ChrisWeigant.com

Haunting Hallowe'en Nightmares For Left And Right

[ Posted Friday, October 28th, 2016 – 18:39 UTC ]

Boo!

Yes, it's time once again for our yearly frightfest, where we toss out a spine-tingling nightmare for folks on both sides of the political chasm. Right and left will be quaking in their boots after contemplating the following twisted tales! [Cue: shrieking and chains clanking]

Because we've already traveled this road once (last year's frightful horror stories already involved none other than Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton), we decided to make it hard on ourselves today. This is because the horrorshow on both right and left is so easy to imagine for everyone, at this point, that they could fit on a couple of tweets: "For GOP -- President Hillary Rodham Clinton!" and "For Dems -- email scandal throws election to Trump!" So instead of taking things easy, we've instead decided that the Republican nightmare will begin with Trump winning and the Democratic nightmare will start with Clinton winning the election. This made coming up with these fearsome tales more challenging, we felt.

One apologetic note, before we begin. Each year, we take the time to carve pumpkins into Jack-o-lanterns, to accompany our nightmares. Sometimes they come out looking like what they're supposed to, sometimes not so much. So, just in case anyone can't interpret the first of these, that's supposed to be the White House with a giant "TRUMP" sign on the top of it. As we discovered, the White House is a lot harder to carve onto a pumpkin than we had initially thought. Just wanted to avoid confusion for everyone.

OK, enough apologizing for poor pumpkin art (Trumpkin art?), lets get right to our haunting tales of dread and woe for Republicans and Democrats alike. We tossed a coin, and it determined that the GOP frightful fable would be first. So buckle your seatbelts, here we go....

 

Trump White House

Republican Nightmare -- Jobs for all!

Donald Trump's campaign turns out to be right, and millions of "shy Trump voters" (who are too embarrassed to admit to pollsters that they're supporting Trump, thus skewing all the polls in Hillary's direction) actually exist -- and they turn out on Election Day, bigly. Trump sweeps Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Florida, Iowa, Arizona, and Nevada to squeak out a victory in the Electoral College.

Hillary Clinton turns out to be the one who refuses to concede on the night of the election, and demands recounts everywhere. Even after the recounts, however, it becomes apparent that she lost and Donald J. Trump will be our next president.

Republicans cautiously rejoice, as they all breathe a collective sigh of relief. Their House majority is saved, and they even retain the Senate, 51 to 49. This, they all tell themselves, will assure a conservative majority on the Supreme Court for decades to come.

Trump's transition team, however, begins to frighten Republicans to their core. Trump's first major announcement is that he will be appointing his daughter Ivanka as his new Chief of Staff. "She's going to run the White House beautifully," Trump assures America. His sons are appointed Special Counsels, and Trump shocks Washington by announcing that these are the only advisors he is ever going to listen to at all -- his Cabinet won't have any input to his decisions whatsoever. "I have a much better brain than anyone, so I'll be making all the big-league decisions," Trump helpfully explains.

Chris Christie is nominated for Attorney General, who immediately announces that he'll be appointing none other than Rudy Giuliani as "Special Clinton Prosecutor," who will have an unlimited budget to investigate every aspect of both Clintons' lives, back to when they were in grade school. This reassures nervous Republicans.

Trump has "the classiest inauguration ever," complete with scantily-clad dancing girls (who all come down with pneumonia, after performing outdoors in the 20-degree weather in January). Trump immediately begins construction of a giant, gold-plated "TRUMP" sign on the White House roof, to the horror of pretty much everyone.

After the Senate confirms Christie, he also announces several other measures that Trump has demanded. First, the I.R.S. will be directed to hound every name on Trump's new (and official) "Enemies Of The Trump State" list, which -- to their horror -- includes every single Republican officeholder who didn't fully endorse Trump, as well as every Republican alive who has ever said anything mean or nasty about Trump. The list also has a few Democrats on it (Rosie O'Donnell's name is actually the first on the list), but over three-fourths of the names are from the GOP. Trump promises them they're all going to get "the audit from Hell," just to make things worse.

Republicans are united in their outrage towards Trump, but they all know that if they say anything negative about him they'll be painting a giant target on their own backs, so none of them ever go on the record opposing Trump's enemies list.

Trump then shocks the country by naming his own sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, to the Supreme Court. Because he knows the Senate might refuse to confirm her, he sneakily appoints her while the Senate is in recess, meaning she'll serve at least until the end of his term without having to be confirmed at all. Trump insists she is qualified, since she's already a senior federal appellate court judge. But what really horrifies Republicans is that she's both pro-choice and downright liberal -- not exactly what they had expected to see on the high court from a Republican president.

Congressional Republicans try to take the reins of power, by hastily passing a budget with every single one of the items they've been dreaming about for years -- eliminating the E.P.A., declaring Planned Parenthood a criminal enterprise, slashing entitlement programs, and revising the tax code so that millionaires are absolutely exempt from all federal taxes. In other words, the basic Republican Party platform.

But President Trump surprises them all by vetoing it. Borrowing a tactic from Maine's Governor Paul LePage, Trump declares that from now on he himself will be introducing all the bills Congress will then be required to pass, and that he'll veto any and all legislation that his sons and daughter didn't actually draft. He unveils his first bill, which outlines how he's going to build his border wall and threaten Mexico with nuclear war if it doesn't pony up all the money to pay for it. "If you don't pass my bills," Trump warns Congress, "then you might as well just go home and not even bother coming in to work, because I won't be signing any of your stupid bills at all."

