PSA: DeFOXifying Your Elders (Open Thread)

I’ve mentioned before that my grandma morphed from a sweet (if conservative) little old church lady into a frothing rage-bot due to toxic exposure to Fox News…and how we used subterfuge and deception to combat that malign influence. Below the fold, the cartoon version of the story! Open thread!






136 Replies to “PSA: DeFOXifying Your Elders (Open Thread)”

  1. My stepfather and I blocked Fox on all their TVs and put in a DNS “blackhole” entry on her computers for Fox and CNN. It hasn’t helped, actually.

    ETA: Mom claims to be reading Reuters these days but maybe it’s a special version for conservative psychos

  2. Well that would have worked with my Mom but she wasn’t a Fox Newsie.

    Are you considering doing this to Grandma Betty? I think you should.

  3. Definitely an improvement. Though the fix is temporary as Faux News is far from alone in its interest in capitalizing on negativity bias. Breaking the tv altogether would probably be the best solution.

  4. I’m lucky that my (late) dad was the Foxbot, but my mom was never quite as into it as he was. If we took away her access to “Alaska State Troopers” or “Border Wars,” then there might be blood.

    When she tried to relieve her anxiety while my brother was dying by watching Fox News, I was able to say, “I can’t handle watching anything depressing right now,” and get her to change the channel that way.

  5. @liberal: #1.
    Maybe Thomas voted with “the good guys” because he no longer has to tow Scalia’s line? That’s the only reason I can think of without much thought. Would be interesting to hear what folks like Toobin and Lithwicke think.

  6. Boy, I’m lucky. My mom is busy doing Democratic stuff, and my dad doesn’t help the party much (apart from voting) but does bitch about the Republicans all the time. (Decades ago he warned me that “A good Republican is a dead Republican.”)

  7. Too bad the provision in Ailes’ will that all his employees be interred with him was tossed out.

  8. @liberal: rikyrah (sp? sorry if wrong) commented in another thread that the evidence was so blatantly racist he had no wiggle room. also too, FF Nino still dead. possibly kinda of a ‘Gollum revived a bit once he lost the ring’ thing…

  9. “Penguins: Dapper little guys… or worldwide menace?”

    @germy: Fox News penguin event chain:

    Penguin
    Half black half white…LIKE OBAMA
    apply: one drop rule
    Penguin: black
    black = menace to society, probably trying to break in your house right now, steal your white people shit
    check Dick’s flyer, GUNS ON SALE!
    decision: do we have enough guns to stop the Negro Penguin Islamic Menace?
    NO
    get in car, flatten some stop signs and put a few dents in cars at gun store
    BLAME MEXICANS FOR DENTS
    drive home
    YELL AT HOMELESS GUY AT OFFRAMP, TELL HIM TRUMP’S GONNA MAKE HIS WORST NIGHTMARES COME TRUE, SOAP AND A JOB
    homeless guy freaks out, leaves county
    get home, unpack gun, load it, label “FOR NEGRO PENGUINS” and throw on gun pile
    set back in Medicare recliner, turn up volume, watch some Fox and relax

  10. And then they walk into, well any place of business with the TV on, and the illusion is ruined.

    Seriously, they play Fox News like everywhere.

  11. @kindness: We did it several years ago, and it was incredible — she was her old self in no time. Still conservative, but not angry all the time. We also blocked the huckster religion channels so she’d stop sending her Social Security money to those thieves.

  12. My parents, god bless them, have only gotten more liberal as they got older, and they were pretty liberal to begin with. My father predicted the current state of the GOP when his most hated political figure, Ronald Reagan, was elected. As a working man, he saw the parties in stark and simple ways: the GOP was for the rich man, the Democrats were for the workers.

  13. My 70 something mother in law started adding Fox into her TV regimen a few years back. All of a sudden the lifelong Democrat started saying things like “I don’t really like that Michelle Obama.” After hearing a few statements like that my wife told her she needed to stop watching Fox. My wife is convinced the bright graphics and sound effects that go with them create a hypnotic effect.

  14. @liberal: I only skimmed Thomas’ opinion here and in Easley v. Cromartie, but racial gerrymandering seems to be one of those issues where Thomas is opposed when the idiots doing the gerrymandering are obvious about their intent. He cites his dissenting opinion in Easley where the S.C. allowed political gerrymandering that was obviously racial to stand, and he does seem consistent in both cases.

    Unlike Scalia, who could twist logic to support whatever Republicans wanted in a case, Thomas has always had his own particular principles. They’re usually horrible principles, but he is consistent about them.

  15. @maurinsky: I’ve mentioned it here before, but my mom has been radicalized by Trump. She was always a moderate conservative (as in keeps her business to herself and stays out of yours) Democrat.
    But no longer. She’s now like that sea lion with the little girl the other day. Say something pro-Trump or pro any R and she will pop up and snatch yo ass.

  16. Betty, my s-i-l, also a Betty, was never a sweet woman. Instead a constant barrage of FOX just amplified all her negatives qualities. My spouse informed me that Betty once voted for George Wallace. This is a woman who once was a music teacher, later worked for a telephone company who tried to get rid of her because they wanted her to climb poles, close to her retirement age and the union saved her ass.! Guess what? She “hates” unions. The woman and her crazy pretzel logic just leaves me in abject anger and despair.

  17. Is our Democrats learning?

    NO! (Digby holds her nose and quotes Politico)

    Politico’s coverage this morning suggests Democrats are rolling out a retread of Rahm Emanuel’s 2006 strategy, even sending senior House Democrats to Chicago to seek Emanuel’s advice:

    “In 2006, there was a similar landscape, where Republican-controlled majorities in the House and Senate refused to do anything to hold George W. Bush accountable,” said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, one of the three Democrats planning the Chicago trip. “The 2006 blueprint will have to be updated and reloaded to reflect the environment of today, but there are some lessons that can be learned.”

