This is Sound Advice

Re. Lieu has a point, you know:

Lieu read headlines from a Google search about the House Majority Whip, Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise. Noting that the articles about Scalise were all positive and include citations from conservative media outlets, Lieu asked Pichai whether individuals at Google were manipulating those results to favor Scalise.

“You don’t have a group of people at Google, sitting there thinking, ‘Hey, we like Steve Scalise, we’re going to generate positive articles on these search results,” he said. “That’s not what’s happening, right?”

Pichai answer no, and added, “We don’t deal with individual queries and with any viewpoint.”

But then Lieu pivoted — pulling out his smartphone for a search in real-time — and entered King’s name into Google.

King, who was sitting across the room on the powerful House panel, became visibly perturbed.

“I’m going to change one word. So I’m going to search for ‘Congressman Steve King,’ I’m going to hit the ‘news’ tab. First article that pops up is from ABC News,” Lieu said. “It says Steve King’s racist immigration talk prompts calls for congressional censure. That’s a negative article. But you don’t have a group of people at Google thinking and trying to modify search results — every time Steve King comes up, a negative article appears, that’s not what’s happening, right?”

Pichai again said no, reiterating that Google does not manipulate results for individuals like that.

“So let me just conclude here by stating the obvious,” Lieu responded. “If you want positive search results, do positive things. If you don’t want negative search results, don’t do negative things.”

I hope there is video of King’s face when Lieu did this.






143 replies
  1. 1
    chopper says:

    epic. getting trolled live in congress. good show.

  2. 2
    Nicole says:

    “If you want positive search results, do positive things. If you don’t want negative search results, don’t do negative things.”

    I want to stitch this on a sampler.

  3. 3
    ruemara says:

    I cannot understand the adoration of Beto, yet so few know what a frickin’ badass Ted Lieu. He’s funny, sharp and great at this. I wish more people knew him.

  4. 4
    Procopius says:

    I’m afraid I don’t get it. What point about Google was Lieu trying to make? Or was he just taking advantage of an opportunity to get in a dig at King? I don’t see King changing his behavior just because all the news stories about him are negative and so that’s what Google finds. I also don’t see him changing his behavior just because his peers despise him.

  5. 5
    TenguPhule says:

    @ruemara:

    I cannot understand the adoration of Beto, yet so few know what a frickin’ badass Ted Lieu.

    Too many Kirks, not enough Spocks.

  6. 6
    TenguPhule says:

    @Procopius:

    What point about Google was Lieu trying to make?

    Don’t be an asshole, or they will come?

  7. 7
    ruemara says:

    @Procopius: The point is that Google doesn’t control search results. It’s just made at the expense of Steve’s ego.

  8. 8
    Wag says:

    @chopper:

    The Dems DO have spines! First Nancy Smash and now Lieu. The next several months are going to be EPIC fun.

    My theory is that, immediately after the new Congress is sworn in, Mueller is going to drop charges on Pence In addition to Trump, forcing both of them out of office, and paving the way for President Pelosi.

  9. 9
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Procopius:

    I don’t see King changing his behavior just because all the news stories about him are negative and so that’s what Google finds. I also don’t see him changing his behavior just because his peers despise him.

    Would agonizing physical and psychological torture change his behavior? Inquiring minds want to know. //

  10. 10
    TenguPhule says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: -10 points for failure to be amusing or subtle.

  11. 11
    Corner Stone says:

    Chris Matthews just compared Trump to Marty Feldman’s Igor in Young Frankenstein. That is fucking hilarious.

  12. 12
    TenguPhule says:

    “I’m going to change one word. So I’m going to search for ‘Congressman Steve King,’ I’m going to hit the ‘news’ tab. First article that pops up is from ABC News,” Lieu said. “It says Steve King’s racist immigration talk prompts calls for congressional censure. That’s a negative article. But you don’t have a group of people at Google thinking and trying to modify search results — every time Steve King comes up, a negative article appears, that’s not what’s happening, right?”

    Only Steve King would be dumb enough to complain about news article searches right after news articles about him being a literal Nazi came out.

  13. 13
    dmsilev says:

    @Procopius: King (and McCarthy) was trying to argue that Google is deliberately tilting the scales against conservatives. Lieu is making the obvious point that if Googling news stories on you return ‘Christ, what an asshole’, odds are that you’re an asshole.

  14. 14
    cain says:

    @ruemara:

    I cannot understand the adoration of Beto, yet so few know what a frickin’ badass Ted Lieu. He’s funny, sharp and great at this. I wish more people knew him.

    I follow Ted on twitter, and he’s awesome. Much more connected than Beto who I don’t see much action on twitter. Beto is great for Texas, but Ted great for everyone.

  15. 15
    waratah says:

    @Procopius: King was complaining because his granddaughters phone had something pop up saying bad things about him.

  16. 16
    David Evans says:

    @Procopius: LIeu’s point is simply this:

    “If you want positive search results, do positive things. If you don’t want negative search results, don’t do negative things.”

