Four Weeks In

Original photo by Michael Vadon, used under Creative Commons license. To see original, click on photo.

Once more in a Q&A format. Here we go:

Hey, what about that GOP elector from Texas who says he’s not gonna vote for Trump because he’s unqualified to be president?

Good for him for voting his conscience. So that’s one down. You’ll need, I think, 38 more to deny Trump the White House via the Electoral College.

Think it’ll happen?

No.

But it could happen, right?

Sure. But there’s a lot of air between could and will. I think you should at least make contingency plans for if it doesn’t.

So you’re saying there’s a chance.

Yes. There is also a chance you will win the lottery when you buy a ticket. You shouldn’t have “win the lottery” as your retirement plan.

Also remember that even if the Electoral College chooses not to elect Trump (unlikely) and doesn’t give it to Clinton (they won’t), then it goes to the House. If you think the House won’t give it to Trump, you think more of the House than I do.

Hey, Trump voter here.

Oh, hello.

What you think of the polls that say that something like 60% of Americans are optimistic about a Trump administration?

Good for them. I hope their optimism is not misplaced.

What I mean to say is, maybe you and your pals are all moody and depressed and doom doomy doom-laden for no good reason.

You know, it’s not outside the range of possibility that despite all indications, Trump’s administration will not be the horrifying shit-show that appears it is going to be. In which case, great! At this point I would personally settle for “not a horrifying shit-show.” With that said, it’s easy for me to settle, financially-secure straight white man that I am. Bear in mind that even in the best-case scenario, I think the Trump years will be harder for a lot more people than the Clinton years would have been, both economically and otherwise. “Not a shit-show” is speaking generally. Specifically, a lot of people are going to be in the shit. Some of them will have voted for Trump.

You could be wrong!

I’ve been wrong before, certainly.

Any thoughts on Al Gore meeting with Trump?

If it helps us from baking in our own juices any sooner than absolutely necessary, I’m okay with that.

You heard that Ivanka was in on that meeting, right?

I did.

And?

I’m not Ivanka’s biggest fan, and I find the basic trend of Trump installing his children (and children-in-law) into (unofficial) positions of power appalling. With that said, a) Ivanka is clearly the smart one in that family, b) She’s possibly the only one that isn’t 100% an opportunistic grifter, c) she’s possibly the only one who is both vaguely liberal and capable of long-term thought. In the nepotistic shit-show that will be Trump White House, if she’s the voice of sanity that will keep Trump from pissing all over the Paris Accords and otherwise hastening our global climate mess, well, work with what you’ve got.

What happened to resisting Trump by any means necessary?

I’ve talked about the issues of pragmatic governance in the age of Trump before, and at the moment I’m no closer to a good answer about it than I was then. I can’t imagine there won’t be policies and practices of the Trump administration that should be met with anything other than pure and righteous defiance. But, look: If Al Gore (or anyone else) can get into the Trump White House to talk into the ear of, or to talk to Trump under the aegis of, the woman who Trump clearly trusts and loves and will take advice from more than any other, and the possible result is fewer policies and practices that should be met with defiance, I’m willing to not to castigate the person who realpoliticks that one out.

And yes, it sucks. It’s not how it should work. Welcome to the Trump years.

What about Trump picking fights with China?

I don’t know enough about the politics involved with that to make any competent statements about it. I will say that taunting China without cause seems a dumb thing to do.

Hey, Ben Carson. 

Yes, what about him?

Picked for HUD because, like, he’s black, yes?

I do expect that’s part of it. But remember last week, when I said that the criteria for Trump’s cabinet picks is that they are “rich, loyal and fundamentally disagree with the mission of the governmental department they will soon be in charge of”? There you go. That Carson is also fundamentally unqualified for the position is kind of a bonus (for the administration, not anyone dealing with HUD).

So it’s basically been a month since the election, yes?

Four weeks to the day, indeed. A couple more days until the full month. But close enough.

Still pissed off? Depressed? Annoyed?

Yes, although most of those are tempered at this point, because a month is a long time. I find it largely embarrassing at this point that Trump is going to be president. Also at this point I think I’ve got him pegged: Thin-skinned, crass, easily-persuadable, corrupt and contemptuous, all of which are confirmed on a daily basis by his personal actions and administrative choices. I’m not happy about a Trump presidency, but I think I’ve got most of the dance steps down.

There’s still huge uncertainty, of course — not in how Trump will react to things (horribly, because he’s horrible), but what things will be out there for him to react to. Friend and foe have the man marked, the same as I do, and soon we will find out how they play him, and by extension, play the US. Whee!

How else has the incoming Trump administration affected you?

On a practical level, not too much. As noted before, I finished most of my substantial work for the year prior to the election, and much of the work I had left was technical (i.e., editing, etc) which didn’t require creative muscles. Which is good, as I’m still unfocused on that front. I had a couple creative opportunities I had to pass on just because I couldn’t get my brain to buckle in. I strongly suspect that when I start in on the next novel (that will be in January, in case you were wondering), I’ll really have to enforce the “no social media until the day’s work is done” rule, because otherwise I’ll never get anything done. The election already dragged out the writing of The Collapsing Empire and contributed to me turning it in late (which I’ve made up for — slightly — by expediting edits), and I don’t want to make a thing of it.

On a planning level, it’s made a difference. I had a meeting with my financial adviser last week about where to put this year’s investments, a meeting which I had put off until after the election in part to see what happened to the markets (spoiler: They haven’t tanked (yet)). It also makes a difference in terms of what we’re planning for spending around the home and with family. We know we have a pretty large expenditure coming up — Athena’s college(!) — although how much that will be will depend on where she goes. That’s gonna get paid regardless, but everything else is up for discussion.

Mind you, don’t cry for us. Again, thanks to my extended book contract and our general financial policy of “save all the monies,” we’re gonna be fine, unless things get so bad for everyone everywhere that we’re dragged into the mess. I’ve mentioned before that we’re likely to be some of the people affected “last and least” by any Trump administration misadventures; that still stands.

Hey, Scalzi, anything else you wanted to say on the subject of “last and least”?

Ooooh, thanks for reminding me, fictional person asking the questions! In fact, I do. I’ve gotten some thanks over the last few weeks of writing these pieces on Trump, for being general calm and “sensible” (if swear-y). And while I appreciate that — I like being thought of as sensible! — remember also who I am, which is: financially-secure straight white dude. It’s easy for me to be calm and “sensible.” With respect to the incoming Trump administration, you really need to also be reading and hearing the folks who are not financially-secure straight white dudes, not all of whom are “calm” and “sensible,” and for very good reason, i.e., because the bigots inside and outside of the Trump administration have been emboldened to make life miserable for them. For starters.

