You Get What You Vote For

Ho hum:

Almost 23,000 retired coal miners and their dependents on Wednesday received official notification that they could lose their health care benefits by April 30.

“This is causing tremendous mental and in some cases physical trauma to these senior citizens,” United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts said Wednesday. “They will now have to begin contemplating whether to continue to get medicines and treatments they need to live or to buy groceries. They will now have to wonder if they can go see a doctor for chronic conditions like black lung or cancer or pay the mortgage.”

For the last year, U.S. senators representing Ohio and West Virginia have worked to preserve health care coverage and pensions for retired coal miners. Roberts and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said the health care coverage was originally slated to expire at the end of 2016, but Congress passed a four-month extension at that time.

Wonder how we got here:

When Sen. Mitch McConnell strode into the Capitol for last month’s State of the Union speech, he took with him a guest whose presence was sure to be seen as a slap against the Obama administration and its policies on coal.

“I brought along this unemployed coal miner here,” McConnell (R-Ky.) said, gesturing to fourth-generation mineworker Howard Abshire, “to see the person who put him out of work.”

The Senate majority leader said he wanted to call attention to President Obama’s “heartless” regulations that he argues have devastated communities in Abshire’s native eastern Kentucky. Yet just weeks earlier, McConnell’s office had delivered its own blow to Appalachian coal towns: It blocked efforts to rescue health and pension funds on which thousands of retired and disabled miners rely.

A plan that would ensure the solvency of the funds nearly made it through Congress in December as part of the bipartisan budget deal that cleared both chambers. But the bailout attempt — backed by key lawmakers from both political parties — was excluded from the deal at McConnell’s request, according to four Senate officials directly familiar with the events.

McConnell’s spokesman does not dispute that telling of events. And McConnell has not publicly explained his opposition to the measure.

His opposition is simple. He is in a blood feud with the UMWA and if thousands of miners get crushed in the process, well, killing the union is more important. Also, this:

Further complicating the problem is that new technologies allow coal companies to extract the mineral with far fewer employees than the process once required. This means the number of active miners paying into the union pension fund is minuscule compared to the number of retirees and their dependents collecting benefits from it.

In fact, senators estimate the number of active miners paying into the pension fund to be only 10,000, while there are 120,000 retirees drawing from it.

But what about all those new mining jobs?

Anyone with two neurons firing knows that coal jobs are not coming back, that what Trump and company are going to do is deregulate so that mining companies can extract coal more profitably because they don’t have to worry about miner safety and environmental regulations. And they will do things like this, which happened just today:

A bill that allows increased discharges of toxic pollution into West Virginia’s rivers and streams now is headed for the state Senate, after it was passed by the House of Delegates Wednesday following a somewhat confusing and emotional debate.

The House voted 63-37 to approve the legislation. House Bill 2506 would change the type of stream flow measurements the state Department of Environmental Protection uses when it sets the amount of pollution that chemical plants, factories and other industrial facilities can routinely discharge into the state’s waterways.

Fucking morons all the way from our representatives down to our voters.

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293 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    Yarrow says:

    Is there anything that will make these people not vote for Republicans, let alone vote for Democrats? Anything at all?

  3. 3
    GregB says:

    When will Trump dedicate money and effort to bringing whaling jobs back to Fall River and New Bedford, MA.

    They have been devastated since the departure of those whaling jobs.

    Whale oil means jobs.

  4. 4
    Karen S. says:

    @Yarrow:
    At this point, I’m inclined to say no.

  5. 5
    danielx says:

    @Yarrow:

    No.

    This has been another edition of SATSQ.

  6. 6
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    To quote Les Claypool ,”So we say now for the record, you brought this upon you.

  7. 7
    Barbara says:

    I am going to take my mother’s advice and stop worrying about unemployed, active or retired coal miners in West Virginia. I am not wishing them ill, but if they don’t know which end is up nothing I say or do is going to change their minds.

  8. 8
    ruemara says:

    I have empathy but no sympathy. You voted for destruction, you just didn’t think you’d suffer from it too.

  9. 9
    XTPD says:

    @GregB: The Luso-American community has been ignored for too damn long as a voting bloc.

  10. 10
    Weaselone says:

    The big take-aways here are:
    1. The Republicans are actually screwing over coal miners
    2. Obama’s regulations have squat to do with industry job losses
    3. Coal jobs are not coming back in any meaningful way, but enjoy spending whatever money is left of your pensions and safety net on bottled water suckers

  11. 11
    Corner Stone says:

    I just got nothing for this. I am more than happy to pay into a social net that makes sure their kids can eat, be educated and have access to health care. But these people apparently just don’t feel the same way about it.

  12. 12
    The Moar You Know says:

    The representatives are but a symptom; it is truly voters who are the problem. And I don’t know how you even begin fixing that.

  13. 13
    Corner Stone says:

    A plan that would ensure the solvency of the funds nearly made it through Congress in December as part of the bipartisan budget deal that cleared both chambers. But the bailout attempt — backed by key lawmakers from both political parties — was excluded from the deal at McConnell’s request, according to four Senate officials directly familiar with the events.

    It’s just a rhetorical question, you unnerstand, but how in the world does Sen Turtle not get shot in his smirking face anytime he is in KY?

  14. 14
    🚧eric says:

    @Weaselone: 4. The Sheriff was a near.

  15. 15
    geg6 says:

    No sympathy at all for those stupid mother fuckers. Not one ounce of it.

  16. 16

    People voted for Trump with their eyes wide open. He didn’t try to hide what he was. You do indeed get what you vote for.

  17. 17
    🚧eric says:

    @Corner Stone: I repeat, the Sheriff was a near.

  18. 18
    amk says:

    @The Moar You Know: Yup. You get what you voted for. Despite being repeatedly kicked in your teeth.

  19. 19
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    it is truly voters who are the problem. And I don’t know how you even begin fixing that.

    Strangely enough, it seems the Republicans have a plan for that. You poison all the WWC water supplies, have drug overdoses in all the poorest areas, then you take away all access to health care.
    Give em a couple years and *poof* they all dead.

  20. 20
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    A vitriolic Trumper I know is now whining that gas prices are increasing suddenly – I wonder if diplomatic and security uncertainty could be leading to profit taking….

    Again, I’ll mention that it would be a great project to set a video of unflattering pics of Trump and his family to CCR’s “Fortunate Son”.

  21. 21
    Barbara says:

    @Weaselone: The retiree health plan for UMW members has been cratering near bankruptcy for decades, and it is always being bailed out one way or another. But over time, as the ratio of retired miners to active miners has soared and the price of coal has cratered, there simply isn’t enough money because many coal companies are in or close to bankruptcy. There are so few jobs left that they no longer need to support the retiree health fund as the price for labor peace. The real question is why West Virginia’s politicians continue to be the lackeys of the coal industry when its contributions to West Virginia’s economy is cratering. They keep ignoring the underlying reasons for the loss and the law of diminishing returns — oh, if we only gut a few more environmental regulations maybe they will keep the mines open a little bit longer! It’s like they will turn the whole state into a toxic dump if only to keep even one miner employed in the coal industry!

  22. 22
    geg6 says:

    In fact, senators estimate the number of active miners paying into the pension fund to be only 10,000, while there are 120,000 retirees drawing from it.

    If this is correct, my university has more full-time employees (about 27,000) than there are miners.

  23. 23
    Just One More Canuck says:

    This meme has already become a cliché:

    ‘I never thought leopards would eat MY face,’ sobs woman who voted for the Leopards Eating People’s Faces Party.’

  24. 24
    aimai says:

    @GregB: This finally made me laugh.That is a neat trick, given how grim everything is.

  25. 25
    aimai says:

    @geg6: The miner’s were the “Old Shoe” of the Republican wag the dog campaign against reality. The staggeringly small number of actual, living, miners parallels the staggeringly small number of “family farmers” that we always hear about needing to protect, and they serve the exact same function. They are the sympathetic baby faced megafauna of the corporate jungle world. Save the baby seals! If you turn away, a miner loses his summer home by the lake! Or health care! Or something!

  26. 26
    Hal says:

    A friend’s meme post today:

    “Force me to buy healthcare cause I work, but give it to those who don’t? Your a special kind of stupid.”

    And yes, your. She attached her own comment that she “hopes Trump does something”!!

    He will, and everyone is going to suffer. These are Trump’s supporters. Cutting off noses and spiting faces since November 2016.

  27. 27
    hovercraft says:

    @Barbara:

    . I am not wishing them ill

    Fuck that, I am. They are wishing me and mine ill, that is the motivation for their votes for Twitler, they think I’m a big city moocher and they voted to get Twitler to take stuff away from me. These people aren’t blind, they know that mining jobs have been dwindling for the last forty years, the reason they accept the republican bullshit lines about the EPA and democrats, is because they want to, it fits their worldview. These people are miners, they work in the mines, they know their employers screw them over at every turn, they’ve seen their families destroyed when someone gets, injured, sick or killed, and the mining companies screw them over, they want to believe the bullshit about costs and regulations, because in far too many cases mining is the only game in town. Self delusion and resentment of other people brought them here, so fuck em, I have my own problems and more that enough blameless people to worry about.

  28. 28
    LAO says:

    @amk: It’s like watching Charlie Brown and Lucy with the football. On a loop. With devastating consequences.

  29. 29
    Barbara says:

    @geg6: It’s not just retired miners, but also in many cases their spouses and minor dependents. Although I don’t trust the Heritage Foundation’s political take on these kinds of issues, the following is a link to an article explaining the history of the UMW health fund. The federal government was instrumental in setting up the fund, but the fund has suffered from the same kinds of issues that bedeviled Detroit’s public retirement fund (and those of many other public entities), such as unrealistic assumptions about investment returns, low beneficiary contributions, and decisions to benefit employees at a greater actuarial expense than could be justified by either returns or contributions. http://www.heritage.org/social.....tification

  30. 30
    Cacti says:

    Do they deserve this? Yes.

    Did they create their own misery? Absolutely yes.

    Do I still feel a twinge of sorrow for them? Yes, damn it. I’m a Democrat and have a conscience.

  31. 31
    Mike in DC says:

    Anyone just getting into coal mining has made a terrible career choice. The industry will be dead as a doornail before they reach retirement. Halfway there already. China and India are starting to aggressively move away from fossil fuels and towards renewables.

  32. 32
    geg6 says:

    @Barbara:

    I live in a Western PA county that is situated so that the county line is the only thing separating us from coal country. My mother’s entire family were coal miners, with only her father being an exception. Another local branch of my university houses the only miner’s museum in southwestern PA. I know all about the miners and the UMW health fund (I had relatives who only lived as long as they did because of it). I guarantee you that those wives and dependents voted for or would have voted for the Shitgibbon if they were old enough with utter glee.

    No sympathy for them. None at all.

    ETA: And I have told my relatives in this situation exactly that. No sympathy. They unfriended me on FB. Boo fucking hoo.

  33. 33
    gex says:

    @Yarrow: Wilmer touched on it. Center whiteness. Complain about the black vote in the south. Insist that class is the top issue, even though this country has a long tradition of doing for the white worker and white middle class without doing for black people.

  34. 34
    Barbara says:

    @hovercraft: I don’t wish them ill because it’s bad karma and for another very simple reason. My grandfather is one of those people who benefited disproportionately from the fund’s decision to pay miners who were active for only a few years after it was established. My grandmother received these benefits all the way until 1982, more than 20 years after he died. Funding benefits for people like my grandparents made the fund financially precarious from the get go. My grandfather refused to let any of his kids become miners — way back in 1950. The writing has been on the wall for so long but sometimes, as with a person who has a terminal illness that seems to go on and on and on, it can be hard to see that the end really has arrived.

  35. 35
    TaMara (HFG) says:

    @Barbara: This. A thousand times.

  36. 36
    Weaselone says:

    @Barbara:

    Why the politicians keep coddling the coal industry is a fairly easy answer. Near bankruptcy or not, the owners still have cash to contribute to their campaigns and the voters still buy the empty rhetoric about bringing back the coal jobs once the damage inflicted by liberal policies is undone.

    Why voters keep voting for these politicians and in increasing numbers for Republicans is the real mystery. One would have thought that by now, they would have caught a clue that as much as they might think they want these jobs to return, it’s not going to happen.

  37. 37
    Woodrowfan says:

    Damn regulations killing the buggy whip industry

  38. 38

    I am completely fine with the republican voters among them dying as a result.

  39. 39
    Barbara says:

    @geg6: You probably live in the same county I grew up in. Jock Yablonski and Mannington are integral to my childhood memories.

  40. 40
    D58826 says:

    @GregB: And all of those unemployed metal workers who used to make the suits of armor for King Arthur and the Knights Round table

  41. 41
    hovercraft says:

    @Cacti:

    Do I still feel a twinge of sorrow for them? Yes, damn it. I’m a Democrat and have a conscience.

    I hear you, but I’ve got to say, it’s time to get over, it, just like the addict that you’ve taken to rehab ten times and sat with while they go through withdrawal, but still they can’t kick their habit, there comes a point where you have to just cut them off. Now they are breaking into your home stealing and threatening to hurt your family, time to call the cops on them, they are no longer just hurting themselves, they are endangering you and yours. You don’t have to be vindictive like me, but no more coddling, if they don’t want to help themselves, tough.

  42. 42
    XTPD says:

    @geg6: There’s a passage I read in my high school history that quoted Tocqueville on antebellum America, where he said that simply crossing the Ohio River was like entering a completely different country. On the subject of borders and political identity, I feel that Tocqueville’s observation has mostly been inverted — e.g., the only reason western Pennsylvania isn’t considered an extension of West Virginia is because it’s in a usually blue (at least from 1992-2016) state.

  43. 43

    Republicans have only one agenda, shovel money in the direction of the 1%. Everything else is a sideshow.

  44. 44

    @hovercraft: I’m definitely starting to think that we’ve basically been codependent with republican voters this whole time, and that’s no way to live.

