Open Thread: Margaret Atwood, Prophetess

Each of the three protesters faces up to 12 months in jail, $2,000 in fines, or both, depending on the outcome of a June 21 sentencing hearing…

In verdicts returned shortly after noon Wednesday, the jury also convicted two other activists in the group she was with, Tighe Barry and Lenny Bianchi, who were dressed as Ku Klux Klan members with white hoods and robes and stood up before the Jan. 10 hearing started.

In an April court filing, the office of the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia had argued that all three protesters shared a common goal to “impede and disrupt” the hearing. Ms. Fairooz, the office said, had “created a scene.”

It was early in the hearing when Senator Richard Shelby, Republican of Alabama, said that Mr. Sessions’s record of “treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented,” Ariel Gold, the campaign director of Code Pink, said on Wednesday…

The Malevolent Leprechaun will not be mocked!!!

75 replies
  1. 1
    TenguPhule says:

    Nobody could have expected putting a Fascist in power would result in Fascism.

  2. 2
    efgoldman says:

    I can’t believe the judge didn’t throw this shit out

  3. 3
    debbie says:

    @efgoldman:

    Everyone should start laughing at that jury.

  4. 4
    TenguPhule says:

    @efgoldman: Its the willful part I can’t get my head around. That’s one of those “gimmes” for juries to not convict on.

  5. 5
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @debbie: I can’t even.

  6. 6
    dm says:

    I heard an interview with Tom Snyder about his book On Tyranny: 20 lessons from the 20th Century in which he specifically mentioned “making protest illegal” as a thing to watch out for.

    There will be appeals. Anyone know how to donate to the defense fund?

  7. 7
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” ~Maya Angelou

  8. 8
    efgoldman says:

    Where are all the legal talking commenters?

  9. 9
    efgoldman says:

    @dm:

    I heard an interview with Tom Snyder

    He’s still alive?

    There will be appeals. Anyone know how to donate to the defense fund?

    I also can’t believe the ACLU isn’t jumping all over this with both feet

  10. 10
    Hungry Joe says:

    It’s a good thing I wasn’t there because I’d have laughed, too. I mean, I know that Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is a vicious, racist asshole, but at the same time, whenever I see Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, or hear Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III’s voice, I crack up, because Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is just such a preposterous person. Yes, yeah, okay — he’s dangerous, but I maintain that on some (perverse?) level there’s something hilarious about him. (“Him” being Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, in case the antecedent was unclear.)

  11. 11
    efgoldman says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    whenever I see Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, or hear Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III’s voice, I crack up

    She didn’t laugh (directly) at Evil Leprechaun, but at Senator Smarmy Shelby praising him for not having a racist bone in his whole eyeball.

  12. 12
    MomSense says:

    Unbefuckinglievable.

  13. 13
    Catherine D. says:

    @efgoldman:

    Not the NBC Tom Snyder. He died about 10 years ago.

  14. 14
    Tara the Antisocial Social Worker says:

    Do they think this will make people less inclined to laugh at Sessions, Trump, et al?

  15. 15
    Quinerly says:

    “Resist, insist,persist, enlist.”http://crooksandliars.com/2017/05/hillary-clinton-invokes-handmaids-tale

  16. 16
    SenyorDave says:

    Have they made it Is it illegal to wish misfortune on someone? Because there are a few prominent people that I would like to see have the Monty Python 16 ton weight land on.

  17. 17
    dm says:

    @efgoldman: Oops. Timothy Snyder.

    Jurors complained that the law is so broad there’s not much choice but to convict. I think more people should know about jury nullification, myself. That whole “Jury of one’s peers” business is a way for jurors to say, “The law is an ass”.

  18. 18
    Bess says:

    Time to don the pink hats and visit our government in order to treat them to a very loud laugh-in.

    Imagine. First the Department of Justice, then Congress and then the White House encircled by zillions of people pointing and laughing at them.

    Might even have a group sing….

  19. 19
    dm says:

    I don’t know if Sessions plans to speak in public any time soon, but pointing and laughing seems like an appropriate audience reaction to anything he has to say.

  20. 20
    Yarrow says:

    I am so appalled by this. And angry. The law is one thing and justice is another. Sometimes, occasionally, they meet.

  21. 21
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I can’t imagine that this will survive an appeal.

  22. 22
    TriassicSands says:

    @debbie:

    I don’t think I can manage a laugh at something so outrageous. Just one more sign that terminal stupidity is taking over the US. We’re in deep trouble.

  23. 23
    Goku says:

    It probably won’t be a year in prison, but really? 12 months and 2k in fines for laughing at an asshole and likely traitor? This shit happens in some banana republic. Not here.

