV outlet that can outfox Fox
        https: //www. theguardian .com/tv-and-radio/2019/jun/15/oan-oann-fox-news-donald-trump
        The obscure One America News Network (OAN) makes up for its lack of clout or viewers by covering every Trump utterance, recycling conspiracy theories, downplaying Russian threats, bashing the mainstream media and championing the “Make America Great Again” agenda. […]

        7/3/19 Right-wing media were furious over exclusion of citizenship question from census
        https: //www. mediamatters .org/blog/2019/07/03/Right-wing-media-were-furious-over-exclusion-of-citizenship-question-from-census/224126

        One America News Network — one of Trump’s favorite media outlets — tweeted: “Democrats hope to turn red states blue by counting illegals on census.”

        7/15/19 White supremacists and right-wing media defend Trump’s racist attack on four members of Congress
        https: //www. mediamatters .org/blog/2019/07/15/White-supremacists-and-right-wing-media-defend-Trumps-racist-attack-on-four-members-of-Con/224214
        […] Pro-Trump One America News Network’s Emerald Robinson complained that “the American media will spend the whole day declaring that Americans are racists because they don’t want ISIS and Hezbollah and Hamas and Al Qaeda supporters living in America.” Robinson concluded, “This will guarantee Trump’s re-election in 2020.” […]

        • P J Evans says:

          RWNJs ought to read the actual Constitution some time. It says that the census counts everyone. The undocumented don’t get votes, they don’t get SS or Medicare or Medicaid, but they get counted and they get represented in Congress just like everyone else. Those who don’t like that can move to some country closer to their ideal – like Russia.

        • Rayne says:

          Racking my brains for the name of the right-wing media outlet back during Bush era; was sandwiched/adjacent to Heritage Foundation-Town Hall and Gannon’s Talon News. OANN is its heir to the propaganda circuit.

  48. P J Evans says:

    The House has voted to issue criminal contempt citations to Ross and Barr on their refusal to respond to the subpoena for census papers.

    Zoe Tillman @ZoeTillman
    15 minutes ago

    The House has voted 230-198 to hold AG Barr and Commerce Sec. Ross in criminal contempt for not complying with a committee subpoena for materials about the census citizenship question. This is a criminal contempt resolution; the House prev. voted to hold Barr in civil contempt

    • harpie says:

      Tillman’s thread, continued:

      A civil contempt vote means the House can go to court to sue to enforce its subpoena.
      A criminal contempt vote means the House makes a referral to DOJ (historically the US attorney’s office in DC), which then decides whether to convene a grand jury (extremely unlikely)

      She then screenshots DoJ and Commerce responses to the vote.

  49. x174 says:

    with all due respect, i admire democratic leadership for taking the hard road by amassing mountains of evidence against our vile, ignorant reprobate in order to build their case(s) against him and his droogs. also i like the way that they are picking off his senior cabinet members one by one. i think after mueller’s testimony next week the dems should be well positioned to begin proceedings against our dogshit president–with all due respect.

    • bmaz says:

      You have to be kidding, the “Democratic leadership” (which is an oxymoron), have not “amassed” dick shit. They have fed off of the Mueller investigation and common press reportage. Seriously, what are you talking about?

      Also, too, what do you mean “picking off his senior cabinet members”? That is just nuts. The Dems have not caused squat in relation to that, Trump and his Administration literally laugh at the feckless Dems. The Trump cabinet members leave when the press is so bad that Trump himself gets rid of them. The Dem House does not have jack to do with it.

    • Eureka says:

      arriving a bit after the fact, it took me a min to figure this out, wondering wtf was happening in the news. Or if you were cracking open a special vintage bottle…(ok, I guess technically you did do that ;) )

      ETA: haha, I got 404 (which was more apropos to my brain state before posting the comment, quite frankly).

  50. OldTulsaDude says:

    As of tonight, we know the U.S. House of Representatives is comprised of 95 patriotic Democrats and a bunch of gutless empty seats.

    • P J Evans says:

      I haven’t yet seen the actual roll call on that one, or even the motion. Congress.gov is slow getting stuff.

        • bmaz says:

          There were a couple of interesting ones in the nays. This is not a vote for an inquiry, but it is hard to see any of these 95 no being willing to open an inquiry.

        • Eureka says:

          ~~dashing in breathlessly~~then moving comment to this convo:

          RAYNE, you DO got good seo game (recalling our old convo about that, lol, we know I am excitable).

          So I was just looking up Mike Doyle of PA who voted No to see if he was in the impeachment inquiry list as well (he is). Your “Do you even math?” post was in top results, tho I had used an odd-text grab search string. Re-did search a couple of ways and “whip list impeachment inquiry” (sans quotes; via ddg) has two of your whip lists in top results, including one with “thanks to community member harpie” in the snippet!


  51. harpie says:

    1] https://twitter.com/nick_ramsey/status/1151215286885978112
    12:41 PM – 16 Jul 2019

    … from the @useeoc [US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] website. [link] [screenshot]:

    …Examples of potentially unlawful conduct include insults, taunting, or ethnic epithets, such as making fun of a person’s foreign accent or comments like, “Go back to where you came from,” whether made by supervisors or by co-workers.

    2] https://twitter.com/Lawrence/status/1151261390658842630
    3:44 PM – 16 Jul 2019

    Trump broke the law and would be fired from any federal job except the one he has.

  52. Eureka says:

    apropos of Emmy noms yesterday (he didn’t thread these):

    Sacha Baron Cohen: “I’ve played some lunatics in my time, but the look of vacuous evil in his eyes as he autographed a waterboard kit, would put Daniel Day Lewis to shame.”

    “While I am flattered at these nods, it is a shame that my co-stars were not recognized. Particularly Dick Cheney, who I had hoped would come across on camera as someone who’d gleefully sent hundreds of thousands to their pointless death – and boy did he deliver.”

    “I want to thank my crack team of researchers told to uncover bigotry, racism and hate in the US. That took them about 30 seconds… they just started following the President.”


    “There’s one more person I need to thank even though she didn’t appear in the final project, Sarah Palin. Sarah, if you are out there, and you are WAY out there, please know the last time unseen footage generated as much interest, was when Donald Trump visited a Moscow hotel room.”

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