  45. 45

    @Hal: Implementing their restrictionist immigration agenda is going to devastate the economy. Add to that the trade wars they want to initiate.

  46. 46
    ruemara says:

    I’ve successfully bathed-ish & am sitting over a radiant heater to dry my surgical tape. It’s pleasant to know my described position is less ridiculous than these miners.

  47. 47
    OGLiberal says:

    These people who want mining and manufacturing jobs to come back in the numbers they were at 40, 50 or 75-years ago seem to want to halt technological progress. Robots, automation, computers – eff that stuff!…we want those good old back-breaking, hazardous, life shortening jobs back!

    Do retired coal miners suffering from black lung who voted for Trump really want their grandkids to aspire to be old school miners just like grandpa? I get that not everybody is cut out to get a four-year degree and a nice white-collar job in a shiny office building. I get that they may not even want this. But there are options out there. You can go to a community college or technical school or join the military and get the education and skills you need to be an electrician, plumber, contractor, HVAC technician, auto mechanic etc, and make pretty good money without all the risks. And these types of folks are always in demand. Heck, you could even be a computer programmer, writing the code that makes those machines that automate stuff…and you don’t need a degree in engineering – or even close to it – to be able to do that.

    As everybody knows – or should know – it’s progress that has eliminated jobs mining and manufacturing and the like, not regulations. We used to be a mostly agrarian society. When the industrial revolution came, a lot of people who were or would have been farmers like their parents moved to the cities and got jobs in factories, plants, etc. Technology evolves, education evolves, society evolves. Individuals have to evolve as well – and you can do that without having to become a rocket scientist or giant businessman or some fancy lawyer. We can’t freeze everything in time.

  48. 48
    Barbara says:

    @XTPD: No, the reason why Pennsylvania isn’t an extension of West Virginia is that (a) it continued receiving immigrants from many countries besides the Scotch-Irish who predominate in WV; (b) it had industry that greatly exceeded natural resource extraction, and thus, did not fall prey to the natural resources economic fallacy — many companies and inventors are associated with Pittsburgh, preeminently, George Westinghouse, and they spawned a high degree of educational and artistic support (e.g., Carnegie Mellon University); (c) the state capital is in the eastern part of the state and was never bought and paid for by the coal industry; (d) the city of Philadelphia is still the largest population center of the state; (e) it developed a system of state colleges that is much closer in spirit to midwestern than southern states; (f) it was settled earlier than WVA, by a much greater variety of nationalities, on the basis of religious tolerance from the get go.

    Probably a lot else besides.

  49. 49
    Another Scott says:

    @geg6: I used to drive from NoVA to Ohio a couple of times a year, passing through Beckley, WV. No matter when I went, it seemed like the Exhibition Coal Mine was always closed. Looking at the ticket prices, it’s easy to see why it didn’t seem to get much business (at least not enough to stay open year round). :-/

    Eastern coal mines have been dying for decades. If coal ever were to come back (and we were willing to accept turning the Earth into Venus in the process), the mines will be in the western US (if they’re in the US at all). It’s economics, not Obama’s War on Coal™…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  50. 50
    Yarrow says:

    @ruemara: I missed that you were having surgery. Hope everything went okay.

  51. 51
    A Ghost To Most says:

    H. L. Mencken:
    Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

    It’s greedy, spiteful morans all the way down.

  52. 52

    @OGLiberal: careful, that sort of thinking makes you a fancy coastal elite out-of-touch neoliberal whore.

  53. 53
    Kenneth Kohl says:

    @geg6: I’d like to hear the Trump-voting coal miner explain this to the non-Trump-voting miners…

  54. 54
    XTPD says:

    @Barbara: Politically, I mean. And I specifically said western Pennsylvania.

  55. 55
    ruemara says:

    @Yarrow: Did. Just relearning some logistics for basic tasks. Ty.

  56. 56
    hovercraft says:

    @Barbara:
    I’m all for the benefits for miners and their families, the problem is that the people who benefit most from these earned benefits consistently vote for assholes like McTurtle who don’t vote in their best interests. The good people of West Virginia, the fucking democrats, in a democratic primary, 40% of them voted for a convicted felon who was behind bars at the time, rather that vote for a sitting democratic president. They said it was because of his war on coal, and other reasons, if your livelihood and that of your family depends on coal or anything else, take the time to fucking understand what the hell is going on with your source of income, don’t just rely on what some jackass on the radio is telling you, use your eyes and ears, and your brain.
    As you say your grandfather saw the writing on the wall decades ago, the natural gas boom is not a secret, mine collapses like Sago have garnered a lot of publicity, the safety lapses well documented and the lack of enforcement of existing regulations apparent to everyone. Subsequent interviews with miners after the fact show that they and everyone knew that shortcuts were being taken and that those shortcuts were endangering them, many complained that they were a pain in the ass, but they realized that if they had been followed lives could have been saved.
    I’m wishing for them to get everything they wished for everyone else, that’s all. I just want them to live their principles. Enough with the hypocrisy.

  57. 57
    Barbara says:

    @OGLiberal: They accurately perceived that doing any of the things you suggested as requiring greater education, moving from where they grew up, and probably less income relative to the surrounding community than they had previously. I have said this many times. Many of these people are confusing the status and protections they had as members of a union with the kind of work they were doing. The problem is, they do not accurately perceive — or are in denial — about the likely consequences of holding out and refusing to move on.

  58. 58
    geg6 says:

    @Barbara:

    Beaver County, with Washington, Greene and Fayette counties just south of me. My mother’s family was from Johnstown and the surrounding area. My BIL is from Westmoreland County. Coal country all around. And yes, Jock Yablonski’s murder was made a huge impression on me. I remember getting up in the morning that the murders were discovered and it being big news on all the local newscasts and my parents talking about it in hushed and shocked tones. What really struck me what that they killed his wife and daughter. I just couldn’t understand that as an 11 year old.

  59. 59
    ET says:

    @Yarrow: I doubt it. At least until they (the GOP) stops the race baiting and pandering to the constituency that feels that the past was always better for them.

  60. 60
    lollipopguild says:

    In traffic today I found myself behind a Tesla with a “Coal keeps the lights on” license plate. I did not realize that Tesla sold a coal powered model.

  61. 61
    Barbara says:

    @XTPD: You think that western Pennsylvnia wasn’t influenced by what was happening in Pennsylvania overall? Westinghouse and CMU have more influence in Western Pennsylvania than coal mining companies. Washington County is probably more like West Virginia, but it’s still palpably different when you visit Uniontown, for instance, versus Huntingdon, WV.

  62. 62

    @lollipopguild: well, how do you think the electricity is generated?

  63. 63
    lollipopguild says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I figured there was a squirrel or hamster in a little cage.

  64. 64
    geg6 says:

    @Barbara:

    When the steel industry collapsed back in the early 1980s, those miners knew or should have known that the jig was up. They have been living in a bubble for the last 35 years.

  65. 65
    bushworstpresidentever says:

    @Corner Stone: You expect something from the same voters in KY who vote to repeal Obamacare and the ACA because they have KYNect, without realizing that the KY exchange is there because of Obamacare/ACA?

  66. 66
    Aimai says:

    @ruemara: i love you so much for this line!

  67. 67
    Yarrow says:

    @ruemara: Glad to hear it.

  68. 68
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @lollipopguild:
    Where I work, some moran drives a black Nissan Leaf with ‘POWERED BY COAL’ in LARGE white letters across the front.
    There is also a woman who has a ‘COAL, GUNS, FREEDOM’ sticker on her door, and the guy next door has a ‘Friends of Coal’ sticker. I assume they are associated with the coal mine the company bought. That is a story unto itself.

    Very strange environment to work in.

  69. 69
    hovercraft says:

    @ruemara:
    Glad you’re recovering nicely, careful you don’t scorch any vital bits ;-)

  70. 70

    @A Ghost To Most: where the hell do you people live?

  71. 71
    Brachiator says:

    Almost 23,000 retired coal miners and their dependents on Wednesday received official notification that they could lose their health care benefits by April 30….

    McConnell’s spokesman does not dispute that telling of events. And McConnell has not publicly explained his opposition to the measure.

    No problems here. Trump will fix it, right?

    Also, these miners want health insurance for themselves. What do they want for other citizens?

  72. 72
    hovercraft says:

    @bushworstpresidentever:
    Willful blindness, same morons who demand that government keep it’s hands off Medicare. Ignoring facts that don’t jibe with your political philosophy is a staple of republicanism. Get the government out of everything, and as soon as something goes wrong, WHERE THE HELL IS THE GOVERNMENT?

  73. 73
    sigaba says:

    @Brachiator: They want “their due,” but most importantly, they want everybody to preserve the appearance that they deserve it, and that it isn’t just rocking chair money. Shame is a hell of a drug.

    Edit: At a certain point we’re going to be paying people to re-bury coal, so that the Hallowed Miners can pretend they’re digging it, and the government will have to buy it all and dump it in the ocean to keep the price up. This seems to be an easier sell than telling people coal jobs aren’t coming back.

  74. 74
    Bill says:

    At what point did people come to expect they are entitled to work the same job their entire lives? I keep hearing about bootstraps and such from Republicans. Isn’t the “bootstrap” thing to do moving the fuck out of WV and finding a job someplace else? Where is it written that we all have the right to the same job until we die?

  75. 75

    @sigaba:

    At a certain point we’re going to be paying people to re-bury coal

    Idea! What if we bill carbon recapture and sequestration as “bringing coal back”?

  76. 76
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    Isn’t someone going to tell us how this is Hillary’s fault ?

  77. 77
    JMG says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I like that one!

  78. 78
    different-church-lady says:

    TRUMP WILL FIX ALL THIS WHEN HE’S PRESIDENT!!!! Wait, what?

  79. 79
    sigaba says:

    @Bill: Keep telling people, “economic anxiety” is code for “making poor whites live by the rules we’ve been imposing on poor blacks since forever.” No steady jobs, wages don’t track costs of living remotely, families have to be broken up, education options range from barely effective to demeaning, and at every turn it’s all your fault, or your “culture.”

    I don’t understand where these expectations come from either, but I went to college and nobody ever told me I was guaranteed a dangerous back-breaking job for life. I don’t know what makes people believe this is something to aspire to.

  80. 80
    hovercraft says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap:
    Nah but I will show that you do indeed get what you vote for.

    Abortion Reversal Bill: Indiana House Rejects Science

    Indiana HB 1128 was passed by a vote of 54-41 in the Indiana House on Feb. 27, 2017, and has been sent to the Senate where it is currently in the Judiciary committee. In part, this bill addresses medical abortion – a procedure available in the first seven weeks of pregnancy in which a patient receives two medications 48 hours apart to induce abortion. Should a patient who has taken the first medication then choose to carry the pregnancy, their caregiver would withhold the second medication. One small case series (seven patients) speculated that administering progesterone, in addition to withholding the second medication, may “reverse” the abortion (i.e. increase the chance of pregnancy continuing). A subsequent review, however, concluded that “evidence is insufficient to determine whether treatment with progesterone after mifepristone results in a higher proportion of continuing pregnancies compared to expectant management.”

    Published science does not support that this treatment works</strong>. Despite this, HB 1128 requires abortion providers to give patients information regarding progesterone therapy to “reverse” abortion. Untrained elected officials are prescribing medical counseling which doctors must provide, and requiring this counseling to include referrals for medically unproven therapies.

    ___________________________
    See what’s in store for you America, VP Dense may seem sane compared to his boss, but in the background he is working with his friends in congress to ensure that shit like this eventually ends up on Twitlers desk. He loves the signing sessions, they get media coverage and he doesn’t have to hurt his brain trying to sound like he knows what the hell he’s signing, and they prove he can write, so there!

  81. 81
    different-church-lady says:

    @sigaba: I suspect what they’re thinking is, “I worked hard and played by the rules and now I’m being shit on!”

    And the rest of us are nodding and saying, “Yes. Welcome to the club. The cake is a lie, we’ve been trying to tell you that, and every time we try to fix the cake system, you vote for fradulent bakers.”

  82. 82
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    where the hell do you people live?

    I live outside Golden, CO. The clash of cultures in the Denver area can be breath-taking at times.

  83. 83
    Neldob says:

    What those miners need are some nice education vouchers. Fix em right up.

  84. 84
    Brachiator says:

    @sigaba:

    At a certain point we’re going to be paying people to re-bury coal, so that the Hallowed Miners can pretend they’re digging it, and the government will have to buy it all and dump it in the ocean to keep the price up.

    This reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode or a short story I read. I wouldn’t be surprised if it came down to this.

  85. 85
    sigaba says:

    @Brachiator: I’m pretty sure Keynes suggested this too, but I’m pretty sure he was joking.

  86. 86
    rikyrah says:

    @geg6:

    No sympathy at all for those stupid mother fuckers. Not one ounce of it.

    Come sit by me.

  87. 87
    hovercraft says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    It doesn’t matter, I live in bright blue NJ and I see the crazy bumper sticker here too. We are not safe from them anywhere, real, actual economic anxiety if forcing many of them to venture into Sodom and Gomorrah for work, poor things.

  88. 88
    Calouste says:

    @hovercraft: Indiana has a bit of a history with ignoring science:

    In 1897 the Indiana House of Representatives unanimously passed a measure (House Bill no. 246, introduced by Rep. Taylor I. Record) regarding the calculation of the area of a circle that assigned various values to pi other than 3.14. (The bill died in the state Senate.)

  89. 89
    PPCLI says:

    Sigh. I remember in one of the Presidential debates (second, I think) Trump gave a predictable: “I’m going to increase the production of coal, oil, and natural gas!!!”. One of the moments when I first started to think Hilary might lose was when neither she nor any of the talking heads that followed pointed out that the enormous jump in production of natural gas is one of the factors killing coal. Produce more natural gas, coal will suffer even more.

    But no, the “no it’s all the fault of government regulation” line went unchallenged ….

  90. 90
    randy khan says:

    @sigaba:

    He wasn’t entirely joking, although he was using it merely to illustrate a point.

