Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Maybe It’ll Get the Mango Mule’s Attention

[Warning: NSFW]

To be honest, I assume Fox News doesn’t cover the BET Awards, and so Trump won’t hear about Eminem, at least in time for his morning tweet-tantrum. But the Media Village Idiot courtiers (helloooo, Mr. Cillizza) who dance attendance on Lord Smallgloves have heard, and it’s gonna make them that little bit more uncertain about him. Kidz, these days! Who knows when they’ll turn on you? Anybody got Rex Tillerson’s booker’s number?…

Monique Judge, at the Grapevine:

On Tuesday night’s presentation of the BET Hip Hop Awards, a pre-recorded video from Oct. 6 showed Em flowing for four-and-a-half minutes on the dangers of the Trump presidency made everyone stand at attention…

Em threw the gauntlet down and told everyone to put their fists in the air and keep them there. He called out the shenanigans of Trump warring with the NFL over player protests. He told everyone that Trump is going to “lead us into a nuclear holocaust” and then “fly around in his plane until the bombs stop.”


“This is his form of distraction. Plus he gets an enormous reaction, when he attacks the NFL, so we focus on that, instead of talking Puerto Rico and gun reform for Nevada. All these horrible tragedies, and he’s bored and would rather cause a Twitter storm with the Packers,” Em seamlessly flowed acapella.

He called your president everything but a child of God, and it was magnificent…

Apart from being grateful that The Youngs are willing to take some of the weight, what’s on the agenda for the day?

(For those who don’t pay even a little attention to Michigan politics, there was some silly-season enthusiasm about car-dealer’s kid Robert ‘Kid Rock’ Richie running for Debbie Stabenow’s seat, before the enthusiasts realized it was all a publicity stunt for RR’s arena tour. Kid Rock will challenge Stabenow right after Curt Shilling successfully challenges Elizabeth Warren, and that will happen on the twelfth of Never.)

Tuesday Evening Open Thread: Somebody’s Gotta Keep the Lights On…

While the NYTimes dutifully attempts to weave a dark romance around “powerful survivor” and nativist bigot Steven Miller, Nancy Pelosi is out there fighting to defend the DREAMers (not to mention the rest of us). From the original Washington Post article quoted in the top tweet:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) dismissed President Trump’s new hard-line immigration proposals as “a complete non-starter” Monday, adding that her caucus may withhold support for must-pass spending bills later this year if Congress can’t reach agreement on how to protect “dreamers” from deportation.

“I fully intend to use every possibility” to strike a deal on the status of young immigrants protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Pelosi said. But, she added: “We’re not at that place yet. Right now, we’re trying to get Republicans to vote on what we believe.”…

On Monday, Pelosi dismissed the fresh immigration policy ideas unveiled by the White House. Based on documents released Sunday night, the Trump administration is demanding full construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, restrictions on legal immigration and a plan to curb young migrants from leaving Central American nations to cross illegally into the United States. The new proposals came after Trump last month decided to end DACA and gave Congress six months to pass a solution he could sign into law…

Pelosi said that the administration’s new plan is “un-American” and that “there’s nothing in it to negotiate because it does not have shared values of who we are as Americans. As long as we understand that, let’s go on with what we can agree on.”…


Apart from cheering NANCY SMASH!, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Country Changes

Roseanne Cash, in the NYTimes“Country Musicians, Stand Up to the N.R.A.”:

I’ve been a gun-control activist for 20 years. Every time I speak out on the need for stricter gun laws, I get a new profusion of threats. There’s always plenty of the garden-variety “your dad would be ashamed of you” sexist nonsense, along with the much more menacing threats to my family and personal safety.

Last year, I performed at the Concert Across America to End Gun Violence with Jackson Browne, Eddie Vedder, Marc Cohn and the Harlem Gospel Choir, and we got death threats. People wanted to kill us because we wanted to end gun violence. That’s where we are: America, 2017.

