Thursday Morning Open Thread: “Don’t Agonize – Organize”


Apart from that, what’s on the agenda as we start another day?

I may have to add yet another category to the ever-growing list…

How do you like your blue-eyed boy, Mister Death

This is an amazing ad. Tough to watch, but important in terms of the issues it raises. It’s by Randy Bryce, who is running against Paul Ryan.

I’m trying to stay away from the catnip of raising money for marquee races, but fuck, this guy’s running against Paul Ryan and he’s put together one hell of an ad. I think he deserves some money.

Goal Thermometer

Open Thread: As American As… A(nother) Mass Shooting

Mr. Pierce, at Esquire:

How can this happen here? Because this is the United States of America in 2017, kids. It Can Happen anywhere. The suburbs are not sanctuaries. The ballfields are not sanctuaries. There is no big beautiful wall with big beautiful doors that will keep this kind of thing out, and keep all the Right People safe. There are no Right People who get shot. There are no Wrong People who get shot. Stop trying to convince us that there are. There are just victims and potential victims. And there are guns, too damn many guns too easily obtained…

… Violence doesn’t “intrude” on everyday life in America. Violence is a part of everyday life in America. A little more than a week ago, five people were shot to death in warehouse in Orlando. Is a warehouse in Orlando less innocent than a Virginia ballfield? Is a disgruntled worker taking his mad vengeance less of a demonstration of a country unhinged than a home-inspection specialist who fried his brain over politics? Is somebody who wounds over politics a worse murderer than someone who kills because he got fired? I admire the ability of anyone who can make that measured a moral choice.

On the whole, people shouldn’t get shot. They shouldn’t get shot in the streets. They shouldn’t get shot in school. They shouldn’t get shot in the workplace. They shouldn’t get shot while carrying snack food in the “wrong” neighborhood, and they shouldn’t get shot while they’re trying to surrender. They shouldn’t get shot while dancing in a nightclub. And they shouldn’t get shot on the ballfield on a spring morning.

In the main, one victim is not more “innocent”—and, thus, of more value—than any other one. Their occupation shouldn’t matter. Their politics shouldn’t matter. There is a violence inherent in the country’s history and there is a wildness present in its soul and, on occasion, both of these surface more clearly than is usual. Technology has made the violence more lethal and the wildness more general. The uniquely American conflation of innocence with hubris is a luxury we can no longer afford.

I don’t drink, not because of some philosophical commitment to sobriety, but because my family has a history of terrible things happening when we demonstrate just how much we can (can’t) handle our booze. Maybe Americans should consider that, given our history, a little judicious self-restraint in the firearms area might be a lifestyle improvement…

Saturday Morning Open Thread: Sisters Are Doin’ It

Apart from the never-ending #Resistance, what’s on the agenda for the day?

Bread and Circuses

While gathering kettle corn and assembling beer bingo supplies for the Comey Show, let’s keep in mind that the spectacle means jack and shit, aside from its entertainment value. Trump essentially confessed to Lester Holt that he shit-canned Comey because of the RussiaGate investigation. At least one Republican operative has admitted he used information from Russian hackers to tailor campaign outreach to win a tight House race — and said he’d do it again.

On the strength of what are acknowledged facts right now, Republicans in congress who wanted to act in the interests of the American people rather than their donors could work with Democrats to rid us of the manifestly incompetent and embarrassing buffoon in the Oval Office. They could work with Democrats to get to the bottom of Putin’s meddling in our election and force the resignation of anyone who benefited from collusion with a hostile foreign power (looking at you, Brian Mast [R-FL]). But they aren’t, and they won’t.

Valued commenter Ruemara eloquently described this reality in a thread yesterday:

Let’s get honest. There isn’t a damned thing that would get the GOP to impeach this American fascist regime. They could (and are) very much implicated in colluding with a foreign power, they’ve already been shown to be undermining fair & free elections in America and every newspaper could have bombshell testimony that Trump gave the nuclear codes, and the NSA wifi password to Russia and Saudi Arabia and all the GOP would do is justify it. Not to mention that fuckheaded base of craven peasants that are key.

They are going to crack down on voting in the black, latino and young communities. Meanwhile, Dems and progressives are still humping Wilmer’s leg. We need your help to get us our votes. There is no savior coming out of these hearings. We need to know, but the work is not about knowing this. It was obvious from last May. Systemic voter suppression is why Clinton lost. Illegal voter tampering aided, but it wouldn’t have worked without the blind eye to local seats endemic to liberal & progressive voters and failure to act with full force on getting people registered, and out to vote.

If I sound angry, you’re goddamned right. Watching yet another person of color get choked to near death on video because the husband(!) of an off-duty sheriff felt he had a right to chokehold him until he stopped moving, while white people blocked access to the pair and tried to block them from taping the assault, it fucking makes me all the more aware of how the results of the 2016 election are affecting my communities. We pay first in our blood while everyone else gets to be “tired” and waiting for someone to say just the right goddamned thing to move people who’ve been proven to have the ethics of a worm.

Nothing coming out of this week will save this country from a party in control who have abandoned the principles of democracy. They’ve been showing that’s who they are for years. Yes, pay attention to what’s going on in the hearing, but don’t look for some grand denouement of criminality brought to justice. That’s movies and tv. This is real life and the people in charge will glad break this country down to its evil roots of terror, disease and poverty for everyone except a bare few. And enough voters are stupid enough to believe that they’re part of the few.

Ruemara is right; the Republicans aren’t going to do the right thing — they’re corrupt shitweasels who will countenance any attack on democracy, any loss of national credibility, any destruction of our institutions to hang onto power. The brain-dead morons who are sticking with Trump even as he schemes to take away their healthcare so he can give himself and the billionaires in his cabinet tax cuts aren’t going to suddenly gain 50 IQ points, lose their racism/sexism/xenophobia and stop punching themselves in the nuts.

So it’s up to us to turn the collaborators out of congress, and one of the best ways to do that is to counter voter suppression and gerrymandering efforts. Ruemara mentioned and Those organizations focus on getting IDs to folks the GOP deliberately disenfranchises and swinging state-level races so that statehouses reflect the political will of the voters rather than the Koch Bros.

Got any other ideas about how to make this happen? Here’s mine: Go to your local Democratic Party meetings and advocate for this approach. Volunteer to register voters, and when there’s an election — any election — volunteer to get out the vote. Donate to organizations that are taking on the vote thieves and gerrymanderers.

Meanwhile, enjoy the show.

Monday Morning Open Thread: So Much… Winning?

Who’s got stories / pictures to share from their local March for Truth?

Counter-no-point “protest”:

Latest update:

Monday Morning Open Thread

Props to Google for reminding us that activism has a long tail!

What’s on the agenda as we buckle in for another week?


Commentary for the time capsule — John Oliver’s always good, but this is particularly sharp: