While Weasels Gnaw Our Flesh

Just a quick hit to remind everyone that while the criminal investigation of Trump and co. widens, they’re still pissing on us at every opportunity, and calling it rain.

So how’s this: it’s going to be legal again/stay OK for profit-making higher ed to rip off their students/protect the banksters:

The U.S. Department of Education is hitting pause on two of the Obama administration’s primary rules aimed at reining in for-profit colleges.

Department officials said they will block a rule, set to take effect next month, that clarifies how student borrowers can have their loans forgiven if they were defrauded or misled by their college. The plan was first reported by Inside Higher Ed Wednesday.

The Trump administration will pursue a do-over of the rule-making process that produced that regulation, known as borrower defense to repayment, as well as the gainful-employment rule. The latter holds vocational programs at all institutions and all programs at for-profits accountable when they produce graduates with burdensome student loan debt.

Given that college debt is one of the most iron-clad ways to crush upward mobility, this is another move by Trump and the grotesque DeVos to ensure that the current class structure in the United States remains intact.

Putting this in the long view:  the GI Bill, followed by the prioritization of public higher education in the 60s by leaders like Governor Pat Brown of California and Governor George Romney of Michigan, put first class advanced education and training within reach of an unprecedented amount of Americans.  The retreat from that ideal led by (mostly but not exclusively) Republican state governments, beginning with Reagan in California and then in the White House, have incrementally narrowed that opportunity.  Now, the combinatio of cost and constraints on access meant that the debt involved makes higher education as much or more a burden as it is the engine of a better life.

Today’s Republican party is just fine with that.  DeVos is not an outlier; this isn’t on Trump, or only on him.  The idea that higher ed (or education in general) is a business in which students are the product on whom to make a profit is utterly destructive of either a democratic ideal or any plausible concept of social justice.  And it is the core tenet of today’s radical conservatives calling themselves members of the Party of Lincoln.

One last thought:  I had dinner last week with a Democratic Party senior statesman.  He told me that in his view we’ve made the mistake of thinking better policies are argument enough for elections.  They’re not; we surely know that now, right?

Instead we have to convey something more, the framework in which specific good policies can work.  DeVos’ current obscenity gives us a hint as to what that might be. Republicans throw obstacles in the way of Americans making better lives.  Democrats are — and we should say so as loud as we can — the party of opportunity.

At least that’s my take.  I know it’s hardly original.  But whatever the particular frame you may favor, I think one of our biggest needs right now is to find a way to both describe and be (ever more) the party that can lay claim to affirmative allegiance, and not just the true fact that we are better than the other side.  Your feeling?

(Oh — and happy Father’s Day, all.  This thread should be open enough to tell us your plans, completed or still in prospect, for the day.  Mine? Pick up one of the rib-eyes on sale at Whole Paycheck today, and smoke it in the Weber egg.)

Image: Winslow Homer, The Country School 1871

129 replies
  1. 1

    Party of Sanity. Rs are insane.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    @schrodingers_cat: No one cares about that though.

  3. 3
    Felanius Kootea says:

    In the short term, what Trump and co are doing works – in the long term it ensures that millennials never vote for Republicans.

  4. 4
    ThresherK says:

    Governor Pat Brown of California and Governor George Romney of Michigan

    Why, one could even say BothSides valued higher education back then.

    Trying out a molasses brown bread recipe for the first time. I haven’t developed much of a hand yet at regular white breads (either AP or bread flour), but a favorite restaurant serves bread which seems much like this; I’m giving it a shot.

    Spousal ThresherK is grateful to have me cook for her, and I’ve already got a backup quart of strawberries macerated, and cream shortcake, which is guaranteed to make her forget if the bread doesn’t work.

  5. 5

    @Baud: After the cray cray of T, sane and sensible is going to look mighty attractive to many, diehard T supporters excepted.

  6. 6

    Party of the 99%.
    Party of patriots not Russian stooges.

  7. 7
    Mnemosyne says:

    Remember, folks, we weren’t supposed to vote for Hillary because Bill had been on the board of a for-profit college, so that proved that she was going to remove Obama’s restrictions on them.

    But Trump removing those same restrictions? Hoocouldaknowed that would happen?

  8. 8
    Baud says:

    Democrats are — and we should say so as loud as we can — the party of opportunity.

    I’m not even sure that framing would be agreeable to portions of the party.

  9. 9

    Another slogan:
    We have your back and we won’t put a dagger in your back.

  10. 10

    @Baud: Opportunity is too vague.

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    @schrodingers_cat: So you’re saying I shouldn’t even try?

  12. 12
    Barry says:

    “One last thought: I had dinner last week with a Democratic Party senior statesman. He told me that in his view we’ve made the mistake of thinking better policies are argument enough for elections. They’re not; we surely know that now, right?”

    I would say that 40% of the voters are actively against good policy making.

  13. 13

    @Mnemosyne: Yesterday I was talking to a friend who lives in upstate NY. Chris Collins is his Congress critter. The biggest evidence of Russian collusion according to him is that the Russkies knew which voters to target with what information. Russian hackers wouldn’t know this unless aided by political operatives. This is knowledge is too specific for someone in Russia to figure out by themselves. They had help, from T campaign, R operatives and also BS operatives.

  14. 14
    Corner Stone says:


    Democrats are — and we should say so as loud as we can — the party of opportunity.

    Because it’s garbage. That slogan should never come out of the mouth of an elected D or one running for office.

  15. 15

    @Baud: You are funny not cray cray, you should definitely try.

