Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Transition Notes

This evening at 9pmEST, President Obama will deliver his farewell address. Per the Washington Post:

In his weekly Saturday address, the president alluded to the special feeling he has for Chicago. It’s where he came of age personally and politically. He started his public service career there, first as a community organizer before launching the political career that would take him from the Illinois state Senate (after he lost a U.S. House race) to the U.S. Senate and ultimately to the White House as the first black man to occupy the Oval Office. Chicago is also where Obama met and married his wife, Michelle, who is Chicago born and raised. Their daughters Malia and Sasha were born there, too…

Presidents give farewell addresses primarily to reflect on their achievements during their four or eight years, sometimes even including expressions of regret for promises left unfulfilled, said Marc Selverstone, associate professor at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, which studies the presidency.

The speeches are also used to raise warning flags about specific policies.

Obama’s address is likely to issue some warnings about the politics of his successor, Donald Trump. The Republican president-elect has pledged to overturn much of what Obama put in place, including the Affordable Care Act, executive orders on immigration and other issues, and environmental regulations, among them.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest says Obama wants to give a “forward-looking speech” that will examine U.S. progress during his tenure, but that he also wants to spend time talking about the challenges ahead and what he thinks is necessary to confront them. He also wants to thank the American people for putting their trust in him, Earnest says…

Along with the usual media venues, it will be livestreamed at WhiteHouse.gov.

And in the happy news category, the National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA) is pushing back at a news report that the transition team for president-elect Donald Trump plans to remove the heads of the agency when he takes office.” So I guess Cole’s raised garden beds are safe, for the moment.

Apart from planning your evening watching / commenting, what’s on the agenda for the day?

Click on the blue link at the end of the following tweet, and you will be rewarded:

134 replies
  1. 1
    WereBear says:

    I think keeping my grip on sanity is going to be one of my biggest challenges moving forward. This is all too much like landing in the middle of Idiocracy for any kind of comfort.

  2. 2
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning,Everyone😐😐😐

  3. 3
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Good morning!

    That link is a treasure trove. I can only assume it will continue to burgeon and flourish in the days and years to come. What a treasure trove.

    I will, of course, be listening to the farewell address tonight, but I’ll probably be weeping throughout.

  4. 4
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @WereBear: I am just going to laugh.

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I hope the internet has the capacity to document it all.

  7. 7
    WereBear says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning!

    @OzarkHillbilly: Well, there’s that.

  8. 8
    MomSense says:

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

    ObamaCare not the ACA is being repealed

  9. 9
    Baud says:

    @MomSense: Actually, that might be why we get to keep nice things. Maybe the ACA changes will be superficial but enough to say they killed “Obamacare.” A guy can dream.

  10. 10

    Good morning, Friends. I’m back at work as of yesterday after two weeks for the holiday break. It was good to have the time off, but it was marred by a tragedy in my family. My younger brother’s oldest son, age 27, took his life on December 28. He had been battling depression most of his adult life and it finally overtook him. He was my godson.

    In true WASP culture tradition, we are bearing up as best as we can without, as my mother would say, “making a scene.” (In many families, it’s dealt with by drinking. In my case, I write.) But I cannot imagine the unbearable grief my brother, my sister-in-law, and my niece and nephew are going through. I’m still having moments of sorrow, only relieved by knowing that depression, like any disease, is not the fault of the family (other than perhaps genetics) and that like any chronic disease, it can be treated and managed. If not, it can kill.

    Sorry if I harshed anyone’s morning with this, but I feel close enough to come of you to share it. Peace.

  11. 11
    brighid says:

    I will miss President Obama so much. and I am sure his speech will both inspire me and manage to break my heart. There are so many things that we take for granted now that will be destroyed over the next 4 years. The damage that a trump presidency will inflict to this country is catastrophic and I am having a hard time not going full nihilist at this point.

  12. 12
    Baud says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Very sorry about your loss.

  13. 13
    WereBear says:

    @Mustang Bobby: My sympathies. That’s rough.

  14. 14
    MomSense says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    Oh Mustang Bobby, I’m heartbroken for your family. Condolences.

  15. 15
    Phylllis says:

    @Mustang Bobby: So very sorry for your loss. May you and your family be wrapped in love and peace.

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    @brighid: This isn’t a criticism because I struggle with the same sentiment, but I feel like nihilism is what got us into this mess.

  17. 17
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mustang Bobby: The death of one’s child is a parents worst nightmare. I can not imagine how devastating a suicide must be. I feel for your brother and his family, and you have my sympathies as well.

  18. 18
    Elizabelle says:

    Good morning, all.

