Monday Morning Open Thread: Due Warning

I never could see the point to April Fool jokes — if it’s practical, it ain’t a joke — but really: In the time of the Squatter-in-Chief, how the fvck can you tell whether something ridiculous / outrageous is a joke, or just another Monday?

The following chyron, for instance, appeared on Sunday, March 31. *Not* an April Fool’s joke, although I wouldn’t put it past Faux News to try pretending it was:






123 replies
  1. 1
    piratedan says:

    be best….

    at this point I can only imagine what she may have alluded to…

    criminality?
    incompetence?
    cruelty?

  2. 2
    WhatsMyNym says:

    Since I’m the only one awake, it’s time to go to sleep.

  3. 3
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Monday. April Fools Day. Insomnia.

    Blech.
    Blech.
    Blech.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    mrmoshpotato says:

    It does make you wonder what they wanted to say because it’s a long way from “Trump sucks the asses of at least 3 foreign dictators,” and Fox isn’t known for telling the truth.

  6. 6
    sukabi says:

    @Jay: squad blech.

  7. 7
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Mulvaney: only ‘something dramatic’ will stop Trump closing Mexico border

    Yeah, like common fucking sense.

    Move could have severe consequences for US economy

    No, it WILL have severe economic consequences.

  8. 8
    Jay says:

    @sukabi:

    Sixtem Blech

  9. 9
    Jay says:

    @mrmoshpotato:

    LGM has a theory,……..

  10. 10
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    James Cleverly, the deputy chair of the Conservative party, told Sky News that May could well do so. Asked if May could lead the party into a snap election, he said: “That is an inevitable possibility.”

    THAT made me laugh.

  11. 11
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Beto Mania

    Over 1,000 house parties yesterday.

    I think Latinos like him:

    (photo 1)

    (photo 2)

    And he capped it off by raising a over a $1,000,000 on Sunday (with the average donation of $33). No foolin’

  12. 12
    Betty Cracker says:

    Even more appalling when you realize Fox & Friends is the de facto top foreign and domestic policy adviser and presidential daily briefer.

  13. 13
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

  14. 14
    NotMax says:

    Couple of off beatish items which caught the eye.

    1) Google Street View now available for Mars.

    Well, kind of.

    2) When devoid of new ideas, turn to a tried and true classic.

    The site will feature audio and written porn but no visuals or imagery, and will be specifically designed for women.
    [snip]
    The startup, called Quinn, is intended to be an alternative to the plethora of porn that is image-heavy and made with the male gaze in mind, Caroline Spiegel told TechCrunch. Spiegel described Quinn as “a much less gross, more fun Pornhub for women.”

    Due to a FYWP veboten word included in the address, cannot link directly. You should be able to copy and paste the following, if so inclined, manually transposing the two bolded letters after pasting it into an address bar:

    http://www.businessinsider.com.....nn-audio-pron-website-2019-3

  15. 15
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Hot off the presses:

    Pete Buttigieg

    @PeteButtigieg

    This is just a preliminary analysis, but our team’s initial report shows we raised over $7 million dollars in Q1 of this year. We (you) are out-performing expectations at every turn. I’ll have a more complete analysis later, but until then: a big thank you to all our supporters.

    5:31 AM – Apr 1, 2019

  16. 16
    Immanentize says:

    Happy Monday All. Or, as others have said, Blech.

    I think I will go to work at Blech – ley Park today and decode the Blech messages above

  17. 17
    Immanentize says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:
    One thing I will say, there are a lot of people with a ton of money to throw around.

  18. 18
    Spanky says:

    @Immanentize: According to my code book, the above messages mean …
    Let’s see …
    “Blech”

  19. 19
    waratah says:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/04/beto-orourke-has-way-out-trumps-immigration-trap/586201/

    Beto talked about this during his Senate run, this is the first time I have seen his policy being given serious thought.

  20. 20
    Spanky says:

    @Immanentize: More likely a lot of small donors.

    And the non-zero possibility of laundered rubles. The Russians may see the benefit of keeping a lot of players on the field. I don’t know how easy it is for campaigns to tell the difference if, say, the rooskies have a few thousand bank accounts to send money from.

    Obviously I’m no financial whiz and that particular scenario msy be redonculous, but my guess is that there are ways to funnel cash to campaigns without the campaign knowing who is really behind the money.

  21. 21
    Immanentize says:

    @waratah:. Isn’t aiding source countries to address the root causes of migration just old Obama policy that is pretty much Democratic Party C.W. at this point?

  22. 22
    Spanky says:

    @Spanky: … With the obvious advantage of the rooskies then tipping off his Republican opponent with irrefutable evidence of Russian assistance. Collusion!

  23. 23
    Immanentize says:

    @Spanky:
    There was a good article on the front page of dead tree NYT about how all the Dem candidates rely on big dollar donors. And today we get an article telling us that Warren’s finance chair quit over her refusal to hold big dollar receptions.