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    @schrodingers_cat: That was Hillary’s theory. Is she your friend?

  17. 17
    efgoldman says:

    happy Father’s Day, all. This thread should be open enough to tell us your plans, completed or still in prospect, for the day.

    Happy father’s day Tom. I lose track – is your kid still at home, or grown and gone?
    Ordinarily, as every Sunday, we’d be looking at an hour-or-so video call with our granddaughter, Yes, we’re old. Yes, it’s the highlight of our week.
    But she (and her parents) are just finishing up the 9+ hour drive from where they live in Arlington VA to son-in-law’s family’s condos at “the beach” in North Carolina. She has, as you might expect, been bouncing off the walls and ceilings for days. Daughter told me she only asked “are we there yet” maybe 7 million times.
    So it’s another Sunday with you and the rest of the jackals. There are worse ways to spend it.

  18. 18
    Baud says:

    Maybe we could be the party of milk and honey. It worked for Moses.

  19. 19

    @Baud: I wish! No my friend was R during the W era, just like our beloved Tunch prophet. He had an epiphany after Katrina and when Iraq war went south.

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

    Would it be bad if somebody created a series of websites about Betsy DeVos like the anti-abortion nuts did about George Tiller? Asking for a friend…

  21. 21
  22. 22
    efgoldman says:

    @Baud: “A chicken in every car, and pot in every garage!”

  23. 23
    Mnemosyne says:


    Hey, stop trying to get us to come up with your campaign slogans for free. You’re as bad as Goku trying to get us to help him plot his novel. 😂

  24. 24
    efgoldman says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo fka Edmund Dantes:

    Would it be bad if somebody created a series of websites about Betsy DeVos like the anti-abortion nuts did about George Tiller?

    Wish I had the ability.

  25. 25
    RandomMonster says:

    Gonna make some fancy-pants potato fritters with smoked salmon and creme fraiche.

    Hey, I have to live this Left Coast liberal stereotype…

  26. 26
    Mnemosyne says:

    And not to be a downer on Father’s Day, but neither G nor I have dads to celebrate with anymore. They died within 6 months of each other in 2012/2013.

    We will probably go out tonight and lift a glass in their honor, since that’s what you do when your dear departed are both part Irish.

  27. 27
    Chris says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Speaking as an Economically Insecure person, “security” > “opportunity” when it comes to the priorities I want to hear my elected officials talking about.

  28. 28
    Baud says:

    @Mnemosyne: Not for free. Please awaits.

  29. 29
    Tom Levenson says:

    @efgoldman: My son’s still at home — a high schooler now. Mostly wonderful to have around, with the usual tariff of adolescence to pay.

  30. 30
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo fka Edmund Dantes:

    Yes, it would be bad. I want to see DeVos and her asshole brother Erik Prince rocking matching orange jumpsuits while they pick up trash by the side of the road where we can whip Big Gulps full of sticky soda at them.

  31. 31
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Corner Stone:

    The woman is a fucking evil thief. The perfect exemplar of her faith structure.

    Academics from the 25th century (assuming they’re human) will list the DeVos family members (and especially Betsy) as the reason why so many turned and came to spit upon the memory of Jesus Fucking Christ, non-sacrifice and money grubbing asshole par excellance.

  32. 32
    Baud says:

    @efgoldman: Chicken Chauffeur sounds like something you would get at one of those fancy pants restaurants you East coast liberals are always going to.

  33. 33

    We are not trying to kill you and then steal from your grave to enrich our rich friends and ourselves.

  34. 34
    Calouste says:

    There is a strong belief on the conservative-reactionary spectrum that your worth as a human being is determined the moment you are born, and that nothing you actually do in your life changes that. Male is worth more than female, white more than black, rich more than poor, native-born more than immigrant, etc. Upward mobility is the right opposite of this belief, and everything that stimulates upward mobility must be destroyed. These people hate the very idea of the American Dream.

  35. 35

    @Baud: I thought you west coast liberals were more frou frou.

  36. 36
    eclare says:

    @efgoldman: I’m still waiting for my neighborhood corner taco truck.

  37. 37
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Corner Stone: Really? The point, for me, is that Trump was successful in painting his candidacy and his party as the party of revenge. All the specifics fold back into that. Obviously, any one word epithet is going to be insufficiently specific, but I’m struck by the way that there is no plausible claim being made by either side that what we want to do will enable folks to make their lives better. They say it doesn’t matter if your life improves as long as the right people’s circumstances get worse. We say we’ll make sure it doesn’t get as much worse as they will.

    Somehow we need both to do better and to be seen to do so, and to me that implies both a framing and a coherent program — the details of which are in part in place and in part are being fought over. In future posts I’ll try to list what I think the core Democratic program should be, but the reflexive “that’s garbage” reaction is both lazy and the counsel of despair.

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    @schrodingers_cat: No one cares about that though.

  39. 39
    Steeplejack says:

    I am a fan of catchy and funny nyms. I just saw “Werner Twertzog” in Cole’s Twitter feed and laughed out loud. That’s a good one.

  40. 40
    efgoldman says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    Mostly wonderful to have around, with the usual tariff of adolescence to pay.

    Daughter is 36 now, with her own family in DC. But her high school time (one town over from you) was mostly an absolute blast for us.
    Even the middle school time wasn’t so bad. Yeah, a slammed door or two, lots of eye rolls, but we made comedy out of it.

  41. 41

    @Baud: No one is too broad and sweeping, no? After T’s reign of error, things will change.

