The Glass is Cracked, But It’s Still Half Full

So America is in the middle of a massive stomach churn of the body politic, heaving while half of it freezes and the other half burns (climate change is a myth, part of SoCal always slides into the ocean during January).  The Evil Empire that Trump put into office is cancelling net neutrality, funding Big Coal, releasing the oceans to drilling, and trying to criminalize pot again.  Also Trump is still President.  So it’s bad.

But it’s not that bad, it may even be good, and I am not a glass-half-full kind of person.   Why am I delusional about this?  Here, have some random optimism:

The FCC under oafish bro Ajit Pai, decided to rescind the net neutrality rules because, hey,  regulations are bad unless they’re about whether you can decided to smoke pot, have a baby, or marry the person you love because we gotta draw the line somewhere and it’s sure as hell not gonna be putting watchdogs on corporations because corporations are people and people are . . . not?  Where was I?  Oh, yeah, Ajit Pai gave the internet to Big Business instead of to the American people.  Then he made fun of the people who said, “Whoa, there, One Percent, you can’t just steal the net.”  So the people and some of their reps in Congress mobilized under the leadership of Edward J. Markey, whom I had not heard of before but whom I now kinda want to have his baby, and got enough signatures to send to the Senate floor a vote to overrule the FCC.  Forty people have already signed on, and now the other sixty are going to have to go on record as to whether people have a right to an open internet.  See that little spinning ball that makes you want to throw something at your screen?  The Dems are going to put an elephant on that sucker if Congress doesn’t vote to overrule.  So that vote’s going to be fun to watch.  

Then Rick Perry, noted idiot (“Oops”), issued a proposal to fund America’s coal industry, which sounds like something Rick Perry would do, whereupon his Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) which is composed mainly of Republicans, said, “No.”  Actually, they said, “This plan is dumb as snot” (I’m paraphrasing there), and Perry said, “Oh.  Okay.  Thanks.”  God knows what he’ll do next, but it probably won’t be sending tax dollars to an industry that helped cause the godawful weather we’re having, not to mention black lung disease and the rape of the environment.

Then there’s Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke who just opened all of America’s coasts to drilling for oil because how could that possibly go wrong?  How fast are Democratic candidates rushing to save the coasts while Republicans are stuck pointing out that BP disaster wasn’t THAT bad?  Pretty damn fast.  And what is the Trump administration getting in return?  Lawsuits.  Lots and lots of lawsuits because states have a great deal of say in what happens on their shores.  Remember Trump’s “I think the states should decide” mantra whenever he wanted to avoid making a decision?  Yeah, that’s coming back to bite him.  Fun fact: you can’t run a pipeline to the shore of a state without that state’s permission.  Another fun fact, most of those coastal states are blue, not red, so there really aren’t that many Republicans to fight for something that was abysmally stupid to begin with.  Even Rick Scott, not a voice of liberalism, opposes drilling off the Atlantic shore.*  The military opposes drilling off the Atlantic shore.  Drilling in the Arctic region of Alaska is so iffy that other companies with permission gave up trying.   Once again, the current administration has done something so unpopular and dumb that it’s galvanizing everybody else to fight back .  

And then there’s Jeff Sessions, a fine nineteenth century Southerner mad as hell about being stuck in twenty-first century, so he’s decided to declare that marijuana is illegal everywhere before he re-institutes slavery and tells women to just take off their shoes, get back in the kitchen and have that baby.  In fact, he’s telling law enforcement officers to crack down on weed because “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”  Swear to god, he said that.  Of course he also apologized for supporting the KKK by saying that he thought they were okay before he found out they smoked pot.  My fellow Americans, our attorney general.  So how’s that going for him?  Oh, badly, very badly.  The states that have legalized pot are benefiting greatly from it because law enforcement can now focus on things like crime, not to mention it’s profitable as hell, popular as hell, and taxable.  Lot of Republican congresspeople are not happy at a time when Sessions really needs Congress to like him a lot, since that’s all that standing between him and Trump’s wrath at his recusal from the Russian investigation.  Also enforcement depends on the various state prosecutors, most of whom rolled their eyes and went back to work ignoring him.  And of course, the states are talking about filing lawsuits.  Best of all, this could very well push Congress to make pot legal nationally.   You’re doin’ a heckuva job, Brownie Jefferson.

