Open Thread RNC Recap, Day One: “The Weaponization of Fear”

Commentor Raven pointed out that’s the honest tag for the goals of the RNC opening day, aka “Make America Safe Again”. There is so much richness to choose from… like a fishpacking facility catching fire and setting off an explosion in the fertilizer factory next door…


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Late-Night ‘Good Show, Melania!’ Open Thread

One suspects (hopes) this can only get better…

Look at it from Melania’s point of view. She’s a nice sensible bureaucrat’s daughter from the Balkans, who fought her way up from a suspiciously nice apartment and somewhat better outfits than any of her schoolmates could afford, to a design school in Italy, through the slog of low-level ‘modelling’ in New York, to a fortuitous introduction to a celebrity real estate developer and (what we’re told is) a nice secure pre-nup contract. Life as the arm-candy to a D-list celebrity “rich guy” isn’t exactly a sinecure, but she’s put in the work. Her only son attends an expensive Manhattan private school, her parents have a nice apartment in NYC, and there’s lots of professional athletes work harder at staying in peak physical condition for far lesser rewards. Now — just as the old man should be handing off his more strenuous tasks to the offspring of previous wives — a bunch of ambitious underlings have talked the dumb bugger into pouring his money, energy and market reputation into a noisy, embarrassing, tedious pursuit of a job he’s not gonna get.

Think of her little son, Barron; the older Trump kids have finished their expensive educations, they’ve all got their own side businesses (siphoning money out of the family till), once this public sh*tshow falls apart they’ll scatter to the upper-class winds and pretend they had no idea what maggot Daddy got into his brain. But Barron? Melania’s elderly parents? The only resource they’ve got is… Melania.
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Open Thread: Chris Hayes Has Apologized for Steve King

sorry about steve king tshirt raygunsite via iowa old lady

(Raygun Products via commentor Iowa Old Lady)
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Rep. Steve “The Dumb One” King could not bear to let a whole week of Repub arseholery go on wide broadcast without contributing his own special blend of xenophobia and ignorance to the mix. Per Gawker:

During a discussion of the Republican party’s overwhelmingly white leadership on MSNBC, birther congressman Steve King chimed in on Monday to remind everyone that white people are very good (perhaps even better??) compared to “other sub-groups of people.”

“This whole ‘white people’ business does get a little tired,” said King. “I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out where these contributions that have been made by these categories of people that you’re talking about—where did any other sub-group of people contribute more to civilization?”…

I can see Hayes — not a battler by nature — being too dumbfounded to respond to a statement so wrong on so many levels. But he could have let the other panel members point out how wrong King was, in the moment. That’s how the modern GOP has succeeded so far: by screaming out lies faster than the sane people can rebut them.



Late Night Nightmare Fuel Open Thread: Open Carry in Cleveland Today

Per CNN:

The head of Cleveland’s largest police union is calling on Ohio Gov. John Kasich to temporarily restrict the state’s gun laws during this week’s Republican National Convention following Sunday’s shooting in Louisiana that killed three officers and wounded at least three others.

“We are sending a letter to Gov. Kasich requesting assistance from him. He could very easily do some kind of executive order or something — I don’t care if it’s constitutional or not at this point,” Stephen Loomis, president of Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, told CNN. “They can fight about it after the RNC or they can lift it after the RNC, but I want him to absolutely outlaw open-carry in Cuyahoga County until this RNC is over.”

So-called “open carry” gun laws in Ohio allow for licensed firearm owners to wear their weapons in public. With the exception of a small “secure zone” inside and around the Quicken Loans Arena, residents, delegates and protesters are legally permitted to walk around the city — including within its 1.7 square mile regulated “event zone” — with any firearm not explicitly banned by the state.

Kasich, responding to the request, said: “Ohio governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested.”…

Governor Kasich is not gonna be anywhere near Cleveland this week. And if, goddess forfend, something terrible involving open-carry participants were to happen, it would redound very badly on those people in the RNC currently supporting a presidential candidate who is not John Kasich. The Governor washes his hands before the crowd

Loomis also said officers here would begin ramping up inspections and oversight over anyone who is holstering a weapon entering the downtown area, where the Republican convention is scheduled to begin on Monday.

