Early Hours Aggregation/Aggravation Open Thread

Betcha Susan Collins is feeling pretty smart right now…

Barely 24 hours after Donald Trump delivered a speech intended to reset his staggering presidential campaign, his off-the-cuff suggestion that people resort to violence against his opponent has him right back in the ditch.

At a rally in North Carolina on Tuesday, Trump applied his signature sarcasm to a political third rail, stating that “the Second Amendment” may be the only way to stop Clinton from getting to appoint federal judges if she defeats him in November…

Trump’s surrogates, already positioned on television sets, were left without any plausible response as media coverage of the presidential campaign focused on the GOP nominee’s latest misstep. “Mr. Trump was saying exactly what he said,” spokeswoman Katrina Pierson said on CNN. The campaign itself put out a “statement on dishonest media” that did not even attempt to clean up Trump’s comment…

Official NRA statement:

Guy who ghost-wrote Art of the Deal:


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Stay away from Cleveland

Folks, I know how tempting it is to go to the snakes’ den and tell them what you think to their face. I have done it. It’s cathartic. It feels great. Please don’t.

From a tactical perspective the convention does not need our help to be be a complete dumpster fire. Half the people in that convention hall hate the other half with the heat of a hundred suns, while a huge faction of delegates are openly scheming to unseat the nominee, i.e., destroy the party in order to save it. We should give them space to express all these feelings at each other. A common enemy outside would just give them a reason to rally together. Trump wants chaos. He feeds on it. The crazier things get outside the more Republicans will support him. Someone else once gained (siezed) power the exact same way.

Second and more important, Cleveland will be a security nightmare. Cleveland cops are a long way from role models on a good day. Next week the Cleveland PD will be overwhelmed, scared and dressed like an invading army. They will have divisions of staties and National Guard who will almost certainly follow their lead, open carry lunatics dressed like commandos will wander around giving them heartburn, and they will have an especially short fuse for anything that might be connected with Black Lives Matter. I recognize that is not fair. They have the badges and that is the mood right now, at least among departments with a history of racial problems. Does that sound like Cleveland to you? Best case scenario, expect aggressive crowd control and ‘free speech zones’ a good mile from the convention. I would not be surprised to see kettling, violent arrests for little or no reason and a whole lot of mace. It would not surprise me to see LRADs and possibly even microwave-based active denial systems deployed. I know the last one sounds crazy, but microwave torture (“crowd control”) beams have developed to the point where police departments could theoretically deploy them, if the DoD completely lost its mind. Given the circumstances I would not 100% write it off.

Finally, I know you know this already, but Trump’s hard core are fucking nuts. They are armed, racist, angry and they don’t believe in non-violence. Ohio’s laws let people open carry any guns they want right up to whatever line the Secret Service draws on the pavement. You legally have to retreat before using deadly force in Ohio, but don’t count on Florida Man knowing that. The RSVP list already includes those neo-Nazis who had the rally in Sacramento with all the stabbings. Inside the convention horrible people will be whipping up hate and fear like a soufflé cook on a meth bender.

I understand that dissent is the beating heart of a free society, and I would never tell anyone that they can’t go and speak their mind at jerks who richly deserve it. All I am suggesting is, for this occasion anyway, maybe live tweet it instead.



Overnight Open Thread: Ripped from the Headlines… True Crimes Edition

You cannot make this stuff up. A guy named Schmuck attempted to teach an impromptu firearms safety course while drunk in front of the Quick Stop Deli on West Louther Street in Carlisle, PA (former home of me – Carlisle, PA, not a convenience store and deli on West Louther Street).

Christopher R. Schmuck, 39, was charged by the Carlisle Police Department on Friday after officers say they were called to the Quick Stop Deli on the 600 block of West Louther Street for a report of a man with a gun.

When police arrived, they found Schmuck at the front of the store, and they say he had a .45-caliber glock handgun tucked into his waistband.

Police say Schmuck, who was intoxicated, was giving a gun-safety lesson to two teenagers, and at one point, there was a live round in the chamber.

He did not have a license to carry the gun, police say.

Schmuck was charged with a weapons violation, reckless endangerment, public drunkenness and disorderly conduct, and is set for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.

Needless to say: what a schmuck!



Think Piece- What Could Have Prevented this Tragedy?

Christ on a crutch we are a deeply stupid nation:

Nearly a week ago, on June 24 , his 45th birthday, Jason Sheats gathered with his family in the living room of their Houston-suburb home about 5 p.m. Beside him were his daughters, Taylor, 22, and Madison, 17. His wife, Christy, had called a family meeting.

After years of challenges with Christy’s mental health, her struggles with depression and anxiety, her suicide attempts, Jason told authorities that he thought perhaps she was going to announce she had decided to file for divorce. The couple had talked about separating.

