Wednesday Open Thread | How Maxine Waters became ‘Auntie Maxine’ in the age of Trump

How Maxine Waters became ‘Auntie Maxine’ in the age of Trump

By Sarah D. Wire


Rep. Maxine Waters knows what “throwing shade” means now. She urges people to “stay woke.”

In the past few months, young people have embraced 78-year-old Waters and her acerbic comments about President Trump, bringing the Los Angeles Democrat national fame in her 14th term, and a new nickname: Auntie Maxine.

“It’s unusual for elected officials to step outside of the box,” Waters said in an interview. “The millennials keep telling me for the most part they’ve never heard someone talk like that before.”

Since refusing to attend Trump’s inauguration, Waters, the longest-serving black woman in the House, has achieved icon-level status. Her image and quotes appear on T-shirts and posters. Twitter and Facebook are full of people rubbing their virtual hands in glee at what she might say next.

“When I grow up, I want to be @MaxineWaters. Thank you, Rep. Waters, for being unafraid to speak the truth,” Crystal Webb, a young Twitter user, posted.

“On a different note, @MaxineWaters clap black game is sooooo strong!! #goals,” said another.

“Anyone think Auntie @MaxineWaters is a hero?,” asked another.

Young black activists in particular see a powerful and familiar figure in the impeccably dressed older woman expressing her opinion, even if it might be painfully honest, said Rashad Robinson, who leads the New York-based Color of Change, a progressive civil rights group.

“Maxine Waters has given us the viral videos to go along with our rants,” Robinson said. “People are shaking their heads when she talks, and they are saying, ‘Thank God someone said that.’

“I think for many young black folks, they have that sort of auntie or matriarch in their family that sort of says it like it is,” Robinson said.

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62 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | How Maxine Waters became ‘Auntie Maxine’ in the age of Trump

  1. Liza says:

    Opinion | What happens if the House GOP health bill actually passes? Then it gets really ugly.— Muckmaker (@RealMuckmaker) May 4, 2017


    • Liza says:

      I am so angry.

      Might have a rant later. Stuff I’m thinking probably shouldn’t be put into words.

      • Liza says:

        But I will say this. We are engulfed by evil. It is seeping out of the pores of this nation.

      • Look forward to it…

      • Liza says:

        I’m in a seething rage. But it’s basically this.

        This should have been over when it failed the first time. Now it is just about Trump winning, being able to say that he decimated a major Democratic achievement that is attributed to President Obama. And, of course, his obsessive hatred for President Obama is legendary. Trump is the Birther King.

        The millions of people who will be hurt are collateral damage to Trump if he thinks about them at all. His extreme narcissism probably doesn’t let him go there. They simply do not matter.

        And I’ve got a message for the Trump voters in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and for Trump voters everywhere. Whatever your reason, whether you are a white supremacist (that is most of you) or an out of work coal miner or factory worker who just wants a job (yeah, right) or an opioid addicted, useless waste of DNA rotting in Appalachia or the Rust Belt, this message is for you. No one gives a damn about your white working class disenfranchised bullsh!t. VOTING INVOLVES RESPONSIBILITY. You don’t let the Devil himself in the Oval Office because you’re mad.

        The Democrats need to wise up and take some hard stands on some tough issues. And that means healthcare is a right and not a privilege.

        It also means that cops who murder people need to be charged, tried, convicted, and put in a cell like other murderers.

        The 2018 election is all that stands between us and a GOP reign of terror. Democrats need to figure this one out and get it right. Don’t think for one moment that these evildoers will not be empowered by this vote to repeal the ACA. They intend to decimate all Democratic achievements of the last 80 years. Bank it.

  2. Good for you @AmbassadorRice. Graham & nem can go straight to H- E- DOUBLE L

  3. Liza says:

    Obama announces $2M donation to Chicago summer jobs programs
    BY MARK HENSCH – 05/03/17 02:33 PM EDT

    Former President Barack Obama announced Wednesday that he and his wife, Michelle, are donating $2 million to summer jobs programs in Chicago.

    “One of the things that we’ll be starting this year is Michelle and I are personally going to donate $2 million to our summer jobs programs here in the community,” he said at the South Shore Cultural Center. “[It’s] so that right away young people can get to work and we can start providing opportunities to all of them.”

    The former president used the event to unveil plans for a 200,000-square-foot campus on Chicago’s South Side that will house the Obama Presidential Center. Obama said the center will be used to “train the next generation of leadership, the Michelle Robinsons of today and the Barack Obamas of today.”

    The center will sit on a lagoon that runs into Lake Michigan in the Jackson Park neighborhood and will feature three buildings — a museum, a forum and a library — alongside outdoor gathering spaces.

    The Obama Foundation said the center will be located near Chicago’s historically African-American Woodlawn neighborhood and will revitalize the Jackson Park neighborhood by creating new jobs on the South Side and attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors.

