Watching the Disinformation and Influence Operation Being Made In Real Time

A congressional delegation (CODEL) went to visit several Customs & Border Patrol (C&BP) facilities today. John just put up a post about it here at Balloon Juice Actual. But we weren’t the only ones tracking on it. Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks, as well as her just being part of the CODEL, set off the expected firestorm. The highly credulous, fabulist Anna Giaritelli, who poses as The Washington Examiner‘s Homeland Security reporter, and who was not on site covering the CODEL, decided to report, first by tweet and then in the Examiner, that Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez threw a pair of temper tantrums during the visits. This was picked up by Students for Trump* on twitter and put on blast. Townhall, Breitbart, The Daily Caller, and The Blaze all picked up Giaritelli’s disinformation and published their own stories around it. So while there are at least five articles about this in the conservative news media, four of them simply refer back to Giaritelli’s original reporting, which hasn’t been confirmed by any of the reporters actually in attendance with the CODEL.

Giaritelli, known for her greatest hit of barbering the written quotation of a video interview she conducted with a rancher to make it seem as if discarded Muslim pray rugs had been found in New Mexico by the Border Patrol and other ranchers, has already been called out by a reporter who was actually on site and who live streamed significant portions of the CODEL’s visits. It is unclear if Giaritelli was on site, as she didn’t indicate in her reporting where she was reporting from. Also, all of her sources for this reporting are, of course, anonymous.

Giaritelli, of course, has doubled down. She’s also accusing Congresswoman Escobar, in whose district the facility was located, of also throwing a temper tantrum.

I expect that by the evening the disinformation will have fully spread throughout the Republican, conservative, alt-right, and white supremacist information ecosystems. It’ll finish making the rounds of Twitter and Facebook, jump to Gab, the Chans, and the sub-reddits. From there it will be amplified. Most likely by the President’s caddy, Dan Scavino, who runs the President’s social media feeds, Jr, and other of the President’s social media surrogates, as well as the Russian troll and bot networks will pick it up and kick it into high gear. And, if we were able to actually monitor the direct messages of Scavino, Jr, Giaritelli, whomever is running the Students for Trump twitter account, as well as a variety of other Presidential surrogates, including those in the conservative news media, I would be very surprised to find that there isn’t widespread coordination going on between the players on these disinformation and influence operations.

There are two purposes to this disinformation campaign. The first is to dirty up Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, Congresswoman Escobar, and any of the other Democratic members of Congress on today’s congressional delegation. The second is to use this information to influence those who ingest it. To change the story from the President, on the advise of his senior policy advisor Stephen Miller, and with the avid support of his evangelical Christian base, Republican members of the House and Senate, and the Border Patrol Union, establishing an immoral, evil policy of closing ports of entry to meter claims of asylum, thereby slowing them down; separating families when they do make it to the US and attempt to claim asylum; and ongoing, egregious violations of the Flores agreement under which the US government cannot detain undocumented minors, nor treat them in the manner it currently is to Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez is a hot headed train wreck who abuses the Federal law enforcement officers of the Border Patrol and who now seeks to exact revenge by having the officers at the sites she visited today investigated for no good reason.

We got to watch this disinformation and influence operation in real time today. Out in the open where everyone could see. Imagine what is being done in private?

Updated at 12:15 AM EDT

We now have information regarding what Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez actually did from a reliable source who was with the CODEL.

Open thread.

* Obligatory:


115 replies
  1. 1
    satby says:

    My conservative “friends” will be bleating this at me tomorrow, so to preempt them I’m sharing this tonight. Save us all some time.

  2. 2
    Mary G says:

    I’d be screaming at them too.

  3. 3
    plato says:

    Reality being distorted and shredded in real time right in front of our eyes.

  4. 4
    Kay says:

    Daniel Dale
    ‏Verified account
    8h8 hours ago
    Trump told the troops in South Korea yesterday that he got them their first raise in nearly a decade.
    The troops have gotten a raise every calendar year since 1983. It’s every year since 1961 if you ignore an administrative quirk.

    It’s a shame he lies so much but you have to wonder about people who don’t know they get a raise every year.

