My Tongue Becomes A Little Mess

Trump’s staff – what’s left of it – is probably bending spoons and keeping flowers in full bloom in hopes that he’ll stay on script tonight.  Their best case scenario is that he sticks to the staff-written set of lies and exaggerations.  If I had to bet, I think he will, and he’ll come off wooden and rehearsed while stumbling through some words. If not, it will be like sitting at the dinner table at the Alzheimers wing of the nursing home.

I just glanced at the front pages of the Times, Post and USA Today, and they’re remarkably skeptical. The only USA Today mention of the speech says it should get an “upfront fact check”.  At minimum, instead of waxing on how Trump finally became president tonight, the networks should have someone in the chair who can take a shovel to the avalanche of bullshit that’s going to rain down. Even the conservative Chris Wallace did that over the weekend with first-string liar Huckabee-Sanders.  There’s no need for intellectually lazy journalists like Chuck Todd to do any real work — all he needs to do is read Daniel Dale’s twitter feed.

The one development yesterday that bothered me is talk of Trump’s dream team of barely-passed-the-bar lawyers looking for ways to make sure tax refunds go out.  In a sane time, attempts to do that would be met with bills passed by a veto-proof majority by a Congress.  But this crew of Republicans is too shit pants scared to do anything.  If he can pull it off, this is how Trump gets to a dictatorship, by picking and choosing which government activities get funded. I don’t think it can happen–any IRS employees with a spine will stay home, rather than work unpaid. But it’s just another index of how far we’ve fallen.

164 replies
  1. 1
    MJS says:

    I predict much sniffling. And 8 minutes to declare and explain an emergency? This is going to be a train wreck.

  2. 2
    bbleh says:

    I am increasingly persuaded that he’s gonna use the speech to declare an emergency and basically assert dictatorial power, at least with respect to this issue (although his language will leave it very open-ended, and his followers will hear that loud and clear).

    They’ve clearly been winging it for this entire episode — hell, the “wall” was originally just a mnemonic for the moron on the stump — and Trump’s ONLY tactic is to escalate. The threat to shut the government down was spur-of-the-moment, the prime-time address was almost surely spur-of-the-moment, and I don’t see why the content won’t be likewise.

    A cornered animal is very dangerous.

  3. 3
    Yarrow says:

    Are the networks giving the Dems airtime for a response?

  4. 4
    Face says:

    and basically assert dictatorial power, at least with respect to this issue

    And the “this” may change for all sorts of different projects going forward. However, I’ve read that Congress can deny him with simple majorities. Is this true?

  5. 5
    NonyNony says:

    In a sane time, attempts to do that would be met with bills passed by a veto-proof majority by a Congress.

    No. Because the only way we get to this point is by being in the insane time that we are in now. The President who is a puppet of Fox News and worries about being emasculated by Ann Coulter leads to this moment. Anyone else would have signed the goddamn bill that Congress was ready to give him before the Democrats took over the House in January.

  6. 6
    Sab says:

    My dad IS INDEED in the alzheimer wing of a nursing home. We are taking his cat off today to be irradiated for hyperthyroid.

    Lots of old people jokes I have heard, told and laughed at aren’t so funny today. Please wish the cat well. He is a cool guy, and he deserves better owners than us, but we are what he has.

  7. 7
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Yarrow: NBC is, and I assume CNN will too. They’re getting hammered on social media.

    Has anyone seen any TeeVee coverage of the fact that the national park attraction at trump’s DC hotel, the clock tower of the old post office, is being kept open? Any Dems mentioning it? I know and often repeat that right-wingers and normies respond to different stimuli, but at least try the talking point the Beast is giving you

  8. 8
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Sab:

    The ageism on this blog is really the thing I most dislike about it. Best wishes for your father and his kitty.

  9. 9
    WereBear says:

    @Sab: I’m sure your dad will be pleased that you are taking care of his buddy.

  10. 10
    Yarrow says:

    @Sab: I have great empathy for your situation with your father. Alzheimer’s is such a cruel disease. So difficult for the person who has it and those who love them. Hopefully the cat will feel better after treatment at least.

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Thanks. I hadn’t seen that yet. I have not seen any coverage of the clock tower being open. Only read about it online.

  11. 11
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @zhena gogolia: My mom is headed for the Alzheimers wing and my father in law is not far behind. Is it possible to mention Trump’s mental decline without being “ageist”? If so let me know how.

  12. 12
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I believe Manchin is both none-too-bright and attempting (probably wrong-headedly) to maintain some influence in the administration, I just wonder if he’s dumb enough to actually believe this, or dumb enough to think he can reach The Beast by telling him he’s dumb and gullible

    CNN Newsroom @ CNNnewsroom
    jimsciutto: “Are you concerned that the President will lie to the American people tonight?”

    Dem. Sen_JoeManchin: “Someone is drastically misinforming him, and I would find out who that person is and fire him.”

  13. 13
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Dem. Sen_JoeManchin: “Someone is drastically misinforming him, and I would find out who that person is and fire him.”

    LMFAO. Joe, the calls are coming from inside the building.

  14. 14
    BadBob says:

    Great REM reference in first sentence. My Dad is 93 tomorrow – wounded at the Bulge but went on to build a loving family and get wealthy. Planning to call tomorrow; he will talk about his stock portfolio. He hates Republicans these days.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    Sab says:

    @WereBear: He doesnt even remember the cat that was his best friend for 10 years. Alzheimers sucks.

  17. 17
    tobie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Has it been announced who will be giving the Democratic rebuttal? I {heart} Nancy but I think there may be better members of Congress to respond on TV to Trump’s dangerous insanity. Schiff manages to be sane and articulate while still indignant. Cool-burn might be good in the face of the autocratic clown. Other ideas??? I guess it could be a Senator, too.

  18. 18
    Spanky says:

    @Sab:

    Radioactive Iodine Therapy
    When available, radioactive iodine therapy is the treatment of choice for cats with hyperthyroidism. During treatment, radioactive iodine is administered as an injection and is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. The iodine, which is required for the production of both T3 and T4, is taken up by the thyroid gland and the emitted radiation destroys the abnormal thyroid tissue without damaging the surrounding tissues or the parathyroid glands. The majority of cats treated with radioactive iodine have normal hormone levels within one to two weeks of treatment.

    Sounds like the best possible outcome! Good luck!

    And this becomes my prompt to schedule a vet visit for Spanky, as he has lost weight, increased activity, increased thirst, and increased urination.

  19. 19

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: FWIW I don’t think T’s behavior can be attributed to age. He has always been like this. Incurious, bigoted, loud. He just is on a bigger stage than he has ever been on.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    zhena gogolia says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Nancy Pelosi is older than he is and as sharp as anyone could be.

  22. 22
    matt says:

    Unpaid work could be the lever used by GOP to purge the whole government of everyone but diehard MAGAts.

  23. 23
    Sab says:

    @WereBear: He doesnt even remember the cat that was his best friend for 10 years. Alzheimers sucks.

    I told this cat ten years ago that moving in with an 85 year old guy was not a good career move.

  24. 24
    satby says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: you are aware that not all older people lose cognitive function, right?
    There is a huge ageist contingent here, and I’m an older person who agreed we slow down a bit. But not every older person, and not every younger person is a smart, healthy, cognitive wiz. So blanket statements about not voting for anyone over X years is ageist and that’s been done frequently here.