  91. 91
    ingressus sum says:

    @John Cole

    A bill that allows increased discharges of toxic pollution into West Virginia’s rivers and streams now is headed for the state Senate, after it was passed by the House of Delegates…

    Isn’t the New River (ironically, the oldest river in the United States) a major draw for tourism? Wild, Wonderful, West Virginia, etc.? Sounds like 2/3 of the House of Delegates completely forgot about that. Maybe they were thinking future offsets from Wheeling’s once thriving 78rpm record sales would mitigate any perceived losses caused by a mass exodus of tourists who are not enthralled by purple flaming rapids.

    And hey, the water’s “coal-filtered”!

  92. 92
    Yarrow says:

    White House is rattled. Spicer accidentally tweeted out that the Senate confirmed Trump as next HUD Sec. LOLOLOL.

    Here's the rapidly retracted @PressSec mistweet. Thanks @brittanycooper pic.twitter.com/WxnuRjK6Nr— Rick Newman (@rickjnewman) March 2, 2017

    Click through for screencap.

  93. 93
    hovercraft says:

    @sigaba:

    At a certain point we’re going to be paying people to re-bury coal

    It may not have been as big a deal as WWII in ending the Great Depression but it helped, paying people to dig and refill holes isn’t even necessary, as Obama kept saying when he was trying to get congress to pass the American Jobs Act, retrofitting public buildings for solar, basic infrastructure construction and repair would bring necessary jobs and benefit our economy. 3 trillion dollars worth of infrastructure would be a boon to everyone, but the GOP will never pass that, why not sell off everything to the private sector, subsidize them so they can gouge the taxpayers for decades to come.

  94. 94
    randy khan says:

    This stuff always reminds me of “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” and the real question that I wanted to ask about it: What can Democrats do, within the confines of what Democrats should be willing to do, to convince these people to vote for them?

    The Republicans have a story, which is a lie, but an appealing one – “we can bring back coal by getting rid of regulations” (or just “we can bring back coal,” with no explanation. Democrats don’t seem to have a great story, but instead have relatively complex analysis.

    Stuff like medical care getting killed by heartless Republicans is helpful, because it shows they’re not the miners’ friends, and it creates some kind of narrative for the Dems, but really they need a bigger, overarching story. I just don’t know what it is.

  95. 95
    🌷 Martin says:

    Reminder that California is, not in this case but in many others, the key to progressive environmental policy.

    In most of those fights, the only viable recourse for environmentalists is to contest Pruitt in court. (They can’t expect much help from the Republican Congress.) But on the critical issue of requiring auto manufacturers to improve fuel efficiency, green forces have another line of defense: unique authority that Congress granted to California under the Clean Air Act decades ago. Across the many confrontations looming between President Trump and Democratic-leaning local governments on issues from immigration to health care, the impending struggle between the EPA and California over fuel economy may be the one where Democrats most clearly hold a trump card.

    This is why keeping California blue is so important. Not only is it a large enough state to try out experiments in a way that the nation can’t avoid, it’s also a state that has unparalleled legal authority. This being one example. Another being that the right to get an abortion is codified in the California Constitution, so it’s both a statutory and constitutional right here. Additionally, California’s Constitution establishes that the rights protected by the state constitution may exceed those protected federally, so even if Congress were to pass a law limiting that right, the state would be compelled to bring that case to the Supreme Court to determine if a federal law could override a state constitutional inalienable right. It’s unlikely the Supreme Court would side against California, given that right was added to the Constitution by an overwhelming popular vote (under Gov. Reagan, no less).

  96. 96
    zhena gogolia says:

    OT, but my rep is calling for Sessions’ resignation: “Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) today released the following statement calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign following news that he lied under oath regarding his contact with the Russian government during the 2016 Election.

    “Attorney General Sessions must resign. As more revelations regarding the Trump campaign’s collusion with the Russians continue to come to light, the President and his Administration have a responsibility to call for a special investigation and give the American people the full story. Attorney General Sessions has shown that he is both not impartial on the matter and that he is willing to lie under oath in order to cover up his actions. Recusing himself from the investigation into Russia’s meddling in our election is not enough, and he must step down immediately.

    “The American people deserve to know the truth regarding President Trump’s ties to the Russians and an impartial investigation is necessary. The investigation into Russia’s intervention in our election cannot be run by the Trump Administration or Congress, and we must have an independent commission to fully investigate the matter. President Trump will lose the faith of the American people if he continues to allow these allegations to go unaddressed and I urge him to restore trust in the Office of the President and our government by welcoming this investigation.”

  97. 97
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The stupid, it kills.

  98. 98
    Barbara says:

    @Yarrow: It’s always seems to be amateur hour.

  99. 99
    Jeffro says:

    @different-church-lady: “Wait, what?” is the two-word synopsis of this whole maladministration

    Well, until we get to “jail time”

  100. 100
    hovercraft says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    You do indeed get what you vote for.

    Here is one for you.
    Chelgren denies he mischaracterized his educational background

    ……..Sen. Mark Chelgren, R-Ottumwa, on the Iowa Senate Republicans website stated he had a business degree from California-based Forbco Management school. But Forbco isn’t listed as an accredited school by the National Center for Education Statistics, and records show the only Forbco in California is a company that once operated a Sizzler steakhouse in Torrance, Calif., according to the report…………….

    “This was Forbco Management School, which ran Sizzler restaurants and a few other different restaurants, and I spent six months in order to be promoted from associate manager to assistant manager” when I was 19, Chelgren said. “I had to take their school and their classes and they gave me their degree — as they termed it — and I have used that terminology…………

    Chelgren is currently pushing a bill in the Iowa Senate aimed at achieving greater political diversity among professors at the state’s Board of Regents universities, which would institute a hiring freeze until the number of registered Republicans and Democrats on university faculty fall within 10 percent of one another.

    You can never have enough diversity, you definitely need more steak university alumni.

  101. 101
    Cacti says:

    @randy khan:

    What can Democrats do, within the confines of what Democrats should be willing to do, to convince these people to vote for them?

    Nothing.

  102. 102
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Wild, Wonderful Polluted West Virginia, where they’ll ruin the state before tourism can save it.

  103. 103
    D58826 says:

    wonkette strikes again: obama to energizer bunny ‘get my secret stash of russian intell’

    :http://wonkette.com/613675/oba.....rch-2-2017

  104. 104
    Walker says:

    @ingressus sum:

    The New is (was) one of the biggest rafting areas in the eastern US (you have to go to Maine for the other good ones). Probably going to think twice about rafting the New after this.

  105. 105
    D58826 says:

    @hovercraft:

    Sen. Mark Chelgren, R-Ottumwa

    You mean it really is a place and not just Radar O’Reilly’s hometown

  106. 106
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I am more than happy to pay into a social net that makes sure their kids can eat, be educated and have access to health care. But these people apparently just don’t feel the same way about it.

    Actually, they kinda do feel the same way about it. They are more than happy for YOU to pay into the social net for stuff they want, but they draw the line at paying for those other people and the stuff that they don’t want or value or use.

    Honestly, I really think these people don’t particularly care about their extended families as they seem to only value social programs that they and their immediate [spouse and children] use. Unless the value is in their face every day, they don’t give a damn.
    Not sure how society became so broken, materialistic, and greedy. Probably the same time that “community” became a dirty word.

  107. 107
    The Moar You Know says:

    What can Democrats do, within the confines of what Democrats should be willing to do, to convince these people to vote for them?

    @randy khan: 37 years of propaganda, starting with Reagan (it’s actually gone back far further, but this is when it went mainstream) has convinced about 50% of voters that Dems = Satan.

    There’s nothing to be done. They’ll never vote for a Dem, even if the alternative was to give the nation over to ISIS and everyone becomes a Muslim.

    ETA: what would have been really fucking helpful last time is for Dems to have had some kind of goddamn civics course that explains that voting third-party/”Independent but Caucuses with Democrats” is voting for the Republican.

  108. 108
    Gindy51 says:

    @🌷 Martin: The added $$ kicker is that if auto manufacturers want to sell their cars in California, d it is way easier and cheaper to make them ALL according California’s laws than refit the assembly line for every other state.

  109. 109
    sigaba says:

    @The Moar You Know: A lot of West Virginian’s vote for nominal Democrats, but the break point seems to really be absolutely obsequy to corporate coal interests and an almost frantic need to preserve the Traditional Forms of coal mining no matter the economics. Absolute Christofascism is not a requirement, but a go-along, get-along attitude toward cumpulsory religion and peity is definitely a plus.

  110. 110
    Another Scott says:

    @sigaba: Dunno. BDL quotes Keynes:

    General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money: If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with banknotes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coalmines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise on well-tried principles of laissez-faire to dig the notes up again… the note-bearing territory), there need be no more unemployment and, with the help of the repercussions, the real income of the community, and its capital wealth also, would probably become a good deal greater than it actually is. It would, indeed, be more sensible to build houses and the like; but if there are political and practical difficulties in the way of this, the above would be better than nothing.

    The analogy between this expedient and the goldmines of the real world is complete. At periods when gold is available at suitable depths experience shows that the real wealth of the world increases rapidly; and when but little of it is so available our wealth suffers stagnation or decline. Thus gold-mines are of the greatest value and importance to civilisation. Just as wars have been the only form of large-scale loan expenditure which statesmen have thought justifiable, so gold-mining is the only pretext for digging holes in the ground which has recommended itself to bankers as sound finance; and each of these activities has played its part in progress….

    In addition to the probable effect of increased supplies of gold on the rate of interest, gold-mining is for two reasons a highly practical form of investment, if we are precluded from increasing employment by means which at the same time increase our stock of useful wealth. In the first place, owing to the gambling attractions which it offers, it is carried on without too close a regard to the ruling rate of interest. In the second place the result, namely, the increased stock of gold, does not, as in other cases, have the effect of diminishing its marginal utility. Since the value of a house depends on its utility, every house which is built serves to diminish the prospective rents obtainable from further house-building and therefore lessens the attraction of further similar investment…. But the fruits of gold-mining do not suffer from this disadvantage….

    Ancient Egypt was doubly fortunate, and doubtless owed to this its fabled wealth, in that it possessed two activities, namely, pyramid-building as well as the search for the precious metals, the fruits of which, since they could not serve the needs of man by being consumed, did not stale with abundance. The Middle Ages built cathedrals and sang dirges. Two pyramids, two masses for the dead, are twice as good as one; but not so two railways from London to York. Thus we are so sensible, have schooled ourselves to so close a semblance of prudent financiers, taking careful thought before we add to the ‘financial’ burdens of posterity by building them houses to live in, that we have no such easy escape from the sufferings of unemployment. We have to accept them as an inevitable result of applying to the conduct of the State the maxims which are best calculated to ‘enrich’ an individual by enabling him to pile up claims to enjoyment which he does not intend to exercise at any definite time.

    He was using examples of seemingly stupid activity to show that what people were doing in times of extreme unemployment wasn’t nearly as important as the fact that they were doing something to earn a living and contribute to the economy. Similarly, it would be much better for the mines of WV to be used to bury stuff than to simply have masses of people idle, even if that stuff being buried was coal.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  111. 111
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    Didn’t the Chinese recently cancel plans for 104 coal burning power plants?

    Oh yeah… they did…*

    * link goes to Greenpeace website…

    If even the Chinese think it’s time to move away from coal…

  112. 112
    Kelly says:

    There are many parallels to the Oregon timber industry. In the 70s I worked summers in the woods to pay for college. The experienced, skilled guys made as much as an average college grad and usually had a couple months of in the winter collecting unemployment and steelhead fishing. The spotted owl thing knocked the legs out from under that and they will never forget. There is a generation out here that was born after the boom that are certain they’d have ridden the gravy train if only the liberals had stayed out of the way. The problem is the old growth that supported the gravy train is nearly gone. You have to build roads to get to the old growth and guess what, all the easy ground had been covered. The timber sales in steep terrain barely covered the costs of the roads. Even at that in 10 more years we’d have been all the way up to the barren rocky ridge tops and the gravy train would have stopped anyway. Out here in the Cascade foothills it’s Trump country.

  113. 113
    hovercraft says:

    @D58826:
    Gee you mean to tell me knowing how the government works and where to place the mines is useful? Who knew, color me shocked, here I thought the corporate raiders of the Twitler administration were the bestest evah!

  114. 114
    Debbie1 says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Oh please, do it. If I knew how I would link a VERY flattering picture on The*mp boarding a plane. Unfortunately, the wind blew up his jacket & hair-floss, in a reverse Marilyn Monroe over the grate shot. By that, I mean that Marilyn’s pic was flattering; whereas, TR*mp’s pic shows the self-indulgence & late night fried chicken right on his ass.

  115. 115
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Bill: I remember my Dad saying something to me after my third job change [I am a Chemical Engineer] in nineteen years after graduation; “What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you stay at the same place?” His generation [and class] pretty much worked for one company their entire career. His experience was completely different, as mine is from a lot of my kids’ generation who move even more and are stuck on contracts with absolutely no permanency.

    NOTE: All three workplaces I left are now closed, and I have worked for the same company for the last eighteen years.

  116. 116
    sukabi says:

    @Yarrow: lol…and they can’t even go with the old standard “but they all look alike”…

    On the other hand maybe they were looking at brain scans and were confused…

  117. 117
    🌷 Martin says:

    @randy khan: There really isn’t one unfortunately. The story around these industries is an economic one that both parties are largely powerless to change. Sure they can do some short-term patches, but the economics will win in the end. Politicians simply can’t mandate that companies hire people so all they can do is block the ways that companies will change.

    In the case of the coal regions, other industries could spring up in those places, and there are anecdotes of that happening, but the states need to put a full slate of support to making that happen in a systematic way – and that includes training/college, economic incentives, and so on. It also requires being honest with these communities that they need to be open to these changes, and I see no reason why there can’t be a full-payout of these workers.