  5. 5
    Jay says:

    07/01/2019 16:27 EDT

    Far-Right Extremists Wanted Blood In Portland’s Streets. Once Again, They Got It.

    It’s not a surprise a conservative writer was bloodied in a street brawl in Portland ― far-right extremists have been freely hosting skirmishes there for years.

  6. 6
    cain says:

    How do you deal with this kind of misinformation network especially when augmented by russian troll farms? Especially when aided by Twitter who seems to be sympathetic to nazis.

  7. 7
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    From what I have seen of and read about these camps, a temper tantrum about them would not be an unreasonable reaction. Further, the fucks who are running these camps have as much right to be called law enforcement officers as SS camp guards had to be called honorable soldiers. Henry Wirz, the commandant of the Andersonville POW camp in Georgia, was hanged for doing the kind of shit these people are doing to refugees.

    And, yes, I understand that the reporting was all based on lies.

  8. 8
    Mart says:

    Instead of arguing with conservatives over AOC’s demeanor towards the officers; think I’ll just say I would tell then to fuck off too – if they were passing fake pornographic images of me on their secret Facebook page. Also won’t argue over legality of family seperation, or hateful words like concentration camps, just gets them frothing.

  9. 9
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I can totally see AOC yelling at the tour guide over the treatment of these people or refusing the go along the carefully curated path that was set up for her.

    Both of these things will easily be lied about as “screamed threateningly” or “refused to enter on the tour”. Especially with anonymous sources who somehow failed to capture evidence of any of this.

    Also, Giaritelli should go lock herself in a cage for 3 months, no change of clothes and drink some toilet water. Or just shoot herself, either is fine.

  10. 10
    wenchacha says:

    Thanks for letting the record straight. Can you tell me if AOC’s constituents have been complaining about her? It is another pushback I have seen on Twitter, but I am unsure about the report’s origin. From all I have seen, AOC is doing her job.

  11. 11
    Mandalay says:


    It’s a shame he lies so much…

    While Trump is definitely factually wrong on this specific issue, I’m not sure that he was necessarily lying:

    Trump could accurately say that the 2018 pay increase he signed into law, 2.4%, was the largest in close to 10 years: It was the biggest raise for the troops since the 3.4% increase that President Barack Obama signed into law for 2010. The 2019 raise, 2.6%, was also the largest since 2010.

    I suppose it can be argued that he’s deliberately lying, and has plausible deniability if he gets called on his bullshit (“President Trump misspoke, but the sad reality is that under Obama….“), but I don’t give him that much credit.

    One of his lickspittles probably told him that the pay increase was the biggest in 10 years, and that morphed in his tiny brain into something much more convenient. Obviously Trump deliberately and consciously lies about some major things, but on the smaller stuff like this I’m not sure that he even realizes he’s wrong, let alone that he’s lying.

  12. 12
    Mary G says:

    Interesting article in “Vogue” about the six women running for the presidential nomination on the Democratic side with group photos by Annie Liebowitz. .

    We are too young, too inexperienced, not ready, right up until the moment when we are past our prime (an argument that has been made about Warren). Male candidates, meanwhile, can be fresh-faced (Buttigieg, 37), energetic (Beto, 46), and then elder statesmen (Biden, 76, and Bernie Sanders, 77). In June, Biden answered a woman’s question related to his support for the 1994 crime bill with “You make a really good point, kiddo. . . .” At that moment, I was reminded of the vanishingly small window—blink and you miss it—when a woman is neither kiddo nor washed up, but just that perfect age to run for president.

    I’ve never bought a copy of Vogue in my life or read it at the library or hair salon, but there is a lot of good journalism in women’s magazines these days.

    ETA: Trigger warning: It’s by Amy Chozick. The interviews are good.

  13. 13
    cynthia ackerman says:

    Adam, I’ve said for three years that you’ve nailed what these fuckers are doing. Sadly, they just seem to be doing it easier, if not better.

  14. 14
    Ksmiami says:

    @MisterForkbeard: I pretty want the vermin on the right to meet the same fate as their historical models

  15. 15
    Jay says:


    It’s fake.

  16. 16
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @satby: All part of our just in time delivery service here at Balloon Juice.