    Certainly the small donors outnumber the big donors, but not in dollar amounts at all. And I agree with you about the Russians. Ask the former candidate not-a-Dem about that.

  24. 24
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Spanky: The russian money is all in on Tulsi

  25. 25
    waratah says:

    @Immanentize: This was good policy for Obama and is still good policy. The fact that now we have people fleeing their countries that have a way here by land makes this more important.
    I thought all the candidates policy’s are from our parties history just updated for now.

  26. 26
    JPL says:

    Wow. I slept in and didn’t wake until after six,

  27. 27
    oatler. says:

    @Spanky: Mad Magazine Blech

  28. 28
    debbie says:

    There is no better indictment of the current status of this country than this three Mexican countries thing. Well, that, and the FB post telling me that 187 Republican reps voted against pay equity for women.

    I need something with a whole lot more anger than “Blech” today.

  29. 29
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: Braggart. I’ve been awake since 12:30.

  30. 30
    Betty Cracker says:

    @waratah: It’s good that Beto is talking about this issue in those specific terms. Even if he’s not ultimately the nominee, it’s a conversation the party needs to have because, as the article you linked pointed out, xenophobic demagoguery is Trump’s signature issue. I’d like to see the Democratic candidates go further than promises to restore the aid that Trump cuts off. We need to get other countries on board with something on the scale of a Marshall Plan to help address the problems in Central America.

  31. 31
    waratah says:

    @Betty Cracker: thank you I agree.

  32. 32
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @debbie: How’s about “Fucking Republicans.”

  33. 33
    debbie says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Heh, I already say that practically every five minutes.

  34. 34
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker: After all the money we spent wrecking Central America, now you want us to spend more fixing it? Wish you guys would make up your minds. //

  35. 35
    SFAW says:

    I guess the April Foolsdom has even spread to the ads/links on the right side of this page:

    One of the whatever-they’re-called has the header “The Average Person Fails This 70’s Quiz” Ignoring the grammatical error for the moment, I thought the choice for the come-on/teaser picture — JFK and Jackie riding in the back of an open limo in Dallas in November — was … unusual.

  36. 36
    rikyrah says:

    ” Fact free messaging”
    Yep, that sums it up 😒😒

    https://twitter.com/DanRather/status/1112440869171294208

  37. 37
    rikyrah says:

    @Immanentize:
    It is Obama policy. Doesn’t mean that it wasn’t good policy.

  38. 38
  39. 39
  40. 40
    Betty Cracker says:

    From WaPo’s “The Trailer” 2020 campaign summary:

    Bernie Sanders…told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that he will release his tax returns very soon, a month after making the same pledge. (In neither case did he define “soon.”) “We have it all done and it’s just a question of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.”

    Everyone else’s tax returns are due two weeks from today, right?

  41. 41
    SFAW says:

    @rikyrah:
    One of the replies to Rather’s tweet had a graphic with the phrase “Trumpcare will do for healthcare what Trump University did for higher education.” Seems about right. I guess someone — David Fahrenthold? — should probably start looking at the various grifts the Fuckhead-in-Chief will use to make money off of ShitgibbonCare.

    Fucking Republicans. And their moron supporters. If they’re not the death of this country, it won’t be for lack of trying.

  42. 42
    SFAW says:

    @Immanentize:

    My decoder must be on the fritz — all I get is “Belch.”

  43. 43
    Betty Cracker says:

    @rikyrah: Naturally Trump put the worst, least qualified person for the task on the entire planet in charge of coming up with a healthcare plan: Rick Scott, the former hospital chain exec who had to resign in disgrace when his company was fined what was then the largest fine ever imposed for Medicare fraud. The dude who made telling bald-faced lies about the ACA to wingnut retirees the centerpiece of his successful 2010 run for FL governor.

  44. 44
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    It would seem that our fine Republicans presently residing in Jefferson City have decided to make sexual assault on a college campus legal. After kicking Grietens out of the governor’s mansion, they appear to have reverted to normal.

  45. 45
    Immanentize says:

    @rikyrah:
    I think it is very good policy. And I like the idea of a central American Marshall plan.

    I just didn’t like the breathless reporting that this is new and unique.

  46. 46
    Kay says:

    Sahil Kapur
    ‏Verified account
    @sahilkapur
    Follow Follow @sahilkapur
    More
    .@SenatorCollins writes to AG William Barr to express “profound disagreement” with the administration’s decision to put its legal weight behind elimination of the ACA.

