Monday Morning Open Thread: Regrets, They Have A Few, But Then Again…

(Tom Toles via GoComics.com)
.

I have a feeling that last Friday’s toxic news dump was deferred for today. But then, I’m a devout Cynic; Churchy LaFemme’s despairing Friday the Thirteenth falls on a ***day this month! has resonated with me since I first heard it, sometime before I entered kindergarten. (Hearing me repeat it, on the relevant day every month, confused the heck out of my kindergarten teacher even after she spoke to my father.)

To return to our usual start-of-a-new-day attempt to stay positive, it’s genuinely good news that voters in Iowa are taking their electoral responsibilities with due seriousness this time. Per the Washington Post:

The Iowa caucuses remain 13 months away, but a pent-up demand for change in the White House is tangible among Democrats eager for the 2020 campaign to start in earnest. The throngs of voters bombarding events in Iowa are testament to something fearful for Republicans: The huge tide of Democratic voters who powered the party’s 2018 gains have not lost interest as attention turns to the 2020 presidential race…

Iowans cited a slew of reasons for their eagerness to begin the lengthy nomination process to settle on a leader to go up against President Trump. There were the tax cuts that one voter called “a waste of time and money”; the trade war with China depressing demand for exports and hurting farmers; the hostility toward immigrants, a labor pool heavily used on Iowa farms; the rolling back of environmental regulations that impact Iowa’s rivers; a foreign policy approach changing the country’s status in the world; and the general chaos and lack of civility in the White House…

Helping to channel some of this Democratic enthusiasm are organizations like Siouxland Progressive Women, one of thousands of groups that have cropped up on the left since the 2016 election.

“We’re so ready,” said Susan Leonard, 64, a co-founder of the group. Her 200-member organization campaigned for J.D. Scholten, the Democrat who unsuccessfully challenged Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa). Now they’re turning to 2020.

“We’ve got invitations out to several presidential candidates already,” Leonard said. “It’s a big group, and we want to hear their ideas.”

There are plenty of candidates and potential candidates coming to Iowa to meet with Democratic activists. A day after Warren departs Sunday, Julián Castro, the former Housing and Urban Development secretary and San Antonio mayor, is planning stops in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. Delaney, who was the first Democrat in the race, will open campaign offices here when he returns to Iowa for events Friday and Saturday…

Even if my inner Eeyore suspects some of this enthusiasm is a parochial defense against California’s new relevance under an early Super Tuesday schedule, any attitude more positive than Here we are now — entertain us should surely be encouraged, yes?






135 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning,Everyone 😄😄😄

  2. 2
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    The US embassy in Havana more than halved its staff in 2017 when diplomats complained of headaches, nausea and other ailments after hearing penetrating noises in their homes and nearby hotels.

    The mysterious wave of illness fuelled speculation that the staff had been targeted by an acoustic weapon. It was an explanation that appeared to gain weight when an audio recording of a persistent, high-pitched drone made by US personnel in Cuba was released to the Associated Press.

    But a fresh analysis of the audio recording has revealed what scientists in the UK and the US now believe is the true source of the piercing din: it is the song of the Indies short-tailed cricket, known formally as Anurogryllus celerinictus.

    “The recording is definitively a cricket that belongs to the same group,” said Fernando Montealegre-Zapata, a professor of sensory biology at the University of Lincoln. “The call of this Caribbean species is about 7 kHz, and is delivered at an unusually high rate, which gives humans the sensation of a continuous sharp trill.”

    In light of this latest scientific evidence, I fully expect to hear crickets from the trump admin.

  3. 3
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Speaking of Warren, this picture has to hurt you know who (photo)

  4. 4
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning 😊!
    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: wow, more people than at his inauguration.

  5. 5
    Bruuuuce says:

    Also speaking of Warren, the best laugh of the weekend was the headline at CNN: “Democrat’s Candidacy is DOA” (for a video of SE Cupp speaking about Warren). The actual video, though, is foolishness and pessimism of the worst order.

  6. 6
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    “Thank you to Satan for giving me inspiration on how to play this role” – Christian Bale accepts his Golden Globe for playing Dick Cheney

    I tried to watch “Vice” and I had to stop after 25 minutes cuz Cheney is so disgusting.

  7. 7
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Bruuuuce:
    SE Cupp is surely no one’s idea of an objective point of view on any Democrat. I wonder why she was picked to opinionate.

  8. 8

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    HOLY SH-T THEY’VE WEAPONIZED CRICKETS

  9. 9
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: Yes but trump always has a black man behind him at his rallies.

  10. 10
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Because the default at CNN is always to defer to a Republican opinion. Even if that opinion is given by an idiot.

    The reason Trump went after CNN was because he expected from their previous behaviour that they would bend to his will.

  11. 11
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @PaulWartenberg: We’re in trouble now.

