Attorney-General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions Can Do Many Dirty Jobs At Once


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The Depraved Leprechaun, busy with the tasks Lord Smallgloves hired him for…

And he’s gonna use the Nixon Administration’s favorite shortcut to guarantee a full supply of “dangerous repeat offenders”…


While giving his sponsor’s Russian connections a wink & nod…

THANKS, REPUBLICANS!

189 replies
  1. 1
    LAO says:

    I get that Betsy DeVos was most democrats worst nightmare of an appointment, BUT Sessions is my personal worst nightmare. The damage that he will do — almost incalculable.

  2. 2

    I know I sound like a broken record. But we KNOW the right is completely unhinged. Nothing they say or do should surprise us. What we have to focus on, what our sole focus needs to be, is how to take our country back from these criminals.

  3. 3
    Eural Joiner says:

    You know of all the things that I’ve seen “catapulted” by this admin so far this is crazy out of step with contemporary US culture both conservative and liberal. I live in a red state and many R’s are friends, neighbors and colleagues of mine – and most are moderately open about smoking pot and pushing to get legalization on the books here. Amongst my liberal friends it’s no longer moderate at all, it’s just a given. What a weird topic to pounce on – it’s like Sessions hasn’t been a part of modern society since the 80’s.

  4. 4
    A Ghost to Most says:

    You misspelled Confederate in the title.

  5. 5

    @LAO: if the Department of Education had the sort of power over education that the Department of Justice has over ‘justice’, I think they’d be equals in horrible.

  6. 6

    @Eural Joiner: I believe this miscalculation will be key to quickening their downfall if they actually begin to implement it. I doubt my state (CO) will go quietly on the issue.

  7. 7
    Ryan says:

    Imagine, we could have had tacos, AND marijuana at every corner!

  8. 8
    currants says:

    @LAO: They are ALL my worst nightmare. DeVos, Pruitt, Sessions…the list is LONG.

  9. 9
    SRW1 says:

    “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

    Real ‘Muricans get pissed on alo…, alohol.

  10. 10
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @Ryan:
    In Colorado, we do, for now.

  11. 11
    greennotGreen says:

    We’re not supposed to wish ill on others, but if Sessions could just walk a bit in my shoes, or, more accurately, bend over the toilet awhile in my bathroom, maybe he would reconsider the whole, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana,” idea. Marijuana does give me real relief from cancer-related nausea with fewer side effects than some of the other anti-nausea drugs. And he would deny me and others that relief because of the suspicion that somewhere, someone is having fun? There’s someone here who’s not a good person, but it’s not the one smoking marijuana.

  12. 12
    WereBear says:

    @Eural Joiner: What a weird topic to pounce on – it’s like Sessions hasn’t been a part of modern society since the 80’s.

    It’s Jim Crow all over again. A supply of prison labor is like bringing back slavery.

  13. 13
    ruemara says:

    They’re all nightmares. All of them

  14. 14
    Another Scott says:

    @Eural Joiner: It’s from the same playbook as Meese’s war on pornography. It’s a way to federally demonize something that isn’t terribly dangerous but activates the lizard brains of their supporters. It highlights the “us vs. them” culture wars and makes their voters more likely to turn out.

    Or so they think.

    Eventually crap like this, and flag burning, and balanced budget amendments, and the like, stopped working. Here’s hoping this won’t work this time either.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  15. 15

    @greennotGreen: wish ill on Sessions all you want!

  16. 16
    LAO says:

    Between the increased use of private prisons (which are almost universally shit holes), the withdrawal of federal oversight on local/state law enforcement and the Justice Department’s abandonment of civil rights protections — really terrible things are coming.

    ETA: Whether anyone agrees with me or not — I believe there is a qualitative difference to the damage Sessions can inflict on civil society.

  17. 17
    Aleta says:

    Police already confiscate and damage cellphones used to tape them, even store security cameras, even though it’s legal. Now he has announced he’ll reduce or abolish federal oversight over police depts. Does the legality of citizens taping police actions come from federal law and courts?

  18. 18
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

    Good people are not racist assholes.

  19. 19
    TriassicSands says:

    @LAO:

    I don’t think anyone thought that DeVos was the most consequential nightmare. She was simply the one who was so obviously unqualified and unfit to fill the position for which she had been nominated.

    As for who the “worst nightmare” is that remains to be seen but Sessions has to be on everyone’s short list. Joining him would be Scott Pruitt (EPA) and Tom Price (Health and Human Services). They can all do tremendous damage and I wouldn’t argue with anyone who, for personal reasons, named any one of the three as the worst of the worst. They are all extremely bad.

    That said, Trump’s nominees are so uniformly bad that we may see other contenders steal the title.

  20. 20
    hovercraft says:

    AG Sessions says vows to “recuse myself on anything that I should recuse myself from.”

    Well we know from previous calls from “conservatives”, like Thomas ans Scalia, that they almost never feel the need to recuse themselves, unlike democrats who are riddled with conflicts of interests, conservatives have the ability to be impartial and just call balls and strikes. Sessions after all wasn’t AG, when the Russia shenanigans went down he was a senator, see, no need to recuse.

    President Bannon’s goal is unwind everything Obama did, they will gut the civil rights division that Perez rebuilt, not only will they not sue or investigate police departments, they will encourage them to go further, and do more profiling, more arrests for non violent drug crimes, I guarantee that marijuana arrests will be concentrated in black and brown neighborhoods, more death penalty, more spying on minority communities, more incarceration, more profits.

    Bottom line, this justice department has two goals, make more money for the private prison industry, and incarcerate and terrorize as many black and brown people as possible, remind them that this is not their country. They may have been allowed to get cocky during the Obama years, but those days are over, time to remember your place, massa’s back. Fucking klansmen.

  21. 21
    amk says:

    THANKS, REPUBLICANS VOTERS!

  22. 22
    Yarrow says:

    I expect “follow the money” has something to do with the marijuana policy comments. There’s a lot of money in the industry and Sessions probably wants a cut. Wasn’t there some push to get it legalized in a state like PA but it failed because it would only have allowed big businesses to run it or something? I’d expect Session to support something like that, so long as he gets a cut, because “consumers deserve protection or some crap.

  23. 23
    LAO says:

    @TriassicSands: You make a fair point about Pruitt and Price — as a federal criminal defense attorney I am very focused on Sessions — but those two are awful as well.

  24. 24
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @hovercraft:

    President Bannon’s goal is unwind everything Obama did

    And Madison, and Jefferson, and Franklin, and Adams, and John Hancock…

  25. 25
    Barbara says:

    @Eural Joiner: i

    t’s like Sessions hasn’t been a part of modern society since the 80’s.

    And you find this surprising why? But really, you need to read between the lines. Marijuana enforcement falls wildly disproportionately on black Americans. Your (I assume) white friends have little to fear here. But more optimistically, this is where states can make a difference by refusing to make possession of marijuana a crime. Predicate state prosecutions can feed into draconian federal sentences when a person is prosecuted at the federal level. Even making possession of marijuana a misdemeanor could go a long way to neuter Sessions’ desire to stick as many black people in jail as he can get away with.

  26. 26
    Mary G says:

    How’s he going to jail all those not-white people if it’s taken away?

  27. 27
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Yarrow: It was Ohio, and it was set up so that a few select outfits would in effect have a monopoly on selling legal pot.

  28. 28
    D58826 says:

    Only slightly OT but any one taking bets on how long McMaster remains as NATSEC ADvisor. With his reference to radical Islamic terrorism last night Trump basically gave McMAster the finger in public and demoted him to Private McMaster.

  29. 29
    WereBear says:

    Big Pharma is neck deep in the pushback against legalized and medical marijuana; for obvious, profit-driven reasons.

    In the meantime, the Trump pick for FDA Commissioner wants to dismantle the FDA.

    Destroying the FDA to save it? No, just destroying it

    But who is Jim O’Neill? First of all, let’s look at what he isn’t. He isn’t what the FDA commissioner has traditionally been, someone with a medical background, either as a physician or a scientist. He was, however, principal associate deputy secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services under George W. Bush, whatever that means. What he is is managing director at Mithril Capital Management, the firm founded by Paypal and Facebook backer Peter Thiel. (No conflicts of interest there with the pharmaceutical and medical device companies that the FDA regulates, right?)

    Not surprisingly, O’Neill is a free market fundamentalist, seemingly believing that all that pesky FDA regulation is unnecessary and that the magic of the free market will deliver life-saving drugs and devices at low prices while weeding out the bad stuff:

    In a talk at a 2009 conference, O’Neill touted the advantages of freer markets for a wide variety of health-care goods and services.

    “Basically, because there’s not a free market in health care, people are suffering very significant health consequences that in a free market they would not suffer,” he said in a talk at the 2009 Seasteading Conference. Among other advantages, a free market in health care “would drive prices much lower and allow innovation in cheaper delivery of care, both in terms of drugs and devices and better forms of delivery,” he said.