Which is to say: Thanks for reading my thoughts about Trump and his party pals. I think I’m an okay starting place for such reading. But if your reading on it stops with me (or is otherwise limited to the folks who look/love/earn suspiciously like me), you’re not doing it right. Please get out there and read and listen more, and especially read and listen to the people for whom the incoming administration feels like a clear and present danger.

Are you going to keep doing these weekly wrap-ups of Trump?

No, actually I think this is the last one of these I have planned.

You’re not going to write about him anymore?

I didn’t say that. Merely that I’ll write about him and his pals when I have something specific to say about some foolishness they’re up to, and not necessarily in Q&A format.

But I like the Q&A format!

Well, of course you would, fictional question-asking person. You’re out of a job, I’m afraid.

The Trump economy claims its first victim!

Yes, I suppose it does. Sorry.

82 Comments on “Four Weeks In”

  1. The House certainly won’t choose Clinton. But in the unlikely case where they get the opportunity to choose they might choose a Republican other than Trump, who has never been a favorite of the party rank and file. The main thing that might stop them would be a fear of revolt by the voters that would sweep them out of office in two years. The most likely way to get that result would be a modest number of Republicans switching (especially the ones who plan to retire anyway), combined with the Democrats voting for the third candidate on the grounds that they will never muster the votes to get Hillary voted in.

  2. rabbiadar – San Leandro, CA – Rabbi Ruth Adar is a teaching rabbi in San Leandro, CA. She has many hats: rabbi, granny, and ham radio operator K6RAV. She blogs at http://coffeeshoprabbi.com/ and teaches at Hamaqom | The Place in Berkeley, CA.
    rabbiadar

    Yes. I did not plan to spend my golden years on the barricades, but it’s looking more and more like that’s the deal. The DREAMers are already in the cross hairs of the Trump Administration, for instance. I’ve begun having dreams about crime: hiding people, smuggling people, and various acts of civil disobedience. I figure it’s my psyche getting ready for the next four years. I wish PE Trump well, I really do – I hope that the people who voted for him are right, because I don’t enjoy these dreams. (OK, the one about driving very fast to somewhere was kinda fun but mostly terrifying.)

  3. I do have one big question about Trump and world politics in general:

    I have the mother of all stress-hangovers from the last few weeks, from my own country’s antics and from all others, is it acceptable for me to take a couple of weeks off from thinking about all this thisness until my head stops feeling like a bongo drum?

  4. So… these write-ups, while they generally mesh with my thoughts (except, unfortunately, I work with a lot of people who are experts on international policy and nuclear war, so I am daily terrified about the international stuff… like seriously, a week ago my colleague told me that if Trump messed with Taiwan, Los Angeles is the first city on their list for one of their big nuclear bombs, which is what keeps me calling political interns), seem kind of I dunno, defeatist. Am I just reading into that, or is it there implicitly?

    Should we just give up?

  5. I’m a financially-secure (by most standards) white guy too – although I am retired – but since you’re pretty open about yourself, I know some of your numbers (specifically your ~$3M book contract), which are a bit better than my own. So if you are dragged into the mess, I’ll most likely already be in the shit when you get there. Be sure to look for me!

  6. @nicoleandmaggie – You should accept that Trump is going to be president and that he is going to try and do a bunch of terrible things. That doesn’t mean you should accept terrible things are going to happen; you should be doing what you can to oppose those terrible things. You should also be willing to accept that sometimes it is worthwhile to agree with something Trump says or does because he actually managed to not be terrible; a broken clock is right twice a day, after all.

  7. This morning I had a jumbled confused dream about being at college or a conference of somewhere that I was staying in a dorm temporarily. At the very end, just before I woke up, I was somehow a different person, of the opposite gender, about to get into bed with a new acquaintance. I woke up thinking, “My that was unusual, what’s going on with me?” I did not confide in this experience with my wife. I’d like to blame Trump for both the dream and my reticence, but maybe it’s because I’ve been watching Berlin Station. I’m through the stages of grief, I believe that the President-Elect will be inaugurated, that he’ll enable the media to break free of any pretense at presenting a factual, verifiable version of reality, that horror will ensue. Reading John’s well-grounded commentary helps with my PTSD. I’m working on embracing the challenge. As a white, American, male, I’ve hit the lottery in terms of quality of life and opportunity. In terms of America, I’m in the 99%, but in terms of the world, I’m in the top 10%. So it’s time to get off my ass and help shoulder the burden. There is a #blacklivesmatter sticker on my car and I’m rehearsing how to be a support/witness if I encounter someone harassing another. I will continue to take small incremental steps toward the world I want to live in with all of you.

  8. Hillary Rettig – Author of The 7 Secrets of the Prolific and The Lifelong Activist. Vegan, kidney donor, foster mom, and lover of people and animals. Visit www.hillaryrettig.com to learn more about me and my work.
    Hillary Rettig

    >The election already dragged out the writing of The Collapsing Empire

    That’s some major irony you got going on right there. :-)

  9. @Aaron

    I know that *I’m* not going to accept (I, for one, don’t actually have that luxury). I’m wondering if accepting and waiting and seeing is the official Scalzi position. Because reading through the last couple of these, that’s what I’m getting and I’d like clarification.

  10. But if your reading on it stops with me (or is otherwise limited to the folks who look/love/earn suspiciously like me), you’re not doing it right. Please get out there and read and listen more, and especially read and listen to the people for whom the incoming administration feels like a clear and present danger.

    There’s a “secret” group on Facebook called Pantsuit Nation. I was added (as you can’t actually join) and I have been impressed with the window it provides into a mostly woman’s world, post-election. For a cis white guy like me, it’s an eye-opener; not in a “guys are the worst” way, but in a “here’s how I feel”, or “here’s what’s happened since the election” or “here’s how I’m going to deal with this” way.

  11. For me, the greatest solace in all of this is humor. Sam Bee has been doing some killer segments about this, and the Baldwin sketches on SNL are fucking gold. For my part, I feel like I have to put some distance between myself and politics for the time being. I haven’t been on a vacation in over three years, so maybe I should save up so I can visit my brother early next year. I go to the gym a lot, and would like to get some more sessions with a trainer as soon as I can afford them. I’m a financially insecure gay white male, so it’s quite possible that I will find myself in Trump or Pence’s crosshairs sometime soon. But for the time being, there’s still puppies and rainbows and The Beatles and other good shit. Good luck to anyone else trying to figure out how to process this tragedy.

  12. Yeah, the EC won’t save us, unfortunately. Nice fantasy though.

    Trumps still doesn’t appear to have any coherent policies on, well, anything at all, apart from grift and corruption, for which he is enthusiastically in favor. I agree that he’s just appointing people to the cabinet who are fundamentally opposed to functioning government. Which is nice.