    And I’ve never seen it better put. It’s more convincing than saying “facts” (or “truth” or “logic”) “have a liberal bias” which is not even true in general and is more likely to prevent conservatives from accepting the point.

  17. 17
    A Ghost To Most says:

    If you don’t want to be the first result when someone searches for “assholes”, don’t do newsworthy assholish shit.

  18. 18
    Carol says:

    @ruemara: I can like both Beto and Ted.

  19. 19
    dmsilev says:

    @A Ghost To Most: c.f. Rick Santorum.

  20. 20
    Wag says:

    @Corner Stone:

    No. It’s an insult to the memory of Igor, who was under his gruff exterior, a kind individual, the heart of the movie.

  21. 21
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: How about enhanced interrogation techniques? King likes those.

  22. 22
    cain says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Chris Matthews just compared Trump to Marty Feldman’s Igor in Young Frankenstein. That is fucking hilarious.

    Man, that is totally unfair. Marty’s Igor was so hilarious.. “What brain did you happen to pick..”.. Igor: Abi something.. Abby Normal” Sadly, that’s probably the same brain Trump has.

  23. 23
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Torture is genuinely horrible and wrong. I am curious if it can change someone’s beliefs or behaviors though. I’m going to lean towards no.

  24. 24
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I believe this is what you’re looking for:

  25. 25
    lollipopguild says:

    @Corner Stone: “Hump? What hump?”

  26. 26
    SFAW says:

    @ruemara:

    yet so few know what a frickin’ badass Ted Lieu.

    Almost everything I’ve ever read from him — well, in the twitterverse, I guess — has been him smacking the Rethugs upside their alleged “heads” with a 2 x 4. I think if Seth Moulton REALLY wanted to do some good for the country and the Democrat Party, he’d demand that Speaker Pelosi give Ted Lieu the (unofficial) title of “Ass-Kicking Motherfucker,” and make sure he’s the go-to guy when there’s a need to respond in the media to Rethug bullshit.

  27. 27
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Wag:
    Agreed. Marty Feldman deserves better.

  28. 28
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Wag: My theory is that, immediately after the new Congress is sworn in, winged monkeys will fly out of my butt.

  29. 29
    GregB says:

    All of these young, smart Democrats and of course Speaker Pelosi are going to drop shit-hammer after shit-hammer on the decadent, ignorant crumb-bum Republicans.

  30. 30
    Platonailedit says:

    Pundtwit ezra fucking klein is unendorsing paul fucking ryan since paul fucking ryan did not live up to ezra fucking klein’s blatantly false fucking expectations.

  31. 31
    lollipopguild says:

    Conservatives like King think that they are uncapable of doing anything “negative”. They think that everything they do is “positive’ and that the fake and evil media are always portraying them in a bad light. They, in their own mind are always right on everything.

  32. 32
    lollipopguild says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Pictures and video or it never happened.

  33. 33
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ruemara:

    Ted Lieu is on the leadership track in the House and was selected as an Assistant Whip last year. They know what they have.

    @Procopius:

    I see they have you on the overnight shift now, comrade! It’s barely 4 am in Moscow. You must have made your desyatnik angry.

    Anyway, another day, another ruble, amirite?

  34. 34
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:
    Me too, but some traitorous MFers desperately deserve it.

  35. 35

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    I am curious if it can change someone’s beliefs or behaviors though

    Yes, but not in a useful, predictable, or clear-cut way. It’s great for teaching someone to hate you and look for a chance to stab you in the back. Brainwashing uses minimal pain, because people build up resentment. It relies on tricks to make people think they’re making decisions that were fed to them instead. With torture, people know what the conflict is and create their own reaction, usually a combination of desperation and resentment. Basically, have you watched Game of Thrones? That Reek stuff, it doesn’t work like that. I wanted to hit Martin with a table watching it.

  36. 36
    Corner Stone says:

    @lollipopguild: Exactly.

  37. 37
    Wag says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    I realize that your theory is more likely than mine, but mine is hopeful, as opposed to strictly amusing

  38. 38
    Yarrow says:

    @ruemara: Ted Lieu is all over cable news shows, he’s funny as hell and his Twitter game is amazing. He’ll get a lot more attention over the next few months than Beto will because of the Mueller investigation.

  39. 39
    Wag says:

    @lollipopguild:
    Never with a tux

  40. 40
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: Yes, it can change someone’s nature. Lots of documentation about this – it breaks people. Outgoing, confident individuals come back as withdrawn, nervous and indecisive. Brainwashing is more effective in such cases as well.

    People who go through it can recover and become outgoing and confident again. But they’re not the same as they were before.

    I would like to point out that this is the weakness of the “torture works” position. It does work, but it does so by making the subject want to tell you what you want to know regardless how true or false that may be. So you might get the truth, but more likely you’ll get the lie you’re looking for. And if the subject was innocent, well, not any more.

