Uncivil Liberties Open Thread: Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III Feeling Pretty Good About His Chances

I piously hope that Mr. Mueller’s investigators are taking notes at the Federalist Society, because the Malevolent Leprechaun spelled out why he’s going to all that trouble playing Blanche DuBois in front of unsympathetic Democrats…

Sessions had a bounce in his step Friday as he took aim at “judicial activism” of judges legislating from the bench and took a moment to tick through the changes he’s made to return Justice Department to the “rule of law” in a wide-ranging speech at Federalist Society’s national convention.

“Elections really do have consequences,” Sessions said with a smile…

Despite the fact that four of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees have received a rare “not-qualified” rating by the American Bar Association and come under fire for controversial blog postings, Sessions said Trump has been appointing “extremely well-qualified” lawyers who will be “neutral umpires, calling balls and strikes.”…

“I get frustrated, too,” Sessions said, but vowed his “department will not make decisions based on politics” and will not confirm investigations to get a few “cheap headlines.”…

(Mike Luckovich via GoComics.com)
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Per the Washington Post:

Sessions has been under fire in recent weeks for his shifting account of his and other Trump campaign aides’ dealings with Russia. On Tuesday, he spent more than five hours before the House Judiciary Committee answering questions about the matter.

Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s former ambassador to the United States, is a key figure because Sessions had long ago denied having any communications with Russians, only to have The Washington Post reveal he had twice met with Kislyak during the campaign.
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Halloween Revenants Open Thread: “Compromise” in Blood

Revenant, “a visible ghost or animated corpse that is believed to have revived from death to haunt the living”. Oval Office occupants embracing this undead lie is the scariest story I’ve seen all season…


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Late Night Horrorshow Thread: Meanwhile, Down in Tennessee, the Nazis…

Kudos to Blake Montgomery, at Buzzfeed — “Here’s A Play By Play With What Happened With Those White Nationalists In Tennessee”:

White nationalists said they gathered in rural Tennessee Saturday to raise awareness about refugee resettlement and a shooting at a church. But they were also there, by their own admission, to rehabilitate their image. They never made it to the church.

The Nationalist Front — an alliance of white nationalist groups including the KKK-affiliated Traditionalist Worker Party, Vanguard America, the neo-Confederate League of the South, and the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement — converged on rural Tennessee for three events throughout the day: a rally in Shelbyville, about 60 miles outside Nashville, a separate rally in Murfreesboro, and a vigil at a church in Antioch. Local news had also reported that police at Middle Tennessee State University warned students of a possible torchlit rally Friday night, but that did not materialize.

The same groups came together with others for the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in August. During that rally a man who marched with Vanguard America allegedly killed an anti-racist protester with his car and injured 19 others.

In the end, the Murfreesboro rally was replaced with a private picnic, and the vigil never happened.

Brad Griffin, who blogs under the name Hunter Wallace for the white nationalist site Occidental Dissent and helped organize the rally as a member League of the South, told BuzzFeed News that the Nationalist Front had “accomplished everything it set out to do” and that the Shelbyville rally “went great.” He traveled from Montgomery, Alabama, to attend…

About 100 white nationalists — and roughly 200 counterprotesters — gathered in downtown Shelbyville on Saturday morning. Police kept the two sides on opposite sidewalks with metal barricades. Police banned protesters from bringing a laundry list of items, but several white nationalists were allowed in with shields and helmets. Some gave Nazi salutes throughout the event.

Each side spent most of the event trying to shout the other down. Several white nationalist leaders spoke on a range of topics, among them the “degeneracy” of the other side, the promise of a white ethnostate, the perils of globalism to white workers, and their vision for a health care plan…

Around 1 p.m., the Nationalist Front left, and protesters dispersed soon after. The white nationalists planned to hold a second rally in Murfreesboro.

The city of Murfreesboro had made extensive preparations in anticipation of the rally and counterprotest, including boarding up the windows of businesses on the town square, deploying the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, busing in horses for mounted police, and setting up barricades throughout the square.

But instead of going to Murfreesboro, the Nationalist Front called what seemed like an audible and drove to Henry Horton State Park, 55 miles away, for a picnic near the birthplace of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the founder of the KKK. Still, several white nationalists showed up in Murfreesboro, confused about where everyone else had gone. At least one decided the drive wasn’t worth it and went home…
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Reports from Tennessee: Nazi Snowflakes Have No Stamina

Local reporter Natalie Allison has a whole bunch of short clips from the rally in her Twitter feed. And a nicely observed story in the Tennessean:

9:20 a.m. Shelbyville: About 40 minutes before protest was set to begin, more than 50 counter-protesters were waiting to get through a security checkpoint.

