Open Thread: White Supremacist Welfare Moocher Has A Rich Fantasy Life

Big props to Jason Kander, and his uncles! Per IMBD:

“Tomorrow Belongs to Me” was written by John Kander and Fred Ebb in the style of a traditional German song, sung by the Nazi youth in the movie, to stir up patriotism for the “fatherland”. It has often been mistaken for a genuine “Nazi anthem” and has led to the songwriters being accused of anti-Semitism. This would be most surprising, as they are, in fact, Jewish (This fact has not stopped openly racist and anti-Semitic rock groups, like Skrewdriver, from recording the song and performing it at White Power rallies)…

Speaking of scrabbling around, grifting off other people because that’s his only talent…

Spencer, along with his mother and sister, are absentee landlords of 5,200 acres of cotton and corn fields in an impoverished, largely African American region of Louisiana, according to records examined by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. The farms, controlled by multiple family-owned businesses, are worth millions: A 1,600-acre parcel sold for $4.3 million in 2012.

The Spencer family’s farms are also subsidized by the federal government. From 2008 through 2015, the Spencers received $2 million in US farm subsidy payments, according to federal data.

Although Spencer has attracted extensive media attention as a leader of the so-called alt-right movement—particularly after he drew Nazi salutes at an event celebrating Donald Trump’s election—he has never explained publicly how he supports himself while actively promoting his agenda via conferences and media appearances. The finances of his nonprofit think tank, the National Policy Institute, are a mystery; the organization hasn’t filed a public report since 2013. On Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported that the IRS revoked the institute’s tax-exempt status….

My first thought upon reading this: Does he charge his followers a premium for white hoods made from his own artisanally-sourced cotton?

153 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    Sandia Blanca says:

    So, I have seen lots of coverage of Cheeto Benito’s numerous trips to Mar-a-Lago and his other properties on the weekends, and I believe he’s stayed at the White House one or two weekends. But what I haven’t seen is anything on whether he has gone back to T Tower at all since the inauguration. Has he been there even once? Is he paranoid about the “tapping”? Did Melania force him to stay away?

  3. 3
    Chet Murthy says:

    Heh. I remember reading an interview with the author of Sendmail, a gay man, the first internet mail transfer agent (MTA) (much later superseded by Postfix), where he remarked that all those haters sending their hate-filled email around the Internets might be shocked to learn that they were using software written by a gay man.

    I don’t want to go further than my memory on this, but ISTR he got a chuckle out of the idea. I sure do.

  4. 4
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    There was a really interesting interview with John Kander on Fresh Air with Terry Gross a couple of days ago. It’s probably readily accessible in the FA archives.

    ETA: Yes, here it is.

  5. 5
    MattF says:

    So, Spencer gets his income from Black Belt cotton fields in Louisiana, and gets a multi-million dollar subsidy from the Federal government. You couldn’t make that up.

  6. 6
    Jerzy Russian says:

    Christ, what an asshole!

  7. 7
    JPL says:

    I hope that Jason will become a spokesman for the party. He’s been on TV, but not nearly enough.

    btw, from the feed you cited, I found this gem

    Is leaking classified info, only a crime for dems?

  8. 8
  9. 9
    Aleta says:

    Is there anything in the budget proposal related to farm subsidies?

  10. 10
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Sandia Blanca:

    But what I haven’t seen is anything on whether he has gone back to T Tower at all since the inauguration. Has he been there even once?

    Pretty sure he hasn’t. OTOH, he’s been to Mar-a-Lago five weekends out of seven. Make of that what you will.

    Link (sorry, trouble using the select/link buttons on iPad):

  11. 11
    martian says:

    What sort of Democrat is Kander? Stipulated that a yellow dog is better than Roy Blunt, but I don’t want to, you know, give my heart away completely without checking.

    That song and that scene in the movie are still chilling, by the way. I watched them again after the future died. Horrified, but I guess not shocked, that the things that go bump in the night have adopted it as an anthem.

  12. 12
    J R in WV says:

    @Major Major Major Major:


    We were given a “Starfighter” orchid many years ago, and it bloomed several spring seasons, before we finally killed it off. Now I have a grocery store orchid that we’ve had for a couple of years now, and it’s been growing well, putting out new leaves and such. I have it on a tiny windowsill over the kitchen sink, so I’m more afraid of watering it too much than of forgetting it to dry up.

    That’s a beautiful flower, though! Congrats, again!

  13. 13
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:


  14. 14
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @MattF: This is the second time I’ve seen somebody suggested there’s some kind of irony in Spencer being a cotton farmer.

    Isn’t “rich white guy who has black people to pick his cotton” kind of the ultimate expression of white nationalism in America? Why WOULDN’T you expect an American Nazi to fit that description?

  15. 15

    @Iowa Old Lady: thanks!

    @J R in WV: I don’t know why but these two plants I have are super hearty and as long as I fertilize them on the right schedule will flower every springtime for a few weeks. Probably because the weather in San Francisco is to their liking!

  16. 16
    Chris T. says:

    @Chet Murthy: Yes, Eric would be amused.

    (He might also have had a fair bit of wine first. He and Kirk have a fantastic wine cellar in the back house. Their lovely little Craftsman fell off its foundation in the 1989 quake, and they went just a little wild on the repairs. :-) )

  17. 17
    MattF says:

    @Lurking Canadian: I wouldn’t call it ironic– more like ‘searching for explanations is unnecessary when the answer is staring you in the face.’