    Please do not suggest torturing people any more, even in attempted humor. please.

  41. 41
    Gwangung says:

    @ruemara: Not white enough? Even thou Asian Americans are honorary whites?
    /s

  42. 42
    DavidtheB says:

    @cain: Igor: Abi something.. Abby Normal”

    IMO one of the greatest linse in movie history. The first time i watched it I didn’t even get it.

  43. 43
    Searcher says:

    @Wag: I don’t want Pelosi 2020 but MAN I want Pelosi 2019.

  44. 44
    Corner Stone says:

    @Gin & Tonic: How many you been keeping up in there? Wait. Wait. I don’t want to know. Personally, I don’t care what you get up to with the flying winged monkey fetish. You just keep those damned pandas away from me. Don’t act like you don’t have any. I know you do.

  45. 45
  46. 46
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @ruemara: Agreed.

  47. 47
    Yarrow says:

    @Gin & Tonic: That sounds painful!

  48. 48
    Mary G says:

    @ruemara: I am also a huge fan of Ted Lieu! He is a killer on Twitter and very thoughtful and communicates so well with all kinds of people. I want him to run for president too. He’s not as pretty as Beto, but so smart and a veteran.

  49. 49
    Mnemosyne says:

    @waratah:

    And that, of course, was Lieu’s point: if King wants to stop getting headlines for being an asshole, he should stop being an asshole and then he won’t have to explain to his granddaughter why there’s a news story about him being an asshole. Problem solved.

  50. 50
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:
    That sounds about right. I remember reading about brainwashing the Chinese did to Americans in the 1950s. Once they returned home they lost their programming.

  51. 51
    Yarrow says:

    @Mary G: He was born in Taiwan so unfortunately he can’t run for president.

  52. 52
    hueyplong says:

    Kinda liking the cut of Lieu’s jib.

  53. 53
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Kirk Spencer: Your concern is duly noted

    Purity pony supplies are in aisle 11, I believe.

  54. 54
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Kirk Spencer:

    Please do not suggest torturing people any more, even in attempted humor. please.

    You got it.

  55. 55
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Gwangung:

    Until 2016, conservative Jews like Bill Kristol and Jennifer Rubin thought they were honorary whites. Whoopsie!

    And they’re the smart ones who actually figured it out. Stephen Miller won’t get it until he’s finished serving his purpose and it’s his turn to go in front of the firing squad.

  56. 56
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @Gwangung: I get your point, but I suspect the actual problems are that (1) he’s from Southern California, so he automatically gets dismissed by the media as just another liberal in an indistinguishable, un-newsworthy mass of them, and (2) he’s a naturalized US citizen, born in Taiwan, so he can’t run for President under current law. He’d be an AWESOME point person for a constitutional amendment to change that law.

  57. 57
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @ruemara: I’m fine with the adoration of Beto. Rep Lieu is great too. I’d vote for either of them if they run against the Orange Bigot in 2020 if he’s not in jail by then.

  58. 58
    Gwangung says:

    Well, Lieu has ALWAYS had the spine liberals were demanding of Congressional Democrats, so folks SHOULD know a lot about him.

    Eg, he’s from my Alma mater , so that was ALWAYS a plus for me.

  59. 59

    @Platonailedit:
    Klein was excellent at analyzing Obamacare and how it works. As a political analyst, not so much.

  60. 60
    SFAW says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Purity pony supplies are in aisle 11, I believe.

    I think there might be a difference between what he said regarding torture, and purity-pony-ism.

  61. 61
    TenguPhule says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    My theory is that, immediately after the new Congress is sworn in, winged monkeys will fly out of my butt.

    Bruce, is that you? //

  62. 62
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    While looking up details on Lieu’s citizenship, I noticed that loathsome dickwad Rep. Mark Meadows (R-newly insane state of NC) was born in France. FRANCE. Surely there must be a way to use that against him.

  63. 63
    Jeffro says:

    @Wag:

    …immediately after the new Congress is sworn in, Mueller is going to drop charges on Pence In addition to Trump, forcing both of them out of office, and paving the way for President Pelosi.

    Ultimately, whatever deal might be struck with Trumpov to spare him from being RICO’d down to nothing and/or spending the rest of his post-office life in prison is going to have to include getting Pence to resign first. That means showing Pence – and the world – whatever goods Mueller has on Pence. If he refuses, HE’s the first one to get impeached.

    Trumpov resigns and Pelosi becomes a caretaker president ’til 2020. Not a bad remedy but not as good as (unicorn magic underpants gnomes) SCOTUS declaring Trumpov’s win in 2016 the act of a criminal enterprise acting in conspiracy with a hostile foreign power and awards the 45th presidency to HRC. Who then (double unicorn magic) realizing the country would be in flames, albeit through no fault of her own, agrees to serve a day and resign, handing the presidency to OTHER caretaker president Tim Kaine.