  18. My ex has of late started spouting some racist stuff. (He’s apoplectic over removing the monuments in New Orleans). It’s disconcerting because even though his parents are Fox-bots of the highest order, he always got his news from NPR and he used to be at least reasonable and sort of middle-of-the-road regarding politics and religion. Since the divorce, he’s only surrounded by right-wing nuts (including The Whore, whose induced some kind of religious mania in him.). My youngest at dinner on Friday said, unbidden, “Dad’s really racist now” because he was apparently complaining about how Hamilton was terrible because all the white people’s parts were played by minorities. To which Nick told him, “Dad, that’s kind of the point.” I don’t really worry about the kids picking up anything from him and his family, because they are so disgusted with them, but it’s still shitty to have them exposed to this kind of stuff on a regular basis and not be able to do anything about it.

    I’m lucky because my 80-year-old mom is flaming liberal firebrand and always has been.

  19. @Kropadope:

    My Dad got his gym to stop playing it by saying that he was a heart attack patient (true, he was there for insurance paid for rehab) and that he couldn’t take Fox news.

  20. @liberal: Maybe he realized boning a horrible white lady still won’t make him white.

    I’m at the point – correction – been at the point where I don’t give a flying fuck about the deluded. It would be great if we can save them, but otherwise, fuck’em. Help people vote. Today. We have elections going on this year that need help. We don’t have next year. We have to do things today because Republicans are more than willing to do all the things they know aren’t popular, which means they expect to crack down on voting by POC, youths and women even harder. They’re being this open and this stupid because they fully intend to stack courts, county clerkships, flout the law and fuck the consequences because you will have no recourse at all and they can do it.

  21. Fox News Techniques for Handling a Trump Scandal

    Fox News has spent the week doing damage control for the Trump White House. Between Trump’s intelligence leak to the Russian ambassador and an alarming memo from former FBI director James Comey, Fox has been working overtime to downplay and distract from Trump’s mistakes. And the more Fox convinces Republican voters to shrug off major Trump scandals, the less likely it becomes that Congressional Republicans will feel the need to keep the president’s actions in check.

  22. Unsubterfuge, for trophy hunting:

    (British Columbia) Grizzly bears are ending their hibernation – and hunters have begun pursuing them.  Two local wilderness lodges are offering free stays in their luxury accommodation to any hunter willing to surrender their shooting pass.

    Hunting grizzlies is subject to major restrictions. Unless they’re indigenous peoples, BC residents need a Limited Entry Hunt (LEH) authorisation to hunt – and the BC government holds lotteries every spring and autumn to dole out the controversial permits. The current lottery, for the autumn hunt, ends on 26 May.

    Sheppe isn’t a trophy hunter. He does it for the exercise and the challenge, he says, eats everything he kills and has only rarely hunted bear because “I’m not very fond of the taste.” When he bagged a prestigious permit in 2015, he became one of the first hunters to swap his chance to kill a bear for a luxury hotel stay.

    Since 2015, Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort, in the Great Bear Rainforest – home to grizzlies, black and brown bears, as well as the rare white Kermode or spirit bear – has run the “Bullets for Binos” (binoculars) programme.

    “I knew something had to be done,” says Becky Murray, General Manager of Nimmo Bay. “There are so many good people working tirelessly to stop the trophy hunt and I thought that Nimmo Bay was in a great position to support these efforts.”

    In exchange for turning in their LEH licence and pledging never to trophy hunt grizzlies again, Nimmo will give hunters a three-night Wilderness and Wildlife Adventure Package for two. That’s three days of bear watching, whale watching, hiking, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding in the Broughton archipelago; and three nights in an intertidal chalet on a full board basis. The package is worth CAD $11,370 – just under £7,000. In contrast, the hunting permits cost $118.30, or £71.

    Tweedsmuir Park Lodge joined the programme in 2016. Hunter Jamie Scott was the first hunter who traded in his grizzly tag for a free stay last year, and ended up using the bear-viewing trip for his honeymoon. He worried about backlash from other hunters, and he says he received a mixed reaction. Some agreed that protecting bears was more important than killing them; others were angry at “wasting” a precious hunting tag.

    Over 90 per cent of BC residents oppose trophy hunting, according to a 2015 study. Coastal First Nations have banned the bear trophy hunt in their territories, and it’s a divisive issue in the upcoming regional elections. Not just for ethical reasons either – bear viewing generates “far more value to the economy” than killing them, according to a Stanford University study in conjunction with the Center for Responsible Travel.  As such, more and more organisations are turning to bear-viewing tourism. The Raincoast Conservation Foundation even invites tourists aboard their 21-metre sloop for bear-watching while they undertake research. 

    Some hunters have even turned in their licences without taking advantage of a free trip. “They simply believe in the cause and wanted to help,” says Brianna Sloan, Nimmo’s Guest and Travel Trade Relations Coordinator.

    Jamie Scott ended up seeing more than a dozen bears. “I don’t think I will ever be that close to grizzlies again, so the experience was surreal,” he says. His trip dispelled “the feared myth and reputation [grizzlies] usually carry” – in fact, having watched them up close, he he now sees the bears as “wild vulnerable animals.”

  23. @jacy:

    he was apparently complaining about how Hamilton was terrible because all the white people’s parts were played by minorities. To which Nick told him, “Dad, that’s kind of the point.”

    My musical theater teacher said that casting decisions should reflect your vision or a message you’re trying to get across.

    ETA: Also, when I first posted this, I forgot the link to the post I was responding to and to blockquote the quote. When I added the open blockquote, the edit box placed the close blockquote exactly where I needed it. Someone did something clever here.

  24. I hate defending Thomas, but he’s not a Scalia clone and didn’t always vote with Scalia. In his own really weird way, he’s actually more principled than Scalia.

  25. Funny, also very sad!

    Happened to my dad, who was a Rockefeller Republican who marched against segregation but turned into a hater in his old age. We agreed to not discuss politics which worked because we loved each other.

  26. Well, so far on this trip we are two for two with foreign leaders playing to Trump’s ego and proclaiming him the New Conqueror and Their Bestest Friend.
    Makes me a little interested to see how Il Papa handles Trump.

  27. I know this is a light-hearted thread, but the age-ism bothers me a little. Yeah, yeah, old people and remotes and their phone-only cell phones, but I hope when I am at goofy old gramps age I’m not utterly a technophobe.