  24. 24
    Ian says:

    I guess they don’t need to change the first amendment. Hopefully appeals slaps this one down and fast.

  25. 25
    dm says:

    I’m sure we’ll be hearing from the Village how “she wasn’t an angel” soon.

  26. 26
    TenguPhule says:

    @dm: Its not even that. They found on “willfulness” for the prosecution which is one of those things that are essentially impossible to prove directly and require a judgement call on the part of the jurors. A call they obviously failed on.

  27. 27
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @efgoldman: Well the Daily Kos has a petition you can sign. What good those things do who knows.

  28. 28
    Bess says:

    @TriassicSands: How do we get out of deep trouble?

    We act up and act out. Make protesting and speaking out the “in thing”. Overwhelm racist group with our sheer numbers. Make theater to make news.

    Get lots and lots of “regular people” out in public and turn the narrative around.

    Get lots and lots of people involved and hungry for the next opportunity to vote.

  29. 29
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @dm: Timothy Snyder is a very smart guy.

  30. 30
    TenguPhule says:

    @Goku:

    This shit happens in some banana republic. Not here.

    But its here now.

  31. 31
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @TenguPhule: Heh. I shudder to think what lies ahead given that the White House is occupied by a bigoted thug.

    Jailed for laughing at a government official sounds like something that would happen in a dictatorship.

  32. 32

    How did this joke even get to trial? Who prosecuted this? Jesús Marimba…

  33. 33
    TenguPhule says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Depends how high the appeal goes.

    If it reaches the top, 50% conviction holds.

  34. 34
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: With one of those petitions and $2.75 you can get on the subway.

  35. 35
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @dm: Thing is, I think Sessions has been laughed at, either behind his back or in front of his face, most of his life. But, unfortunately, he now has the power to do something about it.

  36. 36
    MomSense says:

    Oh my god. Was so busy today so I just now saw what Fuck Fucking Comey said at the hearing.

    Go to hell James Comey. You have no credibility.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    Ian G. says:

    I’m guessing Sessions feels these harlots got off lightly, as the correct way to deal with such an insult, according to a Southern Gentleman, is to beat them half to death with a cane.

  39. 39
    Lapassionara says:

    @dm: the law is so broad should mean that it is unconstitutional. In another decade, this conviction would have been vacated. In this decade, who knows. This is a very sad and telling moment in our history.

  40. 40
    rikyrah says:

    @MomSense:
    Maxine Waters done told you that already.

  41. 41

    Does anybody know what statute they prosecuted this woman under? Was it disturbing the peace or something? Seems kind of a thin case, at least to my mind.

  42. 42
    MomSense says:

    @rikyrah:

    She hasn’t lied yet.

    I’m waiting for the moment when she decides to share all the receipts.

  43. 43
    tobie says:

    DC is a solidly Democratic town. This is not an Alabama jury that convicted the three. I’m wondering who the lawyers were representing the defendants. I can only think of a few potential reasons for the verdict: the lawyers miscalculated the leanings of the jury, they offered a poor defense, the case was not as clear-cut as we think (i.e., emails were produced in discovery that showed a plan to disrupt the hearings). All the same it’s disturbing that a protest that had no effect at all and that could easily be said to constitute an act of free speech got a hearing and a conviction in DC.

  44. 44
    Goku says:

    @TenguPhule: I mean this law has been around for awhile right? I guess it’s never been seriously used to prosecute before. Why is it around and why are the punishments so severe?

  45. 45
    artem1s says:

    I guess all lives don’t matter after all.

  46. 46
    Yarrow says:

    Does Jeff Sessions ever go out in public? There should be a concerted effort to laugh at him every single time he makes any kind of appearance. He’s out to dinner? People point and laugh at him. He makes a speech? Laugh hysterically and get everyone around to laugh too. He should be laughed at wherever he goes. He’s a joke as AG. Just not a funny one, as he’s a traitor.

  47. 47
    efgoldman says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    Does anybody know what statute they prosecuted this woman under?

    Something like disturbing the dignitudiny of congress.
    As if they had any

  48. 48
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @efgoldman:

    Where are all the legal talking commenters?

    Waiting for our retainer checks to clear before offering our legal opinions.

    Duh.

  49. 49
    MomSense says:

    @Yarrow:

    Makes me want to call the DOJ and leave a voicemail of me laughing at him.

  50. 50
    Goku says:

    Reposting from downstairs:
    If this thing passes (AHCA), I don’t think I’ll be able to wait until 2018 to make the Grand Olichary Party pay for this. They’re messing with my healthcare (exchange) and future career (nurse) (male by the way). This is bullshit! Millions will likely lose their care even if the Senate waters it down to pass. These people know exactly what they’re doing and they deserve to die for it

  51. 51
    germy says:

    Brian Fallon‏Verified account
    @brianefallon

    The only prosecution that should have been considered after this hearing was a perjury charge against Jeff Sessions

  52. 52
  53. 53
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @dm:

    I think more people should know about jury nullification, myself.