(Stop for a moment and consider that the Trump admin has tried to slow down the internet and take away pot .  All it needs to do now is outlaw pizza, and it’ll have the Most-Unpopular-Administration-in-the-History-of-America Trifecta.)

I could go on–remember when Trump banned trans people in the military and the military said, “Uh, no,” protected their trans members, and announced they were  accepting trans recruits?  Good times–but the bottom line is that everything that’s happening reinforces an idea I wrote about in October of 2016: America is going through an Extinction Burst, the cataclysm of resistance against change that happens when the body (human or politic) realizes that Something Is Really Different and tries to drag things back to The Way They Were.  If the body can power through the extinction burst, the new normal sets in and the resistance goes away.  The old “This is the Way Things Should Be” becomes the new “This is the Way Things Should Be.”   So “White Men Have Absolute Power” becomes “Me, Too.”  The popular opinion that “The President Should Be White and Male” becomes the viral “Oprah 2020.”  And (fingers crossed) “The Urban Coasts Have All The Power” becomes “Crap, The Flyover States Just Elected Somebody UnElectable, We’re Gonna Have to Pay Attention to Them.”   

So if you look at this as an Extinction Burst, the Trump Presidency is essential to the health of America.  An incompetent (thank god) who larded his administration with reactionaries has highlighted how harmful, cruel, and just plain dumb those old ideas were, and is slowly educating the country once again that our freedoms depend on us, not the President/Congress/Supreme Court. If we don’t want what we’re getting now, we have to change it, by staying informed and supporting the watchdog news industry, by sponsoring the organizations that are working to protect us, and by voting.

And the lovely thing is, we’re doing all of that. The Washington Post and New York Times are more profitable than ever before because we’re subscribing, Planned Parenthood and other liberal/progressive special interest groups are logging record membership and donation numbers, and the special elections have been a thumb in the eye to Trump-supporting Republicans, who have become endangered even in the safest of all of possible states (Welcome, Doug Jones!).  

Here’s a good example of a reason to be optimistic: The ACLU has had an amazing year (thank you, President Trump, for that Muslim ban, that was a YUGE help) and whoa, baby, do they have big plans: “Soaring after a banner year — the ACLU raised $93 million online in the 12 months after Donald Trump was elected president, up from $5.5 million the year before, and its membership quadrupled to 1.6 million — the civil rights group is in the midst of a dramatic makeover. The group aims to rival the National Rifle Association as a force on the left and become a hub of the anti-Trump movement.”  Think of that for a minute: The ACLU in a smackdown with the NRA.  It’s like the nerdy kid spent the summer bulking up and is getting ready to kick bully butt.  Meanwhile, Republican incumbents, the kind of congresspeople most likely to be re-elected, are retiring in droves, and the people who are lining up to run in their places would be giving the Republican Establishment heartburn if it had a heart. Joe Arpaio just declared for Jeff Flake’s Senate seat. Michelle Bachman is thinking seriously about running for Al Franken’s seat. It’s only a matter of time before Todd Akins decides that his  rape comment wasn’t that bad. And there’s the ACLU, sitting on ninety-three mill.  I’m telling you, the midterm elections are going to be interesting.

But why wait until then?  Three news stories broke today (“Slow News Day” is another victim of the Trump Presidency):

• Robert Mueller has notified the Trump legal team that he wants to question the President. Since the President likes to talk, thinks he hasn’t done anything wrong, and has the impulse control of a two-year-old, the legal team would be smart to refuse because he will definitely tell them about how he and Putin planned the election (“We have the best brains”), following it up with “But you should really lock up Hillary, she’s the nasty woman here.” But if the Trump legal team refuses, Mueller can subpoena him, and then the lawyers can’t be in the court with him, intervening to protect him. So that would be worse.   Maybe. You know, there’s just not a good scenario for the Trump people here.

• Diane Feinstein (I definitely want to have her baby) just released the transcripts from the Fusion GPS hearing, and it turns out that  the reason the FBI believed the Steele dossier was that somebody inside the Trump campaign had already called them to report that there were a helluva lotta Russians talking to a lotta Trump people. So that idea that everybody in the Trump campaign was corrupt and stupid? Not true. One person saw the handwriting on the Kremlin and called in.  

• Steve Bannon is out at Breitbart, climaxing his power castration at the tiny hands of Donald Trump.   

Come on, people. The glass is definitely half full.

*Several hours after I published this, Scott got Zimke to back down on drilling off the Florida coast because it’s a special case because Florida relies on tourism.  Countdown to when the other states point out that all coastal economies are based on tourism.