For the past few decades, the National Rifle Association has increasingly nurtured an alliance with country music artists and their fans. You can see it in “N.R.A. Country,” which promotes the artists who support the philosophical, and perhaps economic, thrall of the N.R.A., with the pernicious tag line “Celebrate the Lifestyle.”

That wholesome public relations veneer masks something deeply sinister and profoundly destructive. There is no other way to say this: The N.R.A. funds domestic terrorism.

A shadow government exists in the world of gun sales, and the people who write gun regulations are the very people who profit from gun sales. The N.R.A. would like to keep it that way…

I encourage more artists in country and American roots music to end your silence. It is no longer enough to separate yourself quietly. The laws the N.R.A. would pass are a threat to you, your fans, and to the concerts and festivals we enjoy.

The stakes are too high to not disavow collusion with the N.R.A. Pull apart the threads of patriotism and lax gun laws that it has so subtly and maliciously intertwined. They are not the same…

Marissa R. Moss, in Politico, “How Las Vegas Shattered Country Music’s Consensus on Guns”:

[W]hile there’s no reason to expect major country stars to suddenly risk their fan bases by speaking out in favor of new gun control legislation, the country music industry is changing, thanks to streaming services that are breaking radio’s stranglehold on the industry and a newer cohort of more under-the-radar Americana artists who are more outspoken than their mainstream counterparts.

For at least one mainstream country musician, Sunday night was in fact a turning point. Guitarist for the Texas-based Josh Abbott Band, Caleb Keeter, was at the festival on the day of the massacre, and living through the experience of a mass shooting firsthand was enough to make him rethink his own stance on gun control. “I cannot express how wrong I was,” he said in a Twitter post on Monday morning, still reeling from the shock of the attack after shielding himself from the gunfire on the floor of his tour bus. “We need gun control RIGHT. NOW. My biggest regret is that I stubbornly didn’t realize it until my brothers on the road and myself were threatened by it.”…
Read more

Monday Morning Open Thread: Happy Thanksgiving, Canadians!

In MacLeans, Christine Sismondo also argues “The odd, complicated history of Canadian Thanksgiving”:

[A]n 1890 feature in the Globe and Mail lament[ed] the slow death of the seven-day ritual of Thanksgiving feasts central to the Haudenosaunee culture, which was waning as a result of the increasing numbers of “Christianized Indians” who no longer took part in these “pagan” customs. That writer observed that these Thanksgiving feasts, which involved religious observance, visiting each other’s houses, feasting and war dances, had been in existence from the time the Haudenosaunee Confederacy was first organized—a vague reference at the time that is still the subject of some debate, but thought to pre-date the Frobisher exploration by at least a century.

This, of course, alludes to the thing that so many people seem willfully blind to in the debate about who had Thanksgiving-style gatherings first: that they were well-established long before Europeans ever got here. Specific rituals differ from region to region, of course, but festivals that saw people expressing thanks for the bounty of the land are a common feature of most pre-contact societies in Canada and the United States…

And, of course, in a lot of other global farming cultures as well. The European groups that settled Canada mostly held them around St. Martin’s Day, November 11th — but in Canada, harvest finishes up a lot sooner than it usually would in France or Germany.

Apart from that (and those lucky few Americans enjoying a three-day weekend), what’s on the agenda as we start another week?

Then there’s the more problematic holiday Americans of my generation used to celebrate with parades…

Read more

Just 3% of American Adults Own 50% of the Guns

I have been furious every time I have looked at the computer today.

First the report that Rex Tillerson called Donald Trump a moron, or perhaps a fucking moron, quickly followed by Tillerson’s obeisance to the Master.

The continuing news about the Las Vegas shooting.

The idiocy of Trump’s visit to Puerto Rico and the way he is retarding the island’s recovery.

Continuing news of his kleptocratic family.

Tom Cotton’s bloodthirsty desire for regime change in Iran. We don’t have enough war in the Middle East now.

Nothing immediately enraging about North Korea beyond the usual.

I found this kind of amazing, though, and a source of a little bit of hope, anyway.

78% of American adults (that’s adults, not the entire population) don’t own any guns.