    Uh, oh. I didn’t know she specifically told constituents her prior vote didn’t threaten coverage. Oh what a tangled web…

    Recent events could heap a hefty dose of additional uncertainty in the form of lost coverage or lack of insurability due to pre-existing conditions. The threat arises from a legal case that the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is considering. A lower federal court ruled the entire ACA unconstitutional because the tax law passed in late 2017 erased the tax penalty for avoiding health insurance.
    This legal uncertainty contradicts Sen. Susan Collins’ assertion in a Press Herald op-ed published after the tax bill passed that her support of the measure would not threaten anyone’s health insurance. Some legal experts anticipate the 5th Circuit will overturn the lower court’s ruling – thus sustaining the ACA – but that outcome is not certain.
    How many Mainers could this affect? The nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation found that 26 percent of adults ages 18-64 in the Portland metropolitan area have deniable pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, emphysema and cancer.

    The Trump Plan would allow insurers to deny pregnancy coverage, too, along with a whole set of other medical issues. I bet pregnancy is the single expensive health care “event” that a lot of younger people encounter in their 20’s and early 30’s, so for many of them the one time they need the insurance they’re paying for, they won’t get coverage. Junk insurance that doesn’t cover anything. Rip off.

  47. 47
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: Collins has already announced she’s running for another term in 2020, IIRC. I hope her useless ass gets bounced out so hard.

  48. 48
    SFAW says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    Putting someone, intent on destroying Policy/Function “X”, in charge of that exact Policy is a feature, not a bug, for those motherfuckers.

  49. 49
    rikyrah says:

    Jonathan Alter (@jonathanalter) Tweeted:
    “A Crime in Public View”: How William Barr Pardoned Donald Trump | Vanity Fair. ⁦@ScottTurow⁩ cuts through the fog. https://t.co/9n7gCf3NQI https://twitter.com/jonathanalter/status/1110508462247735296?s=17

  50. 50
    SFAW says:

    @Kay:

    Senator Collins writes to AG William Barr to express “profound disagreement” with the administration’s decision to put its legal weight behind elimination of the ACA.

    I’m sure her brow furrowed ever-so-much when she expressed that “profound disagreement.”

    Maybe I should accelerate my plans to move to Maine.

  51. 51
    rikyrah says:

    Slate (@Slate) Tweeted:
    A conservative judge defended Mississippi’s racial gerrymander in a starkly partisan, conspiratorial polemic. https://t.co/ltWHdO0QDk https://twitter.com/Slate/status/1110511312570929153?s=17

  52. 52
  53. 53
    Mary G says:

    @SFAW: I can’t decide between Maine and Kentucky.

  54. 54
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mary G: Maine, no reason to commit suicide just yet.

  55. 55
    SFAW says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    How do you find this stuff? [Yeah, yeah, I know, insomnia gives you “extra time” to seek out new life and new civilizations, etc. “These are the voyages of the starship Blechterprise.”]

  56. 56
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I think she’s popular, her polling is good. This trips her up though- she can’t dodge health care – and Maine newspapers seem to follow up on it, see, throwing her dishonest editorial back in her face. This could be her Katrina :)

    It amazes me young people put up with no pregnancy coverage. They’re willing to forego coverage of the ONE expensive medical event they are likely to encounter as young (healthier) people? I hope they’re not opposed to filing for bankruptcy. One complication in any pregnancy can sink them. It’s like excluding “diabetes” or “heart disease” for older people. It’s just a blatant rip off.

  57. 57
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay: To add, unlike diabetes or heart disease, most young people will actually spend what they have (and what they don’t) on pregnancy and newborns. Other diseases, people cut corners, make choices.

  58. 58

    @Kay: I didn’t think there was a Trump or R plan. Did I miss something?

    You can see their “strategy” here. They’re hoping the court invalidates Obama Care so they can pressure Ds into voting for whatever nonsense they come up with on the grounds that now things are awful.

  59. 59
    geg6 says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    How about the ones that he’s already dotted the lines and crossed the Ts on from, say, the last five years? We can wait for the 2018 taxes but no reason not to release the 2013, 2014, or 2015 ones, right?

  60. 60
    MattF says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: They’re certainly planning to blame the Democrats for whatever, because obviously. I might add that Trump actually has a point about healthcare– if, through some warping of the space-time continuum, the Rs actually became the party of healthcare, it would be a big deal. But not going to happen in this universe.

  61. 61
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: House question. I paid for the floor job and the dude thinks we’re wasting our money with termite protection because there is so much damage already that it would take a complete floor replacement and foundation work to really fix it. Whatcha think if that?

  62. 62
    NotMax says:

    For the WTF file.

    Yes, it is April first. No, this story is not meant as a prank. Yes, it is weird in construction (as well as containing more than a whiff of offensive insensibility).

    Was Jackie Kennedy the 1st Black First Lady?

  63. 63
    Jeffro says:

    Funny and also a great way to understand the progress (or lack thereof) in getting SCOTUS to understand why gerrymandering’s a bad thing.