And then several hours after that, a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to begin accepting DACA applications again.

I can’t wait for tomorrow.

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69 thoughts on “The Glass is Cracked, But It’s Still Half Full

  1. This.

    Don’t need to say more. Just: THIS.

    Today was a banner day on many fronts. My bet is that Bannon is gonna start spilling the beans to get another 15 mins of fame. Gonna be an interesting few months. I’ve ordered a giant bag of popcorn and plenty of beer, in order to beat the rush.

    7+

  2. Thank you for this amazing analysis of the state of our nation. There is hope for a brighter future. We all have to do what we can to ensure that it gets here–donate to just causes, vote, canvas neighborhoods, sign petitions, march, call/write representatives, and spur others on by writing wonderful essays like this. Now is not the time to sit back and hope that someone else starts the movement; we need to BE the movement.

    7+

  3. You help immensely with my 2018 vow to Stay Positive, even through gritted teeth.

    Around here, we refer to the Attorney General as J. Beauregard Sessions. Sorta captures his essence.

    9+

  4. AND there’s a largely anonymous Twitter group, called Sleeping Giants, who’ve put pressure on companies who (inadvertently or otherwise) place their ads on Breitbart. Apparently many companies are ‘blacklisting’ the Breitbart site so there ads don’t go there, in response to being asked by Sleeping Giants if they know they are advertising on a site that’s all about white supremacy and the alt-right. Way to go, Giants!

    9+

  5. I live in Arizona, and I may have groaned out loud when I saw that Arpaio is running for Senate. I just want him to go away. Judging from the results of his last campaign, most of Maricopa County just wants him to go away, so it’s unlikely he’ll win the primary. It would just have been nice if we didn’t have to deal with him anymore. On the other hand, now everyone in the state has a chance to vote against him, so those of us outside Maricopa won’t feel left out this year…

    7+

  6. It’s hard, though. Polarization of the country means that we are pulled away from “the enemy” and towards Our Own Kind, which leads to so much distortion in our understanding of options, policies, and tradeoffs. The opinion-makers on both sides manipulate their voters in order to win elections by emphasizing the horrors that will befall us if Those Other People have their Evil Way, and by downplaying the ambiguous or difficult issues that we really all ought to be dealing with.

    The polarization is probably the thing that worries me most, because fear of hidden malicious enemies is such a potent lever for manipulators. And the propaganda tools are so easy, and so widespread — not just Fox News and Breitbart, but as the Russians are so aware, Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and what-have-you. Places we go to interact with Our Own Kind, or think that’s what we’re doing.

    I’m a political independent, and have been throughout my voting life, and I yearn for information sources and voices of sanity that stick to a middle road. I really want to help the disadvantaged in my country, but I don’t see why we should avoid debating how to pay for it. I want freedom of the press, but I think pharmaceutical ads should be heavily regulated and not aimed at consumers. I want freedom of speech, but don’t think universities ought to be required to give Richard Spencer the right to give speeches just because he feels like it. I want freedom of religion, but why should religious institutions be allowed to advocate for political parties?

    But everybody has an angle and a bias on increasing the benefits for themselves or their groups, and a fear of losing the ground they feel they stand on. It’s just that those one-percent gangsters stand on so damn much ground and have so damn much clout on their side. I still have the fear that they are winning and will keep on winning.

    However, the Oprah speech…. Wow, that was good.

    9+

    1. That’s why I’m taking her seriously as a candidate. She might be the person who can pull the country together.

      Except Trump is already doing that. There are dyed-in-the-wool Trumpers who will never shift, but there was a good healthy chunk of the population that was sick and tired of “coastal elites” and then Clinton called them “deplorables.” Now Trump is drilling off their coasts, giving tax breaks to the rich, kneecapping their healthcare, and talking about cutting some holes in the safety net. His favorables are dropping, his unfavorables are rising, and he’s kneecapping his Congress. Republicans control the Presidency, the House, and the Senate, and the only thing they’ve managed to pass is a tax cut for the rich. That’s gonna leave a mark come election time.

      I had stage three cancer when I was thirty-three. I remember sitting in that hospital bed thinking, “If I survive this, things are going to be different, better.” I did, and they were. I look at Trump like that. If we survive this, the country is going to be different.

      14+

      1. No, no Oprah.

        When are we going to realize that the Presidency is an actual job and we need someone with actual governing experience to do it?