    When the longshoremen were up against containerization and seeing the same kind of wholesale labor collapse that coal miners are seeing, their union went to the ports and demanded that laid off workers due to automation would be fully bought out – basically, they get to start drawing full pension plus free healthcare. If they’re 30, they’re retired as if they were 60. They can keep making their mortgage and sending their kids to school and going to the doctor. The benefits of containerization to the ports was so enormous that it was worth doing the buyout.

    The same strategy could work here, but it would require crossing industries and making a national effort. Rather than coal constantly fighting against other energy types, simply have the other industries buy out the coal miners jobs – full pay and benefits for life in exchange for that fight to stop. The environmental arguments would drop. Subsidies would drop. Power companies could more freely chase the most cost effective options. There aren’t that many coal miners that it would be a noticeable cost passed onto consumers. The feds would guarantee it and then set up a way to pay for it. As miners pass away and the number drawing from the pension fund diminishes, the payments would get scaled back. The program would get more expensive as more mines close and then it would get cheaper as the older workers die off. There would be no stipulation on the pension other than you need to have a minimum tenure (say 5 years) – no requirements to retrain when you’re 55, or to seek some other employment as a good-faith effort, etc. Basically it’s a statement that ‘hey, you did this pretty unappreciated job and held this industry up, and we thank you for that’. When soldiers return from a war, we don’t means test them and ask them to go seek out some other war. We thank them, give them their GI bill, and wish them the best. And that’s what we should do here. If they want to go find another job, then great, two paychecks. If they want to stay home and enjoy their family and only collect one, that’s fine too.

    And this should be a baseline approach for automation in industries. It’s going to continue to be widespread, and we want these changes to be made because even with the cost of the buyout they should be profitable. The big one coming up is the automation of up to 6 million truck driving jobs. Not only will automating that job save the ⅓ of costs which is the wages/benefits of the driver, it will also reduce the cost of the vehicle over time (because the automation can keep the operating conditions of the truck precisely where it is most efficient and reliable), trucks can operate 24/7 rather than the limited hours that a driver can go. There are cargo types that must be hauled under constraints (honeybees apparently can only be transported during the day – they will stay in the hive if it’s vibrating, eg moving, or at night. If the truck stops during the day, the bees leave the hive, and that’s a problem.) Those kinds of constraints are trivial for automation.

    And if automating is profitable enough, then buying out the drivers for life shouldn’t be a problem. Of course the trucking companies won’t like it, because they want all of the profits, but better to give up $100 to make $5 rather than make $0.

  118. 118

    @A Ghost To Most: I used to live in Denver, and I understand where those cars are coming from now completely.

  119. 119
    Jamey says:

    LOL. Fuck ’em. Sorry, but my sympathies are tapped out.

  120. 120
    Kelly says:

    @NorthLeft12: I worked for three companies. The first two are gone, dismantled for parts by the parent corporations. I have friends that worked 30+ years at the first one Consolidated Freightways that lost half their pensions when it was reorganized in a way that put the long term employees in a doomed subsidiary with all the bad assets.

  121. 121
    trollhattan says:

    @lollipopguild:
    Jayzuz, what a dichotomy. I’m imagining in a conversation with the twit, hearing something like, “I support coal and the coal industry, it’s those bastard oil companies and their ay-rab partners you can’t trust!”

  122. 122

    @NorthLeft12: wow, I’m 31 and I’ve worked at twice as many places.

  123. 123
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Kelly: Right, but these guys know that while there’s a market for old growth lumber (woodworker here) the vast, vast majority of lumber needs are now much better met with sustainable forestry and equipment designed for the task. They can bitch about the environmentalists all they want, but those harvesting machines are why jobs are harder to come by.

  124. 124
    SRW1 says:

    @Yarrow:

    Automatic firing offense. Spicer is a goner.

  125. 125
    🌷 Martin says:

    @A Ghost To Most: I would blame that behavior on the choice of beer, TBH.

  126. 126
    Kelly says:

    @🌷 Martin: Automation is a big story in the timber industry as well. The companies that survived the spotted owl thing were more automated and had the assets, usually their own timberlands, to keep automating. Oh and they are completely paying there own way other than the forest road network, more miles than the interstate highway system and 90% owned and maintained by the feds. The private and government lands are a mosaic so the roads cross many ownerships.

  127. 127
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Barbara: I lost my favorite uncle (who was also my godfather) when Consol #9 went up like a Roman candle. One of the 78 who didn’t make it out. He’d been working there all of 3 days. My future father worked for a Grant Town (WV) mine as a yard mechanic (& more importantly, shortstop for their semipro baseball team). When they told him he was being transferred to the shaft, making it obvious they didn’t want him on the team any more, he quit, sent his new wife home to her folks in Fairmont, & crashed with his older brother who’d found work as a machinist in Baltimore until he hooked on with Western Electric. Which is why we are Baltimorons rather than hillbillies (or Clevelanders, where my future uncle had been working before he moved to the shores of the Chesapeake).

    Sympathy for my redneck cousins? Sure. Especially the few who saw Dolt 45 for what he was & is. But as one Bugs Bunny once immortally put it, They buttered their bread, they can lie in it.

  128. 128
    trollhattan says:

    @Kelly:
    Also grew up in the PNW where part of the timber quandary is the crazy-quilt of land ownership–private, state and federal.

    In a federal timber sale, the Forest Service builds and maintains the logging roads and during the Reagan-James Watt reign of horrors they cranked up the leases bigly. IIRC federal timber had to be milled here but state sales could export logs and at the time, most went to Japan. Funny how fast the old growth plays out and the monoculture reforesting practices don’t lead to healthy replacement, so those trees were as one-time a resource as the coal and gas we continue to use up.

  129. 129
    trollhattan says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:
    Wow, horrible. While I’m happy Don Blankenship is in prison I feel he and his henchmen should be doing time for manslaughter at the very least. He’s the Snidely Whiplash of evil bosses. Of course silicosis kills you just as dead as dying in an explosion or cave-in, you just get the pleasure of a longer suffering period.

  130. 130
    Kelly says:

    @🌷 Martin: Feller/bunchers in small timber are really something. One good operator can get mere done than 20 guys working on foot. Kinda like a dozer verus guys with shovel and wheelbarrows. Automation in the sawmills has also cut labor enormously. Even skilled jobs like lumber grading are mostly automated.

  131. 131
    chopper says:

    @geg6:

    this is what happens when you provide a pension system in an industry that is 1) ripe for automation and 2) based on digging up a limited resource. did anybody really think that we’d have dudes digging up coal forever?

  132. 132
    Debbie1 says:

    @randy khan: With respect, it’s not a better story these po’ Whites are looking for. Whenever Democratic policies are enacted, their lives are improved. See, ACA. But at the 1st opportunity, they always return to Repubs (as they did after Gov. Beshear (D-Ky.) expanded Medicaid through the ACA, & Tr*mp in 2016). This is NOT about economic anxiety. I think there’s something they cherish even more than good, long lasting jobs & healthcare – it is their unacknowledged but valued sense of privilege.

    Case in point, in 2012 elections, the state of W. Virginia allowed a PRISONER to primary a sitting president. The “citizens” of that state then voted for said prisoner, even though he he was unqualified & in prison. He won that W.V. by a bloody landslide. I can’t help but think that such people are NOT looking for economic relief.

  133. 133
    Kelly says:

    @trollhattan: My summer logging was hard, fun work when I was 20. I looked at the wages and asked my dad why I should even go back to college that fall. My high school buddies that were buying jeeps and having so much fun. He said it’s not any fun in November when the rain is washing the snow down your neck and everything hurts after you’re 40. Best advice I ever got.

  134. 134
    Mnemosyne says:

    @gex:

    And when Black people said, Hey, we did our part in World War II, where’s our share? white people decided they’d rather have no benefits than share on an equal basis.

  135. 135
    glory b says:

    @XTPD: Pittsburgh and Allegheny County drag it into the present.

  136. 136
    Doug R says:

    So there are more jobs in solar and wind than coal, right?
    How about signing them all up with the UMW?

  137. 137
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ruemara:

    Hope all went well and the Percocet is keeping you comfortable.

  138. 138
    Brachiator says:

    @randy khan:

    This stuff always reminds me of “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” and the real question that I wanted to ask about it: What can Democrats do, within the confines of what Democrats should be willing to do, to convince these people to vote for them?

    The Republicans have a story, which is a lie, but an appealing one – “we can bring back coal by getting rid of regulations” (or just “we can bring back coal,” with no explanation. Democrats don’t seem to have a great story, but instead have relatively complex analysis.

    As Ross Perot once said, “You see, you see? That’s your problem right there.” People keep insisting on the value of the Democrat’s “complex analysis.” Shit ain’t working. You don’t have to dumb it down, but you have to be able to get the point across succinctly.

    And maybe I’m too tired (’cause Trump is just working my last nerve), but if these people are not voting Democrat, ask them why. Ask them what they want. If you can give it to them, fine. If not, move on, I guess.

  139. 139
    hovercraft says:

    @Debbie1:
    Actually I believe Obama won that primary, but the prisoner got 40 somewhat percent of the vote, in a democratic primary.

  140. 140
    cosima says:

    @lollipopguild: Maybe your state can start making license plates that say ‘The Sun Keeps the Lights On’ &/or water/natural gas/nuclear plants/etc. Agitate!

    Wouldn’t it have been nice if someone could have been forward thinking enough to get more renewable energy entities in these places where the fossil fuel industries were dying? Too much to hope for, I know. Alaska is 500,000 sq mi, lots of water & wind, and not a renewable in sight, at least last time I was there (approx. 8 yrs ago). My parents are still there, so if there was a big push my tree-hugging parents would have let me know.

  141. 141
    D58826 says:

    file under the rotten apple doesn’t fall from the equally rotten tree –

    Breaking: Donald Trump’s son was likely paid at least $50,000 for event hosted by a Russian-allied think tank.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/donald-trump-jr-was-likely-paid-at-least-50-000-for-event-held-by-hosts-allied-with-russia-on-syria-1488473640

  142. 142
    Brachiator says:

    @ruemara: Surgery? Hope all’s well that heals up well.

  143. 143
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    I don’t know how we’re going to fix this situation if 40% of Americans simply refuse to hear the truth, even when it affects them.

    Just had a “probably should have just kept my mouth shut” Facebook fight with my husband’s Trump Cult brother when he posted yet another one of those fake news site (One Nation Under God) “On a scale of 1-10, how happy are you that we’ll never have another Obama or Clinton in the White House” meme complete with your standard unflattering racist, sexist photos of Barack and Michelle, Hillary and Bill. Added bonus: a “Keep it up, Mr. President you’re doing a great job” comment at the top, like he thinks Donald is reading it.

    Even though I usually ignore his stuff, given last night’s added piece of Sessions to the Russian puzzle, I commented “delusional or seriously uninformed, can’t really tell which”.

    He countered with “Pick one, your opinion means nothing to me”.

    I countered with “read the damn papers, S-. The guy’s a criminal, a liar and a traitor. Pick one, any of them means he’s going down. Sticking your head in the sand won’t make it happen any less, it’s just making his supporters look close minded and uninformed”.

    His reply “There you go again, calling me stupid. Democrats always call people that don’t agree with them stupid. Sad. I’m not talking to you anymore we don’t agree”

    Projection issues aside, this has been going on for a while. Because all his nieces and nephews are Democrats who are terrified of what has happened under Trump and the Republicans also post stuff like me, he feels he must chime in and comment, so he gets responses. The kids are respectful, but honest, and hit him with facts. He then he very quickly gets mad, and basically cuts off the convo saying “we don’t agree so i’m done here”.

    I’ve known this guy since I was 15 years old and moved to the tiny PA town where I also met my husband, his brother. We’ve been friends through good times, weddings, babies and tragedies. I helped him conquer severe depression and alcoholism in his early 30’s that threatened to destroy his family and career. Now he’s probably going to unfriend me on Facebook shortly because of my posts, my comments and my refusal to “agree with him”.

    I fucking hate what Donald Trump and this band of fucktards has done to my country. They have damn near already destroyed it, and they’ve barely gotten started. They’re destroying families, destroying institutions that keep us safe and civil, they’re destroying the fabric that defines America.

    Fuck Godwin’s law, this is the early days of the fucking Nazi takeover of the US. Trump and his Republican enablers WILL go down in shameful infamy, and we WILL fucking change the laws and the Constitution to keep this from ever, ever happening again, just like Germany had to do.

  144. 144
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Yarrow: Nope.

    (It’s stuff like this that over time has proved to me that even when it’s not about race it’s ALWAYS about race & racism. KS, WV, WI, MI, OH, PA… and so it goes).

  145. 145
    trollhattan says:

    @Kelly:
    Had a few friends go to the woods in summer and earn a wad of loot, but there were some jobs that scared the willies out of them (setting choke, for one) and I can’t recall any who didn’t go on with their schooling. Same for going out with the fishing fleet, or heading to Alaska to work at the canneries.

    Dad uprooted us from Iowa (I’m certain with a LOT of urging from mom) to work for Boeing. Seattle was a company town, with Boeing and probably Weyerhaeuser being the big dogs. He also lost his job along with half of the town when they almost folded developing the 747, a cautionary tale for me. I took a semester off college and landed a steel mill job, where I made a relative ton of money but looked around and saw guys still there in their 60s. I’d taken some bidnez courses where the notion of lifetime employment was already a topic of interest and in any case, there were a bazillion ways to get yourself maimed or worse and the asbestos and noise and general filthiness all made a desk job sound like paradise. Probably five years after graduation before I matched that union steel wage, though..

  146. 146
    Weaselone says:

    @Kelly:

    That’s generally how it goes. Government tends to intervene only when things are at or nearly at a crisis. Like when the spotted owl is about to go extinct due to the near complete loss of the old growth forests, or when it stepped to protect the fisheries off the east coast when they teetered on the brink of total collapse. The people employed in these industries blame the government forever and ever for the loss of income they would have lost anyway even when that intervention is probably the only reason the the industry continues exists at all in the region.