  12. 12
    Darrin Ziliak says:

    Fuck Iowa and fuck New Hampshire.

    I’ve never understood why the rest of the nation puts up with those states when it comes to Presidential nominations.
    If you could find 2 states less representative of the nation as a whole, I’d be surprised.

  13. 13
    Bruuuuce says:

    @Amir Khalid: Because in many ways CNN still wants to be Faux Noise Lite. The attacks from HisWannabeHighness have stiffened their backbone somewhat, but they still have too many wingnuts and quislings on staff, being Very Serious.

  14. 14
    debbi says:

    @satby:

    And her wide-legged stance seems far more effective!

  15. 15
    debbie says:

    @satby:

    And her wide-legged stance seems far more effective!

  16. 16
    debbie says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    That was a great line. Even my local, relatively conservative, news carried tape of that.

  17. 17
    trnc says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    Because the default at CNN is always to defer to a Republican opinion. Even if that opinion is given by an idiot.

    Redundant.

    I work with republicans who are generally smart but seem to have this blind spot with politics. I’ve started using the term “professional republicans” in my diatribes so as not to offend the mighty purveyors of political incorrectness. See, I haz irony.

  18. 18
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  19. 19
    Immanentize says:

    @Darrin Ziliak:

    If you could find 2 states less representative of the nation as a whole, I’d be surprised

    Vermont and Wyoming?

  20. 20
    Immanentize says:

    Good morning, All!
    Classes start again today (Intersession). But I have a hot new case I’m working on in Florida…. Has anyone noticed the US Supreme Court is currently a very bad place to end up if you want justice? So one of our strategies is avoid them if possible….

  21. 21
    Immanentize says:

    @satby: @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:
    Satby, I thought David meant Bernie! But works for both….

  22. 22
    tokyokie says:

    @Darrin Ziliak:

    If you could find 2 states less representative of the nation as a whole, I’d be surprised.

    Maine and Alaska? OK, Alaska might be a stretch.

  23. 23
    Kay says:

    Mr. Bolton’s comments inserted into Mr. Trump’s strategy something the president had omitted when he announced on Dec. 19 that the United States would depart within 30 days: any conditions that must be met before the pullout.

    The conditions that must be met before the pullout are the same conditions that have always been in place.

    On Friday, in a briefing for reporters about a forthcoming trip to the Middle East by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a senior State Department official said there was no fixed timetable for the American withdrawal.

    Trump’s announcement on Syria was complete bullshit. The people who (still) work for him can’t say it, but we all can admit Trump was obviously lying, right?

    I hope there’s as much discussion about Trump’s obvious lie about withdrawing from Syria as there was about the phony “announcement”.

  24. 24
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    Alaska has natives, so not quite as non-diverse. I think one reason it has been Iowa and New Hampshire: small and cheap for a beginning candidacy for one, and the other: back when the decision was made, easier to get to by train. NH a short ride from New York, and Iowa was the hub for just about anywhere.

  25. 25
    Immanentize says:

    Harvard’s Larry Lessig seems to think we are on the edge of a Constitutional crisis.

    But no reading of our constitution would ever uphold the view that a president can morally stop the functioning of government, to insist upon a program unsupported by the public or unrequired by the constitution.

    Go Larry!

  26. 26
    satby says:

    @Immanentize: I never think of Wilmer, he’s such a non-entity to me, but you’re probably correct.

  27. 27
    Baud says:

    @satby:

    I’d like to think of him less, but he’s the only thing dampening my optimism for 2020.

  28. 28
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay: It should be worrisome to all that an underling is undermining the President of the United States’ direct orders. And also that John Bolton is seeming somewhat rational is upsetting. It is all too confusing

  29. 29
    SFAW says:

    Churchy LaFemme’s despairing Friday the Thirteenth falls on a ***day this month! has resonated with me since I first heard it,

    I’ve been using that line since I was fairly young, but I did not recall whence it came. Walt Kelly should have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for Comics and Political Commentary. [No, not just because of that line.]

  30. 30
    Ken says:

    @Immanentize: Was it a direct order, or something he blurted out at a rally or in a tweet? And is it a direct order if he doesn’t remember it three days later?

  31. 31
    Immanentize says:

    @satby: I wish I had your ability to leave him out of the picture, but like @Baud:, I’m a worrier.

    I do think BS may just decide it all looks like too much work for too few groupies and decide not to do it this time.

  32. 32
    SFAW says:

    NH, IA, VT, and WY not representative of America? How so? They’re populated by REAL Americans, not … um … urban dwellers.

  33. 33
    Kay says:

    something the president had omitted

    The President omitted about the part about the strategy being exactly the same as it was before he made the statement.

    We could get into why he told this particular lie at this particular time but I’m not sure it matters anymore. The better question is why they continue to believe what he says. He now has a long, long list of foreign policy exaggerations, phony “successes” that turn out to be assertions of claimed achievements that didn’t actually happen, and outright lies- it is much more likely what he says is a lie than the truth.

