Late Night SJW Open Thread: Women Aren’t *Supposed* to Be the Heroes

As always, click on any of these tweets to follow the whole thread…

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Excellent Read: “What’s Next For New Yorker Reporter Jane Mayer?”

Since we’re talking about her anyways… Great piece from Molly Langmuir, at Elle:

On the page, Mayer, a staff writer at the New Yorker since 1995, is authoritative and direct, and as a journalist, she is relentless. She’s waited outside the house of a CIA operative as day turned to dusk, hoping to question him about the death of a man he was interrogating. She uncovered a vast government-run domestic surveillance program in 2011, two years before Edward Snowden became a whistle-blower. “She’s the best investigative reporter in America,” says Daniel Zalewski, her New Yorker editor. “Not the best female investigative reporter.” In person, Mayer, who is petite with brown shoulder-length hair she usually wears down, the tips slightly flipped up, displays a confidence that has no visible fault lines. She also has a tendency toward self-deprecation. And while her mind often seems to whir with seamless elegance, this appears to fuel in her not impatience but curiosity. She has this way of holding her head—neck slightly forward, face tilted down, eyes up, eyebrows raised—that is the exact posture of receptive interest. At lunch, she maintains this stance as—in between answering my questions—she asks if my parents are still married, what I was like as a teenager, and whether my family is wealthy.

As for her next article, all she’ll tell me on the record is, “I’m focusing broadly on stories about abuses of power, threats to democracy, and corruption,” which she surely knows covers pretty much everything she’s written over the last two decades. “She thinks very carefully about what piece she’s going to pursue,” Zalewski says. “It’s like watching a rock-climber stare at a cliff, considering potential routes. And then she climbs.”…

… “She has Washington wired,” Farrow tells me. “It’s the kind of infallible crystal ball that only comes from years of putting in the work.” Over the course of her career, Mayer has written four best-selling books, and one quality they share, according to Michiko Kakutani, former chief book critic of the New York Times and a longtime friend, is that they “demonstrate uncanny historical prescience.”

Mayer’s first book, Landslide, cowritten with Doyle McManus in 1988 about the Iran-Contra scandal, revealed that President Ronald Reagan—later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s—was already displaying signs of mental unsteadiness in office, to the point that aides considered invoking the Twenty-Fifth Amendment. Even in 2015, the scoop remained juicy enough that Bill O’Reilly reprised it in his book Killing Reagan, without direct attribution. (Mayer considered legal recourse, then thought better of it. “I have so many enemies,” she says. “Bill O’Reilly is maybe one more than I need.”) In 1994, she and her friend Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of the New York Times, cowrote Strange Justice, about Anita Hill’s accusations against Clarence Thomas during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings. In 2008, Mayer published The Dark Side, about the CIA’s war on terror. Most recently, her 2016 book Dark Money and the New Yorker features that preceded it not only helped turn billionaires Charles and David Koch into household names but spelled out money’s influence on conservative politics so thoroughly that the left began using it as a how-to guide. “It had a big effect on progressive donors trying to create similar networks,” says Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, a Columbia University political scientist…
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Monday Morning Open Thread: Selma Sunday

Matt Viser, at the Washington Post:

Several Democratic presidential hopefuls came here to a resonant remembrance of one of the bloodiest moments of the civil rights movement on Sunday, with Sen. Cory Booker talking emotionally about being a descendant of slaves and others urging a renewed defense of voting rights…

Booker hinted at the words of Martin Luther King Jr. to draw attention to what he depicted as a resurgence of racial animosity.

“The dream is under attack. The dreamers are in danger,” Booker said. “And we need each other more than we realize in this country.”

Selma has become an annual pilgrimage site for Democratic politicians, culminating with a walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where on March 7, 1965, marchers advocating for voting rights were attacked by police in a day that has become known as Bloody Sunday. The Voting Rights Act was signed the same year. This year, the events marking one of the most searing moments of the civil rights movement took place over four days, including a Jubilee Golf Tournament on Friday and a “battle of the bands” on Saturday.