  42. 42
    Mnemosyne says:


    There is a strong belief on the conservative-reactionary spectrum that your worth as a human being is determined the moment you are born, and that nothing you actually do in your life changes that.

    I’ve been referring to it as Secular Calvinism, because it even goes beyond traditional Calvinist beliefs about who’s chosen for salvation and who isn’t.

    Before my late father’s brain was completely melted by Fox News, I was once able to win a political argument along those lines with him. He was saying that I had to admit that there were some people who were just born bad, and I said something like, Sure, but the poor ones become drug dealers and the rich ones go to Harvard and found Enron.

    He changed the subject after admitting I had a point. 😄

  43. 43
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mnemosyne: I haven’t had a father to celebrate with for over 35 years. Luckily I have been blessed with wonderful children.

  44. 44
    Baud says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Ideally, after Trump’s reign, we wouldn’t need a catchy slogan. But we probably will.

  45. 45
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo fka Edmund Dantes says:


    Let’s never forget how the DeVos frauds made their money – they ripped it off via the Amway scam.

    That should have knocked them out of decent society right then and there. It would be as if Carlo Ponzi got rehabilitated as a paragon of financial wisdom and business virtue.

  46. 46

    @Tom Levenson: Forget what the Dems should do, when are you going provide us with a new Tikka visage of magnificence?

  47. 47
    efgoldman says:


    sounds like something you would get at one of those fancy pants restaurants you East coast liberals are always going to.

    We can’t afford those places.

    If I have to explain the joke……

  48. 48
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Chris: Understood. Any contemporary idea of “opportunity” has to build on a foundation of security. One of the best arguments for Obamacare and truly universal health care beyond it is that no one can take a risk without knowing that if whatever opportunity they might wish to pursue won’t kill themselves or their kids if whatever it is doesn’t pan out. More generally, as a society, the basic foundation of FDR’s Four Freedoms (certainly the first two) is necessary if we’re going to do both well and good.

    In fact, that’s what I’ve been thinking about a lot lately: how to take the basic framework FDR laid down in 1933, updated (not least unequivocally to entrain PoC within the next New Deal) to reshape the way those of us within the Democratic Party see ourselves, our goals, and the face we can present to that too-large part of the public that has been conned into thinking that government is out to get them.

  49. 49

    @Baud: Some people don’t pay enough attention to politics, the slogans are for them.

  50. 50
    JPL says:

    @Tom Levenson: The RNC and superpac ads, paint Ossoff as a hippie loving, terrorist loving and Pelosi pal. Handel herself talks about he’s not one of us and doesn’t share are values. His personal ads have been about cutting wasteful spending, and working together to get that done. Someone asked who I voted for and I did mention that it was for the terrorist lovin, hippie lovin, and Pelosi friend.
    The democrats would have been smart to put up the health care ad, because she supports the house bill. The DNC ads have been about her lining her pockets while Secretary of State.

    Happy Father’s Day!

  51. 51
    BBA says:

    And how did the DeVos family make their money?

    Amway and UPhoenix are basically in the same business – selling false dreams of upward mobility to the lower classes, and then blaming them for insufficient grit when they inevitably fail.

  52. 52
    JPL says:

    @JPL: I might add though the sixth is highly educated, and Tuesday night we will find out whether his positive message works.

  53. 53
    Max says:

    The story in a nutshell:

    The right wing presents American politics as a false choice between capitalism and socialism.

    The reality is different: pure socialism is a failure because it stifles human ambition and the wealth-creating engine of the free market. Pure capitalism is a failure because it’s rigged in favor of people who are already wealthy, and creates a situation where everyone works to create wealth, but it all gets vacuumed to the top.

    Experience shows us that a successful nation needs a balance between 3 things: a capitalist free market to create wealth and utilize resources; a social safety net to make sure everyone benefits from the prosperity; and investments in the labor force (education, health care), infrastructure, R&D to make sure the country stays competitive.

    This balance used to exist in the 1950s-70s, and that’s why America boomed and the middle class prospered. Since the 80s, a small group of extreme anti-government ideologues have worked to destroy 2 out of the 3 pillars of national success. According to the values of people like Paul Ryan, a country should be like a crack house with a steel door: really well-defended from the outside, but not maintained in any way on the inside.

    Over the past 30 years, these people have succeeded in weakening the 2 pillars, and this has caused the stagnation and decline of the middle class. America is an incredibly rich country that feels poor because the money and resources are being hoarded at the top.

  54. 54
    D58826 says:

    And while the 1% scam and steal even more of our money and Der Fuhrer talks infrastructure something to consider China:

    While most of the world wonders nervously what’s next from the Trump White House, the confident China President Xi Jinping is shifting his bid for global leadership into a full-court press.
    Xi’s hugely ambitious leadership program includes joining Asia to the Middle East, Africa, and Europe with his “Belt and Road” project, moving quickly on climate change, calling the shots on the North Korea crisis, repairing up-and-down ties in Europe, promoting the renminbi as a reserve currency, enticing Southeast Asia to accept its presence in the South China Sea, and negotiating a peace deal between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Xi and his top ministers are pushing the Chinese case.

    While Der Fuhrer huffs, puffs and threatens, the Chinese build.


  55. 55
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo fka Edmund Dantes says:


    This was another failure of our “elite political media” in 2016 and again on her nomination- the criminal DeVos family was all in for Trump, and those evil Christian(spit) motherfuckers have the corner on grift.