  17. 17
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @cain: Technically you use the counterinfluence operations folks at DHS, DOJ/FBI, and State, and the cyber sleuths at NSA to combat them. Right now, given the current administration, we’re doing it piecemeal like this blog post.

  18. 18
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @wenchacha: I have no idea what her constituents think about her.

  19. 19
    randy khan says:

    It’s probably worth going on social media and talking about the lies being spread about AOC. A bit of inoculation for people who are reading your social media feeds.

  20. 20
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mandalay: The lie is he’s claiming the military haven’t had a pay raise for decades.

  21. 21
    SFAW says:

    Deleted because the commenter was being fucking stupid

  22. 22
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @cynthia ackerman: Thank you for the kind words. Now if we could just get someone to pay me for nailing this.

  23. 23
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @randy khan: I don’t have any social media accounts. I just monitor other people’s.

  24. 24
    Kay says:


    One of his lickspittles probably told him that the pay increase was the biggest in 10 years, and that morphed in his tiny brain into something much more convenient

    That’s funny because I think that too- I think they all vie for his favor so tell him things that are complimentary to him and he believes all of it. Where else would he get information? He doesn’t read anything.

  25. 25
    rikyrah says:

    AOC is maybe 100 pounds soaking wet..

    So Phuck Outta Here about her threatening anyone.😠😠

  26. 26
    The Dangerman says:

    I’m just blown away that we are wasting money now on building WWII era Sherman tanks.

    Trump said there was going to be new Sherman tanks this weekend and, I bet, someplace there are machine shops making chips like mad trying to change a Dodge Charger into a Sherman Tank because we can’t have it be that Trump doesn’t have a fucking clue what he is doing.

    We sure will be surprised when Trump brings out the Sherman tank, camouflaged with the words “Eat Me” on the side.

  27. 27
    rikyrah says:

    Good post, Silverman 👏👏

  28. 28
    SFAW says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The lie is he’s claiming the military haven’t had a pay raise for decades.

    Well, considering he has the attention span of a mayfly, it could have felt like decades to him.

  29. 29
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    She took a hit from Amazon pulling out of opening up in the district, but still above water (link is from April).

  30. 30
    eemom says:

    @Adam L Silverman: @wenchacha:

    I have a good friend who is very active in NY Dem politics, and he has said there’s a concern that AOC is not as attentive to constituent services as most first term elected congresspeople are expected to be. Just sharing that fwiw.

  31. 31
    Jay says:


    There are a couple hundred researchers, from Carol Orr to Emily of the State, calling out the ratfucking in real time.

    Jake Tapper and much of the MSM on the otherhand,


  32. 32
    Kay says:

    ‏Verified account
    9h9 hours ago
    Today, CBP was made aware of disturbing social media activity hosted on a private Facebook group that may include a number of CBP employees. CBP immediately informed DHS Office of the Inspector General and initiated an investigation.

    I hope the inspector general doesn’t conclude the first word of that statement is a lie. It sure seems to be. They should probably investigate more than the agents who were involved.

  33. 33
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    As Tlaib addressed the crowd, some of the protesters yelled about Muslims.

    “Shut up! We don’t want Muslims here either,” one said.

    We care about Jesus Christ! We don’t care about Sharia law,” shouted another protester.

    Baby-Cagers for Jeebus

  34. 34
    Kay says:

    Washington Post Opinions
    ‏Trump now plans to cordon off an area for the Fourth of July in front of the Lincoln Memorial reserved just for dignitaries, family and friends.
    Nothing about reserved seating says “We the people.”

    Ivanka and Jared and the Trump campaign donors now get the Lincoln Memorial reserved seating. Good Christ. Poor Lincoln. All that anguish and sacrifice -his life!- for these scumbags to sell seats. Decent people should boycott.

  35. 35
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @The Dangerman:

    when Trump brings out the Sherman tank,

    yelling “Vroom, Vroom, VROOOOM!!” at the top of his horrible voice.

  36. 36
    Mandalay says:

    @eemom: I’m sure your “good friend who is very active in NY Dem politics” is concerned.

    AOC exposed them for what they were, and won’t give a shit.