    I’m not sure that Ivanka is any less evil than Qusay or Uday, she just hides it better.

    He’ll get re-elected in four years, assuming he doesn’t have any health crises before then. We’re in a fact free world so when he does stunts like the Carrier “deal” (“nice jobs you have here, it’d be a shame if something happened to them, so pay up”) people think that’s a “win” and he’ll just bluster his way through the four years with the Republican Senate/House doing whatever they want, and say “but Obama did it” when he runs for re-election.

    It would be “funny” if it wasn’t so sad at how transparently political the Republicans in the House and Senate are, particularly Chaffetz. How much more do you need to investigate Trump? The confirmed perjury for self-dealing in his Foundation, the fraud settlement for Trump University, the Cuba embargo attempted breaches. And that’s just this month.

    Ah well, time to stash away anything we gain from tax breaks so we can try to make up for the lack of Social Security and Medicare when we retire…

  13. Sensible Scalzi is probably investing in index funds, but for those looking at things a little differently an astute financial market analyst of my semi-acquaintance (Daniel Davies, occasionally of Crooked Timber) said, “Imagine all the corporate lobbyists went to Washington and got everything on their wish lists. That’s your Trump-era stock portfolio.”

  14. Doug:

    Sensible Scalzi is indeed primarily in index funds, with some very safe corporate bonds constituting the majority of what remains, plus a small bit for speculative investing (which I see primarily as gambling, and thus, assume I will eventually lose, so yeah, not much in that).

    nicoleandmaggie:

    You’ve been here long enough to know my general reaction to bigots and would-be fascists, I think. To suspect I would change that general line of action now is interesting. What I am doing, however, is concretely acknowledging my position is different than other people’s.

  15. It would not shock me if Trump quit after the mid-terms. Maybe he can leverage the Presidency into buying a successful NFL team instead of losing out on the Bills. (Perhaps he is Homer’s secret partner in the Hank Scorpio Broncos deal. The Simpsons have been getting everything else right, mostly by having 600+ scripts to generate all possible outcomes.)

  16. In a sense I’m just watching from the sidelines, because I live in California and I have some faith that our state government and our Federal representatives will take a lot of heat, if they have to, to protect us all.

    But being a non-Christian married to a non-white person, it has become abundantly clear that my previously-unsubstantiated suspicion that there are really a lot of our so-called united states where my husband and I would not be welcome, and might be actively unsafe, is actually now … substantiated. So I also have a strong connection to the people who are afraid of DT’s appalling team and what it can do with the McConnell Congress to roll back civil rights, environmental protections, and more.

    Not sure yet what I can or will “do about it.” Still adjusting my own oxygen mask.

  17. My far-thinking husband just signed us up for his work’s “lawyer-on-retainer” plan. He’s pretty sure that there will be plenty of things to protest in the coming years, and he’s sure the new administration isn’t going to have the most reasoned response to opposition. We’re in the “straight, white, relatively well-off” demographic, and we live in a liberal city, so we don’t feel immediately threatened. Wish I could say the same thing about all my friends and family.

  18. In pretty-much-white and pretty-much-liberal North Seattle, a woman leaves out chalk for the neighborhood kids to do art on the sidewalks. Someone took that chalk and covered a block with swastikas. This is just one of the highly disturbing things that have been happening since the Trump election in our fair city. But just 4 blocks from my church…and it hits home, reminding me that although I am in a reasonable place to (let’s hope) get through the next four years, there are many people who are being actively injured in their souls by this hatred.

  19. kalexander2 – Anchorage, Alaska; Oak Creek, WI: Jerusalem Israel – “I am a 'crisis theorist, not a functionalist and I dream in the art and science of discourse in social structure and from which my audience may benefit. There is no greater urgency than the problem yet to be resolved, and there is greater resolution than understanding the crisis.
    kalexander2

    President-Elect Donald Trump is a ‘time that was inevitable’ – of gloom & doom biblical proportions. Not in the “Anti-Christ” way, but anti-everything-else, including humanity. We were bound to reach this point in our history of functionalism/crisis theories that attempt to find ways to perfect society and create our own utopia.

    Would you sacrifice your life for your family? Well, Donald Trump is the ultimate sacrifice for America. Unfortunately, the sacrifice will end in a reunion in the great beyond as there is nothing else for America to lose. White folks are not getting what they want, and Black folks are not getting what they want, and everyone else is catching hell for trying to interfere with the inevitable.

    My personal rhetorical brand has it that “The Only Story More Important then Tales about the Truth is the Story behind the lie.” The United Constitution is a well-intended lie, and the social sciences are the truths only scholars care about; today, the American politician, indeed all politicians, are the balances, turned opportunists unable to hold this shit together.

    I read an interesting article in the Economist several months ago “HOW do people learn to accept what they once found unacceptable? In 1927 Frederic Thrasher published a “natural history” of 1,313 gangs in Chicago. Each of them lived by a set of unwritten rules that had come to make sense to gang members but were still repellent to everyone else. So it is with Donald Trump and many of his supporters. By normalizing attitudes that, before he came along, were publicly taboo, Mr. Trump has taken a knuckle-duster to American political culture (Jon Berkeley 2016).”

    Oh no, are you suggesting that Trump is a gangster, you may ask? Damn straight! The Al Capone / 5-family type with Artie Shaw, we the people and probably Christ Jesus, politicians, police and merchants effectively at his mercy. And why not, Al Capone was loved by Black folks, he sponsored turkey-give-aways in Chicago’s Black communities and made unions give (some) Black folks jobs.

    Right, John, just how far did you think being a “financially secure straight white man” would get you? In a land where you, and I have chosen a side, of haves and have-nots, populated with non-citizen immigrants, and hated by virtually every country.

    So, in contrast to everything we were told as children, if you are good, go to sleep, if you are bad, go to sleep because nothing, nothing is going to be alright.

  20. Although it is incredibly unlikely to be relevant, only 36 more electors would need to defect. (306 Republican electors were elected, 270 are needed to win (538/2 +1), so Trump can lose 37, of which he has already lost one.

    Other than that, I find myself in agreement with what you wrote.

  21. It occurs to me to wonder whether we’re completely missing the boat on motivating people to act on climate change. Instead of “your children will bake under a desert sun while their dogs die”, perhaps we’d motivate more deniers with the following logic: “Why are you voting for someone who wants your cost of living (heating, driving) to increase? Why not vote for someone who will insist on more efficient energy use, thereby saving you a metric shitload (the technical term) of money, without harming any industries except big oil. Yeah, if the climate change thing is real*, this will also be good for the world. But really**, it’s all about you saving money.