    This is how it looks inside.

  56. 56
    J R in WV says:

    @Corner Stone:


    Democrats are — and we should say so as loud as we can — the party of opportunity.

    Because it’s garbage. That slogan should never come out of the mouth of an elected D or one running for office.

    OK Corner Stone. I know you can be depressed and negative, so OK. But “…it’s garbage.”

    Opportunity is garbage? Why? Isn’t that what America is all about if you’re not a Republican oligarch? What would you recommend instead of “Party of Opportunity” for a slogan? Throw out a suggestion or two. Really!! I’m interested in new ideas, sometimes they work!

    I’m sorry you’re depressed. Trump depresses the hell out of me too.

    I wake up a 4 am and can’t go back to sleep, or lay in bed until 4 am trying to go to sleep in the first place. And I’m lucky – house paid for, got Medicare and state pension benefits I earned, car paid for. I still worry myself sick over the near term future with a crazed would-be despot in charge.

    I try not to impose my fear and doubt on everyone around me, and I suggest you do the same. Maybe it’s time for you to try something to change…

    Hang in there, anyhow.

  57. 57
    D58826 says:

    @JPL: There is a poll that give him a 1.5 point lead. But I have seen some other articles that are talking about large voter roll purges that might well hand the district to the R’s

  58. 58
    Another Scott says:

    @Corner Stone: I don’t know about “never”, but it’s been done.

    Trump and his people broke all sorts of things that we took for granted. I think we need to start with a concept even more basic than “opportunity” – namely, “fairness”.

    Of course, that’s been done, also too.

    Honestly, our problem isn’t our message or our policies or being on the right side of history. It’s finding a way to get that message and those policies out to disconnected voters in a way that they can be taken seriously, and having a voting system that lets everyone participate no matter their economic and personal circumstances. Chicken/egg… :-/


  59. 59
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    One last thought: I had dinner last week with a Democratic Party senior statesman. He told me that in his view we’ve made the mistake of thinking better policies are argument enough for elections. They’re not; we surely know that now, right?

    Josh Barro tweeted a few times during the campaign, people don’t have opinions about policy, they have feelings about issues. I think that’s true, especially of uncommitted voters. Successful politicians– Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Donald Trump– appeal to the gut, not the brain.

    Instead we have to convey something more, the framework in which specific good policies can work.

    That’s still trying to appeal to the brain. People who care/know about policy, who understand how it affects them (or think they do), already pretty much know how they’re going to vote. If your kid benefits from SChip or MedicAid, if you care about the environment, if you don’t care if it all burns down as long as you get a capital gains tax cut, you probably know how you’re going to vote before the primaries are decided. Otherwise, it’s You against Them. We’re on Your side, They’re Them. Easier to do when you’re out of power. Hopefully.

  60. 60
    Mnemosyne says:


    The isolationists on both sides of the political spectrum are going to find out what it’s like to have the US not be at the top of the political hegemony.

    I suspect they’re not going to like it as much as they assumed they would.

  61. 61
    Ksmiami says:

    How about Republicans pretend they’re pro-life while democrats work to help people actually live? Sums it up for me.

  62. 62
    Ruviana says:

    @schrodingers_cat: @Baud is on the left coast?? My whole concept of Baud is now shattered and must be reformulated!

  63. 63
    D58826 says:

    @J R in WV: Trump depresses the hell out of me too.

    Maybe some video of Barack the baby whisper will help.


  64. 64
    Baud says:

    @Ruviana: I am everywhere. And nowhere.

  65. 65
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Here’s the thing for me, and it gets pooh-poohed a lot in political circles: for me, Hillary’s message of “Stronger Together” was very powerful AND empowering. It said that we all needed to work together for a better future.

    The fact that she got 3 million more votes than Trumo says to me that that emotional message was a good one. So why are we discarding it?

  66. 66

    @Baud: Added to brandy and a raw egg. A concoction my mother would feed me when I was a child, it was awful.

  67. 67
  68. 68
    Ruviana says:

    @Baud: Ahhh, my concept is restored :)

  69. 69
  70. 70
    BBA says:

    @Mnemosyne: Those 3 million votes were badly distributed. “One acre, one vote” is the basis of every sound political system–wait, what?

  71. 71
  72. 72
    Felanius Kootea says:

    If we could only get 1 million California (or other coastal state) liberals to move to Texas, it would be game over for the Republicans at the presidential level and no more Betsy DeVos type cabinet picks. So…who’s up for moving to Texas?

  73. 73
    Corner Stone says:

    @J R in WV: Opportunity = risk. It’s not depression. That is the reality. What do you think Kay and I have been bantering back and forth about here for the last few years. People on the edge hear “opportunity” and they start grabbing the wallets and backing up to a wall. They know they are about to get fucked again by another grift.

  74. 74
    Baud says:


    Now I am become Baud!, the destroyer of worlds.

  75. 75
    D58826 says:

    In the meantime on the other side of the pond:
    In GB- The @Conservatives will prop up the worst PM in Britain’s history because the alternative is you having more money and a better life

    But in France –

    Macron’s party on course for big majority in French parliament. wyhe La pen getting maybe 4 seats


  76. 76
    Corner Stone says:

    @Tom Levenson: Trump said he was going to fuck brown people as hard as possible. But he also promised you your job back. Your lifestyle and livelihood back, even if it had not been real for a generation. Not “opportunity” not “retraining”. Something specific people could grab onto.