Russia announces it is annexing Ukraine. Trump praises Vladimir Putin for doing so, saying, "that's a bold bit of leadership, and Ukraine wasn't doing anybody any good as it was." Trump has Putin over for a barbeque on the White House lawn, and after the two leaders meet behind closed doors for three hours, they issue a joint statement on the Middle East. Russia is awarded full military control over Syria, and President Trump explains, "Putin has promised to wipe out everyone who doesn't support Assad, so that takes care of ISIS." Putin struggles to control his maniacal grin while Trump talks. Trump also announces that all high schools in America will now require students to be fluent in Russian before they can graduate. Putin tries to stifle his laughter behind his hand, unsuccessfully.

Trump then announces to the rest of the world that the United States will be pulling our military out of all foreign bases, effective in one month's time, unless they all start paying what Trump calls "protection money" to the U.S. Treasury. "Nice little country you got there," Trump sneers, "it'd be a shame if anything were to happen to it."

The world's economic system collapses within days. Every other country on the planet immediately dumps all holdings in America and liquidates all reserves of the U.S. dollar. As the dollar collapses in value in the currency markets, the smart money starts buying Russian rubles and Chinese yuan.

President Trump insists that everything is going to plan, and with the dollar virtually worthless outside America, "now all the jobs have to come back home." This is true -- American companies simply can't afford to operate the way they have been, and to compete in America they know they'll have to make all their products within the country's borders.

However, it being the twenty-first century and all, they actually have another option. The result is that 499 of the Fortune 500 corporations announce within the week that they will be moving their companies overseas permanently, and will still sell products in America -- but will only accept foreign currency to buy these products. The exodus of companies causes further collapse to the U.S. economy.

Congress belatedly acts, and begins impeachment proceedings against Trump, but they have waited too long. President Trump announces martial law (due to the rioting and looting which has broken out in all 50 states over the collapse of the economy), and federalizes not only the National Guard, but all police forces, everywhere. All members of Congress are rounded up and sent to "re-education camps."

In the end, Trump does make good on his promise of "jobs for all" as half of the country is arrested and sent to the labor camps, while the other half now enjoys job security as prison guards. The era of the American gulag begins, and Trump proclaims himself "President-For-Life."

 

Queen Hillary

Democratic Nightmare -- Queen Hillary The First

Hillary Clinton wins the presidential election with more Electoral College votes than Barack Obama managed to get in 2008. Democrats rejoice at a third consecutive term in the White House. Democrats also retake control of the Senate, but fail to win the 30 seats necessary to take the House. Donald Trump threatens "massive lawsuits," but by this time nobody is paying the slightest bit of attention to him. Like most threatened Trump lawsuits, they never actually happen. Trump crawls back to New York and starts up an alt-right media empire.

Once the dust from the election settles, Hillary Clinton reverts to form. In the transition period, she announces she's naming 23 former Wall Street banking executives to be her economic advisory team. A former Goldman Sachs executive is her pick for Secretary of the Treasury. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren hold a joint press conference to denounce Clinton's picks, and when Clinton is asked to respond, she just laughs loud and long. "What did they really expect?" she finally gasps, with tears running from her eyes from the laughter. In the midst of this, the announcement that Bill Clinton will be in charge of hiring all White House interns goes almost unnoticed. Hillary further announces that Rahm Emanuel will be her Chief of Staff, much to the progressives' horror. Hillary fills out her cabinet with former members of the "Democratic Leadership Council" from the 1990s, and announces her legacy will be a return to neo-liberalism, and her White House will be "as friendly as can be" to Big Business. As if this weren't bad enough, she decides to nominate Henry Kissinger as her Secretary of State.

Inauguration Day dawns cold and snowy. This time around, Chief Justice Roberts actually reads from an index card, so he gets the wording of the presidential oath correct. However, Hillary muffs her lines slightly, and has to hold a second swearing-in hours later as Republicans scream: "She's not the legitimate president!" to anyone who will listen. At the Inaugural Ball, Hillary Clinton appears with a suspiciously-large diamond tiara, and instructs everyone that officially meeting her now means people should either bow or curtsey before she will acknowledge their presence.

On her first day in office, President Clinton announces she is issuing a blanket pardon for any and all crimes either she or her husband may or may not have ever committed. "Republicans can just chew on that -- there is now no point in investigating anything which happened prior to today," Clinton proclaims. Congressional Republicans howl, but since there is no precedent and since pardoning yourself and your husband is not actually banned by the Constitution, she gets away with it.

Clinton's first 100 days absolutely horrify all progressive Democrats. She begins by pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership through the Senate, breaking the first of many campaign promises. When asked about this flip-flop, Clinton blithely responds: "You guys actually believed I was against the 'gold standard' of trade agreements? Wow -- you're stupider than you look!" Clinton also names a former corporate lawyer for Lehman Brothers as her Supreme Court nominee. It is quickly discovered that he has spoken and written extensively on how much he approves of the Citizens United decision, crushing progressives' hopes for a less corporate-friendly Supreme Court. When Bernie Sanders pushes a "free public college for all" bill through the Senate, Clinton responds with: "What have you guys been smoking? That ain't gonna happen." The bill dies in the House, of course. Clinton also announces that her Justice Department will be prosecuting any businesses and people involved in the recreational marijuana market in Colorado, Washington, "and all those other hippie states that think they can ignore federal law."