    * It is, but we needn’t harp on that point.
    ** Not really.

    John, in terms of university education, take a long, hard look at Canadian universities. Most are head and shoulders above a generic state university in the U.S., and several are as good or better than their American counterparts. (There’s only one MIT, but Waterloo, in Ontario isn’t any slouch in terms of geekdom.) You can get a really good education for much less than half the cost of a vaguely comparable American school. For example, McGill (here in Montreal) currently costs as little as C$15K for tuition for foreign students (about US$11K at current exchange rates), with higher costs for faculties such as medicine (https://www.mcgill.ca/undergraduate-admissions/yearly-costs). Plus, Athena can learn French while she’s here. Learning a second or third language broadens the mind most remarkably. (Also: it’s more effective to mock someone in their own language***.)

    *** I’m given to understand that there are *ahem* “issues” between you Yanks and the French.

  22. Geoff, you lost the deniers as soon as you tried to use logic. Their stance is purely due to reactionary emotions. Trying to use logic will only make them dig in harder.

  23. “You shouldn’t have “win the lottery” as your retirement plan.”
    Wait, what?
    Most kidding aside, I am trying to get into the get out the popcorn and watch the train wreck mode. Problem is they built the seats right next to the tracks and I suspect the popcorn will be stale and cost too much.

  24. My working poor family has long used your word collections to find respite in the shit-storm that is our lives. As a female veteran who had a ‘man’ job in the navy and has spent more than twenty civilian years trying to get an equivalent civilian job without success because I live in the ‘girls don’t do man jobs’ state of Florida, I am scared. It helps that you get that. It helps more that you admit to getting that; out loud; unsecretly. When the fear and the tears keep me from speaking my mind I can now point towards you and simply say, ‘this.’ Thank you.

  25. Geoff’s right, though. The only POSSIBLE way to get a message into this coming administration is through their pocket-books. Show them the economics of fossil-fuels vs renewable energy. Not in future terms, but in dollars and cents TODAY. The old brag about “running the country like a business” should make them pay intense attention to the bottom line.

  26. In 1969, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau said (in an address to the Press Club in Washington), “Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.”

    As a Canadian I’m not directly affected by a Trump presidency in the way that so many Americans are; but I’m nonetheless cognisant that my life, and the lives of many others north of the 49th, will be affected by it (I live in the interior of British Columbia, where the forestry industry is a Big Deal; and the fact that a softwood lumber agreement with the States is still being negotiated, and will now be decided by, the Trump administration, is not good news for my region).

    On the night of the election I was at a tech rehearsal of our local theatre group’s production of ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ (I played Aunt Abby). Tech rehearsals are usually fairly low-key for us actors; there’s a lot of joking around backstage, because the focus is on the tech people figuring out their cues. On this night, however, everyone – and I do mean everyone – was, when they were backstage, glued to their smartphone or tablet. Each person had some news site with an election map of the U.S. pulled up, and as we watched the results – and then the conclusion – we were all in shock. Even now, a month later, I find it hard to accept the result; and I’m terrified by what it might mean for America, and the world, over the next four years (and perhaps well beyond).

  27. 1) I thought that the House can’t choose a random – they’d be stuck with Trump or Clinton (I didn’t think McMullin got any electoral votes so I don’t think they could choose him).

    2) What would happen if they didn’t choose Trump? I would be glad to have someone more sane than him running the country (at this point, I fear the loss of institutions more than someone bad running them, and I imagine this is because I am more insulated than lots of people), but the people that chose him would go somewhere north of ape-feces, I think. That might be better than Trump, but it might not. Waiting for some sort of sanity to kick in hasn’t been a winning strategy so far,

    3) I guess I’m too liberal to comprehend, but I didn’t think that Obama was a real threat to the Constitution – I thought he actually (mostly) understood it and acted according to his pledge of office. Trump doesn’t seem to care that he’s promising to protect the Constitution, he seems susceptible to fits of pique/rage, and doesn’t seem to have a long-term plan (nor have people likely to be in place to execute a long-term plan).

    Obama may have been driving the bus somewhere conservatives didn’t want to go. Trump not only wants to drive the bus somewhere liberals don’t want to go, but he doesn’t seem to care whether he can drive or keep his eyes on the road long enough to get there. If he crashes the bus, I don’t think conservatives are going to get what they want.

  28. Privateiron said:
    “It would not shock me if Trump quit after the mid-terms. Maybe he can leverage the Presidency into buying a successful NFL team…”

    He kind of did that with the world football league. Bought into the league, talked them into moving from Summer to Fall to go head to head with the NFL. Cratered the whole league.

  29. jeunesseactiveblog – je suis un fils d'un peuple qui a apporté la civilisation dans ce monde. l'amour, le respect, la persévérance et la patience sont des valeurs cultivées par l'homme noir et aujourd'hui tout ce que je fais, je le fais dans un seul objectif de lutter pour l'égalité et le respect de tout homme.Je ne baisserai jamais le bras ni je n'attendrai jamais un miracle sans effort car être patient ne signifie pas attendre mais plutôt agir en attendant. Je me battrai toujours pour mon honneur, celui de ma famille ainsi que celui de la jeunesse. Mon soucis est que tout jeune selon ses compétences se mette en action point barre.
    jeunesseactiveblog

    The biggest one

  30. Four weeks after the election Trump is still a monumental liar whose blatant falsehoods are easily provable, and his supporters support his right to lie and say critics should just chill out. After all, this is Trump, and he’ll make America great again by lying his butt off.

    I won’t even go into the load of extremists and predatory businessmen that he’s putting into administrative positions.

  31. One thing that you all can do to fight misinformation is go to your local library and request that they order pro-democracy books. I just went to mine and found TWO anti-Clinton books on the New Books shelves. If you find good political books, even if you own them, request that the library buy them as well. Take them out, as people will grab what is on the carts or recently returned. The Repubs have been taking the long view. Which includes non-factual books. In terms of Ben Carson, someone made the point on FB that Trump is a real estate “tycoon”, and HUD has always been a thorn in his side, so of course he is going to try to weaken it. You have to look at every appointment with “How does it benefit Donald J Trump”. He has also spoken before the election to Putin and Sisi. Sisi, for one, is good at cracking down on protestors. And I’ve read of a group that apparently seems to be forming in DC outside of the government, but headed potentially by KellyAnne Conway, to put pressure on to conform to Trump’s policies. I, honestly, would not be surprised if we had ‘elections’ in 2018, and then none. The writing is on the wall.
    My hope is that some of the more international journalists talk to their colleagues about how to have an independent press. Dan Rather is amazing, and there are some good journalists out there who are learning. Obama has said he will fight as a private citizen. But it is going to be a very long haul. I’ve already gotten hate mail.