  25. 25
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @schrodingers_cat: If you listen to older ad lib interviews with him, he tracks a lot better.

  26. 26
    tobie says:

    @Sab: @[Individual 1] mistermix: Good luck to both of you caring for your parents. I can’t imagine anything harder.

  27. 27
    kindness says:

    I’m certain there are legal steps that must be taken to declare a National Emergency. We all expect TrumpCo will have taken none of these steps. Trump really thinks he can slide into Dictator mode at a whim.

    The MSM won’t save us. They’ll spend all their punditry pondering the meanings. Lawyers might save us….if Trump decides to obey court decisions. I suspect that while Trump is gloating/floating in his fantasy world he will ignore court rulings too.

    Popcorn might be in order. Buying ammo in bulk definitely is. We’re gonna have a really stark choice soon.

  28. 28

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: I will have to take your word for it. I can’t stand to see him or listen to him for more than a couple of minutes. It is possible that he has gotten worse, but he has always been pretty terrible.

  29. 29
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @kindness: IANAL and I strongly suspect Andrew Napolitano eats a big bowl of paste for dinner every night, but…

    le Griffin @ kylegriffin1
    Fox News contributor Judge Andrew Napolitano says that Trump cannot declare a national emergency and build his border wall.

    “In a word, no. That’s not me saying no, because the Supreme Court said no when Harry Truman attempted to do that.”

  30. 30
    Brachiator says:

    Their best case scenario is that he sticks to the staff-written set of lies and exaggerations. If I had to bet, I think he will, and he’ll come off wooden and rehearsed while stumbling through some words.

    As usual, this will be followed by a staged rally where Trump will be free to cut loose.

  31. 31
    Yarrow says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: I agree about how he communicated in interviews when he was younger. He was different. Sharper. Used longer words and sentences and more complex structures. He seems to rely on specific words over and over now, whereas he didn’t twenty or thirty years ago. Reliance on certain words or phases is typical in people with cognitive decline.

    There is also a certain look in his eyes. I don’t know how to explain it. A vacancy. Confusion, perhaps. It’s something I’ve seen in the eyes of a lot of people in the early stages of dementia of Alzheimer’s. I don’t know if there’s a clinical description for it but I know what it looks like and he’s got it. People can still function reasonably well at that point but the decline begins to be obvious.

  32. 32
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Mistermix is right. Yes, he’s always been an obnoxious asshole, but if you can watch him on TV from 20-30 years ago, he was articulate. His vocabulary was *much* larger, and used correctly. There is (in my amateur opinion) serious cognitive decline going on. You see it in just a few minutes of video.

  33. 33
    geg6 says:

    @satby:

    This. I get so tired of it. As if every Baby Boomer and GenJoneser is a doddering, selfish old fool who should be shoved out onto the iceberg and left to die. Yes, I’m a little slower in my gait and I tend to think things out over a longer period of time when trying to make up my mind and I’m not as tech savvy as the youngs, but I’m older and wiser and experienced in the world and I think that is every bit as valuable, if not more so, than youth and enthusiasm. And I’m someone who wants to avoid the retreads like Biden and Sanders. For me, it’s not necessarily about their age but that their use by date has passed on their style and policies.

    I work with young people, supposedly smart and savvy ones of all ages between 18 and 40, who can’t find their way out a wet paper bag when it comes to actions/consequences or who have a clue about the real world outside their parents’ and schools’ cocoons. Yes, there are plenty of great ones who I would follow anywhere. But it is the exact same ratio of people I feel that way about who are old like me.

  34. 34
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @Sab: You’re right that Alzheimer’s isn’t funny. My wife’s grandmother is in a nursing home, deep into Alzheimer’s. At the point where she’s all but nonfunctional. And my own mother is getting pretty far along in her own advanced-age dementia (probably Alzheimer’s, but hasn’t been diagnosed as such); can’t remember anymore what she said half a minute ago.

    But whatever the worsening mental disabilities are that are affecting Trump, they aren’t funny either, and they certainly resemble early-stage Alzheimer’s, and the comparison is a fair one. It’s true that it’s often made in a half-joking sort of way, but it’s usually half serious as well.

    Our society needs to be putting way more resources than it is into the study of Alzheimer’s and other forms of advanced-age dementia, because the sheer size of the Baby Boom generation (which I’m smack dab in the middle of) means that if nothing changes, a tidal wave of dementia patients will overwhelm our nursing homes in about a decade. The fact that little is being done to find ways to delay or minimize the effects of Alzheimer’s is scary. And to the extent that we’re concerned about Alzheimer’s beyond its effects on those we know personally, this is where our efforts should be going.

    But I don’t see that references to Alzheimer’s in the context of Trump are hindering any move in that direction. I think they’re pretty much irrelevant.

  35. 35
    Sab says:

    @Spanky: Werebear told me about a month ago that cat peeing everywhere didnt mean that cat was necessarily an asshole. Sure enough, cat had a serious medical issue.

  36. 36
    Yarrow says:

    @tobie: It is incredibly difficult. It is also about to become a national crisis because leading edge of the Boomers are at the age where they will begin to have Alzheimer’s/dementia and there’s a big group behind them. We have very few resources for dealing with it and people with more advanced Alzheimer’s/dementia cannot be cared for in their homes without round the clock support (very expensive). Housing in Alzheimer’s units is extremely costly. It can break family caregivers, physically, emotionally and financially.

  37. 37
    randy khan says:

    @Sab:

    You already may know this stuff, but we’ve had a couple of cats go through the radiation treatment, and it worked like a charm. Probably the hardest part was that we had to isolate them for a while and deal with the radioactive excreta, but they seemed to barely notice that they’d been treated. (Sadly, they did not glow in the dark, even briefly.)

  38. 38
    kindness says:

    @Spanky: I don’t know where you got that from but it is biologically false. Yes the thyroid collects iodine so using radioactive iodine works but the radiation will kill off any cells, not just the bad ones. That is why it is important to get the dosage correct.

  39. 39
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @geg6: And I’m someone who wants to avoid the retreads like Biden and Sanders. For me, it’s not necessarily about their age but that their use by date has passed on their style and policies.

    Charlie Pierce takes a 2X4 to Biden’s chances in 2020

    A Joe Biden 2020 Campaign Would Be the Most Divisive Thing for the Democratic Field
    The vice president’s track record in Congress puts him on the wrong side of every issue that currently energizes his political party.

    I don’t know who Biden is listening to who’s telling him, that when two of the biggest concerns of Dem voters are the Supreme Court (finally!) and metoo issues, that he’s the man of the moment and no one will mention Anita Hill. Actually I do, his brother, his old friends and Dianne Feinstein, his fellow supporter of the Iraq War, the other thing he and they think won’t come up.

  40. 40
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    He’s achieved Grover Norquist’s dream of shrunken government. We’re now down to National Park rangers who only exist to keep open a tourist attraction in the Trump Hotel, and people writing refund checks. Now Norquist finally gets to drown the rest in a bathtub.

  41. 41
    randy khan says:

    About that tax refund thing:

    First, the IRS generally doesn’t start accepting tax returns until the end of January, give or take a few days. If the shutdown lasts that long, then we’re in much bigger trouble than not mailing refund checks.