  34. 34
    danielx says:

    @Immanentize:

    It’s worrisome, but given the amount of material I’ve read about how his subordinates have frustrated some of his impulses, not surprising.

    Now John Bolton seeming somewhat rational, that worries me.

  35. 35
    Immanentize says:

    @Ken:
    It was a formal statement that I understand was followed by orders. It is why, reputedly, Mattis quit. So it was way more than a blurt.

    Wall Street Journal said it was an “order.”

  36. 36
    SFAW says:

    @Immanentize:

    Harvard’s Larry Lessig seems to think we are on the edge of a Constitutional crisis.

    Fortunately, SCOTUS will do the right and proper thing.

    Where “right and proper” == whatever helps Shitgibbon or the Kochs/Mercers/oligarchs-in-general. Or the NRA. Or Russia.

  37. 37
    montanareddog says:

    @Immanentize: I think the constitutional crisis originates, once again, with Yertle; by refusing to allow a Senate vote on any House-passed bill which he decides the President will not sign. In other words, he is one man blocking Congress from acting as a co-equal branch.

  38. 38
    Immanentize says:

    @SFAW: Real Americans — with guns!

  39. 39
    Kay says:

    @Immanentize:

    It should be worrisome to all that an underling is undermining the President of the United States’ direct orders.

    He’s not undermining anything. It was a lie. Trump made it up. He made it up because he needed an “announcement” at that particular moment and now he no longer needs the announcement.

  40. 40
    Immanentize says:

    @montanareddog:
    Co-sign. Lessig said as much on the TV machine last night.

  41. 41
    Baud says:

    @Immanentize:

    Lindsey Graham met with Trump a few days ago about Syria and came away from it happy, so it’s been clear for a while that they were going to walk back the withdrawal.

  42. 42
    Kay says:

    @Immanentize:

    Reputedly. Or, Mattis thought it was a good time to jump off this trainwreck and he used Trump’s statement as an excuse.

    This is a complete and utter walkback. They’re cleaning up after Trump’s statement, which was a lie.

  43. 43
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay: I actually do not think this one was a lie. I think it was a quid pro quo for getting Erdogan to go silent on the Kashoggi murder. If I am right, I wonder if Bolton’s restatement of the order will fire up Turkey. Or in emoji: 🔥 up 🦃

  44. 44
    Baud says:

    @Immanentize:

    Emoji has more gravitas than anything Trump says.

  45. 45
    Immanentize says:

    @Baud: @Kay:
    I dislike them all so very much:
    Trump
    Bolton
    Pompeo
    We are in the hands of some of the most dishonest and dangerous men ever put in power together.

  46. 46
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    Obama would have gotten much more scrutiny if he had promised to withdraw. There would have been immediate skepticism – “Ill believe it when I see it”, which is justified! The President “promising” to withdraw troops is almost a cliche in US politics.

    But Trump – the person who lies constantly- said it and for some reason he was considered credible. It’s mystifying. It’s like they’re still holding out hope that there’s an actual “Trump Doctrine”, like he means ANY of this shit he says. They WANT this ti be true- that he’s an “anti-interventionist” or has some coherent, recognizable “foreign policy approach” but it’s NOT true, so they keep jamming these random events into a frame, but only the events that fit the narrative.

    They’re still covering him like a normal president, because they don’t know what else to do. They’re incapable of adjusting to this.

  47. 47
    Baud says:

    @Immanentize:

    Hoocoodanode?

  48. 48
    rikyrah says:

    @Bruuuuce:
    Uh huh
    Uh huh 😒 😒

  49. 49
  50. 50
    satby says:

    @Baud: @Immanentize: BS man is already coping poorly with the barely increased scrutiny he’s gotten for the sexual harassment and it’s only going to get worse for him. He’s had a lot of former followers peel away, disillusioned by his sore loser behavior during 2016. And the kids who were his core have mostly moved on, especially considering his stances on gun control and women’s issues. So I have higher hopes than before that he won’t be a spoiler this cycle. Especially if releasing full tax returns is required to run on a Democratic party ticket.

  51. 51
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    I think in this case they wanted him to do something unorthodox because it feeds into their creed that both parties are bad and only a strong white male outsider who tells it like it is can fix things.

  52. 52
    Baud says:

    @satby: I don’t disagree. But the chance is non-zero that he will ratfuck us again. I still give it a 10% chance he runs as an independent so he can have a shot at participating in the general election debates.

  53. 53
    Immanentize says:

    @Baud: I don’t think he has the organization or the money to run independent, unless he does it as a Green? They already have ballot places in most states…. Perot worked for years to accomplish an independent ballot place

  54. 54
    satby says:

    @Baud: undoubtedly his ego thinks he could run as an independent, but if I recall correctly, an independent has to meet a minimum threshold of voter share to be included in the debates. EVERYONE, even his cult, is sick to death of Drumpf; and unfortunately for BS his act is too close to the know-nothing in chief’s routine. When you speak in front of a crowd today reminding them of the chaos bringer isn’t a winning look.

