Louise Slaughter RIP

My Congresswoman, Louise Slaughter, just died at age 88. I canvassed for her a couple times and have met her once or twice. She was a very good Congresswoman, very powerful within the Democratic caucus.

Typically, you should expect a Dem to win this district by about 15 points, so probably by 20 or more points this fall, given the likely 6 to 15 point swing we will in favor of Democrats. So this is a completely safe seat for 18.






105 replies
  1. 1
    West of the Cascades says:

    It was great to see Doug! and mistermix post simultaneous tributes to this great woman.

    ETA mixtermix post now gone.

  2. 2
    foucault swing voter mistermix says:

    Yeah, I took down my post – she was my congresswoman, too, and a force of nature until the end. I had the pleasure of watching one tough-fought campaign when she was 84. She wiped the floor with her Republican opponent, Maggie Brooks.

    It looks like we’re going to have a special election. I assume the candidates will be picked by the party committees. Unfortunately, our local Democratic committee could fuck up a ham sandwich so hopefully we’ll get a decent candidate.

  3. 3
    wenchacha says:

    She will be missed, greatly.

  4. 4
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    May she rest in peace and well done, good public servant.

    Now a concern. Because this seat seems pretty safe, local Dems may take this election for granted. Remind them that there are other seats in the district that are also important-mayors, city council seats, state house races. Up and down blue, no matter who.

  5. 5
    Tom Levenson says:

    A real loss.

  6. 6
    dr. bloor says:

    Haven’t lived in Rochacha since she was a county legislator, but always impressive from afar in Congress. RIP

  7. 7
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Mine, Niki Tsongas, is retiring. Similarly, this is probably a good year for her to do it.

  8. 8
    Kathy Eckhouse says:

    She will be missed. She was great on the use of antibiotics in animal production, a really important issue.

  9. 9
    Joey Maloney says:

    @foucault swing voter mistermix: What’s the field look like? Are there any obvious heirs?

  10. 10
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    Huh, you and mistermix are kinda neighbours… I’m just across the lake in Kingston.

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    I saw her on the TV a few times and was impressed. Hope you guys find a worthy successor.

  12. 12
    Susan K of the tech support says:

    Ms. Slaughter came to my attention as I followed the doings of my then-Congressman, David Dreier, Rules Chair, professed-“moderate” and carrier of water for George W Bush Admin. They traded off Chair and Ranking Member positions.

    Only now learning more about her—scientist, fierce and tireless advocate, funny and indefatigable.

    We stand on the shoulders of giantesses, and today we lost a giantess.

  13. 13
    foucault swing voter mistermix says:

    @Joey Maloney: Sadly, no. There are a lot of bad politicians in the city and county.

  14. 14
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I never met her, but a former boss worked very closely with her for several years when he was Consul General of Canada in Buffalo. He greatly admired her as a professional and liked her as a person.

    Following her from afar, I had only respect. The seat may be safe for Dems, but Louise Slaughter will be hard to replace.

  15. 15
    Baud says:

    @foucault swing voter mistermix: Your or Doug should put your hat in the ring.

  16. 16
    catclub says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Similarly, this is probably a good year for her to do it.

    Politicians generally do their side no favor in when they retire. A Democrat retiring now, when a wave is likely to bring in another Democrat – makes perfect sense for the party, but not for the politician – win another easy election.

    Likewise Republicans not staying in this year and fighting for their closely held seats.

    This year Democrats will benefit from that bias.

  17. 17
    RIc Drywall says:

    My congresswomen too, and in fact, she was my rep in the State Assembly back in the day.

    I still remember the “Geez, Louise” ads that ran against her one time, back when the GOP thought they could beat her.

    She always had that Kentucky accent. BTW, her father was a Kentucky coal miner and Louise went on to earn a degree in microbiology.

  18. 18
    Central Planning says:

    My FIL claims he got her into politics by saying to her: you should run for office

  19. 19
    Msb says:

    I envy your having a Congress person you can admire. Mine is a particularly scummy R.

  20. 20
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    RIP, Rep Slaughter.

    @Baud: I would pay to Watch Cong. DougJ debate Marsha Blackburn or Jim Jordan on the House floor.