Clinton unveils her first budget, and Democrats recoil in shock. Hillary has rewritten the tax laws so that anyone in the banking industry pays a flat "one-percenter's one percent" in federal income tax. The bigger shock is that Clinton presents her first budget in a joint appearance with Speaker Paul Ryan. "I promised to be president for all Americans, and in that spirit I am reaching out to Republicans with this bipartisan budget." What this means is that Clinton and Ryan have reached the fabled "Grand Bargain" on taxes and entitlements. Social Security payments will be drastically reduced, in exchange for only lowering taxes on the wealthy by five percent, instead of the twenty percent Republicans wanted. "This is the best deal I could get," Hillary explains to aghast Democrats, "and I think we should all join together and pass it."

Clinton announces her foreign policy goals in her first weeks in office, which include immediately instituting a no-fly zone over Syria. Additional aircraft carriers are sent to the Mediterranean to enforce the new "Operation America Owns Syria's Skies." Two months later, a Russian fighter is shot down by an American pilot. Russia immediately begins targeting the aircraft carries with cruise missiles.

Hillary Clinton makes a fiery speech, quoting Maggie Thatcher at length. Clinton declares that "America will not be pushed around," and gives the Russian military 24 hours to vacate Syria. Putin laughs at this, and lobs a few more cruise missiles (so far, Putin has only been launching his older missiles with conventional explosives on them, which the carriers can easily shoot down). In retaliation, Clinton launches a massive carpet-bombing of all Russian bases within Syria.

Within hours, panic spreads in both countries. Millions flee coastal cities deemed to be military targets in the United States, and "flyover country" becomes the most attractive destination, deep within America's borders. Seeing such disruption, and at the very brink of nuclear war, both sides slowly back down. Clinton is forced to end her no-fly zone over Syria, while the Russians only agree to stop attacking American military units.

The panic lasts weeks, however, and takes a very heavy toll on the economy. Stock markets tank, tens of millions are fired (or don't show up to work, having fled to the interior), and the dollar collapses.

Hillary Clinton, at this point, seems to suffer a mental breakdown. In a bizarre ceremony, she announces that due to the emergency, America can no longer afford to have any divisions within its government, and she is thus seizing all power and naming herself "Queen of the United States." Her Inauguration Ball tiara is upgraded to a solid gold crown, encrusted with diamonds and other precious gems. Clinton announces that future elections simply won't be necessary, since she will be in full control of all the levers of power in an absolute monarchy.

Her last statement before ending the coronation ceremony is that Chelsea will henceforth be known as "Crown Princess Chelsea," and that the secession of power will continue only within "the House of Rodham." In the midst of these shocking developments, nobody pays much attention to the seventeen interns who get caught having an orgy with Bill and Donald Trump Jr. in the Rose Room of the White House.

 

Have a happy Hallowe'en everyone!

 

-- Chris Weigant

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

76 Comments on “Haunting Hallowe'en Nightmares For Left And Right”

  1. [1] 
    Paula wrote:

    Hey Chris: I just followed you on Twitter! Was I #800?

  2. [2] 
    Paula wrote:

    Brrrrr to both!

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    I knew it was the White House before I read your column, for the record. :)

    What I really want to know, though, is do you think Hillary Clinton is corrupt?

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Paula -

    You may very well have been! Last I checked it, I was at 799, then today I looked and it was up to 801...

    :-)

    Thanks to you and everyone for following me! I still haven't followed anyone, so as not to show any biases whatsoever. Although I was sorely tempted to follow Craig Ferguson (@CraigyFerg) while he was still on the air at night...

    LizM -

    Thanks, I thought it looked kinda lopsided in the photo. It looks better in 3D, though.

    Corrupt? Dunno that I'd use that term, personally. But if I ever shook her hand, I'd be sure to count my fingers and check that my watch was still on my wrist afterwards, if you know what I mean.

    :-)

    -CW

  5. [5] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    The very concept of Trump as president is a nightmare scenario worthy of Stephen King, or as a sequel to 'The Omen'. You could have stopped at the end of the second paragraph and had a pretty solid horror story.

  6. [6] 
    TheStig wrote:

    So, the FBI is into election dirty tricks! Putin's efforts along these lines were marginally more ethical. Putin's brief includes misinformation. The FBI is supposed to be apolitical I know, that's an historical larf, but I thought the disinformation activities of J. Edgar were over (Civil Rights Movement, Anti Vietnam Movement) were at least tamped down to a discrete level.

    Day one after the election, Obama should begin the process of dismissing Comey. It will lead to an ugly wrangle that persist into the next administration, and it may not stick, but the FBI needs to be put in it's proper place....and Comey needs "reassignment" for rotten judgment.

  7. [7] 
    TheStig wrote:

    By the way, very nice pumpkins and horror stories!

  8. [8] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    After recently watching "Soylent Green" and "Logan's Run" I feel prepared to endure either a Trump or Clinton presidency.

  9. [9] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    Awesome pumpkins... very well done.

    But this-

    "and announces her legacy will be a return to neo-liberalism, and her White House will be "as friendly as can be" to Big Business"

    is ridiculous.

    Return?

    When did we leave?