    It’s all so simple, dontcha see? ;)

    (but we are, in fact, getting close to that than to Trumpov being re-elected…multiverses are condensing as we speak…

  64. 64
    TenguPhule says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:

    He’d be an AWESOME point person for a constitutional amendment to change that law.

    But then Arnold Terminator would be eligible too.

  65. 65
    TenguPhule says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:

    I noticed that loathsome dickwad Rep. Mark Meadows (R-newly insane state of NC) was born in France. FRANCE. Surely there must be a way to use that against him.

    Vichy Republican.

  66. 66
    SFAW says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And they’re the smart ones who actually figured it out.

    Although I appreciate most of the stuff Rubin’s been writing in the last year or so, I’m withholding judgment until after there’s a less-obviously-vile Rethug in power. Maybe she’s had an epiphany, and maybe it’s just a “Trump’s vile but Paul Ryan is dreamy” thing.

    I hope you’re right, of course, but we’ll see.

  67. 67
    NotMax says:

    Steve King demands to be shown the series of tubes. “The late esteemed Senator Ted Stevens filled me in on all of this.” //

  68. 68
    MomSense says:

    @ruemara:

    Lieu is one of our brightest lights. He is so impressive.

  69. 69
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    I skimmed the Wikipedia article about Stockholm Syndrome and it seems to be (a) extremely rare (about 8 percent of kidnapping victims are said to have it and (b) not well-studied, so nobody seems to know what it is or if it really exists at all.

    A lot of the alleged cases like Elizabeth Smart’s turn out to have been very cagey victims who figured out a useful strategy to stay alive. She had no sympathy for her captors once she felt secure that they were in prison and would never be able to harm her or her family again.

  70. 70
    TenguPhule says:

    @Jeffro:

    Trumpov resigns

    Trump will never resign. He would sooner burn the whole country down first.

    We’re going to find out one way or another how far the Secret Service will go to protect him.

  71. 71
    Corner Stone says:

    @SFAW: Rubin’s just waiting. She hates Trump. Fin.

  72. 72
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And they’re the smart ones who actually figured it out.

    No, Rubin is still pining for a Republican Fjords of a Third Party Conservative Unicorn.

    She’s just our useful idiot now.

  73. 73
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @ruemara: Lieu was not born in the US, he’s a naturalized citizen. So he can’t run for president. As a result, he doesn’t get the same attention.

  74. 74
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: Igor had redeeming characteristics and traits. Among other things he was loyal.

  75. 75
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:

    We’re going to find out one way or another how far the Secret Service will go to protect him.

    That sounds ominous.

  76. 76
    NotMax says:

    @TenguPhule

    She’s just our useful idiot now.

    Sometimes sputters along in more or less the right direction.

    Sort of an idiot Trabant.

    ;)

  77. 77
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @TenguPhule:

    We’re going to find out one way or another how far the Secret Service will go to protect him.

    They’re professionals (mostly, and despite mostly being RWNJs). If he is impeached and removed from office, he will no longer be president* and they will transfer their protective duty status to the services they provide to former presidents. If it becomes necessary, in the course of doing that, they’ll protect him from himself. But this is all pretty far-fetched. There are certainly circumstances under which Trump would resign. He still gives indications he is susceptible to some forms of persuasion and coercion, and still demonstrates plenty of self-interest – even if his judgment about what is in his interest often sucks.

  78. 78
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SFAW:

    Oh, I’m not giving either Kristol or Rubin a full pass. I’m just saying that they at least had enough intelligence to realize that the guys marching around chanting, “Jews will not replace us” might not be their friends.

  79. 79
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Pictures or it will not have happened!

  80. 80
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Hard pass on the pix.

  81. 81
    TenguPhule says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: Let’s put it this way.

    There is no precedent for a SS agent witnessing their main charge commit a major felony in front of them other then in the movies such as Absolute Power.

  82. 82
    Redshift says:

    I think people kind of missed the point (other than trolling) of Lieu’s example. It’s not just that King gets what he deserves because he’s an asshole. It’s that King was insisting that he must get bad search results because of “bias against conservatives,” so Lieu showed him a conservative who doesn’t get bad search results, and then trolled him to prove its because he’s an asshole.

    (Of course, Scalise is actually an asshole too, he’s just more subtle about it.)

  83. 83
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mary G: He can’t run for president. He’s a naturalized citizen.

  84. 84
    dm says:

    @Platonailedit: That’s not how I read that article.

    It was Klein saying: “I got taken in by Ryan’s con and I was stupid to do so. Paul Krugman was right about Ryan and I was wrong.”

    I hope he’s learned his lesson. More pundits should face up to it.

  85. 85
    TenguPhule says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:

    If he is impeached and removed from office,

    Pretty sure he would go off the rails long before conviction. Again, their mission is clear, but its a scenario I’m fairly sure has never come up in their professional training.