    Second, it’s possible that the real problem – not mentioned by the Administration – is that the IRS isn’t in a position to start accepting returns at all. It hadn’t announced the initial date when the shutdown began, and there is work that has to be completed before returns can be accepted.

    Third, most people wouldn’t even really notice a delay of a week or two, because processing times vary from year to year, and in any event most returns are not filed until closer to April 15.

    So my conclusion is that the announcement mostly is just propaganda.

  42. 42
    tobie says:

    @Yarrow:

    It can break family caregivers, physically, emotionally and financially.

    This. It hits you on every front.

  43. 43
    randy khan says:

    @kindness:

    What happens is the same thing that happens with a lot of radiation therapy – the dosage is lower in places other than the thyroid gland (because the material is collected there) and therefore the impact on other cells is lower. I’m sure that the radioactive iodine kills some other cells, but since they don’t collect it, it’s not very many. (But, of course, as you say, getting the wrong dosage could kill off more other cells than you want.)

  44. 44
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: You can’t fire Putin. I’m convinced that Grima Wormtongue (Miller) is Pooties voice in Shit Hitler’s ear .

  45. 45
    Fair Economist says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Manchin is trying to maintain his electability in one of the reddest states in the nation. He has a different job from almost every other elected Democrat.

  46. 46
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @satby:

    you are aware that not all older people lose cognitive function, right?
    There is a huge ageist contingent here, and I’m an older person who agreed we slow down a bit. But not every older person, and not every younger person is a smart, healthy, cognitive wiz. So blanket statements about not voting for anyone over X years is ageist and that’s been done frequently here.

    Yes, my 88 year old dad and 82 year old MIL are still sharp. My mom (82) and FIL (84) have lost a lot of cognitive function. That’s why I said the Alzheimer’s table at the nursing home, not the dining table.

    If saying that Biden and Sanders are too old to be President is ageist, count me guilty as charged. 78/79 is too old to start a four year term.

  47. 47
  48. 48
    WereBear says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: It could be the pressure. There’s a whole cascade under stress that make anyone scatterbrained.

  49. 49
    Yarrow says:

    @WereBear: Maybe. But even when he started his campaign he didn’t sound as “with it” as he did twenty years ago or so. The decline had already started. I’m sure stress isn’t helping it, though. Also, he does very little to take care of himself–KFC, little exercise not even on the golf course, up all night tweeting and talking to bff Sean Hannity, etc. All of that will make everything worse.

  50. 50
    piratedan says:

    well for grins, I hope that whoever does the rebuttal has access to a laptop or the web and tries to get DJT to provide specifics. Last night, on a whim, I did a tour of local NBC affiliates websites to get an idea on just what is taking place in their communities.

    So I visited websites for TV stations in San Diego, Tucson, El Paso, Laredo and Brownsville… none of them had stories where their communities were under siege with a surge of nefarious immigrants sowing panic and crime throughout their streets. So, if there is a crisis of national import, just where the fuck is it? If you’re going to suspend the motherfucking Constitution then you best be having something to back it up.

    If Trump does this (and when hasn’t he doubled down?), then Dems should respond both legally and legislatively… essentially stopping the bullshit train before it leaves the station and then also immediately file impeachment charges for abuse of office.

    period.

    party’s over

  51. 51
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    this would not have been my choice

    Drew Hammill @ Drew_Hammill
    SpeakerPelosi & SenSchumer will deliver a joint Democratic response to the Presidential Address tonight on the #TrumpShutdown.

    I get this was a tough call, especially with just about every other potential responder is also a potential presidential candidate. I hope they’re rehearsing

  52. 52
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: I’m 62, but I think the party needs someone younger than me in 2020. The demands on the next president will be immense. YMMV.

  53. 53
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I think the only way Biden keeps his good reputation is by deciding not to run. If he runs, people will make him defend his record, and like Charlie Pierce says, it ain’t pretty. His being a leading supporter of the bankruptcy bill should sink him all by itself, and that’s without getting into the crime bill, or Anita Hill, or his general pro-corporate ways. He didn’t stay a Senator from Delaware all those years by taking on the credit card companies.

  54. 54
    Fair Economist says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix:

    If saying that Biden and Sanders are too old to be President is ageist, count me guilty as charged. 78/79 is too old to start a four year term.

    In the current environment, we need a President who can serve 8 years. We do NOT need a open seat Presidential election in 2024 if we win in 2020. Choosing somebody to be doing one of the most difficult jobs on the planet until he is 87 would not be responsible unless we had no choice, and we are awash in great choices. Even second tier candidates like Inslee and Klobuchar would be great choices.

  55. 55
    The Moar You Know says:

    OT, but I will murder someone if I don’t get this off my chest. I might anyway.

    So, in my real life I raise Guide Dogs. Like the dogs, doing good for society. You gotta give them up after two years, and that is utterly heartbreaking, but you do it and they make a difference.

    One of ours went to a woman who recently flipped a city council seat in Colorado Springs. She posts on the book of faces every now and then, and she posted a pic of the dog (the second-most beautiful golden retriever I have ever met) I helped raise, since he was a little puppy, today.

    And some Trump Nazi jackass has the unmitigated gall to show up and insult the shit out of the dog. Her dog. My dog. I’m not going to say shit: she’s a blue seat in a blood-red area, I will just pour gas on the situation, and she is more than capable of taking care of herself. But this is what Trump supporters are: people so morally bankrupt they’ll insult a fucking guide dog for a blind person just because that person is a Democrat.

    Sorry it’s OT, sorry for a lot of reasons, but as a white guy with a high paying job I have been able to at least deal with the Trump era from a 20,000 foot level, which is horrifying and terrifying. Now it’s personal. REALLY personal. I am so fucking angry right now I’d better take a Xanax or some shit in the office is going to get broken.

  56. 56
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix:

    78/79 is too old to start a four year term.

    This.

    It’s not ageism, it’s actuarial tables.

  57. 57
    The Dangerman says:

    @Yarrow:

    There is also a certain look in his eyes.

    He’s been Peter Principled in the biggest office in the world … and he knows he’s been exposed (pardon the “peter” and “exposed” in the same sentence). He is way, way out of his league and there isn’t enough blustering bullshit that can get him out of it. And, again, he must know it.

    That look is cold stone fear. If there is one thing we can be sure of with Trump. he’s gutless.

  58. 58
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Why did someone say it was going to be Hakeem Jeffries?

  59. 59
    waspuppet says:

    … he’ll come off wooden and rehearsed while stumbling through some words. If not, it will be like sitting at the dinner table at the Alzheimers wing of the nursing home.

    He has two voices: Bored Wikipedia and Balcony Mussolini. I’m betting on the former as well. What’s the over-under on pundits saying “tonight he became president” afterward?

  60. 60
    tobie says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: I’m generally cautious about using age as a criterion for a candidate. Biden is 76, Sanders 77, Warren 69. Should any of them win, they will all be in their 70s going into the most brutally demanding job on the planet. Where does one set the cut-off point, though? How does one gauge physical fitness? In some ways, it should be a factor. I just can’t think of a way to do it that’s not ageist or sexist so I’ve generally been avoiding the theme.

  61. 61
    WereBear says:

    From a previous thread, I saw mentioned Up from Conservatism and I am reading it now while I am sick in bed.

    Speaking of which, two announcements:

    My Way of Cats book on Kindle has 13 five star reviews!

