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Did I mention that he was a cretin?

Did I mention that he was a cretin?

by digby

Yet another weirdly sexualized photo of Dad and daughter

Here's one I haven't heard before:

Watching TV commentators applaud him for containing himself for a little over an hour was like hearing a parent praise a difficult child for not pooping in his pants during a pre-school interview. Besides, vintage Trump is not going anywhere anytime soon. A couple of weeks earlier, during a visit by the Japanese prime minister, Shinzō Abe, the president told an acquaintance that he was obsessed with the translator’s breasts—although he expressed this in his own, fragrant fashion.

He is so screwed up in so many ways ...

That's from a very tart column by Graydon Carter at Vanity Fair.


To the victor belongs the spoils system

To the victor belongs the spoils system

by digby

And if they have to purge the executive branch of all but the most loyal Republicans, even civil servants, so be it.And if they spread their names all over the wingnut media and get the gun toting nutballs all riled up, that's just the way the game is played now:

Conservative news outlets, including one with links to a top White House official, are singling out individual career government employees for criticism, suggesting in articles that certain staffers will not be sufficiently loyal to President Donald Trump by virtue of their work under former President Barack Obama.

The articles — which have appeared in Breitbart News, the Conservative Review, and other outlets — have alarmed veteran officials in both parties as well as current executive branch staffers. They say the stories are adding to tensions between career staffers and political appointees as they begin to implement Trump's agenda, and they worry that the stories could inspire Trump to try purging federal agencies of perceived enemies.

The claims posted on the conservative sites include allegations of anti-Israel and pro-Iran bias against staffers at institutions such as the State Department and the National Security Council. Breitbart News, whose former executive chairman Steve Bannon is now Trump’s chief strategist, has even published lists of workers that the president should fire.

Washington veterans say they can't recall similar targeting of government employees, who are required to stay apolitical and generally shun the spotlight.

"It’s deeply unfair to single people out and question their loyalty,” said William Burns, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former longtime diplomat, “It’s demoralizing for institutions. It’s demoralizing for professionals, and it’s offensive.”

Elliott Abrams, a veteran of the George W. Bush administration who was passed over last month for the role of deputy secretary of state because of his past criticism of Trump, agreed with Burns. Career staffers, he said "are trying to do their jobs and will respond to presidential leadership — including from a new president when an administration changes.”

U.S. civil and foreign service officers have long been seen by Republicans and Democrats as the backbone of government — subject matter experts who help political appointees administer their policy agenda regardless of who serves as commander-in-chief. But many in the Trump administration and its allies on the right are skeptical of career staffers, believing they are part of an American “deep state” that is working in secret to undermine the president.

Several people who have been targeted did not respond to requests for comment. But one said the information being spread was unnerving, in part because even if Trump's top aides don't always believe the reports they read in the conservative press, they may still feel pressure to act from voters in the Republican base who do believe the accounts.

“I, of course, worry about the fact that there are people inside the administration and outside it who may believe what they read in these things, who don’t necessarily appreciate what it means to be a career staffer,” said the employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity for job protection reasons. “Most people don’t understand that that does not come with politics attached.”

There's more. And it's creepy. But Trump did say that he believed the victor was entitled to the spoils and on of the big spoils is the ability to give out patronage jobs to your lackeys.I have to believe that's a big part of this.

All rise for the ice road trucker chucker

All rise for the ice road trucker chucker

by Dennis Hartley

As the confirmation hearings continue for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, we’re getting wind of some interesting rulings he has made through the course of his judicial career. “Interesting” in the sense of giving us a glimpse of his character.

So far, it’s pointing south of “empathetic”. From Democracy Now:

One of the most riveting moments in the Gorsuch hearing occurred when Minnesota Senator Al Franken questioned Gorsuch about his ruling in a case involving a truck driver who got fired after he disobeyed a supervisor and abandoned his trailer that he was driving, because he was on the verge of freezing to death. The truck driver couldn’t drive off with the trailer, because the trailer’s brakes had frozen. In the case, Judge Gorsuch cast the sole dissent ruling in favor of the trucking company against the trucker.


SEN. AL FRANKEN: There were two safety issues here: one, the possibility of freezing to death, or driving with that rig in a very, very—a very dangerous way. Which would you have chosen? Which would you have done, Judge?