        I love her madly but we actually have qualified people in this country who can do this job and we are going to need someone who knows how to fix everything this idiot is breaking.

        Now, if you would like to pick her for Ambassador to the UN, that I would be in favor of. That I think she would be excellent at.

        11+

        1. I think it depends on what kind of President the country needs at the time of the election.
          America is fractured. I think it’s actually unifying against Trump–over half of the country doesn’t like him–but there’s so much rancor and distrust and paranoia. Somebody calm and smiling and positive would be a huge help. And she is not stupid, she’s a smart woman who knows how to work with people. She’d need a hugely politically savvy staff behind her, but she could do a lot of good. I don’t think she’ll do it, but I don’t think she’d be a bad pick, either.

          5+

      2. Trump was going to have an experienced VP to actually run the government while he got to do the ceremonial stuff and take the bows. But good experienced politicians did not want to ghost the presidency for him and all he could get was Pence. And Kelly as his Chief-of-Staff was military so he does not have the political experience either.

        Even though Oprah is so much better than Trump it doesn’t need saying, she would have the same problem: if someone becomes a politician, they want to be in the spot-light and make the decisions. They do not want to do it for someone else to take the credit or be over-riden whenever the president wants. Particularly if they are good at it.

        Right now I am hoping Rep. Joe Kennedy III of the 4th District of Massachusetts decides to run. So far he sounds smart, capable and hard working. And he is not older than I am which most of the other Democratic contenders are.

        5+

        1. Maybe.
          I can see Oprah making a deal with somebody like Kristin Gillibrand. She’ll serve for four years and then support Gillibrand’s run for the job in 2024. That would raise Gillibrand’s high profile even higher, give her the background she needs in running the Presidency, and set her up in a great position to win, assuming the country is happy with the previous four years. There are a LOT of reasons to be a Democratic VP; Joe Biden had a lot of power and a great visibility. If he’d been ten years younger, he’d have been the next nominee.

          4+

          1. But until the candidate gets the nomination, we would not know who the VP would be. Trump thought he could get someone better than Pence and all the best candidates wanted to wait and try again on their own in another election.

            1+

          2. That depends on the signals the candidate sends.
            It also depends on how batshit the next election is. If Trump’s not in it, it may be more of an adult experience.

            0

          3. I hadn’t thought about Joe Kennedy. I’ll have to look him up. I’d love to see Elizabeth Warren run. I’m from a the very reddest part of the country, and I’ll tell you, Oprah will polarize this country even more. I love her but she can be even more effective in other jobs.

            1+

          4. I like Elizabeth Warren as well but let’s get someone younger. Warren is 68 and would be 71 in 2020.

            Adam Schiff, Martin O’Malley, Chris Murphy of CT, Kristen Gillibrand, Steve Bullock of MT, Maggie Hassan, Ben Ray Lujan of NM, Seth Moulton of MA. Joaquin Castro. Kamala Harris. These are all people who are a lot younger and seem to have some grit in them. The only problem is some of them are east coast.

            I like Tim Kaine, he was a great governor and everyone who knows him likes him – but it would play into the evil Clinton conspiracy. Roy Cooper of NC would play well but right now he’s been neutered by the NC legislature and I don’t think he’d look strong from that position.

            What we really need is a straight, white Southerner or Westerner like Carter or Clinton to allay the fears of people who think change is a bad thing. Someone like Doug Jones might work but younger.

            0

  7. Zinke just announced that since Rick Scott explained to him that Florida relies on tourism (who knew?), that he’s taking the Florida coast off the drilling plan.

    Wait until the other coastal states point out that tourism is pretty big for them, too . . .

    7+

    1. Except that’s not precisely why he did it. While Scott is running for Senate and this is going to be very unpopular in FL, I really think someone explained to Trump that his little order means they can drill of the coast of Mar-a-lago.

      4+

      1. The whole thing is coming unravelled at this point. Giving FL the exemption just brought down a ton of trouble on Trump and Zinke. By the time they dig each other out, there’ll be a new Congress with possibly a Democratic Senate and a House full of Republicans who have seen the voting on the wall and will start to compromise.

        3+

  8. I’m glad when you do these posts. I get most of my American news from British sources (because the Americans either have paywall, or they aren’t very good — The Atlantic being one exception), so it’s really good to see what it looks like from the inside!