    Gonna be a weasel and say that I think Obama should have given a LOT more Oval Office addresses, at crucial times, during his presidency. At least, demanded the time. And then done them, via C-Span, if the networks insisted on broadcasting reality shows, sitcoms, or sports during prime time.

    Being a smart person of good will, I don’t think he realized how pervasive the fake news issue was becoming, and the MSM probably behaved even more execrably than he expected.

    It’s better to see him without the filter of the MSM, who chop up his words and bring every goddamn issue down to “politics!” and optics. Yeah, the networks might have said “no”, but that seems less a problem, in the rearview.

    Reading in the NY Times today (I know, I know) that the healthcare industry is keeping their powder dry as the Republicans accelerate ACA repeal. They don’t want to lose their seat at the table.

  19. 19
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    Oh, Bobby, that is heartbreaking. I’m so very sorry.

  20. 20
    Elizabelle says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Bobby, I am so sorry. No words. Your family is in my thoughts.

    ETA: I think the holidays can be really hard, and the ugly cast the US has taken. The despair and foreboding. May have had nothing to do with it, but maybe so. Again, I am so sorry.

  21. 21
    Raven says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Oh man I’m so sorry. There is a tendency for folks to recount their own tragedies at at time like this but I’ll skip that. Hold them close as you can.

  22. 22
    rikyrah says:

    Nothing but stupid muthaphuckas 😬😬😬

  23. 23

    @Raven: Yes, one of the reasons I hesitated to post about him was because I know talking about it can trigger some bad things for other people. I hope I didn’t.

  24. 24
    MomSense says:


    They bring the rest of us down.

  25. 25
    Aimai says:

    @Mustang Bobby: I’m just so sorry.

  26. 26
    Elizabelle says:

    @Mustang Bobby: I’m glad you said something.

    You know VP Biden’s words on this. I hope they become true for you and your family, in good time.

  27. 27
    rikyrah says:

    @Mustang Bobby:
    So sorry for your loss. 😢😢😢

  28. 28
    rikyrah says:

    I know. It’s the phucking ignorance that just kills me. The smugness of being happy that’Obamacare’ is going away, but I am going to be fine.

  29. 29

    @Mustang Bobby: I’m sorry. I can’t imagine his parents’ pain.

  30. 30
    debbie says:


    Me too. I wear headphones and listen to NPR (only because the reception is so lousy) to tune out the workplace around me. Sometimes it’s all I can do not to blurt out obscenities when I hear of Trump’s doings. It’s not going to get easier to get a grip on my mouth anytime soon.

  31. 31
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Oh man, that is just terrible news — I’m so sorry. Wishing much peace, strength and love to you and your family. You have a healthy view of the phenomenon that caused this awful tragedy (i.e., it’s a disease, not a character flaw or the family’s fault). I hope your brother, sister-in-law, and your late nephew’s siblings also see it that way.

  32. 32
    debbie says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    I’m so sorry to hear this. Suicide is such a tragedy for the loved ones left behind.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    debbie says:


    He couldn’t. Every time he opens his mouth, the GOP accuses him of making it all about him.

  35. 35
    satby says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Oh Bobby, condolences to you and all your family on the tragic loss of your godson. With you all in spirit.

  36. 36
    MomSense says:


    And he’s going to hear what Sessions has to say because he’s known him a very, very long time.

    uh huh

  37. 37
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: I’d like to see the transcript. The media keeps playing us with these stories.

  38. 38
    MomSense says:


    Trumpourettes. I have it, too.

  39. 39
    Kathleen says:

    @Mustang Bobby: My deepest condolences. Will pray for you and your family and that your nephew may find peace.

  40. 40
    gene108 says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    Oh God, I am so sorry.

  41. 41
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    Every time he opens his mouth, the GOP accuses him of making it all about him.


    Stop it…. yer killing me…. This in the age of the ego that is Trump…. It’s just too much.


  42. 42
    ThresherK (tablet) says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Condolences from our family to yours.

  43. 43
    MomSense says:


    Pretty sure the media running so many positive stories about Sanders during the primaries was playing us. Did anyone really think the media fascination with the plucky socialist was anything other than trying to weaken Clinton?

  44. 44
    Elizabelle says:

    @debbie: But it’s not.

    And the GOP is going to lie. They’re unhinged. Recall their terror when he wanted to address kids and tell them to study hard and stay in school.

    In the rear view mirror, it was important.

  45. 45
    Elizabelle says:


    The blurb from CNN:

    At a CNN town hall, [the independent senator from Vermont] said that the GOP’s strategy for President Obama was obstruction, but Democrats will work with President-elect Trump on any reasonable plan he proposes.

    There may be your loophole.

    Did not click or listen to the white-haired one bloviating. There is a reason that only one of his fellow senators endorsed him. (Is that correct?) They know their “revolutionary.”