  37. 37
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: My original aikido sensei, now in her late 80s, weighs maybe 110 lbs soaking wet. And she’s about 5’2. She can still bounce me around like a basketball if she feels like it.

  38. 38
    Duane says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Even when the truth would serve him, Trumpov still lies. Being a conman, he does it as naturally as drawing breath. It’s who he is.

  39. 39
    SFAW says:


    yelling “Vroom, Vroom, VROOOOM!!” at the top of his horrible voice.

    Either that, or he’ll want to drive it while screaming that — kinda like his “Look what a big boy I am sitting in the cab of an 18-wheeler’s tractor! HOOOOONNNK!!!! AH-OOOO-GAH!!!!”

  40. 40
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Dangerman:

  41. 41
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Four countries had more than 100 million Christians in 2010: the United States (243 million), Brazil (173 million), Mexico (108 million) and Russia (105 million).

    It’s been…interesting watching religious conservatives completely and utterly abandon their co-religious in their hour of need.

    Worst religious allies ever, among all their other “worsts”. I suppose we already knew that, though, given that they also don’t recognize African American Christians and never have.

  42. 42
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @eemom: Tracking. Thanks for the info.

  43. 43
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kay: And they’re selling tickets to the VIP section.

  44. 44
    The Dangerman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    …might not be able to hold the weight.

    Infrastructure Week!

  45. 45
    Citizen Alan says:


    It’s a shame he lies so much but you have to wonder about people who don’t know they get a raise every year.

    These are the same geniuses who were certain that Obama had raised their taxes.

  46. 46
    different-church-lady says:

    @eemom: Wait, people think there’s more to constituent services than Tweeting 17 times an hour?

  47. 47
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    A flotilla of models of the McCain in the reflecting pool would be a nice touch.


  48. 48
    different-church-lady says:

    @Kay: The Memorial? Jeez, all Clinton got to sell was the Lincoln bedroom.

  49. 49
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Dangerman: Even worse.

  50. 50
    Adam L Silverman says:

    And now we have reliable information from a reliable source who was there:

  51. 51
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Dangerman: Here in Narnia it always Infrastructure Week, but never Christmas.

  52. 52
    Adam L Silverman says:


  53. 53
    NotMax says:


    “Behind me is a statue of another Republican president some of you might have heard about and – not many people know this – also a great vampire hunter!”


  54. 54
    The Dangerman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Here in Narnia…

    The Lyin’ (President), the Which (tank is currently in production)…

  55. 55
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Nothing like pissing off a bunch of soldiers by having them bake in or fry around their armored vehicles on a 95 degree, 99% humidity day when they were expecting a four day pass and getting drunk on a beach. Also, what bridges and streets in the DC area will be able to survive even a few Bradleys let alone MBTs?

  56. 56
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Adam L Silverman: the chance for that rally to turn ugly seem pretty high to me

  57. 57
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Apparently they’ve got to recall Soldiers who were supposed to be going on leave for the long holiday weekend because the tanks will have to be guarded at all times. I’m honestly amazed that DC is going to let them try to drive them into place given the potential damage to the roads and the bridge. Right now the cost just for the tanks is almost $1 billion. I suppose if they have to rotary them into place, that’ll go up.

  58. 58
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I would think that the security folks are not having a fun week.

  59. 59
    oldgold says:

    Norman Ornstein
    Read about the right-wing disinformation campaign, powerful by Adam Silverman. (link:

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: If I were the CO of whatever group of poor bastards that has been tagged with this, I would be worried not so much about maneuver damage – that’s a given in these circs – but rather whether or not a bridge is going to give way and put my soldiers in the Potomac. Where do you get an armor battalion’s worth of life jackets at short notice?

  61. 61
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Jay: They need an aggregation site.

  62. 62
    Peale says:

    @different-church-lady: I’m not going to say much about this, but…my concern has been that as a celebrity congressman, she’ll be out of town campaigning for others this cycle and forget that her own voters don’t know her yet. She did that after her primary win, too. Every weekend there’d be a report that she was in this place, or that place. But she’s not supposed to be, say, representing Iowans and Ohioans. Her district is probably safe for a dem, but I could see her voters getting anxious about her time.

  63. 63
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jay: Caroline Orr is great.