  55. 55
  56. 56
    rikyrah says:

    @Baud:
    Lay waste to him 😒

  57. 57
    Baud says:

    @Immanentize: There are a lot of barriers to an independent run. Which is why I only give it a 1 in 10 odds.

    For the record, I also worry about faithless electors. I’ll be very relieved once inauguration day 2021 is over.

  58. 58
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:
    The curve for Unqualified White Men is REAL 😡😡 😡

  59. 59
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    @satby: I think Bernies 15 minutes are almost up. Also, I can’t believe the Dems are worried about running against Trumpov. Cardboard cutout Dennis Kucinich would win against Trumpov.
    I would like to see Jerry Brown on the ticket. I know he’s an old white male but he is smart as a tack and he’s from California. I think he ie one of the most articulate people on climate change.

  60. 60
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @Immanentize: Or Joe Biden!

  61. 61
    NotMax says:

    (tentatively sniffs air, identifies aroma)

    First full Infrastructure Week of a new year.

  62. 62

    To return to our usual start-of-a-new-day attempt to stay positive

    Our what now?

  63. 63
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @CarolDuhart2: IIRC IA ‘first in the nation’s caucuses started in 72.

    We moved to IA in late68. Heard lots of wild tales about how in 68 people had to ferret out the location of dem precinct caucuses; in some places people said they went into the .location through a house window.

    In IA election folklore, 68 was the last yr of ‘smoke filled rooms’– they were ended by a new breed of (mostly young) energized activists

  64. 64
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Wait, did Cortez just reverse man-splain on Dumd Donny JR? lol

  65. 65

    @Immanentize:

    I do think BS may just decide it all looks like too much work for too few groupies and decide not to do it this time.

    Every article about him I see interviews Jeff Weaver as this rabid Bernie or Bust fanatic, so he’s either reflective of Bernie’s enthusiasm or he’s that enthusiastic to get the gravy train running again.

  66. 66
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Love all the Conservative snowflakes moaning about Bale thanking Satan for inspiring his portrayal of Dick Cheney.
    https://twitter.com/RawStory/status/1082144800428695553

    Personally, I think Satan should sue Bale for slander but that’s just me.

  67. 67
    NotMax says:

    @Mai Naem mobile

    If he’s not ready to retire, head of EPA would be a suitable final act for Brown. Too much mileage on him and too much Governor Moonbeam baggage to run for president – and he knows it.

  68. 68
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: Don’t run

    Bernie Sanders should not run for president. In fact, we beg him not to.

    That is an unfavorable opinion, especially among most Vermonters and progressives who support the platform that has come to define him. But at this point, there are more things about another Sanders run at the White House that concern us than excite us.

    In this space, we have repeatedly hit the senator on where his loyalties lay: Vermont or a bigger calling? We have asked him to make a choice, which he would argue was his recent re-election to Congress. But in his previous run for the presidency, Sanders, an independent who ran for the White House as a Democrat, missed dozens of votes that likely would have helped Vermonters. And, while he handily defeated his challenger, can Vermonters point to Sanders’ record and say definitively, “This is what he’s done for us?”

    While he makes regular visits “home,” you are more likely to catch Sanders on Colbert, CNN or MSNBC than you are to see him talking to reporters here in Vermont. Evidently, microphones here don’t extend far enough.
    ……………………
    And while none of the staff accusations have been levied against Sanders himself, his personality is abrasive. He is known to be difficult to work with. The 77-year-old can be bombastic and prickly. He can be dismissive and rude in his arrogance. You are either with Bernie Sanders or you are not.

    That no-nonsense approach and his politics are endearing to many. But it is as extreme, on the other end of the spectrum in its policy elbow-throwing and idealism, as what we face today from the right in their standard bearer, Donald Trump.

    Taken together — ego, electoral math, a tired message and a prickly media darling — Sanders is convincing himself that he’s the person who can win the White House in 2020. We are not convinced he should.

  69. 69
    Immanentize says:

    @rikyrah:
    I like the way you think

  70. 70
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    only a strong white male outsider who tells it like it is can fix things.

    Agreed, except I think it’s bigger than Trump. Trump taps into things- he doesn’t create anything.

    Obama announcing a withdrawal from Syria would have inspired 50 world-weary opinions about “Friedman Units” and demands for a timeline. Trump says it and they’re all ready to announce a new world order. Also- they JUST DID this. They did the same with Trump’s announcements on North Korea. That was bullshit too.