  147. 147
    Miss Bianca says:

    slightly o/t, but inspired by all of you jackals, here’s what I wrote to Senator Cory Garder (R, Gutless, CO) this morning – under the topic heading of “crime”, by the way:

    Dear Senator Gardner,

    I wrote to you earlier this year with concerns about appointing Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions as Attorney General of the United States. Here is part of what you wrote in reply:

    “Senator Sessions has had an impressive legal career and has a profound commitment to upholding the rule of law. I have had the opportunity to work with him in the Senate and witness firsthand his strong record of bipartisanship. I am confident in his ability to serve as the chief law enforcement officer in the country.”

    To which my response must, at this point, be: Really? In addition to having an appalling record on civil rights for African-Americans – a record which disqualified him for appointment to a judgeship during the Reagan era – Attorney-General Sessions is on record as having committed perjury. Yes, he lied about meeting with the Russian Ambassador while still a Senator. And to top it all off, apparently such a meeting is in itself highly questionable. Do sitting Senators make a habit of meeting alone with the ambassadors of hostile foreign governments in their offices? Perhaps you can enlighten me on this point.

    This makes Sessions the fourth appointee to the Trump cabinet to have lied under oath during Senate hearings. This makes Sessions the – I don’t even have a number off the top of my head for how many Trump Administration officials have shady – or at least, highly questionable – ties to figures in the Russian government. A hostile foreign government that appears to have at least meddled in the recent Presidential election, if not actually bribed and corrupted American officials. This is serious business.

    My question to you, is: What do you plan to do about it? Are you prepared, as most of the Republican elected officials seem to be doing, to keep putting party before country, and keep denying that there is any reason to investigate either the Attorney General’s fitness for office, or the Trump Administration’s increasingly evident ties to Russia? Or will you call for investigations, resignations, and even impeachment? The Attorney General, back when he was a Senator calling for the impeachment of President Clinton, seemed to indicate that he considered perjury in a government official to be serious business. Permit me to observe that the Attorney General’s own perjury with regard to private meetings with the Ambassador of a hostile foreign government, strikes me as being even more serious, perhaps, than the sexual peccadilloes of two consenting adults.

    I call on you to support the appointment of an independent counsel to look into what appears less and less like a government of, by, and for the American people, and more like a Russian takeover of said government.

    Regards,

    MB

    ETA: Can’t *wait* to see what he writes back in response!

  148. 148
    Oatler. says:

    @Kelly: No shit. There are families (“dynasties”) of tweaked-up ne’er do wells in southern OR passing down the fine old traditions of robbing food banks and collecting welfare. Or maybe it’s only the Illinois Valley I’m thinking of.

  149. 149
    danielx says:

    @randy khan:

    What can Democrats do, within the confines of what Democrats should be willing to do, to convince these people to vote for them?

    Not a goddamn thing. In some areas you could run Jesus as a Democrat and the reaction would be ‘love your enemy as yourself, what a wimp, and what’s all this nonsense about who His father is? What kind of drugs is he on, anyway?’ I mean, union guys who vote for a Republican because they actually believe he’s going to look out for their welfare? There is no hope for these people. The only thing WV coal miners can do that would actually help them, long term, is leave West Virginia and find something else to do. Because coal is going to go away, but probably not until the industry has turned the state into one large toxic waste dump.

  150. 150
    jl says:

    @Ella in New Mexico: @Tenar Arha:

    I think important to remember that Trump is in office because of less than 200 K votes in three rust belt states and FL. HRC won the popular vote by a comfortable margin.

    The majority of the country is not on the Trump crazy train. Better to persuade the persuadable to get involved, write Congress, protest and especially to vote, than to waste time or ruin your nervous system on those who don’t want to have a good faith debate. I heard interviews on the radio with African-American and Hispanic Trump voters this morning. They were adamant that so far, the Trump regime was doing just fine. Just a few speed bumps is all. They won’t be persuaded any more than white bigots. For some reason, their minds have been made up and nothing will change that, probably not even an undeniable catastrophe obviously caused by Trump and his flunkies.

  151. 151
    jl says:

    @danielx: I’m not as pessimistic as you are about whole areas. Though as my previous comment above indicates, I am that pessimistic about individuals. Democrats need to re-engage in GOP dominated areas. May take two or three election cycles to make a dent in places, but we can’t give up on whole regions of the country.

  152. 152
    Aleta says:

    About time

    Rep. Schiff accuses Comey of withholding information on Russia probe

    The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday accused FBI Director James Comey of withholding crucial information about its probe into Russian interference in the election, and raised the prospect of subpoeanaing the agency.

    “I would say at this point we know less than a fraction of what the FBI knows,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told reporters after a briefing with Comey.

    “I appreciate we had a long briefing and testimony from the director today, but in order for us to do our investigation in a thorough and credible way, we’re gonna need the FBI to fully cooperate, to be willing to tell us the length and breadth of any counterintelligence investigations they are conducting,” Schiff said. “At this point, the director was not willing to do that.”
    -Politico

  153. 153
    Chris says:

    @Mike in DC:

    Anyone just getting into coal mining has made a terrible career choice. The industry will be dead as a doornail before they reach retirement. Halfway there already. China and India are starting to aggressively move away from fossil fuels and towards renewables.

    I’ve spent the last decade hearing people sniggering about fictional college degrees to explain that if millennial graduates are having trouble making ends meet, it’s because they majored in something useless and non-marketable like underwater basket weaving.

    Remind me again why I’m supposed to have such a deep well of compassion for the peckerheads who decided to go into a dying industry? Remind me again why they’re entitled to have not just a job but exactly the job they want, when the rest of us should adapt to the market or die?

  154. 154

    Ruh roh. My CNN alert says trump has “total confidence” in Sessions. Time to start the resignation clock! What was Flynn’s time from that to gone?

  155. 155
    Yarrow says:

    Just called my Rep and my Senators. Had to leave voicemail for the Senators but did talk to a real person at my Dem Rep’s office, and apparently my Rep has put out a statement calling for Sessions to step down. I found it on the Twitter feed. So yay!

    Keep calling everyone. Keep up the pressure. Yes, call your Dem Members of Congress either to stiffen their spine or thank them for what they’re doing. They love those calls. The person who answered the phone at my Rep’s office was glad to talk to me.

  156. 156
    Kelly says:

    @trollhattan: My dear departed father told me it wasn’t so much that the jobs were dangerous but the crews were. He got me my first job on his crew and I worked the first month a his choker setter whilst he ran a D7 Cat. Very educational. All my jobs were with road building outfits so we yarded logs out of the right of way for a while then went to moving dirt. Right of ways were around 100′ wide so there was always somewhere close that was out of danger. Now the guys doing cable logging out in the middle of a steep clear cut didn’t have nearly as many places to hide.

  157. 157
    cain says:

    @Mike in DC:

    Anyone just getting into coal mining has made a terrible career choice. The industry will be dead as a doornail before they reach retirement. Halfway there already. China and India are starting to aggressively move away from fossil fuels and towards renewables.

    I would be interested to know what the reactions from les deplorables would be when the countries (of whose immigrant origins they hate here) that want that fossil fuel don’t want it because they actually believe in climate change and now they are fucked because nobody wants to use it. Moreso, coal is more expensive and the only way it could compete is through automation.

    It will be interesting to see where WV will go from here when so many of its population is heading for bankruptcy and healthcare costs go up. I mean it isn’t like they can defend “I got mine fuck you” when so many of their fellow miners need the money for retirement. I expect a schism between conservative voters in WV. Eventually, all this shit is going to affect them in a deeply personal way.

  158. 158
    Yarrow says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Wasn’t it a day or two? It was fast.

  159. 159
    Kelly says:

    @Oatler.: Some of them tried to modernize growing weed instead of making moonshine but now the durn libs made weed legal so there’s no money in it.

  160. 160
    cain says:

    @Weaselone:

    Why voters keep voting for these politicians and in increasing numbers for Republicans is the real mystery. One would have thought that by now, they would have caught a clue that as much as they might think they want these jobs to return, it’s not going to happen.

    Especially if they are worshipers of supply side jesus, and all about the free market. The free market has no morals, it isn’t racist, it doesn’t give a shit about anything. It is a force of nature and just because you are a salt of the earth, white male, it is not going to give a shit about you. I have never figured out why these people believe so hard in all this crap when it is clearly against them.

  161. 161
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Weaselone: Remind me to tell you all sometime about the “Coal Mine Proud” campaign that polarized my hometown of Paonia,CO, getting on for 20 years ago…

    Spoiler alert: Yeah, the dreaded enviros were not the ones trying to take your jobs away.

  162. 162
    Jeffro says:

    WV would do vastly better to focus on tourism, especially adventure and/or athletic tourism. It’s absolutely beautiful there and rafting/kayaking is the bomb

  163. 163
    BItter Scribe says:

    Hey, at least there’ll be jobs for the guys driving the bulldozers that shear the tops off the hills!

  164. 164
    Yarrow says:

    @Major Major Major Major: John Schindler’s tweet on that:

    .@RepAdamSchiff takes the gloves off and throws them at @FBI & @sessions…it's on!https://t.co/pdHfq8f3Zp— John Schindler (@20committee) March 2, 2017

    Heh. He’s been pretty good about how this stuff is working. Can’t wait to see how this plays out.

    Also, saw this:

    Trump tells reporters he thinks Sessions "probably" testified truthfully about his Russia contacts, per TV pooler @Acosta.— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) March 2, 2017

    “Probably.” Uh huh.

  165. 165
    efgoldman says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    how do you think the electricity is generated?

    These days, mostly by natural gas. Still dead dinosaurs, but cheaper and not as polluting (not counting fracking)

  166. 166
    Jeffro says:

    Great article in the WaPo today: Gen X were the slacker, now they’re the suits

    Shorter: Reagan babies, naturally cynical, lean airquote “libertarian” and many are in positions of power in Trumpov admin and Congress

  167. 167
    BruceJ says:

    @Corner Stone: But don’t you see, the safety net program you’re willing to pay for would also cover all those non-white folks, and these dumb fuckers have proven again and again that they’ll cut their own throats to prevent that from happening.

  168. 168
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    if these people are not voting Democrat, ask them why. Ask them what they want. If you can give it to them, fine. If not, move on, I guess

    The problem is, people lie — not just to researchers, but to themselves. Most Trump voters lied to themselves about what he was going to do and many of them are still lying to themselves. I’m really not sure how to combat that.

  169. 169
    hovercraft says:

    @Tenar Arha:
    The democrats long term were eventually predicted to lose the rust belt, it was combination of factors that was supposed to cause the shift, but the long term planning has always been to flip NC, GA, VA, and eventually SC, and have FL continue as a swing state but one that more often than not votes democratic, between that and NV, AZ, and NM, the democrats would still be able to win the presidency. I remember that the thought was that as demographics changed and the rust belt became older and whiter, they would shift towards the GOP, and the increasingly browner electorate would accelerate that shift. The south would become browner and therefore more democratic. Obviously Twitler was able to rouse many of these people sooner than expected and get them out to vote.

  170. 170
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @🌷 Martin:
    It’s a pretty visible divide.

    My company had to choose between buying the mine, or building more wind turbines. It is now living with that decision.

    598 days left.

  171. 171
    Yarrow says:

    @Jeffro: WV is a GORGEOUS state. They could have a huge tourist industry if they wanted. Its proximity to the D.C. area would make it a fairly easy getaway for people there. Tons of good kayaking and rafting from north to south there. Climbing as well. It’s a great outdoors state.

  172. 172
    WereBear says:

    @Ella in New Mexico’s BIL: “Democrats always call people that don’t agree with them stupid.”

    Well, usually our disagreements are because the Republicans is doing/thinking/saying something stupid, so… GUILTY.

  173. 173
    randy khan says:

    @ Martin:

    So it’s interesting to see how people are responding, but to be clear I’m not talking about what Dems can do to bring back coal jobs – they’re gone, gone, gone, and have been for a while – but what kind of policies/messaging could work with coal miners and coal mining-adjacent people to convince them to come back. I hear the people who say, essentially, “don’t bother,” but they got moved to the Republican side of the ledger, so it would seem possible to move them back.

  174. 174
    BruceJ says:

    @Aleta: Consider the possibility that certain members of the Intelligence Committee might alos have turned up as persons of interest in the investigation. Puts Comey in quite the bind, if he were a conscientious and ethical FBI Direct—-

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH Sorry, couldn’t keep up the straight face long enough…

  175. 175
    cain says:

    @geg6:

    When the steel industry collapsed back in the early 1980s, those miners knew or should have known that the jig was up. They have been living in a bubble for the last 35 years.

    Those who can’t adapt will have die off. It will take two generations for everyone to get the message because by that time there will be no memory of the “good times” with coal. Those kids will have fresh eyes and go to college or community school and pick up some new skill sets.

    We are truly going through the last throes of the old life from the 50s.

  176. 176
    Yarrow says:

    @Major Major Major Major: John Schindler’s tweet on that:

    .@RepAdamSchiff takes the gloves off and throws them at @FBI & @sessions…it's on!https://t.co/pdHfq8f3Zp— John Schindler (@20committee) March 2, 2017

    Heh. He’s been pretty good about how this stuff is working. Can’t wait to see how this plays out.

    Also, saw this:

    Trump tells reporters he thinks Sessions "probably" testified truthfully about his Russia contacts, per TV pooler @Acosta.— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) March 2, 2017

    “Probably.” Uh huh.

  177. 177
    efgoldman says:

    @sigaba:

    This seems to be an easier sell than telling people coal jobs aren’t coming back.

    We paid farmers for decades not to grow crops. That’s why the RWNJ from Kansas got primaried – he was a True Believer and publicly opposed farm subsidies.