  77. 77
    eclare says:

    @Felanius Kootea: Toyota is building its huge new headquarters in Plano, moving from CA

  78. 78

    @Baud: Shiva is the coolest of the trinity, so you chose well.

  79. 79
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mnemosyne: the level of vitriol Hillary Clinton provokes in people astounds me, even now. Like when she talked about Russia’s influence in the election and nominally liberal pundits were driven to eye-rolls and worse. I wasn’t as plugged in to twitter in 2013, but I don’t remember any reactions, at all, when Mitt Romney made the rather dubious claim that he lost because of Sandy; somebody would have to show me data that Hurricane Sandy moved votes in OH, MI and IA.

    But Hillary Clinton is retired now. I have no idea what makes a good or bad political slogan. Hell, I can’t believe, or understand, that (most) people who voted for trump are so stupid they still don’t know that was a stupid thing to do. And we’re not even allowed to tell them how stupid they are. Go figure.

  80. 80
    Mnemosyne says:


    It wasn’t a coincidence. Karl Rove deliberately planned voter suppression to get this result starting in 2010. Remember the famous video of Rove’s 2012 meltdown when Obama won Wisconsin despite their voter suppression laws? And how Wisconsin enacted an even stricter law in the wake of that election?

    The result in November was not a fluke, or an accident of the Electoral College. It was planned and organized by the Republican Party and their backers. Look up the Wisconsin Republican Party figures who were guaranteeing that a Republican would win Wisconsin in April of 2016.

    But way too many of my fellow white people refuse to see the conspiracy that unfolded in front of their eyes and was publicly discussed long before the election happened.

  81. 81
    D58826 says:

    And while Der Fuhrer whines, in the ME:

    American downing of Syrian war plane today answers question of what kind of air support US will provide SDF fighters. Precedent set

    As if things weren’t ugly enough:

    mcleary Retweeted paul mcleary
    Also reports that Iran fired ballistic missiles at ISIS in eastern Syria today.
    paul mcleary


    Could be a long week

  82. 82
    efgoldman says:


    Macron’s party on course for big majority in French parliament.

    Apparently serving Freedom Fries in the congressional dining room didn’t hurt them very much.

  83. 83
    JPL says:

    The US just shot down a Syrian plane.

    D58826 @ 80 has more info.

    It is going to be a long week.

  84. 84
    Baud says:

    @D58826: Just close your eyes and tell yourself that Hillary would have been worse.

  85. 85
    Quinerly says:

    Leaving this here. Digby’s interesting piece on Pence with links: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com.....rvant.html

  86. 86
    Mnemosyne says:


    They were in the South Bay area of Southern California, just north of Long Beach.

    Their executives are going to be in for one hell of a culture shock going from Torrance to Plano. I wonder how many of them are going to be able to hack it.

  87. 87
    BBA says:

    @D58826: “worst PM in Britain’s history” – hello, Lord North? Eden? (I admit Chamberlain gets a bad rap.) hell, I don’t think she’s managed to outdo Cameron in awfulness yet.

  88. 88
    D58826 says:


    The result in November was not a fluke, or an accident of the Electoral College. It was planned and organized by the Republican Party and their backers. Look up the Wisconsin Republican Party figures who were guaranteeing that a Republican would win Wisconsin in April of 2016.

    And just to reiterate a point about WI. There were a few more pot shots at Hillary that her loss in WI was due to the fact that she didnot attend any Packers games i.e. visit the state. The problem of course is that as loudly as the Bernie bros want to complain about that, Russ Fiengold also lost and I suspect he has seen more than a few Packers games.

  89. 89
    efgoldman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    And we’re not even allowed to tell them how stupid they are.

    What do you mean “we”?
    I don’t get much opportunity, but I sure as fuck tell them.
    It’s not like they’re gonna’ change their voting if we’re nice and bring them flowers and cookies.
    Knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, racist flying monkeys is what they are, and knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, racist flying monkeys is what they will remain.


  90. 90
    D58826 says:

    @JPL: Seems the USAF f-15 took down the Syrian and a Navy f-18 took out an Iranian drone. The Marines are on the prowl for revenge:-). Would not want to be anywhere near Syrian air space for the next couple of days.

  91. 91
    Mnemosyne says:


    It’s estimated that 200,000 registered voters in Wisconsin lacked proper ID under WI’s new, even stricter laws that were in use this year.

    But the problem was that Hillary didn’t go to a Packers game. Riiiiiight.

  92. 92

    @Felanius Kootea: this millennial was having lunch with another millennial today and we were talking about how fun it’s going to be when we’re older and our kids’/grandkids’ generation is talking about how great things will be once those damn millennials die off.

  93. 93
    D58826 says:

    OK I can truly say that I never expected to see this kind of a head line outside of the Onion or MAD Magazine

    Jason Chaffetz: Trump is ‘almost worse’ than Obama — and Jeff Sessions is ‘worse’ than Loretta Lynch. outgoing Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) lashed out at the Trump administration recently for being “worse” than the Obama administration when it comes to transparency.


  94. 94
    BBA says:

    @Mnemosyne: Well, okay, how do we set up a nice, neutral-sounding policy that makes it impossible for white people to vote?