  86. 86
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:

    Honestly, I’m assuming that if things got to the point where Trump had to be put under arrest, the lawyers would negotiate one of those things where he shows up to do all of the fingerprinting etc and then leaves on his own recognizance, with Secret Service in tow.

    As Adam has said many times before, there’s pretty much no way for him to ditch his security detail and slip away. He could find out pretty quickly that his detail is just as good at keeping him in as they are at keeping others out.

  87. 87
    TenguPhule says:

    @NotMax: Well played.

  88. 88
    trnc says:

    @dmsilev: In King’s defense, he was only irritated that some asshole said something stupid and racist that made him look bad.

    Oh, wait, it was Steve King who said it. Every time. So never mind.

  89. 89
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @TenguPhule: Much as I love the idea that the Secret Service is going to patriot up and arrest him, if they saw him commit any felony other than a violent one, they would continue to carry out their mission of providing him with physical security and let the rest of the law enforcement and judicial apparatus do its work (or fail to). And if they did see him committing a violent act, they’d probably do no more than briefly restrain and separate him for his own safety. This is all deep into fantasyland, anyway.

  90. 90

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:
    I’m positive the question has been raised and answered, it’s merely been purely theoretical until now. I wonder how we could find out what the policy is?

  91. 91
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    where he shows up to do all of the fingerprinting etc and then leaves on his own recognizance

    And anyone who thinks Trump would actually do this quietly and without resistance hasn’t been paying attention.

    He is a rulebreaker. An oathbreaker. He would sooner order a pre-emptive attack against another country despite his personal cowardice rather then submit peacefully.

    He will not follow norms, customs or the law. We’ve seen this repeatedly.

  92. 92
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: And of course Beto was happening in Texas which was kind of amazing and unheard of.

  93. 93
    trnc says:

    @Redshift: Scalise also often gets a pass for being wounded, even though it happened as a result of policy he supports.

  94. 94
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:

    It would be hard to find a better way to put someone under airtight house arrest than putting the Secret Service in charge of it. Just sayin’.

  95. 95
    TenguPhule says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:

    This is all deep into fantasyland, anyway.

    We stepped into Wonderland on Jan 20, 2017. We went off the map the following day.

  96. 96
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @TenguPhule:

    He would sooner order a pre-emptive attack against another country despite his personal cowardice rather then submit peacefully.

    Of all the fantasy scenarios brought up so far in this thread, this seems the most likely to me. He’s got multiple advisers who’d be all in, too.

  97. 97
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    You mention that movie a lot.

    I’m sure if Trump did, like murdering Melanie in a fit of rage, it would go like this with his sycophants:

    McConnell: “Maybe she was a cheating b**ch and got what she deserved, did you libtards ever consider that?”

    Ryan: “Look, the President is all powerful and who are we to question what he does? It’s not like Congress is supposed to be anything but a rubber stamp.”

  98. 98
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Duly noted, thank you. @SFAW‘s defense noted as well, but torture is a subject on which I feel strongly enough that an accusation of purity ponyism in regard to it isn’t taken as an insult.

  99. 99

    @TenguPhule:

    He will not follow norms, customs or the law. We’ve seen this repeatedly.

    True. What we have also seen is that he is lazy, stupid, cowardly, and childish in not following them. Trump’s method is to loudly declare that he’s not accepting the result of the election, and when the Secret Service comes to escort him out, leave fast enough to not be touched, then stand outside and yell that he’s not accepting the result of the election. Also while committing some kind of incredibly stupid and obvious crime, like stealing a valuable painting that’s the office’s, not his.

  100. 100
    immanetize says:

    @Mnemosyne: The spawn of the Pinkertons? Don’t believe the Disney version of the Secret Service. ooops, of course you do….

  101. 101
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: @Frankensteinbeck:

    Also while committing some kind of incredibly stupid and obvious crime, like stealing a valuable painting that’s the office’s, not his.

    He can have the gold toilet seat as a gift from a grateful nation. Hell, I’d even let his horrid family clear all the toilet paper out of the White House as they leave.

    You just know they’re going to do that anyway.

  102. 102
    Platonailedit says:

    @dm: It was assholes like klein, under the garb of pundits, who glorified a knownothing, 3rd rate grifter and sold that punk to the public as a policy wonk. Fuck klein’s meaningless epiphany now,

  103. 103
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @SFAW: she’s had nothing good to say in Ryan either, which mskes sense because there is nothing. She’s written some excellent stuff this year but I have the impression I’d never much agree with her on defense policy. I also think that she, like many of the political writers, are generally most comfortable in opposing.

  104. 104
    sukabi says:

    @ruemara: S. King has been on Google for a long time about their search results being anti conservative and returning negative results for him…he and a bunch of other repubs have zero clues about how any of this works….I think it’s because in their worlds they actively skew information to fit their narrow views, they can’t fathom that they are the only ones that do that.

  105. 105
    TenguPhule says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    You mention that movie a lot.