  178. 178
    Brachiator says:

    I was looking at some history of John F Kennedy’s 1960 W Virginia primary campaign. Some of the economic background:

    Despite steady production numbers, 44,824 West Virginia miners lost their jobs between 1948 and 1955. … According to former US Congressman Ken Hechler, … “the mechanization of the coal industry made the West Virginia miner expendable. Governor-elect William Wallace Barron stated during his inaugural address in 1960 that “automation has taken a heavy toll in jobs.”

    The basic situation has not changed. I guess people don’t want to accept reality.

  179. 179
    hovercraft says:

    First Tom Brokaw was the only voice of reason the other night.
    Now Dan Rather

    Every once in a while in Washington, the fuse is lit for what seems to be a big scandal. Much more rarely does that fuse lead to an explosion of the magnitude we are seeing with Russia and the new Administration, and frankly the Republicans in Congress. How can anybody say, with all this billowing smoke and sights of actual flames, that there is no need to at least independently investigate whether a fire is burning down the very pillars of our democracy?

    The pressure is obviously starting to mount as leading Republicans are now calling for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. This comes in the wake of serious and credible evidence reported by a vigilant press that the Attorney General, mind you the top law enforcement man in the United States, perjured himself in testimony to the Senate about meeting the Russian ambassador during the election. Sessions is but the latest person close to President Trump who seems to be ensnared in a story that is more worthy of Hollywood melodrama than the reality of the governance of our country. Democrats are calling for Sessions to resign, and this story could move very quickly.

    We are well past the time for any political niceties or benefits of the doubt. We need an independent and thorough investigation of Russia’s meddling in our democracy and its ties to the President and his allies. We don’t know what we don’t know. Perhaps there are perfectly innocuous reasons for why Mr Trump won’t release his tax returns, why he has continued to speak admirably about President Putin and why his aides and advisors seem to be so close to Russia. That’s why we need an investigation. If the air is to be cleared, it needs to be cleared. And if there is deep rot, it needs to be exposed. And quickly.

  180. 180
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jl:

    See my comment above about anti-abortion voters. I guarantee you that the majority of those Trump-Voting Black and Latinos voters would describe themselves as “pro-life.”

  181. 181
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @Jeffro: I used to drive frequently between Ohio and Washington, D.C. Beautiful scenery along the way in WV and eastern Maryland.

  182. 182
    cain says:

    @Calouste: Which is so interesting when you consider the top tier colleges in Indiana. My home town of West Lafayette has produced some exceptional people.

  183. 183
    GrandJury says:

    @Mnemosyne: The funny thing is that the spray tanned fart balloon could care less about pro lifers. I think he has come out as pro-choice in the past but who cares either way what that sack of excrement thinks about it.

  184. 184
    Deecarda says:

    @Yarrow:
    Southern WV is like a third world country, folks living in single wide trailers on the side of the mountain which will inevitably slide off during the next big storm as so much strip mining has left the land vulnerable to flooding.

    On another topic, I see Trumpster is playing dress up today on a carrier, reminds me of W without the codpiece.

  185. 185
    dm says:

    @Corner Stone:

    “Force me to buy healthcare cause I work, but give it to those who don’t? Your a special kind of stupid.”

    A way to answer this is: “yes, that is stupid and the stupidity was forced on us by Republicans, who wouldn’t let us do more for you. Help us fix it.”

    That said, I don’t know how far that line can go to get through the cynicism that’s built up over the years. That’s not really different from what Obama and Clinton were saying, after all — but it’s not clear that a lot of the people who needed to hear that message were prepared to hear it.

    This works okay for Republicans. They don’t really promise anything and their failure to deliver just fuels more cynicism and the concomitant powerlessness.

  186. 186
    glory b says:

    @randy khan: Lies tend to be appealing, if they weren’t people wouldn’t tell or believe them.

  187. 187
    Mnemosyne says:

    @hovercraft:

    That’s why there was race-based voter suppression in those states that are rapidly browning. Republicans publicly admitted that was what they were doing.

  188. 188

    @Mnemosyne: even when they’re not lying they’re sometimes articulating what they actually want through internalized dog whistles. Balanced budget doesn’t mean modest tax increases and defense cuts, it means ending welfare.

  189. 189
    efgoldman says:

    @D58826:

    You mean it really is a place and not just Radar O’Reilly’s hometown

    If memory serves, all of the home towns that were mentioned in the series are real places.

  190. 190
    Mnemosyne says:

    @GrandJury:

    All they care about is that he or Pence signs a law banning abortion. That’s it. The whole rest of the world can burn as long as they get that.

  191. 191
    ThresherK says:

    Fck McConnell. Time for another thumb-sucker about how Dems need to reach out to these deadenders. Will it be NPR or the NYT this time?

  192. 192
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Yarrow:

    I did it earlier today. They said “awesome”

  193. 193

    There’s also a Riverside, Iowa, with a sign that declares itself the Future Birthplace of James T. Kirk.

  194. 194
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne: RE: if these people are not voting Democrat, ask them why. Ask them what they want. If you can give it to them, fine. If not, move on, I guess

    The problem is, people lie — not just to researchers, but to themselves. .

    I don’t think that is the case with most people, but even if it is, you still learn something from the lies that they tell themselves.

    Most Trump voters lied to themselves about what he was going to do and many of them are still lying to themselves. I’m really not sure how to combat that

    People have been basically honest about what they want from Trump. They don’t have any control over what he might end up doing.

  195. 195
    rikyrah says:

    Why French Presidential Candidate Emmanuel Macron Could Save Western Democracy
    He’s the last best hope to stop the ethno-nationalist Marine Le Pen from capturing the presidency.

    by Andrew L. Yarrow
    March 2, 2017 2:22 PM

    Why are this spring’s French presidential elections so important to the United States and the world?

    Typically, few Americans pay attention to elections beyond our borders, although Britain’s “Brexit” vote last summer was potentially a harbinger of Donald Trump’s election in November. Likewise, for most Americans who think about France, it is as a romantic tourist destination, an occasionally annoying ally, and a country whose language we studied in high school. And, for those very few who think more about French politics and policy, the picture is of a succession of lackluster, often corrupt leaders since before World War II, rigid regulatory policies that have hurt the French economy for more than 30 years, and some social policies—like the French health-care and child-care systems—that could be a model for the United States.

    This year is very different. For Americans, and Brits and others—deeply disturbed by rising xenophobia and racism, the go-it-alone nationalism that sees other countries as enemies and free trade as harmful, and the rise of “alternative facts” and disdain for a free press—the French election could be a dramatic turning-point. For those who support President Trump and Brexit leader Nigel Farage, a victory by Marine Le Pen, the far-right National Front leader in France, would be the third, and decisive, domino to fall in the overturning of the post-World War II order of liberal democracy.

  196. 196
    rikyrah says:

    Bush Ethics Lawyer Says Sessions Must Go
    by Martin Longman
    March 2, 2017 1:07 PM

    Richard W. Painter, who served as the Bush administration’s chief White House ethics lawyer from 2005 to 2007, was pretty quick to put together a little opinion piece for the New York Times after news broke last night that Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied during his confirmation hearing.

    He wants us to know that this has happened before and that it had very specific consequences:

    In 1972 Richard G. Kleindienst, the acting attorney general, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a confirmation hearing on his nomination by President Richard Nixon to be attorney general. He was to replace Attorney General John N. Mitchell, who had resigned in disgrace and would later be sent to prison in the Watergate scandal.

    Several Democratic senators were concerned about rumors of White House interference in a Justice Department antitrust suit against International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, a campaign contributor to the Republican National Committee. They asked Kleindienst several times if he had ever spoken with anyone at the White House about the I.T.T. case. He said he had not.

    That wasn’t true. Later, after Kleindienst was confirmed as attorney general, the special prosecutor, Leon Jaworski, and his team uncovered an Oval Office tape recording of a phone call in which Nixon told Kleindiesnt to drop the I.T.T. case. Kleindienst claimed that he thought the senators’ questions were limited to a particular period, not the entire time during which the case was pending.

    Jaworski didn’t buy it. He filed criminal charges against Kleindienst, who was forced to resign as attorney general. Eventually Kleindienst pleaded guilty to failure to provide accurate information to Congress, a misdemeanor, for conduct that many observers believed amounted to perjury. He was also reprimanded by the Arizona State Bar.

  197. 197
    Origuy says:

    I was in Sydney, Nova Scotia a couple of years ago. The cod fishery collapsed in the 90s and a moratorium on cod was put in place, throwing a lot of fisher folk out of work. Steel and coal had already gone belly-up in the 60s and 70s, leaving tourism as the only industry. In 1961, the Canadian government put a lot of money into restoration of the Fortress of Louisbourg outside Sydney. It’s a major tourist destination now. I met a docent who was formerly a fisherman. He said that when he started work there, they had him read about the people of the time of the fortress, many of whom were also fishermen.
    Cape Breton Island is a beautiful place with similar issues to West Virginia, including pollution remaining from defunct industries. If the WV government was smart, they’d look on it as an example. Of course, that’s not going to happen.

  198. 198

    @efgoldman:

    If memory serves, all of the home towns that were mentioned in the series are real places.

    There is no Crabapple Cove, Maine…

  199. 199
    trollhattan says:

    @Kelly:
    Pretty great being able to work alongside dad. Something that happens rarely today, I’d guess.

  200. 200
    rikyrah says:

    How Steve Beshear Can Cripple the GOP
    His response to Trump’s speech was widely pilloried, but the former Kentucky governor was the right man for the job.

    by Saahil Desai
    March 2, 2017

    ………………

    n choosing Beshear, Democrats understood that, statistically, State of the Union watchers are disproportionately the president’s supporters. Heightened political polarization has seeped into the president’s public speeches, found researchers Samuel Kernell and Laurie Rice: “Modern presidents thus find themselves increasingly preaching to their party choir and losing the capacity to influence public opinion more broadly.”

    Instead of laying the groundwork for 2020, Democrats went straight for the GOP’s jugular on Obamacare, a move that could immediately begin to reap political benefits for the party. The GOP is sweating from the political costs of repealing the Affordable Care Act; now that they own the law, Republicans are coming to the obvious realization that, as Trump said earlier this week, it’s “unbelievably complex.” Public support for Obamacare has soared to a record high — higher, in fact, than that of the flailing President. Under pressure from angry Obamacare supporters at town halls, Republicans seem to have changed their promise to “repeal and replace” the law into a more nebulous promise to “repair” it. John Boehner, freed from the politician’s shackles, understands the conundrum that his party is facing:

    All this happy talk that went on in November and December and January about repeal, repeal, repeal—yeah, we’ll do replace, replace—I started laughing, because if you pass repeal without replace, first, anything that happens is your fault. You broke it.

    Steve Beshear is precisely the guy to hit the GOP where it hurts on Obamacare — which is exactly what he did, reiterating that Obamacare enrollees in his state are “not aliens from some distant planet. They’re our friends and our neighbors.” Under Beshear’s leadership, Kentucky expanded Medicaid and set up its own state exchange that was ingeniously branded as Kynect, distancing it from the president and seething conservative anger at big-government reform. The uninsured rate in Kentucky plummeted from 20.4 percent in 2013 to 7.5 percent in 2015, among the largest drops nationwide.

  201. 201
    D58826 says:

    So at this point if Sessions reuses himself, who is left that has the integrity and public trust to oversee the investigation? If Sessions resigns, why should we believe that Trump will pick someone any better? If we go the special prosecutor route who has the integrity to pick one and who has the integrity to actually be the SP? Same can be said for an independent commission. We are a long way from Sam Irvin and Howard Baker.

    And then who does the actually leg work of the investigation? The FBI appears to be fatally compromised at this point. I would not trust Comey to tell me that the Sun comes up in the east.

    The right/GOP/Faux news/Kochopus have spent the past 40 years de-legitimizing every institution in our society. We are now at the point that there is no one left that reasonable people on both sides of the political divide will trust.

  202. 202
    glory b says:

    @Barbara: Sure, along with University of Pittsburgh, the behemoth UPMC, the symphony, etc.

  203. 203
    hovercraft says:

    Nunes Tells Reporters: ‘Do You Want Us To Conduct An Investigation On You?’

    The chair of the House Intelligence Committee told reporters to “be careful what you ask for” during a discussion of FBI phone records.

    He seemed to imply that the reporters themselves, or “other Americans,” could become the targets of congressional investigations should phone records implicate them.

    Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), speaking at a press briefing Thursday, was answering questions about the FBI’s cooperation with his committee, which is currently investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. Nunes was a member of the Trump administration’s transition team executive committee.

    Asked whether the FBI was providing information in a forthcoming manner for the committee’s investigation, Nunes said what really mattered was that the FBI was providing “timely information when they can get it to us.”

    “Why can’t they?” a reporter asked.

    “I would assume that because it’s quite complicated as it relates to, if, for example, you were on the phone with the Russian ambassador and somehow your phone call got recorded, would you want them turning over that phone call and that transcript to the committee?” Nunes replied.

    “But isn’t there a difference between a call between a private person?” the reporter countered.

    Nunes referenced ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned after revelations that he spoke to the Russian ambassador to the United States about sanctions before President Donald Trump’s inauguration, when Flynn was a civilian. Nunes had previously mentioned that his committee was calling for any evidence that Trump affiliates were colluding with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.

    “That’s the point here. General Flynn was a private American citizen,” Nunes said. “Look, I’m sure some of you are in contact with the Russian embassy, so be careful what you ask for here because if we start getting transcripts of any of you or any other Americans talking to the press, then we can – do you want us to conduct an investigation on you or other Americans because you were talking to the Russian embassy? I just think we need to be careful.”

  204. 204
    Brachiator says:

    @rikyrah:

    Richard W. Painter, who served as the Bush administration’s chief White House ethics lawyer from 2005 to 2007, was pretty quick to put together a little opinion piece for the New York Times after news broke last night that Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied during his confirmation hearing.

    He wants us to know that this has happened before and that it had very specific consequences

    Painter is obviously a Fake Republican.

    Is it possible that the GOP leadership will find that they made a big mistake in turning a blind eye to Trump’s problems and conflicts of interest?