    As I like to say: This worked so well before the founding of the FDA in 1906. Anyone remember where the term “snake oil salesmen” came from?

    There’s a video at the link. Hear what he says. He means it.

  30. 30
    hovercraft says:

    @ruemara:

    They’re all nightmares. All of them

    THIS
    Every single appointee is awful and dangerous, we may all have our own particular area of concern, but they are all of them go to inflict terrible damage on our nation. Some of the high profile positions may get the bulk of attention but they are all doing things each and everyday to undermine our way of life, and our safety. This was the plan, as Bannon told CPAC last week they were chosen for this purpose, to come in and blow everything up, dismantle the government and any and all the protections it offers, except of course big business and the mega rich.

  31. 31
    D58826 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I suspect that he would like to unwind history all the way back to Runnymede. King John was treated so badly by his nobles with that Magna Carta thing.

  32. 32
    hovercraft says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    So you’re saying he wants Twitler to follow in the footsteps of President Jefferson Davis?
    Come to think of it perhaps that’s what I’ll call him going forward. Jefferson Davis the Second.

  33. 33
    waspuppet says:

    So we can add “scientifically” and “summaries” to the list of words Jefferson Beauregard Dumbass Sessions doesn’t know the meanings of.

    But hey — how can you expect the Attorney General of the United States to take the time to read a DOJ report?

    I repeat. Dumbass.

  34. 34
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @LAO: You got that right. Placing a KKK-sympathizer in the chief attorney position isn’t going to bode well for minorities of any kind. The Voting Rights Act is pretty much dead now and I’m waiting for him to declare BLM to be a terrorist group. Tough times ahead but we will survive and resist. Some of us have been through worse.

  35. 35

    @D58826: it’s not like McMaster was unaware Trump campaigned on saying that phrase out loud a lot.

  36. 36
    1,000 Flouncing Lurkers (was fidelioscabinet) says:

    @Eural Joiner: He hasn’t. He got a good look at modern society in the 1960s and it scared him so much he ran all the way back to 1919.

  37. 37
    hovercraft says:

    @Barbara:
    That is the only glimmer of hope for this crackdown on marijuana, a major impetus for the prison reform movement and the reason so many people thought or hoped it would get done was the states, and in particular republican governors, incarceration is steadily devouring more and more of state budgets every year, and with so many of them constitutionally bound to balanced budgets, they are forced to slash things the public likes. How many states are going to go along with this edict?

  38. 38
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @TaMara (HFG): Yes, that’s the only thing we can do to remedy all the damage they’re going to inflict in the next four years.

  39. 39
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Eural Joiner: Perhaps this will convince some Rs and Libertarians to vote for Democrats next time around. We can hope.

  40. 40
    randy khan says:

    @TriassicSands:

    I don’t think anyone thought that DeVos was the most consequential nightmare. She was simply the one who was so obviously unqualified and unfit to fill the position for which she had been nominated.

    As for who the “worst nightmare” is that remains to be seen but Sessions has to be on everyone’s short list. Joining him would be Scott Pruitt (EPA) and Tom Price (Health and Human Services). They can all do tremendous damage and I wouldn’t argue with anyone who, for personal reasons, named any one of the three as the worst of the worst. They are all extremely bad.

    That said, Trump’s nominees are so uniformly bad that we may see other contenders steal the title.

    All of them, Katie.

  41. 41
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: And the big outfits were pre-selected and glaringly well-connected. I mean, even the Cincinnati Enquirer thought we needed to know exactly how well-connected they all were.

    Remember this when Kasich starts campaigning for the White House.

  42. 42
    D58826 says:

    @Major Major Major Major: True but media reports are that he pushed very hard not to have it included in the speech.

  43. 43
    Barbara says:

    @hovercraft: Plus, as opioid drug offenses and crimes connected to them proliferate, these states are forced to deal with imprisoning white people, a far less appealing project for most of them. Opioid users are much more likely to support their habit through criminal activity, first because it’s hard for them to hold jobs, and second, because they are physically dependent, unlike the average marijuana user.

  44. 44
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    And Madison, and Jefferson, and Franklin, and Adams, and John Hancock…

    Yes, one gets the impression Bannon has problems with us moving from the Articles of Confederation.

  45. 45
    Kay says:

    The Depraved Leprechaun,

    Hah! Confirmed. He looked little to me so I wondered.

  46. 46
    hovercraft says:

    How seriously will the AG pursue things like this, as Adam says, it is asd that this has become a daily thing.
    Bullet Hole Discovered In Indiana Synagogue Window

    The FBI is reportedly investigating a shot through the window of a synagogue in Evansville, Indiana.

    Adath B’Nai Israel Temple’s office manager discovered a shot through a classroom window on Monday afternoon, the Evansville Courier & Press reported, steps away from a playground.

    “Someone had to walk into a children’s playground, then look into a classroom and then fire some sort of weapon,” Rabbi Gary Mazotold told the paper. “It was to inflict damage, but I think more importantly, (the person) tried to inflict fear.”

    “We’re in this climate now where acts of hate are happening everywhere,” he said.

    And he has assholes like this trying to deflect:

    Trump Associate Tries To Spin Tweet Suggesting Dems Behind Anti-Semitism
    Anthony Scaramucci, an associate of President Trump, tried on Wednesday to walk back a tweet apparently suggesting that Democrats were behind a recent wave of anti-Semitic incidents across the country.

    “It sounds like you were suggesting that the Democrats were behind it,” CNN’s Alisyn Camerota pointed out, citing Scaramucci’s Tuesday tweets about the threats.

    “I’m not suggesting the Democrats were behind it. What I was really suggesting in that tweet is that we actually don’t know who’s behind it,” Scaramucci said.

  47. 47
    WereBear says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Perhaps this will convince some Rs and Libertarians to vote for Democrats next time around.

    We don’t need them. We need Democrats to turn out.

    Voter turnout is at historic lows because our own voters don’t see enough getting done. It IS progressing, but that’s not what the media tells them: they celebrate Republican victories even if they have to fake them.

    We can only hope the cognitive dissonance outruns the acquisition of power. We’ve been screaming for decades that this was what was going to happen.

    No one outside of our political junkie world believed us.

  48. 48
    1,000 Flouncing Lurkers (was fidelioscabinet) says:

    @WereBear: The FDA got its real boost from the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which was passed in the wake of the elixir of sulfanilamide tragedy. Harold Watkins, of the Massengill Company, didn’t realize he’d produced a poisonous compound in his efforts to develop a liquid sulfa drug that could be given more easily to children and others who weren’t able to swallow pills easily. But he had no external oversight, and Massengill was poised to make a killing with the new product.

    It was a killer, all right–the death toll is estimated at 100.

  49. 49
    Ian G. says:

    This ugly Confederate’s face makes me want to do crazy things, like name a theoretical future son of mine “Grant Sherman Sheridan Stevens Sumner”. My wife might not go for it.

  50. 50
    kindness says:

    I really do think re-criminalizing marijuana on the Federal level plays into Sessions/Bannon/Ryan/McConnels pipe dream of keeping dirty hippie Democrats from being able to vote because they have felony convictions.

    Kinda conspiracy theoryish but I’m not all that far off the mark with this Administration.

  51. 51
    1,000 Flouncing Lurkers (was fidelioscabinet) says:

    @hovercraft: Also, in 2015, Colorado collected $70 million in marijuana taxes. A lot of governors and legislatures have to be thinking about that. Most people don’t have a lot to say against taxes on things like alcohol and tobacco; if you don’t like the tax, the use of the product is not essential. And $70 million is not exactly chickenfeed, in state budget terms.

  52. 52
    gene108 says:

    @LAO:

    Between the increased use of private prisons (which are almost universally shit holes), the withdrawal of federal oversight on local/state law enforcement and the Justice Department’s abandonment of civil rights protections — really terrible things are coming.

    This is what Trump campaigned on and this is what appealed to a lot of his voters; the crackdown on those uppity Negroes, demanding police stop shooting them for no reason.

    Sessions’ DoJ is going to do a lot of damage to civil rights in this country.

    I just hope our side does not get burned out by the overwhelming mountain of shit coming out of the Trump Administration, because so much needs to be fought.

  53. 53

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Perhaps this will convince some Rs and Libertarians to vote for Democrats next time around. We can hope.

    Yes, because they’ve got such a good track record at voting for politicians who advance their interests.

  54. 54
    Immanentize says:

    @LAO: Totally agree — it is already happening. The consent decrees that DOJ entered with police agencies cannot just be ignored — courts should appoint independent masters if the DOJ won’t do it’s job. That is a litigation game I might be interested in working on.

    PS Hi LAO!

  55. 55
    TriassicSands says:

    @randy khan:

    Who the hell is Katie?

    But if you had to choose…?