  95. 95
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I have to admit, it’s been pretty amusing to me as a childless person to watch the Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers (my generation) teach Millennials that working long hours and being loyal to a company won’t save you from getting screwed, and then complain that the Millennials won’t work hard and that they demonstrate no loyalty to their employers. I wonder how Millennials came to that conclusion? Such a mystery. 🤔

  96. 96
    Aleta says:

    How to stay safe

    Imprison POC and P W/ mental illness
    Restrict women and minorities
    Gates and walls

    Living People:
    Good health care for all
    Equality in education
    Safe housing and environment
    Fair wages

  97. 97
    The Pale Scot says:


    There is a strong belief on the conservative-reactionary spectrum that your worth as a human being is determined the moment you are born, and that nothing you actually do in your life changes that

    It’s called Calvinism, that and Wahhabism are two scourges of religiosity along with all the fundamentalisms that are dragging civilization to ruin

  98. 98
    D58826 says:

    @D58826: And next thread is open for the soon to be war in the ME

  99. 99

    @Corner Stone: He is keeping the first part of the promise. DACA reprieve is temporary and his ICE director said any undocumented person can be deported and that he doesn’t want to wait till they become criminals.

  100. 100
    Mnemosyne says:


    We don’t have to. We just have to change voter ID laws. Even the judges who first authorized them now say they made a huge mistake and didn’t realize what the consequences would be.

    Here’s a fun fact that blew my mind a few years ago: there is a whole generation of African-Americans born in the South who don’t have birth certificates, because Jim Crow laws meant that their mothers couldn’t easily get to a hospital and gave birth at home. That means that there are thousands of people only a few years older than me who aren’t being allowed to vote in 2017 because of Jim Crow laws from the 1890s.

    That, my friend, is fucked up.

  101. 101
    amygdala says:

    Late to the thread, but this pivots some off a conversation I had with a friend the other day. He gets exasperated at alt facts and voodoo policy on the right, and I mentioned that for whatever reason, confronting that hasn’t been helpful. It got me to thinking that the absurd lionization of CEOs needs addressing and could be productive, particularly as Trump and his largely corporate cronies continue to flail.

    I mentioned to my friend that most federal scientists and docs don’t sacrifice too much, salary-wise at least, but that federal lawyers often do. Most of those guys and gals have the credentials to get well-paid corporate jobs. But they choose a different path. Power is undoubtedly part of it, but service is a big part of being a judge, federal prosecutor, etc. The Globe and Mail had a piece over the weekend that makes that point with respect to Mueller.

    When what’s right and what’s profitable are at odds, we have to make better choices. And we have to let go of the idea that the only way to serve community and country is by being armed.

    Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads. This piece, wonderfully written by The New Yorker‘s Robin Wright, hit home with me. My Dad shut down anyone who tried to tell me something I wanted to do wasn’t something girls could or should do. And squelched his reflexive hyperprotectiveness when I needed to take risks. I miss him every day.

    Ok, now let’s see how badly I screwed up the html tags.

  102. 102
    D58826 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yep and she lost by 20k-30k votes. I haven’t seen much about Fla since she visited there and number of times but given the voter suppression that started in 2000 election and gave us W I’m not sure you can’t attribute her loss in Fla to voter-id.
    The ‘oh look she didn’t visit here’ are very selective in their memory. She spent a good bit of time but lost in blue PA and purple NC.

    And what the Bernie Bros are just as eager to overlook as Der Fuhrer, she won the poplar vote by a larger margin than any one except that guy with the big ears, funny name and seems to be really really good at getting cranky babies to stop crying. (IF he could only apply that talent to and old cranky white guy from VT).

    I’m not saying that the D’s don’t have a lot of soul searching to do but it seems to be degenerating into ‘my soul is the window to the future and yours is just the dead past’. But the problem, as big as it is, isn’t just the 2016 POTUS election. They have been losing big time all over the country since 2010. They have lost a Senate seat in conservative LA and governorships in liberal Maryland and Mass. I suspect each loss has some unique features but it would seem given the magnitude of the losses in numbers and geography that there are some common threads. I’m not sure either wing has any idea what the answer is. In VA last week it was the Hillary wing that won big in the primary for gov. Bernie’s candidate in Montana (I think) lost. Sure it was ONLY by 6 points but close only counts in horseshoes. The GA-06 might give a clue since he isn’t really a Bernie bro type. I think both sides are fighting their own ‘last war’ on this.

  103. 103
    Mnemosyne says:


    They have been losing big time all over the country since 2010.

    A huge thing happened in January of 2010 that has somehow gone down the memory hole: Citizens United was decided, and the Kochs and other conservative billionaires immediately set up SuperPACs and pumped huge amounts of money into local and state races. When the Republican has $1 million for their statehouse seat race and the Democrat has $25K, the Republican is going to win.

    It’s not a mystery why Democrats started losing after Citizens United, and it drives me kind of nuts that people act like it is.

  104. 104
    D58826 says:


    Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads. This piece, wonderfully written by The New Yorker‘s Robin Wright, hit home with me.

    Hard to read, esp. the last paragraph or so and not tear up.

  105. 105
    Mnemosyne says:


    Also, in case you haven’t seen it, the Brennan Center for Voting Rights has a great summary with some very illuminating maps. 2016 was the first presidential election after Roberts Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act and, hey presto, the Republicans won on a technicality in states that enacted new and stricter voter suppression measures! What a co-inkydink!

    I really need to get a new saddle for this hobbyhorse of mine. The one I have is getting a little worn out from all of the riding.

  106. 106
    Zelma says:

    Re a slogan, how about cribbing the Labour Party’s quite effective motto:

    For the many, not the few.

    Kind of says it all.