    Misrepresenting our current reality is the truly frightening thing.

    It creeps me out when you jump on that bandwagon.

    A

  10. [10] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    You know what could actually happen that would really scare both the Republicans and Democrats ?
    If the 10-15% of citizens that are voting for third party or independent presidential candidates were joined by 5-10% of the Clinton-Trump voters in voting for third party or independent candidates for Congress in 2016 or writing in their own name if there are no third party or independent candidates worth voting for on their ballot.
    As pointed out before, but worth repeating- there is no lesser of two evil argument for the about 90% of 2016 congressional elections that are taking place in congressional districts that have been gerrymandered to favor either Republicans or Democrats. These elections were decided in the 2016 primaries.
    If this 15-25% of the 2016 voters also registered on Voucher Vendetta that in 2018 and 2020 they will only vote for small contribution candidates it would also be a major step toward removing the Big Money from our political process.
    This is what democracy is about. Citizens applying the basic tools of democracy to have a say in how our our government is run and who is running it.
    If you don't think this can work , then you don't think democracy can work.
    Grow a pair and stand up for democracy.

  11. [11] 
    Paula wrote:

    This stupid, stupid, craven move by Comey does not show Hillary to be corrupt, it shows what happens when Republican bullies scream "bias" at people for doing their jobs. Comey is a Republican and it was just unbearable to him to be trashed by the likes of Chaffetz and other republican ratf&ckers. Poor, poor guy. And Hillary gets hit again, as always happens, by the concentrated venom of Republicans who can only win by lying, cheating or both.

  12. [12] 
    altohone wrote:

    BTW CW

    The stories aren't fair or balanced either.

    In the Trump version everybody suffers.
    In the Hillary version, Repubs get everything they've wanted except that Hillary is ruling.

    Can't say I'm down with you feeding the neo-McCarthyist bull in both stories too.
    The faith, as in belief without evidence, that you and too many in the CW gang and Dem party have adopted... swallowing a very convenient electioneering tactic being used to dismiss valid questions about corruption and policy deceptions, and to simultaneously damage Her opponent, should make anybody who believes in science shudder.

    A

  13. [13] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I would think the gop nightmare would involve hillary winning and justices Thomas and Alito suffering massive coronaries on November 9.

    The dem nightmare is trump wins, gop hold both houses of Congress including 60 senators, trump decides the day after inauguration to retire as president, pence takes over, justice ginsberg gets impeached, gay marriage and abortion rights are overturned with a vengeance.

    JL

  14. [14] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    Looking forward to the column comparing what Hillary supporters were saying about Comey a few weeks ago to what they're saying now.

    Good stuff.
    You'd get to type Immelmann again.

    A

  15. [15] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Paula [11]: The Republicans are always "working the refs". It's what they do. Comey is particularly vulnerable to it because he is a Republican appointee of GW, and probably hates the venom that his own party has been throwing at him for not indicting Hillary.

    IMHO, he brought it on himself by inserting extra-legal 'opinions' into what should have been a terse statement in the first place: the FBI could find no basis for an indictment in this matter. period. end of discussion.

    Al [14]: If I recall, there was plenty of criticism of Comey because of his extraneous remarks at the aforementioned press conference. That led to further inappropriate characterizations before Congress, and now this mess. He still doesn't have anything to indict her with: that's the bottom line, regardless of how it's spun by his GOP buddies.

  16. [16] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @alto [14],

    i support hillary and i don't think comey did anything wrong. the timing is unfortunate, but i think he's proven over time that he's not the type to base his investigative decisions on politics. if hillary loses the election over this particular strain of e-mails (which i doubt will happen), there will be plenty of blame to go around, but very little of it will rest with the fbi director.

    JL

  17. [17] 
    Paula wrote:

    [15] Balthasar: Yes.

    I was furious at Comey when he did his press conference to deliver his lecture about Hillary's "carelessness". They chose not to indict because there was nothing indictable. Repubs never came up with a smell of a reason for Clinton doing whatever nefarious thing they wanted her indicted for -- i.e. no criminal intent, no motive for anything other than an IT system that made life difficult for people working at State Dept.

    It was just another Clinton witch-hunt and the way Chaffetz jumped all over this piece of nothing is a perfect example of their modus operandi: make a giant accusation and watch the media have hysterics for awhile until the facts are actually unearthed. Rinse, repeat.

    Republicans have done worse than work the refs. They have, systematically and over a long period done all they could to discredit functioning government and demonize Democrats. They've been helped by the Comey type of Republican, who wants to say he's a Republican, but can't bring himself to oppose anything his nihilistic dishonest party leadership does/says/supports.

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    They've been helped by the Comey type of Republican, who wants to say he's a Republican, but can't bring himself to oppose anything his nihilistic dishonest party leadership does/says/supports.

    That assertion that Comey is that type of Republican is very demonstrably false.

    Do you recall the infamous encounter in the hospital at the bedside of then Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2004 when Roberto Gonzales and Andrew Card attempted to take advantage of a very sick AG and obtain his bedside authorization for a domestic surveillance operation because the acting AG, Jim Comey, would not authorize it as he found no legal basis for the program and was prepared to resign over it?

    You may have forgotten the detail of this little episode but it amply shows that the type of Republican Comey is doesn't comport to your descripting, in the least.