  56. 56
    Kay says:

    @Barbara:

    first because it’s hard for them to hold jobs,

    This is weird and counterintuitive, but opioid users can hold jobs for much longer than meth users. They function for a long time before they have to be full-time drug addicts. I think that’s part of how it snuck up on us. Meth was like a lightening bolt and then a burning building. This gradually got worse and worse because they weren’t crashing and burning. They were sliding rather slowly and then they all seemed to bottom out at the same time. We didn’t know there were so many.

  57. 57
    TriassicSands says:

    @LAO:

    It’s really difficult to say who can or will do the most damage. All three departments have considerable reach.

    Sessions will almost certainly be responsible for egregious violations of peoples’ right to vote. He’s going to support things that will very likely increase police violence and excessive use of force with decreased scrutiny and accountability (not exactly in abundance now). I think it’s fair to say that for as long as Beauregard is in office black lives won’t matter — except as photo ops and PR props. The list goes on.

    The damage to the environment that Pruitt and Trump will do will almost certainly result in many pollution-related deaths and illnesses. They pose a major threat to already endangered species and will likely push many more species toward endangered status.

    And over at HHS, Price will be working hard to kill (effectively) Medicaid and privatize Medicare. The fact that Trump has promised not to cut Social Security and Medicare (but no promise for Medicaid) could be viewed at least two different ways. First, Trump is a pathological liar so his promise means nothing. Or second, should he actually remain true to that promise it will greatly limit at least some of the damage that Price could do. Take your pick.

    If you are being disenfranchised or beaten by police, then Sessions may be your man.

    If you’ve got asthma or live near various factories or power plants, then you might give the nod to Pruitt.

    If you’ve got an elderly parent who is in a nursing home courtesy of Medicaid or if you have a life-threatening disease and can’t afford health insurance, then your worst nightmare might well be Price.

    There are just too many ways these three can threaten too many people to make it easy to say who is or will be the worst. One way to decide might be to determine who is best at doing the job he was chosen to do. The better the person does the job Trump chose him to do, the more damage that person will inflict.

    And since almost every one of Trump’s cabinet picks is world class terrible someone else may surface. There’s just too much badness.

  58. 58
    germy says:

    @kindness: Even the bundy gang smoked joints during their occupation. What demographic is beauregard reaching for? Distillers?

  59. 59
    The Moar You Know says:

    Perhaps this will convince some Rs and Libertarians to vote for Democrats next time around. We can hope.

    @Patricia Kayden: I don’t understand this kind of thinking. Why on Earth would they? They have said time and time again this is what they want.

  60. 60
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Let us consider the idiocy of obsessing over the made up problem of Reefer Madness while ignoring the very real problem of Opiate addiction. Government by foolish and arrogant old men.

    I suppose it’s just as well because Sessions is the kind of authoritarian twit who would make being a heroin junky a positive political statement if he got involved.

  61. 61
    trollhattan says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    Correct, they’d rather drink Drano, something I agree they should consider.

  62. 62
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ian G.: Just go with Sherman Sherman Sherman Sherman and have him unleash all hell from Atlanta to the sea.

  63. 63
    Immanentize says:

    @Eural Joiner: I’ve long said here and elsewhere that the marijuana prosecutions will be this administrations ‘Tell’ and its downfall. Most Trump voters I know are either OK with pot or are committed pot heads. Not the Olds like Sessions, but all the middle aged red necks and racists, everyone on a motorcycle, almost every factory worker I know (which is surprisingly quite a few from my old ‘hood) and even most of the cops and prosecutors I work with….

    This will piss them off!

  64. 64
    Barbara says:

    @germy: No, he is searching for selective enforcement.

  65. 65
    Timurid says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: …and Rousseau and Locke and Petrarch and Socrates…

  66. 66
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @The Moar You Know: Libertarians may not realize it, because critical thinking skills missing, but what they are aiming for is a return to feudalism. One of their delusions is that they will be the feudal lords.

  67. 67
    Immanentize says:

    @Another Scott: Scott, as I said about marijuana, Sessions is living in the ’80’s if he thinks crack downs on pot or pornography mean anything these days. It’s only functional value is allowing the federal government into almost every person’s business. These two ‘crimes’ are so ubiquitous that thee is no space the government cannot tread n their search for these crimes.

  68. 68
    hovercraft says:

    Bannon Is Getting Cold Feet on Obamacare Repeal
    by Nancy LeTourneau March 1, 2017

    Buried pretty deep in an article by Juliet Eilperin and Amy Goldstein is a very interesting nugget about the battle lines that have formed within the White House on repealing Obamacare.

    Within the administration, aides are debating how far and fast Republicans can afford to move when it comes to undoing key aspects of the ACA. White House officials declined to comment for this story.

    Several people in Trump’s orbit are eager to make bold changes to reduce the government’s role in the health-care system. That camp includes Vice President Pence, who told conservative activists last week that “America’s Obamacare nightmare is about to end,” as well as Domestic Policy Council aides Andrew Bremberg and Katy Talento and National Economic Council aide Brian ­Blasé…

    Other White House advisers, according to multiple individuals who asked for anonymity to describe private discussions, have emphasized the potential political costs to moving aggressively. That group includes Kushner, NEC Director Gary Cohn, senior policy adviser Stephen Miller and chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon.

    So the guy who wants to deconstruct the administrative state is getting cold feet about moving aggressively to repeal Obamacare. This is the same guy who told the CPAC audience that they needed to fight every day to take their country back and seems to have embraced chaos as a management philosophy. So what’s up with that?………….

    Jay Willis puts it pretty bluntly.

    White nationalists: Can’t win with ’em, can’t win without ’em!…

    It turns out—prepare to be shocked—that there might be a hard ceiling for a nationwide political campaign that defines itself not by its concrete policy proposals, but instead by its vague, general commitments to things like jingoism, isolationism, and ethnonationalism…Trump voters might be intrigued by the idea of a homogenous society in which everyone greets each other with some variation of “Make America Great Again,” but that prospect gets a lot less appealing when access to badly-needed healthcare disappears overnight.…………….

  69. 69
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Ohio Mom: I found the list — don’t know how to do links on my phone. One of the outfits that was going to be given exclusive rights to grow marijuana in Ohio was a member of the Taft family (yes, those Tafts), to give you an example of how insider the outfits were.

    Luckily, the issue was defeated.

  70. 70
    Immanentize says:

    @Barbara: This — selective enforcement. That has always been the war on drugs playbook.

    ETA and I am not trying to be coy, so let’s say it — prosecute black and browns while leaving the poor whites alone.

  71. 71
    kindness says:

    @germy: While possibly true there will be Federal discretion as to who to take to trial on felony charges. No one is going to believe a person’s political affiliation won’t play a big part in that. Ex – see Trump’s Russia connection.

  72. 72
    Ian G. says:

    @Immanentize:

    Thinking that too. Just listen to how much country music cekebrates smoking weed these days. Other than elderly members of the “Sherman Burned Our Family Estate and Stole Our Negroes” society like Sessions, I don’t see how this plays with Trump’s base.

    Alaska has legalized, FFS. Is Alaska all dirty hippie libruls, Jeffy?

  73. 73
    Barbara says:

    @Immanentize: It’s true. Manufacturing workers have high levels of substance use, which is kind of a problem because manufacturing jobs often require the use or manipulation of heavy equipment and complex machinery. I worked at a factory for a summer, and the first question I was asked on my first day on the job was whether I was “cool,” which I understood to mean whether I would snitch on them for using drugs or drinking during the workday. I only worked there for a short time and I was shocked at the level of drug use on the job. But I have since learned through my work for insurance clients that substance abuse is a huge problem in manufacturing operations, often because so many jobs are so boring and repetitive.

  74. 74
    trollhattan says:

    @TriassicSands:
    Sessions will have a direct effect on limiting voting and thus, keeping Republicans in power.

    The Interior and EPA heads will have immediate and permanent impacts on the environment and land use.

    Why pick our poison, we have to drink both.

  75. 75
    randy khan says:

    @TriassicSands:

    It’s a Sarah Palin joke: What news sources do you read?

    I agree that it will be hard to tell in advance who will be worst. I think we have a short list of people who probably won’t be worst – Mattis, Haley (because her role will be pretty minor in the scheme of things, the opposite of most U.N. ambassadors), Pompeo (who’s at least qualified), maybe Mnuchin (ditto) – and that’s about it.

  76. 76
    sherparick says:

    @LAO: Oh Sessions and Pruitt were by far the worse. Really, Sessions would love to move the country back to 1859 (not 1959, 1859). He is a full Calhounite where it comes to “States Rights” and treatment of minority groups within a state, but not so much defending “property” and suppressing marijuana. He probably sees this is another great way put thousands of people into the private prison/slave labor system and eliminate them as potential Democratic voters. I think there will be very aggressive listings of leftist, minority rights, and environmental groups as “terrorist groups” and give them the Black Panther Party treatment which resulted in the destruction of BPP.

