The Limits of Dissent: Here’s A Hint, This Crosses the Line

Whichever knucklehead decided this was a good way to demonstrate their displeasure with the President, his administration, his business, his family that runs his business, and/or all of the above: You’re NOT helping!!!!!!

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Vanessa Trump, the wife of Donald Trump Jr., and two other people were taken to a New York hospital on Monday after she opened a piece of mail containing an unidentified white powder that was later determined to be non-hazardous, officials said.

“The substance had arrived by mail and it was addressed to Donald Trump Jr.,” said New York Police Department spokesman Carlos Nieves.

Vanessa Trump, the daughter-in-law of U.S. President Donald Trump, was hospitalized after she complained of nausea following her exposure, New York officials said.

Three patients from the household were transported to the NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center for further evaluation, said Fire Department spokeswoman Sophia Kim.

The three also included Vanessa Trump’s mother, though she had not complained of symptoms, the police spokesman said.

U.S. authorities have been on alert for mail with white powder in it since 2001, when envelopes laced with anthrax were sent to media outlets and U.S. lawmakers, killing five people.

This isn’t helping when it is sent to politicians of either party or to elites and notables. This doesn’t make the statement that the sender disagrees with policy, strategy, a political or social or religious or economic stance. It does make the statement that the sender is unhinged. And it makes it even harder for legitimate dissent and disagreement to be registered because the usual suspects will jump all over this, politicize it thoroughly, and then use it to denigrate those with legitimate disagreements who express them through legitimate means. When they track whoever did this down we’re likely to see what we usually see in these instances: someone loosely connected to both society (high level of anomie/strain) and loosely connected to reality. Someone who may have a legitimate grievance, or may believe they do (subjective grievance), but who has no ability to think through the ramifications and repercussions of their actions.

As is often the case when this type of issue comes up, the last word belongs to 18 U.S. Code § 2331:

(5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—

(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;

(B) appear to be intended—

(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

Stay frosty!

Open thread.

190 replies
  1. 1
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I’ve got a bunch of reading to crank through, so I’ll check in on occasion. Let’s avoid the hyperbolic death threats to a minimum, shall we? Or I’ll arrange for Senator Paul to come to your house and talk to you about fiscal profligacy and budgetary restraint.

  2. 2
    cervantes says:

    Well yes, of course this is some sort of a nut. Doesn’t seem particularly necessary to point that out, I don’t imagine any BJ readers were contemplating similar action.

  3. 3
    geg6 says:

    While I agree with you that this is a very stupid and unhelpful thing, I must admit to hoping it was something poisonous. Just for shits and giggles. I want all these people to die, horribly and alone, and I’m not all that picky about the means.

  4. 4
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @geg6: Senator Paul is available during dinner time on Thursday this week. Is that good for you and your family?

  5. 5
    TenguPhule says:

    Whichever knucklehead decided this was a good way to demonstrate their displeasure with the President, his administration, his business, his family that runs his business, and/or all of the above: You’re NOT helping!!!!!!

    Republican Knucklehead: Yes, I can!

  6. 6
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: At this point nothing would surprise me.

  7. 7
    TenguPhule says:

    This doesn’t make the statement that the sender disagrees with policy, strategy, a political or social or religious or economic stance. It does make the statement that the sender is unhinged. And it makes it even harder for legitimate dissent and disagreement to be registered because the usual suspects will jump all over this, politicize it thoroughly, and then use it denigrate those with legitimate disagreements who express them through legitimate means.

    Donald Trump: So what you’re saying is I should encourage more of this then.

  8. 8
    Corner Stone says:

    IMO, there is little at this point to believe this was politically motivated. As you indicate, almost certainly a loose nut who thinks the Trump’s are really lizar….hmmm…

  9. 9
    Corner Stone says:

    @geg6: This is the kind of prose I could settle in by the fire for a good night’s read.

  10. 10
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Let’s avoid the hyperbolic death threats to a minimum, shall we? Or I’ll arrange for Senator Paul to come to your house and talk to you about fiscal profligacy and budgetary restraint.

    So you want us to finish what his neighbor started? How thoughtful.

  11. 11
    AnotherBruce says:

    @geg6: Can it, I want to get rid of these people too, by using the ballot box. This does not help that cause.

  12. 12
    TenguPhule says:

    @Corner Stone:

    As you indicate, almost certainly a loose nut who thinks the Trump’s are really lizar….hmmm…

    We know its not a liberal because they would have succeeded.

  13. 13
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Senator Paul is available during dinner time on Thursday this week. Is that good for you and your family?

    That’s just cruel. Isn’t there something in that fishwrap document about “cruel and unusual” or some such?

  14. 14
    The Moar You Know says:

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Vanessa Trump, the wife of Donald Trump Jr., and two other people were taken to a New York hospital on Monday after she opened a piece of mail containing an unidentified white powder that was later determined to be non-hazardous, officials said.

    I’m going to be the asshole and call bullshit. This straight-up did not happen. I will leave it as an exercise to the reader as to who would gain by promulgating such a story.

  15. 15
    JPL says:

    The last few days of the Handel/Ossoff race when it still appeared that he might win, she received a hateful, disgusting letter with white powder. The local news gave plenty of coverage, along with those saying poor Karen. Republican turnout ended up being bigger than expected. They never caught the person who sent it.
    Sorry but not buying that it was sent in hate. That might be a ruse to get Porter off the front page.

  16. 16
    NotMax says:

    Why is she opening mail addressed to hubby?