    Because its the only one I can remember where the Secret Service were not the good guys.

    Its scary as hell to know that we’re relying on their professional integrity as an institution when every other safeguard in the government has already failed or been found wanting.

    No matter what happens, they’re going to have to make a choice with clear Constitutional repercussions.

  106. 106
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: Born at a US military hospital, to a GI and his (civilian) nurse wife.

    So he’s absolutely eligible to run for president. Or be Chief of Staff. Or whatever other crimes Trump asks him to commit.

  107. 107
    lollipopguild says:

    @Adam L Silverman: He was also a good assistant except for that brain thingy.

  108. 108
    Wag says:

    @Redshift:

    (Of course, Scalise is actually an asshole too, he’s just more subtle about it.)

    I think that it comes down to how many orders of magnitude of assholeish behavior separates Scalise from King. The only member of the GOP who is anywhere near King’s magnitude is Trump. The two of them gives each other a run for the money.

  109. 109
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @FlyingToaster: Oh, I know he’s eligible. It’s just delicious that he was born in the land of pinko commies, french fries, and cheese-eating surrender monkeys.

    I was born in Texas, and I wouldn’t want anyone to hold that against me.

  110. 110
    Jeffro says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:

    There are certainly circumstances under which Trump would resign. He still gives indications he is susceptible to some forms of persuasion and coercion, and still demonstrates plenty of self-interest – even if his judgment about what is in his interest often sucks.

    Thank you.

    He only cares about two things: his money and maybe Ivanka. Put the money in jeopardy and he’s all ears.

  111. 111
    TenguPhule says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    What we have also seen is that he is lazy, stupid, cowardly, and childish in not following them.

    Most of the time. He’s also impulsively ordered the military to do shit they don’t want to do. And yet still there are orders they’ve carried out including the African operation fuckup and his anti-transgender and anti-immigrant recruit targeting.

  112. 112
    NotMax says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice

    “Call me crazy, but I’m certain there was a big desk in the Oval Office, not a card table from the 99¢ store.”

    :)

  113. 113
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @SFAW: Might be. Probably is. Sorry. Politics at this point is no place for the meek, or the pure. Coffee is for closers.

  114. 114
    Immanentize says:

    @TenguPhule: I saw in the last thread that you support the death penalty. Given your eliminationist tendencies; unsurprising. You know who else avidly supported state-sponsored killing? Given your rather un-reflective support of Israel, you might be surprised that the answer is: Hitler. He loved it! As long as it was imposed legally after appropriate due process. Just like you suggest — constraints!

  115. 115
    Immanentize says:

    @DavidtheB: Put back the candle.

  116. 116
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    I remember you mentioning it at least once or twice before. Do you recommend it?

    Its scary as hell to know that we’re relying on their professional integrity as an institution when every other safeguard in the government has already failed or been found wanting.

    No matter what happens, they’re going to have to make a choice with clear Constitutional repercussions.

    Agreed. It is pretty scary.

    BTW, do you think I captured McConnell’s and Ryan’s personalities and styles well as a parody?

  117. 117
    Immanentize says:

    @lollipopguild: And the knockers confusion

  118. 118

    Good news from India, Assembly (state legislative assembly) elections were held in 5 Indian states and BJP has suffered setbacks and lost seats in 4 of the 5 states. And lost 2 states (may be 3, votes are still being counted) that it held before the elections.

  119. 119
    H.E.Wolf says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    If you’ve got time over winter break, and access to a university library, look for Writing Into the World by Terrence Des Pres. One of the essays in that book is “Channel Fire”, a portion of which discusses torture.

    [ETA: I changed “summary” to “review” for clarity, in the next sentence.]

    Quoting from the review provided by the Free Online Library:

    Des Pres cites Elaine Scarry’s extraordinary book, The Body in Pain, which accentuates that during interrogation sessions the torturer’s purpose is neither to detect lying nor to discover information. Rather, the sequence of questions is intended to ascertain the precise point at which the victim can no longer speak. Reduced to anguished, nonsensical cries, many victims of torture insist that this absolute political intrusion is worse than death itself.

    Des Pres points out that, like terrorism, torture in the hands of oppressive regimes is often rooted in a politics of despair. He again cites the nuanced analysis of Scarry, whose examination of torture’s structure reveals that it is a desperate ritual performed by unstable governments craving the illusion of absolute power.

    The essay is sublime – in the older sense of “sublime”: beautiful and terrifying.

    Whether you find you agree with Des Pres and Scarry, or not, it is a remarkable piece of writing; and as a writer yourself, you might appreciate it for its construction.

  120. 120
    Bess says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Secret Service Oath –

    “I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

    I don’t see any sworn allegiance to a specific person, even if they did happen to get a majority of Electoral College votes at some point in time.