  77. 77

    @hovercraft: white nationalism has never been incompatible with white socialism.

  78. 78
    trollhattan says:

    @Ian G.:
    Western wingers and Southern wingers are somewhat different critters, maybe this is one such division.

  79. 79
    Peale says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: You see, those “Pain Doctors” in Florida who are making millions on their loose opiate prescription policies and the drug companies that profit from the sales of opioids are legitimate businesses that can give large campaign contributions and are backed by trade associations that aren’t exactly willing to go against their kind. Medical Marajuana growers still can’t even use banks let alone write a check to the DA’s political party. That’s the difference.

  80. 80
    LAO says:

    @Immanentize: Hello to you too!

    Sessions leadership of, and the DOJ rollback, that he will preside over — scares the crap out of me.

  81. 81
    TriassicSands says:

    @LAO:

    Federal criminal defense attorney? What’s wrong with you? Since 100% of suspects are guilty of a crime and if not the crime for which he or she is currently being tried then probably something far worse, I don’t see how you can voluntarily defend anyone accused of a crime. I mean, let’s be real, once you’ve been charged with a crime you’re much more guilty than if you were merely a “suspect.” And we know, thanks to our greatest ever AG, Ed Meese, what the deal is with suspects.

    If a person is innocent of a crime, then he is not a suspect.

  82. 82
    LAO says:

    @trollhattan:

    Sessions will have a direct effect on limiting voting and thus, keeping Republicans in power.

    He also has direct power over policies that (1) condone police killings of minorities (2) increase incarceration for non-violent offenders (3) limit access to the courts’ for who’s rights have been violated and (4) worsening the conditions of incarceration. Just off the top of my head.

  83. 83
    BlueDWarrior says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Which kinda gets along with some of the things I was thinking about. I think in some corners of the political body, there exists this line of thought that Democrats can win with a leftist message in the proverbial hinterlands, but only if they jettison support for ethnic and political minorities first. White people can get all the assistance and grants they want, and everyone else gets scraps, if they’re lucky.

    Never underestimate the power of rank tribalism and racism.

  84. 84
    Immanentize says:

    @Barbara:

    substance abuse is a huge problem in manufacturing operations, often because so many jobs are so boring and repetitive.

    I can attest to that as a defense attorney — also those jobs are painful physically. It is a bit of a non-virtuous cycle; pain, medication, mistakes, more pain, more medication…. Fishermen in the North Atlantic have an amazingly high rate of opiod and heroin use/addiction. That friggin’ job is hard, painful, and really cold. Drugs both save the fishing communities and destroy them. Same with many “heavy labor” jobs.

  85. 85
    hovercraft says:

    @Immanentize:
    Be that as it may, this is the same thing as the “good illegal ” guy in Illinois with two DUI convictions that they all want spared form the deport them all mantra. They want the enforcement of marijuana laws for the blacks and browns, not for themselves. So long as Sessions and the rest of the cops keep their focus on those peoples neighborhoods they will not utter a peep.Now states that have legalized it will be a different thing, those people are used to getting it out in the open, and they will not just allow themselves to be pushed back underground. The hypocrisy is fine because those people are criminals, not fine upstanding citizens like themselves who just happen to do stuff that’s illegal, see not the same thing.

  86. 86
    LAO says:

    @TriassicSands: I know you are kidding but you’d be shocked by the number of times I’ve been asked whether I know if any of the people I’ve represented were guilty and if so, how do I sleep at night?

    I have a standard spiel. I get asked this a lot.

  87. 87
    BlueDWarrior says:

    @Immanentize: Yeah but Trump is going to put us all back to work doing these back-breaking, mind-numbing jobs. It will totally work, this time, I swear.

  88. 88
    Kelly says:

    @Ryan:

    Imagine, we could have had tacos, AND marijuana at every corner!

    Marijuana Tacos?

  89. 89
    sherparick says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Well, in the case of the leading Libertarians like the Koch brothers and Peter Theil, they already believe they are feudal lords. http://www.alternet.org/news-a.....-nightmare

  90. 90
    TriassicSands says:

    @randy khan:

    OK, I really wasn’t thinking about either Sarah Palin (who was another stellar possibility for Secretary of Education) or Katie Couric. I suppose the “all of them” response was worthy of iconic status.

    But now that you’ve brought up Sarah Palin my day just got a little bit worse. Oh, the humanity!

  91. 91
    Immanentize says:

    @BlueDWarrior: This is actually the policy plans of many ex-Soviet countries like Poland and Hungary — huge welfare benefits for the “right” people (Christian Poles or Hungarians) and no benefits for anyone else. That can’t work the same way here because we have been a diverse country for a very long time with equal protection in our constitution. Except one can single out the non-citizen and give extra money for retraining and assistance to specific communities (white) in despair.

  92. 92
    Ohio Mom says:

    @TriassicSands: Also on the “Lives in Fear of Medicaid Being Gutted” list are the members of the disability community.

    Medicaid is what pays for disabled adults’ living expenses (group homes and other supervised living arrangements), transportation, day program operations, etc.

    Medicaid also helps pay for the therapists (speech, OT, PT)
    in public schools who work with students with disabilities. School systems are beginning to worry about losing this funding stream, that is, when they are not quaking in fear about DeVos.

    We don’t know and can’t keep u with it all, can we?

  93. 93
    Peale says:

    @BlueDWarrior: which begs the question as to what exactly their beef with Clinton is exactly. They’ve wanted to punish the Clintons and the DLC for 20 years for that kinds of “triangulating.”

  94. 94
    Immanentize says:

    @LAO: Luckily, he cannot do it in a day, but I suspect a bunch of the police agencies will be “off the leash” and this summer is going to suck bigly.

  95. 95
    rikyrah says:

    Attorney General White Citizens Council……

    you expected anything less from him?

  96. 96
    Immanentize says:

    @sherparick: Sessions is not a State’s Rights guy at all — he has a lot of federal power in his hands and by God he’s going to use it regardless of the will of the States. He is a racist. This could get very interesting fast. Not interesting good, but the way.

  97. 97
    philpm says:

    Many on the right who are pot smokers are hoping this legislation will finally make it legal, and are actually expecting it to pass. They are also pooh-poohing the fact that Sessions is dead set against it by noting that is no longer a Senator, and therefore has no say in the matter. They seem to forget how long Sessions was a Senator, and how much pressure as AG he’d bring to bear on his former colleagues to make sure it goes down in flames.

  98. 98
    rikyrah says:

    @LAO:

    I get that Betsy DeVos was most democrats worst nightmare of an appointment, BUT Sessions is my personal worst nightmare. The damage that he will do — almost incalculable

    I fear for peoples lives. I really do.

  99. 99
    Barbara says:

    @Immanentize: I am not sure they want money for retraining. Of course, many people have retrained and understand its potential as well as its limits. What they really want is to go back and remake society in the image of that place and time in which they were happy and well-paid. I don’t know what kind of disappointment they are going to feel when it becomes obvious that it can’t happen quite the way they want.

  100. 100

    @BlueDWarrior: never forget Heller’s description of Major Major’s father.

    Major Major’s father was a sober God-fearing man whose idea of a good joke was to lie about his age. He was a longlimbed farmer, a God-fearing, freedom-loving, law-abiding rugged individualist who held that federal aid to anyone but farmers was creeping socialism…

  101. 101
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Eural Joiner said:

    I live in a red state and many R’s are friends, neighbors and colleagues of mine – and most are moderately open about smoking pot and pushing to get legalization on the books here

    That was what I was referencing. I’m hoping that Rs and Libertarians who are cool with marijuana legalization will vote for the Party which isn’t clamping down on states which have legalized marijuana. This could help Democrats win elections. That is all.

  102. 102
    Barbara says:

    @rikyrah: Yeah, me too. He is the worst person I could possibly imagine. When I think of John Roberts writing about our post-racial society all I can think of is that Roberts must wander around in a state of complete oblivion to the world around him.

  103. 103
    Immanentize says:

    @hovercraft: I think you hit on a really important thing that is different in this round of the war on drugs. States have democratically legalized marijuana in many different ways. Sessions could actually increase the chance of legalization efforts around the country. This could be an effective issue to get people to turn out to vote in the 2018 mid-terms (just like republicans used abortion restriction laws for years to energize their base). People want to smoke dope. Or, as Huey Lewis suggested, they want a new drug.

  104. 104
    randy khan says:

    @TriassicSands:

    Sorry about that. But be comforted that the half-term governor is Secretary of Nothing, so it could be worse.

  105. 105
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @hovercraft: That’s good news for those of us who care about healthcare access for millions of Americans. It’s a bitter pill for Republicans to swallow though which is kind of funny since they attempted to repeal it so many times when President Obama was in office.