  64. 64
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @oldgold: Norm’s a friend. And good people too! I had sent him the write up. We had emailed about what was going on earlier in the day.

  65. 65
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Peale: I imagine she’d be tough to take out in her district, I worry more about her becoming the subject of every other question addressed to other candidates, and setting litmus tests among her more excitable and devoted fans even if she doesn’t intend to

  66. 66
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: They are very worried about the structural integrity of the Memorial Bridge giving out. You know as well, if not better than I do that if one or more tanks go into the river, no amount of life jackets are going to make a difference. Soldiers will drown before they can pop the hatch and get to safety.

  67. 67
    NotMax says:


    Presumably they bring them across by rail, same as the way the Smithsonian dealt with bringing in the locomotives they have on display. Getting them from the rail yards onto the Mall, that’s a different dilemma.

  68. 68
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: The proposed route that has been reported on is they will be driven across the Memorial Bridge.

  69. 69
    wk says:

    A current CNN headline seems to reflect this story as well: “Ocasio-Cortez screamed at border agents for trying to take selfies with her”. Inside the link it says that “She screamed at Border Patrol agents for trying to take selfies with her before she toured one facility, according to her spokesman Corbin Trent.”

    Will be interesting to see exactly what is true.

  70. 70
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    Well, if they provide the driver a SCUBA tank, and fill the compartment with helium….

  71. 71
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Like it would make any difference to Trump’s fans. The right wing propaganda machine would insist that it was sabotage by antifa and the New York Times would give Bret Stephens a dozen columns to boost the signal.

  72. 72
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NotMax: Bring them in at the Brentwood Rail Yard, then New York Ave to 6th St, and take a right on Constitution? Do they have the infrastructure to off load tanks? Jesus, this is unbelievably fucking stupid.

  73. 73
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    Hell, just tell him there’s a line of stealth tanks lining both sides of the street.

  74. 74
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NotMax: Maybe they can dig out a few of these.

  75. 75
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    Have to move the Ark of the Covenant to get at those boxes.


  76. 76
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NotMax: Nothing is ever easy, is it?

  77. 77
    Redshift says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Apparently, they’re going to bring them in on trains, and then transport them on trucks to the Mall. I hope the weather is as bad as the worst end of current predictions and everyone in the VIP section gets struck by lightning.

  78. 78
  79. 79
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    There was a stripped down and decommissioned tank in a park in the town where I lived when attending elementary school. In the dead of winter it was too hot inside for us kids to play in there.

    Eventually it was moved out when a decision was made to relocate a colonial era grist mill there.

  80. 80
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Kay: I grew up in SoBaptist churches learning that Catholics are NOT Christian.

    Many Evangelicals today still believe this.

  81. 81
    The Dangerman says:


    …and everyone in the VIP section gets struck by lightning.

    They’ll all seek shelter in by Lincoln’s statue and Donald will have Ivanka sit on Lincoln’s lap for some “glamour” shots.

  82. 82
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Redshift: They’re bringing them by train all the way into DC? Or into the VA suburbs and then they’re moving them by flatbed?

  83. 83
    A Good Woman says:


    You sure she isn’t channeling Bruce Lee?

  84. 84
    NotMax says:


    Underground river be damned.

    “As the sun tanks sink slowly in the west, all eyes turn upwards to gawk at the fireworks.”

  85. 85
    Mandalay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Norm’s a friend. And good people too!

    Wow – I had no idea. He’s the absolute top of my list of people to listen to for understanding WTF is going on in Congress and the Administration.

  86. 86
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mandalay: Also an excellent senior mentor.

  87. 87

    What we are not hearing – and we should – is the phrase “crimes against humanity.”

    There have to be trials.

  88. 88
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Raven Onthill:

    There have to be trials.

    Indeed, there ought to be trials. But there won’t be. B/c even if we retake power, it’ll be by a slender thread, and while -maybe- it’ll be possible to prosecute the perps for treason (conspiring with Mother Russia), it will *not* be possible to prosecute anybody for these crimes against humanity. B/c let’s face facts: the 40% of the population that’s all Cletuses would go apeshit.

    Are you ready for a civil war over that? I don’t think many Dems are.