    The default at this point should be “he’s lying” but for some reason it isn’t. That to me indicates some yearning or hope that he gives them some direction. some frame in which to analyze. They can’t or won’t adjust to the random and meaningless nature of this- it’s dumb and petty and dishonest and self-serving, but they have to make it MORE.

  71. 71
    MattF says:

    FWIW, it was obvious that Bolton would be against US withdrawal from Syria. He’s the ‘why don’t we invade Iran’ guy, after all. It’s a lot less obvious exactly who was in favor of withdrawal and why. I imagine, in any case, that ex-SecDef Mattis has no regrets about managing an escape from the WH. The bonus is that Trump is, once more proven to be a liar.

  72. 72

    @MattF: Mattis’s resignation letter was not written overnight though. Syria was perhaps the straw that broke the camel, but his departure was not unplanned.

  73. 73
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I shared that article on FB yesterday. Even the hometown folks are sick of his act. And it’s funny how they call out how little he’s done for the state.
    77… Too fucking old, and I’m an old.

  74. 74
    Leto says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    he’s that enthusiastic to get the gravy train running again.

    Parasites need the host fat and healthy. Apparently he hasn’t identified a new sucker host to move on to.

  75. 75
    Kay says:

    @MattF:

    Okay, but X president hires Bolton. X president then announces pullout. Since those two actions don’t fit together, the rational response to Trump’s announcement should be “it’s bullshit”.

    With any other president it would have been, but inexplicably they continue to give the liar the benefit of the doubt, well past the point they would give any other president the benefit of the doubt.

    I don’t object that they’re “normalizing” Trump- I don’t think they are- I think they give him much more credit than they would any other president. I would be thrilled with “normalizing”. I can’t even get that.

    These people he hires? They’re a direct contradiction to what he says.

  76. 76
    Immanentize says:

    @RedDirtGirl: Ha!! Absolutely!

  77. 77
    NotMax says:

    @Major Major Major Major

    Broke the camel’s back.

    Although, come to think of it, Break the Camel would a be great name for a video game.

    ;)

  78. 78
    satby says:

    @Leto: hard to keep them down on the farm back at the comic book store when they’ve had a taste of the big money.

    Edited to add: always good to see you, how’s it going?

  79. 79

    @NotMax: I’m on my phone, didn’t want to type the apostrophe, and enjoyed the phrase.

  80. 80
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: If all politics are local, he’s DOA.

  81. 81
    Baud says:

    @satby:
    @OzarkHillbilly:

    If he doesn’t win New Hampshire, I think that’s the end for him. If he does, it’s going to be a long primary.

  82. 82
    MomSense says:

    Sorry trump farmers but you got played by Putin’s Agent Orange. Russia has announced it will replace the US supply of soy beans and poultry to China.

  83. 83

    Like a fool, I went and read Trump’s morning tweets.

    With all of the success that our Country is having, including the just released jobs numbers which are off the charts, the Fake News & totally dishonest Media concerning me and my presidency has never been worse. Many have become crazed lunatics who have given up on the TRUTH!…— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2019

    I can’t go back there. Reading in this through-the-looking-glass world does turn me into a crazed lunatic who wonders if truth exists any more.

  84. 84
    NotMax says:

    @Major Major Major Major

    How’s the apartment working out? Cat back in the city?

  85. 85
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: and like the narcissist Wilmer is, the fact that people are starting to push back oh so gently on his bullshit may cause him to decide we’re unworthy of him.
    I could totally see him doing that because he prefers to be the lonely noble truthteller sticking to his “principles”. He’s found ways to monetize his shtick and failing at a run would threaten the gravy train.

  86. 86
    Baud says:

    @satby:

    may cause him to decide we’reunworthy of him.

    I think he decided that a long time ago.

  87. 87
    MattF says:

    @Kay: It occurs to me that the principal positive reaction to US withdrawal from Syria came from the Russians. That’s a huge and looming WTF about Trump’s behavior. Trump gets his orders from the grapevine or maybe from that red phone on his desk. I guess.

  88. 88
    Leto says:

    @satby: not too bad. Start of another week, so start of another round of having to sort stuff out with the insurance company (Blue Cross Blue Shield). Made a good bit of headway last week so looking to build on that. I have an appointment with my ortho doc on Wednesday, so my physical terrorist therapist will be wracking me pretty good before then. I’m gaining a bit more flexibility in both knees, so hopefully the ortho doc will be somewhat pleased.

  89. 89
    satby says:

    @Baud: before he ever ran for any political office.

  90. 90
    MattF says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: It’s the ‘six impossible things before breakfast’ exercise.

  91. 91
    satby says:

    @Leto: Good to hear you’re getting better, and keeping all digits crossed that the insurance stuff straightens out to your benefit.

  92. 92
    Tenar Arha says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: You have more fortitude than me. I looked at all my choices of what I hadn’t seen yet or twice on New Year’s Eve, & decided I wasn’t ever going to be able to watch Vice in the theaters, & probably not on DVD for a long time, if ever.