  106. 106
    Mike J says:

    @Barbara:

    But more optimistically, this is where states can make a difference by refusing to make possession of marijuana a crime.

    Before legalization here, Seattle used to have 110-120 simple possession arrests per year, typically about 100 of those were black people.

    Pot is now mostly legal, but some things, like smoking it in public, are still illegal. I haven’t seen stats on enforcement, but I have sneaking suspicion or two.

  107. 107
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Ian G.: Alaska had a fairly laissez-faire attitude toward pot when I was there in the 80s. You were allowed up to a pound, I think, grown at home for personal consumption. I remember being pretty shocked by that, and I had just come from The People’s Republic of Ann Arbor, home of the $5 fine for possession – somewhere I think I still have my “$5 is Fine By Me” button.

  108. 108
    Immanentize says:

    @Barbara: I should have put retraining in scare quotes. What they want is subsidies — they deserve it! They worked for it! They worked hard and then their jobs were taken (oversees, by immigrants, by robots, by those people — you choose). So the “retraining” money is basically vote buying.

  109. 109
    TriassicSands says:

    @LAO:

    I get asked this a lot.

    That has to be really depressing.

    Have you ever had a case that created a real moral dilemma for you? You don’t have to answer.

  110. 110
    Immanentize says:

    @rikyrah:

    I fear for peoples lives. I really do.

    As well as we all should….

  111. 111
    Immanentize says:

    @LAO: My standard spiel is about the innocent clients keeping me up at night, you?

  112. 112
    Immanentize says:

    @TriassicSands: I once represented a corrupt police officer in a home invasion/drug theft case. That was slightly morally interesting….

  113. 113
    Kropadope says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    That was what I was referencing. I’m hoping that Rs and Libertarians who are cool with marijuana legalization will vote for the Party which isn’t clamping down on states which have legalized marijuana. This could help Democrats win elections.

    But, but almost no Democrats will speak up for legalization and a handful are even on the heavy enforcement train, so BOTH SIDES!!!

  114. 114

    @Kropadope: Plus, all Democrats want to melt down your guns into statues of Stalin. Libertarians will never ever ever vote for Democrats.

  115. 115
    The Moar You Know says:

    That was what I was referencing. I’m hoping that Rs and Libertarians who are cool with marijuana legalization will vote for the Party which isn’t clamping down on states which have legalized marijuana. This could help Democrats win elections. That is all.

    @Patricia Kayden: I know. I just don’t understand it. It’s like saying the sun will rise in the west tomorrow. It will never happen. Those people will never vote for a Dem. They never have and never will. No matter the stakes.

    If you want more Dem votes, get more Dems voting. Republicans and libertarians will never put us over the finish line. Every time, they’ve done the opposite. That will not change.

  116. 116
    1,000 Flouncing Lurkers (was fidelioscabinet) says:

    @germy: Southern slave-owners survived by first isolating themselves mentally from the reality of what they were doing to fellow humans and then doing their dead-level best to con everyone else in the country into accepting it as, at worst, an ugly necessity brought on by the need to control Those (Barely-human) People. As a result, we have a strong cultural heritage of selling ourselves a gigantic lie that allows us to live in the world we want to believe in and then sharing it with others.

    Jefferson [Davis] Beauregard Sessions III comes from that prideful tradition, and he can’t step out of it to save his life, because he’d have to think critically about himself, the world he grew up and worked in, and the choices he’s made, and he wouldn’t be very happy with what he saw. Better to denounce everything from Brown v. Board of Education as treachery to the ideals of Western Culture and Christian Civilization (Don’t make that face; you all know it’s how he and his think), because otherwise he’d have to hate himself a lot.

    Civil rights are therefore bad; voting right are therefore bad, Women’s rights are therefore bad; gay rights are therefore bad; trans rights are therefore bad; immigrants’ rights are therefore bad, and all this business with marijuana, and tattoos, and piercings, and casual (if not downright raggedy) clothing, and strange hair, and beards, and mixed marriages, and outright paganism, and atheism, and communism, and socialism, and questioning the unending pursuit of the mighty dollar, and yoga, and vegetarianism, and vegans, and so on and so forth–each and every thing that is a part of the modern age that was so carefully buried in the 1940s and 1950s and erupted forth later on: all these things are a threat to his Comforting Lie. Each and every one of them must be condemned, because any one of them can chip away at his Safe Place, where Jeff Sessions matters because he’s a white man and his daddy was Somebody in the community he grew up in. When he must confront them all together, it’s like standing in a storm of revolutionary shrapnel all aimed at removing his safe bubble and making him live in the same world as the rest of us, and facing things about himself he might not like much. He no doubt suspects he lacks a strong enough moral character to say “That was wrong, and I will strive to be better and do better,” and then put his back into the job.

  117. 117
    Immanentize says:

    @The Moar You Know: What you say is true, but there is a huge difference between a motivated voter — who will show up — and an dis-motivated voter — who often will not. Threatening marijuana legalization will dis-motivate many people (especially the occasional voter) who voted for Trump this go.

  118. 118
    Kropadope says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Actually, my Libertarian bestie claimed to have voted for Obama the day after he was elected (given that Ron Paul didn’t qualify for the MA ballot). He was denying it within a year, but maybe…

  119. 119
    LAO says:

    @TriassicSands: Yes, but not the way you think. The state, both Federal and local, often “overcharge” (charge criminal offenses that overstate the actual criminal conduct) leaving defendants will little choice but to plead guilty to lesser offenses rather than risk a draconian sentence. The dilemma comes when you have a “try-able” case with legitimate defenses — the risk of losing is so great, that often those that are not guilty, will plead guilty. KEEPING ME UP AT NIGHT!

  120. 120
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Immanentize: not if he concentrates on “hippies” and non-whites. then they’ll cheer him on.

  121. 121
    LAO says:

    @Immanentize: The Constitution, power of the state, the need for the government to do its job — etc.

    Innocent clients keep me up — but my spiel is based on the need for competent representation for anyone accused of a crime — guilty or innocent.

  122. 122
    Kropadope says:

    @1,000 Flouncing Lurkers (was fidelioscabinet):

    As a result, we have a strong cultural heritage of selling ourselves a gigantic lie that allows us to live in the world we want to believe in and then sharing it with others.

    Modern “conservatism,” though that’s the wrong word for it, is a folkatale people tell one another. It’s reinforced by modern media, but has mostly been a network of stories people told each other for years. And yes, it definitely descends from the Confederacy, though I’m sure it well predates even that.

  123. 123
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    West coaster here… you’ve all probably hashed it out, but I’m rather down over how Trump is being greeted with effusive praise for mostly not shitting himself last night.

    May scads of setbacks befall him in the coming days.

  124. 124
    LAO says:

    @Immanentize: I hate representing cops. It’s really the worst position to be in.

  125. 125
    Bruuuuce says:

    @amk:

    THANKS, REPUBLICANS VOTERS!

    In this performance from November 2016, Richard Shindell dedicates the song “to anyone who didn’t vote”: Are You Happy Now?

  126. 126
    Immanentize says:

    @LAO: That is certainly part of mine, but I end with, “therefore, it’s not the clients that are guilty that I worry about so much, it is the ones who are innocent. The system is so stacked against anyone charged that it is easy to convict the innocent and with all the power of the government against you, simply being actually innocent is a slim reed indeed.”

  127. 127
    Immanentize says:

    @LAO: But even there, a defeat for the government is a small win for every defendant. Or so I tell myself.

  128. 128

    @Barbara:

    Because using those magic words will solve everything…

  129. 129
    LAO says:

    @Immanentize:

    The system is so stacked against anyone charged that it is easy to convict the innocent and with all the power of the government against you, simply being actually innocent is a slim reed indeed.”

    Just letting you know, professional courtesy and all, I’m cribbing this line from you.

  130. 130
    Immanentize says:

    @LAO: I’m sure I stole it in whole or part from others. remember — “well stolen is half written!”

  131. 131
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    OT, if there is still a T

    Brandon Friedman‏Verified account
    @ BFriedmanDC
    Media people in my feed (left) viewed Trump’s Navy SEAL moment last night very differently from the veterans (right). A story in two images:

    ETA:

    Brandon Friedman‏Verified account
    @ BFriedmanDC
    Brandon Friedman Retweeted The Lead CNN
    I try not to be the “if you’re not a veteran you can’t have an opinion about it” guy, but maybe sit this one out if this isn’t your world.

    I wonder if Van Jones knows that he is getting the twitter-shit slapped out of him today. I bet he does, I’m getting the impression he, like Tweety, is the kind who spends a lot of time checking what people are saying about him.

  132. 132
    TriassicSands says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    I’m aware that Medicaid is vital to many disabled people. I wasn’t trying to make an exhaustive list of all the damage that could be done.