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    Aleta says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I saw an amazing collection of orchids years ago at the conservatory in Golden Gate Park.

  20. 20
    Sandia Blanca says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Just seems odd to me–he was holed up in NYC non-stop after the election, but hasn’t been back since? It’s obviously not because he is devoted to his work.

  21. 21
    debbie says:

    Spencer sounding pretty uncomfortable in this interview as part of today’s “Reveal”:

  22. 22
    msdc says:


    What sort of Democrat is Kander? Stipulated that a yellow dog is better than Roy Blunt, but I don’t want to, you know, give my heart away completely without checking.

    The kind who lives in Missouri and runs sixteen points ahead of the top of the ticket.

    Don’t get fucking picky.

  23. 23
    msdc says:

    I mean, I know, “Republicans want to fall in line, Democrats want to fall in love,” but jesus fucking christ.

  24. 24
    debbie says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    The irony is that he condemns the kind of mooching he’s been found to have done.

  25. 25
    BlueDWarrior says:

    @msdc: With the position we are in, we need all the center-lefts and centrists we can get that are competent at running a campaign. We can worry about “sufficient left-ness” when we’ve had Congress for a full Presidential term (at least).

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    debbie says:


    Do you mean blue dog?

  28. 28
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    Isn’t “rich white guy who has black people to pick his cotton” kind of the ultimate expression of white nationalism in America? Why WOULDN’T you expect an American Nazi to fit that description?

    Spencer and his ilk keep insisting that they’re not racists — not white supremacists, just ‘white nationalists’ who all independently studied history & economics and realized, out of their vast thinking, that (certain selected classes) of Pure Nordic Types are inherently better & smarter & more worthy that “those people”.

    If Spencer is just another hereditary racist mouthing the same well-worn our-reich-shall-rise-again threats, it’s just not as… manly and original and newsworthy.

    “I’m not just some dumb Bubba, I have *SCIENCE* on my side!” cries the son & inheritor of dumb-bubba-ness.

  29. 29
    Pogonip says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Looking good!

    I can’t grow flowering plants right now; this house faces north and was built in the 50’s so it has those stupid tiny ranch windows. I must live vicariously through others.

  30. 30

    @Aleta: the conservatory of flowers always has such cool stuff going on.

  31. 31
    chris says:

    @Sandia Blanca: My guess is that he’s afraid of the demonstration that might greet him in NYC. It might be bigger than his inauguration.

  32. 32
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Sandia Blanca:

    Just seems odd to me–he was holed up in NYC non-stop after the election, but hasn’t been back since?

    Trump Tower NYC is surrounded, these days, by rude protestors and vulgar gawkers with no respect.

    At Mar-A-Largo, there are gates to keep people like that well away from the sightlines and hearing of Lord Smallgloves.

    He only loves crowds when they’re pre-screened to ensure everyone’s properly sycophantic adoring.

  33. 33
    Pogonip says:

    Philadelphia Lawyer, are you there? I think we should request a Jack topic every week, like someone had a Star Trek topic going every week.

    I really like the design of the Daughters of Aku. They’re the villain version of swarming army ants.

    And I am eager to find out what’s up with the mysterious bushi on horseback, who keeps popping in now and then, like Bambi’s father.

  34. 34
    J R in WV says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    “as long as I fertilize them on the right schedule ” – what schedule? I just hit our little grocery mystery orchid every so often. It’s in an eastern window, with heavy woods outside, so half a day of sun when the leaves fall off, and so far until we green up come April or so.

    We have friends across the county who have a window box over the sink full of orchids, I’m thinking an east exposure, but no trees to shade it in the summer. Some of those are gnarly plants.

  35. 35
    Chet Murthy says:

    @Chris T.: Yeah, I was privileged to meet them once (professionally). Didn’t want to mention names (even though non-single-neuron-disease victims can find it all in wikipedia) b/c …. well, I figure why give knuckle-draggers a leg up.

  36. 36
    Schlemazel says:

    I love that whole scene from Cabaret. It encompasses what is going on in the nations at that time perfectly with a golden-haired fuzzy cheeked youth singing a song of hope & the future then turns into an ugly anthem to what is to come. I love the old man (who as seen war at least on the home front if not in person) poo-pooing them too. Then the scene ends with the question people should be asking today “So, do you still think you can control them?”

  37. 37
    patrick II says:

    Since this is an open thread, I will use this opportunity to point out that Judge Napolitano’s statement that O’Bama (maternal side Irish spelling) asked the British to spy on Trump was made a week after Trump’s twitter accusation. So Trump saying that he was “merely quoting a talented legal mind” he had seen on FOX news evidently asserts Trump’s ability to time travel — an ability even less likely than getting Mexico to pay for the wall.

  38. 38
    Schlemazel says:

    @patrick II:
    Better still, Jerkoff Napolitano got the story from Russian Times. RT is the pivot man if the conservative circle-jerk

  39. 39
    Jeffro says:

    Not surprising that a spoiled brat from a white welfare household thinks he’s entitled to rule the rest of the country/world.

    Why, if we dug a bit deeper on that issue, we might even find that he has certain insecurities about his own self-worth, and finds it easier to tamp all that down by going after other people…

  40. 40
    Baud says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    white nationalists’ who all independently studied history & economics and realized, out of their vast thinking, that (certain selected classes) of Pure Nordic Types are inherently better & smarter & more worthy that “those people”.

    They seem to be doing their damnedest to disprove that hypothesis.

  41. 41
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Sandia Blanca: I’ve seen pics of Melania at Mar-a-Lago so she does see Donald on at least some weekends.