But instead, police said, the 42-year-old mother pulled out a .38 caliber handgun, a gift from her late grandfather, and pointed it at her screaming children. Then she shot them, inside the house and out in the street, where the girls collapsed and stopped moving. When law enforcement arrived, they watched Christy fire a final bullet into her eldest daughter, then a police officer shot the mother dead.

***

Jason Sheats told investigators that his wife struggled with depression and anxiety and after each suicide attempt had been treated and evaluated at different private mental health facilities. After she stayed several days, Jason told authorities, he would pick Christy up and take her home. At the time of the shooting, Jason said, his wife was taking “numerous” prescription medications. She was also seeing a therapist.

Despite information on her LinkedIn profile listing her as the business manager of a Houston tattoo removal clinic, Jason told police his wife did not have a job, according to NBC News. They’d been married for more than 20 years, Jason told authorities, but Christy had been drinking heavily and they’d separated several times.

The gun she used to kill her children was inherited from her grandfather, authorities said. Christy had applied for a concealed carry permit, Jason told investigators, but the state of Texas rejected her application. Nehls said at the news conference that his office is investigating why the license was not approved. It was unclear whether it had to do with Christy’s mental health history.

MAYBE GET THE FUCKING ARSENAL OUT OF THE FUCKING HOUSE? I feel terrible for the man, but how many fucking warning signs do you need? I’m sorry, but don’t tell me “You weren’t there” and “you shouldn’t judge” and the other horseshit. If he had used an iota of common sense his kids and wife might still be alive. He should feel guilty the rest of his life.








Bundy Bunch Update: The Pa-Traitor-ating!

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(Worst Episode of Hollywood Squares Ever!)

We have our first capitulation err, um, plea agreement of one of the 26 fine upstanding Patriots charged in the Ammon Bundy led Malheur Federal Wildlife Refuge takeover and occupation. Brian Cavalier (2nd from right, top row), bodyguard for Ammon Bundy and professional tattooist, aka Buddha, aka Booda, aka Booda Belly, and aka The Fluffy Unicorn, now doing business as the Benedict Arnold of the New American Revolution, has reached a plea deal in regard to his charges in Oregon. This agreement does not impact or effect his case pending in Nevada for the Bunkerville Standoff of 2014. Unless, of course, he’s cut a deal in exchange for cooperation. Or has he? Regardless, thanks to JJ McNab’s excellent Twitter feed we can see that the other upstanding Patriots are none too pleased with Boddadict Arnoldbelly’s cutting a deal for a negotiated, reduced sentence.

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And for those who really want to dig in and get their Bundy on, here’s the pdfs of the plea document:

800 — Cavalier Plea Document

And the plea agreement:

799 — Cavalier Plea Agreement



Open Thread: Changing the Direction of the Conversation, Hopefully

nra gop ventriloquist sheneman

(Drew Sheneman via GoComics.com)
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Quibbling Over the Script

In addition to enforcing Jim Crow, I bet that Nashville restaurant pictured at left also paid its female employees less than the men. It was the 1960s, after all, and women still aren’t being paid equitably 50 years later.

Was John Lewis tacitly endorsing the oppression of women by signifying a desire to eat at that lunch counter? Fuck no. I bet he didn’t even have a hankering for that joint’s particular pot of stale coffee and congealed, lumpy grits. Lewis was doing something much more important than trying to order food: He was dramatizing the unfairness of segregated public accommodations.

John Lewis, genuine American hero, has famously been getting in “good trouble” for longer than most of us have been alive. And now he and the Democrats in Congress are engaging in “good demagoguery.” They are exposing their Republican colleagues as the NRA lickspittles they are.

Mass shooting after bloody, appalling, inexcusable mass shooting have rendered so many of us numb to yet another round of “thoughts and prayers” and inaction on basic gun safety laws that the vast majority of Americans support. If Newtown couldn’t change things, there’s no hope, many of us thought — and still think.

Well, the Democrats are doing something courageous and amazing right now. They are hanging the Republicans’ intransigence on guns around their necks in a simple, visceral way that can be understood even by the people of the land, the common clay of the new West — you know, morons!

The script for this bit of political theater includes the chant, “No fly, no buy.” Should this be understood as a Democratic embrace of the unfair “no fly list”? Nope. No legislation will come out of this protest. The sit-in is political theater that is meant to “dramatize” — as John Lewis carefully put it — Republicans’ refusal to do their jobs.

You’re watching a drama, and a damn good one, with a cast of Democrats who are displaying spine and fire on an important issue as we’ve been demanding for fucking years. You can choose this moment to nitpick the script. But if so, you’ve lost the damn plot, IMO.