    To put it most bitterly: Keeping our Republic is one thing; making our Republic worthy of being kept, is a whole ‘nother one. And I don’t think our body politic is up to the latter, even if it’s up to the former.

    it’s bitter, I know. And I sure hope I’m wrong.

  89. 89
    Mandalay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    And now we have reliable information from a reliable source who was there…

    While I have completely unreliable information from a completely unreliable source who wasn’t there, Maria “Toady” Bartiromo:

    My sources are confirming this. @MorningsMaria @FoxBusiness @SundayFutures @FoxNews

    Hmmm…who to believe,?…Prayer Rug Patty, Toady and FoxNews, or an eyewitness from Congress?

    ETA: It’s remarkable how bigwigs like Don Trump Jr. and Maria Bartiromo manage to promptly give their two cents of support on tweets posted by complete nobodies who are spewing Republican talking points. Cynics might even think that shit show is entirely coordinated and scripted…

  90. 90

    @Chetan Murthy: All the way up to the 19th-century Civil War, the anti-slavery faction kept trying to compromise, kept trying to avoid a fight. Finally, after the election of anti-slavery Abraham Lincoln, the South started the fight.

    By analogy, if Trump loses the next Presidential election, which is likely, we will see a right-wing terrorist uprising. I wonder if any of the candidates are ready for it.

  91. 91
    Steeplejack says:

    @Omnes Omnibus, @Adam L Silverman:

    It seems likely they would truck the tanks in, no? Doesn’t do anything about the weight, but no treads chewing up the streets and no tankers perishing in the Potomac. And they could choose a route to avoid dodgy bridges.

    Still a colossally stupid idea.

    ETA: I see others have weighed in.

  92. 92
    Steeplejack says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    There’s nothing in that story about that being the “proposed route.” It’s just dropped in as a non sequitur paragraph:

    Another problem is that Arlington Memorial Bridge, which spans the Potomac River and connects Arlington National Cemetery and the Lincoln Memorial, might not be able to hold the weight.

    Recent story from the AP (with picture):

    At least two Army tanks have arrived in Washington ahead of a Fourth of July celebration that President Donald Trump says will include military hardware.

    An Associated Press photographer says the two M1A1 Abrams tanks are with four other military vehicles on a freight train in a railyard at the southeastern edge of Washington.

    The vehicles are being guarded by military police but are visible to passersby on nearby paths. A military official earlier told the AP that the tanks were transported north from Fort Stewart in Georgia.

  93. 93
    Steeplejack says:


    How was it playing in the colonial grist mill? Good times, no doubt.

  94. 94
    sukabi says:

    @The Dangerman: nope, he’ll have Ivanka sit on HIS lap for “grabher shots”.

  95. 95
    Brachiator says:

    @Raven Onthill:

    By analogy, if Trump loses the next Presidential election, which is likely, we will see a right-wing terrorist uprising. I wonder if any of the candidates are ready for it.

    We’re already seeing the right wing uprising. I wonder how many people are ready for it.

    It began in earnest with Bush Cheney, and the war against history. Neoconservatives always believed that “losing” the Vietnam War was an avoidable mistake, and they were going to show how it was done with Iraq. We also saw the first skirmishes in the war against science.

    With Trump, the gloves are completely off. Trump is cruel and amoral. He insists that the country show no mercy to immigrants and refugees, and conservatives (and a few others) are happily falling in line.

    Any push back is derided as false news. And now we see this messy, obvious, disinformation campaign meant to “persuade” Americans to accept whatever is done to captive Innocents.

    Conservatives are laying the groundwork for more active suppression.

    It’s not clear what may happen next. But I am less concerned about fringe right wing terrorist groups than I am about government sanctioned oppression.

  96. 96
    prostratedragon says:

    I have learned a new Japanese word: sontaku.

    It means that you don’t want to stimulate your boss … you feel you cannot predict your boss’s reaction.

    This in connection with another avenue of disinformation, the supression of useful information through intimidation of those who would bring it forth:

    “Agriculture Department buries studies showing dangers of climate change”

    The Trump administration has refused to publicize dozens of government-funded studies that carry warnings about the effects of climate change, defying a longstanding practice of touting such findings by the Agriculture Department’s acclaimed in-house scientists.