JUDGE NEIL GORSUCH: Oh, Senator, I don’t know what I would have done if I were in his shoes, and I don’t blame him at all, for a moment, for doing what he did do.

SEN. AL FRANKEN: But—but—but—

JUDGE NEIL GORSUCH: I empathize with him entirely.

SEN. AL FRANKEN: OK, just you’ve—we’ve been talking about this case. Don’t—you don’t—you haven’t decided what you would have done? You haven’t thought about, for a second, what you would have done in his case?

JUDGE NEIL GORSUCH: Oh, Senator, I thought a lot about this case, because I—

SEN. AL FRANKEN: And what would you have done?

JUDGE NEIL GORSUCH: I totally empathize and understand—

SEN. AL FRANKEN: I’m asking you a question. Please answer questions.

JUDGE NEIL GORSUCH: Senator, I don’t know. I wasn’t in the man’s shoes. But I understand why he did—

SEN. AL FRANKEN: You don’t know what you would have done.


SEN. AL FRANKEN: OK, I’ll tell you what I would have done. I would have done exactly what he did.

JUDGE NEIL GORSUCH: Yeah, I understand that.

SEN. AL FRANKEN: I think everybody here would have done exactly what he did. … It is absurd to say this company is in its rights to fire him because he made the choice of possibly dying from freezing to death or causing other people to die possibly by driving an unsafe vehicle. That’s absurd. Now, I had a career in identifying absurdity, and I know it when I see it. And it makes me—you know, it makes me question your judgment.

He seems nice. While that case is getting a lot of press, it’s only part of a larger pattern that emerges when you study his past. Corporate America will have a real SCOTUS bud in Neil Gorsuch; because they can rest assured they won’t lose any more of those $400 handcarts:

--- Dennis Hartley

High Nunes

Do not forsake me, oh my Chairman
On this my Screw Obama Day
Do not forsake me, oh my Chairman
Wait, wait along

I do not know what fate awaits me
So on Twitter I rant and rave
Because the whole damn world hates me
For I'm a coward, a lying coward,
Whose crimes are impeachable and grave...

Today, Trump's pet Intelligence committee chair managed to obliterate what little personal credibility he had left and nuke the credibility of the committee itself by scurrying down to the White House to try to give Donny Bunko some cover and warn his criminal cabal to pipe down and lawyer up.

The entire GOP is long-dead and rotten right down to the floorboards.

QOTD:  Trumpers

QOTD:  Trumpers

by digby

When asked if he felt vindicated after the Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes rushed up to the White House to share a leak with him (and the media) which says that some Trump transition officials were incidentally surveilled and "unmasked" by intelligence agencies:

"I somewhat do. I must tell you I somewhat do. I very much appreciated the fact that they found what they found, I somewhat do."

He feels "somewhat" vindicated that Devin Nunes broke every protocol to hold a news conference designed to give the president cover for his manic 4 AM tweet two weeks ago.

Unfortunately for him, Nunes is a moron and has opened a Pandora's Box by saying that the intercepts had nothing to do with Russia and implying that there are other FISA warrants out there that picked up conversations with Trump officials. If he hadn't said that one might have assumed that these were the kind of incidental routine intercepts of conversations with foreigners that don't require a FISA warrant. He seems confused.

One thing is now crystal clear. Nunes cannot run the House intelligence committee investigation. As a member of Trump's transition team he should have recused himself from the beginning. Now he's so obviously tainted that he made the best cast yet for an Independent commission and/or a special prosecutor. He should not be given any more access to intelligence reports. After spending the whole day on Monday ragging on leaks to James Comey he just went out and held a press conference hurling charges based upon a ... leak.

These people ...


They wanted a mad dog and all they got was a general

They wanted a mad dog and all they got was a general

by digby

I guess Mattis is now considered one of those non-loyal "burrowers" the wingnut fringe is demanding be purged:

Defense Secretary James Mattis’ unconventional choices for top Pentagon posts and his reluctance to aggressively push for dramatic increases in the defense budget have rankled Republicans on Capitol Hill who say he’s burning through political capital he needs as he begins reshaping the Pentagon.
Mattis was widely embraced on both sides of the aisle when President Donald Trump nominated him. Republicans and Democrats alike expressed hope that the retired four-star general would be a moderating force on the volatile commander in chief.