  107. 107
    John Fremont says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo fka Edmund Dantes: Betty DeVos will soon require college students receiving federal loans to purchase an Amway starter kit upon graduation. Build the Amway business in your spare time to repay the loans. The only thing holding you back is you and your stinkin thinkin. Listen go your upline and soon you’ll be retiring and walking the beaches of the world while all the dreamstealers who said you couldn’t do it will be still be working the 40 40 plan. 40 hour weeks for 40 years at a JOB. JOB Just Over Broke!

    Yes, I spent some time in Amway 20 years ago. The entire GOP acts like a multilevel marketing scheme now. They would all be millionaires now if it wasn’t for the gov’t, liberals and immigrants stealing their dreams!

  108. 108
    D58826 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Certainly a big piece of the puzzle,esp in 2010. But the D’s have had 2012, 2012, 2014,m and 2016 to try and adjust but they just seem to be moving backward.
    I also realize that there are more R gazillionaires than D’s. Read Jane Mayer’s Dark Money and you will see the hurdles the D’s are facing. The 1% has been building and working on this since the Powell memo in 1971. They approach it like a business project. Create an election plan, try not to over promise and if it works great. If it doesn’t go back do an after action report and plan better for the next election. The Kochs and their allies never expected to sweep the board when they first got involved in this. But 30 years of planning are now paying off big time. Would things have played out as well for them w/o Citizens? I have no idea but I think you can make a case that w/o Citizens they would have still achieved their goals, it just might have taken a few more election cycles to do it. Remember the labor movement was always a big source of money and GOTV support. The GOP has been working to destroy union power starting at least with Taft-Hartley in 1947, breaking the air traffic controllers strike in 1981 and enacting right to work laws at the state level ever since. The result is with or w/o Citizens united the wealthy GOP donors can out spend the democratic donors any day of the week,

  109. 109
    Kathleen says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I suspect the Russians didn’t instigate the hacking, tampering, etc. Rethuglicans and their backers want to end democracy and benefits that the non 1% have, so they reached out to the Russians to facilitate that. It’s a mutually beneficial operation (if you’re a Thug and Russian mobster), but I don’t think Russians were inflicted upon us. They were invited by the Thugs & their handlers.

  110. 110
    Mnemosyne says:


    Also, three, but it’s very interesting to me that Texas Democrats complain that Latinx Texans are (allegedly) voluntarily not showing up to vote when Texas has one of the most restrictive voting laws in the country AND there was a big movement a few years ago to nullify the birth certificates of Latinx Texans who were born at home during Jim Crow with the claim that midwives were routinely faking birth certificates for babies who were born in Mexico and brought to Texas afterwards.

    All just another series of co-inkydinks that just happen to cement Republican hegemony in Texas, I’m sure.

  111. 111
    Mnemosyne says:


    Certainly a big piece of the puzzle,esp in 2010. But the D’s have had 2012, 2012, 2014,m and 2016 to try and adjust but they just seem to be moving backward.

    Read the Brennan Center article I linked to. Dark money in 2010 meant that Republicans got to gerrymander Democrats out of power, and further elections meant they were able to solidify that power.

    In 2016, they gerrymandered the whole damn country to eke out a victory. And it was all by design. NONE OF THIS WAS A COINCIDENCE. It’s all a part of the same puzzle that forms a predictable shape and was publicly discussed over and over again by Republicans.

    The Republicans have told us over and over again who they are and exactly what they did to secure victory, and some Democrats keep refusing to believe them.

  112. 112
    D58826 says:

    @Mnemosyne: :-). My hobby horse is that at least at the presidential election (and that is what everyone is obsession over) it was a perfect storm that resulted in Hillary’s loss. Every campaign makes mistakes but there were a number of factor, like e-mail mania, FBI intervention, the electoral college etc. that were simply beyond Hillary’s control. The analogy I use is a plane crash today. Rarely is it one thing, like a wing falling off unexpectedly. Take away one or two of the chain of events and the plane has an uneventful landing.
    So the Bernie Bros obsess over not visiting WI and the Clintonistas obsess over the vast right wing conspiracy. Both side have identified a part of the problem but by no means all of it. AND they have not identified any way forward. And just to make it clear I do better throwing spitballs from the nose bleed section than coming up with any long term solutions. If I had some I’m sure I could convince the DNC to buy me a nice villa over looking the Med. (the one in Cary Grant’s To catch a thief would do nicely but I don’t need Grace Kelly) where we could discuss them at leisure.

  113. 113
    Kathleen says:

    @Mnemosyne: Suppression became more overt starting in 2000 election. Greg Palast has documented how the companies used by states/counties,particularly in Florida, to manage voter rolls purged many eligible voters.

    Also, Rove may have had metldown about Wisconsin but his Fox Meltdown With Megan was because Fox called Ohio for Obama and Karl insisted the “Southwestern Ohio county” votes hadn’t come in yet, It appeared that some type of “fix” (ahem) was planned like the crap pulled in Ohio in 2004, which I to this day believe Kerry won Ohio but results were tampered with.

  114. 114
    Kathleen says:

    @Mnemosyne: But you’re absolutely right, and I don’t think it can be stated enough since it’s a topic that mainslime media seems to think is “both sides politics as usual”.

    When I think of how African American people were beaten, tortured, raped, lynched and jailed for the right to vote and how Rethuglicans are actively blocking them from voting and how the media don’t see a problem with what Rethugs are doing. “Both sides” in that equation are culpable monsters.

  115. 115
    Kathleen says:

    @Mnemosyne: In Ohio more votes were cast for Democrats than Republicans. So Dem candidates are getting more votes. It’s the gerrymandering, as you say.