    And the print version will be uploaded as soon as I get over this monster flu that just won’t go away.

  62. 62
    zhena gogolia says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    My sympathies. That is really disturbing. The hatred he has fostered in this country is unbelievable.

  63. 63
    rp says:

    The ageist claims are a bit much. There’s little doubt that Trump has suffered a serious cognitive decline, and it’s not ageist to point that out.

  64. 64
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Yarrow: I’m sure stress isn’t helping it, though.

    A lot of people said, with some documentary evidence, that Sarah Palin was much sharper during her campaign for and tenure as AK gov than in the national spotlight. The strain and scrutiny and criticism and mockery were too much for her. Also, too, in both cases, you have someone who’s dumb, mean, racist and a natural bully falling in love with the applause they got for being a nasty, racist bully

  65. 65
    zhena gogolia says:

    @rp:

    It was making a joke out of Alzheimer’s that was being commented on.

  66. 66
    Waldo says:

    I wouldn’t want to underestimate the power of fear-mongering, but WTF does he hope to accomplish with this? Piling the bullsh*t higher isn’t going to make his dumb idea look any smarter. And the morons who think it makes sense — and that Mexico is somehow footing the bill — don’t need more convincing.

  67. 67
    lamh36 says:

    Who’s wants to bet money on the Dem being Manchin.

    Ahead of Trump’s speech, Jared Kushner has made calls to Hill and to at least one Democrat, per source. Kushner’s message: Public support will grow for border wall after Trump’s speech and his visit to the border.

    The hope is to rally GOP support and pick up a Dem defector

    https://twitter.com/mkraju/status/1082648642488537089?s=21

  68. 68
    lamh36 says:

    Schumer and Pelosi will give joint response to Chump!

    https://twitter.com/acosta/status/1082666554318303234?s=21

  69. 69
    Yarrow says:

    @The Moar You Know: Thank you for raising Guide Dogs. That’s a wonderful thing you do and so helpful for people who need them.

    Anyone who shits on a dog, and especially a Guide Dog for the Blind is a terrible, terrible person. They’ve made it obvious to the world.

    That being said, unless you know the person who posted that comment, it’s just as likely they’re a fake troll account as a real person. Letting the trolls rile us up was part of the 2016 strategy. Get us fighting and spending our energy on that so we don’t spend it on winning elections or even news cycles. Vent all you need but move on when you can. Don’t let them take your energy from important tasks you need to do. They’re not worth it.

  70. 70
    tobie says:

    @The Moar You Know: Don’t blow a gasket! Or if you have to blow a gasket, do it on BJ. We’re good for unleashing the (verbal) hounds. Trump’s deplorable–they even hate on guide dogs.

  71. 71
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Adam Klasfeld @ KlasfeldReports
    🚨 MAJOR: Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian attorney in the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, charged with obstruction of justice in the Prevezon case.
    Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said she fabricated evidence.

    I believe she’s back in Russia, so I don’t know how this plays out…?

  72. 72
    Aardvark Cheeselog says:

    I don’t think it can happen–any IRS employees with a spine will stay home, rather than work unpaid.

    Unions File Lawsuits As IRS, Other Federal Employees Ordered Back To Work Without Pay

    Unions, what are they good for?

  73. 73
    Yarrow says:

    @lamh36: Maybe Nancy Smash can just wave her gavel around. That would be awesome.

  74. 74

    @schrodingers_cat:

    He has always been like this. Incurious, bigoted, loud.

    He has always been incurious, bigoted, and loud, but he used to be articulate and have a decent memory. I don’t know if he has Alzheimer’s disease, but he’s clearly suffered from some kind of mental decline, and it’s reasonable to assume it’s age related.

  75. 75
    WereBear says:

    @The Moar You Know: They truly are Deplorable.

  76. 76
    Yarrow says:

    @The Dangerman: The fear is there, but there is a certain look in the eyes of a person in the early stages of Alzheimer’s/dementia. It’s like a veil goes over the eyes.There’s a vacancy. I don’t know the right words for it but I have seen it in every older person I’ve encountered before they’ve been officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia. I know what it looks like and Trump has it.

  77. 77
    rikyrah says:

    Been thinking a lot about this quote:

    “I voted for him, and he’s the one who’s doing this,” she said of Mr. Trump. “I thought he was going to do good things. He’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting.”

    I have been thinking about this quote ever since I saw it in a tweet. There were those of us who said this from the beginning, what Dolt45 voters were REALLY all about. But, we’ve seen article upon article about them…how we were supposed to ‘ understand’ them.

    Thing is, a lot of us DID understand them, which is why we tired immediately of seeing articles about them.
    We told you…that it wasn’t about economic anxiety..
    We told you…that they didn’t have a problem with WHITE SOCIALISM…..they only had a problem with socialism that treated everyone the same…

    Part of their anger about Obamacare was that it was the first expansion of the American Social Safety Net that DID NOT have in its DESIGN – the exclusion of huge swaths of the American populace (unlike Social Security and Medicare). It took the John Roberts Court to cut people out….
    They will willing, sitting in those red states, to support those that blocked Medicaid expansion….even though it would help a lot of them…because they KNEW that blocking Medicaid expansion would mean that THOSE PEOPLE wouldn’t be getting it.

    Since I knew that this is what these folks were all about, I honestly don’t want to hear a Democrat purse their lips to tell me that we ought to include these folks in our outreach.

    NO. WE. SHOULD. NOT.

    We need to turn to them and say – Phuck You and Your Mama – and proceed about our business.

    Finding those who haven’t voted, or have been voter suppressed. Help get the former registered, and the latter whatever they need in order to be able to vote.
    What you not gonna do is go around begging muthaphuckas to vote for you that would just as soon slit your throat.

    Uh uh.

    I know that this is new language coming from our side….but, it’s time.
    It’s them or us.

    I choose US.

  78. 78
    Chris T. says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: For a moment, I thought you said “Grover Norquist gets to drown in a bathtub”… darn.

  79. 79
    opiejeanne says:

    @randy khan: The important question is did their poop glow in the dark?

  80. 80

    @waspuppet:

    What’s the over-under on pundits saying “tonight he became president” afterward?

    For once, it doesn’t seem likely. The Narrative is already that the whole national emergency thing is a pile of bullshit and lies.

  81. 81
    zhena gogolia says:

    @rikyrah:

    I feel the same way.

  82. 82
    West of the Rockies says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Yes, it reveals itself casually and frequently, which is a little odd since as a cohort, BJers aren’t the youngest group around.

  83. 83
    WereBear says:

    @rikyrah: I COMPLETELY agree. I’ve been hearing “can’t we find common ground?” But if they haven’t bailed by now, good riddance.

  84. 84
    rikyrah says:

    🚨🚨 North Carolina Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris set off a fire alarm while fleeing from the media attempting to ask questions about the credible election fraud allegations against his campaign.https://t.co/zqwrlU6gjx

    — andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) January 8, 2019

  85. 85
    Emma says:

    @rikyrah: If I could upvote this, I’d do it a million times.

  86. 86
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @tobie:

    I’m generally cautious about using age as a criterion for a candidate. Biden is 76, Sanders 77, Warren 69. Should any of them win, they will all be in their 70s going into the most brutally demanding job on the planet. Where does one set the cut-off point, though? How does one gauge physical fitness? In some ways, it should be a factor. I just can’t think of a way to do it that’s not ageist or sexist so I’ve generally been avoiding the theme.