“We are going to be looking very, very hard at anyone who has an open carry,” he said. “An AR-15, a shotgun, multiple handguns. It’s irresponsible of those folks — especially right now — to be coming downtown with open carry AR’s or anything else. I couldn’t care less if it’s legal or not. We are constitutional law enforcement, we love the Constitution, support it and defend it, but you can’t go into a crowded theater and scream fire. And that’s exactly what they’re doing by bringing those guns down there.”…

The first key test for law enforcement comes Monday, as the convention opens, when Citizens for Trump and Black on Black Crime, Inc., which has marched in the past with Black Lives Matter-affiliated protestors, are among the many groups that are set to protest.
Citizens for Trump is scheduled to hold a rally expected to attract more than a thousand people to Settler’s Landing Park, less than a mile from where Republican delegates will be gathering at the Quicken Loans Arena…

Alfred Porter Jr., president of Black on Black Crime, Inc., a four-decade-old anti-violence group, told CNN it would not alter a planned demonstration Monday in Cleveland’s downtown Public Square.
“Nothing has changed because I still feel the same way, our message will still be the same,” Porter said on Sunday afternoon. “We refuse to let anybody who has a simplistic or violent or hateful message stop the type of message that we have been sending out for accountability. Our message is not to go out there and start murdering police officers.”…

Responsible Republicans respond:

Hours after the head of Cleveland’s police union pleaded with the governor to suspend Ohio’s open-carry laws during the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump’s spokesperson told ThinkProgress she is “not nervous at all” that people are walking around the city with assault weapons.

“I am recommending that people follow the law,” Katrina Pierson said Sunday when asked whether she believes people should arm themselves in the convention zone. Under Ohio law, residents over 21 years old who have permits can openly carry guns in public…

Jeff Larson, the CEO of the RNC, agreed with the governor.

“[Open carry] is in the Constitution in Ohio, so the governor can’t relax it for a day or tighten it up for five days,” he told reporters at a press conference Sunday. Waving away the police union’s safety concerns, Larson added, “I feel good about the security plan. I think it’s going to be fine.”…



Wednesday Morning Open Thread: The RNC Clown Show Continues

gop 2016 convention condolences davies

(Matt Davies via GoComics.com)
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The people responsible for writing the 2016 GOP platform are… divided. Per Buzzfeed:

[A] growing number of delegates — unofficially labeled as “the brevity caucus” — [have become] frustrated with the volume and complexity of its party’s platform. These delegates believe the more than 60-page draft platform is straying from its original purpose of communicating the party’s principles to voters and veering off into unnecessary, wonky debates.

“There’s two main camps right now: There’s a small group, who want to use this for door-knocking,” said Ben Barringer, a delegate from Iowa. “The other groups wants to use it to holding legislators accountable. They want to be more verbose.”…

Graves later told BuzzFeed News in an interview that the platform committee included “frustrated policy wonks” and that the platform was getting too long and complicated to share with the average voter.

“It needs to be more of a communications tool and not the Magna Carta,” she said. “I don’t know who reads these many, many pages.”…

Checking off every single ideological box is a trademark of parties whose members feel doomed to minority status, and this year’s Repubs have a long, long list of boxes to check.

Per the Washington Post:

The Republican Party on Tuesday moved closer to firmly embracing a series of staunchly conservative positions on abortion, gay rights, gun rights and immigration reform in a platform document that takes sharp aim at Obama administration policies and reinforces long-standing party orthodoxy on major issues.

Among the specific policies the platform committee endorsed here is a “border wall” that would cover “the entirety of the Southern Border and must be sufficient to stop both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.”…

There was widespread agreement on the party’s position on economic and national security issues and the tougher stance on social issues reinforced the party’s conservative view despite Trump’s calls for relaxed abortion restrictions and his support for some rights for gay and transgender Americans.

Trump was barely mentioned by the 112-member platform committee, composed mostly of longtime conservative activists. The candidate and his team had little presence during the discussions, ceding the details of the platform to party faithful…

And then the last Republican president showed up on everybody’s social media feeds, just to remind us how bad things were, and could be again…


(via The Hill)

Solemn, formal occasions have always been difficult for Dubya to endure, but trying to start a line dance at a memorial service is… special.



Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Ieshia Evans

baton rouge ieshia evans jonathan bachman reuters

(Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)

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Michael E. Miller, in the Washington Post: “‘Graceful in the lion’s den’: Photo of young woman’s arrest in Baton Rouge becomes powerful symbol”

Jonathan Bachman was snapping pictures of protesters yelling at the officers when he turned and saw her.