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  20. [20] 
    altohone wrote:

    Balthy
    15

    The way Hillary supporters mischaracterized Comey's remarks while praising his decision (which legally wasn't his to make) to high heaven as vindication was what I remember.

    What they're saying now is quite the Immelmann though.

    Interesting that you are stating with certainty that which hasn't been decided or reported on though.

    Care to share your insider knowledge, or were you just carelessly wording your hunch?

    A

  21. [21] 
    altohone wrote:

    nypoet
    16

    "i think he's proven over time that he's not the type to base his investigative decisions on politics"

    Comey is a revolving door establishment Wall Street coddler.

    If you set aside the fact he didn't even take Hillary's false public comments on her emails into account, the double standard where the less powerful doing the same thing would have been prosecuted without some bullspit assessment of intent, the roughly 3,000,000 separate incidences of forged documents bankers submitted in court filings for illegal foreclosures he ignored, the unconstitutional surveillance his organization conducted, his organization misleading judges nationwide on the nature and usage of surveillance technology, his downplaying of the seriousness of police violence, and quite a few other things... he's a stand up guy.

    Obama picked him, so he has to be.

    A

  22. [22] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Al,

    Do you think it's important that data on police shootings be collected and analyzed?

  23. [23] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  24. [24] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Paula [17] ..their modus operandi: make a giant accusation and watch the media have hysterics for awhile until the facts are actually unearthed. Rinse, repeat.

    Well put! I think Chaffetz is actually looking forward to covering this familiar tune from the '90's for the next eight years. Ugh. It's an unusual threat: the equivalent of saying, 'if you elect this woman we'll follow her around with a noisy brass band'.

    Liz [18]: [The] assertion that Comey is that type of Republican is very demonstrably false.

    Fair point, although having more scruples than Card & Gonzales is a somewhat low bar to get over.

    Coincidentally, I happened to catch an interview with Gonzales on NPR this afternoon, and even he can't quite figure out what Comey is up to, and says that Comey has stepped far outside the usual lines of protocol. In retrospect, there may be some payback going on there.

    Al [20]: Interesting that you are stating with certainty that which hasn't been decided or reported on though.

    That Comey has no basis with which to bring an indictment? Still true until the facts change.

    The reporting I've seen suggests that whatever emails to Hillary they found on Huma's laptop were likely already archived on Hillary's server. We've seen alot of Huma's emails lately, and there's no evidence yet that she treats classified information the way her ex treats pictures of his probiscus.

  25. [25] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Al [21]: ... he's a stand up guy. Obama picked him, so he has to be.

    Can't let that stand. The Bushlet picked him, Obama inherited him.

  26. [26] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Can't let that stand. The Bushlet picked him, Obama inherited him.

    False.

  27. [27] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Fair point, although having more scruples than Card & Gonzales is a somewhat low bar to get over.

    That is hardly the only measure of Comey's integrity.

  28. [28] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Liz [26]: False. My apologies to you and Al for my mistake. I stand corrected. He was Deputy Attorney General in the Bush Administration, and tapped for the FBI in 2013 by Obama. So much for the virtue of a bi-partisan pick.

    [27] I never said that Comey didn't have integrity, just that it's easy to look like a boy scout next to those guys. But Comey seems to be appeasing someone, and it's gotten him way outside of his lane. Now he's got this unresolved thing hanging like a fart in the air. He's got to wave his hands or something. That's one thing he's gotten both candidates to actually agree on.

  29. [29] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Who do you think he is "appeasing"?

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Clinton will inherit him. Notice my optimism, of sorts?

    Unless he can't take another seven years of all the crap that goes along with being the director of the FBI.

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Balthasar,

    Coincidentally, I happened to catch an interview with Gonzales on NPR this afternoon, and even he can't quite figure out what Comey is up to, and says that Comey has stepped far outside the usual lines of protocol. In retrospect, there may be some payback going on there.

    Roberto Gonzales, oh God. I shouldn't say anything about him, I'm not a fan ...

  32. [32] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    22,23

    Very important.
    We collect data on dog bites, shark attacks, Africanized (killer) bees, lightning strikes, allergic reactions... that we haven't been collecting data on police violence is like ignoring a tumor growing on our face.

    The details are a bit sketchy, but I think it may be changing. If I recall correctly, there was an announcement that said something like we're going to start collecting the data, but it will be kept secret.
    Pfffft!
    But I can't even remember who made the announcement...

    Like all establishment politicians, Comey makes the right noises occasionally, but they are betrayed by future statements, his actions... or inaction.
    He has maintained the failing status quo.

    A

  33. [33] 
    altohone wrote:

    Balthy
    24

    You have no idea what Comey's got, you proclaimed it was nothing, and now you're insisting that until there's an announcement your proclamation remains "true"?

    I'm winning millions in next weeks lottery.
    Until the numbers are announced, that remains "true"?

    I offered you a hand out of that hole...

    A

  34. [34] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    But I can't even remember who made the announcement...

    That may have been none other than Director Comey.

    He is the one pushing the effort to collect that data.

  35. [35] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    34

    "May have been"... we seem to be in the same boat.

    In any case, collecting data and keeping it secret is ridiculous. Police unions wanting their deeds treated as a national security matter is bunk. Letting them have their way is cowardice.

    And it's the easiest among many steps that need to be taken.