  21. 21
    Geeno says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Indeed – her like don’t come by often these days. Very sad.
    I can’t even think of a statewide pol – let alone a local – who could step into her shoes.
    My wife went to high school with her daughter.

  22. 22
    Patricia Kayden says:

    May Ms. Slaughter Rest In Peace and her legacy live on.

  23. 23
    The Moar You Know says:

    She was a good one. Pulled no punches. I like that. Job well done Ms. Slaughter and RIP.

    We’ll get that orange fucker out of the White House for you soon enough.

  24. 24
    germy says:

    Breaking with Democratic Party leaders, she argued that international trade agreements did little more than drain the United States of manufacturing jobs. When President Bill Clinton asked her to support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), according to the Almanac of American Politics, she replied, “Why are you carrying George Bush’s trash?”

    WaPo

  25. 25
    efgoldman says:

    Was she the model for Doonesbury’s Lacy Davenport?

  26. 26
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @efgoldman: I think that was Millicent Fenwick. Slaughter wasn’t ‘elected till ’87

  27. 27
    Doug! says:

    @Baud:

    I’m an agoraphobic misanthrope, so I don’t think I’d be a good candidate.

  28. 28
    Rusty says:

    We were so happy when they redistricted upstate NY and we moved from Tom Reed, tea party hack, to Louise. My entire office is sad at the news. She cared deeply for the community and stood for real liberal values.

  29. 29
    Elizabelle says:

    Hadn’t followed Ms. Slaughter’s career much. What a good soul. My condolences.

    OT: I would like to buy a website/name for a small business idea. Web mavens: who best to deal with??

  30. 30
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Doug!: I sometimes wonder, if I could get over my aversion to people, how my platform of “Most of you are fucking stupid, now shut up and listen while I explain your stupidity to you” would fly

  31. 31
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Baud:

    omigawd

  32. 32
    Baud says:

    @Doug!: I’m a sociopath. It hasn’t stopped me from reaching for the brass ring.

  33. 33
    JoeyJoeJoe Junior Shabadoo says:

    I’ve met her and heard her speak. She was born in Harlan County Kentucky and still had her accent. Not sure how she ended up in the Rochester area.

  34. 34
    Baud says:

    @Doug!:
    @Baud:

    Also, too, between the excellent music in your campaign ads and the “family man” image with baby, you’d be a shoo-in.

  35. 35
    chris says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.”

    ― George Carlin

  36. 36
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @catclub: I was initially nervous when I heard Tsongas was leaving in this round, but that was before the special-election wins started piling up. She’s 71 and could probably go a few more rounds if she wanted to, but choosing to bow out now seems like a magnanimous strategic choice. I haven’t looked much into the contenders to replace her; probably should.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    ruemara says:

    @Elizabelle: We’ve used Squaresoft for 2 projects at my lab. I’ve considered moving my personal website to them but, I like handcoding.

  39. 39
    Arm The Homeless says:

    How much of the frightened White folks in the burbs are scared of Rochester and its black mayor? Enough to tip the balance to an R?

  40. 40

    @Baud: Dress the baby up in clothes according to your voter demographic and win hearts! It worked for Trudeau.

  41. 41
    Brachiator says:

    It was a pleasure to read about Louise Slaughter. The seat she leaves vacant may be safely Democrat, but I hope her successor will grow into the job and accomplish as much as did Slaughter.

  42. 42
    Elizabelle says:

    @ruemara: Thank you!

  43. 43
    rikyrah says:

    RIP. Congresswoman.
    Thank you for your service.

  44. 44
    Ohio Mom says:

    @JoeyJoeJoe Junior Shabadoo: This is somewhat off topic. I moved to Cincinnati in the late 1970s to be a VISTA worker in a low-income, inner city Appalachian neighborhood. One of the local social services agencies sponsored a screening of the movie, Harlan County.

    For the old lady I found myself sitting next to, it was a home movie: “See that street? Go down it a mile, that’s where I used to live.” “I know him, he worked with my husband.” Etc.

    It is indeed an interesting question how Slaughter ended up in Rochester. It isn’t on any of the old migration routes out of the mountains, which went up through the industrial Midwest.

    Not that many people appreciate how big a migration that was.

  45. 45
    Tarragon says:

    @Doug!:

    I’m an agoraphobic misanthrope

    And a whole lot more!