    “More than a building or museum, the Obama Presidential Center will be a living, working center for engagement — an ongoing project for the community and world to shape what it means to be an active citizen in the 21st century,” the foundation said.

    Obama is expected to use the center as he focuses on issues such as criminal justice reform and education for underprivileged children now that he has left office.

    Foundation officials have said that the project is expected to cost $500 million and should be completed in 2021.

  4. rikyrah says:

    How the Right Wing Weaponizes ‘Identity Politics’
    by Nancy LeTourneau May 3, 2017 2:35 PM

    This morning I noticed that the conservative web site Real Clear Politics picked up a video clip of an interview by Jake Tapper with Bill Maher. They titled it, “Maher To Democrats: Ease Up On The Identity Politics, Obsessing Over ‘Pocahontas’ A Problem.”

    I am no real fan of Maher. One of the things I’ve found most egregious about his commentary is when he uses women’s issues to further his Islamophobia by pointing a finger at Muslims and pretending that all of those problems have been put to rest in this country. That’s why I actually found this interview to be a bit of an improvement. In it, Maher acknowledges that misogyny played a role in the presidential election as well as with what’s going on at Fox News. He also applauded the Black Lives Matter movement. That’s major progress for him.

    And yet…he had to inject the idea that Democrats need to get over what he calls “identity politics.” He notes that white people are still a majority in this country and that the Democrats need to look like they represent everybody, including white people. The interview ends with Maher suggesting that Democrats “obsess” over things like Trump calling Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas.”

    This is precisely how people like Maher allow conservative media to weaponize these narratives. It’s no accident that this one wound up on RCP. It helps convince white people that Democrats are obsessing over such things because even Bill Maher says so.

    The truth is, Democrats do object to Trump using a racial slur to refer to a prominent female Senator. But it is a huge leap to suggest that anyone is obsessing over it. That is only one of many racist/sexist/outrageous things this president has said and done. No one has either the time or inclination to do more than call it out and move on to the next one.

    Sometimes, instead of the phrase “identity politics,” we hear these concerns referred to as “cultural issues.” I wrote about that recently.

    …if you are a woman whose economic survival is threatened by a pregnancy, I’m sure that the right to chose can’t simply be relegated to a cultural phenomenon. Same would be true if your family’s survival depends of what an ICE officer decides to do with his time, or if you are a black man in the middle of getting pulled over by a police officer. In all of those instances, these are life and death matters. That is why women and people of color react so strongly to being told that speaking up about them is divisive. It is actually the other sides trampling of their lives that is divisive. We need to be clear about that.

    It is the right wing that frames Black Lives Matter as a threat to police officers and public safety. It is the right wing that frames immigrants as a threat to citizens. It is the right wing that frames women’s rights as a threat to men. And, as we are about to witness tomorrow, it is the right wing that frames the rights of LGBT as a threat to religious freedom. In other words, it is the right wing that frames these issues as simply “identity politics” that somehow pose a threat to white Christian heterosexual men.

  5. rikyrah says:

    From BJ

    Barbara says:
    May 3, 2017 at 2:41 pm
    @Yarrow: There are 18 nos and 8 lean nos, and together that would be sufficient but it is not outside the realm of possibility that 4 could go one way and 4 the other, giving Ryan enough votes. The people I would lean on the most would be the Issas and Stefaniks of the world, who are clearly so petrified they won’t even admit to leaning in a particular direction. They don’t want a vote at all. They don’t want to be on the record. The only way to avoid a vote is to tell Ryan that they won’t vote yes. They are thus particularly susceptible to constituent pressure.

  6. rikyrah says:

    KEEP CALLING!! Sounds like they’re barely holding onto 216 votes by the skin of their teeth; we need to knock a few loose!!— ☪️ Charles Gaba ✡️ (@charles_gaba) May 3, 2017

  7. rikyrah says:

    more from BJ:

    Barbara says:
    May 3, 2017 at 11:05 am
    Washington Post has 29 as being undecided, here:

    These include Balart and Curbez from Florida (with close to 200,000 people covered through exchanges in their district) and no fewer than 8 California reps, who will be selling out their entire state if they vote yes. Paul Ryan can only lose one of these 29. If you live in California or Florida, you should be calling the offices of all these people. Even if you don’t live in their district, you live in their state, and their vote will hurt you.

  8. rikyrah says:

    interesting suggestion from BJ

    tobie says:
    May 3, 2017 at 9:55 am
    Just wanted to thank David Anderson for the line about “no CBO score, no vote.” Just tried that with my tea partying Representative and it seemed more effective than all the other arguments.

  9. rikyrah says:

    GOP lawmaker: those with pre-existing conditions may need to move
    05/03/17 10:40 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Under the Affordable Care Act, the system for Americans with pre-existing conditions is pretty straightforward: they can’t be discriminated against, they can’t be denied coverage, and they can’t be forced to pay more for insurance. Under the Republican alternative, those protections are eliminated.