But Republican lawmakers and senior congressional aides said in recent interviews they’re running out of patience with Mattis' staffing decisions, which have disappointed Republican members of the Senate Armed Services Committee hoping to see their ideological allies elevated to senior levels in the Defense Department. Others are grumbling about Mattis’ refusal to advocate a bigger increase in the defense budget, which defense hawks believe was gutted disastrously under President Barack Obama.
“He certainly has got a tough job, but it sometimes feels like he forgets that we won the election,” said one aide to a GOP senator on the Armed Services Committee, who declined to speak on the record for fear of publicly alienating the defense secretary. 

“We’ve waited eight years for this, to be able to fill these posts with Republicans,” said another top GOP Hill staffer. “We know Trump isn’t part of the establishment and that it’s going to be a bit different, but it should go without saying that a Republican administration is expected to staff federal agencies with Republicans.”

When a Democrat is president these same wingnuts demand that the Secretary of Defense himself must be a Republican. And the FBI Director and any number of other slots. And the Democrats acquiesce every time. When the shoe is on the other foot, the GOP demands a full purge and replacement with ideological zealots.

I wonder how long Mattis is going to last. He seems to be on a collision course with Bannon and the far-right. I guess it's up to Trump. Oh God.


If the great dealmaker can’t even get the House Republicans to agree ...

If the great dealmaker can't even get the House Republicans to agree ...

by digby

I wrote about the "great negotiator's" weak skills along with other health care observations for Salon this morning:

Throughout Barack Obama’s administration, the Republicans in Congress griped that the president wasn’t sufficiently respectful of their beliefs or willing to conduct the necessary bipartisan “outreach.” President Obama did, of course, go out of his way to try to gain the support of Republicans, spending years attempting to put into effect his “grand bargain,” which was designed to settle a number of big-ticket items on both sides of the aisle. To no avail.

His famous debut speech to the 2004 Democratic convention was all about blue-state and red-state America being one. When Obama decided to run for president in 2007, he said this:
I have always had extraordinarily good relations with very conservative colleagues. And that’s not because I agree with any of them or fudge on my positions, but people feel I listen to them and give them the benefit of the doubt. I assume the best of people.
Obama was going to “fix Washington.” When the Republicans laughed in his face and adopted a policy of total obstruction, he was deemed a failure for being unable to fulfill his promise.

Donald Trump is in no danger of that particular failure. He made a few vague references to bringing people together, but it always sounded like he left off the “or else” at the end of the sentence. Certainly nobody expected that after eight years of GOP obstruction and the most disgusting campaign in history, Democrats were going to meet this president halfway. So far, they have not.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has announced that he’s going to hold the vote on his Trumpcare bill on Thursday and the GOP is completely on their own. After the devastating Congressional Budget Office report knocked members of the House leadership back on their heels with terrible headlines all over the country (followed closely by more terrible headlines about Trump’s budget), Ryan and company threw on some patches that they hoped would appease enough nervous members to pass the bill and throw this toxic hot potato to the Senate.

House leaders have thrown some money at constituents ages 50 to 64 (whose insurance would become unaffordable under Trumpcare), but most analysts say this measure would barely make a dent in the problem. Ryan has attempted to further appease the bloodthirsty Freedom Caucus, which is demanding that Medicaid be destroyed as quickly as possible. Until that happens, Republicans appear to have agreed that sick, poor people must be required to have a job before they can see a doctor.

There’s no word yet on whether this proposal would include the millions of elderly who depend upon Medicaid to pay their nursing home costs, which is the largest single outlay in the Medicaid budget. Perhaps Trump’s promised jobs initiative includes work that can be done from wheelchairs and hospital beds.

Whip counts early in the week were not promising. The Freedom Caucus is so rigidly committed to full repeal its members say they won’t be satisfied with anything less than throwing out every person using Obamacare and Medicaid on their own immediately. More moderate members concerned with keeping their seats in districts where Democrat Hillary Clinton won or came close are terrified that this draconian bill spells doom for their careers. Tellingly, very few have indicated that their main concern is the tens of millions of people who will suffer if this bill passes.