  46. 46
    cosima says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Sending you some much needed good thoughts of love & peace. I just had this conversation yesterday with my daughter (our youngest, 11) — she asked why I still interact with some crazy-fundie people, and I said that it is part of practising compassion, that they lost a son to suicide while I worked with the husband, and I did a lot of hand-holding (literally & figuratively) with them both in the years that followed. We talked about mental illness, feeling helpless (the person with the illness & the people who care about them), providing support (to both sides), and about the never-ending sorrow that comes with the situation. And I felt able to tell her that that is how one of her best friends’ father died a couple of years ago — I had not been sure that she was able to understand, but last night I knew that she was as much as a person ever is.

    So much sadness, and not any way to ‘come to terms with it’ — at least I can’t imagine ever doing so. I’ll be thinking of you & your family.

  47. 47
    Baud says:

    @MomSense: The media plays us in various ways. They also planted stories about Clinton dissing Obama that weren’t true. They love stories about Dem in-fighting and betrayal because we eat it up. I’m 100% confident that they would have turned on Sanders if he were the nominee.

  48. 48
    MomSense says:


    Sen Booker is going to testify against the Sessions nomination. How long will it take certain progressives to complain he is too close to Wall Street?

  49. 49
    MomSense says:


    Of course they would have turned on him which is why the lack of critical stories about him was so telling.

  50. 50
    Hunter says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Really sorry to hear about your nephew. I wish there were something more I could say, but this is one of those instances where words just aren’t enough.

  51. 51
    gene108 says:


    How long will it take certain progressives to complain he is too close to Wall Street?

    Wall Street is a major employer in NY and NJ. A Senator from either of these states would be derelict in his/her duties to not have a connection to Wall Street.

    It’s not personal, it’s business.

    I wish my progressive betters could understand that.

  52. 52
    Baud says:

    @MomSense: All I ask — which may be too much — is that our internal fights be based on what our political leaders actually say in context, rather than what the media selectively quote or how they paraphrase it.

  53. 53
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Mustang Bobby: So sorry to hear about your nephew’s suicide. Hope your family finds peace with his death. I lost my BIL on December 9th. Still processing that he’s gone and praying for his wife and three sons. (hugs)

  54. 54
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Baud: The MSM does love their “Dems in Disarray!” narrative. I’m not interested enough in what BS has to say to listen to the town hall or read a transcript. But I’m betting it was something along the lines of, “If Trump adopts the policies I support on trade, minimum wage, wealth inequality, etc., I’d work with him to enact them.”

  55. 55
    Kathleen says:

    @MomSense: This. Also saw he was in top five of guests on talk shows, the first non rethug to make list in forever. If the media are ushing him it’s because he wants to destroy Dems. I saw some wuotes on Twitter and I’m sick.

  56. 56
    gene108 says:


    Of course they would have turned on him which is why the lack of critical stories about him was so telling.

    I do not think it would make a difference to his devotees, to whom he promised a democratic socialist utopia.

    And sadly, they are still a large chunk of the Democratic base.

  57. 57
    Kathleen says:

    @Baud: I’m not confident. of that at all,

  58. 58
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker: At some level, that’s no different than what the GOP said about Obama — they would work with him if he capitulated on everything.

    @Kathleen: I’m no Wilmer fan, but Shumer did appoint him to be he outreach guy.

  59. 59
    Mzinformation says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: So true. So well-said. Love this bolog. Love the Obamas.

  60. 60
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @MomSense: The idiot-ness of that way of thinking is painful to even hear about. What happened that Dems couldn’t get across a simple idea such as Obamacare = ACA? Our messaging needs to be calibrated and fine tuned.

  61. 61
    Baud says:

    @Kathleen: You don’t think the media would have turned on Sanders if he were the Democratic nominee? They would have done that even if he were a moderate, simply because he was our nominee. See Gore and Kerry.

  62. 62
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Mustang Bobby: My condolences to you and your extended family. I think suicide is the hardest way to lose someone you love, and losing a young person is the worst.

    You are absolutely right of course, depression is not a moral failing but a disease. *Sometimes* it can be treated and managed but like all diseases, some of us are unlucky and get a variation that just won’t respond to current treatments.

  63. 63
    JPL says:

    @Mustang Bobby: That is so sad, and I can’t imagine your brother’s pain.

  64. 64
    SiubhanDuinne says:




  65. 65
    JPL says:

    @Elizabelle: MSM covered parents who wanted to keep their snowflakes out of school that day. How about Michelle’s incentive on healthy eating. Republicans and MSM suck.