    That said, I’m glad you mentioned it. I think it is always good to point out anything you know about the benefits of Medicaid because is so important to so many people and the ignorance about Medicaid is incredibly widespread. One reason that Medicaid has been so vulnerable is because of that ignorance. Medicaid expansion under the PPACA was a great way to get millions of people to understand just how important Medicaid is. If people don’t care about the disabled or the elderly in nursing homes, they just might care about their sisters and their families.

  133. 133
    hovercraft says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    you’ve all probably hashed it out, but I’m rather down over how Trump is being greeted with effusive praise for mostly not shitting himself last night

    Since we are barely a month into this shitshow, we’re just scratching the surface of how disgusting the turd polishing will get. Just imagine when he goes on his first overseas trip and doesn’t insult his host to their face, he will be called a true statesman, and for not telling the Queen to gild Buckingham Palace, the most diplomatic president ever. Buckle up, you have to pace yourself, the favorable coverage may be so gratifying to the shitgibbon that it may decide to stay on script more. That way his occasional tantrums will be seen as brief regressions, while they portray him the rest of the time as a normal politician.
    Good times !

  134. 134
    gvg says:

    We need to start counting the money costs and getting it out. Deporting as many people as Trump is demanding costs money. That has always been one of the arguments that leads to even Republicans (before they went nuts) to approve selective enforcement. It was one of the reasons Reagan did amnesty. Whose budget does this come out of and can we publicize when the agency runs out of money? I would expect them to be in the red well before the fiscal year ends. Force people to notice that either something else people like is being cut or taxes have to be raised.
    Enforcement of the drug laws needs to be left to the feds by states so that the feds have all the costs. Start getting those numbers out there too.
    Private businesses will have costs due to both issues and some of them won’t even be related to them not following the laws. Get those numbers out there, not just sympathy stories but money.
    Some tyrants have been brought down not by discussions of right and wrong or niceness but by corruptions. People hate rip offs. Catch the profiteers and publicize it. Can’t get Trump administration to enforce rules so I don’t mean charges, I mean news stories. I think adding up the money and telling it will impact some people even if they are bigots. There has been too much protecting the population from real numbers and they actually even in congress sincerely seem unaware that they believe fantasies but money is going to be inescapable I think.
    I have no faith that Sessions won’t be fine with white people being arrested too. I think he is so retro in his beliefs that he actually does believe marijuana is really bad and also people who don’t agree with him are demons. Whites are not safe. they think they are, but always some get caught by the system, now it’s going to get worse IMO.

  135. 135
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @LAO: I don’t know if you’re aware of it, or what lawyers think of it, but the Undisclosed podcast, which started out about Adnan Sayed, has reminded me of what I concluded when I served on a criminal jury: The idea that the burden of proof is with the state and not the defense is a really hard one for people to grok.

  136. 136
    Cacti says:

    @Eural Joiner:

    it’s like Sessions hasn’t been a part of modern society since the 80’s.

    So you’re saying that the former Senator from Alabama seems backwards and out of touch?

    Who could have seen that one coming?

    (raises hand)

  137. 137
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @hovercraft: ust imagine when he goes on his first overseas trip and doesn’t insult his host to their face, he will be called a true statesman, and for not telling the Queen to gild Buckingham Palace, the most diplomatic president ever.

    His trip to the UK has been postponed till October, to let things “cool down” as a White House source (IIRC) said. I don’t think thats’ gonna work.

  138. 138
    Bill says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Yup. They’re Ignatius J Reilly raving against “modernity.”

  139. 139
    SenyorDave says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Brandon Friedman‏Verified account
    @ BFriedmanDC
    Media people in my feed (left) viewed Trump’s Navy SEAL moment last night very differently from the veterans (right). A story in two images:

    I still get the impression it played well with most people. Remember, most people don’t even realize that Trump had just passing the buck on the Yemen fiasco (and yes, it sounds like it was a complete fiasco) to the generals and even tried to blame Obama. The MSM has been a joke for years (Palin was right but for the wrong reasons), but it still is how many people get their info. There are many reasons why Trump won the election, but I believe the main one is Bannon. Nobody should underestimate him. He is a repulsive Nazi wannabe, but he is shrewd.

  140. 140
    LAO says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: It’s certainly an issue. My experience has been, that if the defense is unable to present a competing narrative, then it’s impossible to obtain an acquittal.

    It drives me nuts — just like complaints that an accused “got off on a technicality.” Because, you know, the technicality is a constitutional right that had been violated.

  141. 141
    hovercraft says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Who knew that there was such a perfect description of every republican voter written 50 years ago.
    Keep the government out of my SS, Medicare, or insert whatever here. These people are all the biggest recipients of government largess, they live in communities that are sustained by either federal dollars from blue states, or state money from revenue generated by the big cities. Hypocrite thy name is republican. On some level I think in addition to rank meanness and wanting to stick it to those city folk who look down on us, there is a level of self loathing they know they are moochers deep down, and they resent it.

  142. 142
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LAO:

    I don’t have kids, so Sessions is more of a nightmare for me. It’s motherfucking 2016 and we still have assholes trying to prevent Black people from voting.

  143. 143
    TriassicSands says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    That’s good news for those of us who care about healthcare access for millions of Americans.

    I don’t want this to come across as a scolding. It’s not. I just want to point out that the use of the word “access” when discussing health care is dangerous.

    That is the key word that the Republicans have chosen to trick everyone who’s not paying close attention. To Republicans, we will have 100% access to health care even if fifty million people can’t afford a policy as long as someone sells a policy that could be purchased if the person had the money.

    A good way to look at this is I have access to buy a Porsche 918 Spyder. The only thing standing in my way is the $845,000 base price tag. (I’m a little over $800,000 short this month.) Access is no help in getting me a 918 and it won’t be any help to many people trying to buy health care if, for example, the Republicans make good on their current plans to make subsidies independent of income. Both you and Bill Gates will get the same amount of financial assistance under the latest GOP plan to surface (assuming you and BG are the same age).

    We should only talk about affordable, high-quality health care. The word access should only be used to explain to people the scam the Republicans are trying pull on them.

  144. 144
    hovercraft says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    I have no doubt that they European press, or for that matter practically all of the foreign press will still loath him, but our villagers will do everything in their power to fluff the orange menace and show their neutrality. He has impugned their honor calling them the enemy of the people, the only way to redeem themselves is to bow down before him and show their loyalty. It’s early days yet, but what we saw in the foreign press re. W, will be child’s play compared to what’s in store for the shitgibbon. Someone should prepare him, it’s going to be real rough, and we know how he reacts when attacked.

  145. 145
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @SenyorDave: I still get the impression it played well with most people.

    No question. I’m expecting an email blast from rightwing aunt about it any minute now, because besides being a Ratzinger Catholic, there’s nothing she loves more in life maudlin sentimentality. I’d say to at least 40% of the country that “looking down” shit isn’t just a cloying metaphor. I’m coming up on fifty, and many of my first cousins (+/- 10 years) tell me with complete sincerity that they pray to our dead grandmother.

  146. 146
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    So there’s this old 70s “classic” anti-drug novel called Go Ask Alice that all the kids my age were forced to read back in the day so we would Just Say No to Drugs.

    G re-read it recently and cracked up when he discovered that the turning point that sends the protagonist spiraling down into hopeless addiction isn’t the cocaine or heroin she’s been doing — it’s her first puff of marijuana.

  147. 147
    SenyorDave says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I’m guessing that Ryan Owen is looking down and thinking that “I died so that this coward could make political hay out of my death (and act like the other 20+ deaths didn’t even happen)? I almost wish after he dies he’d be around so I could kick his ass, but unless a lot of changes occur he won’t he coming up here.”

  148. 148
    WereBear says:

    @Mnemosyne: Oh, the scandal when it turned out to be not a true story at all :)

  149. 149
    SenyorDave says:

    @Mnemosyne: G re-read it recently and cracked up when he discovered that the turning point that sends the protagonist spiraling down into hopeless addiction isn’t the cocaine or heroin she’s been doing — it’s her first puff of marijuana.

    When I was in junior high they gave us an anti-drug pamphlet that was done comic book-style. The main character was a straight arrow kid who tries a toke on a joint and goes directly to pills (they referred to them as goofballs). The story end with him and his girlfriend (both junkies now) running away. She gets her foot stuck in a railroad trestle bridge and they both have this great look of terror ass the train bears down on them. Even as a 12 year old I thought it was pretty ludicrous.

  150. 150
    hovercraft says:

    @SenyorDave:

    The MSM has been a joke for years (Palin was right but for the wrong reasons), but it still is how many people get their info.

    You’re right, and while I appreciate articles like this:

    Fact-checking President Trump’s address to Congress
    By Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee

    President Trump’s maiden address to Congress was notable because it was filled with numerous inaccuracies. In fact, many of the president’s false claims are old favorites that he trots out on a regular, almost daily basis. Here’s a roundup of 13 of the more notable claims, in the order in which the president made them……..

