Friday Morning Open Thread: First Trumps Second

Following clashes over the weekend in Charlottesville, Va., the civil-rights group also will screen clients more closely for the potential of violence at their rallies, said Anthony Romero, who has been the ACLU’s executive director since 2001.

The ACLU’s Virginia branch defended the right of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other groups under the banner “Unite the Right” to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a Charlottesville park.

The revised policy marries the 97-year-old civil-rights group’s First Amendment work with the organization’s stance on firearms, which aligns with many municipalities and states that bar protesters from carrying weapons…

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Apart from the ongoing #Resistance, what’s on the agenda as we wrap up another exhausting week?
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Meanwhile, the Boston news stations are treating Saturday’s proposed Boston Common rally as they would a potentially dangerous weather event — which seems about right for a cascade of dirty snowflakes. Jersey barriers have been lifted into place, the Swan Boats and Frog Pond will be shut down, protestors on both sides will be kept well apart, and both food and clothing vendors are banned (no snacks for looky-loos, and no giant displays of offensive ‘memorabilia’). And kudos to the goog people doing ‘protest training’, and to WCBV/Ch5 for covering them:



Thursday Morning Open Thread: Let Your Light Shine


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What’s on the agenda, as we gird ourselves for the new day?


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And, from the man responsible for the Crazification Factor…



Tuesday Evening Open Thread: News That Doesn’t Suck

Amazon looks to have a better grip on the zeitgeist than HBO:

Another alternate history drama series, which has been in the works at Amazon for over a year, also paints a reality where southern states have left the Union but takes a very different approach. Titled Black America, the drama hails from top feature producer Will Packer (Ride Along, Think Like A Man franchises, Straight Outta Compton) and Peabody-winning The Boondocks creator and Black Jesus co-creator Aaron McGruder. It envisions an alternate history where newly freed African Americans have secured the Southern states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama post-Reconstruction as reparations for slavery, and with that land, the freedom to shape their own destiny. The sovereign nation they formed, New Colonia, has had a tumultuous and sometimes violent relationship with its looming “Big Neighbor,” both ally and foe, the United States. The past 150 years have been witness to military incursions, assassinations, regime change, coups, etc. Today, after two decades of peace with the U.S. and unprecedented growth, an ascendant New Colonia joins the ranks of major industrialized nations on the world stage as America slides into rapid decline. Inexorably tied together, the fate of two nations, indivisible, hangs in the balance…

As for the tone of the hourlong series, it’s “a drama, but it wouldn’t be Aaron McGruder without traces of his trademark sardonic wit,” Packer said.

Black America creates the kind of utopia that has been on the minds of generations of black Americans for whom the series may have a sense of wish-fulfillment.

“It was something that was personally intriguing for me as a black American,” Packer said. “You would be hard pressed to find many black Americans who have not thought about the concept of reparation, what would happen if reparations were actually given. As a content creator, the fact that that is something that has been discussed thoroughly throughout various demographics of people in this country but yet never been explored to my knowledge in any real way in long-form content, I thought it was a tremendous opportunity to delve into the story, to do it right.”…

He declined to comment directly on HBO’s Confederate, which Benioff and Weiss will be writing with Malcolm and Nichelle Tramble Spellman, out of respect to its creators because the series has not been made yet. On a personal level, “the fact that there is the contemplation of contemporary slavery makes it something that I would not be a part of producing nor consuming,” he said. “Slavery is far too real and far too painful, and we still see the manifestations of it today as a country for me to ever view that as a form of entertainment.”…

Apart from entertainment options, what’s on the agenda for the evening?



Monday Morning Open Thread: Sisters Are Doin’ It


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Apart from savoring a hard-earned victory, what’s on the agenda as we start the new week?

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Jay Willis, GQ, three days ago:

At around 1:30 in the morning, after he was sure that he finally had the attention of the Senate clerk and of his nervous, exhausted colleagues who had been watching his every move, John McCain dramatically plunged his outstretched arm downwards, finally sealing the fate of Mitch McConnell’s “skinny repeal” bill in a gesture that had all the drama of a WWE heel turn. It was a wild, shocking moment that drew gasps from the gallery, and the only reason it mattered at all is because, from the very beginning of this debacle of an effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, two women Republican senators—Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska—never gave a fucking inch…

The Affordable Care Act is safe because of the courage of two women who were not swayed by threats, bribes, and every brand of public and private pressure. They might not be getting as much shine as John McCain today, but they are far more deserving of it.

#EveryVoiceMatters



Saturday Morning Open Thread: Stronger Together, Still


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What’s on the agenda for this lovely summer Saturday?



Thursday Evening Open Thread: Blasts from the Past

Trumpet call, via the Washington Post:

The moderator lauded Michelle Obama for her achievements over the past eight years and touched on the former first lady’s plans, but Tuesday’s conversation also veered into uncomfortable territory.

It was Obama’s largest public appearance since the 2016 election — speaking in front of more than 8,000 people at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s 30th anniversary celebration — and she touched on personal attacks that she faced again and again. Many had the same theme.

“The shards that cut me the deepest were the ones that intended to cut,” Obama said, according to the Denver Post. “Knowing that after eight years of working really hard for this country, there are still people who won’t see me for what I am because of my skin color.”

She added that she wouldn’t pretend the attacks didn’t hurt, because that would give those inflicting the pain a pass, according to the Post.

“We are living with small tiny cuts, and we are bleeding every single day. And we’re still getting up,” she said….

Despite Tuesday’s detour into dark territory, many of Obama’s comments went high.

She told the audience that she is “a strong woman because of other strong woman,” according to statement on WFCO’s website. “You don’t mother alone, you don’t grandparent alone, you don’t struggle alone. You find your community.”…

Butt trumpet [fart noise] — news of our old Hoekstroika punching bag :

Hoekstra’s parents, IIRC, left the Netherlands because it was turning into a “Sodom and Gomorrah”, where the righteous were brutally required to respect other peoples’ opinions — kinda like the Puritans, back in the day.

(Speaking of history… somewhere on the Internet, there’s gotta be a link to the Gore Vidal essay about Ronald Reagan appointing the founder/owner of TV Guide as Ambassador to Great Britain, in case anyone thinks Trump’s people are capable of anything more original than copying 40-year-old insults from brighter administrations.)



Monday Morning Open Thread: Welcome to the Future


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When I was ten years old, I was legitimately afraid that a nuclear war would end human life on earth. We joke about what the current Oval Office occupant might do, but the difference is that we can joke, which some of you can attest was not at all the case during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The revanchists are always with us — and always dangerous — perhaps we can set up a closed virtual reality “resort” where all the windows show time-delayed Fox News ‘casts and 1950s sitcoms 24/7?


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Apart from daring to dream about the future, what’s on the agenda for the start of the new week?

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Props to the 13th Doctor, but this made me grin…