Rest in Power, Rep. Elijah Cummings

Read more

State Sanctioned Terrorism

I don’t know what else to call this:

This was not the case for a black Pennsylvania family. As KYW Newsradio reports, one family is questioning why the Chester Police Department arrested them—twice—for allegedly “loitering” in their own yard.

The chain of police buffoonery kicked off on Oct. 1, when Officer Pasquale Storace III arrested Rachel Briggs’ sons and nephew for playing in her front yard; Storace, who is white, charged the young men with “loitering.”

According to Briggs, the boys were thrown in jail, forcing their families to scramble to raise money for their bail. When they were freed the next day, family members were on hand to welcome them back—right back on Briggs’ front lawn.

Some of the arrests were caught on video. As police arrest two of the family members, family members scream and beg for an explanation.

“They maced my son. He got asthma,” Briggs says later, as her son sits in the cop car. “My son can’t breathe, sir.”

Obviously, we don’t know all the facts in this case, but do we really need to? Even if they were being loud and boisterous enough to cause their (presumably) white neighbor to call the police, they clearly were not loitering, as they were on their own property. They weren’t drunk, on drugs, armed, or anything. They were in their yard. And the cops came and arrested them. Two days in a row.

Hopefully soon, they will receive a multimillion dollar settlement from the town, and can move out of that shithole.

Excellent Read: “Nancy Pelosi, Political Grandmaster”

There’s a famous Mark Twain quote: “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

It always comes to mind when some Very Woke twitter analyst with a goldfish memory switches overnight from WHY WON’T PELOSI DO SOMETHING !!!RIGHT NOW!!! to WOOO SPEAKER & SHORTLY INTERIM PRESIDENT PELOSI IN!THE!HAWSE!!!. (Except, of course, those analysts usually switch right back to their first position, sometimes before I can finish reading down the thread.)

Abigail Tracy, in Vanity Fair, on “Nancy Pelosi, super Speaker, on Trump’s unfitness, the decision to impeach, and “weaving” her fractious caucus”:

Lost in the wilderness of the Trump era, Democrats looked long and hard for a champion: Robert Mueller, the media, even Michael Avenatti. But when the party retook the House in November and Nancy Pelosi began her historic second term as speaker, no one doubted the search was over. She’d been a GOP target and, some centrists thought, an electoral liability given her San Francisco roots. But now no one doubted that she was the indispensable Democrat, cheerfully jousting with AOC and “the Squad,” mediating the hoary conflict between the party’s left and its center (she describes herself as “a weaver,” which is a nice word for how she sometimes has to operate), winning with substance (her party’s focus on health care) and imagery (the famous Max Mara red coat, the donning of the sunglasses after her triumphant border wall meeting with Trump and Senator Chuck Schumer), and holding fire on impeachment until precisely the right moment. The Speaker talks to Abigail Tracy about the road to impeachment, how the Democrats won in 2018, why Trump is unique among presidents she’s known, and the work to be done after Trump is gone.

Tell me about the moment you reached the decision to go down the impeachment path.

I take a lot of guidance from the vision of our founders, and our founders fought very hard for our democracy, for our country, for our Constitution. In the dark days of revolution, Thomas Paine said, “The times have found us.” We believe that the times have found us to keep the republic from all enemies, foreign and domestic. And that would be those who say things like, “Article II says I can do whatever I want.” That’s not a republic, that’s a monarchy. That’s not what we have…

Some members in your caucus credit excitement from the base and a desire for a check on President Trump to your victory in the midterms in 2018. Others argue it was the messaging around issues like health care. What is your diagnosis?

Oh, it was health care. We had a very disciplined campaign in terms of a purpose. “For the people” was our agenda. We were going to lower health care costs by lowering costs of prescription drugs and preserving [protections for] preexisting conditions. Two, we were going to increase paychecks by building infrastructure in a green way. Three, we were going to have cleaner government by reducing the role of big dark money in politics and ending voter suppression others inserted in the bill. And the issue of health security, it’s just very dominant. People have determined it is “the issue” and this is the difference between Democrats and Republicans…

It is hard not to notice that he has rarely used a nickname for you.

Who cares? I don’t care if he has a nickname, maybe that’s why he didn’t do it.

I treat him with respect. I respect the office he holds. Sometimes I think I respect the office he holds more than he respects the office he holds. I try not to ask him to do something that isn’t in his interest. And it is in his interest to lower the cost of health care, to protect children, to build the infrastructure of America…

Have you been at all surprised by the behavior of the broader Republican party in the Trump era?

No. I’m not surprised. I mean, their oath of office is clearly to Donald Trump and not to the Constitution of the United States. Forgetting his personal grotesqueness, there is nothing he is about, in terms of the issues, that they haven’t been there longer and worse. Name any issue— climate, a woman’s right to choose, fairness in our economy, gun safety, how we treat immigrants. Any issue you can name, they have always been there and worse than he is. He is like their JFK. He is their guy

Much has been made about a perceived conflict between the progressive and moderate wings of the Democratic caucus this Congress. Has anything really changed?

No. No, it’s been the same forever. We’ve always had a big tent, we’ve always had different elements of the party. I myself am a San Francisco liberal and I’m proud of that. Republicans bought 137,000 ads describing me as such during the 2018 campaign. It didn’t work for them. We won 40 seats in the most gerrymandered, voter-suppressed districts you can name.

We’ve always had our exuberances, but we’ve always had our common ground. And as I say, “Our diversity is our strength, our unity is our power,” and that’s what President Trump fears most…

Some Good News to End This Week!

The Federal courts have worked diligently to make America great again and provided us with three items of good news to end this most infrastructure of weeks.




Let’s all hope that next Infrastructure Week is as productive as this one.

Open thread!

Happy National Coming Out Day…

…which is all well and good, but it still rankles just a bit.

I can usually make it through days ending in ‘y’ without having to come out to somebody, but it definitely happens more than once a year. As a cis white man with no behaviors that scream ‘gay!’ to the uninitiated, I’m not as likely to experience anti-LGBT prejudice as most community members, but I do have to tell people I’m gay an awful lot.

I’m not saying that this is an actual burden, relatively speaking. But I’m definitely not alone in being a little annoyed by the official annual reminder that it’s not my world, I just live in it. It can be so stressful that, when I was in college, the observance was delayed by two weeks, so that people could get settled into the semester before having to deal with it.

National Coming Out Day began in 1988, on the premise that visibility is good, which is true. Many did not know that they knew an LGBT person. This is the case for fewer people nowadays, but still too many. So, in the spirit of the holiday, I will get the ball rolling: Hi! I’m a gay man! (More of a Kinsey five, but who’s counting.)

(h/t Sister Golden Bear, who reminded me to write something!)

In other gay news, bonus Elizabeth Warren below the fold.

Read more