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babylonsister's Journal
babylonsister's Journal
August 31, 2022

Dog Whistle or Just Racist?


Dog Whistle or Just Racist?
The speech isn’t coded so much as loaded.
Tim Murphy
Sept+Oct 2022 Issue


During the Trump era, liberals searched obsessively for signs in invisible ink, and it led them to some pretty desperate places. It’s how people ended up accusing a Jeopardy! contestant of making a white supremacist hand gesture. Or accusing a lawyer at a Supreme Court confirmation hearing of making a white supremacist hand gesture. Or accusing a bunch of cadets at a football game of making a white supremacist hand gesture.

Such sleuthing missed a major tonal shift in conservative politics in recent years. Perlstein, whose books on the making of the modern right are an essential guide, argued in 2017 that Trump had swapped the dog-whistle style for “train-whistle conservatism, in which you are allowed to talk about very racist ideas in quite flagrant ways.”

Our former president was the least subtle man in American life. The point of his rhetoric wasn’t to see what he could get away with; it was to be deliberately transgressive—to be seen as defiantly saying what others were too timid to, and to get other people mad at him while he did it. Trump, we were told over and over again, said “the quiet part out loud.” He was “a modern-day George Wallace”—according to Wallace’s own adviser. To be a MAGA Republican is to be both bigoted and proud to be called a bigot.

This should be clarifying. There was no too-cute play for plausible deniability; Trump read aloud from both Atwater’s script and Atwater’s director’s notes, and in doing so broke down any enduring illusion among people who follow or write about politics that the two could be separated. Our politicians aren’t dog-whistling racism to win racist votes in a calculated game. They’re just racist. And realizing that is for the best. After all, the euphemisms politicians use are never just euphemisms. When racist white people talk about “the schools” or “the neighborhood,” those aren’t stand-ins for something deeper and more nefarious: Those are the deeper and more nefarious things, the load-bearing pillars of structural racism. This speech isn’t coded so much as it’s loaded.

The allure of the “dog whistle” is that political rhetoric is a mysterious field filled with hidden messages. But most of this stuff isn’t secret. So maybe just call it what it is; after all, you heard it too.
August 31, 2022

FBI Agents Needed Special Clearance to Retrieve Documents

Nice to know someone was taking this seriously.


FBI Agents Needed Special Clearance to Retrieve Documents
August 31, 2022 at 6:22 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

“Some of the documents retrieved by FBI agents in their raid of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate were so classified that agents needed special permission to view them, according to Justice Department court documents filed Tuesday,” Insider reports.
August 31, 2022

Dana Milbank: Trump wants to be treated like Hillary Clinton? By all means.


Trump wants to be treated like Hillary Clinton? By all means.
Image without a caption
By Dana Milbank
Columnist |
August 30, 2022 at 4:07 p.m. EDT


The FBI should undertake a sprawling, multiyear investigation into Trump’s conduct, grilling him and his staff, running extensive forensics, and examining whether his actions allowed hostile actors to compromise U.S. security. The FBI should continue to keep him under investigation while he runs for president in 2024.


MAGA Republicans should be careful what they wish for as they respond to every development in Trump’s legal saga with fits of whataboutism: What about Clinton? What about Hunter Biden? Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz even penned “A Defense of ‘Whataboutism’ ” for the Wall Street Journal.

If they really want Trump to be treated the way Clinton was in 2016, they’ll also have to arrange for him to be the subject of “lock him up” chants at Democratic rallies and for the Democratic nominee’s advisers and prominent backers to assert that Trump should be “executed,” “shot” and hanged.

Preliminarily, Trump’s case appears much more serious than Clinton’s. Clinton mishandled a small amount of classified information. (Of tens of thousands of emails, three were marked classified and about 100 had unmarked classified material.) Trump apparently made off with boxes containing more than 700 pages of classified material, including some of the most sensitive types of intelligence, and refused to give it back — even under subpoena. Still to be determined: Trump’s motive and the damage to national security.


In Clinton’s case, Comey concluded, “We do not see those things.” And Trump? Fairness requires that he be held to that same standard.
August 31, 2022

digby: Something's happening here ...

Something’s happening here …
Published by digby on August 30, 2022
C’mon people, now

Another little data point to consider:

Our most recent NBC News poll contained one more set of numbers about how November’s upcoming election doesn’t look like your traditional midterm.

Persuadable voters are breaking towards the party controlling the White House and Congress, which is unlike what we saw in 2010, 2018 or even earlier this year.

