Open Thread: Prepping for the Women’s March

(Tom Toles via GoComics.com)
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Advice for the locals, from the Washington Post:

Thousands of people are expected to be in the region Saturday for the Women’s March on Washington, an event that could draw larger crowds than Inauguration Day itself, and present travel challenges for participants and residents.

Drivers will encounter day-long— and rolling— road closures near the Mall and public transit users should expect long waits at Metro stations and crowding on platforms and trains…

Metro announced Wednesday that trains will start running at 5 a.m. and up to two dozen trains will be added to accommodate the crowds. (The transit agency had originally said it would run regular Saturday service, which meant stations opening at 7 a.m.)

Demonstrators will gather for a rally at 3rd Street and Independence Avenue on the morning after the transfer of power to president-elect Donald Trump. The crowds will then march along the National Mall to The Ellipse, near the Washington Monument. Thousands of people are expected at the event, which organizers say is not a protest but a way to “promote women’s equality and defend other marginalized groups.”

The location: The stage will be on 3rd Street and Independence Avenue by the National Museum of the American Indian.

The program:
8 a.m.— activities start with images and video on display.
9 a.m. — pre-rally with speakers, music and public service announcements.
10 a.m. — the official rally starts, featuring celebrities including Katy Perry, Cher, America Ferrera and Uzo Aduba
1 p.m. — participants start marching toward The Ellipse where the program will end.

The March route: The group will begin to walk from the gathering location around 1 p.m. and march west on Independence Avenue SW, from 3rd Street SW, to 14th Street SW; then will turn north on 14th Street SW to Constitution Avenue NW; and will march west on Constitution Avenue NW to 17th Street NW, near the Ellipse and Washington Monument, where the events will come an end…

More information on parking, public transit, bike routes, and a list of banned items at the link.

Anybody who takes photos they want to share — either in DC, or at the Sister Marches — send them to me or TaMara and we’ll put them on the front page.

ETA, by request
: Here’s Adam Silverman’s post on ‘Peaceful Assembly and Personal Security‘.



Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Smart Takes


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Apart from planning for the Women’s March / Sister Marches, what’s on the agenda for the day?

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I applaud Josh Marshall, on “The Case for Not Being Crybabies“:

Presidents don’t validate what is and isn’t news. If you’re expecting them to, you’re doing it wrong. Almost nothing that is truly important about the work of a free press is damaged by moving the press office across the street.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that these things are not important or that all these threats aren’t a very bad sign. It is vastly preferable to have a President who believes in or at least respects American and democratic values. But let’s get real: we don’t or won’t as of Friday. Trump is a would-be authoritarian and a bully. He’s surrounded by mediocrities who owe all to him and feel validated by enabling his endless transgressions. Of course, he’s doing these things. We know Trump’s MO. He will bully people until they’re cowed and humiliated and obedient. He’ll threaten to kick the reporters out of the White House and then either cut a ‘deal’ or make some big to-do about ‘allowing’ the reporters to stay. These are all threats and mind games meant not so much to cow the press as make them think Trump is continually taking things away from them and that they need to make him stop.

They don’t need to. That access isn’t necessary to do their jobs. And bargaining over baubles of access which are of little consequence is not compatible with doing their job. Access can provide insight and understanding. But it’s almost never where the good stuff comes from. Journalists unearth factual information and report it. If Trump wants to turn America into strong man state, journalists should cover that story rather than begging Trump not to be who he is. America isn’t Russia. And I don’t think he can change us into Russia. So unless and until we see publications shut down and journalists arrested or disappeared, let’s have a little more confidence in our values and our history and our country…

Trump wants to bully the press and profit off the presidency. He’s told us this clearly in his own words. We need to accept the reality of both. The press should cover him on that basis, as a coward and a crook. The big corporate media organizations may not be able to use those words, I understand, but they should employ that prism. The truth is that his threats against the press to date are ones it is best to laugh at. If Trump should take some un- or extra-constitutional actions, we will deal with that when it happens. I doubt he will or can. But I won’t obsess about it in advance. Journalists should be unbowed and aggressive and with a sense of humor until something happens to prevent them from doing so. Trump is a punk and a bully. People who don’t surrender up their dignity to him unhinge him…



Sunday Morning Open Thread: Appreciate Them While You Can


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What’s on the agenda as we prepare for Countdown Week?

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Speaking of appreciating greatness, even Lord Shortfinger’s Repub ‘teammates’ are noticing that attacking Rep. Lewis might just have been counter-productive… and the decent people are not letting it go:



Thursday Morning Open Thread: Fight On

We are besieged by the armies of would-be Supreme Leaders, with all their orcs, trolls, wargs, and zombies (aka, the Media Village Press Corpse). And yet… if we must live without hope, there is always vengeance.

From the NYTimes, “Eric Holder to Lead Democrats’ Attack on Republican Gerrymandering“:

As he prepared last week to deliver his farewell address, President Obama convened three Democratic leaders in the White House for a strategy session on the future of their party. The quiet huddle included Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the top Democrats in Congress, and Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia.

One topic of urgent concern, according to people briefed on the meeting: how to break the Republican Party’s iron grip on the congressional map.

Thwarted for much of his term by a confrontational Republican Congress, and criticized by his fellow Democrats for not devoting sufficient attention to their down-ballot candidates, Mr. Obama has decided to make the byzantine process of legislative redistricting a central political priority in his first years after the presidency.

Emerging as Mr. Obama’s chief collaborator and proxy is Eric H. Holder Jr., the former attorney general of the United States and a personal friend of the president. He has signed on to lead the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a newly formed political group aimed at untangling the creatively drawn districts that have helped cement the Republican Party in power in Washington and many state capitals…

Mr. Holder is set to kick off his initiative on Thursday with a speech at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in Washington. The first major fund-raising event for the group is to take place in Chicago this spring; David Jacobson, a former ambassador to Canada and an Obama campaign fund-raiser, is hosting the event.