  17. 17
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Not to digress too much, but targeted assassination has been a tool of politics for millennia. I realize that it is, as they say, “problematic”, and maybe somewhat less accepted in certain countries now than it used to be in, say, the 20th Century. But it remains a tool of statecraft, and will continue to remain a tool. If it (in the ideal) avoids war, or lessens the number of casualties, it can even be said to have positive utility.

  18. 18
    Mary G says:

    I admit to being a bit surprised that Mrs.Trump Jr. opens her own mail, but yeah, this is hateful. They have five kids. They deserve to feel safe.

  19. 19
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    So is FoxNews just showing a siren now?

    ETA: @The Moar You Know: wouldn’t surprise me a bit

  20. 20
    Mnemosyne says:

    Conservatives will blame liberals, liberals will blame conservatives, and it will turn out to be someone who doesn’t entirely fit into either box, like the guy who tried to kill Gabby Giffords.

  21. 21
    Corner Stone says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Republican Knucklehead: Yes, I can!

    You have to admit Trump has certainly given them some motivation. He has basically pissed on everything the GOP has been lying about for decades, then took it and shoved it down Mitch and Paul’s throats. Elected R’s have always been cynical about the lies they were selling but I would bet there actually are a cadre of real-deal nutjobs who see things like the debt as their hill to die on.

  22. 22
    JPL says:

    Adam, You should do a post on Session’s comments that germy posted below..

    “The office of Sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement. We must never erode this historic office”

    @The Moar You Know: Great minds and all that.

  23. 23
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mary G:

    They have five kids. They deserve to feel safe.

    No, no they don’t.

    They made this country unsafe. Fuck em and their fucking spawn. They can take their chances just like the rest of us.

  24. 24
    WhatsMyNym says:

    @The Moar You Know: I have a hard time seeing her open an envelope from somebody she doesn’t know, that’s what the hired help is for. Who among their friends would still send letters, except for fancy invites.

  25. 25
    Corner Stone says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    But it remains a tool of statecraft, and will continue to remain a tool. If it (in the ideal) avoids war, or lessens the number of casualties, it can even be said to have positive utility.

    Any examples of positive utility come to mind?

  26. 26
    NotMax says:

    @JPL

    Jeff Sessions, sheriff of Rottingham.

  27. 27
    Feebog says:

    @JPL:

    Let’s face the fact that there are some out on the far left who are a few bricks short of a load. Leave the “false flag” theories to Alex Jones.

  28. 28
    LAO says:

    I hope Alex Jones is on the case — I can’t wait to hear who is responsible — the zionists? femnazis? BLM? The potential suspect list will keep him busy for months.

  29. 29
    AxelFoley says:

    Meh, idiots tried this shit with President Obama and it barely registered a yawn with the media.

  30. 30
    AliceBlue says:

    @JPL:
    Yeah, that was some classic ratfuckery.

  31. 31
    trollhattan says:

    FALSE FLAG!

    Channeling my inner A. Jones.

  32. 32
    TenguPhule says:

    @Feebog:

    Let’s face the fact that there are some out on the far left who are a few bricks short of a load.

    But they don’t do death threats.

    They do third party primaries against Nancy Pelosi.

  33. 33
    Mnemosyne says:

    @AxelFoley:

    Yeah, but he’s Black, and Vanessa Trump is white, so it’s going to be all-around freakout by the media.

  34. 34
    TenguPhule says:

    @NotMax:

    Why is she opening mail addressed to hubby?

    All the better to play the part of an innocent victim. Badly.

  35. 35
    ssdd says:

    @The Moar You Know: yup. This has bullshit written all over it.

  36. 36
    NotMax says:

    @Feebog

    Frankly, there are some who are a few bricks short of a brick.

  37. 37
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    So is FoxNews just showing a siren now?

    Yeah. A blonde one. Same as every day.

    (Sorry, it seems to be Cheap Laffs Day chez MB. We’re just giving them away in our bargain basement!)

  38. 38
    Miss Bianca says:

    @TenguPhule: Oh, sick burn.

  39. 39
    Yutsano says:

    @TenguPhule: Wrong. We do not visit children upon the sins of their parents. We’re way beyond that as a society.

  40. 40
    germy says:

    @NotMax:

    Why is she opening mail addressed to hubby?

    With all the cheating going on in that family and administration, it’s possible she simply doesn’t trust him. Maybe she thought she’d catch him getting a love letter.

    That being said, I hope they catch the asshole mailer soon.

  41. 41
    TenguPhule says:

    About that $200 billion infrastructure plan…..

    Administration officials previewing the plan said it would feature two key components: an injection of funding for new investments and help speed up repairs of crumbling roads and airports, as well as a streamlined permitting process that would truncate the wait time to get projects underway.Officials said the $200 billion in federal support would come from cuts to existing programs.

    They’re not even pretending this is anything other then a smash and grab at this point.

  42. 42
    AxelFoley says:

    @TenguPhule:

    No, no they don’t.

    They made this country unsafe. Fuck em and their fucking spawn. They can take their chances just like the rest of us.

    I endorse this message.

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Feebog:

    Hmm. Yes, but so far it’s mostly people on the right who have a history of sending white powder to freak people out.

    Personally, I would have sent an envelope full of glitter. That shit can never be removed once it gets into your environment.

  44. 44
    LAO says:

    @AxelFoley: @Mnemosyne: Also, don’t forget that the Orange one and the dumb one, will surely tweet about it.

  45. 45
    TenguPhule says:

    @Yutsano:

    We do not visit children upon the sins of their parents. We’re way beyond that as a society.