Having seen the Breitbart headlines, Ryan understands that Trump might prefer the bill to fail so he could keep ragging on Obama for a few more years. Ryan also perceives that conservative knives are out for him once again, ready to hold him responsible for any failure to repeal the hated program. So the speaker has made the shrewd move of flattering the president like a well trained manservant, calling Trump “the ultimate closer” and tying him to the success of the vote as tightly as possible.

On Tuesday Ryan even persuaded the president to make a rare trek to Capitol Hill to make a patented Trump sales pitch to an excited GOP caucus. According to The Washington Post, Trump didn’t even try to make a case for the bill on the merits, likely because he has no idea what they are. Instead, he issued a veiled threat to “go after” those who failed to vote for the bill and complained that “we won’t have these crowds if we don’t get this done.” The president added, “I honestly think many of you will lose your seats in 2018 if you don’t get this done.”

Trump doesn’t seem to understand that the “yuge” crowds these legislators are getting aren’t cheering ecstatically. They’re protesting:

"Do your job!" the crowd chanted at Rep. Tom Reed this morning after a question about seeking Trump's tax returns

The general consensus is that despite his insistence that the meeting was “terrific” and “tremendous” the greatest salesman in the world didn’t make the sale. As of Tuesday night, most whip counts still had the bill falling short.

It’s interesting to see how much this process mirrors the Democratic Sturm und Drang over the Affordable Care Act back in 2009. The Democrats did take their time to write the bill carefully, which hasn’t happened this time around. They held extensive hearings and listened to expert analyses. But the politics were very fraught, with progressives fighting for more ambitious coverage and conservative Democrats worried about the same folks back home that Republicans are worried about today

Politico reported at the time that the conservative Blue Dog Democrats were under tremendous pressure from their constituents and told the president about it. They reminded him that many of them had been down the health care reform road 14 years before when Bill Clinton tried to pass it and were wary of the political pitfalls:

Arkansas Congressman Marion Berry said, “They just kept telling us how good it was going to be. The president himself, when that was brought up in one group, said, ‘Well, the big difference here and in ’94 was you’ve got me.’”
That didn’t work out too well. The 2010 midterm elections were an electoral massacre that brought the Tea Party to power in Congress.

Maybe Trump’s veiled threat to punish Republicans in 2018 if they don’t vote for the bill will bring enough reluctant congressmen around by Thursday. But his threats don’t guarantee a midterm victory for Republicans any more than Obama’s promises did for Democrats.

At least the Democrats who lost having voted for the Affordable Care Act could feel they had sacrificed their seats for something that alleviated pain and suffering for millions of people. Republicans are now fretting that they’ll be similarly punished for failing to bring all that pain and suffering back. You have to wonder if a few of them wonder what kind of a devil’s bargain they’ve made.


Manafort’s destiny

Manafort's destiny

by digby

Uhm, this seems like kind of a big deal:

President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics, The Associated Press has learned. The work appears to contradict assertions by the Trump administration and Manafort himself that he never worked for Russian interests.

Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government, even as U.S.-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse.

Manafort pitched the plans to Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally with whom Manafort eventually signed a $10 million annual contract beginning in 2006, according to interviews with several people familiar with payments to Manafort and business records obtained by the AP. Manafort and Deripaska maintained a business relationship until at least 2009, according to one person familiar with the work.

"We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin Government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success," Manafort wrote in the 2005 memo to Deripaska. The effort, Manafort wrote, "will be offering a great service that can re-focus, both internally and externally, the policies of the Putin government."

Manafort's plans were laid out in documents obtained by the AP that included strategy memoranda and records showing international wire transfers for millions of dollars. How much work Manafort performed under the contract was unclear.

The disclosure comes as Trump campaign advisers are the subject of an FBI probe and two congressional investigations. Investigators are reviewing whether the Trump campaign and its associates coordinated with Moscow to meddle in the 2016 campaign. Manafort has dismissed the investigations as politically motivated and misguided. The documents obtained by AP show Manafort's ties to Russia were closer than previously revealed.

In a statement to the AP, Manafort confirmed that he worked for Deripaska in various countries but said the work was being unfairly cast as "inappropriate or nefarious" as part of a "smear campaign."