    I’ve got two thoughts:

    1. Sometimes, the cracked glass needs to be replaced, not just mended. And that can produce a lot of anxiety, because sometimes the new glass just isn’t a good glass! But sometimes it’s a fantastic glass, and much better than the old one. Trump isn’t the replacement glass; he’s just cracking the hell out of the old glass.

    2. Now I really, really want to write an Extinction Burst story. All the crap that happens when people are really, really afraid and react badly — but it turns out that the bright new day is just beyond the Extinction Burst. Now, all I need is some characters who want to go along with my plans . . . .

    5+

    1. That reminds me of Pratchett’s bit about the glasses from The Truth:

      “There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty.
      The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What’s up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don’t think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass! Who’s been pinching my beer?
      And at the other end of the bar the world is full of the other type of person, who has a broken glass, or a glass that has been carelessly knocked over (usually by one of the people calling for a larger glass) or who had no glass at all, because he was at the back of the crowd and had failed to catch the barman’s eye. ”

      10+

  9. I am VERY interested in what will happen RE Mueller wanting to interview Trump. He can’t even get through a press interview without creating scandal, so what’s going to happen when experienced prosecutors who’ve been investigating his team for months interview him?

    I keep thinking that famous scene in A FEW GOOD MEN, where Tom Cruise focuses on getting Jack Nicholson to admit that he gave the order that got a soldier killed in a stupid prank. And then I think, no, Mueller’s team won’t have to work that hard to get self-sabotaging statements from Trump.

    However, the real problem is that no matter WHAT Trump admits to Mueller’s team… the GOP-run Congress and Senate will not do anything about it. Trump could produce photos of himself accepting a bag of gold from Putin labelled “From Russia With Love” in June 2016, and the GOP-run Congress will ignore the photo and demand that the photographer be investigated.

    2+

    1. That depends.
      Trump and his cabinet are doing a lot of stupid things that are making life harder for the Republicans in Congress. He’s given them the worst of all possible worlds–they have the Presidency, the Senate, and the House, and then he’s made them impotent. I think the cracks are showing pretty clearly. Republicans are resigning rather than run again to serve in Trump’s Congress. They’re having a really tough time finding competent people to run to replace them because the word is out that Trump is nuts and Congress is hell right now. Everything Trump touches turns to lead and drags them down. If Mueller comes back with proof of obstruction, let alone collusion, the Republicans in Congress are going to be between a rock and a hard place. Refuse to impeach and watch the country revolt, or impeach and lose their wingnut base. I think impeachment is a real possibility, especially if the Dems take back the Senate.

      It’s really going to come down to how many career politicians want to die on the hill that is Trump.

      4+

      1. In my efforts to identify changes in political will, I’m watching three trends. One is support for Trump, by party; Trump’s support among Republicans is falling. He’s down from 89% in January to 81% now, and his support Independents has fallen by 11 points. (Scroll down for the party affialiation support) http://news.gallup.com/poll/203198/presidential-approval-ratings-donald-trump.aspxamong

        The second is Trump support by state . A number of the states where Trump won in 17 he would not win in today. (Use the slider on the bottom to see change from Jan to now.) https://morningconsult.com/2017/10/10/trump-approval-dips-in-every-state-though-deep-pockets-of-support-remain/

        The third is change in party identification; the number of Democrats is holding; the number of Republicans is falling.
        http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/04/politics/republican-exodus-poll-democrat/index.html

        6+

        1. Polls depend on who’s doing them–some are good, some are not–who’s taking them–registered voters? likely voters?–how they’re done–landline? cellphone?–and how the questions are phrased. My favorite poll source is 538 which does a weighted aggregate of all polls, but even then there’s the caveat that things are so volatile, that the aggregate only shows you where things are today. Because things are so volatile, and because polls inevitably lag at least a little, they can only show you recent history. Another thing I like about 538: they always point out the margin of error, and they also talk about the polls in terms of history, how todays poll numbers compare to the past forty years or whatever.

          http://fivethirtyeight.com

          4+

          1. I have some professional expertise on this (not much but I have worked with national experts on survey data) and I agree there are huge variations in quality. I like 538. I think Gallup is decent on trend, because it polls large samples in every state frequently and does live calls, even if it’s actual numbers may be on the low side re Trump approval. It gets a B- from 538 which is decent but not great. All three data sets above are from Gallup . I also think that with polling rates so low, some of what we see is not changes in opinion but whether people are willing to talk to pollsters only when the candidate they support/person they support is looking good in the press. There is good reason to think that the big variations in polls Trump v Clinton during the campaign was due not to people changing their minds but people changing their willingness to talk to pollsters.