    There’s a world of difference in life expectancy and expectations of being healthy and strong between a 69 year old female and a 76/77 year old male. Individual cases may vary but generally females do better. It’s just a fact of life, not ageism.

  87. 87
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Brian Beutler @ brianbeutler
    Wonder if Trump already prefucked himself in court when he told Schumer he was going to shut the government down, “if you don’t give us what we want.”

    Doesn’t sound super emergency-y to me, idk.

  88. 88
    Yarrow says:

    @rikyrah: Thank you. Yes. This.

  89. 89
    Punchy says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Isn’t this speech all of ~8 mins? If you account for ~3 mins of straight self-fluffing/puffery, ~2 mins of bashing Pelosi, and ~2 mins of completely losing his place and rambling about Chinese caravans and Guatemalan tariffs, that leaves about a minute to spew “Emergency, bitches!” and fall off the dais.

    If any of those fuckers want to call that Presidential they may, but none of the rest of us will.

  90. 90

    @rikyrah:
    You are so fucking right.

    There were those of us who said this from the beginning, what Dolt45 voters were REALLY all about.

    I’m whiter than Ronald McDonald, but I grew up among these people and I knew. Hate is the backbone of their culture and the smiles and courtesy are a mask as they look for someone to hurt.

    Part of their anger about Obamacare was that it was the first expansion of the American Social Safety Net that DID NOT have in its DESIGN – the exclusion of huge swaths of the American populace

    Absolutely true, but there’s another thing that doesn’t get enough attention: A black man gave them charity. I’m not sure white liberals can understand what a big deal that is. Obama could have slept with their wives and that would have been less infuriating than him rescuing them.

  91. 91
    West of the Rockies says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Because the demands will be great, we will need someone with experience OR the wisdom to surround her/himself with such wisdom.

    I am almost exactly Obama’s age. He did not have the experience of, say, ’16 HRC, but he sure chose his aides well.

    We need clarity and competence and energy to dig us out of this Trumpian disaster.

  92. 92
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yeah, I remember when McCain announced the Palin pick, and after I said, “Who?” I did a YouTube search and saw a brief clip of Palin in a debate with someone in Alaska discussing local issues — fisheries or something. I was seriously worried about how she might affect the race until she came out on stage with McCain, opened her mouth, and set my fears to rest.

    In Palin’s case, she was thrust into the national spotlight, didn’t know jackshit and wasn’t willing to learn anything (according to Wallace and Schmidt), so she relied on her trademark shtick.

    I think something different is going on with Trump. I’ve seen old clips of him, and it really is striking, the cognitive decline. Like G&T said, Trump was always an asshole, but now he’s a cognitively impaired asshole with nuclear codes.

  93. 93
    trollhattan says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    Dogs rule, people suck. And Trump people suck more and harder than any other group.

    But, how does one go about slagging on a dog? Not manly enough? Too smart (goldies being among the smartest)?

  94. 94
    Gravenstone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Well you can start with Stevie Miller and work your way down the conference table from there, Senator. They’re all lying to push their own agendas with this oh so gullible and horrible man.

  95. 95
    trollhattan says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix:
    This is certainly true.

  96. 96
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @rikyrah:

    Agreed — there’s something so crystalline about “He’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting.” He NEEDS to be hurting. That’s what she wanted Trump to do: hurt people she doesn’t like. That’s her vision of what the government is for. I’m not sure she even realizes how foul a thing that is to say.

  97. 97
    sherparick says:

    Matt Yglesias gives a short and probably accurate reason why for why all the network suits have agreed to bow to Trump and let him make his Reichstag speech on the broadcast networks and cable news channels tonight. I would only add “Trump is great for ratings” to it.

    “…I’m not entirely sure how to account for this imbalance in the actual coverage decisions. One popular theory is that Republicans have successfully “worked the refs” and led the press to become paranoid about exhibiting liberal bias to the extent that the bend over backward and display bias in the opposite direction.

    I think a more parsimonious explanation might be that the key decision-makers in network television (wealthy anchors, executives, shareholders, etc.) benefit in concrete material ways from Republicans winning elections, and their conduct reflects that reality more than the private ideological convictions of rank-and-file workers.”

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/1/7/18172419/trump-immigration-speech-networks-obama

  98. 98

  99. 99
    tobie says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: Actuarial tables would suggest that. Like probabilities, however, they tell you little about the health of individuals, which is why I try to avoid the theme. YMMV.

  100. 100
    Mandalay says:

    @waspuppet:

    What’s the over-under on pundits saying “tonight he became president” afterward?

    When Van Jones said that, and then doubled down on it, he deservedly got attacked and ridiculed. It was ridiculous then, and it’s even more ridiculous now.

    I no longer take Van Jones seriously, which is a shame. But I just don’t trust his judgement and opinions on anything after he was so absurdly wrong.

  101. 101
    Elie says:

    “The plan” such as it is – is to continue to sow and inflame chaos in our government. That is all. We have to figure out how to stop it while minimizing our own damage. Things are going to get and stay wild. We are in very serious times and we are soon going to be discussing way more important issues than Joe Biden’s age and somesuch.

  102. 102
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Betty Cracker: Yeah, not a doubt in my mind that something neurological (I think I’m using the right term) is going on with trump, but the stresses and strains of the spotlight I think exacerbate whatever that is. I see it with my mother, 83 and dealing with among other things my 90 year old father’s health challenges, when things get tense, she seems to stop processing even relatively simple things. Not helped by the fact that her hearing is fading and she won’t admit it. The old man is physically frail but still has a remarkable head for detail.

  103. 103
    ET says:

    I was watching MTP Daily last night and J Pod and one of the other hosts were like “real time fact check!“, so I suspect that NBC at least will try. What that means in practice who knows. It should both be on on Twitter, and if they are feeling real bold, a split screen with the Twitter factchecking on a roll.

  104. 104
    West of the Rockies says:

    @waspuppet:

    He will also make a brief but big show of concern for the children (and maybe women) who are being made to suffer. It will be as hollow as a rubber duck, but his base will say, “See! He does care about Brown people-like children. How can he be racist?”

  105. 105
    trollhattan says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    Snorting that drug that WordPress does not allow certainly does not help. Plaque in the brain from his awful, awful diet and rabid avoidance of any sort of exercise. Then there’s whatever he inherited from good old dad and mom.

    Donny’s physically much older than the calendar would indicate.

  106. 106
    rikyrah says:

    Why did all this dust come in my eyes as I was reading the stories of all the ex-felons registering to vote in Florida 😪😪😪

    https://twitter.com/apantazi/status/1082630304773406720

  107. 107
    trollhattan says:

    @Mandalay:
    He seems dedicated to locating and jumping whatever sharks are available. I have to take everything with a grain of salt (yes, rosy hued of South Asian sources).

  108. 108
    Aleta says:

    Why couldn’t the networks agree to the speech followed by questions that T would have to answer on the spot?

  109. 109
    Brachiator says:

    FYI:

    IRS Confirms Tax Filing Season to Begin January 28

    Despite the government shutdown, the Internal Revenue Service today confirmed that it will process tax returns beginning January 28, 2019 and provide refunds to taxpayers as scheduled.