"I worked with Oleg Deripaska almost a decade ago representing him on business and personal matters in countries where he had investments," Manafort said. "My work for Mr. Deripaska did not involve representing Russia's political interests."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., one of Trump's critics in the Senate, called the disclosures about payments to Manafort from the Russian billionaire "very disturbing if true."

"That's basically taking money to stop the spread of democracy, and that would be very disturbing to me," he said Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

There's more.
Read it all.

We still don't know what Trump and his pals knew. But this man was Trump's campaign chairman. And he worked for free, something Trump might have questioned, since the guy isn't the sort that does something like that.

This seems relevant too:

I haven't leaned very far into the Russian story because I honestly find the simplest answer --- Trump is a vain, moron --- to be the likeliest answer. It's obvious that the Russian government interfered in the campaign and that's worrying enough. Trump is most likely vulnerable to corruption and coercion because of his business conflicts in my opinion which are obviously disqualifying.

But this is something else:

Manafort and his associates remain in Trump's orbit. Manafort told a colleague this year that he continues to speak with Trump by telephone. Manafort's former business partner in eastern Europe, Rick Gates, has been seen inside the White House on a number of occasions. Gates has since helped plan Trump's inauguration and now runs a nonprofit organization, America First Policies, to back the White House agenda. 
Gates, whose name does not appear in the documents, told the AP that he joined Manafort's firm in 2006 and was aware Manafort had a relationship with Deripaska but was not aware of the work described in the memos. Gates said his work was focused on domestic U.S. lobbying and political consulting in Ukraine at the time. He said he stopped working for Manafort's firm in March 2016 when he joined Trump's presidential campaign.

This Still Makes Me Laugh

You might remember that in Greenworld, it is an article of faith that all leakers are crusading whistle-blowers all crusading whistle-blowers are automatically chucked into super-max prisons, incommunicado, forever.
In Greenworld it is also it is an article of faith that there are no "Russian agents" doing anything nefarious anywhere. All such talk comes from drooling, McCarthyite Democratic party stooges trying to smear noble Truth Tellers like Glenn Greenwald:

Which is why when Mr. Greenwald gets on his very high horse to excoriate others for being unreasonable and making claims for which there is no evidence --

-- it still cracks me the hell up.

There are no mirrors in this man's house.

'Cause mirrors is how they get ya!

Elections have unintended consequences by @BloggersRUs

Elections have unintended consequences

by Tom Sullivan

In another of his strong pieces in New York magazine, Frank Rich takes the liberal media Establishment and Democratic politicians to task for wasting "time and energy chasing unreachable voters in the base of Trump’s electorate."* That is, for trying to work up empathy for Trump voters in a kind of post-9/11 redux: Why do they hate us?

"Perhaps they should hate us," Rich writes, and gives them more reason to in 4,000 words or so.

Rich believes chasing centrist think tank Third Way (I'm not a fan) down a $20 million rabbit hole in the Rust Belt, as its Clintonista president insists, to “restore Democrats as a national party that can win everywhere” is a fool's errand. As is poring over Nancy Isenberg’s White Trash or J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy to discover elusive common ground with "the Trumpentariat" and perhaps the key to their opioid-numbed hearts.

After delving into some profiles in self-destructiveness and victimhood in Trump country, Rich concludes:

Perhaps it’s a smarter idea to just let the GOP own these intractable voters. Liberals looking for a way to empathize with conservatives should endorse the core conservative belief in the importance of personal responsibility. Let Trump’s white working-class base take responsibility for its own votes — or in some cases failure to vote — and live with the election’s consequences. If, as polls tell us, many voters who vilify Obamacare haven’t yet figured out that it’s another name for the Affordable Care Act that’s benefiting them — or if they do know and still want the Trump alternative — then let them reap the consequences for voting against their own interests. That they will sabotage other needy Americans along with them is unavoidable in any case now — at least until voters stage an intervention in an election to come.