            Gallup isn’t alone. All the polls show dramatic drops in Trump popularity over the last year. I haven’t seen one trend poll showing stable or growing support over the year. I used Gallup because their sample sizes are big enough that they could answer the questions like support among Republicans, suppprt by state, and changes in party affiliation.

            2+

  10. Oh, this was a good read today, as I listened to all the bullshitters around lifting Temporary Protected Status. I wanted to Hulk smash them through the radio. But this – this was uplifting.

    4+

    1. Did you see where a judge just blocked Trump’s DACA order?

      “In a ruling Tuesday evening, San Francisco-based U.S. District Court judge William Alsup ordered the administration to resume accepting renewal applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA. Alsup said Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ conclusion that the program was illegal appeared to be “based on a flawed legal premise.”

      9+

  11. Drilling at the coasts should not be a consideration at ALL. Especially since BP and Halliburton didn’t face any real consequences for the last disaster.

    A big problem that I think still exists in the current administration is that there seem to be a number of post vacancies that have not been filled. They are expected to be nominated by presidents and then confirmed. There was a list online somewhere but I haven’t found it again. I’m at 50 tabs open on mobile alone.

    Our parliamentary elections in SA are held every five years. The majority party then appoints the president. They have the power to recall the president from service. Maximum term is two terms, we’ve had ten years of a very controversial president. If you think four years or eight years is too short when you got someone good in the seat, imagine ten years when you have someone not. Thankfully we also have local government elections. Those week held in 2016, so we are able to elicit change at different levels.

    Jenny, remember when Lani said that people needed to listen to the Tea Party people to figure out why they think the way they do? It looks like the current situation is going to require true listening.

    I have been following many POC academics on Twitter and the weirdest thing that came up was that many, white Midwest people think that all black people get free college education. Or all Native Peoples receive welfare stipends that the poor white people don’t.

    It seems that it is up to capable thinkers to push back against the misinformation that has been flowing through.

    There’s a TED talk that Megan Phelps-Roper did about what made her leave the Westboro church. Say what you want about her personal motivation, she makes really good points on how to listen and how to communicate to promote change. Found it! https://youtu.be/bVV2Zk88beY

    5+

  12. I got a hit of optimism this past weekend, listening to Christopher Lydon’s show, Open Source. His guest was an economist, I believe, a Brown University professor, and some of his comments ruffled my feathers (ignore the title of the show — Blame the Boomers — which isn’t quite what it sounds like and is meant to be a sort of NPR-style click bait), but a lot of it was encouraging. Basically, what he says is that a lot of stupid things are being done and some damage is being done, but we can recover from it. I found it extremely soothing after all the stuff that had sent me into an outraged panic. You can listen here: http://radioopensource.org/mark-blyths-state-union/

    3+

  13. We need to get the “behind the scenes money” out of our politics too (Citizens United). The Mercers run Breibart which is an evil in itself. They also pull too many strings for two citizens in this country. Not to mention the Koch and Murdoch moneys. They throw money and the GOP jumps for them. We are all paying for this. The people who are bamboozled by Fox and friends, the fearful and hateful are more and more clear to many of us and we need to see if we can save some of them. If not, we have to outnumber and outvote them.

    4+

    1. The news is pretty fun today, too. Since Zinke gave Florida a pass of offshore drilling, the other governors are demanding it too. Big open letter to Congress from the CEOs of dozens of major corporations telling them to quit screwing around and save the Dreamers. And Issa isn’t going to run again.

      And that’s only until 7PM today. Still plenty of time for news to break (argh).

      4+

  14. Man, this is some really weird stuff to live through. Thank you for the positivity! And the news update. I’m still working out how to wade through the available information without becoming overwhelmed, obsessed, and depressed. And I’m a professional.

    Seriously though, just glancing at headlines today – how can so many Republicans insist that regulations are killing business and the free market must be left to do what it will and on and on and in practically the same breath, suggest federal governmental involvement to save the coal industry?

    3+

    1. I start with Axios for the overview and then go to WaPo for in depth. Then I watch Rachel on the website the next day. That’s my trifecta: Axios/WaPo/Rachel.