  46. 46
    Elizabelle says:

    WaPost headline: and really, how could this not be a great bumpersticker/platform for a LOT of Democratic candidates (minus the death, albeit at an advanced age):

    Liberal champion of women’s rights and U.S. manufacturing dies at 88

    Rep. Louise Slaughter, a folksy New York liberal who championed women’s rights and American manufacturing for more than three decades as a Democratic congresswoman, and who became a top lieutenant for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the first and only woman to lead the powerful Rules Committee, died March 16 at a hospital in Washington. She was 88 and the oldest sitting member of Congress.

    The death was announced by her chief of staff, Liam Fitzsimmons. Rep. Slaughter had been hospitalized and treated for a concussion after falling at her home in the District, The Washington Post reported Wednesday .

    Folksy is good, but so is being a tech-ish type, if your heart and priorities are in the right place.

  47. 47
    raven says:

    @Ohio Mom: There were a good many folks in Chicago that followed that path. John Prine comes to mind.

  48. 48
    efgoldman says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I was initially nervous when I heard Tsongas was leaving

    I had the impression you were over the line, in live free or die country

  49. 49
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Louise Slaughter even managed to move the ZEGS to a rare moment of something resembling humanity:

    .@LouiseSlaughter was tough, unfailingly gracious, and unrelenting in fighting for her ideas. She was simply great. In her memory, I have ordered that the flags above the Capitol be lowered to half-staff.

    (Sorry, I’ve never figured out how to embed tweets.)

  50. 50
    Elizabelle says:

    More of the WaPost obit, which is great:

    The daughter of a blacksmith in a Kentucky coal mine, Rep. Slaughter traced her lineage to Daniel Boone and attacked her political opponents with a marksman’s accuracy and, not infrequently, a disarming grin. “She’s sort of a combination of Southern charm and back-room politics, a Southern belle with a cigar in her mouth,” Jane Danowitz, executive director of the Women’s Campaign Fund, told The Post in 1992.

    A microbiologist with a master’s degree in public health, Rep. Slaughter moved to western New York with her husband in the 1950s and entered politics two decades later, after fighting to preserve a stand of beech-maple forest near their home in the Rochester suburbs. She served in the Monroe County Legislature and New York State Assembly before being elected to Congress in 1986 and soon established herself as a defender of blue-collar constituents who worked for Xerox or Kodak.

    Breaking with Democratic Party leaders, she argued that international trade agreements did little more than drain the United States of manufacturing jobs. When President Bill Clinton asked her to support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), according to the Almanac of American Politics, she replied, “Why are you carrying George Bush’s trash?”

  51. 51
    efgoldman says:

    @Elizabelle:

    how could this not be a great bumpersticker/platform for a LOT of Democratic candidates

    Turns out my daughter the journo, when she was at Consumerist, worked closely with Slaughter’s office. Quoting “her press folks loved Consumerist One of the nicest congresspeople I ever talked to”

  52. 52
    Elizabelle says:

    More of the WaPost obit, for those on smartphones:

    Among her greatest achievements was helping shepherd the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, during which she said she received a death threat and her district office window was smashed with a rock. She remained nonchalant, however, even while inspiring Republican rage over a short-lived proposal known as “the Slaughter Strategy,” in which she considered passing the Senate version of Obamacare without an up-or-down vote — a tactic, she noted, that her Republican colleagues had sometimes used themselves.

    “We are about to unleash a cultural war in this country!” Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) told her at the time. Using an idiom she may have drawn from her upbringing in Kentucky, she replied calmly, “I appreciate that you’re the bluebird of happiness.”

    Rep. Slaughter described herself as the only microbiologist on Capitol Hill, and in recent years fought to establish stringent restrictions on the use of antibiotics in healthy cattle — a leading factor, she argued, in the rise of drug-resistant bacteria. She often pointed toward a Food and Drug Administration report which found that in 2009, out of all the antibiotics sold for use by people and livestock, 80 percent went to cattle.

    “These statistics tell the tale of an industry that is rampantly misusing antibiotics in an attempt to cover up filthy, unsanitary living conditions among animals,” she told the Times in 2011. “As they feed antibiotics to animals to keep them healthy, they are making our families sicker by spreading these deadly strains of bacteria.”