Mr. Holder said he anticipated that Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. would also be involved, along with other “present and former cabinet members.”…

Mr. Holder said his initiative would unfold on three fronts: In court, where Democrats will challenge Republican-drawn maps they see as violating the law; on the campaign trail, where they will seek to win offices that influence redistricting; and through ballot referendums in states that allow voters to give direct approval to laws mandating new procedures for legislative apportionment…

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Apart from fighting back, what’s on the agenda for the day?
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Monday Morning Open Thread: “… Your Generation Will Build A Wall, and Our Generation Will Knock It Down”

Via heartfelt commentor MomSense. Kudos to those young women!

Social note from commentor Yutsano:

So this huge weather storm that has affected much of the country is also impacting my ability to travel. Looks like I’m gonna have to postpone my plans to meet up on Wednesday. By all means let it still happen, I’ll just have to arrange something a bit later when Mother Nature is more cooperative.

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Apart from such bumps in the road, what’s on the agenda as we start another week?

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More wisdom from Professor Krugman, on “The Age of Fake Policy“:

On Thursday, at a rough estimate, 75,000 Americans were laid off or fired by their employers. Some of those workers will find good new jobs, but many will end up earning less, and some will remain unemployed for months or years.

If that sounds terrible to you, and you’re asking what economic catastrophe just happened, the answer is, none. In fact, I’m just assuming that Thursday was a normal day in the job market…

But why am I telling you this? To highlight the difference between real economic policy and the fake policy that has lately been taking up far too much attention in the news media.

Real policy, in a nation as big and rich as America, involves large sums of money and affects broad swaths of the economy. Repealing the Affordable Care Act, which would snatch away hundreds of billions in insurance subsidies to low- and middle-income families and cause around 30 million people to lose coverage, would certainly qualify.

Consider, by contrast, the story that dominated several news cycles a few weeks ago: Donald Trump’s intervention to stop Carrier from moving jobs to Mexico. Some reports say that 800 U.S. jobs were saved; others suggest that the company will simply replace workers with machines. But even accepting the most positive spin, for every worker whose job was saved in that deal, around a hundred others lost their jobs the same day.

In other words, it may have sounded as if Mr. Trump was doing something substantive by intervening with Carrier, but he wasn’t. This was fake policy — a show intended to impress the rubes, not to achieve real results…

So why are such stories occupying so much of the media’s attention?…



Sunday Morning Open Thread: Accessorize for Success

From faithful Sunday commentor Marvel:

I’ll be going with some friends on the 21st to the Women’s March in Eugene, OR and I’ve put together a design for some placards & patches. The underlying graphic (a fisted rose kinda thing) came from an uncredited photo of grafitti from somewhere (also unnamed)…else I’d credit the artist / photographer, u-bet.

Also, from NYMag‘s The Cut:

The day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, an estimated 200,000 women will march on Washington, D.C., to stand up for equal rights. And at least a couple thousand will be sporting pink knit “pussy power hats.” The Pussyhat Project, which launched in late November, has thousands of followers on social media, and its organizers told the Huffington Post they believe 30,000 to 100,000 cat-eared hats have already been knit.

“For me, a lot of the magic lies in [saying], ‘Hey women of the country, you might not think you’re politically active, but you’re already community organizing in your knitting groups and women’s groups, you just don’t call it that,” said Krista Suh, one of the project’s organizers. “The Pussyhat Project calls it that, which is where a lot of the power comes from.”…

Now just throw on your “Nasty Woman” T-shirt and you’re ready to go.

More hat pics at the NYMag link, including Instagram links to the knitting pattern (if you’re crafty like that, or know someone who is).

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Apart from sartorial planning, what’s on the agenda for the day?

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Then again, if you know someone who’s going to the Trump inauguration (possibly under duress), BoingBoing has a different millinery suggestion…
Read more



Open Thread: I’ll Miss Michelle Obama in the White House

… but I have every reason to believe she’ll still be fighting for the best of American values. Per the Washington Post:

Michelle Obama began to cry as she delivered her final public remarks from the White House on Friday morning at an event celebrating school counselors. Her message, which was directed toward young people, was one of hope and inclusion.

“It is our fundamental belief in the power of hope that has allowed us to rise above the voices of doubt and division . . . that we have faced in our own lives and in the life of this country,” Obama said as her voice cracked. “Our hope that if we work hard and believe in ourselves then we can be whatever we dream regardless of the limitations that others would place on us.

“That’s the kind of hope that every single one of us, politicians, parents, preachers, need to be providing for our kids, because that is what moves this country forward — our hope for the future.”

The first lady, who campaigned energetically for Hillary Clinton, was clearly disappointed by the recent election results; her emphasis that “hope” is what makes the country move forward appears to be a repudiation of President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, asserting that he will “Make America great again.”

The school counselor awards ceremony, which Obama began hosting in the White House in 2015, is reflective of the first lady’s focus on young people and opening the White House to groups who typically aren’t invited to the historic mansion…

Obama said that she plans to continue encouraging young people to pursue higher education and that she has been building toward life after the White House, considering opportunities to continue her advocacy.

She leaves the White House as one of the nation’s most popular political figures, her approval ratings approaching 70 percent, and her final interviews have been punctuated with questions about her future. While she is looking forward to a private life, and has said she plans to take a warm-weather vacation following the inauguration, she has already begun constructing her post-White House team and is considering her next move. She is expected to write a memoir but has not announced any firm commitments…

May she enjoy her hard-earned vacation… and win all her future battles!