“There will be a massive revolt”

The left demands Senate Democratss fight Trump on Supreme Court.

‘Several prominent progressive organizations are demanding that the Democratic Party’s senators do whatever they can to block Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court. On Tuesday night, Trump picked Neil Gorsuch, 49, to fill the seat.

“As long as the president is in flagrant disregard for the basic underpinnings of our republic, it is no time to consider a Supreme Court nominee,” said Ben Wikler, the Washington director of MoveOn.org, in an interview. “The next election is a while away, but what Senate Democrats do here and over the next few months will be seared into the memory of every Democratic voter.”

The core of the progressive groups’ argument is that Senate Democrats have dramatically underestimated the scale and depth of their voters’ anger toward Trump’s administration. (Only one Senate Democrat, Oregon’s Jeff Merkley, has announced that he’ll filibuster Trump’s nominee.)

Dozens of Senate Democrats have cast votes for several controversial Trump nominees, including Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and CIA Director Mike Pompeo. That may be well within the norm for the Senate, and it is largely in line with how Senate Republicans treated President Obama’s nominees. But organizers at MoveOn.org and Democracy for America argued that the Democratic Senate caucus needs to match the outrage of the progressive base by using every tool at its disposal to fight Trump — including opposing whomever the president names to the high bench…’

Source: Vox


Today’s Drumphism from Vox

Textbook shit-eating grin from the Mad King.


Trump quickly changed his mind on drug prices

Expect the same on Obamacare. Source: Vox


A leaked Trump order suggests he’s planning to deport more legal immigrants for using social services

Build a wall around public benefits, and make immigrants’ relatives pay for it. Source: Vox


We’re the lawyers suing “President” Trump: his business dealings violate the Constitution

He receives “emoluments” from foreign officials. Source: Vox


Trump isn’t an evil genius

And that’s not what matters anyway.

‘Whenever a reactionary populist regime takes power and begins doing illiberal things, the same question arises among its critics: How much of this is part of a master plan and how much is just flailing? What is the exact mix of incompetence and ill intent?

That argument is already taking shape around Trump, as he ham-handedly issues executive orders poorly understood by his own bureaucracy and fires members of his administration. It is aptly captured in two recent essays.

The first is by Yonatan Zunger, a Google privacy engineer. It’s called “Trial Balloon for a Coup?” and it reviews the news of the past day or two through the lens of a unifying theory: By putting confidant Steve Bannon on the National Security Council, cutting agencies out of rule-making, and defying a court order, Trump is systematically attempting to reduce any checks on his power. He’s trying to concentrate power in a small counsel of trusted advisers (the “coup”) and avoid legal review.

The second essay is by political scientist Tom Pepinsky, in response. It’s called “Weak and Incompetent Leaders act like Strong Leaders,” and it makes a simple point: The very same actions Zunger interprets as a devious, coordinated plan can also be interpreted as the bumbling, defensive moves of a weak leader who doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing…’

Source: Vox

Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, explained

‘Gorsuch is more outspoken and forthright in his positions than your typical Supreme Court aspirant, providing a lot of fodder for any opponents. A Democratic filibuster motivated by Republicans’ successful obstruction of President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, for this same seat last year is a certainty for any nominee, and if Democrats conclude that Gorsuch’s views on issues like the right to life and religious liberty are outside the mainstream, the filibuster might have a chance of success…’

Source: Vox


FBI: U.S. law enforcement infiltrated by white supremacists

‘It won’t surprise you to learn American policing has a racism problem. It may surprise you to know that the FBI has been quietly, systematically investigating the white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement.

Alice Speri writes that there’s just not much anyone in politics is willing to do about it—and an inevitable conservative-led backlash when they try—but the FBI is starting to treat local cops the way it treated hippies: as a problem worth getting its hands dirty over…’

Source: Boing Boing


The Machinery Is in Place to Make Trump Protests Permanent

‘The Arab Spring six years ago first demonstrated social media’s ability to power political dissent. Now it’s reaching a new point of maturation. Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and Bernie Sanders all found ways to use social platforms to organize. In the course of those efforts and others, protesters have built a kind of plug-and-play network that makes it easy to generate widespread civil action with a click or tap. With this infrastructure in place, street protests could become as much a fixture of the new administration as President Trump’s tweets…’

Source: WIRED



The Myth of Trump

‘As Americans turn to George Orwell’s 1984 (1949) to better understand Donald Trump’s election, as we entertain the exciting possibility that we can read our way to some level of sensible public understanding, it’s time to suggest another classic 20th-century work, one that lends even deeper insight into Trump’s unlikely rise to power: Roland Barthes’ Mythologies (1957). Like Orwell, Barthes deals in language. Unlike Orwell, he deals in language to elucidate the subversive (and oppressive) power of myth.

Trump is more than a butcher of language. He is a builder of myths.Myths are not, in Barthes’ analysis, innocent origin stories. They are dangerous cultural distortions. They cleanse language of its history, and liberate words from their past, all in order to make a non-essential (and often ridiculous) connection seem essential. This somewhat mystical (myths are mysterious) transformation works by suggesting that certain fabricated phenomena are all natural (and, thus, all good) while hiding the cynical process of social construction behind their making. We build myths to prevent as many people as we can from asking questions about the hidden distortion that, inevitably, serves someone’s interest at the expense of truth, justice, and enlightened common sense…’

Source: Pacific Standard


Can Trump defy the courts? Even the Supreme Court? YES.

‘For those of you who haven’t taken in a history book in a while, President Andrew Jackson defied the Supreme Court and removed my ancestors, the Cherokee, from their lands and marched them to Oklahoma. “The Trail of Tears” was the result of a President openly defying the courts.

Just letting you know, there’s precedent for this President. And many of his followers consider themselves modern ‘Jacksonians.’ Best not get your hopes up for a judicial remedy. We are a nation of laws, but apparently the Constitution didn’t spec this division of power very well.

[I think we need to be putting pressure on Repubs in their jurisdictions, convincing them that letting this guy run wild is going to cost them dearly, instead of reacting to every executive order and tweet. He can ignore protests. His Repub pals can’t. Put thumbscrews on the enablers.] …’

Source: Garret Vreeland, dangerousmeta!