    I’m with the other commentators who think Trump is afraid of being surrounded by protestors if he goes back to Fifth Avenue. There were spontaneous protests right after Election Day at Trump Tower; it would be easy enough for everyone to get back on the subway and start up all over again. This time around, people already have signs and hats ready to go.

  42. 42
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Sandia Blanca:

    I know. No idea how much $$ he burned in going back to NYC from the campaign trail at every opportunity just so he could sleep in his own bed. I suppose they had his Trump Tower bed shipped to DC for him, so he at least has his own furniture and linens to make him feel somewhat comfy in that cold ole slave-built “White” House.

  43. 43
    DissidentFish says:

    @Anne Laurie: I can buy the existence of “white nationalist” in some countries, but in ours, “we hold these truths to be self-evident; that all [humans] are created equal…”

    There is no such a thing as white nationalist American; it’s a contradiction in terms. An American “white nationalist” is just a white supremacist.

  44. 44

    @J R in WV: I get about three flowerings in the spring if I give it the right food during bloom season, then once in the fall with a dormant blend.

  45. 45
    JPL says:

    @patrick II: Wait until you see his NCAA basketball bracket. He has it locked in a safe place, and will reveal it after the last whistle blows. lol

  46. 46
    Baud says:

    @DissidentFish: There was a time when what you said wasn’t true. They want to go back to that time. We will stop them.

  47. 47
    TriassicSands says:

    @Sandia Blanca:

    Is he paranoid about the “tapping”?

    He’d have to believe that wiretapping took place for him to be paranoid. Since he made the whole thing up, he’s probably not too worried.

    Alternatively, if he really is delusional from an undiagnosed but visible mental illness then he may be cowering under his bed at night in fear that what’s in the closet is coming to get him.

    Who knows with this lunatic.

    The idea of a Trump presidency is horrifying and he’s proving to be even more unstable and unfit than I could have imagined. But I’ll say this for a Trump presidency — there’s plenty of action. Admittedly, it gets boring since it’s all the same stuff over and over, but every day when I wake up I know that Trump will do something that day that is more ridiculous, irresponsible, dangerous, idiotic, unpresidential, etc. than any president before him has ever done.

    Trump’s inauguration crowd may have been as tiny as his fingers, but he’s setting records in “presidenting” that will find their way into history books. I expect that when Trump is finished wrecking the office of the presidency there will be more books written about him in the first five years post-Trump than most presidents have written about them in, well, forever.

  48. 48
    Chet Murthy says:

    @Baud: I’m reminded of William Gibson’s “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” Also with that past (which isn’t quite gone).

  49. 49
    Jeffro says:

    @Chet Murthy: That…is an excellent quote. Thanks!

  50. 50
    Baud says:

    @Chet Murthy: Agree with @Jeffro.

  51. 51
    Ruviana says:

    @TriassicSands: I know some people grumble about Alex Shephard at the New Republic but I like his weekly wrap-up of the Trump goings-on. The subhead is always “This week was pretty bad. But next week will be worse.”

  52. 52
    rikyrah says:

    Found at POU:


    My sister works for the CDC where morale is at an all-time low. They have a conference this week where they had to have meetings on what they can and cannot say because the tobacco industry sends people to hear what they say. They do this every year, but this is the first year where what they say might have negative consequences for THEM, since the tobacco industry has a friend in the HHS Secretary. She said people are pissed. One division that works in studying sexual assaults, lost their funding already for studying sexual assaults on college campuses – because in some literature they said the word “rape” too many times. (I’m not making this up). They also get these morning emails from Tom Price talking about all the good going on – and he puts all these links from Fox News videos in these emails. Everybody has figured out how to send that shit straight to junk mail so they don’t even have to look at that crap.

    A friend that works for the USDA says they’ve also been getting those emails from Tom Price. He is a field biologist and says they have been told half of them will be laid off possibly because there isn’t a priority with this administration to make sure the fruits and vegetables growing in this country OR coming INTO this country are actually safe.


  53. 53
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    Isn’t “rich white guy who has black people to pick his cotton” kind of the ultimate expression of white nationalism in America? Why WOULDN’T you expect an American Nazi to fit that description?

    You, sir, just insulted my entire maternal lineage! All of whom were benevolent, uh, slave owners and what not. And the actual slave owning ended in the late 1800’s, so there.

    Thought to be honest, when I used to visit the plantation as a child in the 1970’s, i couldn’t tell much difference between what I was seeing and what I had learned about slaves. Except, of course, for the benevolence.


    ETA: at least they all did, and still do, vote Democratic, even after the Civil Rights Act!

  54. 54

    @Chet Murthy: Lately I’ve been thinking of a corollary to this, which is that Democratic electoral control of the country is here already, just not correctly distributed.

  55. 55
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Are you planning to become the new Nero Wolf with an Orchid Plant Room? Who here might be your Archie Goodwin?

  56. 56
    martian says:

    @msdc: @msdc:

    The kind who lives in Missouri and runs sixteen points ahead of the top of the ticket.

    Don’t get fucking picky.

    So, you skipped right over the part where I pledged allegiance to the yellow dog and straight to assuming I’m a purity pony? Jason Kander has ambitions beyond Missouri, I’m assuming. Blue Dogs have their place, and Missouri may be one of them, but I’m eying him up as a someday national contender.

    I know 11/9 has us all feeling scalded, but shit, we’re still allowed *some* picking and choosing.