  32. Now that we’ve got Trump-enabled loons coming into town and shooting up our local pizza parlors I’ve decided that maybe I should diversify my investments a bit. A friend suggests Smith and Wesson as a good investment.

    Specifically the .357 as it can also handle .38 and is fairly, shall we say, bulletproof mechanically. He also thinks the AR series, as the .223 is fairly common and highly available. Having had some distant relatives in Europe get turned into air pollution about 3/4th of a century ago I may be a bit paranoid.

  33. It’s the ‘thin skinned’ part that worries me. SNL pokes fun at him for his angry tweets, so he angrily tweets about it. Irony/humor impairment is a big red flag.

  34. Wiredog, I suspect your friend was referring to stock in the company ;-) But a good 4″ barrel model 686 would be a fine investment as well.

  35. What I mean to say is, maybe you and your pals are all moody and depressed and doom doomy doom-laden for no good reason.

    It seems fairly obvious that if Republican policies in general, and Trump policies in particular, are going to be of the non-disastrous variety — to say nothing of effective and popular! — they wouldn’t have to lie about them all the time.

  36. Personally, I’m really finding myself uncomfortable with all this ‘the electoral college could save us’ discussions. In part because I don’t think folks are really thinking it through. Do I think it should remain an option? I suppose…but it should be the most rare option during a time of actual crisis, not a time to remove an official who was duly elected by a system, even if he is a raging shitstorm of a human being.

    Consider the harm to the system that could come from a significant fraction of electors suddenly deciding not to honor their stated choices and then arbitrarily choosing to elect another candidate. Consider the reaction if the process were totally removed and assigned to Congress. This isn’t 1800, after all. Imagine if it had happened in 2008 with Barack Obama…if a fraction of electors basically said ‘well, we don’t a black president’ and changed the election results, how would people have felt?

    I still worry that Trump’s conflicts of interest, his rampant nepotism, his intentional threats to his enemies and many other issues are highly problematic. Had Donald Trump done something traitorous or highly illegal (as opposed to highly unethical or just plain dickish), then I might agree it’s good that the system has an emergency escape button. But so far he has NOT, so we should abandon nonsense talk of invalidating him just because we don’t like him (regardless of the degree or reasons for it, however legitimate). If you think people are feeling disenfranchised NOW, imagine the reaction if they see the EC take their votes away from them.

  37. @Hap:

    The House picks from the (at most) three candidates having the most votes in the Electoral College. If sufficiently many electors defect to (say) John Kasich, then Kasich is an option for the House.

    It so happens the EC votes for Vice President separately from President. If the EC doesn’t choose a VP by majority vote, the choice is made by the Senate from the two candidates with most votes in the EC.

    It would be most gratifying if Pence was shown the door and replaced by Tim Kaine, John Kasich, or some other less horrifying human being. Also slightly more realistic than derailing Trump, although that’s not saying much.

  38. Wish I could say something, anything, useful. On the up side, the Trump years may merely be a string of farts, which would be better than those assassinations, unrest and such that happened when I was growing up in the 60s. But I am disappointed in the ethical humanity of our United States, as exhibited by so many of us, apparently well-meaning on the outside, voting so ugly. I walk down the street and see benign calm faces now, and I know how they’ve voted. Making America great again requires America voting the way it talks and walks.

    I’ve read Scalzi and see no duplicity there. Thank you, John.

  39. I’m so sick of these “it’s not going to be so bad” sorts of assessments of Trump. I’m not saying Scalzi just did that, only that he spoke on these points in his Q&A session with the imagined Trump voter here. The problem is that it ignore that everything he’s done is ALREADY just as bad as we expected for women’s reproductive rights. Everyone he has appointed to every position has been profile, sometimes to the point of redefining rape or rejecting some forms of birth control, etc. Plus Trump himself has said he intends to appoint a SCOTUS judge who will overturn Roe. Moreover, climate change. Did anyone else pay attention to what just happened to the Paris Accord agreement? I just can’t wrap my head around any assessment of him that is not already doom doom doom as long as this is happening.

    Again, I blame the media for amping up the identity politics dispute to the point that we are supposed to call all Trump supporters actual White Supremacists or bigots when in fact the ones in power are not from that end of the alt-right. We need to call these people what they are. Trump is hollow. The people forming the government and laying the groundwork right now are Bannon and Thiel via Kushner and with the support of a lot of private corporations and lobbies (including Koch Bros, etc). Bill Moyer just published a piece (I think it was Weissman byline) about this on his website. Meanwhile, anything short of someone burning crosses on the White House lawn is going to be looked at as not-a-shit-show. I’m claiming that this is because no one has bothered to look into what this faction of the alt-right ACTUALLY is. They are neoreactionaries, not white supremacists. They want undemocratic privatization of everything in the public sector and increased corporate control. Once you realize this aspect of the movement, you understand why Paul Ryan and that side of the GOP was always cautiously supportive of Trump- similar goals. They are bankrolled by tech billionaires. They are post-democracy and anti-news media. The more extreme and online trolly version of them call (Yarvin, etc) call themselves the Dark Enlightenment. It’s like John Galt delusions on steroids Thiel has been looking for someone to make king for over a decade along these lines. He’s terrifying. Meanwhile, the media is so busy running around looking for something overtly racist that Bannon personally said that they don’t know what’s going on. Some journalists writing about all this: Corey Pein, Jedidiah Purdy, Rick Searle. I want to shout it from the rooftops.

  40. nicoleandmaggie: I am pretty sure that Taiwan does not have nuclear missiles aimed at Los Angeles. However, Trump’s antagonistic stance towards mainland China could well embroil us in a shooting war with them. There is a good article in The Atlantic about China’s increasing turn back to the Maoist days, with suppression and censorship becoming tighter and tighter, and China becoming increasingly hostile and warlike with all its neighbors.

  41. I have nothing more to say about the “people’s ” choice, other than I think he will royally screw up hope I am wrong. …oh, I think his well planned telephone visit with the Taiwan president is a fabulous thing for her, a kick in the teeth to our foreign policy.

  42. @Emma

    “I’m claiming that this is because no one has bothered to look into what this faction of the alt-right ACTUALLY is. They are neoreactionaries, not white supremacists. They want undemocratic privatization of everything in the public sector and increased corporate control.”

    At this point it’s probably a good time for a primer on Fascism. I got this off a link on one of Charlie Stross’ blog postings. The 14 Characteristics of Fascism by Political scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt: https://ratical.org/ratville/CAH/fasci14chars.html

    You will notice that half of these characteristics are currently in play at the state or federal level. And that many of these characteristics were brought up during Trump’s campaign.