    If police think that people just knowing the truth generally is too big a step, there is little reason to believe they will support true reform that will improve their actions.
    And since they're also insisting on a reform from within approach, it's not looking like any real progress is going to be made any time soon.

    All politicians claiming otherwise should be greeted with laughter.

    A

  36. [36] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    back to 22

    I meant to add that it's not just police shootings that are the problem.

    The DOJ report on Baltimore found 10,000 unlawful arrests, and all sorts of other mistreatment.
    Shootings are rare by comparison and can't be the sole focus.

    A

  37. [37] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Who said the data will be kept secret?

  38. [38] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Good Morning. Lots to catch up on.

    Al[33]: You have no idea what Comey's got, you proclaimed it was nothing, and now you're insisting that until there's an announcement your proclamation remains "true"?

    It appears this morning that even Comey doesn't know what he's got, and hasn't even gotten a warrant yet to look. That's what? Nothing yet.

    To put it another way, if someone had awakened me this morning and said, "we may have evidence of life on Mars", I would have said, "what evidence?" If the answer came back, "we don't know; we haven't seen it yet, haven't examined it, and there's a good chance that it isn't even new", then I'd have rolled over and said into my pillow, "call me when you actually have something."

    Liz [29]: Who do you think he is "appeasing"?

    Who knows? Congressional Republicans, Country Club buddies, maybe his wife. Your guess is as good as mine.

    My point is, why did he feel compelled to break tradition and protocol and offer his 'opinion' beyond the simple statement that the FBI wasn't recommending charges in the first place? Surely he realized that if he tossed out that bone that Congressional Republicans would gnaw at it. Just three email attachments with vague markings out of 30,000 doesn't constitute any pattern or practice of 'carelessness', but he couldn't resist offering his 'opinion' about it anyway. Why would he do that if not to give Hillary's opponents something to hang their hats on?

    The same applies to this latest content-free revelation, which is so poorly timed and unsubstantial as to constitute malpractice and cause for dismissal.

  39. [39] 
    DisabledDoc wrote:

    Re: carving amazing pumpkins

    I thought Chris' pumpkins were great until I saw the results of NASA's JPL laboratory pumpkin contest. If you want to see amazing pumpkins, check it out! Chris, this may be too discouraging for you (I found it on Distractify, but I'm sure it's posted in numerous places -- I don't know how to embed links, sorry).

  40. [40] 
    altohone wrote:

    Balthy
    15, 38

    All you needed was a qualifier.
    For example- "he (probably) still doesn't have anything to indict her with".

    As for your more recent claim, the full court press against Comey by the Hillary camp and her supporters in crazy damage control mode... with hit pieces in the media and trotting out Senators and "experts" to criticize Comey, questioning his actions, motivations and integrity...

    ... rolling over and going back to bed would have been the better approach.

    The old "me thinks thou doth protest too much" factor comes into play.

    Comey promised to notify Congress if he reopened the investigation, so he did.
    If there's nothing to find, there's no reason to freak out about it.
    Or, as you put it... not yet.

    A

  41. [41] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    37

    If I could remember, I'd share.
    Cross my heart.

    I may have some time later to go digging.

    A

  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Good luck with that.

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Been trying to comment all day. A few hour pre op on weds turnedinto a er visit w 237 over 180 and a heart attack later an extende ed vi is it in iCU.

    But its clear t th at trump I s a goig to be ne ex t potus

    Was right ll alng

  44. [44] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    My, God, Michale ... take it easy!

    Get some rest and take good care!!!

  45. [45] 
    altohone wrote:

    Geez Micha

    I thought you needed surgery for a pulled muscle.

    Was that a reaction to the meds they gave you or something? Maybe Comey reopening the investigation got your heart racing?

    In your honor, here's a quote for ya

    "Weed fixes everything.
    Jonah broke his elbow... he smoked a bunch of weed, and it's all better.
    Well, it still clicks when he moves it"
    - Knocked Up

    (not a recommendation... horrible main characters, but the supporting cast is great)

    A

  46. [46] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    42

    Haven't found the article yet...

    But, the DOJ announcement was made by Attorney General Lynch on 10/13/16

    Reporting on fatal shootings is mandatory... all other reporting is voluntary.

    No mention on the public availability of the data.

    The ACLU criticized the voluntary reporting measures, saying previous efforts failed.

    I'll keep trying.
    A

  47. [47] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I can wait ... :)

  48. [48] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Say, Al, you did read the director's speech on the subject that I linked to, right?

  49. [49] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW,

    Yikes to both of those horror stories! Having tried so many times over the years to carve a large orange squash into anything that looked remotely like a jack-o-lantern, I am truly impressed with your pumpkins. :)

  50. [50] 
    Kick wrote:

    [43] Michale,

    Been trying to comment all day. A few hour pre op on weds turnedinto a er visit w 237 over 180 and a heart attack later an extende ed vi is it in iCU.

    But its clear t th at trump I s a goig to be ne ex t potus

    Was right ll alng

    You were either right all along or wrong all along, that is for sure. Maybe it's your meds talking, but did you forget to factor in Pennsylvania? ;) North Carolina? ;)

    Now, SERIOUSLY, focus on getting yourself well. :)

  51. [51] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    I've been very concerned about you, Michale, fearing that your health may have taken a turn for the worse. Now be a good patient and do what you're told! It won't be the same if you're not right here on election night. :-)

  52. [52] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Michael, I would be a terrible person if I did not wish you a full and speedy recovery! Once you are home and on your feet, take your exercise rehab seriously and keep it up for the rest of your life... which might sound like I'm being a terrible person, but I've seen the difference supervised exercise (and nutritional modifications) can make in post heart attack quality of life. Lifestyle changes kept my mom sharp and active into her nineties after her heart attack at 70 YOA.