    I’m getting a taste of this stuff already. My girl friend’s kids tut-tut over their ridiculous mom (who is not yet 50) and me. It’s good natured mostly, but also kind of annoying. We’re tech-savvy professionals, and they’re still frequently condescending about our knowledge of science, politics, history, tying our damn shoes, you name it. I guess maybe adult kids do this for developmental reasons. It’s a big, scary world, and maybe chuckling at their elders makes them feel more competent and ready to face life.

    Secondly, studies show that at his worst, Nixon’s base just wouldn’t abandon him. Cooper was right. Trump could take a dump on a newborn and his MAGA-capped fans would say the infant had it coming. I wish just frelling up a remote could change hearts and minds.

  28. @pamelabrown53:

    tow Scalia’s line?

    [pedant mode]

    toe the line, not tow the line

    The metaphor is the beginning of a footrace: the runners scrupulously avoid putting even one toe over the starting line, lest they be disqualified.
    [/pedant mode]

  29. @Kropadope:

    No, they don’t. Not if you tell them to get it the hell off of there or you will never patronize their place again.

    Worked for me. Both my tire place and where I get my car inspected were told in no uncertain terms that I’d never be back again if they didn’t get rid of the FOXNews bullshit. Haven’t seen any FOX there in a couple of years now. And I do it in bars and restaurants all the time. Thankfully, my dentist only has HGTV going in the examining rooms.

  30. @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    I’m getting a taste of this stuff already. My girl friend’s kids tut-tut over their ridiculous mom (who is not yet 50) and me. It’s good natured mostly, but also kind of annoying. We’re tech-savvy professionals, and they’re still frequently condescending about our knowledge of science, politics, history, tying our damn shoes, you name it. I guess maybe adult kids do this for developmental reasons. It’s a big, scary world, and maybe chuckling at their elders makes them feel more competent and ready to face life.

    Honestly, I’d tell them that’s unacceptable. You’re right that there’s an undercurrent of age-ism, but I encounter the same nonsense from my rightwing 16-28 year-olds I know through gaming. The abuse it does to the minds of elders is even worse. It’s real, but I don’t see it as fully about age and more about susceptibility. However from family to be condescending to parents about their knowledge, that’s pretty unacceptable.

  31. @rp:

    I hate defending Thomas, but he’s not a Scalia clone and didn’t always vote with Scalia. In his own really weird way, he’s actually more principled than Scalia.

    Hard not to be, isn’t it?

  32. @geg6:

    No, they don’t. Not if you tell them to get it the hell off of there or you will never patronize their place again.
    Worked for me.

    Wow, a rare example of self-importance being put to a good end. I wouldn’t have the stones to do that.

    Also, wouldn’t it be some variation on “give patronage to?” You should know that “patronizing” is a kind way of talking down to people, dear.

  33. @Shalimar:
    I think you’re being a tiny bit unfair to Scalia. He had his own pet issues where he would wind up siding with the liberal wing of the court. The big one I can think of is the 6th Amendment confrontation clause. He was a strong and consistent believer that defendants had a real right to confront witnesses and authored a number of opinions that defended and even expanded that right.

  34. @The Moar You Know:

    My stepfather and I blocked Fox on all their TVs and put in a DNS “blackhole” entry on her computers for Fox and CNN. It hasn’t helped, actually.

    Did you remember to block Blaze?

  35. History has been known to repeat itself.

    Founder William Fox ended up losing his company and his fortune and subsequently served prison time in a bribery, perjury and obstruction of justice case before dying in obscurity.

  36. @GregB: It would save time; Trump can just let Infowars tell the other “journalists” what he thinks.

  37. @ruemara:

    Thanks, Ruemara… yes, there are young people who have been indoctrinated or who simply are hard-wired to be right wingers. And older folks perhaps simply are more susceptible to Fox’s pernicious tactics.

    Like us,my girlfriend’s kids are progressive libs. Their mom teaches grad level psych classes and is an MFT focusing on the trans community. But the eye rolling we often get is annoying.

    Honestly, my late parents fell under the Fox spell. They bought Bill O’s craptacular books. They never lost their sanity utterly; by the end big W’s reign of error, they were very disgruntled. Still, that Fox was their news source was disturbing.

  38. @Kropadope:

    I don’t give a shit. I’m not spending my money in a place that makes me feel uncomfortable. You should speak up. No one has ever taken me doing so as being hostile. They want to keep good customers and I’m a good customer.

    If they don’t, I take my money elsewhere. I did it at one the local pubs. They not only showed FOXNews but didn’t intervene or stick up for me when I was being harassed by a Trumpster at the bar. So, even though I’d been going there since the place opened and used to go there for dinner and drinks at least once a week, I haven’t stepped foot in the place since. I’ve seen other patrons and some of the employees out and about and been asked why I haven’t been there and told them exactly why. Fuck that shit. We have to quit letting these morons bully us into silence.

    ETA: The employees are especially sad that I don’t come in anymore because, as they said to me, my John and I are the best tippers among the “regulars.” Told them to tell their boss that and why I’m not coming in anymore.

  39. @Spanky: Been a while since I’ve looked at any of the Chicago papers, but I was under the impression that Emanuel was in pretty deep shit over that police shooting on the South Side. Why the national Democrats would want to associate themselves with him is a mystery to me…

  40. @West of the Rockies (been a while)

    Recounting a gratifying moment.

    A man I knew at the time was a born and bred reddest of South Philly rednecks and a diehard Nixon supporter. We had more than a few, shall we say, animated political discussions.

    First time I saw him after the resignation, he approached and said, “I want to apologize. You were right. About everything.”

  41. @geg6: I’m at least partially weighing the economic impact of my two or three coffees per week vs. the daily old man coffee klatch and not judging my potential impact very highly.

  42. Did you remember to block Blaze?

    @TenguPhule: She doesn’t do that, she’s not on Failbook, and doesn’t get the chain emails. There’s probably no help at this point; first Obama (black and therefore totally unacceptable) and then the day Trump did his little Nuremburg rally and declared that all Mexicans were rapists and carried disease, you could have heard her yelling her assent a thousand miles away. She has always believed those two things specifically about Mexicans without ever having experienced either one – and I’ll note that our family has lived less than 30 miles from the border my entire life and most of hers, so there was no shortage of real-life Mexicans that she could have looked at to see that she was full of shit. Never happened once. I blame her upbringing in the South, personally. If you don’t get the kids out of Dixie by the time they start school it’s way too late.

