What Al Thinks You Need To Know: Jan. 28, 2017

Filed in Featured, National by on January 28, 2017

A Guest Post from Alby Damned

If you’re collected indications that Trump is either different or incompetent, take your pick, here’s one that went mostly unnoticed: No Friday news dump. Then again, they’ve been dumping all week, so maybe it was time to rinse out the dumpsters.

It’s almost impossible to keep up with the pace of the news, which is by design. Both Houses of Congress and the President were elected by a minority of the voters, and they want to get as much rammed through as they can before opposition can coalesce. The size of the Women’s Marches rattled them. As we learned Friday from a leaked tape of a closed-door strategy/bitch session, they’re figuring out that wrecking the health-care system on principle and promises might not look so hot to the voters 22 months from now.

The Russian angle hasn’t gotten a lot of ink the past couple of weeks, but that might change now that Moscow has charged three cybersecurity people with treason. They might be patsies, but why set them up if Russia is innocent?


Chuck Todd’s sad search for a clue continues in this self-flagellating interview with the Washington Times (don’t worry, link won’t take you there). What they should have told us, he says, is that Hillary was hated in the heartland, but he seems to have no real understanding of why that might be:


I’m sure this will come as an incredible shock, but the woman at the center of the Emmett Till case admits she was lying:


It’s more than 50 years later and we still have to chant “Black Lives Matter.”

Has Godwin’s Law been revoked yet? If you’re not thinking about how Germany succumbed to Hitler, your head is in the sand. Here’s the take of an actual history professor:


Protest marches might not have deposed Hitler, but they’re certainly driving Trump crazier.

The protests in Philadelphia Thursday lasted far longer than my legs did. I got to Thomas Paine Plaza about 10:30, before the health care rally was supposed to begin at 11, and several hundred already had gathered. The organizers and a few SEIU members were there to represent the old guard, but the bulk of the crowd was young millennials, especially LGBT and women’s rights people, along with a large contingent of middle-aged women from the city and suburbs who had no activist affiliation who wanted to be seen and heard. But that’s just a generalization. I met people a recently laid-off 50-something from Delco, four medical students from Jefferson marching in their white coats, people with Bernie shirts and Hillary signs, lots of fired-up women of every description — a few in kitty hats but most wearing something pink — who refuse to take this crap quietly.

At its peak, the daytime crowd contained 2,000 to 3,000 people, with another 200 or 300 gathered at barricaded intersections. As with any civilized protest these days, there was provender aplenty and even a few vendors with march-themed merch. Most of the older, middle-class folks headed home in the early afternoon, and by 3:30 I was ready to do the same.

That wasn’t the end of things, though. Earlier in the day a reporter for Philly Voice interviewed me; this guy must have had the night shift:


This sort of protest might seem small compared to the crowds of Jan. 21, but it was a fair bit larger than those held in the city in the election’s immediate aftermath. It helps to keep the pressure on.

It can’t be repeated often enough: There is no point in trying to hold a rational conversation with a diehard Trump supporter. Here’s why:


Science is cool, especially when the scientists are throwing shade at each other. Today’s fight: Did researchers succeed in squeezing hydrogen into a metal?


Alby Damned is the nom de guerre of retired journalist and talk show host Al Mascitti. He lives in Hockessin.

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  1. Any person, and especially any elected Democrat, who doesn’t shout out in full-throated opposition to Trump’s scapegoating Muslims and ‘prioritizing Christians’ is engaging in appeasement.

    Right now, Neville Chamberlain is the most apt analogy for Democrats who think they can work with a Fascist despot on a ‘case by case’ basis.

    Oh, and to what passes for our congressional delegation: Silence Equals Acquiescense.

  2. Alby says:

    Just to underscore the issue, DICK F*CKING CHENEY has come out against it:


  3. It also goes w/o saying that when Trump talks about ‘prioritizing Christians’, he’s not talking about Catholics from south of the border.

    He’s talking about a white Christian supremacist nation.