  57. 57
    Schlemazel says:

    He is a sociopath, nothing he fucks up is his fault, it has to be someone else’s fault.

  58. 58
    ThresherK says:

    Wait, that Kander is the uncle of Jason Kander?

    And Jason opened the can of family whupass?


    We Dems gotta draft a Hammerstein simply to smack down the Republicans who don’t know the meaning of You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught. (Or, for North Carolina, I Enjoy Being a Girl.)

  59. 59
    Glidwrith says:

    @Aleta: If you are ever in San Diego at the right time of month, the San Diego Zoo has an awesome orchid collection that is open to public viewing for a few hours. Did you know there is an orchid which is nothing but roots?

  60. 60
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    Missouri really fucked up re-electing that asswipe Blunt, instead of sending Kander to the Senate…

  62. 62
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Someone will use that to blame Dems for everything.

  63. 63
    martian says:


    Do you mean blue dog?

    Basically. And how heartfelt a Blue Dog if so. For example, I seem to recall that Gillibrand was considered a bit more conservative before winning her Senate seat and has shifted left to align with her wider constituency. I’m just trying to get a handle on where Kander falls ideologically, how much room he has to move.

  64. 64
    lollipopguild says:

    @TriassicSands: If trump had no secret deals with the russians there would be nothing for him to look and sound guilty for. He always acts as if he knows that he will be found out.

  65. 65
    Doug R says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: It was a little sooty for a while after the Canadians burned it down.

  66. 66


    Someone will use that to blame Dems for everything.

    I feel like this could be one of those phrases that’s a caption to every New Yorker cartoon.

  67. 67
    Ben Vernia says:

    For god’s sake, can’t reporters dispense with describing NPI as a “think tank”? It’s a guy with a website. Period. Does it think? Does it have resident scholars and such, that might conceivably merit calling it a “tank”? No. It’s a jerkoff with a website.

  68. 68
    Mnemosyne says:


    Kander is buddies with you-know-who. Though I think it’s the songwriter from Fiddler on the Roof (who is also still alive and in his 90s) that he gives rap music mixtapes to.

    (The plane finally took off around 10:30 pm and I made it home, so I am currently laying in bed with an ice pack on my knee and a purring cat on my chest.)

  69. 69
    Sandia Blanca says:

    @chris: Looks like you, Anne Laurie, and Ohio Mom are in agreement, and that makes sense.

    @SiubhanDuinne: I’ll bet you’re right about the bed. Do you think he made them install gold plumbing fixtures, too? (Gross.)

    @TriassicSands: Yes, I’ll say one thing for ol’ Orange Whiz, he has delivered all of us to the “interesting times” of that Chinese curse. Thanks, Donnie.

  70. 70

    @Mnemosyne: better than an ice pack on your chest and a purring cat on your knees. Welcome home!

  71. 71
    Jeffro says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy:

    Missouri really fucked up re-electing that asswipe Blunt, instead of sending Kander to the Senate…

    True…repeat x20 across the country + the White House…

    As Dems, we could do worse that to constantly remind the voting public to “listen to what candidates actually say they want to do…and then what they actually do for you and yours once in office“. That is a losing proposition for Republicans every time.

  72. 72
    Jeffro says:

    @Ben Vernia: I didn’t see this in the thread…which NPI?

  73. 73
    Baud says:

    @Jeffro: It’s to prevent that sort of argument that the magic of “both sides” was invented.

  74. 74
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    that scene just makes my flesh crawl– it was going around the tubes a few months ago, and I was wondering if it was some kind of translation/adaptation of an actual Nazi song from the thirties. And now that I type that, I’m remembering where I think I remembered it from: Laraine Newman singing it in a WWII sketch in the early years of SNL

    If Kander the younger is able to deliver on his promise to fight voter suppression, his future could be very bright. I wonder if (assuming his eye is on the White House) he has the patience to play a long game, to wait our the MO gov’s office or to run again for Blount’s seat in 2022. I think one of the reasons Christie crashed so hard– I think the bridge thing was the result of he and his staff thinking they were on an unstoppable train an could get away with anything– was he thought he could/had to run in 2016

  75. 75

    @Jeffro: Spencer’s place, it’s mentioned in the actual post we’re allegedly commenting on.

  76. 76
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Well, I was sorry not to have breakfast with you — I think you would enjoy our grits — but glad you made it home eventually. We’ll try to meet up on another occasion, your coast or mine.

    Until this thread, I hadn’t made the connection between Jason Kander and John Kander. Cool that they’re related. Cooler still that you-know-who is part of the mix.

  77. 77
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @Pogonip: send me an email with details so I remember and I’ll schedule it to auto post once a week whiles it’s on!

  78. 78
    Steeplejack (phone) says:


    As M^4 said, it’s in the main post up top:

    The finances of his nonprofit think tank, the National Policy Institute, are a mystery; the organization hasn’t filed a public report since 2013.

  79. 79
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    she should wag her finger in his face

    Daniel Dale‏Verified account @ ddale8 10h10 hours ago
    Republican former Arizona governor Jan Brewer savages Trump’s health plan, says it will “devastate” the vulnerable:

  80. 80
    rikyrah says:

    Very good article:

    Unspeakable Realities Block Universal Health Coverage In America
    Chris Ladd
    A recovering Republican.

    When it seems like people are voting against their interests, I have probably failed to understand their interests. We cannot begin to understand Election 2016 until we acknowledge the power and reach of socialism for white people.