    Sadly, we do now.

    I just want the same standard applied to the Trump spawn. Their party DID this shit to all of us.

  46. 46
    Wapiti says:

    Well, if the FBI had been semi-competent in catching and successfully prosecuting the anthrax mailer back when George W. Bush was keeping us all safe from terrorism…

  47. 47

    @Mnemosyne: yeah, I mean, it was a lefty who shot all those people at that congressional baseball game though, it’s enough to just denounce this behavior without resorting to conspiracy.

  48. 48
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Corner Stone: Had one of the earlier attempts to assassinate Hitler been successful, that could have been an example. The assassination of Heydrich, while it led to awful reprisals, was ultimately beneficial to Czechoslovakia in that it demolished the Munich agreement.

  49. 49
    JGabriel says:

    Adam Silverman @ Top:

    Whichever knucklehead decided this was a good way to demonstrate their displeasure with the President, his administration, his business, his family that runs his business, and/or all of the above: You’re NOT helping!

    Is there reason to assume this was done by an American at this point? Trump has pissed off enough of the world that I don’t think we can rule out any faction or nationality.

  50. 50
    TenguPhule says:

    @germy:

    That being said, I hope they catch the asshole mailer soon.

    Would you believe any of this DOJ’s charges against anyone accused of mailing?

    Because if I wanted to target my enemies under color of law, I can think of few better ways to start.

  51. 51
    Jeffro says:

    @Yutsano: Yeah, but they’re not children, and in Trumpov Jr’s case, he’s quite complicit in Sr’s sins. So…ok to root for injuries in this case.

  52. 52
    Jeffro says:

    This does remind me of yet another bad prediction I made back in the day: it’s been quite surprising that Trumpov properties around the world haven’t been targets of non-state hostiles of all kinds.

    Maybe they’re waiting to see if they can get in on the grift, first?

  53. 53
    geg6 says:

    @AnotherBruce:

    Oh, please. I’m allowed my fantasies.

  54. 54
    LAO says:

    @Jeffro: The children in the original comment are Trump Jr’s kids (the orange one’s grandchildren).

  55. 55
    Yutsano says:

    @Jeffro: I’m speaking specifically of the five young ones. The spawn of Dolt45 are co-conspirators IMHO.

  56. 56
    Lapassionara says:

    Off topic, but can someone explain what is going on, re the O’Bamas’ official portraits? I like them a lot, but don’t know enough about the artists to understand the symbolism.

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    These hoaxes tend to be done more often by people on the right, but that’s just a tendency. Copycats are gonna copy, and it’s not unheard of for idiots on the left to decide that imitating the tactics of the right is a great idea.

  58. 58
    germy says:

    Lions near South Africa’s Kruger National Park ate a suspected poacher over the weekend.

    “It seems the victim was poaching in the game park when he was attacked and killed by lions,” Limpopo police spokesman Moatshe Ngoepe said. “They ate his body, nearly all of it, and just left his head and some remains.”

    Police found a hunting rifle and ammo near the body.

    (BBC News)

  59. 59

    @Yutsano: I’m sure the Dreamers will take comfort in the principle.

  60. 60
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @germy: Karma’s a real bitch.

  61. 61
    FlyingToaster says:

    I have to admit, this looks an awful lot like a false flag op.

    And, as suggested above, a Democrat would more likely send glitter, or better yet, subscribe them to various “no money now” mags and funeral insurance and shit like that. Online, from a Starbucks or McDonalds.

  62. 62
    JGabriel says:

    The Moar You Know:

    I’m going to be the asshole and call bullshit. This straight-up did not happen.

    I’m inclined to agree that’s a strong possibility. These people seem happiest when proclaiming themselves the victims.

  63. 63
    germy says:

    @Lapassionara: Here is a tweet that shows some other portraits by the artist.

    People snarking on the Michelle Obama portrait should really take 2 minutes to see it in the context of Amy Sherald's other portraits. pic.twitter.com/CbDYTFey4V— Schooley (@Rschooley) February 12, 2018

    (I know you’re not snarking, that’s just Schooley being Schooley.)

  64. 64
    geg6 says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Yeah, for once I agree with you completely. I hope they run scared the rest of their miserable lives. I hope those kids change their names. I hope they all fail at life.

    After what they have done and continue to do to this country, I want all Trumps to suffer.

  65. 65
    cokane says:

    fwiw, there’s tons of death threats to politicians or celebs all the time. I dont doubt this probably was someone with a political axe to grind, but shit, in a country this large, these kinds of things are inevitable, but also meaningless in terms of characterizing any group or zeitgeist.

  66. 66
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’m trying to remember, isn’t the family covered by Secret Service & so mail is screened? I thought that DTJr took back the detail?

  67. 67
    Fair Economist says:

    There also have recently been death threats against Brexit supporters. Maybe it’s my tinfoil vibrating, but I’m suspecting a false flag operation in both cases, perhaps driven by the same agents. Only an idiot would realize this kind of thing only generates sympathy for the conservatives, and I note there has been no actual danger to any conservatives so far.

  68. 68
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Lapassionara: My understanding is these are for the National Portrait Gallery, not the White House. Really hoping the Os can put off that unveiling till somebody else lives in their old house.

  69. 69
    LAO says:

    @germy: Rarely does this world provide such a dramatic example of “instant karma.”

  70. 70
    Mary G says:

    This plays right into the authoritarian playbook, giving Twitler and Sessions the excuse to crack down on civil rights.