    The other day I idly wondered if my parents had that reaction to the movie Dick which was released a quarter century after Watergate, but they’re not available to ask anymore. Then again, I don’t think they ever felt they were living in the present through the long slow rolling disastrous aftermath of the bad choices made by Nixon. Huh…I’ve thought about this more than I realized.

    ETA typo

  93. 93
    NotMax says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor

    Fewer total new jobs in Dolt 45’s first two years than in the same period for Obama. And in the latter’s case, the economy was still shedding jobs during the beginning of his term.

  94. 94
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby:

    because he prefers to be the lonely noble truthteller sticking to his “principles”.

    A number of my friends were surprised that the leftier than left person I am was against BS almost from the start of his campaign. Even after I explained that a President needs a party behind them to get anything done, (example #1: trump) that Bernie has never been a DEM and in all likelihood never would be, some still didn’t get it. That was the moment they realized I was just another sellout to the DEM machine.

  95. 95
    Leto says:

    @MomSense: I know they announced it, but do they have the capacity to fill that order? Also is that enough to finally convince them to stop supporting Trumpov? Combine that with them not receiving their welfare checks due to the shutdown… I guess we’ll see.

  96. 96
    satby says:

    Off to take my two oldest geezers to the vet for check ups (one cat, one dog). They’re doing fine for elderly pets, but Rosie the dog needs her seizure medication adjusted. And Wookie needs a serious geezer shave.
    Wish me and the vet techs luck on that!

  97. 97
    patrick II says:

    @Kay:

    The people who (still) work for him can’t say it, but we all can admit Trump was obviously lying, right?

    I think Trump believed what he said at the time. It is something he has wanted since at least his campaign, but his advisors had been holding him back. He has felt more emboldened to act on his own recently, and Erdogan’s threats over the phone made the coward to authoritarian leaders see an opportunity for ” bold leadership” and getting unfettered from the dumb people around him who didn’t understand the world as his own stable genius did. His more establishment (Bolton,really?) have slow walked him back and have framed it as a continuation of conditions that have always been true. But Trump meant what he said but had no idea of the broader consequences for Israel and Iran have which have meekened him to not publicly disagree with Bolton and Pompeo’s lead.

  98. 98
    Immanentize says:

    @NotMax:
    Oh video killed the plastic star?
    What about the famous Last Straw Game from the late 60’s?

  99. 99
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Leto:

    but do they have the capacity to fill that order?

    Who cares? I say we use a video of Putin announcing this in ads plastered all over Iowa, MO, IL, IN, KS, NE, SD, ND, ad nauseum, just to remind farmers exactly who trump is working for.

  100. 100
    NotMax says:

    @Tenar Arha

    Living through RMN was quite enough, then you very much. As was living through Cheney.

    Would rather sit through repeated showings of Freddie Krueger vs. Transformers than subject myself to either flick.

  101. 101
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: the numbers of Americans who don’t understand how our government is supposed to work, how laws get passed, and how their own representatives vote is breathtaking to me. It’s almost like there’s been a 30 year disinformation campaign about that too.

  102. 102
    MomSense says:

    @Leto:

    I don’t know if they can fulfill the orders but it does show directly how decisions trump makes always seem to benefit Putin. Even the stupid pipeline is using Russian made pipe. And I’m sure if he gets his steel wall it will also use Russian steel.

    It seems to me that trump is behaving like an agent of Russia and people are having a hard time accepting it. Maybe this will break through.

  103. 103

    @NotMax: we don’t move in for a few weeks yet.

  104. 104
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Who cares? I say we use a video of Putin announcing this in ads plastered all over Iowa, MO, IL, IN, KS, NE, SD, ND, ad nauseum, just to remind farmers exactly who trump is working for.

    I love the way you think!

  105. 105
    Immanentize says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:
    I had a friend in Florida, a great criminal defense attorney, who famously said, “Trial!? Who wants to go to trial?! That’s where they might find out the TRUTH!”

  106. 106
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Yep. I avoid him as much as possible. (LOL I try not to even give him the statistics of selecting or searching for his tweets, so if I must see the full sentence, I search under @UnfollowTrump).

  107. 107
    Immanentize says:

    @satby: We need School House Rock for the adults. I do feel like there was simply more generalized understanding of government on the past…. In the 60’s people generally wanted the government to work for them. Now, not so much

  108. 108

    @Tenar Arha: Dick was at least fun. From what I’ve read Vice is almost insultingly bad.

  109. 109
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize:

    In the 60’s people generally wanted the government to work for them. Now, not so much

    I wonder what happened? Oh yeah…

    The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.

    -Saint Ronaldus of Raygun

  110. 110
    NotMax says:

    @Immanentize

    The 60s were replete with releases of children’s games that were fun for all of 10 minutes.