    Americans with good jobs live in a socialist welfare state more generous, cushioned and expensive to the public than any in Europe. Like a European system, we pool our resources to share the burden of catastrophic expenses, but unlike European models, our approach doesn’t cover everyone.

    Like most of my neighbors I have a good job in the private sector. Ask my neighbors about the cost of the welfare programs they enjoy and you will be greeted by baffled stares. All that we have is “earned” and we perceive no need for government support. Nevertheless, taxpayers fund our retirement saving, health insurance, primary, secondary, and advanced education, daycare, commuter costs, and even our mortgages at a staggering public cost. Socialism for white people is all-enveloping, benevolent, invisible, and insulated by the nasty, deceptive notion that we have earned our benefits by our own hand.

    My family’s generous health insurance costs about $20,000 a year, of which we pay only $4,000 in premiums. The rest is subsidized by taxpayers. You read that right. Like virtually everyone else on my block who isn’t old enough for Medicare or employed by the government, my family is covered by private health insurance subsidized by taxpayers at a stupendous public cost. Well over 90% of white households earning over the white median income (about $75,000) carried health insurance even before the Affordable Care Act. White socialism is nice if you can get it.

    Companies can deduct the cost of their employees’ health insurance while employees are not required to report that benefit as income. That results in roughly a $400 billion annual transfer of funds from state and federal treasuries to insurers to provide coverage for the Americans least in need of assistance. This is one of the defining features of white socialism, the most generous benefits go to those who are best suited to provide for themselves. Those benefits are not limited to health care.

    By funding government programs with tax credits and deductions rather than spending, we have created an enormous social safety net that grows ever more generous as household incomes rise. It is important to note, though, that you need not be wealthy to participate. All you need to gain access to socialism for white people is a good corporate or government job. That fact helps explain how this welfare system took shape sixty years ago, why it was originally (and still overwhelmingly) white, and why white Rust Belt voters showed far more enthusiasm for Donald Trump than for Bernie Sanders. White voters are not interested in democratic socialism. They want to restore their access to a more generous and dignified program of white socialism.

    Absolutely on point.

    They want to return to the delusional days of Mad Men. Pretending that it was a meritocracy. Pretending that they were big fish in a big pond. In reality, they were fish in a pond where 90% of the other fish were crammed into sardine cans. Now those cans are open, they have to compete with everyone, and they’re mad about that.

  81. 81

    Re warrants, a few days ago, I thought I heard Adam Schiff explaining that there were two kinds of warrants that could be used to observe someone–FISA and criminal. You needed a judge to give you one, but you went to different kinds of judges. I gather FISA warrants don’t allow you to observe an American citizen, but criminal ones do. BJ lawyers, is that right? And could the FBI be using a criminal warrant to observe Trump? I mean, I know the Russian entanglement is the biggest concern, but it occurred to me that the guy is not exactly squeaky clean.

  82. 82
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: In Forbes, no less.

  83. 83
    jake the antisoshul soshulist says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    I would not call that irony as much as synergy.

  84. 84
    JPL says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: This was Nunes on Fox this morning talking about the investigation.
    He clearly say but one meaning under investigation. Wallace didn’t flinch at all, and I tracked down the entire interview. Nunes switches to poor Flynn and leaking. It appears he leaked classified info himself. iokiyr

  85. 85
    hovercraft says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Beautiful flower and great picture. Congrats.

  86. 86
    mai naem mobile says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I wonder if he didn’t find a position for Jan Brewer because she doesn’t fit central casting for a governmental position except maybe a prison commander. All snark aside, Jan Brewer had some real opposition from the super RWNJs in the state legislature when she agreed to medicaid expansion in the state (technically it’s a waiver state because AZ has its own version of medicaid.)

  87. 87
    mainmata says:

    NPR’s “Reveal”, which radio network some on this blog regularly like to slag off did a great job and interview with that a**hole who basically said his family wealth did indeed fund his mission and flipped the interviewers off. Basically, he’s a modern day plantation owner in the ante-bellum tradition. But “Reveal” did a great job.

    Resist folks

  88. 88
    mainmata says:

    @JPL: I agree. He could be a surprising progressive voice from a state that’s pretty conservative. Would be pretty refreshing.

  89. 89

    Mother of civilizations called and wants numbers one to ten, back. Spencer can count with his Roman numerals.

  90. 90
    rikyrah says:

    There was an Africa trade meeting with no Africans because all their visas got denied
    Posted about 12 hours ago by Harriet Marsden in news

    Each year, delegations from Africa meet with officials and business leaders in the US for the African Global Economic and Development (AGED) Summit.

    This year’s event took place at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles.

    But unfortunately, one crucial aspect was missing from the summit – any Africans.

    None of the invited delegates were able to attend, due to being denied a visa at the very last minute.

    Mary Flowers, chair of the summit, told VOA that during the previous three summits around 40 per cent of attendees were denied visas.

    This year, it was 100 per cent. Every delegation. And it was sad to see, because these people were so disheartened.

    She estimated that around 100 guests, from Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and South Africa, were unable to attend.

  91. 91
    rikyrah says:

    Blake Hounshell‏Verified account @blakehounshell

    CBP detained the former police chief of Greenville, NC for ~90 minutes

    from his Facebook Post:

    This experience has left me feeling vulnerable and unsure of the future
    of a country that was once great and that I proudly called my own. This
    experience makes me question if this is indeed home. My freedoms were
    restricted, and I cannot be sure it won’t happen again, and that it
    won’t happen to my family, my children, the next time we travel abroad.
    This country now feels cold, unwelcoming, and in the beginning stages of
    a country that is isolating itself from the rest of the world – and its
    own people – in an unprecedented fashion. High levels of hate and
    injustice have been felt in vulnerable communities for decades-it is now
    hitting the rest of America.