  71. 71
    Jeffro says:

    @Yutsano: The grandkids? (looks further upthread) Um, my bad – thought you were talking about the kids. Yes, the grandkids should not be part of it.

  72. 72
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Feebog:

    Let’s face the fact that there are some out on the far left who are a few bricks short of a load. Leave the “false flag” theories to Alex Jones.

    Plenty of unhinged on the right as well, including those who would be willing to do a false flag stunt. (And also other actors.) So the best course, IMO, is to say that we don’t know who did it or why (until we do) and when asked to enumerate the theories, that false flag is one of the many available theories until falsifying information appears. Allowing the right to speculate-as-if-fact that an unhinged lefty did it is foolish.

  73. 73
    geg6 says:

    @germy:

    I saw that story a couple of days ago. I love me those lions!

  74. 74
    NotMax says:

    @germy

    Jägerheister.

  75. 75
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @germy: stories like that are almost enough to make me believe in some engaged divinity.

  76. 76
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I realize this makes me sound like a terrible person, but I sometimes wish that shooter had shot them all.

  77. 77
    cokane says:

    @geg6: i dont get this kind of rage. i personally don’t give a shit what happens to the Trumps.

    But moreover, way to set yourself up for massive disappointment! This is an uber wealthy family that now has massive political power. I’m sorry, but even an impeached Donald isn’t going to sink them into anything approaching privation.

    Who gives a fuck what happens to them after they leave power? What’s important is what they do while in power and limiting that as much as possible. Shit, I would grant perfect happiness for Donald & co. if it meant no big wars, a repeal of the tax cut, and real immigration reform. Their well-being isn’t what should matter.

  78. 78

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: the fact that they’re rare and random is almost enough to make me believe in at least one disengaged and bored deity…

  79. 79
    TenguPhule says:

    @germy:

    “They ate his body, nearly all of it, and just left his head and some remains.”

    The irony being that Poachers do it the other way around.

  80. 80
    Fair Economist says:

    @Bill Arnold: A rightist wouldn’t have to be unhinged to try this stunt. No risk to Junior or any of his family members; virtually no chance of being caught; and guaranteed positive coverage for his side.

    A leftist *would* have to be crazy to do this. If it had actually been dangerous my first suspect would be a crazy, possibly leftist, or possibly so unhinged political affiliation isn’t meaningful. But, it wasn’t.

  81. 81
    Niles says:

    This place is a cesspool.

  82. 82
    germy says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: All praise to Ceiling Cat.

  83. 83
    Mike in NC says:

    Donnie Junior and white powder might have a long history.

  84. 84

    (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

    Like the border patrol stopping a commercial bus miles from any border and demanding passengers produce proof of citizenship? Asking for a friend.

  85. 85
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Niles: There’s the door.

  86. 86

    Funny story! Did you know that there are types of glue, mostly used in business mail, that get dry and release a puff of white powder when you open the letter? I didn’t until I opened one of those letters at work during the height of the anthrax scare, and spent several hours scared out of my mind until the anti-terrorism folks told me that if it had been anything, I’d be dead already.

  87. 87
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I don’t mean to start any blasphemous rumors,
    but I think the universe is run by a sleepy turtle-god with a sick sense of humor

  88. 88
    Fair Economist says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    I realize this makes me sound like a terrible person, but I sometimes wish that shooter had shot them all.

    It’s kind of a trolley problem. It would be horrible for a large section of the Republican caucus to have been killed – but then we’d probably have gotten some decent gun control which would have saved hundreds or thousands or lives. Really a lot like “would you send a trolley of innocent people to die to stop Hitler?”

  89. 89
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Mary G:

    Point of order – they don’t deserve to feel anything that the rest of the country doesn’t feel. They’re Trumps, and Grampy and their dad and their aunt and their shitty uncles have made millions of people – including children – demonstrably less safe.

    It shouldn’t have been done, but don’t carve an exemption for Trump spawn.

  90. 90
    NotMax says:

    Use the mails to deluge Melania with packages containing “I’m With Stupid” T-shirts.

  91. 91

    @JGabriel: Feh, I could see the two-bit soulless ratfuck criminals sending it to themselves.

    “I’m the VICTIM here!”

  92. 92
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Fair Economist:

    and I note there has been no actual danger to any conservatives so far.

    That could always change with time. Not even trying to be facetious; nobody knows the future. The conservatives could fuck up so royally and try to stubbornly cling to power that they’ll be forcefully removed.

  93. 93
    germy says:

    Isn’t it rare for letters like this to go out to only one person?

    I could be wrong, but don’t multiple targets get mail when something like this happens? I wouldn’t be surprised if more came forward.

    I don’t know if it’s a “leftist” or “rightist” or someone just deeply confused and nonsensical, like the idiot that shot Giffords. Wasn’t he all over the place and mostly incomprehensible?

  94. 94
    eemom says:

    As the kids say, duh.

    And aside from stating the obvious, who the fuck cares about this? Do I really need to be reminded that the likes of little mrs. trump get whisked to the hospital for gold star “further evaluation” over NOTHING, while tens of thousands will sicken and die this year thanks to trump’s fucking of Obamacare?

    Hell, why did the stupid twat even open the envelope? Are the servants on strike?

  95. 95
    The Moar You Know says:

    This place is a cesspool.

    @Niles: I think the word you meant to use was “shithole”.

  96. 96

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I don’t mean to start any blasphemous rumors

    Wrong blog.