  53. [53] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    48

    Yup.
    What about it?

    A

  54. [54] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @michale,

    take it easy man. maybe you're right about the election and maybe not, but keeping you and your ticker intact should be priority one.

    @alto/balthasar/liz,

    page pate explains director comey's situation pretty well. comey had stated to congress that the investigation was closed, so he was in a difficult position now that a new spate of e-mails forced him to re-open it. there still probably won't be any charges against hillary, but imagine comey had said nothing, then it was leaked to congress on november ninth that the investigation had been reopened. congress would scream cover-up, donald's ridiculous "rigged system" complaint would carry weight, and we'd be in a very real constitutional crisis. even if the unthinkable occurs and donald wins the election, i still agree with pate that comey did the right thing.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/30/opinions/dont-blame-comey-for-this-mess-opinion-pate/index.html

    JL

  55. [55] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Joshua,

    Take a moment and read your comment out loud and see if it doesn't strike you as terribly strange that an FBI director would let his actions be essentially dictated by how congressional Republicans might act in response.

    Comey may have done the only thing he thinks he could have but that doesn't make it right. And, the undue influence - and, indeed rigging of the system - that congressional republicans have been building up over the years has got to be stopped in its tracks before more damage to your democratic system is done.

    Here is a column I'd love to get your take on ... I think Paul Krugman hits the nail on squarely on its head:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/31/opinion/working-the-refs.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region&_r=0

    And, let's not forget what Bill Clinton did to put all of this in motion when he stepped up onto the AG's plane just before the FBI weighed in on their investigation into Hillary Clinton and her private email server. What impact did this have on how Director Comey acted in the wake of reaching his conclusions on this investigation?

    Comey has quite a lot to answer for because what he did was wrong and unprecedented. Now, I believe that he has acted through this entire affair with only the very best of intentions - but, that makes what he did all the more distressing.

  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    but imagine comey had said nothing, then it was leaked to congress on november ninth that the investigation had been reopened. congress would scream cover-up, donald's ridiculous "rigged system" complaint would carry weight, and we'd be in a very real constitutional crisis. even if the unthinkable occurs and donald wins the election, i still agree with pate that comey did the right thing.

    Well, we don't have to imagine how congressional Republicans and Donald Trump will respond to what Comey did do, do we?

  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That's great, Al ...

    but, I just noticed I gave you the wrong link. Here's the right one:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/fbi-director-calls-lack-of-data-on-police-shootings-ridiculous-embarrassing/2015/10/07/c0ebaf7a-6d16-11e5-b31c-d80d62b53e28_story.html

    I cited it just to show you that no one who is anyone is talking about collecting this kind of data and then keep it secret. That was my only point.

  58. [58] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz,

    yes, the republicans wax apoplectic whenever anything vaguely resembling clinton scandal occurs. yes, comey may have been under pressure from them to reveal more than required. and yes, they're trying to work the media to their advantage. but that's where my agreement with krugman ends. comey was not wrong to reveal what he has, when he has. if hillary had made all this available to begin with then it wouldn't be an issue at all.

    JL

  59. [59] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz

    Thanks.
    I was wondering why you called the video a transcript. The previous link was about the same events and got the gist of the matter though.

    Anyway...
    A mind is a terrible thing.
    I hope mine didn't imagine the secret part.
    That would be weird and disturbing.

    I thought I had read it in an article at The Intercept, but I went back through two months of law enforcement related articles there and couldn't find it. I may not have gone back far enough, I may have read it somewhere else, or my brain farted big time and I conflated the police secrecy laws that prevent the public release of misconduct files and/or the exclusion of the identities of the officers involved from the reporting records.

    Whatever the case, I apologize for getting it wrong... or failing to back up the claim (I'm still hoping it's just the latter... well, actually it's better for society if I got it wrong, but I don't want to have Mad Cow disease either).

    If you forgive me, and would like to see what the FBI should be doing instead of limiting the mandatory reporting to fatal shootings and just doing voluntary reporting for all the other misconduct, I highly recommend this article-

    The Intercept 10/25/16
    Open Data Projects Are Fueling The Fight Against Police Misconduct
    by Alice Speri

    It's a quick read about private efforts beginning to fill the void, and shows what can be done, and the dramatic effects it can have.

    I hope you check it out.

    A

  60. [60] 
    altohone wrote:

    nypoet
    54, 58

    I fully agree with you.
    Too many Hillary fans are reluctant to admit she brought this all on herself, so kudus for pointing that out.

    A

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, let's not forget ... she had a lot of help from Bill ...

  62. [62] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    As for your secret data, Al ... I have a remedy for what ails you ... :)

  63. [63] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    62

    I'm not used to needing to verify such things.

    My memory lets me down all the time.
    I'm good with faces, bad with names.
    Good with numbers, bad with formulas.
    I butcher jokes and movie quotes all the time.

    I was reading about the police secrecy law in New York wondering if that's where I erred, but it's different.

    I just want to figure it out.

    Did you get a chance to read the article?