    “We are committed to ensuring that taxpayers receive their refunds notwithstanding the government shutdown. I appreciate the hard work of the employees and their commitment to the taxpayers during this period,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.

    Congress directed the payment of all tax refunds through a permanent, indefinite appropriation (31 U.S.C. 1324), and the IRS has consistently been of the view that it has authority to pay refunds despite a lapse in annual appropriations. Although in 2011 the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) directed the IRS not to pay refunds during a lapse, OMB has reviewed the relevant law at Treasury’s request and concluded that IRS may pay tax refunds during a lapse.

    The IRS will be recalling a significant portion of its workforce, currently furloughed as part of the government shutdown, to work. Additional details for the IRS filing season will be included in an updated FY2019 Lapsed Appropriations Contingency Plan to be released publicly in the coming days.

    “IRS employees have been hard at work over the past year to implement the biggest tax law changes the nation has seen in more than 30 years,” said Rettig.

    As in past years, the IRS will begin accepting and processing individual tax returns once the filing season begins. For taxpayers who usually file early in the year and have all of the needed documentation, there is no need to wait to file. They should file when they are ready to submit a complete and accurate tax return.

    The filing deadline to submit 2018 tax returns is Monday, April 15, 2019 for most taxpayers. Because of the Patriots’ Day holiday on April 15 in Maine and Massachusetts and the Emancipation Day holiday on April 16 in the District of Columbia, taxpayers who live in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 17, 2019 to file their returns.

    Note that IRS customer service operations may still be slow or down, so if you call needing advice, good luck.

    Politically, this means that Trump is moving heaven and earth to keep a shutdown going if he wishes.

  110. 110
    Elie says:

    What scares me is the question: will we have the courage to take it on past platitudes and word play? If this asshole declares a state of emergency I agree w the person who said upstring that there should be articles of impeachment drawn up immediately. Time to take care of the people’s business

  111. 111
    Gravenstone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: This and whatever Mueller was going to drop on her basically mean that she will never set foot in the US again. So her utility as an intermediary with persons in the West is basically gone. What that means to her on a personal level, only Putin knows.

  112. 112
    randy khan says:

    @lamh36:

    If that’s really Kushner’s strategy, he’s a dope. (But I repeat myself.) Even assuming Manchin would buy in, that leaves them 6 votes short of breaking a filibuster, and there’s no other Dem who will go along, not to mention that they’d need to flip a whole bunch of Dems in the House.

  113. 113
    Gravenstone says:

    @rikyrah: As others have noted, Hillary was being kind when she labeled them as ‘Deplorables’. They’re much worse.

  114. 114
    randy khan says:

    @opiejeanne:

    The important question is did their poop glow in the dark?

    Sadly, no. It was very disappointing.

  115. 115
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @randy khan: @lamh36: That just sounds like another one of these moments where Kushner gets on the phone to someone in the media to explain that one person amid the chaos who is being serious and working hard is… Kushner.

  116. 116
    ixnay says:

    @Sab: Thinking good thoughts about your cat. If we had a hyperthyroid cat, radioactive iodine is the way I would go.

  117. 117

    Worth noting so it doesn’t get lost in the Trump furor. (Yes, he’s gotten the spotlight back on him after those rude women took it away over the weekend!)

    Natalya Veselnitskaya has been indicted for obstruction of justice in what is called the Prevezon case. The explanation is fairly complicated, and, tbh, I’m not prepared to do it. But I will monitor and see what I can do.

    Veselnitskaya was the main Russian contact in the June 9, 2016 meeting of Trump campaign officials and relatives on sharing dirt on Clinton. This indictment is not directly connected to that.

    Indictment here.

    Also, Paul Manafort filed some papers with the court, perhaps late, perhaps under seal. I’m monitoring that too.

  118. 118
    patrick II says:

    @Yarrow:
    Just read in the Washington post Dems will follow Trump on the electric light box tonight.

  119. 119
    Mandalay says:

    @tobie:

    Like probabilities, however, they tell you little about the health of individuals, which is why I try to avoid the theme.

    It’s true that we can’t know how in advance how well specific individuals such as (say) Biden or Sanders or Warren will perform as president. But we can say that people of their age are far more likely to development some form of mental impairment during their period in office than alternative candidates in their forties and fifties.

    It is ageism to ridicule Biden, Sanders and Warren as doddering old dimwits when there is little to no evidence for that. But it is not ageism to assert that you don’t want to pick any Democratic candidate older than (say) 70. It’s practical and realistic. The stakes are too high to choose someone in their seventies as president.

    It’s worth noting that our two most recent presidents who have been over 70 while in office – Reagan and Trump – have both shown very clear signs of mental impairment while being president.

  120. 120
    Fair Economist says:

    @rikyrah: Deprived of the vote, originally for life, because he drove on a suspended license.

    Now THAT’S voter suppression.

  121. 121
    Aleta says:

    Before the the liar’s speech I want networks to deliver brief factual news reports — not opinions– about conditions in detention centers, ICE employees’ behavior, and how ICE is dumping migrants without notification. And then, coverage that uses the words lie and intentional deception. If they don’t expose the political lies, it will encourage their use even more for political emergencies and lies. The use of Ashcroft’s terr or ist-threat thermometer was never fully exposed.

  122. 122
    dnfree says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: I’m an older person, and I don’t think anyone my age should embark on the presidency. We’ve seen how it ages even younger people. People of any age can have a sudden health event or a slow decline that becomes more evident, but it’s more likely with people who are 70 and older.

    And beyond that, I thought when Obama became president that it was the time to turn the presidency over to the next generation.

  123. 123
    Elie says:

    If he declares an emergency and the system does nothing not confront it, it is downhill to more extreme appropriation of power by this criminal. We best not be waiting for engraved invitations to let us know that Mueller report or not, the time is NOW. I’m not sure that our Congressional Leander’s don’t have to be signaling that perhaps to his people behind the scenes. That move is the trigger we cannot afford to ignore

  124. 124
    rikyrah says:

    Tonight will be a reminder that for all the shrieking and moaning about Trump’s attacks on the press, many of the people running it don’t actually care that much. They’re piping his racist propaganda directly into American homes. They did not have to. Don’t forget it.

    — Osita Nwanevu (@OsitaNwanevu) January 8, 2019

  125. 125
    trollhattan says:

    @patrick II:
    I want them to deploy those magic words “lie” and “liar.” It’s our version of “radical Muslim terrorist.”

    Gloves off; release the hounds!

  126. 126
    Brachiator says:

    @randy khan:

    First, the IRS generally doesn’t start accepting tax returns until the end of January, give or take a few days. If the shutdown lasts that long, then we’re in much bigger trouble than not mailing refund checks.

    Second, it’s possible that the real problem – not mentioned by the Administration – is that the IRS isn’t in a position to start accepting returns at all. It hadn’t announced the initial date when the shutdown began, and there is work that has to be completed before returns can be accepted.

    Third, most people wouldn’t even really notice a delay of a week or two, because processing times vary from year to year, and in any event most returns are not filed until closer to April 15.

    None of this is correct.

    Last year, tax season started January 29. This was more than a week late, because of political BS.

    The IRS kept staff to implement the new tax law and test processing. There are still some holes, again, largely caused by political BS, but the IRS will work around this.

    Especially now that e-filing is in play, many people try to file early, especially if they qualify for various tax credits. By March 15, around 75 million returns have been filed. By April 15, around 115 million (cumulative numbers).

