Late-Night Mobius Nest of Vipers: Jeffrey Epstein, Keyser Söze

Since life is not as neatly plotted as a movie, we can be (reasonably) sure that Jeffrey Epstein actually existed, even if almost every detail of his adult life seems to be open to (mis)interpretation. Whether any of those details will be believable to future historians — assuming there are such — may depend on the survival of the term ‘Rashomon effect’


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The Way We Live Now Open Thread: People for Whom It Is Difficult to Feel Sympathy Edition

Calling out the people who fund campaigns is not a new tactic in politics, but the question of how much should be publicly disclosed about those donors has been an issue that Republicans, led by the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, have repeatedly raised in recent years. While the Supreme Court ruled in the 2010 Citizens United case to uphold public disclosure — with Justice Antonin Scalia, the court’s conservative stalwart, arguing later that without such revelations “democracy is doomed” — Republicans and wealthy allies like the Koch brothers have argued that it results in donor harassment and has a chilling effect on free speech…

But the Supreme Court’s support for campaign finance disclosure laws has a built-in exemption for people who can show a realistic threat of harassment, and the renewed scrutiny on Trump donors has also raised questions about what qualifies as donor harassment and who is entitled to privacy…

“Transparency is essential, Mrs. Clinton, unless it means that our favorite plutocrats might get snubbed in the Hamptons. That’s just inhumane!… ”








Election 2020 Open Thread: Cross-tabs

We jackals may not be representative of all Democratic voters… but from what I see in the comments, we’re pretty close to the average for donors. I’m actually really happy that people are cross-donating — especially to the women I prefer, of course!


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Naming & Shaming Open Thread: Even Trump’s Supporters Find the Association Embarrassing

[Fanfare: Flugelhorns & Euphoniums]

Rep. Joaquin Castro — he’s the twin brother of Julian Castro — tweeted out a campaign add that featured a list including the names and occupations of people in his San Antonio congressional district who had given the legal maximum to the Trump re-election campaign in 2019 (This is of course public information, which anybody can look up, and I encourage you to do so).

Naturally this elicited shrieks of outrage from the Republican party establishment that simply publicizing the fact that people are in 2019 donating money to a white supremacist who inspires his followers to murder Hispanics like Castro himself was also a form of “inciting violence against private citizens” because [step in argument missing]….

If you are giving Trump money at this point you are a garbage person, who should be named, shamed, and shunned. I think it’s an excellent idea to publicize the names of people who are donating to Trump, in order to boycott their businesses, while exercising the core First Amendment right to let everyone know that Trump supporters are, individually and collectively, garbage people who should be ostracized by any and every decent human being…

But SERIOUSLY:


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Late Night Open Thread: FTFNYTimes

Once the rockets go up, who cares *where* they come down?
That’s not my department, says Wehrner von Braun…