    The GOP model would empower states to scrap the guarantees for those with pre-existing conditions, forcing Americans who’ve had health issues – or those with chronic conditions – to pay exorbitant costs for care.

    In a welcome display of candor, one House Republican suggested yesterday that if you have a pre-existing condition, and your state tries to punish you, you may have to move to some other state. TPM noted:

    “People can go to the state that they want to live in,” Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) told reporters Tuesday morning when asked if people with pre-existing conditions could be charged much more under the American Health Care Act.

    “States have all kinds of different policies and there are disparities among states for many things: driving restrictions, alcohol, whatever,” he continued. “We’re putting choices back in the hands of the states. That’s what Jeffersonian democracy provides for.”

    It’s quite a pitch. You have a heart condition? I hope you’re prepared to leave your job, sell your home, and move to some state that may offer the kind of protections that “Obamacare” already provides to the entire country.

    It’s all about congressional Republicans and Donald Trump giving you “choices.”

  10. rikyrah says:

    Team Trump grudgingly tells the truth about miners’ health care
    05/03/17 11:20 AM
    By Steve Benen

    About a week ago, when the White House was talking up the possibility of a government shutdown, Donald Trump argued on Twitter, “I want to help our miners while the Democrats are blocking their healthcare.”

    Whether the president was lying or ignorant was unclear, but either way, the claim was largely the opposite of the truth. Congressional Democrats were the ones fighting for a permanent fix to the retired miners’ trouble with health care coverage, but they faced Republican resistance.

    On this, Democrats prevailed. As part of the spending bill that’s set to become law this week, Dems, led in large part on this issue by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), successfully included the sought-after protections and 22,600 retired miners will no longer have to worry about losing coverage. At the White House yesterday, however, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney voiced his annoyance with the idea that Democrats are boasting about their success.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Hoping to avoid another failure, Paul Ryan turns to falsehoods
    05/03/17 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen
    The House Republicans’ American Health Care Act was already an unpopular mess, which GOP leaders made worse by gutting protections for those with pre-existing conditions. This has become a key sticking point preventing the regressive legislation from passing: even many conservative members see this change as a bridge too far.

    The initial argument from GOP leaders to their worried members was that the change wouldn’t matter too much when implemented. Most states wouldn’t take advantage of the opportunity to hurt those with pre-existing conditions, the Republican leadership said, so the number of families that would be punished would be modest.

    That was last week. This week’s line is to simply play make-believe and pretend the GOP proposal doesn’t do what it plainly does. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) published a piece yesterday with an amazing headline:


    VERIFIED: MacArthur Amendment strengthens AHCA, protects people with pre-existing conditions.

    The MacArthur Amendment refers to the provision, championed by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), which would empower states to waive protections for those with pre-existing conditions that currently exist in the Affordable Care Act.

    Ryan wants everyone – his members, the media, the public – to believe this provision “protects people with pre-existing conditions.” The Speaker must know at some level how very wrong this is.

    It’s not especially complicated: the Affordable Care Act requires that those with pre-existing conditions not be discriminated against, while also requiring that these consumers not be charged more for coverage.

    The GOP proposal used to maintain this protection – it’s wildly popular with the American mainstream, so Ryan was careful to include it in his original legislation – but far-right members of the House Freedom Caucus balked. The current iteration of the bill, thanks to the MacArthur Amendment, guts the guarantee.

  12. rikyrah says:

    White House argues Dems shouldn’t hurt Trump’s feelings
    05/03/17 08:40 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Congress recently agreed to a spending bill that will prevent a government shutdown, but the end result represented the latest in a series of defeats for Donald Trump. The White House made all kinds of demands for the legislation, each of which were largely ignored. By the time the agreement was announced, it was Democrats who were smiling.

    And that’s not sitting well with the president, who on Monday praised the measure. Politico reported that Trump “was furious Tuesday morning with news coverage about the spending deal,” because the reports he saw made him look like “the loser” in the deal.


    Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director, told reporters Tuesday afternoon that the reason Trump floated the possibility of a shutdown was all because of Democrats’ happiness at the spending deal. Over and over, he went after Democrats for hurting the president’s feelings.
    That may sound like a joke. It’s not.

    “I think the president is frustrated with the fact that he negotiated in good faith with the Democrats and they went out to try and spike the football to make him look bad,” the OMB chief told reporters. “I get that frustration because I think it’s a terrible posture for the Democrats to take.”

    Specifically in reference to Trump’s tweet about the “need” for a shutdown, Mulvaney added, “I think what you heard this morning was his sense of frustration over how he’s being mistreated by the Democrats on a bipartisan piece of legislation…. What I think you heard the president express this morning was frustration over how he’s been treated as part of the negotiation. And it may be if things don’t get better, we may get to that point [of a shutdown].”