    There can be no compromise with him. He must be opposed in totality.

  4. Alby says:

    This morning’s Trump tweet storm recycled old, tired attacks on the press.


    That’s all he’s got? Sad.

  5. Alby says:

    The executive order on immigration left two Iraqi refugees in limbo, en route to the US when the boom was lowered:


    One of them worked for the US for 10 years in Iraq. That’s what you get for trusting Americans, dude.

  6. Steve Newton says:

    @El Som: Right now, Neville Chamberlain is the most apt analogy for Democrats who think they can work with a Fascist despot on a ‘case by case’ basis.

    Close but not quite–Chamberlain would be an international example of appeasement. The most important analogy here is what happened in Germany from 1931-1933. The primary counterweights to Hitler and the Nazis after his election as Chancellor (without, one might add, a majority vote for his party in the national elections) were the Army and the Social/Christian Democrats.

    It’s worth noting that Hitler corrupted the Army by two mechanisms (1) a massive arms rebuilding program (that sound familiar?) and (2) the Night of the Long Knives in which he purged his most radical followers to win the Army’s tacit political support. It’s important to examine Trump’s cabinet as a set of dynamics and realize that Mattis and even Tillerson represent a traditional, conservative realpolitik approach, while much of the rest of the secretaries were picked for ideology, not competence.

    Then it’s also worth noting that the failure of the Social/Christian Democrats to come to terms with the Communists in the Reichstag led to Hitler’s ability to play them all off against each other, and eventually remove the Communists from any role whatsoever with the Reichstag Fire (a false-flag operation). This reduced the combined opposition to well below that needed to challenge the Nazis for a political majority. This is happening today–Trump is going after immigrants and the LGBTQ community not as much to shore up his own support, but to splinter that of the opposition. When you don’t come out to defend Muslims, the undocumented, or LGBTQ Americans, you increase Trump’s hold on the apparatus of government.

    There really is no room left for nuance. You are either pro-Trump, or anti-Trump, and if you are anti-Trump you either make common cause with everybody else who is anti-Trump (no matter how tightly you have to hold your nose to do it) or you lose.

    I think it’s really that simple.

  7. Alby says:

    @Steve: I think the dynamics here are very different, too. Hitler was an ideologue. Trump is not, but Bannon and that crew can supply the ideology, which appears to be to align with Russia (still don’t get why in realpolitik terms) against the EU and China, which would be an alignment that really could marginalize the US in global affairs.

    Congress, OTOH, has its own priorities. Having installed an ally in the White House by submerging their real program, they could find themselves in conflict with that White House now that rubber is being left on the road.

    There are real conflicts there over things that once were core beliefs — tariffs vs. trade large among them. The elites are OK with all this as long as it doesn’t hurt them in the wallet, yet every Trump proposal (and every Republican one as well) will curtail rather than expand the economy. Health care alone is a major self-imposed crisis that could lead to a lot of GOP losses in 2018.

    In short, the forces that have seized the government are not in synch on many of their proposals. The leaks from inside the White House make it sound like the last days of Nixon already. If they are as incompetent as it appears, it might be a while before they get enough of their shit together to round up the immigrants.

  8. ScarletWoman says:

    Well, I’ll be damned.

    Weeks of waking up with a sickened and horrified feeling, dreading the next development in this disaster of biblical proportions. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies. Rivers and seas boiling. Four years of darkness. Earthquakes, volcanoes… The dead rising from the grave. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together – mass hysteria.

    But Al is back. At least I can breathe again!

  9. Alby says:

    Personally, I’m terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought. But my house already has dogs and cats living together. Has for years.

  10. sue says:

    Please keep writing Al. So many of us miss your trenchant analysis. We all need to step up and fight in every way we can.

    The Trump gangsters keep splashing their venom on new victims. Their cruelty towards refugees is stupid and against American values. The world thinks us total fools.

  11. Disappointed says:

    Check your link. DICK F*CKING CHENEY came out against it in December 2015. Today, crickets.