    What I’m saying is, here’s your tuna melt:

    Kagan must be going nuts dealing these purposefully obtuse RWNJs she works with

    If you don’t want to get into the math, here’s a re-enactment of the [gerrymandering] argument, but about sandwiches instead:

    COUNSEL: I’d like a grilled cheese.

    ALITO: OK, one tuna melt.

    COUNSEL: No, I said grilled cheese.

    KAVANAUGH: I hear the tuna melt’s good.

    GORSUCH: You want that tuna melt open face or closed?

    COUNSEL: I don’t want a tuna melt, I want a—

    GORSUCH: It seems like you don’t want to just come out and say it, but don’t you want a tuna melt?

    COUNSEL: No!

    KAGAN: She asked for a grilled cheese. That’s not a tuna melt because there’s no tuna in it.

  64. 64
    Kay says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    There is one. The American Health Care Act. They proposed it the last time they tried to kill Obamacare.

    It’s awful. Just wholly dishonest. It’s a bad faith proposal. Part of it will actually throw some of the people off Medicaid. That wasn’t even discussed, because our health care discussion focuses solely on people with college degrees, but it will be discussed. I would strongly suggest Democrats raise it in white, rural areas. That’s where Medicaid really took off.

    They don’t need a majority of those voters but they do need some to cut into GOP margins and taking away the health insurance they just got might be enough. Obama had a formula. He didn’t need to carry my county. He needed 8000 votes, so substantially less than half. He got that 8000. Twice. It just can’t be an R blowout in rural counties. It can’t be 25/75, like it was for Clinton here.

    People love Medicaid. If you never had insurance (and most of them never did) it’s not even a comparison. It’s “no insurance v Medicaid”. That’s a no brainer.

  65. 65
    NotMax says:

    @raven

    Curious if there was a termite inspection done at the time you were purchasing it.

  66. 66

    @Kay: I forgot about that. As quickly as I could. What is wrong with these people? Never mind. I know. Stupid/evil/both.

  67. 67
    plato says:

    @Kay:

    That’s a great analysis. The dems need to find ways to win at the margins. Just like the traitors thug did in WI & MI.

  68. 68
    Kay says:

    @plato:

    I will never understand how Robby Mook, the Obama person, seemed to completely miss on that. They literally ran that exact plan for Obama, twice. They knew exactly what they needed in rural areas. They don’t win them. They just avoid a blow out. Obama focused on lower income white women. We actually won a school levy race by doing the exact same thing, which I got from the Obama campaign.

    Clinton deserves some blame for that because she’s the manager. My God, she’s been in D politics for years. She knows this.

  69. 69
    rikyrah says:

    😂😂😂😂

    𝕋𝕙𝕖 𝕃𝕒𝕤𝕥 🔝 (@JuSLIKEMIKE911) Tweeted:
    6 y/o nephew: “Uncle Mike why you don’t have a wife?”

    Me: “I’m gay.”

    Nephew: “What that mean?”

    Me: “I like men not women.”

    Nephew: *silence*…….”So why don’t you have a husband?”

    Me: https://t.co/vP4eZPTqXB https://twitter.com/JuSLIKEMIKE911/status/1110682155993255937?s=17

  70. 70
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I shared Buttigieg’s tweet that both highlighted the “three Mexican countries” thing and called for more support for Central America yesterday. Predictably, it attracted zero notice or response. I guess because it didn’t mention Hillary.

    Just to be clear — I have not chosen a candidate, I have no particular brief for Buttigieg. I just find it interesting which of his utterances attract outsize attention and which are ignored.

  71. 71
    Gin & Tonic says:

    In good news from Eastern Europe, largely free, fair and contested Presidential elections were held over the weekend. Slovakia held its runoff (second round) on Saturday, after a first round two weeks earlier featuring something like 15 candidates. A fairly progressive (by Eastern European standards) woman won the Presidency. Ukraine held its first round on Sunday, also featuring 15-20 candidates; with nobody getting a majority, the runoff will be held in three weeks (Palm Sunday by the Othodox calendar.) Unfortunately, the leading candidate and likely second-round winner is a TV comedian (literally) with little to nothing in the way of policy proposals. His voters are largely the equivalent of T voters who went in the voting booth and said, “you know what, fuck you,” but there is a lot of frustration with current President Poroshenko’s inability or unwillingness to combat the endemic political corruption which has squandered the momentum of the Maidan movement of five years ago.

    But the point is that these were hotly contested elections in which the outcome was actually in doubt until the votes were counted. If there is a similarly competitive election in Russia in my lifetime I’ll be shocked.

  72. 72

    @zhena gogolia: I tweeted this yesterday.

    One reply, one retweet.

  73. 73
    eclare says:

    @Gin & Tonic: What is your background in Eastern Europe/Ukraine? I think I noticed on a thread yesterday you wrote that English is not your first language. Obviously, if you wish not to answer, no offense taken.