The main event, Sunday’s march across the bridge with linked arms, call-and-response, and gospel songs, was nearly derailed by thunderstorms. But the weather cleared enough for thousands to make the walk.

A trio of potential presidential candidates — Sanders of Vermont and Booker of New Jersey, who have announced their campaigns, and Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who is considering a bid — were here along with Clinton during the day’s events…

Sunday’s events provided a forum for the belief among many African American leaders that the GOP has been launching a renewed fight against voting rights, with such measures as voter ID laws and the curtailment of early voting.

“Make no mistake: We are living through a full-fledged crisis in our democracy,” Clinton said. “There may not be, thank God, tanks in the streets. But what’s happening goes to the heart of who we are as a nation.”…

Brown, who told reporters that he will decide on a presidential bid by the end of March, also circulated among the mostly African American attendees, asking about their lives.

Asked how he could compete in a diverse field of candidates, and with an increasingly diverse electorate, Brown said he would let his record speak for itself.

“If I run, I’ll be the only Democrat on that stage who voted against the Iraq War. I’ll be the only Democrat on that stage who supported marriage equality 20 years ago. I’ll be the only person on that stage who has a longtime F from the NRA,” Brown said. He pointed to his face. “I can change a lot of things, but I can’t change this part of me, right?”

I don’t think Sherrod Brown will end up as our Democratic nominee (although plenty of people on twitter have suggested he’d be a great vp for Kamala Harris), but I am very interested in seeing what he’ll be saying over the next few months!

A Little More Stacey Abrams For You: 1993 Edition

Here you go:

Open thread!

The Special Forces of Liberty is My USO Tour Cover Band Name! MAGA-Dopes on Patrol Edition

As we make our way through this long Friday afternoon waiting to see what, if anything, comes from the sealed documents/indictments that the Special Counsel’s Office filed yesterday and trying to make sense of why the President thinks the Federal government can negotiate “cash on hand” contracts (Narrator: the Federal government cannot negotiate cash on hand contracts), we should check in on the MAGA-Dopes and their ongoing, low intensity warfare campaign of terrorism across the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. Let’s start with the snark…

We interrupt this snark for the actual factual information, from Courthouse News (emphasis mine):

HOUSTON (CN) — Christian activists who tried to stop Houston libraries from hosting “Drag Queen Storytime” because it allegedly promotes the LGBT community’s “secular humanist” religion lack standing, a federal judge ruled Thursday, dismissing the lawsuit.

Three Christian men, including a pastor, sued Houston Public Library Executive Director Rhea Lawson and Mayor Sylvester Turner in October 2018 after an online petition and a protest outside a city library did not persuade Lawson to cancel the events that the library advertised as “an imaginative storytelling experience.”

“Picture books and songs shared by vibrant performers will excite and instill a love for reading for the entire family,” the library said on its website for the story hours it hosted once a month from August to December 2018.

Lead plaintiff Tex Christopher said in the lawsuit that “‘gay marriage’ is ‘fake marriage’” and that, as a Houston taxpayer and library cardholder, he has standing because the library specially ordered books for the story hours and made flyers for them.

“The plaintiffs believe that LGBTQ ideology is immoral, obscene and subversive to human flourishing and that the LGBTQ ideology is inseparably linked to the religion of Secular Humanism,” the lawsuit states.

The plaintiffs said in the complaint that the library was “brainwashing the children of Houston” while denying Christian groups’ requests to host Christian-related events.

U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal dismissed their lawsuit Thursday for lack of standing and failure to state a viable First Amendment Establishment Clause claim.

Rosenthal said the men could not prove the threshold issue that they had been injured by the story hour because it’s unclear from their pleadings that any of them attended the events.

“The plaintiffs assert the very opposite: they purposefully avoided ‘Drag Queen Storytime’ because of its alleged immorality and potential to harm their children. Instead of witnessing the event, the plaintiffs ‘researched [it] online,’” Rosenthal wrote in a 19-page order.