  43. @slag:

    but I can appreciate the fact that she has at least a tiny smidgen of self-respect.

    (why I did this, I don’t know) I have just imagined 4 disgusting scenarios that he could have tried on her for this trip, maybe even minutes before going out to walk, which would have caused her to not even want to touch him. Not so much self-respect.

  44. @jacy: “(He’s apoplectic over removing the monuments in New Orleans)”

    I find this controversy to be particularly interesting and crazy. Do these defenders of Jeff Davis have a grasp of what a monument is? It’s not a chapter in a fucking history book, it’s a celebration of its subject. A statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest doesn’t say “Good general, total sociopath, though.” It just says “This guy’s character and accomplishments were so awesome we decided to cast him in marble forever.”

    Also, just because something was erected 140 years ago doesn’t mean we have to live with it forever.

    I’d like to inquire with your ex what he thinks is worth commemorating, at this point in time, about secession and treason in defense of chattel slavery. And also to point out to him that Confederate statues and monuments are, at the end of the day, the ultimate participation trophy. I mean, at the end of the day, what really defines John C. Calhoun more than “loser?” Why would we cherish that?

  45. I mean, at the end of the day, what really defines John C. Calhoun more than “loser?” Why would we cherish that?

    @MCA1: I always refer to Confederates as “the losers”. Sends their modern supporters into a rage. You do need to be careful with that. Stupid people are frequently violent.

  46. @SatanicPanic: It was Howard Dean’s strategy, not Emanuel’s. From what I remember, Emanuel thought the fifty-state strategy was a waste of time. But he was happy to take credit for winning back Congress in 2006.

  47. @MCA1:

    And also to point out to him that Confederate statues and monuments are, at the end of the day, the ultimate participation trophy. I mean, at the end of the day, what really defines John C. Calhoun more than “loser?” Why would we cherish that?

    That assums you believe the South lost the war. What if they continued it in the political sphere? Since they couldn’t win with weapons or culturally, they do things like hold the orderly functioning of the government hostage in hopes they can get their opposition to concede to stop helping the unworthy while propping up their own economies they refuse to modernize since the end of slavery. Even better, so dispiriting their opponents they manage to get a literal clown elected to office whose sole function is to distract from their agenda while signing their bills.

    They’re waging a cold civil war and, news flash, they’re winning.

  48. Judd Legum‏Verified account
    @JuddLegum

    Mississippi lawmaker says leaders who support removal of Confederate monuments “should be lynched”

    (he represents the town where Emmett Till was lynched)

  49. @Ridnik Chrome: People are going to run this cycle already though. I mean, I agree, there’s no reason to send people to Chicago to talk to Rahm Emmanuel, but I can’t get all that upset about it either.

  50. Margaret Sullivan of the Washington Post was in my area over the weekend to give a commencement address at a local college. She’s certainly more intelligent and more accomplished than I’ll ever be, but I couldn’t disagree with her more regarding national politics.

    In her interview with the local NPR station, she said that our nation is more divided than ever and this was reflected in the national political conventions that took place last year. People in our country refuse to listen to listen to others on the other side of the debate. Big Surprise.

    But Really. I don’t think you ever have found harmony at the political conventions. The parties are trying to sell their policies and agendas to get elected. I do believe one party had both BLM and police officers.

    I hate that line brought up again and again by the media that we can’t talk to each other. I talk to people almost every day of my life with different political views than I have, I know what their fears and concerns are, and I don’t yell at them.

    No talk of Fox news or Trump, no it’s all our fault because we won’t listen.

  51. @MCA1:

    He’s making the argument that The Civil War wasn’t “about slavery” at all, because of something-something-13th-amendment-Abraham-Lincoln-speech- argle-bargle. And that these monuments are historical remembrances of men who fought for their families, not for slavery, because now we know slavery is bad but back then we didn’t. Of course, he’s become delusional in other ways, so it’s not totally unexpected. But the other day, in response to the monument thing he asserted that the only people who it was okay to discriminate against were white European heritage conservative males. But with his bloom of midlife narcissistic crisis, everything is about him and his feels. For me, not being from the South, I never understood why you wanted to celebrate anybody who was both treasonous and a loser.

    I honestly feel like the removal of the monuments has been spurred by Donald Trump — the uncovering of all the latent racism that boiled beneath the surface has made it imperative to stand up and do something. Not just lip-service, but actually doing things that confronts it. It’s certainly been edifying to watch the controversy from pretty close up.

  52. My Mom is not a FOXbot, but she does watch CNN incessantly, and that’s making her a rage bot. The endless panels with Twitler apologists make her scream and rage at the TV. I’m spared the fear of her brain being rotted, but I’m afraid that CNN will give her a stroke or a heart attack. She has absolutely no tech skills, she has to call one of us to record shit, and she can’t figure out how to get to the playlist, but she
    s only 75 and would beat the crap out of me if I tried to DeCCNify her TV : (

  53. @Ridnik Chrome:
    Actually Rahm and the DCCC recruited a bunch of candidates in ’06 who went on to win and help flip the House. Dean talked about the 50 State strategy, but I’ve never seen evidence that he was active in actual candidate recruitment. I’ve never understood the love that progressives have for Dean, who is actually to the right of guys like Rahm on several issues. If Dems are talking to Rahm, I would assume they are picking his brain about things that were successful in 2006, and they’d be stupid not to talk to him.

  54. @Tazj: I do believe one party had both BLM and police officers.

    And the other party had a their nominee for POTUS give a speech that would have been right at home in Germany in the 1930’s.

  55. Bill O’Reilly has announced he will join fellow Fox News exile Glenn Beck for weekly appearances on Beck’s radio show on The Blaze.

  56. @West of the Rockies (been a while): My gran is in her 90s, so it would be unusual if she knew how to program a TV. That doesn’t make her stupid, IMO, and as noted, we did feel kinda bad about deceiving her. But what Fox News is doing isn’t honest or moral either, so we’re convinced it was the right thing to do, on balance.