  205. 205
    trollhattan says:

    @rikyrah:
    An interesting take I hadn’t thought about–who’s actually watching?

    Remember eight years ago when Bobby Jindal’s proto-career as the Republican darkish answer to Obama cratered his political career with one walk down the staircase? The Dems at least didn’t do that Tuesday.

  206. 206
    Tenar Arha says:

    @jl: Good point. That’s my mantra in order to remember to not despise everyone everywhere & every day. They’ll certainly have whatever benefits we can get passed when we regain control in some of the states’ & federal government.

    However, I also don’t for a minute forget that 62+ million of my country-people decided from inertia, misinformation, ideology, and conscious & unconscious unconscionable bias to vote for the shitgibbon after the most disgustingly racist, sexist, xenophobic campaign in my memory.

    I actually agree with you. I’ve also reached the point where I don’t buy the argument that we should try to change WWC minds, I also think they need to be bypassed. They are IMHO a lost cause (joke intended). We need to work on voting rights & convincing occasional voters to come out and vote for Democrats up & down ticket.

    (Please note, these voters are always welcome to change their own minds, though I reserve the right to say the occasional I told you so).

  207. 207
    Chris says:

    @rikyrah:

    There are three nuclear powers in the West, and two of them are already going nuts. The third one falling would, indeed, be pretty fucking terrible.

    The other thing to watch for is the German election the same year – not a nuclear power, but still the cornerstone of the EU for better and for worse, and also still the greatest economic power in Europe. The Russians (if Wikileaks is any indication) are invested all the way behind the white nationalist movements in both. There’s also a Dutch election, not at the same level but important all the same – if the little countries start trickling away, the big countries are still in trouble.

    Generally speaking, the fewer Western nations are being run by Putin-curious ethnonationalist authoritarians, the better.

  208. 208
    Brachiator says:

    @hovercraft:

    The chair of the House Intelligence Committee told reporters to “be careful what you ask for” during a discussion of FBI phone records.

    He seemed to imply that the reporters themselves, or “other Americans,” could become the targets of congressional investigations should phone records implicate them.

    Nunes has a reputation to uphold for being a firebrand who shoots his mouth off and sounding like an ignorant fool. Self branding, I think the young folks call it.

  209. 209
    SgrAstar says:

    @Miss Bianca: Nice letter! Let us know how/if he responds.

  210. 210
    Boatboy_srq says:

    @Corner Stone: They’ve either never had to worry about paying a private entity for their security (retirement, education, healthcare) or never tried to obtain it from the private sector and have no idea how difficult/costly it is. Same people who expect a decent living with a GED but whinge that businesses can’t make it if they pay their workers more than $7/hr, or who can solve any life emergency with a call to a lawyer or broker on retainer.

  211. 211
    Yutsano says:

    @geg6: Not. One. Microgram.

  212. 212
    Kay says:

    I think my favorite clip of the corrupt attorney general is not where he weasels his way around a question from Franken, it’s where he’s standing there grinning stupidly at the Trump rallies while the deranged fans chant “lock her up!”

    Why can’t we do better than these people? These are low quality hires. They’re embarrassing.

  213. 213
    Chris says:

    @Kay:

    Why can’t we do better than these people? These are low quality hires.

    In your analogy, because of nepotism. The people hiring them would rather give the job to one of their own than to someone who’s actually qualified. Not all of them, but enough of them, and in our fucked up system, those granted the deciding vote.

  214. 214
    Spanky says:

    @rikyrah: I don’t want Sessions gone, I want him in prison.

  215. 215
    Cermet says:

    @cain: Uh, they don’t believe in it for themselves, silly rabbit; rather, they know that it is for you and me! They are special folk and deserve special treatment because they are the real amerikans that earned their right to privileges. Hell, they are so special they vote against their own privileges and are shocked! Shocked when they get the what they voted for … .

  216. 216
    catclub says:

    @Barbara:

    It [PA] was settled earlier than WVA, by a much greater variety of nationalities, on the basis of religious tolerance from the get go.

    The interesting thing to me is that WVA broke off from Virginia due to the Civil War and it was on the side of the Union.

  217. 217
    Brachiator says:

    @rikyrah:

    For those who support President Trump and Brexit leader Nigel Farage, a victory by Marine Le Pen, the far-right National Front leader in France, would be the third, and decisive, domino to fall in the overturning of the post-World War II order of liberal democracy.

    Farage and his party got nowhere despite BREXIT winning in the UK. Right now, Marine Le Pen has a very tough path to victory.

    You also have far right leader Geert Wilders ahead in polls in the Netherlands. Their parliament is designed to always force coalitions, but a win by Wilders would still be unsettling.

  218. 218
    Barbara says:

    @Brachiator: Yeah, well, it just so happens that none of these other people is a general in the United States Army (even if retired) or in line to become the National Security Adviser or an adviser of any kind to the president-elect. Nunes is some kind of stupid.

  219. 219
    catclub says:

    @trollhattan:

    The Dems at least didn’t do that Tuesday.

    They made sure to have a guy whose career is over give the speech.

  220. 220
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @D58826:

    file under the rotten apple doesn’t fall from the equally rotten tree

    –Um, that dossier’s now indexed under RADFFFTHA: “Road Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Horse’s Ass.” Just so you know…

  221. 221
    Mike J says:

    Sessions news conference in 20 minutes.

  222. 222
    catclub says:

    @D58826:

    If Sessions resigns, why should we believe that Trump will pick someone any better?

    Rudy Giuliani is tanned rested and ready.

    Chris Christie would be a big step up from either Giuliani or Sessions – but still terrible.

  223. 223
    catclub says:

    @rikyrah:

    the special prosecutor, Leon Jaworski, and his team uncovered an Oval Office tape recording of a phone call in which Nixon told Kleindiesnt to drop the I.T.T. case. Kleindienst claimed that he thought the senators’ questions were limited to a particular period, not the entire time during which the case was pending.

    Jaworski didn’t buy it.

    The lesson the GOP has learned from this: refuse to install a special prosecutor.

    Don’t lie to Congress is so old fashioned.

  224. 224
    Mai.naem.mobile says:

    I am sorry I am about done with sympathy for these people. If you’re unemployed you have the time to look this shit up. If you want to be racist fucktards then don’t expect me to cry for you.

  225. 225
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Jerzy Russian: If you were driving through eastern MD to get to DC from Ohio, you were doing it wrong.

  226. 226
    lollipopguild says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: Thanks for that. The best laugh of the day so far.

  227. 227
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @WereBear: Right?

    My niece just commented that I need to stop posting so many “hateful” things that are just my opinion and that I’m not going to change anyone’s mind or make them agree with me (presumably the reposts of news reports re: Trump and the Republican’s bullshit going down every single day.)

    I swear, I’m never anywhere NEAR as snarky or insulting on FB as I would be say, here. Hateful to me was when her mother posted stuff about how Michelle is an ugly ape man or that her kids were disgusting tramps. I post facts and commentary. They have no idea of what I’m capable of.

    The majority of people I know who are friends and family on FB are terrified about Trump and this Congress. So I sometimes feel like it’s a bit of an echo chamber in which we are all sharing stuff that helps us stay informed. Lots of us are calling our Rep’s and donating to great causes, plus doing the marching and the protesting locally.

    But I’m supposed walk on eggshells for the handful who stupidly brought this whole thing about.

  228. 228
    Spanky says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: I68 is much preferable to The Turnpike & I70.

    ETA: OK, east, west, what’s the difference, really?
    Extra ETA: OTOH, you would avoid 270, so there’s that.

  229. 229

    @Mike J: yeah, that sure was announced suddenly.

  230. 230
    Mai.naem.mobile says:

    @Spanky: I’ll take him being gone and dogged by a million investigations where he’s paying personally for his lawyers, not the US taxpayer. Prison would be good payback for everything he’s supported but being gone from the DOJ is more important to me.

  231. 231
    Mike J says:

    Merriam-Webster‏ Verified account @MerriamWebster 34 minutes ago
    Lookups for ‘recuse’ are up 45,000%.

  232. 232
    Spanky says:

    @Mike J: So from 1 to 450, then?

  233. 233
    The Moar You Know says:

    Sessions news conference in 20 minutes.

    @Mike J: It will not be his resignation. More of a stand in the schoolhouse door is my bet.

  234. 234

    @The Moar You Know: I’m expecting “I am not a crook”, but after Trump said he had ‘total confidence’ I started a death watch, so I’m conflicted.

  235. 235
    Spanky says:

    Perry’s in 62-37.
    Carson’s in 58-41.

  236. 236
    burnspbesq says:

    @OGLiberal:

    These people who want mining and manufacturing jobs to come back in the numbers they were at 40, 50 or 75-years ago seem to want to halt technological progress. Robots, automation, computers – eff that stuff!…we want those good old back-breaking, hazardous, life shortening jobs back!

    Bingo. All those folks ahould spend an afternoon in a factory in China glueing outsoles onto running shoes, so they can see what “bringing manufacturing jobs back” looks like.

  237. 237
    hovercraft says:

    @catclub:

    Don’t lie to Congress is so old fashioned.

    That only applies to democrats, Hillary is a LIAR !! What about Twitlers lies, no big deal, all politicians lie. Same with e-mails and everything else, big deal when democrats are using private e-mails, but the entire administration is using an app that disappears their communications, no problem.

  238. 238
    Gravenstone says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Shit, several years ago while travelling back from Virginia, I had opportunity to cross into WV. There were fucking huge billboards at the border and at regular intervals thereafter which touted the “carbon neutral” benefit of coal! Damn near drove off the road on seeing the first one. Delusional doesn’t begin to describe those people.

  239. 239
    lgerard says:

    @Spanky:

    i feel sorry for the person who will have to explain physics to Rick Perry

  240. 240
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Origuy: Cape Breton Island is starting to look more appealing to me all the time…would it count in my favor that I’m a fiddle player? (step dancer, too, to some extent). I’m no Natalie McMaster, but I could aspire…

  241. 241
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Spanky:

    OK, east, west, what’s the difference, really?

    Hah. Ask a Sho’man, & stand back quickly lest the reply burn both your ears off. Sample bumper sticker: THERE IS NO LIFE WEST OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY.

  242. 242
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Spanky:

    Ironically, Perry may be the least objectionable of Trump’s non-military cabinet members. He’s an idiot and clueless on the things he doesn’t know. but he isn’t a monster on a personal level and will probably make an effort within the shriveled extent of his mental ability to do the job – deferring mainly to his department’s “lifers”.

    Soft bigotry of low expectations, and all.

  243. 243
    Bitter Scribe says:

    @catclub:

    The interesting thing to me is that WVA broke off from Virginia due to the Civil War and it was on the side of the Union.

    As a slave state. They broke with Virginia because they didn’t want those fancy-britches Easterners dragging them into an unwinnable war.

  244. 244
    Barbara says:

    @Spanky: That’s your opinion! I-68 has a few disadvantages although I will grant you that the Pennsylvania Turnpike is not a great road especially at night. We’ve done it both ways multiple times and have found that I-68 is more likely to have fog and poor visibility, and it has longer hills (although it has nothing like the roller coaster hills on the turnpike). If you are going anywhere north of Youngstown, the turnpike is probably going to be faster.

  245. 245
    Aleta says:

    Sessions’ chief of staff and Sessions are about to speak to the press.
    live: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8kHt-39muA

    “Totally false.”

  246. 246
    Miss Bianca says:

    @hovercraft: Oh, way to go, scumbag: let’s *all* do the Scary Tree from the Wizard of Oz act – “how would you like it if the FBI picked apples off YOU, eh? Eh?”

  247. 247
    germy says:

    Is anyone watching the press conference? I can’t bring myself to. Anything less than a budd dwyer scenario I have no interest in.

  248. 248
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @lgerard:

    You could put the briefing together like a fun scrapbook that he can color with crayons.

    “OK, Secretary Perry – imagine that a block of metal is U238, but that in order to make it work, we have to turn it into U235. That is where the magic starts, so color the centrifuge green….”

  249. 249
  250. 250
    dmsilev says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Perry famously had trouble counting to three; what makes you think he understands the difference between 235 and 238, never mind why it matters?

  251. 251
    trollhattan says:

    @lgerard:
    Rick Perry and Steven Chu, they could be twins! (Except for the Nobel.)

  252. 252

    @Mike J: “I did not talk to Russia about the campaign, but, since my conversations with Russia about the campaign would interfere with an investigation into Russian interference with the campaign, I recuse myself from investigations into my conversations with Russia about the campaign.”

  253. 253
    David Fud says:

    @Yarrow: Dying seems to be a likely way for them to stop voting Republican… and Democrat as well. Frankly, I don’t see any other way out of the brainwashing.

  254. 254
    trollhattan says:

    @Mike J:
    Are you hippies never satisfied? Li’l Jeffy had to recuse himself and go to his room. You bastards!

  255. 255
    Barbara says:

    @Bitter Scribe: I don’t have a great grasp of the history, but there were historic fissures between the eastern half of both North Carolina and Virginia and their western counties. Slaves were far more numerous in the east, where larger scale plantations were more typical (nothing like the plantations in the Deep South, because the soil was too poor). The eastern counties in both states used the equivalent of gerrymandering to control the state legislatures and basically starved the western counties of revenue. So there had always been resentment. And there were many Southerners who opposed secession but obviously their voices were drowned out. There were even Southerners who fought with the Union Army (who were not slaves). There was more opposition to slavery in the Appalachian counties along the lines of the objections that Lincoln had to slavery, not along the lines of Africans being considered the equal of Caucasians. Lincoln was from the same kind of Scotch Irish stock that predominates in Appalachia, especially south of the Mason-Dixon Line, which had many fewer immigrants from other countries.

  256. 256
    Aleta says:

    He’s a cowardly weasel. His reason for recusing himself is that his staff recommended it because he was involved with the campaign. Which has been true all along, while he was refusing to recuse himself.

  257. 257
    lgerard says:

    I hope someone asks Sessions about investigating Pruitt’s blatant perjury before the Senate.