19% of American adults own 50% of the guns (corrected)

3% own the other 50%

So it’s that 3% that particularly need watching. More data at the link.


And open thread!

Open Thread: Seriously Broken


And we’re all stuck in the nightmare…

“We have gone all out for Puerto Rico,” Trump said during the televised briefing Tuesday. “It’s not only dangerous, it’s expensive.”…

“I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you are throwing our budget out of whack,” he said. “We’ve spent a lot of money in Puerto Rico.”

(As I explain here, FEMA has yet to authorize full disaster aid for Puerto Rico).

The most uncomfortable part of Trump’s remarks came when he began to compare Puerto Rico to Hurricane Katrina based on how many people had died, implying what was happening in Puerto Rico wasn’t a “real catastrophe.”

“If you look at the — every death is a horror, but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina and you look at the tremendous hundreds and hundreds of people that died and what happened here with a storm that was just totally overbearing. No one has ever seen anything like that. What is your death count?” he said.

“Sixteen,” responded Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.

“Sixteen certified,” Trump said, and then told the leaders assembled that they should all be “very proud.”

The reality is that the death count is far higher, as my colleague Eliza Barclay has noted. The situation is so bad in Puerto Rico that the government can’t even issue death certificates to count the deceased…


Tuesday Morning Open Thread: This Is Who We Are


“America” — meaning that almost-entirely-white, very-largely-male portion of the population that gets to write the laws and set the norms for the rest of us — has an addiction problem. “America” is addicted to guns, to the noise and the power and the ever-ready hard shaft of The All-American Weapon. Like any other addiction, presumably it started as a way to salve some unspeakable pain, to lubricate the sharp edges of the consequences to some decision gone terribly wrong. But now it’s an overwhelming burden all its own, a disconnect at the heart of all our political interactions, something that even those of us who don’t share the addiction have to plan our lives around.

James Fallows, in the Atlantic“Two Dark American Truths From Las Vegas”:

The dead and the wounded, and their family and friends, of course deserve most support and sympathy. But their fellow countrymen should reflect on two dark truths the episode underscores. I was going to end that sentence with “reveals,” but that’s not right: We know these things already.

The first is that America will not stop these shootings. They will go on. We all know that, which makes the immediate wave of grief even worse.

Five years ago, after what was the horrific mass shooting of that moment, I wrote an item called “The Certainty of More Shootings.” It was about the massacre in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and after acknowledging the victims it said:

The additional sad, horrifying, and appalling point is the shared American knowledge that, beyond any doubt, this will happen again, and that it will happen in America many, many times before it occurs anywhere else.

That remains true now. I expect it to be true five years from now. I am an optimist about most aspects of America’s resilience and adaptability, but not about reversing America’s implicit decision to let these killings go on…

Here’s the other dark truth about America that today’s shooting reminds us of. The identity of the shooter doesn’t affect how many people are dead or how grievously their families and communities are wounded. But we know that everything about the news coverage and political response would be different, depending on whether killer turns out to be “merely” a white American man with a non-immigrant-sounding name.

That’s who most mass-shooters turn out to be, from Charles Whitman at the University of Texas tower back in 1966 onward. And from Whitman onward, killers of this sort are described as “deranged” or “disturbed” or “resentful,” their crimes a reflection of their own torment rather than any larger trend or force… These people are indeed deranged and angry and disturbed, and the full story of today’s killer is not yet known. It is possible that he will prove to have motives or connections beyond whatever was happening in his own mind… But we know that if the killers were other than whites with “normal” names, the responsibility for their crime would not be assigned solely to themselves and their tortured psyches….

This is who we are.

I was going to add, “—unless we decide to change,” but that’s the kind of mandatory-uplift note you put, because you have to, at the end of a speech.

This is who we are.

There’s only two “cures” for any addiction: the addict can give up his drug, or he can chase the high until it kills him. Right now, I’m not feeling optimistic about the ammosexuals among us — or the powerful white men who profit from their desperation — ever giving up the temporary high just because it’s predictably going to destroy them. (Along with every other person they love almost as much as their guns.)