    Rep. Slaughter was unable to pass restrictive antibiotics legislation. But her proposal, introduced in each congressional session since 2007, helped draw national attention to the issue. In 2015, President Barack Obama announced a $1.2 billion, five-year plan to identify emerging “superbugs” and increase funding for new antibiotics and vaccines.

    Dorothy Louise McIntosh was born in Harlan County, in southeastern Kentucky, on Aug. 14, 1929. She graduated from high school in Somerset, about 100 miles west, and said she decided to pursue microbiology after her sister died of pneumonia.

    She studied at the University of Kentucky, receiving a bachelor’s degree in 1951 and a master’s in 1953, and was working in Texas when she met Robert Slaughter at a motel pool.

    They married in 1957, and he died in 2014. Survivors include three daughters; seven grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

    Rep. Slaughter took office after defeating one-term Republican Fred J. Eckert, arguing in campaign ads that he had done little to help free Associated Press reporter Terry Anderson, a Rochester native who was kidnapped by an Islamist group in Beirut the previous year.

    She won with 51 percent of the vote, though she later said she was nearly defeated at the polls by sexism. “I had a lot of women tell me their husbands just couldn’t vote for me,” she told USA Today in 2007.

  53. 53
    Elizabelle says:

    @efgoldman: That’s wonderful.

  54. 54
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @JoeyJoeJoe Junior Shabadoo:
    @Ohio Mom:

    While traveling for work, she met Robert “Bob” Slaughter in San Antonio, Texas, and married him in 1957. After marrying, the couple moved to Fairport, New York, a suburb of Rochester, where Bob had been offered a job.

    The most conventional of reasons.

  55. 55
    efgoldman says:

    @germy: @Elizabelle: Link?

  56. 56
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @efgoldman: Nah, I’m three miles from the border on the Mass. side. I’ve got family on the other side, used to have more but they moved back on my side.

  57. 57
  58. 58
    Elizabelle says:

    There is no mention whatsoever of Louise Slaughter on the Fuck the Fucking NY Vichy Times’ website. Does anything come up for you?

  59. 59
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @Msb:

    My Congress rat is LaMalfa… an arrogant rice grower (inherited land and money) who thinks he’s earned everything he was born into. Zero original or meaningful legislation introduced by him. A party line Yes vote for Republicans.

  60. 60
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Not a pixel.

  61. 61
    chris says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    (Sorry, I’ve never figured out how to embed tweets.)

    A periodic PSA:

    1) Click the down arrow in the top right corner of the tweet.
    2)Click to copy link
    3)Or click embed tweet
    4)Copy green highlighted text
    5)Paste to BJ comment box. Yes, it looks like gobbledygook but it looks like this in the comments:

    No one ever engineered a holloway – erosion by human and animal traffic molded the land into tunneled roads. It’s hard to date them, but most are thought to go back to Roman times and the Iron Age. Many who walk through holloways don’t realize they’re retracing ancient steps. pic.twitter.com/TsgEK4eU82— Atlas Obscura (@atlasobscura) 14 March 2018

  62. 62
    Elizabelle says:

    OK, the FTF NY Vichy Times does have an obit for Louise Slaughter on their New York page; not on the front page.

    And they use it to go after Bill Clinton. Holy fuck:

    Although Ms. Slaughter voted against impeaching President Bill Clinton in the scandal over his sexual activities with a young White House intern, she did not hide her anger toward him — and not only for what she deemed his reckless behavior in that episode. She had long believed that Mr. Clinton had made too many deals with the Republicans.

    “I’m not interested in what happens to Bill Clinton,” she said in opposing impeachment. “It’s the country and the Constitution I’m concerned about.”

    The House impeached Mr. Clinton, but the Senate acquitted him.

  63. 63

    @Elizabelle:They are the Pravda of this Nazi regime. Vichy Times is too kind.

  64. 64
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Elizabelle:
    Nope.

  65. 65
    Doug R says:

    @Kathy Eckhouse:

    She will be missed. She was great on the use of antibiotics in animal production, a really important issue.

    The single most likely cause of resistant superbugs-very important issue.