  66. 66
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I saw a graph the other day showing 47% of people want the ACA/Obamacare to remain, 27% (or something like that) want it repealed outright, and the remainder don’t want it repealed until they see what the GOP are going to replace it with.

    Obamacare or ACA, only a relatively small percentage want it flat out gone.

  67. 67
  68. 68
    danielx says:


    Amazing how often that 27% figure comes up.

  69. 69
    JPL says:

    @danielx: Viola Davis at the Golden Globes

    “I think that America in and of itself has been an affirmation, but I think we’ve fallen short a lot because there is no way that we can have anyone in office that is not an extension of our own belief system. So then, what does that say about us? And I think that, if you answer that question, I think that that says it all.”

  70. 70
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Heartbreaking. My heartfelt sympathies to you and your family.

  71. 71
    Emma says:

    @Mustang Bobby: oh Bobby. There aren’t words good enough to comfort you and your family. I am so sorry.

  72. 72
    CaseyL says:

    @Mustang Bobby: That’s heartbreaking. Mustang Bobby, my deepest sympathy to you and your family.

  73. 73
    Kathleen says:

    @Baud: Sorry Baud. I have to disagree. He is a Rethuglican tool. Shumer made bad decision. Only outreach I sefrom him is to Rethugs. He is doing nothing for Democrats. Nothing. annd he never will.

  74. 74
    hovercraft says:


    This is all too much like landing in the middle of Idiocracy for any kind of comfort.

    Remember way, way back during the campaign when references to Idiocracy were just liberals being snarky, (myself included), now it truly seems to have been a glimpse into our future. We must continue to resist, there have been a few tiny glimmers of hope, when we are load and raise our voices, they have backed off a couple of times. Yesterday the leader of the Freedom Caucus expressed reservations about repealing Obamacare, now that it’s real, the proponents of repeal are becoming nervous.

  75. 75
    CaseyL says:

    @rikyrah: The story is slightly more nuanced than the headline. What struck me, though, is that CNN covered Sanders’ town hall, rather than a Democrat’s town hall, to ask him, rather than an actual Democrat, what Democrats should and should not do. Because FSM forbid they should give an actual Democrat meaningful air time.

  76. 76
    Elizabelle says:

    @Kathleen: Wondering if Schumer’s appointment of Wilmer might be a case of “hold your friends close and your enemies closer.”

    Nothing to stop other Dems from outreach efforts.

  77. 77
    Emma says:

    @Patricia Kayden: most times I agree with you. But in this case I think you are missing the fact that the channels through which most people get their news were solidly behind the enemy. A lot of Americans live in a communication bubble and have for decades, but the so-called mainstream media has decided that telling the actual truth is “taking sides” and will not do it no matter the consequences.

    I don’t know how to fix this.

  78. 78
    TheDemLion says:

    We need to focus our strategy going forward, and take a full account of our remaining forces. By focusing all our power systems on several key points, we can hopefully turn this thing around in four years and stifle the reactionary Trump administration.

    1) Cabinet: Maximal denial.
    Focus on defeating each and every single one possible. No cooperation, no goodwill.
    -Tax issues for some.
    -Plagiarism issues
    -Conflicts of interest
    -Lack of experience
    -legal disqualification (in the case of Mattis).
    Specifically, make a big show out of fighting against Sessions for his racism, and the EPA guy for his climate denial.
    Have our media assets like MSNBC and our Web Presence like Media Matters broadcast the drama.

    2)Cleave the coalition:
    Find the splits in the GOP and Trump, and constantly try to setup showdowns between the two factions legislatively or on foreign policy ground.
    Broadcast the drama. Here, having acquired Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Sustern as assets might prove valuable to reaching out to the type of people we want to alienate from the Republicans.

    3) The lawsuit and scandal battle. Treat Trump like the Republicans did Clinton. We should have elite lawyers ready to sue him over everything and force discoveries which lead to more lawsuits which ultimately lead to credible impeachment threats. His personal corruption, business ties, mob ties, and nepotism should prove FERTILE ground for this.
    Again, have our media broadcast nonstop and ignore the rebuttals.

    4) Fix the ground game in the rust belt. Go back to traditional shoe leather, boots on the ground organizing, and run a candidate that runs a little stronger there. After Trump sells out all the blue collars, we’ll offer them a defense of the new deal.

    This was just a temporary setback, we still have a hard ass warrior party here folks! Follow the plan.

  79. 79
    laura says:

    @Mustang Bobby: I’m wishing you and your family peace and grace in this terrible time of loss. I cannot fathom the depth of despair and suffering your nephew bore and that the family must share.