  74. 74
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    Sahil Kapur
    ‏Verified account
    @sahilkapur
    Follow Follow @sahilkapur
    More
    .@SenatorCollins writes to AG William Barr to express “profound disagreement” with the administration’s decision to put its legal weight behind elimination of the ACA.

    Lyin’ azz trick.
    We HAVE to get this phony piece of garbage out of office in 2020.

  75. 75
    tobie says:

    @zhena gogolia: @Cheryl Rofer: Folks, you’re doing this wrong. Announce your candidacy in a border town, make the link between civil rights and immigrant rights the cornerstone of your campaign and you will get some re-tweets! If I were on twitter, I assure you I would pass on your message!

    I held a small launch party for Beto’s campaign in my house in the sticks–and at that in a remote corner the sticks–and was surprised anyone showed up much less whom: two young Latinos, a middle-aged white man, and a single mom. My impressions from this are: (a) defeating Trump is everyone’s priority and they will be there for any of the Democratic candidates that has declared (there’s no rancor outside the blogosphere) and (b) Beto’s made some inroads in the Latino community because he’s made immigration a central plank of his campaign. I’m not committed to a candidate yet. I also like Klobuchar and Harris and Booker and part of me thinks that after the lawlessness of this administration, we may need a lawyer as President. A JD shouldn’t be a prerequisite for running for President, but we live in strange times.

  76. 76
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: Exactly right — we don’t have to win rural counties in places like Ohio and Florida in 2020, just prevent a blow-out. There are a ton of ways to do that, including fighting back against voter suppression and pulling people who don’t normally vote at all (the number is staggeringly high among Medicaid recipients, IIRC) into the process.

    @zhena gogolia: Unsurprising! I just realized from reading a WaPo article (I think) this morning that the remarks Buttigieg made about the Clinton campaign that so enraged folks on Twitter were from January. You’d think from the reaction the guy had done nothing but criticize the Clinton campaign nonstop for the last four months, but that is not the case.

    Sorta OT, I watched a clip of Buttigieg on Bill Maher’s show on YouTube early this morning. Bill Maher has always been a dick, but he’s become even more so since last time I saw his show! Anyhoo, Buttigieg was talking about recasting the debate on “freedom” from the Republican framing about freedom from Big Gubmint, and he said he talks about it in terms of people being free to marry the person they love, being free to start their own business because they have access to healthcare, a trans kid being free to use the bathroom, etc.

    Naturally, Maher pounced on that last example to sneer about the perils of political correctness and how Democrats need to stay far, far away from the so-called “bathroom” issue. He said (paraphrasing), how often does that really happen? Buttigieg said if you’re that trans kid, several times a day! Good answer, I thought!

  77. 77
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    how often does that really happen? Buttigieg said if you’re that trans kid, several times a day! Good answer, I thought!

    Excellent answer. And Maher is an ass.

  78. 78
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Yeah, he’s said lots of good things. That’s why I refuse to fixate on the things he’s said that I don’t like. DITTO FOR EVERYONE ELSE (except Bernie and Gabbard).

  79. 79
    plato says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    And not to forget erdogan thug’s party losing power for first time in decades in Turkey’s biggest cities. It’s a BFD.

  80. 80

    @tobie: Yes, but that’s not the message I intended.

  81. 81
    tobie says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Scratch it then. I was responding to your point about aid for Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela and El Salvador but I guess I misunderstood the first part of your tweet. Sorry.

  82. 82
    Betty Cracker says:

    @tobie: Beto isn’t in my top three (neither is Buttigieg, FWIW), but I’m glad he’s putting immigration front and center because the party will have to address it no matter who gets the nomination.

    Do you read “The Trailer” at WaPo (linked at #40)? It’s Dave Weigel’s account of pols on the trail, and it’s usually pretty good, IMO. He focuses on Klobuchar’s Iowa strategy a bit in today’s edition.

  83. 83
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @plato: Indeed. But since I don’t really follow Turkish politics I try not to comment about it much.

  84. 84
    tobie says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’m so dense. I would have thought “The Trailer” was a movie if you didn’t add WaPo to the tip. Thanks. Will check it out. The political junkie in me is a bit jealous of Iowans who actually get to meet the candidate and ask questions–multiple times.

  85. 85
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @tobie: We need a president who will support and follow the rule of law. Being a lawyer isn’t remotely a requirement for that.

  86. 86
    satby says:

    @Kay:

    Clinton deserves some blame for that because she’s the manager. My God, she’s been in D politics for years. She knows this.

    Watch out Kay! Say that on Twitter and you’ll immediately become history’s greatest monster…

  87. 87
    karen marie says:

    Twitter suspending my account (for telling a rightwing horror that I hope their children leave them out on the sidewalk when they’re old and useless – no, really, THAT was the tweet that got me suspended!) is the best thing that could have ever happened. My head doesn’t explode multiple times while I’m eating breakfast anymore.