    @geg6: I will also ask businesses to change the channel if Fox News is on with the sound up. I ask politely and have never been refused so far. (If the sound is off, I don’t give a shit.)

  57. @geg6: Good call. Any place that isn’t willing to change channels, or at least discuss the situation, is a crappy place; and any bar where the bartenders won’t step up to keep the peace is straight up bullshit.

  58. @Gus:

    My wife is convinced the bright graphics and sound effects that go with them create a hypnotic effect.

    I wonder if adjusting the brightness and color controls would have a calming affect, if your attempt at a total block fails.

  59. @Kropadope: I’m not sure what world you’re living in, but in this one, we elected a black guy President. If that’s ‘winning’ on the part of slaveholders, I want them to win all the way to self-extinction. They only seem loud now because they’re screaming all the way to irrelevance.

  60. @Betty Cracker:

    I just had to spend the morning in a medical facility, so I brought my noise-canceling Bose headphones. They had the local ABC station on with the sound really low, so all was good.

  61. @dogwood: Exactly. Rahm’s best attribute is being a very savvy campaign strategist and recruiter. I don’t think he’s a particularly good Mayor (I’m a Chicagoan) but he was very effective at the DCCC. I think it’s a good idea to get him involved – he’s got contacts all over and knows how to tailor a candidate and a strategy to a particular district.

  62. @dogwood:

    I’ve never understood the love that progressives have for Dean, who is actually to the right of guys like Rahm on several issues.

    Well, I would point out that the idea that there is a large, monolithic group of people whose only agenda is to make everything the leftiest left that ever lefted is self-evidently not true. See: elections. Dean hit a sweet spot in 04 by being the most prominent detractor or the War in Iraq. That’s why he’s remembered fondly. Also, WRT the 50 state strategy, his observation that Democrats ought not to cede the political fight in any corner of the country is appealing. Indeed, Dems gained all over the country in 06 and 08. there are dems everywhere. The specifics of who did what to achieve it may get lost in the shuffle of the public imagination. But the message is the part that sticks.

    If Dems are talking to Rahm, I would assume they are picking his brain about things that were successful in 2006, and they’d be stupid not to talk to him.

    The real question is “how many Democrats fit into Rahm Emmanuel’s shower?”

  63. @ruemara:
    I’m nearly 70 and work with “kids” in their 20s and 30s. And one asshole in his 50s. They don’t usually say anything to me because they know I’ll just give it back to them. I’ve worked in mostly male worker blue collar jobs my entire life and have heard this sort of crap for ever. I still hear bigoted jokes and innuendo but not nearly as often as 40-50 yrs ago. But then I worked in a much more racially mixed job than today. You’d still hear it, just not across the room. So I’m going to go with progress, however small.

  64. @NobodySpecial:

    I’m not sure what world you’re living in, but in this one, we elected a black guy President.

    Immediately followed by half of the voting population having a nervous breakdown. Now the neo-confederates hold legislative majorities and governorships across the nation, their death grip on those offices reinforced by gerrymandering. Meanwhile, that impressive, intelligent, compassionate black man is gone and we have a churlish toddler as President ruining as much of our political culture and international standing as he can, as fast as he can.

    Sorry, we need to get a grip on the scope of the problem if we plan on doing something about it.

  65. @The Moar You Know:

    She doesn’t do that, she’s not on Failbook, and doesn’t get the chain emails.

    Yahoo news picked them up, so if she browses there for news headlines, I guarantee she’s being bombarded by rightwing fuckery.

  66. @dogwood: Rahm wasn’t much of the reason we did well in ’06. He only recruited enough candidates to win the House by one seat, and if it had only been his candidates we wouldn’t have taken the House. What happened is that a big wave came in and carried another 15 or so candidates he hadn’t recruited into the House. They were rather an ideological hodge-podge, not his preferred Blue Dogs. He did start giving them financial support once they got close to winning on their own, but that just shows he’s OK with Democrats winning – any Democrat would have done that.

    I haven’t looked at things in detail, but I’d guesstimate Rahm was responsible for 5 seats at most with his recruitment. Most of them ended up big disappointments in Congress – like Larry Kissell.

  67. Will the Media Treat Ivanka Trump the Way They Treated Hillary Clinton?
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    May 22, 2017 2:20 PM

    During Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, this happened:

    Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will donate a combined $100 million to a World Bank fund for women entrepreneurs that was the brainchild of Ivanka Trump.

    The announcement by World Bank President Jim Young Kim came during a visit to Saudi Arabia by President Trump, who was accompanied by his wife, Melania, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

    But the big difference, at least so far, is one of transparency. Before being confirmed as Secretary of State, Clinton and the Obama transition team released a Memorandum of Understanding to which she would be held accountable on any questions related to the foundation. Throughout her tenure and then during the campaign, Clinton was scrutinized relentlessly. Particularly related to the latter, Paul Glastris summarized:

    Thanks to the publishing of these investigations—most of which took many months of dogged effort to produce—we now have a tremendous amount of granular information about the Clinton Foundation’s relationship with the State Department and with the federal government generally. In virtually every case we know of, it’s clear that Hillary and her staff behaved appropriately.

    What do we know about Ivanka Trump’s role in the Women Entrepreneurs Fund, how it will operate, or what safeguards have been put in place to ensure it won’t raise questions of quid pro quo? The truth is, we know almost nothing.

    Apparently the idea of the fund was Ivanka’s and she is the one who proposed it to World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. While the Wall Street Journal article on this story suggests that Ivanka does not control the fund and is not raising money for the it, I guess that we’re all supposed to simply accept the idea that it was merely a coincidence of timing that the contributions from Saudi Arabia and UAE were announced during Trump’s visit—and specifically during an event in Riyadh with Ivanka.

  68. @The Moar You Know:

    If you don’t get the kids out of Dixie by the time they start school it’s way too late.

    There is a lot of truth to this. But, and it’s a big, firm, round but, I’ve known a number of people who grew up in the south, still live there and are die hard liberals. We have several people that blog here regularly that also fit that description. There has to be more to it. And I find it hard to believe it’s basic upbringing because I’ve seen and heard people from both sides of the aisle whose kids or parents are the opposite. It’s been said that there is a physical difference in brain scans between liberals and conservatives and I’d bet there is some truth to that. Is it what makes us different? Don’t know that there is enough evidence but look around the world and tell me that most societies don’t fall into the same general sides as we do.