  66. 66
    Elizabelle says:

    @schrodingers_cat: That one leaves me speechless.

    They are Pravda. No question.

  67. 67
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Sorry to go OT in an RIP thread but this just broke, Don Jr’s wife hires a CRIMINAL defense attorney to represent her in the so called uncontested divorce.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2018/03/don-jrs-wife-hires-criminal-defense-lawyer-divorce-case-mueller-probe-heats/

  68. 68
    Ohio Mom says:

    @raven: Yes, Chicago, along with Detroit and all the towns with factories on the way, were where Appalachians looking for a better life, away from the coal mines, went.

    I’ve always wondered what set the ones who held onto their identity apart from the many who assimilated out. I remember a neighbor of mine insisting that while his grandfather was Appalachian, he certainly was not.

    Yet other members of the third generation would say that they were Appalachian. Reminds me a little of how contemporary American Jews also have a choice of whether or not to hold onto to their ancestral identity.

  69. 69
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @chris:

    Thanks. In theory I know what to do, but just tried testing it again and it didn’t work. So either I’m missing something obvious or it’s different on the phone. Not a big deal, anyhow, as I rarely have occasion to copy and share tweets. But thanks — I’ve saved your step-by-steps.

  70. 70
    TenguPhule says:

    @Doug R:

    The single most likely cause of resistant superbugs-very important issue.

    Now would be a pretty good time to try and get the bill she always wanted passed to stop the misuse of antibiotics in food animals.

  71. 71

    Never say anything is an easy seat. FIGHT FOR IT! Get a good candidate running for 2018!

  72. 72
    Rusty says:

    I want to also point out how effective she was at passing legislation. She sponsored and passed a raft of legislation to make people’s lives better, women’s health, ethics, arts, science, healthcare and so much more. What should be remembered is how deeply effective she was at making things happen, not just saying the right thing.

  73. 73
    GregB says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    The employment statistics for attorneys during the Trump era will certainly indicate heavy growth.

  74. 74
    Ruckus says:

    @Rusty:
    A force of nature is like that.
    Water can be pretty benign but run it down a river or crash it into a beach and it will wear solid granite.

  75. 75
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    That seems … excessive. And in yet another O/T WTF moment, I just saw this:

    http://thehill.com/policy/inte.....-was-fired

  76. 76
    Ruckus says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    You want the ear of this president (have no idea why that might be) who else would you talk to?
    That’s not as silly a question as it appears on the surface is it? Which in itself is very disheartening.

  77. 77

    @Ruckus: But Hillary said something mean about the Orange One and his base supporters, so let’s pile on her instead, say our Beltway botlets.

  78. 78
    Gravie says:

    I interviewed Louise Slaughter back in the ’90s about her work in support of the arts. She was one fabulous lady. She never lost touch with her roots in the Kentucky hollers, and was warm, funny, and ferocious in support of her passions.

  79. 79
    JoeC says:

    Yep, she was my Congress person too. Always liked her. Saw her in Wegmans once. Thought about saying “Thanks” but decided not to bug her. She will be missed.

  80. 80
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Consul General from what year?

  81. 81
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Baud: I thought sociopathy was a pre-qualification for aspiring candidates now.

  82. 82
    sempronia says:

    I called her DC office to thank her the day the ACA passed, when I lived in her district. The intern sounded so surprised and pleased – I think they had been getting a lot of nasty phone calls.

  83. 83
    Brendan in NC says:

    As a former Rochester resident, I remember her well. My mother served with her in the County Legislature in the late 70’s. She was everything that everyone else has said, and more. In high school, we had to write our local Congressperson about a topic. I wrote to her, and at the end of her response was the question “Are you Claire’s son?”. My teacher got a kick out of that.

  84. 84
    TenguPhule says:

    EU has released their updated list of US imports to be targeted for the Trade War.

    This is gonna suck.

  85. 85
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Gelfling 545:

    Mmm, trying to think back — IIRC he came to ATNTA in 2009 so probably served in BFALO around 2004-09.

  86. 86
    TenguPhule says:

    At least we’re not Romania?

    A Romanian court has rejected a man’s claim that he is alive, after he was officially registered as dead.

    A court spokeswoman said on Friday that 63-year-old Constantin Reliu lost his case in the north-east city of Vasului because he appealed too late. The ruling is final.