  121. 121
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Eli Stokols @ EliStokols
    Trump was “mostly aggravated with Schumer,” the fellow New Yorker, and his refusal to look at POTUS while directing his comments to the pool cameras. Aides, however, were more rattled that he’d just accepted responsibility for a possible shutdown.
    Also, am told very little of substance took place after the pool cameras were finally ushered out. “Once the president has been aggravated to that level, there’s no coming back from that and re-focusing.“
    Trump stormed out of the Oval Office right after the Pelosi-Schumer meeting ended, flicking away a folder and scattering briefing materials in frustration, said one staffer who saw it.

  122. 122
    Mary G says:

    @schrodingers_cat: That’s good news.

    Ted Lieu would make an excellent sucessor to DiFi.

  123. 123
    Mike in DC says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: Why on Earth would the Secret Service protect a president who was removed from office via impeachment? My assumption is that, once you’re removed, all of the attendant benefits including SS protection and the presidential pension go poof!

  124. 124
  125. 125
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @H.E.Wolf:
    Thanks! I’ll check it out.

  126. 126
    FelonyGovt says:

    Ted Lieu is my Rep. He was just named Co-Chair of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC), so he is definitely on a party leadership track.

  127. 127
    Immanentize says:

    @NotMax: That’s what I am trying to relate. Although I take a bit of an issue with the “not glamorous” part because one Pres. advance team SS Agent told me in a bar in Miami: ” We get a lot of trim.”.

    Well, OK. Idiot.

  128. 128
    Ruviana says:

    @TenguPhule: Too old–71l

  129. 129
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: At this point he’s going to force a government shutdown because they embarrassed him in public.

  130. 130

    So Google search in the news tab found positive results on a Republican member of Congress. That’s pretty powerful, and may even require time travel.

  131. 131
    Platonailed says:

    Full report: An AP investigation finds Ivanka and Jared stand to benefit from a program they pushed that offers massive tax breaks to developers who invest in downtrodden areas. They own a major stake in a firm that plans to take advantage of the program.https://t.co/DobpDjuSgh— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 12, 2018

    Despite all their puffery, you can never take away inner slum lords from these families of scums.

  132. 132
    Procopius says:

    @Wag:

    The next several months are going to be EPIC fun.

    Yes, the many new women Representatives who have never held office before and are not beholden to corporate mega-donors are going to have some interesting things to say.
    Minor quibble: standard American usage of “drop charges” is “to stop pressing charges.” I don’t think that was what you meant, but your usage is confusing. /pedant

  133. 133
    Platonailedit says:

    Despite all their puffery, you can never take away inner slum lords from these families of scums and scamsters.

    Full report: An AP investigation finds Ivanka and Jared stand to benefit from a program they pushed that offers massive tax breaks to developers who invest in downtrodden areas. They own a major stake in a firm that plans to take advantage of the program.https://t.co/DobpDjuSgh— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 12, 2018

  134. 134
    poleaxedbyboatwork says:

    @Kirk Spencer:

    … I would like to point out that this is the weakness of the “torture works” position. It does work, but it does so by making the subject want to tell you what you want to know regardless how true or false that may be. So you might get the truth, but more likely you’ll get the lie you’re looking for. And if the subject was innocent, well, not any more …

    Agreed.

    Whatever the repugnant advocates of torture might *claim*, the net effect and ultimate purpose of torture (apart from pure sadism) is to extract a “confession” that confirms a suspicion or cynically meets a political need. Irrespective of truth. Witches. Spanish Inquisition. Soviet show trials. McCain in Vietnam. The list is endless. If a society values neither truth nor justice, then torture is its natural backstop. It’s the ultimate “cuz-I-said-so!” form of illegitimate compulsion.

    A ferinstance: Special forces who are subjected to torture (e.g. waterboarding) in SERE training as a means of preparing them should they be captured? Unable to withstand prolonged torture. No one is. People will say whatever is necessary (true or not) to get the torture to stop. If they are unwilling to lie, they are (inadvertently or deliberately) killed. Full stop.

    You could, under torture, get Dick fucking Cheney to admit he was the Easter Bunny. And you also could get him to admit that he lied the country into an unnecessary elective war in Iraq. The former example is untrue and the latter example is true. The fatuous razor-wire conceit of torture is that the torturers and those who direct them can, nay *must* be trusted to be both honorable and wise. These are self-refuting arguments.

    Apart from barbarizing its subject, torture also perverts and barbarizes those who practice it and the society that sanctions and condones it. It is morally wrong, but it also pragmatcally counterproductive on every level.

    The one aspect of the Trump debacle (and perhaps it’s only b/c we don’t know yet) I am surprised has not occurred, specially given his childish enthusiasm for the practice, is that torture has not been actively revived as it was when the Bush admin let the genie outta the bottle on state-sanctioned torture.

  135. 135

    @poleaxedbyboatwork: Bush staff was loyal to a fault.

    Many faults.

  136. 136
    James E Powell says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Klein’s goal is to be his generation’s Richard Cohen.