  92. 92
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: that is a great article! I shared that puppy on FB and I’m considering posting it every day for the next month.

  93. 93
    hovercraft says:

    @Anne Laurie: @Sandia Blanca:
    NYC hates him with the heat of a thousand suns. There have been protests all over the city for various things he’s said and done.

    Via NYTimes
    Protesters Ready for Trump’s First Visit to New York as President
    The distaste for President Trump in his hometown has convulsed into near daily protests across the city. Summoned by a Facebook post or cellphone alert, New Yorkers have taken to the streets to object to his policies, appointments and executive orders.

    All this, however, could merely be a prelude to the moment yet to come — Mr. Trump has still not set foot in New York City as president, puzzling and emboldening some protesters who see his weekend visits to his Florida estate as something of a retreat to friendlier ground. But whenever he does settle into his penthouse home atop Trump Tower, seething New Yorkers will finally be able to train their ire directly at Mr. Trump on his doorstep.

    The visual of Trump coming back to New York would be the Fifth Avenue of Manhattan flooded with people angrily protesting just about everything that Donald Trump has done……..

    Since the election, immigrant groups like the coalition and Make the Road New York have been organizing via text messaging app, blasting participants with calls to action straight to their phones. It helped the coalition attract thousands of people to Kennedy Airport hours after the travel ban went into effect. Events that used to take weeks to launch now take hours, organizers said, foreshadowing what may happen when word filters out that Mr. Trump is on his way.

    “Because people are paying attention, we are able to mobilize people with very little notice,” Ms. Yakupitiyage said.

  94. 94
    satby says:

    @Baud: Forbes frequently has good articles. When I share them on Facebook, I always preface it with the tag “from the notorious mouthpiece of Communism, Forbes”

  95. 95
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    Ted Lieu @tedlieu

    Trump approval drops to 37% – the worst Gallup poll any president has ever had this early in their term.

    Pretty soon the only people who support @realDonaldTrump will be the Russians.

    145 replies 1,709 retweets 3,544 likes


  96. 96
    hovercraft says:

    @patrick II:
    So the T.A.R.D.I.S. was not O’Bama’s it belongs to whomever is president? How come none of the other presidents used it before?

  97. 97
    Gvg says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: any American citizen can be under a normal criminal investigation. I suspect they would be very very careful to get it exactly right legally if it was even close to the President. There are rules about tapping others “accidentally” which means I think if they suspected Trump, they couldn’t also tapp lines that mainly his wife’s or kid’s or associates unless they had reasonable cause for them too. Also the individual is not the same as their company though in Trumps case the company would probably be before the individual.
    It’s theoretically possible but I don’t know, doesn’t seem as likely. Now the irs….do they do that kind of investigation? I can’t recall specifically if they do wire taps. But if he went down for anything, I think tax fraud is even more likely than treason for his personality.

  98. 98
    Jeffro says:


    It’s to prevent that sort of argument that the magic of “both sides” was invented.

    Oh yeah, absolutely. “Both sides” is a pro-Republican argument, definitely. They benefit tremendously from minimal thinking/heavy cynicism.

  99. 99
    Jeffro says:

    @Major Major Major Major: @Steeplejack (phone):

    Wait…people are supposed to actually read the posts before commenting? I thought this was Balloon Juice??

    (Ok, my bad, my bad…)

  100. 100
    SFAW says:


    Since when are you posting articles from The Onion? Why, next thing, you’ll be posting some article about Congressional hearings related to women’s rights, and there will only be men invited.

  101. 101
    Schlemazel says:

    The right thing to do is read the original comment, taking it in the most offensive way possible and unleashing righteous fury in return

  102. 102
    BlueDWarrior says:

    @rikyrah: it shouldn’t surprise people on our side when their side constantly argues for basically an apartheid state. Whites and selected individual ethic minorities inside the wall, everyone else and exiled liberals outside.

  103. 103
  104. 104
    msdc says:

    @martian: If you’re eyeing him as a national contender now, you’re getting ahead of yourself. Let’s elect some Dems to Congress and state legislatures first. Any Democratic president will depend on them to get legislation passed, and it’s not like Kander could be a national contender without a statewide win first.

  105. 105
    SFAW says:


    The right thing to do is read the original comment, taking it in the most offensive way possible and unleashing righteous fury in return

    GOD DAMN YOU!!!!!

    Oh, wait — is it you upon whom I should be unleashing righteous fury? Or Jeffro? Or perhaps Cole??? I think I missed something somewhere.

    Get back to me on that, would you please?

  106. 106
    Mary G says:

    @martian: I had been donating to him, just a tiny bit, before the election, and still get emails and follow him on Twitter, and he really impresses me. He may be ex-military and has to sound pretty Blue Dog because of Missouri, but I get the strong impression he’s quite progressive IRL. He was the MO Secretary of State and fought off a bunch of voter restriction laws while in office and is passionate against voting restrictions of all kinds. He’s started a national org, Let America Vote, to fight for voters’ rights in all states.

  107. 107
    SFAW says:


    Even tho’ it’s The Onion, it still depresses the shit outta me.

  108. 108
    chris says:

    @hovercraft: Knew I’d read that somewhere, thanks.