    Be careful what you wish for. Would have been helpful in this case, but it also let the Bundy morons walk in the Oregon prosecution.

  54. 54
    Mart says:

    @dm: I cannot figure out links, but Amy Siskind has been keeping track of the tRump regime’s March to Fascism for 24 weeks. Pointing out what is the new, not so normal, normal. From her blog, “Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.”

    https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind.

    Each week has about 50 entries. Kind of overwhelming, but that is the point of her lists. Who can keep up with this awful shit?

  55. 55
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee:

    Daily Kos has a petition you can sign

    Problem solved. We can all relax now!

  56. 56
    TenguPhule says:

    @dm: It lets cops who murder black men get off on a mistrial.

  57. 57
    efgoldman says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Waiting for our retainer checks to clear before offering our legal opinions.

    It’s in the mail

  58. 58
    TenguPhule says:

    @Goku: Because judges are leery of having to do the legislature’s job for them absent actual harm to a party. Its why so many States have bonkers laws still on the books which are not enforced now. Its the legislature’s job to remove them, not the judges.

  59. 59
    dm says:

    @TenguPhule: Forget I said anything about jury nullification, then. I should have known better, I suppose — I usually hear about it on the the political spectrum’s other-than-left side.

    @Gin & Tonic: On Tyranny is quite good. Here’s a link to the podcast with the interview I heard this morning.

    Josh Marshall had a good interview with him, too (but I think you have to be a TPM Prime member to hear the entirety of the podcast)

    @Mart: Thanks. I think that’s another one of the things out of the Tim Snyder On Tyranny playbook: keep track of what’s abnormal.

  60. 60
    eclare says:

    @efgoldman: Hey, in the thread downstairs you responded to me, but I didn’t say that. I hope everyone knows I didn’t vote for the shitgibbon.

    ETA: saw your response

  61. 61
    dm says:

    @TenguPhule: Forget I said anything about jury nullification, then. I should have known better, I suppose — I usually hear about it on the other-than-left-side of the political spectrum.

  62. 62
    dm says:

    @Gin & Tonic: On Tyranny is quite good. Here’s a link to the podcast with the interview I heard this morning.

    Josh Marshall had a good interview with him, too (but I think you have to be a TPM Prime member to hear the entirety of the podcast)

    @Mart: Thanks. I think that’s another one of the things out of the Tim Snyder On Tyranny playbook: keep track of what’s abnormal.

  63. 63
    eclare says:

    @dm: I think I saw him on Maher. Scary stuff.

  64. 64
    debbie says:

    @MomSense:

    Great idea! Like that “alien” phone line Sessions set up.

  65. 65
    MomSense says:

    @debbie:

    Perfect!

  66. 66
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @eclare: apropos of nothing but Memphis, I found a store in Atlanta that sells large containers of Pancho’s dip! Needless to say, that was my entire dinner tonight.

    (where is Mike J? He feels me!)

  67. 67
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Goku:

    12 months and 2k in fines for laughing at an asshole and likely traitor? This shit happens in some banana republic. Not here.

    And yet, sometimes, some people get to yell, “You lie!” at a POTUS and get away with it. This wonderful world!

  68. 68
    efgoldman says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    where is Mike J? He feels me!

    Not in public, he better not

  69. 69
    Lapassionara says:

    @Steve in the ATL: pancho’s dip! Memphis! You said the magic words!

  70. 70
    eclare says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I feels ya! Although if you’re ever in Memphis again, try Las Delicias or Las Tortugas.

  71. 71
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @eclare: Mom still lives there so I get back periodically. Those places look good, but I grew up in Midtown so I don’t like to go east of Highland!

  72. 72
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Lapassionara: you live there now or are you an ex-pat like me and Mike J?

  73. 73
    eclare says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Las Tortugas is worth the trip. My hood is inside the Parkway, and I sometimes go there.

  74. 74
    Sab says:

    @dm: Timothy Snyder (not Tom) but yes it is amazing. More of a pamphlet than a book (93 pages) but about 20 steps on resisting tyranny. He is an expert on 20th century central and eastern European history. “Bloodlands” his history of the part of Europe trapped between Hitler and Stalin before and during WWII really changed my pereception of there then. We all need tof read his “Tyranny”. We all cannot do all of it but all of us can do some of it. Everything helps.

  75. 75
    trollhattan says:

    @efgoldman:
    It was a violation of the “This aggression will not stand, man” act.

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