  80. 80
    Jeffro says:

    I’d just like to send a belated thanks to Adam for the “funeral strippers” post and link – my friends and I are ALL OVER THIS. =)


  81. 81
    rikyrah says:


    27% (or something like that) want it repealed outright


  82. 82
    chris says:


    Schumer’s appointment of Wilmer

    what is this? Google keeps giving me Amy and some guy.

  83. 83
    Tazj says:

    @Mustang Bobby: I’m so sorry.

  84. 84
    rikyrah says:

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

    Nepotism vs. Harmless Lies
    by Martin Longman
    January 9, 2017 5:25 PM

    If you go to the New York Times today, you can learn that the president-elect will make his son-in-law a chief adviser despite nepotism laws that should preclude him from doing so, but not to worry because “the Trump team will muscle through — as it usually does.” You can also learn that there will be many hearings for Trump’s un-vetted, unqualified cabinet nominations, but the Democrats’ “complaints about the process may not resonate with the broader public, though they will surely continue.”

    Overall, they devote about a paragraph each to discussing these developments, but surely you’re more interested in this extensive treatment:

    As the president-elect attacked Ms. Streep in a phone call with The New York Times, he took a moment to say his inaugural celebrations are such a hot ticket that “dress shops” in the area are selling out.

    “We are going to have an unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout for the inauguration, and there will be plenty of movie and entertainment stars,” Mr. Trump said. “All the dress shops are sold out in Washington. It’s hard to find a great dress for this inauguration.”

    To which Washington-area stylists replied, “Huh.”

    “All of the stores in the area are set up with huge inaugural shops,” Lauren A. Rothman, a Washington-based stylist and author who is focusing on dressing around 30 clients for two inaugural balls. “When you walk in, you don’t even have to work hard to find the dress section.”

    Women who need dresses and accessories can find what they need at those oh-so-hard-to-find department stores Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and Nordstrom, she said. Two-strap styles and matte satin gowns in lengths that skim the floor are plentiful.

    Linda Giordano, an assistant manager of sales for Nordstrom at Tysons Corner Center in McLean, Va., said that there were no inventory issues and that women could reliably find dresses between $200 and $10,000 in the “happy colors,” including jewel-toned blues and bright pinks, that have been popular with inaugural ball shoppers.

    “If they’re looking for stylists we still have availability,” she said.

    Jan Batch, a stylist for Neiman Marcus at the nearby Tysons Galleria, put in her plug: “If you get a ticket today, call me.”

  85. 85
    rikyrah says:

    Quick Takes: Rushing Hearings on Trump Nominees
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    January 9, 2017 5:02 PM

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to rush through hearings on Trump’s nominees before they’ve completed background checks and ethics clearances. As Norm Eisen tweeted yesterday, this is simply another example of his hypocrisy.

    Mitch McConnell to Reid in 2009: nominee “financial disclosures must be complete… prior 2hearing being scheduled.”

    — Norm Eisen (@NormEisen) January 8, 2017

    In case that is difficult to read, the image is of a letter McConnell sent to Reid in 2009 enumerating the things that needed to be completed before hearings were scheduled on Obama’s nominees – including background checks and ethics clearances. McConnell writes:

    In consultation with our Ranking Members, we affirm our commitment to conduct the appropriate review of these nominations, consistent with the long standing and best practices of committees, regardless of which political party is in the majority.

    * After hearing from Democrats about the need to slow down the process, yesterday McConnell suggested that he would move forward with the rushed hearings and that Democrats need to “grow up.” That elicited some A+ trolling from Schumer on twitter today.

    Our requests are eminently reasonable, shared by leaders of both parties. I’ll return this letter to @SenateMajLdr with the same requests.

    — Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 9, 2017

  86. 86
    manyakitty says:

    @Mustang Bobby: I’m so very sorry to hear this. Depression sucks. May his memory be a blessing. Peace and love to you all.

  87. 87
    hedgehog mobile says:

    @Mustang Bobby: So sorry for your loss. Depression is a bitch.

  88. 88
    chris says:

    @TheDemLion: Become the Party of No!

    Also, blockquote, how does it work? Doh.

  89. 89
    Steeplejack says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    Sorry to hear this, man. Condolences to you and your family.

  90. 90
    Elizabelle says:

    @chris: Code for a senator from Vermont. Want to keep the trolls at bay.

  91. 91
    LAC says:

    @Mustang Bobby: I am so sorry for your loss. My brother took his life 6 years ago and it still eats at us. I sometimes think it was the catalyst for my mother’s decline in health. My heartfelt prayers for you and your family.

  92. 92
    tobie says:

    @Mustang Bobby: It’s hard to imagine the pain of this loss for you and your family. My sympathies to you.

  93. 93
    Spanky says:

    @Elizabelle: I’m glad you said something too.