    People have hated tRump for a long time. Here’s a picture from 1989. “Fight Trumpism!” indeed.

  109. 109
    Pogonip says:

    @Alain the site fixer: What’s your e-mail? What details do you need?

  110. 110
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    The Spencer family’s farms are also subsidized by the federal government. From 2008 through 2015, the Spencers received $2 million in US farm subsidy payments, according to federal data.

    OF COURSE he and his slimy mother take the subsidies. If our government is ” a fool enough” to offer them, they’ll take them and laugh because they’re “ripping-off the enemy”.

    They aren’t worried about hypocrisy, they’re mocking America.

  111. 111
    hovercraft says:

    @Steeplejack (phone):
    NPI is a non-profit, wow, I breezed right past that. Since they hand them out like candy, can we be :

    John Cole’s : Peoples University of Social Science and Yammering.

  112. 112
    scav says:

    I’m somehow rather intrigued by US diplomat ejected from New Zealand after police fail to get immunity waived. Continuing to make friends and maintain cordial relationships around the world, we are.

  113. 113
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @hovercraft: Does Trump Tower not have a helipad on top of it? You’d think he’d have indulged his ego years putting one there a long time ago. Will he land at an airport and limo into town? I can’t imagine him feeling he needed to move about NY like one of the commoners.

  114. 114
    MomSense says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Lovely. This is the first year I’ve been without any orchids. The last two I had were reliable bloomers until my mom house sat. She kept watering them Because they “felt dry”. When my life settles a bit, I’d like to start again.

  115. 115
    JPL says:

    @scav: Sad.

  116. 116
    Ruckus says:


    They want to return to the delusional days of Mad Men

    Exactly. This was why I could never watch that show. It wasn’t a mythical vision, it was real life, bullshit distilled into a sales pitch, a job with benefits, and quite a lot of barely hidden costs.

  117. 117
    Jazzman says:

    @Ben Vernia: Reminds me of Kathy Griffin’s comeback when the “Catholic League” protested one of her performances: “I realized it’s one dude with a computer.” (The “dude”, of course, being Fightin’ Bill Donohue.)

  118. 118
    hovercraft says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:
    From Quora
    Rooftop helipads were banned in New York City after 9/11. Only the three helipads; Wall St, East 30st and West 30st are open today. All of these are on the water.

    The Pan-Am helipad accident atop what is now the MetLife building also scared a lot of people, even though it was a while ago.


    Given hi relationship with DiBlasio, and the Feds refusal to reimburse NYC for expenses, I doubt they will go out of their way to change the law, or do anything to make things easier for him.

  119. 119
    Millard Filmore says:


    next thing, you’ll be posting some article about Congressional hearings related to women’s rights, and there will only be men invited.

    If there is a hearing about women having too many rights, why would inviting women help?

  120. 120
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @rikyrah: Thank you.

  121. 121
    chris says:

    @Ella in New Mexico: No helipad, I looked.

    ETA: Thank you, hovercraft

  122. 122

    @hovercraft: I read some article about him having to land in Central Park, which struck me as bizarre.

  123. 123
    Schlemazel says:

    The have the unfortunate ability to tell the truth in humor.

  124. 124
    Crashman06 says:

    @Ruckus: honestly that’s why you should watch it. It’s exactly how you described and that’s the point.

  125. 125
    ruemara says:

    @Major Major Major Major: is there an ointment for that?

  126. 126
    Jeffro says:

    @rikyrah: Thanks rikyrah, I just sent that article everywhere and to everyone I could think of. They need to realize the truth: the white safety net is real and provides HUGE benefits that most take for granted.

  127. 127
    Jeffro says:


    In Forbes, no less.

    I think the writer got a bit further into the article before actually saying “white socialism”, is how that happened.

    I’m hoping it (being in Forbes + not mentioning ‘white socialism’ in the headline) will get some friends and relatives of mine to read it when they’d otherwise dismiss it unread as “reverse racism”

  128. 128

    @ruemara: check out this doodle somebody did on the picture, way more fun than the kind of joke you made 😜

  129. 129
    NotMax says:

    Just popped in to give to say Happy Equinox Eve.

    *(pops out)*

  130. 130
    Jeffro says:


    The right thing to do is read the original comment, taking it in the most offensive way possible and unleashing righteous fury in return


    I’ve been doing it all wrong then…I usually glance at the post, say something, then relate it to something off-topic (usually in a very extended manner), and then ask people to call their member of Congress and Senators (for what, I’m probably not always/often clear…just call, people!)

    I’ll try to get with the program. =)

  131. 131
    Jeffro says:

    @Schlemazel: I know it’s the Onion, but that is an amazingly eye-opening take on reality, as their best stuff tends to be.

  132. 132
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jeffro: Christ, you’re fucking tits on a boor.

    ETA: Just trying to give you an encouraging example.

  133. 133
    greennotGreen says:

    @hovercraft: John Cole’s Peoples University of Public Policy and Yammering.

  134. 134

    @Jeffro: this is always my go-to example for the onion hitting close to home: Hillary Clinton Is Too Ambitious To Be The First Female President

  135. 135
    Mnemosyne says:


    To be fair to the show, it was actually about how it was awful to be anyone other than a straight white man in the early 1960s, but a lot of straight white men who watched it and glamorized those times failed to understand that.

  136. 136
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @rikyrah: With all those strategic minerals on that continent, a major FU indeed. Russia and China must be laughing their asses off.

  137. 137
    Wapiti says:

    @Mary G: He’s at least progressive enough to state that his uncle is gay and Jewish. That’s not hiding under a rock.