  137. 137
    Aleta says:

    Animal rights provisions in the farm bill

    The farm bill is expected to reach a floor vote this week and travel to the White House for the president’s signature.

    If passed, the farm bill will do more for animal rights than any previous legislation in recent history.

    One provision is a crackdown on dogfighting and cockfighting in the five U.S. territories — American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Although animal fighting is already outlawed in all 50 states, such activities are still permitted in the territories and are typically defended as cultural expressions.

    Another reform is a ban on dog and cat meat in the United States…a small yet horrific underground market.

    The bill also includes a provision — or rather a commitment — to add kennels and other animal shelters at domestic violence centers, reasoning that pets are also at risk in violent households. Moreover, abusers will often use pets as leverage to keep a spouse or partner in place, according to Animal Wellness Action.

    Perhaps the most important feature of the bill, not to exclude legalization of industrial hemp used in CBD oil, is the elimination of the so-called King Amendment.

    Named for Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), the amendment would have allowed states to scrap regulations banning such cruel practices as confining an animal so that it can’t move or turn around — ever.
    (WaPost)

  138. 138
    Procopius says:

    @Mnemosyne: What, just because I’m a Revolutionary Socialist you think I’m a Bolshevik? It doesn’t work that way.

  139. 139
    Aleta says:

    Also in the farm bill

    No one quite knows what the ultimate cost of the farm bill will be, though earlier versions tipped the scales at $870 billion-plus over 10 years, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    The vast majority of that money, roughly 80 percent, goes to the government’s main nutritional aid program for the poor, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

    The bill omits a provision in the House bill that would have tightened eligibility for SNAP by requiring childless adult recipients between the ages of 49 and 59, as well as adults with children 6 or older, to work or participate in job-training programs for 20 hours per week.

    [The omitted] proposal would actually have saved the federal government only about $1.5 billion over the next 10 years, according to the CBO — while ballooning state bureaucracies needed to enforce the work requirement. Meanwhile, up to 1.2 million previously eligible people would have wound up without benefits — in other words, hungrier.

    In one important respect, however, the farm bill appears likely to loosen a work requirement. We refer now to the rest of the measure, which provides a “safety net” — subsidies — for agricultural commodity producers.

    Current law limits the amount any one farmer can receive from the two largest crop-subsidy programs to $125,000 per year ($250,000 for married couples). However, there is a large loophole for “family farms” that permits not only a couple but also their children (and their spouses) to get paid as long as they are “actively engaged” in the management of the business. And this particular requirement can be met through little more than occasional participation in farm-related paper-pushing.

    Even that is too stringent for some owners of large farms, who have pushed for an expanded definition of a “family farm” that will enable more distant relatives — such as nephews, nieces and cousins — to receive up to $125,000 each, as long as they do something that can be characterized as management.

    The chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Michael K. Conaway (R-Tex.), says this is a way to keep new generations of younger people involved in farming, and his concern has carried the day, because this provision is reportedly included in the final bill.

    The extension of taxpayer largesse to extended families would be a step backward in the long-term fight for incremental rationalization of agriculture policy. It is also quite a comment on Republican legislative priorities: The party’s lawmakers have fought simultaneously to make the poor work more for taxpayer-funded help they really need, while allowing some farmers’ relatives to work hardly at all to get taxpayer-funded help they don’t need.
    (From a WaPost editorial)

  140. 140
    Sherparick says:

    @ruemara: Not to diminish any other candidate, but right now I am all in Ted Lieu for President.

  141. 141
    Procopius says:

    @poleaxedbyboatwork:

    The one aspect of the Trump debacle (and perhaps it’s only b/c we don’t know yet) I am surprised has not occurred, specially given his childish enthusiasm for the practice, is that torture has not been actively revived as it was when the Bush admin let the genie outta the bottle on state-sanctioned torture.

    We really don’t know that, do we? How many Trump drone killings have you read about since January 2017? How much have you read about the military deployment in Africa? Do you know whether or not the Saudis make other targeting choices besides the ones we give them? Do you know why they chose to bomb that school bus? The media suppresses anything their owners don’t want to admit to doing. They don’t have to order any particular story suppressed — everybody who works in the media knows what stories they aren’t supposed to write.

  142. 142
    Darkrose says:

    @Gwangung: I think he’s my class, and we may have lived in the same dorm at one point. EAST House represent!

  143. 143
    Chris Johnson says:

    Steve King is a fucking idiot. Google is responsible for YouTube. YouTube is the platform whose algorithm frantically looks for any excuse to suggest you should be watching more Nazis and alt-right. Silicon Valley in general is heavily infiltrated by crazy right-wing nutjobs, with great influence on the deity-like libertarian tech gods who love hearing messianic gibberish about how they’re the chosen ones. Whether it’s due to a pattern of ad buys or simply the algorithm looking for ‘engagement’ (i.e. get mad and paranoid and be glued to the screen), King has it literally backwards.

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