  97. 97
    eemom says:

    @Mary G:

    This plays right into the authoritarian playbook, giving Twitler and Sessions the excuse to crack down on civil rights.

    the right to send mail?

  98. 98
    geg6 says:

    @cokane:

    You aren’t me. When I hate, I hate fully and completely. I never forgive. The biggest myth of Christianity in my book is that you must forgive those who have wronged you. Nope, not me. Not gonna happen.

    It’s worked very well for me through my life. Sure has worked better than being a doormat for scum, which is what these people have turned the entire country into.

  99. 99
    NotMax says:

    @The Moar You Know

    On occasion, maybe a recesspool.

    :)

  100. 100
    Waldo says:

    Let’s not forget the real victim here. Someone will likely be accused in this case and have his life destroyed over a mere allegation. Is there no such thing as due process? Sad.

  101. 101
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Fair Economist:
    Eh, Hitler was a pretty bad military tactian and strategist. Somebody more competent might have come along. That’s partly why I hope time travel never exists. The unprediability of it is the most scary part; that and it’s too much power. You’re messing with history and potentially causing lots of people to not be born. That’s not something stories dwell on often.

    That’s pretty heavy, Doc.

    (Of course, this is assuming that there is only one possible timeline.)

  102. 102
    MJS says:

    @germy: Was one of the lions using the rifle as a toothpick? Because that would be awesome if it was.

  103. 103
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Lapassionara:

    Let me interpret like a WND art critic:

    The greenery behind Obama is watered with the blood of white Christian conservatives. Him sitting in the chair is evocative if a black guy righteously slacking on the job, and the look of determined neutrality is his attitude about the shattering of the most beloved symbols and totems of white America.

    The dress that Michelle is wearing is created from the lace curtains of saintly white rural grannies, the curtains torn down by lesbians and gays while black panthers held down the screaming occupants of the home…

  104. 104
    geg6 says:

    @eemom:

    Ah, there you are. For a while, I was the meanest person on this thread. Good to have a companion. Glad to see someone else doesn’t give a shit about this dumb broad and her spawn when millions are suffering due to them and their evil family.

  105. 105
    cokane says:

    @geg6: ya except you’re telling on yourself here. this bourgeoisie sadism — bringing the Trumps down instead of focusing on helping the folks being hurt by them is the problem. it really just shows that you don’t have your priorities calibrated.

    and again. hate all you want. they are a super rich family living in a new gilded age. they aren’t going to suffer in any significant way. get over it and maybe focus on winning elections and making policy gains. not on punishing particular teevee celebrities.

  106. 106
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Lapassionara: The Obamas each picked a Black portrait artist with a very well-defined style. So each of the portraits are in conversation with the rest of that artist’s canon. Both artists independently have chosen to focus their career on portraits of Black Americans.

    Kihinde Wiley, who did Barak’s portrait, does huge, almost photorealistic, portraits of everyday contemporary African-Americans that are composed to reference the compositions of traditional portraits of Important White Men. I am finding it a little amusing that the most important Black man he’s painted is shown in a less imposing composition than his usual approach.

    The artist who painted Michelle, Amy Sherald, is the lessor known artist of the two. I like the way the Mom-in-Chief chose to nurture a new talent. Sherald is known for using that gray scale when painting her subjects’ skin color, and I will need to do more reading to understand why she makes this choice. She is also known for her flat backgrounds.

    What strikes me about both portraits is the faces — both Barack and Michele are very subdued, almost tired looking (who wouldn’t be after eight years in the White House followed by watching Trump’s antics). Both also look very determined. Theirs are not blank faces, you can almost hear them thinking.

    In my very brief reading about presidential portraits, I learned that Kennedy’s was done by Elaine Kooning, and Bill Clinton’s by Chuck Close. The fact that it is Democratic presidents who have selected vital, cutting edge artists to do their portraits — well, isn’t that a metaphor?

  107. 107
    Tenar Arha says:

    Finally got around to reading about this cavalcade of corruption. I remember Maddow & people here talking about this last year (& how if President Benedict wasn’t running such a dumpster fire of a Administration this would be a months long scandal). Holy manatees!

    Leaks, feasts and sex parties: How ‘Fat Leonard’ infiltrated the Navy’s floating headquarters in Asia

    In a case that ranks as the worst corruption scandal in Navy history, the Justice Department has charged 15 officers and one enlisted sailor who served on the Blue Ridge with taking bribes from or lying about their ties to Leonard Glenn Francis, a Singapore-based tycoon who held lucrative contracts to service Navy ships and submarines in Asian ports.

    For the better part of a decade, as part of a massive scam to defraud the Navy, Francis systematically infiltrated the Blue Ridge to a degree that is only now coming into focus, more than four years after the defense contractor’s arrest, according to the documents from federal court and the Navy, as well as interviews with Navy officials and associates of Francis.

    Prosecutors say nine sailors from the 7th Fleet flagship leaked classified information about ship movements and other secrets to Francis, a Malaysian citizen, making the Blue Ridge perhaps the most widely compromised U.S. military headquarters of the modern era.

  108. 108
    Mnemosyne says:

    @germy:

    Just another reminder that humans aren’t actually apex predators — if we don’t have our tools, we’re just another animal that’s further down the predation ladder from a lion or a bear.

  109. 109
    Yutsano says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: The best part about that dress? It actually exists. And I REALLY want to see her wear it now.

  110. 110
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @cokane:

    and again. hate all you want. they are a super rich family living in a new gilded age. they aren’t going to suffer in any significant way. get over it

    I wouldn’t get the farm on that.