  88. 88
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It would be nice to have who could pass a security clearance check.

  89. 89
    Betty Cracker says:

    @tobie: Me too! Like most of us (I suspect), I don’t like a system that makes overwhelmingly white, mostly rural states political gatekeepers for a large, diverse nation. But there’s definitely value in the retail politics model that occasionally yields break-out stars like PBO, who might have otherwise been washed away by a cash tsunami in larger markets.

    If the party put on their thinking caps, maybe they could come up with a better way to do that. Maybe designate three counties in South Florida the “first in the nation” primary, covering both rural and urban areas. Rotate it to a smallish section of California the following year. Something like that. I dunno.

  90. 90
    rikyrah says:

    Barr improvises role on Mueller report despite clear regulations
    Rachel Maddow looks at the past week of behavior toward the Robert Mueller report by Donald Trump’s new attorney general, William Barr, and contrasts it with what the Special Counsel regulations actually ask him to do.

  91. 91
    rikyrah says:

    Schiff: Barr memo claim on need for obstruction decision ‘flimsy’
    Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, talks with Rachel Maddow about Attorney General William Barr going beyond what the Special Counsel regulations call for by imposing himself on the release of Robert Mueller’s report.

  92. 92
    tobie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I take what you say on this point to heart, knowing that you are a lawyer yourself. Having a President who follows the law would be a nice thing.

    @Betty Cracker: Interesting idea to make select counties in states like FL and CA the first in the nation primaries. Another plus to this is that the weather would be so much better in these places than in Iowa in November.

  93. 93
    Kay says:

    @satby:

    They all know this and they’ll all be trying to hold down rural margins, because they want to win. It’s math! It is The Math and it isn’t just Ohio. They all talk about it in Nevada too and they don’t yet but they will be talking about it in Georgia. Georgia might be interesting because I think they have a substantial AA rural vote, so that’s a new wrinkle, thank God.

    No one objects to this when we do the same sort of thing in Virginia. We all know the DC part of Virginia is the D area and they try to narrow margins in the more conservative counties. No one screams about that. That’s how it’s done.

  94. 94
    rikyrah says:

    House Intel yet to be briefed on counterintel side of Trump probe
    Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, talks with Rachel Maddow about whether Congress or the public will learn about the results of the counterintelligence investigation into Donald Trump.

  95. 95
    Aleta says:

    Newbold expressed fear in coming forward, telling the panel, “I’m terrified of going back. I know that this will not be perceived in favor of my intentions, which is to bring back the integrity of the office.”
    She said she has already faced retaliation for declining to issue security clearances and challenging her superiors as they sought to implement clearance-process changes she disagreed with during the Trump administration.
    Newbold said she was suspended without pay for 14 days in late January despite “no prior formal disciplinary action” in her nearly two-decade tenure. And when she returned, she was removed from her position as a “second level adjudicator” on security clearances and is no longer a direct supervisor.
    In her interview with the committee, which was conducted over a weekend, Newbold told the panel that she began keeping a list of employees whose applications were denied but were later given clearances despite concerns about their ties to foreign influence, conflicts of interests, questionable or criminal conduct, financial problems or drug abuse.
    That tally now reaches 25, she said, “including two current senior White House officials, as well as contractors and individuals throughout different components of the Executive Office of the President,” the letter says.

  96. 96
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    BUT, if put more effort into the south and Texas will the rural areas be overwhelmingly white? Or is that different math? What if “rural” in some states doesn’t necessarily mean “white”?

  97. 97
    rikyrah says:

    NEW: Cummings says whistleblower has told panel WH has overturned denials for 25 officials, including two current WH officials, whose security clearances were denied over concerns about foreign influence, other matters. Cummings now plans to issue subpoena https://t.co/lXZztg9UYJ

    — Manu Raju (@mkraju) April 1, 2019

  98. 98
    oldgold says:

    @tobie:

    I attended the political forum mentioned in the Trailer column.

    Last night I gave my thumbnail impression of Warren and Klobuchar based on this forum.

    Yesterday I attended a forum featuring both Warren and Klobuchar. They were both impressive.

    Warren came across as whip smart and full of energy, but a bit distant in a professorial way.

    Klobuchar exuded a reassuring mixture of calmness and strength that was very well received by the crowd of approximately 800 midwesterners.

  99. 99
    ThresherK says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Bill Maher has always been a dick, but he’s become even more so since last time I saw his show

    This is a near-certainty akin to the Elvis Movie Regression Principle: As they advance, they never get any better.