  43. To the point “Please get out there and read and listen more, and especially read and listen to the people for whom the incoming administration feels like a clear and present danger” I can recommend some good tweeters: @AngryBlackLady, @docrocktex26, @absurdistwords, @DanielleMuscato, @kashanacauley, @tanehisicoates, @Shakestweetz, @GeeDee215, @AmandaMarcotte, @LawyerRogelio, @fakedansavage.

  44. My fondest hope is that Democrats finally comprehend that American politics is no longer a cooperative endeavor. It’s a competitive endeavor, and has been for years. The way a party gets its agenda accomplished is by winning as big a majority as possible (in federal, state and local elections), and then ramming through legislation while ignoring the objections of the other side. Barring that, obstruct everything; throw procedural sand in the gears at every opportunity. Trying for “bipartisanship” or “buy-in” is a sucker’s game.

  45. Mike R, they get that, it’s how they rammed Obamcare through. And the backlash to *that* gave us Trump. It will be interesting to see which Trump folly powers the backlash pendulum in 2018 and beyond.

  46. An electoral college vote on 19 December that doesn’t closely correspond to the state-by-state election results would, at least, start the ball rolling toward a national consensus that a national popular vote is needed – preferably a ranked-choice system.

    If vote of the members of the electoral college as a “rubber stamp” is useless (as it has been for nearly all presidential elections until now), and if divergence from rubber-stampitude is seen as unnecessarily disruptive, then there is no point in having the EC at all.

  47. What concerns me the most are the trend lines I’m seeing. Between the US and Europe, the lean towards nationalism is worrisome. It reminds me too much of the 30’s.

    Mind you, I’m not expecting Germany to invade Poland, but I do see a general increase in illiberalism.

  48. @Phil Royce

    Taiwan doesn’t. China does. According to one of my colleagues, a US nuclear war with China will only last an hour. China has told the US that if they mess with Taiwan that LA is first on the list. He has said China has lots of big nuclear weapons and its strategy is to go for large population centers. Russia, on the other hand, has a smaller nuclear arsenal and will be focusing on our military bases, and we have military bases all over the place, even in less populated areas. So really, no place is safe. (DC is toast right away given war with either country.) Also, Russia would love for us to go to war with China. So yay having Russian influence in the Trump administration.

    What really sucks is when you talk to experts about your biggest fears, hoping to be told that you’re over-worried and to focus on racism and domestic policy instead, and it turns out that they have the exact same fears and can explain why in graphic detail.

    I can also get into Russian aggression in the Baltic states, NATO, and WWIII if you’d like. That’s scary too.

    @Scalzi

    Obviously you’re anti-bigot, etc. But “I just can’t even” on the previous post without comments and then this post with the reading and listening… one possible interpretation is that of recommending passivity. (And it’s not like incidents aren’t happening, though there’s so many that there’s no specific one to focus on.) Which did seem unusual, but lots of things are unusual these days.

  49. I am a German from Germany. You remember? That country which tried a government like that way before you and look how it turned out.

    Germany has learned – had to learn. But I am second generation post war and I remember.

    I remember seeing the slip proving that I’m Aryan back to 1750. I’m as white as it comes – I’m a dream for any white supremacist heritagewise and a nightmare for any other issue.

    Racist governments are not per se impossible in the USA because it is the USA. And Germany is not prone to that kind of government because we are Germans.

    Democracy is fragile. And under attack every second of the day. A weak democracy is one where people think it is enough to vote. “I’ll give my vote not to the guy who is in power because I don’t like him, screw every other reason” – that is not enough.

    Democracy starts in the voters. And ends with them.

    And regarding that I am getting depressions when I think of the USA and the many friends I have there. :(

  50. I’m starting to feel the coming administration is like watching a giant cruse ship full of your family and lots of innocent puppies and kittens and its headed straight for an iceberg. Moving too fast to stop and too close now to turn. I know its going to hit and Im just hoping it is only a glancing blow and doesn’t sink the whole ship. I really don’t think there is much we can do but watch and hope the damage isn’t total.
    Its possible that we just have to give these people enough rope to hang themselves and hope their body doesn’t fall on all of us. Of course, tha’s what I thought happened with Bush Cheny but apparently the red states have the short term memory of an end stage alcoholic.

    ericinaustin

  51. @Dana

    “Mike R, they get that, it’s how they rammed Obamcare through. And the backlash to *that* gave us Trump. It will be interesting to see which Trump folly powers the backlash pendulum in 2018 and beyond.”

    So, promoting a health-care reform modeled on one originally sponsored and implemented by a Republican governor (Mitt Romney, Massachusetts) is not paying attention to what the other side would like? You’d think that modeling your legislation after what the other side has done would be seen as an effort to get bipartisan support, not a “ramming through”.

  52. Secretary of education with no public education experience at all, anti-teacher union, and wants to take public school money and put it towards private schools. What could go wrong?

    Head of the environmental protection agency who is a coal and oil lobbyist, and previously lobbied on behalf of big tobacco? What could go wrong?

    UN embassador with no diplomatic experience? What could possibly go wrong.

    If you voted Trump, you voted to destroy the world. And you should be ashamed of yourself if you were capable of such a thing. But you have no shame. Thats why you could vote trump in the first place.

  53. @David

    While I understand where you are coming from, it is essentially correct that we Democrats rammed Obamacare through over the unanimous objections of the Republican in Congress. It is certainly true that numerous attempt were made to reach out to Republicans and that at various points some Republicans were interested in working on health care reform, but the Republicans decided, as a party to oppose it.

    On the other hand, to conclude that Trump is a reaction to Obamacare to quite a reach. The Democratic losses in 2010 may have partially been a reaction to Obamacare, but Trump is unlikely to be.

  54. Hey, there’s one good thing about this mess! Warren G. Harding will no longer be remembered for having the most corrupt administration of grifting thieves in US history!

    …we’re so fucked.

    Education is going to be a nightmare, and I worry for my grandparents given what Paul Ryan wants to do to Medicare and Social Security. At this point the best we can hope for is nonstop Democratic fillibusters until the economy tanks in 2018 and hopefully some level of power swap occurs. Hopefully. Please.

    …I don’t even want to be alive anymore.

  55. It’s important to remember Trump back in the early days of the Republican primary and how terrified the Republicans were because he was constantly pointing out how they were as much of a problem as the other party was. The big question is how long will Trump continue to impersonate a Republican instead of a CELEBRITY. If the Democrats are smart (big “if”), they’ll peel him away from Ryan and McConnell because he won’t want to be their front man.