The woman in the summer dress didn’t seem to look at the two officers as they ran toward her. Instead, she seemed to look beyond them — even as they arrested her.

“She just stood there and made her stand,” the Reuters photographer told BuzzFeed. “I was just happy to be able to capture something like that.”…

The young woman’s stoic pose drew comparisons to Rosa Parks’s refusing to give up a seat on a segregated bus or “tank man” facing down war machines in Tiananmen Square. Some likened her to a modern-day Statue of Liberty, guiding a bitterly divided country back toward the proper path…

Within hours of the photo’s publication, news outlets, activists and the Internet itself were working overtime to figure out who she was. The Atlantic and the BBC both asked readers for help.

After activist and New York Daily News writer Shaun King posted the photo to Facebook, several self-identified friends and family members identified her as Ieshia Evans.

“To see all of the comments under this post shows me that my cousin did not make a mistake by going out there and standing up for her rights and what she believes in,” wrote Nikka Thomas. “I’m proud to call you my family Ieshia.”…

Messages posted to [Evans’ Facebook] account Sunday evening also appeared to confirm Evans is the woman in the iconic photo.

“I just need you people to know. I appreciate the well wishes and love, but this is the work of God. I am a vessel! Glory to the most high! I’m glad I’m alive and safe. And that there were no casualties that I have witnessed first hand,” read a message posted at 11:53 p.m. Eastern time Sunday…

“To all of my friends and acquaintances please don’t do any interviews about me,” said a post two hours later. “If they want my story, I am here. I would like the opportunity to represent myself! Thank you. Peace, love, blk power! ‪#‎blacklivesmatter‬.”

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President Obama is scheduled to speak at the Dallas memorial service, starting at about 12:30pm CDT. I assume that the service will be livestreamed, and that another frontpager will be awake to share it here.

In other political news, Senator Sanders will appear with Hillary Clinton in Portsmouth, NH this morning. He’s expected to endorse her, per CNN:

Tuesday’s endorsement will help Clinton “enormously,” said former Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, a Clinton supporter who co-chairs the party’s Rules Committee.

“I’m assuming that he is not just going to say ‘I endorse her,’ but explain to many of those that voted for him why given the values that he’s stood for, voting for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump is obviously the thing to do,” Frank said…

This is not necessarily sitting well with some of the Senator’s most fervent supporters…



Late Night Drama Open Thread: There’s No Self-Pity Like White Male Self-Pity

bernie bro death threats morin

(Jim Morin via GoComics.com)
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The first professional sophist claimed that Man is the measure of all things, and the (white) men in charge have yet to get over it…

And the thing is, they still feel like the victim(s) here. Further reading:

Rolling Stone, “Pro-Bernie Trolls on Why They Harassed Nevada’s Democratic Chair”. Guy who sent text messages you’re fired bitch… someone will hurt you… with images of slaughtered animals to the personal number of Nevada state Democratic party Roberta Lange —

… You’re right, stuff like that doesn’t benefit the campaign, but it’s not necessarily about his campaign, as [much as] it is [about] anger. And I’m not justifying any threats or anything like that, but I would justify people who were upset. Because there is clearly stuff that should not have happened that did happen on Saturday. I can speak for myself: that was very upsetting to me, and the person I was viewing it with, because it felt like democracy was stolen. Like, people weren’t getting their voices heard…

Jezebel‘s political subblog The Slot, “We Called Up Bernie Fans Who Threatened Nevada Dem State Chair and Asked Them to Explain Themselves” —

… “I can’t really say for sure if there was an intention on that,” he replied. “I don’t really want to say too much.”

He was “of a younger age,” he explained—older than 18 but younger than 25. “This is our first primary,” he said. “And watching the convention on Saturday, watching the livestream, was very frustrating. I think there were a lot of people who were angry. But I don’t personally have anything against anybody. I never had any intentions of any negative actions or anything like that. I made that very clear. A lot of people are angry.”

I asked if he would’ve done the same thing if he knew people would be able to call him back.

“I wouldn’t have done it had I not been hyped up and angry,” he said. “ But I’m not saying I did anything. I’m not saying I made any threats. I had no intention of threatening anyone.”…

Nobody understands that they have been misunderstood! Wounded! Deeply wounded in their feelings! Their precious, precious feelings!