  100. 100
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    We have a rural school district here (one county east of me) that became majority Latino in 2012. Ohio has a low Latino population as compared to other states, yet this district is now majority Latino. There are reasons for it, having to do with the work available and a decent school district with low housing costs. Also- people talk, right? “Come here- it’s a good place” White people were bitching that they “took over” the football team (which they did- because they are a majority of students). Rural, but not white.

  101. 101
    eclare says:

    @Kay: Whatever Doug Jones did in Alabama, do that. I say that as someone in a blue oasis surrounded by red in the south.

  102. 102
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    What if “rural” in some states doesn’t necessarily mean “white”?

    This is the story all over the rural South…..it’s rural BLACK….

  103. 103
    eclare says:

    @rikyrah: Yep, the Black Belt.

  104. 104
    Kay says:

    I feel like you guys are all missing the big threat in 2020. It’s…. Joe Biden!

    He could ruin this for us. I’m not kidding. I have SUCH a bad feeling about it. OMFG he could be a disaster.

  105. 105

    @rikyrah: Unless you are white and R you are invisible to the mainstream media.
    I live in a rural area, but most people here are liberal and mostly D. I have not a single story about western Mass in the national media. You know someone trying to figure out why an overwhelming rural and white demographic voted for HRC. This region was the home of many abolitionists in the 19th century, so its not a new phenomena.
    Oh and plenty of these folks are religious but not the cray cray evangelical variety, so again invisible to the likes of Vichy Times.

  106. 106
    Kay says:

    Realistically, how much can Biden glom onto Obama? Not that much, I think. I can’t even list the problems with his past actions and votes there are so many. The low info D-leaners here are going to vote for him. I know they are.

    The (IMO) gross pawing is just the tip of the iceburg. He may successfully portray that as excessive and intrusive and objectionable friendliness, but what about the 5000 other vulnerabilities?

  107. 107
    tobie says:

    @oldgold: Yes, I saw your comment and should have responded to say I was very happy to hear it. If we can keep the primaries positive, we will be all the better for it. Every candidate has specific areas of expertise and whoever wins the primary will have a comprehensive set of policies at their disposal on everything from education (Kamala Harris) to corporate responsibility (Elizabeth Warren) to infrastructure (Amy Klobuchar) to immigration (Beto O’Rourke), etc. You get the basic idea.

  108. 108

    @Kay: Not to be shallow but how much Botox has Joe injected in his face and his ultra white teeth are also distracting.

  109. 109
    tobie says:

    @rikyrah: I saw that story and this whistleblower’s White House boss is not just a crook but a real bastard. Apparently Ms. Newbold (the whistleblower) suffers from a rare dwarf disorder, so her Trump appointed boss Cal Kline would deliberately put files in high places out of her physical reach. Amongst all the other horrid things we associate with this administration, the acceptance of incredible rudeness should not be overlooked.

  110. 110

    @rikyrah: Rs like Cotton and Turtle have far higher standards for immigrants (seeking asylum, permanent residency, DACA etc) than they do for the President or the people working in the WH.

  111. 111
    Kay says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I agree. It worries me because does he not know how he looks? I mean, we all don’t to a certain extent but I think I would know my teeth were over-whitened. It’s delusional, like Trump’s hair. The botox just makes me sad. I liked that Clinton had an older face, you know, as she AGED.

  112. 112
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: Depends on where you are, at least in Florida. The rural part of South Florida is definitely diverse and the central part increasingly so, whereas the rural interior of the northern part of the state is still overwhelmingly white. I say it so much even I’m tired of hearing it — Florida is a microcosm of America! ;-)

  113. 113
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: I am fervently hoping this Flores controversy convinces Biden not to run. He really could be a disaster.

  114. 114
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @tobie: @Omnes Omnibus: going back to 1980, we’ve had six presidents. Two of them moved the country forward, four of them moved it backward, and three of those four dramatically backward. The two good ones were lawyers. I rest my case.

  115. 115
    J R in WV says:

    @tobie:

    … Interesting idea to make select counties in states like FL and CA the first in the nation primaries. Another plus to this is that the weather would be so much better in these places than in Iowa in November.

    Uh, primaries aren’t in November, that’s the general election. They also aren’t by county.

  116. 116
    tobie says:

    @Steve in the ATL: That’s been my experience, too. But when I see videos like this I’m reminded of how much retail politics and winning hearts and minds is necessary to get into the White House in the first place. This is Bill Clintonesque circa 1992 level of effective retail politicking.

  117. 117
    eclare says:

    @tobie: Agree with your point about retail politics and Beto. I hate to say it, we need someone with charisma.

  118. 118
    tobie says:

    @eclare: I feel the same way, and I’ve been trying to figure out for myself what it would take for a woman to be considered charismatic. The list of charismatic women I’ve come up with is: Michelle Obama, Stacey Abrams, AOC, Oprah (not a politician), and Sarah Palin (I hate her but evidently she had sway over people). Maybe I should look at tapes if Evita to see if there are any lessons there. My working hypothesis is that to have charisma, you have to be comfortable in your skin and that’s tough for women in a culture obsessed with looks and which aligns being smart with being nerdy.