  111. 111
    JPL says:

    @cokane: Why can’t one do both? I like the idea of hate without guilt, since I was raised Catholic it doesn’t work for me. I wish I could.

  112. 112
    NotMax says:

    @Ohio Mom

    Side bet that Dolt 45 chooses Dubya.

  113. 113
    germy says:

    @Mnemosyne: We can’t even run all that fast.

  114. 114
    Fair Economist says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    You’re messing with history and potentially causing lots of people to not be born. That’s not something stories dwell on often.

    Yep, that’s a big, big consequence to almost any meddling with history. Any meddling of any consequence would probably at *least* cause a different sperm to win each race to the egg, and a different egg to race to, so every single person born after the meddle would be different from the person born pre-meddle. Heck, there would probably be different crossovers during gamete production so the same sperm and egg would probably never even exist themselves.

  115. 115
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JPL: I saw it, I will get to it when I can.

  116. 116
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @germy: I don’t have to run faster than the bear…

  117. 117
    PJ says:

    @Gin & Tonic: in your scenario, it might be that whoever would have replaced Hitler would have been worse for the Allies (e.g. by having a little common sense and refraining from attacking the Soviet Union and not declaring war on the US), and, as a result, the extermination of undesirables more complete. The rabbit holes in these assassination hypotheticals can be very large.

  118. 118
    Gravenstone says:

    @Jeffro: The original comment was in regard to the safety (or lack thereof) for Trump Jr.’s kids. They absolutely had zero role in this and deserve to be safe. Think what you may of the adult children, the grandkids are off fucking limits.

  119. 119
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JGabriel: No, though I’ve seen nothing about it being foreign post marked. But there is nothing to prevent anyone in the US from sending something like this.

  120. 120
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Ohio Mom: Blown away by Michelle Obama’s portrait. So I went looking for any examples of Amy Sherald ‘s work near me. & I found an upcoming solo exhibition:
    May 2018, @ The Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis MO via her website @ http://www.amysherald.com/about/

    🤔 Springtime road trip….

  121. 121
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: Did the lions have a poacher tag? Also, was he in season?

  122. 122
    Yutsano says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I see your game Mr I’m Trying To Get a Free Trip To Africa.

  123. 123
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Tenar Arha: That is my understanding. Given that it made it past the screen, the response was precautionary.

  124. 124
    Gravenstone says:

    @Niles: Bye, Felicia.

  125. 125
    geg6 says:

    @cokane:

    Apparently, unlike you, I can do two things at the same time and keep two thoughts in my head. It’s not a zero sum world, no matter how much you may like it to be. I can hate them with ever fiber of my being at the same time I am going to the local Dem meeting, making phone calls for my preferred candidate, helping people get registered to vote and sending funds to my preferred candidates. All things I’ve done in the last month.

    Sorry you aren’t as talented at multi-tasking as I am.

  126. 126
    Captain C says:

    @FlyingToaster: A couple decades ago in the pre-high speed internet days I worked at a Tower Records which had some…interesting…magazine titles catering to specialized fetishes and suchlike. I always thought “gift” no-money-now subscriptions to these would be a rather fruitful way to annoy someone via the mails.

  127. 127
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    … I just have to run faster than you.

  128. 128
    ruemara says:

    Dearest Mr. Silverman,

    I both doubt that this was sent as anything other than an attempt to muddy the waters &;

    I wouldn’t bat an eyelash if she had been poisoned. Put evil nazis in power and you don’t really get a lot of sympathy.

  129. 129
    geg6 says:

    @JPL:

    I was raised Catholic, too. Fuck that guilt shit. Again, for me, hate is a very motivating emotion. I hate the Catholic Church and threw that bullshit guilt out the window years ago.

  130. 130
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Actually the Brits called off the two man sniper team they’d infiltrated in to assassinate him at the Berchtesgaden because they’d determined that he was such a bad strategist and technician and so erratic that leaving him in place would actually lead to the war ending sooner than if he was assassinated and replaced by someone more competent.

  131. 131
    Mnemosyne says:

    From the story:

    The three also included Vanessa Trump’s mother, though she had not complained of symptoms, the police spokesman said.

    Somehow, I’m picturing Vanessa’s mom being like, Jesus, will you calm down? It’s just some white powder. Donnie’s probably snorting coke again.

  132. 132
    Captain C says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    Hitler was a pretty bad military tactian and strategist

    IIRC, the British took him off the assassination list in around 1944, on the grounds that he was more help to the Allies alive than dead. This probably could have been done at least a year earlier, and maybe two.

    ETA: And Adam beat me to it, with details.

  133. 133
    TenguPhule says:

    @cokane:

    Who gives a fuck what happens to them after they leave power?

    Those of us who believe evil doesn’t deserve their own happy ending.

    Fuck em. Examples need to be made.

  134. 134
    Ohio Mom says:

    @NotMax: Nah, look at the previous portraits Trump has commissioned. He’ll want a very stereotypical/hackneyed approach. Dark colors, very realistic, no brush strokes showing, with a huge and baroque gold frame.

    Choosing Dubya would actually be an interesting choice, especially considering that the both of them are currently neck-in-neck for title of the worst modern president — say what you will, Trump isn’t yet responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths in two unecessary wars (knock on wood).

    Anyway, what a statement that would be, the two awfullest presidents forever linked via the portrait. Both of them staring at each other during the sitting, it would be like they were each staring in the mirror.

  135. 135
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    Trump, I expect, will select Jon McNaughton.

