‘Censorship!!!’ Open Thread: Feel Free to Just STFU, Now

And while we’re discussing social-media ‘bias’, let’s not forget Ted Cruz whining that Twitter highlighted all the rude snark about his totally 100% sincere SPACE PIRATES!!! speech this week (while somehow erasing the hundreds of YAY TED! responses he was expecting).

I’m betting this will be another one of those MAGAt-rally-pleasing Trump “announcements” to which his loyal minions respond by yelling “Jawohl, Hair Fuhrer!” and doing… absolutely fekking nothing.








Trump Crime Cartel Open Thread: Busy Days At Marred-A-Lago

Not a cybersecurity expert, but seems like that’s hardly best practice?

A federal prosecutor argued in court Monday that Yujing Zhang, the Chinese woman arrested trying to enter President Donald Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach last month, “lies to everyone she encounters” and said a search of her hotel room uncovered more than $8,000 in cash, as well as a “signal-detector” device used to reveal hidden cameras.

Also uncovered in the search: $7,500 in U.S. hundred-dollar bills and $663 in Chinese currency, in addition to nine USB drives, five SIM cards and other electronics, according to federal prosecutor Rolando Garcia. Signal detectors are portable devices that can detect radio waves, magnetic fields and hidden-camera equipment.

Prosecutors are treating the case as a national-security matter and an FBI counterintelligence squad is investigating, sources familiar with the inquiry told the Miami Herald.

Zhang gave conflicting accounts of why she came to Mar-a-Lago on March 30, at one point saying she had been invited to attend a social event, according to an affidavit filed by a U.S. Secret Service agent. But she was found to be carrying several electronic devices, including a thumb-drive containing “malicious malware,” the Secret Service said. That raised suspicions among federal investigators already probing possible Chinese intelligence operations in South Florida that she could be engaged in espionage…

Investigators are still trying to determine the nature of the malware Zhang allegedly brought into the club, sources told the Herald. It is not clear how much of a threat the malware posed and whether it was intended to gather information at the president’s club or possibly to destroy an existing network or program, they said.
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Election 2020 Open Thread: Buttigieg & the Primary Season Are Both Still (Comparatively) Young

Mayor Pete seems to have, among other assets, the priceless politician’s gift of timing in his gaffes. The gopbots and cosplay socialists who’d otherwise be laboring all night to gin up internet dissension over Buttigieg’s unfortunate remarks are too busy huzzahing their idiot king to make things worse, and it’s still a long year until the first primary votes are actually cast. Here’s the ever youth-romantic Dave Weigel at the Washington Post:

Buttigieg, who was elected mayor of South Bend, Ind., before he turned 30, is used to the double-takes. As his dark horse candidacy has gotten more attention, he’s leaned into his age, declaring himself a member of the “school shooting generation” that will live through the “business end of climate change.” The people who come to see him, sometimes clutching copies of his memoir, marvel at how he graduated from Harvard, attained a Rhodes scholarship and fought in Afghanistan — all before he combed gray hair.

“He’s the smartest guy I’ve ever met,” said Eric Schronce, 43, an Indiana-based attorney who left his family vacation in Myrtle Beach to drive to a Buttigieg event in Columbia, 150 miles away. “The last election was about emails and porn stars and whatever. I want an election about issues, and Pete knows the issues inside and out.”

The Indiana Democrat, who is expected to officially launch his candidacy next month, has turned years of “next big thing” coverage into a genuine presidential boomlet. He raised more than $1 million after a CNN town hall and appeared to have met the standard for entering the first Democratic debates. He’s adding to a skeletal staff, expanding his campaign headquarters and beginning to build the sort of operation that could compete in early states…

My emphasis; I for one had forgotten that Mayor Pete is not officially a candidate, just yet, under the arcane rules of our quadrennial political circus. Which is more reason to weight how much the current outrage will actually hurt Buttigieg, assuming he can avoid repeating his mistakes.

Long story short, for those of you who are not Extremely Online, at least during the weekends: Tweets from last July where Buttigieg ‘defended’ Mike Pence resurfaced, leading to some heated discussion over whether a mayor refusing to whole-throatedly attack his state’s former governor was permanently disqualifying or merely a mistake that his enemies would weaponize.