    Trump will want to be liked. He’s not going to be liked if he acts like a Republican. So he’ll be all over the place. This can work if the Democrats are really dedicated to making it work.

    I’m more worried about the Trump voter. People who are willing to bring the whole thing down because of a tantrum are not rational players, and the system we have depends on the majority of us being more or less rational players. Dark times ahead.

  56. Listen to Tante Jay upthread. Really. Listen.

    If we could learn from history maybe we wouldn’t have to … ah, who’m I kidding. Forget it.

    Anyway, apropos of nothing here, the acronym “DT” keeps stopping me short. In medical literature, for decades, that’s stood for delirium tremens, the shakes and nightmare hallucinations caused by irreversible damage of chronic alcoholism.

    Too appropriate, isn’t it?

  57. “On the other hand, to conclude that Trump is a reaction to Obamacare to quite a reach. The Democratic losses in 2010 may have partially been a reaction to Obamacare, but Trump is unlikely to be.”

    Elephants have long memories. The GOP is still fighting Roe v Wade, for petes sake, do you think they’ve accepted O’Care? The -initial- backlash against O’Care was the GOP takeover of Congress in 2010.That wasn’t enough for some. So, the Tea Party. That still wasn’t enough for some. Hence, Trumpism. And here we are.

  58. Now Trump has picked another person antagonistic to the department’s purpose to run the EPA.

    From what I’ve read about Ryan’s plans for Social Security and Medicare, it won’t kick in until after 2020, so my 80-something Trump-supporting in-laws probably won’t be affected much by it, but it will kick in right around the time my wife and I are eligible. Thanks a lot, crazy right-wing father-in-law!

  59. There is an interesting article floating around on the internet that discusses Clinton resigning her votes and “donate” them to Romney. Then it would only take 38 of the Republican electoral votes to elect Romney. He looks good in comparison to Trump or Pense. Here is a link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/democrats-can-use-the-electoral-college-to-stop-trump-but-not-how-you-think/2016/12/05/c69bb24e-ba86-11e6-94ac-3d324840106c_story.html?utm_term=.da08ec19c145

  60. Dana

    “Elephants have long memories” Okay, but in that case why would it be Obamacare that they’re back-lashing against and not oh, say, the fact that a black man was elected fair and square to a position of authority over them?

    They went apeshit the hour he was elected and they’ve never really sobered up from that.

  61. Bruce said, “Now Trump has picked another person antagonistic to the department’s purpose to run the EPA.”

    The congressional Republicans have identified over 201 “last minute” regulations that they intend to repeal with the once-used Congressional Review Act. The Obama Administration’s longstanding effort to impose a host of climate friendly regulations on the oil and gas industry (mainly by EPA and Interior) is on the verge of a legislative gutting. A simple majority vote in both chambers is all it takes.

    As for Pruitt, all he needs is 51 votes to put him in charge of EPA. Thanks to Harry Reid’s modification of filibuster rules back in the day, 51 Republican Senators (or 50 Republican Senators plus Vice President Pence) can block any Democratic filibuster and bring cabinet appointments to a quick floor vote.

    According to Pence’s talk before the Heritage Foudnation, the Trump Administration is planning a 100-Day legislative blitz with the Republican Congress focused on achieving three priorities: (1) repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a market-based alternative, (2) increasing defense spending, and (3) appointing a conservative Supreme Court justice in the mold of Antonin Scalia.

    The Electoral College votes on December 19. But like the old Russian proverb says, “Hope dies last.”

  62. I will really miss these posts. I’m still unable to read a lot of news all at once — still just taking small doses — but these posts just make my head feel better. Hopefully you’ll surprise us with more on occasion!

  63. How does one accept progress being rolled back 30 or 40 years? The EPA guy denies climate change. The Education person hates public schools. The attorney general likes the KKK. Every cabinet member picked so far is some kind of bigot or hates the role of government they’ve been named to head. And in charge of it all, is a narcissist, too stupid to know he’s an idiot, a moron certain of his genius, Trumplethinskin, who has tweeted outrage at the Hamilton cast but is indifferent to security briefings or understanding the world he is about to take control of.

    And two or four years from now, the folks who voted for him, the ones watching him stack his administration with bigots and swamp monsters while saying “give him a chance”, those same idiots in 4 years will be saying it wasnt so bad, and blame every bad thing on anyone but trump. The reason we are here now, is because people refuse to admit their mistakes. When the economy is in ruin 4 years from now, Trumpers will refuse to blame Trump. They will argue they need MORE Trump. That we need to get rid of the checks and balances in his way. When you deregulate something and it crashes and burns, laissez fair proponents refuse to accet that deregulation was the problem. Instead they will insist the problem was we didnt deregulate ENOUGH.

    We are headed for what could regress the country by decades, lots of people are cheering that its going to happen, and when it fails we can all be guaranteed that they will blame anyone but their own policies.

    All because people embrace scarcity, bigotry, and fear.

  64. @NicoleandMaggie

    I suspect the hand-waving fluttering over a nuclear war with China is largely overblown. The Chinese aren’t stupid. Any major nuclear exchange aimed at major cities would trigger an all-out exchange which China would also lose. The realities of nuclear strategy are fairly clear and well-understood on both sides, and it would take a much more dramatic and serious escalation to warrant such an event and it is very doubtful the Chinese (any more than the Russians) would be able to come out of any such exchange in a positive position. No one wins, no one’s interests are served.

    What I suspect you will see is

    a). An increasingly disturbing arms race in the Pacific, as Pacific and Asian nations worry that they will no longer have US support in the event of trouble. Japan, S. Korea, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam etc. are going to be building up their arsenals in the wake of DT’s assertion that the US won’t help them unless paid. I would expect N. Korea to increase it’s aggressive stance with S. Korea at the very least, more secure that the US may be more reluctant to intervene.

    b). More aggressive and expansionist Sinosphere as China moves to consolidate it’s control and influence outward into the Pacific and into SE Asia. The Pacific has always been seen as a “US lake” due to US Naval power and overseas bases but the intended withdrawal from the TPP, coupled with DT’s tacit Taiwan recognition & his foolish comments about Pacific allies will probably encourage Chinese influence. They are already making moves to put forward a Chinese-centric version of the TPP. Nature and politics abhors a vacuum and DT has created one quite effectively in the Pactific.

    c) Nuclear proliferation – Again due to DT’s unwillingness to actually visibly support US Pacific alliances (having cheery phone calls with Duarte in the Phillipines doesn’t really do much) and his open musings about the viability of more countries having, and possibly using, nuclear weapons, is going to get a number of states that have the technical capabilities to move in that direction, if only on a contingency basis. I would expect Japan and S. Korea are re-examining their non-proliferation status. Australia and Canada both have the capabilities but probably wouldn’t move forward on it. Indonesia – frankly I don’t know but maybe. North Korea has nukes, and are, at best, a bit of a wild card in the mix. So no major nuclear exchange, but a one-off? Unlikely but possible.