Our poll defines “persuadable voters” — representing about 25% of the sample — as registered voters who are not core Democrats or Republicans, meaning that they’re either hard independents or Democrats/Republicans who aren’t reliable party backers.

These voters are disproportionately males, ideological moderates, self-identified independents and those living in the exurbs.


August 30, 2022

Good morning! I need to

pick some protection/anti-virus for my VivoBook (ASUS). I have been using Norton but they're relentless with their ads and updates. I went to an informational page for ASUS and McAffee was recommended.

Does anyone have any thoughts or recommendations? I know this has probably been addressed here a lot, so even an old link I could read would be useful. Thank you for any help!

August 30, 2022

NBC's 'Meet the Press' Shakeup Puts Chuck Todd in Jeopardy

NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ Shakeup Puts Chuck Todd in Jeopardy
In this week’s edition of Confider, we look at how a major change in the marquee politics show’s staff has raised questions about the future of its host.
Lachlan Cartwright
Editor at Large
Updated Aug. 29, 2022 7:37PM ET / Published Aug. 29, 2022 7:30PM ET

The executive producer of Meet the Press, who NBC announced last week is ”shifting” over to the streaming side, was pushed out amid the Sunday politics show’s ratings woes, two people familiar with the matter told Confider.

John Reiss, who had been EP for the last eight years, was officially punted over to the NBC News Now streaming service, and David P. Gelles, a long-time CNN producer who helped develop the now-defunct CNN+ streamer, was parachuted in to help fix the sinking show, which is down 21 percent in total viewership and 24 percent in the key advertising demographic compared to last year—more than any of the other Sunday politics shows.

Gelles’ first order of business, multiple sources said, is deciding what to do about Chuck Todd, who despite recently signing a two-year extension, as Confider has learned, has baffled many at NBC with how long he’s remained atop the struggling show.

NBC White House correspondent Kristen Welker is being groomed to replace Todd, multiple insiders with knowledge of the matter said, and is expected to take on more hosting duties as the midterm elections approach.



August 29, 2022

"...there's no one in this entire world who hates Americans.......more than other Americans."


KC Wells

LOL @ everyone whining about “But….but…..what about MY student loans that I paid off already 😭”. What the fuck about them??? 🤷🏾?♂️

Look, I don’t super care about what ppl think about this student loan forgiveness thing, or Biden, or whatever. I get it. Debt redistribution, money isn’t free, etc. Fine. There’s good things about it and there’s not so good things about it.

My issue is that there’s no one in this entire world who hates Americans…….more than other Americans. This country, as a whole, is comprised of just the most selfish fucking society, man. Ppl get all up in their feelings at even the mere THOUGHT of anyone getting anything that they didn’t get.

Raise the minimum wage to a barely livable $15? “NO! MY precious, important job pays me $20, so burger flippers don’t deserve to make anywhere close to what I’M making!!”

Cancel student debt?
“NO! I already paid my loans off, why do THEY get their’s cancelled.”

Affordable healthcare for all?
“NO! I’m not paying more taxes so that my neighbor can see a doctor about his medical condition!!”
We are our own oppressors and we’ve been conditioned to be that. We’re doing their work for them. It’s been seared into us that helping each other is a bad thing. That this country is not actually greater than the sum of its parts. We’ve been told that if someone who has nothing gets something, it’s because they took it from someone who also has nothing. And we believed all of it. Meanwhile, the ppl who have everything are laughing their asses off.

We don’t compromise. We don’t share. We don’t sacrifice. We don’t want to do anything to help the next person. Why? Because no one helped us. So fuck everyone else. Never considering that you deserved help too. It just didn’t come when you needed it, unfortunately.

People don’t want this country to be better. They just want it to be better for THEM. And that’s it. Full stop. Apparently, progress should be measured on an individual basis, not collective.

And then we wonder why we’re being completely lapped by other countries in every major category. Because those places understand that access to healthcare without having to go into debt is better for EVERYONE. Access to education without going into debt is better for EVERYONE. Access to affordable living without going into debt is better for EVERYONE.

Not here, though. We’re perfectly fine with our taxes going to more military bullshit. We’re perfectly fine with debt companies getting rich off of collecting student debts. We’re perfectly fine with keeping ppl below the poverty line because they work a job that we think is beneath us.

Seems legit.