    They are not effective at stopping his lies. As this terrible article point out:

    Going low on the hyperbole and heavy on the history, the President’s highly anticipated speech was a fairly polished performance on a very big stage that caught a lot of Americans’ attention – around 22.7 million actually. That’s up over 25% from what Barack Obama’s final SOTU drew among the Big 4 back on January 14 last year…………

    There are still more adjusted ratings to come in and the cable newers of CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC need to be factored in before a final number for last night’s speech can be asserted. Apples to almost a decade ago, POTUS 44’s Joint Address of February 24, 2009 ended up with a total viewership of just under 52.4 million over 10 national reaching nets from NBC to Fox News Channel and Univision

    That’s at least 23 million, and i will probably rise to at least 30 million who got that bullshit live, and they will never read or watch the fact checkers. The author focuses on the fact that the numbers were up from last year, without pointing out that final SOTU’s are always lowly rated because they are on their way out, and there is a much more exciting race to watch. Asshole.

  151. 151
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Barbara:

    When I think of John Roberts writing about our post-racial society all I can think of is that Roberts must wander around in a state of complete oblivion to the world around him.

    Roberts knew well that racism is still a huge problem. He is a racist himself and wrote that opinion to reduce minority political power. Prior to the bench, his legal specialty was voter suppression.

  152. 152
    TriassicSands says:

    @SenyorDave:

    You laugh, but tens of thousands of wasted teens, high on marijuana, die every year when they get a foot stuck and get run over by trains and subways. Tens of thousands. Every year. It’s harrible [sic]. Harrible [sic]. Every year. And all because they couldn’t resist that first addicting puff. Terrible! Maybe hundreds of thousands. Terrible!

    Fortunately, under the loving guidance of J. Beauregard Sessions this number will be reduced to zero during Donald Trump’s first term.

  153. 153
    cmorenc says:

    @TriassicSands:

    And over at HHS, Price will be working hard to kill (effectively) Medicaid and privatize Medicare. The fact that Trump has promised not to cut Social Security and Medicare (but no promise for Medicaid) could be viewed at least two different ways. First, Trump is a pathological liar so his promise means nothing. Or second, should he actually remain true to that promise it will greatly limit at least some of the damage that Price could do.

    OR: third alternative is that Trump isn’t enough of a “detail” guy to really consider the extent to which privatizing alternations Price may consider for Medicare to be significant changes in end-benefits to people. Trump’s pathological lies are in part due to the limits of his attention span, in part because the chief target of many of his pathological lies are to his own fragile self, but also in part because he is a pathological huckster accustomed to “selling” deals to others with puffery and the sort of convenient truth-bending that normal people of integrity consider at best mendacious, at worst outright fraudulent. See e.g. “Trump University”, or the SoHo condo project he was engaged in with Russian-affiliated investors that ran into trouble in the 2008 crash.

  154. 154
    cmorenc says:

    CNN has flipped over this morning from Trump critic-in-chief to almost fellating him for his “Presidential” performance.

  155. 155
    TriassicSands says:

    @hovercraft:

    One of the depressing things coming out of last night’s speech and today’s coverage is just how low the media have set the bar for Trump. Didn’t defecate on the stage? PRESIDENTIAL1!!

    His speech gets “high marks” even though it was substance-free and filled with lies and distortions.

    I keep thinking about Lucy (Trump), the media (Charlie Brown), and the football. Every time he behaves better than a rabid honey badger the media roll out the “presidential” banner and swoon.

    It’s like they’ve already forgotten he just called them “enemies of the people.”

  156. 156
    Kelly says:

    @LAO: and then there’s the Bundy jury. I still don’t get how hanging around in somebody’s office for weeks carrying guns didn’t interfere with their work.

  157. 157
    jl says:

    @TriassicSands:

    ‘ It’s like they’ve already forgotten he just called them “enemies of the people.” ‘

    Or maybe they haven’t forgotten and are grabbing at a chance to grovel.
    I am not as concerned about approval ratings for one speech. Obama was far more popular than Trump, and doing pretty well compared to other post-WWII presidents at the end of his term/ Lotta good it did the Democrats in 2016.

    Future elections will be won by what kind of people run and on what issues, rather than whether people like the fact that Trump can give a whole speech without dissolving into a ranting old ignorant white bigot crank. GOP plans to wipe out help for poor (edit: and middle class, GOP can’t forget to screw them too) with health care in favor of giving a lot more help to the rich (that they do not need) will be fare more important, if they pass and are signed into law by an ignorant and oblivious president.

  158. 158
    SenyorDave says:

    @TriassicSands: One of the depressing things coming out of last night’s speech and today’s coverage is just how low the media have set the bar for Trump. Didn’t defecate on the stage? PRESIDENTIAL1!!

    Not just depressing but dangerous in many ways. I thought maybe the media was having a come-to-Jesus moment when Trump referred them as the enemy of the people. The bar is now so low that a gaffe-free speech high;lighted by a tearjerker moment where Trump effectively washed his hands of a Navy Seals death now becomes a Churchillian moment in time according to some.

    The opposition had better get back to uncovering more dirt on Trump, because that’s what works.

  159. 159
    pamelabrown53 says:

    Fuck-an-A. We need a new thread. (Plus we need to get a grip). AL posted this at 10:50 AM and I’m just saying we need a fresh post. Are you with me, jackals?

  160. 160
    cmorenc says:

    The one sort-of-bright spot in Trump’s cabinet picks is Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke for the Department of the Interior – because Zinke is firmly opposed to the sale or transfer of federal lands to states or private interests, which is the wet dream of some far-right western state congressmen and Senators such as Mike Lee and Jason Chaffetz. Zinke also pledged to prioritize maintenance funds for national parks and federal lands. GREAT! Zinke is simply pledging to do two things an Interior Secretary ought to do, but on the upside, he’s one of the few Trump appointees who’s not fully aboard the burn, rape, and pillage train. Zinke did decline to comment on whether he supports rescinding National Monument status for some lands designated as such by prior presidents – but at least he didn’t utter dog-whistles indicating he was simpatico with those wanting to do so.

    How much actual policy sway the Secretary of the Interior gets over the actual nuts-and-bolts policies and funding amounts and priorities of his own department remains to be seen – but realistically at best within Trump’s Administration Zinke’s agency will be protected by its own relative obscurity from Trump’s priorities and vision more than any active support.

  161. 161
    LAO says:

    @Kelly: The Bundy defense presented a competing narrative — one, I personally thought ridiculous — but nonetheless…

  162. 162
    hovercraft says:

    @TriassicSands: While it’s no consolation what some liberal DFH says on a liberal blog:

    Trump’s Speech Didn’t Advance His Cause
    by Martin Longman
    March 1, 2017 12:11 PM

    Ed Kilgore had a smart take on President Trump’s address to Congress. Rather than focus on how it polled or some of the theatrics, he looked at it from the point of view of Republican members of Congress. Did the president provide them with any clarity or guidance about their mission for the year or even for Trump’s first term? And, from that perspective, the speech was wanting.

    Kilgore reminds us that there are three big issues roiling Republican lawmakers in DC. The first is a seemingly helpless struggle to come up with a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. On this, Trump only gave one sign of where he wants Congress to go. He signaled that he approves of a plan that was circulated (leaked, actually) last week, promptly panned by a report McKinsey & Company provided to the National Governors Association, and abandoned this week. The plan included refundable tax credits that would very inadequately replace the need-based subsidies provided by Obamacare.

    States would also lose a significant amount of federal funding as fewer residents received financial support to help purchase individual coverage. The decline in federal funding through tax credits would be between 65 and 80 percent, according to this report……………

    The second biggest item on the Republican to-do list is tax cuts. But Trump didn’t really mention tax cuts at all, at least not in any kind of substantive way. He wants to use the tax code to punish companies that move jobs out of the country, but that’s no easy thing to legislate. And, in any case, there’s an obvious disconnect between the White House and Congress on how they are prioritizing this issue.

    Finally, there’s the budget.

    Trump repeated his commitment to a big defense-spending increase, and did display an understanding that providing that would mean getting rid of the spending cap agreement under which defense spending would be “sequestered” if budget targets were missed. As to how those caps would be cast aside — something that in the normal course of events would require 60 Senate votes and a lot of Democratic support — we heard nada. And there was also nothing about the rest of the budget, including the fraught subject of which entitlement programs would be on and off the table……………..

    Even if the Freedom Caucus relents on the use of refundable tax credits for health care, millions will lose their plans, which is something that Trump assured us would not happen. Without defining his bottom line on tax cuts, it’s unlikely that they will meet the goals he set out on the campaign. And he can’t fund all his priorities with a budget that doesn’t touch people’s retirement security, which is something he said he wouldn’t do.

    The speech may or may not help Trump with his sagging polls, but that’s a blip on the radar. What his speech did not do is move the ball down the field.