    The best burn brightest, and it seems everyone I know who has battled depression has been exceedingly bright. It may be that stupid people suffer depression at the same rates as intelligent folks, but I haven’t seen it. Like a lot of folks, I haven’t been unscathed by its effects.

    Peace to you and your family.

  94. 94
    tobie says:

    @TheDemLion: I like your fighting spirit. I’m still finding it hard to get energized about politics after the shock and horror of the past few months but will try to push for some of the things you suggest.

  95. 95
    chris says:

    @Elizabelle: Got it, thanks

  96. 96
    gene108 says:


    The comical thing is Obana’s nominees all got their paperwork in well ahead of time, so it was a none issue.

    But somehow Trump’s nominees can’t be moved to get off their asses and get the paperwork done, so this mole hill level issue is turning into a mountain.

  97. 97
    tobie says:

    @MomSense: He is their useful idiot. He laps up all the attention they give him and they get to play up the story of the Dems in disarray. Remember the guy’s fury is directed not at Trump but at the Dem party which, according to him, has betrayed the common folk. They broadcast him and give him a platform to kill the Democratic party. That is the media’s game here. It’s a shame someone as smart as Chris Hayes doesn’t realize this.

  98. 98
    LAC says:

    @tobie: I could really do without his sputtering, spittle laden tirade having ass on TV.

  99. 99
    Ben Cisco says:

    @Mustang Bobby: My condolences to you and your family.

  100. 100
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Mustang Bobby: So sorry to hear it. Have battled depression most of my life, only a couple times been in a space so dark I thought about suicide. Too chicken to actually do it. Plus, there’s the whole WASP “not making a scene” thing to deal with – I can relate to that. But I’ve lost friends and family to the black dog, so I know how it hurts. Peace to you.

  101. 101
    Kathleen says:

    @Elizabelle: Good point Elizabelle.

  102. 102
    Steeplejack says:


    The origin of Wilmer. All credit to Jim, Foolish Literalist.

  103. 103
    Miss Bianca says:

    @rikyrah: PHUCK HIM. He’s part of the reason we’re in this mess. When I heard the Wilmerbros last night at the Democratic Central Committee meeting going on about how the Democratic Party in our state needed to “change” – in Wilmer’s image, natch, so we attract more “unaffiliateds” – I almost started swearing.

  104. 104
    Kathleen says:

    @tobie: It’s wilmer’s game too.

  105. 105
    Betty Cracker says:

    @gene108: That speaks to the basic incompetence of the transition team, and it’s no surprise since it’s run entirely by unqualified blood relatives and political toadies. It’s also a preview of the type of government Trump will run — incompetent, dysfunctional, roiled by infighting and unable to deliver on basic shit. It’ll be a horror show for us as citizens. But also an opportunity if Democrats play their cards right.

  106. 106
    Hill Dweller says:

    @gene108: Obama’s nominees did have all their paper work in early, but that didn’t stop Republicans from bringing people in to literally conduct tax audits on his nominees. Remember all the “tax issues” with Obama’s early nominees?

  107. 107
    Betty Cracker says:

    I’ve figured out from context who “Wilmer” is and can guess the reason for that term’s use (so as not to set off Google alerts). But I’m curious about its origin. Can someone ‘splain?

  108. 108
    Yoda Dog says:

    @TheDemLion: If MSNBC, Greta and Megyn are now our “assets”? we are even more fucked than I already thought. Agree with your #4 though, we need to work the local/ground game everywhere, no less so than the rust belt.

    Jeez, this wilmer guy used to be an inspiration to me in another, saner world I used to live in. Or maybe I just wasn’t paying enough attention. He is NOT our friend, imo. Neither is CNN. We obviously can’t allow shitstain and his crime syndicate a millimeter of ground; we all know they are monsters. Somebody send mr. berns the memo…

    Very sorry for your loss, Bobby.

  109. 109
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Betty Cracker: See Steeplejack’s comment @ 103

  110. 110
  111. 111
    sherparick1 says:

    The NY Times political writers are the “Dug and the dogpack” of political coverage. Just say “squirrel” and they are off after the next shiny piece of trivia.

  112. 112
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Miss Bianca & @Steeplejack: Thanks!

  113. 113
    The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion says:

    @Mustang Bobby: I feel you. My niece passed away over the Christmas holiday (endstage renal disease) at the age of 36. Her father left before she was born, so I was the male role model in her life, and she was the closest thing to a daughter I’ll ever have. May whatever face of the Divine speaks most to you shine on you in this hour of grief.

  114. 114
    Librarian says:

    @Betty Cracker: Whenever I saw a reference to “Wilmer”, I thought of the character form the “Maltese Falcon.”