This whole “Why should that person be rescued from drowning when I was forced to swim to shore” bullshit ain’t it. And it’s nothing to be proud of.
August 29, 2022

Dahlia Lithwick: The Men Just Keep Talking


The Men Just Keep Talking
There is something happening with angry women voting on abortion. Male politicians don’t seem to have noticed.
By Dahlia Lithwick
Aug 28, 20227:00 PM

Long after the time had passed for male GOP officials to stop, to just stop, pretending they know or understand anything about female anatomy, reproductive organs, medical emergencies and basic preventative health care, they have continued to talk. They have continued to talk and talk and talk even when the massive blowback after the Dobbs decision proved it was an error; Kansas proved it was an error; and after the surprise election of Pat Ryan in a New York special election proved it was an error. Every time a Republican man opens his mouth to talk about women’s bodies, ten new female voters get their wings. Yet somehow, they cannot seem to stop themselves!

It is surely the very textbook definition of “privilege” to find yourself unbothered by protests, polling numbers, and voter registration data. Justice Samuel Alito actually laughed in the face of outraged females who called out the bad history, bad economics, and bad medicine in his leaked draft opinion—their complaints were numerous and well-founded, yet he didn’t change a thing. Instead, he smugly told women that if they didn’t like the outcome in Dobbs, they could just “seek to affect the legislative process by influencing public opinion, lobbying legislators, voting, and running for office” and that “women are not without electoral or political power.” The court’s newest approval ratings suggest the same, though I don’t think Justice Alito likes that kind of political power very much at all.

Because, Happy Women’s Equality Day, women are taking him up on the offer. One analysis of the Kansas’ voter registration list showed that in the week after Dobbs, more than 70 percent of newly registered voters in that state were women. Those numbers, according to an Upshot analysis of 10 states with available voter registration data, show consistently higher registration for women after the Dobbs leak in May. As Jennifer Rubin recently noted, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that, “62 percent of women registering since Dobbs registered as Democrats, 15 percent as Republicans and that 54 percent were younger than 25.” And a Pew Research Center poll indicates that “a majority of registered voters (56 percent) say the issue of abortion will be very important in their midterm vote, up from 43 percent in March.” Tom Bonier, CEO Of TargetSmart recently posted on Twitter: “We are seeing early signs of what could lead to a huge increase in women voting in November. …This surge is young and female.” Both Mitch McConnell and RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel are panicking about the GOP’s odds in Congress, directly connected to fundraising around abortion.

I have a lot of theories about why nobody should be surprised that women are friggin’ furious right now, which include, as Mark Joseph Stern has been arguing all summer, the increasingly horrifying tales of women, disproportionately on teenagers and victims of violence, left to suffer from sepsis, refused prescriptions and denied treatment for ectopic pregnancies, and ever more horrors. And yet, the forced birth Republicans continue to insist that none of this is happening, or that journalists and physicians are making it all up.


It’s not mere coincidence that new polling shows that “threats to democracy” is suddenly ranked as the number one issue for registered voters. It rolled in at 21 percent, this week, overtaking the economy, crime, and abortion. When you are repeatedly being told by those in power that your preferences don’t matter and when those in power believe that saying the quiet parts out loud is electorally costless, they aren’t just saying that women don’t matter. They’re saying democracy doesn’t matter either. But it turns out they don’t get to decide that. You do.
August 28, 2022

"Trump's Treason Mocks My Life"


Trump's Treason Mocks My Life
Community (This content is not subject to review by Daily Kos staff prior to publication.)
Saturday August 27, 2022 · 4:12 PM EDT
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The more I read and learn about the documents found at trump's Mar-A-Lago resort/home, the angrier I become. Honestly, words cannot express the depth of my anger and disgust and outrage and repressed fury as these emotions are all rolled into one giant ball of FUCK THIS.

Trump has committed treason on a scope this country has never before witnessed, and he's still walking around a free man. The fact that he is is not in jail, along with his miscreant family and associates, is a black stain on America and makes a mockery of the life I've lived.

My Life With A Security Clearance

I am 66 years old, a retired US Navy veteran who went on to work for the government/DoD/DHS in various capacities after my Navy retirement. I have literally held some level of security clearance since I was 19 years old. At one time I did hold a TS/SCI level clearance.

My requirement for maintaining a security clearance defines my ability to hold jobs in my chosen field of work. No clearance, no jobs. The sudden loss of my clearance, with accompanying loss of my career, has been a life-long sword of Damocles hanging over my head. I know the restrictions I have had to live with my entire life due to holding a security clearance.