Trump voters should also be reminded that the elite of the party they’ve put in power is as dismissive of them as Democratic elites can be condescending. “Forget your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap,” Kevin Williamson wrote of the white working class in National Review. “The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible.” He was only saying in public what other Republicans like Mitt Romney say about the “47 percent” in private when they think only well-heeled donors are listening. Besides, if National Review says that their towns deserve to die, who are Democrats to stand in the way of Trump voters who used their ballots to commit assisted suicide?

The problem with Rich's analysis is the "election to come" part. Elections involve math. At the end of Election Day we count votes. Not empathy, not good intentions, not programs, not policies, and not hurt feelings. Whether Democrats can win back control of Congress and state legislatures is about numbers.

Another problem — and this is hardly Rich's alone — is that "Trump voters" always seems to imply red states, or to at least to conflate red states with Trump voters. And after reading Rich's take on Trump voters, the knee-jerk response is to say to hell with them. But there are more than Republican voters in those red states. Those states each get two U.S. senators and a number of representatives; they each have governors and legislatures, many dominated by Republicans just as crazy as Trump. Abandoning them is not a progressive option.

Democratic activists should not hold their breaths waiting for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), and the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) to come to Jesus and become more than "old boys" reelection funds. And the jury is out on whether a Democratic National Committee that snapped up Hillary for America veterans who snatched defeat from the jaws of victory will, as promised, restore Howard Dean's 50 state plan in more than name only, or adopt a time horizon that looks beyond the next election. Their focus on (what they consider) sure bets is why state organizations have withered since Obama pulled the plug on "50 state." But liberal, grassroots activists cannot ignore red states unless they have started ignoring math the way Trump voters ignore climate science. Nationally and locally the numbers don't add up for winning back Congress and writing off red states. (Ask Michigan, Wisconsin, and North Carolina what it means leaving state legislatures in Republican hands.) Liberals cannot have both a winning 50 state plan and a policy, as Rich's piece implies, of giving 60 percent of states the middle finger.

If you don't show up to play, you forfeit. Too many Republican sinecures in red states go uncontested because dispirited Democrats there have neither the training, the funding, nor the infrastructure to contest them. When Dean sent organizers into such places in 2005, some had not heard from the national party in years. By 2006, Democrats were chalking up big wins. Conditions are ripe for them to do so again.

I wrote in December:

Swing states that went red in November aren't necessarily all that red. In North Carolina, 2.2 million voters (46%) chose Hillary Clinton for president. 2.1 million (45%) chose former ACLU attorney Deborah Ross for U.S. Senate. We should be careful where we aim the broad brush with the red paint. There are a lot of supporters in those "red" states, and they've had their share of being ignored by Democrats' shortsighted bi-coastal presidential strategy.
Les Leopold also reminded readers (data from 2010):
Rural America, also, is not lily white. Hispanics and African Americans make up a total of 17.5% of rural and small town America.
Post inauguration, both those groups living out where rural Republicans control state house and senate seats have even more reason than white liberals to channel their anger into action.

That brings up yet another math-related reason for not tossing out red state babies with Grover Norquist's bathwater. Since November 8, the activist momentum among progressives is impressive, an unintended consequence of the Trump win:

Indivisble groups reported around the country.

Our Revolution groups reported around the country.

Republicans in Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas had best not look over their shoulders.

It would be a shame to squander all that fresh activism and youthful enthusiasm on misdirected anger. But perhaps that's what Rich meant by suggesting Democrats weaponize it. "Instead of studying how to talk to 'real people,'” he wrote, "might they start talking like real people?" Absolutely. So long as they do it not from TV studios but on the stump in districts and in races they need to win to regain majorities in state houses and in Congress. As The King suggested, "A little less conversation, a little more action."

Trump's win has produced an outpouring of progressive activism not seen since 2008. Obama fired up Democrats, but not like Orange Julius. Counties across North Carolina and elsewhere are seeing record numbers of organized Democratic precincts and Democratic meetings overflowing, and in a non-election year. In red states where Republicans are accustomed to Democrats sitting out mid-term elections, groups like Our Revolution, Indivisible, and others are organizing to retake state capitols and Congress. When Trump voters find out what their votes will cost them, they'll be the ones staying home in 2018. Those too are unintended consequences from the last election angry Democrats would be fools not to seize on. The best defense and all that.

* Notice I didn't use Judge Gorsuch's "Democrat judge" formulation.


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