  87. 87
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Geeno:

    I’m really quite struck by the number and variety and sincerity of tributes pouring out for Louise Slaughter today. Not many congresscritters enjoy the level of love and respect I’m seeing for her.

  88. 88
    Old Dan and Little Anne says:

    I heard an hour ago about Slaughter at cemetery because my idiot BIL told my idiot FIL who had just buried his mom. He then said ding ding the witch is dead. I wanted to punch him.

  89. 89
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: after my time then.

  90. 90
    Stacy says:

    RIP Lousie Slaughter. She was my congresswoman for all of my teen and adult life until I moved into Barbara Comstock’s(R) district in Ashburn, VA in 2013. I’m one of those middle aged women who was shocked into action after 2016 and I’ll be donating and campaigning in Louise’s honor for our VA10 Democratic candidate in 2018.

  91. 91
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Worst-case scenario, you could copy the URL as you would for any other Web page.

  92. 92
    Stacy says:

    @Brendan in NC: A fellow Rochester native here and I remember her well too. A neighbor held a fundraiser at her house down the street from us when I was a teen. It was quite a thing to have her be my congresswoman as a teen girl in the 1980’s. As an adult, I’d see her frequently at the same salon and her southern drawl was such a contrast to our hard Rochester R’s. She always seemed to be in our district. Such a difference from my current Congresswoman, Barbara Comstock.

  93. 93
    TenguPhule says:

    Jeremy Corbyn’s response to his critics about his speech

    Theresa May was right on Monday to identify two possibilities for the source of the attack in Salisbury, given that the nerve agent used has been identified as of original Russian manufacture. Either this was a crime authored by the Russian state; or that state has allowed these deadly toxins to slip out of the control it has an obligation to exercise. If the latter, a connection to Russian mafia-like groups that have been allowed to gain a toehold in Britain cannot be excluded.

    On Wednesday the prime minister ruled out neither option. Which of these ultimately prove to be the case is a matter for police and security professionals to determine. Hopefully the next step will be the arrest of those responsible.

    As I said in parliament, the Russian authorities must be held to account on the basis of the evidence, and our response must be both decisive and proportionate. But let us not manufacture a division over Russia where none exists. Labour is of course no supporter of the Putin regime, its conservative authoritarianism, abuse of human rights or political and economic corruption. And we pay tribute to Russia’s many campaigners for social justice and human rights, including for LGBT rights.

    However, that does not mean we should resign ourselves to a “new cold war” of escalating arms spending, proxy conflicts across the globe and a McCarthyite intolerance of dissent. Instead, Britain needs to uphold its laws and its values without reservation. And those should be allied to a foreign policy that uses every opportunity to reduce tensions and conflict wherever possible.

    This government’s diplomacy is failing the country. Unqualified support for Donald Trump and rolling out the red carpet for a Saudi despot not only betrays our values, it makes us less safe.

    And our capacity to deal with outrages from Russia is compromised by the tidal wave of ill-gotten cash that Russian oligarchs – both allied with and opposed to the Russian government – have laundered through London over the past two decades. We must stop servicing Russian crony capitalism in Britain, and the corrupt billionaires who use London to protect their wealth.

    So I will not step back from demanding that Russian money be excluded from our political system. We will be holding the government’s feet to the fire to fully back Labour’s proposed Magnitsky-style sanctions against human rights abusers, along with a wider crackdown on money laundering and tax avoidance.

    We agree with the government’s action in relation to Russian diplomats, but measures to tackle the oligarchs and their loot would have a far greater impact on Russia’s elite than limited tit-for-tat expulsions. We are willing to back further sanctions as and when the investigation into the Salisbury attack produces results.

    But if we are to unite our allies behind action that needs taking, we must make full use of existing international treaties and procedures for dealing with chemical weapons. That means working through the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to reduce the threat from these horrific weapons, including if necessary an investigation by chemical weapons inspectors into the distribution of Soviet-era weapons.

    There can and should be the basis for a common political response to this crime. But in my years in parliament I have seen clear thinking in an international crisis overwhelmed by emotion and hasty judgments too many times. Flawed intelligence and dodgy dossiers led to the calamity of the Iraq invasion. There was overwhelming bipartisan support for attacking Libya, but it proved to be wrong. A universal repugnance at the 9/11 attacks led to a war on Afghanistan that continues to this day, while terrorism has spread across the globe.