    A

  64. [64] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz

    This isn't the article I read, but maybe Lynch's position from a year earlier was cited inaccurately by someone.

    The Free Thought Project
    "US Attorney General To Allow Police Depts To Keep The Number Of Citizens They Kill A Secret"
    by Jay Syrmopoulis
    10/6/2015

    Lynch was initially backing away from Comey and Holder's position-

    "The about-face by Lynch reveals an utter contempt for the civil rights of American citizens while pandering to the Fraternal Order of Police’s default position.

    “One of the things we are focusing on at the Department of Justice is not trying to reach down from Washington and dictate to every local department how they should handle the minutia of record keeping, but we are stressing to them that these records must be kept,” she said at the Washington Ideas Forum, hosted by AtlanticLIVE and the Aspen Institute.

    Lynch’s implication that she is attempting to uphold state’s rights is a completely ridiculous notion that has absolutely no validity in reality. Furthermore, “stressing how records must be kept” is akin to asking really nicely, as the records are given to the Department of Justice, by police agencies, on a completely voluntary basis currently.

    Acting as if it is an either/or proposition, Lynch attempts to forward a narrative that improving police-community relations takes precedence over keeping accurate data on police shootings. Her implication seems to be that somehow keeping more accurate data won’t result in better community relations for police.

    “The statistics are important, but the real issues are: ‘what steps are we all taking to connect communities … with police and back with government?’” Lynch said.

    She then goes on to claim that it could be difficult for some police departments to keep accurate records due to their small size."

    Like I said... not the article I was referring to... still unhappy.

    A

  65. [65] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz

    To clarify the previous comment, here's Attorney General Lynch's statement after her comments at the conference created a backlash-

    "[L]et me be clear: police shootings are not minutiae at all and the department’s position and the administration’s position has consistently been that we need to have national, consistent data. Both on excessive force and on officer involved shootings is vital. The point I was trying to make at that conference related to our overall view of how we deal with police departments as part of our practice of enforcing consent decrees, or working with them and I was trying to make the point that we also have to focus on building community trust which is a very individual – very local – practice. Unfortunately, my comments gave the misperception that we were changing our view in some way about the importance of this data – nothing could be further from the truth. This data is not only vital – we are working closely with law enforcement to develop national consistent standards for collecting this kind of information"

    Anyway, the opposition from police for collecting the information on police shootings is why the information wasn't being collected.

    It's also why only collecting data on police killings is mandatory and the "use of force" data collection remains voluntary, incomplete and inaccurate.

    I'm going to keep looking for a bit and then give up in miserable defeat.

    A

  66. [66] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    DisabledDoc [39] -

    Hey, I know I'm an amateur at gourd art. But the kid in me still thinks it's great fun to use such a bizarre medium to create a political statement each year!

    Thanks to everyone for the compliments on the Jack-0-lanterns, they weren't the best I've ever done, but they weren't the worst, either! Check my Halloween columns from years past to compare quality...

    :-)

    I have to say the Hillary logo is very easy to carve onto a pumpkin, though. Very geometrical and straight lines everywhere! Woo hoo!

    Michale [43] -

    Welcome back, get some rest, and get well soon! Things get less lively around here without your contentiousness...

    :-)

    -CW

  67. [67] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Contentiousness ... that's a good word for it. :)

  68. [68] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm still waiting, Al ... I can do this all day. :)

  69. [69] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm still waiting, Al ... I can do this all day. :)

    Hay now!! :D

    Michale

  70. [70] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I thought you would like that, Michale. :)

  71. [71] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hi Liz

    Sorry.
    I assumed you would recognize that my last sentence was conclusive.
    As in, not finding anything was my acceptance of miserable defeat.

    Did you get a chance to read that article?

    A

  72. [72] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I did ... what was your takeaway?

  73. [73] 
    altohone wrote:

    Liz
    72

    The hundreds of millions in dollars in settlements with victims of the police is a big indication that real reform is necessary.

    It appears that the private efforts to collect data on use of force and abuse shows it is a good way to expose the small percentage of police who are responsible for an outsized proportion of bad behavior... and this data should be collected nationally on a mandatory basis... not what we're doing now.

    The possibility of real accountability can prevent some of the injustices that are occurring... if not by the police then at least in court.

    At some point, hopefully, this data could force the police unions to accept that some of their colleagues deserve to lose their jobs too.

    What do you think?

    A

  74. [74] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That sounds like a pretty fair assessment, Al.

  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    The hundreds of millions in dollars in settlements with victims of the police is a big indication that real reform is necessary.

    I completely agree.. Real reform in the Ghetto Lottery (IE totally getting rid of it) is very much needed..

    I mean, seriously.. TRY and ignore emotionalism and hysteria and look at things completely logical..

    A male who is high attacks and strong arms a frail shop keeper and robs him. The subject is approached by a cop and ordered to the ground.. Subject brutally attacks the cop, goes for the cops gun and is then shot and killed by the cop..

    And the city PAYS the family of the scumbag SOLELY and COMPLETELY because the scumbag is black???

    Name-call all you want, AL... But you and I are in complete agreement. A system that does moronic racist crap like that DOES need "reform".. As in TOTAL elimination...

    Michale

  76. [76] 
    Michale wrote:

    I thought you would like that, Michale. :)

    And, as usual, you were dead on ballz accurate... :D

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