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.)

Keeping in mind that there is little or nothing new under the sun, what’s on the agenda for the day?

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


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)

Down in Durham

It was erected in 1924. Almost all Confederate veterans were dead by then. Durham County has always had a significant African American population so a statue supporting slavery standing in front of the courthouse has its own meaning.

Be careful out there.

Civil Wars, Trump Edition

Jack Ohman via

Salena Zito has been defending ‘President Trump’ since forever, so it’s not a big surprise he’d feel comfortable exposing his vast ignorance to her. The question remains: Shouldn’t someone on Trump’s staff, if not the reporter, thought twice about putting his comments out for all the world to see?

Yoni Appelbaum, in the Atlantic:

The entirely uncontroversial consensus among professional historians is that slavery caused the war, although this conclusion has not reached much of the general public. Leaders like Jackson, then, only postponed the inevitable reckoning. It’s still tempting, though, to believe that the Civil War might have been avoided, the loss of three-quarters-of-a-million lives averted, the bloodiest conflict in our history forestalled. And for a century, many of America’s political leaders did everything in their power to turn a blind eye to the carnage of slavery, staving off sectional crises.
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Tuesday Morning Open Thread: No Sooner Than Time

I first saw the story in the Washington Post, but here’s how one of the local papers covered it. From the New Orleans Advocate:

The removal of New Orleans’ monument to the Battle of Liberty Place under the cover of darkness early Monday morning marks a turning point in the nearly two-year-old debate over the fate of four Jim Crow-era statues.

Three other monuments targeted by Mayor Mitch Landrieu — memorializing Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard and Confederate President Jefferson Davis — also are scheduled to come down, though the timing and other details of the removal are closely guarded secrets.

The dismantling of the Liberty Place obelisk came hours before a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by groups seeking to keep the four monuments in place. The case had held up the removal for more than a year before judges on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled recently that the city could proceed with its plans.

Of the four, the Liberty Place monument was widely seen as the most objectionable, and Landrieu explicitly described it that way. The 1891 monument commemorated a violent 1874 uprising by a local militia known as the White League, which fought with members of New Orleans’ biracial police force as it ousted the state’s “carpetbagger” Reconstruction-era government for several days before President Ulysses S. Grant sent in federal troops…

City officials said they were keeping details about the removals under wraps in light of threats and harassment reported by contractors who had previously been hired or expressed interest in the job. The Police Department’s SWAT team watched over the removal, with sharpshooters posted in a nearby parking garage and K-9 units checking the scene…

At one point, Joey Cargol, an opponent of taking down the statues who had been loudly criticizing the police and demanding to see a permit for the work, walked up to Suber. Acknowledging that they were on opposing sides, Cargol said he hoped they could agree the removal itself should have been handled more transparently.

“I know we’ve disagreed on a lot of things, but this is not the ways things should be handled,” Cargol said.

“They could have done this, announced it and let people show their opinion,” Suber said. “This is the coward’s way.”

“It’s hard to handle a defeat like this and hard to celebrate a victory like this,” Cargol replied.

With all due respect for those more immediately impacted, given the temper of the times, I can see why the Mayor chose this path. We’ve got quite enough would-be “heroes” wandering around armed and dangerously stupid, and too many martyrs already.

Apart from ongoing civic improvements, what’s on the agenda for the day?

Open Thread: Mitch McConnell, Partnering with Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III

Addison Mitchell “Mitch” McConnell Jr. is generally regarded as a political opportunist whose only real loyalty is to the career of Mitch McConnell. But his latest maneuvers to steal a Supreme Court seat for the most retrograde elements of the Republican Party put him in cahoots with fellow flower-of-Southern-manhood, Attorney-General-by-grace-of-the-President-Asterisk, Jeff Sessions. Future historians — assuming there are any — will speak of these two and their GOP cronies as modern historians do of the antebellum Congressional cabal that was willing to tear the country apart rather than give up their “inherent privileges”…