  115. 115
    Yoda Dog says:

    @Librarian: It weirdly makes me think of Wilmer Valderama’s character on That 70’s Show, which kinda works for me…

  116. 116
    RoonieRoo says:

    @Mustang Bobby: I am so sorry. I’m going to say the thing that nobody will say and you might not be at the place yet to hear it but I hope that at some point you will remember this and won’t be offended. When my husband committed suicide, I heard the whole range of things from family and friends. Many of it good and helpful, a lot that was jaw dropping that anybody would even say that to a grieving widow, and one thing that has stuck with me.

    At my husbands service, as everyone was telling me what a wonderful man he had been, how very sorry they were and all the typical things, one woman stood out. She was the best friend of my mother-in-law and came up, hugged me and said “He was a selfish asshole. What a complete jerk to kill himself and leave you like this.” She was the only person that gave me permission to feel really angry at him. It was a bit liberating. Now, losing a husband is much different than losing a child (even if he was an adult). But, I suspect that in time, the family members might need some “permission” to accept their anger that they will feel. In that moment, she simply told me that I was not a horrible person to have some feelings of anger and it was perfectly okay to have those feelings. Sometimes, it’s hard to accept those feelings when everyone is only expressing sorrow and sadness and only saying the wonderful things about the person.

    It’s been 18 years for me since my husbands suicide and I still “talk” to him and once in a blue-moon, I still tell him he was a bit of an asshole. Understanding those feelings of anger, I believe, helped me heal.

  117. 117
    hovercraft says:

    He’s my senator, being from Jersey, he has a large constituency that works on Wall Street, many of this states constituents income is dependent on Wall Street, so of course he is more responsive to their concerns than most liberals would like. I’m all for holding his and Schumer’s and Gillebrand’s feet to the fire, but I will remind everyone that this is par for the course for every representative, they cater to their home state constituent’s concerns. Elizabeth Warren, progressive hero was one of the main advocates for the repeal of the medical device tax, because she has many of the manufactures in her home state, BS, has record on guns that is the polar opposite of what liberals want, because Vermont is a big gun state. Remember when Gillebrand was first appointed by Patterson, there was a lot of grumbling from the left because she was too conservative, she turned out okay. Another person we forget there was pissing and moaning about is Barrack Obama, he was for “clean coal”, he was too close to coal, he was going to sell us out to the fossil fuel industry. Everything is relative, and also too, all politics is local.

    My point is that he has shown some promise, but the jury is still out. He shows a little too much willingness to want to reconcile with the other side, even though they show every day that they are bat shit crazy.

  118. 118
    hovercraft says:

    @Mustang Bobby:
    How terrible for you and your family. I’m so sorry. Hugs and good thoughts for you and yours.

  119. 119
    Betty Cracker says:

    @The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion: How terrible. I’m sorry for your loss. :(

  120. 120
    hovercraft says:

    Sessions confirmation hearing.

    Voting rights advocate Gerry Herbert on Tuesday submitted written testimony against Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) for the senator’s confirmation hearing to be attorney general, arguing that Sessions is “dangerously outside the mainstream” on civil rights……

    “Since 1986, instead of demonstrating that he has taken seriously the criticisms that derailed his judicial nomination, Mr. Sessions has opposed the rights of minorities at every turn,” he wrote. “It is not merely that Mr. Sessions is politically conservative—there are many conservatives I respect and whom I believe would make exemplary Attorneys General. It is that Mr. Sessions has shown himself to be dangerously outside the mainstream on the most basic issues of fairness and equal rights under the law.”

    Click here for his full written testimony.

    Sessions Failed To Disclose Oil Holdings To Office Of Gov’t Ethics

    “The fact that his oil is in a federal wildlife refuge means he should not be involved in DOJ policies concerning drilling or environmental issues,” said Trevor Potter, former commissioner and chair of the Federal Election Commission. “Clearly he should have disclosed the asset.”

    The Post noted that, should be confirmed as Trump’s attorney general, Sessions would lead the Justice Department’s environment and natural resources division, which houses 400 lawyers.

  121. 121
    hovercraft says:

    @The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion:
    I’m sorry for your loss, hugs and good thoughts to you and your family.

  122. 122
    Yarrow says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Deepest condolences on your loss. Wishing you and your family peace as you navigate the weeks and months ahead.

  123. 123
    chris says:

    @Steeplejack:Thanks, I missed that. It’s hard to keep up

  124. 124
    hovercraft says:

    What the fuck is wrong with these people? Booman needs to pull his head out of his ass.

    No, Meryl Streep Is Not The Reason Jeff Sessions Will Be Approved

    By Steve M.