  138. 138
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Wapiti: He wanted a public option but nevertheless supported the ACA. He is fierce on voting rights.

  139. 139
    martian says:


    …it’s not like Kander could be a national contender without a statewide win first.

    There’s a Mistah Trump on the Twitter machine who’d like a word with you…

    What’s that? You don’t think both sides would do that? I dunno anymore to be honest. Seems like Dems do better when the Republicans don’t have years to take aim at our candidates. I have a lot of mixed and contrary thoughts about it. But Kander is clearly playing to a national audience on Twitter, so I think it’s worth giving him a look over. I’ve disliked in the past how people with a talent for sound bites gather a lot of progressive support and attention before cratering. I think I might have even donated to Grayson myself, at one point. Lesson learned. And maybe I am getting ahead of myself, but when I’m deciding how to divvy up the bountiful contents of my change jar for statewide races, I do get a mite picky.

    @Mary G: Now that sounds good! Since Holder and Obama are intending to join the voting rights fight, I wonder if there will be a joining of forces? Seems like there are scads of little, state level operations that could maybe become the foundation for a new national org.

  140. 140

    @martian: I mean, he was Missouri’s secretary of state, he’s not without experience.

  141. 141
    Another Scott says:

    In other news, it’s a good thing that Russia and Syria defeated the rebels in Aleppo, and the Putin cease fire plan means that Russia has all the cards and the US has been left behind, and Syrian civil war is over, isn’t it?

    What? What’s that?

    BBC News:

    Syrian security forces have engaged in fierce clashes with rebels on the eastern outskirts of Damascus.

    Artillery shells and rockets landed in the heart of the capital as part of a surprise rebel attack launched in the Jobar district.

    The assault began early on Sunday with car bombs and suicide attacks, activists said. State media said secret tunnels were also used.

    The military says it managed to push the rebels back.

    Government warplanes launched more than 30 air strikes on rebel positions, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group of activists monitoring the conflict.

    Damascus only has a few opposition-held areas, and Jobar is the closest to the city centre. Control of the war-damaged area – which is split between rebels and jihadists on one side and government forces on the other – has been fought over for more than two years.

    AFP correspondents in Damascus said the army had closed routes into the strategically important Abbasid Square as explosions reverberated across the city.

    The Observatory said the rebels had initiated the attack to relieve pressure on fighters under attack from government forces in the districts of Barzeh, Tishreen and Qabun.

    Last Wednesday, at least 31 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack at the main court complex in the centre of Damascus.

    Later, another suicide bomber attacked a restaurant in the western district of Rabweh, injuring more than 20 people.

    The attacks came on the sixth anniversary of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

    Meanwhile, Donnie’s people at the Pentagon are planning to send 1,000 more US “non-combat” troops there….

    Bigly Fun Times ahead!!1



  142. 142
    Jinchi says:

    I knew that there are people who love The Sound of Music, and I knew that there were neo-nazi’s out there, but I always thought the two groups were mutually exclusive.

  143. 143
    Jinchi says:

    @Another Scott:

    Meanwhile, Donnie’s people at the Pentagon are planning to send 1,000 more US “non-combat” troops there….

    Does anyone know which side we’ll be fighting on?

  144. 144
  145. 145
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jinchi: What does the Sound of Music have to do with a post featuring a song from Cabaret? Aside from Nazis?

  146. 146
    PIGL says:

    @rikyrah: I guess maybe they should start having those meetings somewhere else. For example Rome or Paris or Berlin or Peking.

  147. 147
    hovercraft says:

    Your acronym is nicer than mine
    John Cole’s
    University of
    Policy and


    John Cole’s :
    University of
    Science and

  148. 148
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    It doesn’t make any more sense for neo-Nazis to like Cabaret. It’s not like they’re the good guys in that, either.

  149. 149
    martian says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Sure, Kander has some experience, and I feel certain he could pass a basic civics test, which puts him head and shoulders over most members of the current maladministration, but it’s a whole new game. Or is it? I go in circles with it, to be honest. Does experience matter at all? Only to Democrats? Trump, Dubya, Reagan – objectively, they were fucking incompetent failures before they were ever elected president. Getting elected is not about competence and experience, I’m thinking. Even before Twitler. Maybe Democrats have been missing the point all along.

    I don’t know. I’m probably not making a lot of sense here, but I’m feeling like Trump is not the aberration or exception a lot of people think he is. Maybe the system isn’t even broken like it seems and the electoral college functioned as it was intended to by the people who created it, the people who felt the franchise should be restricted to white, male landowners. We idealized a system that was always unequal and intended to always be so. Trump is the truth of it.

    God, I’m not even drinking, and I’m drunk rambling.

  150. 150
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @martian: Your point?

  151. 151
    patrick II says:


    The might have. We wouldn’t know because of the time line shift.

  152. 152
    martian says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Must there always be one directly? I said it was a ramble.

    Where Kander’s concerned, I’ve mainly expressed interest in his potential and defended that. For the rest, I’m just trying to piece together some coherent understanding of what’s happened out of my incoherent thoughts. Puzzling over what the path forward is. I thought our country better than this, but what does that even mean? What assumptions did I wrap up in that? I’m sure it’s irritating waiting for the point to arrive. Not there yet.

  153. 153
    Jinchi says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    What does the Sound of Music have to do with a post featuring a song from Cabaret? Aside from Nazis?

    I guess it shows my limited knowledge of 50 year old musicals with Nazis.

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