Then came The Interview:


If only he’d stopped there:


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Jesus Wept…While The GOP Laughed

I hope I never have enough snark in me to snark at this:

A 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died of dehydration and shock after she was taken into Border Patrol custody last week for crossing from Mexico into the United States illegally with her father and a large group of migrants along a remote span of New Mexico desert, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Thursday.

This child was in CBP custody for more than eight hours before she started seizing.  When someone finally checked her out, they found that

she “reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days.”…

…An initial diagnosis by physicians at El Paso’s Providence Hospital listed the cause of death as septic shock, fever and dehydration, CBP said.

The quoted official response centers on a lie:

“Border Patrol agents took every possible step to save the child’s life under the most trying of circumstances…”

If they had done so, of course, she and all the refugees in her group would have received water in less than one third of a day.

The warehousing and brutalization of refugees is being done in our name, by people and an infrastructure at the border that is at best ill-equipped and insufficient for the task, and at worse, deliberately engaged in a campaign of exemplary mistreatment designed to décourager les autres.

So children die. In the care and under the “protection” of the US government; our government.  As a result of a policy that uses neglect as a tool of border enforcement.

This policy, this explicit choice is Donald Trump’s. But it is far from his alone. The GOP controls Congress. It could have chosen not to be party to the misery and sorrows unto death.  It did not.

Every Republican in national office is complicit.  All of them share in this tragedy, and the others we’ve heard about and the (likely) many more we haven’t.  The moral stain on America as a whole ain’t fading anytime soon, and the reckoning won’t even be able to begin until the GOP as it is now constituted goes the way of the Confederate States of America.

Last thought: I note we are in the midst of the holiday season, the culmination of which, as conservatives hasten to remind us, is the day on which Christians remember the birth of the Prince of Peace. What Babies Would Jesus Starve?

Image: Albrecht Dürer, Christ as the Man of Sorrows, c. 1493.








Fighting Fascists Open Thread: The Weekend Portland Protest

I couldn’t figure out why the “Proud Flesh Bois” and their “Patriot Prey-er” buddies picked last weekend for their cosplay riot, until I found this Daily Beast article by Corey Pein:

Hundreds of armed supporters of President Donald Trump, led by a fringe Republican congressional candidate, marched on Saturday, leaving blood from scattered street fights in their wake.

Ostensibly a campaign event for long-shot U.S. Senate hopeful Joey Gibson, members of his group Patriot Prayer urged the president to lock up his political opponents, including Hillary Clinton, and promised violent retribution for anyone who threatened their right to “free speech” or armed self-defense. Groups of Trump supporters swarmed through the streets, singling out people of color to fight, some of whom appeared to belong to small vigilante squads of local anti-fascists, as well as others who appeared to be mere passersby. Police announced four arrests, but gave no estimate of injuries.

Extremist group watchdogs such as the Southern Poverty Law Center warned ahead of the event that it could turn into “another Charlottesville.” It did not, but only in the sense that no one was killed. Such warnings, prompted by Gibson’s provocations, put all eyes on the rally…

His supporters flocked from around the West Coast and the country, a contingent of Proud Boys, “Three Percenter” militia members, Trump-supporting bikers, fundamentalist Christians, and college Republicans. Gibson had insinuated that his supporters would bring guns into the city and many apparently did, although to comply with local ordinances, the weapons stayed stowed in backpacks…

Per the local Oregonian, today:

A traumatic brain injury. Third-degree chemical burns. Open wounds.

At least three people who gathered to protest a rally by right-wing group Patriot Prayer were hospitalized Saturday because of injuries sustained from crowd-control munitions fired by Portland police, according to activists, counter-protest organizers and a media report.

The city’s police chief, Danielle Outlaw, on Monday offered her most passionate defense yet of officer tactics used to keep the rival poetical factions apart.

Police succeeded in preventing violent clashes between armed demonstrators that many had feared, she said…

“It was going to be a very rowdy, physically violent ruckus and it was not that because of the actions that the officers took,” Outlaw said…


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