    So what you can expect to see for the next four years is a more acrimonious, aggressive China, the steady erosion of US power in the Pacific region and an escalation of weapons, low-level brush wars and growing regional terrorism.

    Not sure that makes you feel any better…

  65. I think the focus on recounts and electorates who might switch votes and different scenarios that could keep Trump out of the White House are all very misguided. We need to be focusing on what these people (who will be in power in a few weeks) are doing right now.

    Also our efforts towards election reform should not be so short-sighted. Trump won by the rules in place. We can’t retroactively change them and have any meaningful democracy. On issues of privatization and corporate ownership of politicians and their agendas, Clinton was only slightly better. She would’ve been the ideologue in her administration, whereas Trump is allowing others to be the ideologues in his administration, and many of them are antidemocratic neoreactionaries. But even if Clinton or Romney were able to be president now, things wouldn’t get much better in terms of democracy (on other issues YES). We shouldn’t focus our election reform on Trump and then go to sleep. We need a massive overhaul of all of it. A discussion of whether or not we keep/reform the electoral college, whether or not we have standardized ballots and systems of voting, whether or not we should expand voting days and have a standard across the states, also voter protection so people aren’t disenfranchised. Then, most importantly, we need to reel in what private funding and lobby groups can do- there should be a firewall between corporate money and politicians. And we have to figure out about gerrymandering. If we could have a massive election reform, we wouldn’t have ended up with choices like Clinton v Trump, we’d have better voter turnout, and the GOP would not have won this time around anyway.

    Anyway… Let’s say the Democrats and moderate GOP members did get together and figure out a way to prevent the electors for casting enough votes for Trump. (Not going to happen, but let’s pretend). Have any of you who are saying that actually spent any time in deeply red parts of the country? You are asking for massive bloodshed in the streets. A lot of these people are just ITCHING for a chance to go out and fight in their militias- they’ve been prepping for this sort of thing since the 90s. There would be stand offs all over the country, probably some riots. Then of course it would get settled and we’d all get back to life as usual, meanwhile for the next four years under Clinton or Romney or whoever wins in this fantasy scenario, these people who were radicalized would organize and the movement would continue to grow- imagine what right wing radio and Tea Party rallies were able to achieve under Obama who unequivocally won. These people already hate Hillary and believe that she’s part of some evil society running the world. She lost the election under the current rules. If you change those rules and put her in power, displacing the guy their guy who won fair and square, this would be the end of US democracy. I’m dead serious. People asking for this sound totally out of touch.

    What we need is slow, long-sighted, focused movements that organize disaffected and disinterested people and consolidate a progressive base from the bottom up. Trump understands how this works- it’s why he’s still holding rallies. We need a tea-party type movement on the left, and a massive media education campaign that will talk honestly about privatization and neoliberalism and endless war.

  66. I will really miss your weekly posts on this. I look forward to them to help me see it all in an organized format. I had brain surgery a few years ago and while I can still ponder and peruse, it helps to have someone else line it up so well. (I do read other blogs and articles from those I disagree with to try and grasp the why.) Anyway, thanks for these posts. They’ve been helpful.

  67. I think that if you have the possibility to hide somewhere and rest, and if you really need to do that in order to go on, then it’s not wrong for you to do so. As always: take care of yourself so that you can take care of others. If a passenger aircraft cabin suddenly loses its pressure, first put the oxygen mask on yourself, only then help others. Just remember the “then help others” part.

  68. It would be a really good thing this holiday season for people to find Sinclair Lewis’ “It Can’t Happen Here”, a novel written in the 1930’s about authoritarian dictatorship coming to America after voters elect a bloviating gasbag to the presidency. Forewarned is forearmed.

  69. Magda,

    I was flying last week, and I saw someone on the plan reading that and someone else reading Phillip Roth’s Plot Against America which I personally think is a better depiction of what US fascism will look like. But I wondered if there has been renewed interest in these books or if I’m just noticing them more.

  70. With regards to Obamacare, I have to borrow one of @Scalzi’s favorite lines: I’m out of fucks to give. For the last six years, the Republicans have been talking the talk about how horrible Obamacare is. Now’s their chance to walk the walk. They have the majority, now they can pass into law all the brilliant ideas they claim to have about providing affordable health insurance to people who would otherwise not have it. And if those ideas turn out not to have been all that brilliant after all, they can deal with the pissed off voters.

  71. @GeoffHart: “Instead of “your children will bake under a desert sun while their dogs die”, perhaps we’d motivate more deniers with the following logic: “Why are you voting for someone who wants your cost of living (heating, driving) to increase? Why not vote for someone who will insist on more efficient energy use, thereby saving you a metric shitload (the technical term) of money, without harming any industries except big oil. Yeah, if the climate change thing is real*, this will also be good for the world. But really**, it’s all about you saving money.”

    That would be a compelling argument — if the “less expensive” alternatives were actually less expensive before the subsidies. “We took your dollar, but you can have thirty cents back if you put in solar, so you think it’s cheap.” Some of the alternatives are getting there, and we can get into a long digression about whether the subsidies were necessary to get them there — but you can’t successfully make the economic argument yet.

  72. @DaleAllen: “At this point it’s probably a good time for a primer on Fascism. I got this off a link on one of Charlie Stross’ blog postings. The 14 Characteristics of Fascism by Political scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt: https://ratical.org/ratville/CAH/fasci14chars.html

    You will notice that half of these characteristics are currently in play at the state or federal level.”

    Not only currently in play, but have been for some time. Someone noted recently that it was the Obama administration that really “weaponized government”, and, having taught those lessons, a fully weaponized government is now in the hands of the Trump administration.

    There’s a lot of us/them in this particular echo chamber — just for a few seconds, folks should consider whether the “them” is Government, rather than Republicans.

  73. @DeanHamilton:
    Proliferation was the cause of nuclear war in the original “On the Beach”. Taiwan was it in the 2000 TV adaptation. Neither scenario feels particularly good.

  74. @David: “So, promoting a health-care reform modeled on one originally sponsored and implemented by a Republican governor (Mitt Romney, Massachusetts) is not paying attention to what the other side would like? You’d think that modeling your legislation after what the other side has done would be seen as an effort to get bipartisan support, not a “ramming through”.”

    Depends on whether you see the “other side” as Republicans, or Statists. The mangled mess in Massachusetts is no better writ large.

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