    Just so we’re clear, “how he’s been treated” isn’t a reference to how the various players acted during negotiations. Mulvaney’s point is that Trump feels “mistreated” ***now that the negotiations are over. Democrats are pleased with the bipartisan deal; they’ve said so; and that’s left Trump feeling bad about himself.

    Which Mulvaney not only considers “terrible,” but which may also lead to a shutdown “if things don’t get better.”

    In other words, the director of the Office of Management and Budget effectively declared yesterday, “Democrats must stop acting pleased … or else.”

    • Liza says:

      Make no mistake, I believe that what Comey did was wrong. It was very wrong.

      These are election result numbers published by the NYT on 2-10-2017. We all know that Hillary lost the electoral vote in three states, WI, MI, and PA.
      WI – lost by 22,748
      MI – lost by 10,704
      PA – lost by 44,202
      Total – lost electoral vote by 77,744 votes

      Hillary is writing a book and Hillary supporters will analyze this to death. And the end result will always be that her campaign failed in three BLUE states that she should have won and could have won.

      I have no problem putting Comey on the hot seat for his testimony. But I strongly object to this determination of Hillary supporters to establish a CAUSE for her failure that is unrelated to her. It must be some external force over which she had no control, it just can’t be her.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Emanuel puts brakes on Rauner plan to sell Thompson Center
    BREAKING 05/02/2017, 06:47pm
    Fran Spielman

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday he’s holding up Gov. Bruce Rauner’s plan to sell the Thompson Center because he’s not about to “stick Chicago taxpayers” with the $100 million tab to rebuild the busy CTA station there.

    Rauner’s office fired back that Emanuel is using an inflated number in order to “extort the state taxpayers for more money than the property is worth.”

    The mayor noted the Thompson Center station is “one of the busiest stations in the entire network of 140-plus L stations.” That begs the question: “If you sell it and it has to come down, who builds it and who takes the cost?”

    “I’m not gonna stick that on Chicago taxpayers. The developer or the state has to do it,” the mayor said.

    “I’m not gonna have a short-term gain [and a long-term loss] when you have one of the most important stations and the reason that property is so valuable [being demolished]. Yes, the state gets to book the money when they sell. But, who’s gonna build or rebuild that station? I’m responsible to make sure that tab is not on the Chicago taxpayers.”

    The mayor pegged the cost of rebuilding the Clark and Lake Station that serves as a nexus for multiple CTA lines at $80 million to $120 million.

  14. Ametia says:
  15. rikyrah says:

    44 and Forever FLOTUS coming back to Chicago :)

    Obamas to unveil model of presidential center on Wednesday, source says

    A three-dimensional model of Obama Presidential Center will be shown during the midday event at the South Shore Cultural Center, the source said. The model will offer the first look at the complex in Jackson Park, which is viewed as a potential driver of economic revitalization on the South Side…

    The foundation billed the gathering as a event with community leaders. The former president will host a roundtable discussion at the event to give an update on the center and hear directly from community members on their ideas for it, the foundation said.

    Husband-and-wife architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien of New York will also attend Wednesday’s event. The future Presidential Center is expected to open in Jackson Park in 2021 at a cost of at least $500 million.

    “More than a building or a museum, the Obama Presidential Center will be a working center for civic engagement and a place to inspire people and communities to create change,” the foundation said in Monday’s announcement.

    Tickets to Wednesday’s event are by invitation only, the foundation said.

    Later Wednesday, Barack Obama is scheduled to appear at The Chicago Club, a source told the Tribune. The foundation divulged no details on that event…

  16. rikyrah says:

    This woman wants Ivanka to keep her name out of her mouth

  17. rikyrah says:


    — Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) May 3, 2017

    Should be noted:

    *Conservative* wonks think high-risk pools need $15-20B a year.

    AHCA would still be below that, even with this new money.

    — Dylan Scott (@dylanlscott) May 3, 2017

    Should also be noted: their estimates assume the *very crappy* coverage of pre-ACA high-risk pools. Lifetime limits, 200% premiums, etc.

    — Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) May 3, 2017

  18. rikyrah says:

    GOP Congressman says Reps should “review impact” of health bill.

    But he won’t say whether Rs should wait for CBO score before voting:

    — Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) May 3, 2017

  19. rikyrah says:

    Trump only wants “win.” He does not know or care what’s in bill or what impact it will have on millions.

    Please convey this clearly.

    — Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) May 3, 2017

    • Liza says:

      Trump only wants to destroy everything that has the name Obama attached to it. Unless he destroys the ACA, he can’t say he did that.

      The victims are collateral damage to Trump.

      Trump is the Birther King. Don’t forget. Everything is connected.

      The big unknown is why.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning,Everyone😄😄😄

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