  116. 116
    Mnemosyne says:


    So the Bernie Bros obsess over not visiting WI and the Clintonistas obsess over the vast right wing conspiracy.

    I have data and facts about voter suppression in WI to back me up. What proof do the Berniebros have that more visits would have turned the tide?

  117. 117
    amygdala says:

    @D58826: That last graf really got me, too.

  118. 118
    Mnemosyne says:


    Did you ever read the Chronicles of Narnia? It’s the weakest book in the series, but The Last Battle has a scene where a group of stubborn dwarves are still convinced that they’re hiding out in a dank barn after the world has ended and absolutely nothing can convince them otherwise.

    When it comes to voter suppression and Citizens United, I feel like the characters in that scene who were trying to convince the dwarves that they were sitting in the middle of a sunny field and not the dank barn they had in their minds. I can present every fact and figure at my disposal, but if the other party doesn’t feel that it’s right, they won’t believe a word of it.

  119. 119
    Kathleen says:

    @Mnemosyne: That is exactly right. I’ve not read the Chronicles of Narnia, but the stubborn dwarves are a great metaphor for so much of our citizenry. And media.

  120. 120
    D58826 says:


    Berniebros have that more visits would have turned the tide

    Bernies magnetic personality perhaps if he had been the candidate (snark). But I’ve read some of the same articles that your stats are based on. And WI resident and Bernie type progressive Russ Feingold STILL lost.

  121. 121
    D58826 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Oh I agree. My only point is that the ‘plan’ long pre-dated Citizens United and may well have come to fruition w/o the decision. It may not have been in 2014/16 but it still would have happened. The Koch’s would have found other ways to funnel money into the elections

  122. 122
    Mnemosyne says:


    The other part of my theory (which is mine) is that Rove fully expected Jeb Bush to be the lucky recipient of the scheme. When it turned out to be Trump who rose to the top of the Republican primary, it was too late to reverse course and Republicans had to speed full steam ahead with the candidate they got, not the candidate Rove wanted them to have.

    That’s why Rove has been laying low. He knows what he did, and he doesn’t want Republicans to remember that it was all his idea because they’ll turn on him like rabid hyenas.

  123. 123
    Applejinx says:

    @Corner Stone: Yup. The lottery is an ‘opportunity’. I don’t agree with you on much, but you nailed it.

    ‘Opportunity’ is going to be read as ‘time to get fucked over again!’. One parachute among ten people falling from a helicopter is ‘opportunity’. (the helicopter will happily be provided by r/physicalremoval, just like Pinochet used to do)

  124. 124
    Thoughtful David says:

    @D58826: Yup. They were the big winners in the November election. The American Century lasted 72 years.

  125. 125
    Thoughtful David says:

    @Mnemosyne: This. The Democratic message is actually very good, and if you look at her nomination acceptance speech, it was all there. The problem is that the Republicans have won the messaging war. The only thing people heard about the convention speech was Hillary Clinton…emails. Because that’s all the MSM put out.
    The Republicans have been on a 60-year war with the media, and they’ve won. They killed the Fairness Doctrine. They’ve got all of the media gone corporate. They’ve coopted the pundits–they’re all rich and have no connection to the middle or lower classes. They’ve attacked the media for bias so that now the media cannot help themselves but do both-siderism, because they’re terrified that they’ll be accused of bias. And they have got Fox News.
    Until we can get control of the message back, we can’t win. The media are wired for the Republicans.
    This is why I constantly attack the media for their right-wing bias. And excoriate them for their failure to do their jobs.
    Until we get control of the message back, we can only win small battles.
    Has anyone ever seen a “I don’t believe the conservative media” sticker?

  126. 126
    D58826 says:

    @Thoughtful David: Bad enough when your Roman empire is overrun by Germans or it collapses from exhaustion like GB in the late 40’s.
    But we are making a conscious decision to give it away because of the need to give tax cuts to the1%.

  127. 127
    mainmata says:

    While I live in blue MD and work in Dc, we have a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of NW VA. Trump country (not completely, of course). There is no question that opportunity is a great message for Democrats there since the Congressman Bob “really bad coffee” (Goodlatte) is a useless social reactionary and provides no incentives to invest in the region. Start with better internet services and support the nascent solar industry (solar-powered barns!) and move to small tech businesses that are attractive to people that want to live in a beautiful setting. The wine and cider businesses already attract some tourists so an active Democratic Party could flip this district with an opportunity message easily, despite all the Confederate flags. :(

  128. 128
    Tehanu says:


    Hope you don’t mind — I posted your comment on my Facebook feed, verbatim & complete (“A friend writes: ….”). I just admired it so much.

  129. 129
    Max says:

    @Tehanu: Not at all, spread it far and wide. I feel like this story needs to get wrapped up as tightly as possible and shot out of every loudspeaker in America. Dems and libruls keep vaporously floating chunks and parts of it, usually in impossibly dense, maudlin and abstruse paragraphs, larded with soaring Obamistic inspirobarf.

    What we need are tight, fast, logically coherent bullets that someone can absorb and repeat to their friends.

    Also, couching FDR’s New Deal as a Balance(TM) between socialism and capitalism – which is something I haven’t heard of enough from Dems – can’t fail to tickle the Balance Clitoris of the media corps, as well as creating a handy way to defuse leftist purity attacks (“We’re not trying to end corporations or eliminate capitalism, we’re trying to restore the Balance(TM).)

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