    BooMan, I’m with you on most things, but not this:

    I have no problem with Meryl Streep having her say about what she thinks of our incoming president. I think it’s fine that screenwriters for the show Blackish decided to use their platform to make an anti-Trump statement, and I see no problem with promoting the show during NFL playoff games. However, when I go look at today’s Memeorandum, I notice that you have to scroll quite a way down the page before you see any articles dedicated to Trump’s nominees to serve in his cabinet. All anyone seems to be talking about are these stories about Streep, and rednecks who are pissed at blacks for badmouthing the president-elect during their Houston Texans game, and Kellyanne Conway spinning all of this nonsense the best she can.

    I think this is how Trump managed to pull off his miracle election. People can’t focus on the important things.

    … every second wasted on Meryl Streep is a benefit to Trump and the prospects for his nominees to sail through the confirmation process with little fuss.

    Of course Trump wants to talk about the Golden Globes. He wants you to talk about him talking about the Golden Globes.

    It’s a simple game he plays, and it’s hard to combat it.

    The problem is, we weren’t talking about Jeff Sessions and Rex Tillerson and Betsy DeVos even before Streep’s speech. Obviously, politically engaged progressives were. But the rest of the country wasn’t. Streep’s speech didn’t divert America’s attention from Trump’s horrible Cabinet because a huge percentage of America wasn’t paying attention in the first place.

    My bold, when will these people stop trying to make us apologize for what we believe in? Do they truly believe that the only way for us to win is to hide, and b republican lite? These are the same people who then turn around and say that Hillary was too corpratist or something. STFU, you are not helping.

  125. 125
    GregB says:

    My condolences Bobby.

  126. 126
    MomSense says:


    My point is that this is an all hands on deck situation so I don’t give a crap about wall street for the moment. We have to keep Sessions out of Justice.

  127. 127
    Betty Cracker says:

    @hovercraft: Steve M is absolutely correct. Those of us who ARE paying attention can walk and chew gum. Those who aren’t can’t be distracted from an issue they didn’t give a shit about in the first place.

    I do think the media is going to have to figure out how to deal with a firehose of non-stop bullshit, and the signs that they’re capable of doing so aren’t promising. Team Shitgibbon is like a Denial of Service attack, flooding the media with so much bullshit that they can’t focus on the important stuff. But the answer isn’t to tell Americans to shut up.

  128. 128
    Steeplejack says:

    @The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion:

    Very sorry about your niece. My condolences.

  129. 129
    Larkspur says:

    @tobie: I like Chris Hayes, but yes, you’re right. Last night I was about to turn the TV off toward the end of RMaddow, when what to my wrinkly face did appear but the glorious sight of Joy Reid taking Lawrence O’Donnell’s spot. Love me some Joy Reid reporting.

  130. 130
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Mustang Bobby: I’m so very sorry to read this. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  131. 131
    Larkspur says:

    @RoonieRoo: Thanks for telling that story.

    …She was the only person that gave me permission to feel really angry at him. It was a bit liberating….

    Bless her for that. I’m not sure I could speak up like that, although I’d want to. It does seem necessary to get angry…and then, you hope, to eventually forgive. But to never allow yourself to feel that anger – if you have it, and it’s different for everyone – kind of thwarts your ability to say to him, “Why did you do that, you jerk? If you weren’t dead I’d kill you. You should have let me help. Because I loved you and I still do, because you were more than a knucklehead, so much more. So I forgive you.”

    It’s painful because you keep imagining alternate histories. I have a friend whose 16-year-old daughter hanged herself. I’m specifying the method because it’s so determined. It wasn’t an attempt at a suicide attempt, which I did via an overdose when I was 19 – mine was definitely a cry for help. When I was in the hospital afterwards, I encountered a man who tried to hang himself but his son came home unexpectedly and got him down. Pure chance. His eyes were all bloodshot and he had a terrible burn on his neck, but by chance someone had been there. Of course I don’t know what happened to him later, but in the short time I knew him, he was still depressed but he was no longer suicidal.

    So in these torturous alternate realities, you want to imagine being that son who just happened to show up. If that girl’s mom had gotten sick and come home from work early, she might have intervened despite her daughter’s commitment to death. And the thing is, if you survive, your life can get better. That’s what makes you want to yell at them, even though you love them.

  132. 132
    chopper says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    oh jesus, bobby, i’m so sorry.

  133. 133
    J R in WV says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    So sorry for your loss!! No good words for such an event, except to say how sorry we are.

    Stay close as you can with all of them, and take care of yourself, too.

    Reality bites!

  134. 134
    J R in WV says:


    If Sessions perjured himself to the Ethics watchdog, by omitting sensitive and lucrative investments from his sworn paperwork, he disqualified himself from holding the Attorney General position right there.

    End of story.

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