    The studies range from a groundbreaking discovery that rice loses vitamins in a carbon-rich environment — a potentially serious health concern for the 600 million people world-wide whose diet consists mostly of rice — to a finding that climate change could exacerbate allergy seasons to a warning to farmers about the reduction in quality of grasses important for raising cattle.


    Some scientists see the fact that the administration has targeted another research arm of USDA, the Economic Research Service, as a warning shot. Perdue is moving ERS out of Washington, which some economists see as retribution for issuing reports that countered the administration’s agenda, as POLITICO recently reported.

    “There’s a sense that you should watch what you say,” said Ricardo Salvador, director of the food and environment program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “It’s going to result in some pretty big gaps in practical knowledge. … it will take years to undo the damage.”

    What is being smothered:

    During the Obama years, USDA became increasingly outspoken about climate change and the need to involve agriculture, both in terms of mitigation and adaptation.

    The department came up with sweeping action plans on climate change and climate science and highlighted its work on a number of different platforms, including press releases, blog posts and social media blasts. In 2014, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack also launched Climate Hubs in 10 regions across the country aimed at helping farmers and ranchers cope with an increasingly unpredictable climate.

    “We were trying to take science and make it real and actionable for farmers,” said Robert Bonnie, who served as undersecretary for natural resources and the environment at USDA during the Obama administration. “If you’re taking a certain block of research and not communicating it, it defeats the purpose of why USDA does the research in the first place.”

    I see Rachel Maddow also covered this story recently.

  97. 97
    NotMax says:


    Wasn’t intended as a play area. As the statute of limitations has long since passed, will divulge we sneaked in plenty of times while it was still on the lowboy trailer, before the new foundation built for it had cured. Memory wants to say it was a late 17th century mill, but it may well have been 18th century.

  98. 98
    gorram says:

    What’s truly terrifying about the story of the CBP/ICE secret group on Facebook is that they were talking about beating and/or subjecting AOC and other congressional representatives to sexual violence. The implication of that is that they expect what happens in the camps to be beyond the reach of the law, even to the level of sitting government officials, which echoes the earlier agents’ comments to Senator Merkeley that no one “claiming” to be a Senator would be allowed into the camps.

    Just, if that’s the situation we’re in, things are really hairy – just like a lot of the government’s functions rely on some assumed norms, the reality *of* there being a government in any meaningful sense relies on the presumption of a (largely) shared sense of what that government is. We’re scraping up on the edge of that. And this isn’t an abstract issue – that directly relates to how quickly and how effectively we can get people out of these camps and otherwise rectify the situation, or even if any such solution will be possible at all.

    Up at the highest level, it’s really bone-chilling, because if they made good on any part of those “jokes” and such, what would they have done? Let AOC or the others attacked leave? Go back to the outside world where there might be ramifications? It really is scarily obvious how they’re going to reinvent “disappearing” – and these are the folks who can’t stop referencing Pinochet glowingly or salivating at the thought of an Assad-style regime. This really is where we are as a country right now and it should scare the living daylights out of all of us.

  99. 99
    prostratedragon says:

    @The Dangerman: Put rubber “tank suits” over some trucks and call it a tribute to the pre-invasion deceptions before D-Day.

  100. 100
    NotMax says:


    Curious enough to track down some info. Originally built in 1688, moved in 1960.

  101. 101
    Mnemosyne says:


    Soon after Trump was elected, we saw a stage production of Wallace Shawn’s “The Designated Mourner.” It is frighteningly prescient about how people would react to a fascist takeover.

  102. 102
    cain says:

    Ugh.. I’m really need to stop reading.. between this and /r/politics on Reddit, I feel like we are on the precipice.

  103. 103

    @gorram:. I think the kids who have been taken from their parents and will never be reunited are Los Desaparecidos. Not exactly Pinochet but Peron?

  104. 104
    hervevillechaizelounge says:

    Although Adam’s analysis is fabulous I’d take it a step further—after the lie about AOC’s conduct has saturated the internet it will find a second home on Faux News.