      2+

    2. Because businesses give them big money to deregulate and save the coal industry.
      Did you see where Mitch McConnell just got indignant on the Dems slow-walking court appointments? Irony is going to stop by his office later and beat the crap out of him.

      6+

      1. Yeah, man, that guy. I feel like every time I hear a different name in this mess I go through the same thing, an iteration on this “No but THAT one is the worst,” but Mitch McConnell leaves me astounded by his lack of integrity and hypocrisy.

        3+

    3. If you’re looking for logic, I think you’re looking for a different Republican party – the one where Bill Buckley & George Will & George Bush (41) were at home.

      Jennifer Rubin in the WaPo keeps begging other Republicans to start a new party but I think even she believes they’re going to have to implode before they can move on.

      2+

        1. The funniest part is that she defended Republicans and claimed Obama was everything they said he was for years, but throw Trump into the mix and suddenly she and Kathleen Parker said enough is enough, they have seen the light and are going all out.

          She’s making up for lost time.

          I love her.

          2+

          1. Yeah, I have been amazed at her 180 degree turnabout. She’s very, very good and she’s very, very fed up.

            3+

          2. Well, Trump is not a Republican.
            And give her credit, she didn’t turn on him. She watched him campaign and said, “Never Trump,” from the beginning.
            I think one of the reasons she is so powerful is because she’s a true Republican–less government is better, fix the deficit, etc. So when she says, “This is appalling,” it has some weight.

            3+

          3. No, she & Parker & Will were all Never Trumpers. And PJ O’Rourke was a Never Trumper before the primaries even happened.

            The WaPo had to go out and find new conservative columnists because all of their stalwarts are now Never Trumpers.

            1+

  15. Ooops. Up above that should be polling response rates. At this point fewer than 1 in 10 peole will talk to pollsters who call. It’s really weakened the validity of polls.

    0

    1. Is that true on both landline polls and cell polls? The demographics of the two are usually different, so I thought there might be a difference.

      1+

      1. I used to talk to pollsters until I realized that 90 percent of the calls I got were either trying to manipulate my opinion (e.g., would you still feel that way if you knew so-and-so really killed kittens and wanted to raise taxes) or really was using the “poll” to fundraise. Now I no longer do polls. There are a lot of fake polls out there.

        0

  16. As far as I know the response rates are both around 9%. The greater costs of cell phone surveys is primarily because they must by law be manually dialed; also for state or local surveys you end up dialing a lot of people outside your target areas since their area codes are not always area specific or people moved. You can learn a little about the differences between cell and land line respondents here :http://www.pewresearch.org/2017/05/15/what-low-response-rates-mean-for-telephone-surveys/

    2+

  17. I just have to share this somewhere. Another painfully awkward encounter with the press for the ambassador to the Netherlands: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/01/10/trumps-ambassador-to-netherlands-was-asked-to-name-a-person-burned-because-of-islam-he-couldnt/?utm_term=.f1486a64f803

    For those who missed it the first time around, a Dutch journalist asked him about a false claim he made saying there were “no go zones” in the the Netherlands and Dutch politicians were being burned by Muslims. He said he never said that (“fake news”), then the reporter brought up the clip of him saying that, and he said he never called the incident fake news. Less than a minute after he said “fake news” to the same reporter. On camera. It was just brought up again by several reporters who refused to let him off the hook, and he refuses to take back his stupid statement.

    This entire administration is like a giant clown car with nuclear weapons attached to it.

    2+

    1. I saw that on Rachel. I loved it when they all kept asking the same question. When he tried to duck by not answering, one of them said, “This is the Netherlands, this is how we do it.” Of course this guy is the idiot who kept going after Clinton, making up stuff, too. They’re still trying to get K. T. McFarland as ambassador to Singapore. (What did Singapore ever do to you, Trump?)

      1+

  18. For a while now I’ve thought that I wanted to be your best friend. I mean, Agnes and the Hitman and Faking It certainly planted that idea in my brain, and then your work on Buffy…. But after reading this, I’m absolutely certain.

    If you ever find yourself needing a new best friend, I’ll volunteer.

    2+

  19. I feel I should note for the record that Mr. Sessions’ name is actually Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. Please do not hold that against all Southerners. I am not a Southerner, but I am against mass branding for evil and divisive purposes.

    1+

      1. Oh, it wasn’t for a fix; it was so that we would all be better informed! After all, he’s such small man, he needs all the name he can get.

        0

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