  136. 136
    TenguPhule says:

    @Fair Economist:

    Really a lot like “would you send a trolley of innocent people to die to stop Hitler?”

    More like “Would you let a trolley full of really bad people die to stop Hitler”?

    None of those Republicans would have been missed.

  137. 137
    TenguPhule says:

    @Waldo:

    Someone will likely be accused in this case and have his life destroyed over a mere allegation. Is there no such thing as due process?

    But enough about Al Franken.

  138. 138
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Tenar Arha: After Sherald’s name getting out because of the portrait, that should be a very well attended show.

    If you have never been to St. Louis before, I recommend adding the City Museum to your itinerary.

  139. 139
    TenguPhule says:

    @geg6:

    For a while, I was the meanest person on this thread.

    Sorry, line starts behind me.

  140. 140
    TenguPhule says:

    @cokane:

    they aren’t going to suffer in any significant way.

    Life can be unexpectedly short.

  141. 141
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: What time and day would you like to schedule for your visit with Senator Paul?

  142. 142
    TenguPhule says:

    @Gravenstone:

    They absolutely had zero role in this and deserve to be safe.

    No, no they don’t.

    I didn’t write the new rules, but fuck if I’ll accept that the Nazi spawn of those who did are exempt from them.

  143. 143
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    What time and day would you like to schedule for your visit with Senator Paul?

    After I purchase the lime. How much does he weigh again?

  144. 144
    Ohio Mom says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: LOL and YES!

    And that would be the perfect choice — McNaughton’s not an artist, he’s a propagandist. Like Trump, all bullshit.

  145. 145
    Jeffro says:

    @Gravenstone: Thanks – you’ll probably want to go back and read my comment at #71, where I realized I’d made a mistake well before you teed off.

  146. 146
    Lapassionara says:

    @Ohio Mom: Thank you! Hope you see this, as the thread is dead. I am curious about the foliage. Will need to read more about that artist.

    I miss the O’Bamas so much!

  147. 147
    cokane says:

    @geg6: you’re not “tasking” anything by hating them and wishing evil things upon them though. that you pat yourself on the back for this is telling that you likely dont actually do much

  148. 148
    John Revolta says:

    As much as I hate the Shrub, I gotta say- the portraits I’ve seen that he’s done are………….not bad. He seems to have a knack for capturing someone’s personality.

  149. 149
    cleek says:

    @JPL:

    that is, in fact, how sheriff offices all over the country describe the job. (and they all use the same essay to do it)

    google

  150. 150
    rikyrah says:

    You tickle me, Silverman.
    Giving them the benefit of the doubt.
    They did this to themselves. It’s so obvious😒

  151. 151
    geg6 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I must have missed something, but this is the second time you’ve said this in this thread (to me and TP, I think). I have no clue what you are referencing. I may appreciate the comment if I have a clue as to what it’s about.

  152. 152
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Lapassionara: I just read the Washington Post article, “The Obamas portraits are not what you expect…”

    You will like it, it explains some of the symbolism, and includes a video of Barack and Michele talking about what the portraits mean to them.

  153. 153
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Do not dismiss that this may have been the work of:

    Rightwingers who are obsessed with false flags

    The FSB sending Uday a message

  154. 154
    geg6 says:

    @cokane:

    Fuck off. I can guarantee that I’ve done plenty of the heavy political work over the last forty years, all the time hating Republicans the whole time. More than you have ever done, I have no doubt.

    You are truly a mighty asshole. My hate, it can encompass multitudes, including you.

  155. 155
    cokane says:

    @TenguPhule: being a shitty president isn’t necessarily a crime. if there’s stuff to the Russia collusion case, fine, that might be prosecutable. If there’s self-dealing corruption charges that too might be prosecutable. But being a really shitty president with super conservative policies isnt. Too much in this community is starting to resemble “lock her up!”

  156. 156
    opiejeanne says:

    @NotMax: A portrait of president Cheat-oh by W I love that!

  157. 157
    Ohio Mom says:

    @John Revolta: Dubya also has a great color sense and a very confident brushstroke. I find it impressive that he set such a big challenge for himself, deciding to be a painter. He took lessons, practiced hard and found his own voice. Lots of new painters never grow out of being derivative but his work looks like his and no one else’s.

    If only he had worked that hard and sincerely in being a good president…

  158. 158
    cokane says:

    @geg6: please, your own words snitch on you. it’s clear you don’t have priorities and it’s also clear you’d abuse power in just the authoritarian fashion you decry, if given the chance.

  159. 159
    TenguPhule says:

    @cokane:

    being a shitty president isn’t necessarily a crime.

    Wrecking the Federal Government and stealing from it is. And that’s before we get into his Russian treason.

  160. 160
    TenguPhule says:

    @geg6: See his first post at the top of the thread.

  161. 161
    cokane says:

    @TenguPhule: the first thing actually isnt :[

  162. 162
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @geg6: Senator Paul’s filibuster in the Senate last week that held up the budget deal vote.

  163. 163
    Mnemosyne says:

    @cokane:

    being a shitty president isn’t necessarily a crime.

    The bar is very low for presidential impeachment in the US Constitution, by design. You only need to be accused of “high crimes and misdemeanors“ (emphasis mine).

    If Bill Clinton could be impeached over an accusation of perjury in a civil suit, Trump can absolutely be impeached for his double-dealing and steering government funds to himself. Emoluments Clause, anyone?

  164. 164
    geg6 says:

    @cokane:

    Because you know me so well. Being an anonymous commenter on a blog and all means you know everything about me.