    Even the densest of rugrats quickly learned to be skeptical if the ad enthusiastically shouted “By Marx!”

    Probably relegated to the dump when Mom moved from the large house was a board game (based on the electoral college, hazy memory says it was named Inauguration) released as a prototype by a friend’s father’s factory during that time to demonstrate the process of laminating a playing board, a technique which never did gain footing.

    ;)

  111. 111
    MomSense says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    And my Xer generation loved his schtick. I still can’t believe people fell for his act.

  112. 112
    Elizabelle says:

    Happy First Monday morning of 2019, peeps.

  113. 113
    Leto says:

    @satby: Because we’re speaking about insurance, Mark Zuckerberg is bringing his “disruptive Silicon Valley” practices to healthcare.

    A $20,243 bike crash: Zuckerberg hospital’s aggressive tactics leave patients with big bills

    I spent a year writing about ER bills. Zuckerberg San Francisco General has the most surprising billing practices I’ve seen.

    Experts say its abnormal for such a large hospital to be out-of-network with all private health insurers, as ZSFG is.

    When doctors and hospitals join a given health insurance plan’s network, they agree to specific rates for their services, everything from a routine physical to a complex surgery to an ER visit.
    Doctors typically end up out-of-network when they can’t come to that agreement. The doctors might think the insurance plan is offering rates that are too low, but the insurer argues that the doctor’s prices are simply too high.

    But hospitals themselves, particularly ERs, typically don’t end up in disputes that wind up leaving them out-of-network. I’ve seen this in my own reporting. I’ve read more than a thousand emergency room bills and, in nearly all of them, the facility is “in-network” with the patient’s insurance.

    Garmon, the health economist, explains that insurers are almost always able to negotiate an “in-network” rate with major hospitals because patients want to use those facilities.

    “In general, employer plans tend to be more inclusive in terms of the hospital facilities they have,” says Garmon. “Not having a major hospital in-network is a big deal. It’s the kind of thing that makes the newspapers and that you don’t see often.”

    I saw the bill for my own ER visit and I can’t even imagine having to pay that. I can’t remember the ambulance ride in, but apparently I was pretty cordial, making some jokes and talking with the medics. Was I lucid enough to know if the hospital I was going to was “in network”? JFC SMFH.

  114. 114
    NotMax says:

    Not something I follow, but is it true (from what little have heard in passing) that Facebook has now made it verboten to discuss sex?

  115. 115
    rp says:

    But Greenwald promised that Trump was sincere about withdrawing from Syria and military adventurism.

  116. 116
    Kay says:

    @rp:

    But Greenwald

    If any other pol had announced they were pulling out of anywhere, Greenwald would have treated it skeptically.

    But with Trump it fits with what Greenwald already believes- hopes- so he didn’t. They buy Trump’s bullshit. They buy his whole basic narrative. They treat each lie, each broken promise, as if it’s the exception- as if it’s contrary to what Trump “really” believes.

    No other national politician gets this treatment. Just Trump.

  117. 117
    NotMax says:

    @Major Major Major Major

    BTW, finances eased up enough in the new year to finally spring for a really, really good gaming computer. Still using the old workhorse PC for everything else.

    Late to the party but liking Mass Effect 2. And enjoying the hell out of Life Is Strange 2.

  118. 118
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Yeah. All the reviews made Vice sound simultaneously too real, and too soon, though a lot said “amazing performances.” Dick was much more of a romp that leaned into the fable until it became absurdity & actually funny.

    Maybe I’m reaching here, but the better example might be All the President’s Men. Which I think never would have worked at all if it hadn’t starred Redford & Hoffman & Holbrook etc. I think that might be the problem with films like this in general. Actors who are this good, they end up humanizing & even unintentionally heroizing their characters. & pet peeve of mine: It also flattens out the history into something comprehensible, but too small & mythical. And then it’s become something that historians spend large amounts of time reminding people “that’s not really what happened.”

  119. 119

    @Kay: The only conclusion left to draw is that they love his bigotry and are willing to give him a pass every fucking time. They love that he is an out and proud bigot unlike the other weaselly Rs, who at least pay lip service to ideals like equality.

    ETA: FWIW there were at least two posts on Balloon Juice that day applauding T’s decision to withdraw from Syria, one from JGC himself. I wonder why that was because I don’t think its bigotry that’s a motivating factor in that case.

  120. 120
    Kay says:

    @rp:

    I think the effort to cloak Trump’s actions in some coherent world-view has to do with the cost. They have to find an upside to Trump, to justify all the racism and mean-spirited nastiness, and shitty policy.

    But there isn’t always an upside. Sometimes you just get screwed. We get the racism and nasty meanness and casual cruelty AND the crap hard Right conservative policy with Trump. It’s ALL downside.