Rosenthal said their allegations of injuries are much broader than “Drag Queen Storytime” in Houston libraries, and that shutting down the events here would not redress their grievances.

She said they are using the litigation to “protest the gay-rights movement and the legal rights federal courts have recognized for members of the LGBTQ community.”

Plaintiff Chris Sevier is also a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit in Lafayette, La., that led that city’s library director in October 2018 to “stand down on planning a Drag Queen Story Hour” while the litigation is pending, court records show.

Rosenthal also rejected the plaintiff’s claim that they have standing because they pay sales and property taxes in Houston that were used to fund the story hours.

“The plaintiffs allege the purchase of children’s books and creation of a flyer but fail to allege that either were ‘a measurable appropriation’ of the Library’s $40,000,000 budget, or both cost more than a de minimis amount. These costs, individually or in the aggregate, do not confer standing,” wrote Rosenthal, chief judge of the Southern District of Texas.

She refused to credit the Christians’ claims that because the LGBT community practices the religion of secular humanism, “Drag Queen Storytime” violates the Establishment Clause, which states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

The judge found that even if she accepted that secular humanism is a religion under the Establishment Clause, there is no evidence that any drag queens discussed it at the events.

“Because the plaintiffs do not allege facts that do or could show that the event is a religious activity, there is no issue of establishment of religion,” she wrote.  

In his original complaint, Christopher said he sued “in his capacity as a community leader,” and that he and his co-plaintiffs, including De Factor Attorney Generals and Special Forces of Liberty, “have been violently and/or viciously persecuted by the LGBTQ church and devout members of the Secular Humanist religion for refusing to respect and endorse a worldview that is objectively immoral, obscene, and subversive to human flourishing.”

We now return you to the regularly scheduled snark.

I really do not want to know what evidence that Christopher submitted in support of his claim that he’s be violently and/or viciously persecuted by the LGBTQ church and devout members of the Secular Humanist religion.

Unfortunately one of the Special Forces of Liberty, or was it one of the De Factor Attorney Generals – who can keep them straight without a program? – decided to take his 2nd Amendment rights out for some exercise…

From The Independent (emphasis mine):

Donald Trump supporter reportedly armed with a gun barged into a Texas library in an attempt to stop a drag queen reading books to children.

James Greene was arrested on suspicion of trespassing after refusing to leave Houston’s Freed-Montrose Library, but claimed he was detained for being a “white Christian” and accused staff of satanism.

He had entered the building to protest against Drag Queen Storytime, a programme of events in which performers read children’s stories to families.

The conservative radio host has previously been banned from the library for filming children during similar demonstrations.

Footage filmed by Mr Greene and posted on YouTube shows him remonstrating with police officers as they ask him to leave the building. Another clip shows him being handcuffed in the libary’s car park.

He added: “He was previously banned for filming children at the library, and has been known to cause disturbances. Several officers had to escort him out.”

Mr Greene later recounted the incident in a Facebook video, wearing a Make America Great Again hat in front of a cardboard cut-out of Mr Trump. He claimed he was “arrested for being a white Christian” and accused a librarian at Freed-Montrose of being a “satanist”

Of course he did…

Bless his heart!

Remember, the only thing that can stop a bad MAGA hat wearing guy with a gun is a Drag Queen with a children’s story book.

Alright children are we ready? Good! See James be creepy at the library. See library officials ask the strange men who likes to act out in front of children in public to leave. See James threaten the nice library officials. See the library officials call 911. See the police officer ask James to leave. See James refuse because he’s a white, Christian man and this is Texas by God! See James get taken into custody and not shot because he’s a white, Christian man and this is Texas by God! And every one lived happily ever after. Now who’s ready for another story?

While I wish it wasn’t the case, this kind of stupid behavior will eventually stop when one of these morons pulls this stuff on a financially well off, professional ethnic and/or religious minority who both conceal carries and lives in a Stand Your Ground state. At that point they will learn the hard way that the old maxim that “God made man, Samuel Colt made all men equal” doesn’t just apply to white guys. And then things are going to get really exciting.

Open thread!