  69. @dogwood:

    the love that progressives have for Dean, who is actually to the right of guys like Rahm on several issues.

    A few examples?

  70. The interesting thing about this opinion, and what makes it such a huge deal, is that Kagan asserts that in cases where race and party significantly overlap, then it’s reasonable to assert that party is just a proxy for race (duh) and hold the legislature to account on that basis. This is a pretty big stake in the ground against the loss of preclearance. Effectively it suggests that when party is polarized along such racial grounds (see: The Confederacy) that nearly any form of party gerrymandering can be asserted to be racial gerrymandering and therefore illegal.

    I suspect that’s what got Thomas on board. Another way to look at this is can party identification be used as a mechanism to enforce racial party segregation by restricting voting power? While Jim Crow laws were structured differently, that was precisely their aim, as are these modern analogues.

  71. Rahm was good at raising money and recruiting candidates. Don’t forget Nancy Pelosi appointed him as head the DCCC. You can say the Dems had a good chance of retaking the House in 06 because of Bush but he did run the DCCC. I remember the stories of calling the prospective candidates and getting on their asses about raising money. If they couldn’t come up with X dollars he would drop DCCC support. Rahms an asshole but he’s our asshole.

  72. @Kropadope:
    Dean did hit a sweet spot by speaking against the war, but why people thought this made him some sort of lefty is absurd. He’s not. I knew plentry of moderates and even some republicans who were sour on the war. He wanted dems to go after those guys in pickups festooning confederate flags. Rahm’s a good candidate recruiter because his not an ideologue. He found people who could win in the targeted districts.

  73. Fortunately, most places I frequent don’t have Fox News on. One place I stop by often has CNN running. A local Chinese restaurant usually has local ABC on. Another local eatery often has a Spanish language station on, showing a soccer match.

    One coffee shop across the street from a community college has music, but no TV. The patrons, students and adults, often have their own entertainment going on laptops or phones.

    Family and friends are not Fox watchers.

  74. Mueller Will Get Up in Trump’s Businesses
    by Martin Longman
    May 22, 2017 1:10 PM

    Michael Flynn will reportedly plead the Fifth Amendment and refuse to cooperate with the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into cooperation between Russia and the Trump campaign. This is hardly a surprise. Flynn’s lawyers need to negotiate with prosecutors, not blowhard politicians.

    In other news, reporters Kevin Hall and Nicholas Nehamas of McClatchy have a piece today on the likelihood that the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller will look extensively at business activities and real estate holdings of The Trump Organization. As a casual observer, I think this is actually one of the president’s greatest vulnerabilities, and not necessarily because it will prove collusion or cooperation between his campaign and the Russian government.

    Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold recently won a Pulitzer Prize for his exhaustive exposure of Trump’s fraudulent philanthropic endeavors. Had Trump not become the president, he would have likely been in court quite often trying to defend his actions on that front. As it is, he had to pay a settlement on his fraudulent Trump University scheme. His business empire offers a rich menu for any prosecutor, and his best protection may be that Mueller is somewhat constricted in what he can pursue. Order No. 3915-2017 authorizes Mueller to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated” with the Trump campaign and “any matter that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.” That might prevent Mueller from going too far off the reservation, but it might not. If he discovers felonious behavior in the routine analysis of Trump’s business operation, that would arguably still be a matter that arose directly from the investigation.

    As for Trump’s more straightforward yet less certain vulnerabilities, the article lists some obvious inquiries:

    …………………………..

    Over the weekend, I wrote about the news that Michael Caputo has been called to testify before the House Intelligence Committee. He’s an interesting character and you should keep your eye on this less celebrated part of the puzzle.

    Also, for those of you who can’t enough of this stuff, Lawyers for Good Government has put together a 33-year-long timeline of Trump’s connections to Russia. You’ll have time to peruse it because James Comey isn’t testifying until after Memorial Day.

  75. @Ruckus:

    But, and it’s a big, firm, round but, I’ve known a number of people who grew up in the south, still live there and are die hard liberals.

    Oh, no question. But we deny statistics at our peril. While I’m sure there are no shortage of people in the south with a strong enough moral compass and independent streak to keep a reasonable liberal party going, the number of people that lack that independent streak is vastly larger. The way religions cluster around the world is a clear example of that. There are Jews in Alabama but the odds are pretty fucking high that a kid being raised there is going to be indoctrinated as a Baptist.

    We all want to believe we have free will, but we don’t anywhere near to the degree we believe. And virtually nobody is exempt from that. Those that are tend to be viewed as freaks or mentally ill or dangers to society.

  76. @Kropadope:

    Sorry, we need to get a grip on the scope of the problem if we plan on doing something about it.

    Sure, but we shouldn’t exaggerate the scope of the problem, either. The neo-Confederates still have a lot of power, and they’re fighting hard to keep hold of it; we shouldn’t assume that they’re going to give up. But at the same time, a lot of what they’re doing betrays worries about their long-term staying power. They’re winning through every dirty trick in the book- gerrymandering, voter suppression, cutting deals with Russia, etc.- but that’s the kind of thing you do when you can’t win consistently on your merits.

    Honestly, the current situation reminds me a lot of the period leading up to the American Civil War. The South was losing demographically, but they were able to keep control of the government by getting cooperation from some Northerners and by manipulating the admission of new states to guarantee they didn’t lose control of the Senate. Finally, they had control of the Supreme Court and were trying to use that to lock in permanent victories. None of that was a sign of strength; it was a sign that they knew they were on the cusp of a big loss and were trying to lock in as many wins as they could while they still had control. It’s not at all reassuring given what happened when it became clear that they couldn’t maintain permanent control of the federal government.

  77. @dogwood: It’s not so much that I love Dean as I can’t stand Emanuel. His political motto is “leave no hippie unpunched”. Also, as mayor of Chicago he’s been arguably to the right of Richie Daley…

  78. @rp: Just so. I find almost all of Thomas’s views reprehensible, I don’t think he’s a very good person and I honestly think he may just be a little bit crazy, but he’s far more principled than Scalia was—which isn’t necessarily setting the bar all that high, given how often Scalia seemed to work backwards from whatever conclusion he was determined to reach.