  127. 127
    lamh36 says:

    Trump’s having off the record lunch with TV anchors ahead of tonight’s address, which traditionally happens before a State of the Union. Here’s what happened at last year’s SOTU lunch:

    https://twitter.com/mlcalderone/status/1082677388364910592?s=21

  128. 128
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Absolutely true, but there’s another thing that doesn’t get enough attention: A black man gave them charity. I’m not sure white liberals can understand what a big deal that is. Obama could have slept with their wives and that would have been less infuriating than him rescuing them.

    I read that and I immediately flashed back to that scene in “To Kill A Mockingbird” when the prosecutor got Tom Robinson (a black man accused of raping a white woman) to admit before the jury that he felt sorry for the woman. And that was the exact moment Atticus Finch realized the case was hopeless.

  129. 129
    trollhattan says:

    @dnfree:
    Yup, I thought Obama represented a Kennedyesque passing of the torch. Boy, was I wrong.

  130. 130

  131. 131
    laura says:

    @rikyrah: Why did all this dust come in my eyes as I was reading the stories of all the ex-felons registering to vote in Florida 
    Because you’re a warm and deeply empathic woman, and your justice bone is strong as steel. Your daily posts on righteousness and injustice make you a top commenter of the heart.
    Two separate teary moments in this post -the utter heartbreak of Alzheimer’s and the restoration of the franchise. It’s going to be a very long, very heavy day.

  132. 132
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mandalay: It is ageism to ridicule Biden, Sanders and Warren as doddering old dimwits when there is little to no evidence for that.

    My belief that Sanders is, among other things, a dimwit has nothing to do with his age

  133. 133
    Michael Cain says:

    @kindness: The President can unilaterally declare a national emergency and take certain actions. There are currently ~30 active national emergencies, almost all of them declared so that the assets of purported terrorists or terrorist-funding organizations could be frozen. Congress can, by joint resolution, overrule the President. As I understand the statutory procedure, the House passes such a resolution and sends it to the Senate, the Senate is required to vote on it within 15 days, simple majority is sufficient to pass it.

    Among the things he can’t do, as I read the statutes, is repurpose funds w/o Congressional approval. The legal opinions I’ve read agree with me; Article 1 Section 9 is an absolute statement that Congress controls how money is to be spent.

  134. 134
    patrick II says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix:

    LMFAO. Joe, the calls are coming from inside the building.

    Their coming from the other side of the bicameral mind.

  135. 135
    catclub says:

    @Brachiator:

    Politically, this means that Trump is moving heaven and earth to keep a shutdown going if he wishes.

    It reminds me of when both sides made sure the air traffic control system kept working during the last shutdown. Cannot inconvenience the
    flying businessman/congressman with the shutdown.

  136. 136
    Fair Economist says:

    @Mandalay: I looked up the list of Presidents by age at inauguration and the oldest I would say had a successful Presidency was Eisenhower at 62. For ones on great president lists you have have to go below 60. People do live longer today but having somebody start the job in their late 70s is quite a risk.

  137. 137
    Jeffro says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    FWIW I don’t think T’s behavior can be attributed to age. He has always been like this. Incurious, bigoted, loud. He just is on a bigger stage than he has ever been on.

    Perhaps not ‘just’ age…but many folks have noted his deterioration in the past decade, speech- and cognition-wise. It’s quite remarkable to see the difference in interviews from the past couple of years vs the 80s and 90s.

    Regardless, a lifetime of lying, unaccountability, racism, sexism, and more lying plus post 9/11 paranoia and seething jealousy of the achievements & adulation of America’s first black president = Trumpov.

  138. 138
    bemused says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix:

    He’s never been right in the head but imagine him being 30 years younger and president. I doubt he’d be much different.

  139. 139
    patrick II says:

    @tobie:

    Kamilla. It is too soon for AOC, and that’s too bad since a Latin person with some fire would be appropriate since Trump’s wall is a metaphorical slur (it has little functional purpose) against them.

  140. 140
    No One of Consequence says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Bam.

    I felt compelled to chime in here as a mostly lurker, but I don’t pick up on the ageism here. My own life and age echo the blogFather’s closely.

    We are getting older, and like they warned us in The Breakfast Club, we are becoming our parents. At the same time, we are coming into a greater understanding of our parents, I think as well.

    Tying onions to our belts and shouting at clouds and the kids on the lawn is just most of us coming into our inheritance of cranky mid to later life.

    At least, that’s how I always took it.

    Peace,

    – NOoC

  141. 141
    randy khan says:

    @Brachiator:

    Given that there’s a post above saying the filing window opens on January 28, I’d say I was pretty close to being right about the date (and that there’s still work to be done, as in previous years it’s been up to a week before that.

    Even your comment about 75 million tax returns being filed by March 15 (with another 40 million filed by April 15) is consistent with my note that more tax returns are filed closer to April 15 than to the end of January.

    And the big point is that the likelihood that the shutdown goes for another 3 weeks is pretty low, which is why this really is just theater.

  142. 142
    Shana says:

    @kindness: Someone, perhaps Kevin Kruse, said that tRump probably thinks you just declare a national emergency like Michael in The Office declaring bankruptcy.

  143. 143
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @lamh36: Is there another country in the world where the people who read the news on television are treated as if they were more important than just someone who can read from a prompter?

  144. 144
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Fair Economist: I don’t think Biden’s age per se is disqualifying, but he’s very much a creature of the Beltway, and one of the blind spots of the Village is that a long tenure in politics/media confers credibility. I think of the (should’ve been) embarrassing-for-both-parties praise Lawrence O’Donnell heaped on the empty suit that is Tom Brokaw in 2012 when the latter deigned to appear on a panel to smugly assure us all that their was no race-baiting in Mitt Romney’s smirking birtherism (nobody ever asked to see my birth certificate!) and embrace of Donald Trump. Tom Brokaw a good-looking local newsreader who floated up the food chain and at some point declared himself the High Priest of the Greatest Generation cult. Now he’s treated as a Wise Man, if not some kind of statesman.

    Biden is conflating his Obama-derived popularity with a long career that includes a lot of serious blunders, of the kind the Beltway can’t see because they’re mostly white, mostly wealthy and mostly interventionists in foreign policy.
    ETA: I’m focusing on Biden because I have a nervous feeling that he’s developing some sort of Messiah complex, fueled in part by his belief he owes it to his dead son to make a run

  145. 145

    I would have no problem with an upper age limit in running for president. We set a lower age limit that shuts off some people who’d be competent but is playing the averages. An upper age limit could do that too.

    Not that such a limit would happen. But I fervently hope the Ds are ready to nominate someone younger.

  146. 146
    StringOnAStick says:

    @WereBear: I’m a guaranteed purchaser for the print version of your book, get better soon!

  147. 147
    Fair Economist says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I do think, as I said above, that Biden’s age is a conditional disqualification. According to Social Security, the life expectancy for a 77 yo is less than 10 years, meaning the chance of death is about 40%. Chance of death or serious mental impairment is probably *above* 50%. That’s not acceptable unless there is no other choice. Obviously if it’s Biden vs. Trump I’ll be BIDEN!BIDEN!BIDEN! but why pick Biden if there are other good choices with much better actuarial expectancies? Even if you want a pale male there’s O’Rourke and Inslee in the current list, with undoubtedly more to come.