The Restrictions

There are things I've done 40 years ago I still cannot tell anyone about, because those things are classified. I can't publictly show off some of the best work I've ever done, because that work is classified. My overseas vacation trips have to be "precleared" by some corporate security goon, even for traveling to European Union nations where I don't even need visas.

Every five to ten years I get "re-cleared," meaning federal agents get to wander around asking my neighbors detailed questions about me; my drinking habits, guests/parties at my home, indications I beat my wife, etc, etc, etc. These agents get to read my most personal medical and financial records, looking for any reason to deny my clearance.

I once had the humiliating experience of advising a federal agent, a total stranger, investigating me for yet another clearance, about my ex-wife. How she was living next door to where I used to live. About our contentious divorce. Explain how her new husband had already tried to smear me with some of the most vile lies I'd ever been subjected to. The agent made all the right sympathetic noises, yet salivating at the opportunity to dig up dirt on me. I spent months worried that my ex- would find a way to sink my clearance, costing me a job I really wanted.

Penalty For Violating Terms of My Clearance

If ever, just once, I had ever taken a document classified TS/SCI home with me and security goons found out…FBI agents backed up by a SWAT team would have stormed my home at 3:00AM. They would rip up everything in my home looking for that document, and when found, march me and my wife out the door in handcuffs. All in full view of my neighbors. Every person who might ever have visited my home would have been interrogated in effort to find out if they had any knowledge of that stolen document.

Trump's Treason

Now, this fucking asshole trump has been proven to have HUNDREDS of classified documents squirrelled away in his residence. Known Russian agents, and agents from God-only-knows how many other countries all have had access to this residence while those documents were stored there.

The government spent eighteen months "negotiating" with trump to get those documents back. BULLSHIT.

The FBI "conducted the search in a relatively low-key manner." Fucking BULLSHIT. Every guest and worker in that residence should have been rounded up, hauled to the nearest FBI office, and interrogated to find out what they knew. Every person who has had access to that residence since those documents were stored there - every single person- should right now be in lockup pending interrogation by FBI agents over what they knew and/or saw.

Trump himself should already be in jail, pending further resolution over who he might have given access to those documents.

Our Two-Tier Legal System

The fact that NONE OF THIS IS HAPPENING is the most glaring proof anyone who's paying attention needs to show the two-level legal system in this country. One legal system for the rich and politically powerful. One legal system for the rest of us.

Meanwhile, there is no reason to believe anything other than our core national secrets, some of the most important information needed to protect our nation, have been given away or sold to Trump's foreign owners. And Trump is still not in jail.

All of this is BULLSHIT.

A Mockery Of My Life

Trump has made a mockery of the restrictions and laws I've lived under by holding security clearances my entire adult life. He's violated every rule on classified material with complete lack of accountability. His actions, and the non-actions of the government agents charged to enforce our laws on security clearances and handling classified information, is making a mockery of how I've lived my life. The depths of my resentment over this has yet to find the bottom.
August 28, 2022

Matt Lewis: Ron DeSantis and Dr. Oz Embrace Their Inner Pricks

Matt Lewis is even getting tired of their shit.

Ron DeSantis and Dr. Oz Embrace Their Inner Pricks
Mocking a man for having a stroke. Advocating physical violence. These sorts of behaviors used to tank political careers—and they still should.
Matt Lewis
Senior Columnist
Updated Aug. 27, 2022 2:08AM ET / Published Aug. 26, 2022 8:44PM ET

For most of my life, the joke among conservatives was that “Republicans were the stupid party, and Democrats were the evil party.” Those party generalizations may be past their prime.

Consider the confluence of events that swamped my Twitter timeline this past week. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, said of Dr. Anthony Fauci, “Someone needs to grab that little elf and chuck him across the Potomac.” Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Republican nominee in Pennsylvania for the U.S. Senate, said this about his political opponent: “If John Fetterman had ever eaten a vegetable in his life, then maybe he wouldn’t have had a major stroke and wouldn’t be in the position of having to lie about it constantly.”

And it gets (arguably) worse. On Tuesday, alt-right activist Laura Loomer (whom Trump endorsed for her 2020 race) lost her Republican primary in Florida. “I’m not conceding, because I’m a winner!” the loser ranted.

In 2022, this behavior seems only mildly shocking. But not that long ago, making any of these statements would have been almost unthinkable. Yes, politics has always had its share of bad people. But at some point in recent years—no doubt, a byproduct of Donald Trump’s arrival on the political scene—acting like an asshole became a smart political strategy.



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