  79. @MCA1:
    They see these statues and monuments exactly as you think they do, in admiration. Look at it from their side. They think that they are right, that racism and slavery is justified. More than that they see it as normal and proper. You are telling them that their entire life’s ideals is wrong. And it is of course but they will fight that, just like was done 150 yrs ago. And of course not everyone in the south agrees with that version of life but it will get pushback from those that do.

  80. @dogwood:

    He wanted dems to go after those guys in pickups festooning confederate flags.

    Well, Obama did say it better.

    Rahm’s a good candidate recruiter because his not an ideologue. He found people who could win in the targeted districts.

    You mean like candidates who could, despite being Democrats, potentially appeal in some way to guys in pickup trucks festooning confederate flags?

  81. @Roger Moore:

    Sure, but we shouldn’t exaggerate the scope of the problem, either. The neo-Confederates still have a lot of power, and they’re fighting hard to keep hold of it; we shouldn’t assume that they’re going to give up. But at the same time, a lot of what they’re doing betrays worries about their long-term staying power.

    So, in addition to their despicable, so far successful, attempts at maintaining power, should we also worry about a violent lashing out when it finally fails? A nuclear Fort Sumter?

  82. @Corner Stone:
    The other day I told a story about the final hours of the negotiations around the ACA. You asked me to provide a source. I did and you didn’t respond. So I’m not going to bother this time. Just check out Dean’s record as governor of Vermont.

  83. @maurinsky: many of us saw which way the wind was blowing when Reagan was in the WH. It’s all come true, all of it. The anti-choice movement has shown its true colors as the Anti-Sex League. The Right viewing “1984” and then “The Handmaid’s Tale” as utopias to emulate instead of as dystopias to avoid at all costs. The devolution of conservatism into lizard brain appeals to fear and hatred, as well as being little more than in favor of whatever appalls and annoys liberals, updated daily.

    Like quite a few families, mine has been harmed by Roger Ailes’ agitprop factory. I’m currently in a frosty stage of relationship with my parents due in large part to their minds being poisoned by Fox News Channel bile. Apparently I am guilty of being a “political extremist”. My beef with them has nothing whatsoever to do with their ignorant, knuckle-dragging politics (that I refuse to discuss with them, see below) and everything to do with being treated like a five-year-old child who has been an eternal disappointment and proven himself to be utterly untrustworthy (both assertions appallingly contrary to all objective facts) and who must be monitored, controlled, and corrected at all times; using public humiliation if necessary.

    My stepfather is offended that I refuse to discuss politics with him. I absolutely refuse to discuss politics with him because a) we’re never going to agree, so what’s the point; b) he has proven repeatedly that he takes very poorly to having been proven wrong, acting very much like the petulant child-man in the WH for whom he voted, and; c) his method of debating is chock-full of bad faith and deep ignorance. Which puts me between a rock and a hard place because we will inevitably end up at a point where I have to refrain from saying or indicating with body language that what he’s arguing is fucking idiotic. And if I was to be blunt about his being idiotic, he’d be angry and retaliate against me in one of several ways that would make me rue us ever having the discussion.

    Here’s an example of an actual discussion related to politics that we’ve had:

    SF: so how do you know something someone sends in a mass-forwarded email isn’t true?
    Me: they usually are not. They are a notorious source of lies and disinformation.
    SF: how do you know that?
    Me: Well, when I really want to know, I go to certain fact checking sites like Snopes or Politifact.
    SF: how do you know what they say is true?
    Me: well, they provide the sources for their research and you can go check them out if you have doubts.
    SF: how do you know what those sources say is true?
    Me: Well, they rely on reputable sources like the NY Times and Washington Post and transcripts and so on.
    SF: how do you know what those sources says are true? I mean, if Fox News says one thing and NY Times says something different, why would you believe one over the other? I like Fox News, you like NY Times, why is your source better than mine?
    Me: [thinking] OH MY FUCKING GOD YOU ARE A FUCKING MORON THE STUPID IT BURRRRRRNNNNNNS AND NOW I HAVE TO RESIGN THIS CONVERSATION OR I WILL SAY SOMETHING THAT WILL PISS HIM OFF AND THEN HE WILL RETALIATE AGAINST ME
    Me: [talking] Gee, I don’t know. What’s on TV?
    Me: [seething inside and swearing to never, ever engage in a discussion about politics or current events ever again with him because it’s a motherfucking trap]

  84. @dogwood:

    Well yes. But Dean’s a lefty hero. Why is that?

    I dunno, maybe you need to recalibrate your perceptions on what constitutes “lefties,” what such people want, and particularly the tendency of such people toward purity-ponyism.

  85. @🌷 Martin:
    Don’t disagree at all, just need to point out that no place is monolithic in it’s political views. You and I live in CA and it is very liberal. But I know dumpf voters and die hard conservatives who live here and there are some real asshole conservative reps in CA districts. NYC is very liberal but go upstate and see how different it is. It works both ways.

  86. @maurinsky: That was my father’s advice to us on political matters. “Always remember, no matter what they say, no Republican is any friend to the working man.”

  87. @dogwood: You mean where you were fluffing Rahm and relating a story that read like his PR person had written it? Maybe I got tired of waiting.
    Dean is no lefty hero and I’m not sure who keeps claiming him to be one. He certainly should get way more of the credit for the so called 50 state strategy than Rahm.
    I have seen Rahm operate. Saying Dean is far to the right of Rahm on several issues is borderline slanderous in this case, or libel or whatever. It’s bullshit.

  88. @SatanicPanic:

    @Spanky: I don’t get it, that strategy worked.

    Let me explain it for you:

    Rahm is a lifelong Democrat who worked for Obama AND Clinton. There like, nothing less-wilmer than that. anything non-wilmer is ipso facto bad. Therefore, it’s terrible to talk to Rahm. the end.

    Also, Howard Dean signed 50 checks one year, and that made everything awesome until Obama wrecked it.