    So it’s true that Twitler is being hailed as presidential today, but they have no idea how to accomplish much of their agenda, making pronouncements is easy, but actually crafting legislation or even executive orders is hard. This fellating too shall pass.

  163. 163
    Barbara says:

    @cmorenc: I don’t know what percentage of Montana’s economic activity is due to national park related tourism, but it must be high.

  164. 164
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @pamelabrown53:

    I’m down with that. Can only wallow so long in we’re fuckeditude.

  165. 165
    TriassicSands says:

    @hovercraft:

    Worthwhile points for sure.

    …and did display an understanding

    A small quibble with your choice of the word “understanding.” From what I’ve seen and heard the word “awareness” might be a better choice. Nothing I’ve seen makes me think he understands much of anything that is going on. The thing is I’ve never heard him discuss any issue at anything but the most superficial level.

  166. 166
    dr. luba says:

    @Mnemosyne: I remember reading “Go Ask Alice,” but had forgotten all the details. It was a made for TV movie, too, in the early 70s–and “White Rabbit” was on the soundtrack. I can thank this anti-drug propaganda piece for introducing me to Jefferson Airplane in my early teens.

  167. 167
    TriassicSands says:

    @jl:

    …and doing pretty well compared to other post-WWII presidents at the end of his term

    I agree.

    During the campaign there was a marked improvement in Obama’s approval numbers. I always thought that much of that improvement came from how good Obama looked when compared with Trump (a fair comparison) and Clinton (unfair, but lots of people really hate Hillary). Based on the reasoning most people put into deciding whether they approve of a president or not I thought that Obama’s approval numbers should have been a lot higher for a lot longer. But these are the same people who like everything about the PPACA except for the individual mandate and told pollsters they didn’t like “Obamacare.”

  168. 168
    low-tech cyclist says:

    So Obama is responsible for the increase in police deaths?

    According to nleomf.org (the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial Fund), 162 police officers died in the line of duty per year during the Bush Administration. (Excluding 2001 for 9/11 reasons.) The comparable number during the Obama years is 122 per year. (2016 stats here; they aren’t at the other link.)

    Someone should tell Sessions that Obama saved the lives of 320 police officers, just to watch his head explode.

  169. 169
    Rob Lll says:

    @hovercraft:

    Excellent point. I’ve long been pondering the right-wing obsession with “those people” supposedly getting something for nothing, and my take is that it’s very often a defense mechanism. They just can’t handle the fact that they’re dependent in so many ways on the people they despise.

  170. 170
    Percysowner says:

    And today in making sure Brown, non-Christians don’t pollute our country Tibet Women’s Soccer Team Denied US Travel Visas

    Cassie Childers, a coach and executive director for Tibet Women’s Soccer, said that 16 members of the team were told at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India, that they “have no good reason to visit the U.S.,” during their visit on Feb. 24. They were seeking travel visas to participate in the Dallas Cup soccer tournament scheduled to take place April 9-16

    Childers, who is from New Jersey, said in an email from India that embassy officials did not glance at the documents nor provide any other reasons or explanations.

    This ISN’T how MY country behaves.

  171. 171
    DHD says:

    Sounds like he doesn’t realize that “Okie from Muskogee” was satire.

  172. 172
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Speaking of ‘not so scientifically based,’ the 10% increase in the number of police officers killed in the line of duty between 2015 and 2016 is true, but not statistically meaningful.

    Statistics involving small numbers often tend to bounce around a lot. The 10% increase is from 123 in 2015 to 135 in 2016. The average year-to-year change during the Bush and Obama Administrations has been just over 20. An increase of 12 is way less than that; it’s well within the bouncing-around of the numbers.

    That’s common sense, and something you can visualize. Now let’s use statistics. The standard deviation of the annual fatalities over that time is just over 24. So an increase of 12 is less than half a standard deviation, IOW not anywhere close to being statistically significant.

  173. 173
    Kay (not the front-pager) says:

    We’re seeing real violence around that.

    This is true. My relative was arrested for dealing and arresting officers stripped him and hung him off his 19th floor balcony. Then they stole his money, watches, clothes and household appliances. Then they threw him in jail and chained him in solitary for 3 days.

  174. 174
    socraticsilence says:

    @Barbara:

    The state also has arguably the most expansive public access laws in America– its not like California or some other state where you can buy up land around a public asset and use that to cut off access.

  175. 175
    danielx says:

    @Eural Joiner:

    …it’s like Sessions hasn’t been a part of modern society since the 80’s.

    Sessions’ world view was actually formed in the 50s, and the 1850s at that.

  176. 176
    danielx says:

    Via @joshgerstein, AG Sessions says vows to “recuse myself on anything that I should recuse myself from.” https://t.co/kAhooMY67n

    — Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) February 28, 2017

    Well, there you go. I’m certainly reassured.

  177. 177
    jl says:

    @danielx: I am in preliminary stages of being a bitter old white man myself. I detect some growing awareness within myself of just how much that type should be trusted.

  178. 178
    misterpuff says:

    Quick! Some legal MJ company cut a Trumpkin in s a silent partner, and let Daddy know.

  179. 179
    Tokyokie says:

    @Ian G.:

    his ugly Confederate’s face makes me want to do crazy things, like name a theoretical future son of mine “Grant Sherman Sheridan Stevens Sumner”. My wife might not go for it.

    You could give him Thomas as a first name, in honor of this guy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Henry_Thomas
    Although I guess Grant and Sherman are also suitable first names for guys.

  180. 180
    laura says:

    @greennotGreen: My brother was/is allergic to compazine. Almost died when he had testicular cancer. His oncologist recommended smoking weed as marinol wouldn’t have stayed down either.
    He lost 40 lbs in less than 2 months.

    I’d gladly hear that Jeff Sessions died in a tire iron beating and fire. I’m nasty that way.

    And yes, I bought the weed and rolled it for him. He survived.

  181. 181
    The Pale Scot says:

    Please don’t defile Éire by calling that protestant scum a Leprechaun. The Wee People are wonderful, pleasant and fine drinking companions. The total opposite of that treasonist cracker

  182. 182
    Citizen Alan says:

    I am sitting here speechless as I realize how nostalgic I suddenly am for the days of AG John Ashcroft.

  183. 183
    The Pale Scot says:

    @WereBear:
    Obviously the first step would be to enlist Jim O’Neill’s family into what were formerly Phase III trials of new meds with appropriate compensation . I’m sure that the Phase I & II trials were completely unnecessary and the drug industry would never risk a life.

  184. 184
    J R in WV says:

    @1,000 Flouncing Lurkers (was fidelioscabinet): You are absolutely correct about Jefferson Beauregard Sessions and his hate for the brown peoples among us. They absolutely believe that America is a white christian nation, always was, should be now, and will be going forward. Those White Citizens Councils were their idea of democracy in action.

    This is why I get so frustrated with people spreading bullshit about Senator Robert C Byrd, who was indeed a member of the KKK back a very long time ago. Senator Byrd confessed to the wrongness of the KKK and racism long ago, and worked hard for years with the Congressional Black Congress, the NAACP, etc to help end institutionalized racism in our federal government.

    And just as it seems to be impossible for Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III to come to grips with the evil of racism and fascism, it was no doubt difficult for Senator Byrd to come to grips with his racsim, but Byrd managed to do it, and to work hard to atone for his previous perverted racist history.

    Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III will never be able to do it, if his continued life depended upon it, he could not do it. He would rather die, I’m sure, than admit the humanity of a black person.

  185. 185
    MCA1 says:

    @Ian G.: I like this idea. We’re done adding more kids, but have been thinking about getting a dog for the family. I’ll be proposing those names, especially Sherman if we get a male and Sheridan for a female.

    I think we should all start openly observing Decoration Day again, too. Maybe the day before Memorial Day, so as to make Memorial Day the day to remember all fallen soldiers in U.S. wars other than the Civil War. Maybe we could re-organize the Grand Army of The Republic, too.

  186. 186
    Anne Laurie says:

    @The Pale Scot:

    The Wee People are wonderful, pleasant and fine drinking companions.

    But they’re untrustworthy — that’s the defining characteristic of leprechauns.

    I hear Jeff Sessions is a fine dinner companion, if’n you’re a courtly white gennleman like all his favorite Congresscritters. But untrustworthy, if you’re not in his club!

  187. 187
    No One You Know says:

    @Patricia Kayden: If only. In my neck of the woods, a libertarian without a college degree ran for state Attorney General, because a law degree is not a relevant qualifier if all you’re going to say is “fix it yourself, we aren’t going to support government overreach.”

  188. 188

    […] Beauregard Sessions III is a racist. (h/t Anne Laurie at Balloon […]

  189. 189
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    But they’re untrustworthy

    That’s only if you’re after their gold; as long as you’re buying the drinks everything’s alright

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