    What an asshole you are.

  165. 165
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I wanted to ask you: do you think if Germany had a history of widespread gun ownership it would have made any difference in the run up to the Nazi takeover.

  166. 166
    John Revolta says:

    @Ohio Mom: Agreed.

  167. 167
    geg6 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I guess I’m not getting it. What does a non-filibuster have to do with my hatred of everything and everyone in any way attached to Dolt 45?

    ETA: Oh, now I get it. You do that and we’ll have a dead senator on our hands and it won’t be from white powder.

  168. 168
    TenguPhule says:

    @cokane: Violation of his oath of office. Close enough to a federally defined crime that I’ll take it and use it as a bludgeon.

  169. 169
  170. 170
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    do you think if Germany had a history of widespread gun ownership it would have made any difference in the run up to the Nazi takeover.

    They did have widespread guns.

    Problem was the people who were carrying them.

  171. 171
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    No I mean if the Communists had them.

  172. 172
    TenguPhule says:

    @geg6:

    Oh, now I get it. You do that and we’ll have a dead senator on our hands and it won’t be from white powder.

    Just remember to use enough lime afterwards.

    And stay hydrated!

  173. 173
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    No I mean if the Communists had them.

    German communists were not a large enough segment of the population to matter.

  174. 174
    Darrin Ziliak (formerly glocksman) says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Donnie Junior and white powder might have a long history.

    The mailer put the wrong white powder in the envelope. 😀

  175. 175
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    They could have gotten a lucky shot off and killed Hitler before he came to power.

  176. 176
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    They could have gotten a lucky shot off and killed Hitler before he came to power.

    He becomes a martyr to the cause and someone even worse uses his death to justify the crackdown on jews and other undesirables in Germany. German Offensives kick off earlier then expected, France falls, Russia and Germany split Europe between them and America allies with Fascism.

    There’s a reason we have a Hitler Time-travel Exemption Act.

  177. 177
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    I’m talking as early as the Munich Beer Hall Putsch, here.

  178. 178
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: No. Germany’s firearm laws were strange. They were tightened under Weimar and then initially loosened, for non Jewish Germans, under the NAZIs. There was no 2nd Amendment equivalent. In fact I know of no other nation-state that has such an equivalent. Or has ever had one. The issue was never gun ownership, the issue was support for the NAZIS among the German population.

  179. 179
    Duane says:

    @Darrin Ziliak (formerly glocksman): Maybe the powder was donnie’s supply. Vanessa tried some, got dizzy, and the help called authorities. I like this version best. Seems plausible even.

  180. 180
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    I’m talking as early as the Munich Beer Hall Putsch, here.

    Again, given the era, the situation in Germany was ripe for shit to go wrong. We were lucky the one who did was an incompetent at the end of it.

    You’d have to fix WW I to realistically have a chance to avoid WW II in any alt-verse.

  181. 181
    JPL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Anglo-American was not in his speech as written, and the more common term would be common law, or at least that is what I’m used to. Session’s background adds to the fact that I personally found it disturbing.
    At least he has stated that slavery was the cause of the Civil War, so I guess baby steps.

  182. 182
    retiredeng says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Nope. I want to see the Orange one steam that rug off his head!

  183. 183
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Ohio Mom: I’m like totally happy for her, bc IIRC her site said it’s her first solo show at a museum. In terms of getting perfect timing for her & The Contemporary Museum, this is fantastic. It’s like the art world trifecta.

  184. 184
    cokane says:

    @TenguPhule: def agree here. This is a mistake to think Hitler was a uniquely evil thinker. The sad truth is his brand of white supremacy, antisemitism and authoritarianism was super common. Not just in Germany either. I mean, Europe had been genociding and colonizing pretty much the entire rest of the world since basically 1492 and only a few people were really starting to question it by 1939.

  185. 185
    cokane says:

    @TenguPhule: ya this too but honestly the roots of both these wars essentially go back to colonialism. you just cannot have european states vying for supremacy, taking territory by armed conquest and not eventually have them come at loggerheads. Aryan supremacy is just built on the scaffolding of european supremacy that had unquestioned dominance on the continent’s thinking for hundreds of years. not that europe was alone in this thinking, japan was largely doing the same thing around the pacific, and the ottomans until they collapsed as well. it’s just europe had the most devastating weapons mankind had seen.

  186. 186
    J R in WV says:

    @germy:

    Lions near South Africa’s Kruger National Park ate a suspected poacher over the weekend….

    That’s so sweet!! I hope the guy in the head got to watch them eat the rest of his body. I know that’s unlikely, but a guy can hope…

  187. 187
    mai naem mobile says:

    Sorry,do not buy. It’s a distraction frim Porter/Russia. I don’t see one of our side doing something so stupid. I do hope the Deep State FBI figures out whatever right winger is behind it.

  188. 188
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JPL: It is definitely a call out to the Constitutional sheriffs and posse comitatus nutbars.

  189. 189
    SgrAstar says:

    @Ohio Mom: rather than say that PBO’s portrait is “ less imposing”, I’d say that Kehinde Wiley’s painting is less *satirical* than his other work. I find Barack’s portrait incredibly moving and thought-provoking. He’s a man caught by history- a symbol, an ideal, but also a flesh-and-blood real boy. Those vines with their allusions to his story…are they engulfing the man, or has he freed himself from them?

  190. 190
    ohthatguy says:

    It seems premature to call this terrorism. For all we know, it could be a white person who sent it

Comments are closed.