A woman is dressed like the statute of liberty. One young man has an “Antifa” flag, the sign for a movement of anti-Fascist, far-left protest groups, draped around him.

There were no signs of white nationalists yet…

10 a.m. Shelbyville: Chad Bagwell, 30, of Centre, Ala. was among the first to arrive on the white nationalists’ side. When he got there at 9:30, the convoy of other protesters hadn’t arrived and police weren’t letting him in to the protest area.

Bagwell held an American flag and was wearing a red Make America Great Again hat. He said he planned to bring a Confederate flag, as well, but forgot it.

He said he learned about the rally through a friend on a social networking website. His friend thought he might enjoy attending the White Lives Matter rally, Centre said, which he understood to be about refugee resettlement.

He drove two hours to attend Saturday’s protest.

“I don’t have nothing against refugees, but I do think they need stricter vetting for it,” Bagwell said…

10:05 a.m. Shelbyville: The first members of the League of the South, a white nationalist group that helped organize the White Lives Matter rally, have arrived and are making their way through security…

11:20 a.m. Shelbyville: At least 160 white nationalists have come to the Shelbyville rally. More than 300 counterprotesters are there…

Wesley Lowery, for the Washington Post:

Local residents and leaders spent most of the week anxiously wondering how many would travel the rural highway that snakes south from Nashville over Christmas Creek into Shelbyville for a “White Lives Matter” rally planned by several national white supremacist groups.

Such rallies have turned violent, even deadly, in recent months, sparking fears that the Shelbyville gathering could as well. Once the white supremacists showed up — the rally started about an hour late — there was yelling, but no violence.

Rally organizers had anticipated about 175 people, while Tennessee’s racial justice and liberal groups were unsure of how many of their members would attend. Ultimately it appeared that about 300 people attended — about 100 “White Lives Matter” attendees and twice as many counterprotesters…

Organizers included the National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi group; the Traditionalist Worker Party, which wants a separate white ethno-state; Anti-Communist Action, a right-wing group that believes America is being threatened by communists; and Vanguard America, a white supremacist group that believes America is inherently a white nation that must be preserved. This rally, they said, was specifically about immigration and refugee policies.
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Thursday Morning Open Thread: Trolling, Trolling, Trolling…


(Wikipedia tells me this clip is from an Alan Sorkin tv show called Sports Night, which ran from 1998-2000.)
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Keeping in mind that there is little or nothing new under the sun, what’s on the agenda for the day?

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For entertainment purposes only, from the Washington Post, “Trolling Trump: How viral visual taunts have changed protest in nation’s capital”:

In the year since Trump won, activists have expanded the age-old Washington reliables of marches and rallies with more-unconventional ploys: queer dance parties, high-wire banner stunts, animated graffiti projected onto the walls of Trump’s Washington hotel. In volume and style, the digital age and the president’s own pugilistic instincts have created a unique moment in movements.

“There was outrage against [Richard] Nixon and against [Lyndon] Johnson, but those protests were mostly against policy,” said Michael Kazin, a historian of social movements at Georgetown University. “Now the focus is to a great extent on the president’s personality. They are responding to his own way of attacking people by attacking him.”

Even traditional protests seek a visually viral taunt. The Women’s March, which drew hundreds of thousands to the Mall a day after Trump’s inauguration, was forever branded by the thousands of hand-knit pink triangular hats worn as a defiant symbol of Trump’s “grab them” comment.

A towering inflatable chicken with Trumpian Orange hair made an appearance outside the White House in August (get yours on eBay for $498). After the president announced he was pulling the United States out of the Paris climate accord in June, Diesu helped sneak dozens of protesters into the lobby of Trump International Hotel, where, at 7 a.m., they pulled out alarm clocks and air horns to “wake up” guests to the dangers of global warming…



Late Night Open Thread: Random Sparks


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For auld lang syne — #EvenTheLibertarianJaneGalt (note date):


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Open Thread: Elderly Austrian Immigrant Yells At Trump & Other Nazi Supporters


(h/t commentor Jim, Foolish Literalist)
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