    All you say about Biden being too much a creature of the Village is quite true as well, and is yet more of a reason to prefer somebody else.

  148. 148
    Mandalay says:

    @Fair Economist: Now you have me looking at the numbers:
    – The average age of all 44 U.S. presidents who have taken office is just over 55!
    – We have only ever had three presidents who were over 70 while in office: Ike, Reagan and Trump.

    Those pushing hard for Warren (or any other Democratic candidate in their seventies) should at least acknowledge that it is very unusual for someone that old to become president.

  149. 149
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Michael Cain:

    This excellent explainer in The Atlantic is long, detailed, comprehensive, and scary as all fuck.

  150. 150
    patrick II says:

    To dismiss a person’s thoughts soley because of his age is wasteful of a potential resource, and insulting. But once you add the specifics of the job and the specifics of a person’s declining acuity most likely due to age, that’s different. I do not want someone with sab’s or mistermixes’ parents symptoms serving as president. Sorry if that is an insult sab. And Donald Trump has every symptom of severe mental decline, whether from Alzheimer’s or from the horrible, incurious life he has led. It is not ageist to note his mental decline, it is actually important that we frankly do so. He is not just some old guy we are stereotyping, he is a particular person in a particular job, his limited mental condition is dangerous and we need to get him out of there.

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    Ohio Mom says:

    @Roger Moore: Trump also used to have something of a sense of humor. If you see him in videos of old talk show appearances, he was capable of playful banter and something approaching charm.

    Sure, he was a novelty act, he didn’t have any deep insights on anything, but the difference between the younger Trump and what we have now is startling.

    I don’t know how anyone could not see that his brain has aged faster than the rest of him (and that is including the fact that he is hardly fit).

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    WaterGirl says:

    @Fair Economist: The job is also much more physical taxing now than it was in earlier years. Just my opinion, I don’t have data to back that up.

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    zhena gogolia says:

    @patrick II:

    It is not ageist to note his mental decline, it is actually important that we frankly do so.

    Again, that was not the issue that Sab and I reacted to. It was making a joke out of Alzheimer’s. Casually.

  154. 154
    Nomad says:

    @Face: I’ve seen conflicting data on whether Congress can invalidate an emergency declaration by the President. The original Emergency Powers Act says that Congress can invalidate one with a majority vote that begins in the House, but I’ve also seen that in 1983 the Supreme Court ruled that any bill passed by Congress must be signed by the President, and that includes invalidating a National Emergency declaration. While they could override a veto, that needs a lot more than a majority vote to do it.

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    glory b says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Probably late to this party, but I saw an editorial cartoon from the late 1800s (I think) showing a black man trying to rescue a drowning white man, who basically says that he would rather drown than accept help form a black man.

    So, yeah, this attitude is real and it isn’t going away

  156. 156
    Spinoza Is My Co-Pilot says:

    @rikyrah: I’m with you on this.

    The “great sorting” has essentially finished (I’d say it began in earnest with the Southern Strategy on the heels of the Civil Rights movement) and the “other side” (Them) are our homegrown, American-style fascists, with the Republican Party as their political wing. Our side – Us – is the very diverse lot who are not fascist (and a pretty goddamn fractious bunch we are, aren’t we?). That’s somewhat simplistic, yes, but when dealing with fascists nuance is typically counterproductive.

    They’ve deliberately chosen to make me, and every one who doesn’t subscribe to their bigoted, narrow-minded, mean-spirited worldview, their enemy, and so we are. One viewing of any Trump rally – or an outtake from similarly nasty Nuremberg-style shit during the 2016 GOP Convention – ought to be enough to convince anyone with two brain cells that this is real and true and tremendously serious. I’ll consider ourselves fortunate if we avoid significant violence between us in the short term (I’m hopeful we can, I believe we can, just not super-sanguine about it because, well, they’re fucking fascists and they’re gleefully shoving their hellish minoritarian rule down our throats, so how long can that go on?).

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    J R in WV says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    …if nothing changes, a tidal wave of dementia patients will overwhelm our nursing homes in about a decade. The fact that little is being done to find ways to delay or minimize the effects of Alzheimer’s is scary.

    A great deal of research is underway to find ways to medically cope with dementias. What’s scary is that those efforts seem to be based upon misguided expectations about what causes many of these dementias, and thus how to attempt to halt or slow the progress of the diseases causing dementia. Therefore most results so far are negative – nope, that doesn’t help much. Nope, that doesn’t either!

    My grandmother Grace lived into her 90s and was playing the piano and doing crosswords and playing cards with her neighbors until the end. She was able to communicate well after the failed surgery for a bowel blockage that eventually killed her. This isn’t how lots of people go out.

    Wife [not a scientist of medical person, just a smart observer] believes that a common industrial compound, like teflon or a similar ubiquitous and highly profitable substance is causing the dementia epidemic. Good luck getting industry to admit that making money causes dementia!!!

  158. 158
    J R in WV says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    It was making a joke out of Alzheimer’s that was being commented on.

    Humor in our species is often a reaction to things that scare the crap out of us. Like losing your mind to dementia. It isn’t intended as an attack on sufferers, it’s a defense against our fear of suffering dementia ourselves.

    If that doesn’t work for you, OK. But please don’t be criticizing people for how they try to cope with their worst nightmares. No one here is making fun of the victims, unlike Trump.

  159. 159
    Ruckus says:

    @J R in WV:
    It may be something even easier. More of us are living a lot longer, isn’t it possible that dementia has always been a problem and now it’s just that more people are reaching the age where the effects are becoming obvious. And of course your wife has a good chance of being right.

  160. 160
    StringOnAStick says:

    @J R in WV: Teflon is a reasonable suggestion, as are plastics in general. We know that girls reach sexual maturity at a much younger age now and that our high plastics lifestyle is filled with estrogen mimicking compounds, like the linings often found in tin cans. Our policy here at home is to avoid using plastics for storage, never heat food in a plastic container in the microwave, got rid of all our plastic water bottles for hiking and switched to steel bottles, organic food as much as possible.

    I really feel like the responses I am seeing to the aging of the Boomers consists mainly of building expensive residence homes where people can progress from independent apartments to the locked wing (if needed). Obviously only the very well off can afford that. Gutting Medicaid means there will be no wealth to inherit for those below that level since it will all be spent down to keep elderly relatives in care, until the cuts toss them out of homes and back in with their kids, if they have any. We have no children so my husband and I have talked about suicide when we can’t take care of ourselves anymore, and hoping will still be mentally together enough to make it happen. I’m sure we won’t be the only ones, then or now.

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    Sab says:

    @randy khan: Thanks. I did not know that. This is all new to me.

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    Mandalay says:

    @J R in WV: @J R in WV:

    the dementia epidemic

    Is there really an “epidemic”, or are people just living longer? While progress allows other causes of death to be addressed more effectively, I suspect that cancer and dementia will become more frequent causes of death. But that doesn’t mean there is a (metaphorical) epidemic of dementia.

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    Gex says:

    .@Jim, Foolish Literalist: That ultimately did not matter in the Muslim ban. His stated intentions did hold for a while, but eventually the Roberts Court helped find a justification they could uphold.

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    Miss Bianca says:

    @rikyrah: Great stories. these are our people. Get them registered, get them voting, and fuck the deplorables.

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