  89. @Ruckus: Yes and no. I think it matters how a person gets to a given state. While culture is definitely a factor, liberals typically don’t have institutions that demand strict adherence as a vehicle to drive these views. There’s no liberal analogue to the Catholic or Baptist church. There’s no liberal analogue to Fox News. Liberals don’t have strong institutions like that – at least not that cut across the party to any real degree – just little pockets here and there.

    So while I agree that it can certainly work both ways, in practice it’s much stronger on the right for these reasons. Look at how quickly the right flipped on the issue of abortion in the 70s. This is what the Baptist Church said after Roe v Wade passed:

    Religious bodies and religious persons can continue to teach their own particular views to their constituents with all the vigor they desire. People whose conscience forbids abortion are not compelled by law to have abortions. They are free to practice their religion according to the tenets of their personal or corporate faith.

    The reverse is also now true since the Supreme Court decision. Those whose conscience or religious convictions are not violated by abortion may not now be forbidden by a religious law to obtain an abortion if they so choose.

    They became the strongest opponent to RvW just 6 years later. That was a political not a moral calculation. It was made when the Baptists decided that fighting for segregated schools was a lost cause, and took this up in its place. I can’t think of a single issue that liberals have made such a rapid and indefensible reversal on. Everything the Baptists claim is in the Bible to oppose abortion was there in 1973 when they supported it. It’s not like they just noticed it.

    So, yeah, I just accused you of both-siding culture. :P

  90. @pamelabrown53:

    Thanks for taking it in good grace.

    Pedants are annoying. I am one, and they still annoy me.
    But I hate to see a good metaphor muddied.

    Same thing with “hone in” (a solecism) vs. “home in” (the correct original, metaphor homing pigeons)

  91. Worth noting that Alito’s opinion is headlined “Concurring in the judgment in part and dissenting in part,” and dissents only as to district 12 (the snake that runs along I-85 from Greensboro to the South Carolina line, with a little spur to bring in Winston-Salem). The court was unanimous in its holding that District 1 was bogus.

  92. @joel hanes: My most current pedantic peeves:

    Rein in and give free rein to (NOT reign) – as in controlling a horse.

    It’s = it is or it has; its = belonging to it

  93. Online pedantry would be a fascinating subject for a massive, global psychological study.

  94. @🌷 Martin:
    Hey! I never said there was equality or that both sides are the same. I said humans are not monolithic. And that’s as far as I went. Don’t put meanings in there I didn’t say or mean.
    That said yes I can see what you mean from what I wrote. If you wanted to take that meaning from that. But think about this, as liberals we aren’t even monolithic. We hold different shades of various ideas. I have a friend who calls himself a racist but votes dem every time. Voted for President Obama twice, voted for Hillary. He realizes his shortcomings (and that they are shortcomings) and doesn’t try to get everyone else to go along. How many conservatives do that? How many voted for dumpf just because of the R behind his name?

  95. @jacy: Man, I’d love to sit and chat with him. I’d really like to hear him articulate what about taking down a monument is “discriminating” against white guys.

    Are we taking down the Lincoln Memorial, too? Or the Washington Monument? Actually, I’d bet that’s probably what a lot of these guys are afraid of. That it’s a slippery slope and eventually the PC Police will decide that since Washington’s wife owned some slaves so he was partly responsible for the 3/5ths compromise and his name should be eternally shamed, too. That’s horseshit, of course. Washington wasn’t defined by slavery and institutional racism, though his wealth was due to it. The reason he’s celebrated is about 70% leading the revolutionary army to victory (in a war NOT about perpetuating slavery), 25% not insisting on a third term of office as President, and 5% other stuff. Robert E. Lee, on the other hand, is defined primarily by committing sedition and causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of young men in the name of defending slavery, so any monument to him is ascribing virtue to those things. Whatever good qualities he had as a battlefield genius are heavily outweighed by that basic point (as well as undercut by Gettysburg and the trouble the Union had in fielding anyone above mediocre until Grant finally took over).

    Commemorating the war dead and the pain and sacrifices of their families is what we have cemeteries and Memorial Day for. I’d like one of these defenders of confederate statues to explain to me in what way not having those statues prohibits them from remembering their dead ancestors. It’s the same questions posed to stars and bars devotees moaning about “heritage.” Which heritage and culture, exactly, are you celebrating? And why does not being an asshole and flying a flag that 80% of the population sees as endorsing institutional racism prevent you from celebrating that heritage?

    Same for the bleating about taking Andrew Jackson off the currency. So what? Just because we once put him on money doesn’t mean we can’t as a society change our mind. We’re not expunging him from history books. We’ve just decided not to celebrate him anymore, ’cause we decided he was an asshole.

  96. @Ruckus: Eh. I don’t think it’s that so much. There are some of those people around, but I think the animating psychological force here for the majority of those opposed to monument removal is expressed more like: “Stop making me feel bad about/have to confront our history, Colin Kaepernick. I wasn’t a slaveholder; I know slavery and racism are wrong, but I don’t want to think any further than that and potentially have to acknowledge that I benefited from it and continue to benefit from its legacy. I voted for Obama the first time before he started shoving guilt down my throat for being a white guy and trashing the police. Why is Black Lives Matter so shrill and up in my face? I didn’t decide, after years of thinking about it and hearing discussion on the matter, that Jefferson Davis monuments are a bad thing, because I was too busy watching the NFL draft and telling you not to bring politics into my entertainment because I just want to relax and not have to think about that stuff. Ergo, we as a society haven’t discussed this and the pace of change is too much for my delicate sensibilities informed by having lived my whole life as a charmed white male in America.”

    That’s a toxic mindset that’s at the heart of a lot of our current revanchist zeitgeist, but it’s not really the same as “These guys are heroes to me because they unabashedly defended an institution which I think was totally awesome and should be restored.”

  97. @MCA1:
    I’m sure you could be right for some or even a great percentage of conservatives. But I lived in Charleston, SC for 2 yrs and traveled a lot in the south for 11 of the last 25 yrs. Yes I have liberal friends in the south and we have liberals from the south on this blog, three of our front pagers in fact. But there are also a lot of people who are racist and celebrate the south and the confederacy and all it stands for. And as I’ve said I know people like this in that liberal paradise, CA, in a county in CA that votes 80% D and people there celebrate the confederacy.

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