    Millions of old folks who watch Fox 24/7 will marinate in the lie and then the final step: the MSM:. “Did AOC scream at ICE agents? Stay tuned to find out.” And then both-sides: “Well, according to Fox and a conservative journalist she did.”

    Although nobody likes a doom junkie, I’m certain right-wing trolls will pose as Democrats and start fights at Trump’s parade. I also suspect there’ll be flag burning. And then the cycle will start all over again: “Why do these SJWs hate America?”

  105. 105
    Mr. Kite says:

    @Raven Onthill:

    By analogy, if Trump loses the next Presidential election, which is likely, we will see a right-wing terrorist uprising. I wonder if any of the candidates are ready for it.

    Don’t worry, Warren has a plan for that!

  106. 106
    JWR says:


    Millions of old folks who watch Fox 24/7 will marinate in the lie and then the final step: the MSM:.

    De-blurking for a moment to say that, sadly, you underestimate our vaunted media. Headline all evening over at CNN says:

    Ocasio-Cortez screamed at border agents for trying to take selfies with her

    There it is. Already. The story itself is pretty good, and has a less dramatic headline, but that click-bait on the FP is completely over the top.

  107. 107
    Syphonblue says:

    Jesus fucking Christ, CNN. Nice use of one hell of an inflammatory, sexist headline. First of all, why the fuck SHOULDN’T she scream at them for trying to take a selfie with her? After the news of the CBP Facebook page with threatening and sexist images of her all over it, she knew exactly where those selfies were going to end up!

  108. 108

    @Chetan Murthy: One further irony: it is possible that a tough prosecutor is exactly what we need in the next President, at least if they are willing to prosecute the right things.

  109. 109
    J R in WV says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    ’m honestly amazed that DC is going to let them try to drive them into place given the potential damage to the roads and the bridge. Right now the cost just for the tanks is almost $1 billion. I suppose if they have to rotary them into place, that’ll go up.

    Aren’t there a whole lot of important facilities underground in DC around the mall? As a kid when we visited DC on summer V trips there would be huge excavations and concrete being pumped in to giant forms. Museum basements, Metro tunnels, underground passageways from important buildings to less important buildings where much of the real work is done…

    How patriotic will if be if a 90+ton main battle tank falls into an art museum conservatory lab? Or the passageway from the Capitol to the Stennis Offixe building? (I made that one up, is there a Stennis office building?) But the point is made:

    1) how many of the underground facilities in DC were originally designed to withstand a M1-A1 that wasn’t deployed at all yet?

    2) how many of those structures are still capable of supporting their maximum design capacity 50 years later?

    I would not want to be any where near any of the cluster fuck, and I love a parade and fireworks, like being a little kid again for 2 hours. But this may be really nasty., in so many different nasty ways. What is his speech gonna be like? Could be really UUUgly.

  110. 110
    Booger says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Drive them up the GW Parkway, out Rt 193 and Rt 7 to Leesburg then across White’s Ferry (one at a time), down Md 28 or River Road to the Clara Barton Parkway, Canal Road, Whitehurst Freeway and you’re practically there! Easy-peasy!

  111. 111
    Nora says:

    I think the pushback on the AOC story needs to be “If she’s lying about the situation in the camps, then prove it. You have all the evidence, you have the people working in the camps. Show us how you’re taking care of these people. Show us the facilities. Show us the bedding and the medical facilities. Prove she’s lying. Go ahead. The burden of proof is on YOU, not on us.”

  112. 112
    lee says:

    Castro smuggled a phone in and took pictures (and a video?) of the conditions.

  113. 113
    Michael Allen says:

    @Kay: According to TPM the RNC got a lot of tickets to the seats to give out, because Freedom.

    Isn’t that illegal or something?

  114. 114
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    @Mandalay: sounds like Costanza’s “It’s not a lie if you believe it, Jerry.”

  115. 115
    Procopius says:

    @Adam L Silverman: It amazes me that this is widely believed on the right. They actually seem to believe that Obama intentionally tried to destroy the military. I don’t know what their reasons are. Don’t ask don’t tell? Unfortunately I’ve completely lost touch with active duty military people so don’t have any way to know how they’ve changed since I retired.

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