  119. 119
    eclare says:

    @tobie: There are plenty of examples in entertainment, as you mentioned Oprah, and I would add Beyonce, Julia Roberts, etc. But no one has shown the way how to be charismatic and taken seriously and get elected (except AOC). And unfortunately, with the electoral system we have, just being smart, having good policies, having experience, being a decent person, does not guarantee election. No way in hell Angela Merkel gets elected here.

    Lack of charisma works against guys, too. Look at Gore and Kerry. Maybe it’s what you said, being comfortable in your own skin. W was that.

  120. 120
    StringOnAStick says:

    @tobie: This has scared me since 2016; I took that rejection of a fellow middle aged white woman as a direct hit to the heart. As someone who started out in a male-dominated career and eventually ended up in a completely different female-dominated one, I certainly carry scars about this. I was a magna cum laude graduate, very well received MS degree that a water court judge told me was pivotal to a group of water claim fights, always the favorite of the clients I worked for, but as soon as things got tight it was the female professionals who got laid off, every fucking time. I used to think maybe things had changed but with the election of Dolt 45, I don’t think so. If anything, it might be worse.

  121. 121
    eclare says:

    @tobie: Ann Richards had charisma. Maybe it’s a Texas swagger thing.

  122. 122
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    I’ve seen some pranks that were funny enough that I wouldn’t mind knowing someone might play them, though I’d always warn people that you should play pranks on the middlin’ popular (or more) folks, who won’t see it as SSDD-with-mocking-laughter. That’s two parts:
    1) don’t play pranks on the unpopular folks – they’re far more likely to take it personally, and
    2) don’t play pranks on people who will see it as SSDD-WML.

    Bad pranks? Emotional whiplash “my parents just died in a plane crash – APRIL FOOL!” is hideous.
    A good prank? Telling someone that you borrowed their car and “you might want to clean the steering wheel, I have a minor fungal infection in my hands” and then TP-ing their steering wheel, lightly enough that it’s pretty easy to remove, but heavy enough that there’s clearly something CRAZY different about the steering wheel that they might notice as they’re walking up. For bonus points, get one of those fuzzy steering wheel covers – especially in a really horrifying “that’s a FUNGUS?” color.

    A good prank? Telling someone, in all seriousness, that GOOD shoes kill the shoe leather virus. Yeah, it causes weeping sores when pressed against the skin. That’s why you sometimes get blisters from cheap shoes, especially if they’re not really good fitting shoes.

    A bad prank? As above, when you realize that someone wants to know how makers of expensive shoes kill the virus.

    (I’m sure it’s obvious to everyone, but, good shoes tend to fit much better than cheap ones. The first time I bought a pair of really good shoes, I was amazed to realize there was 0 chance of getting a blister – there was nothing pressing into my skin, which would cause a blister from pressure and friction – no virus required.) (Yes, I’m very sensitive to people getting mocked over a joke I told them. Maybe my deadpan delivery, coupled with enough brainpower that I just *might* know all about that, is a bad thing.)

    Anyway: pranks, teasing, etc., can all be good bonding, *if* it’s done with a light heart and friendly spirit. Key phrase is, “can be” – very, very different from “will” and extremely different from “should be”. I grew up as a bullying victim, and, when I realized that this really was true, I felt like someone who’d been sex shamed suddenly realizing that ain’t nobody’s business what I do to get off, so long as everyone involved is a consenting adult.

    Well – maybe not *quite* so many horny thoughts, but I hope you see what I mean. Yes, someone can mock you cruelly, to hurt your feelings. And someone can also tease you, to give you a good laugh, or a friendly desire to one-up them. It’s not right for everyone, but it opens up new experiences in human interaction (just like realizing you don’t have to do sex, precisely the way you were taught was the only moral way, opens up new ideas and experiences in human interaction). It can give an outlet to humor, and fun, so long as that’s what everyone wants out of it, and so long as people understand how that’s the goal – if it’s not fun for everyone, it’s no longer fun.

  123. 123
    tobie says:

    @StringOnAStick: What changed with Dolt 45 was that you didn’t have to hide toxic levels of racism, sexism, xenophobia, religious bigotry and sexual discrimination any longer. Hillary has long been America’s favorite punching bag, but I think any fierce middle-aged woman would have been treated the same way. I think he may have had a price to pay for bullying someone like Sally Yates or maybe Amy Klobuchar, because neither seems threatening but it’s hard to tell.

    @eclare: Ah, yes, Ann Richards! She had a deep voice as does her daughter, and i think that helps. But there is a Texas swagger thing. Molly Ivins had it too.

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