  121. 121
    rp says:

    @Kay: In a weird way, I almost feel like you’re giving Greenwald (and clones like Tracey) too much credit. My guess is that they’re either getting paid by the GOP or Russia to spout this nonsense, or they’re so invested in owning the libs that they’re following a “lefty” version of cleek’s law. (or both)

  122. 122
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Immanentize: We need School House Rock for the adults.

    This. That’s why I’ve organized a forum on how a bill becomes law (in our state house) for our county party’s general meeting this month. A prominent state senator and a long-time legislative aide will be speaking, both on the process and on some key bills on our majority (yay!) Dems’ agenda.

    Not sure why the block quote snafu, but you get the point. I hope.

  123. 123
    rikyrah says:

    @Baud:
    The number of Caucus states has gone down.
    Even with New Hampshire, he is going to run into a brick wall

  124. 124

    @Kay: Our own Adam L Silverman did it too when he wrote that entire post about immigration. Calling asylum and DACA bleeding wounds or something to that effect. They are bleeding wounds because Orange has made them so. It is a manufactured crisis. In some cases I think one has to take what Orange does seriously because he has the power to manufacture crises. But we need to make it clear that things have reached a crisis situation because the so called President is trying to manufacture those crises by making an existing bad situation worse, on purpose.

  125. 125
    J R in WV says:

    @tokyokie:

    @Darrin Ziliak:

    If you could find 2 states [Iowa and New Hampster] less representative of the nation as a whole, I’d be surprised.

    Maine and Alaska? OK, Alaska might be a stretch.

    Mississippi and Louisana? North and South Dakota? Alabama and South Carolina? ;-)

  126. 126
    Elizabelle says:

    @Tenar Arha:

    they end up humanizing & even unintentionally heroizing their characters. & pet peeve of mine: It also flattens out the history into something comprehensible, but too small & mythical. And then it’s become something that historians spend large amounts of time reminding people “that’s not really what happened.”

    Yep. That’s exactly what I was worried about with Vice. Have not seen the movie yet; maybe I should, but I worry what some viewers might take away from the film.

  127. 127

    @NotMax:

    Not something I follow, but is it true (from what little have heard in passing) that Facebook has now made it verboten to discuss sex?

    Many sites (FB included) are banning anything that could possibly be viewed as sexual solicitation, and being very overzealous about it, thanks to new laws that make platforms liable for content posted by their users if it pertains to sex work, under the umbrella of allegedly “stopping sex trafficking.”

    Gay men can no longer mention being a top/bottom for example.

  128. 128
    catclub says:

    @Kay:

    They have to find an upside to Trump, to justify all the racism and mean-spirited nastiness, and shitty policy.

    Actually to justify getting all the judges and tax cuts. They ignore the racism.

  129. 129
    J R in WV says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    ETA: FWIW there were at least two posts on Balloon Juice that day applauding T’s decision to withdraw from Syria, one from JGC himself. I wonder why that was because I don’t think its bigotry that’s a motivating factor in that case.

    Because some people are antiwar, and want us out of foreign wars no matter how that happens. Cole probably lost some buddies in the first gulf war, he certainly lost more in the fake Iraq war.

    We’re still over there for some reason, trying to fix what Cheney broke, and some things can’t be fixed.

    I think we should rescue 3 million refugees first, and bring them with us when we leave, but that we should leave asap given that need. And screw the Israelis until they stop stealing 400 year old family-owned olive groves.

  130. 130
    catclub says:

    @J R in WV:

    Mississippi and Louisana? North and South Dakota? Alabama and South Carolina? ;-)

    Don’t leave out WV and Kentucky as another non-rep pair. Louisiana has a Democratic Governor. Alabama has a Democratic Senator.

  131. 131

    @J R in WV: The issue is not being pro or anti war, the issue is trusting Orange. That he cannot be trusted should be crystal clear by now.

  132. 132
    rikyrah says:

    @J R in WV:

    Mississippi and Louisana? North and South Dakota? Alabama and South Carolina? ;-)

    Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and South Carolina have large Black populations.

    North and South Dakota – large Native populations.(compared to the rest of the Nation)

  133. 133
    SueMcC says:

    @Leto: So I had a bicycle accident recently–concussion, broke my arm, some road rash. Imagine my dismay as I started to get the bills, only to find that the doctors/services where there is no choice–the ER doc, the EMS services, the anesthesiologist for surgery on my arm–were not in network for anybody! And they all balance bill, even though my insurance paid them as though they were in network. This leads to really bizarre outcomes, such as paying the anesthesiologist more than the surgeon who fixed my arm. It’s a very cynical business strategy, essentially highway robbery.

  134. 134
    Leto says:

    @SueMcC: My motorcycle accident experience says the same thing.

  135. 135
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    Churchy LaFemme’s despairing Friday the Thirteenth falls on a ***day this month! has resonated with me since I first heard it

    Me too, also, but a little later in life. Yawp!

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