    It is amazing how many details about the meeting Sessions is coming up with now, when he said last week he could not remember what was discussed

  258. 258
    Chris says:

    @Brachiator:

    Farage and his party got nowhere despite BREXIT winning in the UK. Right now, Marine Le Pen has a very tough path to victory.

    The problem with these countries is essentially the same as in the U.S: yes, the far right by itself is still a distinct minority, but the center right is often willing to indulge it. IIRC, that was part of the problem with Brexit – Conservatives had been indulging in EU-scapegoating since forever, they just never thought a referendum would actually pass. Similarly, Sarkozy in France campaigned on an eerily Southern-Strategy-ish notion of “winning back votes from the FN,” and when the FN took them back in a midterm election, reacted by cracking down hard on immigration. Center-rightists all over the continent look at the fascists and the moderate left and often indulge in both-sides-do-it-but-leftists-are-worse. Etc.

    It’s not that the West has never faced a wave of authoritarian pro-Russian parties with meaningful popular support. But last time, there was a consensus by both center-left and center-right against these tendencies which I don’t see having any equivalent today. (Look at Congress – even the hawks have said verbatim “all right, we should investigate Russian involvement in the election, but only if it doesn’t cast doubt on the results of the election!”)

  259. 259
    Barbara says:

    @David Fud: Well, better Internet service in rural America would at least be a start.

  260. 260
    Chris says:

    @Barbara:

    There was more opposition to slavery in the Appalachian counties along the lines of the objections that Lincoln had to slavery, not along the lines of Africans being considered the equal of Caucasians. Lincoln was from the same kind of Scotch Irish stock that predominates in Appalachia, especially south of the Mason-Dixon Line, which had many fewer immigrants from other countries.

    Wasn’t Lincoln, in fact, from Kentucky?

  261. 261
    Aleta says:

    Sessions scoots on out of there as quick as he can.

  262. 262
    MCA1 says:

    I eagerly await the day a few months from now, when news breaks that Sessions has been asking Comey for updates on the Russia investigation, and we get a day or two of explanations that that’s somehow not contradictory to his prior recusal because he’s not providing active oversight or something, and then a press conference from Sessions wherein he formally censures himself, but still doesn’t resign.

    I know, looking a gift horse in the mouth. This is a win, and it makes the Drumpf Maladministration look bad.

  263. 263
    Origuy says:

    @Miss Bianca: You can’t swing a cat in CBI without hitting a fiddle player. I went to a concert in a little town called Christmas Island. It was the kickoff for their weeklong festival celebrating the Gaelic language. All of these topnotch musicians and dancers performing for their friends and neighbors. It was amazing.
    The only problem with CBI is that it basically shuts down in winter.

  264. 264
    Aleta says:

    @Barbara: Interesting.

  265. 265
    Tokyokie says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Sounds like the sort of “limited hangout” in which the Nixon administration engaged shortly before its collapse.

  266. 266
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Bill:

    Where is it written that we all have the right to the same job until we die?

    Hear, hear! I have had to retrain and redirect my career numerous times. I’ve also relocated more than once for better jobs and living conditions. Sometimes we have to make hard choices to survive, or, FSM willing, get ahead. It’s what grown-ups do. I have little tolerance for WWC privileged whining, when it’s been clear for decades hat the old manufacturing and mining industries are dead or dying. I have lower-income and immigrant students in my community college classes who are working their asses off to make their way in life. They have no more resources than and just as many burdens as the WWC. So what’s their excuse?

  267. 267
    Another Scott says:

    @🌷 Martin: Your proposal for a “National Buyout” system sounds great, but I don’t think it would work. Any automation that can be done in the USA can also be done in South Sudan. Industries in the US aren’t going to be willing to pay any higher costs in the USA if they can get around them by going elsewhere.

    For something like that to work, I think there would have to be an international agreement (so companies couldn’t flee the fees) or there would have to be tariffs at the border. Neither one sound likely to me.

    What I imagine happening is that Social Security benefits and Minimum Wages are going to increase more regularly, more people are going to work at something well past “retirement”, and automation will continue. And more people will work in robot repair, robot installation, robot recycling, robot customization (“Get your custom racing stripes and Turbo Encabulator for your Bender 2000 right here!”), etc., etc.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  268. 268
    catclub says:

    @Chris:

    It’s not that the West has never faced a wave of authoritarian pro-Russian parties with meaningful popular support. But last time,

    … it was 1812 and Napoleon was marching on Moscow.

  269. 269
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Origuy:

    The only problem with CBI is that it basically shuts down in winter.

    Oh, you mean like Westcliffe, CO, my current stomping grounds? Population 568, not including cows? That’s a feature, not a bug, far as I’m concerned!

  270. 270
    Chris says:

    @O. Felix Culpa:

    I have little tolerance for WWC privileged whining, when it’s been clear for decades hat the old manufacturing and mining industries are dead or dying. I have lower-income and immigrant students in my community college classes who are working their asses off to make their way in life. They have no more resources than and just as many burdens as the WWC. So what’s their excuse?

    Something that keeps occurring to me in various present-day debates:

    The idealized White Working Class of a hundred years ago was composed in very large part of two kinds of people: 1) immigrants (of various degrees of legality) and 2) white rural voters migrating to where the work was, much of it in big new unglamorous things called “factories” which many people hated because it wasn’t the idealized agrarian hunter/farmer lifestyle of their forefathers, but what could you do, that’s where the work was.

    In other words, 1) people the Trump voters of today hate and 2) people who nutted up and did the thing that the Trump voters of today don’t want to.

  271. 271
    Aleta says:

    Sessions is not going to be making any decisions for himself while he’s AG. He’ll be doing as he’s told.

  272. 272
    Annie says:

    “Do retired coal miners suffering from black lung who voted for Trump really want their grandkids to aspire to be old school miners just like grandpa”

    Many do. I grew up with working-class relatives who did not think I should go to college but that I should get a lousy secretarial job right out of high school because doing something different meant I was “getting above myself.”

  273. 273
    Chris says:

    @catclub:

    Well, a Grand Army is a kind of jobs program.

  274. 274
    Barbara says:

    @Aleta: Cape Breton has had a fall off in tourism in the last 20 years. My family went there about five years ago and it was pretty quiet, in August. It is still isolated and wild in a lot of ways, but now people can fly anywhere and everywhere and so it faces competition from more exotic places like Fiji or Mauritius.

  275. 275
    zhena gogolia says:

    @germy:

    Had to google that. Sorry I did.

  276. 276
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Chris: Pretty much all the coal mining jobs open now require a college degree – usually mining engineering. Nobody is swinging a pick any longer. They’re programming machines, doing measurement and analysis, stuff like that. Those are reasonably transferrable skills to other mining/quarry operations, and they earn enough money to relocate.

  277. 277
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Another Scott:

    Your proposal for a “National Buyout” system sounds great, but I don’t think it would work. Any automation that can be done in the USA can also be done in South Sudan. Industries in the US aren’t going to be willing to pay any higher costs in the USA if they can get around them by going elsewhere.

    You can’t outsource a lot of mining and port work to other countries. Truck driving is the same way. A guy in China can’t get cabbages from the central valley to Salt Lake City.

  278. 278
    🌷 Martin says:

    @zhena gogolia: I was a high school student home because of an administrative holiday or some such and watched that live on TV.

  279. 279
    scott (the other one) says:

    You know, I don’t know who it would be, but I feel like someone—a former elected official, a standup comedian, a pundit—needs to be completely and totally blunt and say, specifically, to and in West Virginia: coal is not coming back. You get that? It doesn’t matter how many fucking politicians pander and lie to you and say it is. It’s not. And it’s not because of regulations. You can get rid of those so the coal companies can start polluting to their black hearts’ content and it doesn’t matter. Not one extra job will be created. Because no one wants your coal. It’s that fucking simple. Coal has been less in demand every year for 30 years and it’s never ever coming back. Never. Ever. Never ever. So all those conservative Republicans who say it is? They’re lying. And you keep fucking voting for them anyway. They keep playing you for suckers and you keep thanking them and asking for another, proving them right, I guess. Have none of you ever fucking noticed that they never really do what they claim? Why the fuck don’t you ever hold them responsible? Seriously, what is wrong with all of you?

  280. 280
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    You can’t outsource a lot of mining and port work to other countries. Truck driving is the same way. A guy in China can’t get cabbages from the central valley to Salt Lake City.

    But that guy in China can gin up the programming for the driverless trucks that can & will. And, for that matter, for the robot cranes that load & unload the trucks & the uncrewed autonomous container ships that bring the winter produce in from Chile. (Presuming there’s anyone left with the ca$h to pay for it.)

  281. 281
    zhena gogolia says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    Wow. I saw the Jack Ruby thing.

  282. 282
    ruckus says:

    @hovercraft:
    This, a million times this.
    To republicans we aren’t all in this together. They don’t want to be together with anyone that doesn’t meet their ideal of human. FUCK them, they have been trying to destroy everything that isn’t them for my entire life and I’m damn near as old as efgoldman.

  283. 283
    J R in WV says:

    @Brachiator:

    When I was a little child in the 1950s, at home with my mom, good looking strong young men would come to the door, and ask if there was any work they could do around the house for groceries. Mom always, always had some chores they could do, clearing brush, raking leaves, something, and gave them a tall paper Kroger’s bag chock full of nourishing food.

    It was many years before I understood everything that was going on there. Mechanization of the coal mines resulted in a huge draw down of manpower. My mom’s dad, who I never knew because he died of lung disease when I was 10 months old, worked as a mechanic in the coal tipple, operating a huge “hoist” that brought up loads of coal that dropped into a chute, amidst clouds of coal dust. So mom was bound by her heritage to help out a miner displaced by a machine.

    The smart miners moved to Baltimore, or Cleveland, or Cincinnati and got factory jobs. I don’t know what happened to the others, commodities were available for a while, government-purchased cheese (to support prices for dairy farmers) canned goods, etc. But welfare sufficient to support a family did not exist then.

    I do think tourism is coming on strong in WV. The New River was a great place to go when I was a youngster in the 1970s, we could camp on the river bank, fish, drink beer, swimming, there were no tourists, no park wardens, no rafters yet.

    But now there are Park staff, dozens of rafting companies with government regulation to keep the river from becoming overcrowded! Zip lines along the sides of the gorge, rock climbing where it’s too steep to hike or put in zip lines.

    And there are many other attractions than just New River. I think these reg changes, as much as I hate them, won’t really do much damage, as the really big mining operations are over. There will never be a coal business in WV again, not really. And both the businessmen who got rich selling equipment to the mines AND the miners and mechanics working for the mines and the associated machine shops will lose everything, if they don’t quit trying to pump a dry hole.

    There is a lot of gas field work now in WV, but that won’t last long either. That’s how extractive business works, you go in, take what you can, make a lot of money and move on. Out west there are huge closed metal mines and smelters, with superfund sites, mostly because of heavy metals contamination. In Bisbee AZ they scraped top soil from people’s yards because it had lead and zinc and copper compounds in it. Toxic waste now.

    The gold mines, copper mines, lead mines, all close up when the ore is gone, and there’s no opening up a mine with no ore. All those people move on and find new places to live and work, and what’s left is called a ghost town. West Virginia may become a ghost state, with the same kinds of attractions you see in western ghost towns… exhibition mines, places to go into the woods, rivers to raft or boat on. But no real factories.

    Sad. Thanks, Trump!

  284. 284
    ruckus says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    The repub politicians for the most part may only want to enrich the rich but a lot of their voters only want to hurt others.

  285. 285
    Gravenstone says:

    @🌷 Martin: I don’t think outsourcing was the point of. AS’ argument. Rather that the cost other domestic energy sectors would incur to support a proposed coal buyout would not be shared in other countries. Thus impacting their competitiveness.

  286. 286
    ruckus says:

    @OGLiberal:
    What’s worse is that one can not freeze time at all. Progress happens, be it good or bad, like it or not.

  287. 287
    Another Scott says:

    @Gravenstone: Indeed. Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  288. 288
    David Fud says:

    @Barbara: I suppose, except that FB and the internet pretty much enabled the outcome that we have. I am not so sure the internet is a magic bullet of truth or enlightenment or whatever it is that the internet is supposed to do. But by all means, let’s get broadband out there.

  289. 289
    PIGL says:

    @Chris: Singing: I got myself a factory job, I ran an old machine….now I’m goin’ back on that same train as brought me here before. Etc.

  290. 290
    J R in WV says:

    @Spanky:

    In Prison! THIS!

    The guy lied under oath in front of the whole nation. If that doesn’t get you into federal prison, what does?

  291. 291
    J R in WV says:

    @Bitter Scribe:

    Not as a slave state, Lincoln would never have signed the legislation making WV a new state in 1863 if the state was a slave state. Furthermore, WV was never a Jim Crow state by law. I won’t say there were not traditions of seperation, but I never saw a “colored drinking fountain” or “white bathroom” until we were driving through the south on the way to Florida one winter break – about 1960 or so.

    My mom had trouble explaining those signs, and whispered “We’ll talk about that later, after we’re back on the road!”

    And the “Carbon Neutral Coal” signs are erected by the Coal Company Association, not by people who live here and work here. I was pretty appalled the first time I saw one too. There are meth-heads and junkies here, but not much casual racism.

    The UMWA, which was once powerful in WV but isn’t so strong now, has a prohibition against racism in its constitution. There was a saying when I was young that “We’re all black underground!” that was taken seriously.

    But most of the children of those black coal miners went out of state for college, and took good jobs elsewhere to avoid going underground. Unlike many white folks with family here. If most of your family leaves with you, leaving isn’t very hard.

  292. 292
    No One You Know says:

    @Yarrow: On reading the article, I get the impression Comet is actually warning reporters that if they do their own jobs, he could choose to investigate them. If they’re, I hope reporters double down on that.

  293. 293
    No One You Know says:

    @No One You Know: Le sigh. Nunes, not Comey. I have to slow down.

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