    The continuing fallout from the collapse of the Soviet Union and the virtual collapse of the Russian state in the 1990s must be addressed through international law and diplomacy if we are to reverse the drift to conflict.

    Right now, the perpetrators of the Salisbury attack must be identified and held to account. Only through firm multilateral action can we ensure such a shocking crime never happens again.

    The highlights.

  94. 94
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Ruckus:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    You want the ear of this president (have no idea why that might be) who else would you talk to?

    Yes. This president. Any other administration in history, an appropriate senior State Department official would do very well. That ain’t Ivanka.

    That’s not as silly a question as it appears on the surface is it? Which in itself is very disheartening.

    Well put.

  95. 95
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Steeplejack (phone):

    Yes, and I sometimes do that. In this particular case I was more interested in sharing Ryan’s words than in providing a link.

  96. 96
    Ruckus says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    Very true but I was pointing out that someone outside the country that felt they had need to speak with the president, who else you gonna call? SoS is out and was useless to all but himself anyway, the state dept seems to be running out of anyone above coffee boy, she’s the only one that has any permanence and an ear of the shithead. It’s like calling a large company for something, you can’t get through to the CEO, he doesn’t answer the phone, he has staff for that. Customer service is useless because the head of that department was fired and the only person left there now is the janitor. That leaves the CEOs secretary, who can still get things done, and might, as long as there is something in it for her as well.

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    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Gelfling 545:

    What were your years?

  98. 98
    WereBear says:

    @Elizabelle: I like NameCheap.com

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    Ruckus says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    I think most people have a difficult time understanding just how bad it actually is. All of my life I’ve been told that the government is poorly run, badly staffed and working to fuck me over. It of course wasn’t true, except that now that it actually is. The rot starts at the top and either spreads or chases away everything else, leaving only rot. And it takes a lot less time to destroy than to build. Destruction is easy, which might be why drumpf is so good at it, first he has practice and second he is rot personified.

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    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Gelfling 545:
    @SiubhanDuinne:

    What were your years?

    Sorry, you said “after my time” and my brain decided that meant “before my time” so I typed a lot of stuff that made no sense, deleted as soon as I caught my error, but didn’t have time to ask new questions because the edit window was closing!

    So — What were your years? I was at the ConGen in ATNTA from 1988-2013 and although I rarely had occasion to meet in person people from other posts I knew a lot of names and “colleagues of colleagues.” Were you Trade, PERPA, Immigration, or Admin? Who was HOM during your time?

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    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Ruckus:

    All of my life I’ve been told that the government is poorly run, badly staffed and working to fuck me over.

    “The Government” has always been a convenient scapegoat, and as often as not the scorn directed at it was almost a kind of easy joke where everyone knew the punch line so all you had to do was say “That’s the gummint for you” with a rueful shrug, and everyone would chuckle knowingly. But that broad social acceptance of the awfulness of government — even and especially when it was contradicted by your own experience — gave needed cover to the “drown-it-in-the-bathtub” crew.

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    @Ruckus: I got that. That our media considers the statements by a private citizen more scorn worthy than the sad state of diplomatic affairs under T makes my blood boil.

    ETA: Their Clinton hate is what got us this waking nightmare. And yet they seem to have learned nothing.

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    TenguPhule says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    And yet they seem to have learned nothing.

    They’ve learned that T sells them more coverage. Its a perverse incentive for them to become more complicit.

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    Denali says:

    I am proud to say that Louise Slaughter was my Representative, a nd I am glad that I had the chance to meet her and thank her for her service. She truly gave her best for all her constituents and worked very hard as well for the best interests of the country. She will be very much missed.

  105. 105
    Nancy says:

    I sent Louise an email asking her whether she would boycott that inauguration. Expected to get back the usual auto-response. Did not and about three weeks later I got an explanation via email about why she chose to attend.
    Just one demonstration of why she was such an incredible congressperson. She respected me enough to either reply herself or dictate a real response to the question. She’s the only one of my NYS reps who ever replied to my emails/calls beyond a form letter.

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